Monday, December 31, 2007

What 2008 should be.....

2008 should be..... the year i.....

1. get married
2. do at least 2 full marathons (KL and Singapore??)
3. learn to swim front crawl
4. do at least 2 OD Triathlons (Bintan and Port Dickson??)
5. conquer either Singapore 70.3 Ironman or Desaru Long Distance Triathlon
6. do Powerman Malaysia Duathlon
7. cover at least 65km for the Sundown Double Marathon

Summary for the period 2 - 31 Dec 07

Injured and stressed out for most of this month.

2 Dec 07: SCSM 07
3 - 30 Dec: No runs, no training. Instead, i spent this period screaming at my renovation contractor, carrying heavy junks from Dad's to my new place, heated arguments and discussion with parents etc.

But 2007 ended with a physical note nonetheless. Managed to lift my lazy butt to Tampines pool where i did 20 sets of 50m breast-stroke swim. Note: 20 sets and not 20 laps, difference lies in the rests in between laps.

So goodbye 2007 and hello 2008.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

2007 Reflections, reasons and excuses - where did i go wrong

Ok.. here goes... where did i go wrong.
Let's look back, way back to KL Marathon. I completed GE30km in January and must have slacked until early March. Then again, i did 2 half-marathon training runs and another 27km a week before the race. In addition, i failed to get PB for KL because of cramps circa 35km.
I did PD half Marathon early April and then did shorter distance trainings for the double half marathons at Kedah and Perak in early May. After that was ICT, where i must have slacked. Then again, i struggled at Bintan Triathlon 10km running leg because of the short, steep and undulating slopes and not because of lack of training.
I did slacked in June, where i truly suffered during the Penang Marathon. My longest run in preparation for that race was the World Harmony run. Triathlon fever set in as i started cycling.
I guess my slack period started in July, when i had to cover CD Manager's position for 3 months. Missed CBD runs as i had to be in Bintan mainly Tuesdays to Thursdays. At Bintan, i merely do gym work whenever coach Suhaimi was on duty. I managed to do 2 sprint triathlons though, Trifam sprint trial and PD Sprint Tri.
August was an equally slack month though i completed Adidas King of the Road and Desaru LD Tri cycle and sprint race. A rash attack and i had to miss AHM.
Handed over CD Manager position when James took over in Sept. Then again, didn't train when the fasting month sets in. Instead, Ed and I started eating more.
Renovation work started early October and the contractor i engaged didn't do Phua Chu Kang any justice. Checks on the house every evening left me too frustrated to train. This carried on until early December, when i finally moved in.
December came and i completed the SCSM. In addition to the medal and finisher tee, i also attained a personal worst marathon timing and a sore upper right quad muscle. Not sure if the injury is ITB but it sure does hurt everytime i lift up my leg. In addition, preparations for the wedding left me with much to think about. Its amazing how much things you need to think about for a wedding: politics, tradition etc, when most of these have no bearing on the marriage.
I think i'll just rest and ease my way back to fitness, gradually. I am reluctantly giving up MR Ultramarathon to rest. Let's see what 2008 brings!!

Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2007 - 2 Dec 2007

Got up at 3am. Showered, applied plaster and lubricants to abrasion prone areas before putting on Mizuno white vest and Adidas black tights. Grabbed my pre-packed gears and left to meet Sassyrunner. JT swung by in a cab a few minutes later and we continued on to pick up Teelee before heading for Esplanade.
The race carnival was packed with runners by the time we arrived. Finished putting on my NB735 and USK before depositing the bag. We then left for the fountain near cetopath to meet the other SGRunners.
Balasing called and we arranged to meet at the starting point. There were tens of thousands of people at the startline, but with a handphone in hand, it was a matter of time before Balasing and I met. Andy was around too and he was delighted to see us. Andy, JT and I decided to run together.
The run started before i knew it. About 2 minutes passed before i ran over the startline, signalling the start of my race. The 3 of us ran at about 6.5mins/km pace and stopped for walk breaks after every 8 minutes. Many familiar faces passes us by, including Amanda from KL, who attempted her first full marathon. I took my first pack of powergel at the 8km waterpoint.
By the time we reached the 10km mark, i knew that our pace was too slow. So, i sped up and left Andy and JT behind, after JT waved me on. Running alone was much harder. I spotted some runners running at the pace i was comfortable with, and we had an agreement only runners understand, to pace each other.
I took my second pack of gel a short while after entering ECP, circa 18km. My legs were already hurting by now but i maintained the 8 by 2 routine. As i arrived at the 25km mark, i realised that i was about an hour off last year's timing. It didn't worry me a bit as i know that i was not prepared for this race.
Came across Tey from KL after leaving the Lagoon, heading towards the u-turn point near PA. Tey was with his darling, an SLR camera. Yen Erl, also from KL and attempting her first 42km, waved from the oncoming side, meaning she was about 2km ahead of me.
I finally reached the 27km u-turn point about 3:30 into the race. Back in January, i covered GE30km in 3:20. At the entrance to Bedok jetty, i saw JT and Andy at the opposite side. I notice a lady runner jogging very slowly, but constantly. I decided to follow her pace and did so until i reached 33km, where my feet really hurt. There was also a slight pain on my right upper quad, just off the groin. I took that as my breaking point, and decided to go even slower. I abandoned the 8 by 2 routine, and concentrated on just moving forward, at whatever pace i can.
Moving forward i did, and i reached Raffles Boulevard a few minutes after 5hrs. No more running now, not even a slight jog. My chest started to hurt but that was normal for me; it occurs whenever I attempt a marathon distance. My upper right quad still threatened to cramp up.
The last 3km seems like the longest part of the race. I walked most of it and stopped just outside Esplanade to call JT. She told me she still had some way to go and i should just finish the race. I did just that, slow jogged my way to the finish line, passing by IMD for a photo pose 2 hundred metres before the finish line.
My completion time was 6:10, which was 58 minutes longer that my PB at SCSM 06, and 25mins later than my last PW at Penang 07. Thinking i have a long time to reflect, i concentrated on not letting cramps set in. I remembered very well the really bad cramp i had after the Penang race. No way will i want another of that.
I got hold of an usher to remove the timing chip off my shoe laces and handed them in to collect my medal and finisher tee. It was then a search for Ed, who completed her 10km about an hour earlier. Poor girl had to wait under the sun for me.
A really bad race for me. Not surprising given the nearly inexistant training i put in.
Distance: 42.195km
Shoe: NB735

Summary for the period 18 Nov to 1 Dec

Not the best preparation for a marathon, nowhere near.
18 Nov 2007: Demoralising run.
19 Nov - 1 Dec 2007: No runs, no training.

Demoralising Run - 18 Nov 07

I requested for this run, back during the fasting month. Brokie agreed to organise one more after an earlier success... wait... every run has always been a success.... Ronnie PM-ed to remind me about it, saying if i cannot make it.. or planned not to make it... i should inform RSM now, then. But i was all geared to for the run, so i said yes. Thankfully i did.

Met Sassyrunner and KK who drove us to Changi Village. We were the first to arrive but the group got bigger as the minute passes by. I put on my NB 735 and Nathan Hydrobelt, having already worn the Adidas black tights and Mizuno white vest. Expecting a sunny morning, i had my Oakley shades on.

Brokie briefed the group just after 7. The route will take us from Changi Village to ECP via the Coastal Road and the park connector. I did the first km with Team Brokie and Hopling before the rest joined in. Knowing there was no way i can last the run with the group of fast runners, i decided to adopt the run/walk routine. Therefore, after 8 minutes of running, i started walking, to everyone's surprise.

The route was, as the title suggest, demoralising. I was rather familiar with the road, having attempted another such run a week before KL Marathon in March. In addition, i have cycled the route numerous times. I knew there will be a traffic light somewhere, and that will be about 5km from the startpoint. Gentle was around to take some pictures, then sped off in his cool looking bike.

I was alone for most of the route, less a portion near the end of Coastal where Ultraman was guiding one of his disciples in the art of running. I tried the new route connecting Coastal and ECP, which cut across the road leading to Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal. I saw Cobalt who was heading towards me, telling me the 10km point was a few metres ahead. Then came Doraemon_Red.

Soon i reached the NSRCC and decided my u-turn point will be at the Sailing Club's toilet, about 3km away. I reached that toilet, and replenished the water in my bottles. Ultraman arrived with his disciple, and we slow jogged the way back.

Most of the runners overtook me by the time i passed by the traffic light, signalling 5km to go. My feet has started to hurt and my 8min run/2min walk turned more into 3min run/7min walk. Anyhow, a cycling race was going on and there was a huge crowd near the Changi Ferry Terminal.

Cobalt and some other runners were waiting at the entrance to the terminal. DO handed me a bottle of ice cold water and asked if i wanted a car ride back. Car ride?? with only 2km to go?? No way... was he kidding or what?? Feet nearing numb and i still had the passion to complete the run. A good sign?? Well, at least a sign....

I walked jogged the way back and finally reached the ending point, where most of the runners were gathered, already warmed down. Someone offered me an ice-cold cup of 100-plus. I had my eyes on Doraemon_Red's Pocari jello. Delicious stuff.

Good run this was, though i must be worried about my ability to finish SCSM. Nah... i know for sure, with god's will, that finishing is not an issue. 2 weeks to SCSM.

Distance: 27km
Shoe: NB 735