My First 21km Run

Last Saturday 28 May marks another record in my life – completing my first 21km run, my first half-marathon during the annual Sundown Marathon at Changi Aviation Centre.

What was I thinking?

I wanted to challenge myself more. When I first took part in my first 10km 3 years ago, I wanted to challenge myself since it was my first run ever. I also had something to prove. But this time, it was not a matter of proving anything to myself or anyone because I knew I could do it – thing is, when you’re already there nobody else is gonna finish it for you. You are the only one who is responsible for yourself so you have to finish what you started.

Seriously, what in the world was I thinking???

Oh my god. 21km makes 10km seem easy breezy (it’s not, btw, just a matter of speech). Previously, when I saw the 3km sign I would think to myself,

“Oh, 7km more to go!”

But now it was

“17km more to go!”

And at that point of course I still had the energy to be optimistic-as-happy-as-a-bunny about it. Moreover, previously at 10km I was at the finishing line so I would be feeling,

“Wooohoo I’ve finished I’m so happy I did it!”

This time I was halfway along the race so I was feeling

“Yes I’ve completed 10km!”

But also feeling

“…AND I HAVE ANOTHER 10 + 1KM TO GO?!”

Great, Mardhiah, just great. You asked for it.

What happens to your body?

At 10km I was looking forward to the U-Turn and at 11km, I was counting down. Every 1km seemed so long. At this stage I could still run slowly. Run, jog, walk. Walk, jog, run. However, at 12 or 13km something funny started to happen. Something I discovered, that only happens after my body exceeds 10km. Usually during a 10km run when my body gets tired and I stop running, my feet will walk fine. But this time when I ran my feet did not feel tired (my body did) but when I stopped running and walk fast, my body felt okay but my feet was aching. I thought I was the only one who felt so, but Hawanis also experienced the same thing. I later discovered that it was because my body and legs had reached its threshold. So for the remainder of the race, I jogged slowly keeping the momentum and walked a lot (simply because I couldn’t run for long periods anymore) until 20km.

At 20km, I started to jog again and at 100m to the finish line I mustered up all the remaining energy I had and sprinted all the way to the end. Was I feeling victoriously excited? No.

I felt RELIEVED.

THAT. I. FINALLY. REACHED. THE. FINISH. LINE.

Can u see that big smile on my face? I’m a 21km Finisher! Wheeee!

But excuse the timing above me please, it’s not 1.07.26. Hahaha. That’s the full marathon runners time score. 21km starts at 8pm and 42km starts at 10pm. By the time I finished, the full marathoners had started 1 hr 07 mins and 26 seconds ago.

I clocked in mine at 3 hrs and 08 mins!

And came in ahead of 20% of men finishers!  It’s awesome that I managed to beat some guys. Haha!

Alhamdulillah and till the next run :)

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2 responses to “My First 21km Run

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