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Standard Chartered Marathon

In the morning on Orchard Road when there was still hope for my race.

So, I had been experiencing some IT-band issues the past couple of weeks. This was not unlike what I felt before I got diagnosed with a stress fracture while training for The Woodlands Marathon in 2012. Anyway, my plan was to run and if things got bad, I'd drop out since at this point I'd rather save my leg to start training for the half-ironman I signed up for in May next year (I'm telling you that Newton Challenge 20-mile race was awesome! So awesome it made me think that signing up for a half ironman sound like a good idea!).

My first sign that things would go wrong was when I got up this morning and my Garmin was totally dead (after spending the last couple of days on the charger). Luckily I noticed this before breakfast and with time to charge it before the taxi came. It was not, however, done charging by the time the taxi arrived. I had the taxi wait ten minutes and then we went downtown. As per usual, the Garmin could not find a satellite to save its life and this worried me but it did finally find one. Finally it was time to start so off we went. It was pretty cool to run on Orchard Road (especially since it's all lit up with Christmas lights). I felt good but noticed my watch was not holding the satellite connection and it was indicating only one of three bars for battery-life. I decided that since I knew my start time I'd just turn off the GPS and use the watch so I'd always at least know how much time I'd been out there (I could do the math myself!).

Around 5km my IT-band started to hurt but not too bad. By the time I got to East Coast Park and about half-way, I had to walk (hobble). I decided that I'd walk until I got to a medic and that I'd drop out to avoid further injury. There wasn't any first aid for a long time. When I finally did reach someone it was as if she had been instructed to encourage people to continue and "fight through the pain." I don't think she comprehended the difference between injury-pain and discomfort-pain which I tried to explain to her. The best she could offer me was a ride to the start in 3 hours. I said that that was stupid and decided I could walk the next 13 miles faster than she could/would help me.

Perhaps my annoyance fuelled me but I found a franken-walk that had me passing runners. Then there was a point where everyone around me was walking/hobbling. It was simultaneously sad (all of our dreams were dashed!) and hilarious (we looked like zombies!). Thank goodness it was overcast and relatively cool. I really wanted to run just to get the thing over with but I couldn't physically do it.

Finally I made it to the finish. The one time Craig & the kids were there to cheer me on and it was not a pretty thing to see. I don't really know what the kids thought when they saw me hobbling toward the finish but we were all happy I was done!

I'm taking at least the next 4 weeks off of running. My half-iron training plan doesn't start until January sometime (I'll figure this out while I'm recovering this coming week). 2014 will officially be The Year of Triathlon and, hopefully, an injury-free year because of it.

Packet Pickup

The kids & I went to pick up our packets for the Standard Chartered Marathon (me) and the Kids Run (them). I hope I can make it through this run as my body hasn't cooperated with me much since that awesome 20-miler in October (I had that bad half-marathon earlier this month after our trip to Cambodia and the last few runs I've gone on, my IT-band has been bothering me). Anyway, I'm looking forward to this race since it's the "big" one in Singapore and then I will relax and enjoy December without a formal training plan for a few weeks!

Newton Challenge 20-miler Celebration

A plate of nachos from the Hard Rock Cafe was what was on my mind today after my awesome 20-mile race. The rest of the family was happy to indulge me.

Race Packet

Now that's what I call a race packet!

First Singapore Triathlon

This was my first Singapore Triathlon and also my first olympic-distance triathlon. Surely I could have done better if I had trained better! I have another one next month and now that the kids are in school, I should be able to get my training in consistently. One big thing I was surprised about was that the rules seem to be less enforced here than in the US. For example, there was a ton of drafting going on on the bike and no one checked my bar-end plugs. And the course was short. It was also wicked hot by the time I was on the run and they were running low on water! I'm glad I had decided to carry some of my own.

Sundown Marathon

I had a really hard time waiting to go to the race tonight and probably called the taxi too early (I decided to take a taxi to and from because I assumed (rightly so) that I wouldn't feel like driving home after the race and the MRT isn't running that early in the morning). The race didn't start until 11:30 and I got to the site around 9:45 or 10. As soon as I got there though, my anxiety went away so, in the end, I'm glad I went a little early. I had time to eat my pre-race food, hydrate, and use the porta-potties.

Finally it was time to line up. I had planned to stand near the 4:30 pacers which was my goal. (When I had been training for the marathon last year in Texas I wanted to get as close to 4 hours as I could; now I was trying to get as close to 4 hours & 30 minutes.) The announcer dude (I think this is the same guy at every race I've been to in Singapore and he's really annoying because he keeps asking "are you ready?!" like every five minutes. I'd prefer to not be asked that until immediately before the starting horn--honestly, we were ready when we woke up in the morning and it's almost midnight!) kept having us move forward to make room for the folks behind us so I ended up a lot closer to the start of the crowd than I would have liked. (Interestingly the fastest pace group they have here is 4:00 which I thought was odd but what do I know.)

I could tell before the start that I probably wouldn't make my 4:30 time goal because I was already sweating profusely just waiting around in the humidity. Finally we got going and both of my hips were really stiff (I realize now that it was my IT-bands). My hips were stiff the entire 26.2 miles! The course was really crowded until about 10km and then finally started to thin out a bit. Since I had given up on my original time goal, I was now trying to stay under 5:00 but also not stressing. My B goal was to not walk (except through water stations--I need the hydration!) and my C goal was to not "hit the wall" and to make sure I kept up with my nutrition (alternating isotonic drinks & Clif Shot Bloks every 40 minutes).

I started the race with my fuel belt full (3 bottles of water & 1 bottle of Pocari Sweat plus six servings of Shot Bloks) and I hand-held a full bottle of Pocari Sweat. This worked really well. I didn't have to stop at the first few (super crowded) water stations and then I was able to refill my water bottles as-needed along the way.

At about 15km there was this guy I started to pass but then right as I fell in line with him he started running again. He was breathing like he was dying and his form looked like he was near collapse. Not wanting to be responsible for him, I took off to get away from him--I sped away until I couldn't hear him breathing any more. (I did not run with music and many others did not also. In fact, this was another quiet race (like the Run350 1/2 marathon I did in April) but there were actually people cheering the runners on throughout East Coast Park (including my friend Barbara who was there to support me and some other runners she knows).

A little over half way I knew it was going to be tough to make the 5-hour goal but kept moving forward. I actually felt really good and only had to talk to my left IT-band a couple of times about how this was not the time to start causing problems. I also was trying to do random math problems (figuring out what pace I needed to run to get to the end in 5 hours, etc.) but always ended up getting confused and told myself to just forget it!

I really never felt "bad" during the whole run. Sure, I felt slow and I wished for a breeze and a drop in the humidity. I also wished that the race had started at 9pm instead of 11:30pm. I have to believe that the middle-of-the-night aspect of the race slowed me down, too. I was happy with myself when at about mile 20 I saw a lot of people walking and I was still running. The signs for mileage mostly matched up with my Garmin during the race although a few signs didn't agree. They put the 40km sign too early in the course and those last 2.1km felt like the longest part of the race (I knew it was off b/c of my Garmin but their sign still messed with my head).

Finally, finally, finally I saw the finish line and I was so happy to see it and be done! I finished in 5:07. I admit I was disappointed in my time but mostly I was just glad that I did it. Surely 5:07 will be easy to beat the next time around!

So, I went through the finish line, went to the finisher t-shirt & medal line, and was also given a banana and a isotonic drink. Really? I just finished a marathon and all they gave me was a banana?! I was disappointed in that but moved on, stretched out my hips, then got in the queue for a taxi. It didn't take long to get a taxi and I had a really nice driver. I gave him a $10 tip because I smelled so bad and he, of course, had a nice Mercedes taxi with leather seats. It was when I rolled out of the taxi 25 minutes later that I realized I had major chaffing everywhere on my body.

I went upstairs to attempt to shower only not-chaffed areas (very difficult task!) and then fell into bed after wrestling with my compression socks and causing a big ruckus and waking Craig in the process. It's honestly hard to say if staying up all night or the marathon was harder on me. That the combination wasn't very kind is certain.


I went for a run at MacRitchie again today and saw some monkeys (I had to run under them twice--eek!) and another large monitor lizard. This monitor lizard & I met up on a narrower part of the path than the one I encountered last time and this one kept walking toward me with its tongue flicking out and wouldn't move when I politely asked it to move off the path, stomped my feet, clapped my hands, etc. Finally I started running and it moseyed off the path just enough to let me pass. Call me a mega-dork if you want, but I don't really want to run at MacRitchie any more. Even though I love the trail and the shade. I just can't deal with those monitor lizards!


I loved my run today. I think it partially had to do with the fact that I was able to run and not stop at any traffic lights and I didn't have to breathe any exhaust. And there was a lot of shade. It was mostly trail (some paved at the start and finish for me since I did an out-and-back). I was totally prepared to see monkeys but did not see one. I saw a lot of moths & butterflies and then one two-foot-long monitor lizard that totally freaked me out. I wanted to take a picture but just couldn't stand to be near it that long. I had to run past it but it didn't like me, either, and it kind of walked off to the side of the path toward the vegetation.

Green Corridor Run

Craig & I ran in the Green Corridor 10.5km run today. The kids were thrilled with their babysitters (American teenagers!) so I was happy that I didn't have to stress out about how Henry would react when he woke up in the morning to them and not me.

The race was great. Not that I ran that well (1 hour 5 minutes; Craig did it in 1 hour 1 minute). This was slower than my Bolder Boulder time from 2011. I was sweating before we even started! It was a trail run but not very technical. Even though I was slow (I'm calling this my new Singapore Speed--it's just hot here!), I was happy that I got to do another race near my Grandma's birthday (last year I did the Pineywoods 10-miler (also a trail run) ON her birthday with a stress fracture!).

I am really glad Craig & I both did it and I'm looking forward to my next race in April (a half-marathon) and I'm gearing up to sign up for a full marathon in June (price increases on Friday so I will get on that this week if I'm going to to do it!). The marathon (the Sundown Marathon) starts at 11:30PM on June 1 (my mom's birthday). It makes sense to do it at night so the sun isn't beating on you but I wish the start were at 8 or 9 instead of 11:30.

I'd like to figure out how to run on the green corridor regularly as you can get onto it from Woodlands. This is the old rail line from the south end of Singapore to Malaysia. Not sure why they stopped this service, but many people are hoping that they let it remain undeveloped for traffic-free recreation. I think it would be really cool if they'd host a half-marathon (or whatever it ends up being) and go all the way from the south to north end. I still can't get over how much is crammed onto such a tiny island!

Sunday Stuff

I went on an 8k run this morning and finally got to see some more of the Botanic Gardens (about 1k worth). I went a little later than usual and saw a lot more runners on the roads and a ton (on the edge of too many) in the Botanic Gardens (there were also lots of slow, casual walkers/familys/etc. so that added some congestion). I'm running pretty slow and I know it's a combination of lost fitness and the heat + humidity. It was fairly overcast most of the run, so at least I had that going for me. Next week I'm thinking of trying out a totally different route for the sake of variety.

When I got back, I took a quick shower and then took the kids down to the pool. When we got back, Craig took the kids up to his office (he forgot something there and needed to get it) and out to lunch. I went out to Somerset & Orchard to try to finish the last of the Christmas shopping. I still need to go to Great World City or Tanglin sometime this week but I think I did pretty well. I also discovered Prologue on the 4th floor of Ion that is a really good book store (well, so much better than the two Populars I've been to). I was pretty tired out by the time I got there, but they had the two books Henry needed to finish his shopping for Sarah (he wasn't with me this time but he was with me last time when we tried to get them but Popular didn't have them).

We are still waiting to hear about the house. The landlord has accepted our offer in principal but it has to go through Craig's work and the landlord has to agree to their terms as well. Fingers crossed we'll hear something this week about it! If we get it, our move-in date would be February 1 (our sea shipment is scheduled to arrive in Singapore on January 21).

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