Why I expected to do badly at this morning's Army Half Marathon:
One, I always do badly in the Army Half Marathon. In 2013, 2016 and last year.
Two, my left leg has been hurting since March so I couldn't train as hard as I would've liked and so I'm even less fit than before.
Three, I'm growing old. I turned 52 this year and injuries are taking longer to heal if they ever do.
Four, I barely got any sleep last night before the 4.30am flag-off. (I was in the second wave, which was flagged off about 15 minutes later.) I felt surprisingly better than I expected at the start of the race. My left leg didn't bother me as much as I feared.
Five, there was a bottleneck after the 5km mark, which killed any momentum I had, causing a delay of at least 5 minutes. Many runners and I had to cut through some bushes, which scratched my legs. Somebody really screwed up here.
Six, after 9km, I stopped to get a drink a few times, which made me feel bloated, so I had to take time to walk it off after each hydration point. I think I drank too much 100Plus.
Seven, I had to stop and queue for the public toilet at East Coast Park to take a leak. That was another 5-minute delay. By the way, this was my first race where the organisers put up signs to show you where the public toilets were, which was helpful, I gotta say.
But despite all the negatives, at the 15km mark, I was still feeling pretty okay. For every previous half marathon, this was the point where I just wanted to die. For the first time, it didn't happen.
It helped that unlike previous years, there were no demoralising U-turns in the latter part of the route. I hate U-turns.
I had enough energy left to try and sprint to the finish line in the last kilometre. The key word is "try".
A little Journey for the remainder of the journey.
In the end, I achieved my second best time for the Army Half Marathon
If not for the bottleneck and toilet break, it could've been my best time.
Hopefully, I can maintain this form for the Bintan half marathon next month.
UPDATE: Running the half at the International Bintan Marathon