Sunday, August 20, 2017

My 1st Half Marathon with Mizuno Ekiden 2017

The 3rd edition Mizuno Ekiden 2017 happened yesterday on The Promotory @ Marina Bay and I was part of it, running my 1st 5.3km, one quarter share of a 21.2km half marathon.  What a wonderful experience it was!  I wasn't required to write a blog post for this but I wanted to because it was a personal milestone for me!

It has never crossed my mind to take part in marathon let alone a 4x relay half marathon but my fellow blogging mummies were 1 runner short and they tried to rope me in.  I rejected the first few times they asked as I am never a runner nor even jog in my life, I remembered I used to walked the whole 2.4km for IPPT or faked unwell when there was any running involved during PE lessons during my school days. I must be kidding myself to even think of joining a run.  However, I relented later because they really want to take part in the run, I knew I had just landed myself in a "doomed" situation when I said Yes to them.  Well, since I joined them I have to do something about my running, I actually wanted to start training or even jog a bit to build up my stamina or breathing but there wasn't even an ounce of opportunity.  Things just happened and that was put to the lowest priority.

A day before the day I was having butterflies in my tummy, even wanted to chicken out the last minute but that was not an option because I am running as a team with other mummies.  To chicken out now means our team will be disqualified.  The 2 boys weren't very supportive too *ggrrr* I told them that I am aiming to finish the route within an hour, DinoPapa exclaimed "An hour! I can do 10km for that duration!" DinoBoy said "Mum will NEVER run, she will most likely walk the whole way." I ignored them for the rest of the day hahaha!

So on the day, I put on the event tee, heaved a huge sigh and went off to face my fate with determination of finishing within 1 hour, "I'll crawl if I have to!" I told myself.

It rained cats and dogs earlier but luckily the weather took a turn to better later with a fair bit of sunshine so the event went on as scheduled.  The flag off time for the 1st runner was 4.30pm, I didn't have to be there so early but was there slightly over 4pm to meet up with fellow mummies.  Here you see me with Mummy Angelia, Mummy Serene and Mummy Edlyn, 4 of us running for 2 different teams.

Soon it was time for me and Mummy Edlyn to be in the waiting pen to take over the sash from our team mates. It was pretty crowded in the pen and every one craned their neck to stare at this huge screen in front of the pen.  This screen shows the team that is entering the last part of the route so that the next runner can enter the Transition area to take over the sash from them and continue the run.

Why can't the organisor put the screen higher than this so that every one can see it clearly instead of crowding at the front to see the updates?  Talking about updates, there was a link where you can track your team members so that you can anticipate the time he or she will be back but probably due to the huge surge of usage or search on the website it was not working...  Oh well, back to staring at the huge screen.

Mummy Edlyn left to ran her part leaving me alone in the pen feeling excited and scared, then I saw my team's name flashed on the screen and off I went into the Transition area.  I spotted Mummy Meiling a short while later and took over the sash from her.

I ran about 1km and my lungs started to feel like they were going to burst any time, I didn't have side stitches which was a surprise to me. A few moments later my legs gave way, protesting at the top of their voice so I had to stop running and took to brisk walking instead.  From then onward running was near impossible so I brisk walked and jogged a little.  It was kinda demoralising for me because I wasn't progressing faster than I wanted to, I was afraid that I couldn't achieve my targeted time.   I look at the route in front and kept thinking "are we there yet!??" like a 3 year old.  Every time I past by the medic point I was tempted to fake fainting spell so that I can rest.  I know right!  The mind playing tricks with me and I quickly put that thought to the back of my head and pushed on.

By 2.2km my throat was so dry that they felt like sand paper, the Hydration Station was a life saving sight!  I took a cup of energy sport drink and finished it in a few gulps while continuing my way.  It was a wrong move, the energy drink was so sweet that I almost puke, it also did not quench my thirst because my throat felt like sand paper again.  There was was no turning back to grab a cup of water, I just have to wait till I am hit the turning point and jog back to the Hydration Station again to grab the chilled mineral water instead. My experienced triathlon secondary school mate told me that our body needed the sweet drink but HECK! give me water anytime!  He agreed that the energy drink was not doing great help too... duhz!

One thing about running at Marina Bay area, you are bound to see a huge crowd of tourists at Gardens by the Bay, Marina Bay Sands and Esplanade area.  These tourists do not care if you are running a race, a marathon or for your life, they simply go about doing their "tourist thing" of site seeing, taking photos and selfies, some gawked at us, wondering what the hell are we doing and some brought up their camera to take photo of us (eh for what har?  We look so awful can!?).  Please, the next time you see a steady stream of runners with running bibs on their tee, sweating like hell, step aside and give way, it will be wonderful if you cheer them on!  The event volunteers did a great job in ensuring the tourists stay away from our running track but there is only so much they can do.

The worse part about running at these area is running head on into cloud of the cigarette smoke.  Aiyo! I was telling my friend afterward that I was already feeling short of air, the smoke almost suffocate and killed me on the spot.

Finally I saw a sign that makes me see a speck of light the end of the running tunnel! 4km later and I haven't collapsed!  Woohoo!!! However by this time I was so tired that I couldn't jog, thus I quicken my steps, determined to save up some energy to ran the last bit into the Transition area.

Sadly, that did not happened... the moment I started to run at the last few meters my legs turned jello, they almost gave way causing me to fall.  I remembered a man cheering me on to "Let's go! You can do it! Don't give up!" but I replied to him weakly that "I can't do it any more." while stumbling away from him.  Yes, I walked to the finish line and in my daze I couldn't locate Mummy Angelia (a huge size man was blocking her from my view! Ggrrr!), luckily she ran up to me and took the sash from me.

Still trying to catch my breath, I walked feebly away from the Transition area, took a bottle of mineral water and a can of energy drink that was handed to me and went off to find the others.  I couldn't find them among the crowd even though they gave me a rough location, it was pretty noisy and I badly need to sit down so I wandered off outside the event area.  I found a quiet spot, plop my fat ass down and sigh a huge relieved sigh.  I immediately made a call home to tell DinoPapa and DinoBoy that I am done, within an hour too!  DinoPapa was so surprised and congratulated me.  "I told you I will do it, didn't I?" I said smirkingly into the phone.

And with that I ended my 1st official 5km run, I didn't walk around the Race Village because I was too tired.  Took me a good half hour before I could stand up from my spot AND remembered that I did not do any after workout stretch.  Die lah!  Tomorrow sure cannot walk....

This would probably be my first AND last run, it is just too much for my body to endure and it really took a lot of determination to push on, I think I am just not cut out for running.  Even though I shamelessly proclaimed that I achieved my personal target, I did the worse among my team mates, better not drag any one down the drain with me so nope, no more running for me.  My secondary school mate told me to start training, even suggested some places to run around out area and do better in the next run but no thanks... I think I had enough.  It was a great experience while it lasted and I can proudly tell others that I participated in 4x relay half marathon even though I wasn't doing it great.

However, this experience also show me that if I really put my heart and determination into something, I can achieve it no matter how hard the road to success is.  I shall hold this in my heart and remind myself about this when I hit my next challenge.

*** *** *** *** ***

Well I was expecting myself to crawl out of the bed and crawling around the house because of aching joints and pains.  Instead, I only had difficulty getting out of the bed coz of stiffed muscles and except for stabbing pain at the hip area and aching back I was ok!  I am no iron lady or super hero, I had help with some natural products!

With the help of these 2 wonderful products, I had a good night rest, woke up at 830am this morning which is a rare case for me!  The same friend asked me "How's the muscles this morning?" I replied "Great!" and it's not bluffing, I even walked to the nearby mall to pack lunch for all of us.  I can't run, not even a few steps, tried to do it as I was trying to cross a small road while a car was turning in and can only managed 2 quick steps.  Walking is still fine and that is enough for me.

Look at the instagram photo below posted yesterday, you can see how tired and swollen my feet were even after I have bathed and let warm water ran onto them for some time.  My calf and thigh muscles were not in good shape too.  I applied a thin layer of Theo10 Heat onto them, stretch out my feet to relax the muscles and let the cream work on them.  My whole leg feels much better after a while and as mentioned they felt a little bit minty and cooling too.  Theo10 Heat were made 100%  with natural organic ingredients including peppermint, camphor, capsicum and beeswax. 

I always like to use essential oil to support the family's health and this time is no difference, I turned to them to ensure that I recover better from the strenuous running.  Just before bedtime, I applied Young Living Valor on my tired legs and hips, I forgot my back and shoulder thus I woke up with stiff muscles on these area.

Why Valor you asked?  Well, besides able to calm and balance my body's energy and unwinding before bed time, it also helps to ease muscle tension.  The following ingredients and explanation taken from here may give you more insight about Valor.

  • Rosewood Essential Oil – Has an amazing woody scent that comforts our nerves. Is used for balancing our moods and emotions.
  • Spruce Essential Oil – Known for its strengthening and refreshing qualities. Is good for our respiratory and nervous systems.
  • Frankincense Essential Oil – Soothing essential oil that is quite widely used and is known for its effect on our immune system.
  • Blue Tansy Essential Oil – Comparatively rare oil that relieves stress and tension.

If you would like to find out more about these two products, don't be shy to drop me a message at my facebook page.

Disclaimer : We were invited to take part of Mizuno Ekiden 2017, no other compensation was received.  All opinions in this post regarding the marathon, Theo10 and Young Living products are 100% based on our own and based on our experience and usage of the products.  The products view are not to be taken as expert medical advice, please seek professional assistance or advice for your condition. 


  1. Dino mama, your plunge and sporting Yes to join us in this relay is a brave and encouraging move!!! Without your participation, I won't be involved in this relay! Was sooo glad and proud that you came in to pass me the sash with everything you've got! This post really reminded me of how I started out too! There's always a first to everything. Hi-5 to a great feet running feat! 😎

    1. Mummy Angelia thanks to the persuasion to allow me to achieve a new personal milestone. It was a tough run and really I wanted to give up too many times along the way. So glad that I did not. Another relay marathon?? Errmm... sorry I run away first hahaha!