Lessons from a Marathon

Dec 02, 13 Lessons from a Marathon

The Penang Bridge International Marathon 2013, which was held recently on 17 Nov 2013, was a personal milestone of sorts for yours truly, as it was my first ever attempt in the Half-Marathon category (21km). Incidentally, that also happened to be my longest ever run so far.

I signed up for this year’s run with the original impression that it would be held at the soon-to-be-completed Second Penang Bridge. However, no thanks to the collapse of a ramp at the Batu Maung Interchange during its construction, which claimed one life and injured three others, the authorities decided to move the event back to the first bridge for this year, as a precautionary measure. Anyway, it was still an enjoyable and challenging run for me nonetheless, despite having to go through a pain barrier as I limped across the finishing line.

In the end, I managed to complete the run in a little less than 3 hours; nowhere near the top finishers obviously, but at least with the personal satisfaction of being able to achieve a personal target that I have set for myself before the run.

Anyway, below are some useful lessons and takeaways that I would like to share from this marathon event, which can also be applied in daily life:

  1. Just enjoy the moment. A marathon is a journey, not a destination. Do not worry about the little things like how long more before you reach the finishing line, or how come there’s still such a long way to go. It takes both physical and mental strength to complete a marathon. Worrying about such matters would only hold you back and makes it even harder for you to finish the race. Keep a clear mind throughout the journey and just enjoy the run. Listening to some music as you run would certainly help.
  2. Prepare yourself for it. Running a marathon or a half-marathon is not like the jog routine that you normally do during your weekly exercises. You are technically running at least half the perimeter of the Penang island! As such, you need to prepare yourself for it, not just physically but also mentally as well (as mentioned above). Train your endurance by running at least half or three-quarters of your marathon distance in preparation for the run. By preparing yourself well you can brace yourself for an enjoyable and less tiring run.
  3. Above all, do not give up. When the going gets tough, the tough gets going. Since you have signed up for this, make it worthwhile! I went through almost the entire second half of the race with pain in my legs, to the extent that I had to walk nearly the entire stretch of the highway leading back to Queensbay where the finishing line is. And once you reach the finishing line and look back at the medal that you have collected, you will definitely feel a strong sense of accomplishment!


A group photo of some PSDC staff and students after the marathon

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