Monday, December 31, 2007

What 2008 should be.....

2008 should be..... the year i.....

1. get married
2. do at least 2 full marathons (KL and Singapore??)
3. learn to swim front crawl
4. do at least 2 OD Triathlons (Bintan and Port Dickson??)
5. conquer either Singapore 70.3 Ironman or Desaru Long Distance Triathlon
6. do Powerman Malaysia Duathlon
7. cover at least 65km for the Sundown Double Marathon

Summary for the period 2 - 31 Dec 07

Injured and stressed out for most of this month.

2 Dec 07: SCSM 07
3 - 30 Dec: No runs, no training. Instead, i spent this period screaming at my renovation contractor, carrying heavy junks from Dad's to my new place, heated arguments and discussion with parents etc.

But 2007 ended with a physical note nonetheless. Managed to lift my lazy butt to Tampines pool where i did 20 sets of 50m breast-stroke swim. Note: 20 sets and not 20 laps, difference lies in the rests in between laps.

So goodbye 2007 and hello 2008.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

2007 Reflections, reasons and excuses - where did i go wrong

Ok.. here goes... where did i go wrong.
Let's look back, way back to KL Marathon. I completed GE30km in January and must have slacked until early March. Then again, i did 2 half-marathon training runs and another 27km a week before the race. In addition, i failed to get PB for KL because of cramps circa 35km.
I did PD half Marathon early April and then did shorter distance trainings for the double half marathons at Kedah and Perak in early May. After that was ICT, where i must have slacked. Then again, i struggled at Bintan Triathlon 10km running leg because of the short, steep and undulating slopes and not because of lack of training.
I did slacked in June, where i truly suffered during the Penang Marathon. My longest run in preparation for that race was the World Harmony run. Triathlon fever set in as i started cycling.
I guess my slack period started in July, when i had to cover CD Manager's position for 3 months. Missed CBD runs as i had to be in Bintan mainly Tuesdays to Thursdays. At Bintan, i merely do gym work whenever coach Suhaimi was on duty. I managed to do 2 sprint triathlons though, Trifam sprint trial and PD Sprint Tri.
August was an equally slack month though i completed Adidas King of the Road and Desaru LD Tri cycle and sprint race. A rash attack and i had to miss AHM.
Handed over CD Manager position when James took over in Sept. Then again, didn't train when the fasting month sets in. Instead, Ed and I started eating more.
Renovation work started early October and the contractor i engaged didn't do Phua Chu Kang any justice. Checks on the house every evening left me too frustrated to train. This carried on until early December, when i finally moved in.
December came and i completed the SCSM. In addition to the medal and finisher tee, i also attained a personal worst marathon timing and a sore upper right quad muscle. Not sure if the injury is ITB but it sure does hurt everytime i lift up my leg. In addition, preparations for the wedding left me with much to think about. Its amazing how much things you need to think about for a wedding: politics, tradition etc, when most of these have no bearing on the marriage.
I think i'll just rest and ease my way back to fitness, gradually. I am reluctantly giving up MR Ultramarathon to rest. Let's see what 2008 brings!!

Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2007 - 2 Dec 2007

Got up at 3am. Showered, applied plaster and lubricants to abrasion prone areas before putting on Mizuno white vest and Adidas black tights. Grabbed my pre-packed gears and left to meet Sassyrunner. JT swung by in a cab a few minutes later and we continued on to pick up Teelee before heading for Esplanade.
The race carnival was packed with runners by the time we arrived. Finished putting on my NB735 and USK before depositing the bag. We then left for the fountain near cetopath to meet the other SGRunners.
Balasing called and we arranged to meet at the starting point. There were tens of thousands of people at the startline, but with a handphone in hand, it was a matter of time before Balasing and I met. Andy was around too and he was delighted to see us. Andy, JT and I decided to run together.
The run started before i knew it. About 2 minutes passed before i ran over the startline, signalling the start of my race. The 3 of us ran at about 6.5mins/km pace and stopped for walk breaks after every 8 minutes. Many familiar faces passes us by, including Amanda from KL, who attempted her first full marathon. I took my first pack of powergel at the 8km waterpoint.
By the time we reached the 10km mark, i knew that our pace was too slow. So, i sped up and left Andy and JT behind, after JT waved me on. Running alone was much harder. I spotted some runners running at the pace i was comfortable with, and we had an agreement only runners understand, to pace each other.
I took my second pack of gel a short while after entering ECP, circa 18km. My legs were already hurting by now but i maintained the 8 by 2 routine. As i arrived at the 25km mark, i realised that i was about an hour off last year's timing. It didn't worry me a bit as i know that i was not prepared for this race.
Came across Tey from KL after leaving the Lagoon, heading towards the u-turn point near PA. Tey was with his darling, an SLR camera. Yen Erl, also from KL and attempting her first 42km, waved from the oncoming side, meaning she was about 2km ahead of me.
I finally reached the 27km u-turn point about 3:30 into the race. Back in January, i covered GE30km in 3:20. At the entrance to Bedok jetty, i saw JT and Andy at the opposite side. I notice a lady runner jogging very slowly, but constantly. I decided to follow her pace and did so until i reached 33km, where my feet really hurt. There was also a slight pain on my right upper quad, just off the groin. I took that as my breaking point, and decided to go even slower. I abandoned the 8 by 2 routine, and concentrated on just moving forward, at whatever pace i can.
Moving forward i did, and i reached Raffles Boulevard a few minutes after 5hrs. No more running now, not even a slight jog. My chest started to hurt but that was normal for me; it occurs whenever I attempt a marathon distance. My upper right quad still threatened to cramp up.
The last 3km seems like the longest part of the race. I walked most of it and stopped just outside Esplanade to call JT. She told me she still had some way to go and i should just finish the race. I did just that, slow jogged my way to the finish line, passing by IMD for a photo pose 2 hundred metres before the finish line.
My completion time was 6:10, which was 58 minutes longer that my PB at SCSM 06, and 25mins later than my last PW at Penang 07. Thinking i have a long time to reflect, i concentrated on not letting cramps set in. I remembered very well the really bad cramp i had after the Penang race. No way will i want another of that.
I got hold of an usher to remove the timing chip off my shoe laces and handed them in to collect my medal and finisher tee. It was then a search for Ed, who completed her 10km about an hour earlier. Poor girl had to wait under the sun for me.
A really bad race for me. Not surprising given the nearly inexistant training i put in.
Distance: 42.195km
Shoe: NB735

Summary for the period 18 Nov to 1 Dec

Not the best preparation for a marathon, nowhere near.
18 Nov 2007: Demoralising run.
19 Nov - 1 Dec 2007: No runs, no training.

Demoralising Run - 18 Nov 07

I requested for this run, back during the fasting month. Brokie agreed to organise one more after an earlier success... wait... every run has always been a success.... Ronnie PM-ed to remind me about it, saying if i cannot make it.. or planned not to make it... i should inform RSM now, then. But i was all geared to for the run, so i said yes. Thankfully i did.

Met Sassyrunner and KK who drove us to Changi Village. We were the first to arrive but the group got bigger as the minute passes by. I put on my NB 735 and Nathan Hydrobelt, having already worn the Adidas black tights and Mizuno white vest. Expecting a sunny morning, i had my Oakley shades on.

Brokie briefed the group just after 7. The route will take us from Changi Village to ECP via the Coastal Road and the park connector. I did the first km with Team Brokie and Hopling before the rest joined in. Knowing there was no way i can last the run with the group of fast runners, i decided to adopt the run/walk routine. Therefore, after 8 minutes of running, i started walking, to everyone's surprise.

The route was, as the title suggest, demoralising. I was rather familiar with the road, having attempted another such run a week before KL Marathon in March. In addition, i have cycled the route numerous times. I knew there will be a traffic light somewhere, and that will be about 5km from the startpoint. Gentle was around to take some pictures, then sped off in his cool looking bike.

I was alone for most of the route, less a portion near the end of Coastal where Ultraman was guiding one of his disciples in the art of running. I tried the new route connecting Coastal and ECP, which cut across the road leading to Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal. I saw Cobalt who was heading towards me, telling me the 10km point was a few metres ahead. Then came Doraemon_Red.

Soon i reached the NSRCC and decided my u-turn point will be at the Sailing Club's toilet, about 3km away. I reached that toilet, and replenished the water in my bottles. Ultraman arrived with his disciple, and we slow jogged the way back.

Most of the runners overtook me by the time i passed by the traffic light, signalling 5km to go. My feet has started to hurt and my 8min run/2min walk turned more into 3min run/7min walk. Anyhow, a cycling race was going on and there was a huge crowd near the Changi Ferry Terminal.

Cobalt and some other runners were waiting at the entrance to the terminal. DO handed me a bottle of ice cold water and asked if i wanted a car ride back. Car ride?? with only 2km to go?? No way... was he kidding or what?? Feet nearing numb and i still had the passion to complete the run. A good sign?? Well, at least a sign....

I walked jogged the way back and finally reached the ending point, where most of the runners were gathered, already warmed down. Someone offered me an ice-cold cup of 100-plus. I had my eyes on Doraemon_Red's Pocari jello. Delicious stuff.

Good run this was, though i must be worried about my ability to finish SCSM. Nah... i know for sure, with god's will, that finishing is not an issue. 2 weeks to SCSM.

Distance: 27km
Shoe: NB 735

Monday, November 05, 2007

Summary for the period of 3 - 17 Dec 07

Ok..... lots of reasons why i have not been running.. but the fact remains... i have not been running as regularly as i should.

3 Nov 07: Tigger's Family Run
4 - 17 Nov 07: No runs, no training, unless you talking about patience.

Tigger's Family Run - 3 Nov 07

Thanks to JT, i did cover some distance.
JT came round in a cab to pick me up circa 0430hrs and we then proceeded to meet the rest just outside People's Association at Kallang. Wearing Zoots Tri Tights, King of the Road Yellow Adidas vest, footpod, Nathan Hydrobelt and cap, i put on NB735 before swallowing 2 capsules of Amino Acid with some water.
Tigger explained the route before starting the run, leading the pack consisting of YankeeII, Burnz, Terence, Tao, Celebrity Bee, JT and i. At a steady pace, we did 5km and then took a pit-stop near the floating platform at the Esplanade. After a short toilet break, we continued on along Raffles Boulevard before turning into Shenton Way via the Esplanade Bridge.
We then turned left along Maxwell Rd and headed for Marina South, where we turned left passing the front of Country Club, then left and right before eventually passing by the seafood centre. It was then a left again to pass the Country Club before a final left and ending 10km at the Ferry Terminal.
After a short toilet break where i had my first pack of powergel, JT and i started our 8min run/2 min walk routine, backtracking our way back to the NTUC club at Maxwell Rd. A short rest for waterbreak later and we were off running again, passing by Shenton Way before going under the Esplanade bridge, heading for Kim Seng at 17km.
I've started to feel tired and my feet were sore by then. The 2 minutes walk breaks felt very heavenly. We passed by Clarke Quay then Robertson Quay before taking a short cut and crossing the bridge in front of Furama Riverside Hotel, trying not to exceed our planned 27km. On the way back, to our surprise, we saw Tigger and Bee waiting at Riverside Point. They were either very fast or they took a short cut. After getting a can of 100+ at 7-11, we continued our run/walk and met YankeeII and Terence in front of Victoria Concert Hall. Exchaning hellos, JT and i left for Esplanade, where we hoped our next walk break will be.
By then, JT's footpod already showed 25km. We then decided to continue for another 2km before calling it a day, and walk all the way back to the start point at Kallang. We eventually stopped just opposite Pebbles Bay and walked the rest of the route back. The rest of the guys eventually decided to return after a while. After shower, we headed for Seah Street for breakfast at Killiney Kopitiam. Thanks to JT and Tigger for this run, really needed it.
Distance: 27km
Shoe: NB735

Summary for the period 24 Oct - 2 Nov

Slow build up for SCSM... too slow.
Wednesday, 24 Oct 2007: Wednesday run, Marina Promenade-Kim Seng-Marina Promenade.
25 Oct - 2 Nov 2007: No runs. Many excuses, mainly revolves around monitoring of renovation works at the new place.

Wed run - 24 Oct 07

Been a long while since i ran from office on Wednesdays. Knowing that i was way behind in terms of training for SCSM, i forced myself to do this. 13km, Kallang river to Kim Seng and back. Felt very unfit, but glad i ran.
Distance: 13km
Shoes: NB 735

Summary for 9 Sep to 23 Oct 2007

Fasting month covers most of this period. Then again, i ran during fasting month last year. Was just too lazy this time round.

9 - 10 Sep: No runs.
11 Sep: CBD Run.
12 Sep - 23 Oct: No runs.

Need i say more?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

CBD Run - 11 Sep 07

Been a while since i ran CBD. With the constructions at Marina South in full swing, i guess the group has a new route.

Left office and barely made it before the group leaves. Put on my new TNF Arnuva Boa 50, having already changed to my Mizuno blue vest and shorts.

Tigger briefed the group and then started the run. The 2 months or so i spent in Bintan hasn't done me any good in terms of running. Though i have completed some races during that period, i was afraid that i might have lost my running groove.

I followed the group though, trying my best to keep up with them. We headed along Tanjung Pagar Road and somehow made our to Spottiswood area before coming out along Jalan Bukit Merah. We then entered Kampong Baru Road and slowly ran towards the foot of Mount Faber.

Slowly, we ran up Mount Faber. My only other time running this way up was a long, long time ago, with NL. The lack of training showed as i struggled to make my way to the top. Nevertheless, i arrived at the summit where Tigger again briefed the group. We were to head halfway down towards Wishart Road but turn left to go up to the summit again just before we reach Wishart Road.

I was at the tail end of the group to ensure that i don't get influenced by their fast pace. Even going downhill was a problem for me as i struggled to stablelize my breathing. The way up was equally bad. The good thing was, i managed to run continuously to the summit. Though most of the other guys did 2 laps of the down-then-uphill, i was content with just one.

I made my way back to the startpoint along the same path i took to reach Mount Faber. It was a lonely run but i bumped into Vincent from Redhawk just outside the train station. After a short chat, i continued back to the start, meeting Tao along the way. We ran back the rest of the journey together.

Less than 3 months to SCSM and i'm totally unfit. With the high possibility of no training during the fasting month, i really wonder how am i to survive the Real Run, Powerman and SCSM.

Distance: 12km
Shoe: TNF Arnuva Boa 50.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Summary for the week of 2 - 8 Sept 07

Mission accomplished. Whole week in Bintan. Ran a bit.
  • Sunday, 2 Sept: Missed Yaakob's wedding, had to clear some work. No runs.
  • Monday, 3 Sept: In Bintan. A disastrous rehearsal for the Bursary event left me with a sleepless night.
  • Tuesday, 4 Sept: The big day. Event completed without major screw ups. To celebrate its completion, i did a 5.6km run from Rhino statues to Fire Station along the East-West Road with BT. Then did a light workout at FSD Gym with SK.
  • Wednesday, 5 Sept: Big load off my shoulder. Had to remain in Bintan due to the distribution of the remaining bursaries at the village schools. Did a 5km run in the evening, from junction of Logistics towards the East West Road, a right turn on East West heading towards Bintan Lagoon, then a right turn on the junction of road towards Pasar Oleh-Oleh before a left turn at the junction of SD Tunas Bangsa-Wisma BRC, ending the run in front of the soccer field.
  • Thursday, 6 Sept: Whole day out at the village. Had an hour of foot reflexology at RM's new shop at POO in the evening.
  • Friday, 7 Sept: Back in Singapore after another long day giving out bursaries at the village schools. Ops Covering CD accomplished. Hey Boss, what's my next challenge?
  • Saturday, 8 Sept: Back in Bintan for a one day site visit with a Mr JTSL from CGS. OCIPs coming up.
Felt so relieved. JN has fully taken over CD. I'm back to being the CCC.

Summary for the week of 26 Aug - 1 Sept 07

Feeling the heat.
  • Sunday, 26 Aug: Already decided against going for AHM due to rashes, so rested at home.
  • Monday, 27 Aug: No runs.
  • Tuesday, 28 Aug: In Bintan. Had a gym workout at FSD after work.
  • Wednesday, 29 Aug: Still in Bintan, still suffering from rashes. Gathering at LBV after GM meeting. Think i got bitten by sandflies.
  • Thursday, 30 Aug: Came back to Singapore late. No training.
  • Friday, 31 Aug: In Singapore, but lots of things to clear. No runs.
  • Saturday, 1 Sept: Tired, rested. No training. Watched Man Utd beat Roy Keane's Sunderland 1-0. Wonder what SAF sees in Anderson and Tevez.
Another slack week.

Summary for the week of 19-25 August 07

The high of completing a triathlon.
  • Sunday, 19 Aug: Sprint race at Desaru LD Triathlon.
  • Monday, 20 Aug: Went to Bintan for a site visit on boat with NG and OBS/RJC.
  • Tuesday, 21 Aug: Miscomm with Ed meant i had Tuesday free. Too bad didn't have my running gears with me or i could have joined the guys at CBD.
  • Wednesday, 22 Aug: Went to Bintan, no runs, no gym.
  • Thursday, 23 Aug: Still in Bintan, no training.
  • Friday, 24 Aug: Left for day shopping trip in KL. Took morning bus, reached KL just after 1. Went straight to Masjid India district. Ed shopped while i provided portering services. Left for the Curve and Ikano after that, where we had Meatball at Ikea. Took the night train back.
  • Saturday, 25 Aug: Out of nowhere, rashes developed on my hands and back. Decided against running in SAFRA AHM.
Getting tired of traveling.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Desaru Pengerang Long Distance Triathlon - Sprint Race 19 Aug 07

I was in many minds about this event. Firstly, after seeing the high waves before the LD race, i was so unsure if i could survive the swim leg. That thought was further compounded by the likening of the LD swim to that of "being in a washing machine" by someone who completed the LD race. Secondly, i was not sure if my sore bum and leg due to the LD race bike ride would recover on time.

Anyhow, i got up at 6am, trying to find every excuse known to man not to take part in the race. However, i showered and got all prepared for the race nonetheless, putting on my Zoots Tri Tights and Mizuno Orange vest. After having a bar of PowerBar Triple Threat for breakfast, i packed my stuff and left for the transition area.

At transition, i arranged my stuff according to the bike + run sequence. Among the items in the transition basket were: my Ironman socks, NB735, Adidas shades, Mizuno Orange vest, Bell Black helmet, Nike White cap, Yellow PowerBar towel from PD Tri, 1 pack of powergel, 1 powergel waterbottle filled with tap water to rinse my feet with after the swim and a bottle
of 100+.

I did my customary warm ups and stretches and headed for the beach with Sassyrunner. The sea didn't look as intimidating as the day before. I put on my swim cap and googles and went into the sea for more warming ups. That didn't do any good to my confidence as the high waves made me more afraid. I started to have serious doubts about competing. I headed back to shore, thinking about important things like work, house and Ed. Don't think i want to risk my life just for a race.

Before i could think further, the MC called out all competitors to assemble and gave a short
briefing. I didn't hear any of his briefing as the worries i was having blocked my hearing. Next thing i knew, the horn sounded signaling the start of the race.

Being at the back of the pack, i walked slowly into the water. My heart was beating very quickly. Soon the water reached my neck and i had to start swimming. Most of the swimmers were already at least 10m ahead by then. I swam. The wave was still high. I continued swimming, ensuring that i kept near the lifeguards on duty.

After a while, i called out to the lifeguard on the canoe. I asked if he could follow me and he
replied "I'm the sweeper, i only follow the last swimmer'. I then replied "I'm the last swimmer" but to my surprise he replied "No, there are others behind you". I turned back, seeing some others struggling like me. The "sweeper" came near us though, and i stroked my way slowly towards the orange buoy.

Next i realised i reached the orange buoy and needed to turn right to swim parallel to the beach. Surprisingly, this part of the swim was a piece of cake. Before long, i reached the next buoy and needed to turn right towards shore.

The swim back to shore was so much harder. Each time the wave run me over, i glided forward but then felt the current pulling me back. After a while, i decided i couldn't get to shore. I was still a distance away from the tide mark at the beach when i decided to give up, calling for the lifeguard again, telling him that i can't go in. He approached and told me to pu
t my feet down. Wah laa, i could feel the sand on my feet.

Walking until the water was at my knees, i started running to the transition area. The crowd which was still at the beach turned out to be my supporters; Littletigger, Balasing, cFred, Eunice, Sotong and wife etc. Armed with cameras, they took many photos of me running towards the transition area. 500m swim completed.

Got to my bike, put on my socks, shoes, vest, helmet, shades and drank the 100+ before leaving for the mounting line. Jerry from Trifam cheered me on as i left for my ride. Heading out, i had to turn right towards the gantry before left to the side road with the steep slope. Then is a right towards the second roundabout for a loop and left at the first roundabout back to the startline.

My legs were aching from the swim and my butt from the LD ride. I overtook a lady on a mountain bike who screamed at me to wait for her. I looked forward and reached the side road, where a group of Sikh seemed to be having some sort of activity. They cheered me on as i passed. I dismounted at the bottom of the steep slope and pushed the bike to the top.

At the main road, i saw a couple up ahead. This couple was just ahead of me during the swim. I tried catching up to them or at least maintain the distance. I overtook a couple of
father and daughter/son team after the last roundabout before reaching the transition area. IMD and Sassyrunner had already finished their race, and stood by the side of the road cheering me on. 18km ride completed.

I hooked my bike at the transition, removed my helmet, put on the cap and took a sip of
water before running out. Suddenly, the ballon gantry/banner fell towards me. It missed me but blocked my path. Without thinking too hard, i rolled on my stomach over the fallen gantry and continued my run, to the laughter of onlookers. Cfred took some pictures of me heading out (later on i found out that he accidentally ran into the cable that kept the gantry up, causing the gantry to fall towards me) while IMD joined me for the run, telling me that the run is less than the indicated 3km.

I overtook a competitor before the u-turn. Feeling a slight pain on my back, i slowed down, allowing the competitor to overtook me back. Seeing my friends near the finishing line cheering me on, i sped up and finished the race in 1:24.

A weekend well spent. I have done 2 half marathons, 1 a day apart. Now, i can add this LD relay bike ride and individual sprint, also a day apart, to the list.

Swam: 0.5m
Cycled: 18km
Ran: 2km
Time: 1:24

Summary for week of 12-18 Aug 07

Was in Singapore for only 2.5 days.
  • Sunday, 12 Aug: Got up late so missed the Trifam Brick Training.
  • Monday, 13 Aug: No runs.
  • Tuesday, 14 Aug: In Bintan, no runs.
  • Wednesday, 15 Aug: Still in Bintan, did a short gym workout at FSD.
  • Thursday, 16 Aug: Still in Bintan, no runs.
  • Friday, 17 Aug: Indonesian Independence Day. Did Bintan - Tanah Merah - Home - Changi - Tanjung Belungkor in 3hrs.
  • Saturday, 18 Aug: Desaru Pengerang Long Distance International Triathlon. I did the cycling leg.
90km of cycling, my longest ever.

Desaru Pengerang Long Distance Triathlon - The Long Distance Race 18 Aug 07

Got up at 7, showered and had breakfast at the hotel's lobby. The hotel was really dirty and rundown i wonder how they fill their rooms on normal days. Had a plate filled with scrambled eggs, 2 slices of bread, a scoop of baked beans and sausages, a cup of coffee and a glass of orange juice.

I then headed down to the race expo and bought myself a saddle pouch and a handpump from the Polygon booth, knocking me back S$40. Went back to room and got ready for the race.

Put on my Elan blue bike-tights, Mizuno blue vest, NB735 and carried my Scott AFD and other stuffs to the transition area. Hooked the bike and helmet (using Ed's black Bell instead of my usual red Specialised), i arranged my Adidas shades and gloves on the dropbar. I planned to do a full transition so took off NB735 and socks before going for body marking. Our relay race number was 902.

Followed everyone to the beach for the swim start. The sea looked very rough. I started having second thoughts about competing in the sprint race the next day. Decided i had scared myself enough, i left for the hotel lobby for a pee-break.

The race started and i returned to the transition area, where many Mat-Bikerz were all dressed up, waiting for their swimmers to pass them the baton (in this case, a hairband). I then decided to abandon the full transition idea and put on NB735, black Bell, Adidas shades and gloves and waited for Eunice at near the transition entrance.

Eunice appeared right on the hour mark. Taking the hairband from her, i ran to Scott AFD and headed out to the mounting line. The route takes me left out of the hotel before U-turning about 2km away. Then will be straight out to the gantry before left to the mainroad, u-turning at the 12.5km mark. About 8-9 km before u-turning at the round-a-bout and the rest of the trip will be riding back to the startline, completing a 30km loop. LD race required us to do 3 of those loops

I started slow, trying not to burn out prematurely. The beautiful weather turned into a slight storm by the time i got to the mainroad. Crosswinds nearly pushed me off the road a number of times. The undulating terrain surely posed a challenge to all. My chain gave way, due to frequent meddling with the crank, somewhere along the 20km mark. I continued on with Tigger overtaking before i completed my first loop in 1:15. Slow that i was, i counted at least 13 slopes per loop.

Second loop was uneventful, other than a rider in black scolding me for blocking his way. Swore i didn't hear him calling out. My chain gave way twice during this loop. Anyhow,
someone passed me a banana, already halfway peeled, and i did a circus act balancing the bike to move forward while munching on the banana, at the start of the third lap.

Tri-Jon told me before the race that there is a steep slope just before we hit the main road. I went real slow up that slope on the first 2 laps, but for the third, i decided to dismount and push the bike up that slope. Many riders behind me did the same, including this other relay "brudder", who i paced throughout the last lap. Didn't catch his name, though we constantly overtook each other, waving as we passed.

Turning back at the last roundabout, i must have cycled for about 2km before seeing IMD, Sotong, Balasing and Roonz. At the last 3km, i started to feel tightness on my left thigh. The road was rather empty by then and i could cycle for a distance without meeting anyone on either direction. Afraid that i could get cramps, bearing in mind there wasn't anybody else nearby that could hear even if i screamed, i decided to slow down everytime i feel the cramp nearing. Thankfully, i hit the intersection where i needed to turn left towards the startline.

Within a few minutes, i was already back at the transition, where Fennel was all geared up to start her running leg. I passed her the hairband, and she started running. My cycling time was 3:54, well within my aim of 4hrs. I then led my bike to my transition area, hooked it up, and continued walking, so afraid that the cramp will set in. I went up to the Milo van, and took 2 cups. Milo never tasted so good before.

I then joined Charmane and Eunice at the Bike Boutique tent, to give out ice to the runners and tucking some inside my tights. Fennel, being the good runner that she is, finished her race within 1:50.

Excellent race this event, though i must say again that unless i do the main event, i will always feel like a second class citizen. Therefore, i will do the individual LD event next year, but first, the sprint race the next day.

Cycling Distance: 90km
Cycling Time: 3:54

Ferry hopping: Bintan - Singapore - Desaru

Wanted to take leave but 17 August is the Independence Day for Indonesia and as a "PR" there, it was compulsory for all else like me to be present for the Big Day observation ceremony. Rest of the guys were probably on their way to Desaru while i sat watching the red and white flag being raised.

Anyhow, having obtained permission to skip the night activities, i left for Singapore while the sun was still high. Cabbie at TMFT tried to con me by informing that a surcharge will be imposed on the trip. I told him to cut the crap, having taken taxis for 5 years from the same spot without having to pay any surcharge. So i took the next cab, who also tried to con me with the same surcharge crap at first but changed his mind once i started speaking Singlish.

I was home half an hour later and immediately gathered my pre-packed stuff and bike. Got my father to send me to Changi Ferry Terminal via his cab (no issue of surcharge this time), stopped by Changi Village to ta pao some food. Its amazing how lacking in creativity the hawkers are; 1 sells Nasi Lemak, everyone sells Nasi Lemak. One sells Nasi Ayam Penyet, everyone sells Nasi Ayam Penyet. I got myself 1 pack of Nasi Lemak with extra chicken wing, 2 fried popiah swimming with chilli sauce and 2 goreng pisang.

Reached Changi Ferry Terminal and immediately checked in. While waiting for ICA to start working, i had my feast. Cleared immigration and was on the ferry within minutes. Met some guys who went to PD with me a few weeks ago but can't remember their names.

Ferry left for a 30mins journey to Tanjung Belungkor, passing by the unnatural-looking Pulau Tekong most of the way. On arrival, cleared immigration and surrendered my bike to a transport coordinator from Golden Beach Resort. He then ushered me to a Pajero and after loading 3 other persons with me in the post-20 year old jeep, the driver started heading towards Desaru.

My last and probably only previous trip to Desaru was with SL and BT, on a study trip at the nearby fruit plantation a few years ago. Other than the fruits and the dirty hotel, i couldn't remember anything else about Desaru.

We stopped by a Petronas station to get supplies before continuing to the hotel. My worst fears came true when i saw where we were stopping; that same dirty hotel. Called IMD and Balasing and was told to head up to the briefing room. Uncle Chan was giving his briefing about the LD race. He must have been a comedian in his younger days as the crowd were laughing throughout the briefing.

Met Eunice, my team swimmer, and we headed towards the registration booth. I registered my team name as Euhan, back when i thought I could do the bike and run legs. Decided against it and Fennel asked if she could join as runner. So i guess my team name will be Euhanli (EUnice-RaiHAN-AiLI). Also registered for the sprint before remembering that i had totally forgotten about my bike. In panic, i saw my bike and thought that the Bike Boutique stall was the bike collection centre. Grace from TBB went into blur mode when i told her that i wanted to collect my bike. IMD clarified the situation.

We then went back to hotel, then to dinner where i had a special beef burger (note: not beef burger special, difference lies in the kind of egg served) and lots of mosquito bites. Went back to hotel and prepared for my 2 races.

Fennel arrived later on. By then,i was on my way to dreamland. Next day is race day.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Summary for week of 5-11 Aug 07

Started with a long run, ending with a long ride.
  • Sunday, 5 Aug: Adidas King of the Road.
  • Monday, 6 Aug: Collected bike from Chapter2cycle after returning from Bintan. Rode the 5km back home.
  • Tuesday, 7 Aug: CBD Run.
  • Wednesday, 8 Aug: Day trip to Bintan. Comtemplated on going to KL for the weekend's PJ Half Marathon.
  • Thursday, 9 Aug: Happy National Day Singapore. Got up late for the bike ride so slacked all day. Called Hotel Noble and was told that they are full for the weekend. So PJ plan off.
  • Friday, 10 Aug: Took leave to slack.
  • Saturday, 11 Aug: With Desaru Long Distance Triathlon looming, i decided to join Teelee for a morning ride. Had goreng pisang at JB after that.
Good training week. 1 week to go to Desaru LD Tri.

Saturday morning ride - 11 Aug 07

I've been itching for a ride ever since i collected my bike from Chapter2cycle. Ned did a great job in servicing the bike, changing the not-comfortable-at-all bull-horn and aerobar handle to just plain ol' dropbar with Shimano 105 STI set courtesy of Hedgehog. I also fixed Cateye Astrale 8 Cyclometer with Cadence. After spending National Day and Friday slacking, I was relieved when Saturday morning came.

Got up at 530am, showered and put on my Elan Blue bike tights, Adidas Adistar Orange tee, socks and NB105. I carried my bike down and put on my helmet, cycled out to the bus stop at St 51 to meet Teelee. Managed to buy a bottle of H2O before starting the ride at 0640hrs.

The plan was to cycle 60km, doing a Hougang to Mandai and back. We cycled at a steady 25-27km/hr until we reached Thomson Rd/Casuarina via Ang Mo Kio Ave 5. Turning right to Thomson Rd, we managed to catch sight of Freddie, Dreamrunner, DO and Cheow running along the Animiles route. The undulating hills of Thomson Road varied my speed from as slow as 20km/hr on the climb to excess of 40km/hr during the descend. We arrived at the junction of Mandai Rd with Astrale 8 showing the distance covered being 8km.

We then cycled past the entrance to Mandai Executive Golf Course and headed for Upper Pierce Reservoir. Then was the downhill road towards the Zoo, where i could have reached a max of 50km/hr had it not been for a truck driving too close for comfort. We arrive at the KJE Mandai flyover and cycled past the Police Tactical Training Camp. It was then a right turn into Woodlands Road.

The heavy vehicles plying the route after that made me pay more attention to the traffic than the road names. Next i realised was passing by Sungei Buloh Mangrove area. Teelee then mentioned to me about going via an alternative route, which he was not sure of. I was enjoying the ride so i agreed.

We cycled on and came towards Neo Tiew area, where my chain came off the crank for the first time. Luckily there wasn't any breaks and i was back riding after realigning the chain. We cycled the curvy Neo Tiew area, passing by farms after farms. After a while, i saw a sign displaying Sungei Kadut camp. I then realised that i am at Lim Chu Kang area. We passed by the Armour Camp, Cemetaries, Civil Defence Academy and NTU before entering Jurong West neighbourhood.

Taking a bus from Jurong West back to Hougang would normally take me about 1.5hrs. Cycling was a different story. As Teelee was unsure of the route, i took the lead, cycling along Corporation Rd until we reached the flyover separating Jurong West, East and Bukit Batok. We entered Bukit Batok, passing by Millenia Institute and Bukit Batok Interchange/MRT. It was then a left turn further on and we made a pit stop at a Shell station at Old Jurong Road.

I loaded my bottle cage with a new bottle of H2O and also bought a can of Red Bull, as well as a bottle of mineral water to take my powergel with. We continued our ride, heading towards Toh Yi area and then down Jalan Anak Bukit before turning left to Dunearn Rd. I had a pee-break and then continued cycling until we reached the flyover of Adam Rd Food Centre where we turned left towards Lornie Rd.

Lornie Rd was busy with traffic. I was delighted when we reached Macritchie Reservoir/Andrew Rd area. We continued on along Thomson Rd and then opted for the gradual incline at Old Thomson Rd.

By then, we had covered 60km. As i had an appointment at 1130hrs, we decided to call it a day, cycling along Yio Chu Kang Rd towards Hougang. Teelee continued on to his house at Ave 1 while i did an extra loop of my block to make the distance 70km.

Great ride on a lovely morning. Certainly beats the dull and demoralising Coastal Road.

Distance: 70km

Thursday, August 09, 2007

CBD Run - 7 Aug 07

My first CBD run, after a long while. Left office wearing my Mizuno white vest and black shorts. Arrived at the startpoint, seeing Tiwazz, Tigger, Tao, ST, YankeeII, Sxuanjing. Jamesoh and Charlotte joined later. Put on my NB735, with USK-filled Nathan pouch on my waist.

After a short briefing on the route, Tigger started the run. The plan was to run along Shenton Way towards Esplanade before turning right to Marina Promenade. Upon reaching the bridge above Marina Bay, we are to do 4 sets of 1km intervals at our own pace, ending at the bridge above Kallang River.

Charlotte was leading most of the way in the first part and we were joined halfway by aerosolcan. I started fast, trying to warm up and perspire as much as possible. We took a 2 minute breather before starting the first set. I started fast but soon tire out, finishing in 5:05. Subsequent timings are as follows:
  • Set 1: 5:05
  • Set 2: 5:25
  • Set 3: 5:45
  • Set 4: 5:35
We then walked and jogged back to the startpoint. May have been a work out too much for my leg still recovering from King of the Road, but feeling the amount of perspiration on my body after the run made me feel good. I still feel unfit though.

Distance: 8km
Shoe: NB735

Adidas King of the Road, Bandar Sunway - 5 Aug 07

Got up at 0500hrs and showered. Applied Neat Cream to abrasion prone areas and plastered nipples. Put on my SGRunners vest, Adidas black shorts, Adidas cap, Nathan pouch with USK , Creative MP3 player and a pack of powergel, socks and NB735 before heading out to Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman to wait for Yeehua and her super red Kenari. Had a pack of Triple Threat Powerbar and 2 capsules of Amino Acid while waiting.

Yeehua arrived and drove us to Bandar Sunway, which was already packed with runners by the time we arrived. Met Runwitme at the overhead bridge on my way to the reporting line. Entered the reporting area after a pee break and was issued with a pink ribbon. Did my routine stretches and warm ups and saw Kimberley Yap and other Malaysian runners.

Dr Sammy Velu flagged off the race just after the area was blackened out courtesy of a power failure. With Creative playing Robbie Williams' "Let me entertain you", I did a slow jog and looked out for a nice place to pee. I stopped at the side of the road after coming out of the underpass for a pee-break. Continuing the run, i saw Runwitme again and picked up speed to get level with Divey, who was wearing a Safra running vest. I saw Karen, the powerbar girl, and chatted for a while.

The first drink station appeared after 5km and i took the chance to replenish lost fluid. It was a surprise that the drink station served 100plus, though semi-chilled. I continued my run and before long, saw the first group of elites on the opposite side of the highway. Soon, more familiar looking runners appeared, consisting of Bose, then Charles, then Yeehua, then Ronnie, then Renohtaram and finally Karen.

I reached the u-turn point soon after, and approached the drink station. I was surprised not to find plain ice-water as i planned to take my pack of powergel then. So i grabbed 2 cups of 100plus and continued the run, seeing Amanda, Runwitme and Ham approaching from the opposite side.

The second 10km was rather boring and i felt very tired. Feet weren't hurting, just that i felt lazy. I began to wonder if i have lost the ability to run long distance, not forgetting the fact that my last run beyond 5km was Penang Bridge Marathon, more than a month ago. I shoo-ed away the negative thought, and decided to enjoy the music on my Creative, which was playing U2's "It's a beautiful day".

Divey caught up with me and i decided to follow her pace. After a while she told me not to wait for her, and i told her that i thought she was waiting for me. We continued running together for a while until we reached the last waterpoint, about 3km to the finishing line. The time was already 2:00 by now, and i knew that i will not be breaking any records.

Elvis was singing "A little less conversation" as i approached the last km, leading to the underground tunnel. Saw some photographers including Tey at the end of the tunnel. The upslope and final stretch towards the finishing line seemed a daunting distance but Holly Valance was telling me "It's all in the mind". I decided to increase my pace and finished the run in 2:11.

The official at the finishing line did not hand out a medal to me so i guessed they ran out of it. Had a few gulps of Milo and 100plus while looking for Ronnie, Charles, Yeehua and Ham. Saw them before seeing Amanda heading towards the aid station. I caught up and was told that she fell at the start, getting scratches at the knee and palm, and yet she completed the run. Amazing. We left a while later.

Honestly, i felt unfit and unprepared. This time a year ago, i was averaging 35-40km a week. This year, i can barely get half of that. Have i bitten more than i could chew? Have i become complacent? Perhaps i have. I have long knew that i just don't have the natural fitness and thus need to train hard. Well at least i acknowledge that, and hopefully that will spur me to rectify things.

Distance: 21.1km (on paper)
Shoe: NB735
Time: 2:11

Summary for week of 29 July to 4 Aug 07

Running season's here again!!
  • Sunday, 29 July: Volunteered at OSIM Singapore Triathlon Olympic Distance races. Was offered a role at VIP tents but requested for transition area marshall instead. Located at the overhead bridge where athletes crosses over from swimming to biking and from biking to running, i was at the thick of the action. Good point as the transition area was a mud bath. Pity those who take great pain to clean their bikes. Together with my buddy Iceman, also an SGRunner, we directed athletes up and down the bridge. Must say that less the relay cyclists, everyone of the competitors passed by my point. The elite triathletes were inspirational, while it was great to see others like Jerry, Peter, Jon, Alan etc from Trifam, as well as SGRunners like IMD, Sotong, Roonz, Littletigger etc.
  • Monday, 30 July: Busy at work, no training.
  • Tuesday, 31 July: At Bintan, plan for gym workout was shelved due to a departmental celebration.
  • Wednesday, 1 Aug: Did shoulders, back, abs and legs workout at FSD gym before running a 2.4km just for the heck of it. Beginning to love the NB735; the cushioning's really soft.
  • Thursday, 2 Aug: New Community Development Manager reported for work. Did some orientation for him before i returned to Singapore. Got home and cycled to Chapter 2 Cycle at Ang Mo Kio, where Ned recommended some work my bike needed to be put through. In detail, i will be changing to Richey dropbar with STI set donated by Hedgehog, change a new pair of brakepads for rear brakes and service the whole bike. Hope my bike will look normal after this. Had the pleasure of meeting Mr Ironman himself, Dr Siong from SGrunners. After handing over the bike to Ned, i did a 5km run back home before meeting Ed for late dinner.
  • Friday, 3 Aug: Cleared paperwork in preparation for ISO renewal audit. Packed for KL trip.
  • Saturday 4 Aug: Together with Ronnie, Ham and Charles, left for KL for the Adidas King of the Road. Collected my racebibs from Runwitme at Sunway Pyramid before having lunch at Tony Romas. Must admit that the Bountiful Beef Ribs were uber delicious. Nuah-ed at KLCC after checking in at Hotel Noble and had Maggi Goreng for dinner before retiring just before 2200hrs.
August is going to be a busy month.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Summary for week of 22 - 29 Jul

More work!!
  • Sunday, 22 Jul: Still at PD. Cheered and took pictures during the Olympic Distance race. Saw many familiar faces including, Teelee, Sassyrunner, cfred, Runner's High aka Azwar, Kimberley Yap, Jerry, Alan etc.
  • Monday, 23 Jul: Back at work. Heel hurt from the race at PD. Probably due to the shoe.
  • Tuesday, 24 Jul: In Bintan, did some gym work at the fire station.
  • Wednesday, 25 Jul: Heel still hurt, so watched the soccer match between Admin and EHD. EHD won 2-1 by the way.
  • Thursday, 26 Jul: Returned to SG, too tired to run.
  • Friday, 27 Jul: Putting my Real Run Club card courtesy of KINs to good use, bought a new pair of shoes in NB735, a lightweight cushioning trainer, at a lot of discount.
  • Saturday, 28 Jul: Did a 20km bike and 5km run at ECP, wearing my new NB735. Felt good. The cushioning is soft and the shoe is light. Best of all, it is very cheap compared to other shoes i purchased in the past year.
1 week to Adidas King of the Road. Better start running far soon, or i'll suffer again.

Summary for week of 15 - 21 July

The week i became a tri-athlete, officially.
  • Sunday, 15 Jul: Wasn't feeling well, so skipped the run at Toa Payoh stadium.
  • Monday, 16 Jul: No runs. Had family dinner, father's belated birthday.
  • Tuesday, 17 Jul: No runs. Too much work in Bintan.
  • Wednesday, 18 Jul: No runs. Still in Bintan.
  • Thursday, 19 Jul: No runs, still in Bintan.
  • Friday, 20 Jul: No runs. Returned to SG, unpacked and repacked for PD Tri.
  • Saturday, 21 Jul: PD Triathlon.
Another dream fulfilled, another chapter completed.

Port Dickson International Sprint Triathlon - 21 Jul

My first Triathlon race. I just decided to do this as soon as i bought my bike. I was really panicking in getting transportation and accommodation sorted out. It was even more panicking for me when our coach arrived at PD just after 12, meaning less than 2 hour before race begin.

Having changed into my Zoots Tritights, i headed for the bike check in/transition area and arranged my stuff. It was very tricky as the weather was not very accommodating to us. It started with light drizzle, then got heavier. I arranged my stuff in the basket provided and covered them with a tiny plastic bag which somehow i could find.

I then made my way to the swim start and realised that i have not done my body marking. So i had to run back to the transition area. The markers had a hard time writing my number and gave up after a short while. They told me to shout out my number when i run past the recorders. I then ran back to the start point.

Not the compose pre-race preparation i expected. I managed to catch a bit of the final race briefing before the YB blew the horn, signaling the start of the sprint race. I let everyone past before entering the water, walking until the sea water reaches my chest level. There were many behind me, all, like me, lacked confidence in swimming.

I stuck close to the swim rope and was glad to reach the first buoy. I think i kicked someone, and turned around to apologise. Slowly, i stroked my way to the u-turn point and saw just a few swim caps ahead of me. The rest must have completed their swim. With confidence building in me, i completed my swim but realised that i did not start my stop watch. Hopeless me.

I did a light jog to the transition area. reaching my bike, i struggled to put on my wet socks and Adidas Adistar. The last time i wore this shoe was during run session at Toa Payoh, where i fainted. I hope it brings me better luck this time round. Anyhow, no need for shades this time, and i put on my helmet before pushing my bike to the mounting line.

No cyclometer so no idea how fast or far i've cycled. I was blocked by a car just before heading into the highway. I saw many cyclists, but all on the opposite side. Alone, i cycled to the u-turn point. On the way back, a marshall on a motorbike decided to keep me company. We managed to strike up some conversation, and he told me that i was cycling at 40km/hr at one of the sections. I was a cyclist ahead of me and decided to overtake. The cyclist turned out to be Fennel and we finished the biking leg together.

Hooking up the bike, i took off my helmet and started to run. My legs were heavy now, but i tried to maintain the cadence i used for the biking leg. After a while, Fennel and me overtook some participants before i told her to leave me behind. I managed to get into my running groove just before the u-turn point. Then on i increased pace with every steps and finished the race in 1:29.

Collected my race medal and a nice looking powerbar towel. Had some Milo-peng before heading back to the race expo, deliberating on joining the Olympic Distance the next day.

Good race, i felt like the king of the world having finished the swim leg.

The way up to Port Dickson

My second trip to Port Dickson in 3 months. Could still remember running in the storm during PD Half and driving the way back on NL's car. Anyhow, got up very early and headed for Lavender Bus Terminal, courtesy of my dad, to meet Tri_Jon and gang. I barely know anyone from my bus and was happy to see Fennel, SV and Divey. Unfortunately, they will be going on a different bus.I made myself useful helping Peter and Jon load up the bikes on the bus. It is really innovative how they use the seats as a bike stand. Forgot to take pictures though. Meet new friends in Whelan, who will also be my roomie at Selesa Hotel, Amy, Kim, Peter, Colin etc.

Bus left for Tuas slightly after 7. Cleared immigration at both ends and i started to sleep. The journey took longer than i expected, even TIC the rest and toilet breaks. Anyhow, we reached PD just after 12, meaning less than 2 hours to report, collect race kit, get myself ready for the race, check in bike etc. Wonder how the race will be. Well, guess i will know in 2 hrs time.

Summary for week of 8 to 14 July

Too much travels...
  • Sunday, 8 Jul: Trifam Sprint Trial. Cycled home with Joe aka Beckham after the race, via Still Road, Hougang Ave 3, 2, 10 and 8. Rushed to attend NL's sister's wedding, which reminded me that i need to finalise mine soon.
  • Monday, 9 Jul: Meeting at work. Too much to clear.
  • Tuesday, 10 Jul: In Bintan, had to fight fire so no time for training.
  • Wednesday, 11 Jul: Returned to SG late, too late for training.
  • Thursday, 12 Jul: Got up very early to catch the first Garuda flight to Jakarta. Upon arrival, i heard that the EU sent out an advisory against traveling via Indonesian flights due to safety issues. Busy day with meetings.
  • Friday, 13 Jul: Returned to SG. All these traveling made me sick, literally. I was down with fever.
  • Saturday, 14 Jul: Overslept when i should have been up at 430am to join Trifam riders for morning ride.
No exercise, just travels.

Monday, July 09, 2007

TRIFAM Sprint Race - 8 July 2007

I only joined Trifam a week ago and Jerry suggested i take up this challenge, to provide me with experience in swimming in the sea. So, as always, i registered first and then worked out what to do and how to do. I had never swam 750m out at sea and never cycled competitively.

Got up at 5am, showered and packed my stuff. Put on my newly acquired Zoot Mesh Trifit tights and Mizuno white/orange vest. Applied some lubricants at abrasion prone areas before leaving my dad's house at 6am. Thanks to my dad who then drove me to my new apartment
to collect my bike, before dropping me off at the race venue, NSRCC Sea Sports Centre.

When i arrived, only the fellas from the Bike Boutique was around. As the sun rose, more people arrived, Gentle, Paul and Jerry. The only person from Trifam i knew was Gentle, though i also knew that Gugugaga and Hedgehog will also take part. I made myself useful by helping the committee set up for the race. When my help was no longer required, i snapped some photos before Joseph the CSM called for everyone to register for the race.

I registered, paid and was given number 26, and went for body marking where number 26 was written with thick black marker pen on my 2 arms and thighs. I then followed the crowd to place my
bike and stuffs at the bike stand.

Having done all the necessary, i waited for CSM Joseph to give a briefing and collected a bright colored swim cap for easy identification. Just before 0800hrs, we were all ushered to the startpoint, a ramp to the sea. I stayed at the back of the group, so as not to get kicked and not to get in the way of the fast swimmers.

The horn blew, and off we went. I had no confidence in finishing the swim leg and so did a slow start. However, that may not be slow enough as i got nervous upon approaching the first buoy. I realised that i might drown if i don't quit. Luckily, the safety swimmer was just nearby and he helped to calm me down. I rested by holding on to the buoy for about 10 seconds before continuing on. My race then was from one buoy to another. I rested for another 10 seconds upon reaching the 2nd buoy, with the safety swimmer encouraging me continuously. From then onwards, i managed to gather my courage and continued my slow breaststrokes, maintaining momentum and regular breathing. Before i knew it, i reached the u-turn point.

I focussed on the end point on the swim back, and slowly stroked my way to it. I realised that every other swimmer had finished their swim but continued on, knowing that this is not my race with them, but myself. My goggles were already fogging up by now and i realised that i've been focusing on the wrong point all the while when the safety swimmer told me to turn a little to the left. I then powered on and finished the swim, to the applause and good wishes of Joseph and Gentle. (I think they were worried that i may drown... hell, i was worried that i might drown). Someone then opened the tap and hosed me down with fresh water before i jogged towards the transition area.

Some fellas helped me put on my gear and i ran out with the bike for the biking leg. I cycled slowly towards Coastal Road, and went faster as i got under the canopies. There were many cyclists at coastal, but none of them were my fellow competitors. One appeared soon after, but on the opposite side of the road. I experimented with the gears and aerobars before reaching the u-turn point, knowing that i was still last. I had no cyclometer on the bike and i forgot to press the lap function on my Polar during transition but i felt the return trip was faster. I reached the transition area and realised that competitors like Hedgehog and Jonathan had not only arrived, but completed their race.

I put the bike on the rack, took off the helmet and put on the cap and ran straight out for the running leg. I had no idea where the route will bring me to. More runners were on the opposite side, powering to the finish point. I continued on and saw the waterpoint just up ahead. I stopped where a little fella gave me 2 cups of gatorade. After Changi Sea Sports Club, i saw Jerry who was marshalling. I realised that there was a lady competitor up ahead. I tried slowly to get to her but caught up with 2 young competitors instead, who was 12 and 13 years old. I got them to continue running, following my slow pace, while constantly trying to chase the lady runner.

I stopped for another gulp of gatorade before running slowly towards the finishing line. I received some encouragement from other cyclists. I then saw the roof of NSRCC's main building and increased my pace before finishing the race in 1:49hrs.

My only surprise was that i completed the swim leg. Good training this sprint trial. Thanks to Trifam committee for organising this race. A special mention goes out to the safety swimmer who helped me so much. I was so shacked after the swim that i didn't even asked for his name. Owe you 1 bottle of 100plus bro.

Next race, Port Dickson Sprint Tri. First, better to get more swim done.

Swim: 0.75km
Bike: 20km
Run: 5km
Time: 1:49hrs
Shoe: NB 1060

Summary for the week of 1 - 7 July

The week i started my overseas posting.
  • Sunday, 1 July: MILK Run.
  • Monday, 2 July: On leave, lepak. No runs but went to Tiong Hin to buy rear and front blinkers for my bike.
  • Tuesday, 3 July: Was in Bintan. Did some gym work and a short run.
  • Wednesday, 4 July: Still in Bintan, wanted to swim at Nirwana Beach Club after work but my buddies decided to practice their swings at Bintan Lagoon Range, in preparation for the company's golf challenge.
  • Thursday, 5 July: Came home, too tired to run.
  • Friday, 6 July: No runs.
  • Saturday, 7 July: Got up late for morning ride, it was raining anyway. Watched over-the-top action movie, Die Hard 4.0 before catching up with SGRunners at their 2nd year anniversary.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Mainly I Love Kids Run - 1 July 2007

1st July was supposed to be Ipoh International Run for me but the less than exciting route of Ipoh Centennial Run in May made me change my mind. So when Ed told me she has registered for MILK Run, i did the same.

Arrived at race location at 1445hrs. Changed into my race attire and met TLR who kindly offered his car as baggage counter. Left for startpoint where i met Runwitme and FBB. I realised that i was not wearing my Polar. Good excuse to slack??

Before long, the emcee and DPM flagged us off. I started the race slow, not just because of the crowded route, hot weather but also because i remember last year's disastrous run when i tired out after just a few km.

Weather was hot, though not as last year, but hot nevertheless. Bad decision to run past first waterpoint at Riverside point without drinking. Ran past Central, Boat Quay before u-turning at Fullerton bridge hoping for a waterstation. Continued running past Empress place and thankfully there was a waterpoint before Clarke Quay. Started second loop after Clarke Quay and continued running slowly, as slow as Marathon pace. No idea on finishing time but had 2 100plus and a banana while waiting for Ed, who ran the 4km Community Run with her best friend.

Distance: 8.4km
Shoe: Asics Cumulus (Not comfortable this shoe)

Summary for week of 24 to 30 June

Another marathon completed.
  • Sunday, 24 June: Penang Bridge International Marathon.
  • Monday, 25 June: Zombied at work after a 11hr bus ride back to SG.
  • Tuesday, 26 June: CBD Run.
  • Wednesday, 27 June: Brick training.
  • Thursday, 28 June: Travel day, no runs.
  • Friday, 29 June: Engagement day.
  • Saturday, 30 June: No training. Cancelled morning ride. Watched last football match at Kallang Stadium. Singapore gave too much respect to Viduka and Kewell and lost 3-0 to Australia.
Good training week. Next race at PD Tri, 21 July.

Friday, June 29, 2007

OSIM Singapore Triathlon: Manual Timekeeping volunteers required

Asked Harmoni if she needs help for the event and she said "yes, i need 20 volunteers to be manual timekeeper on 29July. You will be given a tee-shirt, 2 meals and some $$. The only problem is you'll have to report at 5am. Interested? Can you get me about 20 people?"

I've found 4.... so far.

I got posted out

Got a call.... "Can you come to the meeting room, now?"

I knew what the issue was about. Someone left, job still needed to be done, so a replacement is required. My first question was, "temporary rite?" The answer was "yes", meaning "until we find the right person, when we find the right person."

My answer... "no problem boss. I'll take the job."

So from 1 July onwards, I'll be spending 3 days a week in Bintan. I'll take it as a weekly 3day 2 nights tour. Lets just see how things go.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Brick Training - for a start

Having signed up for Port Dickson Triathlon Sprint event, i felt the need to train my swim as well as bike. Heard so much about brick training i.e. running after swimming. So as Wednesday came, i took the exercise-at-1700hrs priviledge granted by the boss to do just that.

Left office just after 1700hrs. With my Adidas white/red vest, Black tights, Asics Cumulus, Nathan Waist Pouch filled with USK, goggles and towel, i headed for Jalan Besar Swimming Pool. Took me about 10mins to reach the pool. Slotted in S$1 for the entry ticket and deposited my non-swimming stuff at the locker.

Jumped into the pool and started swimming, frog-style. Did 15 laps with breaks after every lap. Took about 35mins.

Having completed the 15laps/750m swim, i rushed to the locker and put on my shoes, vest and other essentials and ran out of the complex, headed towards my office building, about 1km away.

My legs certainly felt like bricks when i started running. Wonder if thats the reason why they call this brick training.

Run: 2km
Swim: 15laps/750m with rest
Shoes: Asics Cumulus

CBD Run - 26 June 2007

2 days after Penang Bridge Marathon, and my legs were aching all over. Quads, hamstrings, calves, shin, forefeet, heels, they all hurt. Nevertheless, i heard that the best recovery, besides rest and massage, is a relaxing recovery run. Just in time, Tuesday meant CBD Run.

Changed to my Mizuno Blue vest and shorts and headed towards the startpoint at Tanjung Pagar MRT Station, where a group of runners such as Tiwazz, Philip, Edwinchiam, Tekko and Fennel were waiting. Put on my NB 1060 and waited for Tigger to brief on the route. He did just that, saying we'll be running Set A; our normal Marina South 10km route. TLR and FD dropped by to let the SGRunners moderators try out the new polo t-shirt. I so must get 1.

The run started soon after. I followed the last person but was soon overtaking a few ahead of me. Loneshark gave some advice about biking and the equipments i need to get. After a while, i felt the urge to pee and as we passed the Marina Bay Station, i left the group and headed for the toilet.

Continuing my run, i was all on my own, trying to catch up with the pack. Saw Tiwazz, barebodied, running back to the startpoint i assume. Caught up with Ronnie and Bee, and asked if they mind accompanying me for the longer 10km route. Bee agreed and so we set off. I followed the couple at Bee's steady pace. Before long, i felt like a lightbulb and decided to speed up, saying thank you to them.

I reached the startpoint where Tigger was on hand to offer me a cup of H2O. A good run this CBD. Unfortunately, with the IR development, the route is no longer safe for runners. However, i'm sure we'll find some other route to run at.

Distance: 10km
Shoes: NB 1060

Penang Bridge International Marathon - 24 June 2007

The alarm sounded at 0030hrs. Kayano was first to the toilet, while i gave myself 5mins after another. Eventually, i got to my feet and left the room for the common toilet for a shower. A shower at 1am, not to sleep but to start running.

Applied NEAT Cream to abrasion prone areas (which reminds me, need to get Brudder Burnz to buy for me a new tube) and plasters too. I then donned my SGRunners vest, Adidas black shorts, USK, Adidas cap (by now my signature race attire), socks and NB 1060. Strange that i opted for NB 1060 instead of Asics Cumulus, i still can't recollect the reason why. Nevertheless, i had a pack of Protein Plus before heading out towards the startline by 0200hrs, just 10mins walk from the hotel.

Got to the reporting centre and was angered by the race referee and official's insistence for 2 racebibs to be put on at chest-level. I have raced numerous times, mostly in Malaysia and never once was i threatened with disqualification for not putting on 2 number bibs, at chest-levels, with safety-pins. Imagine this, a RM50 registration fee, 10 hour bus ride, got up at midnight, and disqualified because i wear 1 racebibs instead of 2. Hhhmm, ridiculous isn't it, more like chicken shit to me.

Preferring to be the victim, Teelee and i ran back to the hotel and grabbed the racebibs, and ran back to the reporting centre. The officials continued their chicken shit behavior by requesting us to put on the bibs before he let us in. We complied, put on the bib and entered the centre. I bent my frustration by peeing..... at the toilet. (gotcha hehe)

Did some stretches and warm ups before the officials opened the gate so that the runners can proceed to the startline. Said my hi to Bernard and Michelle, Mythos and Jennifer. Got hold of Balasing and tuned my stopwatch, bracing for the start.

The gun went off. I switched on my MP3 player, filled with songs selected by my best buddy Han. Crowds were lining the streets cheering us on. As always, i ensured a steady pace is maintained. Reaching the expressway towards Tesco, i stopped for my first pee break. Continuing on, i said hi to Tigger and opened up to get in line with Balasing again. We ran past Tesco and made a left turn towards the Teacher's College, where my MP3 played Elvis Pressley's "A little less conversation".

We turned left again and headed towards the startline. Stopped by the first waterpoint at the 5km mark. Saw Captain Lim of Klang Pacesetters and said hi to him. He replied by saying that I've gained weight. How nice.....!!

The crowd were still cheering us on as we passed the startline again, this time we'll be heading towards the bridge. I kept near the centre divider where the road is flat and stable. I was on the look out for the next waterpoint, where i will be taking my first pack of powergel. My race seems to be from one waterpoint to another.

Had the first pack and entered the bridge. The runners were more dispersed by now. I was running mainly with Captain Lim and another runner from SG Red Hawk. We got to the centre of the bridge, where the road slopes upwards and my MP3 playing songs by Joss Stone. I hoped for a waterpoint at the top but there was none. There was one at the end of the downslope. I had my drink but a dried fish-like bad odour was lingering. I almost puked.

My spirit was elevated when we got to the end of the bridge, signaling a u-turn. There was a waterpoint and i had my second pack of gel. Collected my second ribbon just before entering the bridge towards the island. By this time, i was already tired and i started my run-walk routine. The first 21km runner zoomed past as i reached the 20km mark. Soon, many more passed by including Juwatim. Harmoni and Vincent waved from the other side of the road. I emptied my pack of salt solution into a cup of water and drank at the last drink station on the bridge.

The sky was still dark when i reached the island. The faster 21km runners must surely have finished their race and there i was with close to 18km to go. The expressway was closed to traffic on both sides. Those ahead of me kept to the centre divider, so i followed. A powergel station came up circa 27km. I declined their offer as i still have 4 more packs in my USK. Less than half a km ahead while MP3 was playing Survivor's Eye of the Tiger, was the drink station, where i had my 3rd pack of gel.

From a distance i saw what looked like Swoop. I kept my distance, using him as a gauge. I ran past Queensbay Mall, Sports Complex, factories of every kind, before reaching the u-turn point. Collected my ribbon and continued on. Tey was at the drink station, snapping pictures of tired faces. I took my 4th pack of powergel. I planned to take 5.

By the time i got back on the opposite side of Queensbay Mall, the sun was already up. I was too tired to run and my chest was heavy. I wanted to just sit and sleep. My MP3 however, had other plans and started playing U2's "Walk On" and "It's a beautiful day". I calculated the distance against time, and suddenly felt stressed about not finishing within the 6 hours qualifying time.

I walked on in the beautiful day, chatting with every runner that i overtook and the many more that overtook me. Soon, i saw the 37.5km sign and knew that i had less than 5km to go. The time was already 5:00. I was sure i could finish 5km in an hour by walking but decided to jog just to make sure. Reached the final u-turn, collected my ribbon but felt disgusted when an official demanded a runner to put on his vest so that he could see his race bib. Ridiculous!!

After the u-turn, the group of runners surrounding me started asking me for the time. I replied and we encouraged one another. Soon, we got on the viaduct and blended in with the Fun Runners or should i say walkers. The place was crowded and i had to summoned what's left of my energy to tell them to make way. The last stretch before entering was filled with people, mainly those who have completed the run. Some cheered us on, some blocked our way. I managed to weave through and finished the race in 5:45.

I spent the next 5 minutes looking for water but there was none. Instead i had to walk to the opposite side of the road to collect my goodie bag. I walked slowly, using the time to cool down and stretch. The goodie bag minah gave me 2 bags, and they were heavy. I stopped to talk to Yen Erl, who finished her 21km race, complaining of pains of her ankle.

Getting back to the end point where my group were waiting at, i felt a sharp pain of my left shoulder. I knew i was getting cramps and headed towards the nearby first aid tent. The St John's Ambulance medic helped my to the tent, applying what little ice they have to the shoulder. When i complained that the pain is not going away, they got out the stretcher and carried me to the Medical Post. That was the first time in my life i was carried on a stretcher.

Medics at the station applied more ice to my shoulder. One even joked to the doctor that i needed CPR. All in good humour, but i knew laughing will cause more cramps. Thankfully, the pain subsided after a while, and i walked back to the finishing line, found Balasing and Teelee, and we walked back to the hotel.

A shower, 3 hour sleep, Nasi Kandar lunch, a bowl of chendol, a mug of Americano, Secret Recipe's Meatball Pasta for dinner and 10 hour bus ride later, i was back at the office, zombied.

Good run, great route, but pathetic organisation. Thumps up though to the St John Ambulance. Next is Port Dickson Triathlon.

Summary for the week of 17 - 23 June

  • Sunday, 17 June: No runs.
  • Monday, 18 June: Left for a 4 day OCIP trip at Bintan with the group of "brutal" cikgus and students of CPS. Chaperone duty means no time for training.
  • Tuesday, 19 June: No time for runs.
  • Wednesday, 20 June: Still in Bintan, still no time for training.
  • Thursday, 21 June: Got back home, unpack and repack for Penang.
  • Friday, 22 June: Left for Penang after work.
  • Saturday, 23 June: Arrived at Penang in the morning.

10hrs bus ride and lots of good food

Left office and had dinner with Ed, before returning to office for a shower. Packed my bags and headed for Golden Mile, just across the road, where the other runners in the group, Eliza, Fennel, Balasing, Swoop, Teelee and Kayano were already waiting. Soon, we boarded the Grassland bus, heading for Penang.

After clearing immigration checkpoints both at Tuas and Tanjung Pelepas, i went into sleep mode, waking up just for toilet breaks at Yong Peng and Sungei Besi. Next thing i know, we have passed the bridge and in Penang, just 2 minutes away from the bus terminal.

I looked, found and bought credits to reload my pre-paid Hotlink Malaysian handphone line from a shop at the bus terminal before calling Juwatim who left a message at my SG handphone, requesting my help to buy his return bus ticket. Lucky him, there was 1 seat left.

After a breakfast of Roti Canai and Teh Tarik, we left the terminal and headed for Anggerik Lodging. Checked into 1 of the 2 quad-share rooms we booked before heading out again towards Queensbay Mall, where we collected our race packs. A good call we made to be there early, the place was yet to be crowded. I got my pack, with racebibs number A014, 1 cotton event singlet covered with hundreds of sponsors' logo and 2 coupons for KFC and Pizza Hut. We then split and roamed the Mall.

I headed straight for the Adidas shop and found a pair of Adizero CS on display. I scanned the display further but there was no sign of my favourite shoe, Adizero SN. Saw some stuff on display and i bought myself a set of tracksuit at RM140 (after discount). Continuing my window shopping, i got tired and lepak at Dome for a bad shot of Long Black and hard apple muffin (should have just gone to Starbucks).

Next was meeting up with the rest of the group for lunch but not before i met Tey from Pacesetters, camera in hand, and another Pacesetters member holding a picture of the Pacesetter runner who recently passed away.

I ordered and paid for a plate of Fried Ee-Mee from the foodcourt at the Mall's basement, but had doubts about its halal-ness after seeing a member of the stall's kitchen staff chopping dark-pinkish colored meat just beside the stove. Refusing to think or comment, i took the plate of Ee-Mee and walked to the table my group was seating at. After explaining to them about my doubts, the group finished the dish for me.

We then left for Gurney Drive, courtesy of Fennel's cousins' cars, after i bought some packs of powerbars for Sunday's pre-race meal. Reaching Gurney Drive, i bought a giant sausage from 1901, window shopped before lepak at Starbucks with a mug of Tall 3-raw Americano and a slice of lousy chocolate cheesecake.

Met the rest of the group again and headed for the foodstreet at Gurney, where i had a bowl of Asam Laksa and a plate of rojak Pasembur. We then left for the hotel. Showered, prepared the essentials for the race, and dozed off by 2100hrs. Next day is race day.

Summary for the week of 10 - 16 June

The week i bought my bike.
  • Sunday, 10 June: Butt hurt due to the Coastal Road ride so had to cancel my 21km run with NL.
  • Monday, 11 June: Brought in the second group of ACJC's Bintan 7. Can't make time for a run and had to take the last ferry home.
  • Tuesday, 12 June: A VVIP decided to visit Bintan and i had to bring in a group of his bodyguards who acts as his advance security team. The lingo used in my conversation with these guys make me feel like i was undergoing National Service all over again.
  • Wednesday, 13 June: Still in Bintan, kept swopping between the advance security team and ACJC.
  • Thursday, 14 June: Back at office and had lots of work to do.
  • Friday, 15 June: Last chance to clear work since i will be bringing another school for OCIP the week after. Sourced for a bike and found one at Checked it out before paying S$1200 to bring the bike home.
  • Saturday, 16 June: Tested the bike at ECP, though only for a short period due to a slight drizzle.
1 week to go to Penang Bridge Marathon and i'm not prepared at all. Then again, what's new.

The bike that i bought

After the 2 laps at Coastal Road on Sunday, i felt the need to get a roadbike. Furthermore, Sassyrunner mentioned about heading to Port Dickson for the Triathlon in mid July. I was at PD in April and truly enjoyed the half marathon, even though we were soaked to the skin with rain water.

I asked Ed and she gave me the greenlight to go. Then again, i don't have a road bike of my own and cycling 20km in my dad's city bike doesn't look too appetising. So i glanced through the pages of, searching for a bike worth within my meagre S$1200 budget. Few unsuccessful attempts before i found one posted by Jason, who was selling his full Shimano-parts Scott aluminium bike. Got Coach Suhaimi to check though the specifications before agreeing to take a look at the bike at Bedok.

The bike came with bull-horn handle and aerobars, which seemed too garang for my liking. Nevertheless, i told myself that i'll just get this bike for a start. Though Jason requested for S$1400, we managed to agree on S$1200. An hour later, the bike was on its way home, my home.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Summary for week of 3 - 9 June

Long run and long ride.
  • Sunday, 3 June: World Harmony Run.
  • Monday, 4 June: Brought in the first group of OCIP for June 07, ACJC's Bintan 6.
  • Tuesday, 5 June: In Bintan, and left via last ferry. Brought along running/cycling gear but no chance to do any workout.
  • Wednesday, 6 June: Meeting with external party lasted half a day and had to rush through plans for other CIPs.
  • Thursday, 7 June: Lots of work but managed to squeeze in about an hour of workout at Hougang Stadium. Rushed down from Ang Mo Kio, where i bought a Specialised helmet and a pair of Adidas cycle gloves. After 1 lap of warming up round the stadium track, did 3 sets of 200m jog followed by 200m sprint before closing with 3 laps of warming down jog.
  • Friday, 8 June: Coordination meeting in Bintan, left via last ferry.
  • Saturday, 9 June: The day i started spin work. Did 2 loops of Changi Coastal Road on my father's Trek Citybike. Tried desperately to keep up with Teelee and Sassyrunner who was on their roadbike. Time to get one myself.

Good week, busy but at least i got some workout done.

World Harmony Run 2007 - 3 June

I did my first run beyond 21km at last year's WHR. That was the only reason why i choose to join this year's run. With Penang Bridge looming, i had no choice but take every opportunity to do my long run.

Met FBB and left for Bukit Gombak, via Woodlands. On arrival, marked attendance and collected event singlet and t-shirt. Met Burnz, DR and Kayano at the changing room. Put on my Mizuno black shorts, WHR 07 singlet and Asics Cumulus plus USK.

After a short briefing by Thian Beng, the runners set off for the first point, circa 1.6km away, a masjid.

Summary for week of 27 May - 2 June

Busy, busy week.
  • Sunday, 27 May: Got back from Bintan and attended OC Troop's wedding.
  • Monday, 28 May: No runs. Had to source for 2 sets of Kompang.
  • Tuesday, 29 May: Lots of work to do, and had to leave before noon for briefing at Old PA.
  • Wednesday, 30 May: Brought my favourite group of students, Kids for Kids, to Bintan for a day tour to Sebong Pereh.
  • Thursday, 31 May: Vesak Day, went to JB.
  • Friday, 1 June: Took leave to help out with "Uncle Amy's" wedding.
  • Saturday, 2 June: Help out at wedding again.

No runs, lots of work to do.

Summary for week of 20 - 26 May

Back to work.
  • Sunday, 20 May: Rested at home, dreaming of running at Double Hill in KL.
  • Monday, 21 May: No runs.
  • Tuesday, 22 May: No runs.
  • Wednesday, 23 May: No runs, a day trip to Bintan.
  • Thursday, 24 May: No runs.
  • Friday, 25 May: No runs.
  • Saturday, 26 May: Bintan Triathlon. Sassyrunner was the swimmer in my relay team, while local boy Rio did the cycling leg. After waiting for 2 hours, Rio came back and handed the tag to me to start the team's 10km run. Though 10km doesn't normally provide any problems for me, this time round that was not the case. The undulating terrain of Bintan Lagoon's golf courses prevented me from stablelising my breathing. The first loop of 5km was torturous. Second loop was better. Officially, my running time was 1:06. Good to see my local students Frizul and Dosen cheering me on, thanks guys.

I feel like i'm in very bad shape.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Summary for week of 13-19 May 07

ICT week.
  • Sunday, 13 May: Spent most of the day clearing work and packing. Decided against going for the NB Pacesetters 15km the next weekend, as OC Troop informed that the troop has shrunk in size as many have completed their 10 year ICT cycle.
  • Monday, 14 May: Reported for ICT. True enough, only 20 troopers reported for duty in Troop 2.
  • Tuesday, 15 May: IPPT day. Passed and will strongly consider re-taking to claim the monetary reward.
  • Wednesday, 16 May: Live shoot. Managed to attain marksmanship again, for the 4th consecutive year. 1 round went astray by the way.
  • Thursday, 17 May: Long training day.
  • Friday, 18 May: Booked out and had a sumptous dinner.
  • Saturday, 19 May: Reported back to camp. Can't mention here the reason why. But in between shifts, i managed to squeeze in 3 laps from carpark B to Armoury and back. The road to armoury is uphill. Reason why i did this run is to make up for the NB15km pacesetter run that i will miss. Played street soccer with the guys after the run.

Another ICT completed, next year will be the last.