but not long after the 20k run, my shin splints acted up and i had to slow down my training, almost to a halt. i spent most of my days icing my shins (3-4 four times a day, 20-30 minutes). and it worked. the shin splint was totally gone during the Brooks Happy Run, which was a week away from SCMS.
so despite the recurring nightmare of being late to the race, i was excited and feeling like i was ready for my first Half Marathon event. then, i got flu symptoms 2 days before the race. and it persisted all the way to the race… oh well. you can only prepare so much, right?
the night before the race, i put aside my clothes to wear, the bib, my visor and sunglasses… i put all the gels into my SPIbelt and put my handheld water bottle next to it. i took a hot shower and went straight to bed. however, i was soooo nervous, i had a hard time falling asleep… man, i need to learn to regulate my nerves.
after about 3 hours of sleep, i woke up around 4-ish, and ninit was already in the shower. i put on my clothes and my tights, went downstairs to drink and have breakfast (bread with nutella!). then, i started packing: filling up my bottle with water, putting on my bib number, stuffed my cellphone into the already-full SPIbelt… and pinned my The Urban Mama pin 🙂
after everyone was done showering, i went upstairs and washed my face. then i put on sunscreen on my face and body, added some lipbalms and penciled eyebrows and eyeliner. i was going to tie my hair, but decided to go with pigtail braids in the last minute.
and everyone was ready:
ninit, chika, adhit and i left around 5am together and took the train. since chika and ninit were going for 10k, we separated at Buona Vista. adhit and i, who were doing Half Marathon continued to Harbour Front, while chika and ninit went to take the green line to City Hall.
we got to Sentosa on time and even had enough time to go to the bathroom at the station. the bathroom line was quite manageable. after that, we went straight to the starting line. and waited there until the sun was about to rise…
i was soooo nervous the whole time we waited that i felt like i still needed to go to the bathroom. i thought the urge would go away after we started running. but it didn’t. so when the horn blew and we started to climb the first slope, i knew i needed to find a bathroom ASAP.
thank god, at the KM2, adhit spotted a women’s bathroom. i immediately went in and lined up. everyone was so in a hurry that they peed not only in the toilet, but also in the shower… eek!
i thought adhit had ran ahead, but it turned out that he took a bathroom break too. so we managed to run together again.
since Sentosa was very hilly, we decided to go slow and was taking easy on our pace. even though the terrain was hilly, it wasn’t too bad because the hills were considerably short and the trees were big and shady. after a hike up, there is always a down slope, which was good for recovering. we tried to follow a couple running in front of us, because their pace felt perfect. but after about 2-3km, they slowed down and started to walk. this happens sooo many times… it’s tough to find a consistent pacer.
then, we entered the Universal Studios, which was the highlight of the race. all the characters were out on the road, cheering for us… from Elmo to Frankenstein. the rides were on, the music was loud… it was sooo alive and fun. the runners seemed to forget that they’re on the race, and started to form lines to take pictures with the characters. we did too… with the Transformers 🙂
too bad a few seconds before we took the pictures, Optimus Prime decided to take a break. but they looked really cool, don’t they?
after we passed the Universal Studios, we got to the second hydration station. i filled up my water bottle and gulped my first gel. at this point, Adit decided we should split, because he would like to go slower than our current pace. so i went ahead.
not long after the hydration station, we entered the annoying indoor car park. why the hell do we have to run through the car park? it felt soooo stuffy. i tried to keep running, but about 200m from the end of the car park, i felt so stuffed i decided to walk. i hate running in the indoor car parks…
after crossing the Sentosa Bridge towards the main island, i passed the KM10 mark. almost halfway there! and i still felt good. my legs were okay, no pain at all. i was running happy and light.
after passing the third hydration stop, drinking some 100plus and threw some water onto my head and arms, i climbed up to the West Coast Highway and passed the KM11 mark, still happily. as we made a U-turn, i put on my sunglasses, and remembered thinking, “oh, the sun is behind clouds! yay! please let it stay this way until i finish the race.”
i found another runner that fit my pace: an older guy with a bright colored hydration pack on his back. he was a perfect pacer for me, so i started following him for the next 2km. i didn’t remember West Coast Highway to be hilly (i guess i won’t be able to tell while sitting in a cab), but it has quite a few ups and downs.
when we got to the hydration station near KM13 mark, i took another gel and refilled my water again while looking around for my pacer. when i spotted him, he was way ahead of me and he was walking. and he kept walking even after i passed him… so there goes my other pacer.
i wish i had a good pacer, though, because after this 13k, as we entered AYE, i was spent. from KM13 to KM18, i walked for about 200-300m every 2km. i have never walked this much during the trainings… i’m not sure why, but it feels like my legs do not want to run anymore. maybe it’s the flu, maybe it’s the sun shinning straight on to the highway, but my guess was it’s just my mind that wasn’t able to convince myself to keep running. i could see the people around me were doing the same. walk, run, walk, run… and pour water onto our heads. and i kept bumping to the same people, despite the amount of walking i’d done…
since i was walking a lot, i planned to run non-stop again once i got to KM18. i’m familiar with the route after KM18, because it’s the same route as the 10k i ran last year. and it’s only 3km away from the finish line. i gulped my last gel. i should’ve been able to run the whole way. but i was wrong.
by the time i got to the KM18, the route merged with the 10k runners. there were soooo many of them and they were all walking! i was zigzagging here and there… and once again, my legs just stopped running 🙁 i felt really sleepy and at the same time, i was frustrated at myself. so once again, i walked, ran, walked, ran…
and finally, after passing the Esplanade, nearing the 20KM mark, i was finally able to push myself to keep running. there were so many photographers on the bridge, i told myself, “i don’t want to be caught walking on camera!”… so i kept running.
one turn before the finish line, i saw ari and aina on the side of the street. aina was waving a huuuuuge foam-core-hand with “GO FOR IT” written on it. ari was taking pictures of me. both of them had big smiles on their faces and aina was chanting, “GO BINGGI GO”! soooo cute! and all the sudden, i don’t feel tired anymore. there was a surge of energy, not sure where it came from, and it felt soooo good.
so i picked up speed and ran as fast as i could to the finish line. and managed to pose for the photographers at the finish line 🙂
after picking up the medals and water, i was greeted by ninit and ipeh. ninit remained to wait for adit. i followed ipeh around to meet up with ari and aina. ari immediately gave me his backpack and camera… and they ran straight to the kids dash pen. they’re supposed to be in a pen because aina was supposed to go for a race in about 5 minutes.
i really wanted to go to the finish line and take pictures of them, but my legs were like jelly… i couldn’t walk any longer. iyay even helped me carry the backpack… so i missed my baby girl’s race, right in front of me. gah.
she was happy with her race, though (and i still need to write about that).
and i was quite happy with mine.
all The Urban Mama founders finished strong 🙂
more photos are in the SCMS 2012 photo album.