Personal Best

Travelling out of your comfort zone just to run in another land is fun, with a price to pay.

This morning at wee hour, one of my favourite running buddies just did her PB at the Perth City to Suft Marathon! PB, stands for Personal Best, as in the best timing you’ve done so far in all your official runs.

This is her 3rd marathon.

Viki’s bib. Loving the rules!

I always wonder, how does someone spend 6hours on their feet, putting one step after another, just to reach the finish line. A full marathon is made up of a minimum of 42.9km, and it is not a distance that one can just jump in and do it without much effort prior to the event.

My buddy clocked a 5:51 during this morning’s event, that is just right, 6hours. That is a lot of time to be on your feet, running. To some, it is not that much of a mission impossible (as many runners do it under 4hours time frame), but for many, including Viki, my buddy, it is a challenge for her mind, and her body.

As a 40 year-old mum of three kids who runs a firm, the dedication and discipline she puts into preparing every marathon is something very moving for me to watch. I run with her at least once a week on the weekend, and another 1 or 2 more times on weekday if we can schedule it right for both of us. I always look forward to our sessions together, simply because it is fun to run with her alongside, and also knowing that I will indefinitely gain something out of the 2 hours of training with her. It is never just about the technically, but rather, always the inspiration and motivation I receive from chatting with her.

Everytime we chat, I get this feeling of how much she dedicates her mind into this. Signing up to do a full marathon requires only a very small muscle move, but the following period is what sets each individual apart. Though some runners are born with better physics, the rest of us, including Viki, put hardwork as the only option to concur the run.

People often ask: why do you do this to yourself?

To wake up at wee hour, to be stress out, to monitor the progress, to be careful of food intake, to do research, to continue to motivate oneself, and to never stop moving forward.

For me personally, putting one step infront of the other, is a mental game, yet, it is always a rewarding one. As raw as it can be, running is one of the few activities you can do without much tools. There are many fancy sports and activities available, but to me, nothing beats the rawness in running. With a pair of running shoes (some even do without), it is the most basic human form of working body muscles. No matter how much another person motivates you, at the end of the day, running is about you and yourself. It is a loner game. It is this raw feeling of me-and-my-body-only that bring mental high to my body and mind. Knowing that I have no other form of resources and support except my inner strength and muscle strength gives me a great feeling when I finish a training session, or the moment I cross that gantry. Every single time.

It is a simple thing that many people do not care about.

Hence as a runner who knows how much it takes for me to touch the 15km clicks each session, I am often at awe how Viki survives the continuous mental challenge for 6hours. We are talking about normal being here, not the ultra-marathoners who dedicate their lives in doing solely one thing. It is definitely plenty of consistent training, top up with a pure mental strength that carries one through. That is the strength Viki shows me.

Everytime we swear, we sweat and we stress about getting it done, yet eventually we will always sign up for the next run. Running is never a game to show off to others, but rather to show us who we really are deep inside. At least that is for me. When I am down, I think of the distance marker I see during run, how I always think the next marker is too far and impossible, yet I always certain that I can make it. Only a matter of time. Practice make perfect. We just have to keep going.

Viki always whisper to me: “We’re almost there, we’re almost done. Let’s go.” I know she’s bluffing me most of the time, but yet it always keep me going.

So to my dear Viki, thank you for showing me the possibilities, and the impossibles. Congratulation on coming home with another story for us.

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