Sunday, May 1, 2016

Performance Series Race #1

Hello May!

Earlier this year hubs and I signed up for a 5-run race - The Performance Series. Each race will be held at different parts of Singapore and a medal is given after each race. If you put all the 5 medals together, they form the island Singapore. As always, I signed up for the 5km run while hubs signed up for the 10km run.

This morning we woke up at 6am to travel to the north eastern part of Singapore for the first run. It was held at Punggol Waterway and the 10km runners get to run across Coney Island via a bridge. So sad I never got to do it.

We had to take a taxi to Punggol because to get there by train we would have to change a couple of train lines and then get on a light rail train. That's why we don't go to Punggol. It's like travelling to another country. You would think getting a taxi early in the morning would be easy. But this is Singapore where taxi drivers love to hide from customers. We ended up using Grab Taxi...

While in the taxi we saw the sunrise and I got really excited because I haven't seen the sunrise for decades. Where I live, the tall buildings block the sunrise.

For a while I got obsessed with chasing the sun.

I guess the scenic attraction of this run is the waterway (it's just a stream of water) and Coney Island (which you remember I didn't get to set foot on).

Before picture, all clean and dry.

Before picture, face not yet red. I didn't wear the Orange is the new Black runner's tee because I had tried it out before and I almost had heatstroke. Instead I opted to wear my very cooling Puma tee and shorts. I paired it with my Adidas shoes. Don't worry, I read that Puma and Adidas sort of buried the hatchet years ago.

My 5km flag off was supposed to be 8am. But it was late. The MC said we were waiting for a VIP who wanted to join us in the race to put on his shoes/gear. I was thinking, how long does it take to put on your gear? Ordinarily I wouldn't have minded waiting a couple of minutes. But it was hot and muggy and very crowded because the lane was small and the latecomers (10km runners with poor runner's etiquette) kept pushing their way through to the start line thinking they would be allowed to go through. They were stopped. So some of us (me) were plastered together. Finally the VIP showed up and did his handshaking thing with a few people. Then a photo taking. But he had not put on his bib so we waited some more. First safety pin, second safety pin... Grr. Finally the flag-off at 8:17am.

I was very happy with the actual run. I did my usual slow in the beginning and faster at the end thing. Most of the runners were faster than me which is normal. But there were no bottle necks and I never had to resort to walking.

The only thing that annoyed me was a kid. Yep, this boy (see image above). He was obviously doing it wrong. He kept drinking water from a bottle every 100m. Then he would sprint ahead, elbowing his way forward, darting in and out. He would get tired and walked. Another swig from the bottle and the madness continued. Because I kept catching up with him, he would keep elbowing me out of the way and this got so tiresome. Eventually, I managed to outrun him forever.

My timing was not bad: 38:50 min for 5.3km. I don't have a photo of me finishing because I finished earlier than hubs!

We got Lucozade instead of 100+. Lucozade is very, very sweet and not nice to drink. It gave me a tiny headache. There were no bananas either.

After pic. Face red.

After pic. Dripping with sweat. He continued to drip with sweat all the way home, an hour later. (p.s. he's sucking in his stomach)

Our first run in 2016.

1 medal down. 4 more to go.

p.s. We took a LRT mini train to transfer to the MRT train and in the LRT mini train I saw this warning sign: The power rails on both sides of the tracks carry high voltage. When evacuating, do not touch power rails.

Happy to report we did not have to evacuate.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Weigh In Friday - Every Step You Take

It's confirmed. I'm unfriending April on Facebook. If I thought March was hot, I was so wrong. April was worse. The humidity got really bad. The temperature remained high. Once I thought I had heatstroke after a run. My body took a long time to cool down. It's now the end of April and the weather has changed slightly. It's still hot and muggy but looks like there's going to be lots more rain. Or threats of rain.

Despite the heat and high temperature, I was able to stay on track with my Goal for April. I'm so proud of myself! I have my fitbit to thank. I used it to track the number of steps I take everyday. Most days I could hit 10,000 steps. On days when I run, hitting 10,000 steps was not a problem. It's those non-running days which get me into trouble. My running was good. The timing didn't improve but I could run 3 times a week. I decided to cut down to 2 times a week because I thought 3 times may be too much. Occasionally I gave myself a day off to recover from any exercise if I felt too tired. It may seem silly to other people to count the number of steps you take every day but it's a really effective way to get me to move about.

I posted my stepcount on Instagram daily. Not that I think people actually care but I wanted it for reference.

Oh, one time on my run by the canal, I saw this big-ass monitor lizard. It was the size of a small crocodile! It had crawled out of a drain and was slowly making its way to the water.

Despite my stellar performance in fitness, I did not lose weight. In fact, I have to confess I gained weight. At one point, my weight went up to 60kg!!! I had gotten into the habit of drinking 100 plus edge after a run and that might have been a factor. Plus, the more I walked and run, the more sweet juice I drink. I got a bit afraid and forced myself to cut back on sweet drinks.

So, occasionally I had oatmeal with apples especially after indulging in unhealthy food.

 Unhealthy food such as these Korean fried chicken.

I have discovered I love Korean seafood pancakes. Are they unhealthy? Because I so want to eat them again. I looked up youtube and I think I might just be able to make them myself!

Speaking of my weight, it's now 58.8kg. I'm so relieved. All I need now is to be more disciplined in my food choice and I should be able to keep it under 58kg.

Next week I have to go and see my gastritis doctor again. I haven't totally recovered yet and in April, the headaches came back big time. It's really obvious this time. Most of my headaches are stress related. When I have anxiety or stress over something, I get a upset stomach, the muscles in my neck and shoulder area acts up and the headaches come. On the bright side, I have been able to eat a more normal diet - noodles and bread. I still try not to over-indulge. Although the headaches coming back is a setback, I want to see it in a positive light because it means I'm understanding my condition better.

This week I also managed to find the motivation to start working hard on my patterns again. It's a good sign because I can only work on my patterns when I feel good. I have a run on Sunday. See you then!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

How to tie your shoelace

For as long as I can remember, I have tied my shoelace the same way. I don't know if it's the same way other people do it. I don't know if anyone taught me to tie my shoelace. Maybe I watched how other people did it and copied it. Anyway, it worked and that's how I have tied my shoelace over the past few decades. I have never changed the method. Overhand knot, bunny ears, another knot and that's it.

I have been running for several years and in the last few years I have become more active, mostly because I got older and less fit. I wear running shoes more often - for running as well as walking. When I go to the malls, I favour running shoes as my feet don't hurt if I wear them. I hate it when my feet hurt and so running shoes are my go-to shoes for long walks. Anyway, I started complaining to hubs that my shoelace come undone at least once when I'm out. Yes, I've always accepted my shoelace coming undone because isn't that how it is? In fact, when I was much younger, I used to hang out with this girl whose shoelaces come undone all the time and I had to tie them for her because she's a freaking princess. (we're not friends anymore) When I go running, I have to resort to tucking the shoelace bow under the other lace to prevent it from coming undone. As I age, I find it sickening to keep bending down to tie my shoelace. Yes, bending down is now hardship.

Anyhoos, hubs took a look at my shoelace and he said if they lay vertical to the tongue of the shoe, it's wrong. It has to lie horizontal to the tongue. Mine is wrong. I guess that's why they come undone.

Hubs said he had watched a video and the advice is to do the opposite of what I've been doing if my shoelace comes undone easily.

Anyway, I tried with some difficulty and lo and behold, I managed to get my shoelace to lie horizontal across the tongue. Ha ha.

So I went through the steps for the wrong way and then the right way and I realised what was wrong. Apparently this is how I have been tying my shoelace all these years. I am right handed.

1. Right over left, knot.
2. Bunny ears.
3. Right over left, knot.

What I did wrong was to have right over left twice. In order for the knot to be more secure, it has to be:
1. Left over right, knot.

2. Bunny ears.
3. Right over left, knot.

Now my shoelaces don't come undone. I can't believe I've been doing this simple knot wrong for all my life. I believe it's because I don't even think about how I do my shoelace. It's something I do without thinking. How do you tie your shoelace?
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