Sunday, November 23, 2008

Night run and 15 more days to race day

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This was a training run 2 days ago from 11 to 1240. Covered 13.2k quite comfortably but was feeling a bit sleepy at midnight.

Its strange how as I was running I began to think about how all this started from the Sundown 10K in end May of this year. After that run, I was running extensively in June and started to get more serious about taking part in the Marathon. So I signed up. Its 15 days away and I have had more or less trained for 6 months. In between I signed up with my running buddy, Darryl, for the half marathon (21K) and recently the 15K realrun.

I have learnt a lot as an amateur runner and the learning curve has been steep. I used to run the 400m and 1500m but this is the most serious I have been since a mega illness about 15 years or so ago during national service which saw me in and out of hospital and on medication for 3 years. I got discharged and cured miraculously though. Maybe I will write about that some day.

Some things I have learnt:
1. Good shoes that suit your running style are important. I learnt this the hard way. I think my Iliotibial Band Syndrome developed because of over-pronation from wearing the wrong shoes and running long distances. I think. I realised that the small detrimental movements can be amplified over long distances.
2. Don't overtrain - there were days when I ran 20K or more and then tried to run the next day... that is just a non-starter.
3. Its important to have a running buddy or buddies.
4. Tights are nice - no abrasion and no sweat flowing down to the socks. Also the wickering off of the sweat keeps one cool. A cap is essential as it keeps out the sweat from rolling in your eyes and also keeps you cool (the Realrun this year was hot!). Sunglasses (polarised please) are nice to wear in the run. There's this cosy feeling when you are behind shades.. It also makes you less tired from squinting.
5. Cross-train. I picked up swimming lately because I wanted to give my knees and ITB a rest. I couldn't swim a lap previously but now I can do many with stops of course. But swimming is a really good workout minus stress on the knees.
6. During-run nutrition is important to keep going. Drinking during the run is important for me cos I sweat alot. I once read that the reason why we sweat excessively (more than is needed to cool off) is because we need to get rid of the salt from our skin or else the water won't evaporate so efficiently.
7. Music sets the mood. Okay, this is for clearly running on pavement but one must be careful of the surrounding and crossing roads.

Well, 15 days more to go. Of course I hope I can complete the 42K. Thinking about it gives me the jitters but hey, at least I know I have trained for it (wow for 6 months). My IT Band might act up (its painful)... that's my worst fear.

Josh will be running the kids dash (800m) on that day as well. (Matt's too young to register). Well hopefully one day he and Matt can do the 42K and I hope I will be running alongside. Gee...I must be about 50 plus by then.

Wish me luck!

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