I did it!
After dreaming about it for a year, I finally managed to run my first half-marathon distance session on a quite Sunday morning. It was not a race. It was merely a decision I made to go long distance of 21km that day. I woke up around 4.50 am and had a few glass of water before decided to give it a try.
Now, please keep in mind I dare to do this long distance run after taking into consideration that
- I’ve been running and living a healthy life for a year now.
- I ran not less than 3 session per week of 5km or 10km each.
- I’ve learnt about proper running form to avoid injury.
- I’ve learnt proper breathing technique while running.
Confidence is important, so does the preparations I’d mentioned above. I always tell myself and fellow runner to ensure safety and make it a priority. It’s ok if I can’t achieve what I wanted TODAY, because there will always be TOMORROW. I just need to return STRONGER than the day I failed. So, no rush. Avoid injury the best I can.
I’ve been using Google Maps app to plan my first 21km route. I make sure to use the route where there is shop selling drink. I bought my phone along and put it in a hydration bag. Just in case I can’t go any further, I will just call my wife and ask her to pick me up. Also useful when I encounter beautiful things.
So, for my first 21km, I decided that I will run the first 10km with an easy pace, somewhere around 7.30 min/km. The rest of 11km will be a combination of walk and jog. It’s not a race, so I don’t really care about being fast. The only thing that important is to finish the 21km distance.
It was the usual run during the first 8km. Met some runner & cyclist that morning along the way. I was hoping to get the of view the sunrise but it was cloudy that day.
After 10km, my legs felt tired. The route I chose involved some hill so from there I started walking. So for the next 11km I walk and jog non-stop. I made two stops at some shops to buy drinks. I will improve this in next run – reduce time spent in a shop.
After the 18km, my quads felt hard as rock. I couldn’t jog, so I walked. This must give some shock to my body, because I never do this long distance session. Good thing that this is not a race, or else my mind will tell me to keep pushing and eventually might cause harm to myself.
3 hours later, I completed my first half marathon distance run, walk & jog. It’s a New Year gift to myself. I brought a phone thinking if I can’t complete this session, I will just call my wife and ask her to pick me up half way. But I didn’t call her. And the fact she waited for me to finish the run is just great.
I wear a hydration backpack to keep my phone, a 150ml water bottle and some dried fruits. However, I think I don’t need to carry the bag if Im just running on the road. I need to drink enough water before the run and bring a hydration bottle that simple to carry and some money to buy drinks when stopping at shops. The backpack messing with my body movement. I felt lighter running without carrying anything especially on the road. Unless if I am going to run on trail, I will carry the backpack.
Warming up is important. I learned this during the last 5km of the run. It’s the usual pain you get on your muscle when you didn’t do warming up. I should spend 15 minutes warming up before next run.
Core strengthen is important. That is what helps me to keep going. I spent 2016 just running without doing other exercise. I didn’t see much improvement. Now its 2017, added core strengthening to my daily routine and I just break my 10km PR, and now the 21km run.
Looking forward to set personal record of 2 hours and 30 minutes Half Marathon in 2017!