the pencil runs

posts on running


Friday, September 30, 2005

I am happy to report that my insatiable lust for the Polar RS200sd has subsided somewhat.

Went for a lovely music-filled run at Mt Faber last night with my trusty gear, the Timex Ironman and Ipod Shuffle. I've had the Timex for 7 years or so and it is still going strong. It does laps, countdown (in three ways), has a soothing blue indigo light, and a wrap-around velcro strap. I love the wrap-around velcro strap for the way it curves smugly around my wrist.

I really ought to do this route once a week. It has all the ingredients of a perfect route. An uphill climb; a scenic downhill, a few traffic light rest-stops ;) and it is close to home. I did it clockwise this time round -- it's amusing that the scenery always looks better on the downhill, no matter what the scenery actually is.

Mt Faber Loop (clockwise) --|-- 9 km--|--52.2 mins--|--10.3 km/h

We are the plodders of the world!

Friday, September 23, 2005

In preparation for the half marathon at the end of the year, this is our simple plan:

1. Increase the length of time we can keep jogging.
2. Increase the speed of short-medium length runs.
3. Do other types of sports when we get bored.

To this end, we hope to run one slow and long distance a week, slowly increasing the length of this jog until we are capable of jogging for two hours or so.

We, the plodders
Last week we jogged a wonderful route from Bishan Park to Esplanade via the kallang park connector. It was mid-autumn's night and the night was full of sparklers, lanterns and candles. It felt like a tour through the heartlands of Singapore -- we ran past the Indian temple with their drums, the Chinese temple belting karaoke, the neighbourhood crime watch patrol with their neon sticks. We ran for 78mins -- approximately 11km.

This week, we jogged at East Coast Park. The breeze was great but the route far more boring than the Bishan-Esplanade route. The only good thing about East Coast Park is that the road never ends (the road ending is a big problem when you live on a small island) and you don't have to worry about traffic. Otherwise, it is quite boring. We sang, "We are the plodders of the world!" at the top of our lungs (took up all of one minute) and ran in silence for most of the way. We ran 1 hr 41mins, approx 13.5km. The sky was dark by the time we finished.

We, the bounding gazelles
For the first time last week, through some cunning manipulation, we managed to get to MacRitchie by 5:45pm to run the 10km route. Was a bit worried about it being too deserted on a weekday evening but it wasn't too bad. We ran this route at a medium pace, finishing it in 67mins.

This week we also ran two rounds of Bishan Park, 3.3km each. It was fast enough that we couldn't talk. There was a thunderstorm looming that night -- the kind of night where you can almost feel the static electricity in the air, when every five minutes or so, the blood red sky would streak with distant lightning, followed by a low deep rumble. Ran the first loop in 19mins, the second in 21mins.

We, the salamanders
Cycled to and from work twice this week. It takes the same time to cycle as to take public transport. A bit of the hassle with the working clothes and smelling decent for work, but it means I get to save a little money that I can spend on other things, like the Polar RS200sd or a night out with the gals. I will have to cycle back and forth everyday for six and a half months if I wanna save enough for the Polar RS200sd though. Bah.

So what shall I run tomorrow?

How to trim an oversized event tshirt

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

This is the size Medium Sheares Bridge Run Tshirt I got two weeks ago. It is way too big. So I decided to trim it down to size. Here is a step-by-step guide.

1. Find a Tshirt that fits you. Place it over the oversized event tshirt.

2. Trim off the difference, leaving an inch for room.

3. Tack sides together. Sew up the sides. I used the stitch where you stick the needle through both layers of cloth (always from the bottom up), swing the string over the needle, and then pull the needle through the cloth.

4. There you have it.

I love my trimmed Sheares Bridge Tshirt. It fits better and it is so much cooler without the sleeves and all that extra material. My mum insists that my lousy sewing will only hold up to two or three washings at most, but we'll see about that.

Weekend Report

Monday, September 19, 2005
Had a good weekend everyone?

The Terry Fox Run was rained out. The winds started whipping furiously at 5:30am and it kept raining and raining till about 7:45am. But my friends and I weren't about to be put off by a little bit of rain so we turned up anyway. By that time the rain had become a drizzle and the worst were the muddy puddles underfoot.

The most unfortunate thing was that the 8km run was cancelled. I found it amusing that they had a large banner stating "8km Competitive Run" while in their flyer said in no uncertain terms that participants should not push and shove as the run was "not competitive". A bit of a miscommunication going on?

But everybody knows the Terry Fox Run is for Cancer Research and everybody knows you should not push and shove anyway. The route was not well planned; the lanes were overcrowded; the spirit of the event was somewhat dampened by the rain; but it didn't matter, it was all for a good cause at the end of the day.

My friends and I had a good time anyway. We kept on running to the end of Siloso Beach just because we wanted to, made a U-turn back to the finish line, ate a banana and drank some water, listened longingly to the lucky draw prizes being given out, and then trooped off for breakfast at Tiong Bahru which was superb. Wan ton mee, chiu kway and teh-O bing... how could it not be a good day? ;)

Started and finished the project of trimming down my over-sized Sheares Bridge Run Tshirt. It is now a sexy sleeveless top! Very successful (at least until my lousy stitching falls out). Will post pictures soon once I get my camera, the cable, and the computer in the same frame of reference.

New fangledness

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

How serious a runner must you be to have one of these powerhouses?

The Polar RS200sd calculates distance, speed, heart rate, and even has an auto lap function.

Check out the sgrunner's forum here. You can get a good price from Bras Brasah.

Then again, there is the Garmin forerunner and the Timex Speed and Distance too. Argh... I need to run more and check out new fangled gadgets less.

Sheares Bridge Run

Monday, September 12, 2005

An epiphany after the run -- the view from the Sheares Bridge looks a lot better when you are in a car, preferably air-conditioned.

It was hot. Thank God for clouds though, 'cos it could have been hotter. I was wearing this blue sleeveless top which had two layers of material for some inexplicable reason. It was so thick that the safety pin could not penetrate both layers and I had to content myself with piercing it through one layer only. I think the next long run I do, I'll have to wear one of my lighter and cooler tops and just get over the four pins holes that I will have to put in them.

They also did not have Gatorade. The 12.6km runners were like the prodigal children in this event -- no baggage services, no Gatorade, no water stations at the starting point... But I didn't mind too much. The race was well planned overall. Near the end of the run, there was a water station which was giving out Gatorade cups and many runners stopped to get a drink, only to find water masquerading as Gatorade. Liars!

Things I consumed the day before the run:

1. 1.5 litres water
2. 2 pieces kaya bread
3. 1 cup coffee
4. 2 half boiled eggs
5. One quarter boiled sweet potato
6. 1 plate duck rice with tofu, peanuts, and half a hard boiled egg
7. 1 cup Sprite
8. 1 Yoshinoya Bento set with rice, beef, vege and tempura
9. 1 cup Japanese green tea
10. 1 bag Taiwanese crispy chicken snack

And for breakfast at 5:50am:

1. 2 pieces kaya bread
2. 1 soft boiled egg
3. 1 cup coffee
4. 150ml water
5. A bit of boiled sweet potato

Very pleased with my carbohydate and water intake before the run. Had to keep going to the loo in the middle of the night, but well worth it.

Now to plan for December!