I could not recall how many years I did not run for more than 5km. But it had been around 6-7 years I did not take part in any marathon. The last one was during my Form 4 or Form 5, and it was just a 4km marathon.
This year, as usual, my company holds the yearly inaugural women marathon in Singapore. It was on 11/11/2012. As a staff, I am given to run for free! And out of greediness, (I want the running singlet and see how does adult marathon look like), I took part in the 10km marathon.
Soon after I joined, that was also after my Mount KK hiking, I found that I need a serious training to improve my stamina. So I signed up a gym membership in True Fitness for 2 years. At a start, I really trained hard of 5km treadmill 3 times a week. But after a month, I saw no improvement in my muscle mass and deterioration in my fat mass. A friend of mine who is quite into body building told me that I instead just need to sprint for 1km then go for weight training on all sorts of body parts to improve tremendously. So I followed. Yes, I did see the results, I lost 2kg of fat mass and increased 1kg of muscle mass in one month. But of course, my short sprint will not help anything in my 10km marathon!
Two weeks before the marathon, I stopped all the exercises due to my examination. When I resumed one day before the marathon, I had stomach cramp as I was suffering from PMS. I was like damn, tomorrow gonna be TOUGH! Still I decided to give myself a try.
The next morning, as early as 5am, I woke up with my marathon buddy (also roommate Angie) and got ourselves prepared to the runners village. It was still pitch dark as we departed to Marina Float on a bus. But when we reached, it was crowded with runners and their families. The 21km (half marathon) was even kicked off already.
We deposited our bag and made our way to the beginning line. As we got there quite early for the run to start, we were at the very few first rows and practically were just with those elite runners. I saw them well prepared with little bottle at their waist, mp3/smart phone wrapped at their arm. (I wanted to run with music blasting in my ears, but I just forgot to buy the band @@) I was a bit nervous, not because I was with the elite runners but afraid of my stomach cramp.
Soon the cheerleading and warm-up session were over, GE chairman flagged off and there we started to run. Running on road is very different from running on treadmill. Each step of running on road requires equal effort paid; but each step of running on treadmill requires like half from running on road. I was uneasy as it was quite warm (when I run on treadmill, I would switch on the little fan in front of me @@).
When I was nearing the very first km, my stomach muscle started to get tighter. And as expected when I saw the 1km sign, I suffered from stomach cramp, I could not continue but to squad down at the road side to have a rest. While I was resting I was thinking to give up repetitively as I thought I practically lost nothing for this run except the insufficient sleep for the previous night. But after 10 minutes, I continued.
This time I did not run much, but walked with fast pace coupled with little run in between. I timed myself 10 minutes for 1km. I know it was very slow, but I know with this, I would be able to get the finisher medal with the cut off time of 2 hours. Gradually, I passed by 2km, 3km, 4km... 9km, and yeah, I was still in the budgeted time. And finally I saw the finishing line! I slowly ran towards it and clocked myself at 1 hour 34 minutes. I was 6 minutes better than expectation :P Though Angie did better than me for 6 minutes without going to gym like me @@
Though I was not able to finish within 1 hour 15 minutes (my goal before the run), I was still happy as I did not hate marathon anymore. I hated all sorts of long-haul running during my school times.
We then made our way to the massage tent to have a 15-minute foot massage before we called it a day. :)
Overall it is a very good experience, and we are now calling friends to have a marathon which falls on January 27, 2013. Stay tuned for my 2013 marathon logs :)