How I got myself into this race is a story for another day. I’ll sum it up in two words: Surprised and Unprepared.
It was only 4 days after the Run 4 Peace race on Sunday. My right calf muscle and glutes were still screaming in pain. I gave my muscles a good stretch on Monday by doing 20 minutes of yoga. On Tuesday, I put in a recovery run which turned out to be the worst recovery run ever. My muscles were so tight and so sore I could barely move. And because I was desperate to get my muscles up and running by Thursday (Larian Muzium), I applied the deep heat that I was allergic to (yes, I was THAT desperate) that afternoon and it BURNED my skin throughout the run. My butt was still aching, it hurt to even sit. It was really the worst “easy recovery” run.
The Puma Running Club was cancelled at the very last minute on Wednesday. Just as well, another rest day!
The night before, I was so exhausted and tired (from work) that I fell asleep the minute my head hit the pillow. It didn’t feel like I had to race the next day. No sleepless night and no pre-race jitters. I slept so well, I nearly missed my alarm when it rang at 5am. I was feeling lethargic and my head was so heavy, all I wanted to do was to go back to sleep. I had no mood to run at all. I was even tempted to take 2 pain killers before leaving the house. The plus side was that my muscles were feeling strong and ready to run! All I needed was a huge dose of adrenaline.
My dad agreed to drive me all the way to Shah Alam even though it was his birthday! Best Dad in the world. We arrived at about 5.45am and I went to collect my race kit. Spotted a familiar face, Shu Wei (Fellow Puma Pacer)! Had a pretty meaningful conversation over our “free” time (we had nearly 2 hours to kill) and did a mini (probably only 3 minutes) pre-race warm up run. He also pointed out who my competitors were. Sometimes, ignorance is bliss. Haaaaa! I wasn’t sure if I wanted to know who I was up against. It was an open category which meant that I had to compete with the veterans too.
The race was supposed to start at 7am, but obviously it didn’t. I was feeling tired and hungry (I had breakfast!) and very impatient. The reality of being there probably hadn’t kicked in yet. At 7.25am, we gathered at the starting line. I told myself: “It is now or never. Nothing in between”.
When the starting gun sound was heard, the crowd was off. It was 7.31am. I think I started off a bit too adventurous. I was the first girl for the first 500m before the 3 elites overtook me with ease. I had my eye on Shu Wei but totally lost sight of him after 3/4KM (Haaaaaaaa!). Around the 5th KM, a phantom runner matched my pace and ran beside me. He looked at me and said that I was going too fast and that we should take it easy. I gave him a polite smile but I was thinking “Don’t mess with my pace, no way I’m slowing down!”. He was really friendly and I’m sure that he was just looking out for me (I hope).
After 6/7KM, another woman ran pass. You know, THAT feeling, I was pretty demotivated. I had to keep my mind together to press on for the last few KMs. I was so relieved when the finishing line was finally in sight. I saw my dad standing at the side, holding up his camera! I came in 5th. My watch – 8.16am. According to Shu Wei’s GPS, the total distance was about 9.7KM. 45 minutes, probably another personal best!
I hung around the area and had my post-run snacks while waiting to collect my prize. Many seasoned runners came up to shake my hand to congratulate me and we exchanged a few words. It was pretty awkward because I didn’t know what to say. Managed to socialise quite a bit, something I don’t normally do.
Trusty ol’ Puma Faas 300V2. Pretty satisfied with it. No blisters, no cuts.
When I came home, I did 20 minutes of stretching to minimize/prevent post-race aches. Managed to put in a recovery run (a very good one) and a core session the next day. Post-race stretching really does wonders for you body!
We all have to take good care of our muscles. Active prevention is always better than treatment. Make sure that you refuel, stretch and rest after a hard workout/race. Protein is essential for repairing those worn out muscles. Drink or eat them, just get some protein in you!Ahhhhhhhhhh! I didn’t know that the KT tape gives off heat! Has anybody else experienced this? My muscles felt so relaxed and oh so good! Oh, thanks to Zi-Shen (Fellow Puma Pacer and PARX team mate) for the KT tape! My muscles are loving it.
Well, it was definitely the best way to kick start Labour Day, doing what I love!
Every breath, every stride, all the pain and every moment you refuse to give up, you finish strong.