Thursday, September 23, 2010

Goodbye Blogger!

Don't fret! I'm not quitting this amazing world of blogging.

I'm just moving my blog to:

I just have to say that it's quite better there, and very much user-friendly. I'm no writer so micro-blogging my random, short thoughts is more appropriate for me.

See you guys on the other side!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

my army half marathon 2010 experience

Yay! I'm so proud of myself.

I broke my previous half-marathon (13.1 miles or 21 km) personal record of 1 hour, 55 minutes, and 56 seconds to 1:52:59 this Army Half-marathon 2010 held last September 12, 2010.

Organized by the Singapore Armed Forces Reservist Association (SAFRA), this annual half marathon event is attended by thousands of newly recruited NS boys (Singaporean males who reached a certain age are to take part of the National Service for two and a half years), army delegates from neighboring Asian countries, and the general public. This year tens of thousands gathered at the Padang (where the National Day Parade 2010 was recently staged) and waited for the 5:15AM flag-off for Half-Marathoners.

The Run

It was hot and humid! I woke up at the witching hour of 3 to prepare myself for the race. I had a quick shower and had some hot Milo and some white bread. I quickly slipped into my Adidas Techfit compression pants (gave my quads and glutes that much needed lift!) and white Nike singlet. I plastered key areas of my feet and toes with bandage to avoid the painful discovery and development of blisters during the middle of the race.

I arrived at the venue at 4:20 am. Thanks to the shuttle service from SAFRA Yishun Club. What usually takes a drive or commute to the city in 40 minutes to an hour, that shuttle bus took us in 20 minutes! I barely closed my eyes for a quick nap, then we were at the venue. Amazing!

Anyway, I searched for the baggage deposit and found it easily. I praise the logistics as it was arranged by gender-and-category, then by bib number. I easily found the pen manned by two army boys and hand over my bag. They quickly wrapped my stuff in a large, clear trash bag and secure it with a plastic lock. They hung my bag along the railings arranged chronologically according to the pen's bib number range. So ingenious. I was very impressed.

When I arrived at the flag-off area, there was heavy build-up of runners. Those who can't wait for slow-movers attempted to scale the walls and squeezed in. It was quickly managed and resolved. Again, I was very impressed.

It was REALLY hot and humid. I was huffing and puffing in the first couple of miles. The first uphill was at the Helix bridge. This is the bridge that connects Raffles Avenue to the Marina Bay Sands complex. Along the Marina Bay Sands complex, 21Km runners was greeted with a congestion of private cars coming home from the casino. Around the 3rd mile, I was climbing with a steady pace towards the East Coast Parkway Skyway. This went on and on for another mile or so. I was seeing the Singapore Flyer and the Singapore Skyline so high up! And I was on foot! That was a very unique experience. Though my breathing was still deep and heavy, I felt strong and steady in the uphill. Many thanks to the weekly hills training!

By mile 6, we were at the unending stretch of East Coast Park. Did you know that the ECP stretches for over 9 miles (or 15-16 kilometers?) An army boy handed me a banana -- a real fruit *wink* -- from one of the water stations. At a 9-minute per mile pace, it was quite difficult to bite and chew...

When I saw the 15th kilometer mark (or aroud 9-miles done), I glanced at my watch. 1 hour and 23 minutes. I was thinking -- at 5:00/kilometer pace or faster, I'd be able to reach the finish line a little after 1:50. And I'd be able to beat my PR, I said to myself. I ran as fast as I could. I hurriedly passed through water stations, even the mile markers. I even breezed way past our Dragonboat Team Captain, Jon! How surreal!

And just like that, I was nearing the finish line. I saw cheerers and greeters! They shouted "jia-yo" (or Chinese: 加油; pinyin: jiāyoú), which means be stronger! When it is used for sports, it encourages the athletes to do better, demonstrated at the 2008 Beijing Olympics by the Chinese.

I think I did it. I was STRONGER!

My bib and a great looking finisher's medal

Click below for a RARE photo of me wearing my medal. (Yes, only my medal.) j/k!

Friday, September 17, 2010

PowerSong: Goldfrapp's Alive (plus a surprise!)

I'm starting a new category in my blog called PowerSong!


Just like in Nike+ (how original!) are PowerSongs are songs that "helps you kick it up a notch whenever you need a burst of motivation."

So what are my PowerSongs? For the sake of content of this blog, RainbowRunner's PowerSongs are tracks that I've recently encountered and enjoyed. These songs are my personal recommendations for a run. They can be used as warm-up songs to wake-up those sleepy muscles, or jolt your system and pick-up your pace.

And so, for this week's PowerSong, I'm enjoying:

      Alive by Goldfrapp!!      

Check out the video, MP3 link and my thoughts on why this is my PowerSong for the week after the jump...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Day 18: time trial (1 of 3)

I did my first time trial last Thursday, 9 September.

I started my time trial quite late as I had a client surprised me with additional work that afternoon. :-/ Asar. Anyway, I rushed myself to the tracks of Bukit Timah Campus of the National University of Singapore (NUS).

From the Runner's World training plan that we are following now:
A one-mile time trial can help you track your fitness and set realistic race goals. Go to a local 400-meter track or any one-mile stretch of road. After 10 minutes of walking and jogging, run one mile, or four times around the track. Over the course of training, your fitness gains will be reflected in your time trials.

My results are shown below:

1 mile = 7 mins:17 seconds 36 milliseconds
Lap 1 = 1:50.30
Lap 2 = 1:51.12
Lap 3 = 1:46.98
Lap 4 = 1:48.96

Narnian said that our target one miler is 6 minutes. Will we be able to achieve that?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Army Half-Marathon this Sunday!

I'm running another Half-Marathon race this Sunday, 12 september 2010.

I'm joining the SAFRA Singapore Bay Run & Army Half Marathon.
This annual mass running event is the largest in Singapore and jointly organised by SAFRA and The Army. The event comprises both the competitive 21-km half-marathon and 10-km routes. The social runners can participate in the non-competitive 5/6-km Fun Run as well. 

The event aims to promote healthy lifestyle and reinforce SAFRA and the SAF’s emphasis on physical fitness. Over the years, participation has grown from 15,000 when it first started in 1992 to about 70,000 last year.

This year, we'll start at the Esplanade where the Merlion is nearby. We're also passing along the iconic Fullerton and the now infamous Marina Bay Sands. Parts of the 21-km route also includes the Singapore Flyer, the Formula One racing track (the F1 GP Night Race in Singapore is on Sept 24-26, 2010!), the long, unending stretch of East Coast Park and Shears Bridge.

Below is a detailed route map
21-km route map. Higher resolution map here from the SAFRA website

I will be running longer than my scheduled 10-mile training run.

Big good luck to me! :-)

p.s. I wasn't able to snap photos of handsome army boys behind the race pack collection when I got mine. Tsk tsk.

run with me some more!

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