I know PBIM was a number of weeks ago. But somehow, tried as I would, I just couldn’t bring myself to update my blog. Perhaps it was a case of “Been there, done that” and couldn’t conjure up the excitement of putting it down in words. Perhaps it was sheer laziness. Whatever the excuse, I just couldn’t leave it unfinished, especially now that I am officially unemployed and idling around the house.
Yes, for those who did not know, I have resigned from my private practice in KPJ Penang Specialist Hospital just 5 days before the PBIM. That, is another story. Suffice to say that it was a decision that I should have made a long time ago.
Well, PBIM 2013, was pretty much like PBIM 2011 and 2010…. (Skipped last year’s race in preference for another coinciding race). It was supposed to break out from it’s generic mould this year if not for the untimely collapse of a segment of the second bridge. Most who signed up were excited with the prospect of running proudly on our second bridge. But, it was not to be. Needless to say, many were disappointed. But life goes on.
I only looked forward to it because I assumed that with the second bridge, there would not be any need to schedule the start time quite so early in the morning. Over the years, the appointed hour was a crazy 2am, when normal people reside in the comfort of their beds, doing whatever that normal people do. But no, we just have to be different.
Enough said. Well, this year’s figures had gone up to a whooping 47K. I suspect that was largely because of the prospect of running on the second bridge which attracted many sign ups. But the actual full marathon figure was a measly 4.7K. So, before we pop the champagne, a little perspective would be good. After all, Malaysia’s marathon running is still taking baby steps. It will take a while before we see staggering numbers like 35K for FULL marathoners like in Tokyo.
Anyway, physically, I was not in the best form. Since Berlin Marathon, if that was my peak, I think this had to be a trough season. Training was off and LSD was almost none existence. I was not too bothered though because the main race that I was looking forward to is the upcoming TNF HK100. PBIM was supposed to be an intended LSD, a forced training if you would call it. So, I can’t say my heart was entirely in it.
The race was pretty well organized. Grant it that they have done their best, under the circumstance. But it felt a bit chaotic. Kind of like “Chi-Cheong Kai”. People were walking in and out of the finish line. I could imagine finishing an arduous 42km just to have some dude nonchalantly crossing my path as I struggle to cross the finish line. Not very professional in that sense. The officials either didn’t care or were just clueless about crowd control.
Well, CM LGE gave the flag off at 2am. Salute that man for being on time. And above all, gracing us with his presence at such an unsociable hour. Love him!
OK. On with the race already. I had no plans whatsoever. No strategy. No target. Just felt that it would be good to just go out there and run. Like Forrest Gump. Despite putting on the GPS watch, I hardly checked my pace. There were many runners friends that I managed to bump into. But that was largely after the race. The run was kind of lonely and boring, if I may say so.
It is 2am. No one’s gonna line the streets to cheer you on. And I have a suspicion that even if it is like Tokyo, even if we have the perfect cool climate and starting time is a comfortable 7am, I won’t quite place my bet on Malaysian supporters to show up. Don’t get me wrong, we are hospitable people. Most Malaysians just aren’t so into marathon. (Football/soccer would be a different story.) Just count your blessing that they won’t honk at you for blocking their passage amidst road closures.
I was doing quite ok with a comfortable pace as I ran along Chuah and a few other Chinese nationals, but soon after the loop back from the bridge, I was beginning to tire. But it was not the “wall”. Somehow, it was just a sense of “blah-ness”. Fatigue. And a sudden loss of interest to push. I didn’t even bother to sustain the pace. I knew I could still push because I was not THAT tired. However, the will had a mind of it’s own. It was weaker, perhaps secondary to sleep deprivation.
Did I mention that this running at 2am was a crime against the circadian rhythm??...Someone do something about it!
Well, no point crying over spilled milk. I had to finish what I got myself into. And hopefully still make it within a respectable time. Not because of ego, but largely because I thought it would be illogical to work hard in the first half and finish poorly. It’s like a job half done. And that would go against my principle. Well, ego has a small role in it too…
So, after the Jelutong turn at 33km, I made more effort to pick up pace and finally finished with a 3:22. Not too shabby. But not too great either. I may sound a tat conceited, but let me stress that this is my personal opinion of the event. I compare myself to no one. That’s because I believe everyone should measure themselves against their own target and level of fitness. For me, it was a “blah”….but a happy “Blah” because at least I managed to salvage the last 10km with some concerted effort. I finish it with dignity. It was not all in vain.
So, this is a short one. Next, I will be writing on the Annual Round the Island event. Hopefully, I won’t go through weeks of procrastination before that is done…