May 27, 2022
As a result of my MRI, I’m being referred to a foot and ankle specialist for evaluation. Still not sure yet if it will require any surgery, and I’m not even sure how long it might take for me to get an appointment. But I’ve waited more than eight years so far, so another month or so won’t matter.
The world run memories are from Malaysia today. It took me essentially six days to make my way on foot from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore – a very interesting six days. You can read about it and see some of the images below.
May 24, 2013
Distance today = 49.05 km; Total distance = 21,057.19 km; Location = Masjid Tanah – 02 19.900′ N, 102 03.891′ E; Start time = 0920, Finish time = 1726
Shattered! That’s the best description of how I feel.
I think I have failed to drink enough during the day. I’m working hard on rehydrating now. As I’ve mentioned in the past, the first day back after a week off, results in inexplicable soreness. My thighs, in particular, are very sore too. And that’s not all. The constant sweating soaked my shorts (and singlet), and this always ends up causing chafing – not from thigh on thigh, but from nylon on thigh. It is so bad that the chafing is weeping plasma.
So, I’m not in good shape. As anyone who has been to Singapore, Hong Kong, or other South-east Asian locations can attest, the humidity is intense. But try running 50 km in it.
Otherwise, it was a nice day of running. The people are very friendly and interested in why I’m here, and I ran past many unusual sights – herds of water buffalo by the road, for example. I was a bit worried that the bulls would have a go at me.
Hopefully, what I’ve learned from today can be implemented tomorrow, and I will feel a lot better. I really don’t need to average 50 km per day while in Malaysia, so I might cut the distance down a bit. Wouldn’t that feel good?
Carmel was, again, a great support crew, but silly me declined the drinks she was offering me on many occasions. I won’t be tomorrow.
May 25, 2013
Distance today = 37.65 km; Total distance = 21,094.84 km; Location = Melaka – 02 12.044′ N, 102 15.145′ E; Start time = 0946, Finish time = 1630
Another very difficult day in the humidity, although I fared better than yesterday – maybe I’m acclimatising.
We awoke to a torrential equatorial thunderstorm, which caused a late start to the run. I’d then gone 6 km when I struck a boom gate. Although the map indicated a highway (which there was), it went through an army barracks, and I was turned back by two armed guards. I was pleased I’d only run 520 metres from the branch point I had to go back to (I’ve deducted the 1.04 km from the Garmin total), but the worst thing was I had to go the long way around. For a variety of reasons, this meant I only made it to the city of Melaka (historically spelt Malacca), a famous colonial trading post in centuries past.
Half way through the day, Roger and Christine Sharp joined me on the road. They’d driven down from KL. Roger ran 7.5 km with me, then Chris took over and ran the remaining 6 km to the hotel. Somehow, courtesy of Roger and Christine, we have found ourselves in the Presidential Suite. Many thanks guys, but you haven’t heard the last of it yet. BTW, for those who don’t know, Roger runs Asia Pacific Digital, the parent company of my generous sponsor, Next Digital.
Both Carmel and I had interesting experiences on the road today. Earlier, I had come across a bunch of monkeys playing on the side of the road. They scattered when they saw me. I then almost stumbled into a monitor lizard. It was more than two metres long, looked just like a huge goanna, and had an animal in its mouth. It scurried down into a large culvert under the road. A little later, Carmel went into what she thought was a market. It turned out to be a Malaysian wedding reception under a marquis. She was immediately taken to meet the bride and groom and had her photo taken with them, then taken to meet other guests, was asked to sit down and have the wedding meal with them, and finally left with a gift that the official guests received. What an amazing experience – beats running into monkeys and giant lizards.
I am resigned to each day in Malaysia being very tough for running, but I’ll get through it. Hopefully I’ll acclimatise a bit more. At least the chafing was fine today, as yesterday’s experience appears to have toughened up the skin.
May 26, 2013
Distance today = 42.89 km; Total distance = 21,137.73 km; Location = Muar – 02 02.966′ N, 102 34.196′ E; Start time = 0952, Finish time = 1655
I must be acclimatizing somewhat, as today was certainly better than the previous couple. It was still incredibly humid, but I seemed to cope better today.
I am also doing the little things better, like buying drinks from roadside vendors, which come with ice, and putting the ice under my cap when I’ve finished the drink. I have also run in longer shorts (actually board shorts) the past two days, as they help with the chafing.
It was also a day in which I passed the 500 marathon mark of the world run. That’s a big milestone in itself.
The run itself was quite flat, and close to the coast. The body of water is known as the Straits of Malacca, once a feared pirate region. Tonight we’re in Muar, another old sea trading post from the colonial era.
Once again, I’d like to thank Roger and Christine for running with me yesterday, and for their generosity during the evening. By the way, Chris is now the first woman to have run with me on two separate occasions – the first being Day 6, on January 5 last year.
Carmel is having a lot of trouble with Picasa, and it looks like there’ll be no photos again tonight. She is very frustrated.
May 27, 2013
Distance today = 50.19 km; Total distance = 21,187.92 km; Location = Batu Pahat – 01 51.531′ N, 102 55.626′ E; Start time = 0911, Finish time = 1726
I’ve thought up a new invention – ice under your cap, to keep you cool on oppressively hot days. Ohhh, Carmel just informed me that people have been doing that for years.
Seriously, I’m glad I’ve now acclimatised to the conditions, as today was the most difficult so far in Malaysia. The sun shone fiercely all day long, there was no shade, the humidity was at nearly 100%, and the middle of the day was as still as a ….. mmmm, maybe I need Watto to complete the simile. Thankfully, later in the afternoon a breeze sprung up and there was a lot of shade. It got me through the final part of the day.
Carmel was more important that usual today. Without her there to provide me with drinks and ice during the middle of the day, I don’t think I’d have made it.
Having said all that, I did finish feeling surprisingly well for such an extreme day. I have just two more days of this humidity before I finish in Malaysia.
Where to start and finish is often a more vexing question than one might think. My original plan was to start my short Asian stint at Kuala Lumpur Airport and finish in Singapore. However, KL Airport is surrounded by pedestrian-free freeways, so I started at Port Dickson, the nearest town to the airport on the coast. And it is now illegal to cross from Malaysia to Singapore on foot, so I will finish at the coast in Pontian, the town closest to the most southerly point on the Malay peninsula. I have illegally run across bridges before, but to get on to the causeway to Singapore, I’d first have to breach the immigration check on the Malaysian side – a sure way to end up in jail.
Now, I have been reliably informed that the huge lizard I saw two days ago was a Komodo dragon, the largest of the monitor lizards. I saw another today, although it was only about 1.5 metres long. There are plenty of dead ones along the road. I think they get creamed by cars at night.
As for road kill, I’ve seen all sorts on this run, from deer to armadillos to rattlesnakes, but Carmel pointed out a new type today – a monkey. He looked like a small baboon, with enormous sharp teeth. I’m surprised there aren’t more monkeys killed by cars, as they come very close to the edge of the road.