Sunday, June 16, 2013


My stamina was never really that good.
I'm easily out of breath after the first 100m.
I'm more to a speed-built.
I can't run really far.
I prefer distance walking than running.
I will never need to run far anyway.
My jog time is horrible.
Most importantly, I'm the computer dude. Wasn't the common stereotype for my course are introvert and stuffs?

Those, are the excuses I used all this time whenever I asked myself "why you never run long distance?" or when other people suggest me to take the post for it. I'll turn it down 200% sure.

I guess I changed a lot after witnessing all the participants in past Xterra event. All of them are...superb? It's kinda indescribable with words. I mean when you see those competitions from your TV screen or online broadcast, it just feels like 'Oh, okay. They work hard. I see.' but when you see them with your own eyes, they are like the very crystallization of human's spirit and determination itself. I know most of them are professionals already but there's also a lot of other rookies and even those in late 40 and 50, even 60!

So....long story short, days after the event passed I started doing my homework. Simple exercises like running laps around my dorm, swimming back after months and walk. A lot. I want to improve my performance to the point where I can reach their level. It's kinda impossible but I still have long way to go (still 19 what? :p). 

They say when you hit it correctly, everything will fall into the right place. I went for the road relay trial for 1.5km and guess what? I'm selected. Not to be proud or anything, truth is they're looking for 3 guys and 3 girls, and the only guys shown up were us 3. Starting from there I trained more, thinking I can do it since I still have a month worth of practice.

Next two weeks, our sports advisor (Mr. Mark) told us to go for athletic club practice in bukit jalil at friday and we went, took the bus from campus for 40 minutes journey. What we never expect was they're having a trial too for next week competition, MAPCU Athletic Championship(MAPCU stands for Malaysian Association of Private Colleges and Universities). If we were to grade the importance of this and the road relay in the end of the month, I would say the margin was 3-4 points out of 10. Partially worse and lucky, I'm selected again for the 1.5km run since we told our captain we're here to train for 1.5km.

From the moment I saw my name on the list, I panicked. Panicked like crazy. Why you ask? the burden. The weight of the SUNWAY TEAM sports shirt was too heavy for me. Being a realistic and calculative person myself, I know I'm fighting a losing battle since the very start. It demoralized me. The fact that I'm running on a foreign place with a totally foreign distance, plus with the knowledge of people from other college was real fast brings a tons of fear! My jog time for 1.5km was only 14 minutes sharp in the moment. The average finishing time is 5-7 minutes. Worse you are forbidden to walk while running in track. It's not stated in the official regulations but you just can't bear the shame of walking right? I mean your team and other teams are watching you, everyone is watching and you walk while others run till their last drop of stamina.

Have you ever played Digimon Savers in PS2 console?
They have this interesting AI system where your digimon - your battle character also can show their thought via their preferred actions in the battle. So when yours was in upper hand, it will become more and more aggressive and vice versa.
it's feeling strong, so the action commands multiplied

notice the escape and guard commands number?
My action list was like 3/4 of escape already. I'm keep thinking of running away from responsibilities and simulating possible working excuses. What keeping my mind straight; my last shard of action commands available, is my team members. I don't know how to face them if I run away here. I finally found a group of people that I could run together with and we already planned a lot of run and training, even marathon in near future. Facing the challenge with a slightly, slightly brighter attitude, my only goal is to finish the run in 8 minutes- or at least not being the last and the margin wasn't too far. 

In the remaining days left, I run for 5km everyday. Either treadmill or outside, my daily goal is 5km or until I started feeling something weird with my feet. It's kinda pointless right if you twisted your leg even before the big day? I hurt my left heel and right middle joint though in the end. If I was up for sprint then I would definitely lose already for not being capable of expanding my stride. However since it was long distance, you're running with economic pose here so it's okay. (I did be careful enough not to damage them more)

So today is the day. I have read a lot of motivation quotes and as my friends suggestion, take a lot of carbs- especially banana! And just when you think your graph line is going upward, life is always there to knock you down. Long distance run was supposed to be the first in most races. Today? nah, it was the second before the last 400m relay run, 12pm exactly. We're there since 8 and I got really worried about my stomach getting hungry(although I eat a lot ald). Cheers for our captain to share his nasi lemak, dytesh for the breads, sylvia for the oat krunch and dytesh again for the revive, I managed to survive the hunger and anxiety.

So after working part time as photographers during the earlier runs (no paycheck!) it's my turn. Our team members has performed so well considering we're assembled in a really hectic manner and short period of training. The starting pistol was fired. The race has started. We're running in one straight line. It's half lap already. I occupied the back-half region. I felt myself getting slower. No, it's them that getting faster, or maybe it's both. I lose to their pace. The distance was starting to get bigger. I saw other 3-4 runners also getting slower. The 1 line formation was slowly dispersed. Dramatically speaking, it was like a shooting star. The head was solid and packed but the tail was scattered. That's our position and most importantly my position. I felt the distance between the head and tail already passed 100m, nearing 200m. Even though I'm running with a moderate speed, I'm at the verge of my limit. Second lap finished. One person fall down, getting cramp on his right feet. I'm thinking two consecutive things at this point. "Ah, it would be nice if I fall down, maybe even faking it so that would be the end" followed by "I must not fall, I must finish this no matter what.". I don't know what makes the second thought to appear suddenly. Maybe it because I thought I'm here running for half the total distance already, why don't just finish it? The answer quickly unfolded though. I was ready to collapse soon, I'm technically even started to jog, not run. My conscience was keeping me at the bay for not walking. Then as I'm nearing the spectators region, I heard the shouts. I never thought word of supports would really mean this much. I mean, I've been giving a lot of supports before but I guess I've been doing it half-heartedly all the time since I never experienced being in a pinch before. I did, but without people that really trying to bring you up to your feet. My mind degraded to a really primitive way of thinking. I need to run, I need to finish this, I need to run and the rest was blank, totally blank. Then suddenly someone from behind slip in front of me, and the thought was really infuriating. I know both of us were slower compared to the rest, but I really don't want to lose to him no matter what. Strides. Longer strides. Faster strides and I was there in front of him again. Just at this point someone fall again and like the cowardice me, the thought of giving up appeared again. I lose the count of laps. I just keep running and running and suddenly the bell ring, pointing out it's the last lap. Somehow the though of FINAL LAP really encourages you a lot. I admit I was jogging now, but the frequency getting faster, even faster when our team members shouted "Finish this!" and "80m more!". 

I finished the run. Collapsing to the side grass with huge grin and covered eyes due to the bright sun. My head was never hurt like this since years ago while I'm still active in sports and played everyday till I drop. Izad come over and throw me his water bottle, which I was really thankful for. I'm glad, really glad of two things at once. First, I finished the run! My first 1.5km without giving up! without walking! Second, I'm not double passed by people who are leading, which means at least I could keep a distance, I'm not that bad hahaha. I know my time is bad, really really bad but who cares?! I will improve it with trainings after this competition. I type quite a lot, maybe I was getting emotional, but the thought of accomplishing something that you think would be impossible - something that you're really afraid of - really give me the confidence boost. Total respects and credits for our team members and captain for today run. Without them I would have stopped streaking in the middle and ended up regretting it later on.

**would pay it back with a lot of improvement in near future ;)

my running bib!

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