This is one event that I’ve been signing up for every year, with the exception of this year. For a reason that I can’t quite pinpoint, I love all-women’s races. Hmm, nicer, more feminine event tees? Better goodie bags? More post-run food + fun activities? Not having men around and hence more empty routes? I have no idea. Don’t get me wrong, I’m perfectly fine running with men, just that…I can do without them sometimes. heh heh.
I went through a not-interested-in-races phase this year, but I saw a bib available on fb and subsequently my friend told me to pace her, so I thought that was going to be a very fun experience! It was fun, but totally not in the way I expected it to be. Her longest run was about 13k, and she said her pb from sometime ago was 1:52, so I thought it was going to be manageable. 5:15 pace isn’t “easy” but I wouldn’t have to dig deep to keep up (hopefully).
What she didn’t say, though, was how she’s been regularly cycling and gymming. (I also forgot that she used to be in her school’s cross-country team). So I had no way to respond when she zoomed off right at the start, except a feeble “too fast!” Thankfully, she did not follow my advice and went ahead.
When I was all set to do a 5:15 pace, it was terribly difficult to suddenly switch gear to run faster. The massive power of the mind! So I told myself I’d go with the current 5:15ish until 10th km and decide what to do from there. Either I would’ve caught up with her by then, or I’ll have to speed up and catch up over the next 11km.
The run was so enjoyable. Cool and windy, the best kind of weather that we can wish for in Singapore. But my only gripe is the darkness. It was like running in a twilight zone, not being able to see my surroundings and watch my steps sometimes. Besides, it’s been so long since I last raced, I wasn’t really sure what to think about when I’m running. So my thoughts automatically shifted to the marathon in 3 weeks time. Eeks, it’s only 3 weeks away and I still feel like I have no aerobic fitness. Hmm, not a good thing to think about, since it’s something I can’t do anything about at the moment, so I quickly banished that thought and focused on…nothing. I got so lazy at some parts that my pace per km slowed to 5:20+++ including the walk breaks at water points.
10km came soon enough, and it was time to start chasing to catch up with my friend. Since I agreed to pace her prior to the run, I had to at least catch up and finish together (more to save face lah). Thankfully, I brought along a gel with me so I ate it for extra energy boost. I was ready to chiong! What I did was to target each girl in front of me, and overtook them one by one until I saw my friend. After seeing her a huge distance away at one of the u-turn points, this finally happened near the 20km mark. Phew! Potential huge embarrassment averted! So all was well and we finished together slightly below 1:49. PB for her and a great workout for me as a result!
Compared to other races I’ve done previously, I managed to recover pretty well for this one, by making sure I drank enough the day before and after the run, and forcing myself to eat the banana right after the run no matter how much I felt like eating ice-cream instead. I did have the ice-cream, but after getting the nutrients in from the banana first. Also was kiasu and went straight to the massage tent. Not sure if it helped cos it was a rather half-hearted one. Oh well, no complaints, it was free for us anyway.
However, I also realised that I am totally not ready for a full marathon. At this stage of marathon training, I ought to be feeling much fitter and running should feel much easier than this. Of course I will not miss SCMS, but that means I have to be realistic and adjust my plan for the day so I can finish with dignified race photos at least. BQ will have to wait til another time then!