08 December 2008

Foolishness Part Deux

Last year's run was fun. Enjoyable. It felt painful when I did it then, but after this year's run, I realised I didn't truly know what pain was.

I had a million excuses for not training for the 21km run -- wet weather, busy with work, busy with the reno / wedding prep, too tired, etc etc... and right up to Saturday evening, I was still contemplating if I should even go for it. I could easily let it slide me by and sleep in on that precious Sunday morning; I could go for it and just run 10km rather than 21km; I could just turn up and wait for Intuition to finish his 21km run. However, a few months ago, I had persuaded a friend to join it with me and she was intending to go for it. Much as I didn't want to go for it, and even though I can be a real scoundrel at times, it didn't feel right to default on our partnership like that. And so, at 11.30pm on Saturday evening, I decided to go for it. After all, as another friend put it, "if cannot run can always walk".

Many things went wrong that morning. First, Intuition and his brother, who have very kindly acceded to my last minute decision to join the run and hence pick me up earlier, were understandably late. Afterall, it was very early in the morning, and there were the 2 of them vying for the 1 washroom and everyone slept late the night before. We initially thought we'd join in the run at about 7am, slightly later than the starting time, which was 6.30am. However, things got delayed and by the time we reached the starting point, the emergency lane for the half-marathoners was closed and we had no choice but to join the 10km guys' starting time, which was 7.30am. That was mistake number 1.

Then, the 10km guy's run starting time got delayed by 15min due to safety concerns. So we started at 7.45am, a good 1hr15min later than the rest of the 21km runners.

Because of how the routes were planned and the timing involved, my friend and I at some point early in the run were running against the flow of the 10km guys. Can I just say that this is a Very Bad Idea? Imagine this: 2 lone girls, running against a horde of stampeding sweaty smelly guys, being brushed against, pushed aside, at the start of a long, long, 21km run.

As if that was not demoralising enough, because we started without the rest of the runners, there wasn't anyone to cheer us along in our run! and there wasn't the crowd factor, where your jogging form actually improves because there is this whole school of people running along with you. Instead, you're going against the flow here!

To cut a long long story short, the rest of our run was a long, lonely one. Several helpers dotted the course, showing us which way to turn and passing drinks to us. The runspirators were largely asleep when we jogged / walked past them.

Highlights of the run:
- halfway through I had hunger pangs, but they had ran out of bananas for us. So I detoured to a petrol kiosk to buy a packet of chocolate milk for the badly needed energy boost.

- we applied deep heat rub like it was a life-saver, and indeed it helped alot in our race. Beyond the 10km mark, the legs were getting sore and painful, we had to stop and stretch or apply the deep heat rub regularly.

- after the 15km mark, I couldn't run anymore and we were walking along. Then on the opposite side of the road, an uncle on a rickety bicycle cycled past us and yelled angrily "Oei! Still walk! People run finish oredi you still slowly walk here! No shame ah! So slow somemore!" We entertained thoughts of generous applications of deep heat rub into his nostrils.

- At the 17km mark, we intersected once more with the marathoners. For them, it's their 36th or 37th km mark, and by then many of them were exhausted, stopping often to stretch and apply deep heat. If it was painful for me to be walking at the 17km mark, I can only imagine the agony it must be at that point for them. And a young adolescent who is one of the volunteer runspirators sitting comfortably at the side of the road shouted "Don't walk! Run! Oei, stop walking, start running!" Insensitive much.

- Much as there were asleep runspirators or run-insulters, there were also those who really made the long run more bearable with their bright smile, loud claps and cheers. Can't get enough of these angels =)

- By the time you hit the 17km mark, cheating on a run like this doesn't make anymore sense cos you've suffered so far, what's another 4km. Seriously, if you want to take a short cut, do it before the halfway mark, otherwise just finish the damn race.

I took so long to finish the race (my timing was 3hr 40min) that Intuition seriously thought that I'd fainted halfway through the route and was whisked away by the ambulance or something. He even asked the info desk if there's a namelist of those who were injured or hurt along the way, and called my home to see if I'm home :P Awww!

I'm glad for the different experience, and I'm glad I finished the run although at the beginning, it was so tempting to take shortcuts especially when you see the other 21km runners waaaay ahead of you. Will I do it again next year? Yeah I think I might =) It gets addictive! And I will make sure I join the right crowd at the right time this time =)


Anonymous said...

Good effort! You sure can do it again. : )

Quirkz said...

thanks mr chiam! u can consider the marathon :D am sure u can do it!

mer said...

hats off to you, woman :)

Quirkz said...

hey mer! thanks!! :D