I’ll be honest here; I have yet to venture into the realm of Ultra-running yet; call it excuses, procrastination, busy with work, school and etc. Nevertheless, I have been fortunate, or maybe too fortunate to have been presented the opportunity to meet with some of the finest ultra-runners in the world today.
The New Balance Real Run 2011 event makes it my 3rd time participating, with my first being in 2009. However my first exposure to this event came in 2008 when I was still a recruit in SCDF. I tasked as a volunteer in the setting and manning of the water points. Things of course have changed since then.
The New Balance MT10 Minimus Trail is a minimalist trail shoe, jointly developed with ultra-marathon runner Anton Krupicka. It brings the near barefoot experience to running, without compromising too much on safety.
It was yesterday, one year ago, I participated in my Sundown Marathon. Back then, it was a truly a remarkable feat of accomplishment. I had only started running recently, and within 5 months of finishing my first half-marathon (and still holds to be my PB/PR for the category), i ran my first marathon.
So once again yesterday, i had the opportunity to participate in the event once again, this time, with the goal of completing a 4:45 (or so i thought).
I took the train to Expo, and boarded the shuttle bus at 8:15. But to my horror, i only arrived at the race venue at 10pm sharp, which was the first flag off. It was quite daunting to stay on the bus for that long, and i quickly dropped my bag the the baggage deposit as soon as the bus stopped us off. Took a quick visit to the gents, a quick warmup, and i was off!
As with last year, the route has not changed. But this year the run was very different, from a physiological and psychological.
- I was actually injured with Achilles Tendinitis during the bulking up phase at the start of the year. I ran Terry Fox Run & Urbanathlon with this injury, but thankfully, found out the culprit, and recovered in time prior to the start of the marathon training.
- I trained differently than from when i started running; back then, i just kept running 3 x 10k’s every week. This year, with the help of Alif, i did:
1 x Interval Repeats (7 x 200m with 2 minutes rest)
1 x 10k Hill Run
1 x LSD (ranging from 12k on wards, with my longest being a solo 16k run)
- Despite all that, Passion Run exposed me to the immediate problem of cramping, which i dread and fear. This year, with the help of a small sample bottle of deep heat rub that i brought along to this run, i countered this problem, but only so fairly.
- After having run races for the 3rd year, i began to mentally discipline mind to counter fatigue. This is thanks to the book i wrote about in this post, and it is largely influential to me. I felt i could go further mentally, but only to be hampered by my physical body.
- But because of this, there was pivotal moments in the race where i felt my mind and my body became disconnected; i ran with my mind feeling no pain, but i knew my body had to stop for awhile before it bonked out; i quickly rejoined the links between those two so that i could finish the run in one piece.
This run was a great run overall despite the traffic jam. The volunteers were supportive, lively and helpful, especially considering that they had to work all the way to the end of the race. If you’re a volunteer and reading this, many thanks to you for helping us during the course of the race!
I’d also like to thank the various runners who were around me for helping to pace and push myself during times when i had to stop due to my leg not being able to hold up. The last 3km were especially crucial where i pushed it all the way. Many thanks to you all.
I don’t feel too disappointed i wasn’t able to reach my target time of 4:45, but i did however reach a new personal best for the 42k category with my preliminary time of 5:01:22.
And here’s some photos.
And my Forerunner results.
I had the golden opportunity to acquire New Balance’s latest offering, their ultra-lightweight neutral cushioning shoe, the New Balance 890.
The one thing I’ve always liked about New Balance as a company is their ability to reach out to the community through user feedback, which in turn, helps them and the consumer to both benefit.
I believe the shoe was announced sometime before/during/after the Sundown Marathon roadshow, which I wasn’t able to attend because of work. Had intentions of getting one but was put on hold because I wasn’t able to afford it at that time. Nevertheless, i wasn’t going to let it slip by again when New Balance Singapore offered a 40% off from trading in any old running/sports shoe for the new 890.
I then made the trip to Novena to make my acquisition after an early morning run. There were others eagerly waiting to try out and purchase the shoe as well.
But then you must be wondering, why am i buying this shoe when I’m clearly flat footed?
- Firstly, the shoe looks good.
- Secondly, i will be looking into breaking the stereotype than runners have to wear shoes that are specific to their own feet type; i shan’t describe further, maybe when I have some quantitative results (Or if you Google around, sports scientists have already made conclusions about it, some agree and some don’t. Or maybe you can read the book i mention about in this post.
- Thirdly, i can use this shoe when I’m at the gym, or just chilling in sports gear.
It’s a nice shoe to have, seriously.