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New Year Resolution for 2008: Swim faster, Run longer, maybe return to cycling.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Singapore Navy Biathlon 2005

It's an Olympic distance race. The word going around was that the currents were strong - even the NDU were finding it difficult to navigate. Vectoring was the essential game plan.

The back of my shoulder still hurt a little. I was contemplating giving up even before I woke up! I was having so many mixed thoughts.

'Come on, CM! Conquer your fear! Face the challenge!'

'But I need to listen to my body!'

I woke up at 0500hrs. This time, I was careful NOT to have too much of a power breakfast. I didn't want to gag while I was swimming. I took half of last night's hot cross bun (it was Good Friday), a Milo, and a granola bar. Then I started hydrating.

Tiong and Francis came over at 0600hrs. We carpooled and took Francis' car to East Coast Park. Even while Francis was parking his car, I was still contemplating.

Fast Forward. I got my race tags and Championchip set up. The first wave was flagged off. Mine was next. From afar, I could tell the guys were veering off-course even just 200m out from the shore. They were heading towards Bedok jetty!

Uncle Richard was right. Perhaps a 45 degree vectoring would put us back towards the first bouy.

0810hrs. My wave started. I walked into the sea. From that moment, I knew there was no turning back. I had my strategy with me. I knew my running would be my worst discipline. I had to swim strong. I had to face the deep blue O, and the currents. The mass start of 600+ men was pandemonium. I started off in a blinding mix of breaststroke and freestyle. It was tough to navigate amongst so many flailing arms and legs and whathaveyou. I kept to my vectoring. I kept to swimming about 40 degrees to my left. The next thing I knew, I swam pass the main bulk of blue swim caps. But I was still in a bunch heading to the first bouy. Rounding the first bouy was the worst part of the swim leg. Everyone there were trying to navigate around it. On hindsight, the current really kept us from making the first turn!

The second leg of the swim was the toughest. From where I was swimming, I only saw high waves. I couldn't sight for the 2nd bouy. I kept swimming. I wasn't even sure if I was swimming off course. I just followed the masses. Was it the blind leading the blind? It came to pass that while I was on cruise-control against the currents, i might as well hum a couple of tunes while I swam. It definitely kept my sanity.

I finally saw the 2nd bouy and I headed towards it. The glaring sun in my eyes didn't help, but I was pretty much locked in sight. Rounding that bouy was much easier. The home-stretch - even with vectoring - was on 5th gear. I powered up and headed for shore.

Transitioning was easy. I just took my time. Behind me were many many more swimmers struggling with the forces of nature.

Now the dreaded run. 10km of tarmac ahead of me. Oh what the heck, I challenged the distance!

Dudes were running past me! The lousy swimmers were running past me!

At the 4km mark, JA popped out of the Corolla, cheered for me, took a picture of me and she received a peck on the cheek from the sweating amphibian (that's me). The procedure took 5 seconds. (note: I later realised she didn't snap a picture of me - somehow the camera was not turned on!)

And so I continued trudging along and I completed my run time at a disappointing 1hr 12 min!

My total time was exactly 2:00 hrs.

But I was satisfied with my swim. I could go faster, but I was definitely NOT out-of-breath when I entered the shore. That's efficiency. Fish-like. I'm a fat lung fish.

I conquered my fear.

I've completed my first Olympic distance Biathlon: 1.5km Open Sea Swim, 10km flat course Run.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

SMUth Swim

Went to the SMU pool after Ann Jee's ROM.

Training was led by Joe. Did swim intervals to prep for speed and endurance for this Saturday's race. Of course tested my shoulder as well. Good effort in training but shoulder is still alittle stiff. I figured it could be a matter of concentration to get the correct posture and use of core muscles in order to prevent any sudden pain. Concentration helps me focus on completing the race.

5 x 200m
10 x 50m
1 x 800m
total distance: 2300m

Went out with the dudes for dinner at Adam Road Hawker Center after training.

Jee's ROM

My little sister cousin gets married to Amos! I'm so happy for them! Ann Jee's like a sister to me and Fye but we kinda drifted apart after secondary school days. I think it was due to the fact that we weren't staying at grandma's anymore and the coming-of-age during JC, NS and I went overseas to study/work, etc.

Suddenly we are all grown up.

Shielding questions of marriage and settling-down has pretty much become the order of the day at family gatherings. Soon I'll be thirty. See, I'm refusing to write the age in hard numericals - I'd rather stick to spelling it. Take it as self-denial and some form of fending off commitment responsibilities. Somehow I think it is scary even though I have JA. I mean, there's no ill-intention whatsoever. It's just mind boggling. I think too much.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Test of the Rotator Cuffs

Okay and so I missed the morning simulation training. Woke up so late at 1000hrs. Maybe it was good for the body to recover through sleep.

Anyway I went swimming at the pool. Went for a straight 30 minute swim and I managed 1500 meters in the timeframe. A definite pat on the back. The shoulder pain is subsiding but still noticeable.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Mobilisation Mars Training Routine

A phonecall came at 1300hrs. Thin Rope and Metal Dagger were activated for mobilisation. I was the designated Area I/C, hence had to report back to camp within 2 hours. The actual M-hour is at 1400hrs. That means I had till 1600hrs to make it back to Tanjong Gul.

I packed my fullpack, SBO and helmet, cussed abit because I planned to do some endurance swimming in the afternoon. I told myself that all was cool since I could join the Trifam chaps at East Coast for the open sea training tomorrow morning then go for the 'almost' 10km run after. Only issue was that I had better make it back to church by 1100hrs.

And so off I went towards Tuas and I reported back at 1530hrs together with Adrian "Hamster" Tan. We were the first few. The rest of the brigade streamed in from 1600hrs onwards. I thought I could sign and leave just like the rest. I was wrong. My ID was kept by RSM since I had to do my Area I/C duties. Bummer.

OC Capt Lim and 2IC Capt Lau joined me in waiting for the blokes to report back to camp. Cpl Kelvin Koh also helped out even though he had no duties. This is what I call 'integrity'. It is not so much on whether anyone could stay and help out, but it was more for the fact that the majority had the responsibility to respond early in the mobilisation exercise. There were some inconsiderated blokes who reported at the very last minute for all kinds of reasons. Anyway, I was lucky NOT to be in the taxicab-notification-sticker squad and I left early. The taxicab-notification-sticker squad consists of Area I/Cs who had to go to uncontactable servicemens' homes to either get the men to report or if to no avail, leave a notification sticker at the door of the home. I think the guys came back much later. I was able to leave by almost 2200hrs. I wouldn't say it was a waste of time. It was rather daunting and an unproductive afternoon and evening.

By then I knew I was too late to attend the Navy Biathlon simulation training.

MacRitchie X-Country Revisited

Alright, this morning was meant to be a 10km run with the Trifam folks, but I decided to run with my old pal from CJC, Kevin Tan.

We met at the MacRitchie carpark and he told me he had an ulcer which caused him a sleepless night. Okay, I got the hint... haha... short route today! Hence we chose the all-too-familiar MacRitchie Schools X-Country route. 4.8km to be exact. Well, it wasn't all-too-familiar to the both of us since we weren't running jocks in our schooldays. We relied on our 12-yr-old memory of the route. Of course, markers along the way helped us too.

First half of the run was in forested area. Awesome in the sense that the ground was well padded and gentle to the feet impact, albeit the undulating trails. Second part was along Lornie Road towards Upper Thomson Road. It was the famous paved segment of the route. I decided to do fartlek intervals by using the lamp posts along the way. Actually, I also wanted to work on the speed and justify the remaining 5km we were supposed to cover ths morning.

Overall, it was a good workout. Inevitably bumped into the Trifam chaps at the end of the route. They covered 11km.

Distance: about 4.8km
Time: 26 minutes
Avg HR: 155 (including 2 minute recovery)
Max HR: 178
Hours slept last night: 6 hrs - not too good
Hydration: okay.
Pre-run nutrition: one glass of Milo

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Mobility of Right Shoulder a Stumbling Block

The mobility of my right shoulder has become a stumbling block. I try to erase all thoughts of nagging discomfort when I'm doing the front crawl but to no avail. My commonsense took over - that I should listen to my body. The swim section was meant to be a 30 minute one but I lasted about 20 minutes instead and then I came up for the transition.

A turtle with a wounded flipper. That's me.

The 6km run around the outer perimeter of Botanic Gardens was next. I knew I would be the slowest runner. After all, running is my worst discipline, but I was determined to keep running and not stop. I managed to keep a constant pace. Somehow I did not press my Polar properly and the timing was screwed. I figured it was a respectable 35 minutes. Glad to say that I did not walk. It was run all the way.

In short, it was approximate 800m swim and 6km run this evening.

After training, went home and mom asked me for some exercise advice. She wants to get rid of some cellulite (read: flabs) and tone up. I suggested walking to train the heart first, then advancing to walking with wrist weights for general toning (or maybe the ellipticals in the gym). Finally doing aqua aerobics for overall fitness and toning. I didn't suggest rigorous exercise coz mom is a total beginner.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Cranking it up. 8 loops around Marina South isn't a joke for a newbie. Did the 40km race in 1 hr 29 minutes. I think that's respectable for a newbie! hee hee... Posted by Hello

Butt aches but there's still time to show the tongue at JA! Posted by Hello

Sunday, March 13, 2005

New Balance Singapore Duathlon 2005

Luckily I'm doing the relay. My partner for Dua Kaki is Steven Ng Boon Piau. He ran for 10k, then I cycled 40k, and then he finished the race with an additional 5k of running.

Great partnership.

Now we're thinking of tackling the Malakoff Duathlon Series in Malaysia. I think we might sign up for the July one in Johor Bahru and Powerman Malaysia in September. This year, we'll do the relay circuit.