With 6 days to go till my 84KM adventure, it's time to look back at how things went in the buildup to this insane race.
My so call Project 84 was officiated back in 11 December 2008 when I signed up for the 84KM Sundown Marathon 2009. At that time, though at the peak of my running career, I honestly did not know what was going through my mind. Going through the online registration page by page and finally clicking the submit button, I soon realised that I have done the unimaginable! I messaged my training mates immediately after successfully registering and was glad I had their full support. Thanks my friends!
Upon registering, something struck my mind. Why not make my first ever ultra marathon a special and meaningful one? Things got off to a start when I e-mailed Judith, International Director of the Terry Fox Foundation to seek her permission to have a fund raising campaign on behalf the foundation. The initial planning stage went pretty well. However, everything was shattered in mid March 2009 when news came that the campaign had to be fore go as it does not meet certain criteria from the foundation's policy. Besides that, the scale of the campaign is huge and logistic were a problem. Though disappointed, I had no choice but to respect Terry Fox's and the foundation wishes.
Here's a look at my training. Did I train well for this? I don't think so. Here's the reason why. I have planned out a structured training regime for myself at the end of last year. However, things got off to a rough start as I soon fractured my right patella a month later and was forced to stop running for at least 2 months. However to my own surprise and even the doctors too, my recovery rate was amazingly quick and I returned to training in slightly just over a month. It was then already towards the end of February 2009 and I started off with light training to avoid any further injuries from my just healed patella. Slowly building up my momentum with the help from the Platinum Runners especially Lynn, I was back at my peak again in the first week April 2009.
Training got really tough and lonely later as Lynn suffered an injury of her own. Third week into April 2009, Luc and Seow Ping joined me for some serious training and soon I met up with Terence who organised a night run at Putrajaya which I gladly joined in a week before I left for my first ever mountain climbing expedition. Call it high altitude training. Haha...
However, things did not go well during the expedition up Mount Kinabalu. As mentioned in my earlier entries. I was hit by a pretty bad migraine after returning. My fitness took a slight dip but what most important is, I can't continue where I left off in building the strength of both my legs. I believe my energy system will be able to last the 84KM distance, but I'm not too confident that my legs will. Despite all that, Luc continue to train with me, and I managed to salvage at least some important elements that will guide me through the distance. I even managed to run for the second time in Terence's night run at Putrajaya again though I didn't manage very well this time.
At this time of writing this, I am just 2 short 5KM runs away from signing off from this training. Completed my last long run yesterday at a very easy pace, even slower than the one I had at my New Balance Pacesetters 15KM 2009 run. And not forgetting too that I will start with my packing today. Yes, I do have the habit to pack my bags a few days in advance though bit by bit, to ensure I do not miss anything out.
To sum up everything, here's a look back at some of my so called "memorable" events that took place on my Road To 84:
* 11 Dec 2008: Signed up for the 84KM category of the Sundown Marathon 2009.
* 18 Jan 2009: Took a tumble a few days before the Great Eastern Pacesetters 30KM run but still ran which resulted a fracture on my right patella.
* 23 Feb 2009: Returned to running after laying off due to injury.
* 01 Mar 2009: Ran in my first short race after returning from injury.
* 28 Mar 2009: First LSD to achieve 43KM in a single run. First half was ran by my own starting at 3.45am, before joining in with the others for the second half. Total weekly mileage was a breakthrough at 116.01KM.
* 04 Apr 2009: Second LSD to achieve 43KM in a single run.
* 18 Apr 2009: Night run at Putrajaya organised by Terence.
* 23 Apr 2009: Start of a 4 days 3 nights expedition to Mount Kinabalu.
* 29 Apr 2009: First signs of migraine attack.
* 01 May 2009: Second night run at Putrajaya organised by Terence.
* 17 May 2009: Start of tapering phase.
* 23 May 2009: Last LSD.
* 30 May 2009: Race day.
Looking back at how things went, it wasn't an impressive one. Due to the unforeseen circumstances, I had to abandon my planned training regime which I had planned since the very start. And though I managed to run twice the marathon distance, I failed to run 50KM in a single run which I initially planned to. And with this, I do not know how will my body react to a distance it has never experience before. Physical strength will be important, but it's my mental strength that I will rely on. Thoughts of my friends, the morale support and encouragement given will fill me before, during and after the race. Till my next and final entry before race day, here's wishing all runners of Sundown Marathon 2009, taper and rest well...