the pencil runs

posts on running

10k in 59mins 23secs

Friday, July 29, 2005
10km in East Coast, Australia, Jul 2004

Yesterday was the first time I did the 10k under an hour. I did my first 10k in Australia in 1hr 8mins and have always wanted to break the hour mark, but strangely, when I finally did it yesterday, it didn't feel extraordinary.

Perhaps I've been reading too many blogs of runners who finish it in 45mins or so. Comparing myself to them doesn't help the ego, but I must remember: running is a recreational hobby to me; I've never been on a track team, never had a running coach, and everything I know and do I've picked up on my own or with my friend. That makes me feel somewhat better.

I started running for a strange reason. I was sitting beside my friend who had been running regularly. I noticed that her thighs were like iron, and I wanted iron thighs too! So I started running. I remember my first run. I did 4 rounds in my neighbourhood ( 3.6km) and when I stopped, I had to sit down and keep my head down to keep my heart from popping right out. I remember watching the sweat fall from my face like, or I thought then, the great drops of blood at Gethsemane.

I've come a long way since then. And I have iron thighs to boot. :) What were your reasons why you started running? And now, looking back, did running meet all your expectations?

Speed and Distance

Thursday, July 28, 2005

One year running

Wednesday, July 27, 2005
It has been a year and a half since I started running, and a year since I started keeping a running log. Today is a good day to start and end my running year because it is my sister's birthday. Happy birthday sis!! Life is so much better because of you.

7.2km benchmark

Friday, July 22, 2005
I love Friday evenings. :)

Finished the 7.2km hilly route near my workplace in the fastest time ever. In August last year, I was doing this route in 49mins. Today, I did it in 41mins 57secs.


01-Sep-04 44.46
28-Sep-04 45.95
12-Nov-04 48.6

So much of running is in the mind. I've been doing the 10km on the treadmill and I suspect that the only reason I could keep up the pace today was because I kept telling myself that it was only 7.2km so I might as well go a little faster. I was very tired actually -- the hills did me in, but I kept thinking, "Just a little bit more, just to that junction, and then I'll be almost done" etc. etc., all the way home.

What a great way to start the weekend! :)

very cool electronic stuff

Thursday, July 21, 2005
I’m such a nerd sometimes. I’ve been surfing around looking at gadgets and programmes that will track your heart rate, distance, pace, speed, etc. either via GPS or a foot pod thing. Seriously, these gadgets are amazing – they can even plot a graph of the elevation of your route! And take your timing every kilometre! Automatically! And do a simulated “re-run” of your route, along with elevation charts and speed! With maps! But I don’t want one cos I don’t want to wear a chest strap. I also don’t want one because too much information spoils the jog. And that essentially is the primary reason.

The thing about keeping track about how far and fast and often you run is that you always want to do something you’ve never done before. The most recent thing I did that I haven’t done before was to run the 10k on a treadmill. Exhilarating, when you do things for the first time…

Links: Garmin Forerunner 301 ; Timex Speed and Distance ; Polar Heart Rate Monitors ; MotionBased Performance Tracking

My next running shoe

Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Toying with the idea of an adidas. I have an asics GEL-1090 now and I love it. It fits well; it is light; and it gives sufficient cushioning. The pic below is a shot of my running shoes hanging out with my office dustbin while I blog at work.

My asics are a year and a half old and quite worn out as it is my only pair and I wear them a lot for both running and non-running purposes. There are little holes in my right shoe where the toes flex upwards, and it has been feeling a little "flat".

Adidas has a new customisable shoe called mi-adidas where they measure each foot individually, determine your gait, and let you print your name, etc. (See yewjin's account of his session; he got a free shoe just by blogging about it, wah lau!) Moi-Carine's new shoe is an Adidas Adistar Cushion; Renohtaram's new shoe is the Adidas Supernova Cushion. S's shoe is also a Supernova Cushion – you can find a runner's world review in the linked post. Moi-Carine is the queen of excellent shoe reviews though – see it here and here.

So I'm thinking that I may get either the supernova or the adistar, if they fit alright, or stick with the asics if they don't. From what I have read so far, the Asics-1090 has a dual-density sole (stability shoe) while the supernova and the adistar is a cushion shoe. I guess I will have to see which fits better. How exciting. :)

10k and purple berries

Friday, July 15, 2005


PlaceTime (mins)Distance (km)


Thursday, July 14thGym63.38109.5

10km would have gotten me from Orchard to Yio Chu Kang. But when I finished running the 10K yesterday, I was exactly where I started; in fact, to be precise, exactly where I've been all along. It is a strange feeling.


PlaceTime (mins)Distance (km)


Monday, July 11thAMK44.16.58.8

In contrast, the 6.5km run on Monday got me from AMK central to Lower Pierce and back, and S and I got to pick and eat purple berries (jaam) from the ground at Bishan Park along the way. Lower Pierce was covered with a low mist that evening -- refreshingly beautiful.

Both runs were great. I would do both again in a heartbeat.


Monday, July 11, 2005
Just updated the post "Where to find that elusive locker" for YCK gym. I swear, the treadmills at YCK feel faster than the ones at California Fitness. Not sure why. I've only run there one other time before and it felt fast that time too. Although it could be that I was running on a full stomach yesterday.


PlaceTime (mins)Distance (km)


Sun, July 10YCK456.849.1

A gym is the best place to run if you wake up late and have appointments in the evening. At twelve noon, it is worth every cent of the $2.50 entrance fee that you hand over to the aunty behind the counter. It is worth carrying a towel like a personal ID; it is worth running faster than you would have run because you didn't want to lose to the stranger running beside you; it is worth lugging soap, shampoo and a change of clothes; it is worth the long groggy train ride there.

California Fitness

Monday, July 04, 2005
Did you know that California Fitness has more female members than male? Surprising isn't it? When I go to the YCK gym, it is almost 90% male. One of the reasons suggested for this discrepancy is that a lot of women at California Fitness join for the classes: pilates, yoga, kick-boxing, etc., rather than for the weights. California Fitness is a veritable hothouse of fitness activity. All kinds of gleaming contorted bodies on specialised equipment; running, stepping, stretching, straining... The atomsphere borders on the fanatic -- nothing at all with what I associate with running. But the up side of the gym is that it provides wonderful clean towels, the kind where you want to burrow your face in over and over again, not to mention the soap, shampoo, conditioner and hairdryer. It makes exercising very convenient.