Sunday, January 24, 2016

Run like you stole it!

How my first half marathon went, broken down to km (don’t mind Nike+, it was just giving me ego boost with 30K)

0 km: Whoa there must be a few thousands of people here. And we do smell like thousands of people. EH! Second wave? I have to wait for another 5 minutes? ... It must have been more than 5 minutes now, any chance they forgot there was a second wave? Oh okay, here we go!!!

1 km: Alright, easy, I got this, keep my speed steady and don’t get caught up in a race this early. Did I just see a girl in seifuku?

2 km: Hoà? Where are you Hoà?

3 km: Cool water! Okay lets have a gulp or two and splash some on the head. Oops, too much. I think I missed the last trash bin, I have to keep this half empty bottle now? I will just take a paper cup next time.

4 km: My legs are still alright. Looks like the muscle tension fear is a hoax!

5 km: So that’s the track for 5K runners? Dũng gonna be fine.

6 km: Another water station, time to drop this bottle and ops for a paper cup. Lets splash some over my back, the last one was very refreshing. Oh shit, this isn’t water, it’s electrolyte drink. Oh crap. Oh crap. Bad mistake.

7 km: Lets have some high fives with volunteers, everyone loves high fives. Hope my hands aren’t too sweaty.

8 km: What the fuck? The professionals are on their way back already?! Keep calm, keep calm, gotta reserve stamina, I haven’t even reached the bridge yet.

9 km: Better not mix up water and electrolyte drink this time. Whoa, splashes of cool water feel really good. I wouldn’t mind an ice bucket challenge now.

10 km: Yay half way! I am still in good shape. Lets climb up this bridge!!! Wait, holy fuck, the bridge towers are miles away, I can’t even get a good look at it from here, are we fucking running over there?

11 km: My legs are not alright! The tendons over my heels are tensed. I really should have taken more uphill running on the treadmill. And yes, the girl in seifuku is real, she even has her red backpack on, and she is dashing like crazy on her way back!

12 km: Is there no end to this god damn bridge? This slope must be 15%. Gee, I am as slow as walking now. And why don’t they mark the distance on the bridge?

13 km: Yes! Turn around! Yes! There is just downhill now.

14 km: Try. Not. To. Walk. Talking to myself it is easier to keep running than multiple small stops. Murakami said he never walked in a running competition. Be like Murakami.

15 km: I don’t think Murakami said anything about stopping for a break. Have to stop now. Why I am getting sleepy?

16 km: The water station should be just around the corner right? I believe I can run till there. Nope, nope. Too tired. Have to stop now.

17 km: I can’t run anymore. My mouth tastes weird. I want something sweet, like, diabetes-guaranteed sweet. Did Hoà say something about choc last night? Where the fuck is Hoà? Screw Murakami, I am walking!

18 km: I think the can of red bull I just got from a street vendor is kicking in. My lung has stopped burning, and I can feel my legs again. Yosh, about time, all these ladies are passing me!

19 km: Arrggg my right calf cramped. Freak it is twisting and moving on its own. Oh shit, not you too left thigh! Oh hey random runner, thanks for your spray.

20 km: I bet that if I stopped pulling either of my feet, my legs would tangle each other like two pythons. Come on guys, don’t you dare failing me!

21 km: Holy guacamole! Stay cool. Don’t scream like a teenage girl. Smile for the cameras. I crossed the finish line!!!

All jokes aside, I did have to walk more a bit more than a km, but other than that, I got to the finish line in 2:34:47, around what I expected, and really enjoyed the race. Such a blast.

Phú Mỹ bridge is a beast. I felt really good entering the bridge, and really bad exiting it. I understood there would be quite some uphill, but didn't know such a tremendous impact on my stamina. And seriously, some runners came back on ambulance.

Exiting the bridge, my energy went on a spiral downward. Despite all will power, I simply couldn't move my legs, and had to walk between km 17 - 18. Not promoting a dose of energy drink in a race, but practically, the decision to get a can of red bull saved my ass there. It prompted to me that I was barely qualified for a half marathon and training alone wouldn't be enough to better the result. I have to watch my diet, and build up more muscles for all the energy my body needs for long distance running. Tough!

And the last 3K with both legs cramped was really brutal. In normal condition, I would have freaked out seeing my muscles twisting and moving like they have their own brains. But I was desperate. Painful as it was, I am glad I neither stopped or walked on that part, it helped ease the guilty of walking earlier.

I am giving myself a break over the next couple of weeks (with Tet in the middle), and will be soon back on the track. I feel a strong need to hone my skills on 21km track before ever planning for anything higher. Gee, I have already given this running thing much more effort than I ever did for university entrance exam :)