October 2, 2019

Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon 2019

My 11th KL Marathon, since 2009. 

And I clocked my personal best (PB) time, ran 42.195km in 5 hours 9 minutes 30 seconds.
Shaved 1 hour 25 seconds off my previous best time at Tokyo Marathon 2016
And 1 hour 19 minutes off last year's edition.

This timing is nothing to shout about for elite or fast runners. But it is a huge personal accomplishment for me. Still stoked till today. Can't believe I can actually run with this timing. Cos if you know me and my running history, I was never a fast runner. I run just for fun. To lose weight. No proper training. 

I ran a PB for Half Marathon (HM) at 2 hours 22 minutes 53 seconds just 2 weeks before, at Sultan Mahmud Bridge International Run. The PB definitely gave me a motivation boost. I was confident to finally do a sub 6 and perhaps pushed to 5.30 this time around based on the timing. 

I don't run regularly but I guess my time in the gym pays off. All those cardio, strength training and stretching yoga poses definitely helps me getting stronger and fitter and slimmer ;p 

Still, I was really nervous prior to the marathon. Obviously Maybe because I didn't have enough mileage. Maybe because of the haze. Maybe because I was recovering from flu, fever, cough, diarrhea. And then the red flag decided to come, just a day before the marathon. Period pain. Fine. At least I don't have to stop for Subuh prayer during the run.

Come race day. Flag off was at 3.45am. It was drizzling at the beginning of the run. I kinda liked it because I hoped the weather would be cooler, although my feet would suffer with the wet socks and shoes. Lost my sister in the sea of runners just before KM1. Damnn it because I was planning to pace her. 

But I did okay running alone. Well I ran alone all these while. All the time, I watched my pace with my trusted Garmin Fenix 5S (this is like the best investment I ever did for sports). At KM15, I was reunited with my sister but she wanted to stop at Petronas station to go to the toilet. 

Hundred meters in front, I saw the 5 hours pacers so I caught up with them and continued running along Jalan Ampang, to MRR2 and then powered on to DUKE highway. Passed the 21km checkpoint and collected the wristband. Glanced at my watch. My time was 2:24. Okay not bad. A thought came to my mind, maybe if I pushed myself harder and didn't lose sight of the 5 hours pacers I could do a sub 5.

Alhamdulillah so far no major cramps, no nature calls. I remember last year, I suffered cramps on the highway and walked most of the remaining course. But deep down, I knew I wasn't ready for the unplanned sub 5 mission. My pace started to slow down as I started to run-walk on the highway. Mentally torturing, this one. And also because we merged with HM runners halfway through. It was very crowded especially at the water station. I could still see the 5 hours pacers' balloons far ahead but later missed them completely when I crossed the second checkpoint, just before exiting DUKE.

Ran through busy Jalan Kuching before we entered the dreaded Bukit Tunku. Parted ways with the HM runners here. Passed by a few stalls set up by fellow runners and supporters but I was shy so I never stopped. Run-walk strategy continued here. Walked uphill, ran downhill. Repeat a few times hahaha.

When we merged again with the HM runners after Bukit Tunku, I was really lazy to run due to the bottleneck. Just after KM40, I met my friend, Nana. Looking at my current timing, she encouraged me to do a sub 5.15. Sub 5 was out of reach but sub 5.15 is also good. Challenge accepted!

And so I mustered all the energy I had left and sprinted towards the finishing line. The time displayed on the timing board was 5 hours 14 minutes. Yasssss!!! I knew I did better than that because I started the run 5 minutes late.   

Marathon number 13 done and dusted. And my best ever.


Siti Yang Menaip said...

suka tengok orang yang join marathon ni. bagus.. kite xleh la.. hihi dok tepi je kasi sokongan. penah join SC ni tapi jadi volunteer edar air =P

rara said...

@Siti: Try la.. join fun run dulu :)