Xtend Barre class at Upside Motion

If you have been following me on Instagram (@Paleorina) you will know that I have been moaning about my knee injury. I have been unable to run without a throbbing soreness in my inner right knee and it has been driving me mad. Without running to help me expand my energy and keep me from bouncing off the walls, I needed something else to do that was low impact and interesting.

Yes, I have yoga but yoga was something very familiar to me. I wanted to try something different and exciting. Enter Xtend Barre. This is a pilates cum ballet workout that was created by an ex-ballerina in the US. The aim of this exercise was to create the long lean lines of ballerinas without actually having to take a ballet class. I mentioned in a previous post that my favourite body types are that of gymnasts and dancers so I was quite excited to try these classes!

I signed up for a one-week trial at $55 with Upside Motion that allowed me to take not only Xtend Barre classes, but also aerial yoga and pilates. In that one week, I managed to take three Xtend Barre classes under two different teachers, Laura and Saniya.

Xtend Barre Singapore

Continue reading Xtend Barre class at Upside Motion

Hiking in Taroko Gorge, Taiwan

My new-found enthusiasm for trail running has seen me planning more trips that involved hiking in nature. While it’s quite difficult to find friends who want to run with me in the forest, it’s much easier to find people who enjoy walking. So it was with incredible excitement that I started my recent December Taiwan trip with a hike in Taroko National Park. This is one of the country’s eight national parks and is located near Hualien City in the east of Taiwan.

We spent three days and two nights at Taroko. This trip was arranged by a freelance tour guide Ricky, who was introduced to us by a friend. I usually don’t like going on tours and being escorted around by other people but Ricky was passionate about hiking and was not your usual conventional tour guide on buses.

We went on two trails. The first was the Zhuilu Old Trail and this was supposed to have the most magnificent views in the gorge. We spent about six hours on this trail, including rest time at the top. The second was the Lotus Pond trail, which took us four and a half hours in total.

To hike the Zhuilu Old Trail, we had to get a special permit from the park that Ricky arranged for us. We started off from a bridge that spanned a valley.

taroko gorge Continue reading Hiking in Taroko Gorge, Taiwan

Kilian Jornet and his inspiring movie about scaling mountains

Reading about sports such as running or mountain climbing inspires me to go outdoors. Well-written books move me and compel me to get off my couch.

Recently, I’ve discovered the power of movies. I started with Fast Girls, which is a 2011 British film about sprinters. It was good but it was fictional. I wanted something more like a documentary.

Then I found one yesterday starring Kilian Jornet called A Fine Line:¬†Summits of my Life, which documented the athlete’s run and ski to the¬†most important peaks of all continents in his minimalist style and trying to break all the speed records on those peaks along the way.

iRunFar¬†and A Trail Runner’s Blog has a review of this film. I watched it last night and the cinematography¬†was just breathtaking. There were also some good quotes about how Kilian views and manages risk in life.

Kilian Jornet Continue reading Kilian Jornet and his inspiring movie about scaling mountains

Endurance athletes…I’m a fan

This post was inspired by Dan’s April 2013 post on endurance athletes. He personally doesn’t like the physique of endurance athletes because they look scrawny. Sprinters look better than marathon runners any day, he contends.

Aesthetics is always personal and everyone has preferences but I must say that I’m a fan of endurance athletes. ¬†Here we have US marathon runners Kara Goucher (left) and Shalane Flanagan (right) competing in the 2012 Summer Olympics. They look so sad because they didn’t manage to win any medals.

shalane flanagan Continue reading Endurance athletes…I’m a fan

Cold Storage Triathlon 2013

Last Sunday I took part in my first triathlon at East Coast Park. Granted, it was a mini¬†event – 200 m swim, 10 km bike and 2 km run – but it could just the mini¬†impetus I need to get me started in the world of triathlons! I think that there is something quite mysterious about triathlons. It’s quite easy to find runners and cyclists in Singapore but it is quite rare to find people who are willing to compete in three events in one go. I think it’s because the swimming portion tends to put people off. I mentioned the event to several of my sporty friends and the response ranged from “I can’t swim!” to “I can swim but not that far!”

I am extremely fortunate to have very close friends who enjoy sports and are willing to indulge in my newfound interests with me. When I ran 10 km for the first time at the Yellow Ribbon Run, Serena accompanied me. This time, it was Barbara who kindly agreed to join me at the Cold Storage Triathlon. This is a friend whom I have known since I was seven years old. Her boyfriend Ivan also came along to take photographs for us so we have amazing shots of us in action!

Triathlons are a lot more complicated than just running events because of the equipment involved. We arrived an hour earlier because we had to stamp our bib numbers on our bodies for the swimming portion.

Cold Storage Triathlon edit Continue reading Cold Storage Triathlon 2013

Yellow Ribbon Prison Run 2013

I’ve been getting into running recently. I think it started when I realised I like sports autobiographies very much; I’ve devoured books on fell running and triathlons recently. I was so inspired I decided that I would sign up for some races as well.

Last Sunday, I ran my first 10 km at the Yellow Ribbon Prison Run. I couldn’t have chosen a better race to do my first 10 km. It was the most well-organised running event I’ve attended! I was actually moaning about the race two weeks before because I forgot to collect the race pack at Bugis+ and had to travel all way to Sembawang to pick it up ($48 cab fare for both ways). But turns out the money was well spent because it entitled me to an excellent goodie bag.

yellow ribbon run

The race started at Loyang road near Changi Village. They were very punctual and started on time. Serena and I were still stretching and strolling to the start line when the bell went off for the start of the race. It didn’t matter anyway, we had timing chips in our bibs so we took our time to begin six minutes later.

I don’t have many photos of the race itself because I refused to stop in my very first 10 km race. Continue reading Yellow Ribbon Prison Run 2013

Books to inspire running

I have a love-hate relationship with running. It can be dreadfully boring when you’re pounding away on the treadmill but can also be euphoric when you cross the finishing line of a race. I like that it helps me keep fit but I hate the feeling of my lungs bursting when I sprint.

One good way to motivate myself to run is to read books about running. They can be novels or autobiographies but I found that autobiographies are more inspiring for me because they are about what people can do in the real world. When  you read about people doing ultra marathons (Scott Jurek), my 5 km run seems pathetic in contrast.

The first running novel I read was Once a Runner by John L. Parker.

Once a Runner Continue reading Books to inspire running

My 5km run at Run & Raisin’ 2013

Run & Raisin is one of the lower profile running events in Singapore. Organised by TOUCH Young Arrows, a charity organisation, the proceeds from the race go to help out children in need.

The race took place last Saturday on the 6th July 2013 at Gardens by the Bay. This is turning out to be a very popular location for races; the Nike She Runs race was held there as well. But unlike the Nike race, which was packed to the brim, Run & Raisin’ was not crowded at all. It was a pleasant surprise. I expected to be squashed elbow to elbow on my run but it was not so. I could even see the starting line! As a result, the running was relaxing and way more fun than the more popular races, such as those organised by the big banks and brand names.

run and raisin singapore Continue reading My 5km run at Run & Raisin’ 2013

I’m guilty of buying too many workout clothes

I must admit. I’m a bit obsessive when it comes to shopping. On one hand, I really dislike going to the malls and fighting to breathe above the crowd, but on the other hand, when I find something I like, I need to buy the same piece in different colours or styles. There was once when I was shopping for work shoes and I bought the same pair in three different colours. Heck, it saved me from going shoe shopping for another year.

It’s the same with workout gear. I can’t just have one. I need to have a few pieces of the same top.

Trousers

katherine-heigl Source: Shape

I have about eight pairs of trousers. Most of them are black and blue. They all go to the knee and they all look the same. Continue reading I’m guilty of buying too many workout clothes