Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Half Marathon (that's 21 kilometres, baby!) CONQUERED!

I want to tell you about the events on sunday, but i realized it's all a blur... Basically, because... i was functioning with half a brain. But here's the recollection, after taking some effort to think about it. This is more like my own record for keeps, so you might get bored reading through the whole loooooooong thing!
Here goes...:

Why the half brain, you ask? No, i didn't dye my hair blond. It was because i had only about 3 to 4 hours of sleep, and in addition, i didn't sleep well because of anxiety-excitement and an overactive brain. I think i kept awaking to half consciousness before falling back asleep.

After getting up at 4:20 am thanks to Gem who THANKFULLY gave me a morning call (my clock which was set at 4am didn't do the job of waking me up), i showered and took a cab down to clementi stadium to catch the chartered bus to Suntec City. I got a real grumpy cab driver with whom i had to give instructions to on how to get to clementi stadium, and who proceeded to scold the cabbie call center for taking 10 minutes to answer his direction query to the stadium.

"Eh, i tell you ah.. You all take TEN MINUTES to answer my call. TEN MINUTES. YOU ALL SLEEPING AH?! YOU ALL SLEEPING?! YOU ALL TAKE TEN MINUTES TO ANSWER MY CALL!"

Wa, fierce. high frequency of this kind of aggression and hostility can lead to heart disease you know.

Zipping through the highways in the wee hours of the morning with just one other guy passenger in the huge coach bus, we reached town in no time. I didn't know where to go but of course, there was the marathoning crowd to follow. Waited for Gem to come and we deposited our bags together and proceeded to the starting point.

Nothing much to report really, from here onwards...

Ok, this is where i did not discipline myself and suffered some consequences. I had promised myself that i would be walking all the way to avoid aggravating the knee condition, and if i did run, i'd only do 2km stretches each time. I managed to stick to the regime with Gem till the 8km mark. That's when the momentum of jogging kicked in and then i couldn't stop to walk. Shucks. We pretty much pushed on, jogging most of the way, and stopped to walk or to stretch our muscles when we felt any muscle tightness whenever we needed to.

Throughout the race, Gem was in superbly good spirits, cracking A LOT of lame (and actually funny, HAHA) jokes and i was guffawing away. I was pleased that i was able to keep up the running, the talking, laughing and even the smiles (which explains why a photographer took a shot of us. Tradeelala.).

Sadly, i cannot remember ALL of the nonsense we were talking about. Except this one about how cool it'd be that if God had completely healed my left knee, then i can put this text on the Adidas's "My reason for running" tag that you can pin to the back of your running top: "TestimoKnee. God healed my Knee." (private joke: hey den, jun and dom, that's a LEVEL 4 joke!)

It'll be an awesome testimony on the move, that people behind you can read!

Gem joked that we can set up another spin off under BACC, kinda like, "Being a Contagious Christian: Sports Edition." And then, the makers would come up with more cool suggestions and tools on how to reach the athletic lost.

We pushed on and finished in 3hours 20minutes, a timing that we had sort of aimed to reach.

Towards the finishing line, we gripped each other's hands and crossed the line together... Aw, i've ALWAYS wanted to do that! Ha, suffice to say, doing that was my idea lor, not as romantic if it was his idea instead. So anti-climax right. After we crossed the line, i'm not sure what happened, but either my blood pressure dropped suddenly, the heat was too much, or blood sugar was too low... Apparently, i began to feel a tightening feeling around my temples, and my vision was getting darker. I fought to keep conscious and tried to slow my walking so that i didn't exert myself to the point of fainting. Gem helped me find a spot and i sat down for a while with my head between my knees, letting blood go to my head. My hands were cold and man, i felt like i was on the verge of blacking out.

I felt better after a couple of minutes, and in the heat of the morning, we searched and found the 100plus and banana kiosk. Felt a whole lot better in the shade, and after a can of 100plus and some muscle stretching. But that was when my knee joints started complaining very loudly. But nothing prepared me for what was to come later on.

After some sun basking and photo taking by the friendly Adidas photographers, we ventured to Raffles City for lunch and then made our way back to my place to take a well deserved shower and afternoon nap. But i tell you, i've never been in so much pain after a run before in all my life. My left and right knees felt bruised inside, and the back of my right knee had some tendon and muscles problems. It was a struggle to even walk properly, let alone going up and down the stairs. Every step had me widening my eyes in shock, as well as gasping and whining in pain. I had to hold on to Gem and the railings for support as i limped about.

Aw shucks... but my Gem is the best, ok. He was patient and caring throughout the ordeal, never an unkind word for my plight and he was considerate about the pain i felt and how much i had to walk. When we got back and showered, we made an ice pack and Gem secured it to my right knee to prevent inflammation as i lay down like an injured soldier. Gem also dried my washed hair for me (without me asking!!!) so that i wouldn't get a headache (i get headaches when i sleep on my wet hair). :-DDDDDD This kind of boyfriend where to find?!?!

Fast forward to after our nap and dinner at Ghim Moh... (we had YUMMY BLACK PEPPER CRAB, thai sauce chicken and mixed veg by the way! Awesome man...)

Back home, while sitting through another ice pack treatment for my left knee, i fell asleep on the couch in the living room. Gem watched a movie (Underworld Evolution. HAHA.) while waiting for me to awake so that i could go back to my room to sleep. But i didn't, so he brought out my blanket and covered me with it. And that was around 1+ to 2am, mind you. He waited THAT long!

When i awoke on monday morning, i noticed that the ice pack was gone and that i was snuggled under my smelly (smells like Jed) blanket, and altogether feeling quite well taken care of. I felt like Gem knew my every need and responded exactly the way i would've needed him to. While i got up to get ready for work, Gem made both of us a scrambled egg sandwich each and made me a cup of milo for breakfast.

God, i thank you for this wonderful guy who knows how to take good care of me! I was and still am feeling really blessed by him. Honestly, i think he might've done more than what i've described here, but my memory of sunday and monday is really hazy so this is about as much as i can recall.

I still can't get over the fact that i'm done with a half marathon. The most i've ever run in my life is 11.5 to 12km. And that's around the time i injured my left knee and ceased running for 1 month. And then here i am, a finisher of 21km. My physiotherapist friend told me that what i did wasn't exactly a good idea, which i agree with. But, ok, i'm stubborn when it comes this kind of thing. It's funny how during the last part of the run, 90% of pain present was muted prolly due to natural pain killers or some remarkable brain ability, but the minute you finish, the pain comes like a sledgehammer.

When i did my first 5km, i thought, "why would anyone want to run 10km?" But then, after completing the Shape Run 5km, the Standard Chartered 10km seemed doable. When i was training for my 10km, i thought, "i'd never want to endure 21 km! I don't see myself ever running 21km." But then, i decided to go for the challenge and did my first 21km last sunday. Before my 21km, i was thinking, "42km? NUTS! I'd never do that, i'd kill my knees! Look at all those people suffering, man!" But now... i'm beginning to feel my mentailty slowly changing... Oh boy. What have i gotten myself into! I think i've inevitably set myself up for 42km already.

Oh my GAWSH.

PS: I'll never forget the pain i went through after this run. i've learnt that training for a run is not all about endurance and running your legs off. Training up and strengthening (weight and resistance training) the muscles is just as important so that you don't bonk during and after the race!

4 comments:

Issy said...

YES!!! you guys look awesome!!! u noe wad..throw in 2 or 3 kids and it'll be picture perfect ahahahhah...jk jk :P

Anonymous said...

hoho ur frend is absolutely rite!! wahaha shall not make u shy la!! hope ur knees are ok?

joline said...

issy:

Very cheeky ah you, issy! ha, yeah, we could've borrowed 2 of the many kids who were around the race carnival.

anon:

You also! Rahhhh, cheeky leh ya'll. Yes! By God's grace, my knees are fine! I'll be blogging more on that soon! :-D

Anonymous said...

tmr is my d day. i hope tat i really receive a call to go and work somewhere else for god's sake.i want to leave!!! oh by the way,are u actually taking any supplement for ur knees? glucosamine?(dunno how to spell)and oh, ur post makes me inspired to run also.wahahah, no lah next yr i shall go learn swimming!!