Sunday, September 24, 2006

SgRunners' 3rd Demoralizing Run

SgRunners @ Changi Beach Point (Start Of 3rd Demoralizing Run)

It was a cool morning...seemed like it rained for a couple of hours in the night. I took cereal, a banana and the usual coffee before moving off to Changi Beach Point with DO to meet the SgRunners. By 7am, nearly 30 runners had turned up. Ultraman brought lots of 100plus and bananas; Doraemon brought some very delicious jelly (not sure what the sexy name is...hehe); acleong brought a carton of 100plus; and of course the famous Brokie's Barley was there, along with some cut cucumber for 'cooling off' after the run.

My plan was to do a nice LSD, and finish the run in 3hours, hopefully covering 30km at least. We took our customary group photo, and after Sotong gave a detailed brief of the route and various points to turn back, we started off with a slow warm up towards the 'back' direction. The run along Changi Beach Park was cool and nice, and I was sharing with run3 how we did our first run along that path at last year's Ghost Run. That was where we met Ripley and teelee for the first time. How time flies. I was running along with Ultra and DO for a bit, enjoying the nice sunrise. The clouds were providing a good shade. Soon Ultra and DO moved ahead, and I was happy to run alongside mightyjoe and chatting about training for marathons and long runs, as well as his experiences in triathlon events. We caught up with doraemon and, they were running a steady 6min/km pace. Along the way, we spotted Elangovan, Donald Ng, and another MR25 runner doing a break-neck speed in the opposite direction to us. We turned left from Changi Coast Road into NSRCC. That was the first time I've run that path...nice. From there, we hit East Coast Parkway, and I could see some of the SgRunners in front. Broke away from joe and moved up to have a short chat with cfred, before moving up further to run with Ultra. Ultra was checking how much more before we hit the U-turn point. Along this stretch, I met many familiar faces doing their ninja training...Mike Kang from SAFRA, bleudauphin from Animiles, VRP gals Roo and Bambi. We exchanged greetings as we run past one was nice to see so many familiar faces doing their Sunday ninjas :)

Ultra and I ran past the F2 carpark, then Bedok Jetty, and finally spotted RealRunner at the Bicycle Shop near the food centre. He had turned back at the Cable Ski area, and was taking a drinks break. We said hello, before turning back to F2 carpark toilets to take a water break. Brokie and acleong have reached that point too. Run3 came along, and I gestured her to run ahead and turn back at the Bicycle Station for a approx. 30km distance. I took my Gu Gel (Strawberry flavour...not too nice, choco is better), refuelled and asked Ultra to move ahead to catch up with RealRunner, Brokie and acleong. After waiting for a short while, I saw doraemon and tktan coming, and told them to run ahead to the Bicycle Kiosk too. I didn't see run3 on the i moved on to catch up with Ultra and the rest. After about 1km, the group had gathered around tekko, mrs tekko, VRP gals. Tekko was in his 'pai kar' bandage, and was nice to bring ice-cold 100plus to support the runners. I had a chat with them, before proceeding along. Saw kickjazz and Roentgen running towards the Jetty, and gestured that they had 1km more. They looked like they only started to run...dang cool sia...haha. I ran further up to Brokie, and could see she was running a very steady pace. She mentioned she wanted to complete in good form...well done. acleong was moving along steadily as well.

As I ran out from NSRCC back to Changi Coast Road, met up with Ultra again. We motivated each other by saying there was only 10km more. I could see fennel in front doing her run-walk routine? That was the start of the long and demoralizing run back, as I was doing it alone. The road was just so straight. I had taken 2hr02min till that point. Along the way, I must have looked at my watch at least 3 was that boring. Time passed pretty slowly. Lots of cyclists were moving past, and I was careful not to drift away too much, lest I mis-step or run too much out onto the road. I was thinking that must have been more demoralizing than the ECP stretch at SCSM05. At least there were people to watch at SCSM05. I tried to focus on my form, and could feel some tightness in my left hamstring....too much of the flat road, and using the same muscle set? I concentrated on lifting my legs, and working my quads. After what seemed like eternity, I finally saw the end to the coastal road. The shade from the trees were gone, and the sun was beating down furiously. I must have been pretty tired...Mythos waved at me, I waved back, but didn't recognize him...till I saw Jennifery behind him...hehe. I finally turned into Changi Beach Park, and the shade from the trees were a welcomed relief...albeit not for too long. Saw Ripley and ecouraged her to finish the remaining 2km. My mind was counting down the metres as the sun beat down.

I saw someone in yellow, and when I got close, I realized it was Rim. He looked tired, but must have been glad it was almost done. Good effort from Rim, who has only just started to do such long runs recently. I ran onto the pavement, and finally finished back at Carpark No. 2 in 2hr55min. The earlier group(s) had returned...Sotong, Bee, FBB, cfred, DO, teelee, RealRunner, SassyRunner, MightyJoe, Dasher, joao_li, Ronnie. I did a walk about to cool off, left my stopwatch running. Brokie finished strong in, her longest distance yet with a respectable timing....her 42km should be a breeze. The rest of Ultra, Run3 and Fennel returned shortly, followed by a very strong looking doraemon...nice photo-shots by Sotong. We had very nice barley, jello, and lots of 100plus....thanks to all the kind sponsors..*thumbs up*. There was more than enough for everybody, and lots of 100plus were left to be kept by Sotong for the 'Reverse Demoralizing Run' :). The pair of Roentgen and KickJazz finished in such fine style that they looked like they ran only 10km, despite having done 28km...must be their 'run-walk' strategy *kudos*.

A happy group after the 'Demoralizing' run and refreshments

More group photos, and we proceeded on to Changi Food centre to have the famous Herbal Beef Noodles...more chats about the morning's events. Met Thomas (from SAFRA MF) who was having lunch with his family. Mythos and Jennifery were also spotted there taking their lunch break. When I left with DO and Brokie at about 1pm, the large group of SgRunners continued their chats and makan. A satisfying run and workout for many of them....some like doaremon and Brokie even said it was easier than the 2nd Demoralizing Run...wowee. I could see that all were very strong and high, and would have no problems conquering SCSM06...hmm, time to up the ante to 32km and 35km runs :))

Distance: 30km__Time: 2hr55min__Pace: 5:50min/km

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Thursday, September 21, 2006

2 weeks to Climbathon

The Team NTUC Mt. Kinabalu Climbathon sending off ceremony was nice...lots of good food...*burp* With just 2 weeks to go before the actual climb on Sep30, I will be taking it easy as a form of tapering to give my knees a rest from stairs climbing. I will still be doing relatively high-intensity interval and hill runs, to continue to strengthen those quads (so essential especially for the ascent).

Monday 18/09: Did a 10km run around my estate to maintain my cardio base. Since I was running alone (very rare these days), I decided to do a steady-paced tempo run. Put on my Gel Forester Tri, and away I went. I could feel the cushion in the shoes...hmm, nice...must have rested the shoes enough for the cushion to spring back..:). Reached Lorong Ah Soo in 4:28...not bad, on track and still not pushing....was blocked quite a bit by the PLMGS gals finishing school, so had to stop the watch for a bit...continued along and got onto the Coffee-Shop/Billboard Junction in, good ...normally I am there in 11:00+. Continued along smoothly and feeling good...reached the Mosque in 16:30...and reached Kovan Bus Terminal in 19:56...ahead of the usual 20min+. Since I was ahead in terms of timing, I decided to maintain the pace....suprisingly, I was still feeling quite comfy, heart rate not too high. Reached the Paya Lebar Methodist Junction in 27:30. Paused at the traffic junction, and stopped the time too...hehe. From there, headed straight for Braddel Rd in 33:10, and went all the way to Upper Paya Lebar Rd in 41:56. Wow...timing not bad...continued to run the final 800m along the main road, and into Tai Keng Gardens, turned out and touched my home gate in 46:16min...hmm, is that a new PB for this course or what? Gotta check that from my 2-year Running Log, but what the heck, it was a nice enjoyable run...woohoo
Distance: 10km__Time: 46min16sec__Pace: 4:37min/km

Tuesday 19/09: Did intervals at Queenstown Stadium with the SAFRA MF folks. A smaller group of runners, about 20+...was good to see Dr. Adrian and wai fung's friend join us for the run...also met up with a few new members. Did the 4km warm-up jog to Queenstown Stadium in nice weather, chatting with Thomas mostly. Tom is another new member who has improved by leaps and bounds after joining SAFRA's intensive marathon training program, devised by Trainer Ong. We went back to having the beginners form one group to start off first (served as rabbits..hehe) and the rest who could run 800m in 3.5min forming the rear group. The front group was given a headstart of 30sec for 1.6km, and 20sec for 800m laps. The following were my split times:
4km warm-up jog to QST - 26min
Lap 1 (1.6km) - 6m28s
Lap 2 (800m) - 3min
Lap 3 (800m) - 3min
Lap 4 (800m) - 3m10s
Lap 5 (800m) - rest
Lap 6 (800m) - 2m56s
4km Cool-down run back to ClubHouse

I felt good during the laps, took a rest at the 5th lap, and made a hard run to record my first sub-3min 800m lap...looking at the timings, it seemed like I ran much faster for the 800m laps today, probably because I was pacing myself and running from behind, and having fun trying to catch the rabbits :).

Wednesday 20/09: Did the 3rd AdiRUN, starting out from Adidas Outlet @ Cathay. The group comprised about 20, mainly the regular bunch SgRunners...Charlotte, SuperGal & SpyFish being the SgRunners new to this run.

There was joao_li, finally got to know who he is...and babumouse rejoined us after a week of absence. There were 3 other new runners this evening, one being a real kenyan to boot. The group is really getting diversified :). We did 2 loops of Fort Canning at a very fast pace. Bev and I were lagging most of the way, but we managed to keep the pace. IMD and DO were covering the rear, thanks to them. Along the Boat Quay area, we met up with the later group of Superboy and Angelica (Adidas regional manager). We took a few nice group photos, before proceeding on to run to The Esplanade. Along the way, met Ronnie who was at the tail end of his ninja run. We ended the run back at Cathay, had a nice round of 100plus and bananas, filled up the forms for the NIE run and called it a satisfying night. Bev had one of her hardest workout yet :)

Thursday 21/09: Giving the legs a rest this evening, and going down to Pasir Ris area for the K2 Base Camp Challenge (Concordia Trek) interview. Yup, with MK finishing at the end of Sep, the K2 Challenge will be up next on Team NTUC's Adventure Calendar. A couple of us have signed up for this next year, and the interview will be conducted to guage our commitment and fitness levels for this expedition.

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Saturday, September 16, 2006

Mt. Kinabalu sending-off dinner

2 large banners showing the team in action (MK Recce in July)

A sending-off dinner was organized for the Team NTUC Climbathon team @ The Carlton Hotel this evening. It is 2 weeks away to the Climb on Sep 30, and the 10 of us in the team were to be hosted a dinner, with Guest-Of-Honour MP Teo Ser Luck to grace the occasion. Many of us looked forward to meet with TSL, an accomplished Ironman as well as rising MP. We invited quite a number of friends and family to join us for the happy occasion.

I arrived with Beverly at around 6.45pm, and to crowd of about 50 people had gathered. DO had earlier sms-ed me that there were large posters put up, and there was to be a nice makan awaiting. Met up with many friends Jaime, Ong, Bug, Elaine, SC5, Wildcat, ChoonWei, Phei Sunn, Colleen, Jancy, Vincent, Sotong, Cokiee, and of course the entire Climbathon team (Rodney, Timothy, Roland, Yulan, Henry, Anthony, Sim, David, Hee Shen, Lingam, Xavier). There were 2 large banners put up, showing the team in action during our July recce/training trip to Mt. Kinabalu. I like the part (on the left of the banner) showing us coming down the flight of stairs (ala Indiana Jones...haha) from the start point at Timpohon Gate. We had cocktail while waiting for the arrival of the rest of the guests and VIP. We did a quick rehearsal of the proceedings, and when TSL arrived with his entourage, the show bagan. There was a grand speech by the MC about the Climbathon and the team's preparations.

Then the guests were treated to a Video Show of the team in training and interviews conducted with individual team members. It was great, but we had to wait outside to prepare to make our grand apperance. Great organization by the Team NTUC Managers of Yusoff, Hamidah, Wilna, Carmen and trainer Lingam. There was a group of shwe NTUC gals helping out with the registrations and ushering of the guests... Kudos to all of them for making this a 'happening' evening for us. Special mntion goes out to Kevin of Camper's Corner who was generous with his sponsorhip of the team's gear, as well as the useful tips on mountain trekking he had been dishing out.

MP Teo Ser Luck & Team NTUC MK Climbathon

After about 20minutes, it was finally time for up to go up stage. Our names were announced, and certain nice encouraging words said about us invidually. Then lots of photo shots by photographers, and MediaCorps were there to cover the event too. It was shown on Channel 8 10pm news, but I didn't get to catch the broadcast :(. Then there were some presentations of momentos, before we finally dug into the nice spread of Japanese, Western and Chinese food. We had a fun time chatting, listening to tips from Ironman TSL, as well as the other ironman buddies of ours. It was a fun evening where we took more photos, and the MP was friendly to move from table to table mingling with friends and sporting enthusiasts.

The night drew to a close at about 10.30pm, and we all left feeling very satisfied with the nice food and company. We now look forward to the MK race, and hope to do our best, and not give up no matter what. In the words of MP Teo, we are representing Singapore, and we should do our, stress sia...hahaha. Whatever, we will go there with a positive attitude and enjoy the journey. Can't wait to get a copy of the Video Clip as well as all the nice photos to share with friends...stay tuned!

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AniMILES run for SCSM06

After a short break, we were back at the AniMILES run this morning, to begin preparations for the year-end StanChart Marathon. Because of the many events happening both locally and across the Causeway, we had a smaller group of SgRunners do the run today...DO, Cheow12, RealRunner, Bug, Cokiee and myself...mainly the die-hard runners....hehe. We started off with Vivian, anna, and the rest of the regular AniMILES runners, and soon they disappared into the horizon, leaving some smoke and dust behind...:).

The plan was to take a LSD pace today, and I brought along my HRM for good measure. It was cool, but humid....there was a light rain, but there's still lots of moisture in the air. We chatted about last evening's sending-off dinner, and also about next week's Demoralizing Run. We took the turn from UTR to Maindai track, and then to Seletar Reservoir toilet for a short break. After the break, DO, Cheow12 and I were running together mostly from Mandai Rd all the way to the Zoo. I took the opportunity to try out my new Gu Gels (Chocolate)...and in my opinion, they tasted nice...much better than the PowerGel choco flavour, and the texture was smoother too...hmm,, must buy more of them as they are cheaper too :).

On the return back, I decided to take the straight road up to UTR, rather than go back along the Seletar Reservoir way. The road felt much longer today. My HR was in th 150+ region, but my lgs were feeling a little tired. I consciously used my quads with more leg-lifts, hoping to give my calves some rest, less they cramp up. It did work quite well. I saw Bug coming out from Mandai track,...he must have gone the extra 500m along Seletar Reservoir way. Soon I was on the home stretch along OUTR, and with the final ascent of the slope, I recovered and maintained a steady 5min/km pace to the finish. Took 2hr25min for the approx 27.5km. The rest of them soon came back, and we all had HL Choco Milk to recover...haha, quite funny...all of them heard me mention HL Choco Milk in th past, and they too wanted to try it...I hope they likd it and find it as usful as I have so far :). Cokiee which went for a 'serious bombing' mission came back after we had bathed, and he completed 24km...good job. We all had noodles as we were famished, and I took another 'Milo Peng'. It was a good run for all, and we all look forward to next Sunday's Demoralizing Run :).

Distance: 27.5km__Time: 2hr25min__Pace: 5:16min/km

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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

AdiRUN No. 2

Because of the IMF proceedings near the Suntec area, I visited the Adidas store at Cathay Building for the second Adidas Runners' evening. The store was much bigger than the one at Suntec City (at least to me), and there were lots of nice stuff to beo...but I would have to do that at another time. Spotted Meteor first, and then Dasher. Then Beverly came, soon DO, and then a larger group of familiar faces gathered at the store...Charmane, Alvo, Superboy, Cokiee, sazla, cfred, and a few runners from the first run. Brokie came along, then Angelica....hmm, quite a group in the end. Fahmy called all together for a warm-up before we set off.

DO suggested a nice route this evening. The part to Fort Canning was nice, and we looped it 1.5 times. There were some challenges along the way, like climbing a huge flight of stairs, navigating some slopes, going down some steep ones too...all the runners enjoyed the relatively quick pace and hard workout. I had a little discussion with lcp, a new SgRunner about his fast 21km AHM, and also preparations for the SCSM full marathon. A uncle-neice couple were running alongside Beverly and Angelica. I was pacing Beverly for a bit, and found that her pace was quite close to Angelica's. A lot of the SgRunners have improved by heaps, and all have no problems doing a good 10km run. We gathered at the top of Fort Canning for a short breather, before moving down across the pedestrian Bridge which led to Clarke Quay, along Riverside. Then we ran to Boat Quay, with Brokie, myself and cfred taking turns to do fartlek runs to snap some photos of the runners in action. It was fun, and a break from the regular pace we were doing. There were quite a crowd at the bars and restaurants along the Quay, and they must be pretty amused by the bunch of us running around :). By the time we reached The Esplanade, we had run about 9km. Some parts of The Esplanade were being set up for IMF, but did not really pose any access problems for us. From there, we headed back to Cathay Building doing run/stop for about another 1km.

When we reached back, we had a nice time stretching, chatting over 100plus and bananas. Fahmy shared that Adidas will focus on Running in 2007, after having paid a lot of attention on soccer in 2006. Plans are on the drawing board for a major run to be organized by Adidas...can't wait for more news of that to emerge. With very little traffic stops, and a much even pace this evening, I did enjoy this evening's AdiRUN very much...and Bev had a hard workout, to the point of getting some stiches midway...hehe

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Deja Vu...MF Hill Repeats

Did my 2nd Hill Repeats at MF Hills with the SAFRA MF Group this evening. About 40 runners turned up, and we had SgRunners Brokie, Vincent, leh-lio and Cokiee join us for the hills training. Started off at 6.5pm and did a 3km run to the start point at the car-park of Mt. Faber Loop. There were quite a number of new runners this evening, and they enjoyed the ascent up from Morse Road.

After a short breather, we started off to do the planned 6 x 1.6km Mt. Faber Loop. Trainer Ong gave the runners advice to work hard on the upslopes, but take it easy on the downslopes...that would be the proper way to train for power and speed in hill runs. I did the first 3 loops averaging 8min+, and felt pretty comfortable with the conservative pace. I worked a bit harder for the 4th and 5th laps. I was breathing hard on the upslopes, but my legs felt pretty ok. I finished the 6th lap, dashing up the final 100m with cm shouting for me to give it my all...phooh, that was hard work but satisfying when I reached the top. Finished the run sprinting away with Jimmy and small chua, but could not keep up with them...nevertheless thanks to them for the good pace to give me a sub 8min final lap. Completed the 6laps in 51min+, better that the 52min+ I did 2 weeks back for the same 6laps.

Lap 1: 8min44sec
Lap 2: 8min39sec
Lap 3: 8min48sec
Lap 4: 8min42sec
Lap 5: 8min46sec
Lap 6: 7min56sec
Total: 51min40sec
Average: 8min36sec

Did some quick stretches and went to cheer our invited guests and some new runners in. I paced leh-lio for her final 100m sprint to the finish...this gal was strong, and finished the 6 laps in less the 1 hr *salute*. Vincent did well to finish 6laps in 1hr too. Cokiee and Brokie both did very well too. Peter did 4 laps...great. I remembered I did 2 laps when I first joined MF, and almost 'died-ed'...haha.. Gotta take my hat off to these new bunch of runners..all very determined and willing to go the extra mile (no pun intended)..heh. As with all hill repeats, we took a nice cool-down walk back to ClubHouse via the 'ninja' short-cuts, and was greeted by 'heavenly' ice-cold 100plus, thanks to cm, wong and the advance party who went back to get the drinks ready. Also collected the Gu gels I ordered...hmm, will try them out in my long runs and for MK. Will be collecting my new DS Trainer this Thursday...highly anticipating that.

The shower rooms and car park were packed this evening, and we jested that it must be due to the large group of MF Runners :). We proceeded to the regular Food Centre, and many of the folks tried my regular favourite 'Red rice-wine chicken'. Had good discussions with Cokiee, Brokie and DO about the many long and interesting runs we had planned for the month of October. A nice workout, followed by nice makan....thats why I always look forward to training at SAFRA MF :)

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Sunday, September 10, 2006

SAFRA Tampines Location Run

We had the SAFRA Mt. Faber Location run in March this year. And today was SAFRA Tampines' turn to organize one. This time, we would start from SAFRA Yishun, run along the scenic Yishun Dam, the soon-to-be-closed-for-renovations Selatar Air Base, and back for a nice 15km distance. The turnout of 80+ runners from the 3 SAFRA Running Clubs was large by any standards. On top of the SAFRA Running friends, we also had Jancy, Vincent and Benny join us for this run.

As I had just done the 10km Public Service Run yesterday, I decided to start slower in the beginning. Had a short chat with Peter about golf...huh? haha... xsuanjing who had signed up for the full marathon at SCSM06...kudos to her... Akira who is back with training for his 42km at SCSM. After about 2km, saw Cokiee, and decided to run along with him. This young man packed a good pace, despite restoring to his natural weight (which takes a lot more to carry)... As we ran along the dam, the usual crowd of people looking at fishes to buy (there were large ones this time) provided a good conversation piece for us. Teck Hou, Ong and Jaime were running very easy this morning, likely doing their recovery run. Reached the 5km point, and was glad to get water from David Shum...the sun was shining brightly, and we were running in unsheltered territory all the way around Seletar Airbase, and to the Church for a toilet break.

Cokiee, Brokie and myself took a much needed break at the Church, before proceeding into Seletar Airbase. Suprisingly, there were few stops, quite atypical of SAFRA Location Runs. All were in the mood to keep going. As we ran along the narrow road at Seletar Airbase, the sun was shining brightly, but the winds this morning were pretty cooling. It was a nice stretch of run there, as we had some good conversations about preparations for SCSM at the end of the year. The whole stretch of SAFRA Runners was really a sight to behold. We were runnning in the sun throughout, and all who survived this run had some good conditioning in them...good runners all of them. Reached back to the water point manned by David Shum and Vincent, and collected my final bottle of water, before running ahead to complete the remaining 5km. Just 400km before turning back to SAFRA ClubHouse, I saw DO and Shirleen cheering the runners on, and I joined them for a bit.

Ran back to the ClubHouse after Vincent, Brokie and Cokiee had passed. We did a nice cool-down session led by David Shum, had very nice 'Ice Packet - Serng Pao?' and a packet of Nasi Lemak...yummy! Chatted and mingled with the many SAFRA friends...such occasions are really nice for catching up among the running members of the 3 Clubs. After the wash-up, we proceeded to the nearby Food Centre and continued the interesting chats over more food and drinks...and about 11am, the rains came...Phew! Timing was just great for us. Another interesting and enjoyable SAFRA Location Run!

Distance Ran: 15km__Time Taken: 1hr30min__Pace: 6min/km

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Saturday, September 09, 2006

My second Public Service Run

I decided to join this Public Service Run since there was a planned BBQ nearby. The food was the main draw, and I might as well go for a workout before the makan :). I signed up for the 10km Men's Open as I wanted a longer distance, and I was not keen on doing something like 5.6km.

I parked at Clearwater Condo, and made a short walk through Bedok Reservoir Park to Tampines Stadium. I wore my new Asics Gel Forrester Tri shoes just for the heck of it, and it really drew some attention...I saw the familiar faces of MR25, anf then proceeded to the SAFRA Running Club area. Collected my bib from Wong, and went about meeting up with friends...Ripley, Colleen, Shirleen, and many more. Edmund and David Shum from SAFRA Tampines were there too. So was Eric Koa, and a few fast runners from SAFRA TP. I was there to have a nice run.

While doing my warm up, met Cheow12, Hedgehog, igloo. The weather was warm, despite having some wind....maybe due to the blistering sun just before the run. The crowd this year was a lot less, with the Ghurkhas and Civil Defence people (possibly due to IMF duties) markedly absent. The Men's Open started after all the rest of the categories had gone ahead. I started off a little quick to get away from the initial crowd, and then settled to just follow Igloo from behind. I really hated to run on the gravel at Bedok Reservoir, as I don't get a good grip on that kind of surface. I ran mostly on the grassy patch, unless overtaking or cutting across to the other side of a bend. I did not get very good support on the grass path, and my ankles were sometimes wobbly. Nevertheless, I overtook quite a lot of people as I progressed through to the 5km mark, after having grabbed a bottle of water from the water point. I took about 23min to do the approx. 5km...hmm, pretty slow.

I began to speed up a little for the second loop around the 4.3km Bedok Reservoir, after dropping my marker card into the box. I was feeling the heat, and I slowed down at times to cool off a little. I felt alright for this second loop, and with about 3km to go, I moved up and overtook about 5 more people. I don't think there were people who overtook me at all...hmm, I must have started slow...haha. As I reached the point which I expected a turn, I did not see it...and it felt like the distance was longer. I asked someone if we had overshot the turning point...he was too tired to say anything, just gestured me that it was in front. I finally saw the turn, and made a dash for it. Overtook 2 more people in the end, and crossed the finish line in 46min55sec. The time was eerily exactly the same as last year's timing...hehe. My Polar stopwatch showed I did the first 5km in 22:45 and the second in 24:09...hmm, positive split, and not able to hold on to pace...must improve in this aspect.

I took 2 bottles of water and went around congratulating my fellow SAFRA Running mates. Also took some time to talk to MR25's LTH and Vincent. MR25 as usual swiped most of the top prizes. SAFRA MF did not too bad with 5 prizes. Bug did a monstrous 41min+ for a 11th position, and was just a few seconds after KCP. Teck Hou, Pre, Alan, Colleen and bbmon all did very well to win prizes. BBmon came in second in the Women's open, and I had a good talk about her new training with a national coach...she is enjoying her training, which I am happy for her. I did the same timing as last year 46min+....possibly my first 10km race this year...really very 'chuan'...cannot keep up with the young guys like Hedgehog and Igloo, who were in front of me. The Forrester Tri behaved well, and I found it to be light, though support wasn;t that ample for that kind of terrain. I was happy with its overall performance, despite not having been broken it at all. I proceeded back to Clearwater to meet my family and joined the rest for a nice evening of Poolside BBQ, along with some great wine and Bailey's Irish Cream..Yummy!

Distance Ran: 10km__Time Taken: 46min55sec__Pace: 4:42min/km

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Friday, September 08, 2006

Stockpiling The Battle Chest

2 new runners added to the battlechest

Heard that there were some good deals at the Asics Sale, so made a 30min detour on the way to an appointment to check that out. I reached Runners World at Genting Lane in the evening. I was surprised to see that there were running shoes that were available in my size, and those were models that I have worn with satisfaction. I immediately asked for the Cumulus VII Orange/Grey, but they did not have my exact size 10, so I went for the Blue/White instead. I have just retired my Cumulus VII Blue/White and this will come in handy as a direct replacement...and at a good discount (at least an additional 20% more discount than what I had paid previously), why not?

The Asics Gel Forrester Tri - 'Chio' eh?

Then I looked at other models like the DS Trainer, Speedstar, DS Racer, and the very 'chio' Gel Forrester Tri. Finally decided to give Gel Forrester Tri a try (no pun intended) hehe. At least I can wear it for jalan-jalan if it did not work for my running. My initial feel of wearing it was quite good...soft and has some cushion, and is quite light. I will try it at the casual Public Service Run tomorrow and see what happens.

With about 10min left, and me late for my appointment, I grabbed a few Asics tops and some New Balance bags...quite good buys. With the anticipated arrival of my new order of the latest DS Trainer XI next week, I will have 3 Asics and 2 Adizero SN to back me up for my training into 2007. Nice!

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3 weeks to MK Climbathon

The next overseas event for me will be the Mt. Kinabalu Climbathon on 30 Sep. I have been doing a bit of stairs climbing, and will soon do hill running at MF for final preparations. Haven't been fretting about it, just hope to go there and do my best and enjoy the cool 'hard to perspire' climate, meeting new friends, and watching in awe the elite Sky Runners.

Did a easy 6min+ paced run with Beverly, who has started to prepare for her 21km this SCSM06. I needed to run slower as well, as I was still feeling the tiredness from Sunday's 30km Progressive Run at MR. I don my DS Trainers, and the the undersoles of the shoes were really worn, and the parts on the outsole had no more rubber. Checking my log told me it had served me well for almost 800km...I really need to retire it NOW. Hope to get my new pair of DS Trainer XI by next week. I ran along with Bev for almost the whole journey, and kept her pace in check, telling her not to run like she was running a 10km. Finished the 10km in 1hr4min...hmm, quite ok for a 21km pace. I rested while Bev went on for another 35min, covering probably another 4.5km up some slopey terrain to boot. That should give her a sufficient start to 'train for comfortable completion' of 21km.

Went for stairs climbing at TP 40-storey blocks on Tuesday evening. Met DO, Timothy, Sim, Rodney, Roland and Kops. It seemed like this was the last stairs-climbing session for the MK team, as we would be starting hill runs at Mt. Faber from Thursday onwards. We found it a little strange that stairs climbing was taken off the menu, but well, it was definitely welcomed by me :). I did 300 floors in slightly over an hour, and was struggling not to look at the numbers on each floor as I chugged along, taking 2 steps at a time.... stairs climbing is really boring for me :(.
There has to be a better way to train for runs or climbs up mountains...just have to see what comes up when we start K2 training end of the year.

Went for the inaugural Adidas Run (adiRUN) at Suntec Adidas on Wednesday evening. Did about 12km with lots of traffic stops. It was a good start to what might turn out to be an interesting series of run for the year!

It was MF on thursday evening. Brokie, Vincent, leh-lio, DO, Bug and I started off on our easy run to try out MF hills for some. The SAFRA MF group and the Climbathon team had earlier set off from SAFRA MF ClubHouse for their respective training runs. On the way out, we bumped into Hamidah who asked for a short interview session in prepration for the Climbathon sending-off dinner with MP. We will also invite a number of our like-minded running friends to attend the dinner with us. We chatted as we ran, enjoying the nice pace, even on the upslope to MF from Morse Road. We did an additional 2 smaller Mt. Faber Loops (about 1.6km each) atthe request of the first-timers as they were enjoying the challenge and the workout of the MF hills. We completed the approximately 11km run in about a 5:30min-6:00min/km pace...quite good considering the number of slopes in that area. Had a quick interview session with Hamidah and the Climbathon team, took our well-deserved can of 100-plus, and went to our usual place for carbo-reloading. Vincent, Brokie and Cokiee were pleasantly surprised atthe reasonable prices and the varieties of the hawker centre we went to. Nice run, nice food, nice evening.

This Saturday will have me doing another short run, the 10km Public Service Run at Temasek Polytechnic, running 2 laps of Bedok reservoir. I am taking this as just a training run, and will be out there to enjoy myself...later in the evening will join the SAFRA MF group for the much anticipated Poolside BBQ. Sunday will be another not-too-long run of 15km at Yishun/Seletar area...the SAFRA TP Location Run. Its been some time since I went to Yishun Dam for a run...this will be a good time to revisit the nice scenic route.

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Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Inaugural adiRUN

The adiRunners @ Suntec Adidas Outlet

Went for the inaugural Adidas Run (adiRUN) at Suntec Adidas on Wed night. This initiative was recently formed to gather a group of like-minded people who needed a place to run around the city area, with Adidas supporting them with a place for bag deposits and Gatorade drinks and fruits after the runs. I was on time at about 6.40pm, and spoke with Dexter from the Suntec Adidas Outlet for a bit about getting a lighter version of my Adizero SN, and he recommended Adizero CS...felt light and looked good, looking forward to try it to see its forefoot cushioning is sufficient enough for at least a 21km :).

Dexter and Fahmy, the adiRUN coordinators, gathered about 20 of us, gave a brief, conducted some warm-up stretches and off we went at 7.15pm. The original plan was to run 9km around the various parts of the city, to BG, Orchard and then back to Suntec. DO, Brokie, Beverly, babumouse, Dasher, Cokiee, cfred, superboy, angelica, meteor, sazla and myself were the SgRunners who showed up, and there were about half who were friends of the adidas team.

This being the first run, we ran along mainly the city area, and encountered lots of traffic stops, which sortta broke a few runners' momentum...but it was alright, since we all took it as a recce and sight-seeing run, soaking in the night sights of the city. Only when we reached Botanic Gardens area, and then to Orchard Road, did we have less interruptions, and a few good long stretches of run. We covered about 12-13km in total, and all had a satisfied finish at Suntec City, where we were given bottles of Gatorade and some bananas. The Gatorade tasted heavenly, and as the night was pretty late, some of us left first after a few group photos. The rest went on to enjoy a nice wash-up at the swimming pool facilities provided by the adidas team. The plan of this initiative was to eventually build up a regular Adidas Running Group at Suntec as well as Cathay, have properly attired runners in adidas outfits entering mini races and competitions...all towards promoting the Adidas Running lifestyle? all remains to be seen how this interesting initiative will pan out :)

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Sunday, September 03, 2006

An energy-sapping run

The SgRunners Gang at the start line

Picked up DO and Teck Heng and proceeded to MacRitchie at 6.35am for the MR25 30Km Progressive Run. There was a hive of activity already at MR, with a stage set up and lovely singers crooning love ballads and mice songs :). There was a big sports event lined up. We approached the MR25 registration table and spotted Ultraman, RealRunner, Bug, Alvo, and a few other familiar faces. I registered and got a nice bib number - 2255...joked with Vincent that nice bib numbers always returned not too stellar timings. Goola and Ah Leng registered for the run too. Loneshark, Roonz, Freddy, Renohtaram, Meteor were already there, waiting for Brokie and Vincent to arrive.

With a brief of the route by Vincent, the rather large group of about 30 runners set off. I ran an easy pace for a start, and was following Ronnie and RR up Northern Route. I had to take it easy, since this 30km is a tough route, and I had to reserve energy for the later 'siong' part at Rifle Range. I had a breakfast of cereal and a banana, and that should give me sufficient reserves to last, I hoped. I reached the end of Northern trail in about 20min, and proceeded up the 'Chunky Hill' slopes cautiously. Spotted DO in front, took a drink at the water point (to Rifle Range) and ran nicely along the Golf Course. When we reached the turn to air-cond road, I was surprised to see the group running straight ahead, without turning in. I just followed, since I wasn't quite sure of the route too. Navigated the slopes along UPR and at the Main Gate to OUTR, we realized that our group had missed air-cond road. We decided to cover it on the return, and proceeded to run back UPR and turned into air-cond road. We saw Brokie, Vincent, and the rest of the group, and explained a little about how we missed air-cond road earlier. They planned to do about 25km. As I ran out air-cond road, I saw babumouse and renoh running ahead and stopping at the UPR toilet area to wait for the rest.

I ran on back along the Golf Course, and reached the entrance into Rifle Range trail in about 1hr+. I took my choco Powergel which I brought along, and downed it with water provided at the water point. DO came along too for his water. The slopes at the pipeline leading to Rifle Range is always a challenge, and takes a lot out of me. I had hope the Powergel will give me the energy required to push on. Spotted the 'SCSM 06 model' guy running in front...he is 54, runs a mean pace, and has a 6P body that will put many younger folks to shame. When we reached Rifle Range Road finally, he broke away.... as I moved along, I noticed the many steep downslopes which we would have to manage on the return leg *shudder*. Saw Ultra running ahead of Bug and RR, and looking very strong...he even spoke about the steep slopes, quite rare...his QL level must be really high then *wow*. I was cautious at that point, and feeling the strain. The winding and slopey road seemed endless. I finally reached the U-turn and water point. I ran ahead to 'release' in the bushes, the excess water I had been holding on for a bit..wah, relief :). DO and the ang-moh arrived too. Took some water, and pushed on. The road back was hilly, and I was tired out by the many slopes. Waah....this part reminded me of Phuket Marathon, and the slopes here were even more winding and challenging. Don't know how I finally managed to reach back to the trail, and the ang-moh was sprinting down the slopes to overtake me...waah!

Once onto the trails, I followed the ang-moh. About 500m ahead, I bumped into Brokie, Vincent, Renoh and the rest...they were about reaching the 25km U-turn point....very good that they made the x-country slopes. This stretch back was really killing, and I almost had to walk up the final few slopes. The ang-moh was telling me to be careful of the slopes as they were bad for the ankles. We were running together for a bit, and by the time we reached the Chunky Hill area and final water point, I was drained. I knew there was about 7km left to go, and the journey back would not be easy as well. Walked for just a bit while drinking, and ran up 2-3 more slopes to reach the Ranger Station, and Sime Trail. While running along Sime Trail, I nearly twisted my ankle because of the undulating terrain of pebbles and rocks. With a few twists of the ankle, I had initial cramps at the left shin...shucks, bad..I never had cramps at the shin before. I slowed down more, and eventually got through to Jelutong Tower and then the wooden planks. My calves were threatening to cramp up at that point too...hmm, must be the hard work done at the numerous slopes.

The Finish @ 30km

After 30km, a tired but satisfied lot

When I reached the Golf Course area, the time was about 2hr30min. I knew then that I could do it within 3hours, and decided to slow down to ease the cramps and also planned to walk at the 'tree-roots' area. Finally reached the exercise area, and with 2.5km more, I did not have any reserves to push the pace. I just chugged along, and walked for a second time when I was near the top of the 2nd slope... I needed the break to do a final push for the finish. The ang-moh went ahead in the final stretch, and I was contented to just follow him to the finish, amidst the large crowd of walkers who had just finished their walk-jog event. I completed the 30km in 2hr49min, and was totally exhausted. Ultra did a fast time of 2:44, Bug 2:43, RR in 2:47, DO in 2:51. Ronnie did a respectable, very good for a newbie. I enjoyed the 100plus, iced-cold milo from the milo truck (courtesy of the walking event) and Brokie's Barley. I drank lots, and the group gathered for a nice chat. We were the last to leave the place...haha...and proceeded to Adam Road Food Centre for the famous Prawn Noodles and Nasi Lemak.

Distance Ran: 30km__Time Taken: 2hr49min__Pace: 5:38min/km

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