Sunday, July 31, 2011

Snake Fight!

A weekend of trail runs. Finally, no more cement. Ran 2 loops on Sat, and 1.5 loops on Sun. Would have gone for more, but did not have time as I started so super late on both days. Next weekend vow - to wake up earlier and run.

Today my run was interrupted by a sight. A big brown snake was having a brunch fight with a small greenie tree snake. The greenie was perched on the mid-upper of the brown one, and the two kept flipping around - one to eat, and the other to escape. A group of us halted in our steps because the snake was sprawled across the trail, making it impassable. One shall not interrupt a feasting snake nor go near a snake-fight. So we stood and watched. And finally it was over. The brown snake ate the greenie, and slithered away very quickly into the grass. Wow! Ok, admittedly, I was paranoid for a bit after that. I stared very hard at all the twigs and branches, making sure they were not snakes!

Friday, July 29, 2011

More Morning Runs

Continuing the good morning discipline..... :)

Thurs - 1:38h
Fri - 1:20h

But somehow the scale seems to be going up again....

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Safra Evening Run

Joined in the evening run at Safra tonight. It felt kinda different running in the evening as compared to the mornings. More stressful. There was more traffic on the roads, and runners to 'chase' after.

We ran to Kent Ridge Park and did 5 loops, and headed back via Depot Road. Not used to the slopes for a while and knees felt a little 'burning' after the loops.

Total 1:38h.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Monday Blues

Tried to run this morning after a total KO sleep since returning from PD race. It was impossible. Felt crampy for the first 15min and decided to head home. Then felt slightly better, and hence took a detour. Essentially took a reverse direction of my usual route. All in 55min. Felt so not up to it.... :(

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Port Dickson OD Triathlon 2011

Our annual drive up to Port Dickson for an OD triathlon race. I was feeling fluish, had a sore throat, and totally untrained. The last I touched my bike was since IMNZ in March 2011 (4 months ago) and last swum in June (a month ago). I was naturally a little jittery about the two disciplines since I was not a cyclist nor swimmer to start with. I kept thinking whether I would forget how to front-crawl, or how to clip into my cleats... I enjoyed the convoy drive. Along our way, we had a fabulous seafood lunch, completed our race registration etc, and had another seafood dinner. It was an eating escapade!

Race morning, the body surprisingly went into clockwork. I remembered how to wake up and get ready for a race. After the bike check-in and body-marking, we went for breakfast. I kept thinking I might have forgotten something because the last couple of races I did were long distance - half or full-IMs - and the logistics involved were a lot more complicated.

Anyhow, the females were the last wave to be flagged off for the swim. It was an extremely low-tide morning, and swimmers had to walk-hop-jump in the water for a fair distance before we could start swimming proper. I got into the water and yes! remembered how to pull and crawl. Haha. The sea was very calm and my body felt fresh (from not using all that non-running muscles). I was quite enjoying myself in the water. :) The swim distance felt much shorter, I completed in 35min.

Next up the bike. I mounted without any accident and pedaled off. Legs felt fresh, the feeling of cycling returned. It was a rolling hills route and I forgot how scenic it was. Funny how I never really stopped in previous years to appreciate the view. The weather held up fabulously too, all cloud cover and no sun. I also forgot that I was riding my Renault Assault wheels and wondering how come I gained speed. Gaaah.... I was that divorced from my bike. Oops. In any case, did not improve or deteoriate. 40km, 1:25h.

Last leg, run. This year, Uncle Chan (the organiser) decided to make participants do a semi-trail run and put us winding along the beach front for a good 2-3km. It almost felt like the Real Run in Singapore - tarmac, sand/ beach, some trail. I kept smiling to myself as I imagined many participants cursing the route. I was happy, and happier the longer I stayed on the trail. :) I stopped to stretch a little after the trail section. A fellow runner enthusiastically ran over, asked me how I was, and sprayed SalonPas on my calf! How thoughtful and generous!

After the u-turn point, I picked up speed and tried to catch up with friends ahead. About less than 1km to the end point, Alber met me and wanted to pace me. But he was also tired. So I passed him my bottle instead and ran off. Afterall, the end was so near. In typical Uncle Chan's discounted race distances, the run was only about 8.5km. I took about 45min.

All in, 3:01h.

A happy, no-frills, and no-stress race. :) The sea and clouds cooperated, and the stars were aligned. Everything went well for many participants.

Friday, July 22, 2011

My Morning Runs

*ahem* Proud to say that I persisted with my early morning runs for the rest of the week, and kept up the discipline by sleeping before midnight.

I try to cover anything between 1 - 1.5h each morning, and so far have kept to pretty much the same route. I was going up and down that 2.4km PCN with some slight variation on my return, and by Friday, I seriously felt I had to find a new route.

Wed - 1:10h approx 11km
Thurs - 1:30h approx 14km
Fri - 1:10h

But maybe I was overdoing it, I felt slightly fluish. And good golly, I had an OD tri-race this weekend!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Survived 6am!

So yesterday I procrastinated and wondered if it was safe to run in the dark at 6am, and yet not be along some route that would be infested by traffic by 7am. I woke at 530am, hesitated and went back to sleep.

Today I was determined to head out for an early morning run. The days of running in Canada inspired me. It felt healthy. Legs felt fresh at the start of the day, and it was a good perk up for the rest of the day.

I awoke at 6am, headed to the nearby PCN and enjoyed my jog. I was surprised by the number of early risers on their morning strolls etc. The day seemed chirpier and the feeling at the crack of dawn was very alive. :) Just me enjoying my me-moment. However, it was extremely humid, unlike the cool Vancouver 13 - 16degC weather. Suddenly my running vest felt cumbersome and unbreathable. Anyhow, I miscalculated the distance and overshot. Clocked 1:30h total. Ran home for a quick shower and off to the office.

Ahh, I made it! 6am! Let's see how long I can sustain this.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Trail Weekend

Back to humid Singapore. To be fair, the weather on Sat was rather cool, lots of cloud cover. I succumbed to bed early the night before and was all fresh to run at MR the next morning. Ok, it was not too early, I only got there at 11am. It was a full 12h sleep! The run was nice, did the 10km route and a little extension via the trail to fitness corner and back. Total run time 1:30h.

Sun - It was much hotter today and I was melting in the trails. Almost being cooked! I managed 2 rounds. I was supposed to ride, but ended up running instead. I think I would be so busted at the OD-tri race at PD next weekend. Oops.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Running Around Residential Estate

I stayed over at a friend's place in the Bay Area on my way back to Singapore. It was extremely difficult to find a decent running route as it was right smack in a residential estate. I ventured out, hard-pressed to find a continuous stretch. I ran along the road, to a nearby college, and ended up tracing the carpark around its perimeter. Then I headed towards a nearby park, cut through some houses and found a pedestrian bridge that took me across a major highway. There was an equestrian field across the bridge, but nothing much else. Another residential area. So I headed back, and deliberately looped around the small park in all possible combination. I finally gave up and ran to a nearby supermarket. Wholefoods, my favourite!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Stanley Park Run

And I managed to complete that loop around Stanley Park, and still made it to the conference on time! *Pleased with self* It was not that long a distance afterall, perhaps 15km? But I took more time because I stopped to snap pictures along the way.

The last of my 6am runs. I left just past 630am and made my way along the Beach front towards Stanley Park. It is the largest park in downtown Vancouver, situated at the Western end of the Seawall, and houses many species of flora and tourist sights. I read about the totem poles and just had to run my way there to see them. I also ran past the statute of a Girl in Wetsuit (that looked like the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen), the 9 o'clock gun, Jubilee Fountain and various. Along the way, I saw cyclists on road bikes training in the cool Sunday morning sun.

I had to dash back to my hotel after taking a tad too many photo stops. But it was a worthwhile run. Ahhh, running is still the best way to see a city. :)

Running in Canada

Been away in Canada for about 10 days. Surprised that I'd been extremely disciplined to wake up at 6am everyday for a morning run! :) *self-pat* Took pretty much the same route daily along the various waterfront and admired the sight.

Ottawa - was extremely hot and humid, felt like I never left SGP! My hotel (Lord Elgin) was a 3min access to the waterfront. I mainly ran alongside the Rideau Canal and followed its winding walkway. It is so nice to be in a city where everyone shared the walkway, and cyclists are reminded not to go beyond 20kmh and to yield to pedestrians. Ottawa is branding itself to be the Cycling Capital.

4-July: 14km
5-July: 14km
6-July: 18km (and got caught in a sudden 5min flash thunderstorm, the likes of what we get in SGP. Totally drenched and had to leave for the airport in an hour's time!)

Vancouver - the weather was a lot kinder, cooler and less humid. We stayed in the Ramada Inn and was 5min from the waterfront. Clearly, Vancouver had a property boom (bubble?) compared to Ottawa. Blocks and blocks of high-rise condominiums dotted the waterfront Seawall. The Seawall along the beach forms a continuous 22km stretch winding in/ out of the inlets. That was where I headed each morning. Alas, our conference started early daily and I could not run as long as I wished.

7-July: 11-12km (Reached Stanley Park after 25-30min from my start! The seawall winds 8.8km around the park. I was unable to spare the time.)

8-July: 11-12km (Detoured around Stanley's entrance and ended up at Coal Harbour. Uhh.... wrong way. Supposed to run towards the famed Totem Poles)

9-July: 10km (The reverse waterfont was not as scenic. Went past the Edgewater Casino, Science World and Olympic Village etc)

Hopefully I get to clock a long, long run on Sunday, and go around the entire Stanley Park distance!