2015 was many firsts for me. First duathlon with a proper road bike, first full-marathon, and first ultra-marathon. Late 2014, I set up few personal running objectives in 2015, which were:
i. Run 3 full-marathons,
ii. Run an ultra-marathon,
iii. Run a sub-3:45 marathon.
Then, I bought a road bike, and I fell in love with her. Cycling was definitely more fun and enjoyable. For the first three months of the year, I cycled a lot and ran very little.
I did not get my bike properly fitted, and I paid the price. Most of the time, I would feel sore on my left knees after cycling. To have a proper fitting, I would have to spend a further RM500, at least. I was reluctant to part way with that amount. Moreover, I realised that if heart rate is the limit for my running capability, it is my body for cycling. I barely hit my maximum heart rate while cycling, but my body hindered further improvement. I realised that I was better at running then cycling. It was expected as I only had my bike for a few months, while I had been running since I was 13 (although I stopped running for few years and only started back in late 2013).
I had to make a decision.
To be a jack of all trades, master of none?
Master of one?
I chose the latter.
So I quit my dream of doing a triathlon in 2016, and focus on running. I challenged myself to a lofty goal that would take 2 years to achieve.
Distance/ Time/ Elevation Gained/ Runs
I ran slightly farther than this. On few occasions, my GPS watch did not record the whole run. During Specialized Duathlon, the 12 kilometres run was not recorded as it was recognised as multi-sport activity. During TMBT, my watch stopped recording the distance at 88 kilometres due to insufficient memory.
I bought few shoes in 2015. I had few more from 2014 which I still used in 2015. Contrary to popular belief, I do not own many shoes. Below are the shoes that I bought in 2015.
i. Saucony Kinvara 5 (Cost= RM 400.00/ Mileage= 403.4 km/ ROI= RM 0.99/km)
ii. Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 2 (Cost= RM 269.40/ Mileage= 73.4 km/ ROI= RM 3.67/km)
iii. Nike Air Zoom Streak 5 (Cost= RM 379.00/ Mileage= 429.3 km/ ROI= RM 0.88/km)
iv. New Balance Fresh Foam Zante (Cost= RM 303.30/ Mileage= 515.2/ ROI= RM 0.58/km)
v. A yet-to-be-unveiled shoe. I bought this for 2016, so it does not count.
In total, I spent RM 1,348.70 on the four pair of running shoes. The last shoe is excluded.
Specialized Duathlon, Kota Kinabalu (Duathlon) – 8th March 2015
I had already signed up for a duathlon, Specialized Duathlon in Kota Kinabalu though. My poor performance vindicated my decision. I did fairly good in running the first 4 kilometres before having a severe cramp during the 40 kilometres bike leg. I had to endure grimacing pain to finish the last 8 kilometres running leg. That was it! I would only focus on running, and cycle casually.
Borneo International Marathon, Kota Kinabalu (Full Marathon) – 3rd May 2015
It was meant to be my maiden full marathon. Due to unforeseen circumstances, I did not fly to Kota Kinabalu to start the race. Looking back, it was a blessing in disguise. I did not have enough mileage under my belt coming to the race. If I had started the race, I would have suffered enormous humiliation and dent on my confidence.
Haasu Tasuu Night Trail Run, Kundasang (25 kilometres) – 13th June 2015
I signed up for this race for two reasons. First, as a preparation to run my first ultra-marathon at The Most Beautiful Thing (TMBT) 100k in August. I had my first taste of running alone at night in the dense forest at the foot of Mount Kinabalu. Second, it was the last event before Ramadhan, fasting month. Here, I met crazy bunch of people from Trailblazerz.
MARDI-MAEPS Trail Run, Serdang (18 kilometres) – 26th July 2015
First race after Eid. I signed up for this race to get some trail time ahead of TMBT. I underestimated the course and blew the gasket early on.
Kuching Marathon, Kuching (Full Marathon) – 16th August 2015
My maiden full marathon, also last LSD for TMBT scheduled two weeks after the race. Full marathon was a lot tougher than I thought. I failed in my bid to run a sub-4 full marathon. Frustratingly, Kuching Marathon is probably the fastest full marathon in Malaysia. It is due to almost-flat course, as well as slightly cooler temperature. A race that I planned to repeat in 2016.
The Most Beautiful Thing, Kundasang (100 kilometres) – 30th August 2015
This was the main race of 2015. Arguably, the toughest race in Malaysia. And foolishly, I chose this race as my first ultra marathon, despite having only completed a full marathon just two weeks ago. 28 hours out in the woods under scorching sun, torrential rain, misty night, mostly by myself. Traversing path that I would not dare to traverse under the bright sunlight. I did it, anyway. I gained wisdom from others, learnt more about myself, appreciated life better. It was not a race. It was a self-discovery adventure. This was definitely the highlight of 2015 in running.
Nike 1-Mile Challenge, Kuala Lumpur (1 mile) – 12th September 2015
This was definitely not in the plan. I was selected by Kyserunkrew to represent them to go head to head against Run89 crew. I did not do many speed workouts as my training only geared up to full marathon distance. The last time I raced the distance similar to this was when I was 17 in 1500m event. I had fun running this event.
Standard Charted Kuala Lumpur Marathon, Kuala Lumpur (Full Marathon) – 4th October 2015
The race was cancelled due to the haze. What a bummer. From this point onwards, I knew I would not be able to complete 3 full marathons in 2015.
Penang Bridge International Marathon, Penang (Full Marathon) – 22nd November 2015
I reassessed myself and decided that I would not be able to dip below 3:45 in full marathon in 2015. With all eyes on Tokyo Marathon in February 2016, I revamped my approach on training. My second full marathon fell in between my base building period, but I cheated and went beyond aerobic. I was glad that I managed to do a sub-4 full marathon on my second attempt.
I could only tick one goal from the checklist, which was to run an ultra marathon. I only managed to run 2 full marathon instead of 3, and dip below 4 hours instead of 3 hours and 45 minutes. However, I have learnt a lot in 2015 and will only work harder for 2016.
GOOD BYE 2015!