Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Handsome One

Hansel and Gretel Utopia

Ok my exercise blog is practically dying after the Singapore Marathon, as I've been taking a backseat with exercise. Still been gymming, but just the usual stuff, nothing exciting on the exercise front. Went to speak with the Celebrity Fitness 'consultants' ( It's in inverted commas because I don't think they are serious exercise people, yet they insulted my brother and said he didn't look like he knew much about exercise, when he's a CERTIFIED FISAF trainer. HAH!). Most likely we'll join this gym, because at least they could give us an indication of prices unlike Fitness First who said they could not disclose prices without their membership consultants. Aiya, they are all a bunch of cons anyway.

Well since there's nothing much more exciting in my so called athletic career at the moment, I've decided to post some pictures of Christmassy Mid Valley. Oh I do wish the gingerbread houses were real and that I could eat them!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Singapore Marathon 2006

I’ve managed to achieve 1 more marathon before I hit the veteran age! Completed my second marathon last Sunday (3rd December) in Singapore. The weather was fantastic, I shaved off my time by 9 minutes, I felt stronger (mentally especially)..it was a great run.

I felt quite a bit like a lamb to the slaughter just before the race: no fear, no anxiety, just a bit dumb (duh) as though not aware of the torturous run. I travelled by First Coach on Saturday 2nd December. Took the 7.30am bus. Some bozo girl forgot her passport and she made the bus driver wait after the Sungai Besi toll, as her friend was traveling from Nilai to meet her at the toll and pass her the passport. I thought it was quite idiotic – she must have traveled from Nilai down to KL without her passport, and then made everybody else wait for her. We were delayed about 30 minutes. Because of her we had to cut short our pee break. Several people on the bus were very annoyed, and the lady behind me was fuming mad.

Anyway, arrived in Singapore at about 12.30pm. Checked into City Bayview Hotel and headed straight to Marina Mandarin to collect my race pack. They had no “S:” sizes left so I had to resort to “M”. Decided to chill out the rest of the day so just hung out at Coffee Club at Raffles City.

Decided to pin the bib and tie the chip to my shoelace before I got too tired at night.

Of course, the night before the marathon we usually have our customary carbo loading. A friend recommended this restaurant called “Pasta Mania”….it definitely made me maniac because it’s the worst pasta I’ve ever tasted in my entire life. I can make better pasta also. The pasta was soggy, the meatball was like doughball and the environment was loud and noisy. It certainly wasn’t a satisfying meal, what more the last meal before a marathon!

On race day, I woke up at 4.15am, slowly chewed my power Bar, slathered Vaseline all over, and tried to sit on the throne for a bit (no not al at one go).It took me 45 minutes before I finished my bar, as I didn’t want to have it too early (in case it might take effect before the race), yet I needed to eat it before I left the hotel (as I need to drink lots of water with it). Met Jenny and Adnan at 5.15 downstairs. We were the only 3 in our group to run the full.

Arrived at the starting point at 5.30am. We tried to look for the counter to deposit the bag, but we weren’t sure where it was. After hunting high and low, Jenny and I decided to make a last toilet stop. It was already 5.45am that time. By the time we got to the mobile toilets, there was such a long queue!! Decided to queue anyway as we did not want to run with a busting bladder. I tried to be smart and chose a queue with more men, as I thought men usually are very quick. Alas! The guy before me took many moons, and we found ourselves rushing to the starting point with 5 minutes left. The crowd was huge, and we could not even see the starting point! We pushed ourselves through the crowd only to find that there was a barrier and we couldn’t get into the pen!After a few tries we managed to find an opening into the pen…and whaddya know, we ended up in Pen 1, which was for elite runners. …..BY that time our adrenaline was pumping, we had worked up a sweat already….oh well I guess that was our warm up.

The air was a bit still in the morning. The race started at 6am, and I found myself starting a little faster than I had intended to (well, no choice, since I was in pen 1…had to run fast if not I would have been stampeded) . This time I did not stop at so many water stations as the last time. That’s also because the weather was much more pleasant, it was cloudy throughout the race and began to drizzle towards the end. The first 10km up to Marina was quite good..I finished 10km in about 1 hour 12 minutes.Took my first Power gel at 10km. Along the way I saw this runner of an old man dressed up in a short kimono, wearing a fisherman’s hat! There was also this other girl who ran with a tyre attached to a string which she tied around her waist, and she was dragging it while running. It somewhat reminded me of the German football team training. Round about that time I overtook Jenny, only to find Tony overtaking me.

Between 10km and 20km I was still doing fine. At about 15km the half marathoners turn off while the full marathoners proceed to East Coast park. After 20km I felt a bit tired, but I was able to push on. I think the Coast park stretch is the worst, as we have to run quite a long distance before we u turn back. We turn back at 28km, and I was looking out for my banana at km 28, but alas! No banana! Only had to contend with my power gel at 30km. Anyway I began to feel very tired at the 27th km, but not hitting the wall yet. I think the last time I hit the wall at about 28km and thereafter had to walk a lot. This time, I decided to employ the Jeff Galloway walk-run method at 27th km. Everytime I approach a water station, I would allow myself to walk , until I hydrated myself, then I would walk a little further before I ran again. Decided to use this method so I could sustain to the end without feeling awful.

I think I was also much stronger mentally this time. I did not allow myself to walk for very long period of time.I made sure I ran at every kilometer, where as in 2004, I practically walked from km34-41. However, by the 37th km, my muscles were very sore and began to fatigue. I had to stop for a while to stretch my muscles.Nevertheless, I pressed on and still ran, although I began to walk more than run.

I was delighted when I saw the 41km marker, which meant that the end was near! My muscles were very very tied, and I could not sprint to the end, but I managed to finish in 5 hours 20 minutes, which is 9 minutes better than the last time.

I never thought this day would come, but can you imagine, a wannabe athlete like me has achieved 2 marathons already. And to think, I was sedentary in school and would find every excuse to miss phys ed!Overall it was a good run..though my timing didn’t improve that much. I guess I’ll never be a fast runner, but I would like to add a few more marathons to my running career.

For now, I;m just taking a break this week and will resume running next week.