Blog Post 5: Happy Run with Sabrina + Ce La Vie Lunch

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Letter Transcript

It’s Sunday, the usual day of my typing and blog post on There’re two posts this week because I missed out the post last Sunday. But today is a really good day too – Sabrina is in town and we caught up again.

We last saw each other in London in November 2017. The weather was beautiful and we had a morning run at St James’ Park. Today’s run was a very different (and difficult one) for Sabrina. She literally jumped into Singapore’s “furnace”. This morning’s run was at a sweltering 28-30 degree celsius! I am very proud of her for finishing 5km at a good pace, the humidity notwithstanding but also that she barely slept since her arrival yesterday evening. That’s what I do to good friends who visit – I make them run when they are super jetlag! Only close friends do that.

London, 5 Nov 2017

St James’ Park, London, 5 Nov 2017

Pit stop during the run, Singapore, 4 Feb 2018

Pit stop during the run, Singapore, 4 Feb 2018

Adrian joined us for lunch at Ce La Vi at Marina Bay Sands. It was our first time there since it changed hands (from Ku de Ta). The lunch menu had a good variety but three of us decided to have the sea breem with red curry (which was delightful)! We also had spicy tuna sushi, pork/shrimp dumplings and a bottle of Cloudy Bay’s Sauvignon Blanc 2017. Really nice catchup about work, life and everything else under the sun. The windy gust started to howl and we thought it would be best to take some quick snaps before a possible torrential rain comes. We took some happy shots and also a video for Alan (who was just waking up in London time).

Ce La Vie, Singapore, 4 Feb 2018

Ce La Vie, Singapore, 4 Feb 2018

Sabrina, me and Adrian outside Marina Bay Sands' Ce La Vie restaurant

Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, 4 Feb 2018

The three of us (plus Phoebe) balloted for the Royal Parks Half Marathon 2018 and we’ll know the results on 9 Feb. Fingers crossed, we’ll see each other again in Oct 2018 for the run.

The Running Typist

Blog Post 4: Best Workout Month (Jan 2018) and 2-2-2 Routine

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Letter Transcript

I have just reviewed all my 42 workouts in January 2018 and am really stoked. This is the best month ever in my life in terms of consistency and quality of my exercise regime. I really like the current setup as it is easy to remember and hence easy to make it a routine/habit. I came up with this “2-2-2” program/routine so that I can be more well rounded in my fitness. Basically, this is what I do on a weekly basis:

  • 2x Run: 1 speedwork, 1 long run
  • 2x Strength: I’ve now hired Rachel Harling from UFIT
  • 2x Flexibility: 1 pilates with Margarida, 1 yoga or stretch work on my own

For the runs, I am using the coaching plan from Nike Run Club and it has been programmed for the upcoming 2XU race (21km) in April 2018. I like that it incorporate speedwork. As I don’t live near a running track, I have been running speedwork at the gym’s treadmill. It’s pretty good because I can run at a consistent pace. For flexibility exercises, I use Yoga Studio app. It is easy to follow, has a great variety of pre-built blocks and I can also create my own preferred blocks. Adrian has started using the app and he really likes it. This week, I’ve also paid US$95 for the “Focused Flexibility” course from GMB Fitness. The online videos are easy to follow and they can be downloaded.

On strength training, I have been working out using either the Nike Training Club app or the workouts from “Quick Strength for Runners” book. In Jan 2018, I’ve been able to consistently workout using these resources. However, I realised that I am not pushing myself and I also have concerns that I may be doing the incorrect form which can lead to injuries. After 4 weeks of consistent strength training (something I didn’t used to do), I decided to hire Rachel Harling from UFIT. We have done 2 sessions plus a trial to date and I am very happy  with the challenges she put forth. It also helped that she’s a warm and chillaxed person.

This week, I also did a muscular skeletal assessment with Mathias Puhr from ProPhysio. I am glad to report that I have good range of motion generally and the key thing I need to work on is my shoulder mobility and tightness in my pectoral muscles. That explains why I can’t do a V-shape in my downward dog movement and also my rounded shoulders. With GMB Fitness videos, I look forward to improving my flexibility on my tight shoulders.

The Running Typist

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My workout log, Jan 2018

Click HERE to view the Jan 2018 workout log in PDF

Blog Post 3: Race Recap (10K Run for Hope) and Robert Marchand

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Letter Transcript

I ran my first race of 2018 today. It was the “Run for Hope” event to raise funds for cancer research. It was my 2nd time running this race but in the first one in 2016, I didn’t even know what running pace means, much less about running form. All I knew then was that it was a charity event that I put one leg in front of the other. Today felt vastly different. I ran well, keeping up with the 7:00 min/km pacers during the entire 10km. It was meant as a relaxing training run today, enjoying the scenery, the crowd and having Adrian running with me. It was what I call a happy run where the gun/net time didn’t matter. It felt really good to know that the run was to raise funds and at the end of the race, there is no medal.

I learned about this 106 year old French man, Robert Marchand, today. He’s fit a a fiddle and still cycles 10-20km per day on his stationery bicycle. He credited his outstanding physical form to plenty of exercises, loads of fruits and vegetables, not too much coffee and very little alcohol. These are all my struggles! I drink 2-3 units of alcohol a week and 1-2 cups of coffee a day! But if I can change up my diet and keep up with my exercises, I can lead a healthy and positive life – why not! I am very inspired and will need to take baby steps to change my diet.

Adrian and I jumped into the jacuzzi today after the run to soak up our tight muscles. It felt really good. Going to the jacuzzi always feels like play and puts a smile on my face. I need to do it more often.

The Running Typist


Finished 10K at “Run for Hope”, Singapore, 21 Jan 2018


I ran for my mom – she fought bravely till the end, Singapore, 21 Jan 2018


Source: Straits Times, 21 Jan 2018

Blog Post 2: Recap – Australia Trip, 23 Dec 2017


Letter Transcript:

Today is such a great day! It’s only the 2nd day of our arrival in Australia but felt we accomplished so much. I had a really good night’s rest, given that I completely KO yesterday after the flight and being out and about upon landing.

Breakfast at the resort was a great start. We sat outside with a view of the blue and turqoise green Indian ocean. After breakfast, we went for a trail walk from Cape Naturaliste to Sugarloaf Rock. The view was spectacular but there were so many flies! I got so caught up with swiping the flies with my hand (and later a small branch of small leaves) that I didn’t partake in the beauty of the place as much as I should. I told Adrian that we should run as I reckon heat and stillness attract the flies but not when we are moving with the wind in our faces. It worked and soon enough, we arrived at Sugarloaf Rock. They are towering huge rocks and we found a great place to sit and take in the deep blue sea, with our legs dangling off the boulder we sat on. Time stood still and we were in no great hurry to leave. There wasn’t any flies as the wind was strong.

Lunch was at Bunkers Beach House, a tiny cafe just 2km from our hotel. Thereafter we drove to Meelup Beach vicinity and  scaled some steep rocks at Castle Rock. The view from the highpoint was very rewarding and is apparently a whale lookout. On the descend, I slid and grazed my elbow. No big deal but I probably wouldn’t scale that high if I was on my own. A mis-step can be quite hairy!

We visited the town of Dunsborough thereafter and I misplaced my iPhone 8 in the public restroom! But thank goodness for iPhone’s emergency contact (where Adrian is the contact) and a very kind Australian janitor, I got my phone back. I just realised that he rang from his mobile (called Adrian), which meant that he made an international call just to reach him and made sure I got the phone! What a kind soul! I did give him a hug and said that this good deed will give him blessings but I think he deserved more. I truly hope God will bless him abundantly for being such a good person despite not having much in his life (considering that he’s a janitor).

One of the biggest highlights today is that Adrian enjoyed sitting/lying at the back of our Toyota RAV4 (it’s a SUV hatchback)! He finally realised that it is quite relaxing to do that with a splendid view from the car! We agreed to rent a campervan for my upcoming birthday and I am so excited! It’ll be a great test run before I set off on my own in Q3.


The Running Typist

PS Click on the first photo to see larger size photos in a slideshow


Blog Post 1: Why I am still typing on a manual typewriter

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Blog Post 1 | 7 Jan 2018, Singapore

Letter Transcript

I am typing this letter on my red Olivetti Valentine typewriter, listening to Nina Simone over Apple Music. I first saw this typewritere model at the MOMA in NYC in 2010 (or was it 2011?). The fire engine red and design captivated me. This typewriter was designed by Olivetti in collaboration with Perry King and entered production in 1969. However, it did not achieve commercial success due to its price and quality. For me, this typewriter is easy to use, is portable and reminds me to be creative. It is not my first typewriter though. My first was a Remington Rand No. 5 which I love. It was a very distinguished art deco era piece and was made in 1939, the year my mom was born. Unfortunately, it rusted quickly in tropical Singapore and particularly since I live near the sea.

Typing on a manual typewriter does wonders for me. It slows me down tremendously and helps me process my thoughts. Unlike typing on a computer keyboard or on the phone, one needs to type “XXXXX” (as I did earlier) over typo errors. Re-typing paragraphs of badly formulated sentences or missing thoughts also cost time, paper and energy.

Recently, I sent two close friends (in London and Paris) letters for Christmas. They were utterly thrilled to receive the letters. I was candid about my life and also threw in some laughs so that the letters are not that serious in tone. I always make sure I handwrite my name at the end so that they know the letter was from me. I learned about that from something I read about letters sent during the first World War. The recipient would know that that the letter’s sender was still alive.

So why “The Running Typist”? The obvious is because I run and I type on manual typewriters. When I was thinking of the nickname, I got the inspiration from a pub I saw in London called “The Thirsty Bear”. It left a deep impression in me as I thought it was funny, appropriate and memorable. Such creative business names are uncommon in Singapore (where I am from and now live in). However, that is changing as we see millennials start new businesses with the most creative names.

If there is any typist (on manual typewriters) out there, please feel free to reach out to me. Or if you are a female and ardent about running, I’ll love to hear from you too.

The Running Typist

Jasmine's first

Cape Leeuwin, Australia, 26 Dec 2017