Sunday 13 August 2017

The Performance Series Race at Punggol: Running with Achilles tendinitis

For the first time, I limped to the start line.

It was The Performance Series Race at Punggol East-Coney Island this morning.

I had been suffering from Achilles tendinitis in my right ankle since last weekend. I was hoping it would go away by today's race, but I was still limping.

I considered skipping the race and maybe just collect the medal and T-shirt. I might still heal in time for next Sunday's Army Half Marathon.

But being prone to poor decision-making, of course I decided to try to run with the injury.

Flag-off time was 7am, which was unusual for a half marathon. It's usually much earlier before sunrise I believe to avoid the heat of daylight.

Apparently, the late flag-off had to do with the opening hours of Coney Island.

The race was flagged off by Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC MP Ng Chee Meng, who is also Minister of Education (Schools).

At first, I jogged awkwardly with the limp. But to my pleasant surprise, the pain dissipated after a while and I could run almost normally albeit very slowly.

Each kilometre was still a slog.

This was the first race where I got a sponge soaked in cold water.

Even though the weather didn't turn out as hot as I had feared, the sponge provided a cool respite.

I saw these bikes and thought maybe I could use one to finish the race.

After this, I started to walk more than run.

My second time at Coney Island. The first time was another Performance Series race,

The finish line was near the Riviera LRT station. I didn't know there was a Riviera LRT station.

A post shared by SM Ong (@sm_ong) on

My time for the 21km race was 3 hours 8 minutes 49 seconds, which is a new personal worst.

Despite my injury, I optimistically thought I could make it in three hours.

Apart from my Achilles tendinitis and general lack of fitness, this was actually quite a pleasant run. The weather was forgiving and it was a nice change to get away from the usual route around Marina Bay. Also, there seemed to be fewer participants (4,500 runners) due to other races (Shape Run, Ground Zero Race for Humanity) on the same day, so it felt less congested.

Surprisingly, my left ankle doesn't hurt as much anymore after the race.

Just both my legs hurt.

I'm actually looking forward to the Army Half Marathon in less than seven days.