Sunday, February 04, 2007

HK Marathon Prep: The Longest Run

With 4 weeks to the HK Marathon, the SAFRA MF team planned for its longest run on Sunday for an estimated 38km along the route of [MF Clubhouse -> Depot Rd -> Alexandra Rd -> Pasir Panjang -> South Buona Vista -> NUS (Lower Kent Ridge Rd -> Clementi Rd -> Kent Ridge Cres -> Lower Kent Ridge Rd) -> Science Park -> Kent Ridge Park (2 rds) -> Pasir Panjang -> Laborador Hill -> Laborador Park (2 rds) -> Telok Blangah Way -> Harbourfront -> Kampung Bahru -> MF hill -> MF loop (2 rds) -> Morse Rd -> Harbourfront -> Telok Blangah Rise -> MF Clubhouse]. With a sumptious Wedding Dinner on Saturday, to be followed by a Birthday lunch and dinner the following day, I was really looking forward to this long run to help 'burn off' some of the high calories I will be ingesting :).

Quite a turnout for such a long run this morning. The SAFRA TP group had their own training too, and they started off slighly earlier. Trainer Ong gave a brief of the remaining parts of the HK Marathon Training, including the new route for the morning. sci/Desmond who joined us for the first time started off with Trainer Ong and DO showing the way, As usual, I started off slowly since I always needed more time to get my engines suitably warmed up. Cokiee was running with me for a while. As we turned into Alexandra Road, I moved slightly ahead with TLH, and crossing onto Pasir Panjang Road, I was maintaining a reasonably fast, but sustainable pace. I soon drew close enough to Lai Chee, and trailed from about 100m from behind.

Midway along the 99-winding road (Buona Vista Road), Lai Chee looked a little lost. I ran up and told her to run to the end of the road, and she allowed me to take the lead. DO was within sight another 100m in front. When we neared the end of the road, Ronnie came up and showed the way into NUS...good thing he did that, since I was not too sure about the way within NUS. I ran through the NUS slopes with not too much problems, always trailing DO and Ronnie for directions, while ensuring that Lai Chee was following behind. Ronnie and I ran ahead of DO once we got out of NUS, and into Science Park leading on towards Kent Ridge Park. As we ran in, I spotted Ong and sci finishing their 1st loop of the KR Hill. I took a measured pace, and finished the 2.5 loops ahead of Ronnie, who slowed down because of a knee pain.

I took a Powergel and water at the top of KR Park, and continued down Bukit Chandu, and then along Pasir Panjang Road. Soon reached Labrador Park entrance, and I estimated I ran about 20km up to that point. Feeling slightly tired, I slowed my cadence and went into a 'striding' mode. The weather was very cool and nice the whole morning, and I was hoping it would continue for another 2 hours or so. Ran up the Labrador Slope to Olive Restaurant, did 2 loops around the park, and went up the slopes in the reverse direction. On my way out, saw Goola, PS, Wong and Alber coming in. We acknowledged each other, before I pushed on to my final objective, MF Hill.

Near to Henderson Road, spotted Cokiee and Peter, who were doing a shorter 23km distance. I urged them on before trudging along to Kampong Bahru. The run up MF Hill today, after going though so many slopes earlier, made that climb real hard. I took very small steps and chugged up slowly. I finally reached the top of MF Hill, taking a longer time than usual. Saw Ong finishing his 1st loop on the top, and I told him I was going to give the 2 small MF loops a miss. I didn't want to risk running too many downslopes. After the recovery phase down MF from the Morse Rd side, I merged in with PS, Wong and Alber along Harbourfront. They were going for their climb up MF, whilst I was glad I would be finishing in another 3km. I could feel a slight twitch in my calve muscles, and I maintained a steady stride.

Up along the final stretch of Telok Blangah Rise, I maintained a steady pace as though I was running a full marathon. On the home stretch, passed Julie and with 100m to the ClubHouse, I was even thrown a mini challenge by a small kid...haha.,,He must have sensed the tiredness in me, and decided he stood a good chance. He gave up after 50m. Had a good stretch at the ClubHouse, and as I was rushing off for the birthday lunch appointment, I did not join the gang for lunch. Ong said that we ran at quite a fast pace and that I would have covered about 36km. I felt pretty good with the run, and with this longest run out of the way, it will be diminishing distances (but not intensity) for the next 2-3 weeks....hmm, time to slack a bit lah....hehe.

Distance: 36km__Time:3hr9min__Pace: 5:15min/km

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