15 September 2013 – I signed up for Yellow Ribbon Prison Run ’13 for the very fact that it would have presented me with a second chance, if I had botched up my SUB40 10k attempt after 5 tries (Jurong Lake Run, KOTR, ST Run, AHM, & POSB).
After the POSB run, I had to refocus my energies on training for my IPPT. Yes, you would think that I would have no problems clearing my IPPT, but in actuality, I do. I have never been a talented jumper, & SBJ somehow always manages to present me with a predicament.
I am not proud to say that I only managed a silver in my midweek attempt in the IPPT, missing the mark by a mere 4cm. But as you know, that 4cm would cost me alot. The $200 extra incentive is nothing compared to the pride of wearing the badge proudly on one’s No.4 uniform knowing that you are of GOLD standard.
I pinpoint that problem to having walked too much prior to the IPPT, as I was bringing my tourist friend around Singapore the day before. All the walking had caused my recurring ITB injury to resurface again. I think in the IPPT attempt, I aggravated it further.
Hence, during the lead up to this race all the way till I was standing at the Start line, I could feel my ITB was still quite tight even after warming up.
Before the race, I went in with the mentality of just heading to the Start line & run without pressure, as I already broke my PB & SUB40k goal. During my warmup, could see many Kenyans doing their warmups too, & Gurkhas just hanging out in front. I knew the Kenyans would come in approx. 32mins & the Gurkhas in 35mins, so I definitely had no chance of a Top10 finish, which reinforced my notion of not racing for position, rather a risk adverse come-out-in-one-piece mentality.
Saw a few familiar faces arriving & doing their warm-ups out in front, which included Ramesh, Vivian Tang, Tony Seakins. Vivian, whom I ran alongside before in Jurong Lake Run back in July was a welcomed sight as I knew she was always doing SUB40s & seemingly like a pace guide if you want to hit that time.
I was lined up in the third row, just behind the Gurkhas, but I knew that I was going to follow my own strategy of starting conservatively & finishing strong.
DPM Teo Chee Hean flagged-off the 10km race & immediately there was a fast surge to the front.
As I expected, I could see a huge group of fast runners breakaway including the Kenyans & Gurkhas. I just ran my own race, starting at a very conservative 3:45min/km in the 1st & 2nd km.
Somehow, I was waiting for Vivian to catch up with me as I knew she would, & she eventually did just after the 2nd km. There is just this sense of safety when you are running with a more experienced runner, especially if you know that you are able to keep up with them.
Vivian was running with a Caucasian man, & for the next 5km, the three of us were stuck together, where we passed another Kenyan female enroute. It was quite fun running with them, with the Caucasian man breaking the ice when we spotted one of the Caucasian ladies who started really fast, he mentioned, “Ohhh, she’s flagging!”
In that moment, I could sense there was an common understanding that we would be able to catch up with her soon. The course was hilly & contouring up & down, making for a very challenging ride.
Eventually, after a lot of consistent running, we managed to pass the caucasian lady to become first female. This is when the two made a huge surge, leaving the Caucasian lady & me in the dust.
Here I am trying my best to play catchup.
After we overtook the Caucasian lady at approximately the 7km mark, I did not feel the urgency to follow the two. The hilly course was taking a toll on my legs & it has been something I have not prepared adequately for. Hence, I eased back a little & just cruised finishing in 41’16”, saving my legs, so I could run another day.
Here are some post-race photos:
There is no differentiation between finishers of both categories, all finishers received the same medal, but you know what, it doesn’t really matter because everyone that finished today finished for a good cause & are all winners in their own right!
To be honest, I am quite relieved that these bout of races are over & I managed to secure my time goal of a SUB40 10k. Going to have a much longer post later in the week about a summary of these races & how I look moving forward.
Something to note is I tend to perform better with a Banana & energy drink breakfast, rather than an museli cereal breakfast.
Still have to get that GOLD for my IPPT, before starting to build up mileage to tackle a new goal time-distance. I also feel that I need to work on my anaerobic ability again as I feel I am losing speed over shorter distances. We have a good rest in the upcoming week before starting to train for the next bout of races in Nov-Feb.
Race Course Advice:
As mentioned, the course is really hilly & it had many ups and downs. Some of the U-turns were going down hill, & immediately going the opposite direction, & that is uphill! It is definitely not a course if you want to set a new PB.
The 10km race starts at 0745hrs, which is rather late, & if not for an overcast morning, it would have been really hot during the run.
But the on course volunteers are really enthusiastic, cheering & trading high-5s with runners. Also enjoyed the mist area after a major uphill in the course, a welcomed cool relief.
03 November 2013
Nike We Run SG – 10km