Sunday, November 19, 2006

Final LSD & Heat Conditioning

After 2 days of rest for my feet, I was feeling better for the Nike Runaholics 20km at Marina Promenade. I had intended to add 15km of run in the heat to the 20km for a grand total of 35km, which will have to do as my longest run in preparations for SCSM on Dec 3. I had about 4hrs of sleep....not bad, the night before race day will have me sleeping for an hour maybe. Picked up stazla and superboy early, and we were at the start point at Marina Promenade area by 7am. Along the way, we saw the group of Animiles runners making their way towards the Kallang/Indoor Stadium area. Saw acleong, RealRunner,Cokiee at the start point, along with quite a good turnout of runners...most likely doing their final prep runs as well :). Saw Vivian, Anna, and the rest of the Animiles reach the overhead, they were fast...we acknowledged one another. Then Roentgen and Divey were spotted doing their Ninja runs as well...both looked very strong, especially Divey.

Stephen Lee gave a brief of the route, and it turned out that we had to run to/fro all along Marina Promenade and The Esplanade area...hmm, the hard surface on that stretch will really hurt the legs...I intended to be cautious. As I had planned for a 35km, I tried to do a 5:30min/km pace throughout, and see if I could hold on for the entire run. The run was flagged off before 7.30am, as I was going for a final toilet break. Brokie and Vincent were not there yet. I joined in the group, and was content to stay in mid-pack to maintain a 5:30min pace. The sun was rearing its might early in the run, and fortunately, the water points were well stocked with isotonic drinks. As I was running back from the Sea Sports area, I spotted Brokie, Vincent and leh-lio running towards me...they were about 20min late. I maintained my pace as I saw stazla, superboy and cokiee not far behind. I finished the first 10km in 54min...ok, steady 5:30min pace.

I decided to increase pace slightly for the next 10km to try to bank in some miles. I was feeling ok for the 2nd 10km as I was not really pushing for any timing, just wanting to run an average 5:30min pace for the full 35km. I had some fun doing mini-paced runs with the mid-pack runners, taking turns to trade places with a few selected runners. The MR25 Elites were blazing the routes as I saw them running back at break-neck speed after each of the 4 U-turns we had to do. I was quite happy with taking my Powergel mix at the 10km and 18km mark, and I will definitely be bringing my Fuel-Belt along for this year's SCSM. As I passed by the 17km mark, back at the start point, MR25 Hock Leong just finished his 20km in 1hr30min...that was fast...further ahead near The Esplanade, RealRunner was followed closely by Ronnie, both at a very good pace...RR looks good for a 3hr30min marathon this year. I was content to continue with my 5:30min pace, and finished the 20km in 1hr47min. Took some isotonic drinks, a banana, and got my log card recorded. Spent some time chatting with Vincent of MR25, and with a pit-stop of about 10min in total, I set off for my additional 15km of conditioning.

I proceeded for a 3rd time towards the Kallang Sea Sports area, then took a short stretch of Nicholl Highway, before running along the Kallang River to the Indoor Stadium. Crossed over the Waterfront Bridge and towards the Costa Rhu and waterfront condominium areas. That stretch was really 'mental' due to the scant cover from the minimal number of trees and hot. There were just a few solitary runners, mostly carrying camelbaks. There was a slight reprieve from the sun when it was momentarily blocked by some passing clouds. I decided to turn back after 2hr20min of running in order that I could finish the 35km in about 3hr and a bit. As I turned back towards Indoor Stadium, and along People's Academy, I was reminded of the very tough final 5km in SCSM05. That was the part where I was so drained I had to walk, and was the determining point for blowing off my sub-4hr target in my maiden marathon. I did learn a lot since then. When I again passed this point this morning, I felt much stronger (I only have covered 28km by then), and I was determined to overcome the 'mental' demon. As I ran into Kallang Sea Sports centre, the sun was blazing...good conditioning though, as I ran round to the other side of Singapore River. I took another sip of my Powergel mix to provide the final boost to finish the remaining 7km.

Though it was hot, I kept myself cool by focusing on getting into the shady areas. As I hit back to Marina Promenade, I saw stazla running back from her additional mileage too...this gal is really strong. I picked up pace and continued to push on till I reach back to the Runaholics start point. Brokie, Lai Chee, Ronnie, Vincent, and those who had finished earlier were chatting. I took a quick drink, and joined them for a short exchange. I told them I would do another 3km+ towards The Espanade and back to complete 35km. From then on, it was just me and lots of tourist groups moving around. My legs still felt good, though the tiredness were beginning to get to me. There were still no signs of cramps, which made me more confident. I continued to push the 5:30min pace, and not to be distracted. The heat was getting to be unbearable, and after the final U-turn, I looked for a shady area to finish my final drink in a 1min walk. I completed the 35km run in 3hr07min, exclusing part of the stoppage after the Runaholics 20km. I was happy to have completed without to much a-do, and feeling quite good, in spite of the hot weather. I am now more confident of tackling the heat on race day. I actually bumped into an army mate and an ex-colleague today doing the Runaholics, and although I waved at them, they could not recognize me anymore....haha. My outlook must have changed too much....hahaha. We had a wash-up, followed by carbo-reload at Marina Sq. Foodcourt with kakis who had participated at the Swissotel Vertical Marathon. Tapering for me has begun with this final LSD, and I am arranging for a informal 'friendship' run for some of our international SgRunners kakis next Saturday, followed by makan and a visit to the SCSM Race Expo...Looking forward to all these fun tapering activities :)

Distance: 35km__Time: 3hr07min__Pace: 5:21min/km

If I am able to maintain the average 5:21min/km pace for the whole marathon, I can theoretically do it in 3hr46min, better than my PB of 3hr48min established at Phuket 2006.

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At 10:54 PM, Blogger roentgen said...

Wow Dream, this sounds like a fantastic final LSD! I'm sure you will be having a memorable SCSM this year. Here's to many more good runs :)


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