Sunday, December 02, 2007

SCSM 2007 (a new personal best)

hours before race

Alarm clocks rings and off I jump outta my bed. I was feeling good as I did catch some sleep unlike previous races. Made myself 3 slices of peanut butter bread, a banana, and a cup of coffee for my marathon day breakfast. I did some light stretches at home to loosen the muscles. Round up my breakfast with a bottle of 100plus.

Start Line to 10km - Time taken 54:15 10km= 54:15

I got myself into the sub-4 pen. I was really hoping to break the sub-4 barrier as I have been thinking about it since last year. The weather was cool and windy and it felt like 23C. The horn went off and I was caught behind runners doing 6.5min/km pace. Took me about 2km to get out of them. I felt strong in the first 10km although my left knee felt a little sore.

Overtook some animiles runners but .......

10km to 20km mark - Time taken 50:50 20km = 1:45:05

I saw the trifam 3:45 pacers and run behind them for a good 10km. I felt that they were going a little too fast and their pace was a fast 5:10min/km and maybe they were running based on the gun-time. Felt strong and since my intention is to break sub-4, might as well follow their pace. Followed them till ECP before I lose them.

I saw a group of Japanese runners at the 14km stretch. They were doing a good 4:50min/km pace and I noticed someone leading the pack, it was a man running BAREFOOT! Yes you heard it, BAREFOOT! He overtook me with a 4:50min/km pace BAREFOOT! Those soles must on his feet must be like rubber. OUCH the thought of running barefoot give me the chills. It must have hurt.

I was running a little fast now as you can see my pace was a fast 5min/km. It took me about 1:50 to reach the half marathon mark.

20km to 30km mark - time taken 56:45 30km = 2:41:51

In the 20km to 30km, I was finding it hard to find someone to pace. Most of them were too fast and overtaking me. Proofs that I was losing steam and I will hit the wall soon. I had some power gel at the 30km mark to give myself some motivation and refuel the depleted glycogen.

I was still doing good at the 30km mark, but as always, the marathon only begins after 34km.

30km to 40km - time taken 1:11 40km = 3:53:37

I hit the wall at Mountbatten Road at the 34km mark. I knew I will hit the wall soon as I was running too fast for the first 30km. Each aid station seem like too far apart from each other. By now, the sun was out in full force and was blazing down on me. I splash more water on me at each aid station to cool off the heat.

I cramped after 36km, HIT the wall. Now, I knew that for the next 6km, it will be hell. I struggled to run and walked 50% of the time. Reenactment of last year scenario.

I really struggled at this part and in my heart, I was still hoping to break the sub-4 barrier. Along Kallang Road, it proved too much for me and I stopped to stretch my calf. It was really a torture with the heat blazing down on me and my body keep on saying no. There was a part when my body was telling my mind, hey stop hey stop! I wanna sleep. But I pushed on.

40km to finish = time taken 19:51

From the 40km mark, I was jumping for and not running. You know why? The cramped was out in full force and any movement of my knee will caused my muscles to pull. Fact of, I was limping. As you can see the 2km took me close to 20mins. a slow 10min/km pace.

At the last aid station, I joked to the volunteers, my hair messy? Going to finish and need a nice photo to wrap the day off.

Finally, the cramp was too much for me to bear and just before the esplande bridge, about 500m from the finishing line, I cramped and lie flat on the ground, hands covering my face. Grimacing in pain. Both legs were im-mobilise, cant move them at all.

A guy and lady rushed over to me. Gave me some words of encouragement. They were shouting, are you OK, are you OK?

After about 2 minutes of lying on the floor, and some light stretchingI got up with the guy's help and continued running. Thanks, mate!!! You made my day. After 42km of running, your body will do crazy things. Like cramping both of your legs up at the same time.

At the final stretch, I was high-fiving all the supporters along the finish line. I got the crowd crazy by dancing to the song played out over the speakers!! That has got to be the highlight of the race. haha.

Round up
Finish my second marathon in 4:13:25 chip time, an 8 minute improvement from last year. A new personal best but the sub-4 timing is still eluding me.

Guess it will be next year before I can break the magical 4 hour barrier and join the elite sub-4 club. :)

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