Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2009

Standard Chartered KL Marathon (SCKLM) 2009 began early Sunday morning of the 28th of June. Hazlind came for a sleepover and basically we were up till 2-ish am. And even then, I was too excited to get any proper sleep. Set the alarm clock at 5-ish am... blearry-eyed got ready... had a quick oatmeal breakfast (fiber for long lasting energy!)... and we were out of the house by 6-ish am to catch the LRT. I've never been up so early taking a public transport before, but there were already a crowd - which, I noticed, were mostly fellow runners donning the SCKLM uniformed white vest.

There was already a huge crowd at the starting point, all raring to go. We hung around at the back, fearing of being trampled by the rush of the shoot-off, and watched in quiet earnest at the clock tower, joining the crowd in counting down the seconds to 7am. And then... we were off!

For a first, I find the entire experience quite exhilarating. Being one of THE marathon of the year, SCKLM had garnered a lot of popularity and coverage locally. Many virgin runners (mua included) and fellow gym-bunnies have decided to take the plunge and test out their endurance here. For me, it was the perfect venue to kick-start a running habit (which I have a horrible aversion to) as well as to challenge myself - mentally and physically. And I do not back out of this challenge so easily.

As you've noticed (or not), I've been training. And I've been keeping track of my runs in KLCC Park as a note of my progression (see RIGHT column). Some people say that I'm being competitive, and I take that as a compliment. But in honest truth, it's just a coping mechanism to ease my anxiety of the probability of failing to finish the run. And I do want to make a good first impression, mostly on myself, for my debut on the running circuit.

So.... how did I do? What do you think?

I am more than pleased with this result, although I felt that I could've done better. My favourite part of the circuit was most probably after we got off the highway, and was passing in front of JKR Building and along the green-topped roads of Jalan Sultan Salahhudin, heading back towards Dataran Merdeka. The visualisation of the finish line, coupled with the view of green trees, blue morning skies, and the city skyline matched to the perfect song on my mp3 (which I now can't remember), gave me the strength to pick-up my pace and lengthen my strides.

My least favourite? After passing Bank Negara and realized that instead of going straight to Dataran Merdeka, the route took us along Jalan Raja Laut for the biggest U-turn in my life. It was a killer because I'd spent my energy prior to this leg, assuming that it was the last. I was not expecting this. To make it worse, the path was straight, with only concrete buildings in sight, and not much else to inspire me. But once I rounded the last corner and knew that the road ahead will take me to the finish line, I suck up my gut, pick up my pace and forget the pain that was thudding bluntly at my sides.

And crossing that finish line made it all worth it. Finishing it within the qualifying time just made it even more worthwhile. I am more than elated and proud of myself for this achievement. I also have to mention than Hazlind finish the run too!! For someone who only had 1 week to train, I am very proud of her for sticking it out to see the end - even without her 'energiser bunny' next to her.

Yay! We did it!

And a huge CONGRATULATIONS to all runners!! May we meet again in the next run!

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