The map at the bottom of this post shows the route taken at the World Kidney Day 12K Run 2013 at Putrajaya on April 28th. It was a sunny morning, and the 7.30am start time unfortunately meant scorching heat for about two-thirds of the run on the exposed plains of Putrajaya. Sweaty conditions aside, the route was pleasant with slight undulations, and scenic views of the administrative district by the lake during the first few kilometres. Also, Putrajaya has good wide roads, and I figured it would make for a comfortable LSD after a two-week hiatus.
Too darn hot
What turned out to be the best decision of the morning was to bring my sunglasses – they were a lifesaver. However, given the vagaries of the weather in the past weeks, I was actually quite glad that the sun was out and that I wasn’t tiptoeing in puddles of water or running into sheets of rain.
The crowd rushed onto shaded pavements wherever possible to take advantage of whatever shade the roadside saplings could offer. Tempting as that was, I stayed on the asphalt as it was better on the knees (concrete is a lot harder than asphalt, delivering a whole lot of shock to a runner’s legs!)
No playlist, for a change
About 4km in, an inexplicable tinge of monotony suddenly set in. That was when I impulsively decided to ditch something I have never done without on raceday – my headphones. When I first took up running two years ago, music provided welcome company during repetitive circles in the park. My mp3 player soon became something I felt I couldn’t do without. Then came training runs on open roads for variety and longer distances, where I realised that I could get through a run perfectly fine without the beats of a song in my ear. Then again, that was out of necessity – it would be dangerous to shut out one’s surroundings while running on an open road. Being the creature of habit that I am, I still ran with music during races, since there was some security in closed or marshalled roads.
So, yes, it does feel nice to be finally free from the crutches of the mp3 player. (FairyM would probably be proud of me, LOL!)
I wouldn’t say that I am not going to run with music again ever – I plan to still bring the iPod along, as there may be stretches where I might need a pick-me-up – but I’ve realised that keeping the music off makes for a far more pleasant experience of the route; not least because it lets you take in the atmosphere better and for more focus more on how your body is reacting to each footstep.
Yes to the bottle
Until Sunday, I have only ever run in Putrajaya at night, and had not factored in the heat. Whatever was left of the water in my bottle was warm by the time I was at the vicinity of 8km.. I think it would have been quite difficult if I had relied only on hydrating at the water stations, despite there having been three water stations on the route. Looking ahead to my eventual 21K, I think will most certainly run with my own water bottle in hand (or on a hydration belt – any excuse for a shopping spree…) Fortunately, my next run in Putrajaya, the Mizuno Wave Run, will have an earlier start time of 6.30am!