December 9, 2018, an utterly stirring yet successful day for Chris! Stirred by the journey, success via PB at SCSM 2018.
The little known fact is that Chris decided to sign up for SCSM 2018 at the last minute. Now, I am sure you have a burning question, how the hell did he get a PB if this was a last minute decision?
Want to know how? What is his secret?
Take us on the journey Chris.
The Stroll to the Start Line
I was off to the start-line at 330am. During the walk, the tension was very much in the air as many runners were already making their way to the F1 pit building. The event this year felt larger than usual and more like a festival. During the walk to the start pen, I saw many runners from the various countries each with their own support contingent all decked in their own national colours and flags. Well, if they want to make the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon bigger, I guess this was one way of doing it. The hype was certainly very much present and I would like to think that the international runners had a great race.
I knew that my race strategy was to follow Running Department’s 4 hr pacers for as long as I can. I still remember telling a friend the night before that if I was still with them at 36K, I had an awesome chance of going all the way.
The Sweaty Smooth Start: First 10K
It was a good start as I cruised through staying behind the 4hr/2hr pacers as it was a little cooler. However, I was a little apprehensive about the weather because I was sweating buckets by the 5K mark. This is not usual because this normally happens at the 15-20K mark. There were some doubts about how this was going to turnout but I told myself that we should only worry about it when it was time to cross the bridge. We also had our first slope of the day, up west-coast highway at the 8km mark.
The Suffering Stirs in: 11K – 20K
West-coast highway was hot and really humid. Needless to say, we were drowning in the humidity. Thankfully, we continued to chip away and we left the highway at 18K. It got interesting after the U turn on the highway because it allowed me to look at all the runners running past us. Saw so many familiar faces from past races.
The Solid Stretch : 21K – 30K
This was a very solid stretch. Felt strong as we headed into the 21km mark and this continued largely throughout the course of this entire period. Saw a couple of folks from Running Department at the 25k mark before turning into ECP. Took half of my gel at 25km and knuckled down to “enjoy” the cruising section of the race. I was feeling strong.
The Struggle of Sheares with a Stinging Sensation : 31K – 37/38K
I started believing that I could hang on all the way to the finish at the 31K mark but who am I to kid because I also knew that the real race starts at 30/32K so everything was still up in the air. At the 31K mark I felt a strange twitch in my legs and I was hoping that the dreaded C word was not gonna affect me. However, the twitch became an undeniable sensation at the 33km mark. Finished off my gel and took loads of fluids in the hope that it would go away.
Pushed through and went past the AWESOME Running Department SUPPORT STATION at the flower dome. This place holds very significant memories as a runner and a supporter, and I felt relieved to see the supporting crew.
Managed to hold on till the 37-38K mark and that was when the undeniable sensation in my legs became a full blown attention demanding bitch that hurt so much that I was reduced to a crawl.
37/38K to the end was just an uphill struggle (literally) as I had to hobble up Sheares Bridge. In the end I walked quite a bit and the same old thoughts came running through my mind,
why are you so foolish to sign up for this/ pay to suffer/ try running because you can take the pain out of your mind/ actually scrap that – the pain is your friend and you love pain/ push on, nothing worth it comes easily/ you have already done the hardwork for 3+ hours so push on etc etc.
The final Step of Success : 38K – 42K
Ultimately, the last 4K was…HELL ON EARTH. At the finish line I gave a high five to my girlfriend who had been waiting for me and promptly received a cramp in my left calf after that.
All in all, I am very grateful that my body held up (somewhat) and I finished the run in 4hr 06min which is a personal best. I will take it because it was more than I could ask for!
So, that’s the journey but what about the PB? How did he get that? Unanswered, isn’t it ? Let’s spill the beans for you.
Chris may have signed up late for SCSM 2018 but he had been training with team 415 pacers of Running Department since Aug 2018. He did both the peak runs, 30K and 33K with them. Only when he felt confident in the training runs his mind was convinced/conned/made up, to give it a go. He claims that it’s the best training block he has had in 3 years.
Sorry, no magic pill to PB but some takeaways. Here are 3 simple yet effective Chris Take Aways
1 ) Trust your training plan
2) Have your race strategy planned out
– when to take water
– when to take gels
– positive/even/negative splits?
3) Stay calm on race the day
– don’t do anything out of the norm
– wear apparel that is not new to you
– arrive early and find a spot to compose yourself
That’s Stirred but not Shaken Chris! Bending the Bond dialogue, we know, but doesn’t this Bravo attempt by Chris earn the creative license to do so? It sure does.
Feeling inspired? Can’t wait to start training? Join us this Saturday, deets below. Your PB is only a solid training away…