This morning I woke up feeling a little tired and wondered if I could complete the 21km that we planned to do today. As I prepared to leave the house, I psyched myself up and told myself that this is part of our marathon training and 21km is just the halfway mark of our full marathon. I started to feel a little more excited and just a little apprehensive.

Qiu Lu came with 100plus and energy bars for us, and Jay brought her electrolyte drink and ‘squeezy bottle’ for us to share. I knew that a 21km run will definitely bring on the thirst and I was already telling myself that I will look forward to the water breaks. 🙂

I brought the KT tape but forgot the scissors! Thankfully we all managed to run without any pain to our knees that would have caused us to stop.

I ran the first 11+km or so with Qiu Lu and I managed to maintain a steady pace of around 645-7min/km. It felt good to be able to sustain that pace for a distance that I used to consider long and then continue for another 10km or so on my own. I knew that I had to conserve enough energy (both mental and physical) for the whole 21.1km (yes, 100m more to make it really half of our 42.2km). I think I hit a mini wall at 16km when I my legs felt really tired and my clothes started to feel sticky/uncomfortable. I think that was my mind telling me to throw in the towel and my senses started becoming more aware of my physical discomfort. I ran towards the tunnel and felt myself slowing down. It was at that point when I mustered up my “power” and told myself that by hook or by crook I had to finish the 21.1km. ‘This is all part of training! I cannot give up!’ – I kept telling myself.

Finally, at 18km, I felt better. ‘Just 3.1km more and I will be done.’ So I pushed myself and tried not to think about the discomfort. At the last 1km, I truly felt relieved and surprisingly, my body felt lighter than it did just a few minutes ago. Qiu Lu came back to run the last 1km with me and I thought how wonderful it was that just an hour or so ago we were just starting out, and at that moment, when the sun was up and shining, I have already completed my 21.1km training run. 🙂

I guess many runners do experience the ‘runner’s high’ whenever they go out there to push themselves, to relieve stress or simply, just to run. After these few weeks of training, I must say that to reach the runner’s high, some effort has to be put in first to even get out of the house, lace up and start running. Though I don’t quite like the notion “no pain, no gain”, I believe now that ‘pain’ in terms of sacrifices to be made (e.g. waking up early, making time to run when you just want to rest/go out with friends etc.) must precede ‘gain’. And when you reap the rewards of your hard work, that when the feeling is truly sweet. 🙂

Press on, everyone!!!!