After 2.5 years since my last 10K race, I finally had a chance to do my second one last Saturday night. It’s Sundown Marathon 2012. No, I didn’t join the marathon yet, I only took part in the 10K race. As a breastfeeding mom, I can only do full impact exercise at a maximum of 90 minutes in order to maintain my breastmilk quality. So yes, 10K is my only option for now until I weaned Neishia. This was my second 10K race so far, my first race after I gave birth to Neishia (the Kids Run doesn’t count! haha) and my first Sundown race.
Sundown Race is known as the biggest night race in Singapore. There were about 20 thousand people joined the race this year, which 12 thousand of them were my fellow 10K runners. So, yes it was crowded! Had a mixed feeling about joining this race because, well, it is only 4 months after I gave birth to Neishia, which means I only had 2 months of training which includes low impact exercises, a total of only 8 weeks of training in running. Also the fact that it’s a night race made me think twice of joining.
During maternity leave, I managed to train in the evening, but usually around sunset or the latest 8PM. Sundown Race started at 10.30PM. I was afraid that I may get too sleepy or too tired to finish the race, especially that I’m already back at work and has switched my running sessions to mornings. But after much thinking, I decided to take part in it and Thalia would join too. I figured if I didn’t sign up for it, I would not keep my training schedule and would not pick up the habit of running again.
My running pace is still at an all time low. I’m still hesitant to push myself though I tried to listen to my body everytime. I must remember always that even though my condition is much better than when I gave birth the first time, the fact is, I did just give birth 4 months ago. So I do have to take things slow. During the 8 weeks of training, I had reached the 10K run twice and I was fine, so I was confident that I can manage to run the race and reach the finish line, happy & free! My goal is to reach the finish line within 80 minutes, no stopping or walking.
On the day of the race, I reached the Nicoll Highway station around 9.30PM, accompanied by my dear hubby. We met up with Thalia, Ari & Aina, took some pictures and got ready. We both decided not to wear the Sundown tanks, instead we wore the same tops from Nike, with the picture of the “Angry Bunnies”, mine is in white, Thalia’s in neon lime.
By 10.20PM we were already among the crowds who were waiting behind the starting line. As we passed the starting line, we were about 10 minutes after the flag off, there were already plenty of people in front of us. It was so crowded! A lot of the 10K runners are usually fun or seasoned runners. Some just joined the race for the sake of it, to feel the experience of being in a race. So as soon as they passed the starting line, they were running as fast as they can but stopped and caught their breath by the first kilometer. Of course, this is a common thing, so in the beginning there were plenty of people passed us. Thalia and I started with a slow pace, usually this is the time when we tried to warm up.
After 2K, some people started to slow down or even walked, and this means, I had to run in zigzags to avoid those who decided to walk or stopped at a halt. It was so damn confusing, especially that it was so tight! I managed to run next to Thalia until the first half. Then somehow we got separated. I remember that by the time I reached 6K, I couldn’t see her anymore and that was also the time when I almost fell after knocking on something on the sidewalk. The crowd made me so hard to run straight, so I opted to go up to the sidewalk. Unfortunately, there was a big plank that I didn’t manage to notice and my left shoe knocked on its side, resulting me going on a dive nose to fall. Good thing I caught my balance and hold my body steady and continued to run. The only thing is, it gave me such a surprise that I started to slow down and decided to dump the idea to run on the sidewalk. I can only think that if I did fall, that would be my face against the asphalt. Ouch!
The weather was actually nice. Indeed it was nice running at night. Still, it would’ve been nicer if it wasn’t too crowded. In fact the runners in half & full marathon had to endure rain during their marathon, as it started to fall around 2.30AM. Thank God it didn’t rain while we were still running. The route was actually okay and I managed to run under 7’30″ pace for the first half. Only when we entered the dark park, small bridge and ramp that I ended up with slower pace. The fact that there was hydration station after the small bridge made it too crowded to even run that I had to walk a little just to get my way.
By 8K, I tried to catch my breath after the elevated route and started to sprint in the last K. I entered the finished line at 1 hour 18 minutes, with a pace of 7’49″. I think I could’ve finished earlier if it weren’t for the delay in the ramps and small bridge. Nonetheless it’s 2 minutes earlier than the goal that I set, nonstop running all the way, with Red Hot Chili Peppers tracks to the finish line. So I’m all good!
Got a cool medal at the finish line, which I entered at almost midnight. The MRT had closed its services so people are taking the bus dedicated to take the 10K runners home. The runners for half marathon & full marathon started their run at 12.30AM while we went home tired but happy!
Yup, we did beat the sunrise! In fact, we actually beat the midnight bell