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Saturday, September 27, 2008

2 Weeks

So what have I been up to these past 2 weeks? Last week was eat eat eat. It was probably the longest stretch of time where I did no exercise of any sort - not even a single push up. And so not unexpectedly gained 1 kg.

This week, well 6 days gone and still no running. Monday did some weights. Tuesday more weights. Wednesday managed to do an hour of swimming. Thursday half an hour on the Elliptical trainer + some more weights. Friday rest and Saturday half an hour on the bicycle in the gym and another half an hour on the rowing machine + more weights.

Hmmm but still nothing beat running:(

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Mumpty Dumpty had a fall

Mumpty Dumpty had a fall, again. Some people in the forum described her as 'brave' for carrying on the run. I will call it stupid. It's just a run and since the fall was at the beginning barely 500 metres from the start, should have just stop and take care of the wound rather than continue for another 1+ hours. 

But then again, she has 'experience' with fall and since injuries seem to be following the 2 of us, what else is new? SoI reckoned she decided might as just well just do it!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

TCM Round 2

Found a TCM practitioner near the office. Actually it is the mother of all TCM here - the TCM Orthopaedic Centre run by the Singapore College of Traditional Chinese Medicine. According to the physician, they are teacher of TCM.

The lady physician assessed my leg. First thing she noticed was that it was swollen on both inner and outer ankle and silly me didn't even notice it. So it was worse than I thought. But the good news was no fracture, no dislocation. Bad news was it was going to take another 2 weeks to heal.

Anyway she did a tui na for me which felt so soothing - much better than the aggressive rubbing Ye Sifu did last week. When I informed her that I was self treating it with ice, she was shocked. According to her, ice is only good for immediately after injury and icing the injury more than 24 hours later does not help and in fact will make it worse. Not too sure what she was trying to explain to me with my limited understanding of mandarin and she with her accent:(

Interest different point of view from the Western medicine. Another thing that she advised was not to take 'cooling' fruit which she specifically indicated include banana, pineapple and watermelon - alamak and there I was actually increasing my intake of pineapple for the past weeks as I read that the bromelain in pineapple can help reduce swelling!

There was no charge for the consultation but the tui-na cost about $38 and the medicine (pills thank goodness - I don't think I can stomach brewed herbs) cost another $18. Plus another 2 piece of plaster. Not too ex. Let's hope this treatment works.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Secret of the Ironman

While bored and with nothing to do, browsed through the photos taken by friends at the recent Aviva Half Ironman. Something strike me - a common theme that ran through a number of contestants.
Take a good look. What do you see? No no I am not a pervert! I don't have any fetish for torso! Look closely. Look at the size of their tummy er sorry I means abs. Most of them look like they are like 3 - 4 months pregnant.

Sorry my friends if you recognise yourself in there. I mean no disrespect but is that where the extra reserve of energy come from? After all, its not called spare tyre for nothing - and spare tyre is as everybody knows, something pretty handy in hand when you get a flat which is what most participants will be feeling after the swim and bike.

Hmmm maybe I should emulate their example and get one of that proportion to give me more energy.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Slacking Time

Have recommended a few people to Ye Sifu, the TCM at Bedok North but myself never had to see him or for that matter any other TCM until now that is. Yesterday afternoon, went to see him, got a rub down and the normal yoko paste. Now the ankle is all wrapped up like a bak chiang:) Hopefully, it is just a sprain like the Sifu said and nothing worse than that. So for the next 1 week going to slack big time!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Swing KPE

Probably the one and only chance to run in the KPE so when the run was announced, quickly signed up just for the experience. And what a 'run' it turned out to be. Sighed........

It started well enough. There was no parking facilities near the start point so the organiser kindly provided free transport from Tampines & Kovan MRT. Reached Tampines MRT at around 7am and didn't have to wait long to board the bus. Reached the KPE in less than 10 mins. Bummed into a few sgrunners and a group of 'siow kia' who called themselves Fatbird but I looked left, looked right, looked up and looked down, didn't see any guy who was fat or any bird:) They had tied this rope around themselves and looked like were preparing to run tied together!

Anyway M and me we tried to move forward past the 5km fun crowd. I slipped and I think twisted my ankle while coming off a kerb. Back then, I didn't think much about it. Anyway, the race was flagged off and I started slowly. M had already moved off ahead. At the front, there was a Bangra group playing some musical instruments, music etc and it seems like a real fun race. They even switched off the lights along part of the tunnel I think for the purpose of the lantern walk which was part of the 5km fun run.

Back to the running, about 2 km down, I managed to overtake M but than the nagging feeling on the ankle had started to intensified into shooting pain. At the 3km mark, my watch showed 15.20m but the pain was starting to bother me. I continued until the water point at around the 4.5km mark and stopped for a drink and to my horror discovered that when I tried to resume running, the pain was so sharp that I couldn't even walk properly let alone run. With another 5.5km to go and not willing to make it worse, I decided to discontinue the run and start to walk. I was hopping to hop into an ambulance to take me back but there wasn't any in sight until after 8km. Got them to give me a pain relief spray but it didn't help. With 2km to go, decided to continue walking and eventually finished in a record time of 1 hour 32min!

Collected the goodie bag. For a free run, this must be one of the best deal around.
On top of the t-shirt which we collected last week, the goodie bag contains 3 packet of instant noodle, 1 sports drink, 1 lantern, 1 pen, 1 fridge magnet, 1 water bottle, 1 body sticker and 1 face towel! Very good deal.

What wasn't so good was the ride home. Queued up for 1hour 20mins to board the bus back to Tampines.

Sigh... now icing the ankle. Hopefully it is just a minor sprain otherwise...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Glucosmine Cream

I have been using glucosamine cream for the longest time ever together with super duper expensive glucosamine pills. Have it work? I certainly hope so considering the amount of money that I have spent on these products so far.

Anyway, today I have decided to compare the various creams that I have used throughout the years:

Tiger Balm Joint Rub

This was the first cream that I tried and used for a long time. I find it effective especially at masking pain. According to the product write up:

“Tiger Balm Joint Rub provides temporary relief from aches and pains due to muscle sprains, stiffness, and joint pains associated with arthritis. It contains glucosamine, chondroitin, and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) - ingredients commonly used for treating and preventing osteoarthritis. This topical cream is pleasant to use, as it is greaseless and contains no alcohol which can lead to localised, dry skin conditions”

Like: It comes in a pump bottle, making it easy to use and is the cheapest among the brand tried.
Dislike: Because of the camphor, it has a very strong smell and is not suitable for use in offices. Also, I get an localized rash reaction to it nowadays which did not happened when I first used it.

MediLynk™ Transdermal Glucosamine Cream

Next is the most famous lot of them all – the TGC. Like everybody else, I was seduced by the tv ads and promptly went out to buy a bottle to try. The product info:

“Maintain healthy joints and alleviate joint pains with our MediLynk glucosamine cream. Glucosamine is a natural agent produced by our body. It is involved in producing glycosamino-glycans and proteoglycans, constituents of our cartilage. Formulated with an excellent transdermal property (ability to cross the skin), the MediLynk glucosamine cream is able to supplement the body with glucosamine efficiently”

Like: It is odourless and easy to apply.
Dislike: It is the most expensive of all the cream tried.

That aside, when I went to a pharmacy to buy a new tube, the pharmacist asked me why I want to pay for their advertisement when I could easily buy similar products as half the price and so she introduced me to

Kordel Arthrocare Care Cream

This one come in a small tub container and is not very handy to use as you need to dip your finger into the tub.

The formulation combines glucosamine and OptiMSM, a superior form of MSM (Methyl Sulphonyl Methane). Glucosamine plays a key role in maintaining healthy joints while MSM helps to ease aches, pains and inflammation, and accelerate healing.

Aloe vera, willow bark, arnica, wild yam and vitamins A, C & E are added for additional soothing, antioxidant and pain relieve benefits.

Like: Odourless
Dislike: Come in a tub, greasy

IcePower Arthro crème

First time I came across this was at John Little and not in a pharmacy! Bought it to try. Since then, the distributor has been actively promoting its range of products at races and roadshow.

IcePower Arthro cream eases pain in joints. The glucosamine sulphate, the MSM and the chondroitine sulphate included in the cream strengthen its effect. Menthol and eucalyptus oil cool the tissue in joint area thus relieving pain and swelling. Chondroitin is a natural building material of the cartilage tissue, and it lubricates the joint surfaces. Glucosamine is a substance found naturally in human body. It exists in all connective tissues. It plays an essential part in the well-being of joint cartilages. MSM reduces inflammation and muscular tension and reduces muscular pain plus it increases blood circulation. MSM effects in reducing muscular and joint tenderness, in recovering from strain and in sudden muscular fatique.

Like: Odourless and cooling to the touch. Supposed that why it’s called Ice Power.
Dislike: Nothing to dislike

Jointace Gel

Again I stumbled upon this at John Little and not a pharmacy. And after using this, I must say this is my favourite.

Jointace® Gel is an advanced massage gel for healthy joints and muscles, combining the beneficial properties of glucosamine and chondroitin, with aroma-therapeutic essential oils including Ginger, Lavender, Eucalyptus and Clove Bud. Jointace® Gel’s unique formula represents a major advance in gels designed to help sports people and maintain general joint health, as it combines the benefits of soluble glucosamine and chondroitin in a lipophilic formula with aroma active essential oils and menthol.

Active ingredients: Glucosamine Sulphate, Chondroitin Sulphate, Aroma ActiveTM Essential Oils: Ginger Oil; Eucalyptus Oil; Sweet Orange Oil; Clove Oil; Lavender Oil; Fennel Oil; Menthol

Like: It’s smell. It has a sweet orange smell that even M like. Applying it is like applying aromatic oil over the body.
Dislike: Er... nothing to dislike actually.

So at the end of the day which is more effective? I really don’t know. There are studies* that said glucosamine cream is ineffective as it cannot be easily absorbed into the skin and to the affected areas but there are also studies# to show that cream is the most effective way to get glucosamine direct to the joints.

*1 Glucosamine Osteoarthritis Resource Centre
*2 The Arthritis & Glucosamine Information Centre
# Synflex America, Inc

However, going through the info on the net, most of the studies in support of the effectiveness of cream based glucosamine appears to be commissioned by 'interested parties' namely the manufacturer. What seem to be the common consensus was that for the cream to be effective, it must come together with either menthol or camphor or the more recent trend - emu oil.

Interestingly, what appears to be most effective seems to be liquid glucosamine as it is claimed that this is the best method for absorption of glucosamine into the body.

So does this mean that I am wasting my money on this product? I really don't know but certainly I feel better after using it but then again I also take 1500mg of glucosamine tablet a day + do plenty of lower body weights so I suppose all this are contributory factors that has helped alleviate my knee problem. Anyway I don't think there is any harm in using it and honestly I don't dare to stop any of the 3 combinations so I think I will continue with the use of glucosamine cream.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Running with M

As most of those who have a full time running spouse (read: lady spouse) will attest - running with the spouse is oh... so bitter sweet.

I have been running together with M for the past years and while most time I look forward to running together as a time of bonding, sometime it can be nerve wrecking.
Just like yesterday. I wanted to do our lsd by running from home in Simei to ECP via the Bedok PCN and from there to Changi Coastal Run and than Loyang Ave and back to Simei. She didn't want to run along the side of the road and prefer just running up and down the ECP. To me, doing a 28km up and down ECP was not my cup of tea. It is so boring. In the end we compromised, from ECP to Changi Beach and back. And that is one hell of a monotonous and tortuous routes. But what to do? And that is the problem for most of the runs that we do together.

I love to run new routes, routes that do not entail going up and down the same old path and I will travel all over Singapore just to run. She prefer to just do her runs on the same old familiar places. Next, her speed and my speed are vastly different (for the time being). Run too fast on unfamiliar or dark area, she makes noise. So have to run side by side with her. Run side by side, too fast also she makes noise (give her pressure) too slow I suffer. Also, cannot talk to her too much. No words of encouragement, no advice. Do so at own risk.

Most time, we get to solve the problem by running with her friends. She can run with them at her own pace and I can run on my own. And also because they are all staying in different part of sg, I get to run at different places. But sometime it is not possible to get that many friends to run together especially now that we are doing more long runs.

So no choice got to stick with it. But having said all that, that's not to say I don't like running with her. I thinks it's great that we can get to do our running together cos this has helped our relationship grow stronger and stronger. Just need to learn to keep my mouth shut while running and slowly 'cyclo' her to run all the funny routes that I like to run.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

It's not the End yet

Since the AHM, has gone for 4 more runs:

Tue – 5km easy run with the Fatbird team at the I-run
Thu – 7km easy hill run with the RL people at Fort Canning
Sat – 12km easy trail run with some sgrunners to/from Bedok Reservoir to Tampines
Sun – 26km lsd run with M at East Coast Park

So far so good. The knee seemed to have rectified itself. No more sharp acute pain. No more locking. No more swelling.

Will continue to use a knee guard for the time being just to play safe. But then, some school of thought is that knee guard serves no purpose. More psychological (is this correct term?) than useful? But I think it does help in event of fall, etc to protect the knee and not so much to prevent injury whilst running.

So it’s not the end after all!