As the days got closer to Race Day, the odds were slowly stacking up against me and I thought that ah hah, surely it would just make the achievement so much more sweeter?
Come Thursday night, disaster struck.
Never mind, I prayed perhaps I wouldn't suffer so much come Saturday night.
Come Friday evening, another disaster struck.
Diarrhoea. For real?
Visits to the loo confirmed it, I'm afraid.
Saturday morning, more visits.
I just wanted to stay at home and lock myself in the room instead.
I was secretly tempted to back out.
But I told myself off that my high school days* of backing out without trying are over, so best just go ahead and try, then back out later, if need be.
Fast forward to the race itself.
Well, I went too fast during the first 5km and it tired me out pretty soon. I was averaging 5:25 min/km so I had to slow down to about 5:35 - 5:42 min//km and managed to reach 10km at 56:xx mins right on target.
Boy, that was hard work. I had to deal with the stitch on my right side, too!
From 8km onwards, that blister which I was hoping would not appear, appeared. Great.
At 11.5km onwards, things were starting to go awry.
I wanted to stop right then and there.
Where was the ambulance/motorbike?
Where were the cabs?
I had enough money for a cab ride, y'know!
My stomach was on dancing on charcoal (or perhaps doing the Oppa Gangnam Style, who knows?) and I had to slow down.
I was so afraid I was going to poop into my tights (euws!) or what but, I'm not sure whether it was a combination of bad cramps AND tummy ache AND gastric.
Checked my watch at 13km and I knew I was already out of sync with my target timing.
Then it was the left quad that cramped.
Then the right side.
That's like, a lot of cramps for me to deal with at one go...
By 15km, I had given up on tracking my pace as I was running and walking most of the time. In my head I was trying to egg myself on, "C'mon, just 6km to go!"
17km was bad. The cramps had moved from the thighs to the calves. Couldn't even move fast enough towards the finish line (just in case I needed the loo)!
Then at 18km, I tried to pick up the pace since it was just 3km away.
"C'mon, I can do 3km!"
My legs said no.
Tummy said no.
At 19km, I was screeching in my head, "C'monnnnn, just 2km to go!" but this time it was my feet that refused to budge.
It was already two hours at 19.33km...
And the last 2km was just hell.
With cramps so bad (quads), I hobbled as fast as I could, thinking what the heck, get it over and done with as soon as possible.
1km to go.
This "Don't Think Just Run" mantra ain't working lah!
So much painnnnnnnnnnnn.
At 500m to the finish line, it was just hobblehobblehobble but let's-pretend-that-I'm-not-in-pain. Gritted my teeth and said hi to Ben Swee.
Oh, I see the finish line.
Continued to grit my teeth and hobblehobblehobble and prayed I was not going to fall flat on my face or something.
Received goodie bag, medal and Tshirt. Mumbled my thanks and made my way to the Luggage Collection area.
I still had to hobble as both my feet had seized up.
Hobblehobblehobble no I didn't dare to stretch for fear of being stuck in that position longer than necessary. (Didn't want to look like a fool in pain.)
It was then I started shrugging and brushing my tears away.
Tried not to sob too loud in case some people think I'm psycho.
I just hated the pain.
No, I am not disappointed with my timing because I knew beforehand that I was in poor running form tonight.
It's the bloody cramps I didn't like.
The bloody pain.
(Oh, was that a pun?)
So there. Sad story done.
Yes, I cried in the shower just now.)
It was worse than Penang Bridge International Marathon (PBIM) as I had no cramps, but was just ridiculously sick with a blocked nose and chesty cough. I still ran it because I was determined to clock in the mileage in preparation for Fubon Taipei Marathon.
Let's talk about the event.
Amazing atmosphere. Well organised. Loved the volunteers and their support. Great entertainment and supporters along the way. Marshals were great. Saw a traffic police open the passenger door of a car to reprimand the driver for not stopping. Woohoo!
Although everyone predicted rain, there wasn't a drop at all! The weather was superb and made it very easy to run. It was cooling.
But I still think you'd be crazy enough to attempt the full marathon in Putrajaya.
Ok, back to post-race thoughts.
- While driving back, I started to get angry and wanted to get out there and run again. Don't ask me why, it could have been the adrenaline rush or something!
- I don't want to run anything beyond 12km ever. I'm tired of trying.
- I felt bad for the 3 guys whom I have pestered so much during the past month about my half marathon preparation that for not to have achieved my target was just so wrong. I owe them my gratitude for having to listen to me go on and on about my training plans. I'm sorry, guys!
- I don't have Milo in the house. I badly want hot Milo but noooooo, I sit here now with just water to drink. Boo.
- I don't even want to go to sleep right now because last night's run is still haunting me. Sigh.
* Back in high school, I was once selected to run the 200m for my fraction (because we didn't have enough fast runners so no choice but to pick me haha) and during the heats, I saw that there were fast runners whom I'd definitely lose to. So when the gun went off, I ran for 50m and then started to limp as if I sprained my ankle, and stopped right there - just to avoid being last to cross the finish line!
What I'm saying is, gone are the days of quitting without trying, ok?