Boxing Day Clearing

Finally got started on some spring cleaning 1 day after Christmas aka Boxing Day ….

Decided to start off with the bookshelf in bro’s room as I think it has been about 2 years since I cleared that out (most of the time I focus on the storeroom & living room area where my stuff are scattered all over) …..Let the pictures do the talking 😀

The shelf in its originality (took the pic last night/this morning, heh) ……

After sleeping in (recurring theme through the extended holiday weekend :P) till 12-plus … lunch (home cooked curry fishhead :D) … some TV-ing and random surfing, I finally got started working on the shelf at around 4 ……

The shelf being cleared out …..

As I wiped the insides and clear it off dust (accumulated over time) …. decided to take some pics and have some effects from some of the camera apps from my iPhone …… Sidenote – As with the above picture + the following ones, went with WoW Camera app for consistency ….

** Old diaries from year 2005 .. 2006 .. 2008. Was contemplating throwing them away when I looked through it last night but decided to keep it as a record of my past work and for nostaglic reasons.

** Old Music CDs kept in CD folder …. my 1st ever VCD drama – With Love (bought from a NUS bazaar when JDrama was invading our shores in early 2000s) …. And a ziplock bag of all my running medals ……..

** Various financial magazines accumulated over the years. Briefly looked through them and there’s actually a lot of useful articles that is still relevant in 2011/2012 landscape – topics relating to productivity, financial planning, investments etc.

Consolidated all the above pictures into one via Multi-lens app (introduced by TL … very cool app!) ………

Had some fun exploring Leme Leme app as well. Always saw people doing this pane effect but I have never realised that I can do so as well by changing the lens under Camera Settings …. till today that is 😛

** I used to ‘invest’ in FSM magazine for investment related information and articles back in the days when I was with C ….. now at P, we get so many free magazines (as part of corporate sponsorship) but the irony is – too many things to read 😛

Realised there was also a stack of iFAST magazines in storeroom so took them out to consolidate …… and found out I actually have duplicate copies of the same issue (could be leftovers from seminar events etc.) …. So its time to prune!

**  Used the regular leme leme single lens effect …….

Of course not forgetting to take a picture of my 2nd Full Marathon (Stand Chart) finisher’s medal!

Had a coffee post clearing and now finishing up the blog in the comfort of my room!

Post Marathon Recovery & Re-Start

Completed my 2nd marathon over the weekend – Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon on 4th December Sunday ……

Briefly on the marathon 1st, was not able to acheive a sub-7 hour timing due to various reasons (insufficient training .. extreme heat & humidity .. poor distance markers) and ended up doing similar/slightly worst than last year – which is somewhat below my expectations …… Post run recovery was a drag this year. I had less foot blisters but the abrasion was pretty bad this time round (a sign of lack of fitness resulting in body ‘wear and tear’?) – that I wasn’t able to recover sufficiently to go back to office by Tuesday …… so that is one down!

Not going into details here on the run but having rested and calmed down over the past couple of days …. 1st and foremost, I am grateful that I still finished the entire race without being swept up by the lorry. Despite the cursing & swearing during the last quarter of the marathon, I think I might actually attempt another full next year – the goal of a sub 7 hour timing is something I would like to breakthrough …… For next year, I am looking at improving my 10k and 21km timings for the better half of the year – that’s one tangible year 2011 resolution down! 🙂

Post recovery was tougher this year as compared to last year …… as mentioned above, the body abrasions were more painful and I was still struggling to walk even on Tuesday morning, and so took another day off work. 2 days off work and PD Day (@ Singpost Centre in Paya Lebar) means that more than 1/2 the work week is gone and there is major catch-up to do 😦  …… Was back to office on Thursday, only to be welcomed with a malicious spyware titled ‘Vista Anti-Spyware 2012’ – which went into havoc the very moment I powered on my laptop on the office table …… Talk about an ‘ominous’ return back to work, sigh …… And proceeded to spend a good part of the afternoon figuring out a way to get rid of the spyware (which I managed to do so after referring to here) and more scannings before finally able to resolve the issue before Zzzz ……..

Hence doing my documents back-up before heading into office …. What a way to start and end the week! On a happier note, over the break I have started on a new drama series post Secret Garden – 我可能不會愛你 (Taiwanese Drama currently showing in Taiwan and on Starhub Ch825) ……


D-1 to my 2nd marathon!

After I have updated my blog yesterday, mentioned person has the audacity to send me 3 LONG SMS-es (capitalized letters mean that its really long) …… All I have to say is if a person has to resort to long SMSes to prove his/her point rather than thrasing it out in person – it says more about that person and his/her personality and handling of conflicts. To sum it up, when dealing with such difficult people, there is no need to reply in a equally tit for tat manner (if anything it only serves to tell others you are egoistic, get easily defensive and easily provoked) …. I simply kept my cool and replied in 3 sentences! Ha!

Onto happier stuff … in a couple of hours time, I’ll be getting ready to run my 2nd marathon. In the meantime, just resting and bumming around, going online and not doing anything much as need to sleep early and get up at 2am to get ready to take the MRT at 3am to reach the start point at Orchard. Going to check out some kpop videos on YouTube now. Ta da!

Post Marathon Recovery ..

*Edit On Sun 19 December 1300 Hrs*

Gosh! Taking a look at my blog, my last entry was actually on Nov 29. The best that I have done for the next entry is to key in the intended title via wordpress for iphone on Wed afternoon 😛

So what have I been up to??

As the title goes, and as blogged previously, one major milestone is that I have completed my 1st full marathon!! Not sure if this has been blogged about/mentioned before .. but one of the MAJOR resolutions/goals that I had going into year 2010 is to complete a full marathon by the age of 30 (which itself is another big milestone, heh!) …… While post marathon recovery has been all about minimal workout/gymming, maximum eating, slacking, tv-ing .. and some work (but not satisfied with my productivity & activity levels though) ……

Why at 30 (since there are many chances to complete a marathon given the growing popularity of running in Singapore)?? Well, you are only 30 once in your entire lifetime – thus it is a good age to acheive some major goals …… and personally for me, running a 42.195km full distance marathon under hot sweltering sun (later part of run) is a BIG THING to me personally (although it might not be to some, to each of their own I suppose) …… but rather than being a NATO (no action talk only), it is always good to experience it once – before talking/criticising loudly.

Before I digress too far into my displeasure with NATOs .. as a recap, based on my own personal experience, running a marathon is not just physical (this is controllable based on the amount of training), a lot of it is mind management (mental – which is within yourself) …… The mental aspect of it is actually the most challenging as typically most of us ‘hit the wall’ (in running terms – it means physically we come to a complete stop & start walking) around the 30km to 37km mark, and your mind starts to play tricks on you. As the run started at 5am, the 30km to 37km mark should co-incide with the hottest stretch of the morning (after 9am) – where you are physically at your worst/weakest and have to gapple with lack of water stations amidst the hottest stretch of the run (this year – the stretch from East Coast Service Road to Marina Bay Golf Course to Marina Barrage to upslope Nicoll Highway indeed fits the criterion) …… And seeing the people who gradually fell by the wayside (marina barrage, nicoll highway) due to injury, dehydration – for a while it is indeed tempting to just stop and wait for the ambulance to sweep you up ……

But Not! I hit the wall around the 31km mark (at the same time, my Garmin FR110 went flat!!) … and walked myself to the finish admist the scorching morning sun & neverending marina barrage/nicoll highway stretch (with a unwelcome upslope at 36km mark) …… And walked another 2km to pit building to collect baggage. To the organizing committee: I have to truly say ^#(@&(&@%*#^@^$^% for such a crap arrangement! ……

In the downtime (2-3 days after the run), I have reflected and analysed on what I have done & what I have NOT Done & what needs to worked/improved on (would like to keep this succint, hence no A-Z discourse and details) …….  Now that I have completed a marathon, the next phase (going into my 30s) is to work on PBs (Personal Best). As part of my 2011 resolutions, I would like to challenge myself to train properly (by following a proper training plan) to do a PB – and bring that discipline and commitment to my work/business as well (it may sound like I’m jumping gun/topic, but trust me, there is a correlation to it lah) ……

And I am happy to say that this shall be one of the many finisher t-shirts that I will add on to my collection in time to come!

Training Progress

Have been feeling a tad guilty of the irregular blogging so after staring at the computer screen for a good 5 min on WHAT to write, decided that I shall do an update on my training progress for the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore (Full Marathon) this coming December ……

Earlier at the office, R passed by my table & asked me for my finishing time for the last 3 half-marathons that I did as he & S will be doing the half-marathon this Dec whilst I am moving up-distance to the full marathon …… and apparently he said yesterday he left office early and went back home & started his 1st training which lasted all of 2km. He also mentioned that after stopping the weekly badminton sessions (due to fragile knee), he has yet to do any serious form of exercise until yesterday’s 2km training. Although he has got the experience of running similar long distances (army days??), but after such a long time, and given that his training started so late, I wonder how is he going to pick up the momentum again given that it is only a month away ……

Anyway, the key point is that after the brief conversation with him, I went to Runner’s World website and google-d some marathon pace caculators – so as to ‘evaluate’ the progress of my training 😛

This was the 1st result I got from Google (source: Runner’s World) – Get Serious: A 12 Week Marathon Training Plan

** I must say I liked what I read as this particular program emphasis on shorter mileage (speedwork) via intervals together with longer runs (at a slower pace) over a period of 12 weeks (around 3 months) …… Feel that this is a good and efficient way (time wise and output wise) to train especially when many of us have work, social, family commitments to balance around training for a full marathon.

I also found a Training Caculator from Runner’s World website as well …… Based on the timings of a training run I did yesterday (note: I rounded off the timing to the nearest minute i.e. 38 mins), below are the recommended training pace generated from the caculator

Based on your 3.86 kilometers race time of 00:38:00, the paces of your different training runs should be:

11:39 min/km Easy run training pace
10:00 min/km Tempo run training pace
9:08 min/km Maxmum oxygen training pace
8:32 min/km Speed form training pace
11:39 – 12:50 min/km Long run training pace
7:32 min/800 Yasso 800s training pace

From the above table, I reckon I am working around the following regions – Speed Form, Tempo Run and Maxmum Oxgen as my training pace has been around 8 – 9+ min per km. I guess where racing pace based training is concerned, I am quite on track 🙂

As far as the body is concerned, am happy to say that the legs generally feel less tired as the days go by given that I am already gradually increasing both pace and distance in the 1-2 times weekly running …… plus also I have been doing mainly speed-based intervals on the gym threadmill (combination of volatile weather + convenience of Bugis gym to Gateway) …… It is a sign that the training is paying off …… Although I must say that if I have d/led the training plan from Runner’s World earlier and followed it closely, I would’ve been better fitness wise, but still at least I started/resumed training around mid-August so it wasn’t all that bad (except that it took me a bit of time to get used to running in my Asics) ……

Of course, my training still lacks the element of the once-a-week long runs …… and to rectify this problem/hole, I have invested in a proper running watch – Garmin Forerunner 110. This is a GPS based watch, meaning to say that I do not need to purchase an additional footpod in order to measure distance (unlike the so overpriced Polar HRM out there) while the set I bought also comes with the heart rate monitor (the purpose of the HRM is to get more accurate training data but I elect not to touch it until after this Sunday’s GE Run where I have more time to get used to running with a strap) …… The training data can be uploaded to Garmin Connect website for more detailed analysis (will probably clock in another workout before I start to explore the website) and which will help me to monitor the progress of my workouts (particularly in outdoor running) ……

Here is a picture of it

And of course, my training will only feel complete with my regular once-a-week spinning class @ the gym as spinning/indoor cycling is a great cross-training activity to work the legs and train the heart rate on off-days ……

And to top it off, I came across a marathon running clinic on SG Runners and made a last min decision to sign up for it and its happening this saturday …… Getting excited and slowly feeling the buzz as we start to coundown to the marathon!

Post Half-Marathon Reflections

Attempted my 2nd Half-Marathon (Standard Chartered Half) yesterday morning. Some post race reflections & thoughts ……

1. Not overloading on carbonated drinks (H-2-O … 100Plus) as compared to last year …… no funny reactions from stomach as compared to post run 2008 BUT got headache (lack of salt as I did not finish up the bottle of 100Plus I got post run as not cold enough for my liking) …..

2. Did not do route check b4 the run …… thus not prepared for the nicoll highway/ECP stretch before going into Suntec/Beach Road (I thought it would follow the full marathon route, which is the flatter shenton way turn but I think they may have changed the route last min too!) ……. Decided to play it safe by walking through the up-sloping stretch (a bit too early to start walking) as versus to sprinting up and on hindsight, could have contributed to 5 min timing difference ……

3. And with regards to the route, same as last year, the last 2 km would stretch outside esplanade mall, down to the bridge before turning into Padang …… given the narrow barricaded esplanade drive + traffic jam = impossible to speed up (although I think the full marathoners will not have this problem as they are projected to finish later,in fact my colleague commented that last 1km was very fast) …. I would have preferred them to divert into esplanade, cut through the park and then head towards Padang ….. broader route and way easier to run!

4. Did not carbo-load enough …… should have taken more bread/pasta within the 12 -24 hour timeframe to the run proper …… Was craving for bannanas after the 12-13km mark (but they only give out for the full marathon) ……

5. Minimal runs done post GE-Run …… but I suppose the aerobic base from spin classes helped to some degree so still improved my timing despite walking more than expected ……. Moral of the Story: Keep Spinning!

6. Did a time check with the marshalls around the 14-15km markets and it was about 905am ….. so I have around 40-45 min to finish off the remaining 6-7km so felt comfortable BUT traffic jam at the last 2km (route joined together with full marathon + 10km ladies) meant plan/strategy to pace up to the finish was spoilt! Arghh! Would’ve pushed harder at the Kallang stretch if that was the case …….

7. Stones! Lots of them along nicoll highway … and at pit building …… was hitting stones more than hitting milege ……

8. More long training runs needed ……. note for 2010 training plan

9. The importance of a warm-down …… given that it is double of the usual 10km races in the calendar, recovery time is longer  ……. muddy field + crowd at finish line + kan cheong to collect baggage at the other end meant that I did not do warm-down …….

And paying the price for it today with a sharp pain on my left knee joint ……. But the funny thing is there was no sharp pain after run and after post run massage ….. strange-ness! So it must be the lack of warm-down and effect has kicked-in 1 day later 😦

So this means working from home today after resting for the rest of Sunday! Neglected work to catch up on + still have photography assignment due tmr …… hai …..

At the torturous nicoll highway/ECP stretch, I was cursing and swearing and would be thinking “OK, this would be the last time blah blah blah …. ” and yet at the end of the finishing line, it would be replaced by “Will be back next year to further improve timing” 😛

There’s a chance I might ‘graduate’ into doing the Full Marathon next year – that is if I can manage my time properly and stick to the training plan ….. Once in a lifetime goal to earn that Finisher’s tee-shirt 😀

Belated Updates

It has been a while since my last entry ….. Have been DOWN DOWN DOWN since Sunday – where I did my very 1st half-marathon ……

Wait a minute …… rightfully my very 1st half-marathon should be a milestone right …… Hmmmmmm, timing wise, I can say ‘almost’ within expectations, since this is my very 1st time doing such a long distance, no illusions about hoping to acheive a 2 hour plus timing (which means you are about 50 percentile of the pack) ……

I suppose the one good thing that comes out of this maiden experience is that there is motivation and impetus to want to keep on training and running and more half-marathons in the pipeline (and eventually full distance ? why not? I think it is possible to complete it if a proper training plan is drawn up and followed dilligently) …… Time to invest in a proper timing device (one major race problem was the lack of proper signage by the organizers + no timing device/monitor which would keep track of distance covered and timing) as well as needing to start doing the long training runs much earlier ……

Unfortunately body & mind is not in a good shape post-marathon 😦 …… Work-blues continue despite the long weekend and took a day off, hoping to get a last min massage slot (but there was none!) …… and my Tuesday just went downhill from there, coupled with dizzy spells post-lunch …… On hindsight, maybe I could have been less stubborn in insisting on a evening slot and just stuck with an afternoon slot, whatever ……

Whatever it is, the 21 days left to 2008 and time to take things up a notch!!