Beating the sunrise: Sundown 2013

Hello abandoned wordpress, it’s been a while since I wrote something in you. I always seem to have this problem of being unable to string my older thoughts into a post so here I am again with a running post fresh off my virgin marathon (and coming out unfortunately with many battle scars…)

The virgin marathon

The virgin marathon

So I started the week on a high by FINALLY, like  FINALLLLLY  passing my driving test (forth time’s a charm ^^). I felt more relieved rather than happy, since I don’t have to return to that dreadful driving centre ever again. Now, my weekends are more freed up, and I can start saving up some money for university instead of wasting it continuously on driving lessons. But things don’t ever go smoothly as expected right?! Yes, and with every week in army, I never fail to have something to get angst over at. In preparation for sundown, I started carbo-loading and tapering from Wednesday. Both didn’t went as planned, as my diet didn’t actually changed much and it was more of me just eating more as compared to eating more carb-rich food which I should have done. Furthermore, I didn’t exactly taper as I gymmed during night outs on Wednesday (which I regretted during the run) and did the most stupid interval training cum static exercise on Thursday. Although I didn’t do any leg related exercises, my back and shoulders ached pretty badly during the run which slowed me down a little. In addition, the “2nd best” officer in my unit decided to make me run an extra round despite me telling him that I had a marathon during the weekend as “it would helped my marathon training anyways”, fuck logic (I shall leave the rants regarding army to yet another post trololol). To worsen my condition, we did push-ups and crutches which killed my abdomen. So needless to say, I was way off my best condition but the race must still go on…

Didn’t get to do much during the weekend, just slept a lot at home and slacked until going off for the run. Met janson beforehand and we made our way to the F1 pit building. Explored the area and given that this was both our first marathon, we go pretty excited haha. Took some pictures and we settle our individual preparations before sending our baggage. Was in the 2nd wave of runnners and 9 minutes into gun time, RACE START! Saw ruixin on the way, and bid janson farewell as both of us went our separate paces. Already not being in my best condition and also being terribly scared of cramping up, I settled into a 7:00/km pace for the first 18km. No shame to be in such a slow pace since this is my first marathon, but that saying Janson was blazing fast and was at least 6km in front of me at that point. After the 18km mark, pain and cramps started to set into my legs and feet. I started to brisk walk and has to stop at random lamposts for a few times to stretch my leg and thigh muscles to prevent the cramps from worsening. At the 22km mark, the though of giving up started to set in, like “Fuck I still have 20km left?!”. Although I had my energy gel with caffeine, my legs refused to co-operate and I only ran for a few minutes before going back to walking mode. It was to the the point where it hurt like hell even when I was walking. No joke, and I couldn’t understand why I was hurting so much given that I was running at such a slow pace. At that point, it was clear that my body wasn’t used to such a distance and obviously I wasn’t prepared for many aspects of the marathon, especially the night aspect when your body has been so used to be running in the morning. At that point, it started to look like a walkathon with many struggling to even continue the race, but for me, the words I told myself before the run still hold, “FINISH THE DAMN RACE!”.

Only at the 28km mark after another shot of energy gel, I began to find my rhythm again and picked up the pace, going for a run 1 km and walk regime. At times, I even managed to run more than the 1km I wanted as my legs felt better and running became more natural. Nonetheless, I started to die again with 5km remaining and walked quite a bit during the stretch from Gardens by the Bay to Marina Barrage. When I finally saw the 41km marker, it was when the adrenaline  boost came and my trademark bursting towards the end started, knowing that this whole torture is going to end and I was this close to finishing it. While others were walking their way to the end, I was running away back to the F1 pit building, and I was so fast relatively that during the last 2.5km, I passed around 500 runners. I still recalled that there was this ang-moh guy at the end who was hyping us up as we were reaching the end which was quite lols tbh haha. Although I didn’t hit below 5:30, I passed the finish line with a net timing of 5:41:30. And BAM, I managed to finish something I always wanted to do, not even hitting 20 years old,  finish a marathon. Although it wasn’t a good timing, it was my first marathon after all and I still have many years of running ahead of me. Janson managed to finish his run with a great timing of 5:15, and no harm losing to him given how much faster he was as compared to me way back during our schooling times. I have gone really a long way since my unfit days, and now finishing a marathon, I can now proudly say the unfit me before a few years back are now long gone. After slacking around the area, we limped our way back to our baggage and to the MRT and it was home sweet home!

It was weird that after running a marathon the whole night, with it being 7 am in the morning. I was still able to go buy my breakfast and watch a little Dota 2 before going for my obligatory sleep. Of course, I had to treat all the battle scars sustained and there was A LOT, ranging from the regular muscle spasms to groin abrasions. At the start it felt so bad that both my ankles felt weak and I wondered how long I would take to recover. Back in camp, I went to the MO and got 5 day RMJ to allow myself to recover fully without needing to go for any of the stupid games/runs (It’s quite shitty that I had to go get status since if I told you that my muscles were aching and I needed to recover, I wouldn’t think that you would have let me lols). My body clock was quite fucked due to the marathon and me taking irregular naps during the day and afternoon didn’t help the cause. But nonetheless, after a week of rotting in camp, I recovered fully and my body is back to normal!

SUCCESS!

SUCCESS!

And that’s how my virgin marathon went, and I’m already excited for my future running plans now that my benchmark for a marathon has been set. Hoping to get more friends into the world of running and with Sundown down, I would probably cut the long distance running for now and focus more on shorter distances until after getting back from Ex Battle King in Thailand during September and resume back long-distance training (and eventually leading up to Standard Chartered). Until then, wishing everything goes smoothly and will train hard and as usual, have fun along the way.

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