My First 7 KM

Me and the cert. Yeah!

Alhamdulillah. I ran and completed my first 7 kilometers for Asics Penang Bridge International Marathon 2014 (APBIM2014) in Fun Run category. Yes, you read correctly, I ran 7 km. Hahaha. If you know me, the fact that I run is already surprising. What's more surprising, I actually sign up voluntarily for this. Macam tak percaya je masa dapat official receipt tu.

My fellow runner friends were right. Firstly, I can run. Secondly, I will never know my limit if I did not take the opportunity to challenge myself. Thirdly, running during practice is totally different from running in an event with other runners. There were unspoken motivations when I ran with others passionate runners on the bridge yesterday.

The Beginning

Pinjam medal Ms. J..
Next year InshaAllah 10 km.
I believe everything begins approximately 1 year ago, when I first met Mr. R. He is the one person who ever and so persistently offering me all sorts of running opportunities. He would ask me to join something every time we meet despite being told every time that I don't run. So it is right to say that my first 7 kilometers were the result of all the rejection I made to him.

He managed to manipulate me to join an 8 km run last August, but that doesn't count. I only run 4 km (I detoured to Fun Run route; you can't expect a first time runner to just run 8 km!) and the intention was not pure (I was sending him Cyclops' glare all night). Hahaha. Even though the kilometers were not count, the sparks from that event has motivated me to join APBIM2014. Being my sponge-self, it was hard to resist the excitement radiated from the runners. That very night, while holding the first medallion I have even won, I my eyes glittered and a new desire started to bloom.

After that, whatever he and other runners say just seep into me. I need to mention Ms. J. She is another person who has special role in changing my perception. I don't know... She is just that likable and influential. Whatever Mr. R fails to convince me, she would naturally find her way. All she did was to share her experience and relate it back to me. Macam kena hipnosis pulak. Bangun pagi terus rasa yakin boleh berlari. That is the power of words plus sincere passion.

Training Diary

Memandangkan 'Aini bukan seorang yang berlari, even 7 km requires proper training. The first session was bad - it reminded me to the main reason why I don't run - and painful - because I did everything from warming up to running to cooling down wrongly. Before second session, I did what I do best: research and knowledge collection. Jarak antara sesi pertama dengan sesi kedua agak jauh atas sebab masa dan cuaca, so I read a lot.

Haruko Akagi
Sesi kedua dan seterusnya, Alhamdulillah, Allah beri jalan dan kemudahan untuk perbaiki teknik dan mutu larian. By 4th session, I have almost everything in my equation - warming up, cooling down, running, breathing and routine - that is suitable for me. The only missing thing was a pair of proper shoes. And again, Mr. R and Ms. J save the day. Like good *cough* parents *cough* they help me to choose a pair of running shoes - which later named "Haruko Akagi".

The sporty styles....

Because I don't have much time before APBIM2014, I was advise to wear Haruko Akagi as much as I can - that is to office. So I did. Merasa la bergaya sporty selama 3 minggu. Pakai dengan jeans masih okay. Pakai dengan skirt dan baju kurung yang paling mencabar. I received various type of reaction. Wahahahaha. Oh well. It matter less what type of shoes I wear, I will still princess walk in it :p

The Run

Kurang 100 jam sebelum APBIM2014, mula rasa macam nak flu. Dengan cuaca tak menentu, kalut di pejabat dengan pelbagai hal, mood pun dah serabut. The night before the R-day, I had a very bad headache. Sampai nak tidur pun tak boleh sebab terlalu sakit. I suspected it was due to dehydration. I volunteered at another program earlier that day and was not drinking properly. Even when I woke up on Sunday morning, I still feel a little bit dizzy and minor headaches. Despite the headache, I left home feeling enthusiast and positive.

My Fun Run begin with this~
Unfortunately I begin my Fun Run with waiting - for the shuttle bus - if you know what I mean. My waiting lasted about 30 minutes or so and I am this close to go home. Standing at the Queensbay Mall pick up point with hundreds of participants, seeing the 2nd Penang Bridge from afar, with the time ticking to 8 am for Fun Run flag off, was excruciating. Kalau tak fikirkan all the efforts that I have put into this event... memang dah lama lesap. (There’s no need to continue with the shuttle bus story. The news should be all over the place by now.)

I arrived at the site (after walking from the drop off point) at 8.15 am and straight away begin running. Beberapa ratus meter yang pertama tu dah naik bukit. Cepat je dah tak bertenaga. Bila dah kurang cerun, aku mula lari. Tiba-tiba perut cramp. I was a little bit confused and frustrated because it doesn't goes as smoothly as I planned. Demotivated pun ada sebab masa training dah takde masalah ni. Then I realized I was hiking the bridge all the while, facing the rising morning sun! Silly me.
Weeks of training were done on a flat road. Haruslah berbeza hasilnya bila berubah suasana. To ease the pain, I settled to walking mode and I try to readjust my breathing rhythm. Alhamdulillah, the pain doesn't go worse or longer. I continue running towards the (amazingly far and tak sampai-sampai. Hahaha) U-turn point. Masa ni otot kaki dah mula rasa sakit.

The morning sun....

Rehat sebentar sebelum
tiba ke U-turn point

U-turn point!

The feeling when I finally make the U-turn was priceless. I completed half of the run! Yeay! Rasa hati berbunga riang. Terus semangat nak berlari. By that time, the lane was full with runners and walkers. Somehow, I got the idea to pick certain male runners from 10 km category and make them my personal pacer. I keep on running until I can't run anymore. It was 2 km before the finish line when suddenly I felt so tired, I just want to quit. The fun run participants that were resting and taking pictures along the bridge were additional demotivation factor. I was lost in my own thoughts when my eyes landed on one of the motivational quotes that say: "It's hard to beat a person who never gives up!" 

*The* motivation..!

Alamak. Tak boleh jadi ni. Rasa defeated pulak. I plan to finish this run. I already imagine crossing the finishing line and proudly telling Mr. R and Ms. J that I made it. If I stop now – not that anybody would judge me – I have lost that opportunity. Tu pun after all the efforts and motivation and tips.
Run 'Aini run! I can't give up now. I shouldn't give up now. So I run despite whatever un-motivational conversation happening inside me. (E.g. How can 2 km be so so so damn far?!)

500 meter!
I can see and hear the cheers from the finishing line. I checked the time - there's a chance I can complete this in ONE HOUR! Terus berlari turun cerun 500 meter terakhir. Excited! Hahahaha.


9:15 am: One month plus with 9 training sessions, I crossed the finish line, grab the Fun Run certification and mentally pat myself on the back.
7 km in 60 minutes. Not bad for 'Aini's first run ^_____^

The end!

Such a long entry (full of grammatical errors) for a Fun Run. Yes, it is a measly 7 km for other competitive and long distance runners. But for me, this is not just a simple 7 km. This is my important achievement and this could be a start for more kilometers in the future. Well... Mr. R and Ms. J already have list of "opportunities" for me to test my limit and ability...

Run for your life~!

P.S: Dear Mr. R and Ms. J. I don’t see how you two would stumble upon my blog. But if in the future you somehow read this, I want to say that my 7 km was made even more possible because I have friends like you. Together is a nice word. Thank you. I hope I can accept more opportunities in the future.


After run meal...
Run 7 km and then eat for 15 km. Hahaha.


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