Run : My First Half-Marathon & All the Firsts

Happy year for my aim to keep healthy throughout the year :
  • I ran over 343km, almost reaching my upgraded goal of reaching 365km this year.
  • I did my first international run in Bromo, Indonesia
  • I did my first trail run in Bromo as well
  • I ran my first 21km - half marathon 
Trying to keep running every week is still hard. But I'm trying to at least run during the weekend. I think by far, this is year that I had so many injuries : muscle strain along the shoulder and the neck for 2 weeks, left knee injury that lasted for 2 months because of the wrong squatting technique and on-going right ankle injury that happened 2 weeks ago. Compared to all the previous years I spent on outdoor activities, this years I am not so lucky with my condition. But I survived ! :D


How I decided on running a half-marathon when I already told myself that I won't do it?
I became so used to running 10km in my weekly training that I feel like I want to try 21km. The thing about running 10km in the weekend, after awhile, my body got used to the same pace and boring paths that I try to explore in so many different ways. I usually spend around 1 hour 20 minutes in each weekly training while Af went on doing his parkour training. So it gets a bit lonely sometimes. In each session : 5 times around the pond, 5 times up the training hill, 5 times down the training hill, 5 x 2 times zig-zag alongside of the stairs, and finishing around the pond. It became a boring repetition.

So I decided to try something new. I wanted to feel the exhaustion and the thrill and disappointment and sweats and muscle pain that I used to feel. I registered for the half-marathon at Putrajaya Night Marathon, and asked my brother to join as well.

The training :
I started one and a half month before the event. I managed to run around 100km in the past 3 months before my 21 KM half marathon. It was just a normal training mostly on weekends because I get so busy in the weekdays there's no time to go for a run. That's all, nothing special. Just weekly run. 2 weeks before the run I stopped my running because I had several injuries and muscles pain that won't go away : alongside the neck and shoulder, and my right ankle. I wanted to give my body a full rest and faster recovery lah konon. 

I tried Salon Pas patches, I tried putting cold packs, I tried daily simple stretches, nothing seemed to work. Like all my injuries, I had to let time heals and rest.

Preparation :
I bought 2 sachets of fruity energy gel - one for me and one for my brother *for RM 7. For whatever it was, the energy gel should give you some some energy for your run. It actually works just like eating a banana - but I thought that the organizer will then pass us some bananas, might as well keep something for plan B when my energy drains out.

Here is the map :


Weather :
It started with a light rain, everything got soaky before we even started running.
So the wet feeling in our shoe all through the running was real =.=
But the night weather was great, I wanted to try my first long endurance run at night compared to in the hot daylight because I hated the sun and I don't want any sun-burn :D

Here is an image before we started running, all soaky and wet because of the rain + a photobomber behind us *hello! :


The run :
I divided my run into 3 parts :

Hour 1 : I survived on water and 100 plus, I sipped water at every stations because I don't know how I'm going to pull thing off and how long I might take. My rough estimation was around 3 hours+ for my first 21km. The first hour was okay, I did this many times.

Hour 2 : KM 14
I ate the energy gel every 15 minutes, after 2 hours of running. 1 sipped at a time, so it lasted for an hour. The second hour was also okay, because my pace is slow constant pace I don't think I had anything much in mind. I managed to keep on my jogging pace all through 2 hours+ of running. I parted with my brother in KM 13 when he started having muscle cramps every few minutes.

Hour 3 : KM 19
I kept the banana from the organizer until my third hour, and later I ate it every 15 minutes. The banana lasted for 1 more hour. After the third hour, I had nothing else but water stations. The pain started after KM 16, that's when my body seemed to shout and scream to stop. All joints on my legs were in pain and I started asking why did I registered for this in the first place ? I forgot what happened in KM 17 - 21, because all I remembered was I keep telling my body to keep on my jogging pace. Ish ish, why laa kan.

Then I reached the finishing line after 3 hours : 31 minutes, it was a bit surreal. I was groggy, I saw my brother whom reached the line 11 minutes before me : I wonder when did he passed me? But everything afterwards was all moody and pukey and I-just-want-to-sit-and-not-talk state. All pictures taken afterwards was not voluntarily taken and I can't even smile.


Result :

Number : 573/770
Official Time : 3 hours 31 minutes 
*Just 11 minutes away from my brother


Things I learned from my first 21 km :
  • Training and practices are important. 
  • Carbo-load should start 5 days before the run
  • After some time, music isn't something I want to listen to. Just-complete-silence and the sound of footsteps.
  • Yes, it was painful after it reached certain distance. But it isn't too bad afterwards.
  • Man, I still love running.

After math :
On that Sunday after the night of running 21km - I opened a booth at Etsy Made Local for the whole day. Right after Sunday, I went to work like usual. On Monday at work I walked funny, all muscles in my body were in pain. But it took around 3 days to recover. By that next weekend, I went on my weekly training back again.

Am I going to do this again? 
Are you kidding? For all the sweats and pain and ridiculous state of mind ? 
Or course I'm going to do this again :D

5 comments on "Run : My First Half-Marathon & All the Firsts"
  1. I can feel myself grimaced reading this! ><

    1. Hahaha, it was a nice experience la juga when I think of it again. Now I know I can run 21km, with a lot of pain and mental battles. It was super slow but I tried not to walk all through the run and I know I wasn't competing with anyone else but me :)

  2. I salute you.
    I only started running this past few weeks and it's really hard to run even as far as 1KM.
    Did you also feel a burning sensation in your legs and chest when you first start running?

    1. Yes, of course, I used to feel that ! I started in 2013,
      It has been a really fulfilling activity, because you know you improve by all the practices.

      I used to feel so awful, now I can run 10km without any aches and after-effects :D I learned how to run far in steady pace, and I learned how to breathe properly. No burning sensation for years now, until I tried my first 21km last month. I haven't feel that for awhile, so it was a good feeling.

      Hope you can continue and make it into a habit ! :)

  3. Thanks for sharing, Azreen.
    I'm so inspired now.