First off, thanks to for all the support again. Believe me, I recalling all the comments left in this blog helped to keep me going during the race.
So how was it?
I will not sugarcoat how I feel. I wish I finished my first marathon with a better time. Goodness, I was aiming for anything below 5hrs but not in my wildest dream and uber drama moment did I imagine that I would be sprinting to the finish line so that I could finish before 6hours. But …tough!
more stories and pictures but let’s start with the … what happened? Here’s my race:
Prep, Meet up and Walk. We went to bed a little after 9pm. I was so excited that I was walking up every 2 hours to check the time. Finally, it was 3:30am. The plan was to meet up with Dingdong, Chito, Harry, Hubert and Joy before the race.
Dingdong passed by our hotel at 4:30am and we all started walking to the finish line. We saw a bunch of runners and just followed them. The underpasses connecting the hotels and the Esplanade were so confusing that we did not end up meeting up CHH&J. Plus the number of runners was overwhelming. 12,393 runners joined this race. That’s a lot of people to mingle with at 4:30am.
There were very big signs guiding us to the starting line and there were even marshals at the underpasses giving runners directions.
One of the marshals told us that we had to register at Padang. Thinking that this was how we will check-in for the race we headed to Padang. Only to be told that we didn’t need to register. Hay confusing! But it was okay because the portalets were in this area. This is just details details but I just have to say that the portalets in the SG marathon … had toilet paper and didn’t stink! What a pleasant surprise, eh.
Km1-3. Dingdong, Mesh and I went to starting line together. We gave each other final good lucks and pretty soon we were walking to the starting line. Yes, walking. Based on chip vs gun time, it took us about 6mins to get to the starting line. We only ran together for a bit and eventually settled on our own paces. The garmin was going crazy because of the tall buildings so I just ran my own pace. Pretty soon, I saw Harry pass and I called out. After brief hellos, he zoomed away also. The first 3kms will take us back to the starting line. Waiting in the sidelines for the start of the Half Marathon was somebody wearing Coach Rio’s hair…when I got closer I realised it was Coach Rio and called out his name.
Km4-8. Was congested but easy for me. Mesh and I toured the route the day before and saw that the route was indeed relatively flat. The only part that we were worried about was a steep incline somewhere between km38 and 39.
Km9-12. I was passing a lot of the water stations because I brought my fuel belt. I knew I’d feel incomplete if I ran without it plus I needed to stash my Gu, Ipod, Semeco etc. I did grab some deep heating rub (DHR) opps sorry … i forgot the brand (but it was good and worked really well!) from one of the race volunteers. I placed some behind my left knee at Km9. I think this was one of the wisest decisions I made in this race. Too bad the DHR didn’t work on my stomach cramps. Throughout the race I would get some DHR and it really helped ward off leg cramps.
Beginning Km10, family and friends supporting the runners started lining up the streets. You can see runinspiration posters. The race volunteers were still genuinely cheering for the runners. Somewhere along Fort Rd, one runner stepped to the side and got a big fat kiss from his wife (?) i think and we all clapped for him.
Km13-21. This was where things got interesting for me. We were already at the East Coast Park Service Road. The ECP is shaded and cool but the path is narrow. It’s about 4 lanes of an oval. Now imagine 12393 runners running through it for 17kms. Interesting.
When we entered the ECP, we were running for over 1 hour and thank goodness for the DHR that I kept rubbing on my nose I was able to breath a little easy. Yup, some of the runners have a lot of power.
1:10mins into the run we saw the lead runner escort cars and a few seconds later we saw the elite runner gracefully running back on the other side. Some of the runners stopped and looked in awe. Most of us just started clapping for him.
Somewhere around km16 or 17, my old enemy, the side stitch and stomach cramps started rearing its ugly head. I was ready to move to the side and when I heard somebody call out “Bananarunner”, I looked up and managed to wave. Must have been Glen … they were on their way back. Wow bilis!
I decided to step to the side after a few meters to relieve the pain and immediately felt like throwing up. One of the race volunteers approached me to ask if I was okay. I said that I just needed to throw up. She promptly offered me a plastic bag. By this time another volunteer approached me to ask if I was okay. I pulled myself together, smiled and told them, “This is just performance anxiety.” I was still in pain but I jogged away quickly. I was afraid that they might pull me out of the race.
I also started chewing on a Semeco to relieve the acid build up in my stomach. It helped a bit. I was able to sustain my pace until km21.
Km22-30. This was pure hell. I popped another Semeco but it did not help. I did my walk/run combo here. Another pitstop at a restroom to throw up. Looking back I wonder if I drank too much water in the earlier kms.
I was also starting to go deaf too. Huh?!? Deaf?!? That was my question too. What do I do? I have never experienced this in my training runs. You know how it felt like … parang when you are going down the elevator and you need to cover your nose and blow to equalize. Mesh said this was probably a sign of oxygen depletion.
I was also craving for something salty. Cathy (our wonder support) was at km35 with my potato chips but I couldn’t wait. In my head, I was fixated with the thought that everything will be okay if I can only have something salty. I saw a 7-11 and crossed the street. Tragedy! When I checked my fuelbelt, I couldn’t find the SG10 I brought with me. I must have dropped it when I took out my Gu.
I continued with my walk/run and eventually saw a McDonald’s. I entered the store and asked for salt. The crew looked at me funny and pointed to the condiments counter. I got 2 packets of salt, one I opened and took with some water.
Chito (Sundaywarrior) passed me during my walking break. Thanks Chito for encouraging me to run. I just couldn’t at that point.
At Km30, I decided to rest. There were already a lot of runners resting, stretching as early as km 15 but this was my first full stop. I had a serious discussion and negotiations with myself. I kept convincing myself that this was just like a training run but we will be entering into unknown territory soon. The km32 and beyond is something I haven’t done and I needed to regroup a bit.
I also made peace with the fact that will not be able to finish in under 5hours. I was however hoping that I would do a little better than Oprah.
Btw, although I was in pain, I think the kikay in me kicked in when I saw the cameras. My km25 pix didnt show how much pain I was in. Acting!
Km31-32. After my over 5mins rest, I started continuous running again. I remember one of the supporters saying that I was still in good form. At that point I really felt great and then the side stitch attacked again and I was back to walking. The option was run and not be able to breath or walk and at least cover some distance.
Km32-36. Was mostly walk. I reached the banana station and got one. I poured the salt on the banana. Why?!? I dunno, I just couldn’t stomach eating something sweet anymore after downing 4 packs of Gu. It tasted weird.
Somewhere along Km36, I tried the trick that Kathy picked up from TmBR training. I raised my hand and blew out hard. I tried this several times but it didn’t work.
I then thought, if I ran with my arms raised that would open up my rib cage. And goodness it worked. I know I looked odd. I was running with my arms clasped overhead but the important thing was I was running. Who cares! Too bad, I figured this out too late.
Km 37-40. Fatigue was beginning to set so I was alternating walk/run again. When I start getting the side stitch, I would just clasp my hands overhead.
Somewhere along Geylang, a race walker passed me. Ohshoot! He was very consistent and I decided to slow jog beside him. When I would slow down, he would look at me and say “Keep going.”
Km41-42 I was in one of my walking breaks and a female runner jogged beside me and said, Cmon lets run together it will be easier that way. Aileen Ong is a local was also running her marathon.
I looked at my watch and told her that we are no better than Oprah and we kept on running.
Thank you so much Eileen! The 2kms was indeed easier.
The last 195meters. We turned towards St. Andrew’s Blvd and I could see the timer. 5:57:XX. Sprint sprint sprint. I was thinking OhLord wag naman po over 6 hours. As we crossed the finish line, I raised my hand and made the #1 sign. Oh yes, made it under 6 hours by 1 minute.
The question now is, how do I feel about my lousy marathon finish time?
I don’t like it. But im keeping it. I survived 42.195kms. It took me a long time to finish it but I finished it and no one can take that away from me. It was my race.
Will I do it again? Haha, do you have to ask? In Singapore, maybe not just yet, maybe somewhere cooler.
What’s next? I don’t know yet. I just closed this chapter yesterday with a 30min recovery run
Did I have fun? Running has redefined fun for me. Cramps, blister and all … it was fun!
I still wish I went home with a better time but I suppose this post is just a prologue to my marathon redemption story. Coming soon …
Post on pre race, post race and other chika tomorrow.
Oh! All my toenails survived.
See you later at Ultra!