Monday, December 31, 2012

Train Every Part of Your Body

'Then, you better train every part of your body...' ~ Bruce Lee, late-great martial artist.

In recent weeks, I have sought rehabilitation and physical training from indoor-riding. Yes, I have been facing the wall. Well, sort of. I do watch television, at times, while riding indoors on my road-bike. It does take the mind off, occasionally, the mundaneness of pedaling to static scenery.

My endurance-racing community know that I tend to spend dizzying spells of time riding indoors. On average, I spend about two hours in each session, with my longest ride meeting the three-hour mark. How do I do it? Isn't it all mental? It certainly is. However, it is also physical and emotional.

In an Ironman triathlon, the ride is about 180km far and long. Thus, in training we are encouraged to ride at least, once, the distance, or a duration of at least six hours. This is both physically and mentally taxing. Riding is a fun activity that takes it toll when it exceeds our attention span, and our energy reserves. When the scenery changes, or the terrain shifts, we can move our focus to other points of interests or discomfort. 

My friend, Melvin How (multiple-Ironman finisher and age-grouper elite runner) commented that since 'I face the wall, then I am prepared to hit the wall'. I laughed at his sense of humour, as we know fully well in endurance-sports that when we 'run out of gas' or 'bonk', we are 'hitting the wall'. This state can be both physical and mental. The anecdotal and scientific research strongly points to a defeat of the mind before the body does.

Riding indoors is an accompaniment to actual road-riding, especially when the we face inclement weather. It has been described that one hour of indoor-riding feels like 1.5 hours of riding outdoors. Having ridden for a few weeks on my indoor set-up (rim-roller system), I am unable to tell the difference. Perhaps, it is because I subscribe to Dr Phil Maffetone's precepts of 'aerobic training' that I keep my heart-rate monitored within my range (180-my age). This allows my body to tap more on the fatty-acid system as my main source of energy. Watching DVDs of the Ironman World Championships gives me a relevant and pleasant distraction from doing my own 'mind-games' (more on this shortly). What is important is to teach my body to be disciplined in purposeful and structured training, with whatever time I can invest in my racing development.

Two more months to Ironman New Zealand, and I will keep you posted on my training preparations. What is critical, is to accustom (train) your body to reach its goals of being race-fit on race-day. Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Collectively Supporting A Larger Dream

Imagine this: Suspending your own medical career for three years, training very hard, taking a pay cut, and staying fit and fast for the next Olympic Games. Would you do it if your are a residence doctor and one of the fastest marathoner in the country?

Dr Mok Ying Ren, 24 (gold medalist in triathlon in the SEA Games), hopes to achieve this personal challenge, and I daresay, a quiet dream of Singaporeans. To be the best, to race with the best, and set a new milestone and paradigm. Read more about the ambassador of local distance-running and his vision for 2016.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Challenge Yourself, Hard!

Challenges are a way of bringing out the best and worst in us. When issued a challenge, we can approach it, or walk away from it, especially if it is confrontational. 

A personal challenge is a different proposition. It is one that is self-directed, self-motivated, and personal. It draws upon one's courage and resourcefulness. Challenges can be based on your profession and career, and it can be personal, like completing a physical challenge, attaining personal mastery (learn a new language, play a musical instrument) or earning entry into a club, society or qualification.

The biggest challenge to challenges are measuring it, before and after. As you assess the challenge as part of or decision-making process, ask yourself: What is the value of this challenge? How would I benefit by doing this? What happens if I do not attain the results I seek? What else can I learn from this process?

My friends in the endurance sports community challenge themselves regularly by showing up for training (early-hours), racing, and attaining new personal bests. Outside of their athletic achievements, they excel in their vocation, advocation and recreation.

Challenges provide us with direction, focus, perspective, motivation, sense of quality and excellence. Raise your standards and raise the bar of excelling.

Reviewing Results

It is almost the end of 2013. We seemed to have survived the End-of-Days as predicted by the Mayans, and await other trials and tribulations from economic, cultural, social, educational, and psychological onslaughts and assaults. It is a great time to do a positive audit of our year.

What went well? What were your highlights of the year? What did you learn? What were your achievements and accomplishments? What were the new things you did? How did you increase your value? Which part of your relationships did you enhance?

What could have been better? Which were your disappointments? Which were the near-misses? What could you have been regretful of? Who could you have spent more with?

How you do it differently? Based on the wisdom of hindsight and tacit experience, how would you engineer next year to be? What would you aspire to do? What would your ambitions be? Which would be those things on your Bucket-List you would cross off, and enjoy doing? Who will you invest the most time in?

Give these questions a think-through. The more you consider them, the more clarity, perspective and confidence you can make of your situation and position. Have a great 2013!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Less Is More, Even With Information

We were raised to believe that more is better than less, especially when education, culture, skills and knowledge are concerned. However, the reality could not be further from the truth.

With the avalanche of new information, research results, scientific evidence and advice from credible (this includes celebrities) sources, do we get more informed or confused. Interestingly, most people get confused with more information than less. Plus, our reliance on credibility of information may be misdirected by our choice of who we perceive and believe to be credible sources: the said, experts, authority, academics, scientific proof and anecdotal evidence (and testimonials).

So, who do we trust matters? Which sources we seek is also important. Our mindsets and attitudes towards people and things also factor into our actions and opinions. Think of your favourite things? How did you arrive at your informed buying choices?

Influential people do help us formulate our thinking. Who we trust can influence our thinking, and thus, our actions. Ignorance may be bliss, yet being over-educated places us in a place of limited potential. Do you think an academic is more broad-minded or less? Who are the most accommodating with regards to information, education and learning?

Having said all this: forewarned is forearmed. When all is said an done, being widely and well-read (and engaging in conversations and dialogue, thereafter) becomes our means of making balanced decisions.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Let the Servants Audit Their Criteria of Leadership

Leader should be about appointing, not disappointing.

In recent years, corporate leadership has failed us and delivered us into deep black holes. To translate the books 'From Good to Great' and 'From Good to Gone' into contemporary use, leadership has been shameful and shamed us. As visionaries and moral compasses, leaders have, consistently, let us down. Instead of giving us clarity, a sense of certainty, and hopefulness for the future, leaders have been misleading us along other 'garden paths'.

We need to audit our leaders' values. No MBA programs can do that, exclusively. Lead by example. Lead with consistency. Lead with your head, heart and hands. Lead as a servant to your staff. Stop promoting the 'cause of the boss'. Bosses are bossy and boss others around! As we were taught family and social values, we have conveniently replaced them with others that reduced our overall value as people. We have replaced ambition for greed, and optimism for pessimism. Leaders have failed us on delivering values that truly matter, the rest are theatrical embellishments and showpieces of grandeur and grandiosity. Large is not necessarily better; what with complexity and confusion of means/ends. Small may be manageable and assuring for its simplicity.

I await the day when leaders review their values, and deliver us from all trepidation, trials and tribulations. Lead gracefully, not disgracefully.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Go Slow To Go Faster, and Fresher

I have, over the last two months, been focused on training within my aerobic zone. My aerobic-zone limit is (180-age) 133, with a possible 5 more beats when I am injury-free and illness-free. The last two weeks after my last marathon has yielded the following observations:
1) I am less fatigued, between and after workouts.
2) I can train twice a day, without sleeping between.
3) I sleep better, with less disruptive sleep.
4) I can last longer on my rides and runs, without having to resort to elaborate re-fuelling.
5) My swim fitness is improving, with better body posture and endurance.
6) I have the choice of resting on any day, when my body intuitively 'tells' me. 
7) Theoretically, I can train with a larger mileage and volume of training. 
8) My recovery is much improved, which is useful as I approach the weeks with a larger work volume.
I am looking forward to the next two weeks. I can indulge in the year-end festivities with more gusto and enthusiasm. I am enjoying my longer sessions on my indoor-rides and swims. Will keep you posted!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Aging Gracefully Or Disgracefully

As one ages as an athlete, our physical, mental and psychological aspects of our being become suitably tested from sports as well as daily activities. Here are areas to be mindful of and, perhaps, be actively addressed both holistically and medically.
1) Our joints and muscles become more liable to inflammation. Swelling of tendons, ligaments, muscles and skin are common after racing or intense training. 
2) Thus, we need to consume proper nutrition to reduce this occurrence of inflammation. Use of ginger, antioxidants, good fats (including Medium-Chain Triglycerides, MCTs) and physiotherapy. Whey protein is the gold-label standard for tissue repair.
3) Some anaerobic activity benefits endurance athletes. It can be done, at intervals, throughout the day. It need not be a specific strength session.
4) Strength and weight-bearing activity is crucial to maintaining lean muscle, bone density, and a heightened metabolism.
5) We need to be be vigilant about excessive aerobic activity, as it invites the formation of free radicals (that scavenge our cells and its longevity/youthfulness). Use antioxidant-laden foods to reduce the build up of such destructive ions. These include asthaxantin, krill oil, phytophenols (rich, pigment-loaded fruits and vegetables), tart-cherry juice, pomegranate juice, and other nutrients.  
6) Performance = training + rest. Never cheat the rest/sleep portion. Sleep adequately, awake refreshed, and then train.
7) Never train on minimal sleep. Your training is already compromised. Plus, riding or running while sleep-deprived can be hazardous to your health and life.
8) Like it, or like it more, never train when you are injured. Yes, it is frustrating yet it saves you further damage when you rest. The weeks of recovery and recuperation will provide a healthier structure to rebuild your fitness.

Systems Thinking Via Aerobics

In the last two months, I have focused on lower heart-rate training, mainly within the aerobic zone. The aerobic zone is the intensity of activity placed on your body, which works on the aerobic ('with oxygen') system, as versus the anaerobic ('less oxygen') system. In those two months, I recovered from a full marathon (Berlin) to slash 28 minutes off my time.

What did I do differently?

Firstly, I started to regain my fitness - lost after recuperating from a two-month hiatus from running. Two months is inadequate to earn a PB, let alone run a BQ, however, I enjoyed that return-on-my-investment (ROI).

Secondly, I focused on training at a heart-rate range of less than 150bpm (beats per minute). I applied the contrarian thinking and recommendation of Dr Philip Maffetone, author of 'The Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing'. In fact, I violated part of his prescription when I should have spent at least 6-12 months on building my aerobic system at (180 minus my age) of not more than 133bpm. Thus, I was able to hit 4:40-4:50minutes/kilometre for up to 32K of the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2012, until I faded. 

Lastly, I alluded my grand performance (up till the 32K mark) to my developing aerobic system, and also for not observing a disciplined race-pace. Interestingly, Maffetone believes that sticking to the aerobic heart-rate zone can boost one's aerobic capacity and system. 

In a nutshell, as I continue to swim, ride or run at 133bpm (up to 138bpm if I were healthy; meaning injury-free or sickness-free) or less, I would be able to run faster, and cover more distance in my aerobic zone. The only paradigm most have is, that you tend to compromise your existing racing/training speed while attempting to enhance your aerobic capacity. Most athletes have a distinct imbalance between the aerobic and anaerobic systems. I intend to address this discrepancy I have, and will keep you posted of my progress.   

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Developing A Strong Aerobic Base

Developing a strong aerobic base is key to longevity in an endurance race, as well as being fast.

Photo-credit: Lifestyle1881,
Often considered 'junk miles', these are aimless, mindless, purpose-less, efforts that deliver on the distance but not at the target heart-rate. When you place a limit to your aerobic-zone training, you convert it into a relevant workout that translates into a useful bank of endurance fitness over the next few days. Learning how to tap on the powerful energy process, known as the Kreb's Cycle, is tantamount on how well you can exert yourself for as long as you desire. Fat metabolism is the most reliable and sustainable source of energy you can leverage on. Fat metabolism (digestion of fat into fatty acids and triglycerides), or the ability to tap on this perpetual source of energy demands adequate oxygen supply. So, learning to hold your heart-rate at a lower level than your fastest pace, is key to sustaining your muscular efforts. Thus, it is easier to walk a marathon than run it fast. That is why many marathoners, eventually, succumb to walking as a response to fatigue (of the anaerobic system).

You can still run at a fast (but not faster) pace in a long race, even if you trained mainly on your aerobic system. Since my zero-workout preparation for the Berlin Marathon (where I managed a 4:00 finish), I focused entirely on aerobic-threshold training (140-155bpm) training sessions, about 4-5 sessions per week, with total mileage amounting to 60-80km per week. In two short months, I regained my marathon fitness and scored a 3:38 finish last Sunday at the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon. A 22-minute reduction with purely aerobic-level training is a high return-on-investment (ROI) than an anaerobic workout. My reasons for avoiding anaerobic sessions were: to avoid full healing from my stress fracture (toe), doctor's advice, and a steadfast belief in aerobic-base development (as taught by Dr Philip Maffetone: THE BIG BOOK OF ENDURANCE TRAINING AND RACING). 

Although I missed a BQ of 3:24, and beating my PB of 3:29, my learning points from last weekend's race were:  
1) I held good splits for 10km, 21km and 30km.
2) I lost steam and speed after the 30km mark.
3) I did not have any long sessions over 21km.
4) I went out a little too hard, too soon. My pacing was over-enthusiastic.
5) I did not fuel adequately, and I think I over-spent on my aerobic system and went anaerobic, thus drawing on the need for muscle glycogen.
6) My pre-marathon races (10-miler, 12km, and 10km trail run) were adequate for stimulating my anaerobic system.

Congratulations Ironman Finishers (IMWA 2012)!

120 Singaporeans participated in Ironman Western Australia today. As I write this, there is about two more hours before the midnight deadline. Congratulations go out to early finishers including Triathlon Family buddies including Teo Hui Koon, Robert Chan, Tan Sin Guan, John Cooke, Apple and Han Low. Team Animiles's Lieu returned another sub-11:00 hours, a bar he has not exceeded since his foray into Ironman. First-timer Han Low cracked the 11:30 limit with a 11:27 finish - a fast time for the 45-49 age grouper. Perth-based Kevin Siah narrowly missed his PB by one minute, and returned with a blistering 10:15.

I recall my first time through the finishing-chute of Busselton: it was an amazing experience to return before sundown, where the daylight saving extended sunshine till 9.00pm. It gets chilly after 6.00pm, yet it warms your cockles to see so many Busseltonites and family members support the event. It is almost a cliche to say that 'The pain is temporary, but the memories are endless', yet this is what each Ironman triathlon is all about. It is etched in one's long-term memory as a marvelous milestone. 226K of personal suffering and public support buoys one's confidence and self-esteem for a long time.

It is a great event to express one's recognition of others. Celebration is about the sharing of joy and jubilation. Today, we celebrate the personal achievements of all finishers and those who attempted. There is no failure in making the attempt to race, as are the many tough months of training invested. Congratulations, Ironman finishers! You put many smiles on my face today.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Race Report: Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2012

I started my race-day at 2.15am. I had my quota of sleep on Friday, as my experience taught me that I tend to sleep, interruptedly, due to mild pre-race anxiety. After my pre-race ritual and a simple breakfast (mug of black coffee, and a generous mug of Hammer Nutrition ‘Perpeteum’), I took a cab to Raffles City to meet Charles Teng, and loaded my fresh change of clothes in his car. Both us opted for tri-suits as we believed in racing as if we were in a triathlon. I had a new set of sports tri-gear, thanks to Swim, Bike, Run SG.
We took the MRT/subway, and alighted two stations away. At the entrance, we bumped into a bare-bodied, Caucasian runner (dressed in runner’s shorts and his bib/race-belt. He would post a good timing later that morning, as a leading amateur marathoner. After a bathroom break at a nice shopping mall, we made our way into the runners-pen. I edged as close as I could to the band of official race-pacers (BMW Pacers); some of whom were in full festive make-up, and their obvious helium-filled balloons. My plan was to stay slightly ahead of the 3:45 pacer.

I shook hands with Adam 'One-Armed Runner', and saw Singapore Blade Runner (Shariff) near me. These are two of the most inspirational, physically-challenged, endurance athletes around. After 30 minutes of prolonged preamble, and a noticeably inflated bladder, I was glad for the opening dance item (four dancers prancing to a choreographed rendition of ‘Gangnam Style’) to end, and the Minister of State to flag the race off. I was only about 10 seconds from the Start-Line. It was a scenic route from start-to-end, littered with major tourist and historical landmarks.
With massive amounts of adrenaline drenched in my muscles, I took off briskly, and set my Garmin watch just before the line. The pacesetters were fast, and I followed suit. After a fast, first, 2K I decided to make my mark at the infamous Speaker’s Corner. It was the best 90 seconds I lost, and which I was relieved to recover several kilometres later. I met many familiar faces, which gave me an intuitive indication of how fast I was going. I referred to my watch, deliberately dropping my pace, if I went more than 13kph. I took a cup or two of water at every aid-station, whilst running, opting to funnel the contents in my mouth, while in flight: The coolest thing I have ever done, next to giving spectators the 'High-5'.

After hitting the 21K-mark at about 1:41, I was pleased I was on-track for a possible BQ (3:24). That was the plan, and it was reinforced by the fact that I was ahead of a few, usually, stronger runners. To earn a negative split was a pure bonus, yet staying to the same pace could yield me a surprisingly good time. Along the way, I said hello (or bade goodbye) to runner-friends. Some encouraged me on, for which I am thankful for. Every psychological tool or edge I used or found, was necessary for my 'quest-to-be-my-best'.

I assure you, I did experience the ‘suck’ as Macca put it. It sucked, I sucked, and I embraced the suck. The discomfort in a marathon is a blend of poignant pain, determined discomfort, and evil boredom. I envied the runners with their iPods and musical accompaniment. I was operating on my mental algorithms of ‘pain control’ and ‘internal self-dialogue’, and I assure you, my head was a little noisy with the mental arithmetic and, unnecessary, self-pity.

Interestingly, my split times were reasonably faster, as I kept to a sub-5:00 pace for the first 30K. It went south from there. Most of the runners I spoke to, shared that their performance dipped after the 30-34K mark. It could be a psychological factor at play; ‘Hitting the Wall’ is a belief shared by runners, where our energy reserves (within our muscles) are spent.
Professional photographer, Richard Leong caught me in a ‘com-posed’ moment; it sucked being me.
Photo-credit: LIm Yanglyn
At this point on the Marina Barrage, I was activating ‘damage control’. My race-pace nosed over the 5:00-mark. Intuitively, and sensibly, I knew I was going down. In my mind, I committed fiercely to my 'All or Nothing' mantra. If I go down, I'm going down in flames - like the pilot episode of 'LOST'. Simply put, I decided to 'go as fast as I could for as long'. Bugger of a plan, as far as I deeply knew. No retreat, no surrender.

If you can’t beat them, join them! I succumbed to the ‘dark side’ and walked up the slope (37K mark), deciding that I would do a quicker descent. However, I did not realize that I would merge with a humungous crowd of 10K and 21K runners. True to last year, the prophecy of a congested last 3K came true. I jogged through the mass, without regard for dodging through the human traffic. At this point, I knew I would just improve on last year’s time, and call it a day!

I called it, albeit with an uneventful jog to through the finishing chute. There was no drama, no pomp and pageantry – just me wanting to rest my weary bones. I raised my arms high up, with each index-finger pointed to the heavens as a sign of personal achievement. I loved this pose, having learnt it from Macca. I hope that this will be my posture/gesture one day when I cross the finisher’s chute in Kona, Hawaii. You can’t fault an amateur athlete from dreaming, can you?

I headed straight for the pens, and received my finisher’s medal, t-shirt, isotonic drinks and water. With the shoal of runners congregated on The Padang (field), I was unsure about my potential ranking. To still be one of the top-1 percent of the nation’s marathoner would have been nice. After two months recovering from a stress fracture on one of my left toes, a 4:00 finish at Berlin Marathon (with no run training), I was grateful I was injury-free (hopefully, this was ascertained after all the adrenaline and endorphins wore off). I learnt, later, I was ahead of my friends who beat me by minutes in Berlin.

Charles returned shortly; we looked for his wife and located her. Before that, I queued and surrender to my attempt for free PayPal slippers and wet-towels. No privileges were accorded to marathon-finishers. It was a ‘free for all’ with the runners of the shorter-distance persuasion. We took several photographs with friends of AniMiles, and the headed back. We heard that Ashley Liew beat Dr Mok Ying Ren into third, and Anne Hui retained her throne as queen of the local marathon scene. Congratulations to all the podium winners!
One of the middle-two AniMiles runners did a 3:06!
The unofficial results were posted within a day, so that was a massive plus-point for fatigued runners. There was mention of a delay in the Women’s Open (Singapore) results; that was a bit of suspense. As it turned out, one of the runner-up runners used somebody else’s bib, so was penalized for this error. The true winner was reinstated, so all ended well. Lesson learnt: Never win a podium placing, if you are not who you say you are. This is a violation of the rules, and an unspoken rule.
My official timing: 2 minutes better than 2011, and 8 minutes off my PB/BQ. No PBs on this course on this day. Most runners had truncated run timings, so we surmised that it was the combination of heavy humidity, faster pacing, and final congestion that compromised their timings. Yet, this is merely speculative and I am reviewing my running performance for Ironman New Zealand in March. I believe that my ‘running legs’ have returned and I am assured and pleased. Thanks to my sports-doctor, Roger Tien and his colleagues (including Baoying, one of our leading national women runners) for guiding me through my first major injury. I enjoyed holding my own with the faster runners for once, and am determined to score better next year at the local races.
Due to her honeymoon, under-trained, uber-runner Baoying encouraged me on ahead of her. I am in contention for top-10 Women (Local) again. Hoo-Ah!
I had NO marathon photographs as I displaced my race-bib during my run. I preferred my bib to wrap around the side of my hips. Nevertheless, I have my memories to incubate for a while. Congratulations to all first-time marathoners, those who earned PBs, and to all who completed/attempted the race despite the inherent challenges!
My only Finisher photograph, thanks to Sasha Farina!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Reflections on the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2012

While it is still fresh in mind, I summarise my key personal leadership lessons from yesterday’s run. My post-race conversation with runners yielded the salient fact that most did not improve on previous times, and most ‘hit the wall’ at about the 30-34km mark.
Photo-credit: Sasha Farina
1)    Having my bladder fill up 30 minutes before the flag-off was uncomfortable. I ‘made my mark’ at Speaker’s Corner about 2km into then race. Although I lost about 90 minutes (which I recovered later into the race), I felt so much better.
2)    I thought my body was more efficient in metabolizing fat, however I may have under-estimated the amount of energy-gels I used. Instead of one sticky pack per 45-minutes intervals, I should have adhered to one packet every 30 minutes [I need to refine this nutritional plan].
3)    I could have benefitted from longer, race-pace sessions. I had longer weekly mileage (60-70km) however a noticeable absence of interval- and hill-training. As per doctor’s orders, I did not indulge in such speed-generating insanity before the race.
4)    Above all, my foot feels healed. My running gait is, generally, more mid-sole contact. I do go on forefoot style when I get fatigued, and a heel-roll-forward style when I stride. Two blood blisters on my smallest toes means my shoe was a little snug. Time to review my shoe fit.
5)    This year, I stuck closely to runners with similar pace. I believe that this strategy worked well as I was able to hold my race-pace until the 30-32km mark. I was grateful for the company of better runner-friends, who provided the extra mental stimulus for doing a better race this year.
Photo-credit: Richard Leong/Tri-suit: Swim Bike Run SG
6)    I fast-walked up the bridge, although I chided myself for it. I reckoned that I would save my legs for the faster descent. It may have been a smart decision, for I had to resort to damage control for the last 4km. Once I realized my BQ timing was compromised (3:24 to qualify), I had to focus on a PB and improved Singapore Marathon timing. In the end, I merely improved on last year’s time by two minutes (with a healthier attitude).
7)    There is not much I/we could do when the other runners merged with us (10km/21km) at the last 3km-mark. All I could do was choose to enjoy the company, slower pace (recovery), and look for pockets of space to squeeze into.
8)    I did not do a PB-enhanced sprint to the end, and this jog through allowed me to immerse in the joy of finishing. I can still live with a 3:38 finish for an intensely humid morning. [Check me out on Sasha Farina’s photograph].

9)    Changing into clean clothes is an under-rated personal and social pleasure. Bringing these along (and wearing the finisher’s tee-shirt) was a smart choice. My mistake was not to bring slippers along as wet-feet and wet shoes do not great bedfellows make.
10) I loaded up on nutrients and food (isotonic drinks, water, muesli-bar and a healthy-burger meal) immediately after the race, so I am not as crippled today, as I ought to be. A 3-hour nap, thereafter, helped heaps. Thanks to Mom’s home-cooked meal yesterday (rice with curry chicken and stir-fried vegetables), I feel much better. I almost feel the need for speed!