During my school days I was very active in track running, competing in events like 400m, 400m hurdles and 800m at the state and national schools’ level. Occasionally, I would take part in road races as well. Looking back, it was out of sheer ignorance that my first ever road race was the 1986 KL International Marathon at the age of 16. Together with a friend, I registered myself for the full marathon without a proper training program. Having covered a longest distance of only 15km prior to the race, I somehow managed to complete the 42.195km in 4 hours 28 minutes but paid the price of injuring my feet and was not able to walk properly for many weeks. Over the next few years, I was running in quite a few road races including those that are currently no longer in existence, like the PJ Half Marathon and the Nike 10km.
Then came the next phase of my life in which I was totally inactive. After leaving school and joining the workforce, I made many attempts to get myself to run again but just couldn’t. Being out of condition doesn’t help either. As a person who was used to running competitively, I would tend to run too fast and end up not being able to cover the distance. Whenever I tried running at a slower pace, I would end up being dissatisfied with the run. Consequently, for 20 years I was constantly cooking up whatever excuses in order not to run and my weight increased drastically.
In July 2008, tired of having my waistline being a source of jokes among friends, I decided to lose weight. I was running on a thread mill four times a week, gradually increasing the speed and distance. The 1989 FTAAA Cross Country was my last race prior to my extended absence from the running scene, and in November 2008 I was finally comfortable enough to register for my first road race in nearly 2 decades – the IOI Community Run.
I’ve shed 17kgs since I got my lazy body out of the couch, which I consider an achievement. But the most important transformation that I have felt since I began running again is that I can feel the passion once more. It is like something I used to love half a lifetime ago, lost it for 20 years and then found it again.
I started mingling with runners especially after races and got to know quite a few people within the local running community. I also began noticing the Pacemakers group, pm1’s blog and eventually knowing some of its members. Although I still try to continuously improve on my timing during runs, I now consider myself more of a recreation runner. Therefore, it came as a pleasant surprise when pm1 extended an invitation for me to be part of the exclusive Pacemakers group.
It is regrettable that I’ve missed out on running during the years when I am supposed to be at my peak. But with the new found passion, I believe I will be around for good this time.
brought 2u by Pacemakers #63