My Mid-Life Crisis

I woke up on 1 January 2017 and thought about the next 40 years.

I turned 40 in 2016. I didn’t become rich and famous. I didn’t own a multi-million dollar company. I wasn’t on the cover of any magazine. I am in a job that is fulfilling and I have family and friends who love me for who I am but I was restless. I wanted to do something I love to commemorate this worthy milestone and share that experience with people. I wanted to make a difference doing something that could last from the start to the end of the year.

There are too many places I haven’t yet seen, so I applied for no pay leave to travel and see the world. The no-pay leave application was rejected. A few thoughts came up, including the thought to resign. I love the work I do so I explored the option to take up an overseas teaching position as I couldn’t leave Singapore for months on end, due to my other responsibilities and commitments here. There had to be something I could do, even if my options were limited.

I decided on doing forty races, one race for each year of my life. I could travel out of Singapore to experience some of the races. It was feasible to travel on weekends and be back at work on Monday. It would be a new experience traveling to places I have not been to, from a town out of Sydney called Gosford, to a town, Shah Alam, in Kuala Lumpur.

TOUGH MUDDER

Of all the races I have participated in, I find Tough Mudder, Sydney the most enjoyable. The entire experience was different from the other obstacle races I have taken part in so far (Singapore and Sydney’s Men’s Health Urbathalon, Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong’s Spartan Race). It was one race I was pushed completely out of my comfort zone. Tough Mudder was held in Glensworth Valley, Gosford, a town out of the Central Sydney area, an hour twenty-three minutes away by car, so I had to drive my own vehicle to get there. I enjoyed the race for the novelty of having no finishing time to meet. This race made me realise that the amount of discomfort one can put up with to reach a goal is amazing. The black mud surrounding the obstacles made my stomach turn. Never have I seen mud that viscous and in such a large amount. Nor have I been thrown into air landing into pools of unknown depths, swim through streams of black mud, and travel in a plane with mud still under my nails and hair.

Before we were flagged off, we were pep talked and asked to get down on one knee, like knights embarking on a journey. We did the Mudder Pledge, reciting the significance of the course, that it was more a challenge than a race, that teamwork and camaraderie were important, and that everyone should help one another to complete the course. Though it was not mentioned then that the course would be laid with mud so horrifyingly viscous, the race was a reprieve from the competitive air in most of the other races I had participated thus far. We were allowed time on our own to complete the race. I saw participants giving one another a hand along the way, friends and strangers alike.

There were many obstacles around the way but I remember one particular course because of the acrobatic switch over act I had to do in a narrow canal. I had to crawl head first into the narrow canal. Little light came through the canal openings. Whatever I was heading into felt like it was going to be cold and filthy. I manoeuvred my descend with caution. When I reached the end of the dark canal, I managed to switch position to have my legs go into the pool of water first. This was one of those few obstacle courses I was glad I am a flexible and small-sized Asian. I waddled as fast as I could to the exit on the other end, up to my neck in muddy water.

Before the end of the entire course, I had to go through hanging electric wires before I could receive my legion headband and beer. The course was about 20 meters in length, laid with trenches filled with water from the start and the end. The plan was to protect my face with my arms and run as fast as I could through the wires. Unfortunately, things didn’t turn out as planned. The electrocution shocked my system into submission. Muddy slippery slopes coupled with a wet body didn’t help reduce the effect.

THINGS I have LEARNT

1. I learnt to be organised and meticulous with my planning. Running races overseas was much more difficult than I thought it would be. There was a lot of consideration and planning for flights to ensure I arrived in time to run and return to Singapore before Monday and the location of my stay. There were days when I had to rush to the airport right after work to take the flight out and rush to the airport after the race for the flight home. I had to finish due work on the flights, late into the nights in my hotel room and at the airport.

2. I learnt to be selective about how I want to spend my time. The daily grind leaves us little time at the end of the day to do what we want to. I didn’t realise how much I took for granted the time that I had with people. With some weekends taken up for the trips out of Singapore, I missed birthday celebrations, anniversaries and meetups. Being selective allowed me to be more focused on what I wanted to spend my time on and filter out the not necessary.

3. I learnt to appreciate Singapore more. We have heard it before: Singapore is too small, too boring, too hot, and the transport system is bad. I beg to differ. You can reach almost everywhere in Singapore by public transport. In places like Kuala Lumpur and Seattle, there were states and towns out of the central area which could take up to an hour to travel to. Some places are not accessible if you do not own a vehicle.

4. I learnt to be more aware of my body. Turning forty brought with it a body that didn’t recover like it used to. I had to tune into how my body was feeling and watch out for signs of fatigue, to prevent injuries or illnesses. I had to watch my diet to make sure I was getting enough nutrition to aid my recovery. I had to prioritise sleep and be aware of the amount of sleep I was getting. I had to be disciplined with my physiotherapy and foam rolling sessions to make sure my muscles get the relief they need in order to work better.

5. I learnt negative people will always see the negative side of things no matter how you try to convince them otherwise. I was told all sorts of things throughout the 365 days – “You won’t be able to make it”, “You will be seen as skiving from work”, “Your body won’t be able to take it so better don’t start”, “Don’t waste money,” The list goes on. There were more things said after I proved them wrong. You can do without the negativity in your life.

6. I learnt how important it is to be around people who encourage and nourish your soul. With so many runs packed into the weekends, I became physically tired and frustrated. It was a nice feeling knowing I can depend on the encouragement for motivation.

7. I learnt the meaning of life can be found anywhere, if you just look. You don’t have travel out into the wilderness or go on a hiatus to find it. You just have to be aware of what is around you and be aware why you are doing what you’re doing. Sometimes you have to live outside the box to experience meaning. Sometimes, it could just be near you.

MOVING FORWARD

I hope people would see the experience I had to be something they can draw inspiration from.

Zig Ziglar, the writer, once remarked that you don’t wander around and then suddenly find yourself at the top of Mount Everest. You need a plan and you need action to fuel the plan.
Change is often the hardest part to happen in a plan and is usually the one which puts people off. Be patient when you decide you want a change. Start with a measurable and actionable objective. That would help you gain confidence to embark onto things which are more difficult.

Last but not least, I hope to show people failures are merely outcomes or results. They do not define us. Anthony Robbins said “There’s no such thing as failure. There are only results. You always produce a result. If it is not the one you desire, you can just change your actions and you’ll produce new results.” Throughout the year, I have missed or cancelled flights due to poor planning, ran bad races because of skewed priority planning, upset and lost friends. In exchange, my life has become more organised, I made new friends while I still have friends who appreciate me, I learnt how to prioritise my time, I take fewer things for granted and developed the intuition in me to search for work that has meaning to me.

How true? “The minutes lost are worth your ego?”

(Warning! Sensitive write up.)

Aside from suffering from perpetual painful blisters and leg cramps, it is something I have always dreaded about and a subject always left unspoken when it comes to long distance running, be it a leisurely long distance run or a major race I have always dreamed taking part of. I have my fair share of this. In fact, I never learned up to now that I have created a certain anxiety in me thinking what if it happens again? In the middle of a run? In the middle of the race?

I guess by now you have already guessed what I am referring to – runner’s diarrhea. I do not know about you but to me as an inexperienced runner who picked up running not more than two years ago, this embarrassing issue has been quite troubling and has affected my performances in a few races last year. I thought it was just a random incident (that happened three times last year) but I have experienced it again while on a weekend long run recently.

According to some literature, the cause of this phenomenon is quite unclear but contributing factors include constant movement of the organs especially the intestines, hormones, anxiety and stress. I am not an expert on this but somehow I understand that anxiety and stress or some type of hormones could have been one of the causes during those times. We train intensely so much putting a lot of pressure to ourselves and then we feel immensely happy and excited come race day and so the sudden mix of emotions triggers the bowel to loosen along with consistent action during the race.

Additionally, we all know very well and clear that pre-race food intake is essentially the major culprit in such a disturbing occasion of discomfort. Reminiscing those races which includes the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival where I ran half marathon and felt that sudden gush on the 14th km mark and the most recent was at past the 10th km mark of the full marathon course of SCMS2016 and not to forget my other weekend long runs, I came to a conclusion that coffee is the common denominator. Fact is that I am a coffee lover where I can drink 2-3 cups of coffee a day and my morning is never complete without the rich aroma of coffee, brewed or instant. Depending on each individual’s reaction to caffeine, mine is more probably the sole food cause on top of the other factors mentioned earlier.

Advice from experts include experimenting on certain foods, gels as well, while training and see how your body reacts. This gives a clear insight to a runner on which food to eat and which one needs to be avoided. As of now, while I am training for another full marathon happening in a few months, I am trying not to drink coffee before any long run and somehow it works for me though it is still early to say. It is a sacrifice to skip a morning coffee, yes, but hopefully, it is not just a placebo but a long term remedy to this problem. Best thing for now is to study the course well and know where each of the facilities are located along the route. Plan well and listen to your body so that when nature calls all of a sudden, you know when and how to handle the urgency and that your glorious personal best does not turn into a haunting embarrassing nightmare instead. The minutes lost are worth your ego, indeed. Your thoughts?

Running Gear Review: Apple Watch Series 1 with Lunatik Epik H2O

Hello world!

I am sure a lot of us have gone through the experience of looking for timing devices to measure our exercise sessions. Some have resorted to just bringing our smartphones with us whilst others prefer wearables. Personally, I use both! So there’s no right or wrong way.

“What is important, however, is that we continue to measure because what gets measured gets done!”

The Apple Watch Series 1 is indeed an able wearable to follow us on our exercises. Now I keep using the word ‘exercises’ because it can measure more than just runs. Swimming, strength training, even cycling can be tracked. But there is a catch. Unlike Series 2, this version is not waterproof. It is merely splash proof. So if you want to use it I recommend getting a good case that can resist water entry. I did my research and there are quite a number of good cases out there, each offering marginal differentiation between one another. You’ll need to ask yourself what you want out of it first e.g. do you really need it to be able to dive to 5 ATM? Is a small form factor more important to you?

I chose the Lunatik Epik H2O as I’ve been using their designs for a long time now. The casing is solidly built and looks nice as well; chunky with practical functions. Here’s my video of how you can install the casing over the Apple Watch yourself:-

The Lunatik Epik H2O will make your Apple Watch Series 1 submersible up to 5 ATM and also give it a tough looking appearance. It’s easy to put together and, should the need arise, be dismantled easily too. I’ve used it for my runs and found it easy to operate; quite convenient to view your stats just by turning the watch face towards you. As for usability, not all apps work well with this watch and from my tests I feel Strava and the built-in fitness app is the best. They offer accurate readings almost instantly unlike Nike+ Running Club which seems to suffer from some lagging issues. One thing though, if your fingers are sweaty then this will impair a bit of your screen interaction so I recommend wiping them dry before attempting to touch the screen. The casing works flawlessly every time by keeping the watch protected and waterproof. I have banged it many times on metal and dropped it to the floor and the watch works just fine. There are now some dings on the case by you can’t really see them. The Lunatik Epik H2O can be bought in black, white and a special edition with the American Flag graphics on it.

Both the Apple Watch Series 1 and Lunatik Epik H2O are certainly good together: a lightweight, multifunction watch with a tough, waterproof casing. Plus, with Series 2 already out you could possibly get a Series 1 for quite a discount! What else could you ask for?

Beautiful Yet Reasonably Priced Hotels in JB You Won’t Believe

Singaporeans, as with most nationalities around the world, love holidays. We take whatever opportunities that come our way and either take flight to neighbouring countries like Thailand or simply pack their bags and drive into Johor Bahru for a weekend getaway.

So if you are one of those looking for a nice but reasonably priced (by this I mean pretty darn worth it!), in Johor Bahru for a nice weekend staycation, here are some hotels you may want to consider without breaking the bank.

#1 I am Jazz Boutique Hotel

Located just about 5 minutes away from Woodlands Checkpoint, this relatively new hotel has already gotten many sights set on it. The funky, jazzy lobby leads to 46 jazz-themed guestrooms that are clean, cozy and practical – great for business or leisure. Each room comes with a flat-screen satellite TV, private bathroom and other usual amenities to make your stay as comfortable as possible. Close to Senai Airport and Johor Bahru City Centre, you may want to put this hotel on your list for the next staycation venue to try out!

Price range: MYR 90 to 170
Address: No. 122 & 124, Jalan Permas 10, Bandar Baru Permas Jaya, 81750 Malaysia

#2 Bliss Boutique Hotel

If you are an artist at heart or just love waking up to cool stuff, Bliss may just be the hotel for you. Situated at the core of Johor Bahru, which also means really close to plenty of eating places and major shopping malls, guests are treated to vibrant and contemporary designs as soon as they step into this hotel. Their 16 Boutique rooms, 30 Designer rooms and Luxury Suites are all designed with a modern, minimalist concept with a hint of pop art influence. Perfect for an artsy weekend with your loved one(s)!

Price range: MYR 99++ to 328++
Address: 50, Jalan Jaya, Taman Maju Jaya, 80400 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia

#3 Zoom Inn Boutique Hotel

Cute and playful are the words that can be used to describe this hotel. With an eye-catching slogan “Let our hotel sayang you”, you can be sure you will receive all the TLC you deserve after all the hard work you have put in at the office. Mixing colloquialism and modernity, Zoom Inn makes sure you enjoy the finer things like posh beddings, high thread count linens and even a high powered Rainforest shower (my favourite)! And the fact that it’s so close to Legoland, Sanrio Land and several eateries and shopping malls makes it an even more enticing weekend getaway venue to head to with family and friends.

Price range: MYR 84 to 150
Address: Desa Potensi Sdn Bhd (406710-K), Unit 7, 8 & 9, Block 7, Danga Bay, Jalan Skudai, 80200 Johor Bahru

Read More:

  1. Australia’s Most Spectacular Race Course 
  2. 5 Beaches in Asia for a Great Holiday Run
  3. 3 Runs in Indonesia You Must Not Miss

Top Destinations To Consider For Your Next Holiday In 2017

2017 is about to happen and some of us are already planning what we want to do in the new year. Calendars of long weekends in 2017 have even been released so that you can go ahead and plonk in those holidays you have been thinking of taking without taking too many days of leave from work.

So if you are on the lookout for some destinations to fill out your calendar in the new year, consider these places for your next vacation.

1.Yamanashi, Japan

Japan has become a relatively affordable place for many Singaporeans to travel to in recent years, especially Tokyo. And Yamanashi is not too far away from the bustling city. Located just below Mount Fuji, a mere two-hour train or bus ride will take you to the beautiful countryside where you will get to see the famous Kawaguchiko and lots of fruit farms along the way. If you travel at the right time, you may even get to taste some awesome local produce like shine muscat grapes and the sweetest persimmons you have ever tasted in your life.

If you have heard, or read, about Aokigahara (the infamous suicide forest), you will most probably pass it on your way up from Tokyo. If time permits, you can take a stroll through the forest to enjoy the cool air and lovely foliage. There’s also Fuji-Q Highlands for the kids and adventurous at heart to ride death-defying roller coasters and rides and Gotemba Premium Outlets to shop for international and Japanese brands to your heart’s content.

2.Pamukkale, Turkey

Besides the Blue Mosque and apple tea in Turkey, you need to travel to Pamukkale located in the southwestern side of the country to check out the cotton castles. Which are actually carbonate mineral terraces that have been left behind by flowing water.

While Pamukkale experiences a temperate climate for most of the year, it can get pretty cold in the winter. What most people do then is they take off their shoes and socks and soak their feet in the hot springs that run down the terraces. Be careful of your footing though, the structures can get really slippery.

And of course, take in the view of the surroundings while you get your feet all warm and toasty. It’s a treat for your body and mind and something you don’t get to do anywhere else in the world.

3.South Africa

There is no one particular state in this country that I will recommend that you not go to because there are so many experiences you can get here that are priceless. If you have always wondered how it is like to come face to face with a lion, or an African elephant (trust me those things are huge!), then you may want to consider making a trip to Pretoria or Entabeni. Take a ride through the safari on a jeep and the rangers, complete with rifles and long sheaths, will bring you as close as they can to the action. You can even try carrying a lion cub in your arms for a highly memorable photo moment!

The food is something to be spoken about too. If you are adventurous with what goes into your mouth, you have to taste their local fares. Fancy a buffet of exotic meats like crocodile, horse, ostrich or zebra? You have come to the right place.

  1. Inner Mongolia

Even though some travel agencies in Singapore already have travel itineraries to this part of the world, not many people have taken it on. Always enamored by beautiful shots of the sprawling grasslands and mountains with colorfully dressed natives riding their horses and goats? Then you may want to book your next holiday to Mongolia next.

It is common to see the usual city sights in Ulaan Bataar, but the point here is to travel deeper and explore a little further to experience the edges. Live in local tents in the middle of nowhere, eat the food they prepare for their daily meals, be transported the same way the locals are transported, play the games they play. And of course, take those photos that will be kept as wonderful memories for a long time to come.

Also looking for a race around the world?

Click here to check out JustRunLah! up-to-date interactive World’s Best Marathons.

Race Review: NUS Bizad Charity Run [10 km] (by KenJoe)

Jan 14th, Saturday late afternoon, found me at a familiar place in NUS amongst the over 1400 participants in the NUS Bizad Charity Run.  This was my third annual run with them. Organised by the NUS Business School Alumni Association (NUSBSA) and NUS Bizad Club, the annual run raised more than S$140,000 for financially disadvantaged NUS Business School undergraduates and the Autism Resource Centre (ARC), a not-for-profit charity. Runners can take part in either the 10km Competitive Run or the 5km Fun Run.

The 10 km race was flagged off on time at 5 pm punctually by Mr Lim Biow Chuan, Member of Parliament for Mountbatten SMC and Deputy Speaker of Parliament.

The run took us through the university’s Kent Ridge campus.  This route was different from last year’s and seemed to me to consist of a lot more up and down slopes.  Reports stated an elevation of 36.3m.  So I was hoping to keep a consistent pace, slower than my usual because of the slopes and my injured spine.  I was contented to finish without mishap. (The timing results (1:16:38) were available on Monday though announced on Tuesday on website).

There was adequate hydration points, every 3 km or so (100-plus and water).  At the end, we collected the finisher medal.  Bananas and drinks were provided too.  At the hall, there was more food, drinks, singing performances, booths and more fun.  There were lucky draws after the podium runners were awarded.  I just missed the third prize by one digit, 8 instead of 9.  I preferred the open air outside so I loitered just outside the hall and had my fun shots at the big ‘floater’ while listening up for the lucky draws of the bibs.

So in all, the route was challenging, most challenging for all the 10 km road races I had done.  It has become my tradition, I guess to start and end the year’s races with charity in mind.  Happy to have completed the race.  I would take a week’s rest from running to see if my back pain would heal faster though I already did my recovery run yesterday.

On the race pack collection the week before, it was at the same venue and everything went smoothly, collected within 10 minutes of parking.  If you were early, you could pick the colors of the sports bag. And there was a promotion for #Infin8 club so I got a Sunflower for the camera-shy Missus.

So again run happy, run safe till the next round.

(Photo Credits are due to RunSociety, Running Shots and NUS Bizad Charity Run website)

Exercise Obsession: It is Real and Painful

Regular exercise is great. Great for the body, great for the mind and everything in between. Getting your sweat on at least three to four times a week can help to keep your bodily functions in check, achieve clear skin and of course, lose weight and keep it off.

Taking it too far

But then there are those who get a little carried away due to reasons not limited to weight loss and keeping up with physical appearances. These people probably started off with just wanting to lose some weight to look good and got obsessed with the idea in the long run.

Whatever the reason may be, over exercising has to be recognised as a real problem and can have adverse effects on one’s body and even mental stability. Being enthusiastic about working out is great but being overly so can be detrimental.

So how can exercising too much affect you? If you are wondering how much damage doing too much exercise can do to you, read on.

#1 You appear haggard

After the first 10kg loss, you may look awesome and feel the same way. But then you take it further and become a shadow of your old self. Your skin appears leathery and you become too thin for comfort. Your bones start to jut out too much and you look sick (because you probably are). You don’t look healthy anymore and people around you get worried. This isn’t the way keeping fit and looking good through exercise is suppose to be like.

#2 Your body starts breaking down

Keeping your body fit and healthy through regular exercise is essential. But when you over exert, your organs actually start to fail. They start to work less efficiently as before because of the tremendous amount of wear and tear they have been put through. You start falling sick more often and suffer from aches and pains you never had before. Your bones become weak and you may even find it hard to train even though you should be at your fitness peak.

#3 You lose focus on the more important things

Most people exercise to take the stress off from work or life in general. However, when it becomes an obsession, things can spiral downwards very, very quickly. All you want to do is hit the gym or go for that 10km run. Your mind starts getting cloudy from the over exertion and you begin to forget or miss out plans and things that you need to do. You lose track of your life because you place so much of it on exercising. In this case, it is not just your body that takes a beating. Your mental functions also get a big dent.

As with everything else, exercise in moderation and make sure you are in good health and keep a good weight. Doing more doesn’t always mean better. There’s really no need to suffer for the sake of beauty and end up making yourself worse for wear.

Read More:

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  2. 3 Things I Wish Every Non-Runner Knew
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Awesome Running Playlist, Anyone?

At the 2013 Shenzhen International Marathon where I joined the 10K event.

I am bored with my running playlist. I have reached the point where I push the skip button so much that my fingers are now getting more of a workout than my legs.  So, I’ve deleted every song and decided to start anew.

I don’t know if I would be listening to music the entire time on race day. That’s 42 kilometers and that translates to about 5-6 hours of music for me.

A Runner’s World article says that the best thing to do is to NOT listen to music throughout a task but rather to do so only at specific spots along a racecourse.

Read all about the pros and cons of music as discussed by a sports psychologist/coach and sports sociologist/coach here.

As for me, when I go on 5-10K runs around my neighborhood, I usually put on some music. It does help a lot in motivating me and making my workout more enjoyable.

But when I need to do a longer run or when I’m in an unfamiliar place, I tend to forego this habit. I find that I need to really focus on my environment, my breathing and my foot strike.

I am still in the process of compiling around 100 songs. Like I mentioned earlier, I’ve started anew and I’m sharing 10 of my favorites from this newly-compiled running playlist.

Some are old and some are new. They range from a variety of musical styles.  Here they are in alphabetical order.

Break On Through (1967) The Doors

Here I’m imagining Jim Morrison as my personal cheerleader when I hit that wall – helping me “break on through to the other side.”

Can’t Stop (2002) Red Hot Chili Peppers

Energetic and funky served up RHCP style.

Da Da Ding (2016) Gener8ion

I discovered this song through an ad by Nike for India featuring women athletes. Girl power inspiration.

Dog Days Are Over (2009) Florence and the Machine

Just listen to her sing these lines “Run fast for your mother, run fast for your father. Run for your children, for your sisters and brothers.  Leave all your love and your longing behind. You can’t carry it with you if you want to survive.”

Get Your Freak On (2001) Missy Elliott

If that six-note intro doesn’t get you into the zone, I don’t know what will.

Mutant Brain (2016) Sam Spiegel & Ape Drums

Another discovery I made based on TV commercials, this time by Kenzo. It’s frenetic. Guaranteed to make you pick up your pace.

New Thang (2016) Redfoo

When you need to slow down for a while, you’ll be in good company with this catchy song.

Sabotage (1999) Beastie Boys

And when you need to run hard, play this one.

Under Pressure (1982) Queen

Nothing like Freddie Mercury understanding what you’re going through as you run.

Uptown Funk (2014) Bruno Mars

Four minutes of electro-disco-funky fun to help lift your mood.

Do you have other suggestions for me to include in my playlist? What do you consider your “power song?” Let’s hear it!

Reviews on Jaybird Wireless Headsets: The X2 or Freedom

I had used the Jaybird wireless headset since the launch of their first model X from Apple online store for about 1 year + probably about 3 years back. Jaybird back had so much confidence on their sweat proof product till they dared to offered lifetime warranty on it.

Just to share I had used my X headset for maybe about 1 year + probably another 3 or 4 months before it died on me. Local Singapore distributor would not help you to replace it and you would have to contact Jaybird US directly for warranty claim. I am lucky that Jaybird US honour their words and I got a replacement but at about 1 months + down the road.

In the meantime then I decided to get the newer Jaybird X2 from local distributor as they are having a promotion for it.

It is an impressive improvement over the X however as jaybird seem cutting cost, they did not have the manual printed for this in the package. Jaybird headset offered underear/over ear wearing. I had liken overear wearing as to minimize the wire movement.

However I suspect there maybe some design or problems with Jaybird X2 headset. After probably using my 1st unit of x2. The X2 died on me. The unit lasted me for maybe about 1 month of usage before refusing to power on. I ran about 3 to 4 times a week and am a heavy sweater and so I suspect this X2 is not really sweat proof.

My first unit of X2 was purchased last July 2016 and over this short 06 months, I had went back to the distributor to exchange for 4 to 5 units of Jaybird X2. The local distributor even remarked that only I have such problem with units can’t power on after few runs. My last exchanged unit was last December 2016 and finally the distributor upgraded me to a new Jaybird Freedom unit instead.

 

The Jaybird Freedom boxes a more improved and luxury feel over the X2.  It also comes with a clip on battery for extra punch to if you are running the marathon. It comes with a nice pouch, manual and some nice packages for your ear fins and the silicone/foam ear buds.

However before we forget, Jaybird US had been bought over by Logitech and hence the return of the manual and accessories. However it seems that the lifetime sweat warranty proof is over for Jaybird. I chose Jaybird the previous time for it lifetime sweat warranty but now it seems no more.  It does not seems feasible for any business to have lifetime warranty.

I chose this time under ear for my running. The bass and sound quality is good for the run. Now about 1 month into the use of this headset so far so good. Verdict if you can go for the Freedom headset instead of X2 despite the savings whatever the latter offers.

No doubt Jaybird is going to have the X3 or Freedom 2 soon I think freedom will give you a bang for the run for your money.

Fatty out.

My Asics Running Shoes Stories

The right running shoes will definitely make a difference in your running game. Previously, like during my army days or in my 20s, I had tried running shoes brand such as Nike, Adidas, new brooks. Sadly these brand of shoes don’t suit me.

Running in them soon will cause bleeding in my toes, blisters etc a sign that the shoes are not my type. Soon my poly buddy friend recommend me to try the brand Asics and that how I am running on with this brand of gear.

My super long ago nike running shoes which were bought on impulse.

My first Asics running shoes bought from Queensway shopping centre. It is a GT2130 model and noticed how bald it became. Bad idea to keep running in that shoes. However these pair of shoes did help me to slim down and accompanied on my first 10km and 16.8km run.

So after realizing my GT2130 was too bald, I went and purchased the Gel nimbus 15 from Queensway shopping centre. However complacency and laziness, this shoes had been neglected in the shoes cupboard for long after my 2nd round to slim down and wedding.

And when I realized I am fat again, I dig out my shoes to run but unfortunately the shoes soles came off as shown below. I still use it to run but it just is not comfortable. So remember do not keep a shoes aside for too long.

And once again I decided to run for the sake of my health and body shape, I turned to Asics for help once again. So just before year 2016 began last year I bought a red Kayano 22.

The Gel Kayano 22 of Asics offers me the best cushion and protection for my foot and ankle and minimizing the impact of my knees. This shoes accompany me for my training to a better body shape, stamina and saw me through my 1st half Marathon 2xu in year 2016. Till then I still don’t know when is good to change a shoes for a new one. I did some research and experts recommend the change of the running shoes every 500km. Some experts recommend change like 650km or 700km . I clocked about 800+km for this running shoes which is a bad mistake as at times I do felt some knee caps aching.

After the red Kayano 22, originally Asics had this limited edition Metarun shoes which caught my eyes but it was sold out. It was sold at around S$300+ with hardly any discount. To be honest I bought this shoes on impulse. Regardless of shoes advert, nope this shoes does not help me to run faster. It is really base on it outlook that I buy it. The feel of this shoes felt light at first but after running and season in it, you will feel it is heavier than the kayano 22. However this shoes do accompany on my training for my newton run 32km and marathon run 42km in year 2016. I clocked about 640+ km on this shoes before deciding to retire this shoes. I had wanted to clock about 700+ km but I felt some kneecaps aching and hence the decision.

So what now for my run at the present moment?

I purchased yet another Asics Gel Kayano 22 for my current run. I had clocked about 50Km with it since this year 2017 start. I would love to buy Kayano 23 to run but on monetary sense, I felt the Kayano 22 is a better buy at about S$120+.

If you are still pondering which brand of sports shoes to buy why not try Asics shoes. There is no need to spend S$200- S$300 on a sports shoes.

Thank you Asics for your sports shoes.

Fatty out!

Go To Bed Early, Wake Up Early

I’m sure many of you have heard the adage “early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”. And it is not something you want to ignore.

This doesn’t mean that you have to be in bed by 9pm every night and up by 5am each morning. Be reasonable. What I’m saying is that you should always try to make it a point to go to bed before 11pm and get at least 8 hours worth of beauty sleep so that you can wake up the next morning feeling fresh and alert.

So what are the advantages of keeping to n early sleeping and waking schedule? Here are some that may make you reconsider your snooze habits.

#1 Your body’s clock is kept in check

If you don’t know by now, your body has a clock that “records” how your body functions at different times of the day. Realise why you wake up at 7am even on a weekend? That’s because you have acclimated your body to do exactly that during the weekdays.

Image credit: Krishna.org

And by keeping your body clock in check, it also means every other function, including your bowel, digestive and even your breathing patterns, are kept healthy. Now you know why you need to use the toilet at the same time every morning.

#2 There’s a lesser chance of snacking

When you go to bed early, there is a lower chance of you feeling peckish later on in the night and snacking. We all know how we are discouraged to eat stuff right before bedtime, even more so if it is late at night.

And anyway, even if you do get hungry while you are already in bed, you will probably be too lazy to push away the covers and walk to the kitchen to find something to munch on.

#3 You can accomplish more things

Going to bed and waking up early also means that you get more daylight to do the things you have to do and want to do. In this instance, the saying “the early bird catches the worm” stands true.

Whether it is cleaning the house, running errands or even exercising, it is always better to do it in the early mornings because of the fresh air and smaller crowds. By the time the rest of the world has woken up, you will probably be taking a break with a good breakfast or brunch.

#4 Your mind is more alert

The way to a healthier mind is by practicing good sleep habits. With an early night and an early start to the day, your brain will be kept alert for longer due to adequate sleep and the fresh air.

It is also easier to reflect and plan your professional and/or personal life and this keeps your brain working actively throughout the day.

Read More:

  1. Benefits of Quitting Drinking
  2. Know How Much You Are Eating This Chinese New Year
  3. How Much Sugar is in our favourite Local Drinks

Race Review: Run For Light 2017 [10km] (by Lingderella)

Thank you July for giving me a slot to the run so it’s a free run for me! Yay! 😊 Though it’s a charity run but I am cutting down in signing up running events, I have so many runs which I didn’t sign up, maybe change my target to running in Malaysia 😊 Travel more so next time I can be brave enough to go places further alone and be safe.

It’s not a good day for me at first, was quite disheartened by the pole class hours before the run because I can’t do the pole moves, I have fear in doing the moves, it’s called shoulder mount and I fear of crushing my collar bones or shoulder bones and it’s extremely painful! 😖 Hopefully I can overcome the fear!

Unexpectedly, I got a personal best timing by 4 minutes! 😍 I don’t have any aims for this run at all actually and tell myself 平常心 in direct translation it means normal heart because of the torturous pole class before the run and the more I have aims in a run the more I am stress, then it’s the same nauseous feeling during the runs that I had like those feelings when I sit for examinations in school and of course affecting the performance.

Before the run, my friends and I took the shuttle bus service provided from Kallang Leisure Park to the race site at Gardens by the Bay East. It’s a good service as it’s not a long queue or long wait at all for my friends and me. And baggage deposit and collection and the portable toilet all no queues, I like! 👍🏻

It’s not a very big event with about 2000 participants for the 1km blindfold walk, 10km competitive run and 5km fun run. There’s a cause for this run, the organizers will donate $10 to the Guide Dog Association for every people who registered for the blindfold walk. Sometimes we need to be reminded of how blessed we are to be given the gift of sight. Not just that, we are living, we can think, we can eat, we can breathe and we just need to be grateful and be contented to what we have in life 😊

And there is also an event attempting to break the Guinness World Record to be the largest resistance band demonstration. Don’t know is it successful or not. It’s too tiring that they have this resistance band demonstration before the run and it’s 30 minutes long plus it’s torturous to do this because you are doing a 10km run later so I didn’t complete it and request to leave and go to the start pen Maybe they should hold the resistance band demonstration after the run, somemore those who complete the resistance band workout have to carry the resistance band throughout the run? 😅 Now I really wish they got an option to donate our event tee or something like $5 will be donated to the beneficiaries if we opt out of event tee. That would be nice right?

Though I have my ear piece with me, but I tell myself don’t listen to the music but listen to the my breathing first till I’m safe, I don’t want to be panting and grasping for air since the beginning of the run. Because people with anemia will get breathless easy because lacking of oxygen in the body and my organs get tired easily. Don’t know because is it whether that these two weeks been taking the supplements given by the doctor like folic acid, vitamin B complex and ferrous funarate daily that is good for the blood that I perform better in running and after the run, I didn’t feel any run die me feel. Doctor only gives the iron tablet, but I requested folic acid for boosting red blood cell production. I need oxygen in my body 😊

Flag off is on time at 6.30pm for the 10km category. There’s the running of the upslope at the Barrage at about 2km after the start. It’s so nice to see Noah at the beginning of such a torturous slope, he’s there cheering for the runners and he just said to go easy on the slope. Yes, thanks for the reminder! If I chiong the “mountain” the rest of the 8km I can walk already 😂

Then at somewhere near flower dome at Gardens by the Bay I saw spit fly. It’s the first Kenyan runner, it’s really not nice because the road marshalls are wheeling and whistling to open path drawing attention to them and some more he is the first runner and he spat! 😱 It’s like the spit that Jack taught Rose on Titanic. It got the distance, got the sound and got the speed. Omg, the spit literally flew in the air like 3 seconds luckily no one kena 😖

Somewhere near Marina Bay Sands I saw Captain America and his Mrs just mere seconds behind him. It’s like so nice that both runners are a couple, or this couple are both runners. Is it the same meaning? They can get motivated and inspired by their partner maybe that’s why many of my female friends who their partner are also runners keeps on improving in running. Then I started the counting and saw Justina as the number five female runner! 😁 Top five runners have podium prizes, but in the end one female runner over took her by seconds and Justina missed her podium just by a little.

Photo credits: Paul Yew

I saw the distance board marked 7km when I returned just after Marina Bay Sands and the Helix Bridge. Feelings kena cheated when I looked at my Garmin and it only shows about 6.5km. I trust my Garmin more 😂

I keep chanting breathe, don’t slow down. And keep on doing the Maths in my mind throughout. 10% of the run completed, half of the distance covered, another half to cover which is another 5km. 1/5 distance left. And keep on doing the estimation and mental calculation that if I run at this pace I can get back in what time, if I slow down to my slowest speed, I can get back in what time. But I keep telling myself “You better don’t slow down” when at about 8km I realise I can get a PB that I’m so excited and I feel my eyes getting warm with tears! The last time I get a PB is at Ground Zero run last year and I have many more 10km runs after that which I can’t break my own record. Though there’s once during a training run I clocked 1hour3mins plus but I paused the timing at traffic lights so it’s not really an official timing though I feel that any recorded time on your tracking device is legit or it is up to you to consider what is legit.

It’s so good that the last 100m or so I still have stored mana to chiong to the finish line and don’t have the super shag feeler any lousy or sick feelings after the run 😊

Let’s Run to a Better Shape and Health!

I don’t particularly like running or hate it. If anyone ask why I want to run? Number 1 reason is weight control and keeping fit. I love eating junk food like potato chips (even now I still eat them), fried food and supper. And that how I got fat and I mean really fat!!

In my early 20s, I do wanted to keep fit and healthy. I decided to run to lose weight and look slim. The runs I did are maybe 3km to 4km taking about 30mins plus minus about 2 times max a week. I did not have any goals and until one day, my poly buddy asked me to run the army half marathon. (I did not ran this in my army days and walk it instead as I am a lower pes soldier) And I agreed to run 10km instead with them. To be honest, at that point of time I really thought people who ran 21km or 42km were insane. A 3 to 4km run took the most of me and how the heck to run 21km. And so without any long distance running I join my friends running 10km in army half marathon I think in year 2009 or year 2010. That running scene is still very vividly in my mind. After 2 to 3km the remaining 7km I am literally dragging my foot. My poly buddy and another friend were encouraging me on to run finish and I did. Needless to say the rest of my day I spent sleeping and leg aching etc.

After sometimes, the running regime died down, and soon I became fat with all the supper and junk food eating. The yearly lunar new year will have my relatives commenting me fat lah why never exercise why haven’t get marry. And so I embarked another running regime to slim down and 2ndly to get prepare for my wedding. This time the run is also not following any training plans. I ran just because I wanted to ranging same from 3 to 5km.  And then my best cousin the “incredible hulk” asked me to sign up the Addidas king of the road 16.8km run.  I accept the challenge and train with him naming in Bedok reservoir or ECP clocking the most about 10km to 12km. And our pace is really slow. When I am done with 16.8km race, somehow I am sure I wont be doing another long distance run again as it is really tiring. And so yet again I neglected my training regime, and I am back to my fatty size.

In my 30s after married, I really did not look after my body and I went to do a blood test. Result not good for everything. Nearly fatty liver, high cancer marker. Overall ok but if nothing is done it will be worst. And so I started to run again. this time with timing goals. This happens last year 2016 and to be honest, my recurrence of illness drop significantly and I am surprised that I completed last year standard chartered 42km run on 04 December 2016.

If simon the fatty can do it, so can you!

Fatty Out.

Suffering from Insomnia? – 3 Remedies for a Good Night’s Sleep

I can fully understand how awful not being able to sleep is when you know you need it to function properly the next day. The worst is when you have an important meeting or interview early the next morning and you can’t afford to be out of it.

Fret not! Because here are some home remedies you can utilise to get yourself those precious hours of snooze time to get yourself bright and ready for the new day.

1. Using scents to get to sleep

  • Smelling a scent like lavender can help to relax you and bring the sands of sleep to your eyes in record time.
  • You can also consider putting a drop of jasmine oil on each wrist before you head to bed.
  • If you are someone who loves a good soak before bedtime, you can try adding 5 drops of lavender oil and 3 drops of ylang-ylang to a warm water bath to soothe and relax your body and mind.

2. Don’t eat the wrong food before bed

  • If you are feeling peckish, try having a glass of warm milk with a cookie or perhaps a banana to get tryptophan into our system for an easier slip into sleep.
  • Don’t consume spicy or sugary food before bedtime because spicy foods can irritate your stomach and cause you to toss and turn. Sugary foods will, well, make you too hyper to go to bed.
  • Just avoid eating right before you head to bed. Your body needs at least three to four hours to digest the food and doing so before sleep can not only cause nightmares, but you will also feel really uncomfortable and can’t get to sleep.

3. Keep to a sleep schedule

  • Make sure you go to bed at the same time every night. This will ensure your body gets used to when it needs to get to rest and does just that.
  • Try not to take naps during the day as it disrupts your body’s natural clock, causing you to not be able to sleep when the night comes.

Read More:

  1. Less is More – Rest to become a better runner 
  2. Sleep – How Much Do You Need? 

Pokémon Run Singapore 2017 Attracts Close to 6,000 ‘Pokémon Trainers’

[Press Release] Southeast Asia’s first official Pokémon themed fun run, Pokémon Run Singapore 2017 (Pokémon Run SG), saw close to 6,000 participants, between the ages of 4 and 76 years, get healthy and have fun, all for the love of Pokémon. Participants included families, couples, and friends who took on the roles of “Pokémon Trainers” and embarked on a 5km fun run adventure against the backdrop of Singapore’s scenic waterfront cityscape. Organised by Avex Asia and Infinitus Productions, Pokémon Run SG aims to promote bonding and a healthier lifestyle across all ages through Pokémon.

Excitement was in the air at the Promontory @ Marina Bay, even before the start of the run. Led by Pikachu, one of the world’s best loved Pokémon, the participants had a warm-up session to prepare themselves for a safe race. At 9am, Junior Trainers aged 4 to 12, kicked off the run as they ran alongside one of the most influential personalities in the Pokémon world – Junichi Masuda. The founding member of Game Freak, best known as a game director and composer for the Pokémon games, made his debut appearance in Singapore as the Guest-of-Honour for the run.

Pokémon Run SG brings to life the journey to train to be a Pokémon Master. Armed with their runners’ packs, participants embarked on an adventure to collect Pokéballs along the route, and stop by various Pokémon photo points to discover and take photos with different Pokémon.

The quest to be a Pokémon Master continued beyond the Finishing Line. A Pikachu Parade greeted the participants with their infectious dance, while 50 lucky participants won the chance to get an autograph from Junichi Masuda. Enthusiastic participants explored the Pokémon Garden and interacted with life-sized Pokémon cut-outs, including the starter Pokémon from Pokémon Sun and Moon. Participants headed to Pallet Town as well for games, activities, and Japanese gourmet delights.

“We decided to join the run as my son is an ardent fan of Pokémon. The weather was warm but we enjoyed the scenic route and the photo points along the way. It was a fun morning with my family, and we look forward to participating in the run again,” said Mr Chan Chee Meng, 43, who participated with his 8 year-old son.

On the run, Fujita Kazumi, General Manager, Avex Asia said, “We are delighted by the strong turnout for the inaugural Pokémon Run SG. Pokémon has been a phenomenon worldwide and part of it is due to values that transcend boundaries and cultures – from the importance of friendship, the love for discovery and the respect for nature. As participants enjoy the run today, we hope that this will be a great start as well to step outdoors, make new friends, and enjoy a healthier lifestyle as we step into a fresh new year.”

Jeffrey Foo, Managing Director of Infinitus Productions added, “We are happy with today’s turnout and positive feedback received for Southeast Asia’s first-ever Pokémon Run. We’re extremely grateful to all the participants who came down this morning, and hope all enjoyed their journey as a Pokémon Trainer. It was indeed very heartening to see all the happy faces as participants bonded over games and gourmet delights. Now it’s back to the drawing board, as we’re already looking forward to delivering an even better Pokémon Run experience next year.”

For more race information and updates check out www.pokémonrun.sg and www.facebook.com/pokemonrunsg17.

NUS Business School’s Charity Run 2017 rallies community support for its students and the Autism Resource Centre

The annual NUS Bizad Charity Run 2017 has raised more than $140,000 for financially disadvantaged NUS Business School undergraduates and the Autism Resource Centre (ARC), a not-for-profit charity.

Organised by the NUS Business School Alumni Association (NUSBSA) and NUS Bizad Club, this year’s event attracted more than 1,400 participants. The event was graced by Mr Lim Biow Chuan, Member of Parliament for Mountbatten SMC and Deputy Speaker of Parliament.

“The NUS Bizad Charity Run has helped raise funds for those in need while promoting the spirit of giving back to society. Such a cause has not gone unnoticed by the public and this is why we have seen a record number of participants at the run who want to do their part for the community,” said Mr Ow Tai Zhi, Chairman of NUS Bizad Charity Run 2017. He graduated from NUS Business School in 2011.Over $100,000 will go towards NUS Business School bursaries and scholarships. The remainder will support ARC’s Employability and Employment Centre – Singapore’s first autism-focused centre providing services for people with autism to succeed in the workplace.

“This annual flagship event of NUS Business School provides a good platform for alumni to do their part for their fellow students and the community. We are proud of this tradition and look forward to doing it every year,” said Mr Sonny Yuen, President, NUSBSA. Mr Yuen graduated from the School in 1985.

Bizad Charity Run debuts new theme

The theme “Colours & Spectrum” was introduced for the 5km Fun Run to help raise awareness for autism. Specially created for this year, the route was a colourful canvas where runners donned decorative appliques and spray colours to celebrate the diversity of autistic conditions and individuals.

The annual NUS Bizad Charity Run takes participants through the university’s Kent Ridge campus, which has several slopes, turns and an elevation of 36.3m. Runners can take part in either the 10km Competitive Run or the 5km Fun Run.

About National University of Singapore (NUS)

A leading global university centred in Asia, the National University of Singapore (NUS) is Singapore’s flagship university, which offers a global approach to education and research, with a focus on Asian perspectives and expertise.

NUS has 17 faculties and schools across three campuses. Its transformative education includes a broad-based curriculum underscored by multi-disciplinary courses and cross-faculty enrichment. Over 38,000 students from 100 countries enrich the community with their diverse social and cultural perspectives.

NUS has three Research Centres of Excellence (RCE) and 30 university-level research institutes and centres. It is also a partner in Singapore’s fifth RCE. The University has established many research partnerships and joint laboratories with academic institutions, industry leaders and government agencies. Research activities are strategic and robust, and NUS is well-known for its research strengths in engineering, life sciences and biomedicine, social sciences and natural sciences. The University also strives to create a supportive and innovative environment to promote creative enterprise within its community.

For more information on NUS, please visit www.nus.edu.sg.

About NUS Business School

The National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School is known for providing management thought leadership from an Asian perspective, enabling its students and corporate partners to leverage global knowledge and Asian insights.
The school has consistently received top rankings in the Asia-Pacific region by independent publications and agencies, such as The Financial Times, Economist Intelligence Unit, and QS Top MBA, in recognition of the quality of its programmes, faculty research and graduates. In the Financial Times Global Rankings, the NUS MBA was ranked 32nd in 2016, while the NUS-UCLA Executive MBA and Asia-Pacific Executive MBA are ranked 6th and 17th respectively in 2016.
In the biannual Forbes rankings for two-year MBA programmes, NUS Business School was ranked 7th among business schools outside the United States in 2015. Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) has also ranked the school 12th in the world for accounting and finance.
The school is accredited by AACSB International (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) and EQUIS (European Quality Improvement System), endorsements that the school has met the highest standards for business education. The school is also a member of the GMAC Council, Executive MBA Council, Partnership in Management (PIM) and CEMS (Community of European Management Schools).

For more information, please visit bschool.nus.edu.sg, or go to the Think Business portal, which showcases the School’s research.

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