Despite being inadequately trained, I successfully completed the 10k Safra Bay Run last Sunday — and without any injuries! Well, except some abrasion from wearing my armband a little too tightly.
I was worried about some pain I’d experienced midweek that went down the sides of my shin, but I popped some painkillers the night before and thankfully had no problems during the race. I suspect it could be that I was running on the treadmill too frequently prior. I don’t know how true this is, but I read somewhere that on a treadmill every stride is the same, putting repetitive pressure on the same part of your foot or leg — causing shin splints. Roads or trail surfaces on the other hand vary even though they’re flat. This article suggested running on a slight incline if you do want to run on the treadmill.
Although I’m still kicking myself for slacking off training, given the circumstances I still feel pretty accomplished.
One mistake beginners or runners who’ve laid off for a while make is setting unrealistic expectations. Then when you tire out or don’t get the results you want, it’s easy to get discouraged and drop running altogether. And of course we wouldn’t want that.
My brother recently took up running after I asked if he wanted to join me in my training. He plays soccer every now and then, but hasn’t ran long distances since he got out of school. His stamina was still better than mine because during soccer you practice short bursts of speed, which actually works to build up stamina. On the second run with him, he already suggested we go a much longer distance — and at a faster speed! But I knew myself enough not to do that. Also, because I was pressed for time to train, I couldn’t risk severe muscle aches from pushing myself too hard because it would only mean longer downtime.
But that’s not to say I don’t push myself. I do, mentally, while running. At times when I feel like giving up, I’d tell myself to endure a little more until I reach certain markers I’d set for myself — for example a tree along the path, or a signboard. Sometimes I don’t actually stop when I reach those markers, but I’d set another marker ahead, and another, and another marker….until I decide I deserve a break. It’s all about knowing your own body.
Anyway it’s not over. Faz tells me the 6k Yellow Ribbon Prison Run should be a piece of cake since I’ve already conquered 10k. I personally wouldn’t bank on it, because I heard the prison route is more challenging.
Well, we’ll find out this Sunday (Faz will be running as well — his first race!). Wish us luck!