[DNF] Tokyo Marathon 2015

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Painful.

If I only could use one word to describe the feeling of my DNF at the recent Tokyo Marathon 2015, it would be “Painful”. The mind is an amazing organ. It blocks out & blanks out painful and bad memories, only leaving good ones in the mind. If there isn’t an conscientious effort made to remember, very soon it just vanishes into the deep subconscious part of our mind, as if it never happened before. Before that happens, whilst the memory is still fresh slit open from the wound, I would like to pen it down so I will never forget.

The Lead-up.
Leading up to this race, I did an amazing PB of 8mins in my half-marathon effort in SCHKM15.I was primed for a good time in Tokyo Marathon ’15, or so I thought.

Finishing a great race at SCHKM15

Finishing a great race at SCHKM15

Boy, was I so wrong. Due to my trip to Hong Kong and Tokyo, my work schedule had to be arranged in such a way to accommodate the trip, causing me to have a situation where I had to do an entire week of shift work back-to-back transiting from Jan to early Feb. This was when I first got ill. I still can pinpoint it down to a cold morning training session at NTU after a shower, the wind blew and little did I know that that moment would be the start of a slippery slope. I felt my body having an all too familiar feeling of aches creeping up, and I knew something was wrong. I had a fever that same day & it dragged on and off over a period of four to five days.

Subsequently, as I was concurrently planning an important event at work, I had to co-ordinate many different elements of the event, & my attention-to-detail would be my downfall, as I sacrificed rest time to ensuring that no stone was left unturned. The immense self-induced stress/pressure to deliver  coupled with one meal where I missed, caused my tummy to churn, toss & turn like a washing machine. It hurt real bad, as my fever became a stomach flu. This virus caused me to miss a good two weeks of training. I had stopped running totally to give my body a rest.

After SCHKM15, there wasn’t really much time till Tokyo Marathon ’15. Whatever time was left was considered as the taper phase, where the volume had to be reduced, but intensity had to be kept high. As I though my illness was coming to an end, I started to cough. This was a blow to whatever remaining key workouts I had planned. A YASSO800, a 25km run was all that remained between me & Tokyo. It was not meant to be as the virus go the better of me. The event I had planned was a resounding success. It was a simple event, but executed down to the tee; but at what cost?

In the week leading up to the marathon, my mild occasional cough had developed into a full blown cough with disgusting green thick phlegm. This post was done retrospectively, hence, I discovered from my GP that the doctor I went to see for meds, prescribed me a expectorant, which made my cough even worse as it caused it to be more productive! After a few days of western & TCM meds, nothing helped, but I decided to take the trip down to Tokyo anyways since everything was already booked. Continue reading

Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon ’15

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I return to the land of dimsum for another crack at a SUB1:30 Half-Marathon. Admittedly, the course got the better of me last year. The 0530h start in the freezing cold, coupled with a less then ideal prep phase caused, it was a Swiss cheese model that flashed out infront of me on race day. Long story short, it was a case of unfinished business.

The Prep.
This year, as I entered my 2nd year of my career, things looked more settled & maybe. I probably seemed that way as I was attending a 5week long course & had the luxury of time to train twice a day without too much fuss. Even as I encountered a few setbacks along the way with a heel injury, I did not give up, choosing to cross-train to other activities like swimming spinning or aquajogging.

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Slowly but surely my heel eventually recovered & I even surprised myself by winning the first time in my life at my organization’s X-country event!

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I was getting into peak form, my 2.4km times were almost as fast as my best in 2013 but the key differentiator is the mileage base I put in preparation for this run was planned with Tokyo Marathon at the back of my head. In the last two weekends before heading to HK, I clocked two long workouts surmounting to 33.69km & 38km.

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The Shoes.
I identified the New Balance RC1400v2 race-trainers as my weapon of choice as I knew Nike was not producing Lunarspider LT readily available, hence had to make the jump. The price point was wallet-friendly as I got a pair on web discount followed by three more from the NB outlet store in Jurong East.

I had 4 pairs in total, two to train, two to race. I logged hundreds of miles in the training pair & only one of my long runs in the racing pair to ensure that there was minimal damage done whilst being well seasoned.

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The Flight.
I enjoy traveling solo at times, not having to compromise to anyone. You choose the destination, the flight, the accommodation, the itinerary. For me it’s really a moment of solitude to reflect on what has been & what will be. I decided take the chance again w a a local budget carrier even after the they played me out the same exact time last year, what can I say? I’m a fan of local products. Yes, my first MP3 player was even local, remember Creative Technologies?

So back to the flight, I booked it way back when they had a massive sale & saved quite a bit. the good things with big marathon events is that they release the date really early so you can plan ahead. I usually go without all the frills & travel really light, especially on a short weekend trip like this.

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flight seating is easily available at the counter as long as you arrive early for check-in. Since you are flying solo, the counter crew can slot you in easily & you still have a choice between aisle or window without the hefty fee. traveling light does have its perks, no waiting at the check-in counter, no worries of missing baggage, no waiting at the belt, once you’ve landed all you gotta go through is the arrival gates & you are good to go.

I like this particular flight as it leaves on Saturday at 0150h, flies by night & lands some 4-5hrs later at 0600-0700h, leaving you in good time to have a yum cha breakfast before collecting your race pack at 1000h. & best thing of all, you don’t waste a night of accommodation & you can save your annual leave! (if you are working). It’s basically a “sleeper train” in train travel terms.

The Race Pack Collection.

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Located at Victoria Park, Causeway Bay, it’s really accessible & easy to find once you’ve got out of the Causewaybay MTR station. Located directly opposite from the FINISH Line, the REPC is held specially for overseas runners arriving late into HK. last year I collected my race pack 10mins before closing time on Saturday *close shave* this time I got my packs close to opening time, hence it took just 5mins to collect my pack! the process was fuss free just bring the letter & collect your pack simple as that, no snaking question, nothing! thankful for the scouts who were braving the cold volunteering on the weekend.

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The Race Report.
I registered once again for the Half Marathon Challenge starting at 0530h at Nathan Road. After meeting my HK friends for a simple carboloading dinner of eel & frogleg claypot rice, br />
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i headed back to do my final gear prep making sure I knew where everything was so I don’t panic in the morning. took a quick glance at the race guide, they had a great breakdown of the course & I singled out the crucial portion of the course to be from the 12-17km which includes the Western Harbour Tunnel. If I were to do well, I had to focus hard to push the pace in the tunnel & rely more on timing rather than pace as the GPS won’t be of use in there. I have been relying a lot on avg pace function of the GPS watch as it is a useful tool to make sure I’m on track. I would say I’m not exact consistent with my kilometer laps but rather with the 5k laps, as I tend to run with the feeling.

I woke up at 0330h & downed two bottles of 500ml plus a lil’ pocari sweat. had a bottle with me as well all the way to the start line. breakfast was a banana, wholewheat bread w cream cheese, milk & some salted almonds to prevent cramping later on.

0425h I left my place & took a short warmup jog to the baggage deposit located on a adjacent street to the start line. For those who haven’t done this race, they have many trucks, all you have to do is attach your luggage tag provided at the REPC to your bag & pass it to the guy at the allocated deposit truck.

Subsequently I warmed up along Nathan Rd keeping in mind the crowd that was building up at the startline. By 0500h I found myself on the tape at the holding area. this year to keep warm, I had my arm warmers, gloves, & an additional t-shirt that I was to toss before the start. I couldn’t find a disposable poncho so I went for the t-shirt instead. I was contemplating on weather I should take a gel before hand as I had one extra on me. after much thoughts decided against it as I could be too full from the breakfast.

0515h The police would hold hands forming a line & slowly guide the runners from 100m to within 20m of the STARTLINE. Elites or seeded entrants got to start on the left side of the pen whilst commoners like me could still be on the tape but on the right side of the pen this is to facilitate the left turn immediately 200m after the start.

0528h had my last gulp of pocari sweat & tossed my t-shirt along with the bottle to the side. final check on the watch, maximum backlit, & watched as the countdown timer counted down from 10s. had a bit of gitters so accidentally activated my watch 1s & loss my footing before the gun went off.

0530h bang! here we go. I started fast as I didn’t want to jostle for space taking the first two ks in 3:35 and 3:50. thereafter slowing down to a sensible avg pace of 3:52/k for the first 5k. I tried to find a running buddy but some were too fast, some were too slow hence decided to go alone throughout. it was a wise decision in the end as many if the fast guys died out on the 2nd half.

5k splits :
0- 5km – 19:20 – avg 3:52/km
5km – 10km – 20:13 – avg 4:02/km
10km – 15km – 20:12 – avg 4:02/km
15km – 21.1km – 23:10 – 3:47/km

After the first U-turn, I started taking water from the 8km mark to wash down my first gel, which I had so much difficulty taking it out from my glove during the race without stopping. I was very cautious during this race to make sure my gloves & socks remained as dry as possible as I suffered last year from the cold as I got my gear wet at the water points. That’s why I was quite pissed when a runner, however unintentionally spilled water on me at the waterpoint just before the tunnel. I but then again in hindsight it was my fault for not keeping the distance. after that incident, I wanted to get as far away from him as possible.

I opened my stride into the tunnel & the downslope was to my advantage. I have been training slopes, both uphill & down in the trails so taking the steep downhill into the tunnel was a breeze, I was flying down overtaking many runners in the process. & yes GPS signal died so I just had to keep going fast to make sure I don’t fall behind when I got out of the tunnel. I had a positive boost when 15km mark came & I did 59:XX leaving me to do 6k. Popped my 2nd & final gel & went fast. In 29mins, which was going to be a relatively easy pace. So I decided to take the chance & see how fast I could go in the last 6km. I liked the feeling of having that final kick enabling a negative split strategy & overtaking many runners giving a psychological boost as well.

Coming out of the tunnel at 17km there was only 4km splitting myself from the finish. I felt so fresh & the crowd support was amazing coming into the final leg. Water point volunteers were so vocal, there was even one girl shouting at me “leng zai! ho fai !” or translated into “handsome dude so fast!” I had a good laugh & decided to run faster.

I came down flying into the final 1km overtaking at least 10runners in the process & running down the last 100m I saw 1:23:xx counting down & I gave it a good sprint & savoured the moment with a loud shout at the finish, at the finish i wasn’t penting hard & using my arms to support myself, a sign that I could go even faster had I not been cautious to get the desire result.

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Official time of 1:23’55” – very surprised by the result given that I didn’t have the most ideal of rest the entire week before.

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I smashed my SUB1:30HM target convincingly & this can only be good going into these 3 crucial years to qualify for Boston. moving forward, I’m convinced that I will do well in my FM if the conditions are right. however would have to really consider what kind of result do I want to do after seeing fellow Singapore runner Ramesh finishing the SCHKM in 2:53 having the similar kind of splits for 10km & 21.1km. Is a BQ (3:05) possible? Is a SUB3hr marathon possible for me at Tokyo?

stay tuned to find out.

Yellow Ribbon Prison Run ’13 [Updated]

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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.

Photo Credits: Run Society

Photo Credits: Run Society

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.

Photo Credits: Run Society

Photo Credits: Run Society

Photo Credits: Run Society

Photo Credits: Run Society

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.

Photo Credits: Run Society

Photo Credits: Run Society

DPM Teo Chee Hean flagged-off the 10km race & immediately there was a fast surge to the front.

Photo Credits: Run Society

Photo Credits: Run Society

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.

Photo Credits: Yellow Ribbon Prison Run

Photo Credits: Yellow Ribbon Prison Run

Photo Credits: Run Society

Photo Credits: Run Society

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!”

Photo Credits: Run Society

Photo Credits: Run Society

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.

Photo Credits: Running Shots

Photo Credits: Running Shots

Photo Credits: Running Shots

Photo Credits: Running Shots

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.

Photo Credits: Sports Snapshots

Photo Credits: Sports Snapshots

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.

Photo Credits: Yellow Ribbon Prison Run

Photo Credits: Yellow Ribbon Prison Run

Here are some post-race photos:

Photo Credits: Tran XP

Photo Credits: Tran XP

Bumped into my secondary school & Boys’ Brigade junior, & wow he has grown so much taller after all these years. has much potential in distance running given his tall frame & long stride length. Congrats on your recent AHM PB, CKM!

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Bumped into my former trainee from NS. good to see him still running after so many years, he recently clocked a 9’09” PB for his 2.4km. happens that both of us represented Team SAFSA for the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge 2010. Good to see you Johnatton!

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!

Super hilly course on this awesome sunday morning, great support along the route, superb organisation & staff & volunteers here at Yellow Ribbon Run’13. here’s to 2nd chances!
Here are the results:
Credits: Runpix

Credits: Runpix

Credits: Runpix

Credits: Runpix

Credits: Runpix

Credits: Runpix

Reflection:
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.

Next Race:
03 November 2013
Nike We Run SG – 10km
Singapore

POSB PAssion Run for Kids ’13

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8 September 2013 – It was pouring throughout the last few days leading up to this race, & it continued to do so even on the event morning itself. I woke up at 0430hrs, had breakfast while contemplating whether or not to go, after the disappointment at the cancellation of KOTR last month due to inclement weather.

At 0500hrs, accessed the weather, & felt that the rain has subsided alot, hence, changed & left the house. Drove to race site & parked at Wilson Parking, close to the Marina Promontory, surprised that there was plenty of space when I got there.

Was surprised to find the start pen empty even at 0605hrs. Must have been the weather, everyone was hiding under the tents. I did some strides & headed to the start as soon as the Emcee announced for 10km runners to gather there.

© People's Association - Membership & Partnership Division

© People’s Association – Membership & Partnership Division

having a chat with fellow ST Run in the Park runner, Ronnie Teo. He shared with me that he did a 22km LSD the day before, so legs were not 100%.

© People's Association - Membership & Partnership Division

© People’s Association – Membership & Partnership Division

I asked Ronnie to start up front, but he didn’t want to, so I just went to cover up the gap.  Was not my original plan to be on the tape after a successful outing at AHM, where I was three rows behind the front runners.

© People's Association - Membership & Partnership Division

© People’s Association – Membership & Partnership Division

Mok Ying Rong, who eventually came in first for the Women’s Open Category was among the 10km field.

© People's Association - Membership & Partnership Division

© People’s Association – Membership & Partnership Division

3,2,1 GO! off we go!

© People's Association - Membership & Partnership Division

© People’s Association – Membership & Partnership Division

Off we go!

© People's Association - Membership & Partnership Division

© People’s Association – Membership & Partnership Division

just coming into the 3km mark, about to cross the Marina Barrage to Gardens by The Bay(East).Can see eventual winner just behind me at the point of time, he overtakes at 5.5km mark & basically wins by huge margin.

Photo Credits: Chasing Shots

Photo Credits: Chasing Shots

coming up the Marina Barrage after the 6km mark, skipped the water point just before coming up as I was feeling reflux.
Photo Credits: Chasing Shots

Photo Credits: Chasing Shots

at this point I was half dying till I saw Mr. Chasing Shots disappear & reappear at the top of Marina Barrage, sitting on field chair, camping under his camo net(umbrella) & rifle(camera) in hand like a sniper, suddenly got motivation to run, cannot let the man down, after he brave the rain for us runners.
Photo Credits: Chasing Shots

Photo Credits: Chasing Shots

so the two very fast marathoners were using this race as training, Ronnie who finished London Marathon in 3hrs, & did 22km LSD the day before, & Thow Wee that finished Gold Coast Airport Marathon ’13 in 2hrs 53mins. stress!coming down the barrage, I turned to muscle memory dig into to the hill training I did previously, going up the hill & sprinting all out down hill without gassing out.

Photo Credits: Chasing Shots

Photo Credits: Chasing Shots

after the race, found out he is from Guards fmn, & was school team runner before, congrats Jeevaneesh!

© People's Association - Membership & Partnership Division

© People’s Association – Membership & Partnership Division

the face says it all. all these months of hard work has paid off! SUB40 10k!
© People's Association - Membership & Partnership Division

© People’s Association – Membership & Partnership Division

Well done, Ronnie! Impressive even after 22km LSD, still managed to fire legs.

© People's Association - Membership & Partnership Division

© People’s Association – Membership & Partnership Division

I swear trying to write your details down right after a run is no joke.
© People's Association - Membership & Partnership Division

© People’s Association – Membership & Partnership Division

Group photo with some fast runners, including Singapore Marathon record holder Rameshon, GCAM 4th Singaporean, Lim Thow Wee, Mok Ying Rong, & Winner, Jeevanesh.
© People's Association - Membership & Partnership Division

© People’s Association – Membership & Partnership Division

First podium finish, a little bit nervous to be going up on stage to receive prize from People’s Association(PA)’s Chief Executive Director, Mr. Ang Hak Seng.
Photo Credits: Melinda Koh

Photo Credits: Melinda Koh

target splits for this race. use pace band generator to create splits: http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/racing/runners-world-pace-band-generator/3918.html

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Cute Medal!

photo-wonder if I can really chase a squirrel now. saw some at MR recently, but they are too fast.

photo-12hope can use this to inspire my kids(if I ever have any) in the future!photo-11

Race Results:
Race Reflection
Coming into this race, I was determined to prove that the false accomplishment at AHM was no fluke. So I had set the target time to 39:00 in order to have a 1min buffer. I started the way I always start if I was on the tape, take the lead first, somehow cannot curb natural instinct.Found myself running next to Mok Ying Rong & was doing a 3:48/km or 3:58/km time for the first Km. Yes, I could not see the digits on my watch because it was so dark! Settled into this rhythm, & felt really comfortable, like I would be able to carry on like this all throughout.

Coming into the Marina Barrage at 3km mark, heard some footsteps behind, hence had to break away from Ying Rong to defend the lead. Held on to this lead till apprx the 5.5km mark when could not match the long strides from Jeevanesh, had to slow down & let him go.

Was thinking of taking a cup of water before heading up the Marina Barrage, but my stomach told me otherwise. Guess, I made the right choice as I felt like puking. Soon as I climbed the Marina Barrage, saw Jeevanesh coming down the opposite sight, & that was the last time I saw him.

I felt footsteps closing in on me halfway towards the top, & decided to take a sprint down the Marina Barrage. This was something I have been practicing at MacRitichie reservoir in the past few months.

At the flower domes, a caucasian runner suddenly jogged next to me & asked if he could run with me, I told him, sure why not? I knew that if one of the runners behind overtake me, somehow I would slow down from previous experience, so I guess it would been good if I had some company down this last 2+km.Decided to skip the waterpoint under the Helix bridge too as I felt like Ronnie & Thow Wee was too close for comfort. I even saw them as I was going down the U-turn towards the MBS boardwalk. Talk about pressure!

Would like to thank the caucasian runner for all the motivation, he was tell me stuff like “Good pace” “let’s go, don’t slow down now” “that’s the way!” I was literally running my guts out in the last 2km, constantly increasing speed as I approached the FINISH.

Course Advice:

Very straight forward, flat course, except for the Marina Barrage. Please include some hill training if you want to conquer the Barrage without a hitch. Tricky double U-turns right after coming under the Helix Bridge, transiting to the MBS Boardwalk area.
Credits: POSB

Credits: POSB

Next Race:
15 September 2013
Yellow Ribbon Prison Run – 10km
Changi Prison

SAFRA Singapore Bay Run & Army Half Marathon ’13

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1 September – This was the second of five 10km races I signed up for in consecutive weeks in hope that I would peak in this period & break the SUB40 10k goal.

I went to bed at 2100hrs, & woke up at 1200hrs, tossed & turned in bed till 0330hrs, before deciding to wake up & have a light cereal breakfast since I couldn’t sleep anyways. Left the house at 0445hrs & took a taxi, wanted to alight at Raffles Hotel, after I determined that’s the best location to drop. But the entire Bras Basah road was jammed from the cars that were going for the 21km race, so I decided to alight by the side of the road & walk towards the race site.
Headed to deposit my race pack & saw some familiar faces there. After depositing my baggage, heard the 21km race flag-off. Decided to do some light warm ups & recce the finishing route. In hindsight, I should have come much later as the Emcee at the race site did not announce for 10km runners to gather till approximately 0600hrs & there was not many people at the start line either when I reached there.
  
After finishing my warm-ups, I found a spot on the right of the start pen, two rows behind the front pack. We were watching the 21km runners zoom down to the FINISH in spectacular fashion, & this was way before the sun had risen, way to beat the heat!
Photo Credits: Run Society

Photo Credits: Run Society

Minister Chan Chun Seng, was the Guest-of-Honour to flag off the 10km race. We had the army boys line-up at the start & had to sprint to the sides when the race commence, makes for a good photo, but quite hazardous if one of them falls during the initial jostle.

Photo Credits: Run Society

Photo Credits: Run Society

3,2,1…GO!

Photo Credits: Run Society

Photo Credits: Run Society

Was following these 3 guys from the 6th km onwards. A pack of us had to shout our way through the crowd on the right after the 10km U-Turn point, which converges with the 21km runners.

Photo Credits: Run Society

Photo Credits: Run Society

Photo Credits: Run Society

Photo Credits: Run Society

Photo Credits: Run Society

Photo Credits: Run Society

This was after turning left into Esplanade bridge. Surprised to be in the same picture as my SAFTI & OCS Sergeant Major (2nd from Left). Really respect him as an Encik, definitely made our final days as a cadet very memorable.
Photo Credits: Running Shots

Photo Credits: Running Shots

Some of the Finishing photos coming down the long straight at St. Andrews Road to the FINISH.

Photo Credits: Marathon-Photos

Photo Credits: Marathon-Photos

Photo Credits: Marathon-Photos

Photo Credits: Marathon-Photos

Photo Credits: Marathon-Photos

Photo Credits: Marathon-Photos

Another one to add to the collection.

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Medal2

Here are the results:Photo Credits: Runpix

Photo Credits: Runpix
Photo Credits: Runpix

Photo Credits: Runpix

Photo Credits: Runpix

Photo Credits: Runpix

Photo Credits: SAFRA Singapore Bay Run & Army Half Marathon

Photo Credits: SAFRA Singapore Bay Run & Army Half Marathon

Reflection: After a disastrous performance at ST Run in the Park in the previous week, I decided to implement some Pyramid Intervals to simulate race day conditions.

In addition, after reading Gold Coast Airport Marathon ’13 local SUB3hr marathoner, Derek Li’s Operation Clam Chowder, I decided to up the mileage to do twice daily runs. I am starting out with 5km runs, with intention to up the mileage as I train for my half-marathon early next year.

As I was coming down Esplanade Bridge, I knew I had alot of time in hand, was very happy, & didn’t think much of the superb timing. I still believed it was true as I shouted at the FINISH line & high5 fellow runners & volunteers. But subsequently, it would be known to me that the race was at least 900m short of 10km.

Hence, as the actual race distance is debatable, I do not actually want to consider this a SUB40 10k, even though with time added on, I am still bang on the money. I have 2 more races to ensure that this is not a false accomplishment & total fluke.

I worked on the things that I did wrongly in the previous race, & ironed out the chinks in the armour. Changed the tights & it worked, & started out 2 rows behind the front pack, & wasn’t totally sucked into the super fast pace, was starting to overtake runners from 5th km onwards, a sign that this race strategy is good. The next two races would just be a repeat of this race, still trying to immortalize that 10km with a proper distance.

Race Course Advice: The course is at least 900m shorter than 10km. For 21km, its 600m shorter. Hence, almost all the runners I’ve met got a PB today. But that’s really up for discussion.

The race passes through the actual helix bridge which I was really surprised given the fact that there was so many runners today. I thought they were going to use the adjacent bridge on its right. Hence, be ready to climb some stairs going up to the Helix bridge.

The choke point was at the 10km U-turn converging with the 21km runners. The waterpoint before the F1 Pit building did not help as well, as runners were slowing down to grab water.

The 100PLUS hydration point was located at the F1 Pit building, so I gave that a miss as I already slowed down to grab the earlier water.

Photo Credits: SAFRA Singapore Bay Run & Army Half Marathon

Photo Credits: SAFRA Singapore Bay Run & Army Half Marathon

Next Race:
08 September 2013
POSB PAssion Run for Kids– 10km
Marina Promontory

Jurong Lake Run 2013

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7 July 2013 – Following my warm up run at Pocari Sweat Run 2013, I had two weeks to learn from my mistakes & execute the time-distance goal of a SUB40 – 10K.

I signed up for Jurong Lake Run 2013 because it was the only race that was scheduled right after the Pocari Sweat Run that I could register for. I also knew for a fact that Chinese & Japanese Gardens had a relatively flat course, no massive bridges to climb, great for setting a PB.

Arrived early at the start pen to warm up & secure a spot near the front. But learnt the lesson from my previous race, decided not to start right at the front so I don’t get sucked into too fast a pace.
Photo Credits: Vincent Yang

Photo Credits: Vincent Yang

0702h: Flag-off. Can’t see me, but i’m just behind the 2nd Kenyan runner.

Photo Credits: RunSociety

Photo Credits: RunSociety

It was a very fast start, but still had a 2-4second delay before crossing the timing chip device.

Photo Credits: 100PLUS

Photo Credits: 100PLUS

Just targeted a 4min/km pace throughout, learnt to check my watch if I kept in pace. Got into a comfortable rhythm at a faster 3:45min/km pace, and saw that Vivian Tang was right beside me.
Photo Credits: Tan Kim Lai

Photo Credits: Tan Kim Lai

From 1-6km Decided to pace with her, overtaking a few runners in the process.
Once entered the park it was a very curvy course, made for many back-&-forth overtaking.
Photo Credits: Andy Seow

Photo Credits: Andy Seow

Only managed to hang on till the 6km before she pulled away.
Photo Credits: Andy Seow

Photo Credits: Andy Seow

Promptly after she took off, this runner, Sherman, ran along side me.
Photo Credits: RunSociety

Photo Credits: RunSociety

Paced with Sherman for the next 2km till 8km mark when he flagged & I decided to take off.
Photo Credits: RunSociety

Photo Credits: RunSociety

300m from the finish. Saw Vivian at the right turn & decided that I wasn’t too far off 39mins (her typical 10km finishing time), so I decided to go for it. She eventually finished 10km Female champion in the Veteran category.
Photo Credits: Eye-See-Eye-Shoot

Photo Credits: Eye-See-Eye-Shoot

Photo Credits: Chasing Shots

Photo Credits: Chasing Shots

ALL OUT SPRINT TO THE FINISH!
Photo Credits: Eye-See-Eye-Shoot

Photo Credits: Eye-See-Eye-Shoot

Photo Credits: Chasing Shots

Photo Credits: Chasing Shots

Photo Credits: Chasing Shots

Photo Credits: Chasing Shots

Photo Credits: Chasing Shots

Photo Credits: Chasing Shots

Photo Credits: Chasing Shots

Photo Credits: Chasing Shots

200m: still couldn’t see the FINISH & Timer, but just went for it.
Photo Credits: Running Shots

Photo Credits: Running Shots

Made the left turn, & was only left apprx 50-75m, but clock indicated 39:50. Mental countdown started & I gave it all I got.
Photo Credits: Wang Weihan

Photo Credits: Wang Weihan

Crossed the line at 40:02, confirmed by my watch. Typical big shout at the end; a shout of mixed feelings. On one hand, so close to a SUB40 10k, on the other hand, breaking my PB. 

I guess it was a good thing afterall, at least there is still room for improvement.
Photo Credits: Wang Weihan

Photo Credits: Wang Weihan

Some friendly Jurong Lake Running Club Runners, who I met during the warm-up at the start pen. As it was their “Home Ground”, I consulted Johnny (right) during the warm-up at the start pen about the course & asked them more about their running club.

For more information on Jurong Lake Running Club, find them on Facebook.

I’m hanging out in the background with Isaac, a runner I met who finished just infront of me, after collecting medals & refreshments.
Photo Credits: How Xing Quan

Photo Credits: How Xing Quan

Pitstop at Mediacorp Photobooth.
Photo Credits: Mediacorp

Photo Credits: Mediacorp

NEW 10k PB! 40:02″ – what a way to end a great week, tuesday Lions XI M’sia league victory, friday finally managed to do 30 pull-ups in one shot, & PB after 3yrs at JLR.
18-photo-10

Support local!

Like the classic medal, weighted, & stitched lanyard.
Photo Credits: Chasing Shots

Photo Credits: Chasing Shots

Chip Time says 39:58″, but I’ll go with the Gun Time 40:02″ on this one.
Photo Credits: Jurong Lake Run

Photo Credits: Jurong Lake Run

Reflection: Everything went as planned, kept to 4mins/km pacing, while having 30sec buffer times at the kilometer route markers, while giving myself mental high-5s every time I checked the clock.

Felt like I was following the Olympic WR Line when I was pacing with Vivian. I knew her pacing would always be 19mins for 5km, & 39mins for 10km, so I knew if I followed her all the way, I would definitely hit SUB40 10k.

I also noticed that after 6km mark, my pacing slowed down. Maybe it was the case of me trying to speed up catch her shadow, which led me to have an oxygen deficit in my system. And I don’t remember checking the clock for the remaining 4km, which was a big mistake.

Finishing at 40:02″ on gun time gives me a lot of confidence going into the next race knowing that I am within grasp of my goal in just one attempt.

Race Course Advice: Although this course was relatively flat, once you enter the Chinese & Japanese Gardens, it becomes very technical, with many snaking twists & sharp turns. So running in tangent becomes a wrestle for space. Something to lookout for is nearing the finish, there is a stone bridge that crosses a small stream, it has pretty steep gradient, but good thing is that it doesn’t stretch too long.

Also to note, enroute to the Finishing gantry, it is not a long straight road towards it. You won’t see the FINISH till you make a left turn, hence, you will only be left with 75-100m to make a dash for it.

Photo Credits: Jurong Lake Run

Photo Credits: Jurong Lake Run

Next Race:
11 August 2013
King of The Road – 10km
Gardens By the Bay

Although the race route is not out yet, I’m expecting many uphill gradients either on bridges or otherwise. Will try to incorporate hill repeats to train for them. Looking to improve my running form & breathing as well.

The hunt for SUB40 10k continues.

Pocari Sweat Run 2013

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16 June 2013 – This was my formal return to road racing having last raced in a year ago in Nike We Run Seoul 10k during my study abroad exchange semester at Korea University.

Coming into this race, I had put in tremendous effort in interval trainings at the track, much more than I have ever done in my life. I broke my 2.4km PB in a time trial just two weeks before this race coming in at 8:42s, 5s faster than I was 3years ago when I was still serving National Service (NS). This gave me great confidence as I know that the speedwork I have put in training had paid off & I am in much better shape than I was back in NS.

But as soon as the race began, I realised that this wasn’t enough.

I signed up for the 5km category as a warm-up to my main focus of SUB40 10k this year. Arrived relatively early to do some warm-up & ran to the helix bridge to recce the route as I was unsure of which bridge was used in crossing over from the floating platform. The friendly volunteers briefed me & I was headed back to the start pen.
The 10km race had multiple flag-offs & the 5km category was allowed to enter the pen at 0730hrs for the 0745hrs flag-off. I finished my warm-up at around 0720hrs & waited for the pen to open.

Photo credits: Lifestyle1881

Photo credits: Lifestyle1881

I was surprised to be the first into the 5K starting pen. Took a slow jog to the tape.
Photo credits: Lifestyle1881

Photo credits: Lifestyle1881

Getting ready for 5k Flag-off.

Photo credits: Pocari Sweat Singapore

Photo credits: Pocari Sweat Singapore

First time on the tape. Lined-up next to the eventual winners on my right & rear.

Photo credits: David Doit

Photo credits: David Doit

Photobomb!

Photo credits: Pocari Sweat Singapore

Photo credits: Pocari Sweat Singapore

Photo credits: Pocari Sweat Singapore

Photo credits: Pocari Sweat Singapore

Just before the flag-off.
Photo credits: Fighting Flabs

Photo credits: Fighting Flabs

BANG! here we go.

Photo credits: Pocari Sweat Singapore

Photo credits: Pocari Sweat Singapore

To my surprise, I lead the race for first 500m before gassing out  started way too fast.

Photo credits: Pocari Sweat Singapore

Photo credits: Pocari Sweat Singapore

Photo credits: Pocari Sweat Singapore

Photo credits: Pocari Sweat Singapore

Feeling the effects of a way too fast start.
Photo credits: Eye-See-Eye-Shoot

Photo credits: Eye-See-Eye-Shoot

You can see it here too.
Photo credits: Chasing Shots

Photo credits: Chasing Shots

here is another one. definitely the worst of the lot.
Photo credits: Running Kaki

Photo credits: Running Kaki

coming in for the final turn towards the FINISH.
Photo credits: Fighting Flabs

Photo credits: Fighting Flabs

Too little too late, no PB this time.
Photo credits: Fighting Flabs

Photo credits: Fighting Flabs

First Road Race of 2013.
Still in the hunt to break my 5K PB. The Bull Charge maybe?
pocarisweat13reselts

Reflection: Was taught a very good lesson about pacing during this race. Everything I planned went out of the window when the race was flagged-off. I had never been on the tape of a race before, only during IPPT 2.4km runs. So I followed what I always did during the 2.4km runs; take the lead. This was a huge mistake as I gassed out terribly after the first 500m of running, trying to keep up the pace.

As soon as I could hear the faster runners footsteps slowly behind me catching up, I was powerless to prevent them from overtaking me. Once we passed the first 1km mark, just across the Esplanade bridge, I was fifth. But it was a matter of seconds before many runners overtook me.

The mental aspect of being overtaken in a race cannot be underestimated. It is as if your life-force has been absorbed by the overtaking runner, giving him that extra boost to go even faster. I will implement a start slow, finish fast attitude in the next race, trying to get a negative split at the same time.

I made my way up the concrete bridge beside the Helix bridge in a very slow 1min30s. High 5-ed the volunteers along the way to get a boost as I made the U-turn back to the FINISH.

To be honest finishing at 22:24″ on gun time makes me a little disappointed knowing that I came into this race gunning for a PB. But as soon as Monday came, I dusted off my shoulder, picked myself up & decided to add more mileage going into the next 10km race.

Race Course Advice: Racing in the city is always tricky. The 5km & 10km categories both crosses the concrete bridge next to the Helix Bridge. This is a climb. The 10km category has another climb at the Marina Barrage, where you go up the barrage & down again. Hence, its not really one for a PB.

5km runners will also clash & bottleneck just under the Helix bridge where there is the merging of 10km & 5km runners in addition to the waterpoint located under the bridge. Having said that, all the waterpoints on the course has Pocari Sweat, so that is a definite plus!

Photo credits: Pocari Sweat Singapore

Next Race:

7 July 2013
Jurong Lake Run – 10km
Chinese & Japanese Gardens