Weekly Workout Round-Up (Oct. 7-13)

Last week was characterized by two things:

1. Not much running.
2. A return to yang yoga.

Both of these were good things.  As I’ve said before, I tend to use the post-long-race week as both a physical and mental break from training.  I take a step back from my intense Sunday afternoon workout scheduling session, and just do whatever workouts I feel like – or don’t feel like – doing.  I put zero pressure on myself to do anything, and if I want to lounge around and read a book instead, or sleep in for an extra hour, I let myself.  So after last weekend’s 50K, my workout week looked like this:

Monday: Yin yoga.

Basically, I fell asleep in a candle lit room while ostensibly stretching my hips.  Glorious.

Tuesday: Yoga by the River

I also used a hair dryer on Tuesday.  I did not, however, carry a flower pot on my head...

I also used a hair dryer on Tuesday. I did not, however, carry a flower pot on my head…

A new East Coast Lululemon showroom opened last week in Singapore.  In preparation/celebration, the owners organized a series of free Tuesdays by the River Community Yoga classes during September and October.  This was my first time in attendance.  There were over 100 of us – probably closer to 200 (?) with our yoga mats spread out on a pedestrian bridge at Clarke Quay.  The guest instructor demonstrated and led from the broad concrete railing.

This was an interesting experience, and I’ll admit that I left with conflicting emotions.  First of all, doing open air yoga with like-minded folks after sunset was REALLY COOL.  But Clarke Quay is a pretty popular evening hang-out for expats, professional locals, and tourists.  Our group occupied most of the bridge (leaving just a narrow space for people to pass by), so we were impossible to miss.  As my mat was located next to this walkway, I heard lots of comments as people went by – and a fair share of them were from groups of men, to the effect of, “Whoa, it’s our lucky day!”  Then, they pulled out their phones and started snapping pictures.

A week later, and I’m still not sure what I think about this.  On one hand, we are opting to practice yoga in tight clothing in a very public setting.  And there were plenty of groups, women, and couples staring (and photographing) too.  I mean, we were quite a sight:

Yoga on the BridgeOn the other hand, such blatant discussion and admission of oogling makes me feel a little bit uncomfortable.  But, I think I’m filing this one under “Live and Let Live,” though – and I’ll probably go back this week.  [Tonight, actually – locals, come join us – BYOM (bring your own mat)!]

Plus, this yoga session reminded me of how much I’ve abandoned my “other” yogas (Hatha, Flow, Vinyasa) in lieu of Yin.  Although Yin is great for stretching and relaxing, I do enjoy the challenge and strength required by yang yogas, and want to ensure I fit in a class or two each week in the coming months.

Wednesday's dinner: Dahl and homemade Naan.  Maybe not much to look at, but soooo good!

Wednesday’s dinner: Dahl and homemade Naan. Maybe not much to look at, but soooo good!

Wednesday: RPM

I have lots of team-teaching to do in the next two months, so you’ll be seeing a lot of spinning going on.  This was just a little test/warm-up.  While I didn’t kill myself with resistance, I was quite pleased with how good my legs felt – generally quite strong, just a touch of residual fatigue when I pushed the hills or sprints hard.  Three cheers for speedy recoveries!

Thursday: Short run/walk & Yoga

This was the Grand Opening of the Lululemon store I mentioned above.  The owners and managers of this store are an energetic, passionate bunch, eager to share their love of fitness.  In fact, I’m working with them to dream up some joint Lulu-RWH programming, so locals, stay tuned!

Anyway, they invited me out for the opening, so I joined an excited, chatty group of 30-40 athletes for a 2-3K run/walk to and through some of East Coast Park.  There, we enjoyed half an hour of waterfront yoga.  Delicious!

Our instructor kept saying, "Reach to the ceiling/mirror/back wall," then catching herself when we all laughed.  I think she needs to lead MORE waterfront yoga!

Our instructor kept saying, “Reach to the ceiling/mirror/back wall,” then catching herself when we all laughed. I think she needs to lead MORE waterfront yoga!

Next, we headed out for a ride around the East Coast area and tour of some local yoga and pilates studios…on a Hippo tour bus (don’t ask me why it’s called a Hippo bus; it doesn’t look like a Hippo):

Hippo BusMy job rocks.  I spent the morning working out, then sitting on the sunshiny, breezy upper deck while riding around Singapore (and ducking the occasional low-hanging branch), talking to yogis and runners, people for whom fitness is a passion – and in many cases, a profession.  The morning ended with mini cupcakes and Chinese treats back at the showroom.  Overall, a very fun morning.  Good luck with this new adventure, ladies!

I also left with my very first Lulu apparel to "test drive" - the blue & white striped tank.  We'll see how it fares after a few weeks with me!

I also left with my very first Lulu apparel to “test drive” – the blue & white striped tank. We’ll see how it fares after a few weeks with me!

Friday: Good intentions, zero execution

Saturday: Communication Fail

I was supposed to shadow an RPM class on this afternoon; but some miscommunication meant that I got to the gym…but didn’t end up shadowing.  Unfortunately, I was wearing my flip flops, and carrying my cycling shoes, but was absolutely without sneakers – so an alternative workout would’ve been hard.  I did some stretching, then came home and finished up my book (Red Mist by Patricia Cornwell – total brain candy).

Sunday: Long Run (9 mi)

GCA has been hankering to try out a new park connector, so I met her, and another of her friends (A), for an early morning run from Buona Vista MRT out to Pandan Reservoir.  This was super fun for me – Pandan Reservoir is near to my in-law’s place, so this is where KMN and I used to run when we would come to Singapore to visit.  This run was made possible by the construction of a new, shiny, loopy bridge over the AYE (freeway) that just opened.  The bridge is really quite impressive; I should have taken a picture – but I’m a bad blogger, and failed to take ANY photos of this group adventure.

We took the pace nice and easy, and the miles passed quickly with company.  My knee did just fine until about Mile 8, when it started to twinge a bit.  After a few twinges, I dialed back to a walk to the finish.  Walking, bending, squatting, and all other activities were fine for the rest of the day.  For now, I’ll continue to treat with rest (or at least, stick to short runs), and add in a bit of quad/hamstring strengthening.  The beauty of being post-key-race is that I have the time and freedom to let this run its course, without being anxious about training that I’m missing.

Anyway – I thoroughly enjoyed getting out for miles with friends – and meeting a potential new running partner *A*ahem*A*!  AND, the run ended with a trip to Ghim Moh market, where I was reunited with my first (and still favorite) tau huay (soybean pudding):

There's nothing like your first time.  Especially when it's as good as this one: smooth, creamy, just the right amount sweet...

There’s nothing like your first time. Especially when it’s as good as this one: smooth, creamy, just the right amount sweet…

I only wish I had thought to bring another five containers home, to eat this week.  Instead, I’m just going to need another excuse to go join GCA for a run in her neighborhood. 🙂

And that, my friends, brings us to the end of post-ultra-week.  Total Workout Time (including stretching & rolling): 6 hr, 19 min.

Coming up this week?  Lots of spinning, and some more non-yin yoga (and, who am I kidding, some yin yoga, too!), and probably some short runs.

Public group yoga: Awesome, or uncomfortable?

Beach yoga: Yay or Nay?
[I hate getting sand everywhere, but have to admit that the views were spectacular!]

20 thoughts on “Weekly Workout Round-Up (Oct. 7-13)

  1. Amy

    Big fan of public group yoga (maybe not so much first time acro-yoga with the neighbors). And I love that you call that soybean pudding. In China, it translates as sweet tofu, which just always seemed weird to me because I think of tofu as savory, not sweet. But I know soy milk can be sweet. It’s all about perspective, I suppose!

    Reply
    1. Holly @ Run With Holly Post author

      I think tofu takes on the taste of whatever it’s with (although I’ve never had better tofu than I have in Singapore). I use “soybean pudding” because it’s the best way to describe it, texturally, to Americans. Because “tofu” conjures up one set of images that, as you say, aren’t really accurate.

      And amusingly, I find the soymilk here to be so strange – and way LESS sweet than what we eat in the US!

      Reply
  2. Hilary

    We tried to run along the park “connector” to Pandan Reservoir in pouring rain quite a few years ago but the AYE got in the way. Was always a bit suspicious of park connectors after that. Glad there’s a nice bridge now, that will make for a great run.

    Reply
    1. Holly @ Run With Holly Post author

      Hahaha! We always approached from the other direction (not very far to go) before running into massive construction fences. I think it took quite a lot of years to build, but now that it’s constructed…you’ll just have to come back and visit, so we can introduce you to it! 🙂

      Reply
  3. erica

    i loved tau huay!! i could eat it every single day.

    i have no opinion on public yoga other than that i would probably be too chicken to try it!

    Reply
  4. Grace

    I don’t know about public yoga. (I’m kind of a shy person by nature. Not that you could tell or anything.) Either way, whether people are staring because they’ve never seen a whole flock of yogis on the bridge, or because they’re ogling other people’s butts, I’m not comfortable with that degree of being stared at, to begin with.

    I do love tau huay though, and am already plotting our next run. 😉

    Reply
    1. Holly @ Run With Holly Post author

      Welllll….I don’t really think you’re shy. You’re a reporter. And you introduced yourself to a random stranger from the internet. Neither thing is very symptomatic of being shy. And you danced, too! That’s fairly public. As I said, there’s quite a lot of anonymity in a large group of yogis. I think that’s why I accept the photography/oogling/whatever – it’s not at ME, it’s at US. Live and let live. And enjoy free yoga! =)

      Reply
  5. Shoe

    That tau huay looks so amazing and the sauce looks like good old-fashioned gula melaka-type sauce.

    I’m kind of surprised that those men were leering so in public! Lots of people do yoga in the botanic gardens/beach/parks with lot of foot traffic and usually passersby just let it go, plus I didn’t think yoga was particularly suggestive … maybe people had had a lot to drink! Sounds like an uncomfortable experience… I hope it was a one off thing! (the leering, not the yoga)

    Reply
    1. Holly @ Run With Holly Post author

      It is oh-so-delicious. And the texture is (for me) perfect!!

      Well…”leering” might be a bit creepy of a word (and in general, there is a lack of whistling/catcalls/leering in Singapore – Hallelujah!). And I’d be crazy to think that 100+ yogis on Read Bridge at Clarke Quay won’t attract some attention, of course. And lots of it was general interest/confusion/amusement, I think. The tour groups got a kick out of it, and lots of people stopped to watch. But as I said to my husband: It’s not fair, but when a mixed group, or group of women, stop – I don’t have issue. But when a group of guys stand there, watching, filming, photographing, whatever – I feel a bit objectified. But again – it’s the GROUP, not ME, they are watching – so to me, I’m willing to be a part of their photo/film, for the chance at some free yoga under the stars!

      Reply
  6. Kristen L

    Sounds like a fabulous week full of yoga! 🙂 I have done yoga outside a few times. I think another thing to remember with the photographs was that you were a huge group and an unusual sight too. But generally, yoga outside is so much fun! beautiful setting and nice to be out in nature rather than in a little room.

    Reply
    1. Holly @ Run With Holly Post author

      You’re totally right – it was the group that was attracting attention. I’m not sure most people would have had the nerve to photography one person doing yoga. And it was beautiful – albeit lit mostly by lights from the surrounding buildings, rather than the moon and stars. But such is Singapore. And things were much quieter and a bit more private at the beach. THAT was gorgeous!

      Reply
    1. Holly @ Run With Holly Post author

      Not just one…but TWO. [Both very recent.]

      Honestly, it’s the perfect market for it: Fashion-conscious, affluence, and increasingly athletically oriented. Especially for women, there’s a real absence of cute workout gear (for those who are into that kind of thing). Apparently, the apparel importers don’t see a market for running skorts and the like. Weird, because Singapore is becoming run-crazy. And, as I said, fashion-forward and affluent. [But you think Lulu is expensive in the US…whoa boy!]

      Reply
      1. Grace

        Ah, Lulu. Some of it’s cute and some of it is just ??? (have never quite understood multiple layers of straps sticking out everywhere, visible sports bra, etc – am the product of an all-girls school that had a rule about the COLOUR of your sports bra during PE.) I don’t mind cute, but my running clothes had better be functional first, cute second.

        Reply
        1. Holly @ Run With Holly Post author

          I don’t prefer the ones that look like you need a PhD to get into them (or where the bra and shirt are one piece??). I don’t mind some bra showing, as the only reason I put the tank on is so I’m not parading around in a sports bra – and maybe to absorb some of the sweat. But that’s coming from a gal who would blanch if her gym teachers showed any interest in her bra (most of them were male) – and who would wear ONLY a sports bra and shorts for most of her running, if it were more socially acceptable in Singapore.

          Ultimately…I feel the same way about expensive clothes as I do about yoga: Live and let live.

          Reply
  7. Meagan

    Oh wait, you mean I’m only supposed to put zero pressure on myself and lounge around reading a book the week AFTER a race??? Crap! I’ve been doing this marathon training thing all wrong 🙂

    Ummm yoga by the river would not happen for me. I think there’s a good chance I would have rolled up my mat and left in the middle of class with people (men in particular) walking by making comments and taking pictures. I think I need to become better versed in yoga, because I have no clue when you start talking about yin versus yang yoga. Where does the p90x yoga fit in??

    Oh my gosh that bus! “Be Hip, Go Topless!”

    You are not a bad blogger, but you should go back and take a picture of that bridge sometime. I want to see what an impressive, shiny, loopy bridge looks like!

    Reply
    1. Holly @ Run With Holly Post author

      Whatever. You’re doing a great job with your marathon training. 🙂

      I know, I know – the bus. It’s a tour bus normally – and we’d never take a Singapore tour because, well…tiny island, we live here, etc. etc. But I have to say, on a sunny morning, hanging out with other fitness-y folks on the top deck, cool breeze, bright sun – it was pretty awesome! [I kept my top on, though…]

      There will be a bridge photo. It’s actually been a highly anticipated park connector (to connect two paths that are SO CLOSE, but separated by a major highway), and so SHINY.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *