I cringe when people ask me if I am a runner when they see me in one of my events vest. I will give them my laugh and say, No-lah .. I TRY to run.
I have never actually really ran in all the events that I joined. I'd be jogging slowly at the start and pick up my momentum and once I hit my comfortable pace, try to keep it there as far as possible, power walking (or hobbling in the case of SCKLM) in between when necessary. But always, always, when I came home, I woud berate myself for not pushing, because I knew I actually could have done way better.
Reason - I dont have good knees and most of the races that count, (actually PNM and SCKLM ajelah yang really count hehe) I went in with injury !! and I am not a spring 27 year old, but a young at heart, older in some other places 47 year old!! Facts are facts and I was never a runner to begin with. Its just something I picked up and got hooked along the way :)
Anyway, I was away at ~bleep~, and had ~bleep~ to deal with. I dont know why but when I packed, I threw in my race kit* (like terror jer ada race kit haha) in as well. I wasn't planning on a long run, let alone a full marathon distance, but a run nonetheless.
I took a stroll the evening before, and was looking at the endless road that I could run. Bought some snacks and grabbed some gatorades as well. A run would do me good.
I do crazy things on an impulse sometimes. (Like signing up for the SCKLM full marathon) Restless night, could hardly sleep and finally at the wee hours of the morning I gave up. And just like that I decided that I would go out and run.
It was a stupid thing to do. I was alone, it was really in the wee hours and there were practically no one around. But sometimes, the only way to do it is just to throw caution to the winds and redha.
I took light snacks, get geared and clumsily prepared my hydration pack (first time pakai ler) and went out.
And I started to jog slowly, the first km I thought I was gonna die and almost wanted to just stop ..(havent ran since Hatyai) but I trudged on and slowly with all the pent up emotions in me, I started to run. Honestly I dont know how I managed. Something in me snapped, and the minute everything rushed out, I was on the go and unstoppable.
I cant totally recall if I stopped to power walk or when did I take my power gels (I gulped down 4 at least). Only thing I remembered was how hard it was to drink from the hydration pack, only after a few tries did I manage to get it working to my comfort. But one thing I knew, I ran. Like I have never ran before. Chasing the demons away.
At some point of time, I looked at my wristband and realised that I had gone out much much further than I wanted or expected. Doubled back and I simply went. All kinds of pain set in but instead of stopping or slowing down I used it to fuel my run and continued.
I reached back to my destination, totally worn. I had nothing left in me, not a single ounce of energy nor feeling. Just numbness. I dont know how I got back into my room. I remember sitting in the bath tub and let the shower ran over me for a long time and somehow got into bed and slept for almost 7 hours straight.
I woke up to body aches, totally swollen and throbbing knee but I also realised with clarity, whatever demon I was chasing and fighting, its gone. And I won. It will take time, patience and hard work to make things right again but I know that I am again, Me. And that I will be able to face the challenge God has thrown my way. He challenges and tests you in ways that you cant understand sometimes. But God knows best.
And as I was cursing the pain, I also marvelled at the distance I ran and the time. 44.2km in 5:50:45. I have to gloat here. Yeah baby :) I cant tell you how I did it. But I can most definitely tell you I dont think I can repeat this feat again. I sure had reasons and motivation for the run but its not a kind of motivation that I'd want to use to fuel all my runs. I'd be back to doing it anak mami style :)
And I am slowly making my way up from the deepest end of unchartered
territories waters. Life is too short. Live it to the fullest. And, take it one day at a time.
Morale of the story : dont bring your race kit on days like this, you might end up like Forrest Gump ;o)
* consists of power gels, body glide, knee guard, plasters, power bar, injinji socks, armband, road ID, ankle reflector, deep heat nuun tablets (kalah the pro lah hahaah)