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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Unglam Running Photos

I was taking photos this morning at the annual Shape Run. While I was sorting through the photos, I realised why they named it the Shape Run. Cause the ladies do really come in all sort of shapes. Hahaha, but that is not the topic of my post. The other thing that I noticed was that most ladies look very unglam in their running photos. But before you ladies out there jump in and said "abutthen, what do you guys expect?", let me state that I also captured shots of ladies who still look glam and cool and some even glow! Here are just a few examples:

For obvious reasons and since I value my life and my camera and do not want some enraged lady to kill me or kick my camera the next time they see me shooting at an event, I am not going to post any unglam photos here. Those who are curious can go check out the photos in Running Shots:)

But for those ladies who are honest enough and admit that they do look unglam in their running pose, here are some tips on how to look glam:

1. Put on some make up. I know, I know a lot of ladies will kpkb about this, how make up can run with all the sweat and grim but I think there are some waterproof make up available. 

2. Tie up your hair. I think I blogged about this before. Nothing is worse than hair flying all over. Or wear a cap. Look at the ladies above. None of them has messy hair. They are either tied up neatly or they are wearing a cap.

3.Its in the eyes. Most of the unglam photos have one common theme running throughout. The eyes. Some are shut, some are slit, some are sunken. The easiest thing is to wear a sun-glass and volia! Again just take a look at the photos above. The glasses do make a big difference.

4. And last but not least, smile. I know after running for more than an hour, it is a torture for some people but a beautiful wide smile can make a world of a difference. Don't you just love the smile on the faces above? The next time you see a photographer, just smile. We loves to shoot cheerful looking people.

There you have it. The trick to looking good for your next running photo.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

When you need to go, just do it!

It is just before the start of the race. You are in the race pen all excited to be flag off and start the race. You warm up a bit, look at your watch, 10 minutes to go and darned it, you need to pee again! Funny, didn't you just went to the porta loo like half an hour ago? So how? Leave the race pen? But that would mean possibly getting stuck in a queue for the toilet and worse missing the flag off. So you hold on, tahan and 5 minutes after flag off, you join a horde of runners lined up against the wall of a shophouse and let go. Ahh! Relief at last. Now you can do your run properly. 

Sound familiar? How many of us have this urge to pee just before a race? I think there is a running term for it but I am too lazy to google for it but it is so common. In the past, every year at the SCMS and AHM, I used to see runners lined up against the partition of the Fullertion Hotel when it was undergoing renovation. And that is like barely 100 metres from the start line. I think its all in the mind. The tension from the race, plus the early morning start all contribute to the urge to pee.

Fortunately I have so far never felt the need to do so, at least not in such open public area. The only 2 times I need to go while on the run were all in the forest and I could do it behind some trees concealed from sights. Never like this:

And while I had heard about runners peeing or even doing the big business while running, I have never actually see a lady doing it side by side with the guys! I guess we will be seeing more of such things in the future as we become a more open society.:)

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Broken Vows

I swear many times that I will not run a full marathon again. Not because I think I cannot do it but because I am too lazy to train for it. Then in a stupid moment of bravado, I went and signed up for a 50km trail race. And after countless hours and hours of training, I failed to finish the trail race. Which should tell me to be smart and stay off long distance running. But hell no...

I have a full marathon coming up next year. I don't know whether to celebrate or cry. Celebrate because this is the Tokyo Marathon, one of the major marathon in the year and which everybody tell me is a must do. Unlike the Boston or New York marathon, there is no qualifying time but a lucky draw. And just for a lark, the sidekick and I went to apply and I got in! But not the poor sidekick who was more interested in it than me. So I should be celebrating right?

But I think of the long runs that I going to have to do and I am so depressed that I want to cry. I remembered how it was when the sidekick was training for the Sundown Marathon this year and I was accompanying her. I suffered through most of it and had the ignominy of dropping out less than half way into one of the long runs and taking a bus ride home. And now I got to do it all over again! Arrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!

But running changes people and is like a mind monster. I haven't even start training for the Tokyo Marathon and I know I gonna hate the training but I am thinking of doing an ultra trail race. Yes it going to suck big time - the training - but I can't get the DNF at the TMBT out of my mind and I think I will have to break my vow and ............

Friday, October 11, 2013

New Old Shoes

I gonna into this strange habit of buying old shoes. Old as in not used but past season shoes. I used to buy in to all those marketing crap about not wearing shoes that have been in storage for a long time caused the foam will have harden and will not be able to absorb the impact. But nowadays, it is the less cushioning read: foam layer the better so who cares whether there are any cushioning. And besides, I go for those shoes with very little foam in fact the thinner the better so that logic doesn't apply to me anymore.

Anyway, recently to replace my dwindling stock of shoes (I am down to only 2 pairs now), I went and bought 2 new old or is it old new shoes.

First was this nice Saucony Kinvara 3 which I got from Running Lab during the trade in promotion.

That was in July and after the trade in, cost only slightly over a $100. It is still sitting inside the box though and Kinvara 4 is already out! Will it stay in the dark for a year like its older siblings? Anyway, this will be my 3rd Kinvara shoes and I think I gonna love this as well.

A month later, I got this:
The North Face Hyper Track Guide which is about maybe 10 months out in the market already? Not too old but if I am not wrong, North Face has released new models recently. Anyway, this cost me slightly over $120 after a good discount so it wasn't too bad. Why this shoe?

More of that and the Kinvara after I finally decide to wear them.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Here come the Garbage Men @ TNF 100 Singapore

It all started with an idea by a friend who got his inspiration from a  race in Hongkong. One thing led to another and yesterday we found ourselves, a group of 6 runners at the start line of this year edition of the TNF Singapore 100. Another 2 started at the Mandai Road checkpoint. Not to race but to do something very different and I hope inspiring enough for the real participants to do their part.

With Marc Pereira from North Face Singapore
Our mission - to literally sweep - not the last runner but to sweep up all the trash  left behind by the runners. When we embarked on this, we didn't know what we were getting ourselves into. We have ran the trails in the MacRitchie area and Central Catchment area many times and we have seen many of the rubbish left behind by runners and other park users. But I didn't thought it was that bad.

We started off at about 7 a.m. about half an hour after the 25km runners were flagged off. Our objectives was to stay behind the runners and pick up whatever they left behind. Originally we thought of all of us covering the full 50 km route but as we went along, we realised that it would be faster and easier to split ourselves up and cover different sectors. So 2 of the faster runners in the group, Terence and Voon ran ahead towards the Ghim Moh area where they will start the trash picking from there while the rest of us started picking up the trash from the Durian Trail head. Another 2, AC and Osbert had earlier parked themselves at the Mandai end and will start at around 12 noon after the runners had u-turned.

To help us in our task, the organiser had at our request, kindly provided us with litter pickers. Thank goodness for them  otherwise I don't know how we were going to do our jobs. With these mean litter pickers, we need not bend down to pick up the trash, need not dirty our hands too much and most of all, they enabled us to reach the trash that were strewed among the bushes and in the drains. 
Jancy with one of her "catch"using the litter picker. Photo by Nicholas