Wednesday, February 16, 2011

SAFRA SIngapore Biathlon, 12 Feb 11

Second attempt at Biathlon. Got up late and rushed to the event area. Good thing i have packed the race essentials the night before. Drove with Ed to ECP and had to park near the Cable Ski Park before walking down to the transition area.

Earlier waves had already started and i caught glimpses of Coach Alex, Roonz and WeeSan embarking on their 10km run. Collected the race pack from registration and set up transition. Wearing red 2xu tritop and bottom, i was issued number 8062 heading out to sea on Wave 4.

Posed for a few snaps on Ed's Canon 500D before joining the queue at the startline. The swim route will take me anti-clockwise towards Changi. I've decided to stay at back of pack so not to be crawled over and as the host sounded the horn signaling the start of the race, i did just that.

Swimming perpendicular to the coast for 200m, i was sandwiched by 2 other swimmers swimming froggy. Using them as my target, i crawled forward and sighted every 10 strokes. After what felt like a long time, i reached the bouy and turned port towards Changi. The 2 other swimmers were now to my front and starboard. The sea was calm but the under-current was rather strong to my liking. Crawling my way forward, i eventually reached the u-turn point. With swimrope on my starboard and my marking swimmer half a body length on starboard bow, i crawled forward and entered the swim finish fairway towards shore. My hands touched sand with the clock at 50mins.

Jogged to transition with Ed snapping photos, i exchanged the goggle and swim cap for socks, TNF Boa blue and 2xu shades. WeeSan had already finished her race and offered me a powergel which i gladfully accepted. I then head out for the run after taking a sip of diluted 100plus.

Running at what felt like 6.5mins/km, i felt the brick feeling on my feet but persevered on. Following the twisting and turning route i u-turned at the 2.5km point, looking out for a target to follow. I found one at the 4km mark, Reuel. We ran the next 5km side by side, talking about work, training, travel, holiday while encouraging each other on. We caught up with other runners along the way and encouraged them to move on.

Upon reaching the 9km mark at the food centre, i sped up, leaving Reuel and another runner. I expected them to follow me but realised a while later that they were lagging way behind. With a continuous flow of athletes heading out of race area having completed their race to my right, i saw the finishing chute. Ed was snapping away on her Canon and i completed the race in 2:05hrs.

Collected the medal and other race goodies. Met up with the swimmer i used as marker, Muz, and got to know a few athletes from the Facebook Terai-Melayu gang.

Good race, examplary race management, definately an event i need to attempt every year.

Swam: 1.5km
Ran: 10km
Time: 2:05hrs

Friday, August 20, 2010

Muar National Charity Run 2010 - 1 August 2010

5 weeks after KL Marathon with only a 10km run around Woodlands sandwiched in between, i embarked on another half marathon; this time at Muar. Didn't know much about Muar except for its proximity to Malacca and Mount Ophir. I found out later that it is also home to the best-est Mee Bandung.

Anyhow, with Ed opting to attend National Day preview, I set off driving up to Muar with IMD and Yeehua. Arrived at 5pm, collected race pack and checked-into Townview hotel. After dinner, i prepared the race essentials: Blue TNF Arnuva Boa, 2009 SCKLM vest, black mizuno shorts, socks, fastened race bib on racebelt together with USK, then went to sleep.

Got up at 5am, didn't get much sleep anyway. After shower, met up with IMD and Yeehua at the hotel lobby and realised that it was raining. Decided to drive to startpoint about 3km away. Organisers were still setting up the race area when we arrived. After much waiting, the race started at 630am with me right at the back.

Ran beside Cik Rustam, the Pacesetter president for the first 3km before deciding to slow down. I then joined a pack of 4 runners and we ran together for the next 2km. After a waterstop at 5km, i was all alone. I could see a few runners a couple of hundred metres behind me. I wasn't tired, no soreness or aches.

After turning left towards Malacca, we entered the highway portion of the race. Nice looking houses lined the side of the highway, the kind of kampong houses i would love to have. The road were deserted as i maintained my 8km/hr pace. Mok Ying Ren appeared as the first runner on the opposite side of the road, meaning he was 5km ahead of me. Soon, a marshal guided me towards an overhead bridge to cross the road.

Another marshal called out to me to enter the forested portion of the race. Palm trees lined both sides of the track and it stretched for about 2km. A waterpoint appeared halfway along the track and i took my pack of powergel.

Re-entering the highway, i spotted a runner ahead. Slow but constant steps. i caught up to him and eventually overtook. He seemed to be in pain. Crossing another overhead bridge, i entered the last 5km of the race. I remembered an Al-Ikhsan shop was due to appear on my left followed by Giant. As i passed by them, i saw the bridge towards Muar town. A marshal on bike was waiting for me at the other side. As traffic was already heavy by then, the marshal on bike personally escorted me for the next 2km.

Entering the last km, i caught up with the tail end of the 6km walkers. Coffeeshops were already lined with patrons and smells of prata and satay filled the air. I felt hungry and wanted my plate of mee bandung but continued the slow run. Before long, I approached the finishing area. Officials were still waiting for finishers then as i crossed the line in 2:49. Tired but still feeling fresh, i collected my race medal. No more soya bean drink so i took plain water instead.

Both IMD and Yeehua came in top 10 in their respective categories and received their prices on stage.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur Marathon, 27 June 2010

Can't believe the last race i did prior to this event was the same event exactly a year ago. Then again, i have been slacking since.

Arrived in Kuala Lumpur with a tight hamstring on the right leg on Saturday morning with Teelee and Taz. Hamstring was due to a session of badminton with EG aka idiot on Friday. Anyhow, picked up the race pack at Stadium Titiwangsa before making our way to the hotel. Laid out the race essentials and started to put them into their respective places; race tag on my new TNF Arnuva Boa 50 blue, number tag on 2009 SCSM vest, urban survival kit (USK - ID, credit card, travel insurance card and cash), a pack each of powergel and deep heat rub in race belt, Road ID, Polar RS200D and 2XU visor before getting my head on the pillow to rest.

Got up to the sound of Teelee leaving for his 42km at 0430hrs. To be honest, i didn't get much sleep. After shower, applied plaster on nipples and put on race kit. With Taz, left for startpoint at 0530hrs while munching away a pack of Powerbar Triple Threat. Startpoint at Dataran Merdeka was only 3mins away.

Did some stretching and warm up before meeting ST, Ham and Wishbone and friend. I still could not believe i was doing the race. A 21km would have been breakfast for me in 2006 or 2007, but i'm nowhere near being physically fit in 2010. At 0615hrs, start flag was waved signaling the start of the half marathon. I had no choice but to follow the crowd to cross the startline.

I realised that Wishbone and friend was not going fast and rather liked their pace and used them as my pacer. We ran past the old railway station before heading towards the new one at KL Central. It was then a left turn to Jalan Travers and right on Jalan Tun Sambanthan before left again to be on Jalan Syed Putra. At 5km i realised that my pace was a 8.5min/km, which was way slower than the 6min/km i used to do in 2006. Old age perhaps.

The stretch from Jalan Maharajalela to Jalan Cheras was only 5km long but felt like eternity. I felt that Wishbone and friend slowed their pace at 7.5km waterpoint so i headed out on my own. It was 1:30 when i arrived at 10.5km; that must have been the slowest 10km that i have ran, ever. Even the run leg of Bintan Tri in 2008 was completed in 1:18hrs.

I found a new pacer at Jalan Cheras, a girl from Trengganu. She said that this is her first ever race. Brave of her. Another runner tried to follow my pace, though he was brisk walking. I was that slow.

Strangely enough, i did not feel tired or any pain anywhere. I was comfortable with the pace. Even the weather was good, cool. That didn't last though. As soon as i arrived at Jalan Bukit Bintang circa 15km, my hamstring started to tighten and feet started to hurt. I kept my breathing slow to prevent a rising heart rate. My yoga instructor Shan once said that you can fight pain by controlling your breathing, i think.

I passed by McDonalds at Bukit Bintang thinking about hotcakes but it was already 2:00hrs then. My personal worst 21km was the first 21km i ran: SAFRA Half Marathon 2003 at 2:45hrs. However, on the plus side, other than at waterpoints, i have managed to maintain running continuously at 8.5min/km. Can't expect much if you don't put in the training.

The last 5km was painful. Sore feet, tight hamstring and hunger. Jalan Sultan Ismail was downsloping but a left turn into Jalan Raja Chulan was upsloped. The right turn into Jalan P Ramlee was better and i found a new pacer in Doris from Shah Alam. We ran by KLCC before a left turn brought us past Zouk and then a right for the final 3km. I then had to walk for 2mins. Feet was too painful.

Slow jogged and brisk walking, i turned left into Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman. Doris was 100m ahead of me and the brave girl from Trengganu was to my right as i struggled the last km. Tey was snapping photos and Yeehua and IMD called out to me before i crossed the finish line at 3:01hrs.

Verdict: Crazy for me to even attempt this. The last long run i did was a 15km in early May. Short 5km runs doesn't count when you are preparing for a half marathon. The race though, was a marked improvement from 2009. Route was, though flat in Malaysian standards, was convenient and safe. Race pack collection was systematic and customer-oriented though only god and the organisers know why the venue was Stadium Titiwangsa.

Distance: 21km
Time: 3:01hrs

Monday, May 10, 2010

Summary: Week of 3 to 9 May 2010

Finally got some mileage:
  • Mon, 3 May: 5km run; 5 1km loops at Tampines Park
  • Tue, 4 May: Another 5km, same 5 loops
  • Wed, 5 May: 7km of Fire Station-Pump Station-Utilities Office-Pump Station-Fire station route
  • Thur, 6 May: Rest, no training
  • Fri, 7 May: No training
  • Sat, 8 May: No training
  • Sun, 9 May: 15.5km on Tampines Ave 5, Pasir Ris Park, Bedok Reservoir route
Total mileage: 32.5km of running
Feeling: Pain

Monday, May 03, 2010

Smello sambal stingray

Felt like eating fish and made my way to Giant Tampines. They normally have a good spread of fresh fishes but the trays on display were rather sparcely filled with not very appetising fishes. Anyhow, saw a couple of stingray steaks and immediately thought of BBQ sambal stingray. Got a 3 serving size steak and headed home with a bottle of chincalok.

Cleaned the stingray before panfrying it. I then packed it in aluminium foil and banana leaf, with a few strings of onions and many dollops of sambal. It was then sent in to the oven for 30mins of grilling.

The stingray turned out fine, except for a strong pungent smell, sort of dried fishy, thai fish sauce kind. I then thought maybe i missed a process, a cleansing kind. Vaguely remembered my late granny soaking fishes in a mixture tamarind juice and salt. Wonder if that is the solution.

By the way, i guess Ed enjoyed the fish, served with short grain brown rice and stirfried baby kailan, with chincalok at the side.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Update... hopefully a sustainable restart to my active and healthy lifestyle

Since the post below (aka A Farmosa Sprint Triathlon 2008), my sports activities has been pretty much... inactive. I've gained lots of weight, indulged in what my father remarked as.... expensive food... and memorises the programme schedule on Starhub cable TV.

1) Ok, events/race wise, i've done:
  • A Farmosa Triathlon 2008 Olympic Distance: Came out of water 2nd last and was comfortable on the bike leg, only to get a puncture of rear tyre at KM17. Tough luck. This was the only ride where i did not equipped myself with a spare tube and pump.
  • New Balance Pacesetters 2008 in KL, Malaysia: I decided to go to KL for the food, rather than the race. Completed the run anyway, so slow that i managed a nice pose for IMD the cameraman at the finishing line.
  • Bintan Triathlon 2008 Olympic Distance: Woohoo... completed my maiden OD in 3:45. I was again.. 2nd last out of water with the whole senior management of Bintan Resorts and Nirwana waiting by the beach (i hope not for me) but managed to overtake many (about 20) racers during bike and run leg.
  • Powerman Duathlon Malaysia 2008 in Lumut, Perak: Thanks to Alvin, managed to get seats on bus and hotel for this race. Tough as hell (maybe) but completed in 5:30. Had an excuse though; Scotty's rear D jammed up leaving me with 2 speeds to play with for the 64km ride.
  • Bintan Triathlon 2009 Sprint Race: Played coach to the company's ladies relay team. Was slow but not strolling and completed the race in 2:15. Then visited the medic station for a bad case of cramp.
  • Tons of DNS since. 2009 was the year of DNS for me. So my KPI for 2010 is... no DNS.
2) Life and material wealth:
  • Followed the average married man's route towards inactivity, tummy growing and weekend slacking.
  • Based in Bintan, food and training opportunities are very different from Singapore. No more of post 7pm/pre 7am runs/rides, and the food.... don't get me started.... too good. Limited to 5 to 10km of climbs on the Fire station/pump station/Utilities office route, gym work and once-in-a-blue-moon 50km rides on weekends.
  • Having a car and a vespa means less familiarity with public transport and even lesser walking. Looking for parking lots is the sport i'm better at now.
  • Ed gave up her Helios 500. I took over and swapped the Ultegra gruppos and Aksium wheels from Scotty, who i gave to Ed's brother.
  • Got a Cannondale F5 for my 32nd hatchday. Though under-riden, i have clocked some quality KMs of offroad dirt on it so far.
Now the rot stops here. It will be slightly more than 2 weeks til Pacesetters 15km run. I hope with the old practice of recording my training in this blog will 2010 not be another year of DNS.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

A Farmosa Triathlon: Sprint Distance - 10 May 08

When it rains, it pours. Third event in 4 weekends and first Tri for the year. Heard lots of horror stories about the swim section of this event and Wildcat advised me to check it out.

Reached A Farmosa early and after collecting race pack, i checked into the hotel. The sprint race was scheduled at 4pm and i took an hour nap before started my preparation.

Got to race site early and set up transition. Opted for platform peddles instead of cleat due to the short race distance. Already donning my Zoot blue tritop and back thights, i placed shades and visor just beside the hooked AFD.

Did some stretching and practise swim. Water was cold and brown but taste much better than sea water. Feeling that i have scared myself enough, i waited for familiar faces like Daniel Gan and Tri_jon to appear.

Participants had to trap water as the race was a water start. Uncle Chan finally blew the horn signaling the start of the race. I then realised that i did not have my polar with me. Anyhow, i kept at the back of pack and slowly frogged my way through the course. Thankfully, there was a swim rope and i had no worries about calling for help.

After what felt like eternity, i completed the swim and headed out to transition. Put on white LAS and NB735 Red and off i went cycling. The cycle course is 2 loops of undulating 10kms. Managed to overtake some cyclists and eventually Daniel Gan.

Completed the 2 loops and back to transition. Hooked the bike, dropped the helmet and slowly made my way out for the run. Didn't want to tire myself out so i took a real slow jog-walk. Daniel overtook me before i finished the race in 1:27hrs.

Next day is OD.

Distance: 500m swim + 20km bike + 3km run
Time: 1:27hrs

Monday, May 05, 2008

Summary for the week of 28 Apr - 4 May 08

Picking up the pace.

Monday, 28 Apr: Swim lessons.
Tuesday, 29 Apr: No training.
Wednesday, 30 Apr: No training.
Thursday, 1 May: Bintan on Bike.
Friday, 2 May: No training.
Saturday, 3 May: No training. Sent bike to Rodalink for half-yearly servicing and repair of rear wheel.
Sunday, 4 May: Singapore Sprint Series Duathlon.

Tribob Singapore Sprint Series Duathlon - 4 May 08

Second race of the year and the second race in the Sprint Series. Got to race site early, thanks to my aunt's Lancer. Ed was there to cheer me on and provide logistical assistance. My black Scott AFD was at the Rodalink workshop so i had to use Ed's Helios 500.

Collected race chip and set up transition consisting of 2XU visor and drinks. The weather was very hot and i was gulping down lots of fluid. Wearing my 2XU red tri-thights and Adidas white vest, i did some stretching and warm ups before meeting up with Burnz, Aerosolcan, Jodan, Sanjeev and Daniel Gan.

The race started and everybody went off sprinting, everybody except for me. I did a consistent run and completed the segment in 16:33mins, not exactly race speed. Got to my bike, threw the visor down and put on LAS helmet before unhooking the bike for the slow jog to the mounting line.

Mounted and spinned on the lightest gear to acclimatise the legs. The ride section consisted of 3 loops of undulating 5kms at Old and new Mandai Rd. The route was pretty narrow so overtaking needed a lot of certainty. Completed the 3 loops in 33:02mins. Dismounted and slow jogged to the transition slot.

Hooked the bike, dropped the helmet and put on the visor. A gulp of water and i was off running, slowly to prevent cramps. Heard a lot of horror stories regarding cramps during duathlon. Eventually i fell victim to a kind circa 1.5km and had to slow down, real slow. After the waterpoint, i continued running and finished the run in 20:20mins for an overall race time of 1:13hrs.

Good race, good route, weather was extremely hot.

Run1: 3km
Time: 1:13hrs

Bintan on Bike: Bintan Tri Recce Ride - 1 May 08

It's May Day, a much needed public holiday, not for resting, but for last minute training for Bintan Tri. Organised a recce ride in Bintan for my friends, Eliza, Little Firefly, Yuki and Babumouse. Met some other riders from Yellowfish swim class.

Did the whole cycling route, all 40km or so, except that we started at Wisma BRC instead of Nirwana Beach Club. Compared to the race at BLR previous years, this route seems more technical. There are lesser high slopes but more lower, steep slopes, especially at Ria Bintan.

After a drink break to hide from the extreme hot weather, Eliza, Babu and i did another ride to Nirwana and back, just to make the trip worth.

When i got home, i realised there was something wrong with my rear wheel. Hhmm.... an excuse for an upgrade??

Distance: 60km

Summary for the week of 21 - 27 Apr 08

Swim and ride.

Monday, 21 Apr: Re-started my swim lesson. SeaMonster commented that i can float and swim better now cos of my aero-haircut. Received bad news when i got to work. Days are numbered, i don't belong there anymore. Time to start thinking for myself.
Tuesday, 22 Apr: No training.
Wednesday, 23 Apr: L&T ride.
Thursday, 24 Apr: No training.
Friday, 25 Apr: L&T ride.
Saturday, 26 Apr: No training. Too bonked from the long ride.
Sunday, 27 Apr: Rest.

L & T rides

Have been doing lots of cycling now since Lala pulled me into L&T. Can't remember my last quality long run.

Did 2 middle distance rides this week:

23 Apr: 46km from home-L&T-ECP-Guillemard-Nicoll Highway-Shenton Way-pitstop at Keppel Railway Station-Robinson Rd-Nicoll Highway-Geylang Rd-Sim Avenue-Bedok-home.

25 Apr: 81km from home-TP-Paya Lebar-Airport Rd-Bartley Rd-Braddel Rd-Thomson Longhouse-Sembawang Rd-Mandai Rd-Woodlands Rd-Bukit Timah Rd-Dunearn Rd-pitstop at Newton Circus-Novena-Lavendar St-Kallang Rd-Guillemard Rd-Fort Rd-ECP-Xi Lin-L&T-home

Good thing: mileage covered.
Not very good thing: pit stops too many and too long. But i can't remember complaining about this during the stops.

Summary for week of 14 - 20 Apr 08

First event for the year!!

Monday, 14Apr: In Bintan, no training.
Tuesday, 15 Apr: In Jakarta for meeting on school.
Wednesday, 16 Apr: Still in Jakarta. Hotel had a good gym and pool. Didn't bring sports attire though.
Thursday, 17 Apr: Returned to SG too late for any training.
Friday, 18 Apr: No training.
Saturday, 19 Apr: Spent S$225 on a new 2XU tritop and tights from Kobe at Queensway. Still didn't understand why i decided to buy.
Sunday, 20 Apr: Singapore Sprint Series Biathlon.

Tribob Singapore Sprint Series Duathlon - 20 Apr 08

After a week of relatively no exercise, i finally did my first event for the year. Registered for the 3 Singapore Sprint Series event and the first was the Sprint Biathlon.

Left home circa 615am and took the train to Harbourfront before hopping into the monorail to Sentosa, the race site. There was a long queue for the timing chip and i finally got mine with about 20 mins for warm up before race starts.

Put on my newly acquired 2XU red tritop and tights, swim cap and googles, arranged the transition stuff consisting of NB735 Red, socks, 2XU visor and Adidas shades before joining Burnz at the beach for warm up. Met Sanjeev and Daniel Gan.

The race started and i tried crawling forward but the current kept pushing me to the swim ropes. Switched to froggy and reached the u-turn point realising that i was second last. The ladies wave started later and the faster swimmers were already overtaking me by the time i swam past the 600m mark. Finally completed the swim in 29:41mins.

Ran up to transition to probably consolation applause of the spectators before EsKimo told me to hurry up. Threw swim cap and googles on the floor and put on socks, NB735, visor and shades before running out for the 5km run. As usual, took a while before my legs felt like running. Caught sight of Sanjeev and levelled up with him before overtaking, only to stop at a toilet for pee-break.

Had to overtake Sanjeev again before finishing the run in 35:32mins, with an overall race time of 1:06hrs. First event done, hope this sets me up for more.

Swim: 750m
Run: 5km
Time: 1:06hrs
Shoe: NB735

Summary for week of 7 - 13 Apr 08

ICT week.

Monday, 7 Apr: First day of ICT.
Tuesday, 8 Apr: IPPT. Managed to do 5 chin ups... enough for a S$100 incentive.
Wednesday, 9 Apr: Had a terrible time at the range. Enough said.
Thursday, 10 Apr: Standby day. Expected to spend 2 hours max at the office, ended up staying till 8pm.
Friday, 11 Apr: Ops day. Classified.
Saturday, 12 Apr: Another standby day. Hospitality institute agreement signed. Milestone for me.
Sunday, 13 Apr: In Bintan to follow up on the agreement signed. Did a 40km ride from Tampines-Pasir Ris-Changi-Tanah Merah-Simpang Bedok-Tampines with Ed on her new Helios 500.

ICT Year 9 - NSKU AK04

Final year of ICT for me. Troop 2 shrunk to 13 troopers. Usual stuff, weapons training, IPPT, shooting. Did well for IPPT but can't say the same for shooting. Obviously something was wrong with the rifle when you have to zero it 7 times. The sight was still not straight and the trainers attributed it to fatique on my part. Anyhow, after 5 years of marksmanship, well... let's just say that i had to re-shoot... which i did pretty well.

Gonna miss the guys.

Summary for week of 31 Mar to 6 Apr 08

Monday, 31 Mar: No training. Ed was sick.
Tuesday, 1 Apr: No training. IPPT in a week time and i was so unfit.
Wednesday, 2 Apr: No training.
Thursday, 3 Apr: No training.
Friday, 4 Apr: Wanted to do a slow and short run at stadium so that i can be fresh for Saturday's sea swim at Sentosa with Stazla and gang but L & T ride was too tempting to resist. Thought ride was only for 60km but ended doing 99km instead. Route taken was Tampines Ave 9, Ave 10, Old Tampines Rd, Upper Serangoon Rod, Hougang Aves 2 and 6, Compassvale, Anchorvale, FernVale, Jalan Kayu, Seletar estate, Seletar Dam, Yishun, Admiralty, Woodlands, Upper Bukit Timah rd, Dunearn Rd, Lavender Street, Kallang Rd, Guillemard Rd, ECP, Coastal Rd, Loyang Way, Tampines. Too bonked out when reached home at 3am.
Saturday, 5 Apr: Got up too late to join Stazla swim session. Spent the day slacking in front of the TV and packing for ICT instead.
Sunday, 6 Apr: Slacked all day. No training.

Summary for week of 24 - 30 Mar 08

Monday, 24 Mar: No training
Tuesday, 25 Mar: No training.
Wednesday, 26 Mar: Short run + swim + run session.
Thursday, 27 Mar: No training
Friday, 28 Mar: No training, in Bintan.
Saturday, 29 Mar: No training
Sunday, 30 Mar: No training

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Mini aquathlon on a Wednesday - 26 Mar 08

I told myself and a few of my friends that i will be laying off training this week. What a big liar i am. The truth is, while i was nursing my dry cough and fever, my feet and hands were itching for any kind of workout.
Got back to work on Wednesday and weather was fine though dark clouds were lingering when the clock struck 5pm. Changed into my running attire of Mizuno white vest and black shorts, John Doe tag on ankle and NB 735 blue on feet. I also had with me a towel, goggles, swim cap and trunks.
Left office and headed for the 1km route to Jalan Besar swimming pool. Paid the S$1 entrance fee and changed into swimming attire. Jumped into the pool and started front crawl routine.
It must have been the toughest 8 x 50m i have ever swam in my life. Yes, close to 2 months ago i could't even swim freestyle but i should have been more relaxed. Thigh started to feel crampy by the time i hit the wall for the 4th time. Couldn't get into breathing on every 3rd stroke routine and ended up taking in air by the right only after every 2 pulls. Relaxed a while and continued another 4 laps, all with rest in between.
With 15mins to go before the clock hits 6pm, i decided i have had enough. At least i could swim continuously over 50m for 4 laps. Changed into running attire again and slowly ran the 1km back to office building.
Ran: 2 x 1km
Swam: 8 x 50m

Retreat and re-strategise - Part 2

So i've laid out what i intend to do and what i don't. Now the difficult part; training.
I've been doing jumpstart training for sometime now. Jumpstart training means starting at a level that is not the lowest, after being away from the sport through injury, busy working schedule or like me, sheer lazyness.
I know that my threshold level for a run is between 27-35km, depending on how far back the last race was. In addition, at my peak, circa June-Sep 06, i trained 5 times a week, on running. So the jumpstart training that i have been doing since February, after having been slacking for about 2 months after SCSM 07, was forcing myself to run distances like 13-22km at one go and having 4-5 workout sessions a week, sometimes at levels and pace i have never ventured before. The results: i find myself feeling depressed, having slow muscle recovery and prone to sickness like flu and fever, eventhough i take Esther-C every night.
Having acknowledged that this method of training does not seemed to be working well, i have decided to go back to basics, which is a very difficult thing to do.
Talked to one of my running sifus, Taz who is actually doing the same thing while recovering from an injury of sorts, and he shared with me his training regime. Run short distances; 4km, 6km 9.89km etc at slow, moderate, tempo and fartlek paces, increase distance gradually, once i feel comfortable.
Good advice. I shall go read up for a training regime for my fitness level. May be a little dificult with all the races coming up, mainly in May. But it shall be done. Short distance runs, long distance cycling and practice and practice on forward crawl swimming.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Retreat and re-strategise - Part 1

Its late March and i have yet to compete in any event. Not in good shape to do so anyway. Took time off, thought about the events and made some decisions:
Not doing:
  • Kuala Lumpur International Marathon: Not many people knew i was going for this run. Have registered, reserved hotel room and bought bus tickets home. But surely not in any mental shape to attempt this. I have every confidence of finishing the run, but not hyped up to make my way up to KL for this. Choosing round the island ride instead of the SGRunners' Prata run last weekend was probably the clearest indication of where my priorities lie nowadays.
  • Sundown Ultramarathon: Probably registered for this event in a haste, peer pressure the main reason. No doubt i have the confidence to finish this run, all 84km of it, and as i write this, am still not too late to build up enough mileage and practice run to ensure i run with comfort on race day. Then again, just like KLIM, i am not over the moon with enthusiasm to attempt this. So i'll lose 50% of the registration fee, or i can just downgrade to the 42km run. No clear decisions on that yet. I just know that i have no interest to attempt the 84km run.
  • Singapore Ironman 70.3: Major disappointment. Kak J aka Harmoni pointed out that this event will be held on the 5 day of Ramadan. What a major screw up! How can they miss that fact out? Anyhow, guess i'll take it as S$335 saved instead.

Doing (I think so):

  • Tribob Singapore Sprint Series: All 3 events, for now. Biathlon in April, Duathlon in May and Triathlon in June
  • Bidor Half Marathon: Did this in 2006, event came early this year. Looking forward to the cold Red Bull at the finishing point, plus the sumptous food served while waiting for prize presentation.
  • A Farmosa Triathlon: Read about this in the Trifam forum. Heard so much about the swim in Milo water. Hope i will be able to make it for this!
  • Bintan Triathlon: Guess this is the event i have been basing my training upon. Home territory away from home. Did the run leg last year. Just need to tell myself that there is no pressure on me, no pressure.
  • OSIM Singapore Triathlon: Volunteered during the OD Race last year. The bike route seemed rather dangerous. Hope they make some changes this year!
  • Port Dickson Triathlon: Excellent event last year. Felt safe swimming. Must try the ayam percik at the pasar tani.
  • Tasik Kenyir Triathlon: Heard a lot about Tasik Kenyir, since my gung-ho days in SIM's ODAC. But the long travel will be a major minus point.
  • Desaru Long Distance Triathlon: Having decided to give up on SG 70.3, guess there is no way in heaven or hell i am not taking part in this. Will be good if i can drive there, giving more options when comes to meals.
  • Singapore Marathon: 3rd year attempting. Probably the only marathon i'll be doing this year.
  • MR25 Ultramarathon: Not really interested in doing, but need to keep in shape for the turn of the year.

Let's just hope there are no drastic changes to my life.

Summary for week of 17 - 23 Mar 08

  • Monday, 17 Mar: 16km run at dawn followed by swim lessons after work.
  • Tuesday, 18 Mar: Travel day.
  • Wednesday, 19 May: Heavy rain spoiled my plan for 13km run. No training. Watched Ed's badminton match. My babe won her doubles match with ease.
  • Thursday, 20 Mar: 120km round the island ride with L & T riders.
  • Friday, 21 Mar: Good Friday. Butt and thigh hurt big time from the long ride.
  • Saturday, 22 Mar: Went around Singapore for food feast. Started at Little India for thosai and battura for lunch, Tanglin Mall for the best soy latte, Changi Village for chicken soup and satay for dinner and Siglap for cheesecake supper.
  • Sunday, 23 Mar: Dreamt i was running 34km. No training, other than bringing Ed for a 10km test ride on her new Polygon Helios 500.

Round the Island Ride - 20 Mar 08

Lala had been bugging me to join him for rides. Finally there was one that i was available for, though it also meant i have to give up on SGRunners' Prata run, what would have been a better choice for the events that i have planned to participate in.
Anyhow, took leave from work that day and ensured that i had enough sleep. By 7pm, i was all geared up with Zoots Bike sleeveless jersey and Bike tights. Checked on Scott AFD and to my horror, the rear tyre was flat. Spent the next 10mins trying to solve the problem but the tyre just wouldn't inflate. Desperate situation calls for desperate measures, i decided to take a cab to the startpoint. So i grabbed Red Specialised helmet and put on Shimano TR-30 on the right foot and Asics Cumulus on the left.
This ride was facilitated by L & T Bike shop, somewhere at Tampines Street 44. Managed to get to startpoint just before 8. A large group had formed, in a mixture of roadies and MTB. I got the shop machanic to fix the rear wheel's problem for $7 and bought a new pair of gloves since i forgotten to bring one.
All set to go. Wan and Raja gave a briefing before i caught up with Alex Hong from Trifam with his uber cool Triton carbon bike. Before long, the ride started and I kept to the tail of the group.
The route will takes us from Tampines Street 44 - Loyang Rd - Changi Village - Coastal Rd - ECP - Fort Rd - Guillemard Rd - Nicoll Highway - Shenton Way - Keppel Rd - Telok Blangah Rd - Pasir panjang Rd - West Coast - Jurong West - Lim Chu Kang - Neo Tiew - Kranji - Mandai - Seletar - Sengkang - Hougang - Tampines, estimated to be 120km in total.
I was supposed to accompany Lala as sweeper but found him nowhere in sight by the time we left. I assumed the sweeper's role and accompanied a MTB from Loyang till we regrouped with the front pack at the entrance to Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal Rd.
With Lala around, i joined the front pack, mainly made up of MTBs. We cruised our way through ECP and regrouped again at Fort Rd. Soon, the roadies caught up with us. From here, the next pit stop will be at Pasir Panjang Wholesale Market. We let the MTB proceed first and moved off after about 5mins. The roadies started slow but by the time we got to Nicoll Highway it was fast and furious time. My speedo recorded about 32-35km/h at this stretch.
As we left Keppel Rd, it was even faster, since there were no traffic. Speedo captured 37-39km/h at this stretch as i drafted behind, overtook, led and then drafted again behind fellow roadies. To my disappointment, there was no eatable read food served at the rest point so i had to settle for kaya toast and 3 cans of 100plus.
We moved off to the next Pit Stop, supposedly at Kranji Kopitiam. The group was spreadout pretty thinly and i was determined not to be among the last. As i passed Lala at Pandan Reservoir, i knew that i was not and after a couple of red lights, i caught up with the pack of MTBs and some roadies.
Lim Chu Kang Cemetary was the location for the next regroup point and as we waited for Lala the sweeper, i tested out Alex's Triton. Very responsive bike. Started to feel cramps creeping on right thigh so i did some stretching.
We then moved as a pack through Neo Tiew and stopped at Kranji Rd Kopi Tiam, where the other half of roadies seemed to have waited for sometime. Another dose of 100plus and a spray of deep heat later, i was ready to move off, until someone reminded me that i have forgotten to put on my helmet. Realised that i left it outside the toilet, the group left and i was among the last by the time i move off.
A couple of traffic light stops and the group got stretched even more thinly. As i entered Mandai Rd, i braced myself for the long upslope climb. I was probably down to my lightest gear and concentrated on continuously cycling my way up the slope. A lady MTB drafted behind and we finally got to the top of the slope after the entrance to Singapore Zoo.
A few riders were ahead and we motioned to ride as a pack as we caught up with them. At the junction of Seletar Rd, a police car attended to a road traffic accident involving 2 badly damaged cars. We proceeded on and rode across Lentor Ave to make our way to Yishum/Seletar Dam.
Looked like most of the riders were waiting for us as we arrived at the Dam. The place seemed to be a hangout for many bengs and mats racers. The police were there too. Raja mentioned that we have 10km to go to surpass 100km. My butt hurts.
We left via the road surrounding Seletar Airport and passed by Jalan Kayu. I would loved to have a plate of 2 prata kosong but wanted to finish the ride. We went through Fernvale, then Anchorvale and Compassvale before i led the group to Tampines Rd via my old playground at Hougang.
We regrouped for the last time at Tampines Rd and as soon as the group got bigger, we left for Tampines. I cycled-standing for most of the route by then, butt was sore real bad. Finally got to Tampines and i was contemplating on heading straight home but the promise of prata was too much to give up. Reached end point just before 4am.
The kopi shop ran out of prata but it was an enjoyable ride nonetheless. 120km in total, an increase of 30km from my last max of 90km at Desaru LD Tri.
Distance: 120km

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Swim lesson - 17 Mar 08

Venue changed to Delta pool. Very old complex. Toilet was dirty. Training pool was shallow, at 0.8m. I was tired!! No sleep, 22km run in the morning and now swim lessons at night.
Anyhow, did the usual kicking with board warmup before doing catch-up with board swim for a few laps. Revised the catch-up thumps together front crawl swimming before proceeding to normal front crawl swim. Think i found my relaxed position in thumps together front crawl as i had a very hard time swimming normal front crawl after that. Butt and legs kept on sinking. The shallower pool made me very cautious of not kicking the floor. I also had difficulty rolling over on my right (breathing left) and drank lots and lots of chlorine water (can tell by the size of my tummy after the lesson).
Coach pulled me over and said, "I got to be honest with you. I think you will take a longer time to get your swim right. You can tell for yourself. Just make sure you remain patient. There are others like you who gave up, but there are also those that completed ironman races". Think i will take that as a motivation and challenge, not a discouragement. Thanks Coach.
Batteries went flat after an hour and my shoulders were sore. Legs felt light, probably the after effects of the morning run setting in. Not a good session for me. I've seen better days.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Monday Run at Dawn - 17 Mar 08

Got back from Shah Alam at 445am and headed to office as the drop off point was at Golden Mile. Ed decided to head to her parents place and i didn't want to go all the way home when i'm right in front of the office. Entered office and made my presence felt to Linda, not the first time i appeared at office in the wee hours of the morning.
Knowing that i will not be able to sleep, i changed into Adidas white tee, black shorts, NB 735 Blue, USK on race belt, white Nike cap, Zen in hand and headed out for a run. Run started at 530am. Plan was to do a return of the 26km abandoned on Friday due to the rain and time constraint.
Started rather fast this time around. Reached Esplanade for first pit stop and continued on towards Kim Seng. Felt pace was too fast so i slowed down, to save my legs for distance ahead. Stopped at Clarke Quay for the second pit stop but by then i already felt tired. Guess the intermitent sleep on the bus didn't go too well with a morning run. I should be getting some sleep instead.
Nevertheless, i continued on, going up the Esplanade bridge and turning left towards Marina South at Maxwell Rd. Time was already 7am then so i decided against doing the long route and headed straight for the pier instead. Pit stop 3 was at the pier. Didn't bring powergel and the shops were closed so i settled for tap water.
Slowly made my way back to Raffles Place, cutting into the new road that leads to Lao Pa Sat instead of using Maxwell Rd. Last pit stop was at Esplanade, but i was dead tired by then. Walked-jogged the rest of the way back to the end point at Crawford Street.
Distance covered was 22.4km, according to
Shoe: NB 745 Blue
Feelings: Tired. Probably a very bad idea to do this run but i needed the mileage. Legs felt like jelly.