The mind of a runner is a wonderful but at the same time terrifying thing! Don’t believe me? Well, here is my story:-
My favourite part about racing is shockingly, not the running part but the habits I form before and after the races that makes me feel like I’m part of a tribe of sorts. A tribe of crazy people who wake up at 3 a.m to run as fast as I can for a certain distance, all to receive a medal. There’s also the really cool part of donating to charity and running for a cause, just like AXA Hearts in Action!
Anyways, the rituals- it’s having enough sleep the night before, the drinking of lot of water, the carb-heavy meal and the coffee in the morning. It’s the encouraging text message, and the scrambling to find parking and use of pinning of the bibs that keep me coming back, race after race.
However, this definitely wasn’t the race I was hoping for and not the recap I really wanted to write, but sometimes races don’t go the way we’d hoped.
I woke up with a rumbly stomach but managed to eat and chalked it up to race day jitters. My hubby and Amisha-my 2nd daughter, aged 11 and I ran the AXA Hearts in Action @ Cyberjaya. Mia and my hubby ran the 6 km, while I ran 12 km. It was indeed awesome to see father and daughter running together- it helped each other push a little bit harder.
The event started with a warm up Zumba session by Celebrity Fitness-which mostly none of the participants could follow their moves and techniques. However, it was fun, shaking, bouncing, wiggling around with over 5000 participants. At 6.45 am, the 12 km runners were all ready at the starting line- we were briefed by the Emcee and the race director. However, the briefing was unclear and blurry. To what I have observed, this race had many first timers/ beginners. Let me also give you a picture of the course….downhill…..downhill……….wind at your back……..slight uphills…turn around, Go into the tunnel…..U- Turn and run back up those damn hills…
The food trucks and tents were located right next to the start/finish all awaiting the finishers. Downside- the porta potties. Not that there’s much of a chance for them to the upside, but the lines were long and they were far from clean and sanitary- flip side:- desperate times calls for desperate measures.
The Atmosphere:- One of the best feelings is standing at the start line. You can feel the energy pulse through the crowd. It’s positive. It’s upbeat. It’s anxious. And it’s awesome!
Race:- I am not being dramatic when I say this, but I was so impressed by those running around (and past) me. It was hot, humid and hilly, but even though it was evidence we were all struggling , everyone pushed on.At 3 km, it appeared that some runners for the 6 km run somewhere along the route, someone took a wrong turn and all the other 6 km runners followed! A police traffic had to come to the rescue to re-direct the 6 km runners back to their original route. My poor little girl and hubby had to run an extra 1 km due to this technical error. Runners were running practically everywhere-left side of the road, right side of the road, in the middle of the road…ah yo yo yo yo….To make matters worst, cars, buses, motorcycles were zooming by ourside too….
Water station:- There were 3 water stations for the 12 km route. However sad to say that it was badly manned. Volunteers did not know what to do, how to handle the crowd. The paper cups were just stacked up and runners had to pour their own water into the cups- imagine a scene from a cartoon where lots of kites flying up above the sky..well, instead of kites- it was paper cups flying all around….I skipped two water stations due to the chaos – afraid of wasting time, precious minutes……
Then my thoughts started to ponder and wonder……RUN……FOREST……RUN!!! And you know what happened next? My endomondo stopped and said…..You have reached your destination and goal- 12 km but when I looked ahead, I noticed a sign that said 1 km to go (the one and only sign)…..I was just tiny bit delirious.(overall total distance 12.7 km)
What perhaps wasn’t so positive (but ultimately maybe is in the hands of the organisers- lack of proper signages/ marker course/ directions/ marshalls) or should I say, they were extremely non-existance!
Now, its not like I was the only runner out there suffering. Everyone I passed or passed me was working so incredibly hard. There were no smiles, laughter or jokes. It was all hard work.
We’ve all had them. They are inevitable. A part of life. Sometimes for no reason at all. Nothing to point to. Or everything to point to! THE BAD RUN! We hate it but it’s bound to happen from time to time. Try to remember you are not alone.Sometimes focus on the end game. Be present. The bad runs build our true strength. As in life, when you have tough days, tough experiences, learn how to see the big picture. Bottom line? Learn from the run (Organisers as well as runners) Embrace the suck! and kick your next run in the teeth!
Stay healthy, and there will be future races and for every bad race, there will surely be some great ones!