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Sunday, April 29, 2012

What's Next?

I just had a look at my previous half marathon races and I realised Bali is my slowest. I had thought Angkor Wat was the slowest since I took more pictures but surprisingly it was Bali. So the trend is very clear. I am getting slower and slower as the years goes by. Maybe I should do something to arrest the trend? Or what the heck just leave it and enjoy the experience?

Anyway, while looking at the half marathon races, I realised I had done a few of these in "tourist capital" of South East Asia namely, Bangkok, Penang, Seam Riep and Bali. Maybe I should aim to do a race in each of the tourist capital of South East Asia so that means Phuket and maybe one each in Philipines and Vietnam. Any idea what is the equivalent of Phuket & Bali in Philipines and Vietnam? And any races there?

The other thing is I haven't done a 10km race for a long time. The last race was in April 2010! Maybe I should do one this year. There are so many races this year. But which one? I like Republic Run - because it is one I haven't done before and also because it is in the afternoon and I don't have to wake up so early! Then there is the Jurong Lake Run. Another event I have not done and haven't heard much adverse news about. I quite like the Pocari Sweat Run but that one is so expensive.

And I am still mulling over doing a 50km race to celebrate my half a century coming of age this year.

Hmmmm what should I do/

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Bali Marathon 2012

My very first race of the year and it almost didn't got off the ground. 1 week before, I caught a bug. Okay it wasn't a big bad bug but a teeny weeny little cold. But I was scare it was going to become full blown. Added to that, I had 4 ulcers in my mouth. And the medical report last week... M was adamant that either I don't run or if I do, not to push. Sighed.... Anyway, when we reached Bali, the cold had disappeared. Thank goodness. The ulcers were still there but getting better but to my horror, I discovered I had a pain in my jaw and couldn't open my mouth fully! What a bad bad way to start the holiday!

But life still has to go on. And so we collected our race pack at the beautiful Sanur Beach Hotel. Nothing much inside except an event tee which was too big for M, a cap, a box of corn flakes and plenty of vouchers. 

We had dinner that night at a local warung near the hotel and bummed into a group of Kenyans. The Kenyans seems to be everywhere probably because the prize money for this is pretty generous!

M with the Kenyan ladies. Who are they?
We woke up bright and early at 2pm and took a taxi to the bus pick up point where there were lots of Singaporean waiting for the bus as well. The bus took us to the race site outside the Bali Safari Park.

We were doing the half marathon so we waited while the full marathon people got flagged off first. Then our turn came.

The first part of the race was done in darkness. At 5.30 am, it was still dark and some part of the streets had no street lamps and were lit up by people with live torches. The first water point was at about 2km and I skipped that. The next water point was around the 4km mark and I took a sip. Luckily I did that. 
We u-turned somewhere after the 5km and ran past the waterpoint which I skipped to my big regret. From there, we turned into the villages instead of running on the highway.

Just like in Angkor Wat, the scenery was beautiful and crowd support were fantastic. The route wind through the villages with many up and down. I wouldn't call them slopes since most were only about 10 - 20 metres long but I can imagine for those used to our flat ground at ECP, it should be a nightmare.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Project Tummy 3rd Month

Time is almost up with 1 more week to go before I conclude my Project Tummy and so far all the signs are pointing to a new fat failure!

The weight has been fluctuating between 76 - 77 kg. It did went down to 75.5kg a few times but 2 weeks of slacking and not following the routine plus some nice food means it crept back up to 76kg this week. The waistline? I don't even want to measure it. 

Any with an upcoming trip to Bali this week, I think it is a foregone conclusion that 75kg is not achievable. At least not within the target 3 months.

I also went to do a health check. Cholesterol level is good. Can continue to eat my pig trotters. Glucose level is a little bit over the threshold. Need to cut back on desserts. Does chocolate affect glucose level? The   thyroid function test indicate sign of hypothyroidism. Need a further test to confirm this. But more worrying, the ECG test indicates some abnormality. For someone who runs, this is bad. Have fixed up an appointment with a cardiologist to do another test. Hopefully, it is nothing.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Bishan Park

Did a short run at Bishan Park over the weekend. Have not been there for a long time and then it was closed for renovation. A lot has changed after the renovation or should I say facelift.

The Nparks seems to want to keep the park on the wild side. Even the plants behind the bus stop looks unplanned.

The concrete canal is now a stream.

More 'wild' area. Too bad there are no trails.

But something never change. There is still a need to cross this traffic junction to get to the other part of the park.

A round around the circumference of the park is app 7km. Good place to wind down in the evening when it is not so hot and do a quick run. Just need to avoid the thousand and one screaming kids running all over the place. And the cyclists. And the aunties and uncles doing their daily power walk.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Long Run with IMD

This just past week, it has been raining on alternate mornings. So I figured it will rain on Friday and Sunday. So I decided to schedule my long run for the weekend on Sunday. Huh? Yeah. Since I predict it will rain on Friday, I will sleep in on Friday. Saturday - rest day for Sunday and if everything goes to plan, it will rain on Sunday and I can sleep in again. That's how lazy I gotten for running!

But no such luck. The sky held for the 3 days and on Sunday morning, I reluctantly dragged my butt out of bed at 6 am and made my way down to MacRitchie Reservoir. We were going to join a group of Insane Mad Deranged runners in their long run. The group is led by the  Immensely  Metrosexual Dude better know to all as Ironman Man Dreamer but who is actually a Ironman Man "Doner", in another word, no longer a dreamer but a finisher. Anyway, Mr Incredibly Macho Dream guy has been co-opted by the organsier of the Bali Marathon to conduct some training runs here in Singapore as part of the run up to the Bali Marathon which will be on 2 weeks later.

After the usual mandatory group photo, off we went for what would be my longest run since December last year. Unlike the many other group runs that I participated in previously, this group is quite interesting. Nobody seems to want to run fast and Uncle me was left to run at the front even though I was plodding along at about 6.30 pace. I ran alone for a good 1 km before 2 of them overtook me and then Mr IMD shot past and that was it until we hit the slopes of Upper Peirce Reservoir. There was this guy who has been trailing me (is that call drafting?) for the past 1 km or so. Cannot lose face cannot let me overtake so I ran and ran until cannot tahan and still run somemore. And then fiinally ran out of fuel and had to stop for a top up and he took off and that was the last I saw of him.

Anyway, I managed to huff and puff my way up the slopes without walking! At the end of the dam separating the 2 reservoirs, I stopped to take my last packet of expired in 2011 gel. It didn't taste funny but whether it has lost its effectiveness, I am not too sure. What I do know is I finally finished all my last year gel and now has to find some means to finish the rest of the gel which have expired or are expiring these few months. That shows the extent , or rather the lack of long runs. And for those who are curious, I did not suffer any side effects, no LS big time or anything like that.

The other IMD guys were doing 26km but since I was only going to do the half in Bali, I opted for the 19km distance so I turned back earlier which means I get to run alone all the way back. Heng ar, no runners breathing down my back. No stress. Somewhere just before Thomson Plaza, saw the sidekick in front. She must have turned back early. She has been complaining of not feeling well. I caught up with her and checked that she was okay before going off ahead. 

Managed to round up the distance to 20km by running till the old exit at MR before turning back to the Amenities Centre. So am I ready for the Bali Marathon? As ready as I hope to be.

Friday, April 06, 2012

A comparo Saucony Kinvara 1 vs Saucony Kinvara 2

After slightly over 30km of running in the new Kinvara 2, I think its time to compare how it fares with its predecessor. Like the other shoes in its range, it comes in multiple color but here in Singapore, only 3 colour versions are available, the black/green, white/blue and white black. Originally, I wanted the orange/black/yellow and so went online to get it but it was out of stock and so I settled for the black/green which cost about $40.00 cheaper than if purchase from the local stores.

Design wise, much has changed. The pattern on the body itself for example. In the Kinvara 2, the design lines are more fluid and classy. The silver and black luminous strips are pasted/sewed on unlike those in the 1 which are mere printed patterns.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Run & Raisin 2012

There shall be shower of blessing. But unfortunately, the shower was more than that and it put a damper on our spirit as we woke up to heavy rain. A group of us have volunteered to help out in the 2nd Run n Raisin and were looking forward to it. So we were a bit kinda dispirited when the rain did not stop. Our meeting time was pushed back from 6.15 am to 7.00 am and yet when 7 am came around, it was still pouring. Will the race be called off?

The volunteers waiting around in the rain
Our group role was to man the 10km u-turn and the water point there plus help out in road marshalling along the stretch next to NSRCC. All of us in our bright yellow tees were ready and we hoped the race will go on. We were told by the representative that the race would be postponed to 10am. We were left wondering whether there will be any runners left by then if any had turned up at all?

The full contingent
At about 9.15 am, I called the rep again to reconfirm the status and was shocked when he said the race had started! Oh gosh, the guys from the timing chip company was still setting up the gantry, the drinks were not set up yet and no marshall had been deployed. Very quickly, we summoned everybody who was taking shelter in NSRCC to their respective stations while a few of us made a quick dash to the split junction along the jetty. In my heart, I knew we will going to be too late and true enough, we soon crossed path with the first lot of fast runners. Hopefully the rest had got the drink station ready!

The rain had slowed to a drizzle by then and it was rather cooling. The 700+ 10k runners had whittled down to probably not more than 400 + but there was still many familiar faces among the runners but with such a small crowd, our stint soon came to an end. We did have fun and I am sure the participants did as well despite the rain. Pity the small number of participants though. There are simply too many races nowadays and small charity races like this will find it more and more difficult to attract the numbers.