Sundown Marathon 2016 – 10km

I completed my fourth Sundown Marathon last Saturday.

  • My overall time for the 10km: 1:07:25 (Personal Best – 10km Competitive)
    • Sundown 10km in 2013: 01:30:10
    • Sundown 10km in 2014: 01:21:54
    • Sundown 21.1km in 2015: 02:52:40
  • Finished 918th out of 5,150 in my category (Net Time).
  • Finished 693rd out of 2,581 other men in my category.

The race was on 28 May 2016, the same day as the DBS Marina Regatta. I had competed in the 22-crew Premiere Open Category earlier in the day. You can say that I was somewhat drained. But I was determined to hit my personal best in the 10km category.

And VOILA. I actually did!

Before the race. I reached the start pen at 9:50 PM (ten minutes before flag-off). But it was so crowded I didn’t get to start until the 6th or 7th wave (10:25pm). Yikes.

 

Completing the 10km in 1 hour, 7 minutes and 25 seconds. I was going for 10km closer to 1 hour or less… BUT GO FIGURE. LOL. I checked my time every few minutes past the 6km mark. Trying to compute my pace and if I would reach the finish line. I was around the 7km mark when I realised I wouldn’t be finishing in one hour.

The familiarity of it.

Highlights. This was the first 10km competitive race where I did not stop “to walk” unless it was to grab a cup of 100plus or mineral water at the hydration stations. Which, by the way, was quite brief. I would grab a cup from the last table, gulp it down, and then start running again.

KASI GUSTO KO MAKUHA ANG 10KM IN ONE HOUR OR LESS. ūüėõ

Race route. The route was very scenic. Starting at the F1 Pit, leading towards Nicoll Highway before turning back alongside Kallang Riverside Park. Towards Sheares Bridge and around the sides of the F1 Pit again. Next to the Singapore Flyer, then it climbs up onto the Helix Bridge and down the steps along The Shoppes @ Marina Bay. The route goes through the waterfront side of The Shoppes, U-turns back which enables you to run between the illuminated palm trees… then towards Gardens by the Bay in the back (under the skeletal magnificence of the conservatories). U-turn again at the end back towards the Gardens, turns and goes down Gardens by the Bay with the Marina Bay Sands towering over you… U-turn for the finishing kilometers by taking you back onto the bridge back to the F1 Pit. Finish Line. Beautiful, beautiful at night. Some areas were narrow, but the route was worth it.

2013 vs 2016

I told myself this would be one of my last competitive runs since I’d like to focus on weightlifting and dragon boating. But who knows, perhaps I’ll come back for a fifth stab at it in 2017. ūüôā

Regatta Race ID + Sundown 10km finisher medal ūüôā

 

Summer Friday 2016 – No. 1

Our creative director popped into our room earlier to tell people to leave the office at 1:30 PM. Everyone in the room left the office around that time. But I stayed back a bit to enjoy the peace and quiet… and wrap up my promo for “Last Hope with Troy Dunn”.

For this year’s inaugural “Summer Friday” (where we enjoy half days on Fridays, in lieu of extended office hours from Monday to Thursday)… it was mostly low-key. I think last year we had an ice cream party or something.

I wanted to go to the gym. But I worry I’ll injure myself before the DBS Marina Regatta which covers the next two weekends. Instead I took the bus from Tanjong Pagar to Orchard where I met up with some of my dragon boat batch mates for some JOLLIBEE.

Afterwards, we all headed home. I had some time to catch up with two of my girlfriends… SUZIE and MARI. Gosh. I miss you both. Things are different now.

***

Ten things I hope to accomplish during this year’s Summer Friday

  1. Take a stroll around Fort Canning Park.
  2. Enjoy a sunset at a beach in Sentosa.
  3. Visit the Fitness First branches in one-north and go swimming there.
  4. Travel to Hanoi, Vietnam on a shoestring.
  5. Travel to Ko Samui, Thailand on a shoestring.
  6. Travel to Yogyakarta, Indonesia on a shoestring.
  7. Explore further the National Gallery Singapore.
  8. Play arcade games one afternoon. AND ALL AFTERNOON.
  9. Volunteer for something.
  10. Find a good dentist in Singapore.

Budge

“Are you ready?” my housemate asked.

(She was reacting to seeing my boxes and small furniture piled up in the living room.)

“Physically, yes.” I replied as I pointed¬†at my boxes. Most of the boxes¬†were still open with an assortment of Whey protein bottles and other junk.

“Emotionally… no.”

***

Mahirap kasi nasanay na ako na may kasama ako lagi sa kwarto.

May laging yumayakap sa akin dati.

I know, so fucking cheesy!

I mean seriously kasi. It’s kind of unfair to draw comparisons but that’s how the arguments had panned¬†out.

It’s like¬†I’m just a bullet and he’s the train.

What right do I have to feel what I feel when he is going through hell? It would be best if I kept quiet, patient, and walked with him during this difficult period. After what happened to him, to us, late last year.

Kahit anong gawin ko, kahit baliktarin ko… it’s still the same. Even if I stood by him, I would be losing a piece of myself each day. I’ve become a monster in frustration.¬†I’ve said this before.

Yes, I’ve cried.¬†It¬†breaks my heart that I am leaving. I’m not heartless.

All I feel¬†is that it is the right thing to do. Something’s got to budge. We cannot live on a street with a dead end.

***

There’s a¬†scene in HBO’s Girls when Hannah’s mom, still distraught after learning her husband is gay, shares with a group of other women how she feels.

One by one the other women share what’s bothering them (like a cheating husband). So when Hannah’s mom says out loud, “My husband’s gay.”…

THE OTHER WOMEN LAUGH AT HER.

“I wish my husband was gay!” — one of the women blurts out, almost mocking Hannah’s mom.¬†The women continue¬†laughing but the camera stays focused on Hannah’s mom.

She’s NOT laughing.

Sadly, no one at that table seemed to understand what horror she was going through.

The neighbourhood I’ve called home

Before I leave Bishan this week… I’d like to¬†document the quiet neighbourhood that I’ve called home the past three years.

I remember the excitement of relocating to Bishan back in 2013. At the time, I was still living in Khatib. Bishan felt closer to everything. It was closer to my previous employer at Caldecott. It was closer to Jollibee in Orchard. It had a MRT interchange which connected you to both the red North-South Line and the yellow Circle Line. I no longer needed to take a feeder bus (the ones that get you from the town MRT station to your block).

Over the years I made use of the nearby “amenities” like Ang Mo Kio-Bishan Park. A gorgeous park that acts as a buffer between the massive Ang Mo Kio estate to the north. I also have my favourites like the sweet and sour pork at Kim San Leng to the hole-in-the-wall Thai restaurant next to the POSB.

The feeling of walking home after a late movie at Golden Village Junction8. No more expensive taxis!

SO. I’M BEING TOO SENTIMENTAL NOW!

I shall leave the rest in photos. Thank you, Bishan! My 3rd home in Singapore after Yew Tee (2012) and Khatib (2013).

24/7 Giant grocery store – the one I frequented the most

The Bishan bus interchange that I barely used… I lived at a nearby block.

The new condos that were built in the past few years.

The community club where I experienced an F1 Screening (as it happened “LIVE” downtown) and also the club where I was able to pay my respects to the late LKY.

The community club canopy.

SG50 decorations from last year.

I could tell what time of the morning it was by looking at the shadows here.

How the steps looked like in my neighbourhood. Several of these in Bishan Spring.

The pair of “Singa the Lion” at the community club. I hope they NEVER remove these.

These were colourful when they installed a few years back. Sadly, they’ve faded.

The bird drawings on the void deck I pass by each morning on my way to work.

The humble HDB blocks of Bishan. Built in the 1980s.

This is a new playground installation near my block. I’ve seen the playgrounds in this neighbourhood be upgraded over the past three years.

Not once did I ever get a view of the neighbourhood from a top floor. This was always how I looked at the neighbouring HDB blocks. In August, the national flags would be displayed.

Block signage.

The community boards. Always neat and filled with things that remind you to be a good citizen. Hehe.

This past year they removed the big trees that used to line area to the left of this photo. They are currently upgrading the parking spaces.

Perhaps a photo that captures best my walk to and from home. I would listen to my Spotify and strut down this corridor as if it were my catwalk.

Void deck realness.

My wishlist as I turn 31

  • Find the joy of living free and independent. Do not be afraid to eat alone. Do not fear the thought of sleeping alone in bed. Turn off the music and listen to the roar of the train or the noise of the hawker centre. Go to the museum and appreciate what you see at your own pace. Walk into a Uniqlo and try something on without having to get someone’s approval. Buy yourself ice cream and watch people… while still appreciating your status as a living, breathing, and lucky human being.
  • Get myself a G-Shock watch. There are things you want and there are things you need. You need a watch so you can stop the need to lift your phone up to check the time. You need to spend less time on your phone and more time appreciating what’s around you. You need to stop hoping someone buys you that damn watch. Get it yourself, George!
  • Maintain my growing love for fitness. There are no excuses now that you’re getting older. You won’t have that youthful glow forever. Get yourself into the gym. Cross-training is important because you love dragon boating.
  • Lift heavier weights. You’re not going anywhere if you’re not pushing yourself further. Destroy those old habits and same basic techniques. Learn the best practices.
  • Remove the things I don’t need in my life. Physically remove the useless scrap. The old race bibs. The knickknacks and freebies you’ve accumulated from countless runs.¬†Throw away the pack of 3D glasses from Shaw Lido. Throw away or recycle the dusty, old, or aged objects that give you bad feng shui. Surround yourself with pleasant objects and things.
  • Accept that failing is acceptable. Quitting is not.¬†What keeps you immobile or stuck on a plateau is the fear of failure. People fail. It’s okay to fail. It’s never okay to quit! Learn from a mistake and move on to the next.
  • Develop a new artistic craft. Stop dreaming about old frustrations. If you want to dance, then learn how to dance. Write a script for a short film… even if you suck at writing, DAMN IT JUST KEEP WRITING AND WHO KNOWS WHAT GOOD IDEA MIGHT COME OUT. Stop self-censorship. Stop with “I can’t” and “it might be too expensive”. Just do it!
  • Go solo backpacking. There are plenty of places to choose from. Do it!
  • Dress better and carry myself with confidence. Dressing better means you feel more confident. Feel confident from within. Buy the nice brand of underwear. Stop selling yourself short. Tom Haverford said it best…¬†TREAT YO SELF.
  • Try something new every day. This doesn’t mean suck new dick every day. This simply means to stop ordering the same food at the same damn stall. There are plenty of choices out there and new things to try out that you might like.

I’m not turning 31 until July. But I just had this crazy idea to write this all down. xoxo

Independence

I’m one step closer to independent living.

I’m frightened. It will be the first time in eleven years that I’ll be “living on my own”. I know it’s the right thing for me. Maybe this is my chance to grow and discover new things about myself. I wouldn’t have to worry about what my partner needs or wants. I’ll have to worry about myself and what makes me happy.

I’ve chosen an exciting neighbourhood to relocate to. I think it’s one of the most authentic places in Singapore. Some may describe it as seedy… but I’d rather look at it is something real.

Which is exactly what I’m looking for right now. I want something real.

PS: It’s obviously a very personal time for me. I’m hoping with newfound independence I’ll be able to write more stories about my life in Singapore. More “me time”.

Lately.

10th Boracay International Dragon Boat Festival


We wrapped up our Boracay race on a high note. Bagging awards in seven categories. We weren’t the champions but we succeeded in feeling like champs. I honestly had a very fun race. Nothing beats paddling in Boracay. The waters are just beautiful (okay, full of lumot). I was in wonderful company.

Family in Boracay


Happy to bring my family to Boracay after the race. We had it free and easy. Mostly food and hanging out by the beach. No touristy island hopping or activities… I mean, these are lovely but I wanted to keep it a bit simple. Because my parents and brother looked like they enjoyed themselves, I hope to take them again to Boracay next year.

Dragon Boat Training for DBS Marina Regatta


Currently training for the next DBS Marina Regatta. This will be my 2nd time to join this really tough race (we’re up against many local teams). I’m looking forward to it because… (a) it’s happening with the Singapore skyline as your backdrop, and (b) it’s a well-organised race.  I’ve cleared my schedule so I can train full force for DBS Marina Regatta. No other travels happening this month.

George at Work


There are some changes happening like moving to a new room. It’s all happening quickly. Some other changes are happening that will affect my work flow. I’m excited about some of it… while I’m also worried about the other parts I might not have much control over (like having a new boss soon). But I’ve been doing corporate for ten years this July. I’m used to it! I’m used to corporate culture. I’m also quite happy with my current company. I shouldn’t fret. I know I have exciting stuff to look forward to in the weeks to come. Right.

Upcoming Pink Dot


Our company was just announced as one of the sponsors for this year’s Pink Dot. It’s a beautiful achievement for our OUT team, with the push of our supportive human resources group. There’s much to do. I just hope it all pans out well. We are happy to support the freedom to love.

Finding a new place to live in



I’ve found a few places in Paya Lebar, Geylang, and Dakota. Wow. All within the same vicinity. I’m looking for a place that is a few bus stops away from my dragon boat training in Kallang. I will be moving out by the end of this month. YUP. SHIT HAS BECOME REAL. This is it, George. First time in eleven years that I’ll be living “alone”. It’s a huge step, a frightening one… and I can’t ask anyone to understand that for me. Not even my closest friends would understand how frightening it is for me. But I’m going to do it. I need to.

  
Plans for the rest of the year

  • More dragon boat races! Highlighting the Singapore Dragon Boat Festival in July (which I wasn’t able to attend last year since I was in the Philippines). I’m not interested in the Aust Cham 10km Challenge due to personal reasons but I will support my team fully. I am trying to confirm if I can attend another international race… in Palawan, this November. If I still have leaves left by then.
  • Cutting back on my competitive runs with Sundown Marathon SG (10km) and Standard Chartered KL (10km) being my last competitive runs. I had a great time doing it the past four years. But I’d like to focus all my efforts into weightlifting and dragon boating.
  • Some travelling like to Hong Kong in June, Kuala Terangganu in late July, KL in August, and perhaps one other regional destination in August to maximize my upcoming summer hours.
  • NOT entering a new relationship this year. ONS done right. Summer fling. Whatever.
  • Taking greater care of myself. Sleeping better, eating better, lifting heavier, paddling stronger.

What am I listening to?

Better – Meghan Trainor