Its my first running event, the standard chartered half marathon 2010. Actually I am not really passionate of running. I love team sport, like soccer. But after several encouragement from my friends, I decided to give it a try. Half marathon is challenging enough for me. Now I must admit it was a quite fun event. Despite the joy that I experienced after the finish line, many goody bags, complimentary Osim massage, and sharing with friends, I learned some lesson from this run.

There are 5 lessons about life that I learned from this event that I want to share it here:
1. Start early in the morning

I need to wake up around before 5 am so that I can catch the bus which will bring me to the starting line. It was very early for me, even though for the full marathon they need to wake up before 3 am. Other than the distance itself, it is one of the reason I didn’t join the full marathon. I don’t really know the benefit to wake up early, and I am struggling to wake up early. But I really enjoy the morning air, it is very fresh. My great grant father once told his children, “You need to wake up very early, because even if gold could fall from the sky, you won’t be able to take it. Other people get it first while you are still sleeping.” Very good advice indeed.

2. Mission
I started the run at Sentosa bridge then heading toward’s Sentosa, and Universal Studio. It is quite fun to run at Sentosa, but it is even more fun at Universal Studio. There are many staffs who greet us. They were wearing their own costume at respective attraction site. There were Madagascar penguin, Puss from Shrek, Egyptian from the Mummy, and many other things. It was so fun that many people stop from their run and took pictures with them. There was even a queuing line for taking picture with the penguin. I almost stopped and join the queque. But I reminded my self, Andy you are here to run not to take picture.
We also face many distraction in life. They will make us stop from our race, and make us forget about our mission. My mission during the run was to run, to reach the finish line. I learned that in my life I was easily distracted, many unfinished race that I started. From this run I learned to be focus on my mission.

3. Perseverance
The first 10 km of the run was very fun. Only after that I started to feel pain on my legs. I wanted to stop because of the pain. It is very uncomfortable. But again, I told my self, I am going to finish this run no matter what. I tried to endure the pain as much as I can. I did a bit of stretching at water point. I applied tiger balm at medical point. I did what I can to reduce the pain. The pain was there, it didn’t disappear.
In life, no matter what we do, we will face obstacle, failure, pain, desperation moment. We tried to reduce it, playing game, watch movie, drinking, but the pain is still there.
If we are committed to finish what we are doing, we need to endure the pain. We need to persevere.

4. Faith
In this run I need to have faith. Having faith in my capability to run, but also to have faith that there is a finish line. Many people who think analytically and logically like to despise and look down on faith. Its difficult to believe what I can’t see. In the run, only at the last 100 m I can see the finish line. I was running for 20.9 km without even seeing the finish line. I need to have faith that the finish line is there, even when I don’t see it. Imagine, when you are running without a finish line, are you going to keep running?

5. Feedback or signboard

There are many signboards along the running route. Distance signboard tells me how far have I run. Water point and medical sign board tell me that I am approaching the two important places. Some people like my flatmate wear a watch to tell him about his running speed. These things are very important, they serve as a feedback mechanism that telling us how is our performance in our race. We need feedback in life, in whatever we are doing. For student they receive feedback from their grade. For employee they receive feedback from the performance review. For our health we receive feedback from the weight scale, blood pressure indicator, or any other medical screening. For our emotional and spirit we receive feedback from journalling, spiritual director, or our conscience.

Those are the 5 things I learned from the run. How about you? What did you learn from your run?