Saturday, December 31, 2016

Running in 2016

17 races (fun and competitive). Total of 186.45km (this is the races I have run in this year). From the Jan-Dec, the total distance covered was 709.45km. In October Challenge (a one month min. 5km daily challenge), I ran 203.05km.

My girls asked me why do I run so much? Why do I like to run? Friends around me questioned why do I pay so much to join the races when I can run for free if I truly like to run?

To be honest, running is not my favourite sports. Coupled with my flat-foot condition, running was never an easy task. The fact was I quitted running more than 6 years back when my last run was a 10km race in SCMS 2009. After that race, I injured my left knee and after a series of X-rays, MRIs, Physio, what the doctor told me was to stop running. My dream of completing a Full Marathon (42km) was dashed and life went on.

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What changed my mind was a family tragic that happened in 2014, my dad suddenly passed away. His death was so sudden, we were all caught surprised and none of us had a proper chance to even say goodbye. This incident taught me a huge life lesson – stay fit for your family. From then on, I purpose in my heart to stay fit, not just for myself, but just so that I can stay healthy and alive to enjoy my time with my wife and children. To be able to see my girls grow up, be married, have their own kids, etc.

So in 2016, I finally picked up the dream of running again. I will turn 42 in Dec 2016. I told myself that I can once again fulfil the Full Marathon (42km) dream. I will pace myself, start slow and small, get myself running again in 2016, then in Dec 2017, before I officially turn 43, I will complete the 42km Full Marathon race.

So why do I run?
There are 2 parts to that question. One, to keep fit for my family & to fulfil my 42km dream. Two, I want to show my girls the power of determination and discipline, although I may be older now, and I am not as strong as before, but if I am determined to fulfil something, plus discipline to do it, I can achieve it!

Why do I need to pay and run in races?
Simple, I join the races to get the medals. Because the medals served as a reminder and encouragement to myself that I can moving step-by-step towards my dream. Setting a target without interim success points is just a bit too difficult to achieve. Plus running in a proper race will give me the experience to understand what to expect when the time comes for the 42km.

As I look back this year, I thank many different ones who have come along my running journey and gave me a pat on the shoulder, ran with me, cheered me on. This year’s journey all started when my running “shifu” Benjamin, asked me to join him in the Compressport Rail Corridor Run. It will be the last time any organiser will plan a race along this railway corridor and after that, it will be closed in preparation for future development. And from here, the rest is history. Back then my timing for completing 10km was 1hr 33mins 11secs (I was just glad to finish).

2016-01-31 09.06.45

2016-12-23 21.20.37

Met up with Daddy Blogger (Steven) in one of the fun runs.

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With Church members.

2016-04-16 08.57.08

The happiest run is when my family joined me in this year’s Sundown Run. We did a 5km fun run together, and Joey completed it with me, jogging for most of the entire race. So proud of her!

2016-05-28 19.22.08

Then in October, inspired by another Daddy Blogger (Nick), I embarked on a one-month challenge to run at least 5km a day, rain or shine, day or night. Initially the runs were quite okay, until the second week, tired legs, aching backs, and worst of all, finding time to run, all these were becoming serious considering factors for me to quit. Thankfully, for a super supportive wife, she will do her best to arrange everything else at home or at work, so that I can have no excuse but to fulfil my challenge. And I did it! Thanks to all my friends who lent me your support on IG, FB or when you met me during that month.

2016-10-01 17.16.04 2016-10-02 20.47.28 2016-10-03 22.53.25 2016-10-04 20.06.29 2016-10-05 22.17.16

2016-10-06 22.53.15 2016-10-07 17.26.25 2016-10-08 17.37.14 2016-10-09 07.21.58 2016-10-10 18.58.14

2016-10-11 19.09.32 2016-10-12 20.56.37 2016-10-13 20.42.06 2016-10-14 19.45.53 2016-10-15 23.22.38

2016-10-16 21.19.33 2016-10-17 21.14.45 2016-10-18 22.38.27 2016-10-19 22.07.06 2016-10-20 19.58.54

2016-12-23 22.52.16 2016-12-23 22.52.20 2016-12-23 22.52.24 2016-12-23 22.52.28 2016-12-23 22.52.32

2016-12-23 22.52.36 2016-12-23 22.52.40 2016-12-23 22.52.44 2016-12-23 22.52.48 2016-12-23 22.52.52

2016-10-31 22.54.31

Some of the more memorable runs I have participated this year.

The Performance Series – Singapore’s 1st Race Series
A total of 5 races (10km) across Singapore.
Race #1 - Coney Island / Punggol Waterway
Race #2 - Jurong Lake
Race #3 - Gardens By The Bay
Race #4 - Bedok Reservoir
Race #5 - Kranji Farm

After completing the 5 races, the medals can be used to form the map of Singapore.

Race #5 at Kranji Farm was my last run in 2016, a 10km race. Since the first 10km in Jan, I have ran another 9 more 10km race, and on my final and 10th 10km race, I broke my Personal Best (PB) at 55mins 46secs. That is a 37mins 25secs improvement. Nothing is impossible!

2016-12-23 21.19.31 2016-12-23 21.18.55

I was prepared to run any Half Marathon (21km) this year, but I tried and ran in the Army Half and Standard Chartered (SCMS). To put into perspective, the last time I ran in a HM, my timing was about 3hrs (that is almost 8 years back). For the Army Half, I was expecting myself to finish within 3.5hrs, my target was 3hrs. And I completed in 2hrs 26mins 25secs.

SCMS was like my mid-year exam. If I can do well, then I am on par to do well next December for my FM.
PTL! I ran 2hrs 17mins 26secs, even better than Army Half.

All these unexpected good results (for an amateur), enhanced my belief that hard work pays off.

2016-12-23 21.21.24

Thankful to end the year well. On to more runs in 2017, better timing (I pray), and more discipline and determination.

2016-12-23 21.19.12 2016-12-23 21.23.46

Thursday, December 29, 2016

LUNA Sandals [Review]

Sponsored Review

Running has now become a passionate exercise for me. As such, besides registering for various races in this past one year, I have been actively looking at all the different gears or equipment related to running. And one of those gears is this pair of running sandals – LUNA Mono.

Thanks to, I was able to have in my hands this pair of unique Luna Sandals.

Revolution is afoot. Run like a Human.

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The Mono [Moh-No] (means Monkey in Spanish) is the do everything, go everywhere adventure sandal. When you think of hiking, traveling, lounging, camping, running, spelunking, or anything else-ing, this is the go-to-footwear.
The Mono quickly molds to your foot with wear and becomes “your” sandal.


The Mono is made up of super light, moldable Vibram® USA sole made in Massachusetts combined with the non-slip MGT (Monkey Grip Technology) footbed. The protective, lightweight sole allows for a wide range of uses from casual wear to trail running, while the overall thickness means the ankle holes can be countersunk to reduce wear on the laces.

Luna Mono Specs
Weight: 4.6 oz (single sandal)
Thickness: 12mm

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So after receiving my Mono, I wore it out for a leisure trial run of about 11km. Stopped a few times just to re-adjust the laces so that I can get the best fit and run.
It was an overall smooth run, I didn’t have any abrasion on my foot after the run. Though I did have a few blisters on the toe, probably due to the friction, but this is all part and parcel of running in new gears.


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So why run “barefoot”? What are the benefits? Is the support good enough? Will there be greater impact on the legs when running? Isn’t it more dangerous to run with sandals?


For the majority of human history, we have been running without cushioning. The invention of running shoes (sneakers) was a relative new idea as compared. Hence, some say this is an invention or modern product created to solve a problem that never existed.

Research is starting to show that heavy over-padded footwear may actually help to contribute to shin splints, knee injuries, and back problems. And Luna Sandals offer a lightweight and minimalist alternative to running shoes.

The Barefoot Movement has been around for more than 5 years now. People all around the world are re-discovering the benefits of running with minimal footwear or none at all.

So with the Mono, it enables the runner to effectively feel the ground when running, and this in turn strengthens and toughens up the foot. Without the extra padding, we are able to run more naturally, and learn to strike the ground with the ball of our foot and not the heels.


Comfort is achieved mainly due to the straps on the sandals. The straps are the highest quality of any sandals I have worn before. They are thick where it will provide stability on the top of the foot and thin for comfort near the toe area.


The rubbery material around the heel strap and under the top strap provides that additional secure feeling when running in it. And also it prevents unnecessary pressure or rubbing causing abrasion.

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Recently, I wore the sandals for a 10km run around Kranji Farm area. The terrain was not as easy as the usual roads in the city, much more stones, sands, gravels, and dust. But the experience was great! I had a good run, no injuries, and I have learnt a few more things about my own running style and habits.

  And most surprisingly, I actually broke my PB in a 10km race, with the LUNA Mono sandals. Woohoo!

  2016-12-17 20.36.30 2016-12-18 08.15.47


What do I think of the Luna Mono sandal?
1. It is incredibly light weight. It almost feels like I am not wearing anything.
2. Easy to pack and bring along in any bag. Hardly takes up any space in my backpack. And if I run in the sandals, I don’t need to bring along a separate pair of slippers to change out after the race. Convenient.
3. Good support and the strap system doesn’t slips off.
4. Great in wet terrain and suitable for all water sports like kayaking, rafting, trekking, etc.
5. No smell like wearing shoes. No worries of my girls complaining every time I take off my running shoes after a race.

Any product, no matter how good or effective it is, it can never be perfect.
And here are some of the disadvantages of the Mono.
1. Risk of strap break during a race, and that would mean slowing down or worst case, to end the race. Unless you are so determine and continue on the real barefoot way.
2. I realized (maybe just me), I cannot run fast in sandals. Probably I am still new to this style of running.
3. Due to the fact that it is a sandal, there is no covering and will not provide warm in colder weather.
4. With the same reason as the above, there is a certain risk of stepping on sharp objects when running.

Final verdict:
I think I will be using this pair of sandals quite frequently, for my endurance runs and definitely for my travels where it can be a great wear on all terrains. Am I ready to use it for Half Marathons or Full Marathon? Not yet, but I won’t say no.