Wednesday, August 6, 2014


Gosh, you mean it's been ten days since my last post? I seem to have fallen down a rabbit hole. Triathlon is in and of itself a deep enough rabbit hole (an expensive one too, and I need to eat!). Said rabbit hole (are we sure it isn't a black hole? Is this post finding its way out?) also contains a veritable mountain of work, entertaining, etc. Now where is my bunny rabbit? 

Speaking of holes, several giant holes have opened up in the ground in Siberia. Possibly due to permafrost melting up, warming, and releasing the gas stored in them - poof!

Other things in my life have developed holes.

Case in point:

I wore my work shoes to death. Those poor shoes. They've been through monsoon storms, around construction sites and charcoal-dusty recycling plants, down muddy trails... and here I was wondering why the sole was peeling off.

My Kinvaras also recently developed holes in the same places, which, come to think of it, probably means it's time to rethink my swim strategy of having toenails so sharp they can fend off sharks and sprint-tri participants trying to swim over me. Also, any excuse to buy new shoes.

Tri training is...well, it's going. I have a plan and I'm actually vaguely sticking to it this time.

This past weekend I ran the Tri-Factor half marathon as a training run, felt awesome the whole way, took it VERY easy, and emerged at the other end with probably my slowest timed half marathon in years (2:23:06). It was GREAT.

And quite pretty. And surprisingly, for a path along a waterway, not as flat as you might expect.
From this angle you can't see my approximately 500 new friends who also took part in the half marathon. 
It was also very humid. Not pictured: the soggy butt-prints I left while sitting along the path waiting for my friend Lin to come in.

Tri-Factor is very low-key, but does a lot of things right:
- full, searchable lists of results
- starts mostly on time
- very small competitor field (500 half marathoners)
- plenty of water points along the way and plenty of water at the end
- electrolyte freeze pops for purchase at the end this year (!)
- the cutest kids' 1K race on the face of this earth

Which all bodes well for the tri! Don't fail me now...

Speaking of humid, the other day it was raining, but thank goodness for RPM classes or else rainy day brick training would basically never get done. As soon as I wrote that last sentence I heard my coach's voice in my head (an obvious symptom of trizophrenia*): "And if it rains on race day then what? No need to race?"

* - Trizophrenia: The mental condition that spurs a person to sign up for three sports on the same day. As though there are three of you around to do 'em.

I felt Holly's comment about food-shaming on my last post was so much YES that it deserved space up front and centre here all by itself:
Have we really never discussed this food thing? The fact that one I ADORE eating in Singapore, with Singaporeans: It is absolutely and completely expected that I jump in the moment the food hits the table, that I take as much as I want, and that if I'm fast enough to grab the last bite of a tasty dish, I darn well better take the chance and thank the lucky stars for my fast reflexes. [Elder deference at family dinners aside.] Singaporeans, in general, of both genders, positively adore food and don't feel ashamed about that. They will order extra dishes, eat more, and encourage each other to do the same. It's AMAZING.
In the US, among many groups, there's still this female habit of not eating first, not seeming too eager, and DEFINITELY not taking the last bite (in fact, people will let the server clear a tray of even the most delicious dish with one final bit on because no one wants to appear too greedy and take the last bit). Women are more likely to eat salads, nibble around the edges, and steal a french fry here and there. And if you eat a big meal, it's because you had a small breakfast/did a huge workout/won't get dinner until late - and people (women, usually) make that fact clear to their companions when ordering. They will eat, while bemoaning how damaging what they are eating is for their figure/diet. Women feel pressured/expected not to eat too much (usually from each other, but possibly also from men - there is actual discussion over what is/isn't an appropriate amount/item to eat when going out on dates), and too much zeal for eating is "unladylike".
Of course, this isn't the case in every group - and the degree/level varies. But even as someone with almost no food "issues", I have felt the unspoken (and spoken) pressures in the US. And I really, REALLY hope I can carry the devil-may-care attitude I've been able to freely cultivate in Singapore when I'm back in the US. In short, the Singaporean love for/appreciation of food is incredibly refreshing, and I absolutely LOVE to eat with locals. /end rant

When I lived in the US I was largely blind to those pressures - either I was a naive, hungry* little college student and those rules don't totally apply when you are just looking for your next event with free pizza; or I did most of my own cooking anyway; or I really am just oblivious.

* - What? Some things don't change.


  1. LOL I guess living in New Orleans I never felt that kind of food pressure! You bet we order a lot of food and eat it all!

    1. We all know New Orleans and Singapore are basically the same place anyway! Same food culture, same love of food, same humidity... ;)

  2. I totally understand Holly's comment (is she still blogging?! Not according to Feedly!) but fortunately don't fall prey to any of that stupidity. No one's eating the last bit? Don't mind if I do! Salad at a restaurant?! What's wrong with you?! I often eat like I'm never going to eat again when I'm out for a meal (which, I suppose, is also not the healthiest mindset).

    1. HOLLY - ya hear that? :)

      My general strategy at restaurants is to get something I can't easily make at home, so pasta and salad are usually out unless they're totally stunning. Other than that I have absolute disregard for any diet fad and my eating habits would probably be described as "Eat enough food. Less processed stuff. Mostly plants."

      Also, I will chopstick-fight you to the death for the last bit.

  3. No one has to food shame me. I do a great job of that by myself. Let's put it down to years of disordered eating as a teenager. I will let myself go after a race but apart from that I'm pretty buttoned up about food.

    1. I hear the 70s and 80s were some pretty grim years, slimming-wise. (Too many white leotards. All that aerobics.)

      Please don't food-shame yourself! Especially not when you put so much love into your cakes!