Wednesday, December 09, 2009

My First Half Marathon

6 Dec 2009 - Singapore Marathon 2009

My bib number is not exactly the most auspicious - too many 4's for my liking. But I suppose if you say it with the zero and one, it does sound ok, like die die sure first! LOL..

I ran my first 21.1k Half Marathon last Sunday, and Mag did the 10K ... we trained together on 2 weekends at East Coast Park although she didn't really complete the whole course with me on the jogging path (up and down East Coast is around 20K).

At the end of her race last Sunday, Mag proclaimed the 10k not shiok anymore!! SO NEXT YEAR, we will go for the FULL marathon because we REALLY want the Finisher's tee !! So jealous of people who have it.. haha...

We were given a blank sheet to write encouraging words to pin on our backs for other runners. I thought that the most inspiring and appropriate phrase is from the man himself, Lance Armstrong - "PAIN IS TEMPORARY. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever."

I pinned this on the back of my t-shirt and I burned this phrase in my own brain. So many times I wanted to stop and walk but I remembered these words and somehow managed to muster enough strength to continue jogging. I wonder if anyone read my back and felt inspired...

The start time for Full marathon was 5:30am. For my Half marathon, it was 6:45am. I had to start alone because Mag's start time for 10K was 8:30am (so late!! and so hot!! )

I woke up at 4:30am (actually, I woke up many times before that, too excited I guess... even got called by office as I was on support roster) and tried to do my "morning BUSINESS" but cannot do!! DIE LAH... I thought I sure kena do big business along the way! I did a bit the night before lah. Ate my usual breakfast of cereal and milk and dressed in my bright pink t-shirt (sure cannot miss me in photos!) - I asked Dina to take a photo of me with Chewie (in her sleepy state) - something we always do before we go out for our early morning runs like Shape Run, Nike Run or GE Women's 10K. Sort of like a "pre-race" photo.

Downstairs, 5:35am, the air was cool and it was peaceful. Walked down Bencoolen Street and a girl popped out from Bencoolen Hotel dressed in the SCSM outfit with cap and shorts. Ah ha... booked into a hotel nearby and walk to venue - quite smart! Or maybe she's Malaysian or from overseas. Good choice of hotel - a bit sleazy but much cheaper than the Oriental, Marina or Fairmont.

More and more runners appeared as I walked towards the War Memorial Park (that's where the baggage deposit is). It was so dark my phone camera could not really capture much. The ground was muddy and soggy from a full day's rain the night (and day) before!! Maybe somebody 'prayed' for rain the previous day so that we can have cool weather :-)

After depositing my bag, I made my way towards the start point on Esplanade Bridge, near Fullerton Hotel. Some people were giving out Dr Joint Pain - so funny, one auntie even shouted, "come! Dr Joint Pain! Apply on your legs now! Win Number One!!" Haha... I took some - got a very generous squirt and applied the pain suppressing cream around my knees and the muscles around the calves. I think this is what helped me along the way too. Mind you, this cream isn't cheap! A small tube sets you back by more than S$15 !! So free cream must take lah! Haha...

I was so thirsty by the time I got to the Esplanade... luckily they already had the FIRST of MANY MANY water points!! OMG!! The floor was littered with mountains of empty Ice Mountain cups!!! (see picture) Sigh.... what to do ? It's such a dilemma - Runners have to be hydrated - so how to be environmentally friendly at the same time??? I took my one cup and threw it on one of the piles :-( No choice lor... maybe next time they will make runners carry their own water. Might not be a bad idea actually.

I got as near to the starting point as I could, and snapped pictures to while away the time. Nobody around my section paid much attention to the DJ, so when they started to do the little marathon dance, no one around me bothered. Everyone was just too psyched and eager to push off!! I met a fellow JoyRider, Bubble Sharon Khoo, and we chatted about our timing and how fast or slow we were going to be. She's a tri-athlete, fit and young (in the 25-29 yrs category), so I expected her to do much better than me.

The 42K runners were trooping pass us on the other side of the Esplanade Bridge, sweaty and some already walking!!!!! Aiyoh... all the more I think we must do the FULL marathon next year !! FINALLY, the horn sounded and we were flagged off !! Wooot !! The pace was pretty fast in the beginning. I even had trouble keeping up with the 2:30hrs pacers. But later as people tapered off, the pace slowed down. Many people passed me and I also passed a few. At certain vantage points, I could see a herd of people ahead of me!!! Why were they faster? sigh.... nevermind lah... I plodded on and on... argh... felt pretty cool and good. I kept reminding myself that I need to keep hydrated. Even though it slowed me down, I stopped at all the water and isotonic points and even the one banana station ! More trash and more mountains.. sigh... plodded on... at some point, I felt numbness in my legs but it passed. Wow... it's not 2 x 10K, it's actually 2 x 10K + 1.1k !! Grrraghhhh.... When back on the Esplanade Bridge and on the way to the FINISH LINE, the feeling cannot be described.. Just so elated and also relieved that it's going to be over soon!! and FINALLY I MADE IT to the Finish line and DID NOT HAVE A PHOTO TAKEN OF ME!!!! Haha.. Too crowded I guess... sigh..

OHHHHHH the pain after that was just UNBELIEVABLE !!!! I can't imagine how badly the 42K runners must feel if I'm already feeling this bad !! PAIN x 2 x 3 ?? Everything ached, including my shoulders and my collar bone muscles!! Very hard to walk. but glad I was still quite ok.. Heard that someone collapsed and some people had cramps etc. And here's the reward :

Met Mag at the 10K finish line and we were too tired to explore the grounds - and anyway, it was too disgustingly squishy and muddy!!

That's all for the story I guess.... will you join me next year? It's now Tuesday and I still cannot go down stairs properly... I just applied Dr Joint Pain on my aching thighs. Not helping much. The worse pain is from sitting and getting up from the .... WC !!!! HAHAHA.. I hope you know what "WC" stands for! Look it up on wiki please!

Official chip time: 2hr 23mins 57secs

1 comment:

Mag said...

Well, now you know the pain of 42km-ers, and the 21km is just a breeze eh??? hahaha