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Tuesday, November 01, 2011

千九百六十六: Osaka Marathon 2011

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At the starting line on 30 Oct 2011.

Finally the day that I was dreading is finally over!! Been waiting (dreading) for this day for the past 4 months ever since I got the spot for the race. With lots of grand plans for training myself to avoid the horrible pains of Sundown, I was actually quite looking forward to it at first until I injured my foot during the fireworks at Yodogawa, stopped training for almost the whole of August, travelled to Taipei, then Italy then basically suddenly it was October already & I haven't trained at all. (>.<) & it became a very dreaded event... argh...

At any rate I was hoping to finish within 5 hours, but it was not to be ... & I was filled respect for people who did managed to finish within 6 hours after the race haha.


my timing for Osaka Marathon 2011

Moving time displayed. Total time was actually 6:11:58 if you click in to see , I rested for almost 1 hour. What a waste!


It was a super gloomy day on Sunday, cloudy, drizzling, cold winds.. I was filling so cold at the start line cos of the winds, was wondering if my decision to just wear shorts & tshirt was right after all. (weather forecast had forecast that rain was to come around 3pm) so I had just ziplocked my phone & earphones & some money in a pouch & hoped the weather held up. It felt like everyone around me seemed very well prepared ... & I was just feeling kinda scared.

When it finally started at 9am, my group was around 500m away from the start line, so I walked slowly there (15 min? ) while everyone around me like kinda cheonged towards the start.. I mean, not like they are going to count the time we take to get to the start & 500 m is not a short distance.. i want to conserve my energy! The first 2 km was really almost shoulder to shoulder, had no space in front to even try to overtake people. Which in a way was good, cos I was forced to go quite slowly & 2+km went by w/o even feeling much effort/

Luckily I did.. as usual, the long waiting time for the start of the race made me want to pee. Not urgently but added with the intensity of the race but every toilet I passed had a long queue. I finally decided to take a quick break at 9.9km & just queued for the loo & take a breather.

Ryo was nice enuff to move around every 5/10km to catch me. Actually it was a big help he was around. I had something to look forward to, every 5km or 10km,  knowing he was somewhere along the side & it kinda kept me going. When I neared the points he was supposed to be at, I would be kinda scanning the pavements for him which helped me ignore the pains in my feet or the urge to stop & just sit down. Everytime I saw him, it kinda gave me energy at least for the next 1-2 km to run abit before I had to walk again.

It was a super huge struggle after 25km. I could feel the pains in my leg very clearly now, but thank God it wasn't the horrible horrible pain behind the knee as per Sundown. This was still walkable, I really had to stop & stretch every 2km, but i was kinda not really running much after 30km (depressing in the rain & gave up on having a time limit, just wanted to get this over with)

Rain got heavy, & Ryo would only be at the end point. All I could think about was omg, no more full marathons for me again!! & just tried to walk faster because I was in danger of missing the next cut off time. (38 km at 1514)  I had passed 34km at 1415, which meant I had an hour to clear 4km. A slow walk for a normal person is around 3km an hour. which means I had to walk faster than that. Feeling quite scared, I tried to stretch out abit, spray alot of Salonpas on my leg & tried to run at least for the next km. Managed to do it in 8 min, realised if I walked w/o thinking about anything except just counting until 100 it might be easier, I did that for the next 4km... & finally managed to get to 38km.

Rain got heavier & heavier. There were drinks & food station  every 2.5km, at that point it was kinda like a stroll at the pasar malam where yay free food & drinks & I was actually starting to feel quite full. no need to eat/drink also just take, something to take my mind off the pain & the last few km. There was an upslope at 39km? & I saw like soooo many people ahead of me, & actually I didn't know then, but there was actually still around 6000 people behind me. It was pouring cats & dogs, when I finally hit the last km marker. at 42km, I  still couldn't see the finishing line. Which was damn weird. & very demoralising. Finally decided to just end the pain (200m is actually still quite a distance, when I could finally see the finishing point, made a final effort to dash towards it. (which led to the commentator commenting, oh, this person still has energy to run more!) *rolls eyes*

The struggle wasn't over. After the finishing point, had to walk at least another 1km (through the expo hall) to get our medals & everything that came with the finisher pack, then another 1km to the next expo hall to get our baggage, then wait in line another 30minutes to exit the place. omg..... & then guess what, the train station was too crowded so we had to walk to the next one in the super heavy rain, probably another 1km away. (T.T) & at the train station had to queue for at least 15 min just to get into the station due to the crowds. I almost died post race if not during the race.

Ryo had to leave for his work trip after reaching home, so I kinda just spent sunday night with lots of the Salonpas patches on my legs. Knees were aching like mad (never ached before),  waist area too, back of thighs & butt as well. All I can say is luckily I work from home! Fell asleep from exhaustion at 10pm, but kept waking up at night when i moved my legs due to the pain. Monday was just shuffling in pain from 1 place to another in the house, but amazingly I can actually descend the stairs w/o pain today anymore. In fact most of my bodyaches are gone! Just the side of my right knee still hurting a little & I got tired super fast when I went out to run some errands.

Work kept me busy for the past 2 days; thank goodness it doesn't hurt to sit down.

Phew! I'm glad I don't have any full marathons upcoming, & am quite looking forward to the quarter marathon on 20th Nov. (Yay!! only Quarter!! 11km should be chicken feed!) & the half marathon in SG in december. I guess my short term goal is just to better the shorter distances' timings. & something else I learnt, that there is no such thing as having fun in the marathons. If you decide on timing, there is no time to stop & take pics. (unless you ran very fast) If you just want to hv fun & take alot of pics, just throw your timing out the window. Half of it was the indecision of what I wanted out of this marathon that got me feeling very tired mentally. At least for the shorter distances, there isn't such a dilemma!

If you actually managed to read until here - you can view the photos from the marathon here : http://www.flickr.com/photos/alexxis/sets/72157628032055232

Will be in Tokyo for the weekend (from tomorrow's evening actually)!!

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