Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Singapore Marathon... ahhh..

Well, it was a blast for me!

After a really head-banging, stressful week, I was really anxious to go down to Singapore to run the race. My last race was really Penang Bridge Run, which was also good! But unlike Penang, I wasn't properly trained for this, and this was also attributed to the fact that I had such a miserable week, and it was also miserable because I couldn't train as well! But I was adamant on going anyway to enjoy the race! And enjoy it I did...

Anyway, I went down south early Friday morning with my drummer Martin, who wanted to go and check out the clubs there, and also see Eugene Pao (an amazing jazz guitarist from Hong Kong) at Jazz @ Southbridge. (Note: I got stood up by my good buddy who was also supposed to do the race.. but backed out due to illness!). We checked into the Killiney Budget Room (great place by the way, and cheap!) and just walked around a bit. I retired to my room to sleep for a couple of hours (while Martin met up with his friend) and then went to check out Eugene's gig later that night. Greg was also playing with Eugene for that three-day gig. And he later told me he wasn't doing the race (Greg was supposed to do the full distance), as he did not train up to that distance. Darn. Anyway, we left early as I wanted to head back to sleep earlier and get as much rest on the Friday night.

Saturday, I woke up for a 20 minute run to warm up the joints a bit. Probably my only run for the past week. After that we ended up walking some more for a little bit. I went over to the Esplanade and collected my race kits, and rendezvous-ed with Greg, June, Kerong (who was also doing the race), Darren and one of Greg's friends. Collection was a breeze, and so well organized you hardly had to break a sweat doing it! Kudos to the organizers! After that I did the same thing in the evening.. slept for a couple of hours and went out to Southbridge. Second night's show was a real blast.. they just played crazy!! Eugene Pao is definitely one of them guitarists I enjoy listening to!!! Left to retire early again. Just before sleeping, I did the usual pre-race preparations - shoes, bibs, vests, gels, water, etc. I also had a strange feeling I won't be able to sleep that night, and so right I was. I didn't sleep too well at all. Mostly the feeling of being half-asleep.

Race day

I awoke about 4-something in the morning. I wanted the time so I didn't have to rush having toilet emergencies. Had a snack bar and a fruit for pre-race meal. Once I finished preparing myself, I headed out to the Padang at City Hall by walking/jogging from the budget room to the start point... good way to warm up! When I got there, I waited in line to drop off the race luggage bag at the Baggage Collection point (well-organized as well!), and off to the starting point. I was trying to look around for June, who was also doing the half-distance, but to no avail. There was just way TOO many people out there. Coincidentally, I bumped into Pek Fui who was also doing it with a friend, what a surprise! Anyhow, like any race, I always try to spot people that I might possibly recognize, but also to no avail. Tough luck.. I wasn't even sure who was taking part! Oh well..

Flag off at 6:15am... and off we went. I started with a slight sense of trepidation, as I did not know what to expect during the race. But anyhow, I started running at a fairly relaxed pace, and allowed others to overtake. Unlike KL, there are more... fit runners... here, so that prospect was pretty terrifying! But to quote this year's Marathon motto: RUN YOUR OWN RACE, I told myself the same thing, and just proceeded with running at my own pace.

I found I was running at training pace, and it was comfortable for me. I knew I didn't have a choice, as my training encountered a setback, but I didn't let that stop me. If I pushed to race pace, I knew I might burn myself out a little too quickly. The first 10 - 15k was fairly comfortable, and I could maintain that pace, most of the way, except when I had to stop and queue for the restroom. I think I wasted valuable time on that, but when you gotta go, you just gotta go. But I could already feel my legs stiffening up even up to the halfway mark, and this was a clear sign of undertraining on my part. I stopped once or twice to stretch just to loosen them up.

Hydration stops were well planned out, and well supplied with both water and 100plus. They even had bananas at one particular stop. I think I managed hydration pretty well this race, having a bottle of Accelerade on one side and water on the other (I had one of those two small bottle fuel belts!), and two PowerGels (only used one). After the 15-16k mark I did the run/walk routine as my legs were awfully stiffened up and couldn't really go at a faster pace. It felt like I had the energy to run, but my legs just weren't in the condition to go.

Anyhow, I could not manage a sub 2:50 timing as I would like, as I was barely near the finish line when it was past 2:50. But I still went on and told myself to FINISH, FINISH, FINISH "You Can Do It!" and other self-psycho-ing encouragements! Next thing I knew, the finish line was near...I was running on the Esplanade Bridge... and it was really sunny hot... and only at the last 500m I just continued on running at whatever pace I could manage and finished up at 2:57:04. Not my best timing, but I was really happy I could finish it! AHHHH.. VICTORY!!

After collecting my baggage, and stretching a bit, I met up with Greg and June and went off to had a light snack to replenish. I went back to the budget room via MRT, washed up and had a late breakfast with Martin. Slept for a few hours, and went out to walk around at Singapore Plaza... and ate again. We went back to the room, chilled out a short while, and then met up with Greg and June at Borders (we walked there.. even while my legs were still sore), and had dinner not long after that! I felt like a virtual bottomless pit!! Even after dinner, I still didn't feel like I had enough to eat! We sat around for drinks and chatted quite a bit, and then departed each other's company and the both of us headed to Boat Quay to go for the jam sessions there. Man, what a day!

Next day was a real sleepy day as we couldn't really get up as we were both so tired from the last few days. But eventually we got up, had lunch, checked out, and went out walking again! Not much, just to a few shops, and sat around for coffee while killing time! Eventually, we got our luggage from the room, and departed to the First Coach bus depot to catch the 6.30pm bus back to KL!

What a trip this was!

Anyway, here are some pictures for you to enjoy!

race morning @ start line.. getting ready to go..

marina south.. check out Singapore's Eye

police drumline.. very cool

yay.. finish line nearby liao!!

Greg & June

me cam-whoring...what a relief

yay.. another medal!!

another view of it

1 comment:

jiinjoo said...

Hey didn't know you came and run - too bad I couldn't make it this year (had an exam on the same date).