My Running Milestone: Run350 Half Marathon

3 Comments 09 April 2013 / by

This is my running milestone, a goal I have set for myself this year since I was not able to achieve it 2 years ago due to my pregnancy.

I’ve prepared to this half marathon since last year actually. I was back in training only a month after I gave birth to my second daughter and participated in 10K races. I was soo bored with the 10K races (merely because almost all of the routes would be the same), I decided that maybe I should go for the longer one. Adidas KOTR was one of them and I had a good time training for it. Early this year, I decided that I should do my half marathon race this year. My goal was to do it at Stanchart Race at the end of the year, but then I was left with 10k races throughout the year and it’s not fun! Joining a race is a good motivation to keep me training and running. So after furthering my research about running nursing moms, I decided that it should be save enough for me to run and train for the distance.

By mid January, I started my training after signing up for a half marathon race in NTUC Run 350 on 7th of April 2013. Why Run350? Because it’s a run for a good cause. Run350 is Southeast Asia’s premier eco-run in support of the global 350 movement. This movement aims to raise awareness to the need to lower atmospheric CO2 levels to 350 parts per million, which scientists believe is the level required for Earth’s sustainability.

I had a training plan ready as my guidance but I didn’t really follow it to the dot. My game plan was just simple. I want to run the long distance comfortably before I add more mileage to the run and run it every weekend until I’m comfortable with it and add it until I hit the 21k. Since I have plenty of time to do it, I chose to do it that way.

By early March, I made it to run the 21k during my training. I was so happy and proud that I was able to run the distance with no pain and with quite a good timing. It was enough to set my expectations come race day.

A week prior to the race, I was preparing myself to taper after the 10K 2XU Race. I went for 2 short runs during the week, even though my body felt a bit off. Somehow it seems that I was feeling bloated the whole time.

A day before the race, I found out that I had my period, which means I will be running during the heaviest flow. Yikes, not a good thing! This usually came with backpain, mood swing and loss of energy. So I made sure I have enough carbo, proteins, and water in my body. I was eating as much as healthy food as I can, I was full most of the time and I realized that I wasn’t even eating any rice, the day before the race. Didn’t even have my dinner, but I knew I should be okay.

I slept a bit early on Saturday night, after a day of running around taking the kids to birthday party then Naia’s piano lesson. Even then, I couldn’t rest as early as I would, since the kids keep coming and call out for me every 5 minutes until I finally just told them to get in the bedroom and ready to sleep.

By 2.50AM, I woke up even before my alarm went off. I set up the alarm to go off at 3AM. I woke up because Neishia started crying to be breastfed. So I spent about 15-20 minutes breastfeeding her then as soon as she’s back asleep, I went to get ready. By 3.55, I was off to pick up Yana and Leo and to the race area. Hubby was kind enough to wake up that early and dropped us off.

Running a race is always about how your mood and mind set up for it. I had a good mood, eventhough everything that could go wrong, happened leading up to the race. From the unfavoring period so I had to wear shorts on top of my tight to losing a rubber on one of my earphone so I had to get a new one. Yet I came as prepared as I could. I had a hard-boiled egg and a slice of peanut butter bread before I left the house, and a banana while I was walking towards the starting pen with Yana. 15 minutes before the race started, I took a GU Gel in Peanut (like it!).

I never really liked taking any energy gel when I run, mostly kind of because I wasn’t so sure if it’s okay for my baby since I’m still nursing. After further research, I had read quite many resourceful articles that it’s actually good for nursing runner mama to take energy gels since their body needs it for faster recovery. So, yeah, I come prepared. I didn’t know which gels to take so I took 3 different gels – GU Gel in Peanut (no caffeine) taken before the race, Accel gel in Strawberry kiwi taken after 1 hour of running, and GU Gel Roctane in Blueberry (with 35mg of caffeine) for faster recovery taken in 18km. And yes, I felt the difference.

Yana, Chacha and me started the race at the second wave. Somehow my Nike+ app wasn’t in my favor as it started before I even chose the playlist, so the songs played were those that I don’t even like to hear and they were in slow tempo. I was too lazy to stop and change so I continue to run with the unfavorable music. But somehow it kept me running in an easy pace. In the beginning, Yana and I were planning to follow the pacer but since the pacer went on the first wave, it’s kinda hard to catch up with them. As soon as the gun was off, Yana was running in front of me and I kinda lost her for the first 6-7km. I was running in my easy pace. My strategy was to run the first half in easy pace, so I can keep my energy towards the end. Even though I was carrying two water bottles in my hydration belt, I didn’t plan to skip a hydration point. I think I only skipped one in the beginning since I wasn’t so thirsty yet. I made sure I stopped in the hydration point, took one drink and gulp it all and continue to run. I used my water in my belt only after I took the gels.

The weather was perfect and it was to my advantage as I hate to run under the heat (who doesn’t?). I kept my pace all the way and surprisingly it was still below 7 minutes per km. By 8km, I saw Yana in front of me but I managed to stay behind her. Didn’t intend to go past her, since I was still in my zone, doing an easy pace.

After reaching 10K point, I took my energy gel and gulp it with water. By 11K, I found myself to have the energy to step up the pace, even passing Yana at one point. But I tried to remind myself that I still have a long way to go, so I should take it easy. I started to do a fast 1k, easy 1k, fast 1k, until I reach 18k. By 18k, I took another gel and started to step on my pace. It’s only 3k to go and I should be able to run in a faster pace. So I did!

By 19k, I was in 6’52” but stopped for a few secs to get my water at the hydration point. Then I ran as fast as I could that my pace in 20th km actually dropped to 5’51”. One more kilometer to go and I intended to run as fast as I could, but actually slow down a bit because there were a bunch of photographers taking pic. So I made sure they catch me haha! By the time I crossed the finish line, I was running with 5’05” pace, ending that kilometer with an average pace of 6’26”, with overall pace of 6’55” for 21.4km, according to my Nike+ since I turned it on too quickly. Overall, I finished it in 2 hours 26 minutes (nett time). Not bad, since my goal was to finish it by 2hrs 30min.

It was a satisfying moment for me. To be able to run the distance in a race and got a medal for it. Naia and hubby picked me up after the race, too bad they weren’t there when I crossed the finish line. But glad that they did come to fetch me.

On our way to the car, after seeing me with my new medal, Naia asked me:

Naia (N): Mama, why do you run all the time?
Mama (M): Because I want to be healthy
N: Why?
M: Because I want to be able to play with you and your sister until you grow big!
N: *smile* Mama, I also want to run and get my 4th medal, so far I only have 3!
M: Of course, you will get it when we run in Kids Run in May, and you will get as many more medals than mine… You’ll see!
N: *big smile*

Yea I finally got my medal and finisher tee, a running milestone. But I gotta tell you, the convo above with Naia was easily beat all of that. THAT was the highlight of my day!

With Mama Runners SG – Yana, Chacha & Dea

Your Comments

3 Comments so far

  1. Fairy says:

    Shinta, I just got a chance to read your first HM recap and I wanna say CONGRATS on such a well run race! Amazing uh-mazing, inspiring! I am still aspiring to hit the sub2:30 for a HM! I dunno how all you runner moms do it, simply incredible.

  2. mrscat says:

    well done! you are one of the reason I started running. keep running!

  3. sLesTa says:

    thanks @fairy and @mrscat

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a worker by choice, a mother and a wife by nature / owner of / co-founder of the urban mama / the urban muslimah | email: slesta[at]slesta[dot]com

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