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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Quest for Shoes 2

Continuing my quest to identify 2 more replacement shoes.

The next on the list to be replaced is the Saucony Grid Phoenix 3 These was bought only in July last year and to date has only got a mileage of 329km. Have never worn it in any races either but this is a pair of shoes that I enjoyed running in very much. The only problem with it is that it is half a size too small so I only wear it for short and easy runs with most of it on the Thursday Running Lab Run. I think I will go for another pair of Saucony and I am beoing the Progrid Jazz. Actually I don't think this is very suitable so why is this my choice? Because in comes in yellow color and I have decided to migrate from orange to yellow.

My very last pair of shoe with whom I have a love/hate 'relationship' is the Nike Lunar. It is the Nike Lunar that has convinced me that I can switch from stability shoes to cushioning shoes and I do not need the thick heels of the normal running shoes. The Lunar is by far the best cushioning shoes I have worn and coming from a previously non-Nike fan, this is really saying a lot about how Nike shoes have evolved. This Lunar has only seen 378km and was only acquired in August 2008 (courtesy of Nike sg) so why I am looking to replace it? It is because the 2 calluses on my 2 big toes are growing bigger every time I run in the Lunar. It was blisters initially but the skin has hardened so much that there is no more blisters only hard calluses. So regretfully I have to replace this. But with what? Maybe another Nike - the coming Nike LunarGlide perhaps? But do I want to wait?

Okay so why I am voicing out all these craps? Because I got a hope. A big fat hope, I hope not and that is? Maybe just maybe some kind soul out there from some footwear company is reading this and decide to sponsor the shoes. I promise to write nice review about them (even if it ain't true) ha ha ha....

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Save bus fare run

Sent the car for service at Ubi and since got time to kill, decided to run back home instead of taking public transport. This Uncle's guesstimaton getting very bad. Thought the distance to be around 15km. Also thought after the rain, weather should be fine. Wrong on both counts.

Immediately after the rain, the sun came out and it was as if it had not rained at all. Hot and humid + slippery floors. Not very good combination for a run especially since I started at 9am. No energy to run fast so did jogging pace run. My suppposingly '15km' run turned out to be only half the distance measuring 7.4km on Google map. And I ran faster than I thought. Almost 45mins which with the numerous traffic stops wasn't too bad.

Maybe should run back there to collect the car?c

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Quest for New Shoes 1

Unfortunately for me, somehow I am now staring at a situation where I need to replace all 4 pairs of my running shoes at one go. So that's going to burn a big big hole in the pocket and as I realise for the past few days as I hunt around, it's not so easy and not as enjoyable as I thought.

The first pair to be replaced is the Asics 2120. This was bought in Dec 2007 and is my primary race shoe. To date it hasonly  clocked 499km but seen me through all the long races except last year SCSM. Probably can last a little bit more but the cushioning is no longer there. I am not considering a one for one replacement of the Asics at the moment as Asics has got too damn expensive! Moreover, I am also contemplating moving away from stability shoe and going to a shoe designed more for mid foot running. With that in mind, I went down to the New Balance store to tried out the M800. Unfortunately, the largest size for this series is only size 11 and I am a size 12!. So sad. So it's back to NB and the choice is down to the 769, 1063 or 904. The latter 2 being cushioning shoe.

The next pair of shoe to be replaced is the North Face Arnuva 50 Boa bought in March 2008. Just over a year old but it has clocked up some 500 + km more than I thought it capable of. Worn mainly for running at Bedok Reservoir, and a few short races, it will always be remembered as the shoe that gave me 5 black toe nails after the SCSM. So the replacement is not going to be a NF. At the moment, I would like to have another trail shoe never mind that there are no real trail in Sg other than MR which I don't go that often. Top of my list is a pair of Adidas or Brooks. Adidas because I haven't tried on a pair of real Adidas running shoe before. The one I am eyeing is the Revolt which is going for a 30% discount at the outlet at Tampines 1.  Likewise I never own a pair of Brooks before and with Sportslink giving 20% off, the Cascadia 4 is very tempting especially since it is very much cheaper than the Revolt. Actually what I want is not a pure trail shoe but an all terrain shoes suitable for light trail and road and those are carried by NB only if I am not wrong. 

So these are the choices for the time being. Headache. Which one to pick? At the end of day, I think I will likely make my decision on 2 factors :- price and of course colour and all the above shoes have at least one colour in common.  ha ha ha

Friday, April 24, 2009

Walking Like a Duck

I got it bad. The chafing. Despite having got chafing from this particular NB short several time, somehow I still persisted in wearing it knowing that my Neat and Bodyglide are at home.  And my 'reward' for my loyalty to this pair of old short. The worse case of chafing I ever got. And now I'm walking like a duck. Quack quack.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Afternoon Delights

The past few days have been extremely hot and so decided not to bother with morning runs. 

Took a chance that it won't rain in the afternoon and fortunately it did not and went to MR on Saturday evening for a run with M.  I know M don't like to run there so it was very nice of her to agree to go. She knows I quite sick of East Coast already. We started at 5.30pm from the Northern Trail. At 5+, the trails were pretty dark due to the dense canopy. The cacopAfterhony of forest sounds were very loud and M later commented that she was so scared although I reasoned that a forest without a single sound will probably be more scary. Inside the trail, although the sun was blocked out, it was still pretty hot and the humidity was as high as well and within 10 minutes I was totally drenched down to the socks. It looks like I had plunged into the reservoir although at some point in the run, I really wished I could do so. It was so darned hot!

Sunday was no better. There were thunder in the morning so slept in again. Afternoon, the sun was blazing hot and so waited until past 6 before heading out. But barely 5 minutes into the run, thunders could be heard all over and as I ran into Changi Business Park, could see streak of lighting coming down all over the place. Was wondering whether it was wise to continue as I will be running on open ground at Changi Business Park next to the PIE. Took a chance and decided to try and outrun the thunder, lighting and rain. Was wearing my Nike Lunar which does not have an ID tag so in my heart was wondering what was going to happen if I really sway sway kena strike by lighting. Some more in such a desolated area on a Sunday evening. Likely my body will only be discovered the next day when the workers arrives for work. And they still have to identify me. Anyway, completed the run in one piece which is why I am to write this crap:)

Later over dinner told M that if I do not return from a run within 1 and a half hours, to cross over to CGH. Likely will be able to find me there:(

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Counting Pace

Still on the topic of running speed, decided to do my own little unscientific experiment to find out my different running paces.

No cheemology type of run with HRM or GPS for me, just my own unscientific method based on gut feel and breathing.

For distance of more than 10km and during weekend long runs, I usually run around 6:00min/km to 6:30 min/km pace. Just nice and comfortable for me. So this will be the base pace from which I measure the other pace run. I call this my training pace run. And this will be the baseline to measure the other paces.

So to determine the other paces, I decided to do 4 laps of 2.8km around the estate starting with a slow run as a sort of warm up. Time taken: 19:01m which works out to around 6:48min/km. Not exactly very slow but good enough. This one I will call jogging pace run.

2nd round was the Chiong pace run. The type of run where with each step you grasp for breath. Completed it in 14:55m which was like 5:20min/km. Okay not exactly very fast but the best that this old man can muster although I think if I push harder a bit, I maybe can do a slightly faster 5min pace. I figure at this speed, I can probably go up to max 5km.

Slowed down a tad for the final round finishing in 15:22mins. That not very different from the previous round but this pace was more manageable and more like the pace I do for races. I will call this race pace run.

Final round? Yeah supposed to do 1 more Vomit pace run but I know if I do it, it will probably and literally be a vomit run. Anyway, I was running out of time and have to stop (excuses excuses). But what exactly is a vomit run? A vomit run is by my definition the type of run where go all out, the lungs feel like bursting, the heart pounds like nobody business and the breakfast, lunch and teas or what not threaten to do a merlion. This type of pace I think I can only do up to 1km.

So there 5 different paces. Very unscientific but that's how I normally run. And actually after going through some websites, discovered my unscientifc definition has a scientific equivalent as in:

Jogging = Easy
Training = LSD
Chiong = Tempo
Vomit = Interval and
Race = Race

Monday, April 13, 2009

Coffee and Me

Confirmed it’s the coffee! Last week, after a cup of coffee, did a 14km run at East Coast and struggled to finish it, even with 2 complimentary cups of water from the Fatbirds and the army boys. Took me 1hr 34m to run from F2 to Fort Rd and back.

Went back to my Milo on Saturday. This time ran from F2 to Changi Coast Rd and back covering 15km. Time taken 1hr:32m. And the weather was equally hot, some more along the dread Changi Coast.

So coffee doesn’t work for me. At least not for running anyway.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Jogging vs Running

What is the difference between jogging and running? Do you jog or run? One could think that these were simple and innocent questions but when it was posted on the sgrunners forum it caused so much controversy. It started simple enough with a new member to the forum asking this question. Soon somebody replied asking what was the point of this question, another jumped in to her defence and pretty soon there was a heated debate raging, ironically not on the jogging/running question but whether the question should have been asked in the first place. There were name calling, personal attacks and even experienced runners chipped in to add their 2 cents worth. So in the end, the mod shut down the thread.

What a pity that the question was not answered. Simple as it may be, indeed what is the difference between jogging and running? To experience runners, this may seem straight forward but to a newbie, it is probably a very serious question asked in genuine sincerity. So why should it generate so much heat?

I winched whenever somebody asked me whether I am going 'jogging'. I don't consider my countless pounding on the road as 'jogging' and I would like to think that what I did is 'running' The Webster online dictionary defined jogging as "to go at a slow, leisurely, or monotonous pace" and running as " to go faster than a walk ; specifically : to go steadily by springing steps so that both feet leave the ground for an instant in each step". Likewise, defined running as "to go quickly by moving the legs more rapidly than at a walk and in such a manner that for an instant in each step all or both feet are off the ground" and jogging as " to run at a leisurely, slow pace" So it could seem that the only difference is actually the speed at which the running is carried out. Run slowly with an easy effort and it is jogging. Run fast with a lot of effort and it is running. So to some, what is their running pace will probably be another person's jogging pace. So I guess at the end of the day, does it really matter whether what we do is jogging or running?

To wrap up this whole debate, nobody spells it out better than Pearl Izumi. Runners are Wild. Joggers are runners who have been domesticated!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Me, Run and Coffee

So while waiting for a friend yesterday, decided to have a cup of coffee. Heck while at it might as well eat something so bought a piece of mian chiang kueh. Did the coffee help in the run after that?

Maybe it was the late starting time - we started at 8.30am, may be it was the weather, may be it's the mian chiang kueh coming to the surface. maybe ....

but let just said the run was one of the slowest I did over the same route and distance. Right from the word go, M was running in front, something that is quite rare nowadays and try as I could, I couldn't muster up the energy and strength to catch up with her.

Maybe I better stick to my Milo:)