Sunday, July 13, 2008

The race is on (Mini Road Trip Part 2)

“The heart is pumping. The adrenaline level is elevating. The respiratory rate increases. The distribution of blood supply changes. The muscles contract and relax in perfect unison. Every senses and systems in the body ready themselves for the next challenge.”

Being in a race is what each human craves for. Our minds and physical selves are attuned to challenges in life. Whether it’s a rat-race on the ladder to success, or a marathon road-race or a race to the best results in exams, whether we hate it or love it, we are always in some sort of race.

However, for someone who can be quite sedentary like me, running 10 km is not a joke. Getting my lazy butt out of the labcoat, into the right attire and the proper warm-up are monumental chores by themselves, not to mention the daily runs in preparation for the actual event.

And yet, there I was, outside a stadium in Ipoh, at an unearthly hour (6 am on a Sunday morning, what the heck!!) in shorts and T-shirt, waiting to join a herd of humanity in a 10 km road race. Truthfully, this little cilipadi has never ran more than 5 km non-stop before so I don’t know what possessed my tiny brain to register and turn up for the event. God bless my friends with awesome persuasions and amazing motivational skills, I believe. Maybe I am too optimistic for my own good at times….

As I warmed up by the tracks and look at my fit companion, my heart thumped in trepidation, excitement and seriously, I was also a bit scared. Of course, being as egoistic as ever, I grinned on and commented on how green the grass was, how annoying the loudspeakers were and how fit some of the runners look, etc, etc. My companion must be wondering how weird I WAS…I know I can be a bit hyperactive when I am nervous…maybe I was in overdrive mode that morning.

The level of enthusiasm and excitement in the crowd was enough to buoy me over as I lined up at the starting line. I began to forget my hesitation and worries. I started running and before long, I was in my strides comfortably..settling into a steady (read: slow) pace. I know I will exhaust myself if I keep up with the forerunners so therefore I saw a relatively similar group (read: kinda unfit) and stayed with that pack.

By 3-4 km, I was beginning to wonder when is it gonna end. Some people were beginning to take short-cuts across fields (Malaysians will take short cuts even in a road race!!) while a large amount of people slowed down to walking. I was sorely tempted to slow down but I was warned that if I slow down, I may never continue to run again. I fought off the temptation.

By 5-6km, I took a sip of water and realized it wasn’t such a good move after all. My right side started to hurt (read: side stitch) as I remember that I have this bad habit of not breathing properly during a run and probably I couldn’t keep up the pace. I slowed down and before long, I was brisk-walking (read: slow-poke girl)

The sun was rising and I saw the 7 km sign. I wish I signed up for the 7 km run instead of 10 as I pushed myself on and ran intermittently. Oh dear Lord, when is the torture gonna end? Began to make mistakes and almost twisted my ankle by the roadside but thank God I didn’t. Droplets of sweat began to trickle down my neck. Rubbish thoughts flowed through my mind as I remembered that my Form 1 teacher used to teach us that animals sweat, men perspire but ladies glow. So, I ceased to sweat and began to ‘glow’ remarkably. With all those irrelevant thoughts flitting through my mind, I feel my sanity deserting me somehow.

By the 8-9km, I was unable to run much..most of it was walking. Yeah, maybe my hypoxic neurons began to delude myself that I was in a walkathon instead. I felt so pathetic as I prayed inwardly for some inner strength to come. Surprisingly, my weary brain and muscles recovered as I pushed up my speed and began running.

The last kilometer was a blur. I think I was running towards the stadium in the midst of a rapidly enlarging crowd. I know I wasn’t crawling for sure! As I drew near the finishing line, I saw a lot of people holding certificates. In my mind, I knew that getting a certificate will be a big bonus and most likely I was too late. True to my predictions, that was not my certificate for the little cilipadi turtle. Sigh…

So what’s my conclusion for the day? Running is fun, if you don’t walk..and I will damn sure make myself better prepared if I am going for the next run. At the rate I am tempted by my friends, I think most likely I will turn up for another round of battle. Hey, I have nothing to lose right? (except a few undesirable inches haha)

So that was the most apt finale to my road trip up North as I finished my first 10 km race in one piece, had a scrumptious lunch and drove myself back to D.C. Till my next adventure, this is the CPD signing off..adieu.


cute little angel said...

Hey! I'm liking ur new header! Looks beautiful:) Is it one of those lovely pix u take when u travel?
Btw, You've really got such great determination and optimism! Congrats on completing the race!
Hehe...cya around!

the cili padi doctor said...


u like the header? yeah, it's taken when I was in kota kinabalu. i love taking pictures of sunset because of the awesome colours.

so when r u coming back to Malaysia? You must miss home a lot?

i'm glad that i finished the race too :-)

cute little angel said...

Wow! It's lovely. I've been to KK too. The islands are awesome :)
I'll be back for holidays end of Aug after my 2nd yr finals. I'll be completing my stint here in Manipal in Feb next yr. Just can't wait!!!
Yep miss home a lot..especially the food ;)

Anonymous said...

a wild transformation indeed!

the cili padi doctor said...

which transformation?

my blogspot site or myself? :-)