U – Unity
Our team members come from different walks of life but running (or any sport) has a way of bonding people together. This was accentuated as we were all ‘newbies’ to 42km and had to follow the training plan strictly without compromise. We grew closer as we struggled through difficult distances together, cheered each other on, shared our life stories and the mundane nitty-gritty, whatsapped late into the night and exchanged tips about everything under the sun. We have become quite a tight-knit community and this bond gave greater meaning to our effort.
V – Vanity will only bring you this far
Many people run to lose weight, fit into their clothes and look good. I am no exception! However, it is hard work, diligence, commitment, dedication and a strong sense of self-love that will push you towards the end point. After you have lost weight, fit into your clothes and look good, you realise that running gives you much more than that. Running is not only about looking good; it is about feeling good and being good.
W – Willpower
This is an extension of the point above. Without willpower, I think it is hardly possible for me to have crossed the finishing line. 3 months of ‘intensive’ training from 10km to 42km meant that my body was in a ‘fight or flight’ mode. I knew that the aches in my knees will bug me so I mentally prepared myself for the discomfort. Thankfully, I only felt the ache at the 25-30km mark during the race. I pushed on, telling myself that it is a mere 12km more to go. In running, there is no shortcut. You run with both your body and your mind. Just as you do in life.
X – eXhilarating finish
When I saw the finishing line, the timers with the blinking lights, I somehow mustered enough strength to run a little faster so that I can finish with more ‘wind in my face’. I often pick up speed at the last 500m or so in my 10km races so this 42km was not going to be an exception for me! My legs and butt were almost cramping up, but I just wanted a good finish. I ran with the knowledge that my husband was waiting for me at the finishing line and I ran the last 100m for him!
Y – Young at heart
I now feel younger than I was 3 months ago before all this happened. It is very true that sports and exercise can keep a person young – both physically and mentally. It is also from my team mates that I saw the embodiment of ‘youthfulness’. We are all not that young (most of us are past our 30s) and have many (work-life) commitments, but the positive and ‘can do’ spirit we exhibited made all the difference.
Z – Zero to Hero
Well, not quite zero (we were all running in some form or another before this project), but ‘heroes’ indeed! 🙂 I am so happy to say that we have done it and emerged as happy first-time marathoners!