The now long gone 2013 was basically a decent year for me. I managed to see a slow but steady improvement in my running which I put down to the training I've been doing. It has not been easy, I'll be the first to admit. There has been some bad days, some extremely horrible days, days when I felt like throwing in the towel and becoming a fat slob, to hell with all this running. But then, there's been the good days which more than makes up for all the bad.
|Contemplating just why I torture myself day in and day out.|
Pix courtesy of Jamie Pang.
The first race of the year for me was the MPIB run, a race I didn't really run at all. It was an event where I saw marshaling duties as a route marshal. It was a nice change to see other runners slogging it out for once instead of me. Aside from the mosquitoes that had a field day feasting on me, I had fun seeing many familiar faces running past and being the boss of that stretch.
|MPIB marshaling duties.|
Pix courtesy of Kahwai Low
While I'm told the route itself is pretty tough, it's the sleep aspect of things that I'm worried about. I'm a sleepy head, the wife will vouch for that and running a mindless road race at such ungodly hours is bound to be a struggle for me. I'm hoping the resident GC clown will be providing the entertainment to keep me and the rest of us awake :D
|The relief of completing the P50K in the blazing noon day heat!|
Pix courtesy of Pacat Adventure Team.
I sat down, looked at my training plan and threw my Hansons method out the window. While it worked wonders for my marathon training, it simply wouldn't be effective for anything above marathon distances. I needed a new plan. And what a plan it would have to be. Being a working family man, I would need a plan that would fit right around family and work.
|The pain of a night marathon ...|
Pix courtesy of Kelvin Tan.
Aside from the TITI 50/100K, there's the Nuang Challenge two weeks later which is also another equally if not tougher nut to crack. A 12 hour trail run that requires a minimum of 50k to be eligible for a medal. I've never run Nuang before, not even in training and for me it'll be a whole new experience. But I'm going to place all my trust in my training and hopefully I'll come through unscathed. At least I'll have the company of a few familiar faces struggling along with me.
|My first 'trail' race with slave driver Yvonne and fellow minion Choon Yuen at the Deuter Trail Fun Run.|
I can't remember if this pix is courtesy of Yvonne or Choon Yuen :D
This year will also see the wife coming back stronger into running. She's been sidelined quite a bit the previous year with some persistently nagging injuries that saw her missing lots of training for months. She was totally demotivated and disheartened for months. She was on the verge of completely giving up running altogether but then, thankfully, she realized that it would be a complete waste to throw away all the hard work she's done in the past.
|The GC group post Shape Run with Foo's legendary Ah Teng.|
Pix courtesy of Jamie Pang
As I mentioned earlier, this year will see me pushing my limits further, or at least try to. I'm not even sure if these old legs are going to be able to hack it but I'm more than game to give it all I've got. I've set some personal goals for the year, nothing lofty, run at least one 100K event, a better marathon timing, a faster half marathon, dip below 50 for a 10K and even a 23 minute 5K. I might not achieve all of it but it won't be for want of trying.
|The longest ever distance run at the Back 2 Endurance|
Pix courtesy of Hong Lan Tan
I could list a hundred things that I find disheartening about running these days but then I'd risk making people angry and get pissed off at me, not that I really care but as my mama once used to say 'if you've got nothing nice to say, then don't say anything at all' ... well, my mama never really said that but it makes me sound intelligent :D
|My only 'win' for the year, a sleeping owl.|
Pix courtesy of Yvonne Teo.
Barring any injury or the world coming to an end, I plan to put every bit of effort into my training. Let's hope I'll see some good come out of it. Here's to a great 2014!
|My bandit in crime, Choon Yuen at our very own race that was 'bandited' by all those Newton runners ... LOL!|
Pix courtesy of Yum Kin Kok