Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Next Up!

Now that the euphoria of the Gold Coast Airport Marathon is slowly ebbing away, it's time to focus on my next challenge. I wouldn't really call it a challenge, stupidity would be a more apt description. In a little more than a month, I'll be attempting to run around the not-so-little island of Penang trying to see if I can survive 84 kilometers of pounding the streets of the pearl of the orient.

To this very day, I have no idea why I really signed up for the Starlight Ultra. To say I was possessed by some evil ultra spirit would be an easy explanation but I'll just put it down to blaming a few people and their poisoning ways. No names will be mentioned cos the guilty know who they are :D

Originally scheduled for the 24th-25th of May, the Starlight Ultra was postponed to a later date due to the by-elections that was needed to fill Karpal Singh's seat after his untimely passing. It was bitter-sweet cos on one hand, with the postponement, that meant I could fully concentrate of my GC training without having to modify my training plan. GC was a priority back then. The thoughts of DNSing Starlight was very high. On the other hand, with the new dates slated for the 23rd-24th August, I now have no excuse to skip the event. Sigh!

A route that practically circumvents the entire island.
Pic courtesy of Starlight Ultra
That said, I'm not really sure I'm up for the challenge. My training has been geared towards a marathon plan and having just one month or so, throw some tapering time into the equation, that hardly leave any time for switching to ultra training mode. I really don't see how I can do anything about it except to wing it all the way and make sure I'm seen running every time I pass a camera ... hahaha! But that doesn't mean I'm not going to try. I'll definitely dig deep and give it my all. If I fail, so be it. The experience will be a good thing though I would prefer it came without too much pain.

The only consolation I have is that I've had a small sample of what to expect on the streets of Penang during my road trip there with Jamie, CY and Foo back in May. Since we had already booked our lodging and air tickets, we decided to turn the postponement into a run holiday to run an LSD and go on a food binge instead. It turned out to be quite fun and it also gave me an indication of what to expect during the daylight hours of the run, where I'll be the most fatigued and begging to be put out of my misery.

In hindsight, I don't think I'm really cut out to run ultras. I'm just a pretender trying to delve into the world of ultra running. I don't have the time to put in the humongous amount of commitment it requires. Finding the time to train for a marathon is hard enough let alone an ultra. Work, family commitments and the threat of being thrown out the house are enough to dissuade me from wanting to explore ultra running too much. Maybe in a different life.

Right now, I'm just counting the days for it to arrive so I can get it over and done with and move on to other things, namely get back to proper marathon training again. That's at least something I can realistically achieve a little success with. Besides, call me a sadist or whatever, I actually enjoy training for a marathon. That said, I still have another ultra in November to prepare for. Why do I keep doing these things?

Sadly, Foo the group's entertainer is nursing an injury 
and won't be with us to provide much needed entertainment ...
My regular training buddies have been hard at work training for the Starlight Ultra and I can only dream of trying to keep up with them. In fact, I expect them to ace through the route with ease and am hoping they'll have a nice plate of Pasembur or Mee Rebus Sotong waiting for me when I finally crawl through the finish line.

2 comments:

  1. Just break them into 2 marathons ��
    You will be fine. Good luck.

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    1. How I wish I could break it down that way, Neoh :D But thanks for the wishes.

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