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Monday, November 28, 2005

Review of Training

Just finished reviewing my training for the marathon. Have been following the Furman Institute of Running and Scientific Training (FIRST) marathon program for the past 16 weeks. This program is meant for those able to run 10 miles (16 Km) and comprises only 3 runs a week (very suitable for people like me with no time to run). It basically comprises a Speed, a tempo and a Long run per week. The caveat was: it was going to be tough and injuries was expected. True enough, twice my shin splint came back due probably to the intensity of the speed work. Also lost 2 weeks to the flu.

What was surprising after my review was that compared to last year when I followed another program from Runner's World was that I had not covered much more total distance this year although I have ran many more longer distances this time round. Last year, in the 16 weeks run up, I did a total of 486 km over 43 runs averaging 30km per week with an average distance of 11 km per run compared to 560 km over 41 runs for a average of 35km per week on ave of 13 km per run. May be I could have covered more if I had not lost the 4 weeks to the flu and leg injury?

Last year, I finished in 5.16:10. Can I do better this year? The shin is still sore hopefully it will not give trouble this Sunday.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Run with MR 25

Yesterday, decided to join Sebas and his MR 25 runners for their LSD. Heard the MR 25 runners are fast. A bit apprehensive whether can keep up with them.

There was a group of about 30 runners. They split into 2 groups - the slower one to start first. Sebas and myself started with the so called 'slower runners' at 7 am. The route - MacRitchie to Seletar and back - total of 20k. Within 10 minutes of starting, the front pack was gone from my sight. Whoa! We were already running at app 6k pace and those buggers are fast despite most of them like look way above 45 years old. Sebas said to take it easy - no need to follow their pace. Decided to stick to one slightly older looking guy running about my pace. Then the 2nd batch came and disappeared in a twinkling of an eye. My God and I thought the first group was already fast. I estimated they were all running at 4.50 to 5m pace and we had barely passed Thomson Plaza.

Finally reached the toilet at Seletar. By then, there were only 4 of us left - the rest had already turned back long ago. Stopped to take the Hammergel and chitchat with the 3 runners. Then saw a familiar looking lady running past. Realised it was Carine from sgrunners. Caught up with her and said hi. She was running at quite a slow pace so after some time decided to speed up and left her.

Reached back to MacRitchie alone. The older guy I was sticking with had gone ahead when I stopped at the petrol station to get a drink while the other 2 guys were nowhere in sight. Quite sure they didn't past me. Also no sight of Carine.

Time taken 1hour 58m. Not too bad 6min pace throughout - considering the toilet and the drink break which cost me at least 5mins. Found out later the other MR 25 runners clocked on average 1.20 to 1.40. Sebas took 1.37.

I think better stick to running with sgrunner. These people at MR 25 simply way too fast for me.

Friday, November 18, 2005

1st Eastside Run

Finally managed to get the 1st Eastside Run on yesterday evening. On Tues, Novaflux and myself were sceptical that anybody will join. It just seem so hard to get the 1st run off but finally it happened.

A total of 5 runners came - Bee (the only belle), Cosmic Wind, Vorx, Novaflux, myself and my coach/mentor/running buddy Sebas. We were supposed to run off at 7.00 but Novaflux was late and eventually we set off at 7.30 pm.

We started at Simei St 3, up Simei Ave passed by ITE Simei (where everybody unaminously wished the sports complex could be opened to public); Xilin Ave past Schneker (where Bee works); and turned into Changi South Ave 3, 2, Street 1 back to Ave 3 where a big bunch of workers cheered us on (almost like running the marathon) down to Changi Business Park (next to the PIE going to Pasir Ris and SLE). Part of the path was flooded so we had to walk a bit and then back to Ave 1 and Expo Road. Then we saw the supposingly haunted Pulai tree. The tree is supposed to be 'uncutable' but it is dying. The fig tree growing on it is choking it. As it is, the top that stands out in the past is already gone. Stopped at Expo 7-11 for Novaflux to get a drink and as usual, Sebas to go for his toilet break! Turned into Simei Road and finally through Sunbird Road, Harvey Road before reaching back to Eastpoint. Time taken app 1.18hrs including traffic light, toilet break, walking over water....

Vorx saids he run only once a week but you really couldn't tell cos he was always running way ahead. Very fast. Sebas and Novaflux spent half the run figuring out how to calibrate their polar heart rate monitor/watch. Bee claimed she can't run fast but she also good. I think no problem for her running the half marathon. Cosmic is a strong runner and I think the pace was a bit too slow for him.

Now that the 1st Eastside Run is over - maybe can get the 1st CBD run off the ground as well.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Sunday 13 November 2005

Yesterday was a long day. Woke up at 5.00 am to go for my final long run. Saw thunder flashing and promptly went back to sleep for another hour. Finally took off at 6.30 am. The Mrs was going to use the car later so decided to run from Simei to East Coast and meet her there after the run.

The morning air was cool. Reached East Coast Park in app 37 mins. From the underpass, turned up to SAFRA Resort. Met a relative of the Mrs. U-turn at the Resort. Reached the first toilet. Stoppd for a water break. Alamak, the drink stall has closed down! No choice, made do with tap water. Continued up to Fort Rd, crossed the metal bridge and uturn at the 10 km marker. On the way, met Dan walking with his mother (filial son), Novaflux running with his sister-in-law and the Mrs's relative again. Don't know his name. Look like he's training for the marathon as well. This 10 km - took 1.07 hrs. Very comfortable pace. The sun has risen and it's hot, scorching hot. Stopped for toilet break, followed by a drink and then later at the food centre took my $6.95 GNC energy gel. Don't know whether it's all in the mind but felt more spring in the leg. Finished this 10 k in 1.15 hrs. Wah very slow but energy level running low. Distance so far 32k +/-. Continued up to SAFRA resort again. It's hot, very hot. Can feel the leg starting to seize up. U-turn at SAFRA entrance.

By now very tired and no water. Saw an inviting stretch of shade and decided to pause for a short rest. Ha - the trouble with running without a companion! simply no motivation to push myself that little bit further! The minute I sat down, I knew I was in trouble. The front of both legs started to harden up and cramped. Did some stretching and massage and called the Mrs to drive up to the nearest car park and I tried to walk there to meet her. After walking for about 5 minutes, realised the leg felt light again and decided to run again. Surprisingly, felt good and decided to run the remainder targeted distance but the Mrs called and said she's at the carpark. So final distance ran 37.5 k +/- in a 'record' breaking time of 4.38hrs. Shame - no where to hide my face.

Anyway, despite the slow time - was more optimistic than ever. Firstly, was able to simulate the cramp and most important of all recover from it. This will be very useful during the actual race. Secondly, the experience of running in the hot sun and letting the body get used to the distance and time. The pace today especially during the 1st 20km is the pace I intend to do for the marathon so today was really a good practice.

In the afternoon, attended the sgrunnes gathering talk given by Lim Ngee Huat. His recap of his 168 k run round Singapore really inspired me. If he can do 168k at 52 years I don't see why I can't do a proper 42 at age 43! Also, got many tips and pointers on training. Met many more of the sgrunners. Too bad got no time to join in the run.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Book Review - HP & the HBP

Finally finished reading Hairy Otter and the Half Boiled Pig.

Surprisingly, this round the kids are not so interested in it. In fact, when it first came out, none of them wanted to buy it. Then Alicia decided to buy it for my birthday. That was September and after 2 months I finally managed to finish it. Hurray!

I think JR Bowling is running out of idea. This book as compared to the earlier books is not as exciting and in fact positively boring at times. It lingers to long on Hairy Otter and his obession with Loneey Mavoc. Then I supposed she figures her readers are also growing up with Hairy Otter so she has thrown in a lot of lovely dovey stuff.

The final sequence at Hogwash sounds more like a Star Wars movie with burst of fires flying all over.

And what is a book without a dead hero - so somebody got to die - and this time Dumbnbore got KO by a snarling Snoop. At least that puts an end to the adulation of Dumbnbore.

Never mind did understand why the Christian got so work out about this series of book. It is nothing more than fiction and any goodnu kids will know that there are no such things as witches and wizard only got power rangers and pokemon.

Rating: ZZZZZZ

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Meeting with f 500

Met up with f500 otherwise known as Walter at Running Lab last evening to discuss his Thursday evening run. Ironmandreamer aka Ben also turned up.

Walter is the GM of Running Lab. He's also into adventure racing. He also co-owner of Wallet Shop and Outdoor Traveller.

Walter haven't got any thing fixed up yet. Basically he's looking for a few fellas to lead runners for casual run. He got 1 staff, a Safra runner and needs a few more. Routes shld be mainly to Marina Promenade, Marina South and Fort Canning.

We discussed which day is best - he wants Friday but Ben thinks Fri is no good and suggest Tue to Thu. I agreed. Fri - people want to go clubbing, movies etc and will not be in the mood to run.

No conclusions in the end. Got to wait and see.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Saturday Afternoon Run

The Mrs and Alicia went for blading lesson this morning. The Mrs failed her level one. They want to go back in the afternoon for part 2. So eveybody went to East Coast.

Surprisingly, weather was good. Not hot. In fact very windy. Somebody on the sgrunners forum was talking about a crazy 3.30 run. Maybe not so crazy after all. Decided there and then to run and then Sunday can sleep in.

Started at 4. Went the first 5k at 5 min pace and eventually finish at 5.28. Sigh - still can't go below 25mins. Slow down a bit and then went for a last burst at the 8k. Finish the 10k at 51min. Saw Alicia cycling and decided to challenge her. So continue but she was cycling slowly waiting for Mummy and Alvin to catch up. Reduced my own speed to 6.10 pace for the next 5k and then picked up for the last 5k. 20k in 1.51hrs. Reward myself with an ice-cream. Yummy!

Holy shit - after watching tv and upon getting up - could walk - the shin splint is back! Look like next week running is off. :(

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Hari Raya Day

10:30 am - The family went for badminton. The weather look good - cool and breezy. Decided to do interval at Tampines Stadium. Did 12 x 400 at average speed of 1.32 per round. Wrapped up at 12 noon. A bit something wrong already - the Mrs said :)

2.00 pm - Went to the fish farm at Pasir Ris to stock up on fishes for the now nearly bare fishtank. Alicia wanted tetras - so changed the theme to Amazon and bought a whole batch of different type of tetras plus some more chiclids for the chiclid tank.

5.00 pm. - Went to Suntec to collect my i-mode phone from Starhub. Got 1.3 megapixel and can surf internet and push mail. Some more free until Feb!

7.30 pm - Ate dinner at Ah Shui Zhu Zhar Tiang at Changi Rd. Expensive and don't seem so good. No wonder no more crowd.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Deepavali Run

It's Deepavali and I spending my time doing a #$%^^ run when I should be snuggled in bed. It rained the night before and so was cooling for a while before the ##$$% sun came out and it become scorching hot. Damn shiong to run from East Coast to Marina South and back.

Sebas came with me again. This time he woke at 5.00 am to clear his stomach otherwise he sure go ps again. Running with him no choice the pace was slightly faster and went the 35km in 3.37mins. My target was maybe 3.45 so not too bad still can take the pace. Sebas continued for another 2 km while I gave up back at the start point at ECP. No more energy to go on. Sigh! Like that how to continue for the next 7 k?

Read in today's paper about a lady who complained a pub owner refused to give her a piece of ice-cube during her run at EC. Typical Singaporean! They scare give one free ice cube - next time there will be a queue outside the shop! That's why I don't bother to ask - even from the army guys when they do their unit run and have drinks station along the way. Kena rebuff then malu.

Always be prepared - bring or buy own drinks