Going The Distance

Completed a 10km run, checked! 

I always wanted to feel how it was like to participate in a large-scale running event, so I signed up 2 months prior to the event since my sister was running in the same event as well. Running such a long distance used to be such an impossible task, given the me who couldn’t pass the timing for 2.4km run during Senior High days. But since going through the training in BMT as a recruit, along with some occasional OTOT runs during the weekends, my timing for 2.4km dropped drastically, and I could feel my speed and stamina improving. But still, the training in army itself isn’t going to be sufficient in helping me complete that 10km run, so I had to do my own training. But where do I start…

After signing up, the next weekend I immediately went for a run since I didn’t have much time to train, not to mention that I had to start from scratch. I did a little research as well as read up in the library for any running techniques and anything related which would help me train up (can’t help the nerd inside of me LOL :X). So after which, for every weekend run I tried to increase my mileage by 1km, and running around the Kembangan track became a weekend routine. I didn’t have any secret training, I just ran and enjoyed being able to run and see civilization  instead of the various buildings and boring scenery back in camp. Also in camp, it’s hard to find a running buddy as literally no one likes to run in my platoon, so I’m forced to run shorter distances than I want to run. Originally my aim was to complete the 10km run within 50mins but I changed it to 55 mins after realizing how lousy my body was LOL. Unfortunately, I fell on my tailbone a few days while playing basketball in camp before the race, and I had to lower my expectations even further to completing it within 1 hour as sudden movement of the legs would incur pain to my back. But the race must go on, and I have gone too far to giving up due to just slight discomfort…

In running, it doesn’t matter whether you come in first, in the middle of the pack, or last. You can say, ‘I have finished.’ There is a lot of satisfaction in that.
-Fred Lebow, New York City Marathon co-founder

Hopping onto raceday itself, it was horrible to wake up so early on a Sunday morning, but I guess I would have to get used to it if I were to participate in future races. I properly hydrated myself, while munching on a banana, and off I went to the race venue. It was an exhilarating experience to participate in such a race, as they were thousands of people present at the venue. I met one of my signal mates there, as well as Scorpion 2IC Naja (you fucking kabai!). After a little warm-up, I was off to my first ever race, and the adrenaline was there. I started perhaps too fast, since I was overly excited and wanted a good timing. Along the route, there were drink stations to provide us with 100 Plus, and there were several volunteers who were cheering us on, which were both pluses and welcomed when you are tired and losing motivation. Around the 4km point, I started to slow down as the legs started to wear out, mainly due to me not pacing myself properly. As we moved onto the beach, running on sand was a total new experience to me, as more energy is required to spring forward as with every step, you sink into the sand. Coincidentally, I was on part of 24km route march to POP just a few months ago, nostalgic ttm! After passing the 9km mark, I was a little down as I knew I wasn’t at my best condition and my timing would probably be over the hour mark. To my surprise, I saw the big clock at the end-point and it was around the 58 min mark. Knowing that gave me some motivation and I sprinted forth down the final stretch, rewarding myself with the cans of 100 Plus and a banana given to those who just completed the run. I was too tired to do my usual cool down (which I regretted for a week), but there was this sense of accomplishment after finishing. Usually on a Sunday morning I would be at home sleeping, but for that Sunday, I was outside doing something which I have always wanted to do, run a race. After the months of training, I achieved my goal: Finish the race, along with a respectable timing, and learnt much more…

I only decided to pick up running again due to this event, and it was one of the best decisions I made in my life. Before, I used to run a little, but with little progress as I was stuck doing 2-3km every time I run due to my poor fitness level. After months of running during BMT through the dreaded AGR and speed training, my fitness level was well enough for me to have a good run for at least 30 minutes. Running has a lot of benefits and it’s like a all-in-one package for me. Running is one exercise which burns a lot of calories (STILL TRYING TO LOSE WEIGHT), and feeling the rush of  “runner’s adrenaline” is what really makes me look forward to running. Also, when I run, it seems like it’s just the track in front me of me and nothing else, so it help me clears the clogged head of mines. I know that I may not be the type who looks like a runner, nor the fastest person out there, but hey I took up running as a hobby, just to relax myself from everyday life and participating in events give a sense of accomplishment, since not everyone out there can simply run that long distance.

So here’s a reminder to myself for future runs:

1) Have enough sleep

2) Drink lots and lots and lots of water the day before

3) Do proper warm up and cool down

4) Pace myself, wear a watch if needed

The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.

-John Bingham

Already looking forward to my next running event: 2012 Standard Chartered Marathon. Let’s go fighting!

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