Friday, April 23, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
Friday, April 16, 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
Friday, April 9, 2010
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Monday, April 5, 2010
Saturday, April 3, 2010
My heart is stronger than my Adidas Heart Rate Monitor. The latter survived only 2 years of constant use. It just died. The Adidas was model was quite old and was phased out of production. Main reason being it just used up too much batteries. ( Imagine free battery replacement for life in it’s warranty) Adidas Service Center said that Adidas will not produce anymore heart rate monitors in the watch format, but with other innovations. Hence I could not get my Adidas Heart Rate Monitor to be repaired.
I was without a heart rate monitor for about 6 months and I ran dangerously, being 66 years old and coupled with several medical conditions. But I still ran, for I know if I had stopped running, I’ll stopped writing into my blogs as well. I searched for a replacement heart rate monitor each time I went shopping at the malls. They were fairly pricely and I could not budget for one just yet.
Luck was with me when I was at the Ironman Langkawi 2010 in late February. A Timex Heart Rate Monitor was on promotional sales. I bought it without a second blink of the eve. I am very pleased with my new Timex Heart Rate Monitor as it had all the features I needed. It is a full fledged Heart Rate Monitor and serves as a personal trainer as well. The only features lacking were the GPS, speed and cadence . Otherwise it comes with loads of functionalities. It is very stylish, light and easy to set/operate.
I append some notes about Heart Rate monitors from the Internet.
By monitoring heart rate, the simple observation that the harder we exercise, the faster our heart beats is put to good use. Professional athletes and amateurs alike have for decades been relying on the information provided by their heart rate monitor for the following reasons:
1) A heart rate monitor is like a rev counter, giving a precise measurement of exercise intensity.
2) Training at your own ideal pace is made possible with a heart rate monitor.
3) Direct measurement of heart rate during exercise is the most accurate way to gauge performance.
4) Progress can be monitored and measured, increasing motivation.
5) It maximizes the benefits of exercise in a limited amount of time.
6) It introduces objective observation. Are you on the right track? Are you improving?
7) It is a tool for regulating frequency and intensity of workouts.
8) Because of the immediate feedback it provides, heart rate monitoring is an ideal training partner.
How does it work?
When you start training, your heart rate increases rapidly in proportion to the intensity of the training. The transmitter belt detects the electrocardiogram (ECG - the electric signal originating from your heart) and sends an electromagnetic signal to the wrist receiver where heart rate information appears.
The heart moves blood from the lungs (where the blood picks up oxygen) to the muscles (which burn the oxygen as fuel) and back to the lungs again. The harder the training, the more fuel the muscles need and the harder the heart has to work to pump oxygen-rich blood to the muscles.
As you get fitter, your heart is able to pump more blood with every beat. As a result, your heart doesn’t have to beat as often to get the needed oxygen to your muscles, decreasing resting heart rate and exercise heart rate on all exertion levels.
Read benefits of a Heart Rate Monitor here.
So there you are. Don’t you need a Heart Rate Monitor ?
Friday, April 2, 2010
It must have been written in the stars that I ran the Energizer Night Run in Cyberjaya last weekend. I have no other explanation for my participation in the 21 KM event. It was sheer coincident that Max who had a bib but could not run due to an urgent call to do some work. It was when he had insisted that I could use his bib to run, that reality really sank in; I panicked. Could I do justice to Max and deliver ? The three hours cut off time came immediately into my mind. Senior Veterans got another half an hour grace.
I have been laid off the road due to medical reasons for the past two months. My medications and treatments did me in. Extra tired all the time and frequent mood swings deterred me from training. It was an on/off mood for me to register online for the event. Several days before closing date for the online registration, I decided to participate; only to read ‘registration closed’ starring at my face. It was due to the maximum number of participants had been achieved. No run. Happy or sad it was my fault. On the eve of the event (Friday) I joined Putrajaya Critical Massers for their monthly cycle ride in Putrajaya. I rode hard, albeit for only 25 KM around Putrajaya. I felt refreshed and alive after the ride.
On Saturday evening I decided to go to the Energizer Night Run. I would take photos for the PACM and the gang. I might even take my bike and offer my services as one of the patrolling support volunteers. Or I might even pirate the event for fun. So I packed my camera and running gear into the car, but decided not to ride, as I had just cycled the night before.
I arrived at 5 pm and prepared to take photos at the venue and waited at the Start Line an hour later, to take photos for the flag off. Max and other photographers were also there. After the runners cleared the Start Line for their 42 KM event, Max asked me why I was not running the half marathon starting at 8 pm. I told him my predicament. Miracles and Angels come in many form, shapes and sizes. Max was delighted that I could use his bib as he could not run in the last minute. I followed him to his friend’s car and he handled to me his unopened package comprising the running vest, bib No J9023 and D-tag for my shoes. I thanked him and promised to do my best.
I was fairly up in the front of the pack behind the Start Line. I usually would be bringing up the rear group. But this time I had purposely moved up in the front for a purpose. I wanted to be ‘forced-pushed’ along in the middle of the pack. A strategy I would regret later because I would start off much too fast for my usual pace. I did not stretch nor warm up. Further more I was not in good shape as I was not prepared for the run at all.
Run, Allen Run I kept panting to myself. My heart beat monitor showed I had maxed out my MHR within the first KM, but soon stabilized to a steady range of 130- 145 BPM. I was pleased that I was breathing easier after the water station at the 2nd KM. I was still doing well although falling well back in the pack. I was pacing at about 7 -8 KM per minute, very smooth and easy. Fortunately the whole 21KM was flat with very slight gradients occasionally. I was 1 hour 20 minutes at the half way point. I thought I would have 10 minutes to spare if I could keep up the pace. I was also surprised that all systems were GO at this stage. I had a quick checklist. Breathing OK, knees OK, legs OK, lungs OK, chest OK, timing OK, morale OK, thirst OK, and mood OK.
I continued to run at a very consistent pace, not fast, not slow, until I started to feel my left calf had started to tighten up. It was Ok I thought, as there were many other runners who had stopped for cramps. I must apply cramp management to stop a potential painful pull. At about 16KM both legs started to tighten up. I had to be very careful in my strides, as I could not afford any cramps at this stage; with only 5 KM to go. I limped and landed hard on alternative legs to keep on going. I was loosing time, but I was progressing. I was on the home run. I was in control until the last 500 meters when I had a full cramp on my right leg. I limped home in pain and finished at 3 hours 16 minutes. My performance was much better than I had expected, given that I had no training and preparations.
I was pleased to report to Max and the others I had made it and showed off my finishing medal. Thanks Max you are an Angel. It was a happy ending when two more Angels unexpectedly turned up. My wife and daughter May Senn greeted me. I had never really on my life expected to see them. Can’t ask for more Angels and joys. Another medal round my neck. Good job.
Will upload some photos later.