Con­quer­ing my first marathon

New Straits Times - - Heal -

All geared up to start the run be­fore 4am.

pac­ers passed me. I tried fol­low­ing them and could man­age only to stay with them for about 500 me­tres. Drop­ping off from the pack really was a blow to my con­fi­dence but I con­tin­ued alone any­way.

At the last km, I pushed my­self and the sight of the fin­ish line was an emo­tional one. I had been rac­ing for more than four hours and this was what I had been long­ing, work­ing and an­tic­i­pat­ing for.

I en­joyed and savoured the last few steps be­fore the end of the marathon, and I reached the fin­ish line with both re­lief and de­nial. Al­though I didn’t hit my tar­get time, I still couldn’t be­lieve that I just ran 42km and could still walk and talk.

I imag­ined my­self col­laps­ing at the fin­ish line but I didn’t. All the pain I en­dured dur­ing the marathon faded when I crossed the fin­ish line. It is nice to have an end to jour­ney to­wards, but it is the jour­ney that mat­ters in the end.

Look­ing back at the race, I could not re­mem­ber it vividly. But now, it seems that 42km is not that far and it is to­tally pos­si­ble to cover that dis­tance. In­deed, run­ning a marathon is not just a phys­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence but an emo­tional one too.

It felt really emo­tional at the end of the race, the con­tin­u­ous bat­tle in my mind to stop or to move. Joy does come from pain, sweat and tears. I missed my tar­get time by a du­ra­tion of two episodes of Friends, but I’m nei­ther ashamed nor dis­ap­pointed with the time.

I be­lieve the time jus­ti­fied my phys­i­cal and men­tal abil­ity dur­ing the race. I had ded­i­cated my time and hard work to be a marathoner and truly, this is one of my great­est ac­com­plish­ments, a mem­ory that I will trea­sure for­ever.

I man­aged to per­se­vere by re­peat­ing a quote in my head, — “In­ten­sity of de­sire will al­ways find a way just like weak­ness of pur­pose would al­ways find an ex­cuse.”

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