Saturday, October 15, 2011


Well, I did it.  I finished the New Balance Real Run 10k this morning.  It wasn't easy.

While I was running I was reminded of a scene from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (starring Kevin Costner!).  At one point in the film the merry men are training in Sherwood Forest.  The youngest boy is practicing archery and shoots a bulls-eye.  Then Robin comes along and says "very good - but can you do it amongst distraction?"  At this point Robin grazes the boy's face with an arrow while he's trying to shoot - resulting in a horrible shot.

That's what this race was like today - full of distractions...

I woke up at 4:45AM - on a SUNDAY!  This was so that I could get to the race venue by 5:30 - before they closed the roads and diverted all traffic.

I got a cab quickly and told the driver to take me to Changi Exhibition Centre.  Then, because I was so tired, I kinda stopped paying attention, tried to relax, and before I knew it I was at the SINGAPORE exhibition centre - NOT the same place.

So the cab driver leaves me at this dark, deserted location as I try to give him the benefit of the doubt by looking around the block to ensure that I indeed was in the wrong place.  Of course I was, which meant that I had to find a cab ASAP so that I could get to the CEC before the road closure - stressful?!

Luckily I found a cab, got to the venue and prepared myself for the run.  The run begins quickly, and I'm off.

The NB real run was advertised as a 10k run with 1.5 k of sand and 1.5 k of trail.  The trail should have been advertised as sand as well.  As I started the race I thought, oh, this sand isn't too bad, I can get through this ok - and I did.  But then at the 6k mark we get to the REAL sand - slanted towards the water, littered with -well - litter, and as hard as can be.  To top it all off we faced the sun at this point, which decided to show its hot, shining face for the first time in weeks.  In addition to these "distractions" there was also the fact that we were running adjacent to the airport and so every 15 minutes or so the ground began to tremble as a 747 took off meters above our heads.  Ahhh...I love the smell of jet fuel in the morning!

Needless to say, conditions weren't great.  I managed to finish the race in about 58 mins - obviously a slower than normal time but considering the terrain I was pretty proud of myself.  Unfortunately there was no one around who I knew to revel in this accomplishment as the two people who were supposed to run with me had to back out for (understandable?) reasons.

This race made me realize how lonely running can be.  It really sucks having to go to a giant expo centre and stretch, hydrate, and stress all by myself.  I really didn't enjoy it much at all, even though I'm usually fine with being by myself.  Maybe I need a running partner?  I thought I had two, but they turned out to be unreliable which is the worst quality in a exercise partner of any kind.  Hmmm...something to keep thinking about, I guess.

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