[Long post ahead!] I took on The Marathon after 8 months of running consistently. I never imagined myself doing it, running 42km. I guess one thing led to another; OCBC Women’s Run 10km in November 2015 led to Standard Chartered 21.1km in December 2015 and finally to the Sundown Marathon in May 2016.
They say once you start running, you will want to run more. It’s addicting.
I started off with basic gear last year, my old pair of running shoes, my running shorts, OCBC running singlet, running pouch and the Runkeeper App to keep myself aware of my pace.
I progressed to 3 new pairs of running shoes, 2XU running shorts, running caps, a hydration belt, knee bands, gels, a Garmin watch, multiple running related Apps and a shoebox full of running singlets from various runs.
I believe that if I can do it, everyone can! And it helps to lose weight too.
My Training For My Virgin Marathon
After signing up for the Sundown Marathon at the Standard Chartered Race Expo last November, I started to device a plan to keep myself on track and not laze off halfway. I decided to run a race every month leading up to the Marathon. This way, I will need to consistently train as I always have a next upcoming race. I also went online to Women’s Running and downloaded a marathon training plan. I joined a gym and created an Instagram account dedicated to my runs.
Throughout the 7 months leading up to the marathon, I got to say that I achieved a lot.
I got physically stronger with the training and joined too many races! Lol all the money spent! I also got a lot of support on Instagram about my runs which is really awesome because sometimes close friends do not understand and support running. I also got mentally stronger, you definitely will be, else how without mental strength can you dig deep and not give up half way.
Regarding my training, I switched to using the Nike running+ Coach App to easily record my runs. It is really good to have a diary of sorts (my case being the running+ App) to keep track of the trainings and how you feel after running. Yes, running on schedule (literally!) is hard, and I skimmed off some training especially after getting knee injuries in April. They say it is common to be injured while upping the training but on hindsight I feel that if I placed more importance on core training then I might not be injured.
Virgin Marathon Race Day: OSIM Sundown Marathon 2016
D-day finally arrived at midnight on the last weekend of May 2016. I think I was not nervous when D-day finally came. Instead, I focused on keeping to my pace to meet my target time of 5hrs. It was a long night indeed. I was doing well 30KM in, but everything went haywire after 30KM. I never ran 30KM in my life so I gave myself a pat on the back when I hit 30KM. However, my legs just couldn’t take it anymore after 30KM. I guess this is what ‘hit the wall’ means. The 5h pacers passed me here and it was really just saddening.
I had to ask for muscle ache rub from another runner to ease the muscle pain and resort to walk (I never walked before this) for almost 5km. Time just slipped by on my Garmin watch. It was an emotional moment during the race. However, I pulled myself together and ran the remaining few km after my legs felt better.
It was bittersweet when I reached the finishing line. My legs were busted, I finished in 5:42:39h, kinda behind my target of 5hrs thanks to me walking but I also finally hit this milestone and completed The Marathon.
Straight away after completing the marathon I told myself that I will not do another marathon anytime soon. This feeling is really different from my previous races where I will be more motivated to run. I guess this is the feeling of completion and because running a marathon really takes a toll on you physically and mentally.
I jetted off to Bangkok the next day and my legs were not as sore as I expected. The soreness in my legs subsided two days post run.
I spent the next month travelling and only returned to the running scene mid July for the Shape Run 2016.