Wednesday, December 14

wear your marathon with shame or pride?

My knee seized up after 21k so i hobbled back the rest of the 21 k hell bent on avoiding a DNF "did not finish".

It was my most difficult long run physically and mentally coz i knew i wasn't going to meet my time target but i still had to go on - in this walk of shame and painful self flagellation. Maybe I should have trained more properly. Maybe I should have done my long runs.

The marathon was penned into 3 categories a) the elites b) the 4 to 6 hr decent runners c) the more than 6.

The more than 6 was where i was. I saw a 78 year old guy who had a tag saying "age is not a barrier" and he had 3 marathons for the year listed including Boston. There was a woman who looked 60 plus who was wearing a cheong sam. And I saw a couple from Africa wearing their state flag. There were a few couples who took their PDA to entirely different level and ran the whole marathon hand in hand. I must have looked ridiculous too with my tevas and at some point, I let my fashion sense all hang out when i put on a pair of socks to avoid chafing. Sandals and socks. OMG.

Apart from a few bottlenecks at the start, you could pretty much break free and run along. My strategy was to break my marathon into a bar of music and take it 4 steps at a time and keep an even tempo.

When my knee seized up, probably because i my body was trying tell me something, i started walking, stopping to rest, massaging the spot and praying. My reflexive action when I am down on resources.

At one point, i sat down on a rock at the 33 km mark and wanted to be just left there and die, except it really looked like there was no good Samaritan out there who will be able to help I had to snap of the self pity and keep walking.

When I reached the last 150 metres, my vanity took over and I broke into a run. Must look good for the camera finish mah! I tried to fake a smile but I realized that i didn't have to coz I was genuinely happy that it was over and I completed it without calling the ambulance.

7 hrs something. I didn't even bother to stop my stopwatch to record the time.

On my way to MRT, I met a 50 year old woman beaming coz she just completed her first marathon. Her name was Sandran. We compared our walking distance, complained about the heat and smelly guys in compression tights. I was so glad to talk to someone who had been to exactly where I had gone and understood.

How, I asked her, what do i tell my friends when they ask me how i did? 7 hrs plus. So lao kui leh?

Lao kui? I will be so proud! Some of my friends younger than me don't dare to run this marathon.

And that's when I knew, I would probably run again, 6 hours or no 6 hours, marathon or no marathon....simply because if I was ever going to wear being 50 with pride, then I need to be just like Sandran.

And keep going.

Tuesday, November 22

Many little petite steps will cover a magnificent distance.

And so I woke up this morning, with the identical feeling from yesterday morning. How nice would be to burrow the head into the pillow a little bit longer!

Half and hr on the treadmill. Just 30 minutes left me pouring in sweat and happy afterwards that I didn't remain in bed.

Monday, November 21

where i am is where i started

Today I woke up with enough time to get out for a run. But instead, I lay in bed, under the blanket with my head on the pillow, watching the minutes go by until there was no time to go running.

2 weeks to the marathon and it's all gone pear shaped with the training.

And so have I, as I wistfully pinched the sides of my belly which seem to have become thicker.

Purpose of this blog was to make an epic attempt at training properly. But I have to confess that it hasn't gone according to plan. I didn't magically transform into a disciplined marathon runner. The transformation didn't happen.

Where I am right now is where I started. And I guess that's the starting point for my continuing motivation to keep running. I remember the fat girl who would never even run a K so that when the shame piles on because I am so lazy to get out of bed, she knocks me on the head so that I

-can summon the gratitude for just being able to run
- honor how far i've by come by not giving up
- and to treat every step as a victory walk.

Then I find myself running again: cellulite, warts and all.

Friday, September 2


30 laps. What used to take 38 mins now takes 48 mins.

Not as conditioned as I used to be before. Had to stop for breaks, loosen the shoulders and start again. It was like meeting an old friend after a really long time and catching up just where we left off. Wondering why, we took so long to get in touch again.

Wednesday, August 24

keep pedalling

The fat girl bypassed Saturday's long run in favour of mountain biking on a trail.

Always wanted to take a mountain bike and throw it on a trail. Coz that's what a mountain bike is for? Going off road.

I took a bus to Pasir Ris, lost my way among the carparks. Ended up walking for about 30 minutes in the park with 2 other damsels in distress. Tried to look on the bright side - my heart rate was elevated so this would count as exercise.

Just when I was about to give up, someone galloped up on a fire engine red mountain bike to show us the way to the rest of the group. He wore a pink helmet. Spoke in a slow and calming sort of way - something about the way he moved which made him appear one with the bike.

What was most remarkable was that he cared to help out the newbies. He rode behind the pack as we wobbled on the pavement and made our way to the Tampines bike park. He adjusted my helmet so that it would fit my head properly. Offered to carry my bag pack if it was too heavy.

Gallantry is well and truly alive.

The trails were just as I imagined. Gravel, dirt, potholes and twigs. I tried to charge up a slope which had lots of rocks and skid, falling sideways and bruising my legs. I dusted off the dirt, checked for blood (none) then hopped onto the saddle again. When the trails got too challenging or steep, I jumped off the bike and pushed it along. Never mind if it wasn't really trail biking. This pushing the bike along counts as exercise too?

The 1 tip that will stay with me, which was repeated several times when we were tackling the slopes and bumpy portions was this:

Keep pedalling. Keep pedalling!

Sunday, August 21

10 km kallang track

Only 1 proper run this week. 10 km at the Kallang track on a Tuesday evening. Ages since I've run on a track. Thought it would be deathly boring, but it was ok coz a bunch of people were playing frisbee in the field in the middle of the track. And there were a bunch of guys doing sprint training. They were all exerting so much energy I felt quite laid back running at my slow pace in comparison.

But this is what I found out:

1. Have to take a break every 3.2 km, to take gulps of water as well as walk for one round of the track. My foot will start to ache and the form will suffer if I don't hydrate and take a walking break.

2. Water consumed for 10km is 1 litre.

3. Time for 10 km with these walking breaks is 1 hr 25 mins. If I can keep up this routine over 42km, I should be able to keep it within 6 hrs.

And that's my self declared time goal for running the marathon this year - to finish it within 6 hours.

Tuesday, August 16

Pasir Ris

Long run on Saturday was interrupted by kayaking at the pasir ris beach. I like to think of it as cross training.

Pasir Ris was ridiculously beautiful for Pasir Ris. You wouldn't think that somewhere as picturesque as that existed in Singapore on a Saturday morning without being overcrowded. I reached the beach early and hungry. There were no cooked food stalls so I found a little convenience store near the chalets which sold me a pack of potato chips. With a little bottle of ice water and pack of chips, I sat on a tree shaded stone bench overlooking the sea.

The sea breeze melted all cares away and it felt like a beach holiday.

Must come running here.