I remember the last time I did my long run was months ago, at the point where I stopped running as soon as my stopwatch showed 2:00:00 (i.e. 2 hours on the dot). It was a big achievement for me, and since then I wanted to know whether I could run further distance or longer time.
I’m not shame to admit that I’m a slow runner. In fact, I never was a long distance runner. Only for the reason of doing triathlon that I have no choice but to learn and love (yucks!) long distance running.
With the long holiday last weekend, I was thinking of running in KL. When I saw comments on Kash’s blog where she said that she had planned to do a 25km run on Saturday, I braved my self to call her and asked whether I could join her. I was glad that she said OK. Then, I felt nervous.
I was nervous because I’m not sure whether I could finish the run. Remember second paragraph above? I’m not a long distance runner.
By the way, I was so looking forward for the run. First of all because I will be running with a partner. If I was alone, I may not even be awake at 5.45am on a cool Saturday morning.
Kash’s sms-ed me on Friday night, “OK Nik. Meet at Mobil station on the main road of Tmn Tun, besides Restoran Makbul. 6.30-ish.”
To be frank, to start training before 7am is something that I never ever had imagined of doing. Yes, you’ve guessed it right – I’m not a morning person either. But, I took it as a challenge. 6:30am, so be it!
I arrived Mobil station slightly earlier (semangat lebih beb!), and took my time to eat one cream bun and went to the toilet. As I finished with my own business, I saw Kash at the station (to which she thought I was lost. Sorry Kash, I should have sms-ed you when I arrived). We then quickly went to the starting point of the run – the Kiara Park.
We started off slightly before 7am after settling with my fuel belt and water. I brought two bottles of plain water, but Kash offered me her endurance drink. So, I gulped a bottle of plain water and refill the bottle with the endurance drink. We started the run by doing 3 loops in the Kiara Park before heading out to the main road – where the
torture fun began.
One advantage I had was that, it was the first time for me to run that route (Kiara Park – Plaza Damas – Government Buildings at Jln Duta – and back). Not knowing where to turn or where to cross the road, and not knowing how much further ahead I need to run, was kind of a ‘running mystery’ which helped me mentally to ignore the distance. “Just run, Nik. Just run.”. I only make a glimpse look once in a while at my stopwatch to see how long have my legs pounded the tarmac.
All this while, I only read in blogs about people running that route and mentioning check points like the Petronas, Plaza Damas, etcetera. That morning, ”Oooh, so this is the Petronas station” and ”Aaahh, this is the famous Plaza Damas” were playing in my head as we came across them. Macam orang jakun pulak.
At 1hr30min, we arrived at the u-turn point. When I asked Kash how far we have run, she mistakenly said ”dah 19km”. “What?”, I was shocked because if it was true that we’ve ran 19km to the u-turn point, a run back would do us a good 38km. Hahaha. A second look at her gadget would say that we’ve done around 11km (if I’m not mistaken). That sounded better.
Running back from then on, the whole thing gets a bit challenging. The sun has risen higher, and fatigues started to kick in. Nearing the Plaza Damas, I already started to feel a bit of pain at my feet and at the knees. Soon after that, the pain kind of moved upwards to my thighs. Gosh, what a feeling of pain.
I still felt strong though having those pain in the legs. Well, not very very strong, but perhaps strong enough to finish the run. I kept on moving ahead, together with Kash. The last few climbs were the toughest as the legs were already very weak. The thoughts to start walking came through the head with each step of run I made, but not even once we stopped and walked. Maybe we were motivating each other by the means of 'not walking'.
Being that tired and having those pain in the legs, many times I told Kash, ”If I were running alone, I would have already walked long long time ago”. She then said, ”Yeah, me too!”.
Finally, we reached the park. With total running time of 2hrs 40min, for whatever distance covered (Kash said it would be a good 24km), it felt good to be able to break the 2hours record I hold earlier. Both my thighs were in deep pain and it lasted until Sunday afternoon. I secretly am hoping that that was a good pain, a pain which would make my legs stronger.
We drank icy cold 100 plus upon reaching the park, stretched down and made our way back to a mamak where another can of icy cold 100 plus and a plate of tosey each, served us a good breakfast.
With another plan to do longer run this coming Saturday, I hope to see this 2hr40min record to be broken again.
Thanks so much Kash, for having me as your running partner last Saturday. I would like to emphasize again, ”If I were running alone, I would have already walked!”.
That’s how tough training for a marathon is. The legs, body and brain should work together in harmony, or else you’ll end up walking. Hahaha.