Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2011

It is a week since the daunting SCKLM 2011. The blisters are dying up, and I pulled the entire big left toenail last night. As of now, 3 of them toes are nail-less. The soreness were all long gone, but I am limping from the torturous traditional massage I got from Hj. Ismail of Dato' Keramat. He literally caused me multiple cramps during the massage itself as I was howling. Cruel old man...

SCKLM 2011 - the hardest I have worked for a medal. Period. 

With the chain of events scattered along the training weeks leading towards the race, I knew I was not ready. I let the fear eat me up, as I casually slipped into my other priorities. The approach was not optimal, and deep inside, I knew that. But the stakes were high, I wanted a PR. 
Progress is natural. We all want progress. I looked at the uncles and aunties zooming past me every week and cursing myself. 

I was cursing myself because, I was merely humbled by them apart from the expensive shoes I put on, and the ridiculous dailymile entries to boast my runs for the week. No, wait... humbled was an overstatement... I am ashamed of myself.

So when the morning of the dreadful day, I had thunders in my heart. Half of me didn't want to be there, another half was not sure why I was there in the first place. And standing in the holding area, 15 minutes before gun-off, alone - was daunting. I felt like I was back to SCKLM 2009. No watch, no pacenotes. So when the gun went off, I just put my music, and ran. Lupe Fiasco was grinding me in the right tune, and I was caught in the moment. I only saw Azmar briefly before he went on to chase the first 4:00 balloon. I think I saw Azhar fleeting by before Brickfields.

The run felt really good and I maintained a hard pace. The route was familiar, and I ran through all water stations. I simply did not want to lose the pace. Somewhere after the 14km marker, Richard Tang said hello, and I straddled behind him. The pace was great, and I felt great. The initial fear was gone, and I felt good drafting him. The pace was not fleeting, and manageable. But after the 18th km, the left quad sent a huge protest. I was sidelined, and watching the green balloon disappeared in seconds. Damn!

The next few kms were shuffling and stopping to stretch as I was afraid the yellow balloon will come soon. I was hell - the quads sent strikes after another within minutes, and I would have dribbled the foam from the Nuuns I was sucking, but it was too late. I did not hydrate properly, and it was payback.

The yellow balloon passed me at the 24th, and I was shattered. I was back in town, and the RM20 would be enough to get a cab back to Dataran. I was seriously considering that option, as it was not at all enjoyable. My mental health was crippling. And coming into Jalan Ipoh did not help, when I was forced to walk more than I'd like to run. When I felt better, I would run, whenever the cramp came back, I'd stop, stretch and walk. 

When you are only halfway done, it is not pretty. Sure, a cab would be an easy solution, but I told myself this would not be the day. Not today, not now.

I finally arrived at Kak June's waterhole - I felt like crying! Carol and Lawrence arrived at the same time, and we spent some time to drink and take a breather. Tried to gulp on a bread to no avail. And Nik was very kind to give me the push through Tijani. This familiar course was the toughest that day. I kept on stopping and walking - and embarrassing enough to be doing that with my sparring partner. We blitzed the route many weeks ago. Along this stretch we saw Henry having a field day on his lazy chair, and Yip cycling around (thanks for the Snickers!) offering help.

The sweet meandering descent down Bukit Tunku hills were punishing, but I did get some wind there. But as soon as the 5:00 balloon coasted by, I picked up pace. No! Not above 5!
After the Bank Negara, the adrenalin started to kick in, and I ignored the tightness in the left quads, and the right ankles, and charged Jalan Raja Laut towards Sogo, sometimes reduced to walks. I made sure I was running in front of the pink balloon, and crossed the line at 4:50. A huge relief! After getting the medal, I was not in the mood to hang around. I was spent! I had huge blisters on both feet, and already I was crabbing to the car. Besides, a 2 hour drive to Kuantan awaits.

So yeah - it sucks when you do not progress. And it sucks to know it all boils down to the amount of trainings I had put up with. And I think I am entitled to kick myself in the butts one in a while.

But it is done and over with. I think my mistakes are;
a) Running too fast too early
b) Not hydrating enough in the first 10k
c) Not listening to the body - if I was unfit, I should not have run at all
d) No breakfast that morning - ooops!
e) No enough sleep the days before - major!
f) Nuun tablets/ORS a little too late
g) I showered at water stations. Must remember NOT to shower as the cold water slides down, steams off the warm feet, and causing the shoes to wet - big mistake!
h) Not enough training
i) doubting myself - mental disfunction
j) Bad running form to

What I'll keep for the next marathon;
a) this collection of music, and Sony Walkman was awesome!

Yeah - the hardest one yet. I'll remember this as the defeat, and we'll see how I could unlearn my mistakes this year.

But I am glad it is over - I could go back to short runs and trails, and eating normally again. Seriously, I cannot comprehend how others could train and run Ultra, but my hats off to them! For now, I'd be happy with my swims and halfs.


i'm sticking to doing 10s and trails too. Welcome to the shorties. hehe. You know you did OK, so stop kicking yourself.
June Malik said…
i agree with kash. you put too much pressure on yourself lah syah .. kan you jugak tell me, apa ada pada timing? time to use it to yourself bro haha .. i was glad you were one of the first i met that morning and glad u made it to my stop ! see you again soon and yeah, stop beating on yourself .. u tak masuk tv for being a wimp kan?? hehehe *hugs*
amsyah said…
Thanks Kash and KJ - I know I should be grateful, just hate to be in a downward spiral of things. Some days are not good, and it is what it is.

I am ok now. Good to know the things I need to improvise :D
IJAM said…
aku pun sama masa kat phuket tu, entah apa hal tah tak boleh nak push. Very2 disappointing. Well, we all have our ups and downs once a little while dont we?..
ah...lantak la..
congrats shah...apa2 pun..TNF la apa lagi..
Diket said…
Don't be hard on yourself bro. Things happened for a reason or two or perhaps some. Come back stronger & wiser OK.

p/s. So, which do you prefer to be kicked with? Barefoot? Or by Ghost? Can also try VFF :]
RaYzeef said…
Can i kick ur Avatar butt? he he

don't forget Syah we all had our bad days, pls remember that you inspired us when we lack that self confidence long time ago, that TNF feat was mind blowing for us (Deo and i talked about it for weeks).

cheers up buddy, there's always tomorrow :)
tsar said…
while you shouldn't be too hard on yourself, it clearly shows that you are a true athlete who wants to outdo himself. maybe you also wanted to live up to your celebrity status? :)
your worst pun aku tak leh capai lagi. :)
amsyah said…
Ijam - ye lah... bila sindrom ni nak kena kat Ahmad Lamchanak? TNF err DNS?

Diket - dengan Zoot buleh? ringan sikit hehehehe

Ray - kick buleh, selak tak buleh... this year it will be YOUR TNF feat blowing our minds ehhehehe, tapi thanks bro! macam ni lah kalau perasaan down tu, memacam syaitan menghinggap

Zarin - live up to what? hehhe kau lambung aku ye... takde nye selebriti kat mesia ni nak lari marathon de hahahha
Mandie said…
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Mandie Hayes

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