Archive for the 'run' Category

Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon

Took me an excruciating 8 hours and 5 minutes, but I finished the bastard.

Update:
Now that I’m feeling a bit more human – and also cos Willy’s pointing here – I’ll go into a little more detail bout my Sunday morning.

So obviously I oversleep, only waking up at 4:45 when I get Willy’s call, I miraculously get my shit together, hop in a cab and make to Suntec to meet Jason at 520 and we make to the start line just in time. Did a bit of stretching, wasn’t that worried cos was planning to rest and stretch anyway. And then we’re off and the both of us wave to our boss, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam along the way.

Now before I go any further, I have to confess; I stopped training like 2 months before. Why? Cos I’m a lazy bastard, that’s why. The last run I did was some indeterminate distance around the Botanic Gardens with Jason, and it felt pretty good, so I slacked off. Big time. So keep in mind, the last actual run I did was 15km. And now I’m gunning for oh say, 42.195km?

Anyways, my wonky left knee start wonking like clockwork at the 5km mark, so I’m fine, just stretch every drinks station, no worries. Just entering Marina South, we see the winner of the race, and that guy can run. He’s literally sprinting with like 30plus km to go. But hey, he’s a pro.

Also at this time, I see a little guy running in a full Spiderman costume.

As usual, my knee gets progressively worse until the 10km point, where I don’t bother telling Jason and I just stretch, so he goes off and does his thing. No problem, got my trusty iPod. So its all fine and dandy, wonky knee but holding up til I reach say bout the 18km mark near Fort Road – this is where the turning point for the half-marathoners is – and I pass the point and suddenly it spreads out to a gaggle of guys just walking, taking it easy. By now, my wonky knees not my biggest concern cos I can feel both my legs cramping entirely. So I turn and look at the half-marathoners…

Cue inner voice: “I think I’ve made a huge mistake.

Essentially, what happens next is that my legs just start cramping worse and worse til I get to about the 21km mark where I pretty much can’t run at all without cramping up entirely. So I walk for stretches and run in spurts before the cramp sets in. But I’m pretty much done for.

Like I said, last run was 15km, so I’m totally not conditioned for these distances. But I was like fine, I’ve got 3 hours left before they supposedly close shop; I usually run 10km in an hour; I can so totally do this. Also, at this point, Jorge Ben comes on the iPod and I’m like grooving, totally suave; I dig Brazilian music; I’m so much cooler than all these other people who are running.

This doesn’t last, and I’m basically walking on near-snapping twigs at the 26km turning point at East Coast. I do the u-turn and its like woohoo! 16 more bloody km. Meanwhile, I’m being overtaken by nonchalantly skipping aunties.

At this point, I’m seriously worried about coming in last, so I start to walk as fast as I can without cramping. I actually see the rear scout behind two old guys taking their time coming the way I came, I guess about 6km behind me, so I’m like Score! No way I’m last now.

I’m like some speedwalker and overtake loads of people coming out of East Coast and back onto Fort Road, and it’s about 8km left, I think. I make it 2km to Kallang when I suddenly realise I’ve switched my legs from flesh to molten fucking lava. I was thinking, wow, nothing, nothing could hurt worse than this. Imagine your thighs as rods of molten lava, that feel like they’re simultaneously melting and snapping, and your knees little suns with the texture of rusted iron, gristling against your joints. It can’t get any worse than that, can it?

It can and it did. It just got just a tad, just a smidgen, just a shade more painful, every bloody step I took. And at this point, I was really taking it

step.

by.

step.

And this maddeningly inexorable burning pain just kept getting turned up and up. At the same time, I’m being toasted well and good by the sun. At this point, I’d given up on the time, but my tan tells me it was probably 12pm. I was well and truly a zombie by now, just taking the occasional 1 minute break, any longer and I wouldn’t be able to stand up. I was taking it 2km at a time, but by then distance meant anymore. 500m or 50km didn’t really register as different at all.

Eventually I shuffle my way to 40km, and I can almost feel the end of the line. Unfortunately I start losing feeling in my hands, and it slowly starts spreading up my arms. I kept contemplating calling for the medic, but the Red Cross kids were just getting their lunch bentos and I thought it might be rude. So I keep plodding, ready to faint at a moment’s notice.

I get to 41km and I’m panting my lungs blue, even though I’m walking at a snail’s pace. Even my head and face’s lost all feeling. Then I see these 3 minibuses pull up, disgorge about 30 runners, who then start making their way down the final 1km stretch. I see the 2 old dudes who were bringing up the rear, now briskly walking in front of me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying its unfair and all. I’m really not into fairplay and all that shit, y’know? I’m just glad I didn’t realise there was an alternative to walking, cos bloody hell, I would’ve flagged that bloody bus down.

In any case, I continue to almost-faint, and gingerly trudge my way past the Esplanade, taking a final breather just under the bridge and walk past the various monuments, remembering to give thumbs-up to the various already finished and very hot women around me. Always thinking of the fans, I am.

So I round the corner and talk to this 50-ish uncle as we walk past the Supreme Court, I’m like dude, this sucks balls. And he’s like, dude, your lips are blue.

So we decide to run the last 20m and the bloody announcer reads my tag and goes, ‘It’s Billy Tan!’

And thats when I finished my marathon. The end.

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i gave up simian mobile disco for this?!

Did the New Balance Real Run today. Pretty well-organized if quite remotely located. The route was just a tad boring, essentially the first 11km was just the same 5.5km stretch up and down a straight road. The advertised beach and trails weren’t fantastic either – running on the sand was surprisingly difficult and the trail was really just a concrete path, which would have been a little disappointing had my knees been behaving today.

Yes, those are the hairy offenders above. I’ve been suffering a fair bit of ITB since my return to long-distance running and my knees have been locking up after just 5km or so. Which was pretty much the case today, ran the first 6km fine, when my right knee began locking up and I had to stop to stretch it every 500m. I must have loosened it up enough as my right knee started to work fine at about 9km, which is when my left knee started to get wonky, which meant really light, small strides and a crapload of stopping to stretch.

The result is a really awful timing of 2:00:52, which is damn irritating. I barely even raised my heart rate today at the plodding pace I was going. It’s really frustrating to feel fit enough to really go for it but be let down by bad mechanics. Next run, I’m going to fully stretch my illiotial band for 10 minutes before I even take a step.

Postscript:
The post title refers to the Malacca road trip I gave up so I could run today. Simian Mobile Disco played at A Famosa Resort last night and my usual party peeps went. SMD leh, nabeh. But weird location though, who goes Malacca to catch dance gigs? ARGH, SHOULD’VE GONE.

cheerleaders and jazz guitar

Just back from the Sheares Bridge Run aka Army Half-Marathon. Main impressions as follows:

  • AHM necessarily means a male-to-female ratio of 8 to 2. Which blows. Ok, not really lah.
  • My current post-rock fave 65daysofstatic came up on my nano around the 4km mark, which got me feeling all pumped up and heroic and near-sprinting. Luckily Sam Prekop came on after or I would’ve totally burnt out halfway.
  • The various bands and acts they peppered the route with were generally quite entertaining, though I felt kinda bad for the ITE Jazz Band who were on the Sheares Bridge – people didn’t really need encouragement as yet so everybody just kinda ignored them. I quite enjoyed the last one at the turn into Republic Ave, just a couple of teenagers playing jazz guitar. Great treat, that one.
  • However, the pre-pubescent cheerleaders outside the National Stadium were a little discomfiting, especially when you know all the horny NS boys are checking them out. They’re like Sec 2, man, c’mon.
  • Something else that pissed me off was the gratuitous littering at all the water points. Is it so hard to chuck the little paper cup into a bin? A little more strategic placement of bins might’ve been useful but still irritating to see the trash strewn willy-nilly.
  • End-point was chaotic as usual, and I stupidly spent 15 minutes queuing at the baggage deposit cos I thought it was the lucky draw coupon drop. Damn loser.

Still, it was a good run. Pussy time as usual – 12km in 1:17:57 – but respectable enough by my standards. Had a bit of a revelation though – I thoroughly enjoyed myself the ENTIRE time. Yeah, it’s just running on the street in the morning with strangers and my iPod, but I realise for I was mostly at peace with the world the entire duration.

I think I rather like running. Real Run up next!

update: 

Ah fuck. Someone died.

puddle-skipping with strangers

Finally did my first official run with this morning’s Mizuno Wave Run, and my once pristine pavement-and-asphalt-only adizeroes are now well and truly muddied and gravelled, or as we might have said in NS – no more ver-jean liao.

Have to say the run was terribly disorganised, with an incredibly chaotic first 2km that can only be described as a clusterfuck with mud, though I had fun doing my best impression of a ninja skipping over puddles. The middle stretch actually got supremely calming as I relaxed into a good trot with Ryan Adams’ Easy Tiger on my iPod. Went into shuffle after the record ended and it got really ironic when Flash Hawk Parlor Ensemble‘s cover of Radiohead’s The Tourist came on with the refrain, “Hey man, slow down, slow down…“. I didn’t lah, but it was funny.

But the end leg was like the mother of all fuckups cos there were at least 4 different finish lines catering to simultaneous events, so my rather pussy time of 1:o5:46 can’t really be confirmed as I still don’t know whether I stopped at the right place. Not to mention the multiple tents extolling the virtues of imminent upgrading in Aljunied GRC but no water stations to be found. Then of course I spend 45 min queuing up for my free shoebag and running singlet. But that’s just me being Singaporean lah.

Notwithstanding the messy organisation, I actually really enjoyed waking up in the dark to go run in the mud with a thousand strangers. I’m definitely signing up for more races, beginning with the Singapore Bay Run (of which closing date is today and website is wonky, dammit!) and ending with Standard Chartered at the end of the year, I think.

unboxing – adizero PR


Check out my new, incredibly sweet running shoes, bought for me just yesterday by Grace as part of my birthday xmas buffet of gifts. Only freaking 110 grams, man. I think its part of adidas’ attempt to cash in on the barefoot running craze. The adizero PR is really just a breathable mesh sock stitched beautifully to a thin, perforated sole. Chio hor? Got at a pretty good price at Queensway somemore.

Went for a short 2km warm-up (having not run for 2 and half months) and I have to say that I barely even felt them. I don’t think I should even bother with socks. I used to wear the standard issue New Balance SAF running shoes, which are more than a little chunky, so fellow NSMen can imagine the difference. Although I’m a little concerned with the obvious lack of cushioning and how many kilometres they’ll actually last.

But then again although I’m not exactly sure how much faster I ran cos of the new kicks, I certainly felt very pretty from my ankles down the whole time. Just look at them babies.

Drop-dead gorgeous.

So anyway, the reason I got these shoes are really cos of my new 52 weeks project for the year (or in this case, about 48 weeks?) – to attempt the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2007 (half-marathon, though) in December this year. I actually trained pretty hard for a few months for the 2006 one, but forgot to register, and also got prolongedly sick and swamped with assignments. Excuses, I know. So hopefully, putting it out here will serve to push me a little harder.

Started a running log at Cool Running, but the bloody site’s been wonky and won’t let me back in – anybody know where I can find another good site to log my running?

update:
I just realised this is post #200 – cool.


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