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 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 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


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 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 Lord is with me.