|Having fun at MacRitchie Reservoir Park :)|
This Wednesday, when I was just about to start my morning walk at MacRitchie Reservoir Park, I received a message from my brother. He was asking me if I was interested to join him to run half-marathon this Sunday. It was free since someone had registered for the run, however, the person could not come to Singapore due to the expensive flight ticket (thanks to the this weekend's Coldplay's concert in Singapore ^^).
Hmmm.... half-marathon. Means, the distance was gonna be 21.1 km. In my life, I'd never tried running that long before. In fact, I knew myself that I could only walk and still manage to hike (although only to certain extent), but definitely not to run. My usual yearly run distance was only 3.5 km. When my friend was asking me to join the 10 km one, I declined almost immediately as I believed that my stamina was not good. I often lost my breath after running for certain distance and easily got tired. My heart would beat too fast until I could not take it. I held that believe since I was very young. So it was quite difficult to break that fear, and barrier that I set upon it into my own self.
I went for cycling in that distance before, but never for running. Even for walking, I was not quite sure. So I was curious how far 21.1 km would be, on foot.
|In a crowd before starting :)|
My brother was very active in joining this kind of run. He just went for midnight Sundown full marathon last Saturday here in Singapore and finished it in 5 hours and 50 mins. He even went overseas, like to Beijing, Bali, Bandung, etc. to participate in the running events and collected various medals. So I asked him further, if I could not run, and only walk, would I feel shame to be the last one? Haha.... He said, it should be alright as we would be given 4 hours to complete. He then gave me the link of the run for further information.
So last night I went to his house and slept there overnight. The run was scheduled to start at 4.30 am at F1 Pit. I went to bed at 10.30 pm but my brain could not stop thinking about what would happen and what had already happened. Plus the clock's tik-tak sound made me difficult to sleep. Only after doing short period mediation, I was then able to fall asleep (maybe about 30-40 minutes later). And at 3.15 am, I was awoken and got ready.
Three of us took the Uber cab to the nearest stop towards F1 pit and my brother immediately found his friends and colleagues who were also joining. There were so many people lining up towards the Start line and we were the seventh wave in the group and started our run only at 5.22 am.
|Became a tourist too :P|
Slowly I was separated from my the rest. I ran and walked in my own pace. I realized I learned few things from this run. First, everyone was just doing their best. They ran as they could. It was not really about who was the fastest, but everyone was trying to balance their energy with the distance, the intake (water, sport drink, and banana provided by the organiser), the output (if you chose to visit toilet in the middle of your journey), the strength of their legs, knees, ankles, and so on. Second, fun was definitely a must. I mean, yes we had a goal to achieve, but in order to reach, we should put in some fun and took a necessary rest in between (many stopped for taking photos of the beautiful Singapore sites and keeping the memories with people who they went for the run with).
|Quote by Haruki Murakami from 'What I talk about when I talk about running'|
Third, the only person you had to defeat in this, was yourself. Because everyone started at different timing, at different wave groups. So you wouldn't know how much they had achieved by the time you saw them. And I guessed it wasn't necessarily important to compete that way, unless you're into a competition that you were aiming to win. Instead, you might want to defeat your own previous record (if you joined such run before), defeat your own barrier that you set upon yourself (just like my own self who only dared to run at 3.5 km distance yearly), and so on.
And when you were in the group, you saw people around you running. You were automatically getting such motivation to run as well. And concentration was required as you had to decide when to continue run and when to just walk while catching your breath. I counted my own pace when walking and running.
|The distance should be around 21.1 km :)|
Overall, I found that my first experience in half-marathon was pretty good. Thanks to the morning walk exercise that I had during the past few weeks. The breath, the heart beat, the legs works, were in good balance. I finished it in 3 hours and 9 minutes (The photo above was using my phone Apps which might not give a very accurate result. The distance should be around 21.1 km and the timing as I just mentioned). From the 2XU race result, my rank was 3786 out of 6966).
|With my sis-in-law and brother. Thank you!!! :)|
It was really great experience and thank you for the person who could not attend the run, my brother, and sis-in-law for the opportunity, for the advise given before the run, for answering my doubts and fear before the run started, for accompanying me, and so on. I was glad and never expected to join such run in my whole life, but I finally did. Thank you, thank you, and thank you so much for everything!!!
|Glad that I made it! :) Thank you!|
Also thank you for the above for listening to our prayers that we had gone through it safely, in good health, great weather (it was almost rain but suddenly stopped), enough energy intake along the way, and the priceless experience and memories in our lives. And the moral support from my beloved one. At least when I died, I knew that I had lived my life to the fullest each and every day, experiencing many things that I wished to do while I was alive. Thank you, thank you, and thank you... May all sentient beings be healthy and happy, free from suffering, and life filled with peace and joy. Sadhu, Sadhu, Sadhu.