Thursday, December 11, 2008

Marathon # 6 - My Slowest

I am glad to finish the Singapore Marahton 2008 and not be part of DNF list, but this also is my slowest. I took 5:38:41 and the details can be seen here.

I went in with a goal of coming under 4:30 but took much much longer than that. I have been trying to understand what went wrong. I have a long list of lame excuses along the lines of 'bad hair day', 'Dog ate my shoe'.. let me get them out first..
  1. Couldn't find babysitter : My daughter had come with me to the starting point and I was hoping to 'handover' her to babysitter. But didn't anticipate the problem of trying to locate the babysitter amongst the sea of runners and onlookers. Had to leave her 'out there' with lot of instructions to fend herself.. that weighed in on me..
  2. Didn't empty my bladder: Since I was running around trying to locate the babysitter, didn't have time to empty my bladder and that weighed in on me..
  3. Like a rock: Did too many 'touristy' things in the two days leading up to the run resulting in no rest & exercise. On the run day, my thighs felt like rocks and couldn't lift them.. so my thighs weighed me down.. (otherwise I wouldn't beat those kenyans!!!!)
  4. Too many sharp turns: The route had too many sharp / U-turns causing me to slow down.
  5. Heat: The entire route wasn't air cooled causing me to slow down.
As you can see, I could probably come up with 100 other reasons.. but none of them are valid. The simple truth is it simply wasn't my day. One thing I have realized is, I cannot combine walking and running. The moment I start walking and try to do a combo, I invariably give running. It happened too soon past Sunday. I started walking past the 10K mark and that did it for me. From then on I took too many walk breaks resulting in the time it did. I discussed this with a running buddy in US and he tells me that I need to work on my 'mind' to condition it to alternate effectively. I guess, have some work to do on this front.. may be a lot of work to do.

Now that... I got the weight off my chest, let me come to the Singapore Marathon 2008. Overall the organization and the planning was great. This my fourth Singapore marathon and the experience is only getting better every year. Organizers have improved all they can. barring one thing and that is the weather. Singapore being where it is, gets hot, muggy and humid quite early in the day. Though organizers tried to beat the heat by starting @ 5:30, it does not help runners like me who took a long time to complete.

Singapore Marathon 2008 - Race Pack Collection
The location for race pack collection was different this time. Last three years it was near City center @ Esplanade and this time it was near the Changi airport at Expo Center. Nevertheless, it was easily accessible via the ubiquitous Singapore Metro. I could see a drove of people walking towards the Expo Center to pick up their race pack which included the bib number, chip, T-Shirt and Shoe bag.

Singapore Marathon - Race Pack collection
Race pack distribution was well managed. Lines clearly demarcated and well segregated with enough counters to keep the lines moving.

Singapore Marathon - Race Pack collection
Belive it.. I wasn't the oldest runner in this marathon. Though I would like to be that.. someday.

Singapore Marathon 2008 - Race Pack collectin
Running fair.. lots of vendor ready to gobble up your money.

Singapore Marathon 2008 - Race Pack Collection Entertainment..
Entertainment at the race pack collection area.

Singapore Marathon 2008 - Chennai Runners after collecting BIBs for the run
Some of the Chennai Runners "Ready to go" after collecting race pack. (note the bags all of us gleefully carrying..)

Singapore Marathon 2008 - Chennai Runners @ Starting Point
Some of the Chennai Runners.. Rearing to go..

Singapore Marathon 2008 - Water Point
Plenty of water points producing plenty of garbage.. Singapore known for its cleanness had people and vehicles lined to start the cleaning work. In fact, at some place cleanup crew were already at work.

Singapore Marathon 2008 - End Point @ 6+ hours
Impossible is Nothing.. hey.. I went through that Finish Point.

Singapore Marathon 2008
Balaji, Raveendran, Hari & I after finishing our runs. I was hoping to connect with all of the Chennai Runners but couldn't. That place was packed and folks had drifted away for some well deserved rest.

More photos in flickr

Interestingly, marathon photos had no photos of me :-(.....