Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Pleasant 20km

Today was the first time I ran the Hartamas route in about a month. It was a slow and easy run, completed 20km together with my brother. Rather quiet day, there was only one other person running 20km. Since it was a slow and easy run, I did not bother to carry a running belt and only rehydrated myself at 10th km.

My left hip flexor hasn't felt the same since a week before the marathon. At certain positions it feels tight. Also, I have to ban myself from wearing heels..my left big toe and bunion were hurting from wearing heels a few days ago.

ON the way back, when we were running past the tennis courts, there was a motorcyclist there who was watching people play tennis. Just as we hit the pavement, the idiotic motorcyclist decided to ride on th pavement, AND against traffic. He honked expecting us to give way but in any case he was happily watching the tennis game until we started running on the pavement. Secondly, the pavement is not intended to be a bike lane and thirdly he was against traffic anyway. We ran as fast as we could because there was no telling if this man could be psychotic enough to run us down.

Anyway we finished the run quite easily, and it was a very pleasant run.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Malakoff 12km

Went for the Malakoff 12km at Tmn Rimba Kiara this morning...Quite a huge turn up, with the new route, I had expected a jam similar to the ones in SIngapore Marathon. In the last minute the organisers decided that it was too dangerous to run on the SPRINT highway, so the race was limited to running 2 laps of the road from the Tmn Rimba up to Sime Darby Convention centre and back.

Flag off was delayed, we started about 7.15am I think (my watch is forever fast so I wasn't really sure of the actual time). It was quite a fast race (well at least for me it was, as I am more of an endurance than speed person). It was quite a gruelling circuit, with a total of 6 major slopes. By the time I finished 1 lap, I was really regretting doing heavy pec workouts on Friday...I was still quite sore and by the time I hit 6km, my shoulders were super duper tired, they almost felt numb! BUt of course with the crowd and adrenaline i just pressed on.

There was an anorexic looking lady who tried to outrun me at several points in the race,but here's where having fat reserves help - at the last hill when she tried to outdo me, alas I completely lost her going uphill... I had the extra fats (ie fuel) to propel myself uphill.

Finshed the race in 76 mins.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Barrier Broken!

Finally!! I have broken the barrier! I am finally back to my original weight 2 years ago. Last year was a rather sluggish year physically, and towards middle of this year I gained a hefty 5kg. (Yes it was THAT much.) Even after I started my marathon training, weight loss was progressive and very very slow. Towards the few weeks before the race, my weight had remained stagnant for a long time and it was difficult to break that barrier.

When I returned from Singapore, I realised I had lost another 2kg!! I've lost a total of 5kg alltogether.I believe it had something to do with the 1 week break, when I started exercising again my body responded better to the exercise. During the week before the marathon and the week after, I ate more carbohydrates than usual, and I believe it's because of that that I've had a speedier recovery.

I've managed to reduce my BMI to 23.07. Hurrah! Overjoyed!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Dangers of Herbal Weight Loss Products

Individuals with eating disorders no longer have to obtain a prescription or use over-the-counter drugs to lose weight or suppress their appetite. Instead, the whole arena of "dietary supplements" is now open for them to explore. They may come upon herbal preparations that appear to help in weight loss or appetite suppression, or that promise to raise mood or decrease anxiety. Unfortunately, they may also encounter agents that cause significant side effects and/or drug interactions. Use of such products can also delay appropriate treatment. Often these agents are thought to be safe because they are "natural." Extrapolation to over-the-counter and prescription medications may lead consumers to expect that these products must have demonstrated effectiveness because, after all, they are on the market.

Background
In 1994, Congress passed the Dietary Supplement and Education Act (DSHEA),(1) which relegated herbal agents to the category of "dietary supplements." In effect, this removed these products from the purview of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Currently there are no standard requirements that herbal products be either safe or effective. In addition, no government agency inspects the manufacture or degree of purity or accuracy of contents of these products. Thus, there is no way to know how much of the ingredients listed are really present in any sample. As a result, herbal products are a completely unregulated source of potentially dangerous products readily available to anyone who wants to lose weight. A recent review demonstrated how widespread use of these agents is in the general population.2 Between 1990 and 1997, use of herbal therapies increased by 380%, and in 1997 alone consumers spent $5.5 billion on herbal therapies. Advertising for these agents is also ubiquitous. Magazines, newspapers, TV, and health food stores, grocery stores, and pharmacy outlets are prominent sources that extol the advantages of these preparations. In addition, direct consumer mailings, many targeting teenage girls, encourage patients with eating disorders to read fantastic claims for these agents and how to acquire them. The Internet has exploded with an abundance of claims for various herbal preparations. The question may not be "if" your patient is taking one of these agents, but "when" and "how many" of the preparations are being consumed. Remember that 60% of patients do not tell their physicians that they are using herbal products.(2)
60% of patients do not disclose the use of herbal medicines to their physician.

Types of Agents
We recently published an overview of alternative medications used by eating disorder patients, including a review of locally available preparations.(3) A partial list of active ingredients found in the various types of preparations is shown in Table 1.

Weight loss agents. This category includes a number of different types of products. The only type of treatment that has actually produced short-term weight loss is the combination of ephedrine and caffeine.(4-7) This type of product may be marketed as a drug combination or as the herbal sources, which include ma huang (ephedrine) and a caffeine source such as guarana seed or Kola (cola) nut. However, extrapolating results from clinical trials that employ pharmaceutical-grade ephedrine and caffeine or research studies using standardized herbal preparations to the use of botanical sources available to a patient is not without difficulties. The botanical sources chosen by the patient may not have the same amounts of either ingredient in the preparation despite the labeling (there could be more or less). Attempts to identify empirical data concerning the effectiveness of other putative weight loss products or ingredients have proven unsuccessful. Unfortunately, the available studies are few and often methodologically flawed. (8, 9)

Laxatives. Laxative preparations are often combinations of multiple ingredients, many of which have little to do with producing the laxative effect. Such products may contain either herbal or pharmacological sources of stimulant cathartics, such as bisacodyl, cascara sagrada, or senna. Other potent cathartics, such as magnesium hydroxide or citrate, may be included. Methylcellulose or other bulk laxatives may also be added. At first, these products are quite effective at producing diarrhea. However, over time stimulant cathartics tend to lose their efficacy and can result in a hypoactive bowel.

Diuretics. Diuretic agents are mostly represented by sources of caffeine (guarana seed, cola nut) or the mild diuretic pamabrom. Mild diuresis can be obtained with these products but they are not as effective as prescription agents such as furosemide (Lasix™) or hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDIURIL™).

Adverse Effects
The magnitude of the risk of side effects associated with herbal therapies is well illustrated by a recent case. An herb, Aristolochia fangchi, was inadvertently substituted for another, Stephania tetrandra, in a weight-loss preparation compounded in Belgium. Seventy individuals who took the herb developed complete renal failure, and 50 more had kidney damage. Cancerous or precancerous lesions were found in 37 of 39 who had a kidney removed.(10) This unfortunate incident is a dramatic illustration that "natural" agents can have very undesirable effects.

Caffeine and ephedrine. Caffeine, found in many beverages, can cause mild agitation, insomnia, tremor, and diuresis. However, ephedrine, which is often combined with caffeine in products, generates a larger concern. Sudden death (myocardial infarction), hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke, acute hepatitis, nephrolithiasis, dizziness, tachycardia, headache, tremor, nervousness, and insomnia have all been reported with this combination. (4, 11-17) The most common adverse events identified in a recent report included: hypertension (17 reports), palpitations, tachycardia or both (13), stroke (10), and seizures (7). Ten events resulted in death and 13 events produced permanent disability. Fifty-nine percent of the users were taking the supplements in order to lose weight.(11)

Yohimbine. Occasionally appetite suppressants will contain yohimbine, an indirect adrenergic agonist. Anxiety, elevated blood pressure, queasiness, sleeplessness, tachycardia, tremor, and vomiting are potential side effects related to this agent.(18)

St. John's Wort. St. John's Wort has been included in many preparations. Photosensitivity, gastrointestinal irritation, allergic reactions, tiredness, and restlessness have been reported, along with drug interactions. Recently St John's Wort has been reported to stimulate the CYP450 3A4 enzyme, which is involved in the metabolism of many important medications. Stimulation of this enzyme's activity may lead to a reduction of the blood levels of certain concomitant medications, including cyclosporine, indinavir or possibly oral contraceptives. (19-21)

Chromium picolinate. This product has been reported to be associated with cases of hypoglycemia, nephrotoxicity (at high doses), dissolution of muscle tissue, acute generalized pustules, as well as cognitive and personality disturbances.(22-29)

Laxatives. As mentioned earlier, laxative products often contain a form of a stimulant cathartic (bisacodyl, cascara sagrada or senna). Problems associated with these agents3 include: Bisacodyl-GI irritation, fluid and electrolyte loss, cramping, development of tolerance.(30) Cascara sagrada-severe vomiting with fresh bark, electrolyte imbalance with misuse, hypokalemia potentiates the toxicity of cardiac glycosides and thiazide diuretics.(31) Senna-hepatitis, abdominal cramping, nausea, electrolyte disturbance (e.g., hypokalemia, hypocalcemia, metabolic alkalosis or acidosis). Increased mucus secretion, reduced spontaneous bowel function, and melanotic pigmentation of the colonic mucosa (melanosis coli) may confirm laxative abuse. (32, 33) Another ingredient in laxatives, bladder wrack kelp, is a source of iodine, which may potentiate hyperthyroidism, worsen preexisting acne, or lead to new acneiform eruptions.(34, 35)

Other herbs. Skullcap has been associated with hepatic toxicity. (41, 42) The berries of wahoo bark are toxic. Reactions may include GI symptoms (colic, bloody diarrhea), elevation of body temperature, circulatory disorders, elevated cerebrospinal fluid pressure, stupor progressing to unconsciousness, or tonic clonic spasms.(43) Wild yam root has produced a picrotoxin-like effect (tonic clonic spasms headache, dizziness, nausea) on overdose.(44) The mild diuretic uva ursi has been reported to cause nausea and vomiting. (45) Other agents include gingko biloba, which has been associated with headache, GI upset, allergic skin reactions, and several cases of cerebral hemorrhage, possibly related to its interaction with platelet aggregation and thrombolytic therapy.(42-46)

Conclusion
Herbal therapies may include ingredients that are very potent and pharmacologically active. Along these lines it should not be surprising that adverse reactions and drug interactions may follow. Uncertainty about these issues stems from the lack of data regarding effects of various herbs, concerns as to what the active ingredients may be, the lack of the practice and enforcement of good manufacturing standards and a lack of a mechanism for adverse reaction reporting. Recently Congress created the National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which may help in addressing some of these issues. The mission of this organization is "to explore complementary and alternative healing practices in the context of rigorous science; to educate and training CAM researchers; and to disseminate authoritative information to the public and professionals."(46) The Center has set out to investigate certain herbs for efficacy, currently St. John's Wort, gingko biloba, saw palmetto, and glucosamine/chondroitin, which has shown some evidence of efficacy. This process is long overdue but may not produce clinically applicable data soon. Thus, clinicians treating patients with eating disorders should attempt to identify any alternative medicine treatments the patient is currently using or has used. Then, consulting the literature and/or individuals knowledgeable about herbs will help in determining if the individual has adverse reactions or drug interactions associated with these therapies.

Active Ingredients in some Alternative Drugs

WEIGHT LOSS AGENTS:
  • Caffeine
  • (guarana seed, kola nut)
  • Ephedrine (Ma huang)
  • Chromium picolinate
  • Gingko biloba
  • Stimulant laxatives (Cascara sagrada, Senna)
  • St. John's Wort
  • Yohimbine


LAXATIVES:
  • Bisacodyl
  • Bladder wrack kelp (iodine)
  • Cascara sagrada
  • Gingko biloba
  • Magnesium hydroxide or citrate
  • Rhubarb
  • Senna
  • Skullcap
  • Wahoo bark
  • Wild yam root


DIURETICS:
  • Guarana seed (caffeine)
  • Kola nut (caffeine)
  • Uva ursi extract (bearberry)

Source: www.bulimia.com

I'll Keep my Big A**, Thank You

This morning my running buddies and I ran about 6km. Felt great and strong, after a whole week of rest, and I still felt strong running uphill. Except that my glutes and hamstrings were quite sore from yesterday's workout!

Anyway the topic of our conversation over breakfast this morning was on fad diets.We've some friends who've been on Nutrilite or Herbalife diets, and they've lost a tremendous amount of weight, compared to me, who's been running and running and running and yet still have big hips and a**. It's amazing how much of weight one can lose going on these diets, especially on the hip area, where stubborn fats easily accumulate.

As much as I suffer from body dysmorphic disorder , I would still rather lose weight through exercise instead of consuming anything unnatural to lose weight. Many of these diet and weight loss products claim to have natural substances, but my question is, how long can you continue to consume that product, and are you sure there are no side effects from consuming it in the long term?

Also, we have to be aware that a number of these weight loss products (eg. Xenical)were designed for obese people, who truly need to lose weight for health reasons, and for not the average person. So is it healthy for a normal person to consume these products?

Some of the potential dangers of consuming weight loss products are:
1. potential for dependence
2. disrupts your metabolism
3. depression
4. raised blood pressure
5. heart damage
6. liver damage
7. malnutrition due to deprivation of certain food groups
8. Fatigue
9. Irritabtility
10. Subsequent AND quicker weight gain

Although I do complain about being fat etc etc (that's the paranoid side of me), nevertheless I am glad I am not as obsessed as some people who are already like stick insects AND still think they are fat and want to lose 10-20kg etc etc. I do admit that I'm still not entirely happy about my body shape, but it's learning to accept who are you, which I am slowly learning over time. Also you'll find that you can't really fight age, eventually your body breaks down and your metabolism slows down anyway.

So, instead of spending money on weight loss programs,I'd rather be the fit marathoner that I am, and despite I am a bit chunky, I'd rather keep my big a** and keep running, thank you.

Shopping in Singapore




I was very pleased I managed to buy some running gear in Singapore.First of all, I managed to get my pink shirt!!I had wanted a pink shirt for the race, but could not manage to find the right one. I usually prefer the vest type and not the tank top type (too tight and the material is usually thicker). I was quite pleased that there was a 10% discount on it too. Sportsgear in SG is so much cheaper if you earn in SGD.

My friend also brought me to Cineleisure, where I went crazy and bought 2 hydration belts! I've always thought the Nathan hydration belts are too chunky....so I managed to find a Nike one, which was on 40% discount (cost me about SGD32 after discount) and an Adidas one which was on 30% discount (about SGD22 after discount). They are probably old models, but heck, it's hard to find them in Malaysia and they were on discount anyway. I prefer the Nike to the Adidas one, as the Adidas one uses elastic material and they become loose after a while. The Nike one also comes in different sizes whereas the Adidas one is a standard size. The size I bought was one size smaller as they didn't have my size, but I guess it's ok if I'm just using them for training.

PS I'm being interrupted by my niece as I type this, so I haven't time to check my grammar etc!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Back to the gym

It's been a week since my marathon! Have rested the entire week, taking it easy and not watching my diet...much to my surprise I did not gain weight, but lost 1kg - I am sure it's water loss and not fat loss considering the amounts I ate over the week.

Well, it's back to unclogging arteries today - oatmeal diet and exercise. Ran about 3km on the treadmill, slow and easy. Feels kind of nice. My left hip flexor doesn't exactly feel normal, so i took it easy.

Back to weight training too. Missed it for a while week. Did legs today..nothing too strenuous.

I've signed up for the Malakoff 12km run, but I haven't received any confirmation email from PACM, so I'm not entirely sure I'll be running that race.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Analysis of Marathon Run

This is the analysis of my run, and my position in the entire race. There were 12393 full marathon participants altogether, where 15% were female and 85% male.

Result in Entire Field - 4317th place
8076 finishers behind. About 35% of finishers ahead.

Result in Gender (Female) - 557th place
1296 finishers behind. About 30% of finishers ahead.

Result in Division (F3539) - 122nd place
132 finishers behind. About 48% of finishers ahead.

Average split time:7 min 42 sec per km

Average speed:7.8kph

For the record, I was ahead of about 64% of male finishers. GIRL POWER!!!

I was at around 16thkm when Luke Kibet won the race.(2:12:01)

SECTION KPH
Start -10k
10k -Half
Half -30k
30k -Fin

Singapore Marathon 2008



I made it! My 3rd full marathon! Coming from someone who hated running in school and used to cheat on laps around the field, it’s a huge achievement. I still remember doing those 100m and 20m dashes, I never used to qualify for them.

Anyway, this time I completed it in 5:24:37. Which is worse than my previous one (5:20) but better than my first (5:29). I’m pretty consistent I guess….consistently slow! But I am not complaining because I NEARLY did not run the race at all. The 2 weeks running up to race day had been very hectic – I had been having long days and stressful days at work, not to mention the lack of exercise (with the view of tapering) made me even more tired. On top of that I seemed to have pulled my left hip flexor and it was still acting up until the race itself. And finally, on the night before the race, we did the traditional carbo loading at Pasta de Waraku at Marina Square…that was when I started to feel nauseous. Before dinner I was having a bit of a headache – I thought it might have been from dehydration as I drank very little water on the bus – so I took a Panadol. After dinner, while stretching myself, suddenly I felt the whole world sinking. I felt a bit nauseous and light headed. My friend said I looked pale..I could not even walk back to the hotel which was 15 mins away – I had to take a taxi back.

When I got back I just immediately jumped into bed. I could not sleep immediately as my niece and nephew were around and they were talking very loudly. Nevertheless I managed to knockoff, after listening to my mp3.

Got up at about 3.45am on race day..felt much better but wasn’t sure if I could pull through a 42km. Spent the entire hour sitting on the throne (with no success) and eating a Power Bar (ya I know, disgusting….trying to fill one end and empty the other!) I had my bib and chip all fixed the afternoon before, so all I had to do was just put on my running gear.Slapped on loads of petroleum jelly everywhere – that was the greatest because I had absolutely NO CHAFING at the end of the race!

Left hotel room about 4.50am and headed to the starting point. As I approached the starting point I began to feel quite nauseous as there were far too many people – total of over 43000 participants – plus the smell of Deep Heat ointment really put me off. Was very tempted to just quit, but I thought, heck, I’d been training for almost 4 months,and I’d come all the way….why don’t we just try it?

By the time the gun went off, I still hadn’t reached the starting point – far too many people!!! Took me about 4 minutes to get to the starting line. It was so crowded that by the time we came to the 3rd km after the U turn, I had to walk for a bit..there was no room to run! After I had started running, I felt much better but not completely great either. But you know what? I didn’t even feel like I needed much mental strength until about 30km….with the crowd pushing you on , you just keep running and running and running. Almost autopilot.

I was feeling alright until about 15th km..I felt a bit of a stitch coming on – I think I was feeling a little dehydrated perhaps. I stopped for water at 4th, 8th and 12thkm. (Water only, no 100 Plus. Usually only begin taking 100 Plus between 15th to 20th km) I stopped to consume my 1st power gel. After that I began to pick up pace. I missed the banana at 12th km – I didn’t see it but I saw other runners around me carrying a banana. At about 22nd km they were giving out some Gu Gel so I grabbed 2. Continued running until about 25th km before I took my second gel…was still feeling strong and on autopilot! In the past, the crowd starts to disperse after 21st km..people start to walk etc but this time round, the crowd didn’t clear until about 30th km! That shows you how crowded it was.

At about the 28th km I spotted Tey, the resident PACM photographer, then I waved at him and said I was from PACM too, and that was when he took my glorious, glamourous photo in action. This is the best running photo I’ve ever had! (Well I guess it’s because I knew he was taking my picture :P)

Stopped at 32nd km for banana and 100 Plus. Think I was beginning to feel tired but could still push on after the banana. I actually ran continuously until about the 37th km before my hip flexors started feeling sore and tight..that was when I had to do intervals of walk – run. My pace slowed down incredibly in the last 5km and I knew I could not beat my previous timing but I kept reminding myself that my aim was to complete it. I began to feel very hot and sometimes I would stop at the waterstops not to drink but to pour water on my head.

Between 40th to 42nd km felt like the longest, especially near the F1 pitstop…it was very hot. Finally as I approached the finishing line, I picked myself up again, though my thighs were very very tired, I spirinted to the finish line.

What an achievement!

I have to say though that this time I had absolutely no sore knees at all after the run. Hurrah! My thighs were sore for about 2-3 days only but that was it, no injuries. I think what also helped was that after the run I took my niece to the swimming pool, and I did some running on the spot in the pool, which relaxed my hip flexors a lot. (And also very good for the joints)

I’m ready to run again.

PS. Forgot to mention that I ran until there was a hole in my new New Balance RM49 socks! Bah!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Adios!

This will be my last post before the run. Strangely I have been feeling fatigued this whole week...Even when I was ill previously I recovered quite fast. Could it be pre-race jitters? Also, I've got a muscle pull around my left hip flexor. SIgh, all throughout the training when I was running long distance I had no problem at all. I felt this pull last week when I was doing my 10km, and when i coughed a bit, i felt a slight muscle pull. Seems to have lasted the whole week.

Went for a steambath this morning and it felt a little better but it's still there.

Cant expect much or run as fast as I would want to, with that niggling feeling there.

Just hope for the best I guess, and only hope to finish the race.

I'm leaving tomorrow.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Thinking Positive

I’m feeling super right now! I just hope this energy can sustain until end of the week. From Friday right up to Sunday I was feeling quite groggy and low on energy, as I was on medication. I’ve been popping lots of Berocca as well, and my only hope is that I will be energetic enough for the run on Sunday. I woke up this morning feeling not that great but still mustered enough energy to go to the gym (late although). I usually run on Mondays to kickstart my week, but today I went slow with some interval walk-runs. Also did my last set of weight training for the week (for 2 weeks actually since I will not be exercising much next week). Only did upper body as I avoid weight training on legs on the week before the race.

I’ve really got to psyche myself up now.

Think POSITIVE.

POSITIVE
POSITIVE
POSITIVE

I’ll be ok.

I've to kill the butterflies in my stomach.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Last 10km

It’s been raining every Saturday morning! It drizzled a little today, and I wasn’t sure if it would start pouring while I was running, so I decided to be safe and run in the gym….since my distance was only 10km today. I have been unfortunate to get a bit of a runny nose in the last week before my marathon!!! BAH! I think it’s because I got down from my car without an umbrella on Thursday night. I’m currently stuffing myself with Vitamin C daily…I pray pray pray I will recover by next week!!

SO off to the gym I went. And as usual, in Celebrity Fitness fashion, the gym wasn’t opened at 6.40am! CELEBRITY FITNESS IS TRULY A RUBBISH GYM. Members like me drag themselves out of bed early in the morning only to find these irresponsible gym attendants not opening the gym on time.

So anyway, did a fast (according to my pace that is) 10km.

Oh woe is me. I hope my runny nose dries up by tomorrow.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Last Long Run

Did my last long run before the race...20km. It rained again this morning! Good thing it stopped by 6.20am so at least I could still run today and not have to worry about it tomorrow.

On the way back, I actually got "picked up". Haha, first time I ever got "picked up" while running, considering I am so slow! At about the 15th km, I saw a guy running towards me, and he was fiddling with his ipod. He stopped me and asked if he could run back with me. He was a novice on the 10km route (although he looked reasonably fit, I am sure he could have run faster) and said this was his second time on this route. I was actually running at a reasonably fast pace, but I slowed down and we ran back together. What the heck I thought, it's kind of nice to have someone to run with and talk to - considering I've been doing the Lone Ranger for almost 4 months now.

That's the end of long runs for now. It will be short runs until race day.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Pet Peeves in the Gym


1. People who don't wipe their sweat off machines

2. People who don't return free weights to the rack ESPECIALLY heavy weights

3. People who don't return free weights to the original place on the rack

4. people who stop to talk to you when you are SO DYING to get on with your exercise, and they end up wasting 10 minutes of your time because they can't stop talking.

5. People who fart while exercisig (trust me, there's a guy who constantly farts on the treadmill. Imagine you are sprinting and gasping for air, how horrible can that be???)

6. People who hog the entire floorspace when you're trying to do your abs

7. Guys/girls who are there to be seen.

8. People who don't understand the concept of personal space and come and workout too close to you

9.When you're using a particular equipment and some person comes and uses the equipment next to yours and gets in your way

10.No towels

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Winding Down

Post 35km pleasure! I'm beginning to taper off now....ran 25km today (Sunday) since it poured cats and dogs yesterday. What a bummer. I woke up at 5am yesterday and it was drizzling. I thought the rain had come to a tail end so I happily drove myself to Lake Gardens. Horrors, by the time i got there it started pouring cats and dogs!Never mind, I was optimistic enough to think the rain would stop (as it had at my house)...but noooooo.....it went ON and ON and ON. I slept it my car waiting for the rain to stop..by the time it was 6.50am I knew there was no chance it would stop so soon. THe rain eventually subsided only at 8am.

SO....I ran 25km today. Great run, strong.

BUt I am so sore now! I can't wait to feast at Daily Grind tonight! FOod always tastes so much better after a minimum of 20km run!

Oh ya, tried my new socks today. They still got drenched although they dont feel as icky coz they are light. Well for RM49 per pair I'd better believe it works!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Is it safe to run a marathon?

This article is taken from Runner's World. Actually it isn't a bad idea dying while running....die happy what..

So sorry, Doc, to hear one of your runners at the NYC marathon didn’t make it. It seems that every time I pick up the newspaper after a major marathon, I hear of a death. Is it really safe to run a marathon? - Jeffrey S., Chicago

Thanks, Jeffrey. This question already has my office phones ringing off the hook. (Actually, two runners died after last weekend's New York City Marathon.) It's a timely topic, too, as Amby Burfoot writes at length about this in the December 2008 issue of Runner's World; click here to read his special report.)

On the days following a marathon, not only am I treating all the aches and pains associated with running this event, I am also answering this sort of question. Time to re-emphasize some important points I first wrote about in my post "Can I prevent 'sudden death' while exercising?" back in November 2007.

Marathon running is safe for those cleared by their doctors to compete. Although the worldwide statistic is about one death in 50,000 participants or one in 75,000 (depending on the study), and this is quite small, whenever you get a large number of people together in one place, there are “expected” demises.

All who experience “sudden death” have an underlying cause. This points out the need for everyone to get a stress test after age 40 or earlier if recommended by their physician and get checked if they experience chest pain, pressure, shortness of breath, or some other abnormal feeling while exercising. This also points out the need for everyone to fill out the medical information label on the back of their bib number so as to make it easier for emergency personnel to take care of you if needed.

Speaking of which, here's an example of the kind of story you don’t read about:

In this year's marathon, a man was resuscitated on the 59th Street Bridge (he had no pulse and wasn’t breathing; a med team and ambulance were there in two minutes) and rushed to the hospital. He was having a heart attack. The man had angioplasty and will walk out of the hospital to someday run again! With thousands of medical volunteers and an ambulance system tuned to caring for our runners, response time, the greatest indicator for survival, was dramatic. Had he been sitting in his living room, he may not have made it.

In other words: Assuming you have all the appropriate pre-race health screening, running a marathon is safer than sitting in your living room. If you do your part, the marathon course may just be the safest place to be race day.

Enjoy the ride.

SOURCE: Runner's World/Ask the Running Doc

Poor Gus :(



The world's ugliest dog, Gus has died after battling with cancer. He was a one eyed 3 legged Chinese Crested dog. He was 9 years old.

RIP Gus.

Celebrity for life?

Got a call from Celebrity Fitness today, asking me to upgrade my membership to Diamond membership (lifetime). The guy got lambasted big time. I told him the gym needs to get their act together before approaching members for upgrades.No manager on duty, no towels to shortchanging us of personal training sessions were but only part of my complaints.

Honestly all they want is $ from us, then they will treat us like crap again. He confessed that they have staffing problems and turnover is high but hey, I am in retail/service line too, so as far as consumers are concerned, it's not their problem.

He kept saying that I will save a lot of $ by signing up but I told him, if i dont sign up I will at least have the option of joining another gym.

After what happened to Lifestyle Gym previously (ie chup lup)I don't mind paying slightly more for short term, and extend again later. I don't see the point of paying lifetime membership (although it is worth it for me) when I cant even be sure that the gym will survive.

Candidate for Heart Disease

There's been some studies conducted in Warwick University (UK) that people who sleep less than 7.5 hours have higher risk of having heart disease! I usually get by with 6-7 hours of sleep, some days about 5- 5.5 hours only

Looks like I am a potential candidate for heart disease...and kidney failure probably due to all the melamine I've consumed. I consume quite a bit of milk daily as I have cereals for breakfast.

To read on more, here's the article.

Solemates


Asics Gel Evo 3D


My solemate

My Asics Gel Evolution 3D has really served me well. Considering that I've run cumulatively 500km (minimum) with them, the outer soles are still in excellent condition. Both my brother and friend purchased the Hurricane 10 and for some strange reason the soles wore out pretty quickly..I took a look at my friend's soles today and they were terribly worn out. Granted, sometimes its the way a person runs, but even with all my shuffling, the Asics withstood all the thrashing.Unfortunately this wont be the pair that I will be taking for race day - I will be using Saucony Hurricane 9. I am usually a die-hard Hurricane fan but I had wanted to try out Asics this time, and I am impressed with it. I've also ordered a Hurricane 10, but I've been told the Hurricane 9 is sturdier than the 10 so Hurricane 9 is probably the shoes I will wear for race day.


My other solemate


This is the orthotics which I have been using.. this is my 2nd pair. It's a bit more elevated than my first pair. But I'll probably use my first pair for race day since that's what I have been using for my long distance runs. I'm easing myself into this 2nd pair and the longest distance I have gone in them is 8km.

Anyway I ran 8km outdoor today, boy I was still low on energy. Partially also because I did weights on legs yesterday, so I was struggling a bit uphill.Not to mention that I had Thai for dinner, and my stomach was burning a little!

But I am glad I ran even though I was tired.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Got Socked Alright..


In my earlier post Sock It To Me I mentioned that I needed new socks for the race. Well, I got them tonight...and the price sure knocked the socks off me. First of all, I am quite upset that New Balance is not giving discounts to Pacesetter members anymore..secondly, I paid an arm and leg for those socks!!

I think people would think that I am mad to pay RM49 for a pair of socks. 2 things to note: firstly, that I am a self confessed wannabe runner, so the thought of buying a pair of "marathon trainer" socks turned me on. Anything that I can associate myself with being a marathon runner, I will surely get sucked into. Secondly, I DO perpsire a lot - infact my socks are already drenched in the 8th km...and it's not exactly a nice sensation to be running in wet socks for the next 34km.

So there you go - I got sucked into buying New Balance Marathon trainer socks.

On the tag is says:
*Left/right - anatomically correct
*Friction-free Profelin Yarn in heel and toe eliminates blisters and skin irritation
*Tactel Nylon for comfort and moisture management
*2nd skin fit
*Arch support - stability and comfort

Well I am going to test it this week and see if it works any better.

If I Could be a "Heroes" hero(ine)..


..I'd be Claire Bennet. Why Claire? Because my tissues would then regenerate so fast that I'll be able to recover from each run quickly, and start running again soon after. Savvy? Oh yeah! Imagine being able to run marathon after marathon...or run a marathon every week. How cool can that be???

Not to mention also that I'd have a chance with Milo Ventimiglia!!(ah but then he'll actually be my uncle :P :P :P)

Did a recovery run of 3km on the treadmill today. My legs felt a bit heavy..was also a bit low on energy this morning until I reenergised myself with oats.

Watched "Quantum of Solace" yesterday...I rate it as "I enjoyed it while it lasted" (gee, that sounds like a one night stand! :P). Entertaining but forgettable. Extremely forgettable.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

35km!

It was all quiet on the blogfront the whole of last week...Reason is that last weekend I did not run over the weekend..had a wedding to attend, plus I developed a cough. I had planned to run on Sunday instead of Saturday as I usually do, but I decided against it since I did not have proper carbo loading during the wedding plus I had 1 glass of wine too many. Also having taken antibiotics the few days before, my body felt rather weak and I wasn't sure if i could pull off 30km.

The rest paid off though. I ran 35km today, and I felt extremely strong!Today I had my friend and brother with me, we started together but as usual I am the last to finish. I didn't carry my MP3 today as I wont be using it on the actual day itself...so why not emulate the same scenario. Also wore my running vest for the race - the maroon didn't feel too hot in the sun..I think. Don't think I felt a significant difference wearing red or maroon...i am sure the fluorescent yellow deflects light but...I'd like to wear something new for the race. (It's not superstition, just VANITY)

I was in top form today, even from 20-30km I was going strong. What killed me was the last 2km, suddenly I developed a very bad stomach cramp...I don't think it was from dehydration as I ensured that I was well hydrated during the run..I don't know what it was, it felt like a period cramp but it couldnt possibly be as it wasnt that time.. I sure hope I dont have the same thing for the real run. Maybe I drank too much water.

Even as I finished my last leg, my calves were sore but my legs felt like they could go on. Was still quite energetic...it was that cramp which slowed me down.

There. I've completed 35km. I'm just looking forward to tapering down...and to 7th December.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Geriartric Darth Vader

The weather has been very harsh lately. I've developed some phlegm in my throat, which was further aggravated by Diwali goodies and curry. It also doesn't help that my colleagues are coughing away at work, and in an enclosed workspace, I'm, exposed to all the germs.

Decided to nip it in the bud, and went to see the doctor yesterday. I usually avoid seeing the doctor unless it's really bad but I can't afford to let it prolong..if I start taking medication too late it will take me even longer to heal.I'm now on anti-biotics (which I usually avoid taking).

I find that anti biotics slows down the body a lot. I still went out to do my usual 8km run today..although the body felt a bit drained of energy, again the mind took over. Good thing the weather was a little kinder today - although the sun was up early, there was some slight breeze, which was absent last week.

If you had wanted to know what Darth Vader was like in old age,I was a good example this morning. With all that phlegm stuck in my throat, I sounded like Darth Vader with all that heavy breathing. Not only that, I was trying hard to cough out all the phlegm, and it's kind of hard to do it while running. I practically sounded like a geriartric on her deathbed!At one point I had to stop and cough out all the phlegm.

People always ask me what I do or think of when i run. Here's what I usually do:

1. Pray or talk to God. Funnily even as I am panting, I find my solitude in the Lord while running! Especially so when it's long distance and I am by myself.SOmetimes I think of bible verses.

2. Sing or hum a tune in my mind

3. Think of conversations I've had with friends

4. Observe smells - I like the smell of fresh laundered clothes, toast and trees. I hate the smell of squashed fig....plus dead creatures.

5. Listen to my mp3

6. Enjoy the scenery

7. Thinking how hard I am struggling during the run!

8. Work. This is very rare as I mostly have operational stress..I tend to think of work if I have to design something and have a tight deadline to complete it.

9. Observe people's dogs. Some are really cute!And it's interesting to see how the owners talk to the dogs.

10. Think of whether I have anything interesting to blog about1

11. Pretend I am a world class runner and completing a race

Well, gotta keep the mind busy to distract myself from the run right?

Fatwa on Yoga

This doesn't concern me, but The National Fatwa Council is coming up with a ruling relating to yoga soon.

Prof Zakaria Stapa of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s Islamic Studies Centre advised Muslims to stop practising yoga for fear that it could deviate their belief.

First it was "tomboyism", now yoga. What's next?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sock it to me!

I feel remorseful for having chocolate yesterday! And all that Diwali goodies...my 30km was in vain and all the effort has gone to waste!

Anyway, took my new orthotics for an 8km run this morning. I've still been using my old orthotics as they are still in good condition, and on gym days where I do short distance running, I use my new ones. THe first time I wore my new orthotics for a 6km run I ended up with slight blisters so I had decided to slowly ease into them. They still feel a little different, and higher than my previous ones.

But they worked out fine today. Did speed training and no blisters. Now I've got to shop for my socks for race day...the ones I am now using are a bit too thick and they get all drenched by 10km. Am ordering the Injinji socks (like feet gloves) but I haven't tried them out yet so I am not sure.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Taste of the Real Thing

I’ve just completed 30km this morning and I am not sure how I feel now. I don’t feel too tired – but I think it’s the endorphins which are sustaining me. It was INCREDIBLY AWFULLY HOT this morning, I think I could have had heatstroke.

Started the run at 6am as usual. Was tempted to start earlier so it would not be so hot by the time I finish…But I decided that I need to adapt to the heat as well..since Singapore is usually hot. And I got a taste of the same kind of heat! This morning my muscles didn’t feel overworked or fatigued as it did the last two weeks, but somehow after 5km my legs felt very tired. I only began to feel better after the water stop at Petronas, when I had a 100 Plus and a Double latte power gel. I think the double dose of caffeine in the power gel really helps a lot – between 10-20km I was “cruising”. However, I think the heat got to me because by the time I had completed 20km, my body was very very tired. Probably dehydrated but I didn’t know it nor felt it. The last 10km was the worst, by that time it was very very sunny and the air was still.

All in all I bought 2 bottles of 100 Plus and a bottle of water (500ml), plus my own water bottles (probably 300ml). I’ve never had to buy so much water in my life – infact after 20km I finished 1 whole bottle of 100 Plus without having that heavy “splashy” feeling in the stomach – so you can already tell how devoid of water my body was. That alone was not enough, I actually backtracked to Petronas station again to buy the bottle of water.

After drinking some water I felt a lot, lot better. I think I had too much isotonic drinks but not enough water. It is always better to drink more water in the beginning of the run and increase intake of isotonic later, but because I don’t have enough water stops, I have to instead drink more water (which I self carry) at the end, and more isotonic in the middle (where I can buy the water)

I slowed down trememdously today because of the heat, and also coz I made more stops at the station. I didn’t care about timing as it was more important to be well hydrated. I find I have less injuries when I am properly hydrated.


If I am dying in the heat at 30th km, how do I go on with another 12?

I’m looking forward to going home and putting my feet up.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

New Wardrobe




I've bought my top for race day already! I'm not really sure about the colour though: maroon - will it turn out nice in those 'glamour' marathon photos? In the past I've always worn brighter colours.In 2004 I wore an orange coloured shirt which was a gift from a friend, then in 2006 I wore a fluorescent shirt. I reckon the pictures in 2006 looked really nice in terms of colour...the yellow sure stood out. The photographer in 2004 was better though, having captured all my "past glories" in close up shots.




Therefore, I am not too sure about the maroon. Who knows, I might end up wearing the yellow again. The maroon shirt has a very flattering cut though, it makes my arms look really toned! So what should i do, go for a toned arms look, or look bright and chirpy?

Since NIKE was offering some discounts I also bought some sportsbras. I have been using the same ones for nearly 10 years and some are tattered and torn! The canary yellow and pink are pretty lovely colours too, too bad I wont be flashing them around but they will be worn underneath! I was hoping to find a top of that same pink colour but alas, it was only available in tank tops and not running shirts. I much prefer the running shirts, I feel I can breathe better in them..tank tops would be too tight for 42km!

Monday, October 20, 2008

2000m Swim

What a great weekend I had...I was actually super energetic on Saturday (endorphins + caffeine) that i was still perky after dinner! Usually I start to nod off after dinner. But last Saturday, I was still quite wide awake until 11.30pm. Infact I had so much endorphins in me that I woke up at 5.30am on Sunday morning and was pretty wide awake! Darn, thought I could sleep in until at least 7.00am!

Anyway on Sunday morning I managed to swim 2000m also. Next time I shall try cooling off in the pool directly after the run. hydrotherapy would be good for my limbs!

Today I did a quick 3.5km run on the treadmill plus legs exercises.Oh-oh, I am also thankful that the weighing scale didn't budge despite all that overeating over the weekend!

Darn it feels good to be fit!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Mind Over Matter

Today was purely mind over matter. Think I have been working out too hard during the week (again) save for a rest day yesterday. Today felt like one of my “off” days, woke up feeling not exactly tired, but not exactly energetic either. I was a bit iffy about the distance I had wanted to run, but it had to be a minimum of 25km since that was what I did last. Started out at about 6.05am, saw a couple of runners before me. I have to say that I nearly died after going up the initial incline, which wasn’t even 5km. I experienced muscle fatigue in my gluteus maximus – and I wasn’t sure how much longer I could run. Bumped into a bunch of runners and a guy overtook me just at the mosque after crossing the highway.

By the time I reached about 8km, my legs were so so weak! Going up that slight slope at Plaza Damas nearly killed me. Just as I reached the Petronas station, my running belt came off. I really need to buy a new fuel belt as this one is just deteriorating, and getting overstretched and loose. I was so tired that I had to stop at Petronas to grab some isotonic drinks. I usually run the extra loop before stopping for water.

I was so fatigued that I thought that it’s not possible for me to even achieve 20km today, but after having a Gatorade and a Double Latte Power Gel (2x caffeine!) I felt much better. Oh no wonder I am still perky now, it’s been nearly 7 hours since my run and I am still so wide awake! It’s all that caffeine!

Despite being so tired, I pushed on..slowly but steadily. By this time I was quite sure I would do about 28km, turning back at the traffic lights to Solaris. I felt like I could not go up the hill at the mosque, so I decided to U-turn at the traffic lights. As I was running back to Petronas, I saw my brother and Hsiung. They ran 25km today.

I miraculously managed to run back to Petronas, and back again. Once I reached the Duta highway, I felt kind of homefree. Once I have run past Tijani, it’s always a relieve as it’s downhill all the way back save for a slight incline at Jln Parlimen.

I must say today was extremely warm – it wasn’t very sunny but the air was still and the heat was on. When I came back I had a nice cold shower. I’ve started talking cold showers and using ice packs on my knees now, to reduce injury. To my horror my niece had used up all the ice in my freezer! I was so desperate for ice that I started taking an ice pick to remove all the ice at the side of the freezer in the mini bar refrigerator!

SO although I was tired in the morning I still managed to complete 28km….it was purely mind over matter after 10km. Looking back I can’t believe my mind took over for 18km!! Hope I can do the same on the actual race day!

Great run today!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

25km

After having a washout weekend last week, the weather was TERRIBLY hot today! Ran 25km..pretty dehydrated as it was such a hot day.

Started my run at 6.10am. Nice quiet morning, started the run with "Agnus Dei" and "Mighty to Save". As it was the end of songs in my mp3 player,I did not bother starting it again and rain without music for the first 10km.

I really suffered at all the hills today - I did a mistake of walking uphill on the treadmill on Friday..hence my gluteus muscles were very sore and tired. By the 7th km, my thighs were so so tired! But I managed to push on, and felt much better after a Gatorade and Power Gel. Saw a few other runners turning back as I reached Hartamas.

From 10th-20thkm it was quite boring, nothing out of the ordinary happened. BUt by the time I completed 20km, I thought I'd stop by the gerai at Lake Gardens to buy more isotonic drinks but alas, they were still shut for Raya. I was really dehydrated by then as it was such a hot morning....so i made a stop at Lake Club to refill my water bottles. I didn't run around Carcosa today but ran inside Lake Gardens..all in all I should have completed 25km.

I have started taking glucosamine for the last 2 weeks, I am not sure if it's a placebo or it's really working, but my knees dont feel so sore today!

or maybe it's still to early to tell....these days I have delayed onset muscle soreness - the soreness only sets in 2 days after!

Great run today, although I slowed down quite a bit in the last 5km.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Ramblings for today

Hardly any mood to blog. Everything looks pretty bleak - stock market plunging, economy and political situation down in doldrums.It's pretty miserable at work too, sales having dropped because of the economy and renovations.

(Hope it doesn't rain tomorrow, need to clock in my long distance run. Did 8km yesterday. It's slow and easy day today.Went to the gym, walked on the treadmill and did chest exercises.)

Wonder how long more this dreary situation will drag on...sigh.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

New Watch



Yay! Finally got my watch! Bought an el cheapo Skylab watch. Actually it's not so cheap...a Skylab costs DOUBLE the price of what I used to pay.Originally had wanted an orange coloured watch, but everytime you change its mode, say from the time to the stop watch, the digits do not immediately appear and they scroll by slowly...Don't think I have the patience to wait for that, especially when you want to use the stop watch function!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

About Kenny & Leo

Ran 8km today. Hmm ok, I guess I am getting stronger, going up the 3rd and 4th slopes don't feel as bad as before, but as usual I am always slow and lagging behind the guys.I feel faster though...but I'm not really sure as I still have not got a new watch and can't really tell. Darn I've got to get that watch fast.

I'm planning an ABBA weekend for my long distance run - planning to load my MP3 player with ABBA songs...haven't stopped listening to them since watching Mamma Mia! Gosh I love their music..and i knew all their songs, even the less popular ones.IT HAD BETTER NOT RAIN!!

I read that Kenny Sia will be running the full marathon in Singapore! Gosh even Kenny is into marathon training now so I'd better buck up!

Running aside, I read that Leo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet will be working with each other again - first time since Titanic. The movie's called Revolutionary Road, I can't wait to watch it!!I think Leo has matured really well, he's quite a hunk now and not a pretty boy anymore.Gosh I loved him in Blood Diamond...ooh macho and oozing with sex appeal!Doesnt he just look gorgeous in this picture...

Saturday, October 04, 2008

WOW Again

No, it's not that I had a great time. WOW stands for Washed Out Weekend. It's just one of those days where I was so prepared for my long distance run, prepared my money, water bottles, change of clothes - heck even woke up early today to have a Power Bar.....then it POURS. Cats and dogs. Bah.

It poured for quite a while, until about 7.30am, by then I had totally "lost steam" to do any exercise. And of all weeks I have church duty tomorrow and won't be able to run tomorrow! Sigh, missed another long distance run again.

I now have excess energy, but not really hyper..wonder if I will be after a cup of coffee?

Consumed my last Power Bar and will have to go Power Bar shopping today...

Friday, October 03, 2008

Hey There Delilah



Here's a trivia - the song "Hey there Delilah" by Plain White T's was actually inspired by a runner, Delilah Dicrescenzo. Tom Higgenson, the lead singer of the band fell hard when he first met her - and was inspired to write the song. The song topped the charts in 2007 around the time when she was sidelined from the USA Track and Field Championships, due to an injury, so it sort of made up for her absence in the competition.

I read that she trains alone also - that is an inspiration to me. This is taken form an interview in Runner's World:

Who do you train with?
DD: I do about 95 percent of my running alone. That can be scary because you don’t have someone else to gauge yourself against, and you worry that your competitors might be doing more. But I’ve also been able to do some amazing solo workouts. My coach, Isaya Okwiya, is a Kenyan who believes in Kenyan type training. My hardest workouts are excruciating. Then on my recovery days, I’m just crawling, which is a good thing, because I definitely need the recovery. I’m not a high mileage runner, but I’ve been up into the 70s recently. In college I never ran more than mid-50s, and I was never a very good cross country runner. I was usually about fifth on the Columbia team.


Just look at that pretty face. No prizes for guessing how Tom Higgenson was inspired!


Hey there Delilah
What's it like in New York City?
I'm a thousand miles away
But girl, tonight you look so pretty
Yes you do
Times Square can't shine as bright as you
I swear it's true

Hey there Delilah
Don't you worry about the distance
I'm right there if you get lonely
Give this song another listen
Close your eyes
Listen to my voice, it's my disguise
I'm by your side

Oh it's what you do to me
Oh it's what you do to me
Oh it's what you do to me
Oh it's what you do to me
What you do to me

Hey there Delilah
I know times are getting hard
But just believe me, girl
Someday I'll pay the bills with this guitar
We'll have it good
We'll have the life we knew we would
My word is good

Hey there Delilah
I've got so much left to say
If every simple song I wrote to you
Would take your breath away
I'd write it all
Even more in love with me you'd fall
We'd have it all

Oh it's what you do to me
Oh it's what you do to me
Oh it's what you do to me
Oh it's what you do to me

A thousand miles seems pretty far
But they've got planes and trains and cars
I'd walk to you if I had no other way
Our friends would all make fun of us
and we'll just laugh along because we know
That none of them have felt this way
Delilah I can promise you
That by the time we get through
The world will never ever be the same
And you're to blame

Hey there Delilah
You be good and don't you miss me
Two more years and you'll be done with school
And I'll be making history like I do
You'll know it's all because of you
We can do whatever we want to
Hey there Delilah here's to you
This one's for you

Oh it's what you do to me
Oh it's what you do to me
Oh it's what you do to me
Oh it's what you do to me
What you do to me.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Cross Training

Went swimming today. The silly gym only opens at 8am , and for tomorrow as well. Truly bad management, dont understand how they plan the schedule.

Anyway, swam 1500m of frontcrawl. Gosh, wonder how these athletes manage 10km of swimming! I'd be a shrivelled up prune by then!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Looking for my Tonto

Ran 15km this morning...and am at work now. Hopefully it will be a quiet day because i don't feel like walking around much after running 15km.

Finally, my brother and Hsiung have decided to start running from Bukit Aman. They had planned to do a 15-20km, but I said I could do no more than 15km as 20km is a bit of a rush for me since I have to work. Just as we started our run, I saw CCC, Jamie and a few others finish the first day of their "Hell Weekend". It was a pleasant morning to run as it rained the night before.

I got really irritated when Hsiung told me that it's too dangerous for me to run with my MP3 player on, especially when I am alone. I am not unaware of that, that's why I keep my volume low. He said he noticed I am the only person running alone whereas most female runners run with a guy. PLease tell me something I dont know! The whole reason I run with an MP3 , which I never used to is because it's hard to motivate myself when I am a solitary runner. I already told him so many times that it's hard for me to find a running partner, regardless of gender, who runs the same pace as me. I was really angry, because, if he thinks it's soo dangerous for me to run alone, why doesn't he slow down and run with me?

I just get annoyed when people volunteer advice when they dont do anything to help.

So yes, I am still looking...and waiting for my Tonto.

If not, heck I'll run alone. Because I know I am not alone..my Lord is with me.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

24

After my hiatus last week, I decided to be a heroine and do 24km today. I'm all sore and tired now...

Started my run about 6.20am. Saw a group of about 15 runners, but it was all guys. I didn't see anyone familiar. It ended up a solitary run again for me, my friends ditched me and did 12km instead. They have finally registered themselves for the full marathon in Singapore, but i don't know when they will start doing at least a 20km.

I seem to be losing things when I'm running! It's all due to my deteriorating Adidas running belt..today I lost a broken watch. No love lost as it was a cheap watch, and the strap was broken, but now I am forced to buy a new watch. I tried to stuff my car keys and watch into one of the water bottle compartments, but I guess it must have bounced off when I was running. I'd decided to hold my carkeys in my hand - I would not want to lose that!

My first song on the mp3 was "Agnus Dei" - perfect to start a run with a song of praise.After about 5km, I realised that I still had stamina, but my thighs were feeling fatigue! I think it was due to the 10 min sprint on the bicycle yesterday.I didn't think it had such a great impact.There was a couple who overtook me somewhere near Tijani. Sigh it seems like I am always the only solitary runner. Women always have their partners to run with. It's so difficult for me to find a person who can run at my pace - oh well that's what you get for being a wannabe athlete. Can't run but want to run! In any case, I'm always put in situations where I am always alone. So I guess it makes no difference whether I am running alone or living this life alone. I've always had to look out for myself, and it's the same for running.

As I reached the Jalan Duta highway, there was a stupid motorcyclist travelling on the pavement in opposite direction. I really hate that! Leave the pavement for pedestrians for crying out loud! Nearly lost my Power Gel trying to avoid this stupid motorist.

At the water station, I took a Double Latte Power Gel - it sure sustained me and also brought extra fuel to my tired thighs. I think my body is slow to react - I normally only start feeling better after having run 10km. Gosh it takes me forever to warm up!

I did the extra loop around Carcosa...by that time my knees felt busted and I really really wanted to walk but it was really mind over matter...had to tell myself that I've not much time left to increase distance, what more missing last week's run.

Right after the run I went back and showered and went for a farewell breakfast. After that went off to work...am at work now and I am so so tired, haven't put my feet up, and I have my parents' anniversary tonight.

God have mercy on me!:P

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Short & Fast

Did some speedwork today..at least I felt so. Instead of doing 8km today, Hsiung and I decided to do 6km since we were both feeling tired. I guess it was a slow run for him today, but for me it was speedwork! Was practically racing throughout the 6km, felt in tip top condition although initially was tired. I guess I just needed to kickstart the morning.

And, hurrah, I think it will not be a solitary run for me this weekend, my running buddies may join me. At last. It's been EXTREMELY difficult to motivate myself, other than having new music on my MP3 player, and constantly brainwashing myself by reading Runner's World.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

New shorts

Took a break from exercise for 4 days last week. I was so unbelievably tired over the weekend, I even missed my long distance run :(

Woke up feeling tired again...was tired after second round but managed to push myself. Need to be mentally stronger! I think I managed quite a strong run despite feeling tired, and I can tell from the sore thighs.Why is it that I am not improving despite weeks and weeks of running? Maybe I'm just getting old.(Completed 8km anyway today)

Over the weekend I managed to find a nice pair of Mizuno shorts. I usually like my shorts a little longer, about halfway on the thighs - I dont like it when the shorts are too short - therefore I cannot wear the running shorts because 1) exposes too much skin 2) it's easier to get chafing with short shorts.

Now I just need to find a nice top.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

DId 8km again. Felt so so horrible! Body was not awake until almost finishing. Remind me never to eat Shak Kei ma at night again.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Back on track

Redeemed myself this morning! Did about 21km this morning...was kiasu after what happened last week, so I'd decided to consume a Power Bar before the run.Lo and behold, I felt very strong today, could run faster and didnt feel so awful.

Another thing which motivated me was I'd changed the list of songs in my MP3...today I had more old rock to accompany me, stuff from Rolling Stones to Poison and to John Cougar Mellencamp. NOthing like good ol' rock! My first song was Mas Que Nada, by Sergio Mendez and Black eyed Pea, and it was a great song to perk up the morning!

I'd made sure I packed money in my belt the night before...but I was still having problems with my running belt...one of the bottles dropped out , and then I realised that the elastic band in one of the water bottle compartments had stretched and therefore was loose....I guess I will have to sew it up.

I was hoping to push a few more kilometres but decided that the little extra that I had done was enough.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Blind & Fast


The Beijing Olympics have come and gone, but what many people don't realise is that the Paralympics is still on.

If anything, these athletes would serve to be a bigger inspiration.Henry Kirwa of Kenya has won the gold medal in the 5000m (category T13, ie blind)event with a time of 14 mins and 24.02 seconds...heck, I can't even complete 3km in that time! Amazing..how do they run without sight?

No Time

No, that I dont have time to do things....I broke my sports watch months ago but never bought a new one. Did 8.2km today, I felt much stronger than I did on Tuesday, but I'm not sure if my time was any better. Got a quick burst of energy at around 3rd km.

Bumped into the aunty with the tongkat...she told me I am now beautiful now that i have GAINED WEIGHT. I told her, "aunty, I actually lost weight la" to which she replied "but your face now so fair, so beautiful.." She's blind la...I've gone a shade darker from running under the sun.I have 3 theories about this aunty:

1. She is actually a preprogrammed surveillance robot who is programmed to say the same old things in response to seeing the particular person.

2. You know how women love to bitch about other women and rejoice in telling them they've gained weight? Well maybe this aunty is no exception.

3. She has cataract and her focus is dispersed, therefore everything she sees has a wider outline.

Just don't understand why Chinese people love to talk about other people's weight!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Phat 2B Fit!

That's the title of my other blog. But it really is phat to be fit! Measured my resting heart rate first thing on Sunday morning, and it was 59bpm. Yesterday I decided to take my blood pressure as well, and it was at 108/65! I thought that was pretty low, after an 8km run and a cuppa coffee! I wonder if it has anything to do with eating oats daily?

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Payback time.

Did 8km outdoor today. Had to payback massively for last Saturday...I was such a total weakling on Saturday, and I was disappointed in my mental weakness.

Last Saturday, I ran about 5km before realising that I hadn't brought any money for hydrating fluids!! I was listening to Click Five's "Empty" at that time, and I suddenly realised my pocket was empty too...Soon after I realised I had no money, my running belt became loose and I dropped one of the bottles. Luckily I heard it drop and went back to retrieve it. After I had adjusted my belt, I realised I had dropped my Power Gel too! It was such a disastrous run.I had wanted to make a U turn, but I thought, I might as well just try to complete it.

By the time I completed 9km I was almost dying and dehydrated. Unfortunately the water that I carried was not enough, I usually carry 2 200ml bottles and then replenish at the petrol station. I was desperate and wanted to stop at my friend's house but i decided against it since it was 8am.

As I was turning back from the petrol station, suddenly I saw my friend walking towards me!! It was as though I saw a mirage! By that time I was so tired out and lost momentum..she was carrying a water bottle but I was so low on fuel by then I just could not run another 10km back. Had I not bumped into her I would have walked the 10km back. Since I had lost steam, I joined my friend and her family to shoot a few hoops at the park. Then they had to send me back to Lake Gardens.

What a washout.

SO, I had to make up for it today. 8km is like 4 hills..was dying in the first 2 rounds but managed to pick up pace after the 3rd hill....my friends still have not signed up for the Singapore Marathon, but their actions more or less confirms that they will be running.

Now I have to psyche myself up for a mega hill run on Thursday...

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Marathon = 42.195km

Woke up feeling terribly tired today. Ran on the treadmill on Tues and Wed. I realise many people have the wrong misconception of marathons. Most people think that doing a 10km is doing a marathon.ON Tues the big lady (well i cant call her the big lady anymore coz she's no longer big..) came up to me and asked if she could train for the marathon with me.So I asked her what is the maximum distance she's done so far, and she said 5km. She had wanted to follow me on Saturday runs but I told her I'm running 20km.

Although I felt tired today, I started really slowly, at the bottom of the hill and slowly picked up pace later. Finished the run feeling quite strong. Must the the rice I had yesterday ( I dont normally like to eat rice). Did 6.2km.

Sigh, with all the workout, my weight loss is minimal, and doesn't commensurate with the amount of effort I put in. Just measured my waist today and it isn't very encouraging.

Guess I'm the Chinese Serena Williams(with less taut butt).

Monday, September 01, 2008

7.5km

Gym was only opened at 8am today so I swapped my outdoor running day. Compared to last Monday I felt a lot better today after the weekend 20km run. Did about 7.5km around my place..it was a quiet morning. Didn't feel super energetic, neither did I feel super tired, so I just went at a slow pace.Quite a hot day again today.

Finished off feeling rather good. I think I need another pair of shoes to alternate with and save my Hurricane 9 for the race.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

No pressure!

Had to take my dad's blood pressure. It's been a while since I used a stethoscope and sphygmomanometer...I had to learn how to use it when I was taking the fitness instructor course, and purchased a set as well.I am glad I can remember how to use it! Hurrah!

The Heat Is On!

Was so bummed out, I fell asleep on my sofa and was there the whole night! Was up at about 5am but felt totally, totally lazy to get up. Felt quite reluctant and lazy to run this morning, but I finally jumped up and got ready at 6.10am. Felt quite tired and not exactly energetic.

Started my run at 6.45am...there was one other man who ran, but I think he did 10km as I didnt see him past 10km mark. Seemed like a pretty warm day as my body was already burning by 3km. Alas, at 7th km the sun was up and against my back. Very very hot! I felt quite awful today, felt tired by 3rd km and didnt feel wonderful after completing 10km. Even after i hydrated myself with 100+ and refueled with Power Gel, my body was quite exhausted. My body was so low on fuel that the Power Gel tasted so good, and my body just quickly absorbed the sodium. Today I was accompanied by 80s, contemporary chart and Christian songs.

By the 15th km I had depleted all my water and was quite dehydrated. Walked for a few meters before resuming my run.The sun was already in my face and even my photochromatic lenses went very dark. It was just unbelievably hot.On the way back I saw many DBKL workers mowing the grass preparing for Merdeka Day.

Finally completed my run, in a surprisingly shorter time than last week although I felt worse than last week!I guess it was hotter this time round and also when I did my first 20km last week I had less expectations - having completed 20km last week I would of course expect to complete it this time too.

When I got home guess what? The sun decided to hide itself behind the clouds! Bah!But I guess I do have to get used to the heat as well, since Singapore is pretty hot..

Friday, August 29, 2008

Pounds Away!!

Had only 3.5 hours of sleep before I hit the gym this morning. Did a light workout today, with interval training (walk/run) for half hour and another half hour on elliptical machine. Also did chest exercises today.

There's this lady in my gym who used to be really HUGE, but has lost A LOT of weight since. She is about half her original size now and even runs on the treadmill. She doesn't hire any personal trainer, she just attends a number of classes. She works out really hard, and she's the only one in the gym who has shown significant improvement. Anyway, she approached me today and said "I've been watching you. You've lost a lot of weight"

I went(accompanied with rolling of eyes), "Look who's lost more weight"!

She replied," Yes I have lost weight but i have a lot of stubborn fat. I see you had a lot of stubborn fat but have lost it so I feel encouraged that I can also lose my stubborn fat"

O K ......

Seems like a lot of people like to talk about my fat: the aunty with the tongkat who goes for morning walk and the gym people..I'm glad I can give people something to do.

Well I have lost about 3kg...but I'm still in "danger zone" and classified as obese using the Body Mass index.

Ideally another 3kg to go..

Thursday, August 28, 2008

6.2km Today

Everybody else was so bummed out after last night's dinner, there were only 2 of us running.Had too much wine last night, I was totally groggy when I went to bed, but thank goodness I woke up feeling normal. Was up at around 5am, could hear that it started raining...strangely I didn't have the desire to sleep in but got out of bed at about 6.30am.BY the time I got out of the house the rain had stopped, and the weather was perfect for running.

Did 6.2km, started from the bottom of the hill. Felt pretty strong and steady today, even going uphill. I wonder if it's because of the 20km I did last week or the energy from the cheese I had last night.

Nearly got chased by a pooch today! It was a little furry dog, mixed breed I think. It was unleashed, and when I ran past the owner she said "oh be careful of my dog, he doesnt like people running"

Honestly these dog owners should put their dogs on leash if they know that they cant be controlled.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Post Olympic Inspiration



Caught this on ESPN this morning - Purina Incredible Dog Challenge. Such clever dogs! And such agility! Now that Olympics is over, I could turn to these pooches for inspiration!

Did 3.5km on the treadmill as I watched this, then 30 min on elliptical machine followed by leg exercises which I missed on Monday, and back exercises as usual on Wednesday.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Running Attire

I'm back to normal physical condition. Did a 5.5km this morning, and felt pretty strong. Must have been because I rested yesterday. It's great that the weather was cool, and running uphill didn't seem to difficult today.Pain in bunion completely gone.

I need to start shopping for new running attire - my running shorts are getting old and loose, they keep sliding down after a while, whereas my running tights are loose and keep riding up!

Also need to get a new top for the race - I usually like to wear something different everytime so that I can identify the different years that I did the run...and I usually do not use the standard race shirts or ones from other races because they are dime a dozen.

Well, if I can't run very well at least I can look good right? :)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Delayed Reaction

Woke up with a slightly inflamed left knee...sigh, felt perfect on Saturday and Sunday, didn't do anything strenuous either...had to skip gym alltogether today.

I think I got the sore knee from watching the marathon...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Flame Burns On



The Olympics torch may have been extinguished, but the inspiration burns on.Traditionally always the last event of the Olympics,it ended with yet another record breaker - a new Olympics record of 2:06:32 by Kenya's Samuel Wansiru.Even the silver medalist, Gharib from Morocco also broke the previous record with a timing of 2:07:16.

The men's marathon was a lot more intense than the women's, as usual they ran at a much more intense speed, and not to mention it was under the scorching heat. There were several great moments during the run: when Wansiru suddenly surged forward and broke away from the leading pack, when Kebede from Ethiopia sprinted ahead of his compatriot Merga to claim the bronze medal, and when former Olympic gold medalist Baldini from Italy finished in 12th place despite being in 50-something position at one point and having injury.

As soon as Wansiru crossed the finishing line, the first thing he did was fall down on his knees and pray, then he did the sign of the cross.What a feeling!

Oh ya. Strangest thing happened...the pain from my bunion has completely gone after the 20km run! Maybe I need to run more!

Songs for Running

There are some songs which have really great tunes for running, but the lyrics are less inspiring!

Example:
"Here I Go Again" - Whitesnake

And here I go again on my own
Goin down the only road Ive ever known,
Like a hobo* I was born to walk alone
And Ive made up my mind
I aint wasting no more time


"Run" - Collective Soul


Have I got a long way to run
Have I got a long way to run
Yeah, I run


But I still love these tunes and would listen to them when running!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Let the Run Begin!

Where Olympics end, I begin. Embarked on my first long distance run today...I completed 20km! Hurrah! After an absence from long distance training it wasn't too bad.WOke up at about 6.10am..decided I didnt want to run too early since it was another lone ranger run and i didn't want to run in the dark.By the time I packed the water bottles for my running belt, get the power gel and prepare the change of clothes, it was about 6.30am already.

Went to Bukit Aman...was relieved to see other runners, and slow ones too! Started my run at about 6.45am, after warm up. Managed to overtake some runners, there was a girl whose running belt kept coming off. I'm so glad my running belt stayed on for the whole run and didnt come off like it did for the Great Eastern run. My belt looks like it's deteriorating..first of all it's loose (always has been) and I have to fold fold the belt before i stick on the velcro. Secondly, I think all the sweat got into the zipper and it got rusted.Cant zip it!But I really do like this one..it's an Adidas one and the bottles are quite slim and there's 4 of them so the weight is evenly distributed around the waist compared the the Nike one which has 3 chunky bottles.

By the time I hit about 4km, it rained on my parade!! I thought oh no, it's gonna pour and it will be hard for me to see as I was wearing my glasses (with Transitions lenses) and not contact lenses.BUt good thing it jsut rained lightly for a while, and then it subsided. BY the time I hit about 8km My legs were beginning to fatigue, and i thought, i;m not even halfway through the run. But thanks to some inspiring music I managed to push on. I don't normally use an MP3 player when I'm running, because you dont get bored when you're with friends, but when you're on your own it gets a bit boring. Fueled myself with 100 plus and Power gel (i love the raspberry one!) at 10km I felt so refreshed.Continued my run, but alas, the MP3 battery died at 11th km. Good thing I am quite used to running without music so it was allright.

At 18th km, as I was struggling uphill, I saw some cyclists going downhill. I had to of course,maintain good posture and make myself look like it was just a breeze! But honestly, although my legs felt like jello at the end, it wasn't that bad.

And now, after the run I am craving for prawn mee!!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Lone Ranger Run

Everybody was away so I had to run alone today. And bunion felt close to normal this morning. Hurrah! It was definitely the old shoes that caused it..Four days using my Asics and it feels a lot better. Haven't used much of my new orthotics though - maybe I will used them tomorrow since I won't be running. Did an extra 0.5km today....just that little bit uphill was enough to kill me.

Oh and I signed up for the Mizuno run....absolutely love the shirt! Even Ragu signed up before I did!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

On the Road to Singapore...hopefully

Wah! There was actually fresh new fluffy towels at Celebrity Fitness. Although judging from the stack of towels they had, I am not sure if it would sustain them past 10am..unless they bring in fresh new laundered towels.

Bunion feels a lot better today..although left foot felt a bit stiff when I got out of bed, however when I started running it began to feel better.Did 3.5km on the treadmill...I think I am kinda inspired now from the Olympics...not just from watching the marathon and athletics, but ESPN has also been showing a series of triathlons and Ironman competitions.On Monday they showed the Specs Savers Ironman South Sfrica competition..there was a blind man competing, with someone guiding him of course..can you imagine swimming when you're blind? I cant even swim a straight line with my eyes open!

I am so behind in my training schedule, i really have to do something about it this weekend. I really pray my foot will be able to endure all that thumping...Also did back exercises today.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Taking it Easy

Woke up feeling rather tired, tempted to skip my outdoor run but decided that I needed it(I'm the Queen of Stubbornness) Left bunion not feeling on top of the world, but I took it easy. The pain seemed to have eased off by going slow, however the surrounding area felt a bit sore but not painful. Did a slow 5.5km run, and only in the last 1km I picked up (a little ) pace. Heart felt in good condition but just a little hampered by the foot.

After the run my left foot felt much better, although a little sore on the top of my foot. Soaked my foot in warm water with a few drops of lavender oil and massaged it with Voltaren after that.

Hope the soreness subsides by tomorrow.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Blistering Bunion!

Changed to my Asics runners today..sigh the pain is still there, however it's not sesamoiditis. It's my bunion acting up again. SOmetimes I just feel like having it sawn off...It's really painful and I was suffering after 3km. On Voltaren now.

And I havent even started my marathon training. Sigh.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sesamoid Street

I think I've got sesamoiditis on my left toe.It hurts after running a while, and if I push on, I start to get shin splints.

Well I hope that by changing to my new Asics tomorrow the pain will be alleviated. My Hurricane 7 HAS seen better times.

Motivated or Discouraged?


There. I've finished watching the women's marathon. I am not so sure if I feel motivated or discouraged now!! I am just so amazed how Tomescu Dita maintained her lead for half the race without looking too tired! She was in top form, didn't show any signs of major fatigue while the runners in the chase group were already looking so tired. Initially they focused so much on Tosa (Japan) and I could feel her pain. I probably look like that at 5km mark!

I think the marathon seems more daunting now than when I first did it. Maybe it's fears of not being able to beat my previous time. Rightfully runners should run each race as its own and not compare with other races, as weather conditions and other factors could be different (eg form may not be the same etc)I seriously doubt if i can run any faster than my previous....what more I haven't been training.

ALso, I've noticed that the best runners are in their mid 30s! oh woe, what is happening to me? ONly seem to be going downhill!

Tomescu Dita finished in 2:26:44, which is like my half marathon time! But I am really glad that Ndereba came in 2nd at 2:27:06 and very very happy that China's Zhu came in 3rd although I would have liked her to be in second place. Paula Radcliffe struggled in the last few kms with some cramps, but I am glad that she finished her race regardless, unlike the last Olympics.

My friend reminded me though, that I should look at Paula's feat for inspiration, that she completed the race although in a poor position - and that is what marks a true competitor, not just a runner.

I need more inspiration!