Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon

I signed up for the half marathon category this year. Mainly because I know I’m not quite ready to do another full marathon so soon after SCMS in December.

My personal best for half marathon was last achieved at SCHKM 2013 where I ran 1:31:17. I have been trying for the longest time to do a sub 1:30 for half marathon and have not been successful. I was hoping the cool climate in HK would be able to help me achieve this target, if not at least a PB.

However, training did not go according to plan. I took a long time to recover from SCMS and could not perform during training. Training had also been inconsistent as I cut down on my training to visit my maternal grandpa (who was unwell and in critical condition) as often as I could. *Grandpa passed away peacefully on 2 Jan 2016. Though we were heartbroken and sad, we were glad that he need not suffer and was free from the agony. He is in a better place now*

I went to HK with a heavy heart. Having missed key workouts in January, I was feeling unfit and certainly not in the best shape to attempt a sub 1:30 half marathon. Still, I thought I could try for a PB.

17 Jan 2016, Race Day

Jackie managed to sign up for the half marathon category during race pack collection the day before. We started the race together at about 4:20″/km pace and eased into 4:15″/km pace. However, I faded off and slowed down barely 10km into the race.

I have ran SCHKM for the past three years, yet I don’t remember the route being so hilly and undulating. I struggled at the last third of the half marathon. I kept chasing for the time, hoping to run a bit faster but my legs felt heavy and breathing felt hard.


Smile because for that moment it took away your fatigue.IMG_1090

It seemed like an eternity has gone by the time I entered Victoria Park and saw the finishing line.


Lack of training and it totally showed during the race. So spent!


A photo after the race. (Taken by Team Manager, Carissa who was there to support the Singaporean athletes.)

Completed the half marathon in 1:31:23.

Not a PB and certainly not one of my best races, but I glad I pressed on to complete the race in the best effort possible. Have to be contented with this season best time for now.



Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon 2015

I was hesitant to sign up for SCHKM at first for two reasons: (1) I just completed the Singapore Marathon in early Dec last year; (2) I have also signed up for Tokyo marathon which is on 22 Feb 2015 (which means 4 weeks after SCHKM). Yes, that sums up to 3 marathons in 3 months! Something which I have never thought I would have attempt if you ask me a year ago. But I guess, I am not getting any younger. If not now, then when?

The Training Phase

Some may feel it is a tab too soon to race in another marathon after SCMS. I thought so too but took the plunge anyway. Somehow, the fact that I only have 7 weeks to prepare for the marathon made me treasure my time and training sessions more than ever. The shorter training period made the training phase more bearable too. I find myself putting in my best effort during the training because time is running out and I have to make the most of every training session. Learning from past experience, I also reminded myself to stay positive and happy during training, and not to beat myself up if I had a bad workout, or if I did not clock enough mileage. Undertrain is better than overtrain. So, despite failing to meet my target weekly mileage of 80km in what was supposed to be my peak week, I was not too upset about it. (after all 79.3km was pretty close to 80km =p). I simply have to believe that the hard work and effort put into each training session would be good enough to pull me through on race day.


Jackie and I arrived in Hong Kong on Friday morning, two days before race day. We spend most of our time on Friday and Saturday eating, walking around, shopping, keeping our legs active and made sure we hydrate ourselves with isotonic drinks. We had about 5-6 hours’ of sleep on the night before the marathon. I was hoping to get at least 8hrs of rest, but we got carried away with shopping and spent a longer time than expected preparing for our race gears the night before.Still, it was a quality sleep and I woke up feeling relaxed and fresh.

Race Kit collection with Jackie and Laichee at Victoria Park.

Race Kit collection with Jackie and Laichee at Victoria Park.

Race day

Jackie and I woke up at 4.15am in the morning to get ready for the race. Breakfast was a chocolate croissant which we bought from Marks & Spencer the night before and a can of warm coffee which we got from 7-11 while we were on our way to Granville Road in the morning. Visited the loo and deposited our baggage at my allocated van. It was not as cold as last year, so I decided to do away with my arm sleeves. There was no need for gloves at all. I also took off an old T-shirt which I was wearing to keep myself warm, leaving only my poncho over my race attire which were just my Asics running vest and shorts. As Jackie did not have a priority start this time round (standards for men raises to sub 3hr for the priority start this year compared to 3:30hr last year), he has to made his way quickly to the start pen, which was already quite crowded by 5:40am. I was thankful to be given a priority entry (standards for women priority start is sub 3:30hr) as it saved me a lot of hassle.

A picture with fellow Asics team mate, Kaifen before the race. She is representing Singapore for the Asian Marathon this year.

A picture with fellow Asics team mate, Kaifen before the race. She is representing Singapore for the Asian Marathon this year.

A picture with Jackie before the race too.

A picture with Jackie before the race too.

After a short warm up jog up and down Granville Road and some dynamic stretching, I entered the priority start pen at the Nathan Road when I see more and more runners with a red stamp on their bibs filling the pen. In front of us was the elites’ pen, including overseas invited runners. They had a gold stamp on their race bibs. The time crept closer to 6am, the working crew who were holding back the general public pen slowly marched forward till they finally let go of their hands and allow the runners to merge with us. We were all pushed to the front as well, merging with the elites runners. It was about 6am. Feeling warm now that all participants are all huddled, I removed my poncho and took a packet of gel while waiting patiently for the flag-off. The emcee shared with us the temperature of the day, which was about 17 degree Celsius. Humidity was on the high side at 80 over percent.

“Ten..nine..eight..” the countdown began. I checked my Garmin for the last time to see that it has not lost the satellite. “Three.. two.. one..Beeeep” The race is on! Upon hearing the horn, the front pack shot off in lightning speed. Runners from behind also started fast, and many dashed past me in a flash. Adrenaline pumping, I ran on, following the runners ahead, running at 4:27″/km pace for the first km. There was a road divider separating the runners into two groups right from the start. Out of a corner of my eye, I saw a runner stumbled forward and fell onto the ground. Thankfully, he did not suffer from any injury, he was up again and continue running.

The race is on!

The race is on!

Three kilometers later we were on West Kowloon Highway. It was then I realised that there was more runners ahead than I thought. There was a long train of runners ahead and I could not even see where this train ended. From this part onwards, it was a gradual uphill. We could see the half marathoners who were flagged off at 5.30am on the other side of the road too. I was feeling ok, but as much as I would like to go faster, I could not seem to increase my pace comfortably. At about 5km mark, my average pace was hovering at about 4:28″/km. I got a little worried because I have yet to get into the “zone” and I could feel my breathing got heavier when I ran up the hills. I decided to just maintain my pace until I reach the 10km mark and hopefully be able to speed up thereafter. It was getting warm and I was grateful for the wet sponges provided at all the water stations. I almost missed grabbing one sponge and a kind runner from behind passed me one. It happened so smoothly and quickly; almost like passing a baton that I forgot to thank him.

Time check at 10km: 44:50 min.

Not too bad though I was hoping I could do 44mins for my first 10km. Nevertheless,  I was pleased that I was finally getting the rhythm and running more efficiently. The downhill just before the 10km was a good breather. A few kilometers later, I could see the elite pack consisting mainly of Kenyan and Ethiopian male runners flying past on the other side, followed by another pack of elite female runners few minutes later.

I wonder how was Jackie doing. He was probably behind me as he has intention to start at a much slower pace. I was also keeping a lookout for fellow Asics team mates, Rachel and Kaifen, wondering where they were too Soon, I find myself running on Tsing Ma Bridge (青马大桥) and I get to see the faster runners on the other side of the road. Caught sight of Ramesh, Singapore representative. Not too long after, saw Rachel running strong. Her husband, clad in Captain America costume was a few seconds behind her. Gosh! They were really fast! I estimate that they were at least 1km ahead.

Knowing the u-turn point at 15km mark was near, I pressed on. I was surprised to see Thow Wee ahead. Caught up with him and chatted a bit with him. He encouraged me to run ahead.

The first turning point at 15km mark.

The first turning point at 15km mark.

After the u-turn, I kept a lookout of the runners on the other side of the road for familiar faces. Saw Jackie not long after and we cheered for each other. He was not as far behind as I thought after all! I know it would be just a matter of time before he caught up with me. I increased my pace unconsciously, looking forward to the next turning point at 20km mark. Spotted a few more familiar faces along the way, Kaifen, Peyling, Sebastian from NB. Heard someone shouted my name but I did not manage to see who it was.

Getting into the zone

There was a right angel left turn as I cruised downhill to North West Tsing Yi Interchange. Somewhere along this route toward the turning point on Ting Kau Bridge (汀九桥),  I found myself relaxing and beginning to enjoy the run. Jackie was catching up. He was just a few seconds behind me after I u-turn at the 20km mark. Am I slowing down? I tried to speed up a little. Crossed the 21.1km marker and glanced at the clock placed beside the marker, which read 1:33:48. “1hr 34 min for the first half, can I do an even split and finish under 3:08?” My mind raced.

Jackie soon caught up with me again and we ran alongside each other for a while. I was glad to have his company as I always have the tendency to slow down after the half way mark.  It was long stretch of downhill and a couple of uphill from 20km onwards. We were definitely on runners’ high, running faster at sub 4:25’/km pace at certain stretches and my fastest split recorded here was 4:15″/km. Jackie was on fire and soon was pulling away from me. I dare not keep chase and was contented with the pace that I hope I could sustain throughout the race.

Fatigue set in

However, by 28km, I was fading away when I approached yet another slope. My running pace dropped to 4:35″/km as I pushed myself up the hill. “What goes up must come down.” I chanted the mantra to myself. By then Jackie, who was stronger at tackling hills, was about fifty meters ahead of me but still within sight.

Passed the 30km distance marker and checked my time: 2:13:22. Am I still on target for 3:08? I have no idea. By then, fatigue was attacking me in waves and I was too drained to work out any calculation. I only know I have 12km to go and less than 1 hr to finish the marathon to get myself a PB.

It was mostly flat for the next three km. I pressed on, hoping to close the gap between myself and Jackie. I was happy to finally see the entrance to the Western Harbour tunnel leading to Causeway Bay. My Garmin lost the satellite a few seconds after I entered the tunnel. It was a long stretch and I could see many runners ahead. I ran purely based on feel, not knowing my pace. By 35km, I could sense that Jackie was slowing down because I was closing up on him. “7km more to go, come on!” I tried to think positive. Soon, I was approaching the exit. The light at the end of the tunnel never feel so welcoming before. Suddenly, Jackie who was just a few meters ahead of me stopped and started walking. Oh no! Did he pick up his pace too fast earlier on? I hope he would feel better and start running soon. I gave him a pat on his back from behind as I ran past. Too exhausted to exchange any words after conquering the hilly terrain, all I could mustered was a eye contact which I hope it conveyed Jiayou for him.

Finally, I'm out of the last  tunnel.

Finally, I’m out of the last tunnel.

The challenging terrains

Despite running the same route as last year, I was totally unprepared for the undulating terrains when I came out of the tunnel. I did not remember this part of the route being so hilly. Little did I expect myself to be huffing and puffing as I ran on the Connaught Road West Flyover. It seemed much easier last year, probably because I was chasing after Jackie and Kenneth right after I came out of the tunnel.

From this point onwards, I was running alone most of the time. The only motivation was that the end point was near and there were now more photographers taking photos and supporters cheering for participants along the roadside. My Garmin did not recalculate the distance even thought it captured the satellite after I came out of the tunnel. Hence, my average pace shown on the Garmin became 4:40″/km. Distance was also not accurate anymore. I kept running, looking forward to hit the streets at Causeway Bay.

Past the 40km mark and I saw a familiar figure in red vest ahead. It was Rachel! I hurried along, hoping to close up the gap. It took a while for me to finally catch up with her and we cheered for each other. I was less than 2km away from finishing point and was feeling excited and anxious all at once because I realised I was very close to getting a personal best.

I could see the 41km mark in a distance on the top of one last hill. I psych myself up to prepare for the steep ascent. Thankfully it was a short one. I tried to catch my breath as I cruised down the slope. There was no chance for a 3:08 finish but there was still hope for a sub 3:10 if all worked out.

Feeling very excited and anxious when I realised I was so close to getting a PB and also so close to missing it.

Feeling very excited and anxious when I realised I was so close to getting a PB and also so close to missing it.

I pounded through the streets at Causeway Bay, soaking in the race atmosphere and running as fast as my legs could carry me. I was getting more anxious by the minute. The organiser had changed the last one km of the route this year. Where was Victoria Park? Where was the prominent green carpet leading to the finishing line?

Ah.. there it was! I took a glance at the clock ahead the moment I stepped onto the green carpet. The clock was already counting at 3:09:xx. I had less than a minute to finish the marathon in under 3:10!

Giving my best at the final stretch.

Giving my best at the final stretch.

With no time to lose, I made my final sprint towards the finishing line, just on the dot too with a gun time of 3:09:59. Mardiah from SAA managed to take a nice finishing shot of me at the end. =)


So yes, I did it! Completed the SCHKM in 3:09:57 (nett time). Finally a sub 3:10 marathon to my name! A new personal best, shaving about 1min plus from the 3hr 11 min achieved at GCAM last July. =D

With our hard-earned finisher medal.

With our hard-earned finisher medals.

Up next, Tokyo Marathon in 4 weeks’ time!

Training for SCHKM – Week 7

One last week before heading to Hong Kong on Friday morning! *excited*

It was tapering week so I only did two workouts for this week.

20 Jan 2015, Tuesday

Jogged to Jurong West Stadium and continue another two rounds around the track to warm up. Did a short session of drills and stretching and I was ready to begin my 5 x 800m intervals with run to rest ratio of 1:0.5. My initial target was 3:05min per set, but I could not seem to go any faster so have to be contented with the following time:  3:08, 3:10, 3:10, 3:11. 3:11. Cool down 1.5km to clubhouse.

22 Jan 2015, Thursday

Jogged to Jurong Central Park which is just a stone’s throw away from home. I started with 5:30″/km pace and was thinking of just completing my 7km easy run in an average 5:15″/km pace. Minutes into the run, I was getting the momentum. Comfortable breathing, legs feels light. I was in the “zone”, running relaxed and happy. Soon, I found myself going faster as I went round and round the park. Decided to stop after 4 loops when my Garmin reads 7km. Time: 36:08min, average pace: 5:07″/km. The release of endorphins never feel good.

25 Jan 2015, Sunday

Race day! *stay tuned for my race report!*

Total mileage for week 7 (19 Jan – 25 Jan) including the marathon:  56.3km

Training for SCHKM – Week 6

Took a break on Monday because my family is celebrating my dear nephew’s 2nd birthday! He will turn two tomorrow!

13 Jan 2015, Tuesday

I decided to venture into NTU to do the 1km hill loops again. This time alone as Peyling planned to do intervals at the stadium. Jogged about 3km to NTU from my place as warm-up. The plan today was to do 3 sets of (4x1km) loop with 2mins rest in between. Felt a bit nervous prior to the workout as the last time I tried the similar workout was 3 weeks ago where I did 3 sets of (3x1km).

The first set started well, clocking 13:35min for the first set, close to my target pace of 4:30″/km. I hit the stop button after the 4th loop and moments later my Garmin 610 quickly went into the power saving mode while I rested. At close to 2mins, I realised I could not unlock my Garmin despite sliding my finger across the screen umpteen times. Yes, I was perspiring that profusely and my hands weren’t dry enough. I gave up trying to unlock my Garmin when I realised it was close three minutes of rest time. After taking note of the time, I began my next set.

Set 2: 17:45min, average pace: 4:26’/km. I was pleasantly surprised that I actually run better without using the Garmin to pace myself. Was checking the time and doing mental calculation after every loop keep track of my pace.

Set 3: 17:52min, average pace: 4:28″/km. Spotted fellow Asics team mater, Raviin doing his training with his friends too.

Jogged to Jurong West Stadium to cool down. Except for the episode with Garmin malfunction, I was rather pleased with today’s workout.

14 Jan 2015, Wednesday

I was glad to have Peyling’s company for today’s run. Took the same route as last week, from office–> Ulu pandan PCN –> Jurong East –> Jurong West and extended it a bit to end at Jurong West stadium. I managed to do a much faster pace than last week and it seemed easier too. A training buddy really makes a difference. Completed 15.7km in 1:19:48, average pace 5:05″/km.

15 Jan 2015, Thursday

Decided to join MF Safra for training this evening because I needed some motivation for run after training for a few weeks alone. The program was a easy 10km run to Depot Road–>Canterbury –> Alexandra Rd and back to the clubhouse via Telok Blgh St 31.

The group started at 6min pace as warm-up. After about 2km, I picked up the pace to about 5min’/km. The group split up after we crossed the traffic lights, with the guys, Melvin and Xavier leading the way while Trevor and a couple of guys following closely behind. Melvin and Xavier soon picked up the pace again when we were inside Canterbury. Doesn’t seem like they are doing easy run after all as we were already running at sub 4:45″/km pace and going faster. As we ran out of Canterbury to cross the bridge over to Alexandra, I realised I was the only one following Melvin and Xavier who were pulling away from me gradually. My pace was hovering between 4:37-4:33’/km then. I pressed on and managed to close the gap after we came down from the bridge. But the two guys soon sped up when we turned left onto Telok Blgh St 31. My pace dropped to 4:51″/km at about 8km mark as I tried to run up the slopes. Melvin and Xavier were still going strongly and I was losing motivation to chase them.

Moments later, I heard footsteps behind me and realised Trevor has caught up. Soon, we were running alongside each other. Thanks to him, I picked up my pace again. At the flatter road, I managed to squeeze a bit more to chase after Trevor who was now ahead. Glad to have him pushing me to finish the run strongly. Completed 9.8km in 47:13min, average pace: 4:48″/km.

18 Jan 2015, Sunday

Jackie and I had wanted to join MF safra for their long run today. But we overslept and by the time we reached the clubhouse, they had already started their run. After some stretching, we started our run at 7:35am, following the same route. Since Jackie and I intend to clock 20km for the long run, we turned into towards MBS and continued running towards Marina Barrage. It was barely 10km, so we ran up to the 2nd level and down again before taking a break at the water cooler. And for the second time this week, I bumped into Raviin who was out running with his training mates. What a small world.

It was getting warm. I was not sure if I could maintain the 4:45″min/km pace for the 2nd half of the run. Jackie was certainly running faster than before. He was pulling away quickly as we ran towards the NTUC building. I am contented with running at 4:45-4:50″/km pace so did not attempt to close the gap. Caught up with him when we both stopped at a traffic light. I need some water so we stopped at McDonalds along Anson Road for a quick water break. I think Jackie sensed that I was not happy he was increasing his pace and leaving me behind, so he controlled his pace this time, and then pushed himself and finished strongly at the last 1km up Henderson Road to the clubhouse.

I tried to maintain the same effort as I trudged up the slope too. Glad to finish the run at an average pace of 4:43″/km in 1:30:37, distance recorded by Garmin 19.2km, probably not too accurate as the capturing of the satellite was quite unstable over at CBD area.

All in all, the trainings this week has worked out somehow, better than my expectation. A confidence booster for SCHKM next week. =)

Total Mileage for Week 6 (12 Jan – 18 Jan 2015): 62km

Training for SCHKM – Week 5

5 January 2015, Monday

It was business as usual on the first Monday of the New Year. Back in the gym after work. Easy run into NTU like last week, and this time I managed to complete 8 sets of 30 secs hill sprints inside NTU. I ran back to the gym to continue with 10mins of cycling and some core exercises. Clocked a total distance of 9.2km in 49:54 min for the easy run to and fro. Average pace: 5:25″/km. Happy that my legs felt more relaxed as compared to last week. =)

6 January 2015, Tuesday

Warm up 2.4km to Jurong West st 24. This is one of the usual training venues for Jurong Safra Running Club but it has been a long time since I came here. For the workout, I decided to try 2 sets of (4×1.4km) loop around the park with 2min of rest in between sets. Completed the first set in 26:45min and second set in 26:02min. Average pace was 4:40″/km, below my target pace of 4:30″/km so was slightly disappointed. End off the session with 1.7km jog to Jurong Point to buy dinner for myself.

7 January 2015, Wednesday

Another run from office to home on a Wednesday evening. This time with no companion as Jackie was at work and Peyling also tied up with her work. The sun seemed to be setting later than usual these days. I started my run from one-north MRT at 6:10pm, and I could still catch a glimpse of the sunset when I reached Jurong East.

Still recovering from yesterday’s workout, I decided 15km was enough when I arrived at lakeside. I continued running into Jurong Central Park and was surprised to see Sew Hyong doing her tempo inside the park. After my run, I went inside the clubhouse to get a sip of water. (oh yes, I ran without my bottle this time). And did some stretching while I waited for Sew Hyong to complete her run. It was nice catching up with her. She had signed up for Taipei Charity Marathon when they released new slots and is now preparing for the race which would be held in early Feb. Definitely one of the most hardworking and disciplined runners in our club. =)

Distance: 15.2km in 1:19:52. Average pace: 5:15″/km. Legs feel quite tired. >-<

8 January 2015, Thursday

Skipped running today due to rain. Was feeling lethargic too so I did not get out for a run even though the rain has cleared. Late at night, I decided to try out the Nike Training App which Jackie has recommended. Did a short 5mins workout following the steps, followed by a 15mins workout which focuses on toning the arms. Just a short session had me sweating buckets even though I’m not sure if I am following the steps correctly. But it did make me feel less guilty about not running this evening too.

11 January 2015, Sunday

Something exciting happened over the weekend! And I did not managed to clock 30km as planned on Saturday. Managed to squeeze in a 14.8 km run on Sunday after I overslept and woke up late. Did not bother catching the satellite since I was in a rush. So treated the first 1.3km as warm up. Upon reaching NTU, my pace increased to 5″min pace. First loop went well. But my run quickly went downhill when I began my second loop. I could feel my legs getting heavier, breathing become more difficult. I was glad to finally stop for water at hall 7. I only picked up again when I got out of NTU and ran towards my home.

Distance: 13.5 km in 1:10:20. Average pace: 5:13″/km.

*I hope I’m not burnout*

Weekly mileage for Week Five (5 Jan – 11 Jan 2015): 54.5 km 

Training for SCHKM – Week 4

29 December 2014, Monday

Back to the gym at Jurong West Sports Complex on a Monday. Like last week, I decided to go for a run inside NTU. Legs felt heavy so I decided not to do any hill repeats and just extend my run to about 9km. Time: 51:26min, average pace: 5:33″/km. Returned to the gym to do 10min of cycling followed by core exercises.

30 December 2014, Tuesday

I was feeling lazy when I reached home after work. Had a cup of coffee to perk myself up. Finally pulled myself out of the house just before 8pm. I was jogging to Jurong Central Park when I bumped into Alan and Pok, friends from Jurong Safra running club at the traffic light. They had just finished a tough session of core training with the club.

I continued jogging one round around Jurong Central Park to warm up. Initially, I was thinking of doing 2 sets of 4×1.7km loop at 4:30″/km pace, with 2mins rest in between. However, I just could not seem to get to my target pace when I started. My pace was hovering around 4:45″/km pace. My average pace became 4:40″/km after about 2km. It was then I decided to just run continuously without stopping. In the end, I did about 7 loops which add up to be 12km in 54:33mins. Surprisingly, I started running faster and my average pace eventually increased to 4:33″/km pace, better than expected. Felt very happy and accomplished after this workout.

31 December 2014, Wednesday

It was New Year’s Eve. Eileen from Jurong Safra suggested doing a late night 20.15km run to catch the fireworks and welcome year 2015. A group of us were gamed for this and so we met up at around 10:30pm at East Coast Park B1 carpark to start the first part of the run.

A group picture at ECP before we start the run.

A group picture at ECP before we start the run.

Jackie was familiar with the route from ECP to Marina Barrage and he led the way. He also suggested to us to catch the fireworks at the Sheares Bridge since it might be less crowded. As we ran towards Tanjong Rhu and into the Gardens By the Bay, we saw more and more people laying picnic mats on the ground, getting ready to catch the fireworks at midnight. There were couples, families and big groups of teenagers.

We continued running and u-turn just before we reached Marina Barrage when we realised it was about 1130pm. Climbed a long flight of stairs up to the Shears Bridge. It was quite packed with people too, all waiting to catch the first fireworks of the new year. We continued walking and picked a less crowded spot, almost close to the Rochor Rd exit. Took some photos and waited patiently for the countdown to begin.

Before the clock struck twelve and 2014 becomes 2015. Excited to catch the first fireworks of the new year.

Before the clock struck twelve and 2014 becomes 2015. Excited to catch the first fireworks of the new year.

super love this picture of me and the bf with the fireworks at the background. Happy New Year to all! =D

super love this picture of me and the bf with the fireworks at the background. Happy New Year to all! =D

As we had only ran 8km+ before catching the fireworks, we needed to clock another 12km to make it 20.15km. We decided to return to ECP via the same route and continue the run inside ECP. Jackie and I sped up a bit once we were inside ECP. Gis and Peyling followed closely behind. By then, I was feeling exhausted. Possibly becaucse it was past midnight and my bedtime. I couldn’t wait for the run to be over soon. We continued running 4km and then did a u-turn, after Wong, Chua and Alan gathered together. Jackie sped off at an even faster pace after the u-turn. I tried to increase my pace too but I could not catch up.

I was really happy and relieved when B1 carpark was finally in sight. Kept a close watch on my Garmin upon hitting 20km and stopped the watch immediately the moment the distance reads 20.15km. Time: 1:58:54, average pace: 5:53″/km.

Yay! Mission accomplished. Happy 2015! =)

3 January 2015, Saturday

I had to do my long run today because my friend’s wedding is tomorrow and I’m one of her bridesmaids. And because the boyfriend gotta work on Saturday, there was no one to accompany me for the long run this time. It is three weeks to the marathon. So the plan for this week’s LSD is to clock my longest long run of 35-36km.

I started from my house at 5:45am in the morning and ran towards NTU. Did two loops around the campus and I bumped into Sew Hyong who was out doing her LSD on my 2nd loop. It was motivating to see fellow Safra mate training hard for upcoming marathon. It was close to the end of my 2nd loop, and I clocked about 12km+ when I left NTU. Not too bad, pace was around 5:05″/km and I’m still feeling fresh.

However, fatigue sets in after 18km when I reached the Jurong Lake Park. I took a break at the toilet outside Chinese Garden. I  started my run again, this time struggling to maintain the pace. I saw a relative who was out for a morning stroll. I said “Hi” to her and ran on, my breathing getting heavier with each step I took. 21km, and I think I hit the wall. My running pace dropped from 5:04″/km to 5:15″/km.

Finally, I completed one loop (5km) inside Jurong Lake Park. One more loop to go and I can head home, I told myself. The sun was out shining brightly in the sky when I started my second loop. I took another extended break at the toilet before I continued to finish the second loop. At the end of the loop, I bumped into an old JC schoolmate, Cindy who was out walking her dog. I chatted with her while I catch my breath. My Garmin reads 28km. The distance from Jurong Lake Park to my house is 3km. I had very much wanted to run straight home there and then and just clock 31km in total.

I glad I didn’t give in to the thought. Felt marginally better after chatting with Cindy and decided to extend my run towards Chinese Garden before u-turning and go home. “At least 33km today”, I told myself. So it was a very mental 1km towards Chinese Garden before I u-turn again and head home. The next three km was difficult but I made it. I decided to run an additional km to clock 34km just to make it my longest run since I had done 33km last week.

After 34km, I was even contemplating to run one more km to meet my target. But it was getting late and if I were to run one more km, it would be more than a 3hr run. Haven’t I read somewhere that it wouldn’t be beneficial to run more than 3hrs? Whatever.. Probably just an excuse for me to stop as I was tired.

Distance: 34.3km, Time: 2:56:42, Avg pace: 5:09″/km.

Pace was a far cry from the past few long runs. It was really mental today, doing the long run alone. Very tough and I’m so glad I pushed myself to do 34km when I really feel like giving up after 28km. But well, even with a 34km long run today, I did not even hit 80km for this week, which is supposed to be my peak training week.

Weekly mileage for Week Four (29 Dec 2014 – 4 Jan 2015): 79.3km

Training for SCHKM – Week 3

22 December 2014, Monday Thanks to the ActiveSG credit, I am now heading to gym more frequently. It was Winter Solstice and company granted early release for us. Knocked off at 4plus pm and I got into the gym at around 5pm. After changing, I left the gym for a short run to NTU and back. Met Angela who was also running inside NTU too. Nice to see her! =) Did an easy 7km run in 39:08min, average pace: 5:30″/min. Returned back to gym to do a 10mins stationery cycling and some core exercises. Would love to stay a bit longer but gotta rush home for dinner with family and enjoy home made tang yuan. ❤ 23 December 2014, Tuesday Jogged to Jurong West Stadium only to find that the stadium was closed due to lightning risk. Peyling was also at the stadium to do intervals. I asked her if she wants to do tempo run inside NTU instead since we were not able to use the track. So off we went to the NTU for the 1km hill loops. Did 3 sets of 3km (3 rounds of the 1km loop in the clockwise direction) and rest 2mins in between sets. 1 set: 13:35min; 2nd set: 13:30min; 3rd set: 13:30min (approx 4:26″-4:30″/km) Was really glad to have Peyling running with me to push me to put in more effort in the run. Jogged to the stadium to stretch and cool down. A very satisfying run because including the warm up and cool down, I clocked about 14km, much more than what I usually clock if I do intervals. No run on 24 December, Wednesday because it’s Christmas’ Eve! =D 25 December 2014, Thursday Since I did not run on Wed, I decided to clock a slightly longer run on Christmas Day. The best part of a public holiday is that you get to choose the time you go for your run. My run started at around 6pm in the evening. Started from home to S’pore Discovery Centre (that’s about 4km). U-turn and met Chia who was out running too. Continued my run towards Jurong Lake Park. Ran inside the park and stopped at the toilet just outside Chinese Garden for a break. Sky has turned dark by then. I suddenly saw Peyling ran past. But she was too engrossed in running and listening to her music that she did not hear me shout out to her. Continued the rest of my run home. 18km in 1:30:48, average pace: 5:03″/km. Endorphins released =) 27 December 2014, Saturday Back to Sentosa again with the same group of friends, with Alan joining us too. The planned distance was 33km. The running route was the same as Week One, but Jackie who wasn’t feeling well planned to do 3 rounds first and if all goes well extend it by another 3km. Round 1 (avg 5:04″/min) and Round 2 (avg 5:03″/min) was ok albeit slower than the past two long runs we did. Motivated to see Ashley (from Tampines Safra) with his group of runners doing their morning runs too. Fatigue set in when I started my third round. On the other hand, Jackie surprisingly ran much faster than the first and second round despite a running nose. ( I think he was insulted when I say it’s ok to not do a sub 5min pace run if he was not feeling well.) I think I was the one not feeling well. >-< Gave up chasing him when he pulled so far away from me even though I was already attempting at 5min/km pace. Continued my run at my own pace and brought the avg pace down to 5:02″/km after the three loops. I should have continued the last 3km without stopping, but the water cooler at Tanjong Beach toilet was just too tempting. After splashing myself with some water, I dragged myself out to finish the last 3km of the run. It was a struggle. I could barely maintained my pace anymore. I kept looking at my Garmin, wishing for the next 1.5km to come soon so I could u-turn. Arrived at the beach station after 1.5km. Strange, I had yet to see Jackie, he must have ran a bit longer than 33km. After resting for a while, I picked myself up to continue to the last 1.5km back to Tanjong Beach. It was then Jackie came up from behind. I asked him to run at his own pace since I was slowing down quite a lot. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, I arrived at Tanjong Beach again. 33km in 2:47:04. Avg pace: 5:03″/km. My last 3km was so slow that my average pace became 5:03″/km. Nonetheless, am glad I survived the 33km run. Hopefully, the next long run will be better. Total Weekly Mileage for Week Three (22 Dec – 28 Dec): 72.8 km