Sunday 12 November 2017

How my year of halves became my year of injuries (No, I didn't join the Yolo Run)

At the beginning of the year, I proclaimed 2017 my year of half marathons.

Instead, it turned out to my year of injuries.

First, I blew my quad in my left thigh in February.

Then I hurt my Achilles tendon in my right ankle in August.

Because of the latter injury, I had to skip the 8km Choa Chu Kang Big Farm Run in October, the first time I missed a run because of extreme pain.

I joined eight half marathons this year, which is double the four I ran in my 50 years before this.

My goal to was break the 2 hour 40 minute barrier, but that was scuppered by the injuries

Marina Run 21km, February 26
Shoes: Brooks Launch 2

My first night race ever and also my most depressing race ever because it was night.

As I had just recovered from the thigh pain and barely trained, I started the race very, very slowly to conserve energy and avoid walking the last few kilometres.

What I learnt from this race is that no matter how slowly I start, I'm going to hit the wall around 15km anyway and start walking like I always do.

So I might as well go as fast as I comfortably can in the beginning to bank my time and just fade in the last few kilometres.

It was the first time I came in over three hours since my first half marathon in 2013.

An inauspicious start to my running year.

2XU Compression Run 21km, April 2
Shoes: Asics Gel Cumulus 17

I got a painful blister during the last few kilometres but managed to finish under three hours.

What I learnt from this race is never run a half marathon without socks.

Income Eco Run 21km, April 30
Shoes: Altra Paradigm 1.5

Unexpectedly, I came close to breaking the 2 hour 40 minute barrier here. My time was 2h 42m 47s, my best for the year,

I wore socks.

Star Wars Run 10km, May 7
Shoes: Nike Air Zoom Odyssey

My second night race and only 10km road race this year, which I tried to finish in under an hour but failed by 1 minute and 23 seconds.

The fireworks before the flag-off were a treat, though.

The Performance Series - Riverside Walk
21km, May 28

Shoes: Nike Lunarglide 6

It was during this race that I questioned my participation of half marathons because I was just so tired of running.

I was between injuries at this point but still struggled to a lousy 2h 55m 35s finish

Tri-Factor RunSwim Challenge
5.25km run/1km swim/10km run, July 2

Shoes: Nike Lunar 2

My only aquathlon of the year, my fourth overall and possibly my last ever.

I always suck in the swim leg, but the 10km run after the 1km swim was also hard.

My time of 2h 48m 14s was like my half marathon time.

The Performance Series - Punggol 21km, August 13
Shoes: Asics Gel Kayano 22

My first race after getting Achilles tendinitis and my worst half marathon time ever of 3h 8m 48s.

And I had another half marathon seven days later.

Army Half Marathon 21km, August 20
Shoes: Skechers GoRun Ultra 2

Still limping with Achilles tendinitis, I managed to improve over the previous week and finish in 38 seconds under three hours. It's sad that I actually felt good about the result.

Newton Challenge 21km, October 29
Shoes: Newton Aha

No more pain or limping, but with little training because of the injury, I managed a time of only 2h 52m 29s, compared to my personal best of 2h 40m 6s at last year's Newton Challenge.

Salomon X-Trail Run 10km, November 4
Shoes: Under Armour Fat Tire Low

My only trail race of the year. It was only 10km, but I had less than 12 hours to recover before a half marathon the next morning.

The Performance Series - Changi 21km, November 5
Shoes: Asics 33-M 2

Giving myself the excuse that I just ran a race just hours earlier, I didn't even try to make good time and finished my last half marathon of the year in a minute and a half over three hours.

It was pretty much a write-off.

I was tempted to sign up for yesterday's Yolo Run because the race singlet and tee look cool, but I didn't want to join yet another race around the Marina Bay area.

And as it turned out, I was lucky I didn't.

I wish I signed up for next month's Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon, though, because the half-marathon route goes to some different places, but I have already missed the early bird deadline.

Maybe next year.

Unless I get injured again.


I did join the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon because I found someone selling his half-marathon slot for less than the early-bird rate two weeks before the race.

Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 21km, December 3
Shoes: Hoka One One Clifton 3

I considered this a "fun run", meaning I didn't care about my time. (My time was just 41 seconds over three hours.)