Sunday, August 06, 2006

High mileage weekend...Satisfying

Animiles tune-up for AHM

Did not really run much this week, and was looking to do this 24km run with The AniMILES from Lower Pierce Reservoir (LPR). Took a small bowl of cereal and a banana, downed with my usual cuppa. Reached LPR area with DO and met up with SC5, notme, lieu, anna, Brokie, fennel, mwengrof, cheow12, Bug, RealRunner and a bunch of other Animiles runners. bbmon sms-ed me to say she could not make it due to work arrangements. Gentle and doraemon joined us shortly after we started at about 5.15am.

I had wanted to do this run as some kind of a time-trial for the upcoming Army Half Marathon (AHM), just to see what kind of pace will be reasonable for me to sustain for 21.1km. As with Animiles character, most of the runners bolted to the front at the start. I followed from about 100m behind lieu, Bug, RR, DO, Cheow12, anna, and the front bunch. I like to run alone sometimes, to feel the cool morning air, and body-sense a bit to see my form. The pace this morning was fast, and I was breathing a tad heavy already at the start. The SgRunners gals were running not too far behind us. The beginning pace felt like just above 5min/km. Hmm..quite fast for a 24km, but good to push. The frontrunners were strong, and even as I exited OUTR (Old Upper Thomson Road) to UTR (Upper Thomson Road), I was still trailing them by about 200m. I just maintained that distance, and I was trading places with the Eurasian gal for a bit...she is one good fighter....hehe. As I turned into Mandai Road, I followed the one in pink chopchop as she was quite prominent. After overtaking about 8people by then, it seemed that she was the one who would maintain that pace for me to tailgate. As I reached the bridge at Mandai Crematorium, saw anna and said hi to her. She was looking fresh and was taking it easy. I moved along feeling quite strong, but felt the pace was pretty fast...and those guys like Bug, RR, DO and Cheow were really burning the road...wha!

After the second opening to the Reservoir, I took my mini Snickers bar to top up some fuel...heh. WaterGal was not around today, so didn't see her at those strategic points waiting to provide water to SC5 and other thirsty runners. I took occasional sips off my fuel belt, which I usually bring for this run. Then I spotted Bug running back, and then RR, then DO...they have reached the turning so fast! I soon reached the mid point at the road entrance to the Zoo, and a quick check showed it was 58min+...wah...I normally reach that point in 1hr2min. I just knew that the pace was fast today :). On the return leg, I tried to pick up speed as usual and started to move in on the pink gal (aiya...didn't get her name again)...she is a 3:50 marathoner, as I found out from SC5 later. The morning was still covered in darkness. I saw SC5 coming, then notme, then further on mwengrof and a bunch of hunks...hah. Then I saw fennel and doraemon, with brokie in full concentration just behind....shouted to them to 'Keep It Up!'. Thumbs up from them...heh. From then on, I increased cadence and soon closed the gap with the front group. A I ran into UTR, I could see the back of Cheow and a few runners further up front. Cheow was running a fast pace, and was strong...and he was keeping the pace very well. Took me a while before I reached him, and told him to push on for a good timing.

As I meander up OUTR, I saw Gentle...wah, he came late and ran 19km, and was looking at his watch and speeding...haha. I checked my watch briefly and it showed 1hr40min. Hmm, I knew that I have lots more time to do sub-2hr for the remaining 3km+ or so. I acknowledged Gentle as he crossed over, and for the next 2km or so, we ran alongside each other, with me going for the shorter bends of the road...haha, real runners always take shorter cuts, according to an article. As I neared Casuarina Rd, I increased pace and made a final push for the finish...1hr56min flat according to my watch...better than my previous time for 24km at Animiles. Bug, RR, DO had already finished in about 1hr54min or so. Cheow12 came back shortly. Then notme and SC5...that guy went to pick rubbish lah...hehe. All had a good and satisfying run, and all did their best times too...great! Then fennel, doraemon and brokie came back....they too did 24km in about 2hr20min and less. Good effort, and they thought they did only 21km...haha...some problem with fennel's footpod lah. After a good wash-up, we proceeded for makan at the usual place, and lots of discussions of the run and the upcoming AHM. Another fine Animiles encounter!

Distance Ran: 24km__Time Taken: 1hr56min__Pace: 4:50min/km

Fort Canning-Marina Promenade Recovery

Yikes! A quick check of my running log shows my mileage, including this Animiles run, is only 36km for this week.....wah, no wonder I still feel deprived :(. Anyway, managed to secure a last-minute Visa and hopped down to SAFRA MF to join in their 24km run. I was hoping to do a recovery run, and catch up with some of my running kakis. Quite a big group turned up. I did a shorter 23km version which ran from Clubhouse -> Henderson Rd -> Tiong Bahru Park -> Havelock Rd -> Clark Quay -> Fort Canning Hill (2 rds) -> Esplanade -> Marina Promenade (2nd toilet U-turn) -> Esplanade Bridge -> Keppel Rd -> Harbourfront -> Kampong Bahru -> Clubhouse. I enjoyed the 2 loops at Fort Canning Hill, and recalled that we were caught in a heavy downpour the last time we ran this way. I chatted mostly with Colleen along the way to Marina Promenade, talking about mountain trekking as usual...:). The weather was cool until the Marina Promenade portion, and my legs were feeling tired after the toilet break. Ran mostly with Wong and Colleen till The Esplanade before I moved slightly ahead for a solo run through the demoralizing portion of Keppel Rd, Harbourfront and Kampong Bahru. The sun was out, but fortunately the cloud cover provided some reprieve. I finished the 23km in an estimated 2hr10min, including toilet breaks n traffic stops.

Distance Ran: 23km__Time Taken: 2hr10min__Pace: 5:39min/km

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