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Thursday, December 01, 2011

Marathon Musings

It is now just 3 days to the 2nd Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore. Previously, it was known as the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon. And I have no part in it much to the surprise of all my friends and running acquaintances. After all, this is the marquee event of the Singapore's running scene and the holy grail for all local runners. So friends are surprised that I am not doing it, since I am almost an running addict.

Truth is, I have not ran the Singapore Marathon or for that matter, any full marathon for the past 3 years. The last full marathon that I did was in 2008 after which I had decided that I have achieved what I set out to do. Actually, the thoughts of those hours and hours slaving away to train for it just turn me off. Nevertheless, every time the marathon comes along, my mind wanders back to the past and sometimes a "what if"

I started running in 2004 and completed my first marathon in 2004. Back then, I was a newbie and greenhorn in running and I just ran. I thought I did pretty well, at least for the first 32 km and then I hit the wall and had to walk all the way back. The resulting cramps and aches were so bad that I had to call my friend to come down and drive me home!

In 2005, I got to know people from sgrunners and joined them in their long runs. I also got valuable tips from the sifus there. That plus the previous year experience gave me the confidence that I could do better in the year's edition. I crashed even more badly and ended up with a even worse off timing. Again, I was doing well until the 30km at East Coast Park when the cramps came and refuses to go away. It was another long long walk back to the finish line. I swear I will never do another marathon but everybody knows that is pure bullshit!

I sat out 2006 due to injury and came roaring back in 2007. I had to find out for myself that I could do this. This time with 4 years of running experience behind me, I got smart and less ambitious and came up with a game plan which went according to plan. I got a personal pacer; a superfast runner who was also coming off an injury to pace me; and stuck to a 7 mins pace throughout. Its worked like a charm and I finished right on schedule. No cramps, no ache!

In 2008, an ankle sprain killed my race in the Borneo Marathon but that did not deter me from trying again in the year end marathon. This time round, I stick to the same game plan but got a new pacer in the form of the sidekick who was doing only her 2nd marathon. And we got a PB! That was it for me. I decided I got enough of FM to last me a life time. 

But don't be surprise if one day, sometime, somewhere, you caught me running another FM. Never said never!

Good luck and enjoy your race, all my friends and acquaintances doing the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore!

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