Throwback: When I Used To Run

Was doing some post-lunch clearing of emails when I came across this link to a running-related comic that I have saved.

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Link: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/running

There are 6 parts to it in total.

As I look back at my running days now, it has dawned on me that my very 1st race (Great Eastern Women 10K in October 2006) was exactly a decade ago!

Exactly 1 decade (10 years) on, I have stopped running – with my last run being in March 2016. This current phase of life coincided with major changes at work, the closure of California Fitness (where I used to gym/workout at) …… and subsequently taking up yoga – which is my to-go regular workout currently.

I guess it came to a point that I stopped enjoying my training runs, and no longer look forward to waking up at 4-5am to go for Sunday races. And right now, not missing it nor regretting it as I’m enjoying my yoga sessions very much.

Never say never. I have yet to achieve my goal of a 1 hour 15 min 10km so I forsee I will end my ‘hiatus’ / break from running and get back to training for this specific goal. No timeline to this yet – will probably go with the flow as I need to start adding more cardio-based activities progressively to my current workout regime.

Not sure if I will ever do a 3rd marathon as I’m not keen to do long distance runs anymore. In the event I don’t – I can still live in peace knowing that I have completed 2 full marathons, albeit in lousy timing. Can’t take away the fact that I’m a finisher 2 times over*

* Thinking about it now also, it is pretty incredulous that I was being lectured on how to complete a marathon and to apply that to work when said person is not even a good example to begin with. But of course that chapter is over now so peace out!

Skipping Over February

Finally have the time, space and energy to sit down to do a blog entry proper!

Now where did February go? Definitely the 1st time in a long while that I didn’t blog (or rather didn’t manage to blog anything) in 1 entire month and the time just went by like that ……

January ended with the CNY festive season. After which, it is straight back to work and daily life.

And yes, one significant thing that happened right before CNY was the breakdown/’death’ of my lenovo laptop. As documented on this blog, after the initial replacement issues (when 1st bought), and an earlier breakdown of the hard disk just back in September, the Lenovo decided to hang by itself when in office one fine Monday afternoon. To cut the story short, after calling the technical support line, dropping everything down to head to the service centre at McPherson for 2nd diagnosis, and another opinion from a repair shop at Jurong Point – the conclusion was a failure of motherboard. The replacement would have cost $500+ …… and thus it would be a more feasible solution to just get a new laptop instead – which is needed as I had work to finish right before CNY beckons.

And so, I bought a new Acer Swift 3 that is gold in colour for a ‘golden’ new beginning.

The laptop has been working great for the past 2 months that I have been using it – and this is my 1st blog on this laptop 😛

In a figurative way, the Lenovo represents frustration and pain through the 2 years and 4 months that I have used it. And I will be better served with a fresh start with a newer and better machine going forward. Sounds like how my life has been going for the past 1 odd years 🙂

February is also another month where I experienced numerous body wiggles post-yoga (right achilles tendon pull, tight hips, on and off wrist strains on my right). Also came down with sore throat / flu for a good part of the month which recovered, then came back again after Hot Yoga 101 (believe I caught a chill as the room as stuffier than usual which even the instructor felt so as well), which is reduced to chest cough on and off still as the virus has yet to go away 100% – which sucks!

Partly as a result of some of the ‘muscle imbalances’ that I was experiencing post-yoga, took the plunge to try Yin Yoga as I have read on some of the benefit of Yin Yoga include increased circulation, fascial release and greater joint mobility (through holding poses for 3 to 5 min long) ….. which was something I needed to ‘repair’ my body and feel good again.

After my very 1st Yin class (on Sunday morning) where the final pose before savasana was a reclining head to toe stretch (with a bolster placed right across the tight) – my hamstrings loosened immensely.  After which, I attended my semi-regular Tuesday evening Hot Yoga 101 class. Even after some pretty intense work in the class, my thighs/quads no longer have the intense post work achne (the technical term for it will be DOMS – delayed onset muscle soreness) that will take me the entire evening and the good part of the following day to recover from. I have always had tight hamstrings and quads which I finally realised was a result of inadequate post workout stretching from my running and spinning days. The increased flexibility from holding stretches 3 to 5 mins is real indeed. Not to mention feeling much lighter and more relaxed for the rest of the day, and enjoying improved sleep.

I have decided to incorporate Yin to be part of my regular yoga ‘programming’ as I target to do it once every 2 to 3 weeks. Plus waking up early and going for the early 1015 Hrs Sunday morning class at Gulliemard is a great way to re-adjust my bio-clock and sleep patterns – as well as to re-connect with my body and wind down the weekend.

Before March comes to an end, I also hope to try another new type of class (most likely Hot 26) -which is part of my personal goal/resolution to try 1 new class every month.

Ending 2016 ……

Its only now – with 1 more day to go before 2016 comes to an official close that I finally have the time to wipe some dust off this blog as I’m working from home today.

December has been a busy and relatively productive month. I hesitated to say ‘productive’ or ‘very productive’ as I felt I could have managed my focus and energy levels much better …… before I can confidently say I’ve been productive. More important is the self-awareness to realize that …… and this will be something I have to keep working on in year 2017.

Sometimes plans, how well laid-out it can be, will not always go swimmingly / within our expectation.

One thing I have set out to do is to do more yoga over the festive season (christmas eve right till the new year) – as versus to just 1 class per week. My original plan today was to take the day off, go for lunchtime Stretch @ Yoga Lab …… followed by a relaxing lunch and some shopping in town. However a last minute quotation request from client came in last night. And so in the end, I sacrificed my home practice last night and sleep (eyes were already closing at 11+) to send out the quotation requests so that I could get some indicative responses by noon (as some insurers may be on half-day).

In the end, no indicative quote was forthcoming (as this is a specialized risk). Thankfully, I managed to seek client’s understanding that the time frame is too rushed, and we can only see some outcome in the new year.

And so I’ll do home practice today instead and go for a Stretch Class tomorrow morning. Interestingly, my original intention/workout plan for this week is to do a Stretch Class either on Friday or Saturday after attending a Hot Yoga 101 Class earlier on Tuesday evening. Flip-flopped a bit last night by putting myself on the wait-list for Yoga 101 at 1745 Hrs later, only to eventually cancel it (after getting a mat) and reverting back to my original plan of doing Stretch Class.

Which brings me to another point – setting and managing expectations.

When dealing with clients, clients will always want their needs to be attended first and on asap basis (even though it may neither be urgent nor important). Looking back now, although I wasn’t able to get an indicative quote today (which was the ideal scenario I had in my mind) – most important thing is that I got my client’s understanding that it may be difficult to firm things right now since its festive season. And he/she was pretty cool with it. So after some rough hiccups in the business relationship along the way, it is a sign of progress that I’m able to handle fickle natures a lot better now – by managing expectations accordingly.

And that brings me to the next point(s) – patience and intention.

Ideally, if the quote could come in today, I will be able to close off my work and have the afternoon off. Or from another perspective, simply tell the client that its not possible and let’s wait till the new year – and have the entire day off to do what I want to do. It was good that I kept going at it – despite the less than positive outcome for now …… and eventually we should be able to come to a more reasonable timeline to firm up something soon once everyone is back in normal working mode (and also when client manages to firm their equipment leasing details on their end too).

When this deal (and the deals/cases that I have been working on pre and post Christmas) eventually comes through – the rewards/fruits of labour will be that much sweeter and more precious. And so a little waiting here for now after having put in my best efforts!

And having the above clarity meant that I was able to go back to my original intention of closing year 2016 with a yoga class …… after starting my Christmas holidays with Hatha Yoga Class on Christmas Eve (where I completely blocked out work) and to end 2016 with another yoga class (with no distractions). As I have learnt in mediation and from yoga – setting your intention is important, as that will serve as our original purpose to why we set out to do that particular activity.

What was meant to be a random musings entry turned out to be a longer reflection piece (unplanned). It definitely feels good to be able to crystallize my thoughts and blog/write once again.

October Milestone

After a period of procrastination, exercise inactivity (late July till now) …… I finally got moving and bought a trial pass at Yoga Inc to start yoga proper *grin*

And 1st October, being a Saturday and also the 1st day of a new month (and new quarter i.e. Q4) was the perfect day to make a new head start/beginning in my fitness/health & wellness journey, as well as to develop a new interest/hobby. And most importantly, another goal/resolution finally ticked off my list 🙂

And what better than a Warm Stretch class – which is a basic level stretch class, but with a slight twist as the room is slightly heated to a temperature of 35 degrees. As per class description, it was the perfect class for me to start off with and work out those stiff muscles again (after a good 2 months of inactivity/zero exercise). Although I ended up resting and recovering from the muscle achnes (particularly at the right shin) for a few days after class.

Will be looking forward to my next planned class (Basics) soon, with the eventual goal of making it a twice a week workout (long term) with some self-practice on my own at home. Am excited to see a more flexible me …… and also how far my yoga journey will go now that I have finally taken the 1st step to start.

End Of An Era

‘Suffered’ a bit from a messed up sleep cycle at the start of the week …… and ending the week with slight flu cum sore throat which kinda sucks as I feel tired, sleepy and drowsy. And now sleep-less again after meds, post dinner nap and a late shower.

I had originally intended to blog about this earlier in the week but sleep (and everyday life) got in the way. After the uncertainty over the previous weekend with the sudden closure of California Fitness Raffles Branch, the final ‘death knell’ came with the official announcement on Wed morning (0000 hrs after to be exact) of the closure of the remaining Bugis and Novena branches …… which more or less signifies the end of California Fitness in Singapore as liquidators have been appointed to handle the closure of the gym.

To some of my friends surprise, my reaction to the gym closure was calmer than they thought (I suppose this is so after having to go through BIGGER issues over the past half a year). Rather than anger, I feel sadness at seeing the end of California Fitness, especially having been a member since 2003/2004.

Whilst JV Fitness (the management behind California Fitness) could have handled the situation more ethically …… while I have lost some money (since mine was a prepaid membership running till 2018), I feel a lot more for the staff (customer service, membership sales, trainers and instructors) who were totally kept in the dark about California’s precarious financial situation right till the end. As I blog this now, I can still remember the faces of the tower counter staff who have been with the Bugis Branch since Day 1 of its opening (in year 2005).

Do not have any plans to sign up another new membership for now. On a personal basis, it is indeed an end of an era, and one more change in the midst of the many changes I have been experiencing in year 2016 to date. Will definitely miss my usual Thurs spin class and recent Sunday workouts . As I told J yesterday, life will go on without a gym.

Thanks for the memories!

Out With The Old Comes The New

A quick blog entry to end off my Sunday!

Had 2 major purchases in the 1st half of 2015.

1st a new pair of birkenstocks at the beginning of the year (around CNY period). This was sort of unplanned purchase as the previous pair I was comfortably wearing (from mid 2012 onwards) as the sole came off (either due to constant wear or the shoe ‘knocked’ onto something, thus bursting open the bottom part) …… and so bye bye to my beloved birkenstock (which I finally threw it away earlier in the evening after leaving it in the shoe cupboard for the past 5+ months :P) ……

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And here comes a new pair …. Papillio series rocks!

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The 2nd major purchase for 2015 (1st half) is the current Garmin Forerunner 15 that I am using for both running & daily use right now.

The previous Garmin 110, which I bought way back in year 2010 when I got in to training for my 1st marathon, had served me well for a good 4 years + (with 1 change of strap in between as the stopper broke), until the strap started to break (the rubber seems quite fragile, TBH).

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It got quite bad to the point that I have to use rubberbands to hold the straps together (see picture) as both stoppers broke. In addition, the GPS started to get wonky as well, as it took rather long to start up and get location. Once the strap broke, even when I tried to use main face itself for timing purposes (on a run) – the GPS inside went haywire as well. So time for an upgrade 🙂

Tried running with RunKeeper on my phone for a while, before finally getting a replacement watch. Needed it before my 2XU Run at end March (which ended up being postponed due to Lee Kuan Yew’s state funeral) and thanks to the IT Fair back in mid-March, I finally managed to get a new (and in my opinion) superior watch – the Garmin Forerunner 15!

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Its smaller, lighter, sleeker, and brighter (in purple). Not only that, as the salesperson mentioned, with increased market share in Singapore (as a result of the increasing popularity of such sports devices) – the support has also improved significantly as compared to 4-5 years ago and I can now get replacement straps at Courts handily!

Best of all, the price point. This only cost me $199 …… as compared to the $380-odd (can’t remember the amount anymore) I paid for the 110 4-5 years ago!

So really, shopping aside, sometimes, we have got to leave ‘the old’ behind and embrace/look forward to ‘the new’ and something better going forward into the future. Apply this analogy to life in general and it works the same too 🙂

That’s it for my Sunday thoughts.

My April 1st ……

End of 1st Quarter of 2014 …… and April 1st signifies the start of 2nd Quarter 2014!

It also means I’m coming closer to my banding year close …. and even more closer attention needed to my cases by end May!

Had a long yet fulfilling day (Monday March 31st) to end off March and 1st Quarter …… branch PPI 1st thing in the morning at 10am, followed by preparation for an appointment, then dinner cum meeting/update with a friend/client itself.  Wanted to get working on some tracking/updates (business admin) but was too tired to do so and so ended up not touching any work upon returning home ……

So decided to take things a bit easier the moment I woke up. Fiddled around the laptop while deciding whether to work from home or head to office, then gym. Decided that I needed the workout (and some cardio especially) in order to get back to the twice a week routine again ….. so after lunch at home, headed to the office and reached around 2pm. Noted not that much difference if Iwere to reach office by 12 noon, head out to lunch and then come back.

Found it hard to get going as the sleepiness kicked in fairly quickly after an early lunch at home. Got myself my usual coffee, and then settled down and managed to finalise a proposal and got it emailed out – that’s another item off my to-do list! Did a few other miscellaneous stuff before shutting down and leaving close to 7 for the gym …… Almost didn’t make it to the gym as I was really feeling the effects of a long day the day before, and contemplated skipping the workout. However trudged myself to the gym (so as not to waste the effort of packing my gym bag) …… got some crab nuggets from Old Chang Kee (as comfort food) and revised my workout plan to a short cardio cum resistance workout indoors instead of an outdoor run as originally planned. Did try a new exercise that I saw from an email newsletter earlier in the morning – lunges combined with bicep curls (using free weights). Sounds deceiptively simple but no, felt the achne in my legs, and then my arms right into the next day 😛

Thankful that there was leftover chicken & noodles at home, which saved me the trouble of hunting for dinner post workout. After dinner, continued to work on the tracking/business admin that I didn’t manage to work on the night before ……

Pretty uneventful April 1st for myself …… But lest not we forget, April 1st is also the 11th year of Lesile Cheung’s passing. Much lesser fanfare on his 11th anniversary as versus to last year’s 10th anniversary Miss You Much Lesile’s celebrations. Nevertheless, I set my iTunes playlist + my mp3 playlist for the greater part of the day to Lesile’s songs as a way to remember him by ……