YAY! I did it!!!
I clocked 1:15:32 for 12 km at the Men’s Health Women’s Health Night Run by AIA Vitality which was held at Dataran Putrajaya recently!
To be honest, I’ve had my doubts about running 12 km.
Although I keep a strict workout regime, I do not run every day nor do I take running very seriously.
Running was just another form of exercise for me in addition to my weekly yoga, dance, hike and bodyweight trainings.
Coming in at No. 41 out of 5000 plus runners at 1:15 was a REAL surprise!
And it has became a huge motivator for my next race too!
Since I am an AIA Vitality member, I am even more motivated now since I will earn quite a number of AIA Vitality Points from participating in organised fitness activities such as runs.
There’s nothing like a bit of competition and motivational perks to fire up the inner athlete in me eh?
I tend to slack a little on my lone runs since there isn’t an incentive for me finish faster or tackle a longer distance.
However, during this run I was spurred by an intense yet positive peer pressure so I was able to keep my pace. The running experience itself was pleasant as the weather wasn’t too hot or humid thanks to the light drizzle earlier in the evening.
Well, that’s the PLUS point of doing a Night Run!
Truth to be told, my run wasn’t entirely without challenges.
I’ve never encountered stitches during my runs before but this time, I got a stitch on my side at 3 km which lasted until the 5th km.
At one point I had to walk and take in deep, regular breaths to subdue the pain. Thankfully it subsided and I was able to pick up my pace again after the 5th km.
By now, you would have realized that I’m not a regular marathon runner.
However, a few of my friends were impressed with my timing and asked if I could share my “training” guide with them. LOL.
Honestly I wouldn’t know how to train specifically for a marathon. What I did instead was to maintain a manageable exercise programme so I keep myself generally fit, which then allows me to participate in any sport without severe repercussions.
How I prepared myself for this run:
1. Regular runs helps.
My runs are pretty irregular though I try to keep to at least 1-2 runs per week. When I do run, it is usually 5 – 7 km. On a good day I could cover up to 10 km at one go.
I run at a comfortable pace for my regular runs (usually <12 km), but the fact that I could run a certain distance during my daily workouts helped me finish the 12 km MHWH Night Run by AIA Vitality, a factor for which I’m thankful for.
Thus, you see, keeping a healthy exercise regime helps in tremendous ways!
Completing the run at 1:15:32 was a bonus for me though I did foresaw that I would clock in a better time as I’m more motivated when I run alongside other runners compared to running the 12 km on my own.
Just so you know, I started at the front line and committed myself to keep up with those in front of me!
2. Sleep enough.
I realized long ago that endurance training such as runs requires me to (1) NOT be hungry, (2) NOT be tired.
On the day of the run I allowed myself to eat a bit more and take an hour nap in the afternoon.
One of the reasons why I work out in the mornings is because I’m usually drained by 6 pm. Thus, to make this 12 km night run possible, I had to make sure that I was running on full energy levels!
3. Eat well.
I doubt I could run if I’m hungry!
I eat every 3-4 hours so I made sure I ate at 6 pm so I won’t be hungry between 8:30 pm (the start time of the race) to 10.00 pm (the time I think I would complete the run).
4. Stay focused.
I kept my eyes ahead and told myself to focus on gaining ground on those in front of me.
Likewise I made sure I started at the front line because generally, the serious runners would be at the starting line while the fun runners would be at the back.
Setting myself up at the front ensured that I would not slack and with my competitive streak I knew I would naturally try to catch up with those in front of me.
This must be the only time I could run in the middle of the road!
Past 8km :
There were runners everywhere. Every time I felt like slacking, there was always someone running past me! Just the right motivation I needed to pick up my pace! 😉
In conclusion, how I prepared for the run was based on how well I know myself.
I know my energy levels at different times of the day, my hunger pattern and my competitive nature, which I use to my advantage.
Thus it is important that YOU know your own habits as well.
Back to the topic of the run itself – this was a well-organised run.
The Runners’ Village provided a myriad of entertainment to keep all who attended occupied. I was able to spend some time here before and after the race.
The atmosphere was carnival-like with runners and their supporters walking around the sponsors’ booths.
The showpiece of the Village was the impressive interactive AIA Vitality booth where runners and other visitors were provided with cool stuff – complimentary health checks, pre- and post-run massages, fun and fitness challenges as well as a cool chill-out zone for people to rest their tired feet.
Fitness First was also a sponsor and they led the warm-ups as well as a group Zumba session, which was attended by the 5km fun runners since many of the longer distance runners (including me) were still on the track.
Just so you know, Putrajaya marks the second instalment in the Men’s Health Women’s Health Night Run Series by AIA Vitality, which will continue in Johor and the first run was held in Penang.
The cool thing about the medals is that runners who complete all three runs will be rewarded with a unique “trifecta” medal.
I’m pretty bummed that I didn’t take part in the first leg in Penang so now my medal can never be a perfect “trifecta” medal!
It’s alright, there is hope! The third leg will be happening in Johor on 7th January 2017 and I’m sure I could get the third part of my medal there! 😉
If you are interested to sign up for the next leg of the Men’s Health Women’s Health Night Run by AIA Vitality in JOHOR on 7th January 2017, do surf over to –> http://www.mens-health.com.my/nightrun/event
I may see you there… 🙂
Until then, STAY healthy, STAY fit and STAY happy!