When I think back about the day I started doing my 1st full marathon in Singapore, I was afraid to the knees and butterflies because I had: 1. No strategy 2. Unfamiliar with route. This Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2014 is my 6th full marathon, but I am still stuck to ponder points no. 1 and 2 despite all the experiences gained from previous marathons.
SCKLM changed its 42.2km route completely this year. I watched the video recorded by the pacers and to my horror saw two 10 km-stretches along AKLEH and DUKE. That is a total of 20 km of nothing but the highway.
I felt dreadful days leading to SCKLM because the Thursday, Friday and Saturday before the race was my Licentiate Chemistry Examination. It was a marathon exam on its own where 6 to 8 hours straight of exams for 3 consecutive days. On the Saturday, there was this practical exam which was itself was an ultra marathon: 3 experiments to be completed in 8 hours including a written report. I did not have lunch because I had no time, hence my carbo-loading was literally – zero.
Well, completing a FM is common, but whether you suffer during the race and post-race, is another question. Completing a FM for 9 hours and suffer? – that is exactly what I am trying to avoid.
My personal best for a FM is during the Borneo Marathon this year of 5 hours 20 minute under the dreaded sun. Read it all about it here.
|After Tijani at Bukit Tunku. Thank you Sumer Heh.|
I had not much training leading this race, so I did not even set ANY expectations on myself. I want to just complete it below 6 hours without any injury to the finish line. I woke up at 2.30am, took like 4 teaspoons of peanut butter onto 2 pieces of bread, drank like a tonne of water, and drove my hubby and I to the JKR building. Met my bunch of running friends, at the Dataran Merdeka, but got scattered up at the starting line.
At the beginning, the route was rather flat. I ran the first 10 km closely behind my hubby (he didn’t know I was stalking him for 10 km). Finished 10 km around 1:05 and felt amazing. After that, I lost my hubby as he sped up totally. He trained like amazing hard for this year’s SCKLM.
Then I met AKLEH hiway and the boringness starts. Steels and tar-roads are the only thing that meets your eyes. My hubby was way front, I guess, and I somehow gladly followed the 5:00 pacers (in white balloons) for a around half-hour before I lost them too. ZzzZzZzZzzZzZZzzzz…What kinda rubbish route is this?! At round 17 km, we were led down to MRR2, and then I saw…...ta da!….the dreaded and boring DUKE at kilometer-21 for another 10km!. Wah lau, worse than AKLEH. When I arrived at Duke Highway, I saw my clock was 2:19, which is just about my timing for a regular 21 km race.
DUKE highway do sound like royalty, but it’s one “pariah” piece of route to run. Yet again, I could only see tar and steel and apartment buildings left and right. No scenes, no trees, just nothingness. I only thanked God for the superb weather (no sunshine), and the slight haze was perhaps, helping. I also felt good leading towards the 30 km mark with zero problems on my legs, as yet. Nevertheless, I felt a sharp pain my neck and shoulders (rarely happens) which could be due to accumulated sleepless nights due to my Chemistry exam and studies.
33 km onwards, I felt a slight pain to my right knee and I had certain pain-indications of a cramp about to come. I lather up a blob of Sloan to my thighs and calf. To tell you the truth, those cream didn’t work this time, why lah?! Went down to Tijani at KM 37 and then to the dreaded route near Bank Negara interchange where runners from 10, 21, and 42 km converged. Why dreaded, because that was where a huge crowd of runners and walkers (pasar malam like that) coverges and kills the momentum of “real” runners (i.e. like me who hates crowds). At that route towards Muzium Negara, my right leg killing me and I piled up on the Sloan cream, but to no avail.
I checked the time when I saw Muzium Negara. 5:05. Damn, I might not be able to finish in my PB, but well, that’s not the point, right? When I saw Daya Bumi which was 500 m to the finish line, I ran soo hard, I almost fainted. I could amputate off my right leg that very instance, just that I wasn’t given a saw.
|200 m to the finish line di. The torture face.|
|Met Farah at the finish line. Not easy to meet her up!|
100 metres to the finish line, I saw Vincent and we had a epic fail hi-five because some runner blocked our hands. Boo. Then, I saw my Hubby! Wee!! That motivates me to sprint albeit frantically to the finish line, and of course, it looks better on the official cameras when you do RUN to end.
So, with not much training, no carbo-loading, no sleep (mere 2 hours), I completed my full marathon in an ugly route in 5:25 gun time. I was so proud and happy because…most importantly…I did not suffer upon completion as much as I would thought (though I had a sadistic thought of purchasing an electric saw to saw off my right leg)
But tell you the truth, I could have done much better with some amount of training. Oh well, there’s always another marathon, right?