August 9, 2016 by Soo Ee
Race: Standard Chartered KL Marathon
Date: 7 August 2016
The day before:
If you have to walk, even if it’s convenient to walk, don’t. Take the public transport or stay where you are at.
Sleep earlier and wake up early for a few days prior, at 3 or 4 am is ideal so that you can wake up on race day having slept very early and sufficiently the day before. That’s to let your body adjust to the very early morning routine. The evening before the big day, dinner at 5 pm and sleep by 8 pm is best.
On the morning: Eat something. If don’t want to eat, unless you’ve eaten a heavy dinner late the night before, at least have a protein shake.
Poop to reduce extra weight (it could all be in the mind but …), bloatedness and farting along the way. If can’t poop the day before or didn’t manage to, best to drink water at intervals of 15 minutes the day before to soften the poo and make sure pooping happens.
Deciding not to bring my water bottle and to drink at every hydrating station was great because of the reduced weight. But it wasted time on the road. My race timing could have/might have been shorter if I kept going without stopping for water. Though I only took 1 toilet break, the 2-3 minutes break could have added to the water break timing. Say if there is a water break for every 4 km, there’d be 10 stations though out the run. 1 minutes for each station, diving through the people passing through or waiting for water to be filled, I’d wasted about 10 minutes drinking water.
I had with me 3 packs of fuel in total. Fuel was taken at the 1 hour mark, which was later than usual. I was so focused on the distance I completely forgotten about fueling at the 45 minutes mark. After 1 hour, I fuelled at 1:30, 2:00, 2:30, 3:00, 3:00, half a pack per time. Might need to fuel more often or in larger amounts (one whole pack at once) but the fueling seemed okay. No cramps after the run (which is a sign I got enough electrolytes throughout the run). After the 3:00 mark, I drank isotonic drink at every station. Consider taking 1 pack per time, every 30-40 minutes, and take a total of 4 packs with me to run with.
Not much leg or butt pain. Stopped twice to massage the back of the knee for the butt pain and squat stretched twice too. I didn’t start to do it because the butt or knee was becoming painful but rather to prevent the onset of pain to turn unbearable. Luckily the pain was bearable and I didn’t have to stop much to spray salon pas. There was a first aid station almost every few km. Stopped at one station to spray. Not much effect. Forget about spraying next time unless I remove my compression tights. 5 minutes gone in total, water +spray stop.
Strategy: I wanted to start my walk at 38km, to 39km then run 39km to 40 km then walk 40-41km then run the last km back. The thought to stop came at 34 km and I felt my legs were like lead and heavy and I used that thought to motivate myself to keep running without stopping. I kept telling myself, “reach 38km can rest and walk, so come on, you can do this.” I managed to run till 38km and I stopped to walk but we were in the sun. I felt a heachache come on so I didn’t want to be in the sun for too long to be dehydrated so I decided to keep going till the next shady area then I would walk. That was quite good because I kept going and stopping and walking not for 1 km but less than that. Did not expect myself to be able to keep running.
I still got a headache towards the end. I took 1 non caf and 2 caf fuel packs with me. Next marathon, must remember to take only one caf for towards the end (the last 10 km maybe) and not take it too early because I have already taken caf tabs earlier in the morning. I have a feeling the caf tab+the two packs of caf fuel dehydrated me further and caused the headache.
Didn’t bring the cap but brought the sunglasses. The KL marathon route was 80% shaded so that was good. I didn’t have to use the shades till later part of the run when we were heading back to the finish.
Broke the run into 4 parts: 1-10km, 11-20km, 21-30km and the last 31-40 km was a good strategy to deal with the thought of the whole lump of 42km at one go. It was easy to get from 1-10km. Then 11-20km was a little daunting because it was another leg to cover. Once I reached 20km I told myself I was halfway there and tried not to think too much and continued running. Motivation was up when I reached 30km but I was fearful because so far there was mild pain here and there but nothing major. I have only ran one other FM and that was in a cooler part of the world (Gold coast FM) I didn’t know how my body would respond in a warmer climate place. I remembered the last one I did, can’t remember was it sundown or Stand chart SINGAPORE , I felt quite a lot of pain at 36km and even when I wanted to keep running because I didn’t think Iw as too tired to do so, I couldn’t because of the really painful leg. Thankfully, it was that painful and most of what I felt was just heavy legs and the headache.
It was good to run with a friend. We told each other we would look out for each other throughout the run and she kept me distracted from my distances. Through the run until I caught up with her at 30km, I was looking out for her ‘bright tee, blue cap.’ Because it wa sheer first marathon, I waited for her at the finish for about 5 minutes and then we ran back to the finish together.
Despite the mild pain here and there and heavy legs, this run was good. My body handled it better than I expected it to. Though sleep wasn’t enough, I was able to keep going even after 38 km and the headache. I think I have to find a way to deal with the toilet issue and the hydration issue so I don’t need to waste important time waiting. I might have gotten a lower timing, maybe minute the 15 minutes plus minus. My timing could have been 4:45. The tiredness I felt the day after wasn’t as bad as the other time and on day two after the run, I feel myself recovering more and not panting when I climbed a flight of stairs up an escalator.
Must remember to sleep earlier, eat even earlier the day before. Maybe eat at 5 pm and sleep by 8 pm.
Must find a way to counter the down slope pain. Going upslope was fine for me. I didn’t mind though it was tiring but it was the down slopes which pained my knees. This run had many down slopes and knees were screaming for mercy. My speed had to be reduced significantly in order not to go too fast and lose control of the knees. Too slow and that could have added more time to my total time.
Have to practise the skill of holding in pee and still be able to run for 5 hours straight.