Saturday, July 02, 2011

Other Things SDU 2011...

By Frank

Whenever I blog, I just blog! I don't think nor draft it before hand as it will feel like my entry is planned. Therefore, I just type on what's on my mind at that particular time.

After reading my own Sundown Ultra Marathon 2011 report, I realised that I had missed so many things that I thought of before, during and after my run. I guess at the time I was blogging about it which was the next day after the event, I was still both physically and mentally tired. Therefore, here I am with some other things on what actually happened and what went through my mind:

- I was looking forward to this race though I'm not 100% ready. In fact, I can only say I'm half ready due to the fact that I didn't have time to train due to time constraints. However, I was looking to complete it within the original cut off time of 16 hours which I managed to with about 5 minutes to spare.

- Fitness wise was fine but another story on my leg strength. Plenty of energy throughout the run and most was still available at the end of the run. Legs was my main weakness in this event and I did ran with some problems on my left ankle which till today, I do not know what is the cause of it.

- Mistake in running with the hydration backpack with minimal training. The 2 liters volume made a lot of difference and with sore shoulders due to heavy lifting of boxes few days prior to the run, it didn't help. Ditching it at the halfway mark ease the shoulders but damaged done.

- Mental was strong, but it could have been stronger. Looking at other runners with support from friends and love ones was a beautiful sight. The thoughts of some of my running mates back home did spur me on, though their presence will have made a huge difference.

- My mind was blank. Unlike my previous 2 Sundown Ultra Marathon which I had my mind on something, this time was blank except that maybe that I did though of work at certain times.

- Only managed 3 sachet of energy gels and had to rely on oranges and gummy candies. Other food served was too solid for my gut. Almost threw up at the finish line. Was looking for Coke or Mountain Dew though, but to no avail.

- No blisters, though there might be one forming at right foot bed at 90KM mark when I had it plastered. Chaffing was only on the crotch area.

- 30KM was the point where things went awry. Pain on the ankle made me stop for the first time in the run and thus leaving other runners including Chin Ann and Chooi Wan to pass. Not a problem but it did hurt seeing them disappear into the distance.

- No cramping sensation throughout the distance. Reason for stopping numerous time was just to massage the ankle and stretch.

- "Well done" to the donkey BMW driver who was speeding in the middle of the night with the presence of a traffic police ahead. Was crossing the street at about 65KM mark when he came very near me and even gave me a look. Lee Lee shouted to me here to watch out. Thank you!

- Great motivation and care from fellow friends like Yim, Jeff, Shine and especially Lee Lee who kept asking if I was all right whenever I stop.

- Met new friends along the run and some even followed my blog which I was humbled to know.

- Upon logging on to Facebook, was really touch that my profile was flooded with messages from friends that were following my progress through the auto race update.

- Lots of 4 legged pooch at the park, and some even spent the night there. Sights of Golden Retrievers reminded me of my own and spurred my run.

- At the final 4KM or so, the oldest women runner asked on how did I carry on running? I told her that I was getting the energy from the sun. Coincidence to it, Jamie SMSed me this while I was running.

- Awesome organisation with cheerful, helpful and attentive volunteers and marshals. Race start and finish site's environment was great, route was scenic at certain points and runners were treated like hungry gluttons with the amount of food serve though some of them were too solid. My only negative aspect was the water station was too far apart at every 10KM.

- Will I do it again? Maybe not so soon but I learnt from Geraldine to never say never. I do think I deserve a rest before returning to ultra running.

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