Last weekend I had a day off from taking care of the boys. Lea and her sister brought them back for a hometown trip. Pretty much exactly from 5pm Friday to 5pm Saturday. So what did I do during these 24 hours? I thought it would be a good chance to do the 41 km run to mark turning 41 years old this year (mentioned in this previous post). I hate celebrating birthdays so much that this type self-torture is perfectly acceptable to me.
As I have been unable to train for months, 24 hours seemed reasonable to complete this distance. As a result, I battled pooping my pants 🤣, neck blisters and shoes falling apart during the entire event. It seems a stretch to even call it a run, as I spent more than 80% of the distance walking.
In the end I split the 41 km into three sessions and here is how they went.
First session, Friday 5.30pm – 10.3 km covered
I packed about 5 litres of water in 4 bottles and arrived at Tasik Sri Permaisuri, then immediately started running at a slow pace. The place was pretty crowded with people exercising and enjoying their public holiday. As I was running I noticed the toilets were closed due to coronavirus. This would be a foreshadowing of tragic events in the next session.
I was barely about 5km into the run when I started to feel leg cramps and had to mix walking and running for the rest of the 10.3 km. The crowd started to go home so as time went by I had less distractions and people to avoid. Eventually it got dark and I decided to get dinner and some rest before the next session.
Second Session, Saturday 9am – 16.9 km covered
I’d considered following up the first session with a night run, but was pretty tired so I decided to rest fully and tackle it on Saturday morning.
After a heavy breakfast I continued at Tasik Sri Permaisuri. But it was hardly 10 minutes before I needed to use a restroom. Of course, the restrooms were closed. And my body informed me that I was going to poop my pants if I continued to be stubborn and try to get more mileage in. So I rushed home but still wasn’t in time. Thankfully no one was in the elevator with me going up, even N95 masks might not have helped. It was a huge mess is all I’m going to add on the subject.
30 minutes later I’d cleaned up, changed and was back on the run. This time I relocated to an area closer to home so that I could access the bathroom. Factoring in travel time, pooping myself had cost me at least an hour.
A few kilometres in, my New Balance Minimus shoes started to disintegrate.
Every loop I made I saw bits and pieces of fluorescent green sole lying everywhere. An already minimalist shoe just got more minimalist. Eventually it stopped falling apart but then the entire sole started coming apart.
There was a spare pair of Brooks in the car but I preferred not to have any cushioning for this one.
Barring a few toilet and water breaks, the distance started to add up.
Third Session, Saturday 1:30pm – 13.82 km covered
Third session started almost back to back from the second session as time was running out.
This was when it started to get really hot out there. It didn’t bother me too much at the time but the back of my neck was blistered and painful by the end.
The Minimus sole had semi-detached, but I was only walking, so it wasn’t a problem either.
Basically I was just listening to music and trying to ignore the growing muscular aches and pains that were accumulating all over. No big deal.
Halfway through this session, I knew that I was going to make it before 4pm.
With the final 2.62km to go, my GPS watch was running low on juice so I returned to the car to charge it before completing the 41 km.
Nothing special happened upon completing the distance. Nothing external and surprisingly nothing internal as well. Once it would have made me feel like I’d achieved something above average now just felt normal. And that is a good thing for me because it tells me that I’m working harder in life as compared to years past. That’s why this was relatively easy compared to the challenges of real life.
Some additional thoughts on the run
– I feel like anyone can do it (if it’s mostly walking) even without training, the discomfort is just in the mind. You have to want it.
– Immediately after the run I had two paracetamol and rubbed some Yoko Yoko, then returned to my normal routine, doing chores and taking care of the kids. Muscle soreness and tiredness was negligible the very next day (I did have an early night’s sleep). Paracetamol is amazing, I’m going to take that for all my future endurance events.
– Even if I couldn’t train outdoors or at the gym, there’s no excuse not to do more burpees and manage my weight better. These two factors would have helped cut short my time by a lot.
– Finally, what was the purpose of this run? To keep a promise to myself. To remind myself that time on earth is short and every moment should be cherished. And to build a more resilient mind and body (no matter how small the increments). With that, I return to the real world.