Friday, May 30, 2008

Two times the SPIRIT!

In 24hours, when the Sun goes Down, I will be experiencing twice the spirit of the Marathon when I tackle my maiden 84km Sundown Ultra-Marathon. I would like to dedicate the Marathon Spirit to all Sundowners who will be running at different paces, but all pursing that one single objective - To cross the finish line in one piece...And things will never be the same again :)

The Spirit Of The Marathon

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D-1...0057 REDCON 1

Final LSD of 25km done on Saturday!
Final 2 short runs of 10km done on Monday and Wednesday...

Carbo Loading of Steamboat on Thursday, Beef Noodles and Sweet Potato Soup on Friday, Pasta with green Bean Soup on Saturday...*BURP*
Nett Weight Gain +1.5kg o^o

Normal sleep of 7hours from Tuesday.
Red Toy and Baseball rolls to keep tendons and muscles loosened :)
Needs bag packed.

Final Prep Done! Readiness Condition (REDCON) 1. All Systems GO!

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Here goes the Sun...

Yes, Sundown is just 1 week away. When the Sun goes Down, the tough will gear up and get going to compete in the first ever overnight marathon (42km) and Ultra-marathon (84km) in Singapore. My final long run was done this morning at the aniMILES route, along with die-hard running kakis kk, DO, cheow12 and sealboon.

The air was slightly cooler this morning, when we started at 5:45am sharp. The pace was comfy at about 6min/km, and lots of chatter going on. We ran as a close-knit group, and reached the end of OUTR in 27min....according to cheow12, the normal aniMILES runners would have taken just 21min to do the same....haha, we are not known to be social runners for nothing lah... nevertheless, we were enjoying ourselves.

We took the Seletar Reservoir way, and proceeded gingerly along the Mandai area. About 1km to the road entrance to the Zoo, DO and SealBoon turned back. kk, Cheow12 and myself proceeded on to the 12.5km U-turn mark (estimated we reached in 1hr26min...slow, but what the heck). On the way back, we chatted non stop and enjoyed the cool air in spite of the rising sun. Finally we reached OUTR, and was still having quite a bit of reserves. So we picked up speed a little, and ran at tempo pace all the way back to complete the entire 25km in 1hr40min...hmm, just the right pace for a tapering run ahead of a marathon.

Will visit the Sundown Race Expo this afternoon to collect the Race Pack, and meet up with Tekko to hand the support table bag to him. I have seen the Sundown running top worn by DO this morning, so I am not expecting much...very likely it will make me into a dumpling, one with lots of fats but not edible...shucks!

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Growing running community

I was early this evening for the I-Run, after having finished my appointment in good time. Met Maverick after getting changed, and he spoke to me about an interesting Project he will be embarking on, and might enlist my assistance. Met the usual 10km kakis, and chatted a little. As agreed last week, I went ahead first to mark the U-turn spot for the 10km.

Took about 25min to reach the spot, estimated to be about 5km and a little more. After a short while, could see Maverick and two front runners emerging from the distance. They looked strong. Mave wanted to go a little more. He was looking strong. We went forward for another 700m, before Mave urged me to turn back along with the rest. He insisted on taking turns to be the last man for today...I was a little paiseh to have the trainer be the last man...hehe.

I went ahead, and led the rest of the 10km runners back to the start point in about 1hr. It was a good run for all of them. The ladies did well too. As we were resting, I spotted Sim Wong Hoo and his team cooling down too....they might have joined in the run too....since there are a number of runners from his company doing some serious running this year....well done. Heard that Runalone could be the fastest runner in that company...incidentally, bumped into Runalone at the same spot as we met last week....haha.

We estimated we might have done about 11.5km this evening. Good workout. Next week, we will shorten it a little to be 10km. Didn't see Slacker turn up this evening...spotted him ninja-ing at MF last evening lah. I invited bobafetish to sign up for SgRunners and join us for some of the fun runs he is interested in. Looks like we have a growing running community :)

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Vesak Day Southern Ridges Rendevous

SgRunners @ Southern Ridges Route (HortPark)

In line with tapering period, a small group of us took the opportunity to tour the newly opened Southern Ridges this Vesak Day. Passion, Brokie, Vincent, Stardust, tohmin, stuck, Ultraman, lithct, Ayin, DO, Tekko, Miramis, GoldenRetriever, Bambi and myself set off from SAFRA MF at about 8am.

The weather was warm and humid, and the holiday crowd was out in full force. There was hardly any room for us to run on the Henderson Waves leading to the metal bridges. From there, we took the Earth Trails, which gave us some welcomed space for some running. It led us to the wave bridge and then to HortPark. It was jam packed at HortPark, bit we still found some space and time to soak in the scenic atmosphere and take some nice pics. We moved up from there to Kent Ridge Park.

Since it was supposed to be a recce, DO and I thought we wanted to bash through some small 'secret trail' to add some adventure to the run...haha. Turned out that our memory did not fail us, and we ended up at Canterbury Estates, right where we intended to go. It was familiar territory for many of us, yet new to a few others. We headed from Canterbury back to HortPark. Ultra's visa was expiring, so he had to take an early exit.

We bumped into PS yet again on the bridge. We had earlier seen her up the bridge when we were traversing the Earth Trails. We took Earth Trails again all the way back to Telok Blangah Park, before moving up to Mount Faber along Henderson Waves. We ran all the way to the Jewel Box where Marang Trails was supposed to be, only to find that it was not ready. Some of the party was happy to end the recce short as they were already satisfied with the morning's effort.

We estimated to did a distance of about 10km, but the effort was definitely a lot more since the route was undulating, and involved lots of ups and down, coupled with stairs climbing. It was an enjoyable and relaxing session for me....more of such sessions should be done to build up a positive mental state for Sundown :)

More Photos From Tekko's Cam

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

2 weeks to Sundown

Was feeling under the weather this week, with a sore and coarse throat this weekend. Fortunately, it is tapering period for Sundown 84km on don't need too many hard runs nor high mileage. Went down to SAFRA MF this morning for a 20km regular run that turned out to be so HOT that we nearly melted midway.

The route along Buona Vista 99-winding Road, leading into the NUS slopes sapped loads of energy from me. Worse was my dry throat made worse from the high intake of air because of my 'blocked nose'. After 1hr20min of hard run, I decided to take a breather at the top of Kent Ridge Park, only to meet up with Ultraman who was not too familiar with the route.

To avoid more of the heat, I suggested to Ultra to take a shorter and more shady route along the new HortPark, and then back along Depot Road. There were lots of visitors to the HortPark, and parking was a real issue for many. Colleen, William, DO and a few others went for a recce of part of the Southern Ridges, which we will do on Vesak Day tomorrow. Finally covered about 20km in 2hr total time....very drained of water. Had a good coffee session at Ya Kun, and discussions centered around final packing and preparations for the Ultimate Race...The Sundown Ultra-Marathon. Tapering and Carbo-loading will go into serious gear from today!

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Yet another I-Run

Because of bad traffic along AYE, I was almost late for this evening's I-Run. Fortunately I made it just before 6pm. Quickly changed into my new DS Trainer 13, and joined the large group of runners. Acknowledged Maverick, bobafetish and Lactic, before saying hello to the 10km runners.

Started off promptly and joined Slacker at the rear. He mentioned he upgraded to 10km this week because of touched...haha. We chatted as we ran, and soon met another colleague of his. I ran ahead to say hello to those who set off earlier, and reached the half-way mark in about 32min+...this route is definitely longer than 10km.

After all the runners have turned back, I ran from behind to play catch up. Spoke with Alvin, then Lyn and then Slacker. Found out that all of them were from, Sim have really rallied his troops to do a showdown at Sundown, and later on at StanChart...impressive. Ran most of the way back with Slacker, pacing him and chatting about running kakis and the SgRunners forum.

We reached back in about 1hr11min. Maverick told us we actually ran He would like me to run ahead next week, and cut down the mid-point by 1km both ways. I would be waiting at 1.3km at the start of the Clementi Canal Connector to turn the 10km runners around. Lactic did 3km and was challenged to a fast pace by a young runner. I asked her to to join me to do longer and slower runs next time.

Had some good chats with Tommy, a fast runner who started running in the 90s. Lyn was going to Maldives and we will see her the following week. Alvin has good potential to build up a goood running base. And Slacker, hmm...he was busy with the babe, so I didn't want to disturb him lah....haha. Till next Wed evening :)

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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Sundown Ultra-Marathon: Final Prep

About 40 of us gathered for our final Sundown Prep Run at ECP car-park C4 at 8pm. The plan was to recce the various Park Connectors (PCN) of Siglap PCN -> Bedok Reservoir PCN and Pasir Ris Park PCN. Many were in their SKINS, 2XU and CWX suits for a full-dress rehearsal...haha.

The run started at 8.30pm in rather gloomy skies and high humidity. Fortunately the rain never showed up. I was trying out my last pair of runnable cushion shoes, the PI SynchroFLOAT2, too see if it would fare better than the less cushioned Speedstar and DS Trainer that I was more used to. Most of the familiar kakis were there, with a few doing the route for their first time. We covered the first 15km to Pasir Ris Park without much problems, and I was glad to be shown the various tricky turning points before Bedok Reservoir, the traffic junction with 'The Clinic' sign and the turn-off into Tampines Ave 9. Tekko and Wend88 took the opportunity to recce the site of their support station, and made comprehensive plans on how to organize on race night.

Brokie, Vincent, DO, Alber, Triple, Ultra, Bev, Cokiee, Heng, Chuacath and myself ran as a group to Downtown East and then U-turn at the Mosque, estimated to be a 16km distance from C4. The return was slightly cooler with slight winds, and we were motivated by the thought of having a nice pit-stop at Cheers along the Bedok Park Canal. After 20km, my feet were still feeling ok. Bev was feeling ok, just a tad thirsty and hungry. With the refuel, it was a higher-paced run back. Bump into the too family along the Bedok Park/Kebangan MRT area, but we did not stop to chat for long as all were shooting for the final 4km.

The concrete and uneven ground along Siglap Connector felt terrible, and I cannot imagine how the soles and calves of my legs will hate them after 60km. Bev, Chuacath, heng and myself ran as a group, following Brokie and V for the final 3km. It was a nice finish, and thanks to RoadRunner who had prepared 100plus, in spite of him having ran 42km and returned earlier than us. We completed 32km in about 4hrs. All still felt that we could never be quite ready for the 84km gruelling distance, especially on such hard concrete surfaces *shudder*. After the wash-up, we went to You Tiao Da Wang for some food which I feel is not worth mentioning.

So it is tapering time now, till the big race on May 31. When the Sun Goes Down on May31, The Sundowners Will Begin Their Journey!

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Thursday, May 08, 2008

My Inaugural i-Run Duty

Made time after my seminar to go down to International Business Park for my first i-Run duty. Met up with lactic_acid and Maverick, who was the lead trainer. I was supposed to be the sweeper for the 10km runners, while Kenneth was to do the 5km lead. There were a few other young runners taking the lead for the 3km distance.

A large turnout of about 50-60 came at 6pm. I recorded the heart-rates for 10 of those who wanted to do 10km, before assembling for warm-ups by Mave. It was refreshing to see so many new faces. We proceeded from The Atrium towards the Park Connector. Along the way I chatted with a number of the new runners, one of whom was a Thai guy called Tim. I gave him some advice on how he could progressively work from 10km to do a Full Marathon by year end. Slacker, whom I have not met for a long time, joined in the 5km distance. I invited him to join me for 10km next week.

The U-turn for the 10km was just before the road-crossing to Buona Vista MRT. I waited there for the last few 10km runners to turn back, and gave them some encouragement to maintain their steady paces. I moved ahead to try to catch up with the mid-pack, and bumped into Runalone doing his ninja tempo run along the canal. The entire canal stretch were linked, and other than the small crossing along the bridge, it was a pretty smooth route.

I showed the way to some of the final few runners, before getting back to start point. By then, all the 3km and 5km runners had finished their runs and went off. So did the fast 10km runners who finished earlier. Maverick and lactic_acid were still around to take the finishing pulse-rates for all the runners of the 10km. All of them felt good to be able to complete the 10km, which could actually be longer at 11km.

Chatted with lactic about the possibility of sharing with the I-Runners some of my marathon preparation and races. I think it would be good to organize a session for someone with Sports Science background to give a talk about Distance Running, and I won't mind helping to share my experiences. Maybe even get other kakis to share their experiences too. Lactic, if you are reading this, I still hope to get a nice i-Run T :)

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Sunday, May 04, 2008

MR25 Progressive Run Series 2008 - 20km

There must be a record turnout this morning at the MR25 20km Progressive Run. There were some Army runners as well as SAFRA MF Runners who joined in the fun as well. I had not run since Tuesday, other than the easy short run on Thursday morning, but has been eating and carbo-loading with all the cruise dinners and house-warming makan...haha. I couldn't wait to burn off the excesses.

The Ranger Station and Sime Trail portions of MR have opened this year, and finally we will do a complete loop, returning from Lornie Trail and the 5km Time-Trials way. Just before the run, Brokie showed off her new black toy, the Nike+ gadget which measures distance....the wrist-band looked neat and interesting...will lookout for the launch.

On the word 'Go', I was running along at a steady pace, trying not to go too fast. Came out of the Northern Trail in did seem a tad fast, but I was still feeling ok. kk and Cheow12 was running along with me then, and Ultraman joined us along the slopes of Chunky Hill (SICC). I ran with Ultra for quite a distance, along the Golf Course, and stayed behind him all the way to aircond road. Along the way, I waved and acknowledged many of the familiar faces, and could see Bug running with the front pack. Raven and stardust were also in front.

Reached the Main Gate at the end of UPR in 52min+...seemed to be quite normal timing. On the return, I ran ahead slightly, with Ultra and kk running close-by. The sun was out in its full glory, piling on the heat, as I headed back towards Chunky Hill. The group of golfers tee-ing off were rather impatient, and shouted 'FORE' many times even when they have not hit the ball yet. Up the slopes of Chunky Hill saw a few of the army boys walk to take a breather, and thats when I moved ahead of them. Saw cfred at the water point turning into Ranger Station, and urged him to push on.

The final stretch had me running with a ang-moh and another army runner. I took a walk up the tree-roots area, and these two ran past me. I trailed them most of the way along Lornie Trail. I was a little surprised to find that there was a path that could skirt round the difficult tree-roots area, when I saw some familiar runners who were behind me suddenly appear in front....ok, next time must check out that bypass.

Out from Lornie Trail, I moved ahead of the two runners just in front of me, and I sped to the finish line in 1hr48min. I felt slightly thirsty, and was perspiring lots...other than that, my legs felt good, and I could have gone for another 10-15km if I could find interested parties to run along at that time...haha. The group of us enjoyed Brokie's Barley and the stories from Raven. Till the next Progressive Run in 2 months time!

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Saturday, May 03, 2008

The Amazing Women Marathoners

Just Watch!

Boston Marathon 2008 Women's Finish

And Watch Your Behind!

Chicago Marathon 2007!! Adere's Amazing Comeback!

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Thursday, May 01, 2008

May Day happenings

Woke up abruptly at 6.30am by a phone call. I couldn't get back to sleep and decided to go for a run instead. The weather was still humid, and the sky looked gloomy. Quickly got changed, grabbed a coffee, and off I went...Bev said she would join me shortly. Put on my cap, Zen Stone and away I started with a warm-up pace, along Lorong Ah Soo.

The sky looked clearer as I entered the Serangoon Park Connector. The FM reception on the Zen was quite poor on the run, and I switched to playlists. As I entered the Connector, I bumped into TeeLee...heh, long time no see....TL decided to run along with me towards SengKang. We had a nice chat along the way, talking about the forum, the HSP group, the Ponggol Central Runners, Sundown and SCSM prep, and many of the old running kakis and new members. We turned at Edgefield area, and turned back. Midway, I spotted Bev running towards SengKang and shouted across the great divide...haha.

TL and I continued to run back along the Serangoon Connector, and when we reached the Mosque, TL and I parted ways, and I proceeded to get into Surin Ave, and ran along Serangoon Road, Braddel Road. Completed the run on 2hrs, estimated to be 19km. The weather was very nice, with large clouds, but the temperature was still unbearably warm.

Later in the afternoon, the bunch of us visited xdd and tktan's 'love nest' for a house-warming. Enjoyed lots of yummilicious food, especially the chicken curry from Andy. We discussed lots about the support table for Sundown Marathon, and has set a date for final carbo-loading on May 30. Took a tour of the facilities....nice 'pool island' concept, with a rather cozy gym to complement.

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