17 races (fun and competitive). Total of 186.45km (this is the races I have run in this year). From the Jan-Dec, the total distance covered was 709.45km. In October Challenge (a one month min. 5km daily challenge), I ran 203.05km.
My girls asked me why do I run so much? Why do I like to run? Friends around me questioned why do I pay so much to join the races when I can run for free if I truly like to run?
To be honest, running is not my favourite sports. Coupled with my flat-foot condition, running was never an easy task. The fact was I quitted running more than 6 years back when my last run was a 10km race in SCMS 2009. After that race, I injured my left knee and after a series of X-rays, MRIs, Physio, what the doctor told me was to stop running. My dream of completing a Full Marathon (42km) was dashed and life went on.
What changed my mind was a family tragic that happened in 2014, my dad suddenly passed away. His death was so sudden, we were all caught surprised and none of us had a proper chance to even say goodbye. This incident taught me a huge life lesson – stay fit for your family. From then on, I purpose in my heart to stay fit, not just for myself, but just so that I can stay healthy and alive to enjoy my time with my wife and children. To be able to see my girls grow up, be married, have their own kids, etc.
So in 2016, I finally picked up the dream of running again. I will turn 42 in Dec 2016. I told myself that I can once again fulfil the Full Marathon (42km) dream. I will pace myself, start slow and small, get myself running again in 2016, then in Dec 2017, before I officially turn 43, I will complete the 42km Full Marathon race.
So why do I run?
There are 2 parts to that question. One, to keep fit for my family & to fulfil my 42km dream. Two, I want to show my girls the power of determination and discipline, although I may be older now, and I am not as strong as before, but if I am determined to fulfil something, plus discipline to do it, I can achieve it!
Why do I need to pay and run in races?
Simple, I join the races to get the medals. Because the medals served as a reminder and encouragement to myself that I can moving step-by-step towards my dream. Setting a target without interim success points is just a bit too difficult to achieve. Plus running in a proper race will give me the experience to understand what to expect when the time comes for the 42km.
As I look back this year, I thank many different ones who have come along my running journey and gave me a pat on the shoulder, ran with me, cheered me on. This year’s journey all started when my running “shifu” Benjamin, asked me to join him in the Compressport Rail Corridor Run. It will be the last time any organiser will plan a race along this railway corridor and after that, it will be closed in preparation for future development. And from here, the rest is history. Back then my timing for completing 10km was 1hr 33mins 11secs (I was just glad to finish).
Met up with Daddy Blogger (Steven) in one of the fun runs.
With Church members.
The happiest run is when my family joined me in this year’s Sundown Run. We did a 5km fun run together, and Joey completed it with me, jogging for most of the entire race. So proud of her!
Then in October, inspired by another Daddy Blogger (Nick), I embarked on a one-month challenge to run at least 5km a day, rain or shine, day or night. Initially the runs were quite okay, until the second week, tired legs, aching backs, and worst of all, finding time to run, all these were becoming serious considering factors for me to quit. Thankfully, for a super supportive wife, she will do her best to arrange everything else at home or at work, so that I can have no excuse but to fulfil my challenge. And I did it! Thanks to all my friends who lent me your support on IG, FB or when you met me during that month.
Some of the more memorable runs I have participated this year.
The Performance Series – Singapore’s 1st Race Series
A total of 5 races (10km) across Singapore.
Race #1 - Coney Island / Punggol Waterway
Race #2 - Jurong Lake
Race #3 - Gardens By The Bay
Race #4 - Bedok Reservoir
Race #5 - Kranji Farm
After completing the 5 races, the medals can be used to form the map of Singapore.
Race #5 at Kranji Farm was my last run in 2016, a 10km race. Since the first 10km in Jan, I have ran another 9 more 10km race, and on my final and 10th 10km race, I broke my Personal Best (PB) at 55mins 46secs. That is a 37mins 25secs improvement. Nothing is impossible!
I was prepared to run any Half Marathon (21km) this year, but I tried and ran in the Army Half and Standard Chartered (SCMS). To put into perspective, the last time I ran in a HM, my timing was about 3hrs (that is almost 8 years back). For the Army Half, I was expecting myself to finish within 3.5hrs, my target was 3hrs. And I completed in 2hrs 26mins 25secs.
SCMS was like my mid-year exam. If I can do well, then I am on par to do well next December for my FM.
PTL! I ran 2hrs 17mins 26secs, even better than Army Half.
All these unexpected good results (for an amateur), enhanced my belief that hard work pays off.
Thankful to end the year well. On to more runs in 2017, better timing (I pray), and more discipline and determination.