Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 in perspective

Getting started to write this blogpost took me a long time. It's been a year. Oh wow! All 365 days, all five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes. How would i measure this year? I would say, it's not been a great year in terms of work growth. I made a few good friends and gotten closer to those who matter. I haven't met my lose-weight goal, neither have i gotten into grad school. Both of which should go into my new year's resolutions for 2009, i guess. I've been saying it so often. Time to put plan into action.

I did cut down drinking, not quite sure about the flab. Despite the number of events i train for, i love food too much. Hahaha.. doesn't help that i've gained weight through the festive season of Christmas... and all through to New Year's Day 2009. Thanks to hanging around my friends. I've also started spending more time with Jeannie and discovered how well we are when partying. And not forgetting the girls (April, Jeanie, Meihwan, Clara, Angie, Justina) through the number of weddings and birthdays that we all commit to celebrating together.

Meeting up with the Purdue guys for Sanford's wedding post-Christmas (this deserves a long post by itself) was definitely the highlight to end my 2008 with a bang. We had an unforgettable road trip, filled with memories, and further sealing and confirming the fact we're all going to be the closest friends for life.

The boys the SBWs ... they're still around. We're tighter than ever. Yep, Barry W., i know you're reading. We're a funny bunch of people. With every year, we get to know each others' peeves, and grown accustomed to how anger is managed. There are times when we are so annoyed with each other. But like old friends, we forgive and forget and move on. Other times, we just read each others' minds. We had numerous occassions of showing up in shades of blue, black or pink, without informing each other. We sacrifice our time off work and other commitments to make sure we have lunch and dinner together. The SBWs are here to stay.

I've moved quite a fair bit, in terms of triathlon. I've been stronger than before, in swimming, in cycling, and not so much in running (ok, i admit it, i've been doing a whole amount of walking, i must change this). I've done enough events that baffles me sometimes. And there are times i'll just sit there, staring at my Finisher medals and just can't believe i can do all that. The human mind and body are truly a work of God. It's amazing that the body can stretch with such limits. With the time spent in sports, i also gotten much happier with things around me. And i got to know more people in triathlon races and made very good friends with Reeves, Yongfeng, Caroline, and Julz. These people have been great support and of cos, very great motivators and swindlers into the unknown and dark side. Triathlon's a sport, that in my opinion, is not about competition against others, but to tell yourself you can do it, and race against yourself, and to do it first and forthmost for yourself.

I wouldn't say i am not going through the growing-up blues, trying to piece everything together to make life more awesome than it is. I feel so stuck in this vacuum of mindset that i feel like i'm still right out from college, yet admitting there're certain things that i can't deny time has taken a toll of. I don't like to look back in anger. I don't like to live with regrets, i may have a few, but it's part and parcel of growing up. It's been another good year, and i'm making 2009 even more spectacular.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I was talking to a friend about a friend's arrival back to Singapore as an Ironman. Julian has completed an Ironman race in Western Australia, and has been bugging me to join the Singapore Ironman70.3 in March 2009. I am tempted. Seriously tempted. Our friend Reeves noted that it's the sense of loss after an IM race, and that need to find that joy back crossing the finishing line.

Looking back through 2008, it's been one heck of a remarkable year. I set out with a certain set of goals : finishing a few races here and there... and finishing the Olympic Distance Triathlon. It was a good leadup, or so i thought. I signed up for NUS Biathlon (Sprint), which runs about two weeks before Singapore Biathlon. NUS Biathlon happens during CNY, i will not make the same mistake signing for a race during CNY again. Bad mistake, Bad bad bad mistake. I didn't sleep for the sake of cards and drinks, and went to the NUS Biathlon grouchy and sick. Singapore Biathlon was somewhat fun, meeting tons of my friends on the course. And realized i hate Singapore waters due to seabugs. Fast forward to a crazy last minute roping in to do Bintan Tri (Swim Leg), i clocked my personal best swim timing of 34minute-ish. I like it! So Saab City Duathlon came by, it was a modified race... but so what? I had fun. Osim Triathlon Olympic Distance, which i signed up for, but barely had enough time to train for it, my cousins came by around town from home in US. I didn't find time to head to training. And now i'm admitting i am the crybaby that came out from the water in Osim, and took way too long.

I basically sat myself down, and pen down my focus to run more. I am not the greatest runner, and had great plans to finish my first marathon in '08. A few s*#t-stirrers, like Yongfeng and Auntie CW) came aboard, and swayed me to go to Desaru to do my first long distance triathlon. I wasn't really prepared so i trained really hard a few weeks before, and not wanting to feel disappointed, i didn't tell a soul i was going and just went with my guts. I finished that race, beaten by the sun. Came back on an euphoric high, and signed for the Aviva Ironman70.3 Singapore. I did my Army Half Marathon a week after Desaru. By 70.3, i was so burnt out, so tired, and just wanted to get the race over.

I had a well-deserved rest after 70.3. I played my first 18-hole golf. That was also lack of practise, but i had some fun. I just sat around, had a bit of a party time, and leisure time with my friends. I stopped cycling. I started running a bit here and there. Got roped into going for Osim Corporate Triathlon ( Cycling leg). Last minute notice, i had half a week to get back onto the saddle. Even 20k would suck. I hated the mud, but had fun with my friends like Leslie, and the guys from Glencore. Towards the end of the year, i ran a whole lot more, a max of 60km for one particular week. But it went downhill from there, i had a calf muscle tear. I went to walk the Singapore Marathon, despite my physio's advice to sit out. I had to, all a matter of my pride and the amount of time invested.

Was i glad about the year? I sure was. Well-accomplished.

Events.08 :
17th Feb NUS Biathlon(Sprint)
1st March Singapore Biathlon (OD)
26th May Bintan Triathlon (Swim leg OD)
8th June Saab City Duathlon (5km run, 25km cycle, 10km run)
13th July Osim Triathlon (OD). 20th July Shape Run 5km.
16th Aug Desaru Long Dist Tri (2km swim, 90km bike, 21km run). 23rd July Army Half Marathon
7th Sept Aviva Ironman70.3 Singapore
26th Oct GE Women's 10k Run
1st Nov Osim Corporation Triathlon (Cycle leg),
7th Dec Standard Chartered Marathon.

12 events. 1 year. Oooo, what a year.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

My 1st 42.195km

I couldn't take it.
The rolling awake at 5ish am to 6ish am every weekend.
Those long runs i put in, at East Coast Park.
Those runs i put in, at MacRitchie Park.
The thoughts just haunts me, of putting those mileage to waste.
Sacrifices made to do my runs. The loss of time with friends, and dinners with family.

I've been in an ambivalent mood all week, leading up to the marathon.
At 11pm on the night before those 42.195km, i told myself "if there are no better plans tonight, i'm going to sleep and go for the marathon. Sadly, there were none.
The clock beeped me awake at 330am on 7th December. The time is near.
I had the usual tummy churning jitters, which is a surprise, considering i wasn't panicking for days, and was consuming beer and alcohol at an extremely high dosage. I had wanted to start with Uncle KC. But that tummy just wouldn't hold for those kms. I ended up all alone, with my ipod stuck to my ears. I met Gary & Nick along the way...before i detoured. I met Chris, a friend from swim class. I met a few other people. No one stuck to my mind more so than meeting Kai. We chatted everything under the sun, from about going to zouk after marathon, and having drinks, to injuries, and overtaking people, and about our siblings and our relationships. The fun was just there, i totally enjoyed it. And of cos, the joy of finishing those 42.195km walk with a friend. :)

It's not just how you get there, it's whether you get there.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

3 days more...

Every second, every minute, every hour....
we inch a little closer to the start line.
At 530am on 7th December 2008,
the crowds will start to feel unsettled, the air will feel still and thin.
Those 42.195km ahead... can be a run, march, walk.


That ardous task might be brought forward to 2010. It's a pity, a shame... and an outcry. My left calf muscle suffered a tiny tear, due to a chain of possible events : overtraining, not enough stretching, the list goes on. O well, it's a shame, i guess....