If someone had come up to me about nine months ago and told me if I would be running in this year’s Standard Chartered KL Marathon, my response then would have been one of utter disbelief and laughter. You see, I’m not a fast runner. Nor was I very consistent with my training. With barely twenty kilometres of mileage clocked in each week, I have always hovered between ‘newbie’ and ‘just your average recreational runner’. When I joined the Kyserunkrew (the KL Wolf Pack), things started to change. I learned the technical aspects of running and I got better at it. After seeing so many of my teammates improving their race times and dominating marathon courses, I began to entertain the thought that 42 kilometres isn’t entirely impossible.
The final deciding factor for signing up was a deep, personal one. All I can say about this reason is that I was going to run for the people who wanted to, but couldn’t.
I spent the better half of the remaining eight months training. It wasn’t entirely smooth sailing as I had to juggle between my work at an international humanitarian organisation, writing and editing fictional pieces that were getting published in international markets, taking care of my family back home, and managing a small animal rescue group, which included fundraising, vet trips, and adoptions for at least eight cats and several dogs.
I made it a point to run on Tuesdays and Fridays with the KyserunKrew. On days when I wasn’t absorbed with the joy of doing hill reps, speed sessions, and the occasional LSDs, I would hyperventilate about the upcoming race. On weekends, I would do my long runs with my brother or members of Team Koleq, another running group consisting of both new and seasoned marathoners whose coaching advise was very helpful leading up to race day. As the months to race day dwindled down to weeks, my anticipation for the race grew, until Murphy’s Law reared its ugly head and I busted my knee.
The injury meant nearly a month of physiotherapy sessions at the hospital, and less training time. I wasn’t going to back out from the race, even if the doctor wasn’t so certain about how my knee would fare. I had a goal to fulfil. Even if it meant crawling across that finish line at 7 hours.