On 20th of October 2019, i ran the first marathon, 42km (26.2 miles) race of my life.
This is a summary of how it went.
| Goal | Description | Completed? |
| A | Finished without stopping | *No* |
| B | Sub 4:00 | *Yes* |
| C | Finish it | *Yes* |
| D | Sub 3:30 | *No* |
Finish time: 3:38
Training did not go well, I decided 2 months before the race to do a marathon.
However, i had been training and running half-marathons throughout the year so i was a little confident.
September, a month before the marathon was the worst for my training. Birthday month, celebration events at work plus colder/wetter weather put a damp on my running schedule.
At the start of October, 20 days to the race, i intensified my training. I did a couple of 25-30kms runs. This helped ease the fear and endurance problems. However, i suffered from Plantar facitis, i.e. sore heel. I could barely walk normally days before the race. Therefore, Insoles had to be worn for the race. Medication had to be applied for the sore areas on a race day.
Calm, relaxed but felt a little heavy-footed but it’s all good. The morning was beautiful. Not too cold, not too hot. I took the Metro to the Olympic stadium. On my ride, i met other marathoners, we chatted casually, that helped eased the nerves.
When we got the stadium, it was packed. The entrance was so small. Our waive was full. We arrived 20 mins past 9 but it was too late. We had no choice than to stay at the back with 4:00hrs waive.
Congestion at the start of the race. The first 500 metres was done at a jogging pace.
At the 1km mark, the race came to a complete halt. For what seems like an eternity, we waited for the crowd in front to move on.
I was at the back of the 4.00hrs runners, the overall pace was too slow for my adrenaline fuelled legs. Between 2.5 – 8km, i spent most of my energy overtaking people.
Shouting left, right as i approached and overtake runners from every angle.
This pace paid off as i quickly found myself at the heels of 3.40hrs pacers. First success!
The run through the city was good, lot of cheers, plenty of space to overtake.
At 18km, i was running shoulder-to-shoulder with the pacers. I passed them. The route, outside the city, along the canals was my favourite. it was flat, scenic with entertainments on each side. I could see the 3.30hrs pacers ahead of me. My new aim now is to catch them.
At 21km, i felt good. No pain, no tiredness, no thirst Except for a odd feeling at my shoes. I ignored it.
At around 25km, i felt my shoes was coming off, i looked down and the dreaded thing has happened. My shoe laces were off. I stopped at the side of the road and spent a good 3 minutes trying to tie my laces.
Why so long, you may ask.
It turns out that after running non-stop for 25km, you lose your strength and arms coordination needed to tie a knot.
From 25km – 30km, i stopped at every kilometre fixing my shoe laces, sometimes asking people for help.
By 30km, my leg started feeling heavy, the stop and go of fixing shoe laces was starting to have an effect. All adrenaline and will power seemed to drain out of me after seeing the 30km mark.
“Why is this not over yet”, i screamed inside.
Legs muscles started contracting uncomfortably. For the first time in almost 5 years of running, i had cramps in my legs.
I started slowing down and often stopped to stretch, the 3.40hrs pacers passed me. All hope of was lost.
My new mission was to complete the race. “I MUST FINISH THIS, WALK, JOG OR RUN”, i repeat to myself.
From 34 – 40km, i stopped and drank at every refreshment/water stops, I really liked their positioning. The crowds was very helpful through these 6 kilometres. They shouted my name, shouted “Allez”, “Come on”, “You can do it”
From 41km onwards, i could hear the voice of the announcer from the stadium, i suspected my friends will be around this area, so i picked up the pace to look good for the cameras.
Entering the stadium for the last 500m was amazziiing. Seeing the crowd jeering you up, the music blasting loudly, everyone picking up pace. it was a good way to finish the race. I felt like a football player.
Sore heels, cramp at my thighs, heavy legs but surprisingly not tired or thirsty. I limbered to collect my medal and pose for the pictures.
10/10 would do again. Although I was a bit disappointed with not getting below 3:30, I was happy that i achieved my mission of finishing it.
Run more than at least 35km before going for a marathon, i have never felt so much pain and mental anguish after seeing that 30km mark.
Do not wear a new shoe or accessories on race day. It turned out that the insoles that i worn was affecting my leg position thus making the laces come off faster.
Wear a smart watch, it is always good to monitor your pace.
Train well before marathon. A healthy diet goes a long way