November 9th, 2010

OSIM mini run finishing

Thinking back, looking ahead

The New York City 2010 Marathon took place last weekend and I was kinda feeling nostalgic. I checked the weather forecast, prayed for good weather for the runners (it seemed rather cold at 40+ F/4 degrees C thereabouts) and was feeling excited for my friends who were running it. If there is anything about the two marathons that I have run, is that both were very memorable especially NYC which was my first.

I follow a few running blogs and coincidentally, some chose to run in this year's NYC marathon so it was nice reading about their experience and all. One of my favorite write-up on the marathon is by Elizabeth of Racing Stripes. It was an excellent account and I could totally relate to most of the parts! The 2miler up the bridge at the start, the Queensboro bridge where I hit the wall, the loooong upslope run into Central Park which was never-ending, and the tremendous crowd support which made the entire race experience, phenomenal.

It's funny how the weather this year was so different from last year - I think we had better luck then and I think global warming is really happening. They say running in Singapore, there is only one thing you need to worry about - the weather. The route is mostly flat and predictable. Running overseas is a different game altogether. You worry about the unpredictable weather AND the route. I was so confident that training in this humidity and heat gave me an upper-hand and if it got hot in Chicago, it was no issue. I found out otherwise during the race. Post-race, I found out that actually, dry heat is very different from humid heat. The former results in dehydration faster and the reason why all of us were guzzling water and isotonic drinks like crazy!

TS emailed an interesting article on the relationship between running pace and weather. If you run too hard in too hot or humid conditions, you'll hit the wall sooner than expected. I think 45-55 degrees is meant to be the 'ideal race temperatures'. Of course, if it gets too cold, it's hard to run. As the temperatures climb, your pace gradually drops. If it's above 85 degrees (like in Chicago), it says, forget the pace, just run for fun. Hence, the reason why we ran at 'red alert' and at our own risk. Humidity plays a factor too but if you train in it and used to it, it shouldn't matter versus not being able to train at your 'race conditions'.

When I was in Manila in May, I was surprised that it was more humid in Manila even at 6am+. Perhaps, the pollution doesn't help but when I ran there, it was really challenging. It's no wonder everyone thought I was mad when I suggested a 7am run, citing that it would be 'too hot'. The ideal temperature is like the low twenties (degrees C) and low humidity. But between humid hot and dry hot, I think I might opt for the former as the latter results in you feeling extremely thirsty. And trust me, you'll still sweat a lot in dry heat!

As they all say, you never really know on race day itself, how well you will fare because anything can happen and mostly, weather plays a huge part.

At the end of the day, it's sometimes not about how fast you ran or whether you 'beat' someone or scored your personal best. Rather, you made trained hard, made it to the start point and finished the race. Why is it about training hard? I firmly believe that you will truly and only feel the race adrenaline and the passion of running if you train for it instead of merely rocking up to just 'try and complete it' without making the effort to train and prepare properly for it. It's quite different. And I've talked about it at great lengths in my previous entry on zero to 42.2.

Today, I ran fast and hard. It was for just half an hour but I felt great compared to Sunday's hour long run. My legs were light and I felt as though I was flying. I finished, dripping in sweat and feeling incredibly refreshed. My running buddy TS and I have our sights set on next year's Nike Women's Half Marathon. I am determined to take a year off (at least) from marathons and work on my speed work and on shorter distances. Next, is how to beat my previous P.B of 54 minutes down to 52 minutes and so on. Training for the half in San Francisco will be tough as it'll be a hilly route but I'm looking forward to the Tiffany finisher necklace :P Plus, a trip to Napa Valley for wine and visiting friends and relatives. As for my marathon goal of completing 7 in my life time, we'll see. I space them out and use them as 'motivations' :P And if I do more marathons, hopefully it'll be the Tokyo Marathon, Honolulu, Las Vegas and Berlin.

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Spaghetti sauce

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I love watching videos on TED. This one by Malcolm Gladwell is really good. I'll never look at spaghetti sauce the same way! I would say, this is how the food industry was almost changed.

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Tenderloin and ribeye

B.T and I were both spoiled by my Dad for the last two weekends when he decided to roll up his sleeves and cook up a storm. Literally.

My mom cooks healthy everyday food whilst my dad cooks food with loads of cream, wine and whatever that makes a dish good. He doesn't hold back. That explains the wide assortment of cooking ware in my house and I'm not kidding when I say that. We have some high end BBQ grill, the pan for cooking Japanese egg roll, chawanmushi, heck, all kinds of pan, knives, blenders, the works.

We had shrimp cocktail with mango, mushroom soup and ribeye for one evening and the other dinner was pork tenderloins, pork ribs, herbal chicken soup with applesauce and stewed apple rings. It was so delicious. I say applesauce and pork tenderloins is a mighty good combination! And that chicken soup, omg, it was so good.

I do wish we had a bigger kitchen space at The Studio as we both love cooking. It's hard to cook just for two and also, it takes time. I think I might look into some 30 minutes recipes (saw some by Rachel Ray on TV) - fast and easy works best for me.

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