Sunday, September 20, 2009

MF Visit

Woke up to the sound of the house alarm...yikes, that person again....hmpftt. Couldn't get back to sleep and decided to get down to SAFRA MF to visit friends and running kakis whom I have not seen for a bit. When I reached the ClubHouse at 7.15am, I was surprised by the rather large group...must be gearing up for SCSM09 :) Before I could park my car properly, the group ran off. I dashed into the gents, before running after them, heading towards the direction of Harbourfront...haha

Caught up with Jaime and Eng Hwa, who were surprised to see me. Had a quick chat about recent training runs, before proceeding on. I had on another pair of new cushioned trainers.....this pair was light, and pretty responsive too. My legs felt springy in spite of the 26km I did at ECP yesterday. Michael, Siew Lee were running steady as I exchanged some words with them. Lai Chee heard my voice, as I ran up to enquire about her recent conquests. She is now a Adidas sponsored athlete...happy for her. Henry enquired about Ops Sunbird as well as the i-RUN @ RP, and was interested to ask his wifey to join some of the weekday runs to help her for SCSM 21km.

As we proceeded toward the Railway area, I chatted with a new MF Runner, at least new to me. He mentioned he was trying to change to a mid-foot strike, and had recently bought a pair of Newton Trainers. We ran along all the way to Esplanade, which was the 7.5km mark, before I turned off to the toilets. They all went towards the Flyer and will proceed to ECP. On the way back, I bumped into Michael, Siew Lee and Henry's group....bade them adios, before trotting off at an average 6min/km pace. The returning 7.5km was a nice solitary ride for me, as I tried to get further feedback from the shoes. The legs were still feeling comfy, and the response continued to be good.

I finished the 15km back at ClubHouse, feeling rather satisfied. I was already planning to ask TFB plan more recovery Sundays at SAFRA MF, which offers a different terrain and scenery, useful for a more balanced running program. Had a nice cuppa Yin-Yang C at Ya Kun, watching the people go by, waiting for the runners' return. Sensing that they were going to take at least another hour, I decided to come back another day to do more catching up....a nice Sunday morning at my previous training ground, Mt. Faber.....those hills are a-calling...haha.

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Pacers Training Session #3: The Downpour

The Team FatBird Marathon Pacer training, started 3 weeks ago, was to do 26km this morning. I didn't sleep well the night before, and woke up feeling lethargic. I decided to try the new shoes to see if they would be suitable for marathon training and racing. A few new Pacers and first-timers showed up this morning.....good to finally meet them face-face. Helen shared a little of her recent podium stories, the lighter moments providing a brightening start to what was a chilly, cloudy morning.

I ran along with various pace groups, chatting and feeling their comfort levels. Many of them were enthusiastic about their pacing roles, and were looking forward to more interesting activities ahead. We shared some of our previous marathon experiences, and how pacing would be so different from racing. I took a walk break at the 13km mid-point along Changi Coastal Road, before joining Bev, zco, Hoph and suan for a relaxing 6:50min/km pace.....this was the 5hr pace group and runners.

The new shoes provided ample cushion, although I would like even more responsiveness. It was light on the run, and landing on the sweet-spots were quite easy. TW and Beng were running side-side, enjoying one another's steady pace. I moved up to run alone and to try to feel the shoes and do some body-sensing. Although it was cloudy, with strong, chilly winds, I was feeling exceptionally thirsty....had to visit the toilet 2-3 times, on top of consuming my Gatorade mix.

I spotted Hoph in the final 1km. I ran behind him a little. Dark clouds were looming in the horizon. Then, it really poured. We were totally drenched, as we up the pace to head to the FatBird Nest. Some of the earlier finishers had already gone to wash-up or home. We were fortunate to be under the warm shelter of the Nest, although a hot drink to calm the chattering teeth would have been perfect...hehe.

Lots of chits-chats, coupled with mini group discussions continued till the rain abated, and then finally stopped. The sun came up again, as we cleaned up and cleared off from the Nest. Another good Pacer Training completed...Follow Our Pace, Win Your Race!

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Pacers 24km Trials

With the last couple of months doing Ops Kingfisher and training for AHM, it has been quite a while since I did a run greater than 21km. I was looking forward to this 24km run with the Pacers at ECP. We bumped into some of the regular Team Fatbird trainees as well as some who were there for Ops Sunbird, which will start in the week of Sep21....these enthusiastic marathoners were just ready to get started with training....we asked them to be patient for another 2 weeks :)

Back to the Pacers running...good to see their enthusaism and high spirits....just looking forward to build up a good distance base for them to fulfill their important mission. Keonz and DO dished out the requirements, and chatted along with the various pacer groups. I tagged along the 4:15h group for a bit, and then the 4:30h group. At the U-turn along Changi Coastal, I ran along for short bits with the other pace groups. The 5:00h and 5:30h groups were soaking in the blistering sun....wah, they didn't look like they were enjoying the sun-tanning....haha. I took that in my stride, and considered it good conditioning. Eng Pat and Beng were going strong, trying to rush out of the reach of the sun.

Had a word with David Tay and his team, who too were training hard. The sun would be good conditioning for David's race in Chicago in a month's time. Said hello to the other familiar faces of the adidas pacers. Near the ski area, Tekko, Molly and their group were getting their weekend long run in too.,...friendly waves abound. On the way back, I joined Nigel, Teck Wee, Beverly, Suan, Nicholas for a good 6:50min/km pace. Beverly was as usual complaining about the heat, sending me ahead to get some pocari sweat....haha. However, the mental strength of the group was great as always, allowing us to push forward. Teck Wee was thankful for the fuel-belt advice, and got himself the life-saver more carrying bottles in one hand.

With 2km to go, Prata, myself and Nicholas got in front a little at 5:00min/km pace and completed the 24km run happy and satisfied. 100-plus and bananas were offered by Beng/Esther, the super-duper refreshment/logistics team....always a pleasure to see them handing out the drinks and smiling, especially after a hard run. There were exchanges of pointers and discussions among the pacers about their running form, endurance and tips on pacing. It was fun learning from one another, and I could see a crop of very good pacers forming up. Till the next TFB Pacer get-together, Follow Our Pace, Win Your Race!

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Monday, September 07, 2009

The Inspiration Lives On...

The television cameras captured every agonizing inch as college student Julie Moss dragged herself toward the finish line. Twenty-seven years later, that defining moment for Julie in the final kilometres of the marathon leg in The Kona Ironman is still deeply etched into the minds of many.

As we begin preparations for the Singapore Marathon, I would like to share Julie's courageous finish as a motivational bit for this year's SCSM09 theme Your Spirit, Our Inspiration.

The Inspiration Lives On

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Saturday, September 05, 2009

Team FatBird Marathon Pacers 2009: Kickoff

After last year's success, Team FatBird started recruitment of the batch of 2009 Marathon Pacers for the SCSM09. The response for the 42km distance across the various timing groups were encouraging, although we could do with more applicants to pace the 21km distance.

We called up the Pacers for a kickoff run this morning, in preparation for a 12-week training program for them. 30+ turned up at The FatBird Nest, The PlayGround @ Big Splash in what was one of the more windy and cool mornings, after a bout of drizzle in the wee dawn. About half were 2008's pacers, 20% were pacees whom have benefitted in 2008 and have come on to contribute as pacers in 2009, and 30% are new runners to Team FatBird.

We did a 18km @ marathon pace for the respective pace timings, mainly to get a feel of what was required, as well as having a chance to chit-chat and get-to-know-one-another on the run. ECP had a lot more bikers than runners this morning, what with the just concluded AHM, and although SCSM09 is coming up, it is still early for most to rev their engines...hehe. Keonz and Henry did a fine job of running up and down and guiding the pacers, while the more experienced TFB runners were running alongside and chatting with their respective pace group runners. Because it was just for the pacers, the group was maintained to that smallish group, and the atmosphere was pretty cozy.

I finished the run with the 5hr pace group in a real easy 2hr, after which was followed by more chatting over 100plus and bananas. The dedicated microsite for Pacers will be set up by next week, and Pacers will be able to plan their training schedule and track their weekly timings. This will also be the first time the Pacers will be introduced to heart-rate training via the TFB FlightZONES System.

The weeks ahead will be interesting as we get to know one another better, as well as finding our comfortable race day pace. Since the key objective of the Pacer is to motivate and bring the runners across the finish line in targeted timing, the Pacer will not be going for Personal Best, and will be running at a comfortable 15-30min off his/her PB. This will be something that the Pacers will be conditioned and trained to do over the next many weeks.

Follow Our Pace, Win Your Race!

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Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Let us Slide, Glide and enjoy the Ride.

Let us Slide, Glide and enjoy the Ride.

It was a fitting finale to the 4-session LunarGlide+ Training Runs on Sunday Morning. Alvin & Sacha from Nike, Ben Pulham from Racers Toolbox, Team FatBird Pacers along with Coach Gana's team got together to organize and lead more than 60 runners for the 5km run in the latest Nike cushioned trainers, the LunarGlide+. After having gone to Bedok Reservoir and the Asian Civilizations Museum for the earlier 3 sessions, we were happy to be back to The PlayGround @ Big Splash.

LunarGliders all set for the Slide & Glide

It was good to meet with familiar faces, as well as a number of new runners. There seem to be many more who have yet to try out the LunarGlide+ and experience its cushioned properties and dynamic support system. Team FatBird was out in full force to pace the runners for the 5km run toward Burger King and back. There were ample shoes for all to try, and the feedback from the runners have been good for all the four shoe trials sessions, as evident in the reports of good sales figures of the Glides+ coming from the retail outlets.

Gliding with the Pacers

After a good round of stretching and generous prizes given out, the runners were chatting with the coaches and pacers about the upcoming Human Race as well as using the LunarGlide+ for half-marathon and full marathon running. A number of the runners have signed up for the year end SCSM09 and were planning to use the LunarGlide+ for training and racing. With dark clouds looming, the organizers quickly packed up, and as the runners and trailers bid farewell, the pacers assembled at the nearby HK Tim Sum Cafe for some very good carrot cake, ‘Wu Kok’, Porridge-Noodle set, and other tim sum delicacies.

Team FatBird LunarGlide+ Pacers

As we discussed about Team FatBird’s upcoming Pacer and Marathon Training Programs, the skies opened up. We felt cozy inside that restaurant, and as we sipped on our coffee and tea, there was a certain sense of satisfaction with the smooth completion of yet another Team FatBird pacing project. There was also anticipation of more training and projects that lie ahead as we prepare for more training sessions for The NorthFace100 Trail, The Human Race, and the mother of all marathons, The Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon (SCSM) 09.


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