Honestly, I am glad that 2007 is over. It was a year of big changes in life as well as disappointment in terms of my running. Firstly, I got married hence finding the time to run was a bit difficult (we were in long-distance relationship previously, hence I had freedom to run). Secondly, we've moved back to Singapore which is really not a conducive place for running (humid, crowded, lack of races). Thirdly, after 3 years of consistent training, it seems that my running performance has plateaued. My mileage and PB history so far:
2005: 3575k, 14 real PBs+ 8 first race PBs
2006:, 3700k, 7 PB
2007: 3300-3400k, 1 PB
All in all, I had little to cheer about in terms of running.......
I've been thinking a lot about my running plan for 2008. When I returned to Singapore in October, I thought I would solely focus on 5k/10k/21k since marathon training would be a humungus challenge given the heat/humidity, new job, and lack of running places. However, since then I have had a mood swing.
Firstly, I didn't fare too badly from the weather judging from my last two races (not great time, but okay). With more time, I think I should be able to tolerate the conditions better. Perhaps I should treat this as 'heat training' and hopefully I can perform better when I do 'cool weather' races. Secondly, there are possibly no 5k/10k races in Singapore until April or May next year. How motivating is that?
I've been searching the web for races in the region. Given my measly mileage in the last 3 months, I think a marathon in 1Q is definitely not a viable option. 2Q is more realistic - a couple friends from Perth will be running Canberra Marathon in April, but I am unsure whether I'll be in a racing shape 3.5 months from now. Domestically, there are two new marathons, namely Sundown Marathon (night) in May and Lion City Marathon in June, but I doubt I can race to the best of my ability in humid conditions.
The most viable option looks like Gold Coast Marathon in early July. It seems to have all the tick in the boxes - it is fast and flat, with a decent field size (not small but not gigantic), pacer group availability, good weather, and a nice place to go for a short holiday with my wife. It is also a good 6 months from now. I can simply do base building for a couple of months before jumping into marathon-specific training for the next 3 months and then into taper.
Here are my tentative (but not complete) races for the first half of 2008. Once the local running calendar is out, I might do a couple of track races (3k, 5k) such as Allcomers Meet, SAA road relay etc.
30 Mar: 10k/21k as part of Kuala Lumpur Marathon
The probability of doing this one is probably 80-90% as KL is about 1hr by air from Singapore. Probably will do 10k or 21k to gauge fitness shape (albeit a hilly course)
31 May: 'marathon training run' or relay as part of Sundown Marathon
This is a new marathon/ultra to be held at night time in Singapore. I'd say the probability of doing this one is about 60-70%. If I do it, I might run
the relay (two-person team) or the full 42k as a slow training run - five weeks before Gold Coast.
8 June: Saucony Passionrun 15K
The probability of doing this run is about 50-60%. Basically I will use either this race or Phuket HM in the followng week to gauge my marathon goal shape.
15 June: Laguna Phuket Half-MarathonIf I don't do the above, probably I will run this one because we can combine this with a holiday. Since this is 3 weeks out before Gold Coast, I might either run the HM at all-out to test my marathon shape or simply at marathon-goal pace for pace familiarization.
6 July: Gold Coast Marathon
Barring any injuries or physical/mental breakdown, this would be the GOAL race for the first half of 2008.