Sunday, March 31, 2013

Liebster and lovin'

Oh my goodness, nearly forgot to share the Liebster Award bloglovin':

I nominate my friend Shu - an ex-colleague, now teacher (once a journalist, always a getting away from it) with the most delightful sense of humour. She's no slouch in the photography and fashion departments either! I suspect she has too many followers to qualify for the award, but I wanted to share the love because I miss her.

Things I'm loving right now:

1. Edward Humes' book Garbology, about America's (and the developed world's) addiction to refuse-generating Stuff and what this does to the environment. Each chapter reads like a magazine article: you'll meet the Bay Area family whose entire trash output per year fits inside a mason jar, the world's first garbage archaeologist, and the Trash Trackers of MIT.

2. This week my friend from our university's dance group visited Singapore with her boyfriend in the middle of a trip around Australia/ New Zealand/ Southeast Asia. So of course we had to feed them. We all had crab last night.
 this is salted egg crab. it doesn't look like much but it is delicious.
not my photo, borrowed from someone else's review...too busy eating to take photos. 

3. The Yellow Fellows, who are running to raise funds for the Singapore Cancer Society, which does free cancer screening, public education, home care, and funds treatment and transport for low-income patients. They ran the same 10K I did this morning, and their shirts were even yellower than mine. There's a link to their donation site on their Facebook page.

4. We had friends over last night and they used all the regular glasses so I'm drinking my Nuun from an old pasta-sauce jar. Lemon-lime with an ethereal whiff of tomatoes.

5. The watermelon and grapes I thought to toss in the freezer yesterday. Mm.

Things I'm loving somewhat less right now - because I am also a curmudgeon, ok?: 

This morning I did the 2XU
 ("2XU: two times you!" "one of me is enough for the world to handle, thank you very much")
10km as a tempo run, using the bib of a friend of a friend who couldn't make it. (I got stuck behind a lot of people at the start, started tired and got tireder, and my phone claimed it was a tiny bit short: 9.8km in 1:01. Except my friend's GPS said 10.41 km. I feel like I've fallen into some kind of gravitational distance warp here.)

But my body, without my consent I might add, has made it its mission in life to chafe in as many interesting places as possible. And I don't mean interesting places like 'inside Marina Bay Sands'. Stupid weather. Stupid shorts seam. Stupid me, forgetting the Bodyglide...

The reason I want to do longer tempo runs is... I signed up for the Perth marathon in August.

I've cramped after 25km on every single marathon I've done, and if I don't cramp I will almost certainly PR (under 5:15). A bit of back-and-forth email discussion with one of the coaches led me to the conclusion that what's going on is
a) I lose a lot of salt
b) muscle fatigue from not being conditioned to push hard on longer distances.

So part of the solution I've come up with is
1. longer tempo-paced runs (which for me is a little bit over 10 km/h). Going to force myself to do more of these in the months ahead. I hate tempo runs...
2. speedwork + strides - which Tuesday night track takes care of, but it's geared towards sprint-distance training
3. more strength training -  anyone got a good routine?

"If you can't run a fast 10km, you can't run a fast marathon," said my coach.
(Hey coach, I'm just trying to PR here, not qualify for Boston! This IS my 'fast', or at least a level of fast I'm confident of doing. It's not very fast for the other people you coach, but where I am is where I am, so let's work with what I've got, OK? Having the inverse of natural ability is kind of frustrating sometimes.) (And here we insert a very important note about mental health: I have some stress issues and if I'm not running with joy, if I'm running on upset or stressed or angry, I don't race please don't feed the self-doubt demons in my head.)

Almost none this week, it has REALLY been a nightmare at work. 
Tuesday extra exhausted track session.
Thursday easy 5k recovery run.
This morning: 10?km, getting slower every km I ran. 


  1. OMG babe I'm so glad that I found your blog... Can I just say that I love your writing. It's so down-to-earth and readable. I am completely clueless about running or exercise, but I've been reading for an hour now and really enjoying your posts! Hahaha...

    And thank you for this nomination and the sweet words :$ I miss you too! We should meet up!

    1. ahhh! thank you! :) <3 we should meet up, let me attempt to organise something...!
      Oh yes - 11 questions.

      1. What book are you reading (do you have in your life, on your table/ Kindle, should get around to reading) right now?
      2. What's your favourite place in the world you've travelled to?
      3. Are you a morning person or a night owl?
      4. What's your favourite way to deal with stress?
      5. If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?
      6. What's your favourite snack?
      7. Are you a shower singer? A secret shower singer?
      8. If you could have any superpower for one day, what would it be?
      9. What's the worst birthday present you've ever received?
      10. What smell do you like the most?
      11. What's your proudest accomplishment?

    2. YAY MEET UP!

      And wow those are really good questions... hahaha I'll get on them asap!

  2. Apparently, I can chafe behind my knees when I wear capris. Who knew? And on my second toe. Where it touches my big toe. Damn toes have been co-habitating for years without trouble. Why now? WHYYYYYY!?!??!!

    I'm bathing in Body Glide next time. I swear.

    And not to be cantankerous (although I am feeling cranky this morning), I disagree with your coach (sorry, coach). A fast 10K is like a world of pain for >30, <60 minutes. A marathon at your goal pace is like...sustained effort, but nothing too murderous. Get the hydration/cramp issue sorted and I think you'll get there. <---My humble opinion.

    Also, Zensah makes Thigh Sleeves, if you don't want to go the whole "capri compression, behind-the-knee-chafing" route. Also, having worn 2XU's "compression shorts", KMN and I both agree that CWX is approximately 5 times better. You may find some anti-crmap magic in those suckers.

    Don't hate on tempos. If you can do tracks, you can do tempos....

    1. more adventures in abrasion! aren't your capris your go-to gear? and what is up with your toes? did you do anything to displease them recently?

      i'm just going to resign myself to some chafing* and find a mini stick of bodyglide to go into my fuelbelt with the gels.

      *but am retiring my 2xu running skirt on long soggy races. That seam. Ugh. It's the Brooks one or nothing. Whole point of a skirt is to NOT CHAFE.

    2. Yes, they are. And apparently, they only chafe me in Singapore, on runs >12 miles. After our run last weekend, I had these funny red spots on the backs of my knees...I thought I got bitten or something. When I hit the shower, I began to wonder if they were chafing. When the same spots appeared after Sunday's run, I considered it confirmed. Dang!

      The problem is...I could carry the body glide, but I seldom actually NOTICE the chafing until afterward. Chafing is so strange.

      Side note: KMN experienced his very first chafe EVER on Sunday. (We grabbed showers at FF Cathay. He comes out of the locker room: "And when I was in the shower, I...oh my HURTS. In the shower. OUCH." *shows me his bicep* Me: "Mmm...yep. Now just imagine that somewhere...more sensitive than your arm, yeah?")