Income Eco Run

I had been participating in the 21km category for the past editions. Discussed with coach, and we decided to go for the 10km category this year. After a marathon in Feb, it is an off season for me and we are back to focusing on speed. The idea was just to go for short races to build up my speed.

I had a good training leading up to this event. I was eating and resting well. I even incorporated some body balance classes into my routine to relieve my tight hips and hamstrings that has been bothering me for the past months. I was so looking forward to Income Eco 10 km race. After a 4th place at the recent Sundown Marathon 10km Challenge, I was hoping I could earn a podium position this time.

Never in life I would imagine myself DNF a 10km race.

The morning seemed to be starting right. Jackie and I woke up on time, had our usual breakfast and grab down to F1 Pit Building. Other than enduring a stinky cigarette smell inside the car, the ride was uneventful. We arrived at the race site at 5.30 am, which is exactly 1 hour before the flag off. Unlike the rush during Sundown 10km Challenge, we had ample time to deposit our bags, visit the loo and I even managed a 10 mins warm-up jog. Spotted fellow ASICS and ActiveSg team mate, Banjamin and we made our way to the pen together just slightly after 6 am.

The pen was filling up quickly but Jackie, Banja and I managed to squeeze our way to the front where we met and greeted several familiar faces, Adriel, Joshua, Yvonne, Jenny, Desmond, all of them participating in the team category. Ghim joined us a short while later.

We chit-chatted and waited patiently for the flag-off. Few minutes before the flag off, the organisers released the chain and runners started moving forward and finding space. I counted and realised I am now in the 9th row from the front, which wasn’t ideal but something I could live with. There was a slight delay and all runners were beginning to feel restless and raring to go. Finally at 6.38 am, the horn sounded and off we go.

I started my garmin and crossed the starting line. The start was slower than usual partly because I was in the 9th row (unlike the 2nd or 3rd row I was usually at). There was probably some pushing and jostling as runners from behind dashed forward. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw one participant ahead fell. The next moment, to my horror, I fell, my knees scrapping the hard tarmac road. I tried to get up. Then someone fell over me (or did some one step on me? I’m not sure) My face slammed against the road hard. For that split second, I was so afraid that I couldn’t get up and I could be trampled by the rest of the runners.

Shortly later, I got up. Something fell out of my mouth. I would learn later that those are the chips from my teeth when I was in the ambulance. My legs were wobbly. A glance at the surroundings and realised that all the runners had ran off. It was almost a minute after flag off. Can I still continue to run? I wanted to but somehow I knew I was not in a good condition to race anymore. I touched my face, and saw blood on my hands.

I was unsure of where to go. I spotted Jackie at the side. Thank god he’s still around. He came towards me, looking concerned. I told him I think I’m ok, and he should probably continue his race. He took one look at me and said, “It’s bad, I better go with you”. Edwin, who is one of the escort cyclists, fellow Jurong Safra member, came forward asked what had happened. I can’t see how I look but I must be quite a sight and was starting to draw some attention. I could feel the blood oozing from my face. Someone came forward and led us to the medic. It was then I noticed that there was a 2nd wave waiting for flag off.

The medic took one look at me and decided to send me to hospital immediately. They dressed the wounds on my two kneecaps, passed me a packet of ice and asked me to press onto a cut on my nose bridge. After Jackie picked up our bags from the baggage deposit, we were whisked into the ambulance. On the way to SGH, it was then I felt the pain on my face and realised that I had two chipped teeth. The accident started to sink in and I couldn’t help but cry, in pain and in disappointment. Why did such thing happen to me?

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The run that lasted less than 2 minutes. Scratches on the face, figuratively and literally. =(

Shortly later, we arrived at SGH A&E department. A doctor on duty examined me and asked me some questions pertaining to the accident. I was arranged to see a dentist and plastic surgeon. There was some waiting before I see a doctor again where I received an injection. Then I went for a X-ray for the face to make sure nothing is broken. Some more waiting and I get to see the dentist next. As they do not have proper equipment to fix the teeth on the spot, the dentist fixed a metal wire to stabilize my three shaky teeth so I can consume food easily. He also mend one of my chipped teeth. I was given an appointment to see the dentist on Tuesday.

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Minor cuts and bruises on the knees. Thankful that it just superficial injuries and nothing serious. 

After that, I did another X-ray, this time for my right knee which is swollen. Then, we waited again to see the plastic surgeon. He cleaned the wounds on my face with some soap water and alcohol. As there is loss of skin surrounding the cut on the nose bridge, he could not stitch it for me. The cut was deep so can only let it heal on its own. He mentioned that this cut may leave a scar in future. =(  Another cut was stitched up within minutes. The injection prior to the stitching is more painful than the stitching itself. Thankfully, the abrasion on the upper lips are minor and will heal without leaving a scar. I was scheduled to return for review on Tuesday.

And finally after close to 5 hours in the hospital, I was discharged. Thankful to have the hubby to be with me throughout the ordeal.

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How I look after leaving the hospital. The gauze covering the cuts on the nose bridge. Smiling awkwardly because of the metal wire (something like braces) on my teeth. 

Run safe never ring so true before. To all runners out there, please be careful especially at the race start where it can get chaotic and messy when runners dashed forward. Some are just too excited. Some are simply too competitive or aggressive. Most of the time it’s not intentional but it still pose the same danger. I heard about it, seen it, but just didn’t expect it to happen to me. It could happen to anyone. Do keep a lookout for fellow runners and make running safe for all!

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Seoul 10 km Challenge

I received an invitation from Pocari Sweat Singapore last November to participate in the Seoul Marathon. There was a change in plan however, after I unexpectedly qualified for Rio Olympics’ women marathon.

As I do not have a coach, SAA stepped in to appoint Mr Steven Quek to be my coach. His first advice was that there is no need for me to do another marathon from now until the Olympics. This is because I have just completed SCMS in Dec 15 and if I were to run Seoul marathon in Mar 16, followed by Olympics in Aug 16, that will be 3 marathons in 8 months and that would be quite taxing on my body. I would not be able to perform with Rio being the last and most important marathon too.

I agreed with Coach and also feel that I was not ready to do another marathon in March. So I quickly requested Pocari Sweat to change my race slot for the 10km race instead. This would also be in line with the training which Coach has planned for me, which is to improve my 10km and 21km timing first before we start preparing for the full marathon.

The Plan 

I met up with coach in late January to discuss my training program for Rio. As the time frame was too short, he does not wish to make any drastic changes to my current training regime. I shared with him my training log, personal bests for my 10km and 21km and he feels that we should focus on improving my speed for 10km first, followed by 21km before we focus on preparing for full marathon. Thus, my training was broken into three phases:

(1) Feb – Mar, 10km focused training and compete in Seoul 10km challenge on 20 March.

(2) Apr-May, half marathon focused training. Find a half marathon race in mid or end May.

(3) June-July, full marathon training. No more races until Rio Olympics.

The Target

My personal best for 10km races were around 41-42 mins. Coach set the target of achieving 40 mins, a personal best for Seoul 10km challenge. We will then target to do a half marathon in May.

Training (1st Phase) 

My training officially began on 1 Feb 2016. As my workplace is at Fusionopolis, which is a stone’s throw away from NUS, I could train with the NUS cross-country team at NUS track on Mondays and Thursday evenings after work. I remembered meeting Janielle and Faith for the first time and both of them shared with me their warm up routine and drills they did before they start their workout. It was the first time I was introduced to these drills and I took some time to learn and do the drills properly.

My weekdays training are intervals, ranging for 6km to 10km, starting with 400m repeats at 10km race pace (96s per 400m). We started with 16 x 500m intervals and coach gradually increased the intervals to 15 x 600m, 13 x 700m, 12 x 800m and finally 10 x 1km one week before my race.

For shorter intervals, it will be at a faster pace, 92s per 400m. At first, I was not used to the intervals as the number of intervals were more than what I usually do back when I train with Jurong Safra Running Club. But after a few weeks, I learnt how to run relax and run comfortably. I rest on Wednesday and do easy runs on Tuesday, cross training/easy run on Friday and Sunday.

There is no major change in my weekend training. I still stick to 20km long run on Saturdays, though Coach emphasized that the long run should not be too hard as I need to recover for the two hard interval training on weekdays.

Frankly speaking, I wasn’t sure if I would be able achieve the target time for my 10km race as I have not exactly been running at 4mins/km pace continuously. No doubt I have several good workouts during this 7 weeks of training, but there were times I struggled through the training. Like the 13 x 700m workout which I felt the fatigue right after 3 sets and in the end managed only 12 sets and did not complete the workout as plan.

Still, Coach is very encouraging and believes that it is possible. I just have to believe in myself and the training. The final workout 10 x 1km was a confidence booster as I managed complete the workout successfully.

Pre-Race

I departed Singapore on 18 March afternoon and arrived in Seoul on 18 March night. One of the Korea Pocari Sweat staff,  Lee Sang Kyu is very kind to pick me up from airport and send me all the way to the hotel. It was close to midnight by the time I settled in my hotel.

I woke up early to meet the Pocari Sweat team from Indonesia at 8am. They have two runners, one a national runner and another a celebrity, participating in Seoul Marathon. We did our easy run at the Gwanghwamun Square, where it would be the start of the full marathon event. I jogged for 30 minutes and did some drills.

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With team Pocari Sweat from Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Korea!

We met up with Team Pocari Sweat for lunch before going to the Olympic Stadium to check out the expo.

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In the evening, Wina and I meet up with Alex and Rudin who were also in Seoul to do the Seoul Marathon. Alex was injured so he decided not to race and support Rudin instead.

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20 March 2016, race day

Thanks to Pocari Sweat’s hospitality, I have no trouble getting to the venue and arrived at the race site with plenty of time to change, attend to a short interview, and warm up. It was easy getting to the front of the start line too with Pocari Sweat’s help.

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The race started at 1030am. Weather was cool at around 10 degree cel. I wasn’t feeling cold at all as the sun was out. Decided that I will not need my arm sleeves, I removed them just before I entered the race pen and put on my shades when I toed the starting line.

Many runners shot off when the race started and passed me. Adrenaline pumping, I ran along, telling myself to keep to my own race pace. My garmin alerted me 3:57min for my first km and it was exactly 4mins when I passed the first kilometer distance marker. I realised I may have to run slightly faster than what my Garmin indicated so as to meet my target of sub 40 mins. My pace for the 2nd km and 3rd km dropped due to undulating terrain and an incline. I was behind my target by 8 seconds when I passed the 3km distance marker.

I pressed on, determined to chase the time. I could see a girl running ahead of me and target to keep her sight. Got a little worried when my 4th km took me 4:08min and I was behind time by 16 seconds. Still, I kept going, knowing that the 2nd half of the race is flat and I still have a chance to do a sub 40mins 10km.

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Half way point, time check at 20 min 12 sec. I was gradually gaining back the time lost. I was also closing up on the girl ahead of me and that got me quite motivated. And at 7km mark, I finally caught up with her. My split read 3:52″/km. She tried to keep up and followed me for a while. 8th km was slightly slower at 3:58″/km so I was still slightly behind my target time. I knew I have to speed up or risk missing my target. It was only until 9km, with my watch reading I finally on track for a 40mins 10km.

As I approached the Jamsil Olympic Main Stadium, I got really excited and sped up a bit. As I entered the stadium and stepped onto the track, I could see and hear many supporters cheering for the runners. Gave my all and ran as fast as I could round the track. The finishing line was in sight and I was determined to finish the race under 40mins.

And I did it! Crossed the finishing line in 39 min 50 sec, a personal best. It is my first sub 40 mins 10km run. 1796440_10153612246761025_7422838963730084352_n

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Wina, country manager of Pocari Sweat Singapore was there welcoming me back with a hug.

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Make a new friend that day. =) This is Nicole, the girl whom I was chasing from the 1st to 7th km of the race. She came in 2nd, not far away from me.

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And what a surprise and bonus to come in first for the 10km race for the women’s category!

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In the evening, team Pocari Sweat hosted a dinner for all of us to celebrate our achievement. We had such a good time eating, drinking and chatting. Thank you team Pocari Sweat for the hospitality and support! So glad to be part of this family.

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Down but not out (Wk 3)

29 August, Saturday

Participated Orange Ribbon Run as one of the sports ambassadors with Rachel, Raviin and Renuka. Rachel had a shin splint and was also nursing her injury. Haha! I must agree with her when she commented that we are really sisters, injured also around the same time. Anyway, we decided to just do a easy 10km run together. She suggested 5min pace. As I have no confidence in my stamina these days, I told her I will try to follow, and she can go ahead if I can’t keep up. It was hot and humid when the race started at 4pm. We started at an easy pace of 5:30″/min and gradually increased our pace. Rachel’s husband, Zili was still running with us initially but ran ahead after we reached Marina Barrage as he felt that it was too hot and wanted to quickly finished the run. I wasn’t really watching the time anymore after Rachel and I settled into momentum and started chatting as we run. The first half felt more tiring probably because I could feel the glare of the sun in my eyes. We found ourselves going faster at the 2nd half of the run and met a lot of 5km runners as we passed Marina Barrage. At the last 100m to the finishing line, Yvonne, who participated in the 5km category came running past and we witnessed her victory as she crossed the finishing line in under 20mins. And yes, we managed to complete the 10km in sub 50km run too. A very much enjoyable run and catch up with Rachel. Am also very encouraged that I do not feel any pain at all on my left heel when I was running. My pair of GT2000 really provides good cushioning and shock absorption. =)

30 August 2015, Sunday 

Decided to hit Fitness First gym at West gate for active recovery. As the heel pain has returned after I finished running, I decided not to run but to use the elliptical trainer. After that, I went for an hour of RPM Challenge (spinning) class and lazed by the poolside. I can get used to spending Sunday like this.

31 August, Monday

REST!

1 September, Tuesday

Joined Jurong Safra Running Club on JW stadium for intervals. Workout was a pyramid: (400m, 800m, 1200m, 800m, 400m) x 2 sets.

Compared to the same workout I did a week ago (which I struggled through), I find myself more in control of the pacing and effort this time. Very happy to complete the workout feeling strong. Splits for the two sets: 1:35; 3:13; 4:55; 3:10; 1:31 and 1:30; 3:12; 4:53; 3:14; 1:28.

No pain on my heel when I did the intervals, but the pain returned once I took off my shoes and started walking. What bothers me is that the pain lingers and doesn’t go away till hours later. I find that icing the affected area helps. So I continued to ice my heel at night before I sleep and in the morning before work.

2 September, Wednesday

Active recovery at Fusionopolis Fitness First after work. I tried running on treadmill for 5 mins but my heel has yet to recover from the workout the day before and there was discomfort. Switched to elliptical trainer and I spent 45 mins on it before attending a 50 mins RPM class. Realised there was a 30 mins hardcore class after the spin. Curious what the class is about, I decided to try it out. Gosh! Hardcore indeed. It was high-intensity workout consisting of 15 mins cardio and 15 mins of conditioning. I was breathless and panting hard after just one set of cardio workout. This class activated all those muscles which I have been neglecting for the longest time.

3 September, Thursday

Still feeling discomfort on my heel so I decided to skip training with Safra Jurong and did deep water running instead. 45 mins of deep water running follow by 20 mins of swim. It’s really not the same as running outdoors, but I guess it’s the only way to avoid pounding and get fit while I’m at it.

4 September, Friday

REST! =)

Mileage for week 3: approx. 20 km

ASICS City Relay

1 August 2015

I was feeling quite excited about the race as ASICS is the title sponsor for this running event in Singapore. Adding to the fun element, it’s gotta to be a team event across all categories. However, unlike Sundown team event, Asics City Relay is an Ekiden format whereby team members take turns to run 10.5km one after another to make up the full marathon distance. Representing ASICS Running Club, Rachel volunteered to be our first runner as she prefers to run when it’s still bright. Claire opted to be the 2nd runner and Brittany chose to be the 3rd runner. And that leaves me to be the last runner for the team.  We called ourselves Team Asics Charlie Angels. =D

By 5.45pm, all the first runners of each team were already ushered into the race pen. There was a short briefing of the race route and a run through of the change over. At 6pm, the horn sounded and the race was on.

Having fun at photo booth after all the first runners were flagged off.

Having fun at photo booth with Claire after all the first runners were flagged off.

And with Jackie, who eventually decided to participate in this event. He was the 2nd runner for another team.

And with Jackie, who eventually decided to participate in this event. He was the 2nd runner for another team.

There was a tracking board available on the event’s website which shows the time of the runners when they crossed 5.2km mark, which is the u-turn after Gardens By The Bay. It also shows the time when they returned to stadium for the changeover. Rachel ran an impressive first 5km in under 19 mins. By the time she returned to the stadium for change over, her time which was sub 41 mins put us in the lead by more than 3 mins from the 2nd women team.

Claire took over the wrist band and set off looking strong and focused. I looked out for Jackie, who is running the 2nd leg for his team and then went around taking pictures with friends, at the same time find out more about the race route and learn from the experience from the first runners who has returned.

A picture with Brittany (in black) and Rachel after Rachel completed the first leg. She is so amazingly fast!

A picture with Brittany (in black) and Rachel after Rachel has completed the first leg. She is so amazingly fast!

I was feeling hungry having had my last meal at 1pm. Was still contemplating if I should get some food when Wong offered me a small piece of hotdog bun which was enough to fill my stomach. Maintaining our first position, Claire returned in about 48 mins and off Brittany went. I was feeling more jittery by the minute and decided that it was time to get myself a cup of coffee to calm my nerves. Sat down to enjoy the cup of coffee while I listened to Claire as she shared her race experience. It’s gotta be quite messy, she said as the running path is narrow and shared by runners running to and fro. She reminded me to turn left after I see the overhead bridge as she made the mistake of going straight towards marina barrage, only to backtrack after she realised it was not the correct route. Claire also warned me to look out for cyclists and park-goers too.

I finished my cup of coffee and got ready to warm up. At close to 8pm, I proceed to the changeover pen to wait for Brittany’s return. I estimate her to be coming back at around 8:20pm. I was feeling nervous by the minute as I saw more and more runners returning and still no sight of Brittany. While waiting, I spotted speedy Yvonne Lin, 3rd runner from Team Trackstar running past and heading towards the next changeover pen. It was then I realised we have fell to 2nd place. There was nothing to worry about though as Trackstar was under Running Club category which means Team Asics Charlie Angels still remains first under Women Open’s category.

3 more minutes past and I was happy to see Brittany running towards me, her arm reaching out to pass me the wrist band. Grabbed the wrist band and flicked it across my wrist and off I went. I do not have high hopes of catching up the last runner of the Trackstar but was hoping at least I could close up the gap. Spotted Rachel and her husband, Zili both already showered cheering for me as I exited the stadium.

I focused on following the runners ahead of me and gradually overtaking them one by one. Switched on the LED light of the wrist band and it shone brightly in the night. At about 2km mark, I arrived at Tanjong Rhu Park Connector. It was the path whereby the already narrow path was further divided into two to cater for runners returning to the stadium. Spent some effort weaving in and out of the crowd. Also saw Gen, who was the fourth runner for team Flying Doctors flying past me, on his return route to the stadium to finish the race. He and his team mates, Baoying, Joshua and Derek would later went on to win the top position under the corporate category.

I continued running and was glad to catch sight of the overhead bridge, which means water point is near. Turned left and grabbed a cup of water for a sip and pour the rest over my head to cool myself.

It wasn’t difficult to figure out where to turn as I have many runners (mostly runners running the 3rd leg) ahead to follow. Crossed the road and I continued running on the park connector (which leads to ECP). That’s when it got messy and dangerous as this time we also have to look out for cyclists who were sharing the same running route as all runners.

I have yet to reach the u-turn and I managed to catch a glimpse of a female runner running past me on the other side of the route. Her race bib indicated that she’s the fourth runner and I sort of guess she was the anchor runner from team trackstar.

Soon, I reached the u-turn point as well. Time check: 21:31 mins for the first 5.2km. I pressed on, hoping to catch sight of the girl from team trackstar ahead. It took me a while, but I eventually catch up with her after a few hundred meters. She quickened her pace the moment she sensed that I was running alongside her. I pushed the pace, and took the lead shortly after. We continued pushing the pace and got a scare when an oncoming cyclist ride towards us. I let out a scream before I swerved to the left to avoid the cyclist. Thankfully, no one was hurt. With no time to lose, I continued running, hoping to pull away from the girl who was still hot on my heels. But she was quite determined to keep up and I could hear her breathing hard behind me. She was already pushing hard and I knew if I can sustain the pace, I can definitely pull away from her.

Alex Tiong from Safra Tampines came flying past me. Motivated, I tried to chase after him. But he soon disappeared and was out of sight in a flash. By 8km, I could no longer hear footsteps behind me and knew the trackstar girl has dropped behind. I pressed on, not daring to take any chances, in case she sneaked up from behind at the last minute.

The last 2.5km back to the stadium was tough. I was getting tired and my pace dropped back to 4:15″/km. There was more twists and turns as we ran around sports hub before we were eventually directed into the stadium. I sped up again at the last 1km upon seeing that the end point was near.

Made a right turn for the finishing line as I entered the stadium. There were many cheers from the crowd as the emcee announced that the first women’s team has returned. Elated and feeling super high, I crossed the finishing line, and lift the finishing tape up high. Yeah! Team Asics Charlie Angels did it! We won not just the Women Open’s category, but we were the overall winner for the female category too.

Time for my 10.5km was around 44:43mins. Combining all the time taken, we finished the “marathon” in a total time of 3:08:19.

Team ASICS Charlie Angels. =)

Team ASICS Charlie Angels. =)

Super proud of my team mates who have given their all for the race. All in all, we had a great race and truly enjoyed ourselves. It was so much more fun and meaningful to win this as team. =)

A photo with Andy, our

A photo with Andy, our “team manager”, who coordinates and get us together to form a team.

Looking forward to the next series of Asics City Relay!

Sundown Marathon 2015

4 July 2015, Saturday

Been signing up for the full marathon since 2009. This year I decided to go for the 10km team of 4 category when ASICS offered a slot and get a few of us (Kaifen, Claire, Brittany and myself) to form a team.

It was great fun doing a team event. I always love the camaraderie shared among team mates. And it brings a special purpose to racing, because it’s not just about running for your own PB, it’s about doing your best for the team.

I met up with Claire and Kaifen to deposit our bags before we proceed to the race pen. We were looking for Brittany but could not contact or see her. By 9.30pm, there were already a lot of runners streaming into the race pen so we hurried inside. Got a shock when we were almost stopped from entering the first wave. Luckily, we managed to scramble in at the last minute and squeezed our way to the front.

The race started promptly at 10pm. The moment the horn sounded, the front pack shot off in lightning speed. I started my Garmin. Someone knocked against me and I did not realise I have accidentally pressed my Garmin and stopped the time until a minute later. I reset my watch while on the run, knowing that the distance recorded here would not be accurate anymore. As I followed the flow of runners and run based on feel, I could see once of the top female runners in Malaysia, Michele Tan far ahead of me. I was already running at 3:57min pace so I have no guts to go after her. Baoying caught up and was running alongside with me by 2nd km. She was gradually picking up her pace as we approached a flight of stairs leading to Helix Bridge at the 3rd km.  Up the flights of stairs and down again, before we hit the running path towards Gardens By the Bay and Marina Barrage.

I tried to keep up with Baoying, but she was really strong and pulled away from me shortly later. I pressed on, hoping that I could at least keep her in sight. As I ran on the bridge over at Marina Barrage, I could see Michele just slightly ahead of me. She seemed to have slowed down. I overtook her and continued running, taking the few runners ahead as my targets. It’s barely 5km into the run and I was already breathing hard. Yet I can’t seem to go faster. Where has all my stamina go?

Saw scattered groups of men running past from the other side. It was exciting to see who was leading, and who was closely behind. Cheered for Raviin when he ran past. Finally, I arrived at the u-turn. It was a big round u-turn. By the time, I was back onto the straight road, I could no longer see Baoying ahead. I continued running and tried to keep up with a couple of male runners in front.

I was slowing down. The bridge leading to Marina Barrage seemed so far away. I told myself it’s only 4km more to finishing line and I should just keep running.

As I was approaching Marina Barrage, I saw Morgan just ahead and called out to him. I tried to overtake him. He seemed surprised to see me and quickly increased his pace to pull away from me. With a new found motivation, I tried to follow Morgan. I thought I was running faster than before, but the splits on my Garmin says otherwise. My pace had in fact dropped to 4:27″/km and 4″37″/km for my 8th and 9th km.

As I chased after him and ran down the Esplanade bridge, towards the finishing line, Morgan gave a final kick and sped off with his brother. I knew I wouldn’t be able to catch him. I pressed on, hoping to at least achieve a decent timing for this 10km run. Ran my heart out for the last 500m and finished in around 42:30 min.

Slightly disappointed that I did not even manage a sub 42min this time. Hopefully, I will do better for my upcoming races, Shape Run 15km and Ascis Team Relay 10.5km.

All in all, my team did well! We came in first for Team of 4 Women’s Category! Super elated and proud of our team effort.

Eunice just completed her 5km run when we arrived at race site. She managed to catch the fireworks along the run too!

Eunice just completed her 5km run when we arrived at race site. She managed to catch the fireworks along the run too!

Team ASICS. Brittany, Claire, Me and Kaifen.

Team ASICS. Brittany, Claire, Me and Kaifen.

A nice picture of Zhilei and me after the run. I'm still perspiring profusely!

A nice picture of Zhilei and me after the run. I’m still perspiring profusely!

With Rachel, who came in 2nd for her half marathon event! Impressive 1hr 30min run!

With Rachel, who came in 2nd for her half marathon event! Impressive 1hr 30min run!

And it was nice catching up with Kelvin after his race too. Being a father of 2 does not give him much time to run, but he still managed to clock a decent time for his 21km.

And it was nice catching up with Kelvin after his race too. Being a father of 2 does not give him much time to run, but he still managed to clock a decent time for his 21km. <credit to second wind magazine for the pic>

With the boy boy who only manages to run 2-3 times a wk due to work. Glad he still managed to clock a good time for his 21km.

With the boy boy who only manages to run 2-3 times a wk due to work. Glad he still managed to clock a good time for his 21km. Thank you second wind for this lovely shot. 

Shape Run 2014

Shape Run was an unplanned race. Tempted by my Ascis teammate, Kaifen who has signed for the 5km category, I signed up for the 10km category on the last day of the registration. As the race was held just two weeks before Army Half Marathon, I thought the 10km would be a good lead-up run to the half marathon.

It was my first race after Gold Coast Airport Marathon and I was not 100% confident of doing a new PB for 10km. It may seem a bit too ambitious to target for a 40mins at my current fitness, but I wanted to give it a try. If all else fails, at least I had throw in a good tempo run.

17 August 2014 – Race Day

The 10km runners were flagged off promptly at 6:30am in the morning. I tried to follow the front pack consisting Vanja, Renuka, Vivian and two Caucasians runners. First km was completed at 3:57″/km pace. It the first time I started so fast for a 10km race and the first time to see the lead vehicle at such close distance. Vanja was clearly ahead of the pack and getting faster. Vivian was hot on her heels. Renuka was running just a bit behind a young Caucasian girl in blue. There was another Caucasian athlete clad in orange top ahead, and I tried my best to keep her in sight.

Trailing beind the front pack when the race started.

Trailing behind the front pack when the race started.

My 2nd km dropped to 4:10″km pace. Sue Corser caught up with me and overtook me. I tried to keep up with her. We caught up with the Caucasian in orange top but not long after, another Caucasian runner came from behind and overtook the both us. She was tall and lean and running strong. Soon, we were back at the starting point, where the 5km runners were getting ready for their race to start. I heard some familiar voices cheering for me, but did not dare to look back. I could sense that Sue was slowing down. I tried to sped up a little to break away from her.There was another hairpin turn ahead and I saw Renuka running together with the young girl on the other side. They were pulling away fast. Did my u-turn and this time on my left, I saw pacers Baldwin and Zhilei who cheered for me just before I turned right towards Singapore Flyer.

I was disappointed when I realised that my 3rd km and 4th km had dropped to 4:14″/km and 4:17″/km pace. This isn’t good at all. I need to put in more effort  in my run. Managed to run a 4:12″/km split at the 5th km, followed by 4:05″/km at my 6th km. As I ran towards F1 pit, I lost sight of the Caucasian runner ahead. There were barricades put up, but surprisingly there were no marshals around to the direct the runners. Without thinking much, I took the path on the right-hand side, albeit a more narrow one.

It did not occur to me that I should be running on the outside, until I reached the end of F1 pit and it was a dead end in front. I was stunned for a while. Am I on the correct route? I could not see anyone in front. But surely, there’s not other path other than this. I glanced behind me, and saw a female runner and Sue running on. I skipped over the chain and continued my run. I was relieved to see the runner whom I have been chasing just up ahead, as she made a left turn into the park connector. My 7th km reads 4:17″/km. Only 3 more km to go, I pressed on.

Few minutes later, I came to a space where there were barricades arranged in such a way that you ran a few steps in, do a sharp u-turn and out again to enter the park. The purpose is probably to make up the distance to be exact 10km. I ran in, only to get a shock to see the 5th placed runner running towards me. Blur me back tracked a bit and re-entered the barricade on the correct side. A bit of confusion, why would the organiser put two openings? My 8th km reads 4:23″/km. I am way off my target. I could feel another runner hot my heels and Sue not far behind too. That got me really worried and I sped up.

Saw Jackie with Weisian and Trevor standing at the side cheering for me as I ran past. I was too exhausted to even smile. Came out of the park and into a tunnel consisting of up and down slopes. My split at 9km reads 4:10″/km.

The race seemed to finish rather abruptly after I came out of the tunnel. Ran straight for a few hundred metres and then there was a sudden right to the finishing line. Finished the race in 41:33 min, average pace 4:11″/km.

Relieved to finally finish the 10km race.

Yeah! Finished!

No PB and missed my target by more than a minute and a half, but am happy that the time matches the finishing time I did at Jurong Lake Run in June (41:40 min). Managed to secure my 6th position from the start till the end too.

And it was only after the results were released, I realised the 5th place lady, who I had been chasing hard right from the start is Anna Helowicz. I first came across her name in the article written by Run Society on Gold Coast Airport Marathon. Anna is the first Singaporean/PR to finish the marathon in an impressive 3hr! Glad to finally meet her in person.

And like every other races, there were lots of photo-taking after the run.

The prize winners for the 10km category.

The prize winners for the 10km category.

Asics Teammate, Kaifen did well! 3rd for her 5km category! =)

Asics Teammate, Kaifen did well! 3rd for her 5km category! =)

Best part of the race is catching up and taking pictures with friends.

Best part of the race is catching up and taking pictures with friends.

With my one and only cheerleader who always makes time to support me at my races. <3

With my one and only cheerleader who always makes time to support me at my races. ❤

Jurong Lake Run 2014

21 June 2014

The last time I participated in Jurong Lake Run was in 2012 and I really enjoyed the race. Missed last year’s race because I signed up for KL marathon (which was cancelled in the end due to haze) and thought I wouldn’t have recover in time to do a good 10km. I was excited to be back again this year, after all Jurong was my “homeground” where I train, live and breathe.

I took the MRT to Jurong East and there were already many runners making their way towards the start line which was just in front of the Science Centre. Changed into my race shoes and deposited my bag. After visiting the portable loo, I started jogging towards the starting line as warm up. I wanted to spend a bit more time warming up, but there were already many runners inside the race pen. Afraid that I would have difficulty getting to the front if I delay any longer, I decided to enter the pen to wait for the race to start. While waiting, I scanned the crowd for familiar faces. Said Hi to Ying Rong who was standing in front and also chatted with Renuka who was just standing beside me. At the other end, spotted Run’er and Rachel too.

The race started promptly at 6.30pm. The front pack shot off in lightning speed right from the start. Rachel dashed past me shortly, chasing after Renuka and Ying Rong. My target was to attempt a 4:10″/km pace and if possible run a bit faster for the 2nd half. Since my first km reads 4:02 min (Glups!), I decided it wouldn’t be wise to chase after the ladies ahead. I just hope I could at least keep them in sight.

Early part of the race, just outside Chinese Garden station.

Early part of the race, just outside Chinese Garden station.

By the 2nd km, I could not see the ladies anymore after they turned into Jurong Lake Park. I was running well, but fear crept in suddenly when my breathing quicken and I started panting more heavily than usual. I thought I was going too fast too early into the race and I’m certainly going to breakdown later. The momentary thinking was enough to distract me from attempting my best effort to run at my target pace as planned. There were some twists and turns and I got a little worried when I realised my pace has dropped drastically to 4:20″/km at the fourth km.

Mustering a smile and thumbs up sign when I saw Kim Lai taking photos of the runners.

Mustering a smile and thumbs up sign when I saw Kim Lai taking photos of the runners.

Turned into the park connector leading to Chinese Garden. I could at last see Rachel again from a distance. I pressed on, taking her as my target, hoping to catch up with her before the race ends. Approaching Japanese Garden, I suddenly spotted a familiar figure clad in yellow singlet. It was Trevor from MF! He was just behind Rachel. Motivated, I picked up speed again to chase after the two of them. Finally, caught up with them just after the 7km mark. The three of us ran together for a while and Trevor and I slowly pulled away from Rachel. I was following Trevor and realised that my next km reads 4:15″/min. I was way behind my target and I’m only left with 2km to make up for it! I picked up my pace again, pulling away from Trevor, hoping he would follow so we could push each other to the finishing line.

Pressing on to catch up with Trevor and Rachel ahead.

Pressing on to catch up with Trevor and Rachel ahead.

A few more twists and turns in the park, and finally I knew the end point was near when I was running along Yuan Ching Road. Turned into road towards Jurong Lake Park and gave my last surge towards the finishing line. Completed the 10km in 41mins 38 secs, finishing 4th for Women’s Open category. Not my best time but I’m happy that I finished the race strongly. Just a bit regretful that I had let fear taken over my faith during the first half. The fear of going too fast, not because I couldn’t but because I was afraid. The fear of struggling and winded in the end.

Sometimes, you really need the courage to believe that you are really capable of running faster and pushing your limits. I really need to be more courageous and believe in myself that I could do it.

Overall, a good run and had an awesome experience at Jurong Lake Run. A great confident booster for my upcoming marathon especially after a very disappointing sundown marathon.

Glad to catch up with fellow Asics team mate, Kaifen who also came in 4th for her 6km race.

Glad to catch up with fellow Asics team mate, Kaifen who also came in 4th for her 6km race.

Chia, Jurong Safra Running Club's Vice-Chairman came in first for Men's Veteran category. Pey Ling did a PB and also earned a 8th placing for Women's open category! Happy that we have all done well for this race.

Chia, Jurong Safra Running Club’s Vice-Chairman came in first for Men’s Veteran category. Pey Ling did a PB and also earned a 8th placing for Women’s open category! Happy that we have all done well for this race.