Team Tortoise are Cheryl, Min, Opus, Elaine and Carrie

5 torts making their slow and steady ascent up Mt Kinabalu...

Friday, April 23, 2010

3 sets at sunset

Same old staircase at block 3 but it was the only time I had to myself all day and it was perversely pleasurable.






Sunday, April 18, 2010

the guilt the mindless

No stair climbing all week so in guilt so went up stairs at Block 3 on Sat 16 April on the way to supermarket. It was just before sundown at 7 in the evening so it was cool and the sky got more orange and dark with each set. 3 sets up and down.

After the 5th storey, the thigh muscles start to protest. What I found helpful was engaging the glutes a bit more so that it takes the load off the quads. Keeping posture upright, eyes looking straight ahead, legs limber, ignoring the inner voice which says this is stupid and should be banned!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Life is beautiful

While some of us were sweating it out in the stairwells of Singapore, Min brought her training to a beautiful island in the Pacific - Lord Howe Island.

It's not enough her running stride length is twice of mine. Or that she has the superior stamina to hold a conversation running 10k while I can only grunt in reply.

If you get a chance walking or travelling with Min, she does something that totally freaks me out.

She draws from nature on the spot.


No photo. No eraser. No sweating over the composition or the lines. You know that you are in the presence of a real artist when she gets into 'the zone'. She doesn't take very long. 15 minutes or so. Little bunches of people might gather to watch. She whips out a tumbler of water and a paint palette and brings to life a bird, tree, something interesting in the landscape - a perspective that you may not have observed yourself.


Birds fly away. Like everything in nature, they will come and go. But these sketches capture a temporal truth and the overwhelming sense that life is beautiful.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Friday training update

Stair climbing with 5 year old on my back! Stair climbing in mid afternoon heat! Resumed running and ran 22 minutes! That pretty much sums up this week's training.

Sunday 4 April - 1 set of the 18 storey stair climb with 13-15 kg daughter on my back. She wouldn't let me out of the house so I piggybacked her like a weighted bag pack. She got a whiff of the smelly stair well, enjoyed the views and complained of her arms being tired. Tired? I carried her all the way! She got tired just hanging on my shoulders. I asked her if she wanted to go another set, but she said NO.

Wed 7 and Thurs 8 April - Stair climbing 18 storeys, 3 sets. Managed this in the mid afternoon heat between 1400-1430 pm. It was so sweaty but I reminded myself of the plus points - stairs are free, non weather dependent, how else would I burn off the custard puff I just consumed?

Friday 9 April - No running for the last month because of tooth issues. Did 2.87 kms in 22 minutes on the treadmill. No sore tooth sockets. No throbbing gums. Yay.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Core strength / Mid-life crisis

I don't know if this has anything to do with mountain climbing but I've decided to increase my core strength, whatever that is.

So I've begun two foolhardy programmes: 100 push ups and 200 sit ups .

It's a six week programme. Erm... so far I've only done one day and my arms are already sore from push ups. Sit-ups (or rather, curl ups) are easier for me, so no soreness yet, but I am probably speaking too soon.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Friday, April 2, 2010

stair climbing

Opus asked:
So how long do you think we'll take to climb 40 flights of stairs? 30-40mins?

Only one way to find the answer - climb the 18 storey flats opposite my place.

Stairwells are the boring-est places in the earth. Plugged in my earphones and took slow and easy steps observing proper stair climbing form - entire foot placed on each step, not letting the heels hang off the edge.

Proper climbing posture means leaning forward slightly from the hips with the back straight. At no time, should you be rounded in the lower back area. Look forward, keeping your eye on the stairs from time to time without looking down with a bent head the whole time. Avoid over-straightening your knees as you climb up.

I didn't need to stop and rest but it was a huff and puff. The views started to expand as I got higher.

At the 18th floor, I looked at my watch. 4 mins 5 seconds. If we climb 40 floors, it would take 20 mins or so with breaks?

The view was terrific. Saw a lovely bunch of honeysuckles. It took about 3 minutes to go down to the first floor. I repeated this 3 times. It got harder each set and by the third set, I was the crazy mad sweaty woman giving longing looks at the lift. (Entire duration of workout about 30 minutes)

While I was climbing, I thought about grocery lists. I zipped in to the NTUC supermarket when I was done to cool off in the AC.

Mental note to self: bring a bottle of water the next time.

* If only stair climbing could be this fun.



Thursday, April 1, 2010

How to Not Exercise

I've been prodded to contribute to this blog.

So I shall tell you about how I just ate Twisties (tomato flavour) and drank a can of Coke and thought really hard about running but I'm not going to cos I'm sitting here blogging and then I have to go for dinner.

Perhaps I'll run tomorrow.