Yes! I am no longer a virgin! Hee.. I mean in terms of doing a marathon! Did the Adidas Sundown Marathon last night! And since i completed the race, i am no longer a marathon virgin! I can't quite decide if i enjoyed the race because if there is a word that is consuming my mind right now, the word would be PAIN!
Met up at Tanglin Mall with Gary, Dion, Ying, Yanglyn before heading down to Changi Point together. Convoy of 4 cars made their way slowly on the expressway to meet Lloyd at Changi Point. We got there pretty late. Did some preparations before heading off to the actual race site which was a distance from where we parked our cars. The race was due to flag off at 12 midnite. And it was interesting coz met many familiar faces at the starting point and along the way!
Race started off well for me. I think i was doing a 7min/km pace. But couldn't quite confirm as my ipod tracker wasn't working. No idea why it didn't work. But figured i would just base it on timing. I hit the 10km mark at 1hr 10min. And i hit the 20km mark at 2hr 20 mins. So i knew i was running really consistently. Gary was already on the return leg when i was heading towards the 20km mark. Ying overtook me some between the 18-20km mark. Yanglyn was in between Gary and Ying. On my return leg after the 20km mark, i saw Julzz on the other side and just before i hit the first overhead bridge, i saw Dion and Annie. Along the way, i saw people like Suan, Siva, Edward, Frankie, Mindy, Steven, Andy and many many more familiar faces. Saw lots of familiar faces at the ending too!
Anyway, back to the race, was still going pretty consistently till about 24km. I started to feel that my ITB was really hurting quite badly. I stopped every single marshall from then on to ask if they had deep heat or pain killers. But it seems like no one had. =( Anyway, decided to grin and bear with it coz i figured i was going on strong and wanted to finish the race. Julzz overtook me at about the 25km mark. By then, i started to feel even greater pain. By 28km, i could barely tolerate the pain. I know the phrase mind over matter, but i was hobbling quite badly by then. The pain was really pretty intense and every where hips down could be summed up with the word Pain. But i pushed on, dropping to a 8min/km jog. But when i hit 30km, i cramped up. I fell and some kind soul stopped to help me stretch out my legs and also to give me a salt tablet. After stretching, i was hoping i would feel better and carry on. But the legs were so heavy, everywhere felt swollen and i was really low on energy. I did a jog walk till the 32 km mark. But from that point on, i couldnt take the pain anymore. I just concentrated on putting one leg in front of the other in hopes that each step i took just took me closer to the finishing line. The thought of cabbing back did cross my mind many many times, but i wanted to finisher t and medal. Plus, i didn't want to DNF. So, i kept talking to myself, kept moving albeit at a really slow pace coz the legs were just so so painful. ITB aching up, knees hurting, shin splints. And all i could think of then was how ill prepared i was. =(
Dion over took me at about 37km. 5km more to the final finish point. And he encouraged me to jog/walk with him. But i couldn't even keep up with him. He looked really fresh still and i looked horrid. And then, at one of the points i was trying to keep up with him, the gap between us grew. Then i saw the sign 38km. Only 4 more km to go. And suddenly, it started to pour. The rain, the pain all got to me. I was really close to breaking down. I suppose i was really very torn at that point of time. Only 4km more to the finish line. After all, i had already done 38km. 6hrs worth or run, walk, jog. And with only 4km more to go, i really should push on. But the pain was really playing with my mind by then. I did all i could, jogging but in actual fact limping and after it all, i saw the sign saying 400m more. Then out of the blue, i heard someone shout, Ying Hsin, keep up. Just a short way more. Honestly, i wanted more then anything to increase my strides, and run to the finish point. I wanted to end the agony of it all. But i couldn't open up. It was hard enough putting one foot in front of the other. Then as i got to the bridge, got words of encouragement from the people that were crossing the bridge. Then with maybe 10m more to the finish line, there were a lot of supporters and finishers lining up and cheering participants on. I saw Gia Yee there too. Finally, i crossed the finish line in 6hr 41min. A huge wave of relief washed over me at this point of time. Honestly, i wasn't too happy. More relieved that i was finally at the end.
This Sundown Marathon thought me many lessons. In the last 12km especially, in the hopes of trying to distract myself from the pain, i thought about lots of issues, lots of things that have been going on in my life, my attitude towards life in general. Will write more about the 12km think process later.