Hitting the Trail
The Penang Bridge International Marathon 2011 has come and gone but the experience this year was really enjoyable despite me walking across the finish line with a time of approximately 1 hour and 31 minutes. My left knee really hurt in the final 2km stretch but I’m glad I pushed myself this time round. This is the first time ever that I walked across the finish line (which kinda sucks).
Anyways, here are my mistakes that caused me to underperform this year so listen up! These 3 things should be basic for most runners I think but I’m gonna outline them anyway.
1. Overconfidence. Don’t be overconfident. Every race is unique even though you’ve done the route before. Your body’s condition will always be different in every race.
2. Pushing yourself early. Pace yourself. If you’re a slow runner like me then it’s best that you start pushing yourself closer towards the 6 pr 7km mark in a 10km race. I started fast and maintained a faster than normal pace for at least 6km but I think my left knee couldn’t take it.
3. Not drinking any water. Take every water stop you can get OR have water on you. For this race I didn’t stop for any water at all which might have contributed to my knee getting busted a wee bit.
There you have it. 3 things not to do in a race. I paid for it by missing out in running for about a week.
On another note, I highly recommend PBIM to all runners cos’ running across the Penang Bridge and experiencing the sunrise is awesome. It’s stuff that money cannot buy.
It’s 3 in the morning and I’ve slept very little. This feels very much like my first run last year at the Penang Bridge International Marathon. Heh… looks like even though I have more experience running on the open road I’ll probably always feel this way before a race.
So… what’s different this time round as I head into my 2nd run?
- I’m not as fearful. I was super freaked out when I first hit the 10km category in Penang. Am calmer now.
- I’m more confident of finishing the run but am not too sure if I’ll be able to beat my 1:17 time in Penang.
- I scrounged up a waist pouch to hold some money & my IC. It beats the sling pouch I use on my weekly runs.
- I just picked up a Timex Global Trainer GPS today which should help me measure my performance & pace. A darn expensive purchase but a worthwhile one as I intend to run long-term.
What’s remained the same?
- I still can’t sleep the night before the race. Heh heh!
- I still have to get to the race start point and even though I’m on home turf I can’t drive cos’ the road closures would make it puh-retty confusing to get there.
- I won’t take my phone with me. The less I have on me the easier it’d be to run. What this means is that I’ll be unreachable until I get back home later in the morning.
Anways, the race is in a couple of hours so I’m gonna try to get a bit of sleep. All the best to every runner out there. Run the best you can, be the best you can.
Taman Tasik Titiwangsa
Every time I run I thank God for (in no particular order):
- The chirping of birds in the early hours of the morning at 7am
- The trees and its overhanging branches that give shade
- The blue sky & clouds that frames our golden sun
- Every kilometre I run because it’s one kilometre more than I was able to run before
- Every breath I take that makes me feel alive
- And last but not least being able to talk to God every step along the way as I run
What do you enjoy most about running (if you do run)?
If all you can see is just the road...
“Keep your eyes on the road boy” and so the mantra goes in my head in every step that I take.
One of the things that I’ve noticed about running is that I tend to run with my eyes on the road and more than half the time I’m mentally measuring my steps. I could be running past a beautiful sunset and I’d miss out on it which is very uncool.
... sometimes all you gotta do is just look up
Life turns out to be like that sometimes. Our eyes are so focused on the task at hand and all our problems that we fail to look up and realise that there’s that beautiful sunset that’s before us. It pays to time out to enjoy what we have already. Challenges will still get us down but there’s always something good to look forward to. All we need to do is look up and receive the good things He has for each one of us daily.
Get your eyes off the track and look up. Maybe you’ll see something that was always there all along. In the meantime I’ve gotta learn how to enjoy my morning runs more by looking around me more.
Oh! Wish me luck cos’ I’m running my very first 21km run at next weekend’s Energizer Night Run. I’m not feeling very confident as my pace as been pretty slow and the furthest I’ve run so far in these 2 months has been 7km. If I finish this run it’d be the furthest I’ve ever run in my entire life… I hope my legs hold out. 😉
Till next time. Vaya con dios amigos.
I’ve been running for over a year now and an epiphany of sorts hit me on one of my runs a couple of weekends ago. Here are some lessons that I’ve gleaned that day as I ran.
- Life is for the long-haul. It’s about going distance and it’s not so much about speed. You can sprint on ahead early but a measured pace gives you the ability to run long distance. Pacing ourselves in life is important too lest we burn out. Take time out but don’t totally get out of the game. Life’s not about kicking back fully when you need rest. If we hang back too much we’ll end up missing out on all that God has in store for us.
- Life like running is very much a one-man journey. You have no one else to measure up to but yourself. Sure, it’s encouraging to have other people alongside you on a run but your pace is your own. We can do our best measure up to other people’s expectations but I’m finding more and more that what God thinks of us matters more and God sees us at our best always (even when we don’t believe it ourselves).
- Life is about consistency. Running long distance requires discipline and to be able to get that finisher medal one has got to be able to stay to keep up the pace. I struggle with consistency in life. There are days when I’m shining bright like the morning sun but yet I still have days when I don’t feel at all like the “light” that God means me to be. God is helping me a lot in this area and by His grace I’ll be able to be as consistent as I am now in running daily.
That’s all from me tonight.
Vaya con dios amigos.
My Race Bib & Chip
While running the Penang Bridge International Marathon I discovered a few things that were pretty cool to me. Here are some things that I learnt about running in a race that might help those of you who are interested to take it up.
- Before the race, collecting of your race bib (that cloth or paper thing with your registration ID) and also a tracking chip is essential. Also, make sure you secure the tracking chip to your shoes or the organisers won’t be able to measure your performance for you.
- If you’re new at running, then perhaps it’s a good idea to run in a race local to you rather than going out station. I was extra nervous the night before my run and couldn’t sleep much. Sleep is important before a race.
- Run at your own pace. Don’t worry about other people overtaking you. The only person you have to please is yourself.
- Don’t bring electronics with you. My boss’ BlackBerry died cos’ it rained heavily half-way across the Penang Bridge.
- Power bars & power gel at the same time don’t mix. My colleague Deane threw up twice cos’ she OD-ed on “power” stuff.
And that as they say is that.
Team Uber FTW!
I must say this now. I would not have run in PBIM if it were not for my boss Jamie! But boy am I sure glad I did cos’ after 11 months of running I actually completed the 10km category with a finisher medal and clocked a conservative time of 1:17:25.
I thiiiink I could’ve done better but as this was my 1st time running in a race long-distance I must say that I’m really thankful that I finished it. I was super-nervous the night before and so were most of the members of my running crew. As it stands, the Penang Bridge International Marathon 2010 is an experience that I’ll always remember; which hopefully will lead to more races in future. In fact, there’s already talk about participating in the Malakoff run that’s happening in early December. I hope there’s still space left.
Race Jerseys, Medals & Our Shoes
Anyways, finishing the race yesterday morning has a special significance to me and it’s my hope that as this year closes I’ll see more of God’s blessing in my life. In the meantime, I’m just gonna keep on running, running & running.
Till next time.