the pencil runs

posts on running

Splish Splash went the shoe with the hole

Thursday, June 30, 2005


PlaceTime (mins)Distance (km)


Wednesday, June 29, 2005Barker19.43.510.8

It drizzled. I wore the top my sister sent me for my birthday. The top looks and feels like a swimming costume -- it has a built in shelf bra ("Dry motion control" it says on the tag) and is made of a sweat-wicking fabric. After the run, with the rain and the sweat, it did feel like I just stepped out of a pool.

Oh boy, oh boy!

Wednesday, June 29, 2005
I am listed! Lonely Runner (who ran 24 hours straight at East Coast to raise funds for tsunami victims) listed me last night!

It is such an honour to be listed among the REAL runners that I feel like I should be posting about my pace, my heartbeat, the route I took like madman, but that would just be too embarrassing. Seriously, all the runners in that blog are very zai (good). So I will stick to the literary side of running. These are the top three reasons why I run:

1. The sense of accomplishment
Running is one of the few things I can control in my life right now. I'm somewhat stuck in a corner in my job and relationships, and being able to set running goals and meet them gives me that extra motivation to cope with the rest of life.

2. To prevent osteoporosis
I am petite. I'm also Chinese and female, which means I have all the genes for osteoporosis later in life. Running (unlike swimming) is a weight-bearing exercise that helps build up my bone density. Bone mass peaks at age 30, at which point it starts to decrease, and so I'm trying to run as much as I can before I reach the big 3-0.

3. Oh, the places you will go!
And the things you will see! Nothing beats the light of the setting sun reflecting off the water at MacRitchie Reservoir. Or the feeling of your first 10km along the coast of East Australia. Or running in the rain at Bishan Park. Or weaving in between ancient Chinese gravestones at Bukit China, Malacca. Or nodding and smiling at people with large dogs. Or simply finding yourself again...

So what are your reasons?

the ground is black with mourning

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Remember me raving about's jogging route calculator six months ago? Well, they have decided to make it a paid service only. You can input the points, but to see the final distance, you will have to pay something in the range of $0.53. Today's map is in black to mourn this loss. But we will survive, there is always string and paper. I calculated the distance this time by using string on the computer screen. Not perfect, but hey, my string cheaper than 50 cents okay?

Running in Singapore I: Where to find that elusive locker

Thursday, June 23, 2005
I'll be posting information here that I've found relevant in my amateur running romps around Singapore. Today's topic is : Where to find that elusive locker.

Unless you drive, get driven around, or plan to run with cargo pants stuffed with your wallet/ mobile phone/ EZ-link card/ make-up/ towel etc., lockers are essential. Knowing where they are and how much they cost is also important to a happy running romp.

MacRitchie Reservoir
As far as I know, lockers are located in two places at MacRitchie: outside the toilets by the carpark and at the top of the hill where the snack shop is. The small lockers ($1) are large enough to squeeze two backpacks in. The lockers only accept $1 coins, so make sure you have a dollar coin in your wallet before setting out. The toilets by the carpark can get really gross though, so I would suggest changing into your gear and emptying your bladder before getting to MacRitchie. The toilets at the top of the hill are marginally better. There is a watercooler at the top of the hill -- it is located outside the toilets near the vending machine. There are no showers that I know of.

AMK Library
If you need a place to deposit your stuff before a jog in AMK, you will be able to find cheap lockers at the AMK library (20 cents for the small locker; 50 cents for large). The small lockers accept only 20 cent coins, the large ones 50 cent coins. AMK library has a clean and large handicapped toilet for you to change into your running gear. (Remember to change into running gear BEFORE putting stuff in the locker though; turning your hp to "silent" would be considerate too) And if you are lucky, you may get a locker numbered "42", which is of course the answer to life, the universe, everything.

California Fitness
Bring a small lock. Bring two small locks if you want to lock up your track shoes while you are in the shower. They have shoe-sized lockers at the bottom row. The upper lockers are shaped in a “P”; the bottom lockers are shaped in a “d”. To open the lockers on top, use the grooves at the bottom of the arch of the “P” rather than the bottom of the stem. California Fitness discourages the use of combination locks – I assume it is because combination locks are easily picked. Shower foam, conditioner, shampoo, hairdryer and towels are provided (What kind of seventh fitness heaven is this?). As an extra tip, there are no hooks for you to hang your stuff in the shower.

Entry fee to the gym is $2.50 and the lockers take two 20 cents coins. The lockers in the restrooms are almost twice as large as the ones outside for the same price. There are shelves too if you have a trusting type of personality and don't want to use the lockers. The shower and the watercooler in the female restroom are excellent. One very important point: towels are compulsory in the gym. They threaten to kick you out of the gym if you don't have your towel at all times. I carried mine like an blue furry ID.

merrily we go around

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


PlaceTime (mins)Distance (km)Pace (km/h)
Friday, June 17 2005Barker43.87.29.9

This is the fastest time I've done the 7.2km Barker route to-date. The last time I did it in 45.6mins. Come July 27, I will have kept a whole year's record of runs. I love my running log! Watch this space for the final tally.

Also, S got the July issue of the Runner's Magazine from the library. July, my friend! It is like reading it fresh off the press. Gotta love the library in Singapore.

In this issue, they had 6 pictures of "rave runs" from the top 25 cities to run in America. San Francisco, New York, Colorado Springs, even Austin Texas for some reason. Beautiful pics, all of them. It all looks so... un-humid. *envy*

The July issue of Runner's World comes with two different covers. The cover for subscribers show this woman running in San Francisco; the one for newstands show her stretching and smiling with the San Francisco Bridge in the backdrop (see pic on left). I think it is because since they switched to the "pretty-woman-posing-on-front-page" policy, a few readers wrote in and complained about how wimpy they looked. But as we all know, having pictures of women sell. The editor-in-chief of our company told me that himself -- that he would choose a picture over another simply because there is a woman in it. So I guess this way, everyone is happy, meaning the subscribers, the sales team, the man on the street. I think the "rave run" pics more than make up for the posing on the cover though!

I want to send in a picture of someone running with the Esplanade in the backdrop.

To Labrador

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Labrador is a wonderful place to end your jog.