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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Inter Con 2008 Results

What the heck! The Inter Con results are out and what a screw up! First, our team was supposed to be in 8th place but it was subsequently revised to 9th.

Then the individual results were released and my time is stated as 29:28 but my watch time was 27:38. There was no way my timing is off by almost 2 minutes even if I used chip time which I did not! Further, one of my team mate's time was stated as 29:26 placing him in front of me when I saw him finish behind me!

The photos taken are the evidence. The time stamped on my photo at the straight line to the finish line - roughly 50 metres away was 5:54:35 while my team mate (who finished faster than me according to the result)- the time on his photo was 5:56:30 a clear 2 minutes behind. There is no way he could have caught up with me over 50 metres and cover a 2 minutes deficit unless I had fell down or slept on the floor! Further evidence, another team mate, Zco who was in front of me - (his official result was 27:01) and the time on his photo was 5:54:07 so I couldn't have taken 2 minutes to run the 50 metres. Even my grandmother, God bless her soul, could have walked faster than that!

Although there is no prize and I am still unplaced no matter what timing, it is a matter of principle to me. Of course, all this ranting is not going to do anything or alter the result but if any of the people in charge of the timing system is reading this, your timing program sucks! And I truly hope it will be more accurate come the AHM.

One thing for sure, this is truly my last inter con run.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Shape Run 2008 Video

My daughter said this has got to be the most boring video she ever seen but hey it's better than watching cheese matures. But true be said, the first time I reviewed it after the race, I felt asleep halfway. The next instance when I was editing it, I also fell asleep midway through it!

So be warned - this is for the insomniac and those who got absolutely nothing to do but want to sit through a solid 15 minutes of non stop ladies running. But than again, who knows, you may just catch a glimpse of yourself.

Part 1: (Under 55 mins runners)

Part 2: (Above 55 mins runners)

One more to go

Me: Oi - 3 more days to go before loyalty discount ends. So how?

M: Anything.

Me: What is anything? Half or Full?

M: I think Full lah.

Me: Good. I take your photo at the finish line when you come in:)

M: No no you have to run with me!

Me: But I don't want to do the full leh. I too lazy to train

M: You already signed up for the PI run what. That one is progressive training already you know!

Me :-s Yeah and who signed me up for the PI?

Woman's logic:-@

So another 4 more months of huffing, bluffing away. My poor legs.;_;

So from promising myself not going to do any, I am going to end up with 2. (_*_)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Mizuno Wave Run 2008

Approached this race with apprehension. After last year screw up, originally didn't want to sign up. But then M went to sign up after persuasion from a friend who told her she might get a chance to come in top 10 since there was not that many runners in her category. So to keep her company, managed to swindle a complimentary entry courtesy of Running Lab.

As things turn out, the race was much better organised this year except for the route. There was no road closure and on certain part of the route, we had to run on a narrow pavement 2 abreast. Also, thought they were going to do the race in waves but ended up they did not do so. Still other than this, everything else was pretty okay. Weather was good. It threatened to rain but did not and was cloudy throughout. Did a pretty consistent run throughout and finished in 52:43 (self timed). There was an announcement before the race that the actual distance was 10.3km so this will likely be a PB for me. Yeah! M came in slightly slower than last week Shape Run at 55+. That put her out of the running for a top 10 finish. Ha ha she need to put in more effort than this if she want to finish top few!

Bummed into many sgrunners and also M's boss' husband. Took a photo with him. He said he's going to run next year race. The official with him looked skeptical lol but this big shot, got money anything also can.

A sneak preview of some of the photos taken by Alicia:

All the complete photos here

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Thank God the Men still don't get it

Shape Run 2008. The gang of ladies did well - of the 5 of them, 3 of them got PB for the 10km. How about that! Well done ladies.

Me supposed to go take picture. Had this smart alec idea of doing it in Marina South so me and Aram took the MRT down. The idea was to park ourselves somewhere in the middle and we can take the ladies going into and out of Marina South. Came out, saw the road barrier and happily positioned ourselves facing the Shenton Way skylight. This will be a beautiful backdrop. We were still talking away when this lady ran passed us. Er what was she doing running the reverse direction? And than it hit me! Alamak, we were facing the wrong way and than later another thought.How come the first runner is a Chinese lady and not Suzy or Vivan? An awful feeling crept over me. Turned round and ask the marshall and yes we were not only facing the wrong direction but at the wrong place. This was the 5km return route and the 10km ladies don't passed along this way!

By the time we scrambled to Prince Edward Rd, the ladies had already gone into Marina South and we had only 1 opportunity to take photo but this time we were facing the sun and so most of the photos eventually came out washed out! Sighed what a screw up!

Anyway, think this race will be remembered by the ladies for its snaking queues all over the Padang. There were long queue for bag deposit, collect goodie bag, collect fruit, collect Subaru t-shirt and finally for the massage. How can there be such long queues all over for just 8000+ runners when the SCSM has 40,000 runners and no such long queue?

Thank God this is one race I'm sure we guys are glad to pass up!

Photos here

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Really Last Words

In the past few days a couple of running friends asked me why I stopped blogging on the Nike+ Sports Band. These are the reasons why:
A) The display eating disease has spread to the 2nd digit. So now both the 1st and 2nd digit can only display half the character which coupled with the poor visibility makes it totally unreadable. At first was still able to use it if I don't read the display - just start it and end and upload and still can get the data but than hor...

B) One part of the connector has chipped off. Maybe the insertion was too forceful too rough not gentle enough but now it can't communicate with the PC anymore.

So the Sports Band is as good as dead.

And since this was given to me by Nike for review purposes and since I have not really wrote a lot of favourable comments about it, I doubt they will replace it for me unless.....

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Inter Constituency Road Run 2008

Another year another Inter Con Run. This is one race that I don't really like but have to do to support my constituency and help make up the number to form the team. The inter con race is a team event whereby each constituency can field a maximum of 8 male runners in the open category, 4 each in the Men Veteran and Women Open. The best 4 timing from the Men Open and the top 1 runner in the Men Veteran and Women Open will count for placing. This year fortunately I managed to get 2 more runners from the rank of sgrunners and our team manager managed to get 2 more ladies and 2 more men. More importantly, he got 1 very young guy so we were all hopeful of getting a better placing than last year. Me - I was shortlisted to run in the Men Open again despite being old enough to run in the Veteran.

One thing I don't like about this race other than the short distance (this year 5.6km for Men Open and 4.9 for Men Veteran and Women Open) is that it is flagged off at 4pm in the afternoon! At that time, Bedok Reservoir where the race is held each year is totally devoid of shade and hot like hell! So I was wishing for cooler weather and boy did I got my wish fulfilled! At 4pm when we were supposed to be flagged off, the start was delayed due to the stupid nonsensical checking of IC (yeah they checked every participant i/c before the race can start!). By the time they were ready to start, the sky started to turn dark and it started to pour at 4.15pm. The race was delayed and at one stage it looked like it was going to be postponed - so heavy was the rain. Everybody mood got dampened by the rain. I was staring at my North Face and wondering how I was going to run in it and keep it clean yet at the same time I was not looking forward to a postponement. Finally, the rain eased up and we were flagged off at 5.30pm - 1 and a half hour later!

With so many runners now in our group, the pressure was off me to do my part not to let the team down and attempt to get a good timing. Leave that to the younger guys. Gary and the young boy had disappeared and I could see Zco and the other guy in front. Teo the teacher was running next to me for a while before he too went ahead. So with 5 runners in front of me, I relaxed and was contended to run at what I think was a reasonable pace - not too fast and not too slow although at one stage before the start, I was actually contemplating doing a jogging pace to avoid getting my shoes dirty:)

The young boy actually beat Gary (first time he lost to somebody in our group!) and the other as expected finished in almost the same order that they ran at the beginning. I finished in 27.38 or thereabout which I think was surprisingly pretty good considering the wet ground and the disincentive to run. Sometime I surprise myself ha ha!

BC was the first one in our group to finish in the Men Veteran and the 2 young ladies that Gary found came in almost together. M like me had decided to rest her legs for tomorrow race and let the young ladies run in front finishing in a slow 26+ compared to 22+ last year.

Again we got $10 each for our efforts - hmm like that consider pro or not?

Will I be back next year? I seriously hope not. This is a team event and being short is not the type of run that I can do well. The young runners are all so fast finishing in under 20 minutes! Because it is a team event, it will also be unfair for the other team member if I don't give my best so it is real tough for old fogey like me to do this type of race. Time to retire from the team... team manager are you listening?

A sneak preview of the photos taken mainly by my daughter. Balance will be uploaded onto Picasa soon.

23 July 2008 10:00PM
Photos finally uploaded here

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Back to....

Last December I ran the full marathon and finished wonderfully - no cramp, no aching legs no nothing, not after the race, not the days after. It was to me the 'perfect' race This was finishing on a high and I had vowed then not to do anymore full marathon. So I resist the temptation to sign up for the inaugural Sundown Marathon and was contented to do my short little runs.

Than M read about a certain running female MP who did the full marathon with just few short runs per week and decided she also wanted to try. Me kept my mouth zipped tight - I knew what was coming and when she didn't broach the subject anymore, whew....

And than, yesterday night, I wired over the money for the 1st Borneo Marathon :( So what gives? Turned out she still want to do her marathon and so poor me have to tag along. Sianz now back to the long tiresome runs:(

Er early bird registration for SCSM started next week! I think I need to have my brain examined.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Upp Seletar Reservoir

Went up to Lower Peirce Reservoir (yes a nice 'cher reminded that it is spelled 'Peirce' and not 'Pierce') for the weekend run. The intention was to run part of the Animiles route until Seletar Reservoir hopefully covering 15km. Basically the route covers the usual Lower Peirce, Old Upp Thomson Rd, Upp Thomson Rd, Mandai Rd and Upp Seletar Park. The weather was good but what was memorable was the whiff of durian along the way. Shiok! There were many people lining the roads waiting for the durian from the abandoned farms to drop so that they can get their free durians!

The reward for the run was unfortunately not the durian but the nice view of Upp Seletar Reservoir from the Watch Tower. Was wondering where the path to the left and right leads to and decided to come back another day to explore it.
Pictures from Npark website

Well, that another day came sooner than expected. The next day (Sunday), originally supposed to go run the 3 Hills but last minute, the 'Westerner' in our group couldn't make it so decided to switch back to the North East where majority of the running kakis stay. So we ended back at Peirce but this time we started at Upp Peirce and ran to Upp Seletar and followed the perimeter of the reservoir (Mandai Rd side only). That extra loop wasn't too long probably another 1.5km including the run down to the main road.

A nice place to go especially in the early morning. Toilets are available near both Carpark A & B but the distances within the park itself is too short to make it a suitable place to do long run. Maybe interval?

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Final word on the Nike+ Sports Band

Managed to dry up the Sports Band by keeping it together with a pack of silica gel. So things back to normal? Not yet. Unfortunately now the display is going kaput! Half of the first character on the LCD display has disappeared! So it looks like this is going to be my last say on this product (did I hear applause?) unless the good people at Nike are willing to replace it.

From the forum and my own experience, I think the Nike+ Sports Band was a hastily conceived idea without much thought going into development and even less so into quality control. I believe Nike's objective was to just launch the product, get the people interested, grabbed market share and runners used to it before a competitor come up with a similar product.

So the $99.99 question - to buy or not to buy for those who are still contemplating?

Sleek looking time piece suitable for most occasions
Simple and easy to use
Fairly accurate (probably off by about 500metres +/-)
Easy to upload to website
Can be used for all shoes
Very reasonably priced for a product of this nature

Poor display - poor contrast, no light
Poor workmanship - not water tight enough; LCD display prone to failure
Incompatibility uploading with certain ISP
Insufficient information gathered for run
Fairly accurate (probably off by about 500metres +/-)

At the end of the day, this is a fairly straight forward simple-to-use gadget for keeping track of distance. At its current selling price, cheaper than some ordinary watches, it is worth buying. It cannot be compared to the other sport watches like the Polar, Garmin, Timex or even Casio which cost much much more. Those are in a different class and serve a 'higher' purpose.

So buy if looking for a basic timepiece just to keep track of the distance ran.

Don't buy if the requirement is to track and analyzes the run information in depth.

Saucony Phoenix 3

The Running Lab is have a project amply called Project Love Sneaker in which the store is taking in used sports shoes in good condition for a $50.00 voucher which can be used against the purchase of selected brand of running shoes at their 2 outlets. The collected shoes will be given to the Salvation Army for distribution to needy in other countries. This is a good opportunity for those who have retired running shoes gathering dust at home to do a bit for charity and get something in return.

Decided on impulse to trade in my oversized NB 1220. The choice of shoes include range from NB, Mizuno, North Face, Zoot and Saucony. Cheapskate me opted for the cheapest shoe available, the Saucony Grid Phoenix 3.

According to the Saucony website, the Grid Phoenix 3 is designed to provide runners of all levels with the perfect blend of cushioning, stability and performance. Offering lightweight flexibility with rearfoot support and fore and rearfoot cushioning, the Phoenix is suitable for so many runners. It come under the Stability category (which is fine for me since all my shoes are stability shoes) and has the following:

Last: Contour - EAS for biomechanical correction
Upper Technologies - Airmesh Upper for lightweight breathability
Midsole Technologies - EVA midsole for responsive cushioning
Rearfoot Grid for Stable Cushioning
Rearfoot HRC for responisive impact absorbtion
Forefoot HRC for dynamic toe-off
HRC Strobel Board for foot-in comfort
Dual density for pronation control
Midfoot Bridge for support
Outsole Technologies - XT900 rubber compound heelstrike
XT900 rubber compound rearfoot
b/cR rubber compound forefoot.

Actually, I don't really care about all these mumbo jumbo things. I choose my shoes mainly on 3 factors - suit my foot type, must be affordable and come in my fav color.

For the Phoenix 3, it met 2 of the 3 and so I forked out $89.00 after the $50.00 trade in for it. Worn it straightaway for the Thursday Night Run along the forever under construction Esplanade/Marina Promenade. I must said it felt good, in fact surprisingly light but the only problem was I think it is a bit too small. Originally tried on a size 12 (my regular size) but somehow at that moment, it felt a bit too loose. In the end settled for size 11 (they don't have size 11.5). Using the standard 1 finger width test, it seems okay but halfway through, could felt the toes curling up. Sianz - from an oversized shoe to an undersized shoe. What a klutz!

Came back and replace the orthotics insole with the Sole custom footbed. Hopefully, this will help a bit on the space problem as it is lower and smaller than the orthotics sole. And yah, the Sole footbed is orange in color:)

Date of Purchase: 3 July 2008

Cost: $89.00 (after $50.00 trade in voucher)

Purchased from: Running Lab Funan

Worn in Races: Nil

Retired: 30 June 2009

Total Mileage: 406.78km

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The Little Blue Pill

The little blue pill seems to be the answers for everything from increasing the mojo to reducing blood pressure; treatment of altitude sickness, muscle atrophy and even prevention of plant wilting. (hmmm I can visualize a dying plant with its leaves and flowers drooping and hey presto - a drop of Viagra and the plant stand up immediately)

Now athletes in US are taking it to improve their performance. Apparently, it helps to deliver more oxygen to the muscles thus potentially increasing performances in endurance sports although I can’t imagine how an athlete can be performing well when all the bloods are ahem - going down under!

At the moment, there is no ban on the use of Viagra in sports although it has been reported that WADA and the IOC are looking at it.

Anyway, the next time you see people popping a little blue pill just before a race, don’t be surprise – just don’t stand in front of him

And oh yah – next time in a photo finish, it may not be sufficient to just look at the runner’s head! You know where else to look!