Join Me for Next Training

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

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Daily Log

MacRitchie Run - Mee Sua at Sin Ming - Run Home

Indeed there were 2 parts to my running this morning. I arrived at 7:30am at the gates of MacRitchie to meet some friends. Saw Ser Luck and Mok on separate occasions. Both of them were training for the ultramarathon of 168km on 1st and 2nd Oct. My weekly mileage is nothing compared to their daily mileage. At this rate they are going, Ser Luck and Mok will be poster boys for alternative transport modes.

MacRitchie (short) Run:
Total Distance - 4.32 km
Time Taken - 28.02 min
Max HR - 172 (91%)
Avg HR - 163 (86%)
Max Speed/Pace - 10.8 km/hr, 5:33 min/km
Avg Speed/Pace - 9.2 km/hr, 6:29 min/km
Calories - 413 kcal

Running Home after eating Mee Sua and drinking ice-Milo:
Total Distance - 0.98 km
Time Taken - 6:01 min
Max HR - 169 (89%)
Avg HR - 162 (85%)
Max Speed/Pace - 13.5 km/hr, 4:27 min/km
Avg Speed/Pace - 9.8 km/hr, 6:07 min/km
Calories - 87 kcal

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Terry Fox Run Details and Daily Log

I'm going to sign up the entire group on Friday and will collect all the barang barang (T-shirts, wristbands, etc.) Friday evening. Here are the instructions for those who've signed up with me:

I'll be at the Seah Im Hawker Center car park (opposite Harbourfront) from 6:45am to 7:15am on Sunday 18 September. The race starts at 8:00am and we all should be there latest by 7:45am. If I'm not mistaken, the wristband will give you entry into Sentosa. For those who have signed up with me, you can collect your T-shirt and wristband while I'm at Seah Im. If we miss each other, then you would have to look for me in Sentosa after 7:15am.

Moby and Clayton, you guys be in charge of your respective sub-groups. You have my number so can call me if anything.

If you want to meet me on alternative times, can try giving me a call and we'll see what we can do about it.

Oh yes, please pass me the registration money too - whether you make it to the run or not. Thanks hor...

Daily Log:
Warm-up Swim - 500m

Run Summary:
Total Distance - 2.91 km (loop Upp Thomson Road - Bishan Park (800m) - Sin Ming Ave)
Time taken - 18:21 min
Max HR - 176 (93%)
Avg HR - 169 (89%)
Max Speed/Pace - 12.4 km/hr, 4:50 min/km
Avg Speed/Pace - 9.5 km/hr, 6:18 min/km
Calories - 287 kcal

I consciously did a faster pace today. This is a particularly good route to train for some speedwork and would be quite ideal for IPPT 2.4km training.

A Ray of Hope - and that's why i love Singapore!

Our government protects us! I have an avenue to complain about the incessant smoking in my office. I also learned a few new things about the harmful effects of smoking.

Check out this really helpful article from our very own Health Promotion Board. The most useful thing is the hotline I can call "in case the supervisor cannot do anything about smoking in the workplace".

Heh heh heh.... watch out smokers!

For those who are lazy to check out the hotline number through the hyperlink, it is 1800-2255-632.

The Butt Stops Here!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Daily Log: Run-Swim-Run

Now I'm contemplating if I should join the Powerman in Putrajaya, Malaysia. It's gonna be held on 25th September 2005. The long distance portion is 10km Run, 60km Bike, 10km Run. The Sprint version is 5km R, 30km B, 5km R.

Maybe I'll do the Sprint distance if I go.

Anyway, I went for the Trifam training today but didn't join in fully coz I wanted to work on my running. Hence I decided to run 4km, swim 1km, then run another 4km.

Overall, I think I managed pretty well.

Run Summary for 1st Run:
Time start - 18:27 hrs
Total Distance - 4.35 km
Time taken - 33:22 min (walked the final 500m to cool down)
Max HR - 178 (94%)
Avg HR - 155 (82%)
Max Speed/pace - 13.6 km/hr, 4:25 min/km
Avg Speed/pace - 7.8 km/hr, 7:40 min/km
Calories - 452 kcal

Run Summary for 2nd Run (after 1km interval swim):
Time start - 19:54 hrs
Total Distance - 4.05 km
Time taken - 30:50 min
Max HR - 170 (89%)
Avg HR - 162 (85%)
Max Speed/pace - 9.7 km/hr, 6:09 min/km
Avg Speed/pace - 7.9 km/hr, 7:36 min/km
Calories - 445 kcal

By the looks of it, the avg HR and avg speeds are quite constant. This is a comfortable pace I think.

Monday, September 12, 2005

What's the Price? What's the Prize?

This is not a lesson in english spelling. It is a lesson of ethics and morals.

I've recently had several people who have asked me these 2 questions when I approached them about the Terry Fox Run. I find it quite difficult to tell them about the merits of joining this run without offending them for their ignorance. No, I'm not saying that they don't know who Terry Fox is. Rather, it is just exasperating sometimes to hear certain comments from them.

What's the price? How much do I have to pay? I tell them it is $25, and I have to quickly add that they would get a free T-shirt, free wristband and free entry into Sentosa. I have to do this to entice them to join it, as though they wouldn't even bat an eyelid if there were no perks. I also have to tell them that the registration fees would go for a good cause - cancer research.

Some are even worse. They ask what the prize is 'if they come in top 10'. Top 10 position, my dear friend. And I'm being asked by people who've never been knowned to be athletic or have never even been seen bouncing any type of balls in their lives before. It is not about the prize. You mean the prize will actually be the deciding factor?

Think about it.

What is the price? The price of $25. Your contribution to the cancer research fund goes a long way. I have said this many times, and I will say it again - I can safely say that all of us have personal attachments to someone suffering from cancer. Some of us have cancer. Some of us have seen our loved ones die from cancer. There isn't a cure for cancer yet. But there has been advancements to treat cancer, to make it less suffering for patients. The advancement of medicine and research has made this possible. Cancer research is a big thing and those oncology dudes doing research need the funding. Terry Fox put it upon himself to raise funds for research. He ran a marathon every single day until he died. He wasn't an athlete. He had one leg amputated to prevent the spread of cancer cells. He ran with a prosthetic leg instead. A marathon is 42.1 km long. Even I find it a chore running 5km a day. How about you? You mean he isn't enough an inspiration that $25 is an issue?

I'm not even asking everyone to run/walk/stroll 4km - that's the 'fun run' distance. You guys can stay home and sleep through the 4km worth of dreams. There will be many excuses not to attempt the short 'gruelling' distance of 4km.

What is the prize? If any gurkha or kenyan asks me this question, I'd find out for them. But if prize is so damn important, then I'm sorry this is not the NKF-enticing-you-with-brand-new-car type of fund raising. You can even save the trouble of blaming your trigger-happy grandchildren who robotically keep pressing the 'redial' buttons of your cellphone.

The prize is in knowing that YOU can contribute to something worthwhile. The prize is in knowing that YOU can complete the distance - run/walk/stroll, I don't care. The prize is in knowing that YOU will achieve something personal by 10am on a Sunday morning.

Come on everyone. How much worse can it get?

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Reflections of Nine-Eleven and Sheares Bridge Run

Today happens to be the Annual Sheares Bridge Run (Army Half Marathon) and the anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attacks in the USA.

To be honest, I didn't have a good feeling about this run. I was afraid that terrorists would strike during the run and cause massive physical losses and psychological damage to Singapore and Singaporeans. After all, our island state is one of their targets. It would have been quite easy for them to hit us. The thought was scary and disturbing but I knew I shouldn't let thoughts like this hamper me from taking part in a national event. I must not be scared as a citizen yet I have to be vigilant.

What hindered me from doing my best was the gastric flu that I had for the past two days. I felt queasy on Friday evening and the abdominal pangs remained on most of Saturday. I had my doubts if I wanted to take part in the 12km mini race due to health issues. I still tried to drink lots of water, especially isotonic ones to replenish the lost electrolytes in the body.

Anyway I woke up at 5:30am to get ready to meet Chad Mobley at the Hotel Intercontinental. We met at 6:30am and had breakfast at the hotel. We walked to the Esplanade Bridge after that to start the run at 8:00am.

We ran for the first 6km and then walked for the next 3km. We ran the remaining and final 3km back to the Padang. We took a total of about 1hr 45min. Not much speed and glory put into it as I felt my stomach churning. The lack of water points didn't help much either. False hopes of Gatorade stations added to the frustration. Nevertheless we finished the distance. My 200sd read 12.5km.

We caught sight of Mythos slightly beyond the finishing line with his wife Margaret and son Jonathon.

Run Summary:
Total Distance - 12.57km
Total Time - 1hr 50min
Max HR - 174 (92%)
Avg HR - 142 (75%) - walked quite abit
Max Speed - 11.1 km/hr
Avg Speed - 6.6 km/hr - see lah! must be walking too much!
Calories - 1337 kcal

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Daily Log

The 2nd-hand smoke in the office was extremely terrible today. I kept applying medicated axe oil near my nostrils to mask the nicotine inhalation. I don't know if by doing that I'm harming myself more or not. Nevertheless, I still prefer the smell of fung yow.

I came home about 5:30pm and my clothes reeked with smoke. Erghhh...

I hope someone from the Health Science Authority is reading this: Please, please tell the french boss not to smoke in the air-conditioned office! Someone from higher government authority should tell the bugger off! If anyone has friends from HSA, please tell them of this lobang okay?

And so I came home and went for a short swim of 500 m, then changed into my shoes for a round-Bishan Park run.

Run Summary:
Total Distance - 5.46 km
Total Time - 35:55 min (includes 2 min walk out to main road)
Max HR - 177 (93%)
Avg HR - 162 (85%)
Max Speed - 16.9 km/hr
Avg Speed - 9.1 km/hr
Calories - 521 kcal

I sense a little bit of improvement. Slow and steady.... slow and steady wins the race!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Daily Log and More!

Went to the (old) SMU pool again for brick training. Francis, Kenneth and I did not follow the Trifam today.

We swam about 1200 m and then came out for the run around the campus. We did a total of 3.50km on gradual slopes to condition our legs for Desaru Half Ironman. Although I'm not participating it myself, I might as well train for the upcoming NIE Biathlon which is also notorious for the NTU slopes.

Before I give today's run summary, here's a little something more about the Terry Fox Run. Just today alone, I'm encouraged by many friends who are willing to sign up for the good cause. I've received verbal commitments from Sky and his friends, my former students from CJC, my Purdue friends, and even my primary and secondary school friends!

Thank you all guys! I promise that you will be encouraged even further by other people's enthusiasm to see this event kick off. Cancer is so prevalent these days. It might just happen to any one of us. While we're still alive and well, what is a morning jog in the park? Are we going to wait for another year before we decide to contribute somehow? What is 4km or 7.5km when cancer patients are suffering more than this?

Here's my own personal experience. I've only started taking part in multi-sports since early this year. In my first triathlon alone (which was in Napa Valley, USA), I was so tempted to quit the gruelling hills on the bike course. It was supposed to be a low-key competition and yet it was tough. Then there were several cancer survivors and a dude with a prosthetic leg who passed me on the bike course AND running course. Could I tell myself to quit?

I know I'm not a quitter. These guys have inspired me with their willpower and enthusiasm. What struck me even more was that they even encouraged me to complete the race. They spurred me to carry on!

The OSIM triathlon also featured a chinese national with only one hand. Mind you, I think he was fifty-plus in age. Yet he completed the OD tri in good timing!

Then the local marathon swim also featured our local boy who lost his leg in an accident earlier THIS year. The marathon swim was in June. Barely a few months after losing a leg, he swam 7.5km in the open sea.

My dear departed buddy in Scouts - Yonghua - passed away due to leukemia. That was in 1993. He battled cancer for a few years but yet he fought on and on. He knew he had a slim chance of being able to live through JC, but yet he pressed on to get distinctions in the O levels. He was special to many of us.

I'm sure we all have our personal brushes with cancer.

The guts and the willpower shown in so many patients.

Like they always say - There are so many reasons not to take part in races, but there's only one reason to take part in it, and that's to complete it.

Cancer is a race in itself. A race against time. A survivor - in the simplest sense - would make the best use of his or her life. A quitter never sees the day, never sees the Life. A patient lives a full life only when he or she completes the cancer race. It's similar to normal races, we all complete it with a smile of contentment, a pat on our backs, a job well done.

This is why I don't want to give myself any excuses to quit.

Enough said.

Run Summary:
Total Distance - 3.50km (Bukit Timah campus hills)
Total Time - 26:18min
Max HR - 168 (88%)
Avg HR - 155 (82%)
Max Speed - 9.8 km/hr
Avg Speed - 8.0 km/hr
Calories - 340 kcal

Registration for Terry Fox Run

Dear all,

I'm helping to raise funds for the upcoming Terry Fox Run on 18 September 2005. You may either do the 4km or 7.5km run/walk route. All proceeds go to the Cancer Research Fund.

I've taken part in several races and this is one event in which I know for sure that the registeration money ($25) goes to research funding for cancer. In addition, you get free entry into Sentosa (worth $2), a free commemorative T-shirt, a wristband and a certificate of participation.

My friend, Derek, is also running the Terry Fox Run. He suffers the same as Terry Fox and will be running the 7.5km route with a prosthetic leg - some of you might have seen Derek in the recent Terry Fox Run commercial.

Terry Fox himself did a marathon every day (that's a whopping 42 km per day!) until he died at age 22. If someone with a prosthetic leg can do a marathon a day while himself not being an athlete, then I'm sure YOU can do a 7.5km leisure stroll for a good cause.

Heck, if YOU can go googoogahgah over my "almost" daily 4-5km runs, then think Terry Fox. Think cancer research.

Please let me know if you're interested by 16 September 2005 (Friday). I'll assist in signing you up for the good cause.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Daily Log

Went to the (old) SMU pool again.

Justin's late as usual!

I swam about 1200 m, then went for a run at the tracks.

Run Summary:
Total Distance - 4.0 km
Time Taken - 27:34 min
Max HR - 173 (91%)
Avg HR - 164 (86%)
Max pace - 4:22 min/km
Avg pace - 6:53 min/km
Calories - 407 kcal

Saw Calvin Sim (fellow Boilermaker) at the pool also.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Daily Log

Swam about 800 m at the 25-m lap pool this morning. That's about it - more like a recovery swim.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

New Balance Aquathlon

Race started at 1200hrs. Swim was called cut-off at the 17th minute. I was already halfway through the swim. Then it was restarted at 1300hrs when the storm subsided. The restart meant another 1.5km swim. Whoa... considering the earlier 800m, this means a total of about 2.3km in the open sea! I don't really like Sentosa lagoons because they are saltier than East Coast - somehow.

Abrasion on the armpits due to the LG tri top. Next time must apply Vaseline or BodyGlide to prevent the chaffing.

Transitioning at T1, I passed the Championchip transponder to David (Tri Succulent) for the 10km running segment. While he was running I was watching out for Mythos to come out to the beach and start his 10km run. He came out and I promised to pace him for the final 5km (2nd loop).

He came around and we ran together.

Run Summary:
Total time - 33:02 min
Distance - 4.26 km (so the actual race distance is less than 10 km... hmmmm...)
Max HR - 203 (107%)
Avg HR - 161 (85%)
Max pace - 4:55 min/km
Avg pace - 7:45 min/km
Calories - 481 kcal (run only)

After the race we came back to mainland for Thaksin Beef Noodles at Seah Im Food Center - regular post-training recovery meal for Trifam dudes.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Daily Log

Went for a morning run at Bishan Park. Sky was slightly overcast with a slight drizzle. Some headwinds on the return leg along Sin Ming Avenue.

Run Summary

Total Distance - 5.20km
Time taken - 35.00 min
Max HR - 177 (93%)
Avg HR - 165 (87%)
Max pace - 5:24 min/km
Avg pace - 7:07 min/km
Calories - 523 kcal

TP16 Scout Troop Gathering

Marist Scouts from my batch met up at the Harbourfront Sakae Sushi. There was Hanguo (Henry), Biwu, Damien, Mingming, Elgin, Heli and myself.

It was an awesome gathering and we relived our fondest memories of our Scouting days in Maris Stella. Some of us were also from the Cadet Scout Troop in our primary school. We reminisced our antics and Tom Sawyer/Huckleberry Finn adventures with much gusto...

Like the time when we all went through the De:xuf:to training camp. De:xuf:to meant Discipline, Suffering, Tolerance. I don't know who penned those words but it sure brought back fond memories!There were the confidence-building solo nights at the nearby Bidadari muslim cemetery, uncountable push-ups in muck and grime at the Canal next to our school, drinking mud water for water parade, eating nothing but raw eggs and semi-cooked chicken in Pulau Ubin. National Service was nothing compared to De:xuf:to days of yore.

Then there were the various pioneering projects we did all over the school. We would build structures, towers and bridges out of manila rope and wooden spars. Structures that could take our own loads and more! They were engineering feats in itself. It is probably no wonder that a few of us are trained as civil engineers later in life.

Then there were also the fantastic pyrotechnics (our own mix of gunpowder by our resident pyro expert - Yijie) and the Dancing Lizards during our annual campfires. We were known as the troop with the unusual methods of campfire lighting and abseiling not off walls but off railings and parapets. Our rapelling harness was also improvised from manila rope instead of standard safety gear. On hindsight, we lived a dangerous ECA. Parents would probably ban their children from joining our scout troop in present times.

Then there were the politics involved which - on hindsight - was fun to and actually quite diplomatically resolved.

Of course we all relived our memories of our rare combined meetings with the other Girl Guide companies. There was the combined hike at Ubin with St Anhony's guides (Fiona, Teresa, Kim) and the combined meeting with the Hai Sing High guides (Wenhua).

And there are still so many memories of our scouting days. Too many to recall in one short 2.5 hour gathering.

Hanguo is now a teacher.
Biwu is in LTA with the Circle Line project team.
Damien is now a doctor and he's married.
Mingming was and is still Manhunt... haha... he's in Deutsch Bank.
Elgin is in Renault.
Heli is in Infineon and still has dreams of being THE entrepreneur.
Songping is an RSAF Fokker50 pilot after getting his medical degree.
Westy is in Spain with his Spanish wife and his furniture business.
Gerald Ong is married to a Bruneian lady.

And there's Timothy Lim. Our dear Scout Master who let our seniors torture us to bits which turned us to tougher teenage boys. He was supposed to turn up for the gathering but he had an appointment.

Till then... perhaps someone's wedding...

"Too too taleh nickle one-two!
Oi oi cheelei cheelei Super lei!
Kuchee teh teh, kuchee teh!
Kuchee teh teh, Super lei!
SHout it out! Sa!
Shout it out! Sa!
Shout it out! Sa! Sa! Sa! Sa! Sa!
Oh.... Hai Sing! Tong Jun! All the Way!
We like it here! We like it here!
We found ourselves a Home! A Home!
A Home Sweet Home!"

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Happy Teacher's Day

I remember when we used to have blackboards and coloured chalk in primary school. We used to decorate the classroom with home-made streamers that were made from meticulously-cut color paper. We'd spend the whole night 'gumming' strips of color paper into rings. Then we'd also make teacher's day cards. We'll get to school early in the morning to adorn the blackboard with a plethora of colors and caricatures of our teachers. Sometimes we depict certain teachers with feather-dusters or canes. Sometimes we draw flowers and trees and birds as filler material. In the end, the blackboard is a work of art. If only we had digital cameras then, I would have gladly taken photos of our combined efforts in producing this artpiece.

Now the blackboard is extinct in Singapore. I don't know if students still make streamers or blow up balloons to decorate the class. Heck, I don't even think students have the privilege of seeing their own teacher brandishing 'weapons of mass destruction' such as the feather duster, meter-long wooden ruler or rotan cane.

Today is Teacher's Day. I have many fond memories as a student back in the early 1980s. Some teachers have left a very positive influence on me. Some teachers are still the ultimate terrorists in my mind. Some teachers have since passed away - Bless their souls.

I might as well honour the teachers that have taught me through the years. I will honour them as much as I can remember...

In primary school, there were Liang laoshi (chinese and mathematics), Sun laoshi (chinese), Mdm Peng (english), Fu laoshi (chinese and bible knowledge in chinese!), Miss Cecilia Ng (english), Miss Stella Tan (cadet scout mistress), Mr Peter Tan (social studies), and Mrs Mary Goh (english).

Then in secondary school , I had Mr Chee Lian Kee who taught us English and English Literature in secondary 1 and 2. He was also my form teacher. Mr Chee used to smoke his pipe while he wasn't teaching us. I remember his crisp Queen's English pronunciation and his beautiful penmanship. He was the one who introduced us to Alex Haley's "Roots" and Anita Desai's "Village by the Sea". The two books opened my eyes to the lesser developed worlds. I also appreciated the black culture since then and learned about slavery. Mr Chee retired after we left secondary 2. If the retirement age was 60 at that time, he should be 76 by now. I wonder if he's still around.

Mr Timothy Lim Kim Seng taught us Geography. He was also our Scout Troop Master. My batch of Marist Scouts still keep in contact with him. I still recall the piles and piles and piles of notes he gave us. Last I heard, he's in ACS Independent and he's got a huge teddy bear collection.

Ms Grace "Rambo" Ho. Her smell still lingers in my head after all these years! We could tell when she was coming to class by her scent from miles away. She used to make us copy notes right out from our textbooks. We didn't understand the significance of it. We used to score terribly in our Geog exams because of her unorthodox teaching methods. In Sec 4, I stood up on behalf of the class to seek redress in our Geog prelims. After all, most of us had to rely on Geog as a humanities subject to enter junior college. She told me later that I would do well in geog and that I would appreciate geography later in life. She was right. Thanks Ms Ho.

Mr Foo Say Mu and Mr Poh taught us Physics and Chemistry respectively. Both were chinese-educated Nantah grads and they were traditionalists. Mr Poh would go around confiscating the class collection of porn magazines and giving us 'electrons' from his PVC wire casing. He was also Mr Fix-It. Students would approach him to repair their broken walkman players and radios and he'd fix them for us.

Mr John Teo was another English teacher who was very good at puns. He also taught me Bible Knowledge on the Gospels.

Then there were Low Poyen and Han laoshi who taught us Math and Chinese respectively. On hindsight, they didn't get any appreciation from us at all. It was terrible on our part. But hey, boys will be boys.

There was Ms Christina Lim who taught us Math in Sec 1. She was the babe of all teachers at that time. Talk about having crushes on teachers! And then she got married and she broke the hearts of at least half the school. She was also our Scout mistress.

Brother Anthony! He was our principal then, and he's still the principal now! He would go on canoeing trips with us and encourage us to be adventurous and excel in our ECAs. Subconsciously, he build us into all-rounders with compulsory swimming, canoeing and teakwondo.

In junior college, Mrs Low was the most influential teacher. Although she did not teach me (she was the vice-principal), she was a mother-figure to most of us in school. Even when I left school for NS, University and working life, she was there as a counsellor, teacher and friend.

I have so many teachers whom I like to mention but everything is just a blur. There are some things I can remember well, some things are vague. It would require me to write a novel! Whatever it is, teachers have molded me into the person I am today. I really appreciate all of them.

And here's also to the best teachers in my life - Dad and Mom who've guided me throughout my life. I've always believed that teaching is not always from the books, but teaching life skills and imparting knowledge as well.

Thank you to all my teachers! I love you all!