Long distance running and me

To me, the graph of fun vs. distance ran is not the kind of y=mx+C, but the following:-

fun vs distance ran

Running more than 5 km, it’s not fun anymore!

When I was still an undergraduate, I actually wanted to be trained as a sprinter for 100 m and/or 200 m track events. My thought back then: winning a medal from 400 m run=4 x 100 m, hence more arduous! But, my reflexes were so poor that I was always the last one to start running after the gun was fired *shy* For this, coach wanted me to focus on 400 m instead so that my endurance could compensate for my slower reflexes. I did occasionally take part in running events more than 5 km but long distance running wasn’t really my friend yet.

A photo taken in 2004: Sue had the best head start: while the rest were still aloft, she's all ready to take the 2nd step of her run!

A photo taken in 2004: Sue had the best head start: while the rest were still aloft, she’s all ready to take the 2nd step of her run!

Upon graduation in 2006, rarely had I run more than 5 km in a single session (in fact, I didn’t exercise much!). When I was in NZ, LW, CC and Aron always touted the benefit of long distance running, so much so that I put “to complete a half marathon” in my bucket list since then!

After my NZ/OZ adventure, I started working as engineer again in a new company, I got to know that F is a marathoner and he promised to train me up for my first half marathon! Since then, he had become such a great source of peer pressure that I had no choice but to really train hard (my own standard of course, I was a slacker if compared to LW, LY and the gang!) Whenever I skipped training, he would guilt-trip me! Frankly speaking, I didn’t really get the fun of long distance running… I have very low boredom threshold, especially when I’m doing the same thing repetitively. F, knew this flaw of mine, he would make me run a big loop of 3.5 km instead of two rounds of 1.7 km. To fuel my run further, either he had to keep talking to me to distract me or I had to listen to songs while running. Without these practices in place, I would get bored and start concentrate on the complication of running (shortness of breath, sore legs, etc.) and I would stop! Oh, another running complication: I get high whenever I jog more than 7 km and I can’t sleep well on the day!

F, my running sifu and buddy!

F, my running sifu and buddy!

On days leading up to my first half marathon, I joined two 10 km runs during Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur Marathon (SCKLM) 2012 and Nike Run 2012. For not having proper warming up, I injured my right foot during SCKLM and I had near-faint experience during Nike Run! Bad omen?

SCKLM 2012: The day that I ran using a bib from a guy! :p

And injuring my right foot! Boo…

I ticked off “to complete a half marathon” from my to-do list during the Putrajaya Night Marathon 2012. I completed the run in 3:02:26 (net time), albeit lack of training! Being someone who is not persistent and not disciplined enough for all the training and hard work leading to the run, I was just aiming to complete the run around the qualifying time of 3.5 hrs, so this came as a bonus!

With my running buddies, who hebat lari!

PNM 2012: With my running buddies, who hebat lari!

The most anticipated moment of my first ever half marathon in my life.... got blocked! Boo...

The most anticipated moment of my first ever half marathon in my life…. got blocked! Boo…

BUT, the day that I completed my first half marathon in my life was also the first time I sat in an ambulance! I ran non-stop for 16 km and started big-walking towards the finish line. I met LY and LW who overtook me since the 1st km at the last water station. Suffering from fatigue, LY was vomiting non-stop and she’s not getting better even like 1 hour after the run. She was admitted to the hospital then. When I sat at the medical tent to keep her in company, I saw the flip side of marathon: all sorts of SCARY running/medical complications. I concluded: MARATHON IS CRAZY STUFF!

My second half marathon took place during the Penang Bridge International Marathon (PBIM) 2012. The run started at 3 a.m., so we went to bed around 6 pm! I have rigid circadian clock and my bedtime is 10 pm! Haha! So I didn’t sleep well. To my utmost surprise, I overtook LY at around the 12th km and that boosted my run faster I must say! Sue said this is the competitive streak in me 🙂 My personal best is now tied at 2:44:51 after my second half marathon!

PBIM 2012: Yay! Clear view this time! I remember LW cheering for me by the roadside near the finish line, "Sam! 进步很多!"

PBIM 2012: Yay! Clear view this time! I remember LW cheering for me by the roadside near the finish line, “Sam! 进步很多!”

PBIM 2012: Clocked 2:44:50.60 (net time), ranked 288/1876! :)

PBIM 2012: Clocked 2:44:50.60 (net time), ranked 288/1876! 🙂

I told LY and Sue that PBIM 2012 is my retirement run already because I still do not get the fun of long distance running! :p the post-run complications (the skin chafing, the inability of walking up and down the stairs, etc) are not pleasant to me. Besides, I am too old to go through all the dreary training miles already… I just want easier life! :p At first, “to complete a full marathon” was in my bucket list, but I have taken that out already (now it’s on my maybe-I-will-do list)! To get prepared for a full marathon, my normal training has to be half marathons already! Too lofty a goal! Besides, my MP3 player cannot last for 6 hours and more and that means no distraction for me! Haha!


Never! Haha!

But as my waistline, thighs and tummy grow bigger and I grow heavier, I started to miss those times when people praised about my muscles! Vanity is indeed my favorite sin! Being a goal-orientated person, I need a reason to force my fat ass to do exercise regularly. So my hand got itchy and registered for half marathon again in SCKLM 2013. But, hear me out, THAT is going to really be my retirement run for long distance running! In the future, I am just going to jog to keep myself in svelte shape and downgrade my running effort, I would say less than 5 km each jog and maybe occasionally some 10 km events?

SG: Wah! 你的calf muscles 很美叻!

My vanity got flattered when SG said, “Wah! 你的calf muscles 很美叻”

Vanity got flattered yet again! :p :p :p

Vanity got flattered yet again! :p :p :p

Speaking of vanity, I went jogging just now and out-ran a Malay teenager boy. In his red shirt, he turned around, showing his thumb up and said,

“Aunty, baguslah!”

-____________- Minus the misnomer, I think I should take that as compliment? :p


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