Friday, June 29, 2012

STANDARD CHARTERED KL MARATHON 2012

finally i'm getting round to blogging about the Standard Chartered KL Marathon, nearly one week after it happened. oh well, better late than never, right? :)

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here's me giving the camera what was supposed to be a smile, but turned out like a grimace instead. but before you start scoffing at my picture, let me say this :


unless of course, you happen to be zeddie little 


and with that being said, let us begin my recap of the event.

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on the said day, i woke up slightly before 4am to get ready. a missing tag threw me into a momentary panic. i couldn't run without my tag! i wracked open drawers and overturned things in a frenzy, but in the end i found it and was ready to head out the door.

jason was already waiting for me ; we were supposed to drive to asia jaya lrt and from there, proceed to the masjid jamek station, then walk to dataran merdeka which was the flag off point. we reached the station, only to find that this year they had not made plans for the lrt to run earlier, unlike previous years! lucky we still had ample of time though, so driving to kl city was still doable. 

however, many familiar roads leading to kl had been closed to make way for the run. worrying, as we were already feeling antsy. and then it started to rain, big droplets landing splat on the windshield.

somehow or other, jason managed to find a spot to park his car, not too far from dataran merdeka. we made our way there on foot ; the atmosphere in the air was infectiously energetic, with thousands of fellow runners warming up and greeting one another. the rain cleared up. it seemed like this was going to be a good day to run. :)


the starting point. 
at 6am, those running the half marathon (me, me!) were flagged off!

i was eager, happy, and excited to be running my first half marathon! perhaps much too excited though, as i threw off the age-old advice to pace myself. due to the excitement, i started out running much faster than i should have. i was going fine until the 8km point, where i started to feel some discomfort in my knees. that discomfort turned into a more major ache, and i knew i was going to be in trouble if i didn't take heed.

hence, i had to slow down to a walk. resumed running when the pain receded, and for a while i felt all right. however it returned again, which resulted in cycles of running and walking. i ran whenever my knees allowed me, and walked when it became too major to ignore. 


the starhill road was part of the route.

i felt great! physically my knees were being annoying, but i didn't feel in the least bit tired or mentally challenged. all through out the race, even before it began, i KNEW i would finish it fine. the weather, which had been a bit temperamental earlier, was now simply gorgeous. big puffy clouds rolled across a light grey sky, with just the faintest rays of sun escaping from behind them. cool breezes blew away heat, and my heart sang with the birds in the sky.


there were many parties assisting us runners, and for that i deeply commend them for their help. from those handing out water, bananas, sponges, and snacks, to the medics, to the police controlling the traffic and all others involved in making sure we were safe, thank you so much for your efforts!


at the 20km point.

i had been thinking of slowing down, but with my spirits encouraged by this, i kept my pace. not only that, the streets began to thicken, lined with crowds of people shouting their support for us. i felt so uplifted by the contagious smiles and cheers of complete strangers!

not to mention some of them were holding signs which were amusing and motivating. 



these two made me chuckle :)

my knees were acting up more and more, but knowing that i was already so close, i pressed on. sure enough, the finish line was soon in sight!


stopped to take a picture of the finish line, not being aware that my picture was being snapped as well. therefore, instead of having a glorious image of myself flying across the finish line, i ended up with this as my marathon picture.


ughhh!

oh well, at least i know not to do so at future marathons.


made my way to collect my goody bag and medal, then found a shady spot where i just sat and people-watched until jason called me to go.


my first finisher medal for a half marathon!

my official timing was 2:46, sixteen minutes from what i had originally aimed for.

however, knowing that i slowed down to walk for quite a few stretches and stopped to take pictures at various points, i don't feel particularly upset at not having met my goal. next time (because i assure you, there WILL be a next time) i will make sure to pace myself well and get that sub 2:30 timing!

another factor that may have caused the problems with my knees was taking too much time off before the race. yes, many running websites and online magazines recommend taking it easy by cutting down the distance, but they still advise that you run up to 3 days before the actual race.

got that, and i will bear it in mind for my next marathon.

as for SCKLM, i must say that it was very well organized. kudos to all those who made this run possible and i definitely look forward to running next year! :)

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hmm.. now to start planning for Penang Bridge International Marathon!