This long weekend (Labour Day) has been really well-spent running our socks off! πŸ™‚ First, we did a 10km at The Performance Series Coney Island Race on 1 May, Labour Day, and then we did 25km (or 3 hours) on 2 May, Monday.

Running the 10km race was quite a feat on a hot day. We were in the second wave and by then, there were already throngs of runners in front of us. Our flag off was at 750am thereabouts, and by then, the sun was already shining! I was running with Allen and Weiming, and we decided on a 5.20-5.30 pace. Weiming and I wanted to shave off some secs per min in a bid to improve on our timing from the last 10km training we did at Kallang 100plus track. πŸ™‚ Sadly, I was not able to sustain a 5.20-5.30 pace and felt like I was already pushing quite hard. We managed to keep to a 5.35-5.50 timing though, and I was happy that we managed to finish the race in good time. πŸ™‚

ThroughoutΒ the race, Weiming and Allen were very encouraging, constantly checking on me to make sure that I’m alright. I realised then, that running in a team not only makes the run more enjoyable, it also increases the strength of the human spirit – when one is weak, the stronger will lift one up; when one is strong, one can help the weaker. The team becomes more united in this way, and I realised how something so personal like running (i.e. no one else can force you to put one foot in front of the other over and over again) can be brought to another more communal, more relational level. Of course, running a race alone has its benefits and can be rather therapeutic, but since joining Project42, I have come to appreciate the joys of team-running/training. πŸ™‚

After the race, we all trooped down to Waterway Point for lunch at Din Tai Fung. We had so much fun talking, laughing and eating together. πŸ™‚ A quote from Helen Keller comes to mind, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

It was during this lunch that we decided to do a LSD the next day. πŸ™‚ 25km or 3 hours of running depending on which we accomplish first. Start point at Kallang Wave Mall, run towards ECP and go down the the stretch, and then back. I was quite happy to be able to do a LSD on a public holidays as that meant that I am taking time to build my mileage. I think most of us felt the same need to push the distance as our marathon is indeed drawing near.

And so it was. On Monday, we met at around 6am at Kallang Wave Mall. After stretching (and talking), we set off at 630am to run towards ECP. I ran with Weiming and we decided to do a 6.30-6.00 pace if possible. Initially we wanted to try 5.45, but of course, found out quickly that was not possible to sustain for a whole 25km. I was also not in very good form, possibly due to the 10km race the day before and was glad to have someone to run alongside me to push me!

This run felt a little better than the last 23km that we did – hopefully it is because our body is a little more conditioned to running (a lot), though I still had to pause a few times throughout to stretch my legs out and drink water. My knee muscles were aching quite a bit. Compared to the 23km that we did 2 weeks ago, this run felt better because the heart was not too tired and the breathing better controlled. I really hope to be able to run better in these few weeks leading up to the full marathon!

Having friends to run a long distance together is really important. We not only push each other physically, we also support each other mentally. I think the latter is really the key to finishing a challenge that may seem impossible at the first thought. πŸ™‚ Phil Jackson, an American professional basketball executive, former coach and player once said, “The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.” This quote never spoke quite so much to me until now. Indeed, when we want to go the distance, we have to rely on both our own inner strength and build on the strengths of our team members so that as a team, we can RUN towards our goal. πŸ™‚

I sure am looking forward to my rest day today, and then to run again this coming weekend! πŸ™‚