Join Me for Next Training

New Year Resolution for 2008: Swim faster, Run longer, maybe return to cycling.

Monday, December 05, 2005



It's been an awesome year for personal achievement through health and fitness. Exactly one year ago, I embarked on a personal journey to test my abilities in multisports. I told myself that no matter how long or tedious the race would be, I would sign up for races that would test my abilities in a progressive way. I used the annual Standard Chartered Marathon as my yardstick - my personal datum for sporting excellence.

I started with the 10km segment of the 2004 Stanchart Marathon. Yesterday, I completed the half marathon segment of the 2005 Stanchart Marathon. In between these milestones, I also managed a few biathlons, triathlons and duathlons. Along the way, I have been inspired by so many athletes. I've met so many ordinary people who have also proved to themselves and others that they can do it too. I hope I've inspired those around me too, especially those who are skeptical of their own abilities.

The Half Marathon Report

The day started out really humid. I was wondering to myself that the cloud cover was indeed thick and motionless at the ungodly hours of 5am. Climatic conditions were very unlike the 5am Sengkang training runs we had prior to race day. There was no wind at all, not even the reassuring breeze or a cool whiff of welcome respite. My initial race strategy was to carry my camelbak with my ipod nano. Alas, my nano screwed up on me. I have been doing my training runs with my nano and I even set up playlists for 5km runs, 10km runs and my half marathon. But it has got to be TODAY that my nano had to crash. The nano just didn't want to run with me on this day. Although I felt dejected, I knew I couldn't let this chance of running the half just because of a rotten Apple. I set off for the race site with heavy feet. No kidding, the lightweight New Balance 901 shoes didn't help at all. I decided against the camelbak as well which on hindsight was a wise decision as the water support was excellent.The full marathon was off at 6am. I was just focusing on my Half. At 0620 hrs, I followed the masses to the starting pens like sheep to slaughter. The starting boom at 0630 hrs was accompanied by " The Final Countdown" and a single lightning bolt in the distance. The bolt sent the masses woo-ing and wow-ing. I bet some runners were hoping that the weather would turn alittle bit cooler.

The rotten Apple made me decide to change my pacing strategy by incorporating alternative psychological boosts. Without the sounds of U2, military cadence and Chariots of Fire, I ran on the right-most side of the route so I could keep a lookout for fellow Trifamers attempting their marathon feat. I caught glimpses of Ben Wee, David Lim, Coconut, Yew, Bklew, IMIM, Tricia, Mythos, Francis, Kenneth, etc. I thought to myself that at least I could keep my mind busy trying to identify our Trifam Crazy Horses with balloons tied to their waists. Don't they even know the concept of drag? Gee whiz.

My first 10km was a breeze and I managed a personal best of 1hr. I thought if I continued at this pace, I could really 'smell' my sub-2 hour target if only I put in that little bit of effort. And then I had this urge to answer nature's call. I was running along like a dog and searching for suitable places to 'mark my scent'. The civilised part of me told me to use the toilet which on hindsight was a terrible decision this time because it took a good 7 minutes and my momentum away! Now I knew what accumulated time wastage is all about! Ergh!

Second part of the Half saw me engaging my other strategy of run-walk-run-walk. I told myself that if I had to walk, I would walk at a pace of 7kmph or more. Thanks to my RS200sd, I could maintain my pace at comfy speed. But no thanks to my RS200sd, I was somehow reading someone else's heart rate. Either that, or I think I have 2 hearts because my max HR was 102%! By the way, running long distances without audio accompaniment made me think alot about life as well. There were some serious thoughts going through my head but that's another story entirely.

Screw the heart rate monitoring. So I was relying on listening to my own body and on my pacing to keep me in check.I planned to approach our glorious Supreme City Hall steps by picking up pace towards the finishing line. Baaaaasket...... my left leg cramped up at the last 40m. Dammit. Nevermind, I pushed on with mental recordings of Chariots of Fire and I completed the Half with a smile on my face - because I have achieved what I've set out to achieve.

Race Analysis

The official timings are out!

Chip Timing: 2 hours 33 min 36 sec (RS200sd timing recorded as 2:33:43)

Overall Placing in Entire Field: 1978/4021

Overall Placing in Gender: 1550/2857

Overall Placing in Division (Men/SIN): 1030/2102

The overall results indicate that I'm within the top 50% of all half marathoners, which surprisingly was what my 10km results indicated last year. I'm just an average joe when it comes to all these but I'm proud of myself!

No comments: