Uncategorized · May 2, 2010

What’s Next?

Well, it took 2 years  but I finally completed my first half marathon and got my first ever finisher’s medal.

We started from Likas Stadium and what with the adrenalin, people, sounds, my pulse rate was higher than I wished it to be at the start. Before we had even left the stadium, I was struggling to get my breathing under control. I felt like quitting even before we had left the Stadium.

Only thanks to the words of encouragement from friends, facebook friends and personal pride, I continued and managed to catch my breath by the time we hit Tanjung Lipat. Tanjung Lipat is a great section to run in the early morning. I saw Mt Kinabalu framed by the rising sun, the Yayasan Sabah Tower and the lights across the sea. It was a beautiful sight and one of the reasons I run. You get to see sights you normally don’t when you drive.

At the 6KM mark, i started going pass drink stations manned by the ladies of Befrienders KK. They were making so much noise and encouraging me to go on. I think some of the other runners must have thought i was some kind of celebrity the way the ladies were cheering.

I managed to run non-stop up to the 11KM First Beach U Turn to the finish line. But the return leg was not as easy as I wanted it to be. By this time, the morning sun was up and really beating down. As I had managed to get to the 11KM mark under my targeted time, I knew that even if I walked the remaining 10KM at a fast pace I would still make it back before the cut off time of 9AM. Which I did.

On the return leg, near Wawasan Plaza, I had a groin cramp but managed to shake it off. Again the ladies of Befrienders were so happy, smiling, cheering and clapping that I had more energy to run from Warisan Square to Wisma Merdeka.

Towards the end of the run, i was more worried that i could not make it before the cut off time. With 3 KM left, I had about 40 minutes left. As long as I kept it at 10 minutes per KM, I knew I would make it. Well there were still some worries like a cramp or the groin cramp coming up again…but in the end, i crossed the finish line at 3:20. Nine minutes ahead of my targeted finish time.

For 2 years, this goal of finishing a half marathon and getting a medal has been a big part of my life. I get up early in the mornings, i run 3 times a week and built a schedule around these runs. What i did not do was plan for the “after run”. What to do after I have achieved my goal.

Well, it’s hardly 24 hours and at this moment, i don’t think that I would like to run another half marathon. But i guess, the natural thing would be to run a few more half marathons, improve on my time and fitness and try a full marathon in a few years.

Anyway, it was a great experience, there were great people around, volunteers and people handling the route. It was all a positive experience.