Its already July now. More than 6 months have.passed and just relecting back, I've come a very long way with new milestobes accomplished. This blog has been neglected in many ways. Gone are the days that will see me piece together my adventures almost instantly like a fresh havenly baked apple pie.
No time? Perhaps. Excuses? Likely. Then again, no one ever finds my entries interesting or inspiring right? Its just a venting mechanism if you ask me.
In the past, I would blog just to share the experience I went through. Perhaps you budging weekend warriors out there can decipher the clues I've laid out to start your very own adventure. Whatever they may be. Nothing to lose in shating either.
So lying here on the hospital bed gives me a chance to reflect back for the first half of 2012. Truth to be told, I think I've pushed myself a tad too much lately. Something which I never believed in before cause I thought the human body was made like a machine *sniggers*.
Last year my biggie in terms of accomplishment were to complete my first ultra 100km. I did. To date, I've managed 4 of them and 2 were achieved in the month of Feb this year. My love for running is still my first love and will continue to be. Marathon wise, am still progressing to up the count and have completed 6 this year for a total of 24 marathons to date. All this in the span of rougly 2 years when i first ran my virgin marathon.
That was SCKLM 2012, about a km just before the finishing line. The left hand showing 4 fingers. Yup, a nice sub 4 in my own playground and it has been a while. The last time i managed a sub4 was in Chiangmai Dec last year. I guess my running mojo came back. Somehow. A fantastic 3:52, shaving just 2mins off my previous PB. Ah well, gladly take it as this was done in warm climate and with the famous Bukit Tunku hills thrown in the mix.
A week later, I had a go at the Gold Coast marathon. A tall order considering its a back to back marathon. I dont think i have done a back to back before. Certainly not a week apart. Wasnt putting high hopes on this but to run my best and enjoy my 24th marathon.
Initial weather was nice and cooling but half way through, the sun came blasting out in full force. The intensity was super high to say the least and i did feel the brunt of it and did slow me down in the last 10km. I was told that many locals were rushed to the hospital due to dehydration.
Glancing at my watch at km30, it showed only 2:40 i think i had plenty of time to repeat a sub4. And yes i did achieve another sub4, closing in at 3:47. 5mins off previous PB. Might not seem a lot but in running terms, that could be as far as one km. Was super happy specially finishing the race off with the jalur gemilang in tow. Epic.
Here comes the best bit. A week later i was to tackle my 2nd and 3rd triathlon in Port Dickson? Why 2nd and 3rd you may ask? Cause i was foolish enough to sign up for both Sprint and Olympic Distance categories on Saturday and Sunday respectively.
My debut Tri was in Kenyir in March. Tough one cause i really sucked in swimming! I still do! Cause i couldnt pay more attention and time to that discipline. And when i was off running the back to back marathons, i hardly swam. In between i had flu and sore throat issues. Great.
So Saturday came. Ready or not, this was it. Cool calm composure needed for the swim.
It was the OPEN sea.
The BIG sea.
And one with an endless bottom.
Now wasnt the time to be paralysed by the open sea i told myself. As the gun went, all 600 of us rushed to the sea. I was way behind. Didnt like the fact of being kicked, slapped or elbowed in the sea. Nasty experience. Got in deep enough and started to stroke. Somehow the flu that morning didnt help and after a few strokes, i gasped for air. Badly.
Somehow i made it to the first bouey and made a left turn. Told myself to just stroke and rest. Repeat that many many times and it will soon be over. And stop thinking of drowning i told myself. Keep calm and level headed.
For what seemed liked an eternity, i reached shore. Phew. Happy. Went on with the bike and run leg without a hitch and declared myself a PD Triathlete with a not so fantastic timing of 1:33. The experience however was priceless.
One down. One more to go the next day. The rest of the day was spent chilling out as much. I remembered not sleeping much the night before OD (Olympic Distance). The anxiety i guess. After all, all discplines were only twice further than sprint. Kept assuring myself its a piece of cake. I could last a 100km on legs only and for over 22 hours, how hard can this be?
Sunday morning came. The minutes leading to the flag off was devastating. At least to me it was. A 1.5km swim. I heard my inner self saying i could do this. I must.
Off goes the gun. Slowly made my way to the sea and started stroking away. Stroked and stroked. Surprisingly today was much better swimming wise. I could stroke long and continous without having to gasp for more air. Great. Confident i was after the turn at the first bouey and made my way to the cove. Heading to the u-turn and where the boats were parked, i actually saw some swimmers taking the short cut. Instead of heading to the bouey for the u-turn, they did the turn halfway.
Idiots. Why cheat yourself? You are not going to podium any way. Unbecoming behaviour really and shame on you for cheating. I got to the last turn at it was another 250m to go before reaching shore. Surely, i reached the shore and completed my swim! 44mins wont win me gold at the olympics but the fact of the matter, i completed my swim!
Right after the swim and rinsing off with fresh water. I was really estactic i completed my swim in one piece. This, coming from a guy whom before this was a fun-splash-around swimmer who only took this discipline seriously at the start of the year. Note to myself: i need more training and swim mileage to be better. No short cuts really.
Off i went into transition area for the bike leg. Got everything on and pushed Pooky (my bike name of course) and started to ride with an easy pace. About 3.5km in, disaster struck. Somehow for a split second, i lost focus. And within that split second, i saw the road railing on my left inching closer to my bike. And closer. Boom.
My left arm was over the rail? My chest on the rail and i scrapped both my knees. Took me a while to be rid of the shock. I tried to stand. Not a problem. I saw blood ozzing from both knees. Got my water bottle and gushed water at them to clear the blood to assess the damage.
Left knee had skin lesions only. Right knee looks bad. I saw a bump at the knee. Tapped on it. Was hard. Crap. Dont tell me thats my broken bone jutting out. Pressed a bit more and a pebble sized of a 5 cents coin popped out! Whats left was a big hole in my knee and blood still oozing out. Told myself thats it. Game over.
Rested for a long while and many riders passed asking how i was. Signaled to them i was fine and for them to continue on. Thouht some help would come soon. From the medic van perhaps? Minutes passed and nothing came. Inspected Pooky. Handle was wedged 90degress across the bike frame.
Freed the steering and tested the bike. She was good to go. Good girl. Plan B was now to just ride back to the starting line and call it quits. So i rode ultra slow against the riders coming towards me. No choice as i would have to go across the highway to be on the right side. And i got back safely and went to the medic tent. Many were looking at me as if i was the first rider back lol. Paiseh really.
Me riding back after the fall. Can see the blood.on my knees. Thanks to Tey for the pic and support.
Told them what happened, they cleaned up the wound and gave me a tetanus shot. Bandaged both knees. You know what? This happened automatically i swear! I asked if i could continue!!! Dunno what hit me really and i promised them if there is a hint of pain or feeling nausea or light headed, i would stop completely. Doc said Yes!
Thanked the doc, picked up Pooky and off i went again! Call me insane. Call me stupid. Call me anything! I am no quitter! Never. And i aim to finish this Triathlon as long as these legs and body are abled!
So off again i went on the biking leg. Already many cyclists were making their return. I didnt care. Just needed to ride out 40km. Sun was hot. U-turn was at 20km. Heading just to that point was like forever. Rode what i could with what's left in me. Saw some riders on MTB and passed them. Of course shout out of encouragements to them. Reached the u-turn. Refilled. They had iced cold water. Just what i wanted. Half done. What's another half right?
Km by km. Hill by hill. It was mental torture to me. Sun on my back. Blistering hot. Sweat rolling non stop from my forehead to my chin. I called my for my inner strength to pull me through. It did. I was back again at Avillion where i started. Thank god.
At transition area for the run leg, i asked myself.do i still have it in me to complete another 10km run? No answer. What the heck. Just run i told myself. Knee was hurting slightly now and my chest, due to the impact with the railing, exhibited pain when inhaling.
Next question. To sarong or not? Damn you. Always ran in one and so will this time. At least i go out in style i told myself. So i slipped on my pink sarong and off i went. Plenty of claps and cheers from supporters and friends and that boosted me up for a bit.
As i headed off for my run
More runners coming back. Gave me looks. Gave me thumbs up. Gave me big smiles. Enough to fuel me. I ran non stop but slowly. Dranked at each water stations as it was getting hotter by the minute. I got honks by cars passing me and thumbs up were seen from the passengers in thr vehicles. I wasnt spared by the picknickers too. Specially on my return leg after the u-turn as this took me on the beach route. They cheered and.clapped seeing me running in sarong. I can only grin ear to ear.
Was 1.2km to the finishing line for what seemed like another eternity run. Running through the remainder of the blue carpet laid on the grass was amazing. I cant even describe the feeling as i crossed the finishing line. This was indeed a special finishing to me. And i did it.
Ah well. Not without consequences i suppose. Writing this from my hospital bed. Needed to be admitted because there were still foreign objects lodged in the wound and a small operation was needed to ensure nothing is left in it to avoid infection later. No complains.
I might be out of action for a while. Perhaps the much needed rest that was supposed to happen.
We shall see ...