Sunday, January 24, 2010

5 weeks to HK Marathon

With barely 5 weeks to the Hong Kong Marathon, I picked up my resolve to join the SAFRA MF Runners for their weekend run at Mt. Faber to tune-up my slope-running form. There was quite a group at MF, and it was good to meet up with many of the MF Runners, as well as some new runners who have been training with Team FatBird.

I planned to do a straightforward 25km along the rather hilly NUS and MF slopes. Spencer, YN, Kok San and myself ran the first part together at about 5:30min/km pace. Beverly joined Michael, Shirley and a few others behind. I could feel tiredness in my legs, and the form was at best 80%. The 99-winding road stretch did sap some of our early reserves, and by the time we climbed the NUS slopes in sunny weather, I was feeling rather drained. We chugged ahead anyway, and met some of the gang at the Visitor's Centre for a nice toilet break and some hydration.

The route out of NUH took more out of the legs, and I felt some relief as we went back by the Buona Vista way in the down-slope direction. It offered a good breather, and I decided then that I would attempt to climb Morse Road to MF earlier as part of simulating the final up slopes at the HK Marathon. When I reached Morse Road, I was already dripping with perspiration, and had just a little bit of water left in my fuel belt. Tough was an understatement of the climb up MF. My legs felt like lead, and my quads were burning by the time I reached MF Loop. I told myself to just chug up without stopping.

It felt great at the top of MF when I finally had a chance to splash myself to cool down. Took a 5min breather, before proceeding down slope along Morse Road. Met Grace and a few other bikers on the way doing their climbs...they were working very hard to get their bikes up those slopes. Although I had only covered about 19km by then, I felt winded and rather worked out. I just wanted to maintain my form all the way back to ClubHouse and call it a morning. The final 4km was 'burning' at certain sections, and the final slope at Telok Blangah Way finishing up my 'reserves'. It sure was great to reach back to the MF ClubHouse, completing 24km at an average of 5:38min/km pace.

Had some nice guava and 100plus, courtesy Siew Lee & SAFRA MF Running. Lai Chee shared her trials and tribulations at the recent Pacesetters 30km, where she was denied a 3rd placing due to timing confusions. Heard that Zhi Lei was just next to Lai Chee when they crossed the, ZL is really getting very fast. HK Marathon, Run-Round-Singapore and the SAFRA MF Ultra-Marathon Challenge were some of the interesting topics we shared and discussed. I really enjoyed the warmth and the friendship offered by the SAFRA Runners. I hope to be there more often to join them for hills training and longer distance runs. Till the next one at MF, Cheers!

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