Sunday, August 26, 2007

2007 Army Half Marathon

August marks the first year anniversary that I have gone smoke-free. So what better way than to celebrate by running an AHM with a personal best.

I did not ran the AHM last year as my fitness was still there yet for endurance events like this. This year AHM end-point was at the new floating platform in NDP. To be held in conjunction with our national day. The turnout was 60,000 runners with 3/4 coming from the army based on my estimates.

Pre-AHM training

In order to prepare myself for the AHM, I have only ran once or twice a week unlike last year marathon when I was running 3-4 times a week. This is because of my work and school schedule eating into my training hours and social time. But nonetheless, I have managed to clock a few long slow distance (LSD) runs prior to AHM. Not forgetting my laps in the pool to prepare for next yr triathlon events.

I found a new route this time, it's down the Old Upper Thomson Road. Each run will take about 20-24km depending on the u-turn point. For 3 sat morning before the AHM, I have woke up at 4.30am in the morning religiously to put some mileage in my training. The route is good, air is fresh, lots of runners like me, and some hills for me to do me tempo. As usual, it's just me and my ninja training.

Pre-race day

Woke up on sat morning and went to Safra Yishun at 8am to do some swimming. My swimming is getting better as I could feel that my speed and endurance in swimming is there. I can managed a 700m swim in 13 mins. Just 2 months before this, I was still struggling with swimming. Did 2 sets of 700m and went home as I want to conserve my energy for tomorrow AHM. During lunch, I received an urgent call from a colleague. Rushed back to office to sort it out.

I had a dinner with my family at some steamboat restaurant for carbo loading. I reached home at around 10.30pm and only hit the sack at 11pm. But, I couldn't really sleep well due to the heavy dinner I had.


I woke up at 2.30am and couldn't get back to bed. I had only about 3 hours of sleep. Got onto my laptop and did some work. Endless load of work from school and my job. Really looking forward to my break in Sept.

Anyway, for breakfast, I had 3 slices of bread with peanut butter, coffee and banana. Feeling good. Drove to Marina Square and off I went to the start point. For this year, I positioned myself nearer to the start line as I want to avoid the crowds that were doing 7m/km to 8min/km. My target was to finish in under 1:45 and so for every 1km it will be 5 mins. 5min/km pace.

The gun went off and my pace was good. I overtook lots of folks doing a slower pace. I was doing about 4:50min/km for the first 5km of the race. I had some stitches for the first 6km of the race. I could feel it and maybe it was because of not much training logged in for this race. My pace was good but my body isn't. I was trying badly to shake off the stitches.

At the 5km mark, as I was going up the Sheares Bridge, it was a little tough and my stitches got worst. But I pushed on, knowing that it's just some race jitters. This year, they sealed off 4 lanes on the ECP for us runners. Well-done AHM! This is definitely a runner's event. The air was cool but I was perspiring a lot. Must be the humidity.

I continued with my 4:50min/km pace and along the ECP, right up to 12km, I was still within target. Had a mix of powergel at the 12km mark and decided to open up my pace a little. But mind willing, my body was not. So I slowed to a 5min/km pace right up to the 16km mark.

At Fort Road, images of what happened to me last year flashed through my mind. It was at this exact stretch that I nearly gave up as my cramps were seizing me.

At the 16km mark, I was still within reach of my target but it was getting a little too humid for me and I was a good customer at all the water-points.

I slowed to a 5.5min/km pace for the last 2 km and I crossed the finishing line in 1:48:23 (my time). I was still feeling good after the race.

A personal best for me as the 21km I did in the army were all above 2 hrs in timing.

My next target for the marathon will be to run a sub-4 marathon. Looking at my AHM timing, it should be within reach but I need to find more time for my runs.

Endurance events are tough. As I was drinking my 100-plus, I thought to myself Gee, an Ironman will be much tougher.

But ............... I want to chase my dreams.

Overall, this was a good event just that the endpoint should have not been infront of the gallery. It should be somewhere along the road infront of Esplanade.

My official results are as follows:
Rank Bib Name CheckPt NetFinish GunFinish
379 N1974 LIM KAH KIAT 1:00:00 01:48:18.18 01:48:48.48

My rank is 379 out of 3324 runners. Out of the top 10% but still a Personal Best for me.

Pace : 5:09min/km

Now time to buy 4D, 4848.


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