SO DAMN EXCITED.
I did train and practice, though not vigorously, for the past few weeks, just for that day, for Standard Chartered Marathon 2016.
I have never done 10KM on the threadmill before, let alone run outdoors. I only did one run in the park prior to the marathon, and it was no where near the 10KM mark. I was worried about my stamina and muscle strength no doubt, but I’m pretty darn sure it was my damn excitment that pulled me through – for real.
Who would have thought a tofu like me would be so eager to participate in an outdoor event, let alone a physically and mentally challenging one. Heck, investing in my first pair of sport shoes took me two years of mental persuasion. Needless to say, this marathon was not an easy feat for me.
I’ve never been a sportsperson – never in primary school; never in high school; never ever. I still remember the days where I always skip PE lessons because I hated it so much, and I ever only gave the same excuse – period pain. Strangely enough, that one excuse actually got me through high school. It was so easy to bail.
Thing is – never say never; nothing is imposible.
While these memories are still fresh in my mind, I’m documenting this journey while I’m still yearning to do so.
Here’s my story.
It was 7 August 2016, Sunday, when I participated in my first marathon. A 10km Leisure run to be completed in 120 minutes.
My race was at 7.45am but I decided to take an early train (it was free!) and got there at slightly pass 6.45am, an hour early.
Despite being sandwiched in the train (like how it would be on a typical working day), it was actually a very enjoyable ride. The train was flooded with agile runners in blue jerseys, and everyone was talking about either pokemon (for real) and the marathon too of course.
This was my first time heading into Dataran Merdeka at such wee hour in the morning.
Me being a clueless first-timer, me and my friends bumped into a bit of confusion along the way.
“How ah? Where to go ah? I just follow you lah”, exactly the words to my friend, who was then fumbling on enlarging the route map on her cellphone, attempting to figure out where exactly the designated company tent was.
It turned out there wasn’t one, so we dropped our bags off at the bag area, and slowly walked and stretched to the starting point.
I was told that this was one of the biggest SCMKL Marathon turnouts to date, at 35,000 registered runners. Being one step closer to the starting point got my adrenaline rush running already.
BRING IT ON!
I took so many Instagram Stories (follow me on @spicysharon) prior to the run that I lost count. Here are some impromptu photographs from my phone.
Amidst the hype and energy and before we knew it, the countdown to the official whistle blew.
The 10KM Marathon official begun. My leisure participation was to complete the race within 120 minutes.
I started with my friends, but as expected, we strayed apart after that. I decided to carry along my phone for the run, simply because I didn’t know how to pace myself without a proper stopwatch – I’m so used to the threadmill. I had an pacing app running at the background but later on realised that I really didn’t need it. I just went with the flow.
Along the way, I took a handful of photographs, most turned out blurry and shaky. I didn’t want to lose my momentum. Out of the 5 water stops along the way, I only stopped for 2.
Let me tell you this, the race wasn’t short of pokemon gamers. There were a handful strayed at the side of road. Pikachuuuuu!
For someone who wasn’t used to running outdoors, amidst the heat especially, the initial parts of the race came rather effortless to me. I actually enjoyed my run outdoors, especially along an unfamiliar route, where there were plenty to see and groove-on, and time breezed pass a tad quicker. The heat was a hindrance but the route was mostly shielded from direct sunlight.
Like everyone else, I had heaps of energy in the beginning but gradually slowed down once I hit the 4km mark.
To me, more importantly, the crowd kept moving. I didn’t want to be left behind; I have to keep moving too.
Time breezed pass and before I knew it, I got to the 9KM mark, like finally. The last 1KM of my marathon!
I had a startling surge of energy. I’m almost there I thought. The cheers were loud (you guys rock!); the vibes were strong. I sprinted to the finish line. This was also my fastest leg of the race, clocking in at 7:25 minutes.
AND I MADE IT!
I had a smile on my face when I crossed the finish line (I hoped no one noticed). Oh yes, it felt damn good.
There were a lot of happy but exhausted faces at Dataran Merdeka after the run. Here are some photographs of me and my friends taken that day.
The day marked the first ever marathon I’ve participated in. The run was fun, exhilarating and something that I’ve alwyas wanted to do – a bucket list item – and I’m so proud of myself for finishing 10KM at 1:25:42. For those who participate in the half and full marathon – you’re an inspiration.
It was, no doubt, a wonderful and memorable experience. I’m toasting to many more to come. #KeepOnRunning
Food Blog by: Spicy Sharon