I am a man of many hobbies, so I'm unable to do too many of any one of them. This year, I've planned to run 6 races, i.e. 2 full marathons, 2 half marathons and 2 30km races. Last week, I was in Singapore for the Safra's Singapore Bay Run, a half marathon (21.1km) event.
The last time I ran a half marathon was in the Energizer Night Race in March, of which I failed to achieve my target of running a sub-2hr. I finished that race 5 minutes adrift of my target. When I signed up for the Singapore Bay Run a few months ago, I thought that perhaps this was the race to finally achieve my sub-2hrs record. My personal best (PB) so far then was slightly over 2:03:08 in Singapore in December 2008.
However, later I found out that there's a slope of some 1km long in the Singapore Bay Run. So I was prepared for the worst, because I just suck on the slopes.
The race started at 5:15am, and I made it to the start line with a few minutes to spare. I started the race with an easy pace, and throughout the first 5km, I thought it was quite a pleasant run. Checking my stopwatch, I was running on an average of 5:30-5:45 minutes per km. But immediately after the 6th Km point, there was a long climb. I kept running anyway, but I could feel my thighs burning up. That climb took me something like 6-7 minutes, and although there was a down-going slope after that, the strenuous workout took quite a lot from my legs.
By the 10th Km point, I was already feeling a bit of exhaustion. Looking at my stopwatch, I was pleasantly surprised to see 58 minutes, but that meant I had to run a negative split for the second half of the race. At that point, although I was fast becoming tired, I thought the sub-2hrs was still doable.
I think it must have been around the 15th Km mark when I started to have doubts on achieving my goal. Doing a bit of mental calculation, I realised that I was in a 2-minute deficit. So I needed to work a little harder to keep my ambition alive. Unfortunately, my legs were already tired—I don't know why. I tried to focus my mind on other things; away from my fatigue.
I was like:
Wow, that girl in front is very sexy; she must have been running for a while now. And her running outfit is also so attractive. Hmmm... I bet she'd look great if she let her long hair loose. Yeah, I think I will try to keep up with her. Or better still, why not try to overtake her?...
OK... I'm gaining on her now. Yes, I'm running abreast... Oh my lord!... in spite of the beautiful figure, attractive outfit and long hair, the good God did not bestow upon her a beautiful face!
Better focus on that guy further up in front... Oh my God! is that a G-string he's wearing?...
Well anyway, my attempt not to think of my exhaustion did not work too well. I was still feeling tired—perhaps even more so after seeing the girl's face. At the 19th Km mark, I saw a 1:50 on my stop watch. The feeling of hopelessness—it didn't seem likely that I would be able to make it to the finish line in good time for a sub-2hrs. But I tried to push myself anyway.
Turning into Esplanade Drive, I saw only 30 seconds left on my watch. It was obvious then that I was gonna fail yet again. But there was still hope to improve on my PB. I ran as fast as I could, and then finally crossed the finish line in 2:01:55. But later on, the official result showed that I only managed a 2:02:01. So I have achieved a PB, but failed to achieve my goal of sub-2hrs. Back to the drawing board. I know I can make that sub-2hrs somehow. Who knows, maybe next year.