Today’s RUN 350 was especially memorable for me. It’s my 9th race so far, and my first half-marathon. I’ve been rather busy lately and haven’t trained for the race, so I did what I knew how to do, i.e. read a book on running, scored some tips and used them today. *Of course, I do not advocate your trying the same thing because I was lucky it worked for me today, and I cannot guarantee what will happen if you attempt to do the same. 😛
Let me just share about how I’m feeling right now. I did take some precautions such as putting on plasters on my feet even before the race started BUT it’s still not 100% foolproof. For one, I still ended up with one blister in an awkward place; the 2nd toe on my left foot. Apparently the 2nd toe had been rubbing up against the big toe, and a blister formed on the side. How weird! Otherwise, I have no other blisters. The chafing, though, is horrible. My chest felt like it was on fire during the shower. I think my sports bra might have been a little too snug so it cut into my skin. Argh.
Interestingly, the race went very well for me and him. Yes, our legs are sore right now, but we sustained zero injury even though we had not trained for this half marathon. What I did was:
- Regular breaks. After the first 30 minutes of running, I stopped for a 5 minute (walking) break. Thereafter, I took 5-minute breaks after every 15 minutes of running. It REALLY helps!
- Instead of stopping at all the hydration points, I had my own (squeeze) water bottle with me so I could take sips as and when I felt a little tired or thirsty. I’d filled the bottle with 100plus 😀 The area around each hydration point is very wet and littered with paper cups so it’s best to avoid it if you have your own bottle with you. You won’t want to slip and hurt yourself.
- We did stretching exercises before, during and after the race.
- We went for a massage after the race. It definitely helped.
- Mindset: I was there not to win the race, but to complete the race. So even when people were running past me while I was on my scheduled 5-minute walking break, I honored that break and did not feel the need to compete. We made it to the finish line hand-in-hand and yes, 2hr 45min is not a timing to shout about, but hey, we did it without sprains, pulled muscles or worse, any injury that required an ambulance ride. 😀
There were some interesting sights during the race. For one, there were THREE people who donned shark costumes for the run. The first guy I met was perspiring profusely. I didn’t get to see the other two. Or maybe I’d mistaken them for the first one I saw. Running a half marathon is very difficult in itself. But running one while wearing a costume that covers most parts of your body except for your face and feet must feel like torture. But those guys did it to send a message loud and clear: stop consuming sharks fin.
I also spotted other runners in Captain America and Spiderman outfits. But what was really mindboggling was one female runner’s tee with an image of a hand showing the middle finger. It IS kind of offensive when she’s running just in front of you. But… what to do?
Towards the end of my race, one male runner took off his shoes, and told the race marshal that he did so because of blisters. Ahhh… thankfully I’d already put plasters on the back of my heels and on the sides of my feet where blisters tend to form.
If you haven’t already attempted a half marathon, I’d highly recommend that you try one, assuming you’re in good health and have been exercising regularly. It’s truly a test of willpower and discipline. And yes, please train before you go for one, ok? 🙂