DennisO (denniso) wrote,

Marina Bay Half Marathon 2015: Caterham vs Tom Cruise ;)

Like any other men out there (in their 40s), I love cars. Unlike any other men out there (in the their 40s) I prefer coupes over convertibles and smarts over sheer power. Which puts me into interesting situation each time someone talks muscle cars. If such thing happens, I usually reply - I’m not your 'target audience', I prefer cars that can corner as well as go fast in a straight, because I like my cars light.

Thankfully, over the past several years mothership of all muscle cars grasped the idea that excess weight can’t be ‘fixed’ with power alone. Which means - I don’t have to state the obvious and offend my listeners too often ;)

Lightweight is good. Mix it with smart power and enjoy the action.

After completing my first ‘public’ Western Pacific half marathon at Fremont, CA , my initial thoughts were - damn, I should do Santa Cruz Surfers Pass Half! Its in two weeks! I can do it!

But realistically, that was a bad idea. Now, with Marina Bay Half being seven weeks away, I had just enough time to recover and get ready.

If you follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and G+, you may ask - what the heck is he up to with this blog? Well, I do that for a lot of different reasons. I came to conclusion that only by pushing yourself beyond comphort zones you can grow and develop as a leader, as an entrepreneur, as a human being, if I’m completely honest.

Most things I do these days - it pushes me out of my comfort zone. As a matter of fact - I don’t do ‘comfortable’ for quite some time now.

So, I had 7 weeks during which I had conference to organize, two TATL trips and day to day job that requires my attention.

That should be uncomfortable and exciting enough - exactly the way I like it!

Past goals

For my previous event my goals were simple:

  a. Finish
  b. Finish without injuries
  c. Enter top 10 in my age group for the event

Goal C was a stretch.  I had no idea how my usual training routine would translate into outdoor competitive running.

I’m more of a ‘solo’ runner, and open competition often pushes me beyond my breaking point.

Those who work with me on a daily basis know how pedantic and demanding I can be, when pushing for big bets. Well, in physical world that literally translates into ‘burn-outs’ and physical injuries.

Shit happens

So, being able to complete and finish without major injuries was a big thing. However, lets face - it I was slow. C'mmon! 1:53:00? I failed myself at reaching my ‘magic number’ and for good reasons.

I needed a new goal and a new challenge.

Many will argue that numbers are not important. Perhaps. But then - why bother if you don’t have a measurable way to track your progress?

Every person has the magic number. For some, it’s annual income or number of followers, started companies, acquired clients, kids, houses, cars or .... smiles. Yes, smiles.

New goals

Marina Bay became my new challenge. And, unlike Fremont event, took place at much more scenic and, as it turns out, colder place. Early morning, sunrise, The Bay, good music, 21k run on Father’s Day Sunday - my idea of a complete nirvana. The best way to celebrate.

My new goals were:

  a. Finish without injuries - still relevant.
  b. Improve last event time, even though it is 0.18 mile longer, 13.28 vs 13.1 (certified). I had my 'magic' number set at 1:49:00
  c. Finally, have some fun with my good friend, Dani.

Dani - a good friend of mine, who accepted my challenge and volunteered to ride bicycle and take pictures (thank you, Dani!)

Post race. 13.28 mile for me, 9 miles - for Dani

Time Milestones

I needed to push myself harder and do more interval training and more uphill runs.

I hate that!

As a matter of fact - I don’t like running at all. The training part. It is hard, it literally drains your brain when you push yourself beyond your limits, it requires constant concentration and assessment of your body and how it performs.

However, it is the best thing I discovered that pushes me hard enough. It helps me think, reason, set new goals, be a better leader overall.

It helps me achieve impossible.

But the process - damn - it is hard. So, hard in fact, that most of my tech gadgetry fails on me. And I don’t like failure! At all! Just like in a critical project - you want every team member to operate at 120% of his/her abilities - you demand the same from your gear when you train.

Result - most ‘sport’ branded products on the market - are junk. They break, when they shouldn’t by design.

I take this issue seriously and consider that - false advertising. As if ‘Sport’ became new ‘Turbo’ or ‘Supercharged’ for this decade. Volvo 740 Turbo or even better - 850 Rally Sport! Screw that!

One might think that I only rant. No. I go beyond my blog posts - every product I come across that is majorly fucked up, I contact that team and provide my feedback. I also send my feedback when something does work very well.

It’s a great way to make sure some issues are fixed and reviewed. That ‘extra’ mile. Or ten.

However, my ultimate goal, to be able to run phone-free and wire-free, still poses a major challenge to most.


  • 8:00 minutes per mile or 5 min per km across the entire course.

  • Top 10 in my age group for that event.

Considering that my last event I scored 8:35 minutes per mile on average - that is a big increase in just 7 weeks. Let’s see if I can keep up with that.


Marina Bay Retriever Half Marathon course is ideal for fast runners. Its mostly flat, it’s mostly tarmac and it’s not overcrowded. Something like 600 runners took part in it this morning. It’s a great ‘warm-up’ prior to San Francisco marathon.


Lots of intervals. In fact, even during my travels, I pushed myself to that 15 km/h threshold that I knew I needed to reach.

Of course, that results in new injuries, but that’s old news. You learn to live with this fact, and try to learn to listen to your body, so that you can stop at the right moment.

That’s not as easy at it sounds.

And advice - lots of questions and advice from experienced runners.

And books. Like this one - that is simply an amazing read: Brain Training For Runners

I often say - you think that you can’t achieve something big, but then, you can. It’s a mind ‘thing’. Fix it. Fix your mind.

As it turns out - there is scientific truth to that. This goes to all non-believers.


I won’t bore you with meaningless words. Just look for yourself!

Cold and windy morning

Start line. 7:00 am. Freezing

Here we go!

Warming up

Mile 5 or so. Warmed up.

Nice backdrop

Yep, its that awesome!

There was a bar to the right... Keep on going )

Finish line

I'll never do that again!

F*ck that! SF race - here I come!



I was surprised. Yes, that was not an easy relaxed run, and yes, I crashed after mile 11 and my pace dropped dramatically, which means - I need to work more on endurance and nutrition prior and, especially, during the race.

But overall, after Marina Bay Half, I have that sense of accomplishment.

After achieving my stretch goal, once again, I proved to myself - if you truly want something, it is good to go beyond your comfort zone.

Path is full of pain, but it feels good at the end.


Oh, Tom Cruise :) It’s just a funny coincidence. Watch this from 5:12

1:44.2 ;)

But, I should be modest and honest. Me - ain’t Tom Cruise. Me - kind of Caterham-type of a guy. Mostly agile, at times frightening, but addictive. In a good way.

On this positive note, here is my race playlist, by Armin Van Buuren. Enjoy!

P.S. And no, Caterham-type doesn’t qualify for a convertible. There is nothing there to convert ;)
Tags: half marathon, marina bay half marathon 2015
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