I haven’t been posting for almost 9 months. This can only show that i had been laying off for about 6 – 7 months. Not totally off from running but away from structural training. I have my best form in January but never followed it up. After January, i was always out of town almost every month. I didn’t sign up for this year SCM but sign up for the Bay run.
I would say that i didn’t prepare much for this race. 2 weeks before the race, i was still away. I was thinking how to race this run. I didn’t run as much as compared to last year. I was taking some ideas from Mo Farah & Gelan Rupp training. Mo Farah is basically unbeatable at the moment. Their main attention was basically their running form. So i looked back on my own running form to check the most effective and efficient way to last through the 21 km.
With 2 weeks left, i only ran an average of 60 -70 km weekly. In between, i have a trial to check what kind of pace should i run on the race day. To my surprise, i managed to run 3.57 min/km pace on 8 – 10 km. With some mathematics calculation, my 21 km pace should be 4.07 – 4.11 min/km. I used my heaviest shoes to test on 4.10 min/km (9 km) 5 days before the race and found out that i could manage it without exerting any hard efforts. I was really surprised to have regained some of my speed/pace.
Since i had already worked out my race pace, i have nothing to worry about. I have no injury as compared to last year when i fell badly in training before the race. The only thing to take note was not to start too fast. This was always my mistake for the past cases. Dear sent me to Shaw centre at 3.45 am. As usual, i like to have a warm-up run of 2 -3 km. I ran all the way to Esplanade toilet where the Safra runners used to gather. I saw Anthony with their fatbird team there but no Safra runners. I did my stretching there and stayed around the toilet so that i could constantly release the 100 plus that i had drank up. I wished Anthony ‘good luck’ before i proceeded to the start point. 40 mins before the start point, most of them had already gathered right before the line. I was wondering these runners could manage a 3 min/km pace at the front. I refrained myself from going too front as it would lead me to start too fast. Dora kindly invited me to the front but I declined as i knew i would definitely start fast if i stand in front. Last year, my first km was 3.27 min/km, it was a suicide pace for me.
At exactly 5.15 am, the race flagged off. As i expected, the front runners did not push fast. They were basically jogging through. I have no choice but to squeeze through. Along the way, I wished all the Safra runners ‘good luck’. Soon i reached the first marker, my watch was reading 3.57 min/km. But strange thing was that my watch did not indicate the first km mark. Only 10-15 m later, my watch then sounded out. It was telling me 4.11 min/km. I was a bit confused, am i at the right pace? I continued to stay at this pace and check the pace later. I ran through Marina sands and then Garden by the Bay, the usual route like last year. The memory was still fresh in my mind. I was much faster last year. I checked my 5 km timing and it was about 4.10 min/km. I knew i was at the right pace and from now on, just stick with it.
The pace varied from 3.55 min/km to 4.25 min/km. I believed the GPS signal went haywire at times. But the average pace was around 4.08 – 4.10 min/km. The distance was shorter as what my watch was telling me. So i took my watch distance marker as the correct one. Kallang route was very dark, i just focus on the runners in front and make sure that i do not trip. Some supporters who spent the night at the river side, cheered us up. My 10 km point (according to my watch) read 41 min 50 sec. I was slightly slower now. After the 12 km slope, i gradually increased my pace. At times, i was at 4 min/km, overtaking the tired runners. I was tired out last year at 14 km mark. This time round, i made sure i would go through this point strongly. Through the Crawford tunnel, i was still maintaining the target pace. I could see Vivian, Thow Wee and Wen Long just opposite side about 500m in front.
Soon we went through the dark F1 pit. I was still slightly faster than 4.10 min/km. With 1 km left, Andy Neo ran past me. I couldn’t respond but to maintain the pace. Maybe at that point, i was already satisfied with what i had done. Looking at the watch, clicking at 1 hr 21 min. With the minimal training, i could achieve sub-1:25 was really out of my imagination. I finished the 21 km in 1 hr 24 min 8 sec. Actually, it was 800m shortage. My watch was reading 20.3 km.
My avg pace was 4.09 min/km. 1 hr 24 min 8 sec is a huge PB for me. Unfortunately, the distance was not actually 21 km. But this was the best so far for my Army Half marathon journey. I couldn’t expect anything better prior to what i had trained. Wen Long & Thow Wee, I believed they were just 1 min plus in front of me. They did around 4.05 min pace. They are both sub-2:55 marathoners.
Last year, I trained so hard, avg distance of 100-110 km weekly. I couldn’t even achieve the expected result of sub-4:10 pace. I think I had achieved something miracle. Come to think about it, i believed that some science have to do with it. I was watching the recent World Championship, observing some runners behaviours during the marathon race and of course, the Oregan project. With the limited time, it was useless to do intervals or speed trainings. I just find out what my half marathon pace will be and then prepare toward it.