I did it! I signed up for the OCBC Cycle 2013 earlier this year, and completed it! All 42km of it, I cycled. Okay, so I dismounted twice, both times, on the top of Shears Bridge, so that we could take a few pictures. But still... I did complete it! :)
It wasn't the first time I had signed up for an event like that.The first picture below is my memento from that very first event I signed up for. It was last year, NTU's 127km round island cycling event Bike Rally 2012. I signed up with hubbs and his cycling buddies, thinking it would be good to take part in something like that with hubbs. He had been taking part in marathons, triathlons and cyclethons like these since for more than 6 years now, when I was pregnant with Isaac.
The route was grueling, with lots of hills (flyovers, really) to conquer. Hubbs was nice enough (he'd better be! ;p and he was!) by accompanying me on whatever I could manage, even though my speed was probably snail's pace to him. Cycling up the slopes of NTU just to reach the check point just about did me in. I had done about 33km by then. And considering I haven't been exercising regularly prior to the event, I thought it wasn't too bad at all. I was also into self-consolation, yes. But seriously, I didn't want to kill myself. Suddenly, all the news reports of past incidents of people falling dead after exercising flashed past my eyes. And immediately, I thought of my three lovely children waiting at my parents' place right then - my last image of them was of me kissing them goodbye that morning at about 4.30am. I decided enough was enough. I decided to go home.
Including the distance I did cycling home from NTU, I clocked a total of 35km or or perhaps even more. It also left hubbs the freedom to charge ahead to look for his buddies and really push himself to the limit to finish the round island 127km event. And finish he did! Complete with the Finisher's t-shirt, and medal. Me? I had nothing. No t-shirt, no medal, no nothing. Just a sore bum and aching thighs. I was happy enough to have done 35km though. But not nearly proud enough to blog a post on it, in case you were wondering why you didn't see a post on this last year.
This year, I signed up for the OCBC Cycle Singapore - The Challenge. It was supposed to be 39km, but the actual route probably measured out to be 42km coz that was what they were calling it on the actual day. Flag off for my event was 6am. I was there by about 5.15am. I had signed up alone, without hubbs, coz he had already signed up for this year's NTU Bike Rally. I wasn't sure that I wanted to sign up for an event that I knew I could not complete. And he felt that OCBC Cycle was too expensive to sign up for - about $100 for 42km, versus NTU Bike Rally's $45 for 127km. Just as well. We figured we both felt better that one of us was with the kids while we were on such events anyway.
Hubbs drove me to the F1 Pit Building, where the event was starting. Look at the crowd in the pictures above!!! It's really amazing how many people would wake up way before dawn to participate in something like that. I signed up, thinking that in the months leading up to the event, I would find a friend to sign up too. But nope, friends just started at me as if I was crazy when I asked them to join me. But luckily, there was someone as crazy as me who had signed up - Winston, The BlogFather himself! Oh yes, I remembered Liza,
The BlogMother Mother of Xander, giving me the "You siao ah!" look when I asked her to sign up too. So Winston offered to be my event buddy that day - like ya know, to make sure I don't keel over and die or something. I told him that he could just go right on ahead if my snail's pace race was getting too boring for him. But he just shook his head and said solemnly:"I will leave no Geek behind!" Yay! I'm recognized as a Geek by one of the coolest Geeks around!
We plodded on at my pace. Which is a tad faster than a snail's pace, to be honest. But still quite a modest speed. I wasn't even really pushing myself to go very fast, as my primary aim was to complete the event without getting a heart attack or something. Incidentally, that's what hubbs said to be when he dropped me off and bid me good luck. He said:"Okay, just have fun okay. No need to push too hard. Cannot complete also nevermind." The message that wasn't said was pretty morbid, though I heard it loud and clear - Don't die on us, yah?!
Thus, I wasn't going as fast as I could. I kept reminding myself that I should pace myself out, and not burn out in the first half such that I couldn't complete it. Winston was pleasant company to the end - even when he politely but pointedly informed me that I would need to go faster than I was already going, so that we could complete the race within the time limit set by the event organisers (coz they would need to open up the highway they had closed for us). So faster, I went.
We only stopped twice, both times, on the Sheares Bridge, once on the way out, and once on the way back. We had to take photos! That's what bloggers do! At that moment, I was glad that my buddy was a blogger :p After the stop back on the Sheares Bridge, my buddy took off for the finish line at his own pace, since, I was sure to be able to make my way back for sure seeing that it was all down slope from there. Gravity took over as my buddy.
I finished the 42km in about 3 hours. It was good enough for me! Especially knowing that I still had energy in me, which meant I could have been faster than I was. I was just glad to have completed it. Surprisingly, the next day, I had an aching butt but not aching thighs... then I remembered why! I have been doing pilates once a week, with Aloysius of Pilates Fitness Revolution for almost a year before the event - that must have been why I was fairly fit enough not to keel over after cycling 42km! Ah... it does feel good to be fit! :)
Will I do this again? Yes, definitely! :) Thanks to my supporting hubbs, thanks to my pilates instructor Aloysius, and thanks to Winston for pacing me on the race! :) Couldn't have done it without you guys! :) Now, for next year's race!
NOTE: I paid and took part in the OCBC Cycle event, all thoughts and opinions are my own. This is not a sponsored post by OCBC.