Thursday, September 11, 2014

Shape Run 2014, a yearly event!

It's back to the Shape Run 2014 with the sister and girlfriends to paint the town pink that morning. An annual 10km that cannot be missed ever since it kick-started my running journey. Another year has flew just like that and yes, it's my 6th shape run!:>

Not sure if it's due to the change in organisers but honestly, the run was pretty badly organised this year (insufficient water point, lack of mobile toilets, unclear signage) as compared to their flawless records so far. Still, the company made up for it since I've already loved girls-only races! There's the "Me and Mini Me" category which was introduced for the first time. Would loved to join with my baby girl in future when I'm a mum haha!

A pic with Makiko who was standing beside me. Knew her from the last Tokyo run and she has been such a wonderful host! :)

The True Fitness instructors and lively MC got everyone psyched up and in the mood before the official flag-offs for both the 10km and 5km categories. 

I thought the pacers were pretty awesome as they provided the runners with encouragement and cheers during the loopy route. One thing to note was that all pacers are in accordance to gun time so for ladies who wish to follow them, it's best to go as near to the starting point as possible.

My watch went hay-wire before the race so it was another race I had to run based on "feel". It was a good thing as all I had to do was to enjoy the race and took it easy especially after the GE public run the day before. One thing that I didn't like was the loopy route and narrow paths which were evident in most of the Shape races. Still, it's a happy feeling sweating with the other ladies towards the finishing line!

Crossed the finishing line in 0:55:05 minutes which was a 1m 30 sec improvement from last year. Happy to get this unexpected personal best since I do not have a watch nor music with me! :)

Pictures with the girls at the finishing line! ;)

The RD ladies!

Knitties with Sher! :)

& happy selfies!

The TPJC clan! :)

It's definitely not the best experience this year but hopefully with next year being the 10th edition, it will be a much improved version! I'm definitely looking forward to running it again and jotting it down into my race calender! :)

Thanks to Shape for the race slot, article up on RunSociety here.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Sports-wear talk.

One of my favourite shopaholic obsession in the recent years includes collecting chic sports-wear from anywhere, everywhere. It is an instant mood-lifter even prior to working out which made gymming or running even more fun!

Secret confession. For very early gym or running sessions, I would go to bed with my exercise gear so that I can save on that couple of minutes every morning. It gives me no excuse to press the snooze button the next day since I'm already in the right gear. Throughout the exercise journey, I've learnt that it's always about making time to work-out despite any hectic schedule, NOT waiting for time to find you. Busy is not an excuse - if you can make the time for a dinner appointment or shopping trip, surely you can allocate that 20 mins - 45 mins alot for your body if it's important to you. Unlike my previous job, I didn't have the chance of doing any workout during my lunch time and so now, it's about squeezing that hour in the morning to do so if I have a dinner appointment. All the rushing and all could be tiring especially for gym sessions but it's all worth it at the end after the quick bath to start the long day. For late nights, it would be T25 since it's only 20 minutes before heading for a quick bath. One of my favourite things to do during an overseas trip would be to slot in a quick exercise session in the morning before all the eating & shopping, which could make a difference to the whole day!

For my gym gear, I'm a huge fan of Nike and Lululemon gears especially. I usually purchase them online at Lululemon site (USA) and ship it to my address via Comgateway. Very speedy service and usually I receive my items within a week which explains why I'm such a huge fan! My favourites for running are the Run Speed Shorts (4 stretch), Scoop Neck Tank and Cool Racerback. I cannot rave enough about the run speed shorts due to the perfect cutting, multiple pockets and how flattering it is. Scoop neck tank provides the best support ever for any activity be it HITT or a sweaty spinning session. For yoga, I like the Power Y tank and No Limits tank which are both airy enough for a hot yoga session and yet enough support for inversion practice. Recently, I tried Glyder apparel thanks to the recommendation from a fellow yogi friend. It's much more affordable than Lululemon and the tops are equally pretty and functional! Clothes that can double up as sports wear and casual wear on weekend = hard to resist.

Sports bras are a MUST for exercising as well to avoid having saggy boobs! I really like the Nike one especially as they provide enough support and are usually very long-lasting. For Lululemon, I recommend the all sports bra which is perfect for everything. Just remember to size up for their sports bras! I wear 4 for their top/shorts and 6 for their bras.

happy body pump session after work.

the selfie after the double killer T25 workout at home

always happy after a run to clear the mind & skin!

Recently, I've received the Gylder Apparel Ethos Tank from OMgoing, a local online store that specialises in SPORTS WEAR, just what all fitness addicts needs. The site is led by 2 sisters in Singapore, Alicia & Michelle who both adores going to the gym 6 weeks a day and love looking good while working out (like you and me!). All the brands on the site are sourced for carefully while bearing in mind our humid weather and brought in exclusively!

Best of all, the site provides FREE SHIPPING which takes only 2-3 days since it's a LOCAL site. I took the top in black (XS) since I've a couple of white apparels already. It fits nicely with some allowance and of course, a yoga session is slotted in within the week to test it out!

I love how chic it looks from the back especially. Also, the material is dri-fit and doesn't stick to your body, very functional. I didn't adjust my top at all during the hour of hot yoga session even during inversions or downward dogs!

Just last week, I brought the top out for my first run at the Army Half Marathon. I was pretty surprised at how supportive it was to tide me through the 21km without feeling too sticky despite squeezing in the crowd at the narrow paths. Thanks to the sisters for the Glyder Top!

With the wide range of colourful sports wear in the local stores (Royal Sports House, Nike), new Underarmour stores sprouting out in towns and now with online shopping via OMgoing , sports wear shopping can be really an exciting affair. 

Next up would be to maximise the gears to the fullest and to reward your body with a work-out!

Just remember there's no bad work-outs, as long as you get off your butt off the coach! 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Tri-Factor Run 2014

Last year, I took part in Tri-Factor Bike Series and so this year, it's back to my favourite running segment for this three-legged series.

This was a race that I've been looking forward to since it's held at my neighbourhood - Punggol Waterway Park, a familiar area where I usually do my own runs. The night before, I had to set numerous alarm notifications to wake up at 4.30am as the flag-off is at 5.30am, one of my earliest this year. Thanks to my dad for sending me there so early in the morning. :)

I'm totally not ready for the 31.5km distance which was the longest mileage I will be clocking since Sundown Marathon - 10km longer than a HM  and yet 10km shorter than a FM. All I could remember was telling myself I won't regret it any bit and this LSD will make me stronger.

It was a breezy morning and the sky was still dark. Runners for the categories queued at the starting line, all clad in neon.

Met the girls before we started, always happy to see familiar faces. And pre-races pictures are always looking better than post-races pictures (as proven haha)

Wore pastels for the day since the tee was a little too tight for me (put on weight!). Pic taken with no flash so yes, this is really the sky colour - just black.

Here we go with the other runners at 5.30am!

Did the first loop of Punggol Waterway Park which was about 10km with half of my eyes closed, before witnessing the sunrise at the second loop. The greenery was a feast for the eyes but still, it was alot of willpower to pound the pavement for two more rounds to clock the distance. 

Thankfully, there were no bottlenecks throughout the race even with the merging of lanes with the other categories. Clear distance markers and signages were situated at the site to guide the runners that made up for the strangely unenthusiastic volunteers. However one thing that was lacking was the energy food as there were only electrolytes gummies available, which might be insufficient for runners who were clocking longer distances. 

My stomach was growling even before the 21km mark and all I wanted to was to finish the distance and go for breakfast. I was pretty tempted to go back at the second loop for the 21km when the heat and fatique sunk in. Kept a constance slow pace and did what I could: focus, concentrate and press on!

Finally with a final turn up the slope that seemed like forever, I crossed the finishing line in 3 hours 29 minutes. Not the best but I've tried my best! :)

Exhausted but just happy to finish! :)

With the hard-earned medal as well as TC's Garmin Fenix 2 watch which was really cool, but big on my wrist. 

The distance mapped out on the computer synced from the watch

Happy to stick to my avg pace of 6:34 without any walking!

Overall, I'm happy with the timing and category ranking of 13 for this race. It was a tougher challenge for the mind than the legs this time - Mind over body all the way. Training myself to be more patient and concentrate on the loop instead of my mind wandering away all the time. Hopefully, the route will be much more interesting next year covering other parts of North East instead of a boring three loops? Haha.

Race article up on Runsociety here.