Last Sunday, about 36,000 runners, locals and international alike, participated in the 9th Standard Chartered KL Marathon… and I was one of them. To be more precise, I ran 21 kilometers for the first time without any training so now my legs feel like they had been repeatedly hit by a truck.
I have to put it out there that running for hours (and hours x 10,000) is not my favourite way of working out. I much prefer getting fit by strength training, circuit training, and doing yoga. The last time I did any running was during last year’s 10-kilometer run, but it was more of a leisurely experience with my husband.
Registering for this year’s Honda Half Marathon Distance Category was done out of spontaneity, and I knew I could’ve just opted out if I didn’t feel like it but as the date grew closer, I decided to just go through with it.
Since my husband and I lived about 30 minutes from KL City Center, we booked a room at Mingle Hostel in Petaling Street. Not only was this hostel affordable (less than RM100 per night), it’s also relatively close to Dataran Merdeka, where the event took place. Overall, it was a nice place if you’re staying for a short time, but I had trouble sleeping due to inconsiderate guests and poor soundproofing.
Grumpy and sleep deprived, I forced myself out of bed at 04:30 to get ready and have breakfast (peanut butter & banana sandwich) before heading out with my husband. We arrived at about 05:00 and the venue was already packed! The race was due to start at exactly 05:30. After a quick warm-up, the gun went off and off we go!
The 21km route runs through the center of Kuala Lumpur, where I passed by notable landmarks such as the Petronas Twin Towers, Hard Rock Cafe, Kuala Lumpur Railway Station, and the Perdana Botanical Garden. Apart from stopping at a portaloo due to an upset stomach, I didn’t experience any other setback (like cramps) so I kept on moving, alternating between power walking and jogging. I also had a water bottle and snack bar on hand to keep myself hydrated and fueled throughout the run.
After passing the 18th kilometer mark, I was exhausted and wanted to quit so badly! Then I visualized myself crossing the finish line and that gave me the motivation I needed to get my butt back to Dataran Merdeka. In the end, I completed my first ever half marathon in a little over 3 hours and 37 minutes.
I treated myself to a tall glass of matcha latte before enjoying a huge lunch buffet at Westin Hotel Kuala Lumpur with the family.
Would I join a marathon again? NOPE. Although I’m proud of the fact that I’ve managed to finish the race, I’m still not a fan of running so I’ll be returning to my normal workout routine… as soon as I can walk properly.