Coffee Tea Runners Running Clinic

Attended a running clinic held by Coffee Tea Runners. The Coffee Tea Runners is a running group formed by running enthusiasts. They hold weekly run every Thursday at the Labrador Park and also volunteer as pacers for races such as The Performance Series. In fact, they are recruiting pacers for this year series and welcome volunteers to try out.

The first part was by Mr Peter Tan from Justrunlah.com. He talked about the setting up of Justrunlah as a web portal for runners and 3 years later, it has grown and evolved into not just a web portal but a running community and race organiser. With just a small team of 5, it has managed to maintain a website that has gone international with over 200000 members from 5 countries; created an app for runners and even organised a Race series, The Performance Series!

The next segment was a talk by Dr Derek Li, one of the top marathon runners in Singapore. His talk was on training for a race. He touched on the importance of total mileage as opposed to speed and even distance clocked in a run. He also talked about recovery with special emphasis on getting enough sleep. Last but not least, he went into some pointers on choosing a running shoe. 

The final segment was a short stretching and strength exercises conducted by Dr Derek Li

Finally at the end of the session, there was a short sharing by one of the sponsor,  Apex Pharmacy on its joint lubricating product Flexiseq. Flexiseq is not, contrary to what most people think, a glucosamine cream. In fact it is a lubricant that once absorbed into the joint can form a lubricating layer with the synovial fluid.

 

Running @ Leisure Farm Resort

Whenever I go away, I try to get in a short run and it was no exception when 2 weeks ago, we stayed over at a friend’s place at the posh Leisure Farm in Malaysia. The place is big – real big. It sits on 1765 acres of land spread over 7 gated compound and 4 strata plots and comes with facilities like club house, swimming pool, orchard and f&b outlets.

Just to get an idea of how big the place is, we stayed in a bungalow in one of the gated compound and managed to do a complete loop of 10 km within that compound alone!

It was a cool morning when we started our run. It fact it was threatening to rain but thank goodness the weather held and we had an enjoyable time exploring the place.

The place was built apparently on an old forest converted to palm tree plantation to now residential and it is very hilly.

Beside the slopes, there are many many empty plot of lands waiting for some rich landowner to built their own bungalow.

We came upon a beautiful little stream and we could run alongside it for a short distance before we went back on the road.

On the road, there were many big bungalows, some typical European design with big driveway, porches and arches. Then there were the modern type with big glass facade. And there is this futuristic house

There is a little canal or creek as they called it.

The highlight was when we came to this place.

A dead end but a very tempting looking place. Good for trail running and birding! But since we were guests, we didn’t enter the area and choose to continue running on the road. That was when we heard some rustling up in the trees. My immediate thought was macaque but it turned out to be this:

A big band of Dusky Leaf Langur! What a nice surprise and a nice way to wrap up the run.

 

Sungei Tampines

Sungei Tampines used to be a bare concrete canal or storm rain as the authorities called it. This was how it looked like in 2012.

Then the Public Utilities Board’s ABC program came and Sungei Tampines was transformed into a beautiful little “river”.

But then recently I noticed something strange. The creepers on the fair bank (photo left) has been removed leaving the bare concrete bank again. I was shocked!

I promptly send off a query via the One Singapore app and a few days later, someone from the PUB contacted me to explain the reason. And my suspicion was correct. The cause was this.

Stink Bug! There seems to be a major infestation of them. I first spotted them sometime late last year and recently in February noticed that they were all over the railings. In fact, I actually reported this via the One Singapore App as well. 

The eggs are everywhere. On the plants and on the railings.

So I supposed its inevitably that the authorities took the easy way out and remove the source of the infestation which they claimed is the creepers. And they have informed that they are planting new slower growing creepers as a replacement although I yet to see them.  Oh well, I suppose I just have to wait……….

North Face Ultra TR II

I am a very lazy guy. And I like to buy things that is convenient to use. Like my preferred lens for photography is a zoom. So that I don’t have to keep changing lens. Never mind that the quality is compromised in the process. And it is the same with my running shoes. I like to travel and when I travel, I like to pack in run, hiking and of course the Mrs will want to do a lot of walking in the malls. It is not convenient to pack different shoes for all different purposes so I always make sure I have a pair of what I call a combo shoes with me when I travel.

My latest pair to replace the previous North Face Hyper Track. And yes it is another North Face shoes nevermind that most of my trail running friends swear by Salomon and Hoka shoes. This time I got the North Face Ultra TR II. Why did I buy it? 1) Because it was on offer and 2) it meets all my requirement.

This is an all terrain shoes. Good for road and light trails. And it is light. Very light at just 230 gm which won’t take up much weight in a luggage. 

This is a 2015 release so there is no point going through all the nitty gritty specs saved to say it is lightweight, very responsive, comes with a 8mm drop and very or no cushioning. Suitable only for light trails which is fine by me. The other thing good is that it comes with Vibram soles. 

So far despite wearing it for a number of runs, I have not encountered really muddy conditions so not too sure how the soles will hold up although feedback from friends is that Vibram soles are good.

Date of Purchase: 21 Feb 2017

From: RL Singapore

Price: $93.00

Races:

Total Mileage:

Retired:

 

Kway Teow Soup at Restoran Xing Ho, Gelang Patah

Singapore has a lot of good food. Our noodles are world famous and everybody loves a good bowl of bak kut teh. But I think the hawker food in Singapore doesn’t even come close to what is available in Malaysia where not only is it cheap, but the hawkers think nothing of throwing in all sort of ingredients. Just compare our bak kut teh with the Malaysian version. Or our minced meat/fishball noodles with this version:

This bowl of kway teow soup comes with generous amount of pork liver, stomach, meat ball, fish cake, prawn, sotong, minced and sliced pork. I don’t think there is anything comparable here in Singapore. And this cost just RM8. There is a smaller serving at RM6 although it certainly isn’t actually small. It is still a pretty solid portion. There is also a seafood version which comes with a slice of abalone and some small oysters!

This kway teow soup is popular with the locals in Gelang Patah, Johore Malaysia and is located in a coffeeshop Restaurant Xing Ho, at 24, Jalan Medan Nusa Perintis 8, Taman Nusa Pertinis 2, 81550, Gelang Patah, .

Some of us Singaporean will baulk at the way they do the cooking. An open stall next to the road and very messy.

I think if this is in Singapore, it won’t even get a D from NEA. But since this is Malaysia, who cares about the grade. Got good food just whack. And that what this little stall have.

Butterfly Hill at Pulau Ubin

I confess I have no idea there was such a place at Pulau Ubin. I only saw it when I went to shoot the Pesta Ubin Run recently. And I knew I have to come back to take a closer look at it.  Soback on Pulau Ubin over the weekend for a full day trek, we made a pit stop here to check out the scene. 

And my golly, there were indeed butterfly galore. Just walking alongside it, I could see a few butts flying –  a couple of Jeezebul and some Yellows. I knew I must explore the place in depth. But the hike training has to take priority and after just about half an hour of looking at the many different butterfly flying around, I have to move on with just 3 photo of butterfly out of the so many there. One Peacock Pansy, a Glassy Tiger and an unidentified butterfly or maybe moth.

Peacock Pansy

Blue Glassy Tiger

Unidentified Butterfly/moth

I consoled myself that earlier on right at the beginning of the day, I had got a photo of the beautiful Common Birdwing at the Assembly Area.

Common Birdwing

And there was bound to be other butterfly around although I swear I am so gonna come back to Butterfly Hill again just for the butts. 

Anyway, at the fruit farm, I managed to shoot a beautiful Lascar. Not too sure whether it is a Common or Malayan Lascar though.

Lascar

There was also a pair of Glassy Tiger flying around the same plant

Dark Glassy Tiger

On the way in to and out of Chek Jawa, there were a few butts flying around despite it being almost 4 pm. Despite being pressed for time, managed to get a photo of a Knight. Too bad the angle isn’t too good. It was too skittish and it didn’t help that there were many cyclists whizzing through and every time one of them pass by, the butterfly will take off.

Knight

I shall return and the next time it will only be butterfly time!