Date: 18 December 2011
Location: Valdor, Penang
Distance: 11km (10.6km)
Gears: Adidas Adizero, Puma Digital Watch
Starting Time: 7.00am
Running Time: 00:52:20
It was the last race for 2011 and I want to finish the season or the year in high note. I got into bed quite early and preset my old Nokia 6233 alarm to 5.30am so that I can get up early, get the blood flowing, if you know what I mean. Yes, I did got up, but I dozed back because I was tired, I woke up intermittently because I heard some 'noise', that's a sign of not sleeping well. About the noise, it is not what you think!!!
I planned to get to the starting line by 6.30am but as soon as I woke up for real, it was 6.05am, I know that I cannot get there on time and I could be late, too. I skipped breakfast, very important breakfast. I boiled water for a cup of Milo, but I did not get to even prepare it. I sped off in my car, taking the longer way, instead of the shortcut that my wife knows. She is still very proud of herself for taking that route to and back from work. I'm quite proud of her too, because I still cannot recognize the route. I could take it, but I'll be late, the second worst thing for a race day after not showing up, is reaching late. I had that in my maiden full marathon in Singapore - Sundown Marathon 2011, terrible experience.
I managed to get there on time, I think 6.45am, imagine how many traffic lights I have beaten, bad role model. I parked my car at the place that I parked in 2010, nice place, not so muddy. I walked like 100 to 200m to the starting place where they gather the runners. The washroom is full, I saw people queuing up, so I dumped my idea of getting a poopoo.
Then, I saw a group of people taking photo, then I saw Dan. He was surprise to see me, but I'm not. He got a new Garmin Forerunner 405 (wow... a personal trainer). There were a lot of good runners, veteran and seasonal runners there, I guess everyone also want to end the year in a high note. We were ordered to gather at the starting line, it was crowded, with many students. Dan was calling me as pacer, as he thinks I'm fast enough, but at the bottom of my heart, I know I'm not fast enough.
Wooh...woooh.... the laoyiah gun started the race. There was so many traffic that I could not run properly, and I kept telling myself to start slow (that's not going to get me into the top 10 positions) but what to do? I'm a slow starter. That's why I want to get up early.
There is no distance marker, I guess because we do not really need one as it is only a 11km race. My target is again, beat the one in front of me, that is what keep me going, motivates me. Dan was running behind me, he was serious about the pacing thing, so I must not let him down and let myself sia sui. So, I tried to adjust to my pace as soon as possible but it was quite difficult without knowing the actual pace. I told myself not to look at my watch because that will impede me from going forward (running away from reality :P).
The route is not easy, with some mild elevation, which I like it because I prefer running on those than the flat route like aeroplane landing lane. Up and down, up and down, and finally don't know at how many km, there's a water station. That was like a life saving pit stop, I took one cup and shower another cup on my head. It was refreshing, it gave me a kick.
The time when I asked Dan how long we have gone, he said 9km, I know we are almost there, so I tried to increase the pace again, but actual pace is still unknown. Since I know some of the landmark there, I knew I have to get faster, then I saw the big silo in front of me, it is very familiar. We were at the end of Kampung Valdor, which only a few hundred meters to go. We got into the kampung route and heading to the school, the finishing line. I tried as hard as I could and went past one runner from the same category but I did not manage to maintain the pace and lost my position back to the Malay runner. According to Dan, he was the runner that overtook him in the final 50 or 100m in the race that he got No.5.
I'm OK with it because I know that I am not fast enough from the beginning and I was playing safe. I knew I'm not going to get in the top 10, so I did not push hard enough. Anyway, my timing is 00:52:20 and the distance covered is 10.6km. That's a marginal sub 5.00 pace. Haiya...
Anyway, let me share some of the data that Dan has collected on his Garmin Forerunner. Our run should be quite the same, except the last 400m. Congrats to Dan and myself. Hopefully we can come stronger next year.
My finishing line dash.
I look funny and fat.