When you know the bad times, the good times get even better*.

16 years ago, I came down with Nephrotic Syndrome. Its a disease of the kidney which causes you to leach out proteins. The symptoms include tiredness, edema (swelling of tissues due to water retention). The only treatment was steroids (prednisolone) and I was on that for a good 2 years – there are several side effects. Anyway my kidneys were in danger. And I was sick for about 3 years, had to regulate my water in-take and visit the doc every 2 weeks. I was in and out of the hospital the first few months. By then I could forget about running and playing soccer competitively. But miraculously, after going to church, praying fervently with especially my mother’s and family’s support, fasting, going to the Novena, having the love of true friends and being healed by Jesus, I was medically discharged and weaned off medication, saving me from being put on stronger medicine and the $150 price tag every fortnight.

Those were the bad times for me. I can’t imagine how much more terrible it is for people who suffer with long term illnesses.

My running partner, Darryl, who suffered with me yesterday and was really a great crutch at the 38K mark, asked me why were were doing this at the 40K mark. And I said “because lah”. But I think it was more than that. I was celebrating the good times I am having right now; and with all these runs, I find myself thanking God as I run, as I am able to run in such races, and as I reach that finish line each time.

6hrs 55mins 14 secs. Really long.


To my brother-in-law Darryl. Thanks for waiting for me at the 38K mark when I felt like I was going to pass out. I don’t think I would have made it if you weren’t beside me. The next 2 km were the longest I have had to walk. (We stopped running at the 36K mark and walked the rest until the final stretch.). To other runners who might want to run the marathon – the Wall exists, we really hit it hard. I was lying down on my back at the bus stop with my legs propped on the bench. A timely 10 min break. It wasn’t a pretty sight.

My running kaki

Jen’s sms. It reads “Hang in there! M so proud of you! Love you.” That gave me a boost at the 39K mark.

Patt-strap. This is a strap for the Iliotibial Band injury on my right knee that I have to deal with. My knees wouldn’t have made past even the 20K mark without it.

Deep-heat – thanks to all those deep-heat angels along the route. I slathered my knees with it. Really took the pain off. But I think I shouldn’t have overdone the deep-heat though.

*This morning as I watched Anthony Bourdain with a bunch of Colombian street rappers enjoying a more pacific Colombian neighbourhood sans street warfare due to more development at the neighbourhood. He made this comment as he dug into some street food with them; and I found the slant for this post.



8 thoughts on “When you know the bad times, the good times get even better*.

  1. hey mr loo!

    great to see that you managed to finish the marathon! (: a few of my friends in medicine ran; i’m thinking of running it myself next year! maybe we’ll see each other then, if you continue to run. (:

    take care of yourself man! you’re healthy enough to run 42.195km, so i guess i shouldn’t be too worried.

    ps. about nephrotic syndrome: we’re learning about kidney function in physiology now, and just learnt about nephrotic syndrome. (: it’s cool to be able to learn about conditions that are very real. anyway, what was the primary cause for your nephrotic syndrome? did the doctor manage to diagnose it? also, did you get hypokalemic (lack of potassium)?

  2. Hi Adrian,

    Didnt know you went for Marathon! I was there too. But its definitely a good first attempt!! Congrats for finishing the race, its alot of mental strength towards the end of the race. =)Hope to catch up with you soon! Take care and rest well..

  3. Hi James – It was probably from a very bad sorethroat and overstraining. I realised it on a route march. I am not sure if I got hypokalemic, doc didn’t say. Wow.. you are sure learning lots! Anway if you plan to run, you need to train for half a year and consistently. I have been training since May but didn’t stick to it well enough so suffered in the end. Go to runnersworld to download a training plan.. even the rookie training plan is hard to follow! Take care James! See you at the run next year!

    Hi Hong Leong – wow I saw your timing – 5:48:40. That’s really impressive! That’s excellent. I thought I could make it below 6hrs but at 36K I hit the wall. Was running quite okay even past the 30K mark. Maybe I wil see you next year?

  4. haha. Sure man! I hit the wall at about 30k this year also, been busy with PE role in school and didnt really manage to stick to my training routine. Didnt do that well as compared to last year. I see that you took part in Realrun as well. Didnt know you are into run these days! When did you start running? Still cycling nowadays? Oh by the way, Angeline Tay and Barnabas are training now for 2009 marathon would be nice to arrange a run near ecp one of these days.

  5. Hi, just wanted to ask if u bought the patt strap online or is it available at velocity at novena. Thanks. Ur blog is great! Wanna try the routes but now recovering from itbs 😦

  6. Hi Joanna,

    Not sure if you need to get it confirmed if its ITB, there are so many types of knee injury. Anyway if it is, I understand the pain.

    here’s the weblink for ordering online the Patt-strap online http://tinyurl.com/cjww33 (mainpage – http://www.pattstrap.com/). Its US$18.99 for a pair, US$13.99 for one strap and ships for free. Takes about a week so ship over.

    I haven’t run for about 2 months right now (only swim and cycle) and there’s the sundown coming up… my ITB should be okay but not my running fitness!

    I saw a different brand (Cho-pat) at the Running Lab in Velocity. maybe you can ask the staff there. Good luck…
    I understand the pain… it always strikes at the same distance, mine is 18K. I think the excitement on Marathon day plus the deep heat I slathered on the outer knee helped.


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