What can I say.. How can i describe it.. "penangan" marathon.. 42km... wow..
Well, I registered very early for this race in fact 1-2 weeks after it was officially launched. Nowadays its jiffy to just do it online and I've been aiming to complete a marathon this year. I started training hard for Putrajaya night marathon after Penang Bridge run end 2009. NB30K done in January was to my liking and in tandem with my plan to survive the 42k onslaught. However the meniscal injury on my right knee post Korbu descent spoilt everything. Recovery was not easy ; fearing that I may not be able to do what i like to do. Slowly, it healed and completing the 21k during the energizer night run was an indicator that perhaps I can still achieve my 42k this year.
But training was never the same again. I had my finals to pass and most of my time circa March-April-May was geared towards that. Morning or evening run became sporadic and I had doubts whether I should attempt to finish ( not run ahh) the marathon come 27 June. Am I trying to be super crazy without any mileage under my belt?
Honestly I nearly quit. nearly pulled the plug thinking never mind, I can always try next time.Period.. that was the initial decision. Until i read Haza's blog post and wow.. honestly, i got all fired up.. really really determined to finish what i planned. It was now or never.. HANTAM SAJALAH!!! ahahaha Thanx HAZA, the super running mum ( Ultra-marathon dah buat.. tak tera ke??) for the inspiration !!
I woke up early that morning; knowing how my bowel tend to show up during races, I need to spend time to settle it out! hahaha Had my breakfast and nervously I drove off to KL. I was in Tang Ling parking by 0420 and on my way there I could see a lot of 42k runners walking to Dataran, some were warming up by running! It was drizzling by then, I thought "embun" kot..
The only disadvantage of me running the 42K is I am alone. I guess I'm always the one to "lead" the path of "you can do it" to my running buddies.Its definitely a plunge towards torturing yourself as how I tried my first half back in 2008 hahaha Met few familiar faces like TSB but thats all. The crowd was big and not bad eih :) Perhaps after this my friends will join me in this crusade. By 0500 it started to rain , not to heavy but enough to make u wet! Getting your shoes and socks wet before a grueling event is never good; learnt from my climbing experience. But what to do.. it was 5am and pooww... we all went!!
I initially followed the 5h30min pacer which i thought was alright for me.. it was cool to follow the designated runners with balloon tied up to them; three had theirs burst as we ran!! It must have been the static between the tarmac and rain puddles. It felt good, early in the morning with an acceptable rain drops to cool yourself off. I was in fact enjoying myself but at the same time cautious.. should not try to push myself too early; if i end up cramps all over DNF !!!
After the 15K mark i slowed down my pace.. and of course the 6h pacer caught me up. I followed him afterwards and thought "apasal mamat ni cam slow pulak? " hahaha such inexperience shows ah?? the trick to running LONG endurance race is to pace yourself to be CONSTANT all the way !! My limit was definitely post 22K where I began to walk rather than slow jog/run.. haha by now, the 6H pacer who looked slow earlier is relatively too fast for me!!!
The sun showed it's true self soon after as it became scorchingly hot. Luckily i brought my running cap which I never wore ..haha( this was the Larian Perpaduan cap 2008) At least, i wont look too dark when I'm done. Due to the earlier rain, my socks were wet and as time goes by the drying process is not exactly compete without taking your shoes off.I can feel the wrinkling pain which gets worst with every step and I totally ignored the pain. No IPod ah ( no money to buy..) .. i just cannot imagine how i did that! I've felt something like this before during my Tambuyokon trip in 2008.. but this was much longer to bare!!
After the 30K mark ; cramps were coming left right and centre. Wow.. everything was for me to quit the race but hey.. I'm here and I will not stop. I felt good and in fact not too exhausted ( banyak jalan kot..) but my cramps were trying to stop me there and then. One step at a time and I walk and walk with the aim to reach the next water station which was aplenty!
The good thing about being the back marker was I met new backmarker friends! It was nice of everybody trying to encourage each other eventhough we were all in the same boat, suffering in utter agony! Wow.. I now do understand the grit of such battle!
It was after the 35K that we were coming to Bukit Tunku. Thank you Kash for your support and providing us with water & food! I brought it right to the finish line!After that hmmm.. the last 6K THE LONGEST EVER 6K i've ever endured.. hahaha memang hancur as now we had to walk up hill and again! Perrghh.. my legs were like pulling me here and there as I had to stop to sooth it down befoe moving again and repeating the cycle!! hahaha SAPA SURUH TAK TRAINING?? But then.. "KESAKITAN HANYA SEMENTARA.. KEJAYAAN BUAT SELAMA-LAMANYA!!"
Of course as I approached the finishing line there was not many people who waited. I did not expect Azad ( who ran his 21k succesfully again) to wait .. but he did and for that I thank you for being there to share my moment of triumph conquering the marathon! I finished it in 7hr and 12 minutes.. I could not even record it on the picture as the timer was brought down!! A crap time to some but for me.. wow.. grueling 7 hours on the road .. honestly i cannot recall what i was thinking or doing while slowly run/walk/crawl towards the finish line..
but one thing for sure...
SATISFACTION... I DID IT!!! Alhamdulillah...
*and today.. I'm limping all over.. but proud :) haha
p/s Thanx Azad for the pics.. priceless...