When I got up at 3am, my head was feeling heavy and I was sneezing away. It was not such a good way to start the day especially knowing that it's a race day. On the other hand, my dear husband was very cheerful, feeling good and all set to do well for his half marathon. So, I didn't want to dampen his spirit. But he could sense that I wasn't alright and felt worried for me. He even suggested that I check my BP first but I refused.
No matter what - the race is on! I rested awhile and at 4.40am, we were ready to leave the house. Upon arrival, I found out that there were not many full marathon runners. Most opted to run the half or 10km. John and I had already competed 3 or 4 full marathons in KL and it seemed quite sufficient for us. Everything is the same. Nothing has changed, nothing at all. The marathon course is getting from bad to worse with the interference of roadworks here and there. The medal is the same, only different year. The T-shirt is the same, only different colour. There's really no improvement at all...how borrring!! Even with timing Chip, they still gave out reporting cards which I honestly felt a waste of time, money, manpower and paper.
Since we didn't run last year (were away on holiday) we thought we will just settle for the half marathon. After all, I did not train much and therefore, decided to take this race as part of training. This year the route for the half marathon had changed slightly.
But it matter little to me as I had little expectation and so, anything below 2 hours is good for me.
The start of the race took us to a big loop to Jln. Silang and back to Sultan Abdul Samad building before proceeding to the normal route ie. Federal Highway and Seremban Highway. I was running alone right from the start as I decided to run slowly with this heavy head and runny nose. Most of my friends had gone so far ahead of me that I thought it was impossible to catch up with any of them until I was crossing the junction at Dewan Bahasa, I heard a voice calling me "Wai Mun!" I turned and saw it was Dr. Raymond. Was I glad that at least, I managed to catch up with one person I know? Hmm..after the 15km mark, I was gradually feeling rejuvenated again. Somehow my body found a hidden reserve of endorphins that made me feel almost euphoric again. I began to run a fairly sensible pace until I reached the finishing line with a timing of 1:56:01. Then, I met Andreas Mindt who told me that his GPS showed that the road course is actually 21.8km. Later, I realized that I actually ran passed a few friends but I guess I was just so disoriented that morning to notice anyone. I was just blur!
John did well with a good timing of 1:45. We mingled around the site at Dataran Merdeka to cheer those who were competing in the full marathon. I could see these competitors sweat and heard them pant. I somewhat feel what some of them feel. I hurt for those who feel they'll never recover from the anguish of failing to do what they set out to achieve. I celebrate with the winning individuals who feel they had conquered the world!
Personally, as time moved on, time means less and more to me. Less in terms of how many kilometres I can cover within a given time and more in what I can still achieve. To me, personal bests only relate to myself. I have no problem setting myself some time goals to achieve, but then relating them to elite runners in my age group is taking them far too seriously. Well, I've had some wonderful races and some awful ones but this KLIM was such boring one!
That Sunday afternoon, while John was checking the official results on the internet, he pointed out to me that I got 10th placing in my category. While it's good to know that I could still maintain at top ten position, I wasn't excited at all. It was only late at night that I discovered that there is a prize money for 10th position. I guess I was really feeling disorientated the whole of that Sunday cos' being me, I would normally check on my position, timing and reward after a race. But the whole day for me had been blur - just blur...
I called up FTAAA the next morning to inform them that I missed collecting my prize money after the race, as there were no announcements made or card to show my position (which they normally have). They were helpful and quick to react - stating that they will bank in the money to my account. Today, Bani from FTAAA called to inform me that he had done the needful. I didn't expect to win any prize money cos' I still feel I did not perform well.
Although it's not a large sum, the prize money came as a pleasant surprise to me. Learning to be more responsible and conscious of myself these days, I recalled donating some diaper money to a home for retarded children in Ipoh a few weeks ago..and I remembered Dr Aaron's saying "Nature will always give you back what you give out. What you give is what you will receive."
Indeed, I do feel so blessed because I received threefold of what I gave out! And this has been one of life's lesson that I hold dear for many years.