[19/8 – 11pm] Ok let’s try something new, instead of letting my hardcore fans (yes, all 2 of you!) wait an average 6 months for a race report to be churned out; I’ll be trying this new approach of updating this post on the go. It’ll probably capture raw emotions during the whole weekend, and hopefully provide more entertainment for everyone reading 🙂
Just done with my last ride and started a bit of packing; it’ll be quite a rush as i’ll be taking the Saturday morning ferry straight to Bintan Lagoon Resort with Seb. Feeling a little sluggish this week, or rather the whole time since I got back from Roth. I’m feeling like I shouldn’t be hoping for a good result this weekend, but secretly I’m still excited..heehee
[21/8 -11pm] Finally finished packing. Just ended a tough week at the office; so busy that it was difficult to squeeze in taper workouts into the schedule. It’s already Friday so I guess I can’t do much about it now 🙂
Usually by now I can tell if I’m feeling fit and ready to be shot out of the cannon. But this time I’m feeling a bit cloudy. The brain draining week has really taken a toll and disconnected my mind from my body. Hope it’ll get better when the race atmosphere and adrenaline kicks in tomorrow. Meanwhile I’d probably do some stretching and foam rolling to nimble myself up before I head to bed.
Bags are all packed and ready to go! Lightly bubble wrapped the bike so it’ll have a bit of protection from bumps on the ferry. Booked my stay at Bintan lagoon resort and was pleasantly surprised that they have a ferry terminal at the resort; so it’s straight from Tanah Merah to the doorstep of the resort!! Awesome!
[25/8 – 4am] Just about to hit the sack after an evening of mugging for the heavy work week ahead of me. Fatigue has inevitably set in physically but I’m really surprised I could squeeze in so much work today.
A quick recap on the race before memories and emotions start to fade….
Really happy with how the race went, managed a PB despite a relatively recent race in Roth which left me mentally shattered for a couple of days. The days leading up to this was flooded with work and Jaime thought I looked like I was going for a holiday instead 🙂 She’s so familiar with my cranky and uptight behavior before a race that she knew something was different this time. I don’t think i had enough mental juice in me to keep my “game face” mentality on.
From checking in the bike at Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, it was a seamless transfer of human + bike + luggage to the resort. No stress. Gotta give it to the resorts in Bintan for providing a decent bike butler service.
Only managed to do the recce on race morning itself. Noticed the shallow water start, so I practiced the “dolphin diving” thing so that I don’t waste energy or struggle at the start. Lucky I’ve actually seen it done before so I just tried my best to copy and execute. Kept telling myself to take it easy on the swim, trying to focus on my weakness on this leg, navigation. The waters were so clear I could see a couple of meters in front of me, it was a beautiful day for a swim.
The bike course consisted of rolling terrain and I was expecting slower times after talking to some of the guys who have done Metaman before. Apparently they have modified the course and instead of the usual 1000m climb over the 90km route, this time we only had to deal with about 600m. I was spinning up most of the short and sharp climbs, occasionally getting off the saddle when I got impatient. I soon developed the skill of grabbing a sip or sometimes even popping a gel juuuust as the climb flattens out and before the downhill begins.
Bombed down most of the hills, being a little more cautious when going through the small towns where there was a bit more traffic. Met coach Shem along the bike course and exchange a few passes before he sped off, always nice to see a familiar face on the course. All these while I used to hate climbing on the bike, I think the past 3 Ironman races in Europe have somehow forced me to love…or rather accept this aspect of riding. I still don’t like the thought of huge climbs on the bike, but I don’t feel as crap when I see one now.
Me, being my blur self; only realize that a PB was possible towards the end of the bike ride. So the plan was just not to screw up the run.
When I give Jaime my estimate finish times for each section for any race, she knows I usually come in later than expected. I never turn up early; except for this race. Today was turning out pretty well; maybe the relaxed mindset really helped, or maybe the mental torture in Roth really toughened me up.
When I saw the time on my watch as I started my run, the thought of a sub 5 was so tempting. I needed a 1:43hr half marathon, which translates to an average pace of err……. less than 5min/km. okaaay, let’s just say that didn’t happen at all and I switched on my SURVIVAL mode after 10km. I didn’t want to look at my watch for most of the run, I thought as long as I didn’t walk (much) I would be alright. sub5 could wait for another day.
I picked up the pace the last 3-4km and crossed the finish line with a really wide smile across my tiny face; walked towards the finisher’s area and safely into the arms of Jaime who’s always been there to receive me after my races.
Not much concrete plans on racing at the moment, talks are floating around Putrajaya and Cebu next year but we’ll see how it goes after i’ve properly recovered from this race 🙂
Photo album can be found here
and donations can be put here :))
This race is dedicated to the kids at Club Rainbow (Singapore) – The Official Site. The charity supports children who are suffering from a range of chronic and life-threatening illnesses.
Show your support here https://www.rideforrainbows.org/Support-a-Rider/Ian-62/