Forty-two & 42.195km - geddit? Geddit? Hehe.
It was my third full marathon. Sunday 12th October 2014. The Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2014. The mother of all marathons in Malaysia.
My SCKLM history:
2010 - 10km (first 10km run, ever!)
2011 - another 10km
2012 - registered for my first 21km but had to back out due to injury
2013 - kenapa tak register ye? I forgot why. Maybe just didn't want to...(why??)
2014 - 42.195km, my third full marathon & first one with SCKLM
I ran with Mr. Pacer who fortunately didn't bring his *virtual* rotan.
Well, it so happened that he ran a half marathon during BSN-PNM, which HAD to be on the night before this big SCKLM 2014 day. With insufficient sleep and an 'easy run' of 21km (sub 2:30 maybe easy for him but definitely not for me...) just a few hours before starting our full marathon, I think he just 'forgot' his rotan!
|KM1- Off we went! At 4:30am. Three minutes for us to reach the starting line. Amazingly, I had such a deep sleep the night before, tak terjaga2, unlike my normal nights before a morning race.|
I was ambitious. I wanted to try follow the 5:30 hour pacers, the orange balloons. Siap dah target which pacer to ikut jengjengjeng... I knew it was a long shot, tapi cuba je lah dulu kan.
The timing for my first marathon was 6 hours 12 minutes. My second was 6 hours 40 minutes (yeah blame the never ending bukit Millie and not on your lack of training).
So now boleh lah faham kenapa dikatakan ambitious, kan?
But....as usual, we started at the back of the pack & couldn't even see the red 6:00 hour pacer balloons, yet alone the orange ones! So, yeah :P
Anyway the first 5km was good, we bumped into several people from the clubbing scene hehe...5am pun music masih belum stop lagi ye sekarang. Well, been there done that which ended about 20 years ago with no regrets but it's interesting to see how parts of KL look like during the wee hours nowadays...
Stopped at Balai Bomba Jalan Jelatek just as we heard azan Subuh. Alhamdulillah my #krazirunner sista Fairy left her telekung there for us ladies to use. Ada khemah solat yg organizer sediakan kat KM11 tapi alang2 dah ada kat balai bomba tu, selesaikan je lah dulu. When we passed by that khemah solat which was on AKLEH & near a toll plaza, some men were even praying at the toll booths. Which shows that sebenarnya kat mana2 pun boleh solat, asalkan bersih & convenient. Tak kira lah tengah marathon ke apa. What a sight!
Once we were on AKLEH, it was a looong stretch. A few days before the race I watched the official route video for full marathon....aduhai tengok video yang dah di-speed up tu pun makan masa 15 minit! Kalau lari dengan speed makcik, lagi lah kan?
Dan tiada pokok, tiada shade. Tapi allhamdulillah pagi Ahad tu walaupun agak berjerebu, tapi cuaca tak panas.
Mr. Pacer began to take a walking break at KM10, and we took short breaks at every water stations after that. After KM15 he began to show signs of fatigue, which I knew even without him saying it
(having ran a few times with him since the River Jungle Marathon last year, I think there are certain signs that I can pick up oredi...like when he says this ahkak is going too fast...and when he's extra quiet erkk)
Tapi dalam dia berhenti & suruh I lari dulu tu he still managed to catch up with me, dan sedar tak sedar tiba-tiba nampak my childhood friend Turie who, true to his words, was waiting at KM23!
|KM23 - masa ni Mr. Pacer boleh joget2 lagi. Eventhough I had to yank his arm before because he was already zombie-ish & didn't see Turie by the roadside...|
(if not for the support from my #krazirunner sistas & him agreeing to being my pacer during my first full marathon during MWM 2013, I probably wouldn't have had the guts to run a full marathon until now).
At KM25, Mr. Pacer gave me the dreaded "I think you should carry on first & I'll try to catch up with you later" line.
That's a first! Sigh.
But I still felt good tak pancit mengah semput takde krem so I didn't take time to think and just went ahead alone.
And the good thing was, we managed to potong the 6-hour pacers a few km before.
So the ambitious search for the orange balloons bearing "5:30 Pacer" continued...secara solo.
AKLEH & DUKE combined took up more than 21km of the marathon route, I think. It was bland & mind-challenging.
No kedai runcit by fellow runners (who didn't run that day), no entertainment, still no trees or shade.
Just water stations every 2km++, small groups of volunteers who cheered us on (thank you guys, without the ample water stations & crew & cheering squads, some of us would have probably bonked) and views of residential & commercial buildings below the elevated highways....and yes the sun was still hiding.
|And why did I suddenly picked up my pace at KM26...?|
Maybe I was excited to have met him again itu yang terlaju sikit kat KM26 haha. We ran together until the KM30 water station, then he picked up pace & I lost him altogether.
Good to know that we had the same strategy though - iaitu lari lari lari untuk sampai ke water station yang seterusnya. :P
By that time I have been running for 4 hours & 10 minutes, including a 11 minute stop for solat Subuh back at Jalan Jelatek much earlier. Oh my, still 12 km to go...
And then the highway route came to an end.....thank GOD!!
|KM31 - imagine my relief sebab nampak a few more familiar faces! And free hugs some more! Lega sungguh masa ni.|
|My #krazirunner gals, Ejah & Pisha. Kedai runcit dibuka bersama2 KZ & Eina & Mr. Photog dari Gaited Community. Aiskrim 100Plus oh my...! Thank you guys.|
But then, nothing comes free & easy...right? Jengjengjeng.
I began to have leg issues at KM33. Leg cramps, started with left quad..which went away after some walking. Phew. Okay lari.
Then right hamstring threatened to cramp...stopped & walked again. Started running when the pain went away.
Basically macam contractions nak beranak jugak lah, kejap sakit...pastu hilang. Pastu sakit....pastu hilang.
(but of course labour pains are muchhhhhhh moreeeeeeeeee painfullllllll than leg cramps okkaayyyyy)
Finally approached the Bukit Tunku area, which had nice shady trees & beautiful houses....but kinda nasty inclines...! Which I sort of welcomed because one of those voices in my head said "jalan je naik bukit ni tak payah lari, conserve energy lah gitu."
|Photo credit Lini Kazim...a recently crowned Ironman, which probably explained why I had my game-face on. Hehe. I do not know Lini personally but she I must say is one of my idols!|
Sambil lari-sakit-stop-jalan-stretching-laribalik tu, I kept a lookout for a kedai runcit that was supposed to have red velvet cake...
Inner Voice 1: "Kamon Millie bila nak start push yourself ni? Patutnya dari tadi lagi dah pick up pace la kata nak kejar brader belon oren?"
Inner Voice 2: "Hey tahu tak kaki ni krem kat semua tempat? Left right quads, hamstrings, calves...they take turns okeh! How to push la?"
Oh dear. Demented.
|"Ada ke kek lagi kat bawah meja ni...."|
Thank you PACat team, the ice-cold drinks were a godsend tapi tak sempat nak merasa moist chocolate cake pulak sebab belon merah dah nak sampai masa tu..
I downed ORS & isotonic drinks every day a week before race day tau.
Not enough mileage? I admit I didn't train as much as my first marathon last year but I did have variety & even did two sessions of 30km runs.
Newbie. Sigh. Frust sebab:
1) Bila pancit tak terhingga, kaki badan semua tak sakit krem bagai (RJM 2013)
2) Bila tak pancit & rasa steady, both legs totally did not cooperate towards the end (SCKLM 2014)
But like they say, just keep on moving & you'll surely get there.
By KM37 all the 6-hour pacers dah potong I. Keep Calm.
They were still ahead of me at KM40 & I still kept my run-walk pace. Because I didn't want my legs to suddenly jam up on me just when I approach the finish line. Dah berkilometer jugak berdoa macam tu...
And as suspected, the 6-hour pacers ada yang sengaja ke depan sikit so at the last KM they could patah balik & encourage & push us for sub-6..
"Come on come on you can do it...sub-6 come on sub sixxxxx....!"
"We still have 7 minutes come on let's go sub sixxxxx..."
|One of the 6-hour pacers, Choi & his red balloon. Photo credit Ch Leong.|
And so with another doa that my legs won't go keghah kejung on me, I broke into a run again about 500m from the finish line. All runners who had finished & waited by the curb were cheering for all of us. Undescribable feeling, again. And with another #krazirunner sista Mira who suddenly came to me (I nak peluk tapi I terpaksa ke finish line hehe), and also Lina, Fairy & Niza whom I met on the way....those final steps became so much more memorable.
|No the ambulance wasn't following me just in case I jatuh or something. Phew.|
|Sikitttt lagi. And some friends were wondering eh kenapa Millie lari sorang2? ;)|
And so there it was, my third full marathon which I completed in 5 hours 55 minutes.
It didn't really feel like a personal best to me, somehow. Sometimes you feel that you can do better but other things get in the way.
|100m from the finish line & thank God muka-tahan-krem tak teruk sangat...|
Apparently Ijam the Pacer had on-off cramps also and that's why he didn't manage to kejar. And finally at KM37 he had an injury and had to just stop. His first DNF and I felt slightly guilty that he had to run with me the morning right after he had ran HM.
But it was a relief to know that he did that as part of his ultra training. #oops #secrettraining
|At first I bought the water permeable & wudhu friendly nail polish to cover my ugly & sometimes blackened "runner's toenails"...but before race day I went on to paint my finger nails too. Running with nail polish. #fefeelingglamer. Check out the distributor's Facebook Page, Hessa & Me. They're on Instagram & Blogger too.|
But after all has ended...the pain is quickly forgotten and soon after you'll be thinking on when to have your next 'baby'.
(nampak sangat kategori veteran yang nombor bib bermula dari huruf D, metaphors pun berkaitan dengan beranak je).