After last year's spree of short marathon runs, I decided to take it slow this year and go for the longer runs. My 1st for 2010 would be SAFRA's Singapore Bay Run and Army Half Marathon. Clocking 21km. It would be my second half marathon. For the record, somewhere in May, I took an impulsive plunge and signed up for the FULL Standard Charted 42km!!! I know... what was I thinking... I never think straight when I attempt any of these ridiculous feat. And no thanks to Wei Sian; who helped me work out that the full marathon this year was the best value per kilometer per buck at a mere SGD$45. ASICS who is partnering with StanChart for the 1st time offered a deal hard to reject. I figured it was something I had to try once in my life to experience the PAIN!
The Singapore Bay Run and Army Half Marathon was a perfect mid way check that ensured I trained (relatively) consistently. I've clocked regular night runs but far too few long runs. To compensate, I gave up ALCOHOL after Beerfest Asia in June! Thought drinking less would do me good generally. Not that I was a heavy drinker to begin with.
The half marathon fell in the long weekend of Hari Raya Pausa. It would have been a perfect weekend to paint the town red but I kept the days leading up to the run very low key. I wanted to pretty much stay home, stay safe and keep hydrated. Prepare my race items and turn in for an earlier night.
SAFRA Singapore Bay Run and Army Half Marathon 2010 Race Pack items and BIB
Race chip hooked up to my ASICS Gel Kayano 16
Stocked up on a bunch of SQUEEZY Power Gels (Cola and Citrus flavoured). For S$25, it came with 2 pre-race energy mixers, 1 after-race re-builder mix and small bottle. The flavours were pretty tasty
My run outfit
By 5am, I was on the grounds near Esplanade and did the necessary toilet stop, hooked up my FT80's heart-rate monitor and stretched. Flag off was suppose to be at 5:15am, but as I made my way to the starting point the head runners had zoomed off 5 mins before. I left on the wrong footing, running too fast... too early.
2km into the run, I felt stitches coming on my right wrist side. Probably a combination of fast running, too much liquid and not enough time for digestion of breakfast. I tried to regulate my pace slower but as the pain gradually started to come on, I figured I had better walk. It was quite a horrible feeling. I dreaded that runners were dashing past me. Thoughts of both frustration and disappointment ran through my head. At that moment, I didn't even know if I could really continue much further.
4km into the run I felt well enough to resume a slow and steady pace. A pace which was a lot slower then usual for fear that I might feel unwell again. It was slow but one which I kept for the good part of the run.
5km into the run, I felt determined enough to finish the run. And so I just kept on going. I had originally wanted to enter the run trying to better last year's timing and coming under 3hrs. I did 10 mins worse at 3hrs 18mins.
Graph from FT80 Heart-Rate Monitor
Graph from FT80 Heart-Rate Monitor. Graph show poor consistency in pacing
I guess I should be happy that I persisted and completed, despite the rather embarrassing timing. But what's always invaluable to me are the lessons that I take out from each experience;
1) Sleep early and be well rested a week into the run
2) Wake up earlier on race morning to ensure that breakfast has enough time to properly digest
3) Start slower then desired
4) Make use of the OwnZone feature in the FT80 (It has helped me in all my training runs)
5) It's okay to be generous with the power gels
6) I am a lot stronger then I think
Second year in and I still find the Singapore Bay Run and Army Half Marathon the most well organized and fun run. This year, a roaming open top cheerleading bus zipped around providing fabulous encouragement. I saw less entertainment stations, but still love the numerous water stops!
Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2009 (SCSM)
New Balance Real Run 2009 Marathon
SAFRA Singapore Bay Run 2009 Results
SAFRA Singapore Bay Run 2009
Sundown Marathon 2009 Results
Rundown at the Sundown Marathon 2009
Sundown Marathon 2009 : We have a TEAM!
Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2008
Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2007