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Monday, July 31, 2006

Sentosa NBRR Practice Run 1

Joined the practice run at Sentosa. This will be the 2nd last practice session and I had expected quite a big crowd in view of the last 2 weeks race events. Met Shamrock, Johnny, Sandy and some of the regular runners from Running Lab as well. Alan was there as well but he was not running as he was nursing a fractured toe. The run was supposed to be divided into 3 groups – first group for 10k followed by the 2nd group for the 5k runners and thereafter all the remaining runners. As Roo and her friends had just arrived, GR, M and I stayed back and started with the last group. 8 minutes after the first group started, we were off. All of us are attempting the 10k distance – Roo and her friends are doing that distance for the first time ever.

The lead runner from the organizer was supposed to lead but he zoomed off straight away with the few front runners. I was running alone for the early part – too slow to catch up with the front and too fast for those behind. Reached the 1st km mark and checked that it was 6.41minutes. With the engine warmed up a bit, picked up the speed a little bit and caught up with 3 runners. Just before the slope to the satellite station, managed to catch up with the stragglers from the 1st batch. At this point, I was averaging 5.30 min per km and decided to maintain at this pace.

Passed more and more runners from the first group. Most of them probably started too fast and are now walking – shacked up by the slopes and heat. At the 5km check point before the start of the beach, checked and realized I had taken about 26 mins. Now come the tricky part - the sand. Moved immediately to the water edge but the slope were too steep and kept sliding towards the water. Not wanting to get my shoes wet, I moved up to the softer portion of the sand but it was hard work. Missed the 6km mark and when I reached the 7 km mark, I had taken 13.40mins for the sand portion. Good thing the sand part has been reduced due to ongoing reconstruction work at the beach. Instead we went up the multi-storey car park before going back down again. At the bicycle trail – the part I enjoyed the most – shady and windy and signifying the end – I slowed down to run with the Jewish guy from the RL run. Eventually he asked me to go ahead and I finished the run in 57min. Not bad for somebody who is not supposed to do any running.

Roo completed her first 10km in 1 hour 20min – a big leap from the first time when I ran with her and she could barely do 3km. I guess my ‘lor-sorness’ forced her to run to get away from me. Her friends also did well managing to finish despite not having run this distance before.

I’m pretty satisfied with my running. I felt good overall and there was no problem with the knees and I even felt I could have done faster if I wanted to. Now I having second thoughts again. Should I or shouldn’t I?

Saturday, July 29, 2006

5 Days Week

Finally - the last working Saturday for me. From 1 August onward, we going 5 days week. Whew - after waiting 2 over years the day has finally come.

Another day is looming - 29 August - that is the day I going under the knife. I have decided to just go ahead although friends' opinion are very much divided.

So bladdy siah. Originally was looking for the 5 days week so that I got 1 extra day to do my runs and now that has to be put on the shelf for time being.

Anyway, que sera sera, whatever will be will be

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Mizuno Wave Run 2006

The 1st of my last 3 races for this year.

I felt like Rambo preparing for war - first a layer of Tiger Rub on both knees, than strapped on a patella strap on the left and the new Chiro-pac strap on the right knee. Inside the shoes were 2 newly acquired mouldable insole. Inside my head - my mind was wondering - Could I be able to complete it? Will I be forced to give up midway just like last Thursday at the RL run when I stopped after just 5 minutes of running. This time I will not be running for PB. This time I will be running against myself. If I can complete, I will be satisfied. Any thing else will be a bonus.

There was a good turnout. A lot of sgrunners. The race started sharp at 7.30 am. The initial run was at a pretty slow pace as I couldn't move past the crowd. But I was comfortable with the pace and the knees seem to be okay so I decided to stay at that pace. Sukami passed me and zoomed off. I hope he will come in top 10.

To my surprise, when I reached the 2.5km mark, my watch showed 10:07. I couldn't be that fast. I was running definitely at in my estimation 6 - 6.30 pace. Something must be wrong with the distance marker. Passed by a few other runners - Sandy, Flip and a few Safra runners whom I recognise but didn't know their name. Reached the 5km marker in 16:03 ha this seems more reasonable timing for a 2.5km at this pace. Total time so far on my watch: 26:11. The weather was good. Partly cloudy. Decided to skip the water points. Ran past Michael from SAFRA Tampines. Both of us ran catching each other before I moved off ahead. Went pass the Israeli guy from the RL run. He was walking. Called to him but he didn't seem to notice. Ran past Trackz. He was also walking. Encouraged him to push on. Reached the 7.5km mark. Time taken so far: 40:20. I was estactic. I was feeling good and running at a very consistent pace throughout. At this rate, I should finish under 1 hour - something that I dare not even hope for before I started. Than felt my right sole started to burn - must be the new insole. It is too high. I sm sure there must be a blister growing. Saw Dasher in front as usual listening to his IPOD. Caught up with him. Asked him to chiong the last few km. He mumbled something (what?) and moved ahead. I think he don't want this uncle nagging after him. Than Cosmic zoomed past - where did he came from? He is running very well. Taz came next. He inquired about my knees and than ran ahead. Contemplated running with him but decided there was no point. Brokie came along. Alamak, Dasher, Brokie and myself got stopped at the traffic light turning to Defu Lane. When we finally were allowed to run, Dasher dashed off. I decided to tailgate Brokie discreetly and admire her sexy behind (ha ha). And so it was like that all the way till the end. Total time according to my watch 54:14 not as good as last year but still something I didn't expect.

Waited at the finishing line for the rest of the gang to come in. Saw Karen (GR) first than Kick finishing strongly. M came next. I'm so proud of her. Her first 10k race and she finished in a time of 1:06:40 much better than I expected.

The VRP girls and Silencer we went for the famous beef kway teow - only it wasn't so nice. Turned out Michelle's hushand runs in the Animiles and knows a few of the sgrunners. What a small world!

Met M's uncle. He finished 12th in the men's veteran in a time of 43min. I am so impressed. As usual, tried to jio him to join sgrunners. He will be doing the AHM. Hopefully, will see him there again.

Next - the NB Real Run.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

End of Running?

I have 2 choices - to operate or not to operate. If not to operate, I can continue running as long as there is no pain but my knee will give out probably in half the remaining life span. If don't run - it will last slightly longer but will still need surgery sooner or later.

If to operate, the surgeon is not even confident that he can repair it. He said if he opens it up and he can repair he will do it, if not he will just remove the broken fragments and stitch it back. Either way, I should achieve normal movement in my leg but if I go running intensively, it's not going to last long either.

Like that how? to operate or not to operate?

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Shape Run 2006

Ah - The Shape Run 2006 - the man don't get it!

The first woman only run in Singapore and there were women galore - in all shape and sizes. It's enough to send all men salivating and going weak in the knees. This has got to be a the best sight for sore eye and an absolute nightmare for the mcp.How to describe the sight? How to describe the run? No words can do justice to do. Let the pictures be the witness:

More pictures at my Yahoo! photos

Saturday, July 15, 2006

World Harmony Run 2

Another World Harmony Run. I still remember the first one where we ran 37 km over 8 hours. That's was hell and agony but still it was fun... so despite my worry that my legs may not last me for so many hours, I decided to sign up and duly turned up at Hong Kah North CC at 11.00 am. This time round there was a smaller turnout probably because of the short notice and the many races coming up within the next few weeks and notably the Shape Run the next day. As seem to be normal nowadays, the participants were mainly from SGRunners - I wonder why the organiser never go and chio the MR 25, Safra and the schools and clubs?

Our first stop was the Masjid Darussalam Mosque in Clementi. There we had a rousing welcome from the Mosques with kompangs followed by singing by the adorable little kids. This has got to be the best reception we have gotten so far.

Our next stop was at Tanglin - the Grace Assembly of God. Disappointingly, nobody seems to be around to greet us. Eventually, a church elder or the pastor came out and gave a short welcome and prayer. I guess the churches do not like the reputation of Sri Channoy the founder of the World Harmony Run and are not too enthusiastic about it.

A short run and we reached Orchard Rd - the first time I'm running there. Our tired spirits are lifted by the enthusiasm shown by the people along the road especially from the tourists. The Lido management even played the WHR video on their mega screen. This stretch certainly lifted everybody up.

From Scotts Rd, we went on next to the Khaisa Dharmak Sabha sikh temple. Again, a very warm welcome by the temple trustees. We had to put on scarves to enter the temple but once in we were served fruits and a heavenly milk tea. That was so refresing and I am sure it perked everybody up.

From there a 2 minute run uphill to another Sikh temple along Sophia Road, the Sri Guru Singh Sabha. There was a short prayer by the priest and than we had bandung and vadai.

We proceeded next to Serangoon Rd - the Veeramakaliamman Temple. Again another rousing welcome by the temple. The tempo of the drum lifted everybody and we charged off full of energy to our final stop.

At the Tai Pei Buddhist Centre on Lavendar St, after prayer and blessings by the monks, we were served vitagen drinks. Hmm yummy and than it was off to the last stop the Esplanade.

On reflections, the world really need peace and harmony and if in a small way this run can helps to contribute to it - the efforts of all the runners will be worth it. Especially kudos to Shamrock despite falling right at the very beginning outside the Singapore Poly; the Uncle who ran with us until Scotts Rd; Hyperactive who really lives up to her name by boucing all over and the very loud bus driver and helpers with their overwhelming support.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


The results are out - nope not of the World Cup which everybody from Germany to the Souh Pole probably know by now but the results of my MRI scan and it's bad news.

There is a misalignment of the meniscus on the outer right knee resutling in the femur not sitting properly on the tibia. This is what caused my inability to straighten the leg. According to Dr Chia, this was probably due to some trauma sustain from a fall or something serious quite long ago and did not fully recovered since than. Er I don't seem to remember anything like that though. Anyway, the MRI also shows there is a fragment right in the middle of the joint which is causing the inflamation.

So next week I have to see an Orthopaedic surgeon who will decide whether I have to go for surgery. Dr Chia thinks I have to. He likened it to a road with 1 pothole. If not repaired early, eventually the pothole will grow bigger and bigger as vehicles go over it. Likewise, if no surgery is done, the knee will become weaker and weaker.

So it looks like I going to be out of running for some time and the AHM will be my swansong for this year (if the doctor permits).

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Bio-Energy Test

Went for a Bio-Energy Test at Vitamin Research with the Mrs.

What is the Bio-Energy Test? According to the write up, bio-energy test (BET for short) measures energy production. A decrease in energy production is the first step in the onset of disease and aging.

After a torturous 12 hours of fasting, reached the office of the famous Vitamin girls. There, I was attended to by our very own Megahunk aka IMD aka Ben. After putting on the heart rate strap, I sat down on a very cushy sofa set (yo.. ladies ask your boss to change to OSIM massage chair can relax more) for the very first test - Resting Heart Rate. Had to suck on a scuba like thingy and breath in and out through it instead of the nose. Damm uncomfortable and nauseating. After 10 minutes, Ben returned and explained the figures on the monitor to me. (Note he pointed out and explained - will come back to this point later). Then it was on to the stationery bicycle still wearing the breathing apparatus. The resistance was increased until I hit the VO2 limit (whatever that is). It took me 10 minutes to achieve that. Then another 2 minutes of 'recovery breathing' and on to the final test - the lung capacity test. Alamak, guess I got no lung power - no power how I try - still cannot do it. In the end, after numerous tries until the face turns blue and the lung or whatever is inside me burst, Ben gave up.

Finally, I can have my first cup of coffee! Wrong.. for some unexplainable reasons, the computer failed to capture my resting heart rate reading. Strange thing right ? remember Ben pointed and explained the reading to me earlier on?? Anyway, they stopped me from drinking my coffee to redo that part.. wah can die. So weak already. This time Karen aka Golden Retriever did the test. She also decided to redo the lung test again. No dice.. maybe I am an alien - got no lung. Breath through gills. Anyway, that still didn't work and after another few attempts of huffing and puffing, she gave up as well. Come to think of it.. is that why I can never blow a balloon?

The results and what they mean:

Resting heart Rate - indicates how efficiently the heart is pumping. Acceptable range 55 - 72 Me? 52 acceptable if I am a highly conditioned athlete (am I?) or sign of thyroid deficiency, adrenal deficiency:(

Resting respiratory rate
- measures chest wall breathing how efficiently one breath and easily relax. Inefficient way of breathing will results in decreased energy production and often causes feelings of anxiety. Acceptable range - < 10. Me? 21 very bad. Is that why I don't know how to relax?

Breathing Factor
- measures the amount of carbon dioxide present towards the end of exhaled breath. Optimum range: 100 - 115. Me 114 heng ah at last something within the acceptable range but on the high side. Relates to resting meaning I cannot rest well.

Adrenal Factor
- I think this one measure 'stress' level. Acceptable >100. Me lucky 105 ha ha

Heart Factor - Measures how strong is the heart. Acceptable range >100. Me 135 yeah!

Lung Factor
- Measures how strong the heart. Acceptable range >100. Me? got no lung remember? 0 for this :(

Body Composition Analysis - body Fat I think. Ideal weight for my height 67 - 72 kg. My weight 72.5kg but hor if I go down to 67, I think sure become skeleton. Better stay above 72. Body Fat me 17. So now got 3 set of body weight measurement 13 from CGH, 22 from SATA and now 17 from here. Which one is the real one??????

Fitness Factor
- tells how well the body convert energy to power. Optimum >100 Me? 93 alamak no wonder cannot carry heavy weights!

Optimum Caloric Intake/Fat Loss & Optimum Caloric Intake/Longevity - supposed to work out ideal calorie intake based on my test results but mysteriously again the computer clonked out on me or I alien no need calorie intake because the report came out with O(zero).

Metabolic Factor
- measure energy production at rest and overall metabolism. Ideal 100 - 120. Me? 97 not so good leh.

- this one serious stuff - if result no good means carbo intake is interfering with energy production and can subsequently leads to diabetes (am I correct ladies?) Acceptable range >100. Me? 86. So I supposed to cut down on bread, rice, bananas, pineapple, raisins, melons, mango, papaya,fruit juice, sweet stuff including honey, and everything ending with a 'ose', root vegetables like potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, beer and wines. Errr like that I think I will starve to death everything also cannot eat.

Fat Burning Factor - how efficiently the body convert fat to energy. Optimum >100. Me? 170 yeah yeah! No wonder I so skinny.

EQ - Energy Quotient not emotional quotient. measures maximum amount of energy the body can produce aerobically from oxygen. good is above 100. Me- 140 high five!

Biological Age
- Based on the test - how old biologically instead of chronologically. like that I am a 30 year old man in the body of a 43 year old man (or is it the other way round?) For this, I can go to to find out as well.

Last but not least - Fat Burning Heart Rate - rate at which the body burns the max amount of fat possible. based on the test. This combines with ATR (Anaerobic Threshold Heart Rate) will give the idea optimum exercise zone. For me it is FBHR 120 and ATR 135. If I exercise at this rate, I think I will take 4 days to finish a marathon.

Anyway, I am amazed at the amount of information the test can generated from just breathing into a stupid apparatus. Still it is useful information and a good indication of one's health and fitness level.

Now for the commercial:

If you have a little bit of money to spare instead of chunking it on whether Italy or France will win, why not spend it on the test. Benefits:

1. You get to know your body better
2. You can take the necessary measures to improve your fitness level
3. You can find out whether you are an alien like me
4. You get to be manhandled by the beautiful ladies at VR (you can pretend you don't know how to wear the heart rate strap and get the ladies to do it for you - er sorry ladies, according to the rule, Megahunk is not allowed to do that for the ladies, unless you are a certain lady from our friendly neighbouring country)

Finally, I like to thank the beautiful ladies of VR and one megahunk for being so patient with me this lorsoh and naggy uncle.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

World Cup Final

Wah lau - my soccer prediction skills sucks first time! Germany out, Argentina out, Brazil out.. France I tipped to go out first round is now in the final with Italy whom I tipped to go out in the Quarter final.

I think I better stick to running!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

Went CGH for a MRI on my knee this morning. Heard a lot about the process but nobody seems to be able to say more except that it involves going into a dark coffin like chamber with weird sounds coming from all over. Kind of like being buried underground and hearing the thud of the hammer and people talking above. Naturally I was feeling a bit uneasy. Also all the other people I knew who went for MRI are all for cancer or stroke related problems.

It didn't help that I had to strip down to my underwear and wear the hospital gown. Alamak, I doing my knees so why need to change? I had purposely wore a running short but no dice - change I must. After a short wait, I was called to the room.

There is this big machine - sort of like a giant pipe. The radiographer or whatever he's called arranged the 'props' and asked me to lie down and not move. The whole thing was going to take about 15 minutes since it was only a partial scan and not the full 1 hour as per the brochure. He fired up the machine and it moves in. There I going into darkness! But the machine stopped at my waist level. Turn out since I doing only the leg, I don't have to go in all the way. Yipee. Then all the funny sounds started. Whirring, thumping and cranking. The music playing on the earphone they provided didn't help and it was in Filipino! After 5 minutes, I started to feel sleepy. I can sleep anywhere:) but before I can settle into a comfortable sleep, it was over and I am $352.00 poorer. Lucky got blood transfustion discount.

Now got to wait until next Monday to see what the good Doc got to say about my knee

Monday, July 03, 2006

Milk Run 2006

Went with the Mrs for the Milk Run. Didn't know what I was getting myself into when I signed up for it. On paper it was just a 8.4km run and in very familiar Kim Seng Promenade. Turned out to be one of the toughest run I ever did all because of the heat. It was hot, probably a ice melting 38 deg.

At the very cramped start point, met many many sgrunners. We squeezed together and went off at 3.30 pm sharp. As the park connector was barely 3 people wide, it was a squeeze but slowly the crowd dispersed as the fitter runners went ahead. Ronnie, Run3, TLR all zoomed past me. I ran at what I thought was a fast pace but after 10 minutes was gasping for breathe. The heat plus my lack of hard run during the past 3 weeks shows. I slowed down considerably to almost jogging pace and watched as people of all shapes and sizes zoomed past. After the first u-turn, stopped to take a drink - something I have never done for short run. It just showed how much the heat was affecting me. Turning back, the school kids on the 5km run started zooming past. Wow to be young again with all that energy! Took another drink at the same drinking point before continuing. 2 drink stop in a 8km run. I can't believe myself! Further down outside Clark Quay saw a lady being stretchered off. Just 500 min towards the end point, a guy was lying down. Guess the heat was really getting to everybody. Finished the race in 45:38m(self timed) which I thought was pretty decent.

At the end point, met many more sgrunners plus some runners from RL. Main grouse was the poor checkpoint control resulting in some runners doing only 1 loop. On the other hand, other than the Milo truck which ran out early, there was H20 aplenty and mineral water and countless banana! There was even a massage tent. Unfortunately the services was so good that they took 20 minutes to rundown 1 guy and in the end I gave up queuing.

M came in 1hr 1m 35s. Her very first race. I so proud of her. Now's she talking about doing the NB Real Run. Ha.. the adreline rush, the euphoria of finishing never fails to work wonder!

Next up - the Mizuno Wave.