Sunday, 29 December 2013

Run 2013

I can't believe in 2 days' more, it'll be 2014!

Thought it'll be nice to just jot down my running memories in 2013. Don't really have time to do lengthy posts, so here are the highlights in point form! :)

1. Jan 2013 - Green Corridor Run - my virgin run which was a 10.5km trail run stretching from the old railway station at Tanjong Pagar to Bukit Timah. Most thought I was crazy to attempt a trail run for my first race ever but it wasn't really that bad and it wasn't really as trail-y as what you would experience at MacRitchie. I survived and finished it in 1:30 which was fairly good for me, considering the fact that there were a few bottlenecks because the ground was terribly muddy from the heavy rain the day before. The best part of this race was that I re-connected with two of my very dear friends. One was Sharon, whom I didn't meet after JC years (hell, I don't even remember we went to the same JC because I was from Science and her, Commerce). The second one was Esther, whom I haven't met since 2004 or so, I think.

2. February 2013 - Safari Zoo Run, which had a 6km route spanning both the Singapore Zoological Garden and the Night Safari. The run was on my 35th birthday and again, most people thought I crazy to get up bright and early on my birthday morning just to go for a run! Well, this time the hubby ran the entire race with me. It rained halfway through and we saw many people abandoning the race to take shelter. We didn't though, and I was so proud of the hubby for braving the rain to finish the race. How can doing my favourite thing with my favourite person on my birthday be a crazy thing? <3 Enough said. :)

3. May 2013 - JP Morgan Corporate Challenge with my colleagues. Even though the registration fee was pretty steep and there was no medal at the end (BLEAH! And yes, I am the superficial kind of runner who likes to collect nice race blings!), we still managed to form 2 teams in the end and got off work early to participate in this on a weekday. It was a short 5.6km and I finished it in about 38 minutes. :)

4. July 2013 - Race Against Cancer 15km run. I registered to be a charity athlete with the Singapore Cancer Society shortly before that set up a donation portal on GiveAsia to garner donations from the running events i took part in. Can I say, this was my WORST race ever? I didn't train hard enough because I had a super stubborn, recurrent upper tract infection that refused to leave me for the next couple of months. Didn't help that the race started at 7-ish and at about 9-10km, the sun was up and ready to fry me alive. I must say this was one of my most gruelling runs ever afterwhich I collapsed (well, voluntarily lah) after I ran past the finishing line and collected my medal (yes, going to die still must collect race bling first can!).

I suffered from extreme nausea immediately post-race and felt like I was going to black out. I couldn't get a taxi home 2-3 hours after the entire event ended and was stranded at ECP until my knight in shining armour sneaked off work to rescue me. The fact that i didn't eat or hydrate myself properly pre-race probably also played a part in all that drama. This race definitely takes the cake as the WORST race of the year, but I also learnt many lessons from it and realised the importance of a good training plan, hydration and fuelling up before a race.

 (Sorry ah, no photos of myself because I was about to die already...)

5. Sept 2013 - Army Half Marathon. To commemorate my 1 year anniversary ever since I picked up running, I signed up for the AHM (with my running 损友, Sharon) in a moment of recklessness I believe! Again, there were some people who thought I was crazy (Why are people such wet blankets and why do people bother saying I'm crazy, knowing I REALLY AM! :P) because I am not a seasoned runner and they deemed it premature for me to attempt a half marathon within such a short time after I started running.

You know what? There is really NO "good time" to do anything. The only "good time" is NOW. I learnt that in July 2010 when I lost many of the normal functions most people take for granted. Now, I seize the day and am thankful for every living, functional day.

Anyway to side-track, I wanted to join the Mt. Faber Run earlier in June 2013 too, but was persuaded out of it because some people thought it was too tough for me. It's not that i'm overly confident but i love a good challenge and really, what is the worst that can happen to me? Crawling to the finishing line? I can deal with that. :) I regret being swayed by those words that planted self-doubt in me and have made up my mind to conquer Mt. Faber in 2014!

Anyway, I really, really enjoyed the AHM because it was my first half marathon and I completed it without having to ride the ambulance back to the finishing line - I trained pretty hard initially until a couple of weeks before the event when i suffered another mild relapse. In fact, I was having some problems running properly, especially during that stretch at Gardens By the Bay, but hey i made it in the end, unscathed! It would have been perfect if there weren't so many smelly, army boys but hey, Life isn't perfect, is it? :) My unofficial timing was 2:54 but official timing (because of the irritating bottleneck that kept me standing among SABs was a good whole 30 mins) was 3:30. BOO!

6. Nov 2013 - Great Eastern Women's Run, Half Marathon. My 2nd half marathon just barely 2 months after finishing the AHM. Again, I signed up with my race buddy, Sharon who is always so game to do this with me. I just have to ask and she will agree in a heartbeat. :)

Another relapse in between September and November, this time more severe than the previous one, knocking me off balance (literally and figuratively) so much so that I couldn't train at all. From the AHM to the GE Women's Run, I only ran a couple of times and did not do any LSDs. :( My neurologist was hesitant about letting me participate in the GE Women's Run but he left the ultimate decision to me and of needless to say, I went ahead. You know, my life is pretty much NEVER about who is going to let me, but who or what is going to stop me. And usually, no one (not even my Papa or Mama) dares to stop me. Heh!

In the end, i achieved my personal best of 2:48 in this race, by the grace of God! The weather was forgiving (it was actually drizzling -- the perfect weather for running IMHO) and I never felt as good. Well, at about 7km, my vision actually screwed up and everything was just blurry and out-of-focus, but I thought about the many friends who (like me) have their daily battles to overcome, and that gave me the strength I needed to soldier on. :)

Well, this about sums up my running events for 2013. I know I said I wouldn't indulge in anything lengthy, but really, there is so much to say and I want to put those thoughts in words so that if the day ever comes when I lose my memory, there is this blog to look back at. :)

Happy New Year my dear friends! Stay calm and run on! :)