Monday, February 8, 2010

The Longest Half

That's the best way to describe my Putrajaya Night Marathon.

I only ran the half but it was probably the longest half I've ever run.

I pretty much konked out at kilometre 4 when I stopped at the water station to get a drink. Suddenly felt like I couldn't breathe. My lungs were burning and I just couldn't seem to get any air into them. My head was spinning, and I felt ready to pass out. I was ready to quit.

Then Mac came along. He yelled, "C'mon Arif! Move it! Just walk!"

And so I did. Till about kilometre 7.5 where I saw Senn giving encouragement to other runners. Was she a sight for sore eyes! Sat with her for a good 10 minutes, contemplating giving up. It was quite a sight: she yelling encouragement to the other runners, me next to her half dead, with my head in my hands.

After puking my guts out, I decided to just continue. Slowly. And so I set off to finish the next 13.5 kilometres. It was going to be a long night.

But it was like Senn breathed new life into me. I was actually able to run! I couldn't hold the pace I was doing earlier but at least I was running again. Lungs were still burning but it was more manageable than before.

Soon I was passing people who passed me earlier. I still couldn't run all the way though, still had to walk a bit up those nasty hills.

At the top of the last hill, there was Senn again. Abu was with her this time and they looked like they were having a picnic. I stopped and joined them. After a few gulps of water and some grapes, Abu and I set off to finish the last 6 kilometres. We were keeping a steady pace and talking about aero helmets and aerobars for Langkawi. Of course, I wasn't able to keep up with Abu's pace, so I guess he must have ended up talking to himself!

Finally got down to the Boulevard. But the race wasn't over yet. The organisers, who thought we hadn't suffered enough, gave us a little detour round the back of the Palace of Justice. So close, yet so far away! Never mind, just keep on going.

Finally there it was: the finish line. I crossed it, grabbed my post-race goodies and found a spot to just collapse and lay down. That finish was like coming back from the dead. Literally. I don't know how I did it, from a near-collapse at kilometre 4 to a finish 17 kilometres later. It must have been the angel on a pink bike named Tortue that helped breathe life back into me. Thanks babe.

It's now three times in a row that I haven't been able to put together a decent long run. I've either had to cut short the run, or suffer some kind of ailment. With Ironman looming just a little over two weeks away, this is worrying. Some people tell me I'm fatigued, but how can I be fatigued when I took the whole of last week off (see previous post)? So if I can't put a decent stand-alone 20-30k run together, what hope do I have of putting a full marathon together after a 180 kilometre bike? I suspect this year's target of having to run the entire marathon will be scrapped.

I'm worried...

1 comment:

Bandit said...

Bro, if its any compensation, the gang will be there to run with you in Langkawi.. will bring deep heat for leg rubs, chocolates in case you get bored of powerbars/gels.. will even run to McD, in case you want a beef burger..

but at the end of the day, it's all YOU bro.. you've crossed the line a couple of times already.. at least that's an advantage..