Tuesday, December 06, 2005
the short is I completed. In 7:48:15.
it took much more from me and much longer than i expected, and here's the rambling long report:
The nite before
We packed the kids to my Mom and MIL respectively, and got home after 10pm. Strategised with E at critical points to meet, 12km, 22km, 31km and end point.
Gentle very kindly asked if i had arranged for transport, and was sorry that Mythos car (whom he's getting a lift from) is already full. But he quickly got me hooked up with Clive, who is taking a cab in the morning there with his wife.
Started laying out all my gear, and packed a medic bag, and a F&B bag.
Slept at 1230am. less than 4 hours from setting off time.
My first alarm for 4:00am didnt go off, and i was woken up by my trusty treo at 4:20am. scrambled a little to change, drink water, drink energy jelly, and slap on sunblock and anti-chaff cream, and met clive and wifey at 4:50am.
we picked up their friend and chatted in the white merce cab to esplanade. funnily, the cab driver said he used to be an avid runner doing 4hr marathons, and he played cheesy catchy music from "you fu" a band from Taiwan. i didnt have smaller change than $10 and clive and wifey waved me off from trying to pay them.
went to the porta-loo near the start point only to realised that more than half were still locked with cable-tie (*#&$), but manage to find and use 1 that was open. Note for future: porta-looo basins work on foot pedal system for washing water.
The atmosphere was eletric, DJ blasting music, the waves of people, the anticipation. we looked at the mostly clear but still dark sky at 530am, and saw flashes of lightning. will it rain? it hadnt in the past 4 marathons...
i did some light stretching and headed to pen-4 for sub-6 and above, where i met sotong, yankee and gentle, they invited me to move up closer to start line, insisting that we are of the same pace... i followed but got more apprehensive as went further up, then i told gentle i'm moving backwards, wrong territory for me. i really didnt want to get caught up with the excitement, go out too fast and die early
then i met taz, runrunrunaway and astrogirl, we chatted for awhile and they too move upwards.
6:00am. the sound of air horn and a roar and claps from the crowds, we're off. but of course it took me a few minutes to even cross the start point since 6500 pp are participating in the full marathon.
i remember reading the line "it takes more courage to get to the starting line than to run a marathon" and i was glad to have passed the first hurdle.
we ran towards marina south, and i tripped over an ice mountain cap at 6+km (these pp should really throw the bottles AND the caps off the road. so *#&$%*#& in considerate). my split for first 10km was 1:25:00, a little slower than my LSD but thats ok.
The roads were fully closed for the runners, and it was a little eerie to hear the sounds of pounding feet and heavy breathing of the runners along the quiet of the CBD. you'd think fresh air since no car, right? nah, construction still going on in the CBD, and we were breathing in fumes from the heavy machinery.
Argh! twisted the same left ankle again at 11km (i think) when i was too close to the left of road, while avoiding the fast 21km pp running up and pushing pass the slower full marathoners (u can tell the distance each is running by the color of their bib, white for full, yellow for half and green for 10km), where the road slope towards the drain, ran funny after that and developed a blister.
met E at 12km near the prince edward road in CBD, he was wearing red and a huge grin on his face. man! i love this guy :) changed the insoles and pasted some blister plaster on my insteps, we kissed and i started running again, promising each other to meet at East Coast Park, near Kallang Park.
As we ran onwards and over the nicole highway, hot hot hot weather. no shades whatsoever on the roads. i was struggling a little, and had to stop and stretch my quads. took 2 salt pills + 1 panadol at 16km, and started sipping my powergel.
thankfully, i soon came to mountbatten road, but the meeting point is still 2 km away, and i limped to some St. John pp at a bus-stop, hoping they will help with tight and painful quads, especially on my left (made worst by blister and running funny). well his helpful reply was "mdm, that is normal, your quads have over-exerted and you need to sit down, rest and stretch. here, have some water" what? no miracle cure? then a couple whom i overtook earlier can in and asked for help for their blisters, the SJ pp gave them tape... boy was i glad to have my blister plaster... i stretched and rested for 3 min and off i went again.
met E and Leng finally at 10am. E gave me some heat rub, and Leng took pics.
and then to the seemingly never ending strech of ECP service road, lots of pp, runners, skaters, merry makers and supporters. I had to dodge a few cyclers too. this was the toughest stretch for me. forever looking to the next bend in the road for the turn around, and it was forever on-going, with pp coming in the opposite direction on the ECP walkway. Here, i first saw Clive and gave him a thumbsup, and was greeted with shouts of my nick from Yankee, and a bark from Philip when he saw me walking. that drew a giggle from me and i ran a few steps, but on the whole this was tough. it went on and on and on till we went pass the East Coast Lagoon, and East Coast Food Centre and FURTHER before the turn around. thankfully throughout the whole route, ice mountain in 500ml bottles (kind of wasteful IMHO since most took a few gulps and threw the rest away, 350ml bottles or cups would have been better) every 2 km, and 100plus every 6 km in paper cups.
i met E and Leng at 28km, as i needed my energy jelly to sate my hunger, and he gave me more heat rub. I took another panadol. I told them to meet me at 37km near Kallang MRT.
I struggled some more, but kept my focus (and sanity) by counting steps:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
2 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
3 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
4 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
5 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
6 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
7 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
8 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
9 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
10 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
and then i walk a little and then repeat.
to my surprise, i saw E and Leng again at 31km. They wanted to make sure i was ok, it was then 1130am. E slapped more heat rub on me and i was off again.
suddenly i had my second wind on the return stretch. i was just glad to be down to single digits in remaining kms after the 32km. and i started to over take people who are walking, and who looked like they arent gonna run anymore. i probably overtook 20 or so pp at the last 10km. the familiar buildings near the Padang, such as the Raffles City was within sight, but so so far away. things got a little hazy here, i could only focus on moving and counting steps, but couldnt do more.
i met E briefly at 39km near the end of the marina promenade and told him to park quick and meet me at the end point. having ran the stretch with cyberkinetic a week earlier, I knew the remaining distance is doable.
went passed the 42km mark and i saw the finishing point! the adrenaline rush at the last 200m got me sprinting across the line, the annoucer shouting out my name and then i cried. the clock read 7:53:24.
it was one of the toughest things i had to do, and it was the support of E and Leng, and my sis comment of "jie, if you finish, i'll be so proud of you, i don't know anybody who has finished a marathon", and the friendly pp at sgrunners who made it possible.
it occurred to me just, that it didnt occur to me to "not finish", even tho my pace was off by almost 1 hour coming into the half point, and i had hoped to finish sub7 or early 7. could have been sheer stubbornness and stupidity, but i really really wanted the medal, and i really wanted to earn it properly, and last but not least i would have hated to report that i DNF.it turned out my times were 7:48:15/ 7:53:24, and only a total of 4808 out of the 6500 who started had finished. i was 4751st, with 57 behind me, 50 of them men. :D
Labels: to Sweat
Suddenly, feel like training up and take part next year....
Wait... I'm still struggling with 2.4km IPPT run. hee hee
think about it, then set your heart on it and just di it!
i think the morale of the story is: if i can, anybody who wants to complete can.
just take it 1 step at a time, and start with aiming for $400 for your IPPT :)
but then you dont have to :)
and have i told you how grateful i am? and how sorry for behaving so selfishly to have dragged you out to help me fulfill my dream?
oh ya dragged-out is the word! knowing how lazy i am! LOL...
but even if you didn't drag me out, i would have gone anyway... :)