Last Week in Review: Workouts, Jackfruit, Cheap Food, Laksa, Shopping, Running Friends

On Easter Sunday, KMN and I ran (as a training run) the 2XU Compression Run.  And there’s a race report on that coming.  But first, we should catch up on last week’s training and bits (and bites) of goodness.  So let’s do it!

12 miles? Bring it!

12 miles? Bring it! KMN doesn’t so much like early morning running…

With my plantar fascia feeling good, and a solid week of training the previous week, I decided it was time to test a long(er) run. So two Saturdays ago (March 23), we laced up our sneakers, filled up our bottles, grabbed some Sports Beans, and headed out the door.  The plan was for 10-12 miles, slow and easy, along the Park Connector Network (Singapore’s attempt to string together many small local parks into one long, connected path).

We ran through Bishan, Ang Moh Kio, and into Toa Payoh.  This route contains a very limited number of road crossings (2 or 3), and a few overhead bridges.  We ran through parks, residential areas, and industrial areas and got to see a pretty cool cross-section of Singapore, all in six miles.  The biggest disadvantage of this route is the absence of fountains to refill our water bottles (and restrooms, but we were OK with that on Saturday).  But, at the half-way point, we stopped at a kopitiam and bought two ice-cold bottles of water.  Best $2 SGD spent that day!  Cold water = lovely!

We turned back after 6 miles.  My PF and IT bands felt good, although my legs were starting to get tired.  Pre-PF, I was pretty comfortable at this distance, but it had been a few weeks since I’d seen double-digits on my Garmin.  We knocked out miles 6-9 pretty handily, then clicked off mile 10.  But I was getting tired – and I definitely got through the last 2 miles with my eyes glued to KMN’s back, just following his lead.

Between the heat and distance, I was spent by the end – but only in a “running tired” way, not an “injured ouchie” way.  So that was awesome.  Eschewing the heat, we spent the afternoon camped out in the air conditioning at Dome Cafe, working and refueling.  I was responsible, and ordered something with carbs and protein (and some chips, but who’s counting?):

In retrospect, though, after coincidentally reading Shoe's blog post on the cheesy mushroom sandwich (my second choice), I think i picked the wrong thing.

In retrospect, though, after reading Shoe’s blog post on Dome’s cheesy mushroom sandwich (my second choice), I think I picked the wrong sandwich.  Also, I totally should’ve gotten the coffee/ice cream thing she got.

Jackfruit flesh.

Jackfruit flesh.

Sunday was a rest day (except church, errands, visiting, and dinner with KMN’s family), and I had my first real experience with jackfruit.  This was actually a sanitized experience, since someone else did the hard work, of freeing the small fruits from the bit spiny pod (Wikipedia will now answer any ancillary jackfruit questions you may have).  All I had to do was eat.  Letting someone else do the prep is definitely the best way to eat stubborn fruits!  [Interesting linguistic side note: In Singapore, people often use the plural of fruit in a way we don’t in the US.  For example, after dinner, someone will often say, “I’ll bring the fruits out now.” or “We prepared the fruits earlier, so we can just enjoy eating now.”]

Each one of those small pieces has a great big seed inside.  The flesh can be torn away from the seed, kind of in strings (although the mouth texture isn't stringy at all).

Each one of those small pieces has a great big seed inside. The flesh can be torn away from the seed, kind of in strings (although the mouth texture isn’t stringy at all).

My verdict?  The taste is quite sweet, and has something about it that’s reminiscent of mango – but it doesn’t really taste like mango.  The texture is very odd – soft and a little rubbery, maybe?  Overall…I’d have a piece or two, but won’t be going out of my way to buy a personal jackfruit stash.

Getting ready for my first bite!

Getting ready for my first bite!

On Monday, I went to the gym for a BodyPump-Yin Yoga double-header.  I was sporting an awesome hair-do:

I couldn't get that pesky little cowlick if I tried, folks.

I couldn’t get that pesky little cowlick if I tried, folks.

Noodles here are served as "soup" or "dry".  I ordered soup - sometimes, the soup comes on the side.

Noodles here are served as “soup” or “dry”. I ordered soup – sometimes, the soup comes on the side.

Mondays are pretty crazy days for me, so after working all day + gymming at night, I hadn’t done the grocery shopping.  Plus, KMN was developing a bit of a cough and wanted some soup.  So we popped down the street for some noodley, soupy goodness.

My noodles came with a bit of sauce and mushrooms, and the soup was served on the side.  You can’t quite see it, but that silver pot in the back has a flame in the bottom, keeping my soup warm.  The clear broth contained an egg, some pork bits, chicken, fish cake, tofu, and fish balls.  You move the food from the silver pot into the bowl, a bit at a time, and take spoonfuls of broth to sip from there, as well.

KMN had a similar dish.  Total cost of two noodle dishes and one herbal tea drink (for him – I stuck with water)?  $10 SGD/$8 USD.  I know I often complain about how expensive some things are here – local food stall food isn’t one of those things!

On Tuesday, I did the grocery shopping.  Continuing on the theme of “things that are cheap in Singapore”, all of these items cost less than $2 SGD/$1.60 USD.

Clockwise from noon: 3 starfruits, soft tofu, tofu puffs, bean sprouts, and long skinny Japanese cucumbers

Clockwise from noon: 3 starfruits, silken tofu, tofu puffs, bean sprouts, and long skinny Japanese cucumbers

In the evening, I tried to go for a swim, but was foiled by a surprisingly full pool.  I really like our gym, but the pool lacks lane lines and lines on the bottom, which makes circle swimming nearly impossible.  I kept waiting for a free spot, but more people kept arriving and jumping in.  They were easily accommodated, since most people were swimming like this: one length – 5 minute break – one length – 5 minute break.  I, however, needed a full length, all to myself, for non-stop swimming.  After waiting for half an hour, I lost patience, abandoned the swim, and got right to my run.  Four miles on the treadmill was just what I needed.  What I didn’t need?  Forgetting (and thus losing) my goggles at the pool.  Double-Swim-Fail.

Laksa!

Laksa!

On Wednesday, I made myself some laksa for lunch.  Laksa is one of my favorite Singaporean dishes: noodles, tofu, hard boiled egg, and fish cakes in a spicy, coconut-milk based broth.  I bought a laksa spice blend, and boiled the broth and prepared the add-ins all by myself.  It came out pretty good – but not as good as the auntie’s down the road.  I guess there’s something to be said for experience!

In the evening, I went to Alan’s spin class.  I’m definitely liking the new RPM release, but also very much ready to start mixing up the tracks!

On Thursday, I went out to Queensway Mall on a hunt for a few sports-related item (including new goggles).  Queensway has a high concentration of sportswear/sports gear stores (and print shops, apparently – weird), and it’s definitely an “old-school” Singapore mall: complicated floor plan, tiny stores, narrow aisles, makeshift dressing rooms, and some shops that still only accept cash.  Ultimately, I came out with two items:

A pair of capris (a few of mine have bitten the dust lately), and a Nathan running belt.

A pair of capris (a few of mine have bitten the dust lately), and a Nathan running belt.

I’d been in the market for such a belt for some time, and this was the best one I could find.  Review forthcoming.  Ultimately, these errands took considerably longer than intended, so I only had time to catch a yoga class at the gym.  This was a good zen-end to a complicated a slightly stressful afternoon of shopping (I don’t like to shop, folks).

Friday (Good Friday) was a public holiday here, and I met a new friend at MacRitchie for one nice easy loop.

Who doesn't love some 6AM pre-run foam rolling?

Who doesn’t love some 6AM pre-run foam rolling?

I enjoyed meeting another local runner – in fact, the company and chatter were so good (and distracting) that we were, quite literally, back at the starting point before I knew it.  I’d been intending to turn off the trail a bit early for a shortcut back home, but ended up finishing the loop out, since we were in the midst of some intense discussion about…something running-related, I’m sure!  Total for the morning was 7.6 miles.  I neglected to take a photo of us together – but thanks, Charlene!  [Who was super-sweet, and even brought me some post-run chocolate milk and a banana!]

Overall, the plantar fascia was pretty well behaved this week.  It was a little tweaky again on Wednesday and Thursday, but apparently it just likes long runs, because it had pretty much sorted itself out again by the weekend.  *whew*

Stay tuned, because upcoming posts include Sunday’s race report, Nathan belt review, and foam rolling the calves.  Also, I’m making pesto for dinner tonight.  Using lemon basil.  Fingers crossed that comes out all right.

And with that, I’m off for some yoga.  My hips need it!

Which part of your body needs some yoga love tonight??

Club sandwich / jackfruit / noodle soup / laksa: Which one do you want to try??

16 thoughts on “Last Week in Review: Workouts, Jackfruit, Cheap Food, Laksa, Shopping, Running Friends

  1. Amy @ Writing While Running

    Awesome you got to meet a new friend who brought you post-run treats! A sure way to make friends is to give them chocolate milk, post-run 🙂 I have been stretching my hips well for a few days now. Laksa looks really good! Anything hot and spicy is good in my books 🙂

    Reply
    1. Holly KN Post author

      China taught you well, grasshopper. 😉

      [Or maybe you went to China already loving hot & spicy!]

      And yes. It’s usually me armed with the “bribery treats”. Being on the receiving end was a pleasant surprise! 🙂

      Reply
  2. Sarrilly

    mmm those noodles look gooooood – I’d love to try the noodle soup and laksa. How spicy is laksa?

    Reply
    1. Holly KN Post author

      “How spicy” is a very difficult question to answer. For ME, it is on the upper end of “preferable levels of spicy”. It makes my mouth warm, and sometimes that spicy chili oil starts to go up my nose, but I can still TASTE the food. My line is “so spicy I can’t taste anything any more”. It’s often served with a scoop of chili on the side (think like the red paste they put on bim bim bap), but I usually ask for mine without, since the spice-level of the broth itself is perfect for me. 🙂

      Reply
  3. Allee @ Griselda Mood

    Whoa! I’m pretty intrigued by the jackfruit. My husband always brings home really bizarre fruits and we have the same conversation every time:

    Me: What is that?
    Him: I have no idea.
    Me: How do you eat it?
    Him: I’m not sure. But isn’t it cool?

    Nice eats and workouts!

    Reply
    1. Holly KN Post author

      Bahahaha! I like you both, already. [And I can hear myself having the same conversation with my husband!] Isn’t Google a great thing? 🙂

      Reply
  4. Logan @ Mountains and Miles

    My calves have been really tight lately, too!! I have that same foam roller! Jackfruit looks too laborsome for me. I’m all about the noodle soup! That’s cool that they have a trail system that tries to connect all the parks!! I have a Nathan belt – I think it’s bigger than yours (still just the pocket, no water holders, but much more fanny-packy) and Iike it. I use it on runs around work because I have to have my ID badge to get back in and I hate carrying it.

    Reply
    1. Holly KN Post author

      Then I have a bunch of questions for you (I’m gonna blow the review here, but whatever): WHERE do you wear it, and HOW do you keep it there? I have slightly bigger hips and a very small waist, but hate running with anything around my true waist. So I *want* to wear the belt around my hips (I even have a little groove that I thought it would fit in nicely), but it keeps slipping, sliding, streaking up. Annoying! And do you wear the pack in the front or the back, or on the side??? Helllllllllp!

      Reply
  5. misszippy1

    Curious–do you wear capris to run there? That would seem impossible, but then again if you are adjusted, maybe?

    I think it would be so fun to try new fruit and foods.

    Sounds like a great long run the two of you had on a really nice route. Glad the PF is cooperating!

    Reply
    1. Holly KN Post author

      I do wear my CWX compression capris for long runs. I find the benefit of the compression outweighs the slight bit of extra warmth. But seriously – once you’re super hot, it hardly matters. And anything tight is FAR better than something loose (even shorts), which just gets soggy and wet and clingy.

      But the capris in the photo are actually for spin class and yoga (both done indoors, usually). I’m down to 1 pair of cycling shorts, but cycling gear is SO expensive here. I figured that an on-sale pair of capris would last me until we take a trip back to the US, where I can buy cycling shorts for 1/3-1/2 the price here.

      Strangely, I’m finding the PF to do best when I do some longer runs. Weird, but I’ll take it. Now that it’s not hurting much, I am definitely spending more time barefoot and in my Vibrams, trying to build up some foot strength. Thinking of you while I do it! 🙂

      Reply
  6. greengirlrunning

    PF is such a stinker, but glad to hear yours is a fan of long runs! Running that path and seeing so many different places sounds like a fun and intereting run. And great that you had company! I wish my hubster would run with me! The only time he does is once a year when we race against eachother and his only goal is to beat me 🙂
    Have you heard of the book The Fruit Hunter? My MIL is reading it and it sounds really interesting… your jackfruit made me think of it.
    Yoga… I love it but haven’t taken a class in about a year. I’m sure my whole body needs it right now!

    Reply
    1. Holly KN Post author

      I’m actually not really sure it’s the long runs, or if it’s just getting better on its own. But twice recently, I’ve “felt” it in the days before longer runs (not really hurting, per se, but making a little noise) – then after the run, it’s spectacular, just like a regular foot. Correlation or causation, who knows? I’ll take it!

      You can tell your husband that the running coach says that’s a sure way to get injured. [Maybe best to wait until you’re not that injured first, though! 😉 ]

      The Fruit Hunter…I’m intrigued. Will have to check it out! Thanks for the suggestion!

      Reply
      1. Elena

        I read The Fruit Hunter, it was alright. Interesting topic but the writing was a bit off sometimes. It made me want to hunt down a lot of interesting fruits though. Too bad I had very little access to them in the US. You might have better luck in Singapore though.

        Reply

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