I had to sacrifice a half-marathon last week – which was the only HM this month – because of my participation in a dance competition. I had actually signed up for it, thinking that I could make it if I got home by Saturday night; but when the schedule forced me to stay the second night, I had to give up the ASEAN Unity Run.
That didn’t leave me with many runs to join this month.
I had missed the registration for this run, which had closed quite early when the quota was filled. Initially I had waffed about signing up for this run, because it was so far away (Putrajaya is more than an hour’s drive from my home!!) but back in July when I was looking for more runs to participate in, when I finally wanted to sign up, the registration was closed!
Farah, who was helping our run group look for more bibs so that we could join the same events together, helped me buy a bib off someone who was unable to make it for the run. Yay!
The Facebook event page was updated to inform us that the run would be flagged off earlier, so we all agreed to meet at 6:15am at Dataran Putrajaya. I stayed the night at Hurman’s place as it was only 15 minutes from the venue, so I didn’t have to wake up so early and drive so far away.
You would think by now that I would have enough experience to make such novice mistakes… but I did.
Due to an overwhelming amount of work the past few weeks plus the dance competition, I hadn’t gone to the gym for a while, nor have I trained in running. So this week I decided that I had to run and go to the gym, for the sake of my own fitness. I was going to go running on Wednesday, but I was too tired after work; and then I was going to run on Thursday evening, but it rained very heavily at the hour. I did manage to squeeze in a short run on Friday evening.
Saturday morning I decided to try this new class at the gym called “Grit Strength”. I didn’t know what it was until I got there – it was Les Mills’ version of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)! The instructor was very good, and he kept us on our toes, and reminded us that we must push ourselves and constantly challenge ourselves in order to improve. Problem for me was, I had a 12km run the next day. I didn’t really have to cheat in this class though – my fitness level had deteriorated so much that I couldn’t do as many reps of the exercises as I normally can.
Saturday night, Hurman and I went for dinner where I foolishly ordered a cup of hot milk tea with my meal.
And as a result, I couldn’t sleep that night. I went to bed early, but I kept tossing and turning and waking up to go to the bathroom. I think I got a total of 20 minutes sleep that night.
So I didn’t get any sleep. And to make things worse, I hadn’t packed all the things I usually needed for my run. I brought my race pouch and my usual can of Red Bull… but I forgot to bring the bottles that go into the pouch!!! And I didn’t bring my face towel!!! (Yes I know it sounds very ‘aunty’ but I need a towel wipe off the sweat as I run, since I sweat a lot.)
I decided to go without the race pouch, and just stuffed some money into the back pocket of my running shorts.
RUN DAY 16 AUGUST 2015
I met up with Farah, Soon, Zaliza and Adia (Andrew wanted to start the run on his own) near the Start Line, where Farah handed me the bib to pin on. We were flagged off about 6:47am by our prime minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak. Or so I was told, I didn’t actually see him myself.
I already warned the others that I would be very slow, due to my lack of sleep and lack of training. As the horn sounded, we separated and went off at our own pace, with Soon easily taking the lead followed by Farah.
For the first time, I had no race pouch nor face towel, and had to hold one can of Red Bull in one hand and my phone in the other. But I surprised myself – I found myself able to keep a rather consistent pace.
Well, for the first 2km only. The remaining 10km involved a lot of walking interpersed with the jogging.
The organisers were generous in this race, with water stations every 2-3km, and even two sponging stations were provided.
The medals were handed out at the finish line with a hydrotonic drink and a water bottle. We could also collect a snack pack which consisted of an apple, two tiny quarters of a sandwich and kuih lapis (which I later accidentally dropped and wasted the whole thing =.=’ ) and an aiskrim potong which I gave to Soon (because I didn’t like this type of ice-cream, and Soon hadn’t collected his snack pack).
I managed to finish the 12km run in 1h34m. I know it’s not fast, but it’s my personal best! My fastest pace ever!
So perhaps the key to running faster is not sleeping…