Never had it be in my ambition to run a half marathon (21 KM), 10 is ok, 5 is fun, and a few hundred meters is good for strength, but to endure 21 KM is something not even in my wish list.
I have no real professional training , only by reading runners mag, internet and self-training. I am more used going to gym and weights, training for fitness and strength, running for stamina, cardio and fitness, that’s it, but a marathon is kind of new to me.
Last year, I did a 10 km run with the mass, and it felt kind of ‘lame’ because my run ended kind of quick, well, sort of. Sure, I enjoyed the run but was not worth the trouble to attend the event, thus leaving me determined to go for a 21 KM, half marathon, so this year I registered, that was a few month back and with that I had to start training.
Obviously, training was not enough, I had only one month, back from travels Europe in May (no exercise) then June (rainy seasons), my calendar void of outdoor activity, (mainly would be running and hiking) only with few sessions at the gym, and then travelling again for work, mid July. I started my first run from absence on July 17th, rest for two days, run again and rest, alternating between days and the rains, which in total got me just 10 sessions, varied between 5 to 8 km, and one 17 km run, the longest distance, two weeks before race day.
A day before race day, I collected my number, race pack, running bib etc and tried to buy some power gel at local health shop but to my amazement, all out of stock due to the event. Well, that definitely going to effect my performance one way or another. Although consuming power gel is not my favourite habit (almost never consume them as prefer normal food) taking some sandwich during running is not going to look good. My best option was taking extra carb and protein few hours before flag off time.
I jumped when the alarm blazed, got up early, made few eggs, bread and gulped some water, careful not to overdo it as it was 3 am in the morning (flag off at 5 am) I am optimistic that I can finish, not being too overly ambitious on my timing, estimating my time based on my pace. The only worry that I had during race is leg injury, mainly the knee, which I have an unpleasant history anyway.
Purposely started slower than my average pace, thanks to my suunto, monitoring was easy, and maintained all the way for more than 10K, then when the knee began to get uncomfortable it was time to take it easy. For more than half the distance covered, my fitness was ok even after feeling the pain which was good. Breathing techniques, pacing, steps and body movements and etc (still not familiar with runner terminology) by trial and error during the race, got the general idea of it but still to be refined later for optimum results.
Crowd cheering, people giving support, the medic team are awesome, public very cooperative, things like these are what makes for a nice experience. Congratulations to the winners and achievers overall, their effort sure deserves it.
Overall, a surprisingly good run for me, Just that I was not very satisfied on the effort as I could have pushed harder (even though my legs is hurting a little bit right now, nothing serious, mild pain 🙂 ) Took too many precautions and lack of experience was probably the cause (first half marathon) but still there’s time to learn and maybe next year to do better. A Full marathon? Still not seeing that in my wish list yet…