Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Tri-Factor Triathlon: Freshman Triathlon 2013

This 'race' (if you can call it that) is the exact opposite of the last time I did the same distance back in 2010. Maybe it's age or just laziness, but I was a good 7 minutes slower than I was 3 years ago! And that was running with mud-caked feet!

I had been training half-heartedly before the race because...honestly?....I just didn't really take it seriously. At the back of my head was the constant 'they're all friendly distances so chill!' And chill I did. A lot of it. Especially the week before the race. Plus I guess I could use the whole 'injury' excuse, but I think I've pretty much milked that sorry little reason dry.

That said, I did enjoy the race. I was pleasantly surprised each time each leg ended. It is nice (and rare) when you think 'this leg is over already? that's fast' at the end of each leg. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I am fast...I'm saying the distances were just that short!

The swim leg went pretty well considering a fairly decent current I was swimming against and some slight choppiness. I sighted a gazillion times, which probably explains the aching neck, but that also meant I swam straight for a change. The first 20m of my swim my speedy swim amazed me even and I was all 'check me out dudes, I'm going so fast and swimming over every dang slow person out there'. Obviously that was short-lived and the rest of the swim was just spent dying a little and trying to catch my breath from that short spell. I think I got beat by a breaststroker at the end. And she was speedy. I spent the last 10m or so (between desperate gulps of air) trying to swim over random people just to catch up with her and I missed by a hair. Darn.

My bike leg was also better than many many other bike legs I've been for. Mainly this time I didn't have every man and his dog overtaking me (woohoo!) and I think I may actually have overtaken a few people. I was an idiot and packed the wrong bottle of water though (Side note: I need to spend some ass time on my road bike when training for stuff like this, because I tend to forget how to work the gears or what damn bottle fits in the bottle cage!) so because the bottle kept getting stuck on the cage I didn't actually dare take it out. Which meant I was just thirsty the whole way.

My run was shameful. This leads me to how important it is to do brick training. And that I didn't bother to do any. I really tried to run, I did. But whilst my spirit was willing, my legs felt like they were just weighed down by cement and weren't quite moving at the speed I was trying to get them to move at. I tried pumping my arms harder, but that did nothing except perhaps made me look ridiculous. It's amazing how much of a rhino you feel like right after you get through the transition. Anyway, because my legs weren't behaving, I took that as a good reason to stop running. So I walked. When I tried to run again, my knee hurt. So I walked some more. And even more. Soon it was the turn around point and I managed to find a girl going at a nice consistent pace I could stick myself behind and drag my heavy feet along. In the last 100m, my legs found it's groove and I made some wild crazed dash to the finish line...only to have a child beat me at the last 1m. Pffft.

I finished my teeny tiny race and thought I did awesomely and today after looking at the results, it seemed I had more of a 'meh' performance.

Swim leg (200m) - 05:19 mins
Bike leg (10k) - 31:56 mins
Run leg (2.4k)- 16:50
Overall - 54:04 mins

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Running Music-less

Due to a string of reasons most of which are due to my scatterbrain, the last two runs I did were done without music. Strangely enough the last two runs were also faster than my previous runs and I didn't get a stitch. Perhaps I could better control the pace when it felt like a stitch was coming on instead of having to pound out the beat of whatever song that was blasting in my ear. On a side note, my mp3 player is full of songs with quick heavy drum beats. Me thinks I overestimated how speedy I was and now half the time I'm trying to keep pace to the songs!

The thing about running song-less is that I have a repeat rift of a song in my head THE WHOLE RUN. Which kind of becomes irritating after a while. Take for example my go-to Beyonce song every time I want to run, all that plays in my head is 'all the single ladies, all the single ladies'...and that's it. That's all I remember of the song, which says a lot for how great my brain is at absorbing lyrics of any kind. So about halfway through my run yesterday I figured I should think up another song and then this christian song popped in, but I only knew '10,000 reasons for my soul to sing'. It was highly frustrating running to a single line in a song rather than a whole song. Maybe that's why I ran faster than usual - I was just sick of my one lined song and wanted to get the run over and done with.

So the conclusion, I might do some short runs music-less in the future. My friend Chris does his runs (long AND short) without music and I thought he was nuts, but I can see a kind of logic to the madness. You do become a bit more in tune (pun intended!) with your body and you're able to react accordingly without having to do some weird run which doesn't sync with the beat of the song - I've tried this, trust me, it is soooo hard. I'm not so sure I could last a longer run without music, but that's a moot point at the moment since I've only been doing 3k runs anyhow!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Appointment with the Podiatrist



I made an appointment last week with my podiatrist to get his blessing to do the 13k run in October. However other than walking over the weekend I also did a short stint of skipping. And I hurt my foot. Not my problem foot, but the other foot. Apparently because of the walking and skipping (mainly the skipping) I overworked my foot and strained my tendon and pinched a nerve.

So the original intention to go to the podiatrist close to pain-free (except after runs) ended up with me hobbling down with a tingling big toe and an arch that ached. We discussed how I was constantly hurting myself doing ridiculous things like skipping when I hadn't skipped in years and the nagging ankle ache when I did my runs now.

He was also shocked that I slipped my feet into my running shoes without undoing the laces. Yeah, so it seems the laces on my runners were tied too loosely so my feet were just moving all over the place in the shoes and the orthotics were rendered useless because of all that movement. So boys and girls, tighten them laces because apparently it makes a big deal.

We checked my hips, my back, the length of my legs so on and so forth. He also gave me a heel raise on one of my orthotics and sent me off with a warning to not do anything this week that would put too much weight on the front of the foot. I could run my sad little 3k runs and continue with my walks for the week and next week, we reassess and if it's still lousy, we start adding on ankle straps/taping to get the ankle movement sorted. If that doesn't work, then it might possibly be some problem with my back and then I'll be packed off to a chiropractor or osteopath. Joy. And all I wanted was his blessing for a 13k!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Monitor Lizards, Monkeys and a Squirrel

After my snake experience last week, I was on hyper-alert mode throughout my walk yesterday. I guess it didn't help that I had gone for lunch with my (so-called) friends who decided to tell me about flying snakes which freaked me out immensely. Then of course every other mammal, reptile and rodent in the wilderness decided to surface and all the sudden movements of these little creatures darting here and there made me uber jumpy. I've never seen a monitor lizard in all the time I've done my walks, but this time I saw two massive ones and heard another scuttling away. Then a monkey decided to drop something from the trees and another decided to zip across the path. And when my nerves were worn thin, I spotted a squirrel at the end of my walk...which did nothing, but by then I was so paranoid that I half expected it to jump on my head and attack me. It really felt as if the whole forest had come together and conspired to drive me nuts. Which incidentally is something squirrels like.

Needless to say I did the walk pretty quickly. I only managed to run for 2 minutes tops, but somehow still managed to complete the whole thing a good 5 minutes faster than last week when I ran for a longer stretch. I suppose it's partly the fact that I did this after a full meal in the afternoon (the full meal also gave me a stitch running, hence the lack of running).

Last week I did the trail in the morning, with nothing in my belly and just water to tide me through. Gina and I used to talk about this whole eating vs not eating before a run and she's of the 'cannot eat before running' category, whereas I need something inside me otherwise I get all grumpy and run out of steam really quickly. Which is why I prefer running in the evenings and walking in the afternoons. I generally get up in the morning feeling dehydrated (and mostly sleepy) and within 15 minutes I get hungry. I'm not the kind of person that can ride out hunger. Hell, I'm not the kind of person that can ride out anything. I can't ride out pain, I can't ride out hunger, I can't ride out fatigue....etc etc etc.

Bottom line is, I don't think my optimum performance is in the morning. I am trying to train myself to work well in the mornings though, since it gets so hot in Singapore by 9am that most races start stupidly early which means I either do a crappy race or I just stop doing any of them races here. Not entirely sure if there is any point in trying to condition my body - you know, the adage of trying to teach an old dog new tricks.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Running? What Running?

I'm starting to have a very bad feeling about my 8k race coming up. For one last night I did 3k and wound up with a stitch. Again. The good part is I ran through it. The bad part is I was very aware that 3k was probably the only distance I'd be willing to run through whilst nursing a stitch. Ideally it'd be less. No hang on, ideally I wouldn't even have a stitch!

I've also been wondering which distance to sign up for for the North Face 100k (obviously I'm NOT doing the 100k or even the 50k!) and at first I was all eager to go for the 26k, but now I'm wondering if I can even make 13k. So runners out there, I need your advice. Realistically I'm going to aim to do 13k if I'm doing this. The race is on 5th October and currently I'm running a painful 3k (and had to ice my foot AGAIN yesterday). Is there really any point doing this at all?


Monday, July 22, 2013

Never a Dull Moment


Aside from last weekend when I went to Hong Kong, I've been trying to make it for a trail walk (and a run on the flat patches) at least once every weekend. It seems a shame not to when the whole central catchment area is essentially in my playground and you get such a good workout in under 2 hours.

My favourite part about hitting the trails though is that nothing is ever the same! I generally go out and back and this is what happened yesterday:

As I was heading back, I saw a twig move in the distance. On getting closer I realised that said twig was actually a snake. A nice, long, green, yellow and black snake. Now I'm of the 'if I don't bother it , it won't bother me' school of thought, so I didn't think the snake would actually start slithering over to me. If it did though, I figured I could maybe out run it. Then I thought, should I run and jump over it or wait for it to cross over to the other side? I went with the waiting. I didn't really fancy the snake turning back and snapping its fangs into my ankle as I jumped over and as unlikely as that scenario was I didn't really want to put it to the test. So I waited patiently for the snake to make its slow slither over to the other side of the path and continued trotting on before I realised that when I was scrambling down the Nature Reserve a tree had somehow fallen and was now blocking my path.

I didn't really want to wander back to snake land since my aim was to get as far from it as possible and the tree was way to big to even attempt to jump over. So the plan would have to involve stepping into the undergrowth and skirting round the tree. Now I'd have been a wee bit squeamish but fine had I not see the snake before. But now that I had seen the snake, I wasn't dying to put my unprotected ankle into a huge area of tall-ish grass. Laziness trumped in the end. I could smell the end of the trail and I had no intention of back-tracking (to where the real snake was) and then taking the long route by road back. So I removed my ear phones and strained my ears to hear for any hint of a hiss, and ran (with high steps) through the undergrowth whilst yelping 'no snake, no snake, no snake'. I'm sure I looked like a complete fool, but there wasn't anyone else around to judge.

You'll all be pleased to know I made it back in one piece and even had the chance to regale you with my adventures yesterday. Will I go back again next week, snake and all? Hell yeah!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Silenced the Blerch, Awakened the Stitch

And boy do I like the Blerch more than the Stitch. Got 3k of running in before dinner yesterday and got hit with a stitch about 1km in. I tried breathing differently, I tried pressing in on the bit that hurt, and I tried running a little slower. Nothing helped. I'm not entirely sure how I can swim through a stitch but have so much trouble (and pain!) running through a side stitch. So essentially I started off the run with a good running posture and ended up half running half hobbling in the middle and dashing through the last bit to just get the run over and done with. I guess this is all part of the whole starting running from scratch again, but I did not at any point experience the whole 'peace out' thing in my run last night. Instead I got a lot of pain (see the common theme here?) and a lot of 'I hate myself for signing up for that stupid 8k run when I've done zero training'. Maybe it'll all start getting better once I break 5k...or maybe it'll get worse....but hopefully I'll become one with the pain and reach some level of nirvana where I start embracing all the crap that comes with running.

Meanwhile, how the heck does one get over a side stitch?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A comic that best explains why I run

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/running

A very good friend sent me this link saying she saw it and thought of me. I read it and thought of me. That said, I don't do marathons, much less ultra-marathons...but I do run to eat. And I am well acquainted with the Blerch (you'll see...). If you don't run, this is hilarious anyway! Enjoy!

Monday, July 8, 2013

My first 3K swim and other weekend updates

1. I swam my first 3k! Granted I did it all in sets, but the sense of achievement. Phew! Plus even if it isn't super accurate, Daily Mile calculated that I burned off 621 calories, so I had a completely guilt free curry dinner.

2. I started swimming when it was still bright out and finished off after the sun set. It felt like I was just swimming for ages and ages!

3. I don't like parents who can't manage their kids. Sure it's easy enough for me to say all this since I don't have kids, but aargh. It's a shared pool. As it was I was hugging the wall to get my laps in so it's not as if I were swimming in the middle disrupting the kids. They had 90% of the pool to play in so why couldn't they just stick to the bulk of the pool and leave me my little corner. And their parents were sitting there thinking their precious little devils were oh so cute for cutting me off constantly.

4. A group of older folk jumped in after the kids got out (finally) and they stood around in the pool in a group chatting. Again while there was oh so much space, somehow any swimmer in a pool just draws groups of people towards them. I hit some dude whilst doing back stroke. I think they moved then.

5. Perfume. Someone in that group of older folk must have showered in perfume because every time I got up to breathe when the group was near I was hit with a huge whiff of some overly strong scent. I always assume that people who slather on perfume are just dirty people who don't shower that often and smell a bit so they need something to mask their odor. So that made me think one of the group was a dirty person....in the same pool as me....urgh, don't want to get there.

6. Swimming vs Running. As of Saturday I now actually swim further than I run. Kind of sad, huh. Thing is though, I didn't even need any music when I was swimming. It took me about 1 hour 40 minutes to finish off, but the entire time I wasn't bored or needed some Beyonce to keep me going. I run 10 minutes and my brain is screaming for something to take away from the pounding and the pain. Not entirely sure what that means other than the fact that perhaps I like swimming more than running.

7. In other news I did the same route that Rich and I did last week and powered through all the way back home instead of stopping like the last time. I also strapped on my foot pod. It seems we grossly overestimated how far we walked last week. We thought it was 10k, it really was 5.7k. I ran certain parts of the route this time and landed weirdly on a rock at some stage which means the ball of my foot aches again. Still at least I completed the whole route in less time than we took to do a shorter distance last week. Yay me!

8. I am a big wuss. I filled up a basin with cold water and emptied all my ice trays and chucked in a few cold packs. I stuck both my aching feet into it and I almost died. It was so cold! And so painful! First it was just cold and a bit prickly. Then the ache that comes after. I stuck it out for a minute before yelping in pain and lifting my foot off. That pretty much meant that when I stuck my foot back it I was back to stage one - cold and prickly and then the ache after. It stops hurting so much after a while, but the initial ache from the cold is just indescribable. I pretty much double over and clench my fist through the "ache" stage and hate that I have to ice anything.

9. I've a couple of blisters from where a little stone found it's way between my big toe and my second toe and lodged itself there about 1/2 the walk and another where the top of my shoe rubbed against the side of my ankle and took off a nice little piece of skin. That and my legs ache and my feet hurt. When did I become this old achy person?!?

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Slow Long Claw Back to Fitness

It's been tough trying to get back to a 'fighting fit' stage. Currently I'm anything but. Because all my 'runs' previously were transferred to the elliptical and because I found the elliptical dead boring, I had pretty much reduced mileage to under 5k (but really mostly only 2k) and that didn't even translate to running on the road. In the heat. And it's been so hot. I come back from a run nowadays - and by that I mean the only 2 runs I've done this year - dripping with sweat and terribly disappointed in how slow all this is taking.

Yesterday Rich and I did our first trail walk again in ages. It almost didn't happen because it was pissing down at 7am. The rain stopped eventually and we mucked around. Before long it was 10 and getting too late to do anything. We made alternative plans - maybe we could walk to breakfast and walk back - before we decided to just bite the bullet and do the damn trail walk we'd planned to do in the first place. So after a quick breakfast, we headed out at close to noon.

My ankle and foot ached after our 2 hour trot and I ended up having to cut the walk short because it hurt too much. I don't think I had a huge pain tolerance in the first place (my motto has always been NOT to run through the pain) but it seems what little I had has now been shot and I spend half the time now icing something or the other. That said, aches and pains aside, the walk was good.

We took the trail behind my house and walked to the nature reserve, did half of it and ended up back on Rifle Range where I threw in the towel and insisted we get a taxi back. It was nice to be among all the green again and in spite of my sore ankle, I really do love trail, even with the bugs, mozzies and all them creepy crawlies. Hopefully fingers crossed I can get down to attempting a run on trail again without killing myself by tripping over a root or something equally idiotic.

Incidentally, I've been using the Daily Mile to log my training. I started using it because the Masters Swimming Club had a swim challenge they issued to all of us and I had to sign up to join the challenge. It's pretty amazing though and it can never hurt to know how many donuts you've burnt off or how many tvs you've powered. If any of my friends are using it, add me as your friend! It'll be fun to train together virtually! There's never any harm having more training buddies!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Hi there, aching quads!

After goodness knows how long not running because of the darn sesmoiditis, I finally decided to venture out for a run this week. The grand plan was to do this on Tuesday, but I couldn't find my mp3 player (I only ever use the mp3 player for runs, so no running = mp3 player chucked in some safe hidey hole that I couldn't locate!) so I ended up on the stationary bike again.

Yesterday I managed to get hold of the lost mp3 player after turning my room upside down and hit the roads with a whole run/walk plan i.e. run 500m, walk 500m, run 500m, walk 500m. With Beyonce blasting in the background I ended up doing 1.5k before I realised I was supposed to take it easy. Well, that and my ankles were aching, my legs felt tired, and I had a stitch forming...you get the picture. Essentially I was forced to walk because my body just couldn't handle this sudden running thing. Plus I started off way too fast all things considering, so I was pretty breathless by the time I hit 1.5k.

Today my quads ache. After a measly 1.5k of running. Evidently working out on the elliptical doesn't translate to running on the road. Ah well, baby steps.

What I did:
2k (1.5k run/0.5k walk) in 18 minutes

Monday, June 10, 2013

Tri-Factor 1.5k Swim Race Report - 2013

It's taken me ages to get back to fighting fit form. I fell sick about 3 weeks before the Tri-Factor swim and was only semi-better the week before but managed to fit in about 2 swims before the actual race. Since then, however, I've been making excuses to not do anything, the consistent one so far has been 'I need rest'. Which is pretty lame. I mean, what am I resting from? The day before where I rested as well? Geez. I guess I just need to get back into the groove of things which has proven to be a real big pain in the ass.

Enough about that, race report coming up.

I think I say it every year, but I really think Tri-Factor's swim races are one of the best organised races in Singapore. Plus it helps it's the only pure open water swim race, so it really isn't as if they have competition. Nonetheless, they did an awesome job again this year and I got a new personal best! Woo hoo!

Actually I've nothing really much to say about the Tri-Factor race that was different from last year. So really, just check it out here. That said I didn't swim like a snake this year, I was more diligent with my sighting and I wasn't the swimmer from hell! Woohoo!

Results: 1.5k in 38:39 minutes

Monday, April 22, 2013

Different Strokes for Different Folks...and a non-race report

I was supposed to do the Metasprint Discovery Triathlon (stupidly short distance triathlon). I didn't. I did however pack my bag the night before, drive all the way to the race and set up my bike in transition. What I also did do was muck up the start times. For some reason I read that my wave started at 10.50am. It didn't. It started at 10.20am. I could feel angry, but instead I felt more stupid than anything else. You see, I'd actually got to the race area at 9.55am. Enough time to sort out my shit but instead I was taking my own sweet time to set up. And why not? I assumed I had close to an hour before my race started. Thank goodness I strolled over to the information area to find out where the start point was otherwise I'd be standing around the race start looking like a complete idiot. As it was I felt pretty foolish when I had to walk back to the transition area 20 minutes after popping my bike there to retrieve it sheepishly and drive quickly home hoping no one would notice that I was neither body marked nor looking like I had done a race of any sort.

My friend, Mun in da house (he made me sign him up, so I decided to give him a name he'd remember for life on his race bib!) who signed up for the sprint did pretty awesomely though. We talked after about doing a triathlon again and he was keen on signing up for a Olympic distance triathlon. I wasn't so keen. I have a 1.5k swim race coming up in May and for me working towards that was my highlight of the year. It was a do-able distance and a distance that I knew wouldn't cause me to hate myself too much mid-way through. Mun felt that he wanted something to work towards so for him doing a long swim was lame because he could do it in the pool, he wanted something more than that. I wanted to tell him that technically he could do a full triathlon if he had a pool, put his bike on a spinner next to it and then went out after to run 10k but he went into a dead zone and the phone line got cut off.

I did start thinking, however, why people did races and (as obvious as it probably is to everyone else) it really was for different reasons. Back when I was younger I always thought that people thought the same way as me. It never occurred to me that something I felt strongly about meant absolutely nothing to someone else, or vice versa. I realised later that people were inherently different and that we make friends with people who share little similar parts with us. I said before that friends were like bits of a jigsaw that make up a persons life because no one friend is exactly like you are, but just a wee bit similar. In the same way, I took for granted that people took part in races for the same reasons and the same goals.

For me, I like the swim leg in a triathlon. I'm not great at it, but it is the most decent of my 3 legs. Mun seems more bike-friendly. I once took part in a longer distance triathlon relay with 2 other girls. All 3 of us couldn't imagine ourselves doing what the other person was doing. I definitely would not have enjoyed cycling 60k (I think that was what it was), nor would I have enjoyed running 18k. My 1k swim was fine for me.

Then there's the other bit where I'm starting to realise I like races that interest me rather than races where I push my limits. I'm not a huge limit-pusher. I've always been very content with where I land. There are times when I sit around and think 'oh I think I might be able to handle a full tri' or 'I'm sure I could finish a full marathon' but then I think about the sheer amount of training that goes into it and I lose my nerve. The same way, the best 10k I've ever done (maybe not the fastest) was when I was back in Manchester after almost 8 years and I did a 10k run around town. The weather was beautiful, it wasn't stupidly hot and it was interesting seeing how everything had changed in Manchester. It wasn't extremely efficient because of the constant sudden stops where I stood in front of a building going 'oh the university has some some new fancy glassy thing going on there' or 'wow they haven't changed the law school building, have they?', but it was enjoyable and it really made me enjoy running. I love the trail races in Singapore, because they're different and this year Rich and I hope to go to Angkor Wat to do the halfie there.

A tri interests me in so far as when I get bored with doing one thing, I'm doing something else straight after. Which works for a mini or even a sprint distance one. But Olympic distance? That's a long time of doing something I may not actually enjoy at all! Basically what this means is I have a short attention span and I need a race that interests me.

So I seek out races where I know I won't be bored out of my mind. Mun takes part to push himself which is admirable. I wish I had that perseverance or strength of will, but I'm really just deep down just a lazy little thing who bores easy. In a way it's good that I've come to this realisation since I never really thought about why I take part in these races. I do like the competition with random people, the adrenalin that comes in a race and the fact that I push myself more than I would if I were swimming / cycling / running by myself. But most of all I need the fun factor in the whole thing and a lot of races in Singapore are starting to lose that. That said, there have been some interesting races popping up so there is still hope! I just wish they'd stop holding triathlons at East Coast Park with the gross waters and the mind numbingly dull runs!




Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Northface City Race - Mid Distance (Team) Race Report

The City Race was quite a bit of fun,and Team Small Dragon Baskets did well considering the complete lack of any semblance of training. All our "we should train like we're running a half marathon" plans pretty much crashed and burned over the two festive periods. I think of us 3, Gina probably put in the most training although she got hit with consecutive bouts of some kind of flu a month before. Rich's spirit was willing but his flesh wasn't so much, so he didn't get much in. Me? I did everything BUT run because I am still on the ban from my podiatrist. I swam, cycled on the stationary bike, used the elliptical... All things considering, Rich seemed to have the most energy (Gina and I also agree that his longer legs meant that with each stride he covered more distance), Gina wilted in the heat and I could only run up slopes because I got a stitch on flat ground.

For me, the good part about the City Race is that it is a hell lot shorter than Let's Take a Walk, so none of us felt too much like dying after. Also the element of surprise was pretty interesting. Essentially everyone has to 'check-in' 30 minutes before the race and they'll give you a map with 5 checkpoints and then you and the team pretty much figure which order you want to take them. Rich did awesomely with the map and what we lost in our severe lack of fitness we made up for in superb orienteering. If I had been in charge of that we'd be taking all the scenic routes and finishing heaven only knows when.

Anyhoo we walked most of the run (and the day after weirdly enough our arms and backs were aching more than our legs) and did a mad sprint to the finish line. All 5 metres! Fancy that! At least we ended things with a bang. Inside the race area, we were greeted with free Subway sandwiches and tons (and I mean like a whole variety) of fruit. I grabbed an orange because only challenging fruit interest me while the rest grabbed sandwiches and bananas. I thought that was pretty decent of the race organisers. We all agreed on two things at the end - one, that we thought it was a very well organised race and two, that it would have been lonely doing it alone. And I'm sure Gina would want the last word in and say that she much prefers running 10k to walking/running 20k.

Race results - Just under 20k in 3:20:04 hrs


Monday, January 14, 2013

No Rest for the Wicked

But tons of rest for me. Again. I'll post the report of Safra Avventura tomorrow, but Rich and I sort of completed it yesterday (you'll see) and I ache so bad. Neck down, everything hurts. Down to my good ole sesamoids.

Just got back from my podiatrist and I've been made to take a month off running. Bah. I also got my insoles adjusted to help get the weight off them. So no Green Corridor Run for me then and potentially no Aquathlon and maybe no City Race. And I was really looking forward to the City Race because it seemed like a whole lot of fun orienteering and running around the city. Ah well.


Friday, January 11, 2013

What I've Missed



My legs ached after the next day after my 2k run/walk. Pretty depressing. Still in my bid to cram as much ‘training’ as I could in the week before the race, I hit the gym and pedaled my way to race fitness…or at least as close as I could get to some semblance of it given the lack of time. This pretty much means my legs haven’t actually stopped aching since Tuesday. I kind of regret being a bit of a lazy arse the past couple of days now.

That being said, I did miss the aches. The past few weeks where I was down with the flu have been a chance for me to get a good rest after the 50k walk, but I was literally going stir crazy after a couple of days. Thankfully, I had friends in town so I was kept sort of occupied, but I still missed doing something…or moving. And more than just restlessness, it really felt as if something was missing.

You see, every time I go out for a run, a walk or hit the pool, there is that alone-ness that I actually really like. I actually enjoy those few minutes where nothing is going through my head except things like ‘dang, that’s a song I haven’t heard in ages’ or ‘wow, that stitch came on pretty fast’ (before all that is swiftly taken over by my incessant whinging in my head). Then there are those days where everything that could go wrong has and all I want to do is pull out my shoes and go for a run…a sort of metaphorical escape from it all. And yes all the crap is still there when you’re done, but those few minutes you were out there, they just stopped mattering for a while.

What I basically beating on about is that whilst my quads are still aching 3 days after doing my sad little 2k attempt at a run, my head is grateful for that 20 minutes much missed reprieve. So there you go, there’s my ‘sort-of’ admission that I do like running more than I make it out to.

What I’ve done:

Wednesday – 20 mins on stationary bike

Thursday – 15k on stationary bike


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Longest 2km Ever


After doing nothing except maybe a swim or two during the festive period because I was either banned by my podiatrist from running or just down with the flu, I decided to go for a run yesterday. I figured it'd be good to get a couple of km under my belt before the adventure race on Sunday that I have done absolutely no training for.

I pretty much got a stitch not very far into the run and I had to slow to a walk just under 1km. After walking off the stitch, I managed to get back into a sort of trot-run and then it was back to walking again. It took me a good 20 minutes to finish 2km which is a complete morale sap. And despite it being such a pathetic attempt at a run, my foot still hurt after and I had to ice it again. Ah joy. I foresee the upcoming adventure race being a wonderfully enjoyable event!

Meantime, I got my results back from the X-ray I did last week and I have no fractures (woohoo!) but the sesamoids on my left foot are considerably smaller than those on my right. Essentially they're not happy with all the weight on them. As to why they were perfectly fine for 30 over years of my life but are now acting up is beyond me. All the same, woohoo for no fractures!

What I've done:

Saturday - 1.5k swim 
-                     360m warm up
-                     240m drills
-                     240m kicks
-                     120m strokes
-                     240m free/breast
-                     240m IM swim
-                     240m cool down

Yesterday – 2k run/walk

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Let's Take A Walk - 50k Report

The last time I attempted Let's Take a Walk's 50k with the girls, we didn't finish up and my legs didn't like me very much even though I didn't take it the whole 50k. However, because Gina's off in Melbourne being the good housewife she is, I was short a team to walk with.My friend Melvin had agreed to do the walk with me since he'd done it twice before. But even with Mel, we only had 2 and LTAW required 3 to a team. What do you do in times like that? Post it up on Facebook and you will  inevitably find a bunch of people insane enough to join you. And so we welcomed Chris and Shah to our team which we 'creatively' decided to call 'The Team with No Name'. As a digress, that makes for a rather confusing name because every time we checked in at a check point people would look for 'No Name' rather than what we were actually called.

Our pre-walk training was conducted one week before the actual walk because Chris was based in Melbourne and didn't arrive till early December and I was overseas when he just got back so our team training got pushed pretty late. It was pretty much a crash course, training wise, since we decided to jump straight to a 20k walk and did the last 20k on our route. That being said, this was probably the most training I've done for a big walk ever, so despite it's lateness and the fact that it was barely even half the total distance we were supposed to walk, it was still better than doing nothing.

The few days after the 20k walk I could barely get around. So I decided to read up on what I was supposed to do pre-50k walk. I was going to do anything to get me through the damn 50k, so 3 days before I started carbo loading (random aside: plus I also decided to wear my compression pants for the walk). Now I generally don't like carbs, but hell if it was what made the difference in me finishing or not, I was going to stuff my face with them. The night before I force-fed myself whole wheat pasta (which is probably the most disgusting thing ever created), so I was all set!

We met at 7.30am on a rather drizzly Sunday at Hong Lim Park and got ourselves registered then we got started. Essentially the checkpoints were:

1. Commonwealth
2. Rifle Range Road
3. Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3
4. Punggol Promenade
5. Pasir Ris Town Park

We made checkpoint 1 and 2 in pretty good time. The sky was overcast and the rain made for pretty pleasant walking. We even had time to stop for a quick breakfast at McDonalds at Queensway and for me to ice my leg (will ramble on about that later) and make another stop when Chris' lovely missus came with ice (another ice stop for me!), isotonic drinks and trail shoes for Chris.

We hit MacRitchie reservoir right after checkpoint 2 and then the sky opened and we got completely rained on. The ground was sticky and whilst I liked the fact that my feet got a short break from pounding the pavement, the terrain slowed us right down. After that short spell of rain, the sun came out again and baked us (that was pretty much how the day went - rain, sun, rain, sun rain, sun - I felt and probably smelt pretty disgusting at the end of the walk) and made the last bit of the MacRitchie portion a bit painful.

Shah had to drop out after that because her back was killing her, but fair play to her, she was sick the week before and couldn't attend the 'training walk' and yet she'd made it 25k! Pretty awesome!

After we popped Shah in a cab, we were starting to flag. Made it to Bishan Park for lunch at McDonalds and more icing before heading to checkpoint 3. After that, the walk lost all element of fun. We had done the last 20k the week before so we knew what to expect and what was coming was just a whole lot of flat park connector walks with not a lot to see. We were also starting to realise that our 7.30pm target to finish was looking very very unlikely. Plus, by that time we had walked for about 9 hours, my feet were starting to ache and each step was pretty darn painful. Chris was also going through the same agony with his feet and Mel, although he had no issues with his feet, was starting to get a bunch muscle problems.

We stopped at a food court for dinner about 2k from the finish point because I just couldn't bear the thought of having another McDonalds meal and we weren't sure there were restaurants that'd still be open when we were done with the walk.After stuffing our faces with food, we headed out for the last 2k which was probably the most painful but yet our fastest 2k in the entire walk. And then it was all over! We finished 50k! In just under 14 hours! Woohoo!!!!

My feet were swollen the next day and I still have a nasty heat rash on my ankles and feet. My podiatrist has put on his 'serious face' and told me that I had probably aggravated my sesamoiditis as we had both expected and because of that I had to be good and take at least a week (or more) of rest and relaxation and no walks or runs till the new year which kind of puts a dampener on my training for the adventure race in January!

All the same....WE FINISHED 50 KM!!!! Awesome awesome walking, team!!!!



Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Karma

The flu bug's been going around and a bunch of friends have caught it. I've been priding myself on having a strong immune system and being above all this 'illness' thing until I fell ill on the day I flew back from Hong Kong. The plane ride was hell and I felt like I was spreading the plague to the rest of the passengers.

So since I've been back from HK my training count has been a big fat zero. And I still have a nagging cough that just won't go away. I do realise that it's been only a week and generally a flu can take ages to go away, but still...

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Team with No Name

'Let's Take A Walk' is back! I've only ever done this with them once because the year after they did a night walk and I'm not too keen on walking 50km when I should be fast asleep. Gina, Rach and I were the Manchester Uni Aunties. We didn't quite manage to finish the whole 50k then though and decided to throw in the towel about 45k. With Gina in Melbourne this year it almost looked like this was a no go, which was a shame, because they took a one year sabbatical and I'd been looking forward to them coming back!

Mel stepped up to the plate first, he was an old friend and I bumped into him the last (and only) time we did this and figured he was a good person to rope in. After him I just needed 1 more to make the minimum of 3 to start a team and I threw it out to Facebook. Voila, we now have a team of 4, we have a plan to do this in 15 minute run-walk intervals and hopefully we'll all be fast friends (and not total enemies) after the whole thing! So behold the Team With No Name - Mel, Chris, Shah and I!

All this means is I need to start training for this. Not really sure where the heck to start. It's not hard walking, it's just hard walking for ages and ages on end. And short of me training by doing 12 hour walks every weekend, I'm not entirely sure I know quite where to start. If anyone has any idea, help me out here!

In the meantime, I've done a run with my new runners and they gave me a blister. The ankle collar may have been a bit high or my socks were too low or I didn't have my usual insoles in there so it all rubbed wrongly. The toe bit feels a bit funny too...more cushioned? I guess it just takes getting used to. I do love me some Asics. Tonight I'll try another run this time with the right insoles and a higher pair of socks. Maybe with all these variables tweaked I'll grow into it! As for the run, if you've been following this, I've been doing my previous few runs blind. Well insofar as I didn't bother bringing out my footpod (my Garmin is now permanently residing in Rich's place because I'm absolutely useless with technology) and so hadn't a clue how far I had run. I dug out my footpod for the last run and realise I hadn't been running all that far all this while, which is a bit of a bummer. I logged 5.5k in 37 minutes and there I was thinking I had become such a speedster because my 30 minute runs had seemed far! Tis always nicer living in ignorance.

What I've done:
Monday: 5.5k run in 37:16 mins
Tuesday: 30 min spin followed by a sad amount of crunches and lots of stretching.