My First Marathon – Living Your Own Best Dream This Holiday Season

marathon friends 2011This post is written to share my first marathon (Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 2011) experience in response to Dr Cara, a writer with HuffingtonPost on her article “Living Your Own Best Dream This Holiday Season”.

It’s my pleasure to share my first marathon experience with you. 4th Dec 2011 is a day for me to remember, a day that begins a new chapter in my life. I woke up at 3am to do the neccessary preparaions like applying vaseline on my armpits, groin, parts of my feet, and toes in order to prevent any possible abrasions.

I reached the starting point just outside Somerset MRT station at about 15mins to 5pm, joined in the marathon runners. When the marathon starts, I was excited probably due to he cheers, encouragements from people at the starting point. Minutes into the race, I saw some runners going near the bushes, probably releasing the last drop of water from their bladder, looks funny to me though.

As I first ran into east coast park, I saw some of the elite runners already exiting the place at a pace much faster than myself. The first 18km was ok except that I was beginning to feel some muscle cramp coming, stop at the muscle rub station and attended to my thigh. When I reach the half way point 21km, there was a sign saying “It is the next 21km that separates you from the rest”

Within the next 5 mins, I understand that statement – my left leg is down with muscle cramps. I can no longer jog or run, and I have taken 3hrs to complete just half of the marathon. I then apply muscle rubs, stretching­, drink 100plus, only to find my right leg getting muscle cramps after around 25km.
“Should I quit?” Nobody would fault me for giving up for completing more than half of the marathon, considering this is already the longest distance achieved – then I get emotional… Images of failures after failures came flashing in my mind. As a full time entrepreneur since Dec 2005, I had gone through so many failures and tough times…. family & friends have advised me to be practical and kill the dreams – the easy way out is to just go and get a job but I kept my persistence.

Therefore, this marathon is an important race for me, an anchor point to support my success in future. It’s either do or die as I have posted on my Facebook account, I have declared war!! ….. the muscle pain/cramp were gone at this moment, I was determined not to get another failure… At about 35km, it was clear in my mind, the pain/agony could not stop me from reaching the finishing line, I walked and walked, breathe deeper and walk even faster….

In fact, at one point, I was walking quite fast, manage to overtake many people who were walking. I was walking as fast as a lady who was jogging and in the end she stopped, probably got demoralized by my walking speed. At the 40km point, I saw another hero, a marathon runner with a prosthetic leg, preparing for the final stretch to the finishing point. That gives me extra boast to made it to the finishing line because I’m always inspired by heros who achieved their dreams against all odds.

Finally, I cross the finishing line in 7 hours 3 min – It’s done, all the struggles are worth it. I gave a smiling face with my hands up for the photograph­er to take the magic moment – I have challenged myself and won, my mind has now stretched to a point of no return. I’m ready to take on the world and I have become unstoppabl­e!!

As I looked back analyzed the marathon race timings, I took 3 hrs to complete the first 21km by jogging and just 4hrs to complete the next 21km by purely walking with both aching/cramped legs, how was that possible? Then I realized I have got an unfair advantage, some may even call it “cheating”…. It was my iPhone loaded with mp3/podcast of not just ordinary music, but each of them are motivational and kicked my butt to focus on the finishing point.

I thanked God that my iPhone have faithfully played the music for my entire marathon race otherwise I would have given up! Of course, the reason why I ran my first marathon even though I never liked running, was because I was inspired by Team Hoyt and their message “You Can!” & “You can do anything you want if you put your heart and soul into it!”

Now, what’s stopping you from Success?? The answer should be “Nothing!” If you have doubts, I challenge you to complete a full marathon, I can guarantee you that after you cross the finishing line, your life will change!!

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