Monday, August 3, 2009

No distance (markers)

I was still in sleeping mode when the Adidas King Of The Road started at 6.30am. So I decided to just run comfortably as I was pretty much on my own that morning. I had a ball of my time the night before at Ms. Moey's "Soli Deo Gloria" birthday celebration and slept late. I've always love spending time with Ms. Moey and John and I were so privileged to be amongst her chosen guests. It's amazing how once I was just one of her students and not even a good one and now I became her friend.

With some inspiring episodes from the celebration still lingering in my mind, I trotted along with the multitude to run 22.7km. I had no intention of running fast; so got myself into an easy pace and kept at it until I met YS Lee. It was a relief to meet him in a race cos' his pace and mine are rather close; usually with only a difference in few seconds to a minute. As I ran along side by him, he reminded me that the distance for this race is 22.7km and not the usual 21km. His GPS showed that we were only at 6.5km that time and therefore, he advised not to use up my energy too soon. I heeded to it and ran with him for quite sometime until I sighted a few lady runners in front. My legs were longing to overtake them (after all this is a competition). I left YS Lee to pass 4 or 5 ladies and also Patrick Lee.

Then Peter from Klang Pacer appeared out of the blue and he ran some 2 - 3kms with me. As the traffic were rather crazy (despite having traffic police on duty, they weren't very controlling), Peter very kindly guided me each time we reached a roundabout or cross-road. Thank you very much, Peter!

There was not a single distance marker found in this race, so I had not the slightest idea of how far I had actually run. As we were approaching the last roundabout or so, I met KK Onn who told me to chase a Thai lady runner in front. I left Peter to pass that Thai lady and ran all the way until I saw Tesco and a sea of runners from other catagories (11km & 8km). It was also here that I stumbled upon a worn-out Lee Woon Khau and I asked him if he has any idea how far we've run. When he mentioned about 1 to 2km, I tried to surge ahead but alas, the slope towards the finishing was not a short one and I couldn't push any faster than I hoped to.

Passing the tunnel into the stadium always gives me an incredible feeling. I passed by Cheah Mei Mei on the way but she overtook me again 20 metres to the finishing line! I was just seconds behind her and finished at 1hr 59mins. In the name of good sportsmanship, we congratulated each other and headed towards the water station that was overflowing with thirsty runners. I was lucky I managed to hijack 2 cups of 100 Plus.

Well, I guess I didn't fare too badly for a 22.7km and the fact that I didn't put much effort in pushing myself made it felt good. I came in 21st overall and 6th position in the Malaysian Women Open category. But I had the most chaotic time with the prize collection where my patience really stood the test of time. The time took to wait for our prizes were longer than running the half, I leave it to your imagination!!! In all honesty, it was THAT terrible! The past 2 years had been bad...but why must it gone from bad to worse?
Elsewhere, there were a few casualties that morning. Our friend Lian Bee Hoon suddenly fainted at about 300 metres to the finishing but she managed to regain her equilibrium later although it was not her first time. Then we got news that a 22 year old runner by the name of Gary collapsed at the finishing line. He was carried away by the paramedics to the medical tent. Then he went missing. This morning it was reported that his body was found at the basement carpark. I'm confused (???).

I am absolutely horrified by the news. My physician John Lew used to advise me not to run if I can help it (due to my high BP and so on), I know he meant well but how I detested him for saying that. Later, I came to realize that what he meant was actually run if you must, but always listen to your body, your mind and your soul. Don't go beyond what your body can perform...

After spending a few days at the Summer Retreat in Lucky Valley last June, I've learned to run with reverence or for a higher purpose and I'm embracing it. Yes, after 2 months of endless marathons and competitions, our bodies are telling us that they need to rest - so John and I will be taking a break. To our fellow runners and friends, life is fragile - run safely.

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