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.