I took part in the 21km Army Half Marathon a couple of weekends ago.
I was fighting an infection a few days leading to the run and woke up at 4 am on race day contemplating whether to call in sick.
But I went ahead thinking that I could stop anytime.
I realised it was a fine line between listening to your body and knowing your limit.
I confess I’m not good at both.
Anyway I thought I had my medic with me, aka my beloved husband; the race was supposed to be one of our dates. These days our couple time almost always involves some form of outdoor sports.
The event started at 5.15 am but I was too nervous to have a good night sleep.
The turnout was massive, about 40,000 people participated in the run and I found myself surrounded by testosterone raging young men who were half my age.
It was intimidating and I was glad to spot a head of grey hair among the crowd 10 minutes into the run.
The man was probably in his 60s, with a hunch back, not the best posture for running, and was shuffling his feet as if to conserve energy to last through the race.
He was obviously not the ultra fit kind but his look of determination was a touching and humbling sight. I was secretly cheering him on as I passed him.
I started to feel the strain in both my hamstrings at the 3/4 mark and I swear my legs would have given up if not for the copious amount of heat rub that I splattered on.
The last 1 km was painful, didn’t help that I got shoved and pushed over by faster elite African runners who were sprinting to complete their 10km.
I was just glad I didn’t fall over with my very tired legs.
He had kept at my pace throughout the run even though he was a much faster runner.
He was there to cheer me on, to help snap pictures along the way and to grab me drinks.
Someone asked me what was the hardest part for the run, I was quick to tell her that it was the last 1 km. On second thought, the toughest part had to be the registration.
My husband had gone ahead to sign me up for the run even before I could find the courage to say yes.
Could I have completed the run without him ?
I like to think yes but the fact is, if not for him, I wouldn’t be running, simply because I wasn’t suicidal enough.
I realised that to make a commitment like this can be scary especially when it involves hard work, discipline and some sort of rigorous training.
Multiply that by 10 if you are a mom and have passed your 40th milestone.
In any case, I am really glad I did it because I can now confidently tell my kids that,
sometimes all you need to be is like the little blue engine
I think I can, I think I can, I think I can …