Thursday, November 23, 2017

YOLO - my 4th half marathon & my practise run

Running a marathon was one on the bucket list; it was kinda an idea that snuck around in my brain since my past halfs - my first in 2013, my first night-run but 2nd half in 2014, and my 3rd where I ran because it was paid for (cheap, but true!). Through time, my impetus to run faded slowly but surely as
I discovered yoga and HIIT. If I can keep fit and in good shape in different ways, why not? Why do I need to sign up for runs? Thus, the bucket list item of running a marathon disappeared.
So, I kinda gave up on signing up for runs. Until my not-sure-it's-most-brilliant-brilliant moment when I got sick and tired of muddling about (just about this point when I sure felt muddled)... and I signed myself up for a marathon.
-insert shocked face-
So, it started. My training. I started trying to do longer runs; and after months, I can comfortably hit 10km. I scheduled in more paid runs including the Asics one, to help clock distance. This YOLO, was one that came about quite serendipitously and thank goodness I ran it because it was my first long run and it hurt.

Waking up at an unearthly hour.

Creeping about the kitchen to feed myself

Reading material - I was trying to take note of drinking stations

I was meant to do the run with the husband, but he didn't make it (overseas travel), so I went all by myself. Yup. At the last minute, just as I was stepping out of the house, I remembered to tape my toes (preventing blisters through friction) - not that it really helped, so that's one lesson I learnt.

I drove myself to the Singapore Flyer carpark, very close to the start/finish line. Best decision ever - and honestly, while the area was slowly swarming with people, and there was some traffic, it's generally a really quiet and smooth drive.

Upon arrival, I headed to the loo. I held nothing at all except for things I needed during my run. Then I headed to the start pen.

As far as I could worm forward

The start was delayed and here, I'm going to bullet note my run progress:
  • Drinking water (3 big gulps) and not starting the run caused me to need to pee. Flag off was delayed (logistics error, boo to organisers) and everyone stood waiting around for 50 minutes. My wait was probably about 35 minutes as I only entered the start pen past 5am.
  • At the 2km mark, I made a toilet stop.
  • At the 11km mark, I saw a professional runner on his way back. How mad quick was that!
  • My right hip muscle started to twitch and ache past the 10km mark and it escalated.
  • In sync with my plan and hydration station, I consumed my first-ever gel. It was orange flavoured and not awful.
  • The plasters did not help my toes.
  • I walked at several points in the race because I was just not feeling it.
  • I felt energetic with the gels, but I felt heavy and could not push myself more.
  • I started to walk but enjoy the walking; not worth stressing as I was not gunning for any time at all.
  • It was a relatively cool morning and I am thankful for that.
  • At the 16km mark, I had to stop at a hydration point to stretch. The ache in my hip was increasingly uncomfortable/painful.
  • When the mind is weak, the going is near impossible.
  • I was in pain towards the end because my toes were squishy and rubbing hard against each other (the tape!)
  • I managed to jog the final 2km because I wanted to finish the race.
ZOMG so long.
Shot with the girls who did 10km, except that the silly organisers
shortened the run to 7km without informing any runners.

I was totally aching when I met with the girls. My hip ache was screaming for me to do something about it (it was one of those pains where I couldn't resolve just by stretching) and my legs super achey that I nearly-cramped on a few occasions as I was walking - ouch. I made it to the car safely and spent a good 45minutes stretching the sh*t out of my legs because oh-so-painful.

arghhh the pain, and arghhh I did it!
Lesson to self: don't only tape random toes. I had a giant blister on my
3rd toe (right foot) and I had to self-operate it thrice.

Hooray at least NIKE applauds my achievement
Truly, the run was an awakening for me. It was necessary because I had not done any long runs prior to this and it gave me a taste of how much pain I would be for the real run. It also taught me that the gel that I ate helped me. While I could have been mentally stronger and ran more, the gel surely helped in my energy levels not crashing; and I actually felt better than I expected.

Still running - last 2km

Serious face

I learnt a few key lessons and here are my parting thoughts:
  • Not pressuring myself to perform helped me just cruise along
  • Consuming the gel made me more aware of my body and how it can help
  • I held the small bottle of water throughout the run but I did not need to actually, so it's a decision I have to make if I want to hold something for the full run
  • Aching legs are surely a pain and this made me realise that the pain will go away.
  • Just keep going.
A good overall experience to add to my training, gahhh!


  1. LESS THAN ONE WEEK TO GO ! you've got this ! *hugs

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