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Blog

Photography is my passion. I do not only take wedding photos but also do portraits, landscapes, and street photography. This section represents my perspective on how I see the world through the lenses.

MY LEGS ARE HUNGOVER.

I am not afraid of storms. I am learning how to sail my ship.
— Louisa May Alcott

Four Months Before the Race

“I want to go Grand Canyon. I’ve never been there.” I was talking with Jess when we were try to find a place to travel. 

“There is a race I’ve been wanting to run in the Grand Canyon called Grand Canyon HALF MARATHON (GCH),” Jess responded. “I’ll go with you.” I said it because I wanted to see THE GRAND CANYON.

“Are you coming to support me or run with me?”

Jess asked me a very good question. I wasn’t a runner and I knew that running a half marathon was no joke. I needed to be trained for the run. 

“How many months do we have left before the race?” I asked. 

“4 months, and you need 3 months for training.” Jess told me if I wanted to run with her, 3 months of training was what I would do.

Three Months Before the Race

“Congrats! You are registered for the 2017 Grand Canyon Half Marathon.”

The receipt email was sent to me right away after I put my credit card number and clicked SUBMIT on the half marathon website. 

Now, I had three months to prepare for this race. 

Back in June, I told Jess that I wanted to test myself if I could make it further than 3 miles. I’ve never been in any race before. As much as it sounds very stupid, my first race would be a half marathon, 13.1 miles. 

It took me a month to be able to run 4 miles. 
I had 8.1 miles and 90 days to go.

The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare.
— Juma Ikangaa

Training

Jess had experience about running and training. She ran half marathon for a couple times, so she was my coach.  She created a training schedule for us and it was very simple. I'll run 4 miles for the first two weeks. The distance will be increase by one mile until I run 12 miles. I'll run my first 13.1 miles on the race days. 

I felt very much comfortable to have my girl friend as a coach a run partner. I ran by myself on weekdays and ran with her on weekends. 

August 16th, 2017- 12 Hours of Suffering at Summit Climbing Competition

"NATTTT!!" I heard some one called my name. The voice was very painful. I walked back to the bouldering section at Summit Dallas and I found Jess laid on the floor, crying. She fell from a bouldering wall. Her ankle was twisted but she pop it back. 

Jess got her right ankle sprained. As a result, she defer her race ticket to 2018. 

I'm on my own in training from now. 

One Day Before Race Day

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Jess and I arrived in Phoenix, Arizona, on Friday to pick up my bib at the Race Expo. I was ready, clam and nervous. It is probably a normal feeling when you have been preparing for something for a good time. Now, it's the show time. I have nothing to lose.

I've been training for three months for this but I did not run 12 miles as the plan. I ran 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 10 miles. I was practicing to eat and drink during the run. However, in the last week of training, I attempted to run 12 miles but I could not make it. I ran until 10 miles and I walked for the rest 2 miles. I was dead. The heat was killing me.

Carb-loading
Jess introduced me a new thing for runners, Carb-loading. Let me help you understand this method.

“Carbohydrates are muscle fuel – the body converts them to glycogen,” says Alaunyte. “We store glycogen in our muscles and it is converted back to glucose when we need it, for example when we walk, jog and run.”

“The longer and harder you train, the more carbohydrate you need to fuel your muscles. That’s why ensuring that you start your long runs with fully stocked carbohydrate stores is important.”
— Coachmag.co.uk

As a result, I had pizza, lasagna, and fried chicken a lot on the day before the race. Therefore, my muscles will be ready to a two-hour-running tomorrow morning.

I think I was ready. 

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Race Day

"Jess, it's 3:30AM." I woke Jess up to get ready.

We had to leave by 4 AM, so we will get to the race at 5:30AM. The race started at 7AM.
The temperature was 32 degree. 

Jess was very excited for me to run. I told her not to post any picture until I cross the finish line. I called my Dad and I knew he was worried about me.

I took off my jacket and long pants and handed to Jess. Energy bars and water were filled in my running belt. 

 Picture is taken by Jessica Wong

Picture is taken by Jessica Wong

 Picture is taken by Jessica Wong

Picture is taken by Jessica Wong

"NATTTT, your running group is here." Jess shouted to me. I signed up for a runner group at 2:15-2:30 hour. 

 Picture is taken by Jessica Wong

Picture is taken by Jessica Wong

 Picture is taken by Jessica Wong

Picture is taken by Jessica Wong

"I'll see you in two hours and a half." I told Jess and gave her a kiss. I walked to the group 

"BANGGGGGG"
First group ran off. I'm in the third group and our turn came very fast. Everyone tried to be in the front and then I started running.

The elevation is at 6,000 feet and the average elevation in the race is 500 feet.
Mile 1-3 - I ran like chasing a rabbit. You can definitely see who has prepared for this race. I saw many people started walking at the second mile.

Mile 3 is no turning back point. Mile 3 has a drop off for your jacket, water, and rest room. I was doing great. I still ran pass many runners.

Mile 5, I could not feel my hands and ears. The temperature was probably around 40 degrees. I was still going good.

Mile 7, the elevation was getting crazy. I almost fell three times because of the rocks.

Mile 10, I have never run pass 10 miles before the race. I was nervous. I didn't want to walk. I kept running and controlled my breathing.

Mile 11, I MADE IT. I ran through 10 miles for the first time and I had just 5K more to go. I was not very tired but my knees and feet were very sore.

Mile 12 was the toughest of this race. The up hills were crazy. Many runners were walking. I fed my self with energy bar and gel one pack per mile since mile 9.

I saw paved road and I knew I was very close. 

I saw the people lining up and the sign above said "Finish Line"

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"Nat Chittamai from Irving Texas!!!!"

I heard my name announced before I crossed the finish line. People were screaming and cheering their family and friends. I made it. I CAN RUN HALF MARATHON.

I heard Jess ringing her Texas Bell and I ran to her. She was super happy. I looked back to see my time and it was 2:22 hours. This is the best time I have ever run!!!!

There is a moment in every race. A moment where you can either quit, fold, or say to yourself, ‘I can do this.’
— Gatorade Ad