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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

This is the Day

This is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice in it .. so goes the line .. but a bit difficult to rejoice today. In another 5 hours or so, I will go for the Arthroscopy and cartilage repair. It is not the surgery that I worry about but what if after the op.. I find that I can no longer run?

According to the Doc, he's going to trim the meniscus if possible If not, he will have to remove it.

More information on the meniscus:

"Medically speaking, the "cartilage" is actually known as the meniscus. The meniscus is a C-shaped piece of fibrocartilage which is located at the peripheral aspect of the joint. The majority of the meniscus has no blood supply. For that reason, when damaged, the meniscus is unable to undergo the normal healing process that occurs in most of the rest of the body. In addition, with age, the meniscus begins to deteriorate, often developing degenerative tears. Typically, when the meniscus is damaged, the torn piece begins to move in an abnormal fashion inside the joint.

Because the space between the bones of the joint is very small, as the abnormally mobile piece of meniscal tissue (meniscal fragment) moves, it may become caught between the bones of the joint (femur and tibia). When this happens, the knee becomes painful, swollen, and difficult to move."

Sunday, August 27, 2006

AHM 2006

At last the day of the AHM. This is the race that I been waiting for - since it was my first race ever back in 2004 and I missed last year's due to the flu. Also, this will possibly be my swansong for this year as I doubt I will be able to do the SCSM so soon after the op.

However, it is a race that I'm really ill prepared for. Mileage has been extremely low for the past months and the past 2 weeks only did 1 5km (treadmill) and on Thursday a slow 6km or maybe less at the Running Lab run. Moreover, I don't know whether the knees will be able to take the pounding as it has swelled up again after subsiding for about a month. Also, there is some problem with the left ankle which I can't place.

After the screw up of last week NBRR, I was really apprehensive about today. Will I be caught in another traffic jam? Will I be able to find a parking lot? Yet it doesn't make sense for me to go too early. In the end, decided to reach there by 4.30 pm. Picked up Cosmic and M's uncle and boy was I relieved when I reached Raffles City with plenty of time to spare.

Met a few of the SGrunners at the fountain. At the start point, managed to squeeze myself to the 1st quarter. Saw Bug, Dream and DO. Babymon came later and urged her to move right to the front as she has a good chance of coming in tops. Also saw Spiderman and Jenab.

The race was flagged off sharp at 5.30am. Initially, ran with Mightyjoe and Terence (from the Running Lab run) but Terence soon move off and I also pushed ahead. The first 2 km was covered in 11:33 which was what about 5:45 pace. Up on the ECP, I saw Run3 flew by and than Cosmic. Caught up with Loneshark, formerly known as Nemo, Fennel and Doremon Red. The 4 of us played catch each other all the way to East Coast Park. The next 9 km was done at an average pace of 5:25. Somewhere, along Mounbatten Rd, IMD came running by. He had started behind and was making up for lost time.

At the 11km water point, took my packet of Hammergel. First time I am taking this for a 21k run but it was expiring soon and if I don't finish it, it was going to waste. Along Nicoll Highway, I was running alone - not too sure where Loanshark and the 2 ladies were - behind or in front. Along Middle Rd, I spotted Brokie in front. Decided to tail her but unfortunately for both of us, we got stopped at a traffic light. So we started chasing each other. I overtake her and she overtook me but like the Mizuno run, I got more motivation running behind her sexy little bum than running in front of her. Ha Ha! Got stopped at another traffic light. Not too sure whether it is good or bad. On the one hand, the stop allowed me to get my breathe back but also disrupt the rhythm. Decided to run smart - when I see the runners in front stopped at the run, I reduced my pace and so eventually when I reached the junction, they would have moved off and I didn't have to stop.

The right knees had started to give problem back at the halfway point but no choice already half way done - have to complete. Now the left ankle also started to give problem. This was made worse by my removing my orthodics insole this morning and choosing to run without it. Unfortunately, I forgot to put in the original Ascis insole and was just using a very thin Reebok insole. Everytime the foot hit the floor, it would go flip flop flip flop sending shockwave after shockwave up the body.

Maybe I was too tired and didn't notice but I didn't see any distance marker after the 16km. Along South Bridge Rd, I managed to catch up with Reno whom I had last saw at Shenton Way. Then Loanshark ran past (ha.. he was behind me) he seems to have much energy - he would charge at full speed and than slow down and repeat this throughout the entire run. If I do like him, I would have pengsan long ago. Dasher also came by. He complained of ankle pain but dashed off almost as fast. I guess we have less than 1 km to cover but I was tiring and decided not to give chase to all of them including Brokie who was still in front. This last 5km I covered in a poor time of 29:39 almost 6min pace. Eventually, crossed the finished line at 1:58:03 (based on my watch).

Not too great but also not too bad for an old man running with 2 bad legs. No PB but this was never a race for PB. It is a race against myself, my mind and my body. At least now I can go for my surgery on Tuesday satisfied that I have done my best and finished what I had set out to do.

Friday, August 25, 2006

The Mrs

The NB RR results are out and the Mrs clocked a very credible 1:03:17 (chip time) I am very proud of her. The last few practice at Sentosa she was still doing 1:11 to 1:15 and this is a drastic improvement.

She was an unwilling runner. Initially, when I started running seriously in 2003, she always said I crazy don't want to sleep wake up at 5.30 am to go running. My efforts to get her to run didn't work. Her excuse: "I can't run". Then she started joining me in the gym to reduce 'weight'. She started running on the threadmill but try as I could - couldn't get her to run on the road with me. She said she can only runs on threadmill.

When I started going to the Running Lab run, and told her of the people and the lady runners there - I think she got worried that I will run away with someone from there. (Too bad so far no takers for me:) So she decided to join me.

Now she runs 3-4 times a week more than me and I am the one who have to keep telling her to stop running and rest. She has done 4 races this year - I have only done 3 so far. This morning she surprised me when she said she will do the half for the SCSM. She said too many 10K already time for new challenge.

Time for me to stop running and turn coach.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

The Race that never got started

What a screw up race this turned out to me for me. May be somebody up there is really trying to send me a message that I'm not suppose to run.

It all started well enough. Picked up Cosmic at 6.30am reach Keppel Road at 6.45am. There was a long queue of cars so I patiently waited. After 10 minutes when the queue did not move, I started to panic. 10 minutes later and we had hardly moved 10 metres. Oh shit, this is bad. Many people in taxi were alighting and walking. At 7.15 am when we haven't even move pass Prima, I asked the Mrs and Cosmic to walk. By the time I reached the junction to Gateway, it was already 7.40. Sigh, it's going to be a mad rush to reach the start point in time like that.

At 7.45am I managed to move pass the ticketing booth at the causeway. At 7.50 I was just outside the Visitor Centre in my car when I saw the runners coming down from the Gateway Park. It was another 20 minutes before the traffic could move. I sped up to the Beach Car park only to be turned back and redirected to Sentosa Cove carpark. Bo piah, turned the car around drove down and got caught in another jam. This was just not going to be my day! Decided to try my luck at Tanjong beach but there was another long queue of cars waiting to go in. Uturn back to the Beach Car and went up to take a leak - saw all the returning runners running along. Time 8:40 am. What a **&^%%$ day! Gave up - decide to drove out since there was obviously no place to park. Drove pass the Gateway carpark and lo and behold - there got space. Finally got the stupid car parked at 8.45am - a mere 2 hours after reaching Keppel Rd.

Returned the chip, collected my goodie bag and went to watch the rest of the runners come back.

There surely is a conspiracy somewhere to stop me from running! First, the knee, than so many well meaning friends have been advising me not to do this run because of the sand and now this.

Indeed why do I want to do this? Why does the chicken cross the road? I have done the most practice run on Sentosa this year - 5 to be exact and not to be able to do the race itself is gut wrenching. I want to better my last year time and go out on a high ntoe - not as a bladdy sick old man. I am not an invalid yet! But after the operation, I know I will not be able to run at the same pace any more. Not that I fast in the first place but I will become very slow after the op. That I am sure. I will be just like the f(*&^)^% weekend uncle shuffling along in the park and I don't think I can take it!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Mental Block??

2nd time in a row that I skipped the RL Thu Night Run and for the slightest of reasons.

Last week was this funny feeling on the left sole. Told myself didn't want to take any chances. So skipped. Yesterday, using the Enbebe Bio-Ray knee guard for the second time, the knee felt very tight, in fact the whole leg felt very tight. So decided to skip last night as well.

Very unlike me. Growing old or just becoming plain lazy?

Mileage these few weeks have been very low - averaging only 15k and at most 20k max and only 2 runs a week. May be the lack of running is the cause? Maybe just a case of getting sian of running. Anyway, only 3 more runs (2 races and 1 normal run) to go before calling it a day temporarily.

Time to change the title of this blog to "Life Sucks"??

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Osteopath Treatment

Went for my fourth treatment today. The knee feels better but unfortunately even Jose admits surgery is necessary after viewing the MRI and x-ray. :(

What exactly is Osteopathy? According to the Britannica Concise Encyclopedia - it is the practice of therapy based on manipulation of bones and muscles. This school of medicine, founded by A. T. Still in 1874, maintains that the normal body produces forces necessary to fight disease and that most ailments are due to “structural derangement” of the body. Frequent slight strains are held to be capable of causing misalignment of bones and various other conditions of the muscle tissue and cartilage, and treatment is directed toward correction of these conditions.*

For those who tends to suffer pain/injuries after running - I strongly recommend paying him a visit to check out what's wrong. Like in my first visit, he checked the wear patterns on my shoes, made me run and found out my left leg tends to swing out and my right leg lands harder. He recommended orthotics insole (not cheap though. In fact, the whole treatment is expensive but certainly I do see improvement after treatment. Somemore he throw in massage, ultrasound treatment as and when necessary. The swelling has gone down. The only thing about the treatementis it is damn painful when Jose is manipulating the joint. What I like is that he not just treat the problem but he corrects my running postures, and show techniques on how to strengthen the affected jointand exercises to strengthen the quadss. I suppose he is like a physio, chiropractor,tuinai, podiatrist combines into one.

Check him out at Osteopathic Pain Relief Centre. Free advice every Thursday 12 - 1.30 pm.

*Source: "osteopathy." Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2006. 15 Aug. 2006.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Alicia's Direct Admission Trial

Alicia went to try out for direct admission to Anglican High this morning. Unfortunately, she was not shortlisted after the basketball trial. I had high hope initially as she represents her school and her teacher seems to think she had a good chance.

There was a big turnout for the basketbal criteria - about 20 + and they were only looking for 12. When I saw the group of Poi Chun girls played, I knew she had no chance. Fast, agile, big sized and skilful - Alicia is way off their league. And with about 8 of them, they already easily took up most of the places available.

But to be honest, if I am the selector, I also couldn't have pick her. The rest were simply too good. No wonder all the rest of her team mates stayed away.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

A Different Kind of Race

How about that? A new race in town as reported in Today - Scurrying down to this derby.

What's it all about? A race for cockroaches. That should be damn fun. And the best part - Guarantee no running injury, no long hours of training and cheap too! And after that, for those with fear factor courage - can slurp up the protein rich creatures and for those who are sadist - can just stomp on them!

Think I go catch myself some roaches.

Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches - This one like me only know how to make noise - cannot run sure to lose to the German and American roaches