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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Death Wish

Many of the people in the endurance sport community seem to have a death wish or maybe they are just enjoying living life on the edge.

I was astonished when I read in one of the forum that some participants of triathlon actually do not know how to tread water! To simple me, surely that must be the first thing one should know before going out into the deep blue sea. I mean, if we run or cycle and become tire, we can simply stop but for swimming, the only stop is to thread water and if one cannot thread water and there is no safety ropes or buoy to hold on it, then how?

Also, some people seems to enjoy pushing themselves right to the limit. Some people with some medical problems, may be flu or some thing or worse heart problems - they continue to train hard and compete in events. While the attitude is admirable, unless one is aiming for podium finish, if not, is there really any need to push so hard? Even the pro knows when to quit - take Chris McCormack when he dropped out of the China Ironman recently even though he was in 2nd position at that point in time!

And then there are the cyclists. Just looking at them ride along Changi Coastal, Loyang Ave and Mandai Road gives me nightmare. It is bad enough that our motorists regards cyclists as road kill but for the cyclists to contribute to the statistics themselves...

I think while we enjoyed the challenge, we have to be responsible to our loved ones, our family and owe it to them to take care of ourselves when we train and participate in such events. Even if not married and with no children to worry about, there is always the parents.

So to all my friends, please take care. Whether you are doing a short race/bike or swim, a triathlon or an ironman, think of all those who depend on you and need you. There is nothing to gain or prove by completing in such events if one is not adequately trained for it or is sick or not feeling well.

There will always be another race, another day!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Aviva Ironman 70.3 2010 Singapore Photos

All the photos I took at the Aviva Ironman 70.3 Singapore

Send me an email or pm me via facebook or sgrunners if anybody wants the high res version.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Aviva Ironman 70.3 Singapore

The Aviva Ironman 70.3 Singapore. An event that I will likely never be able or want to do. But still that does not stop me from going down and pay this photo tribute to all these brave souls.

Hats off to these group of physically challenged particpants

Nothing can stop them, not even a flat tire
Or an out of control iron horse
This guy went all the way sans footwear
Hot! Hot! Hot! 2 cups of water to cool down

2 cups not enough? How about a whole bottle?
A sight for sore eyes and all the shacked guys!
Agony or Ecstasy?
It's a pleasure for this young lady!
More like agony for this poor chap
Finishing with Mummy!
All the Way!
No! This Way!
All prepared for the hot hot weather!
Nobody ain't going to block my view of Daddy!
Finished at last and a TLC moment from the Mrs
Aiyoh now got to brave the traffic to go back!
Mummy, it's over!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

NTUC 350

It never rains but it pours! Just like February was destined to be the hottest month, looks like March will be the wettest month. It started pouring in the middle of the night and the rain did not look like stopping.

I was like shit!@$ I had paid nearly a hundred bucks for the 4 of us to take part in this run and I be dammned freaking mad if the rain wash it out. I was so looking forward to this. The last time I was in Pulau Ubin was like a decade ago and I have always wanted to run there for the longest time. Also, this was the first time the whole family was going to run together in an event and I wanted very much for this family outing to be a success and enjoyable one. Not one where we will end up like miserable wet dogs!

Fortunately the rain eased off a bit by mid afternoon when we boarded the ferry for the island. My first impression of the place was that nothing much had changed there except that there were more seafood restaurants now. The wayang stage was still there as was the thousand of bicycles although due to the rain, there wasn't that many cyclists around.

We were early and walked around in the light drizzle before the Kid and I started off at 3.50pm in the 10 km run. The run was sounded (no flag) off by 'Brother'(?) Lim Swee Sway. Sounded like a church event. Wondered why the MC called him that? Shouldn't it be comrades?

Anyway, because it was a run and not a race, there were very few participants - probably about 1000. No elites too and best of all, no human jam! Anyway, like the MC said, it was a run not a race so we took our time. I stopped every now and then to take photographs (see the complete set on facebook) but reckoned I was still running in the first quarter of the field. Met an old schoolmate. Good to see friends from the past. Also, one of the volunteers at a water point called out my name and I was like who? but waved hi, cracked a joke and left still clueless who he was! Completed the run in slightly under 1 hour. Thought the distance was a tad long based on my pace but maybe it was the small slopes here and there that made it seemed so. Anyway who's counting?

The rain was by then just a very light drizzle, humidity was almost non-existent and there was no sun and heat. It was the perfect condition for a run and I totally enjoyed it! The Kid came in almost on the hour mark. Complained of stitch at around 8km. Still need some work on the mileage. The Princess and MOHA did the 5km. The Princess is using this run as a final tune up for the national school cross country next week. Hopefully, this run will help her get the feel of the pace.

All in all, a wonderful run nevermind that there was no goodie bag. It was for a good cause and it didn't get rained out and I had fun. That's all that matters.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

North East Run 2010

My first race of the year. It didn't start off too well though. I was in 2 minds about signing up for this. Have not been running a lot, average weekly mileage was only 30km since the start of the year and there were very few runs of more than 10km. The few I did was all sightseeing run at pace of 7.30 to 8/min per km so I was sure I was going to suffer if I do this. But then, I was offered a free slot and that sounds good enough for me to sign. But things took a little turn and the free slot came with a string attached ~ had to pay for it first and claim back the money later! What the &()_#! Anyway didn't want to be seen as so petty so went ahead. And then the race route was released and shit, the route goes into the Tampines heartland and comes with 7 overhead bridges to tackle and plenty of road junctions. Really regret big time. And came race pack collection day and still no news of the race pack collection for me. M collected hers in a jiffy while I had to wait with no clue what was going on. Came Friday and still no news! An email and a reply later, I had to make a special trip to Novena Velocity to collect on Saturday afternoon, a waste of my time!

The hiccups continued on race day. Was deliberating whether to drive there or take a train seeing that it was just Pasir Ris and 2 stations away. In the end, laziness won and we drove there targeting to reach at 6.15am and have a short stroll to the start point as a sort of warm up. Of course things never come out as planned and 1 carpark after another was full and I had to keep circling carparks after another before managing to find space at one nearer to Elias Road than Pasir Ris Central. And sure enough, by the time we could see the start line, we could also hear the horn went off. So throw in a late start to add to the woes.

Never mind, I was determined to enjoy myself and not going to let anything spoil my mood. I was going to get a PB no sweat, no matter what happened. Ha ha ha since this being my first 16km race, any timing I get was gonna be a PB! Actually of course I never approach any race without setting some sort of target for myself. After all, one of the reason I sign up for races is to use it to gauge myself on my current level of fitness and how to do that without setting some standards? So I have a very modest target 1 hour 36 minutes or 6 min/km. I figured with all the traffic lights and overhead bridge and my current level of fitness, hitting this target will be challenging enough.

Despite my late start, there were still a lot of  runners and there was a big jam along the earlier part of the route from Tampines Park Connector along the Pasir Town Park to the TPE. Noticed some ladies running along. Hmm thought there was a ladies wave? Got stopped at the first traffic light at Pasir Ris Drive 1. Not a good omen. Was this a sign of more stoppages? After crossing the road, while everybody took the right park connector, decided to have some free space for myself and cross over the canal to the left and ran alone before joining up with the runners who crossed the bridge over the canal. First overhead bridge over the TPE and then some ladies came flying along shouting "keep left". Roonz was one of the ladies. Thought she too started with the guys but turned out they were the front runners for the ladies wave. Sighed, that showed how slow I was.

Fortunately, aside from the 1 traffic stop at Pasir Ris, surprisingly despite the many road junctions, there was no more stoppages although I could see some impatient motorists horning away at some of the slip road. The overhead bridges wasn't too bad also. Although I still felt they were not necessary, it nevertheless gave me a chance to catch my breathe. Had my first drink at the water point along Tampines Avenue 6. 5 Km and time on my watch 30:37. Hmm more or less within target. Was going to skip the next water point at Tampines Ave 8 but skidded to a stop when saw that they had 100plus. The first few returning male runners came along with Mok Yin Ren leading the pack. Gary, my team captain was among the leading runners but unfortunately, certainly too far to be in contention for top 3.

Into Temasek Poly and I ran into Jensen, a fellow RL run leader. He, like me, has been slacking big time and complaining of no energy. He is hoping to do 1:30. Told him it was still possible if he continues this pace and run faster for the last 5 km. I touched 8km at 47:36 mins. So far so good. We split way later and after another climb over the overhead bridge outside the Poly, I was on the return leg.Yeah! Bummed into a neighbour along Tampines Avenue 3, exchanged a hi and continued on my way. 10km 59:18. Ha on my way to a PB and target!

Now that I finally warmed up, picked up the pace a little. Started running a wee bit faster - trying to avoid the fast rising sun. Crossed the overhead bridge on Tampines Ave 5, down the park connector, one more overhead bridge and Pasir Ris! Was wondering how the route was going to be after that, the route map wasn't too clear and there was supposed to be 1 more overhead bridge along Pasir Ris Dr 1 to tackle although I was quite sure there was no overhead bridge along Pasir Ris Dr 1. To my surprise though, we were waved back to Pasir Ris Town Park and ran along the Park Connector back to the finish. Heck, wasn't there supposed to be another check point along Drive 1? Will I get a DNQ? But everybody was running the same route so just press on. Finish time on my watch: 1:27:06 which means I more than hit my target which means I did the last 6km in 27:46mins? Errr I did pick up the pace a little but definitely not by such a big margin which means the total distance is only ............. (I leave it for you guys to fill:)

Back at the finish point, as with all semi- government organised events, there were games, (too bad I didn't win anything), free banana, drinks and ice cream! And of course a medal. No milo though:)  The sun was out in full force by then so we did a quick retreat after chitchatting with a few friends and taking some group photos. Did not stay for the lucky draw. Did I win anything?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Interval Training

No time to exercise? A recent study by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology reveals that high intensive interval training is twice as effective as normal training and can cut an entire week of workout into 1 hour. "The research further shows that when compared to people on a normal exercise routine, like jogging, research has shown those doing interval training can double their endurance, improve their oxygen use and strength by more than 10%, and their speed by at least 5%.

According to the report, "intense bursts of activity are what the body needs to build stronger muscles. Traditional workouts lasting an hour or more simply don't push the body enough. This intense burst of energy help the body to convert one type of muscle fiber into another type that uses oxygen more efficiently and is capable of exercising a lot longer. ...This creates a higher metabolism for several hours afterward, which the body will bring down by burning fat and carbohydrates"

Ah so des and here we sotong kia have been telling people not to do too much interval training for fear of injuries.So it is good news for lazy bum like me. But is it really true?Can I have my cake and eat it as well? Does it mean the end of 3 hours long run?

Hell no, as in all things - everything in moderate and in a fair mix so if you are training for a marathon, the long slow distance run is still a necessity but if you are just training for a 100 metre track and field race, there really is no need to go and do 10km runs on a daily basis. And for those who are just keeping fit and perhaps loosing weight, a mixture of different type of exercises will make the weekly routine more interesting.

So by all means switch to some interval, like I going to do this evening, but just exercise some common sense as well!

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Metta Charity Run 2010

Being a residence in the estate where the Metta school is located, when I heard about the Metta Charity Run, the first thought was to sign up for it. But there were already so many races nowadays and I didn't really feel like doing so many. So I did the next best thing and signed up as a volunteer.

Managed to rope in another 7 liked minded soul and we dutifully trooped down to the race this morning. The organiser had promised breakfast for us and being a Buddhist organisation, we had expected a vegetarian breakfast but surprisingly it was McDonald breakfast. But then again, none of us took it. I hope they didn't throw it away though.

Our role was sort of roving marshal where we had to run with the participants and look out for any injuries etc. By race size, this was a small event - maybe around a 1000 participants. What was most gladdening was to see many runners of other races participating in essentially a Buddhism driven event. There was a 10 km category and a 5km category and we split ourselves into 4 groups each covering 1.25km (2.5km 2 ways). There were some special needs children from Metta School who took part and it was good to see them working out a sweat to complete the run.

It was a simple affair. A straight forward route to NSRCC and back. There was some water points along the way and at the end, JJ drinks, water, banana and Milo! There was also some stalls selling foods which runners could get for free with their coupon on the bib otherwise it was just $1. Everybody gets a goodie bag including us which comes with a motoring magazine, a 7-Up cap, a bottle of pomegranate drink, a bottle of mineral water, a small raisin pack and a pack of tissue paper.

I enjoyed myself running up and down my sector and cheering the participants + take some pictures of course. Hopefully there will be more meaningful races where I can volunteered my services again.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

RL Runs with Luke McKenzie

Courtesy of the people at K-Swiss and Running Lab. Luke Mckenzie, 3 time World Ironman Champion came down to Running Lab Novena for a short run and about 60 people turned up for the occasion. I too came to kapo a bit, (actually the nice people at RL promised me a nice t-shirt if I come and help out) so for the sake of the t-shirt I dutifully made my way down to Novena.

The run started at about 7.15pm after a short briefing by Stephen Locke of K-Swiss Singapore. The runners were divided into 3 groups with the first group being the fastest runners, the 2nd group the average and the last group, the err not so fast runners. Naturally, I was with the last group. Luke Mckenzie, playing his PR role to the hinge, started off with the first group and ended with the last group. What a nice gesture.
Everybody had fun, I think especially those who walked away with K-Swiss premiums and gifts from the lucky draw. Me? All I had was a t-shirt and oh yeah - a photo with the man himself!