Monday, August 31, 2009

Gliding Swim

We did some drills, kicks, pulls, one-handed pulls, catch-ups. In one of the drills, I suddenly felt a glide! That feeling of moving forward and actually cutting through water while head was turned and breathing. Thus far, I had never been able to glide properly, if at all. That forward motion was quite intriguing!

So for the rest of the class, I just focused on the glide and tried to replicate that feeling. We swam quite a fair bit tonight. Wasn't it Teacher's Day tomorrow? Maybe Coach should take a holiday. Haha.

10x 100m @ 3:00min
2:15/ 2:13/ 2:13/ 2:12/ 2:14/ 2:14/ 2:17/ 2:17/ 2:17/ 2:22

400m easy swim - 9:51min

6x 50m @ 1:45min
1:02/ 1:03/ 1:00/ 1:04/ 1:02/ 1:04

8x 50m @ 1:30min
1:02/ 1:04/ 1:02/ 1:04/ 1:04/ 1:06/ 1:05/ 59sec

Pleased with tonight's gliding and consistency. :) *self pat*

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Another Aborted Long Ride

We attempted another 5am ride today. 6 of us this early morning. Unlike the last ride, I was not very awake yet. Yawn.... I'm not a strong cyclist, and even worse when it is dark or wet. The slow going speed + my orange shades + arm-warmers/ sleeves made it all too conducive to sleep! We managed to hit coastal for a toilet break. Still yawning. Picked up speed at coastal to get some adrenalin pumping and hopefully wake up. A quick pitstop at B1 and off we went towards west coast. Breakfast was my motivation. The ride over the Telok Blangah highway was good, strong tailwinds that pushed us up gentle slopes at 35kmh! Then we passed a TP standing at a side bay with a handheld speed detector. I thought he was taking photos and almost gave him a V-sign! Was he going to scold speeding cyclists?! Haha.

Going down the highway at Clementi Rd, we could see the very dark clouds across the entire horizon in the west. The short distance to West Coast Mac was fraught with very strong crosswinds as the storm was coming in. I had never physically felt such strong sudden sways as today. Literally swerved by the wind, almost felt like I would fly off. Made it to Mac, parked out bikes and ordered food. And the rain came gushing down, relentlessly.

In the end we waited for almost 2.5h before surrending and began to ride back in the drizzle-rain, which kept pouring intermittenly. I hated it. Cold, wet and miserable. And the very slippery downslopes along the way. Argh. Went home directly while the guys continued their ride to Casuarina. Would just have to go and retrieve my car later.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Look-see-run-hike Trail Session

Spent an ultra long morning in the trails. Ran with Eddy, HeeShen and Heng and brought them along the route we did last week. Loved skipping around the rocks, so alert, so alive. :)

Alas, it started pouring heavily along Rifle Range road and we were thoroughly drenched. We experimented with a new route towards Bt Timah Nature Reserve. I had only hiked through that trail in the reverse direction many years ago, and was trying to recall the way. It was not a good section for runs though, too many steps and roots. Quite impossible to really run through many of the sections. The rain made it worse. It was more a hike than run.

Wet, squishy and soggy. We turned around back up Rifle Range road and crossed onto the field towards ZhengHua. Met some of our Safra runners - the early & fast group (all sub-4ers!) on their way back. HS and Heng waited while Eddy and I ran all the way to the park and out.

On our way back to MR, we decided to stroll across the TreeTop Walk. Enjoying the cool weather and view. Slight detour in the gameplan, pity I did not have a camera. Ran the last 5km back to MR-carpark with Eddy. It was his first time running in the trail and he had to endure the almost 5hr look-see-hike-run with us. Haha. Total run time 2:50h, not sure about distance, possibly 20plus.

Oh I so love the trails!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Swim-Run Brick

Tried to glide for 30 laps, it was harder than it looked. Gliding should not feel so hard or stiff. Must be doing it wrong somewhere.

3x 10 laps non-stop: 13:00/ 13:30/ 13:50 - 40:20min

Dark clouds threatening to pour anytime, so we changed the running route to stay near the clubhouse. Down Alexandra, Harbourfront, Kg Bahru. Took 45min, so I guessed the distance was about 8ish km.

Looking forward to the rest tomorrow, and a weekend of long trainings!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

BT 3-4-3

Rushed to BT but was quite late. Didn't think I would have time for 4 complete sets. Indeed, only managed 3-4-3 before it was dark and I had to hurry out of the place. Even so, the sets felt tougher today than last week. Pack still the same, 18kg. Hmm... will have to think about upping the weight or the sets next time.

1- 2:27/ 2:02
2- 2:36/ 2:06
3- 2:39/ 6:38

1- 5:00/ 3:51
2- 4:50/ 3:59
3- 4:53/ 4:18
4- 5:13/ 8:55

1- 5:11/ 3:13 (?? that's way off timing)
2- 4:55/ 3:09
3- 4:35/ .... end

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Labrador Hills Intervals

1h, OTOT, Labrador Hills. Target 7 rounds.

Asked Alber to pace me. Went out way way too fast on the first round, and died! Argh.... Because all the subsequent sets just went nuts (just look at the erratic timings!).

1- 7:34min
2- 7:48min
3- 8:15
4- 8:40
5- 8:30
6- 8:49
7- 9:00 (heavy rain)
Total: 58-59min

After the 3rd set, could no longer complete all the upslopes at one go. Had to stop, pant, and walked a bit for the remaining sets. How disappointing. :(

It started drizzling on my 6th set, and poured on the last set. Yikes, slippery slopes! The jog back to clubhouse entailed another long slope at Henderson. Gosh, my legs felt so tight after the run. Sleepy after run - which meant good effort?! Haha.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Relaxed Class

Swim class was surprisingly relaxed today. Maybe it was because I slacked off yesterday with only a sea swim.

Started off with some drills - 4 laps of kicking, 10 laps of pulling.

400m easy - 9:46min
8x 200m in 5:30 - 4:45; 4:47; 4:42; 4:42; 4:43; 4:43; 4:49; 4:37
4x 50m sprints - 1:00; 1:01; 59s; 54s

Stayed as the last 3rd swimmer in Lane 2. I was happy to stay at the back, following. I was trying to focus on gliding, experimenting with how to roll. So being behind was good, no time pressure, just getting a feel of the pulls and entries.

Training to increase lung capacity

Read this interesting nugget from AC newsletter on training for climbs. But it probably applies for other sports too. :)

No matter what training routine you follow it is always desirable to train to increase your lung capacity. A really good place to do this is in the pool. It doesn’t matter whether you are a regular fish or a sinker, we can all increase our lung capacity to increase our performance. This is going to pay dividends at altitude and aid the acclimatisation process. Why? Because we are putting our lungs under pressure through this training and they will become more effective in the uptake of O2.

How? During a swim training session do some ‘blocks’ where you focus on your breathing. Check how often do you breathe? It is fairly standard in swimming to breathe every 3rd stroke on alternate sides. To increase our lung capacity we train ourselves to swim longer with less breaths. Start your first lap on your regular pattern, let’s say every 3rd breath. On your second lap breathe every 5th stroke. Do the return lap every 3rd, then back to every 5th. Keep going until you are struggling for air and push yourself until you have to stop. Rest and let your pulse and breathing rate return to normal. Once this becomes easy, increase the number of strokes until you are being pushed again.

Play around with the blocks, begin with a breath once every 9 strokes for as many laps as you can do without having to stop, then drop it back (so you can just handle it) and do as many lengths as you can in oxygen debt but without stressing yourself too much.

This is a very good way to learn to control your breathing and activity rate in preparation for altitude. On top of that, swimming can be one of the most accessible activities for those who cannot easily escape the city for hill training. Swimming also enhances your aerobic fitness and reduces the chance for injury. Add it to your program and you’ll notice the benefits almost immediately.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Wet Sunday

Supposed to ride at 5am. Rained. Grrrr.... The guys called to abort ride. Yeah, sleep!

Went for sea swim. The water was choppy today, the tide was changing and the sea full. It was like getting sloshed in the washing machine of ECP. Argh, swam in zig-zag all the way. We did only 2 sets of swim and time was up. I think we took forever to swim!

Came home, planned to ride in the afternoon. All arrangements made. Then.... the clouds opened up again! Sheesh.... heavy downpour. Cancelled ride. Had lunch and went to run errands. Then bright sunshine! Arrrgh! Fed up with the hide-and-seek with the weather today. Scowl....

Heck, jelly making session Part2! It seemed successful this time. :)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

New Trails!

Had fun this morning discovering new trails from MR to ZhengHua Park! What a lovely way to spend a gorgeous Saturday morning. A relaxed exploratory run with a few friends. No rush, no time, just trot along. Legs felt fresh after yesterday's magic touch by Victor. Nice.

Was supposed to meet with the Safra group at 7am, but only woke up at 705am! Shoots. Made our way there and started running by 745am. Met Kops-Henry along the big trail area leading to Rifle Range, and got directions for ZhengHua. Then met HH, Joyce & Ham who were training for KK Climbathon. Fab! We ran together along Rifle Range until the big open field. The girls went left towards Bt Timah Nature Reserve Visitor Centre. We went right towards Bt Panjang. It was the MTB trail, and we encountered some bikers along the way.

Saw Colleen and William heading back. They said the rest of the runners were right ahead. We managed to meet them at ZhengHua Park. They had gone into BTNR, up to the summit, then took the trail out. No wonder we were able to 'catch up' after a 45min lag.

The run back was equally enjoyable. A couple of stops at strategic spots to give directions. Total ~23km, 2:45h.

Tried the new outdoor shower facilities. Much better than the cannot-make-it shower cubicles, but the water pressure was not strong enough. It was bewildering. Why do people design showers at sports/ recreation places the way they do for spas or resorts where users were generally clean and fresh? Dirty muddy runners would really appreciate strong jets of water, no fuss, just wash and clean. Headed out for lunch refuel.

It was really lovely to be out in the open fields, rolling hills, just running. Like a child not knowing what was ahead, and discovering with each step. That already put an extra skip in my steps. :)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Another Sports Massage

Finally had a chance to try out Victor's massage, after coming highly recommended by Jan and Mileage runners. To my surprise, I also bumped into a couple of SG regular runners there. Looks like Victor has a good referral reputation.

Session was good. The feeling (aka pain) was familiar. Very similar to a China lady that I had years ago, but who had since returned and I could not find an equivalent replacement since.

I told Victor to loosen up my ITBs and quads (totally dead after all the BT and hills and stairs). I laid face down. He first tackled the butts/ glutes. Pressed hard on the big muscles there. Which was correct, but few people do that. Normally when you said pain in the quads, they would attack the quads straightaway. Then he worked his way down the entire back of legs, including the hamstrings and calves. Very strong and firm => bearable pain (my threshold is quite high....). Flipped on my side consecutively, more hard pressing on the quads/ abductors (inner thighs) and ITB sides. There, done. 30min but efficient and effective.

Hmmm.... if I went to him before AHM, I might have run better?! *wistful*


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Killer MF Loops + Stairs!

6 rounds MF loops:
1- 4:24/ 5:00
2- 4:22/ 5:09
3- 4:20/ 5:24
4- 4:21/ 5:36
5- 4:41/ 6:23 (knees starting to hurt from the downslopes, really could not move)
6- 4:50/ 1:50

3 set of stairs:
1- 2:17/ 2:50
2- 2:28/ 2:47
3- 2:27/ ....

Died, sleepy, tired.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Upped BT Pack

What should I do today? More sets? Heavier pack?

Settled for an increased load. 18kg. Almost fell backwards when I was putting on the pack. Targeted 4 sets as per last training. Today I brought a camera, to document the trail and my training.

S -
1- 2:24/ 2:03
2- 2:44/ 2:03
3- 2:38/ 1:54
4- 2:53/ 12:04

1- 4:44/ 3:47
2- 4:52/ 4:10
3- 5:00/ 4:11
4- 5:17/ 10:38

1- 4:27/ 3:40
2- 4:58/ 3:22
3- 4:47/ 3:45
4- 4:55/ 16:45

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Recovery Run

Today's route - KR park and back. 12km.

Was trying to do a recovery run. 1:13min.


AHM Results

AHM results according to the interactive website:

Total: 2:01:44 (8min after the gun time.. wow, that late?!)
Avg speed: 5:46min pace
0-9km: 51:55min (5:39min pace for 9.2km)
9-17km: 45:42min (5:52min pace for 7.8km) (hmmm.... slacked)
17-end: 24:07min (5:53min pace for 4.1km) (ultimate slacker!)

Ranking in Women's Closed: 58
and ahead of 82% of male finishers! (haha cheap thrill)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Bubbles Bubbles

First swim in 1.5 weeks. Was so tired, it was quite a flop. First set of training and I got dropped. At a speed that I could typically keep up, but I was struggling to just maintain it tonight. Oh bummer.

450m and I did only 400m - 10:13min.
Then a whole series of 100m. 10 sets x 2.

First 10 sets was a mixture of normal swim, fist, mixed, etc.
2:21/ 2:27/ 2:33/ 2:33/ 2:34/ 2:33/2:41/ 2:40/ 2:34/ 2:38

Second 10 sets was supposed to be sprints, but everyone was so tired, they became moderates.
2:27/ 2:25/ 2:33/ 2:21/ 2:26/ 2:29/ 2:34/ 2:27/ 2:35/ 2:32

Super duper tired and sleepy. Zzzzz.....

Sunday, August 16, 2009

AHM/ SBR 2009

The annual Army Half-marathon, aka Sheares Bridge Run 2009.

Thought I was right on time for the start-line, but apparently it was already flagged off before 530am?! Just followed the walking crowd in the start-pen, and the next thing I knew, was across the timing mat. The run was all over the place, runners everywhere, and my rhythm gone to bits. Drank so much water & 100plus, it was very humid. For the first time ever too, I downed an entire can of 100plus post-run. Did not even drink the icy cold 100plus post-Desaru, and there I was this morning, gulping water like a tank. *shake head* But the supporters and cheers were quite happening this year actually. Bands, stilt-walkers, belly dancers, etc. The roadside atmosphere was an improvement. Felt bad that I could not really clap or thank them.

Alber was sick, so I took his champion chip as well to clock the time. But bombed big time. Oops. Think my split timings were also all wrong. Anyway, I ran without looking at my watch, not even when recording the splits.

2km - 16:01 (?!!?)
4km - 11:54
5km - 5:28
6km - 5:27
8km - 13:16
??? u-turn? - 4:25
...... oh whatever, I can't make sense of the splits. Heck.
Total: 2:02h. Bummer....

De-brief with Self:
1. Need to lose weight to run faster
2. It seems impossible to do a sub-2h in Singapore, managed only once in my entire race repertoire
3. Local races losing appeal, boring route, narrow roads, not a most desired experience
4. ..... when I think of more

Crappy race, horrid run. But a decent active recovery as a friend suggested. There, a different perspective to make me feel better. On to greater plans ahead.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

New Boots!

Realised my current boots have started peeling, oh my! And I found out only because one of the lace eyelets dropped off and I wanted to fix it back. Did not actually look at my boots previously. Gosh. Time to get a new pair.

My RIP boots - Mendl Air, that have weathered well and held up under totally abusive environments. Trainings, Mustagh Ata (2007), Naya Kanga (2008), KK (2009).

And my brand new boots - Lafuma, cheaper, lighter. Let's see how many expeditions it would last me.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

CSC Run (13 Aug 2009)


Today was the annual Public Service run at Bedok Reservoir, where Women are limited to only 5.8km, and Men 10km. I saw many friends - runners and triathletes - mostly there for a fun run. As usual the gurkhas dominated the Men's Open top poles. The Women's categories - Open & Senior - were closely contested.

It was a hot afternoon. Running on the pebbled reservoir paths was draining. Or was it my legs that were heavy. Did not feel as light or could fly. Haha. Started in the middle pack, followed Elvia to cut through the crowd in front, before she took flight and I hopped my way around. Managed to overtake a couple of runners, until the running-queue spaced out about 2km. Then out of the blue, a Mindef lady overtook me at 3.5/4km mark, and I could not catch her after that. Her pace was consistent, but ahead. That was quite a negative split if I did not see her at all in the early distances (striking tee, hard to miss). She went on to overtake my 'target' female in front of me as well.

I clocked 29min for the run. If the distance was truly 5.8km, then it was exactly a 5min pace. But I doubt the distance. Anyway, I think long runs are more enjoyable. This was a pure sprint all the way - well since I can't really sprint, it was like doing trackwork non-stop! *pant pant*

And I continued my annual tradition of just missing the women's rankings. This time by 10sec! The 10th position was 28:50min.... Oh bummer.... That was $40 gone. In consolation, I won a bath towel in the lucky draw.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

BT 4 Sets

Went with 2 friends to BT. Crumbs.... one of top lace eyelets on my boots came off! Never knew that part of boots might spoil, usually it was the soles that broke off. No choice, had to skip that top row of lacing.

Managed 4 complete sets. :)

S -
1- 2:14/ 1:54
2- 2:26/ 1:45
3- 2:40/ 1:50
4- 2:32/ 6:43

R -
1- 4:21/ 4:03
2- 4:41/ 5:06
3- 5:00/ 4:34
4- 4:52/ 11:15

1- 4:48/ 4:18
2- 4:57/ 6:10
3- 5:27/ 4:55
4- 4:42/ 20:35

Trooped down to the car park and the monkeys were having a party on top of a car near mine. There was a little SGP flag and the monkeys were fighting over it. A few of them looked menacing as I unlocked the car, and advanced towards us. One fiercely eyed a handphone and we had to use the long trekking poles to fend them off. Then the monkeys started jumping across from car to car. It would be prudent to close all doors and do things one by one, like putting down pack, taking off boots, getting towels, preparing the seats, getting slippers etc. All the while keeping an eye on the rascals....

One was always reactive toxic after a session at BT. Everything that could be soaked would be drenched. Went home for a nice clean shower, and headed for a Javanese full-body massage. Ahhh bliss. Did not manage to rest properly since Desaru, so this was my first decent massage. More to come, as AHM loomed this weekend.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Nice Slow Recovery

Was supposed to have swim class tonight, but after getting 3 travel jabs on my arms, they were too achy to survive Tues mileage swim. Went to Safra for a nice easy jog. One of those runs where the stopwatch was non-existent and the pace was irrelevant. It would be so stressful if every run had to be to a stopwatch to clock a PB! *shudders*

Did a loop around Canterbury and back from Depot Road. Legs needed a nice stretch to flush the lactic. Last week was to be a chill-out week after Desaru, but in the end, only 1 rest day. The long weekend also meant long trainings. So by tonight, legs already felt heavy. Rolling along....

Monday, August 10, 2009

Wobbly BT Extra Sets!

Slept a full 13h since yesterday's ride, and wanted more. Ooh the lovely cool weather made it even cosier to sleep in. If the rain continued, I would have the perfect excuse not to train! *evil thought to self*

Unfortunately the clouds parted and the sun came through. Dragged my pack to BT. Had wanted to increase the load or weights, but decided not to be overly ambitious. Let's just start with increasing the sets first. Wanted to target 6 sets, but did not think there was enough time (or fuel in me!) to complete. Which was a good thing, because I would have flipped.... Every set was a lot slower today. L said do until thighs burnt.... they were burning all right. I was the last to leave the car park, gate would close at 730pm. Oops, next time, better planning.

S - 3 sets warmup
2.19/ 1.33
2.30/ 1.39
2.35/ 6.31

R - 5 sets
5.05/ 3.49 (?? start of decline....)
4.39/ 3.51 (a bit more like it)
5.09/ 3.54 (back to slide)
5.06/ 5.06
5.26/ 8.44

JF - 5 sets
5.22/ 3.25 (total decline)
5.20/ 4.12
5.28/ 4.14
5.13/ 3.11 (better chiong last set or get locked in the carpark!)
4.55/ (hurry back down, it was almost totally dark....)

*Thought backtracking JF-R-S would be a faster way down. Wrong... it was longer but faster to take the main road out since it was sloping down anyway.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Super Ultra Early & Long Ride

I survived! My first super early morning & ultra ultra long ride!

Slept early & woke up rather fresh. Ate my triple decker peanut-butter-nutella-kaya-cheese wholemeal sandwich. Sounded like a mouthful huh. :) Meeting time 5am (but I got lost driving and we only started at 530am). Considering that I was a wreck of nerves yesterday, all jittery over the ride, I arrived in a decent shape. Last evening I managed to fix my bike sensor and put on brand new bike lights, all thanks to the wonderfully helpful chaps @ Rodalink.

HS led the way in front, and WH was the sweeper. I started off very tensed actually. The whole experience was new to me - cycling in the dark with early traffic, using my brand new Oakley persimmon lenses (thumbs up!), new route (I get super conservative in unfamiliar terrain). I think the ching-chiong-gan-chiong-ness kept me wide awake! But HS was very good, gave all the advanced hand signals, and kept a nice slow pace that I could follow. Felt so safe! Slow and steady. Hopefully also fat-burning HR zone? :)

Part 1 (25km) - We went from Upp Thomson Road -> Yio Chu Kang -> Hougang -> Old Tampines Rd -> Pasir Ris/ Loyang -> Changi Village -> Coastal Road. Toilet break ~25km near the start of Coastal Road.

Part 2 (cumulative 77km) - Then continued half the Coastal loop -> Fort Road -> another quick water break -> Kallang/ National Stadium -> Flyer/ Esplanade -> (met our Safra runners) -> Harbourfront -> up the long carriageway across to Clementi Rd/ Pasir Panjang -> West Coast Park MacDonalds for breakfast! That was my main motivation. I was hooked when HS told me yesterday that we would stop to eat. :) Now to find the next motivation....

Part 3 (115km) - After a good & much needed refuel, I brought the guys to "loop" around Tuas. West Coast Highway -> Jln Buroh -> Jln Ahmad Ibrahim -> Bird Park must be having some National Day promotion, there were so many taxis blocking the road! -> all the way straight to Raffles Marina -> Ecstatic when my speeedometer clocked 100! :) -> Tuas West Drive -> my favourite headwind section -> Power Station -> u-turn -> Pioneer Road -> Tg Kiling -> SPC for drinks. The "loop" unwittingly became a 40km loop, headwind blasting. Oops. We were far far away from our end point! And we set out this morning wanting only to ride 100-120km... WH said this section was very similar to Busso terrain.

Part 4 (130km) - Jln Boon Lay to NTU. WH's favourite loop so we had to do it. Everyone got a choice of a 'favourite'. Oh dear.... It was my first time going into NTU, not sure what to expect from the infamous hills. They did not disappoint. It was smooth sailing downslope until a sudden point where everything went uphill! The slope was endless, and the headwind, gosh! Gears dropped to the lightest possible and cranked my way up. The guys had long disappeared after the climb. We stopped at a bus-stop, got drinks from a vending machine, and contemplated the route back. Approximately 30km more between us and lunch...

Part 5 (160km) - NTU -> Lim chu Kang Tengah -> Now it was HS' favourite time trial section, to escape the stench from the chicken coops -> Neo Tiew -> all the farms and rolling slopes -> Kranji Dam -> Woodlands Road -> Mandai Road. Took a break at the bus stop opposite Shell. Whew... I was just 10km from home! How tempting! Then HS pointed out that I was also 10km from my car.... Aiyoh... Pressing on! Mandai -> Zoo -> Upp Thomson/ Columbarium -> Springleaf/ Shell -> Food!! Hallelujah! We stopped for lunch. Wolved down a platter of mixed roast and Ampang yong tau foo. Oh much needed comfort food. The ride back to my car was a little digestion exercise.

Ahh... what a fantastic long ride. The haze was useful for once in keeping out the sun for most part of the ride. We would probably do it a few more times, adding on sections or doing more loops, to clock the mileage for Busso. Slowly... never chiong-ed at all. But for now, my butts are aching and I need my deserved beauty sleep. :)

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Dragged myself out of bed to join in the last of Fatbird's AHM training run. Not sure if I could run properly, after the BT yesterday. Sort of a recovery run I guess

Whole bunch of runners waiting to collect their Newton shoes for trial run. We started about 730am. 15km from Playground-Sailing Ctr toilet. 1st half went fairly strong & steady. Waited for the guys at the toilet. 2nd half return was a mess. There was a blister on my left arch! But those weren't new shoes or socks. I had worn them countless times with no problem. Hmmm....

Then I remembered, fat burning zone. HR 60-70%. Ok, slow down, don't rush. Need to burn some fats. Have not seen Esther for the longest time, and the first thing she shouted when she saw me this morning was 'De Kah!' (pigs trotters)....

Total 86min. Time to go home and sleep....

Friday, August 7, 2009

Bt Timah Stairs (again)

Managed to complete 1 extra flight of stairs today! Thanks to Linda for coming along and entertaining me. :)

1- 2:30/ 1:48
2- 2:27/ 1:56
3- forgot to stop watch....

1- 5:00/ 3:43 (see lah, cannot talk during climb, drained an extra 20sec)
2- 4:37/ 4:19
3- 4:39/

Jungle Fall
1- 4:45/ 4:08
2- 5:27/ 3:36 (again, shh no talking, haha)
3- 4:52/ 4:32
4- 5:10/ ....... (ok, this from tiredness, not talking)

We packed dinner and came home to eat over a Mt Chola DVD done by our guiding friends in China. Awesome... felt like wanting to hit the ice straightaway.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Recovery Run of-sorts

14km Henderson - Ridley - Dempsey - Holland - Margaret Dr - back

Was supposed to be a recovery run. My pace and rhythm was all over.... messy. In the end, dictated by the concrete pounding, knee quite sore.

Have not done this sort of mid-dist run on a weekday for a long time. Come to think of it, have not been doing such runs for some time! It had been weeks of hills and track. Quite refreshing to be out running, idly. Ouch, but knee still hurts and back stiff after run. Forgot how 'stiffening' long runs can be for the body.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Baby Steps @ Bt Timah

The long awaited (or rather long delayed) stairs training began today. Stairs would be a boring cop-out option. Decided to ease into the training at BT instead. Psychologically better. :)

Packed my backpack last night. Time to take things (pack, weights, boots, trekking poles, bottles etc) out of storage, pat off the dust and load up. Happily filled up empty 2L bottles with water and stuffed everything in. Squeezed in a small sleeping bag, my bag of harness & karabiners, and some newspaper (for stuffing deadweight space) for good measure. La-di-da... pack pack pack.

Picked up the pack to weigh. Horrors, nearly fell backwards, could barely lug it! Stood on the scale - more on measuring later - and *18kg*! That was excluding my 2L water bag to be filled during training. Wow, really?! But my mental calculation of the content was not so much. Re-weighed a few times, different machines, same reading. Ok... offloaded 4kg. Much more manageable.

*How to weigh - Don't bother putting the pack on scale. If it stood upright, it would block the scale reading. If it laid horizontal, it would not be balanced properly on the scale (& not fully weighed). Weigh yourself, then weigh again carrying pack, take the difference.

So back to BT with my 16kg pack & poles. Did S-R-J 3 sets.

Summit x3 - the warm-up steps
2:25 min (up)/ 1:57 (down)
2:29/ 1:44
2:31/ 6:40 (incl walk to Rengas)

Rengas x3 - the high steps
4:40 (up)/ 3.58 (down)
4:59/ 4:11
4:42/ 8:04 (incl walk to Jungle Fall)

JF x3 - the 183 steps
4:50 (up)/ 3:42
4:48/ 3:42
5:12/ bye-bye....

There, mission accomplished & got out of BTNR before dark. Lots of monkeys in the car park. Was almost afraid to open my car and pack up, lest they jumped in and snatched things away!

A good start. :) *self-pat*

Contact List for Sports Treatments

My contact list for the treatments I have personally tried repeatedly for all sorts of injuries and strains etc. There are other random ones that I had been, but did not think they were effective enough for me so I have excluded them from this list.

Sports Solutions (Gino)
Fees, services and contacts are listed on the website
Running Blog-

I finally saw Gino on my friends' recommendation after 1 month of nagging knee pain that did not subside even when I scaled back my runs. Prior to joining Physio Solutions and starting up Sports Solutions, Gino Ng worked as a senior sports physiotherapist at the Singapore Sports Council (SSC) for 10 years. He also travelled with many national teams and treated our national athletes. Gino did a few assessment tests on me & diagnosed my problem. He taught me some strengthening exercises and also gave me some tips to correct my running form. Although Gino does not do sports massages now, his clinic has therapists who do that. Gino also conducts running clinics every Thurs from his shop.

Andrew (private physio)
$80/ 30min; $120/ 45min; $160/ 60min
81 Carlisle Rd, Mera Springs condo, #14-02
Tel: 98258689

Andrew works out of his apartment, but he was very good with his hands-on deep tissue massages. He was also very proactive with following up on clients' progress. He has many massaging gadgets and really uses strength to ensure an effective massage. Hence, the expensive rates. I am a regular of physio and sports massage sessions, but Andrew's style was very different. He also taught me how to self-massage to knead out the very very deep knots, and a fascinating way to stretch my ITB!

$120 first session Philippe Steiner (swiss old gentlman)
SMU Li Ka Shing Library Bldg, B1-27 (next to food court)
Tel: 63520800

A very dear and stately Swiss gentleman. :) It is usually very difficult to get an appointment with Philippe, must wait 1-2 weeks. He is extremely experienced though. You will get pulled, jerked and cracked in all sorts of places. Eg. did u know calf tightness is linked all the way to the back of our head/neck (just behind the ears)? He loosened that for me as well.

Chinese Accupressure Centre
$24-36 per session, cash only
Tel: look for Frankie - 63720409/ 90071484
71A pagoda street (behind lucky chinatown macdonalds, above a bee cheng hiang bah-kua shop, 2nd flr)

My regular dose of weekly maintenance tui-nas. Good for easing out the cranks and general maintenance & treatment of sprains, strains etc. Great for target treatment of specific sprains, Frankie can spend an entire 30-60min just working on a particular spot.

Victor Ong/ Rosa
$55 for 1hr; $40 for half-hr, cash
Tel: 91459654/ 63540717 (Rosa: 96465096)
55 Newton Road (Revenue House), #05-02 (inside the Recreation Club on 5th floor; exchange for visitor's pass at security counter)

Good, firm sports massage. Experienced, many running clients. Be ready for painful kneading, but rewarded with loosened muscles and limbs. :)

His colleague, Rosa, is equally effective but double the pain. Rosa is so petite that she puts her entire body weight on you via her bony elbows and fingers. Be sure to turn blue (from holding your breath) and scream in pain.

Gian Min Medical Centre
~$36 cash only
152 Mei Ling St #01-16 Singapore 140152. Tel/Hp : 64759621
Close by 9pm; call to check; no pre-apptm, walk-in to get Q-number (u can tell them don't want medicine before they issue it) usu v crowded, gotta wait 30min-1hr after u get Q-number.
The electricity acupuncture. They will also massage or twist/crack you in the same session. They decide what sort of treatment after they see you.

Chinese physician Lee Heng Long
$30 per session, cash only
M: 9675 4306
Blk 39 #10-2412 Upper Boon Keng Road
Closed by 6pm and on Thurs; call before going
The spinal chiropractor - he loosened my back, and I could feel my entire hamstrings and calves loosen.

Chang Jiang Acupuncture (closed/ relocated - unsure of new address)
$40 per session, cash only
Physician CK Soh
Blk 150 Bt Batok St 11#01-232 S650150
Tel: 65665909
9am - 9pm weekdays & sat. sun til 5pm
I've been going for many acupuncture sessions. usu just walk-in. You can treat entire body in one session, just add more needles only, fixed $40.But if u want the tui-na, better to call in advance. There's a different Chinese guy doing tui-na and he's quite good. Also $40.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tuesday Swim Class (make-up)

Tuesday swim class. Coach made it a recovery class since many had raced over the weekend. *phwew*

3x 400m slowly (9:41min, 9:59, 10:05)
1x 200m slowly (5:05min)
3x 200m faster (5:03, 5:03, 5:18min)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Desaru LD Triathlon


Pre-race (Friday 31 Jul 2009)

It was our annual pilgrimage to Desaru for the long distance triathlon. Supposedly a half-ironman, but the distances were mostly estimates (ie. shorter this year). Swim 1.9km (think it was only 1.5/1.6km), Bike 90km (~85km), Run 21km (~20+km).

We drove up on Friday afternoon with Kahan, Winnie, Richard, Henry, Lucille and Kam Meng's family. 4 cars convoy. It took us about 2h to reach Desaru, with a pitstop at Petronas to buy water and snacks. Henry and us stayed at Pulai Resort, whilst the majority of YF folks were at Golden Beach. Pulai's a lot nicer.

Had dinner at our favourite Good Luck restaurant (instead of the usual bigger place at Jade, where cyclists normally stopped to load up). The steamed garlic baby lobsters, ooohh!

Race Day (Saturday 1 Aug 2009)

It was one of those races that started late, 9am. Ample time to sleep in and prepare. The morning sun was bright and strong, oh-oh, heat wave. We cycled to the race site, did body marking and set up the transition area. Uncle Chan (organizer) announced that the swim distance was shortened. The sea still looked like the washing machine of last year, but the currents were not as strong. I actually enjoyed the swim a lot more than last year, and after a while, caught the rhythm of swimming in the waves! Swim time & confidence had to improve, after all the YF classes I had been taking! 2 loops of swim and I was much surprised by my time. (Post-race comparison saw many of my swim-mates clocking much faster times, well-done! But hey, I was happy with my swim. *pat pat* :))

Bike was 3 loops. It went ok except that my speedometer was not sensing anything. Oh well, just had to keep pedalling. I changed my bike setup and tires a week before the race. I had to keep reminding myself to watch my pedal stroke and style. The new tires were thinner and more responsive. The winds (cross & head) were strong (although Khina said last year was worse). On the downslopes, I could literally feel the bike 'swaying'. Eeeks! Mental note to self not to waste money on fancy Zipp-like wheels with deep rims, and get blown off by the crosswinds! Needed a strong rider to balance that sort of bike setup. The rolling slopes were quite a killer, though still managed to hold on to the big gear combination for majority of the ride. I ate 2 powerbars during the ride, usually on the flat or slight upslopes, and stopped at the water point during every loop to refill my aerobottle. I saw so many friends in the opposite direction, inspiration to continue and finish the ride.

Run 2 loops. I reached the transition point and Alber was there putting on his shoes. I asked him to wait and run together. We started off and I went on the high cadence shuffle. But felt the abductors threatening to cramp up. Alber passed me half a Nuun tablet to suck on. Shem shared that little tip with our runners and Alber tried it once. It worked quite well, the cramps dissipated very quickly. We ran together for a while. Last year, it rained during the run and I could do a decent run. This year, the heat was such a killer, I stopped at every water point to drink and get a wet sponge and stuffed it down my back. At one point, I went into a public toilet and just poured water over myself. And I walked up the steep killer little slope. It was too much energy wasted to run up. I kept stopping, took a few steps, and ran along, and stopped again. For some reason, my run was bad, I could not find the right rhythm. When I did, the cramping sensation reappeared, and I had to slow down. I saw friends in the opposite direction, but could not close the gap. :( Sadly, of all disciplines, I died on the run. Sigh.

Still, happy with the overall race. About 6:22h in total (way down from my 7:03h last year). Swim improved the most by almost 30min (given the shorter distance and weaker waves). Bike and run went down a little.

Everyone gathered for a massive dinner at Jade Restaurant. We booked 16 tables. It was such a rowdy affair, it was almost like a Chinese wedding dinner! Everyone went around talking to everyone else, and pouring drinks for one another. The party continued after that at Kat's command centre. Whoa, super well-stocked support crew! They had almost everything that one could think of!

Post-race (2 Aug 2009)

Slept in late. Woke up with aches all over. Especially the abductors that were cramping up yesterday. Ouch. And foot, seemed like an old injury. Had a lazy breakfast. It was funny how everyone at the buffet breakfast was checking out one another. You know because you could feel the eyes on you even as they continued their meals, and vice-versa! Haha. You could almost see the thought bubbles in the air - This one did the race, this one looks like triathlete, wow that one wearing Busselton-IM tee, over there a China-IM shirt,...

Checked out and joined the convoy to Kota Tingi for bah-ku-teh. I think we wiped out all the BKT soup in the shop. They served out the last portions of innards, trotters and meat etc to us!

Safe drive home. Had a great weekend, but was tiring. Would need to lay off and recover.