I have always believed that the marathon is an honest race, you get what you sow. Having only my longest run post injury (21km half marathon) 2 weeks prior, I know I will be battling myself on this day.
I have been taping myself up with RockTape leading up to the race. Many might argue that these “colored tapes” are nothing but placebo. My take, try it to believe it. I was introduced to this particular taping technique “spiral” on my leg as it was previously shown to help kids with cerebal palsy. I gave it a try and found that it helped me alot. Now that I am all taped up, I am ready for the run.
|Using the “spider” technique to recover from the bruise I had a couple of weeks back. Should have done this earlier =x|
Before I knew it, the race flagged off and away everyone went. I had a plan this time round. 3 min of running, 2 min of walking and I was seriously determined to stick by it this time round. My girlfriend was my “support team” for the day and it was her very first marathon. She took the exact same footsteps as I did. No 10km race, no 21km race, went straight for gold. Doing a full marathon (42.195km) as her first ever race. Mad, you must be thinking. Daring is what I call it. ha.
|All smiles. Because it is finally marathon time again =)
Whenever I walked, people started passing me and no matter how fast I went during the 3 min run, I fell to the back of the pack and I literally meant the back. Last 10 runners maybe? Probably. I started to feel pressured as I had never been so far back ever before and it was probably just 5 km into the race. I felt so stressed that I might be lapped by everyone when they turn around for their 2nd lap. I had no choice but to be discipline and to carry on with my strategy and hope that there are just lots of people who are bad at pacing. Afterall, this is a marathon, its about pacing and knowing yourself. So I told myself to hang on and hope that things will get better in a bit.
As the run continued, I caught a handful of people and I didnt feel that much of a pressure. At about 12ish km, I saw my coach running past me (he started 30mins later) and that actually made me really happy and I told myself to dig deeper and follow through with my plan. Came through the 21km mark at 2:38:40 feeling really fresh and all ready for another 21km. My sessions at Evolved, on the anti-gravity treadmill must have paid off.
Somewhere after the 24 km mark,my girlfriend turned to me.
GF: I knew that the marathon is extremely challenging but never have I expected it to be so tough. My knees are just feeling so smashed right now and my glutes and back are hurting so much. You would have finished this marathon long ago by now if not for this injury right?
I nodded. Smiled a little.
A part of me died when she told me that. What she might not know was the tears behind my Oakleys. I tried to put on a brave front, looked away and I kept going.
The marathon has been such a special race to me. It was the race that suited me the most. A race about consistent hard work, the determination, discipline to push through training daily and most importantly, to have the hunger for the love of pain. I love the pain it gives. I enjoy it so damn much because I know the more pain I feel, the more pain my competitors are feeling too. It all boils down to who has the capacity to tank this all down and to fight through it. I LOVE THIS. At this present moment, not only am I not able to compete, I have lost the ability to run at an intensity that made me felt like my lunges are bursting. If not for this injury.. If not for it, I will probably be doing a sub2:50 at this very same race.
GF: How do you even race through all this pain? This is …
Me: By doing 30km on every Sunday before attending Church.
Her jaw dropped.
Me: Yeah. And I had to do the first 25km within 2 hours because that what my coach told me to. I will then finish the last 5km with some hills at King’s Park.
My girlfriend went silent for a good few seconds.
GF: no, seriously… … you are crazy.
I started to feel even worse about my situation. All the hard work.. all the time I spent pounding my body.. the way I have devoted the last 4 years into running.. all gone because of a bike accident. I felt really shitty at this point in time.
Thankfully, I woke up my freaking idea.
If I had not taken up marathon running, I might not have had the will power and determination to come back from such a severe freak accident. It is a miracle how I can regain the ability to walk, let alone started running. The marathoner in me never stopped “running” even when I was paralysed. The love for pain and challenges made me pull through all the therapies and the competitor in me has yet to give up hope on racing. I want to do it again. I want to do another PR. I wanna smash my own marathon timing. I will make it happen. Even if it takes me years. I want to make it happen. I will make sure it happens back in Japan where everything started.
I completed the marathon later feeling surprising good about the situation. 42km worth of talking to myself, talking to God, searching deep within myself to make peace with myself and cried a couple of times during the run (good thing I had my big sunnies). The things a marathon does to one’s life. *grin
Post race, I did some recovery taping for my girlfriend and I had lots to think about. Now that I had covered the full marathon, my mind was already thinking of ways for me to get back, to be better, faster, stronger. Mixing and matching all the possibilities of everything I can think of. All the different workouts and drills that I will have to do.
Gotta keep this going. Can’t wait to run till my lunges burst, to feel the lactic burn before throwing up. I remember promising myself that IF one day, i ever get to run again, I will give my all, no holding back. No more hiding from the dreadful lactic workouts. I will enjoy it.
|Looks like Avatar. heehee|
|Recovery taping! Pretty nicely done by me eh? *proud*|
Trying to go for a good 10km race soon. Gonna challenge myself by stating the standard now.
sub 50 min for 10 km by the end of this year.
Nil Sine Labore
The only person that can give up on me.. is me. And I will never give up.
|For sure I enjoyed my run. Hope it feels like flying soon.|