Saturday, November 26, 2011

Penang Bridge International Marathon 2011

Alright, this is one run I've taken a break from since I did the 42km. That was in 2006. And finally this year I decided to sign up due to the arrangement of events which somehow I ended up in Penang. Plus I ran with my god-sis, her bestie and well, it's one run which I think I've taken alot of photos before start. Ok, 3 only lah, but then again I usually don't take any ;p

Anyway, starting at 3.15am, I think it is the most absurb time it could be. But anyway, for the heck of it, I took the challenge. Quite optimistic after a good outing at the PJHalf (ok, pirate pun pirate lah ;p), I was aiming to just finish, and perhaps clock a decent time. No targets, knowing I'd not be able to do anything less that 2:30. I wasn't prepared.

As I ran, I looked out for people whom I know who would be taking part. Met a childhood friend and she was surprised to see me. Started the run pacing two white chicks as they seemed to be or reasonable pace. Somehow, at the 1st toilet stop, they stopped so I had no pacer. I ran keeping to the earlier pace until one fit-looking girl came up next to me. So I ran alongside her, until we reached the mid-span, and she started to breathe so hard and fast, it was distracting. Seriously. I was surprised and how calm and consistent my breathing was compared to hers, that at one point, her breathing was so distracting that I had to push myself to run ahead of her. I was running out of breath just listening to her breathe.

Crap. And I thought I was the un-fit one. OK OK, cannot compare this way.

BUt anyhow, we were somewhat the same pace, but surprisingly I was faster on the hill/slopes. hahahaha I am amazed. I'm always the slower one compared to anyone when it comes to hills. So I have Fong and Alvina to thank for this improvement.

Anyway, I was glad when we U-turned at 9.8km and approached a water station. BUt WHAT?? NO WATER? I was dying of thirst. I wanted to down my gel and finish with water, but no water? I was already regretting not running with my pals cos they had water in their fuel belt. One man actually begged the volunteers for whatever leftover they may have as he is dying of thirst. Decided to leave that drama, I ran. then I saw those small mineral water bottles on the siderails of the bridge. I scouted as I ran and there were a few almost full bottles. I just grabbed it and down some of the water while running. AAaaaaah life saver!

All that happened when I was also experiencing an onset of calf cramps. WHAT?? I've never experienced cramps ever while running!! This is not good! Change my stride but then my toes hurt. Changed it back, stopped to stretch then continued. 1-2km down the road I had to stop again. I was cursing just before the 17km U-turn. But when I reached, the isotonic water station was DA BEST!! Iced cold 100-Plus to clear my mind off the pain. Then the checkpoint and maybe bout 100m away was an icing-station. It was quite a relief when my calfs were iced. Then I took a slow 5km run back. The thoughts of stopping and icing them legs were very very strong. BUt I kept running till the end.

The sight of the finishing line seemed to take forever. I was glad I finished despite clocking a slower time. Truthfully? Kinda dissapointed that I had to experience cramps. BUt oh, did I mention that from KM6 or so onwards, I had indigestion. It was not pleasant. This translated into stomach cramps bout KM12 onwards.

Oh well, now I've experienced all the pain! But I will still come back again!!

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