I flew into Singapore on Friday afternoon on Jetstar (one of the rare occasions!); unfortunately the security at KLIA is stricter and they confiscated the Kiehls Blue Herbal Lotion and the Clariol Herbal Raspberry Shampoo and Conditioner (all of my favourites!!!) because the bottles were 125 ml notwithstanding that the actual contents was less than 100 ml! By golly, what if someone had 10 bottles of 99 ml of the same liquid??? Anyway, this was a minor irritation.
I had full use of Vinz’s place since he was back in KL for the long weekend – ironical, isn’t it? Since the race was on Saturday night and I wanted to rest my feet as much as possible, I huddled in the flat for most of Friday and Saturday – I even picked up a Subway veggie patty wrap at Expo on the way in and packed my snacks and Saturday lunch from KL. I was really good and went to bed at 10 on Friday night and had 9 whole hours of shuteye and to be on the safe side, another 1.5 hours on Saturday afternoon. You cannot get better than this!
I was lucky the Women’s 10K flagged off at 7 pm with only the Ultras starting before us and hence there was hardly any queue for the shuttle buses. Go on, read the FB and forums for the rants on this issue. As I was more or less kitted and ready at 4:30 pm, I took a leisurely walk to the Aljuneid MRT station and was on the shuttle bus just after 5:05 pm. Sure, I arrived early (5:30 pm) but it gave me the chance to scope out the area and watch the Ultras being flagged off at 6 on the dot. I spotted a few Malaysian runner bloggers among the crowd – Pui San (Doc on the Run), Haza (runningmom-haza), Kash (run-kooky-run), Frank (runnerzcircle) and Choi (seecube; ccube) who were all doing the 84km. I even had a chat with Choi as he was going into the enclosure.
After the Ultras left, I warmed up by running around the block before heading into the enclosure about 15-20 minutes before 7 pm. I was probably around 5 rows deep in the front and chatted with a lady from KL whose husband and son were doing their second Ultra this year. I also spotted Anna Thompson at the front - I had expected her to run the Half mary – surprise, surprise! In any event, she would have won either event (hey, this is what 5,000 m Commonwealth Games champions do!).
The route was the usual Singapore pancake – flattish – and about the only “hill” we went through was the hump at the traffic lights heading out to and back from Loyang (or Aviation?) Road. It was basically a run out and back on the same route but at least we have the whole road to ourselves (recall last year’s single file pedestrian pavement at ECP?). The only bit I did not favour was between km 9 and 10 which was pitch black (no, they didn’t turn off the street lamps like they did in the Energizer Run; they just didn’t have them!) – ever since the fracture (and this was in bright daylights!), I have had a fear of where I’m putting my foot. I slowed down to about 5:55 min/km at this stretch vs the average 5:30-5:40 min/km I was doing before this. I was so happy to complete the distance that it didn’t even matter when a few girls ran past me on the last 100 m – hey, I was not going to push myself or aggravate the healing process. All in, 56:01 min (chip time) for 10 km (yes, the distance was spot on based on the Garmin; 56:05 min for 10.03 km since I stopped the watch a bit later). Not too bad a job since I only resumed running 2 weeks prior to this and only had 2 “longish” runs.
Singapore races are always better organized than those dished out here. I especially like the marshals and supporters who were so encouraging and enthusiastic – we are lucky if we have more than 5 in our local runs. Every step of the way, the cheers were loud and heartening – the best ones were on the last 2 km when they went “Welcome Back!” – music to my ears.
I still have not managed to master the art of drinking from a paper cup and running and hence, skipped the water stations. I usually hydrate myself the day before and throughout the race day. After the run, I downed about 500 ml of water and more when I got home.
I picked up a Subway veggie patty wrap at the White Sands mall / Pasir Ris MRT station on the way back. The traffic heading to the Changi Exhibition Center and the queue for the shuttle buses was horrendous at this point – only then I did not realize the extent of it.
Oh yeah, the finisher’s medal has that glossy black finish which I like though it did not come in a plastic pocket this year.
I had an appointment with Diane the next morning and it was utter bliss since my feet took some battering on the cross trainer on Sunday morning as well. The session went by quickly and I very nearly dozed off which is a first since Diane’s deep tissue massages can be quite “punishing”. Maybe my body is getting used to and responding much more positively to her touch. Nevertheless, this did not preclude jello legs on Monday! I felt so listless after the session that all I wanted to do was crawl back home, have a hearty meal and put my feet up – this was also why I gave up on the Bikila shopping after 3 outlets.