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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Zoots Ultra TX-Run short

Got my first pair of compression tight. But not the 2XU, Skins or CW-X. Being cheapskate, waited until a good opportunity and got the Zoots Ultra TX-Run short. The darned thing not cheap - retailing at $119.00 but I got a good deal for it so finally decided to get one to find out whats all the hullabaloo about compression apparel is about.

According to the manufacturer's website: the Ultra TX-Run short is and [I quote:] "World’s first body-mapped tricot creates muscle-specific compression zones, improving support and circulation. FREEfinish creates a more comfortable hem and eliminates leg gripper. 8” (20.25cm) inseam. Reflective detailing. SeamLink stitch construction ensures next-to-skin comfort [unquote]

So what does all that means? Honestly, got no idea. Anyway, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, so I dutifully worn it on my ill-fated Sunday run at Bedok Reservoir. Did it help to improve my running? Well, the first round I did 28:20 mins (according to my watch) which was like a PW but that would be because of my lack of fitness. The 2nd round I did 23:50mins which was more respectable but I think with or without the shorts, the outcome will be of no difference. Like some people love to say "Can swim can swim, cannot swim don't blame the swimming truck too big".

Okay back to the shorts. It looks chio enough. The material is made of Syncho TX (whatever that is) and well if you have a big buttock, it's not going to look good on you (fortunately I think mine not so big; buttock I mean, don't anyhow think think) and the material looks a little bit transparent especially against the light. Generally, it is more comfortable than my other normal running tights but unfortunately got no pockets so cannot keep gels, money or car keys. And the washing instruction said machine wash (yah) but no softener (duh) which means it's back to handwash (sheehs!)
And that's not me in the picture - just in case you thinking this pervert displaying himself in all its rising glory. The picture is lifted off the Zootsports' website okay. But er.. anybody can enlighten is that the way it should be worn?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Too much too soon

Of course as usual I raised my hope too much too soon. May be because the AHM is just a mere 3 weeks away and I haven't put in the desired mileage, got a bit kancheong and after Saturday's run which end sufficiently okay, pushed my luck and went for another run on Sunday evening at Bedok Reservoir.

First round was pretty slow. Took 27+ mins to complete as compared to M who ran it in 24+. Nevermind, it was just a warm up round. Just about 500 metres before the end of the 1st round, a big group of runners ran past me. The feeling wasn't too good. Got pride you know. So decided to pick out the slower runners in the group and use them for target practice. As every runner worth its salt knows, the shiokness of catching up and overtaking runners in front cannot be described. But then again it's probably the male ego but heck whatever, I speed up and overtook 5 of them before one of them overtook me again. But after that he ran out of gas and started walking so I overtook him again. Ha ha. This time round I completed the round in slightly over 23 mins and of course I paid the price.

The shin pain is back. So dragged myself to my Chinatown master today to see whether he can perform any miracle. Unfortunately he got many patients today so got attended to by his Mrs. Surprisingly, she seems quite knowledgeable and at least she was more talkative and willing to explain unlike Master Lee who grunts away most of the time.

Told her about the shin, the ball of the foot and the PF. And she asked to see the knee? Then she explained that the alignment from the knee down to the foot is out which result in the leg being weak which will cause problems. She further pointed out that the problem with the ball of the foot was due to the constant pounding as in running (note that at this point I haven't told her I runs). However, to treat all the problems she has to realign the foot and this she promptly did by twisting the foot from the knee down. Heng ah, this one no pain. After that she pronounced that I should feel that my leg is more flexible. Is it? I really couldn't feel any difference.

Next she proceeded to prod the shin and she said this one cannot anyhow rub. She just did a light rubdown before plastering 5 to 6 pieces of 'ko-yo' on it. After that she rub the ball of the foot and finally the heel where she claimed she can feel the stiffness and you guess it, proceeded to twist and push the foot. Aaaaaarg. So bladdy painful. But after all, what is without pain? After that it's more plasters. So now my leg from the knee down is plastered left right center with ko-yo but except for the strong smell, can feel that the leg feels better. Or is it psychological?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Got hope

So after 3 weeks of enforced slacking, went back to running this week starting from Thursday. Original intention was not to run until this weekend but was at RL Funan on Thursday and there were a few newcomers. So no choice got to set good example and ran along. But did only 5km in a slow slow time of 38+ mins and came away unscathed.

So that gave me hope.

Today did a longer run - The legs like rusty especially the right knee. So stiff. Couldn't get the engine going throughout and was constantly about 20 metres behind M. Gave up after 10km.

But I am glad I did this run. The shin was fine throughout although it is a little sore now. The PF is not likely to go away in the short term but should be manageable with regular stretching and icing. The nerve problem seems to have been resolved with the constant massaging and icing. But most important of all, I think I knew the cause of the problems.

All this while I had been wearing my orthotics insole for runs but in recent months have stopped using them. No reasons. Just plain lazy to switch them around the shoes. So thinking back, I never had any problems until recently. The nerve problem was probably caused by the under sized Saucony Phoenix 3 and the PF the Saucony Fastwitch. And the shin splint - well once the running goes haywire, that is sure to follow.

Hopefully I am right in my suspicion. Today run was wearing TNF Arnuva Boa with the orthotics insole and I could run without any problems except of course my lack of fitness. Hopefully, this will solve the problems. If not, looks like I will continue with my extended slacking and go fat cos when I slack, I gonna eat chocolates. loads and loads of them.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Shape Run 2009

Today is the 4th Shape Run for the ladies and this is what they got for their money:

Oh and of course the run. This year they had a new route starting from Republic Ave instead of the usual Esplanade Bridge. Interestingly, they choose to start the 10km and 5km race 5 mins apart which only means trouble for the 10km runners as they will be likely to run into the recreational 5km runners at the last part. Also, on the way to the race, noticed they had closed off part of the road outside Marina Square with signs saying running in progress but later heard that the runners didn't run there. More screw up: they had a finisher bracelet which I thought was a nice change from the usual finisher medal. But they choose not to give it to the runners when they cross the finish line but left the whole lot unwatch and in the open and many runners were just helping themselves to more than 1. Heard later that they ran out and some runners did not get it. The finishing line was outside Millennia Walk but it was franked between 2 construction sites and very narrow and cramped without much space for the supporters.

Apart from that, the weather was kind to the ladies, there was free Vitagen and yoghurt, corn flakes etc so I think it wasn't too bad all in.

M did fairly well despite her lack of running in recent weeks. Surprisingly, most of the ladies from sgrunners  were missing. Did they miss the registration?

Friday, July 17, 2009

SCSM 2009 Launch

Yesterday went to kaypoh at the launch of the SCSM 2009 at Raffles Place since just walking distance from the office. Surprised to see the long queue and in the hot noon day sun. Er these people no need to work or never hear of on line registration is it? For the goodie bag? Only for first 500 and there were definitely more than 500 in the queue which mean no chance for those behind so why waste time? Anyway, still being the kaypoh, me went and stop a stranger and asked to look at his goodie bag which contains a shoe bag, a towel, a Nature Valley bar, Berocca vitamin sample packs and of course lots of brochure. Hmmmh, heard last year there was Adidas cap, wrist band, towel, water bottle ++. So this year pales in comparison.

The Team Fatbird were out in full force. Must really hand it to these gals & guys.They are everywhere. Their zeal and energy amazes me. This time round they are helping the Community Chest to canvass for runners for the Run for a Cause. So if anyone reading this is doing the marathon, please do consider doing a little bit for charity. Other peeps I met were the Star of Sgrunners, Mr Megahunk IMD with his Mrs, Catwoman aka Skeleton lady aka Ah Lian aka Harmoni aka ...... They were there and got free registration because they were part of the famous 150. Also saw Fabulous136 queuing in the middle of the queue; Sleek (almost right in front already) and some other regulars from the RL run.

Since this year got a new apparel sponsor, decided to check out the design of the event tee but was disappointed that it was not on display. And I was going to base my decision on whether to run on the design of the event t or if, and that is a big IF, the finisher T is really cool, then I will consider signing up for the full but unfortunately since nothing was displayed, too bad, I think I give this a pass.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

1, 2, 3

Actually apart from the pain in the shin, there are another 2 injuries on my left foot. But being the stingy fella that I am, I am not going to see a doctor this time round and rely on the good old www and self-diagnosis and treatment.

1. The pain in the shin which has been there for the past 3 weeks or so is definitely shin splint. At first I thought I had hit something maybe a table leg but since I don't recall anything of that sort and there is no blue black, broken skin or swelling or even intense pain, that cannot be so, leaving only 2 other options which is a stress fracture or just shin splint. At this point in time, I would like to believe that it is just shin splint and haven't develope into the more serious stress fracture since the pain is still at level 4 and only when I walk or run.

2. The second injury is more easily identifiable. Pain especially in the morning immediately after waking up and pain upon standing up after sitting down. And the pain is on the heel which means ta da......plantar fasciitis. This one I know has been threatening to burst through for some time as I can feel the ocassional pain but at level 1, who cares? It is now level 3 or maybe because I have stopped running, my body is now more sensitive to every little nuances that is there.

3. Finally and I hope, the last one is something that is not so easily identifiable and which has been there the longest. On the ball of the foot, just slightly on the outstep, since about 2 months ago, there has been this sort of ant bite or electric shock every now and then. It isn't that painful, just plain irritating but tolerable and had me puzzled for some time. It had to be some sort of nerve problem and finally while googling on the plantar fasciitis, came across this: quote "This can give an electric shock-like sharp brief pain" Bingo! According to the info on the web, this is caused when a nerve is trapped when it pass through the fascia.

And the treatment for all these? Treatment is simply RICE or at least thats what all the website said, unless it doesn't resolve within a reasonable period of time in which case it is really time to see the Doc. So far it has been more than 10 days since I stopped running and with icing, heat and everything else thrown in hopefully and cross fingers that will be all I need.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

POSB Run for Kids 2009

Another Sunday another race but this time I am on the other side again as a volunteer. Unique only to races in Sengkang, there on top of the usual road marshall, bike marshall for the lead runners, they have what is known as run volunteer. Run volunteer are not pacer but simply marshall who runs the full course and whose duty is to watch out for anybody who falls sick, get injured, take shortcuts etc and of course to cheer the runners on. There was a big group of us doing either bike duty or run duty. Most of them were from the Punggol Running Club and a few of us are from sgrunners.
This time round, got assigned to the 1.6km fun run which was just nice and convenient for me since I was in no condition to tackle the 8km route.

It was raining when we reached the start point at Sengkang East but fortunately, the rain stopped in time for the race to be flagged off by DPM Teo Chee Hean. The 8Km race was won by a young boy.
Slingrunner came in 4th and that was the only sgrunners that I can identify who was running. Also met Efraim from the RL run, Scubaparents who was there to take photo for his friends and Commando who was there with his 2 lovely kids.
The race was a bit disorganised at the start point as they tried to herd the runners into the proper area to flag off the race without blocking the runners coming back from the earlier race but all well that ends well. Other than that small hiccup, there was water, canned drinks, milo and several stall manned by POSB staff raising money for charity. Heard from the speech by DBS Chairman that a total of $250,000.00 will be donated to 2 causes. Bravo!

And for our little effort in walking the 1.6km, we got a nice t-shirt in a very nice bag and a gel bottle. Not bad for an easy morning fun time.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

18 mins

Sunday rest, Monday weights, Tuesday bike, so far so good and .......... Wednesday run.

Aaargh just 3 days - so much for resolve. But anyway it was for a 'good' cause.

Came home intending to go for a swim but the Princess out of the blue said she wants to go running! Now that was a big surprise. Granted she has been running on and off; training for various school events but if I remember the last time she ran was before the school holidays so for her to announce she wants to run was really a big thing.

So of course since the Mummy was still not back yet, this old man had to accompany her. Anyway I figure it was only going to be a short easy run so shouldn't cause much damage. But first, a quick application of Eagles heat rub on the leg to mask the pain and off we go. But still the pain shoots through with every landing although it gradually got 'better' (actually I think I got use to it since this is level 4 so still bearable).

But now I'm paying the price for it - for 18 mins of pure silly folly :(

Monday, July 06, 2009

Pain Ranking

Like the Singapore gahmen, I have decided to rank something - my injury and pain threshold!

So on a scale of 1 to 5:

1. Peekaboo - sometime present sometime not. In another words, Totally ignored
2. Always there but never there - Can feel something all the time but no noticeably pain. Does not impaired activities. Generally ignored
3. Pain pain go away - Pain is now prevalent but bearable whenever do strenous activities such as running, jumping. Ignore at own peril
4. It's here to stay - Pain is now omnipresent but bearable. All activities are affected like walking with a noticeable limp, unable to fully bend limbs. Better rest or else..
5. Get me a doctor - Pain require painkiller. Not possible to do normal activities. Medical attention required.

So 2 weeks ago, when I talked about a slight pain in the leg, I was at level 2. Of course, after 1 week of rest, I resumed running. And now after Saturday's run, I am now at level 4.

Darned. I have always advised friends whenever I hear of their problems to rest blah blah blah and my fave words: more haste less speed but trust me to ignore it myself. So it back to resting and this time possibly for longer period. Question is: will I be able to resisti?

Friday, July 03, 2009

Which Races

It's the 2nd half of the year already and all the more heavyweight races are coming up within these next 6 months. But this is really a slacking year for me and I don't really have the desires to do any races but I know I should sign up for some just to keep the engine running. So maybe I will do these unless there are some new races that pop up in between

1. AHM (already registered and regretting)
2. Yellow Ribbon (new race) or Mizuno Wave (new route)
3. Salomon Trail (didn't do it last year) and finally a toss up between
4. Real Run (15km) or SCSM Half Marathon.