Thursday, April 28, 2011

My 手忙脚乱 Swim

Back to the pool again after an 8-week hiatus. No kidding, it was that long. Coach thought I vanished. He took a look at me and commented, "Ya, I can see that you have been laying off...". What a great opening welcome line! Oh bummer....

We did some easy laps -
50m - 1:07min, 1:13, 1:16, 1:18

Then drills.

Then 100m @ 3:15min. He told us to "slow down" - 2:25min, 2:32, 2:39, 2:45, 4:24 (150m)

Then I got giddy. Must be all the head-turning and getting "tossed" in the water. Of course it just meant that I was not used to being in the water. So for the next sets, I tried to swim straight and not throw up, and skipped some laps. Coach said my swim was all floundering, hands legs everywhere. "PS, you very 手忙脚乱."

100m - 2:34, 2:42, 2:37, 2:42, 2:42, 2:46, 2:44, 4:02 (150m)

Done. Survived my first swim.

The GRCs through the lens of a runner

The Singapore General Elections is such a hot topic on Facebook nowadays. There are so many posts and updates on the candidates, GRC (Group Representation Constituencies) contests, issues and such.

But to a runner, I just had a simple curiousity. What would the electoral boundaries look like as running routes?

So I googled for a list of the GRC and respective wards, and a GRC map that was superimposed onto a google map of Singapore. Then I went to Mapmyrun and retraced the boundaries. Some of the boundaries were slightly amended to make them 'runnable', but I tried to follow as closely to the real wards as possible.

Sample distances:

  • Tg Pagar GRC: 37km (This is easy to plot since it primarily traverses built-up areas.)
  • Holland-BT GRC: 50km (I love this route, it hits the major trails and nature reserves!)
  • West Coast GRC: 148km (This is the least accurate as it should technically include all the offshore islands and majority of our western coastal limits.)
  • Jurong GRC: 31km (This is where I live. Aiyo, so "short"? I'm only 1 traffic junction from H-BT and the trails.)

There are a total of 15 GRCs and 12 SMCs (Single Member Constituencies) for this election. I did not have time to map all of them, but perhaps someone else might complete the route mappings and share them.

Just for the fun of it. :)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The ideal 10k

It rained again. It has been pouring almost every evening, thwarting all my run plans. I changed nonetheless and got ready to head out. There was a slight drizzle. The raindrops looked big and I half contemplated not to run. But I was glad I forced myself out of the gates, taking that first step out. The raindrops did not seem so daunting afterall!

I ran my usual 10k route around my estate, and came to a realization that 10k was a nice comfortable distance for an evening run. It was not too short-changed. Not too sapping. Just enough to recharge and refresh and continue with the night's work.

Ahh, the endorphin-ic comfort of a cool run. Life's good. :)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Another MR Weekend :)

So it was another week of zero training, for a variety of reasons. I am soon turning into a weekend warrior-junkie at this rate. My excuse to self was that there were no races in April and hence my rest month. "Month" was a long time, when one's activity timeline was once measured by days and weeks.

MR was becoming my salvation. :) It was a long weekend, but I was catching up on sleep on Friday. So on Saturday, I forced myself to MR. It was almost noon and the mid-noon sun was suffocating. Once I started running, I was happy I made it there. I only managed one loop, drained more from the weather than effort.

Sunday morning we had a gathering at W's house, a perfect excuse to get Alber to agree to running with me at MR again. We did one loop, then in reverse. I was happy to side step and fly down the slopes. Trails are such sanity!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

MR Devotion

An entire week, 6 days straight!!! without a single mileage of training. Work was crazy, the weather was bonkers, and I was all strung up, ready to snap at everyone within sight any time. Because I was missing all my workouts and run and that endorphin cold-turkey was killing me.

So this past weekend, I was on a MR vengeance.

On Sat, I ran with the guys and we started at a somewhat self-punishing pace. I knew I would not survive the full loop at that speed. But still, it felt so so very good to be running in the cool weather after the morning downpour. I found my pace, and ran 2 loops. Happily. After the much-needed endorphin shot, life was back to normal again. Everything seemed happier and chirpier. :)

On Sun, the weather was the exact opposite. It was easily the hottest day of the week. I headed to MR in the late afternoon at 5pm. My friend thought that I was joking when I said I was going to MR again. It was still hot but not so once I was in the comfort of the trail. I completed one loop, then u-turned and went back towards the fitness station and out again. Total of 14-15km. It was a very different crowd at MR on a Sunday evening vs the usual times I was there. Tonight, it was very much a family affair. I saw parents jogging with their children, playing in the open field and so forth. It was a nice change from all the chiong-ing runners in the morning.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

MR Junket

It was almost 1030am when I got to MR. Plans to join my Safra friends for their morning long run got waylaid by sleep. So there I was, the trail was the only decent running spot in the hot morning. Fairly decent speed. I managed 1:09h for the 10km loop back to car park, with some stroll-breaks and a drink-stop in between. Wondered if I should do a second loop, but the heat was so overbearing, it made breathing difficult. I really need to clock more run mileage though. SD ultra was coming up in a few months and I absolutely had no preparation plans!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


I ran the 10km MF loop tonight and was pleasantly surprised that I could still go below an hour, plus some walking. 58min to be exact. On Monday, it was 1:00h. 2min faster. Not a terribly huge difference, but it was significant in my context - slacking, long distance ploddings and generally slow, slower, slowest. So my face lit up when I checked my watch. :)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Running Ideation

I went running around MF tonight. 10km. It was a very warm evening, but the fun of running compensated for the humidity. It was amazing how running could become such a great ideation process. I was fresh out of a workshop and random ideas were still milling in my mind. Loved it when they collide randomly as I stomped my way around the MF hill.

Oooh! Now I wonder what it might be like to design and conduct a running brainstorming session. That's right, run and think at the same time. Oh and don't forget the facilitator having to trot alongside and get people thinking/ talking! Ahhh.... wicked!