Monday, June 29, 2009

This one's for you, Mom!

Everything about this marathon didn't seem quite right...from the launch, the collection of race kits, the mess during the race day until even after the marathon where runners need to queue for medals etc. Surprisingly, John and I weren't affected by any of these at all.

Running for mom
I guess my intention for this Marathon is right after all, and I ran with reverence in my heart (something which I just learned from my Silent retreat lately).
A few days before Race Day, I called Mom and told her that I'll be running in a competition. You see, 4 years ago Mom has mild Alzheimer and has became very aloof since. Therefore, I was moved when she wished me well and said, "Run well, ya. Be careful. Look at the road." I was so moved by her response...she spoke just like she was my mom before Alzheimers.
Then I realized that it was not really her problem, it was mine too. I had stopped telling her about all my running competitions for 4 years. I decided to dedicate this marathon to mom.

Race Day
We arrived at Dataran Merdeka as early as 3.45am and found Francis already there. Gradually we met up with all our friends who will run the Full Marathon distance and as usual, exchanged pleasantries. Aha, about 15 mins before the gun off, the heavens opened and sent down early showers.
We sought shelter at the nearby tent until we were advised to get ready at the start line. Fortunately, it didn't take long for those showers to reduce to drizzle and personally, I welcomed it.
As the marathon is for mom, I intend to remember all I have forgotten about her during the entire race and it was not difficult...

Remembering all that I have forgotten about Mom:
1KM - 3KM
I forgot that you breastfed me when I was an infant.
4KM - 6KM
I forgot the love you poured on me when I was young.
7KM - 9KM
I forgot that you taught me how to walk when I first took my baby steps.
10KM - 12KM
I forgot the sleepless nights you had when I had my asthma attacks.
13KM - 15KM
I forgot the worries that you carried when I sat for my exams.
16KM - 18KM
I forgot that you cooked for me.
19KM - 21KM
I forgot that you kept the best food for me.
22KM - 24KM
I forgot all the pretty clothes that you sewed for me.
25KM - 27KM
I forgot the nice feeling when you cleaned my ears.
28KM - 30KM
I forgot all the advise you gave me and took it for naggings instead.
31KM - 33KM
I forgot to look beyond your wrinkles and age spots - I helped put them there.
34KM - 36KM
I forgot that you care and you cried for me when I was down and lost.
37KM - 39KM
I forgot the freedom you gave me to run and live my own life.
40KM - 42KM
For all the things that I have forgotten that you've done for me - I wanna Thank You and I Love You!!

Finishing line
After 4hours 16mins of running and contemplating, I finally arrived at the finishing line. It was that moment that I could feel the exhaustion and thirst. As always, my husband John who finished earlier in 3hr 48mins was there - waiting for me. We hugged and kissed each other before strolling lazily to collect my medal and finisher T-Shirt.

Running a marathon is quite a feat. It isn't about beating anyone or winning the prize money. It's about dealing with the distance as best we can, where the competition is with ourselves. And anyone who doesn't give up is a winner.
Having believe in this, we decided to stay back until 12noon to support and cheer those who are still running on the road. Especially to some of my friends who ran their maiden marathon that day, they certainly deserve our applause and respect.

Official Result :
Net Time 4:15:28
Finish Time 4:16:14
Position 033 (008)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Story from spiritual-short-stories

A Hindu saint who was visiting the river Ganges to take a bath found a group of family members on the banks, shouting in anger at each other.

He turned to his disciples smiled and asked, "Why do people in anger shout to each other?"

Disciples thought for awhile, one of them said, "Because we lose our calm, we shout."

"But, why should you shout when the other person is just next to you? You can well tell him what you have to say in a soft manner." asked the saint.

Disciples gave some other answers but none were satisfactory.

Finally the saint explained,
"When two people are angry at each other, their heart distance alot. To cover that distance they must shout to be able to hear each other. The angrier they are, the stronger they will have to shout to hear each other to cover that great distance.

What happens when two people fall in love? They don't shout at each other but speak softly, because their hearts are very close. The distance between them is either non-existent or very small..."

The saint continued,
"When they love each other even more, what happens? They do not speak, only whisper and they can get even closer to each other in their love. Finally, they don't even need to whisper, they only look at each other and that's all. That is how close two people are, when they are in love."

He looked at his disciples and said, "So when you argue with your loved ones do not let your hearts get distant. Do not say words that distance each other more, or else there will come a day when the distance is so great that you will not find the path to return. They may end up in divorce, for instance."

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

NB Klang Pacers Half Marathon 2009

It's been weeks...I caught the flu bug twice last month and recovered from it.

The weather is still bad. Extremely hot, humid and hazy. Last Sunday seen me on the road racing for the third time this year. The New Balance Klang Pacers Half Marathon is another running event organized by runners for runners. Having said that, one can expect a certain degree of quality in this race. Indeed, we were not disappointed at all.

This year the race organizers decided to introduce an entirely new race course instead of having it in Klang like in previous years. Setia Alam is a new township - a huge housing estate along NKVE, between Shah Alam and Klang. As the running route was within Setia Alam itself which is mainly residential and almost zero traffic, it made running safe and free.

The race started in front of the Setia Alam Welcome Center. I was quite impressed with this new venue. Ample parking space, clean and comfortable toilets and many mobile toilets too (extremely convenient for women..hehe!).
The morning air was stale and covered with haze. However, it didn't dampen the spirit of runners. The race course was challenging - typical Shah Alam route with numerous U-turns (which is never my cup of tea). Refreshment stations were adequate and power gels were handed out at 10km. There were no distance markers although ribbons were given at check points every 5km. Plenty of fruits and light refreshments were provided after the race where runners could eat and drink to their stomach's content while bonding with friends and fellow runners. Coupons were not required - something other race organizers need to consider.

I ran conservatively, passing a few ladies from the Women Open Category, and managed to just secure 7th placing in the Women Veteran Category within 1hr 55 mins. The designs of the medal and trophy are attractive too. After this, I am looking forward to run the next race end of this month - the SCKLIM.

Apart from a slight chaos before the race, the Klang Pacers did put up a great event with minimal flaws!