Sunday, August 29, 2010

Day 5: 9 miles long run, under the sun (late post)

So this is already day 5 (22 Aug 2010) of my training. A 9-mile long run under the scorching, Singaporean sun.

Geographically, Singapore is hotter than manila. Singapore is nearer to the earth's equator. Thus, hotter. But this doesn't hold true as cities in the inner part of Manila like Mandaluyong, Makati and Quezon felt like I was inside a baker's oven in April 2010 when I was there.

Anyway, I wasn't able to get up early that morning, so I had to choose between running before or after, my dragon boat training for my Sunday long run. I obviously chose the former.

I started my run a little before one in the afternoon. The Bedok Reservoir Park has a 5-Kilometer loop around the fresh water reservoir. Perfect if you're doing a 9-mile run (14.48 kilometers), as you'll do 3 loops. My run started just fine as the route had a good amount of shade. The reservoir has its share of eye candy that weekend too. Some canoe-polo sports competition is being held in one part. At the middle of the 5km loop, there was the lack or absence of shade and trees. I was under the mercy of the scorching sun for at least a kilometer. Alas, I found a shaded area outside the loop, so I continued my run there instead. And since I diverted from the loop, I had to climb up this hill with a manageable 10-30° incline. It was manageable, but at noon time, my heart was racing at 60-90beats a minute. I felt like my heart was about to explode.

I finished the loop but I had to do it two more times. Thank God I managed to finished my run.

I had to hydrate regularly to avoid heatstroke. There were a few drinking fountains along the route. I gobbled up water every 20-30 minutes. I had to splash water on my body, my head and especially and my nape. As the insides of our body heat up while doing exercise, running under the heat of the sun is very dangerous.

Heatstroke can lead to death. As what happened to Remus Fuentes (RIP) last Milo Marathon in Manila. Even widely popular and well organized marathons like the recent Standard Chartered Marathon in Kuala Lumpur, another fellow runner met a tragic incident. Runners must remember to hydrate before, during and after a run, especially if one runs in hot, humid city like Manila or Singapore.

Tip: Did you know that running cool water on your wrist (where your pulse is) cools your body down faster?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Happy Birthday @OutedNarnian

I suddenly woke up, very early Saturday morning. I couldn't get back to sleep. I wondered why... Then I remembered, it is:

Happy Birthday Guuurl!

I love you girl, and will be always rooting furr you, whereevur you urr! Heart-hugs!

Image editing apps thanks to Hello Kitty Camera and TuzkiSnap

Post script.

Narnian is my sorta-best friend forever already. I bet he doesn't know it. If that's the case, then it's a one-way BFF thing. More on that later.

When I went home to Manila last April, I asked him to join me in Body Pump class, a Les Mills fitness class I follow religiously. After the class we were to go for Kaya breakfast at the nearby Kopi Roti along Ayala corner Buendia in Makati. As we're about to take our shower (not together and scrub each other's back, silly!) I noticed that he was carrying a toilet-and-bath basket. This plastic basket is usually seen with kids staying at a student's dormitory. It was what you carry to a communal bathroom, with your products. It was packed to the brim with his pampaganda. I asked him if he brings it every day to the gym when taking a shower, and he said, "Yes, of course."

To make the story short, I knew I had to help Narnian. As his one-way BFF, it's my duty and responsibility for his to take care of what others perceive of him. My now 24-year old buddy shouldn't be seen with a T&B basket. So as a big Sizzzter, I bought him this.


Take a sec to decipher.

Click on the READ MORE to know what I got Narnian 

Sorry na!

...For being AWOL in my blogging duties. I'll be posting my older entries first so I can get back on track.

Photo Credits to

Friday, August 20, 2010

Day 03: another 4 easy miles + thoughts on treadmill running

If you know me as a friend or runner, or at least have followed my blog for some time, you might have realized that I don't like treadmills.

Hate it. Abhor it. Loathe it. Despise it... NOT really! *puppy eyes*

What I mean is I'm just the type of runner who doesn't want to run while staying on the same space for an extended period of time. I prefer the sunny (or sometimes cloudy, drizzling, or wet) outdoors. I don't know if you also do, but I feel this satisfying sensation when my feet pounds the pure asphalt on some roads. I just don't like monotony.

I don't enjoy watching TV shows while at the treadmill. I had an incident once, back in Manila, where I almost slid out of the conveyor belt! What happened was, my attention was caught in this show. I didn't know that I was slowly slipping backwards. I realized it as soon as my feet felt the roller at the end. Close call! And more recently, at FF-One George Street, I was hooked on this skateboarding challenge I was seeing on ESPN. The show is being televised to my left. Little did I know, I was also moving towards the left of the machine. In a split second, my left foot hit the immovable deck. I jerked for a bit, and (THANK GOD!) I didn't lose my footing. I regained my balance and composure. I acted as if nothing happened.

But deep inside, I felt so scared. I could have fallen down/off. I could have lost my pearly whites. Worse, I could have damaged this baby-face of mine. :-P

Recently, Mike Tyson's daughter died from a treadmill accident. Scary!

Yes, running on the treadmill is easier as there's no wind resistance to slow you down. The assistance of the belt propels you to move forward and just staying in place. You have a smoother run since there's no change in terrain, and no man/animal/car/building or inanimate object blocking your way. The treadmill is also good for overweight runners and those with knee issues, as the machine is padded and softer than the road.

One just has to beat the monotony on treadmill running. You and your friend can run side by side. Motivate each other, provide some distraction. If you're alone, try an interval workout. Warm up for 5 minutes and follow it with fast and easy segments. Increase your speed by 30-50 percent for two minutes, and then go back to your comfortable pace. Do this for 4-6 sets. If this isn't your thing, try circuit training. Again, warm up for 5 minutes. Step out of the treadmill and do some strength training general exercises for a set or two. Example, do push-ups and squats. Run again for another 5 minutes, followed by some lunges and crunches.

Anyway, the bottom line of this post is I ran for 4 miles at the treadmill today during lunch break 'coz I wasn't able to wake up early. And that has been my 3rd day of training today.

Enjoy your weekend folks!

Thanks Stock Photo for the image!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Day 02: 4 miles, hills around Nassim Road and Botanical Gardens

Every Wednesday, for the first half of the training, is devoted to training in hills. Yes, HILLS; not heels, as in the part of the human foot, or the back portion of women's footwear.

I remember when @MkSurf8 took me to Dempsey Hill for breakfast after the Timex Race, and there was lush greenery and rolling hills as we were heading to Jones the Grocer. Imagine Baguio Country Club and Camp John Hay in Singapore. Warmer of course and lots of joggers, even at noon time! That inspired me to do my hills training around the area. Thanks to Livestrong.COM, I also found a few routes around Singapore where there are hills to run around.

Let me also say that the routes I run are either, (a) near any branch of my gym – Fitness First, or (b) starts and ends at my place in Yishun. The former is a must so I can keep my things at my locker while I go out for a run.

So, I found and modified a 4-mile route that now starts at Orchard corner Grange Roads, where Paragon Shopping Center is, and where FF-Paragon at the 8th level is housed.

I went all the way down to Tanglin road from Orchard road. Starting from Shaw and Wheelock, I'd like to believe that this is the "old Orchard" shopping alley. Less-crowded malls and classy hotels are seen in this area. I then ran up a smooth incline along Nassim road, where I passed by the Philippine Embassy. Further up, I entered Cluny Gate of Botanical Gardens. It was getting a little dark so I had a difficult time navigating through the park. It was so serene inside. Lots of runners are training there too, but I was in awe of the never-ending hills that go up and down. I totally forgot about my quads that started to ache.

When I finally reached the Tanglin gate, I checked my Nike+ Sportsband and I did 3+ miles already! And my run was nowhere done! I exited the park, and went up the incline along Tanglin road, back to Orchard road. I passed by people going home from the office or catching dinner, al fresco.

Check out my route HERE.

I finished my run after a little after the 5th mile. This must be because I got lost inside Botanical Gardens, which I don't mind at all! I loved it there and I won't get bored running in that area. 'til next week, I'm increasing my mileage to 5-miles.

How about you, do you have routes that you like?

P.S. I miss McKinley Hills, near Venezia. Killer "hi(e)lls" around that area :-)

Photo Credit to user: Saucy Pan 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Day 01: 4 miles, easy run + thoughts on Miles vs Kilometers

So it has begun.

Today's the first day of the 16-week Sub 4-hour training from Runners World.

Instead of waking up at 5:00 am, I took my lunch break from work at the gym. I checked-in at FF-OUB. This is one of the most accessible gyms from where I work. It's a couple of stations away (Bugis -> City Hall -> Raffles Place) right above Raffles Place MRT.

I ran at the treadmill for 38+ minutes. I warmed-up for a mile for about 10 minutes, followed by the 10:04/mile pace for another 3 miles.

I am having a difficult time converting my whole sense of pacing from Metric to English system. When I warm up, I usually do a 6:30/km pace, but when I'm in the zone I run between 5:30 to 6:00/km pace. The fastest pace I can manage for a race is between 4:30 to 5:00/km. But you see, finishing a marathon of 26.2 miles sounds way easier than 42.165 kilometers. I remember my friend said that it's easier to digest that you're doing three 10-K races plus one 7-K warm up and one 5-K cool down for a marathon. And that's in Metric terms. How do I break down in the miles?

Here are some English<=>Metric conversions that I know by heart:

  • 1 mile = 1.6 kilometers
  • 1 kilogram = 2.2 pounds
  • 1 inch = 2.54 centimeters
Now that I've listed them down, it doesn't seem much.

Oooh! I know the currency conversions for Philippine Peso, US Dollar, Singapore Dollar and Malaysian Ringgit too! (Hmmmm... that sounds lame)

UPDATE: I consider myself lucky to stay with my sister and bro-in-law in one flat. I'm lucky that they cook so I get to eat at home. But not in the past couple of days. :-( Last night, I had calamares! And now, I just finished some leftover sisig. Yes, I'm lucky I get to be with them. Sigh

Monday, August 16, 2010


Tomorrow I'm starting my training for the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 2010. I'll be embarking on a 16-week program from Runner's World. It'll take 5 days a week (and even a week or two with 6!) of non-stop running. The objective of this 80-day training is to finish a full marathon in four hours or less. It'll hopefully increase my endurance and stamina and strengthen my muscles more. As this is my first full marathon (that's 42.195 kilometers or 26.2 miles), I am indeed aiming high with a sub 4-hour goal.

The training involves early hill work. Some speed and intervals towards the end. A bunch of active recovery runs are scheduled during the week, with at least 3-5 miles per run. Once in a while, a time trial is also scheduled for me to realistically adjust my goals. And yes, long runs on Sundays! So I'm saying good-bye to late nights for now and say hello to early morning weekends! Boo hoo!

I'm doing this program as recommended by my friend Outed Narnian. Jamie Da Vinci will do it too. One of my running idols will do it too, Jaymie Pizzaro aka, The Bull Runner.

I'll do my best to jot down the 80 days of this training. They say that once you write down your thoughts, it'll be easier to achieve the goals you've set.

So dear friends and fellow runners, a big good luck to moi. You're prayers and well-wishes are appreciated.

p.s. If you want a copy of the training plan, let me know so I can share it with you. Just post a comment here or send me an @reply thru my Twitter account, and I'll share it with you soonest.

run with me some more!

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