So let's us continue :-)
What happened last weekend? Heheheh... Well this happened!
Yes! Yes! I did it... I am a 20km Finisher!!!!!
For someone who doesn't like to run and had a bad running experience at school, I am happy that I have crossed this line and prove to myself that I can do it. You see, I am not at all a runner. Main reason is that at school, it had always been a sport that I hated. There are kids who are faster and when I did the race, I had the impression that I am moving backward and not forward!
Then, I hate it when I run and my vision is troubled by the motion.
However, I don't know where this desire comes from.... I guess, it's because my colleague did it and I had followed some people from the gym training for last year's 20km.
I have never seen the run before. Although I live near to the route, but in 2009, I think I was in France for the weekend, 2010, is the same. In addition, my physical condition was not as I am now. Then, 2011 where I had family commitment. So I am determined to make 2012 is the year I participate in the 20km!!
What I did to prepare myself? I had to push myself to 'learn' to love running. People said, you should do it because you love doing it, and not because you HAVE to do it. There's a lot of truth it in.
I started with doing a lot of readings on the Internet. I get the information like how to run, tips for half-marathon/marathon, run for beginner, preparing for half-marathon plan etc. So it came down to 2 plans which I found quite similar. I opted for 10-week training plan. In addition, the weather was not that encouraging. I only started run outside in mid-March. I do not have a specific running clothes for the cold and rainy weather, but as I went along, I picked up a 'breathable' running jacket and a mighty expensive GPS chrono watch.
It keeps me motivated and also I think with a bit of investment, the running became easier.
So I cut my gym time to still do my Body Step and add the running. I put in my calendar with alarm the number of km that I have to run. This helps as it keeps you alert of what you have to do and not to decide: to run or not to run.
The furthest I've trained is +/-15 km.
Referring to the map below, I trained only on route 1km-7km, twice. I have never been to the route after the 8th km.
From my experience, getting to know your route makes it easier. I guess it applies to everything, right? Otherwise, you will be like me, where I had to constantly remind myself on the kilometers left to run. It worked, but it would be easier if I knew where I was going to.
Despite of my trainings in the cold and rainy days, it's only a week before the race that we were blessed with warm and sunny days! That's Belgian weather for those who do not know :-)
I had my breakfast sandwich at home, and off I went by public transportation. It took me about 30 minutes to reach there. So there was the stress, the pressure, the excitement, AND the heat!
In the morning, I think it was already 22 degrees Celcius and it's expected be get warmer when reach noon! I walked around and keep drinking my water that I brought from home. Keep hydrate is very important. Just an hour before the start, I ate a multifruit powerbar. I don't know why but perhaps the stress that makes me want to eat LOL.
We get a small mineral water bottle before the race, so I ditched my big water bottle I brought from home and keep the small bottle.
Usually I am not a fan of carrying things in my hand during running. But that day I listened to my gut, and I am happy about it!
So I have on my left hand the water bottle, and on my right hand I have the multi-purpose cloth that I got from my last year's 10km. It's a cloth that you could use as bandana, or as scarf or as wrist cloth. So I have it wrapped on my right hand, so that I keep my hand relax (when running, your hand should be relaxed as if you are holding an egg-not crushing the egg).
I kept the water, and when I'm reaching the water booth, I quickly finish off the water, and I throw the old one, once I got my hand on the new bottle.
Sometimes, they uncapped the bottle for you, so I keep the cap of the previous bottle and reused on the new bottle.
Once, I had a lady who asked me for a little bit of water. Made me feel good for helping someone. I hope she did well in the race!
At one point, I wet the hand cloth and it serves as a wet towel/sponge.
In the news, they said that there were about 650 cases during the race, mostly due to hyperthermia.
I'm very happy that all went well for me, and I finished at 2h16mins! I wish for 2hrs, though. Perhaps, next year :-)
Al in all, it a very good experience, and I am happy that I did it. One 2012 resolution that I can cross out!!!!