2017: My reality
It has always been a mission to keep fit and healthy especially more after giving birth to my kids. Prior to marriage I had the time of my life doing what I wanted to do and like in the sports realm. Adrenaline was the game and satisfaction was the reward. My yearly planning revolved around sports events.
Fast forward to now, I still needed to keep active, but smartly and realistically with the assumed role of mother and wife. When I start with that goal (being fit and healthy), it makes it easier for me to plan what I would do to be able to achieve. Its like opening a map, and I am at point A. I have an end destination, and will have to find a way to get there. Obstacles are part of the ‘tour’ package. With that in mind, I am prepared to make alterations in planning need be, but still, with that end destination in mind.
Deciding on Standard Chartered KL Marathon
With this being said, I intentionally booked my dated for the Standard Chartered KL Marathon as a reason and motivation for me to keep moving. You know that ‘lost’ feeling when you don’t have a goal or purpose? Well, I turned that around and decided that KL Marathon will be one of those smaller goals (bigger goal –> keeping healthy and fit) I can look forward to. Of course there are other events, just that timing wise, it clicked with my current fitness. I did train for the Powerman Malaysia duathlon event where I did the Short Distance. It was fun and I did not finish last! Special thanks to Azhar for accommodating with my training plan request.
For the Standard Chartered KL Marathon (registered for half-marathon) , I was on Hal Higdon novice 12 weeks program. Again, this is all about planning and being objective and real with what I wanted to do, and how realistically I can achieve that. So this was the way:
- Registered for the event. Carefully handpicked a distance suitable for my then suitable fitness level
- Look for a suitable training program. I could never go wrong with Hal Higdon’s program for running events
- Put down the plan in writing into my organiser/planner . Writing it down worked for me as I can see on a weekly and monthly view my training plan
- Work to achieve each week’s training goals AND being able to breath daily as a full time data analytics executive, a mother and a wife. Creativity is essential in ensuring our training is on track regardless of the obstacles we might be facing
- Planning my logistics was exciting. It flexes my problem solving ability !
It is also important to ensure all bodily systems are given their rightful maintenance. I was having some plantar fascia issue which I got fixed with a couple of session at my favourite physio. Sports massage or deep tissue massage are options to rewards your muscles and joints after the weekend long run 🙂 You need it !
So fast forward to race day, I was at the back end of the half marathon lot. Thousands of runners but managed to bump into my Robert Downey Jr. look-alike triathlon buddy, Azman. He rides with the BJCC group by the way (they ride like the wind!). Arif Sidek was running the half too but he was at the front. Parked about 1km or less from the start line, dropped off my backpack at the luggage area and pee-stop at the ladies at Dataran Underground. I took my wudu’ (ablution) as race start was just a couple of minutes before Subuh.
I had my trusted Suunto T3 with me and that was all I needed to steer and keep me on track. Of course had to have my phone with me to take photos. I was there to finish the race. Quietly aimed for anything sub 3 for this come back half marathon.
Gun-off, and there we were shuffling our feet through the start line. It took about more or less 8 minutes if I remember correctly ! Subuh (fajr/morning prayer) came, and I saw a group of runners already performing their prayers on office building walkways. I quickly dashed to join them without much thinking. So there I was in submission alhamdulillah.
Continued the run, and was super excited to run through Jalan Ampang and the AKLEH highway. I basically grew up in Ampang and being able to scale the street in the early morning was just somewhat momentous. Passing the Rubber Research Institute Jalan Ampang on foot was just amazing. So apparently I am not the only one in love with this historic art-deco building designed by Arthur Oakley Coltman.
Up on AKLEH (Ampang-KL Elevated Highway) was a thrill (for the love of hills). We’re into our 9-10th kilometer and it normal to see people already slowing down at this stage, more so up a generally steep hill. Slowly cruised my way up before stopping briefly at the mobile toilet stationed around the 11km mark for a quick relief. Not long after that bumped into Kam and Fiza (they just got engaged recently, Congratulations!) , a quick photo op (don’t we love taking mid run photos!) and off I went. Now heading down to Sultan Ismail toward the Jalan Kuching turn off, passing by the Sultan Ismail LRT Station. There was this water mist balloon arch thing, but did not feel cool at all. So best just pour out a bottle of water on the head when passing a water station.
From Jalan Kuching through Jalan Kinabalu – Jalan Parlimen – Jalan Damansara – back on Jalan Kinabalu passing the National Mosque on the left and PosLaju building on the right (Malaysia national courier), and straight ahead to the finish line in front of the 12 year old Bangunan Sultan Abdul Samad.
The splits, water station etc
- 1KM – Subuh (morning prayer)
- 4KM – Toilet stop
- 12KM – Water/Toilet stop
- 21KM – Stopped to help a cramping runner
There were another 2-3 water stops not listed above, even a ‘banana stop’ which I felt was a bit too into the race.
The water stations were located at acceptable distance from one another, likewise the mobile toilets. All in all, it was an enjoyable run. Couldn’t be any better if not for the right dose of training and preparation.
I was also given a media pass, thanks to my blog, to cover for the event including their prize giving ceremony and press conference.
The KL Marathon was first organised in 1989 and was previously sponsored by Ambank before Standard Chartered took over as main sponsor in 2009. Can I see some hands up if you still keep your AmBank KL Marathon certificate? I have mine !
To all finishers, Congratulations. Those who didn’t , look forward for this annual event next year ! There are many other events nowadays. Just gotta pick wisely !
With this half marathon done, I am looking forward to start training for my next event in September. Been off running for while now after Ramadhan (fasting month) and Eid !
Thanks for reading, and have a nice day !
Yours in writing,
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