* I was told to do a simple write up. It ended up an essay*
Never an early bird, I gave up my precious sleep to wake up before the sun rose to have the breakfast (coco krunch + milk) that I hadn’t had in years to be digested an hour before the run. Hoping that they could give me some energy in an early morning run. The leftover coco krunch are still in the tupperware, with me wondering when they’ll have the chance to be eaten again.
I did set myself a target, but I disclosed to no-one as I had little to no confidence in achieving it and I didn’t want to disappoint. Partly because I felt that the narrow park path would be very crowded, and mainly because during the few runs before race day, I felt that either I was already at my fastest, or that I was dejected and frustrated from the rib pain.
My seemingly unachievable target? Was to finish the race in 45mins, which meant a 7:30 pace. A number that I had never attained in any of my >5km runs. Perhaps one would laugh as this number, but I just couldn’t do it. I never had the right mindset and attitude. I was and is still a super antagonist when it comes to running.
Back to race day. Just like my usual runs, I stretched my calves a little before proceeding to the start point. However, my heart was racing and I was nervous. Music was loud, crowd was forming, the whole atmosphere was overwhelming. I felt small and alone. The last time I participated in a mass run should be way back in 1999, called Shears Bridge Run, which is now known as SAFRA Singapore Bay Run & AHM. I was still a young and active student back then.
And so, flagged off and we moved forward. For the first time, I did not have my earphones plugged in, hence I had no live feed from my phone to guide me on my pace. I had no idea of my speed. I just ran, with my gut feel. Since I was behind the crowd, I went up and down curbs, on the grass, squeezed in between people trying to keep to a constant pace. I tried follow some runners to “open the path” for me, but it was just too crowded. I soon gave up.
After around 3km, crowd was more dispersed, and I felt more comfy. I started to keep a lookout for the photographers. Each one that I spotted, I’d smile and pose for them while running. I hope my hair wasn’t too messy! *vainpot*
When I got near the finish line, instead of picking up speed and chiong with all my might, I actually slowed down. Why? I was searching for Harry whom I thought would be standing by the sideline, cheering me on. Then I spotted him, and I waved frantically with a wide grin as I approached. When I got nearer, I realized I waved to the wrong guy! *Ultra malu!!!* What a price to pay for not wearing my spectacle! In the end, he wasn’t there and I ran past the finishing line without looking at the time or photographers. :S
I finally took out my phone to stop the time keeping. 40:40 it showed. I was surprised, and I was euphoric.
I guess not having the constant live feed was a good push factor. And for the first time, I feel muscle aches in my calves. I have signed up for another run. Another motivation to make me not give up running.
So, will I enjoy running more? NO! I still dread it. A lot.