Thursday, May 31, 2012

TDH A MMT Life 5km Night Run

Yesterday morning, I received an email from Bruce Wong from TDH, inviting me to the launch night of their new outlet at Taman Tun on the 30th May, which is last night ( I would have attended if I was in KL) and also the TDH A MMT Life 5km Night Run on the 1st July 2012.

Let me clarify what is TDH and MMT, it is actually "Tom, Dick & Harry's A "Mou Man Tai" Life 5km Night Run". Tom, Dick & Harry is actually an F&B outlet located in Taman Tun & Scott Garden Old Klang Road. "Mou Man Tai" is a Cantonese phrase means no problem. So, officially this is a running event with a good cause.

They will be having the 6th run and tying up with the Malaysian Aids Foundation to raise funds for their cause. Too little people know about HIV/AIDS and avoid contact with them at any cost because many people does not know 'enough' about HIV/AIDS, so this present a good opportunity to learn about HIV/AIDS and to care about people who is HIV positive.

Run for a good cause. Run to promote awareness of HIV/AIDS.

Date: Sunday, 1st July 2012
Venue: Tom, Dick & Harry TTDI
Time: Be there by 5pm
Cost: RM40/ including 4 interesting offer as shown in the ads below.

Join or not? Of course, mou man tai laa.....(for those staying in KL and Selangor)

Refer to the event at TDH Facebook Page or

- Enjoy the RUN -

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Race Report - Hatyai International Marathon

Event: Hatyai International Marathon
Date: 27 May 2012
Location: Jiranakorn Stadium, Hatyai
Distance: 42.195km (40.05km)
Registration Fee: RM50 (Full Marathon)
Gears: Adizero Aegis, Garmin Forerunner 405
Starting Time: 3.30am
Running Time: 04:29:49
Pace: 6:25 min/km

First, I would like to say this is my 4th full marathon, the first in 2012 after PBIM 2011, I was so excited and eager to produce a good result after putting in so many mileage that was not seen in 2011. From the mileage, I know how much I wanted to nail the FM. Anyhow, there is no excuse for failure, just lack of preparation or just being stubborn, ego and stupid.

At 2.40am, WJ and I gathered at the guest house lobby, thinking to hop on any tuk tuk to Jiranakorn Stadium where the starting line is. Soon, I saw Dan Low, Ewe Cheong, Steven Heng and Miow Chin were waiting at the lobby, they said want to drive there, so I went to take my car keys but seems like 2 cars were too many, so I asked the Miow Chin's permission to carpool with my super thick face skin. Luckily, she agreed.

In 15 minutes, we reached the stadium and we were set to go, but everyone gone missing and the participants were asked to gather in the track before being paraded to the starting line with a philharmonic orchestra. Never experience something like this before.

I wished everyone good luck and the race was started after counting down 'sam.... neng.... song...' then everyone just sped off. I thought I had pushed the START button on my Garmin 405 but luckily I checked on it after running 100 meters, so I quickly pushed the button and check on the running digit, it is always good to double check.

Initially, my race plan was to do a 3:59 or sub 4:15. I had the plan in my head in 10k splits like 55, 60, 60, 55 and whatever it takes in the final 2.195km.

I was running quite fast at the beginning, in 5:3X to 5:5X pace. I though that was acceptable because the target was 55 minutes for the first 10k split. I was breathing well, I could not feel any tightness in my muscles, I felt energetic and confident. We ran around the city, the quiet city for about 5km before heading to suburb.

In the beginning, there were still lamps at the road side that brightened up the race route but as soon as getting into the highway, the route was closed, no cars were seen except the official's vehicles, but I can only used on word to describe the route - DARK!!!!! My vision became poorer without any lighting, because I was running with my Adidas sunglasses, I had to take it off and it helped a little because I did not wear my specs.

I was running anxiously, I was so afraid that I could fall down or knocked something else on the way because my visible vision was only 3 meters in front of me. It was like the LSD training that we had at Batu Kawan, minus the head lamp. I was praying that we would enter the city again, which never happened.

There was a climb between km-18 and 19, I slowed down because I did not want to waste extra energy doing the climb is normal pace and suffer later. I thought I did well.

Then there was part of the route which  is slanted, it put extra pressure on my left leg and ankle, so I slowed down a little bit to ensure that I was not hurting myself badly. I still hold the breathing and everything else pretty well. I thought I'm on the way to hit my goal at the km-20.

At km-21, I took one power gel to refuel early so that I would not running out of fuel soon, after that I bumped into Deo, he was doing very well, coming from behind, I guess the negative splits must be working well for him. I just continued to run without having much problem.

If I remembered correctly, the U-turn point which is the check point was at km-25. Then, I was running facing the participants coming from behind, I could still running like normal, greeted Dan, Ewe Cheong, etc. I stopped to have some watermelon because there were no isotonic drinks served, so I took some fruits to fill in my tummy and probably get some electrolyte. Some good things don't last long, at km-30, the nightmare kicked in.

Both of my tights and calves, left and right cramped at the same time. The pain was unbearable, I could not run properly, I could feel the muscles contracted so much that made it impossible for me to run. I slowed down and stopped for a while, then I began to stride again. Unfortunately, the cramps did not go away. I knew the race to hit my goal was over. I checked on my 405 and I had to come up with Plan B.

Kenny, Dan and Ewe Cheong went past me and I just asked them to go all the way because I really could not make it already. Then, at the same time, the sun came out from nowhere and shining brutally on all the runners. I was like roasted but I cannot run. My plan was to run/walk for the next 12km, but the cramps keep coming back, it was really miserable and dreadful. I was so angry with myself, I knew I could do much better and not in this state. I told myself to remember the PAIN and every TORTURING minutes and seconds of the final 12k.

There was once I sat down on the ground doing stretching and one officer did came to ask me whether I could continue, I said it was just a cramp and I could still do it. I was thinking even I could not hit my target time, I must finish the race. I guess he knew I was hanging on, and he waited for me a few hundred meters away and gave me a big smile while chatting with his friend. At that time, he was like a waiting vulture that want to drag me on the vehicle and officially DNF me. (Sorry, no chance~!)

Although it was like hell, with my muscles totally gave up on me, with the sun keep roasting and baking me mercilessly. I took water, I used ice sponge, I drank in every water stations and I tried to run and failed, tried to walk and failed. That continued until km-40 and there was the turn back to the city or town area. My muscles improved a lil bit and I forced myself to run/walk again, luckily the cramps chose to rest at that moment.

I was fighting with the clock at the moment, I was doing the math whether I could still achieve sub-4:30. That drove me to push harder and I could sub 6 to 6 min pace to the finishing line, although I literally running beside the lorries, bikes and inhaled in all the carbon monoxide from the exhaust. I held my arm high while crossing the line, hearing the DJ announcing my name and where I came from. The official timing is 4:29:49.

This is really a bittersweet experience for me, suffered for 12km but still managed to finished in 4:30 and got no.10 in my age category. A huge encouragement for me. Unfortunately, organizer gave my trophy to someone else and I had to take him. It is just a switch.

My race summary:
  • Starting too fast undermined my race. I shall be more discipline and take more control of my own pace in future races.
  • I shall put in more LSD training with target pace.
  • I shall be more prepared, with power gels, hydration and salts.
  • PB my FM by 13 minutes and lucky to get no.10 in my 16-29 age group. (Luckily I join this year)

You could view your result here -

Race Review:

  • Allow on the spot registration one day before the event.
  • Free food for all runners and non-runners. It was seemed like everyone invited to have a feast there.
  • Many water stations, plenty of water.
  • Nice gold finisher medal.
  • Many age groups and trophies encourage more runners to participate.
  • Poor route, especially those without lighting, could cause injuries to runners. Luckily the road quality in Thailand is better than Malaysia.
  • Not much of isotonic drinks served or I could not identify it.
  • No crowd due to poor route design.
For the rest of the number game and chart, please check below:

Close up view of the finisher medal and trophy.

-well done-

Before Hatyai International Marathon - Part 2/2

This is the second half of the 'Before Hatyai International Marathon', you can read the first half here.

As I was just woke up and still in blur blur mode, I asked the tuk tuk driver is it 150 Bhat per pax to Bethai night market, he quickly asked us to hop in. As my wifey asked me, isn't it just 30 Bhat per pax? Then, I realized I offered the wrong pricing for the tuk tuk service. I put that behind my head until we reached the destination.

On the way, we did some camwhoring and Proton Savvy was spotted. Not bad, Proton, you made your way into Thailand which is full of CKD of many cars, including Toyota, Honda, GM, etc....

After reaching the destination, the tuk tuk driver asked for 600 Bhat, which is 150 Bhat times 4, then I clarified again, then he quoted me 30 Bhat times 4 = 120 Bhat. Luckily I dare to counter offer, else we become the super big fish on the Thailand chopboard. By the way, he was being dishonest as well :P

Then we went separate ways to pursue the shopping mission and meet at 8pm for dinner. We took chicken rice and some sushis, except ah Huat who does not eat raw sushi. The sushi was very cheap, 5 Bhat each, and buy 10 free 2. What an offer? Can we find anything with that type of pricing in Penang or Malaysia? I doubt it!!!!

Then we continued to shop in separate ways, wifey keep her eyes on the merchandizes while I looked at somewhere else, not really interested in buying new T-shirt or other things. I already have abundance of it. Did I mention that I bought 3 running pants and 1 cap? All budget used up.

The rain started to pour and we saw something quite creative, many stall owners use the gutter shown below to guide the water to flow to ground, rather that let it sprinkle around. Nice move.

 At 10pm, most of the stalls were closing and we decided to go back to the guest house. We hop in one tuk tuk with good Hi-Fi system that was playing Lady Gaga's song. The driver charged us 100 Bhat for the way back, 20 Bhat cheaper this time, some more with the entertainment. Value for money.

My legs were tired after those walking and driving, so I decided to go for a foot massage. It was darn cheap at 200 Bhat per hour. Initially, the masseur was a bit harsh on my fragile legs and I had to ask him to slow down, soften the massage a bit, because I still need my legs for the 42km in another 6 hours. I was not sure whether it was the correct move to massage before the race, because of what had happened in the run that I will share in my race report later.

You can see my face expression, it was so natural until I did not notice or realize how ugly I was.

Then we went back to bed after I informed WJ to meet at 2.30am at the guest house lobby.

Good night.


Monday, May 28, 2012

Before Hatyai International Marathon - Part 1/2

Well... I supposed many things to happen this (previous) weekend including:
  1. Much delicious Thai food.
  2. Wifey going on shopping spree.
  3. Adrian Ong Soon Huat coming north from KL all the way to join 13km.
  4. Woei Jye going debut on Full Marathon after accepting my challenge or I should call it offer.
  5. Myself aiming for a PB.
It took us almost 4 - 5 hours to reach Hatyai due to heavy human traffic at the Thailand-Malaysia border, could be due to school holiday, or biking event or the Hatyai International Marathon. I think we spent around 1.5 to 2 hours queuing up to get our passport stamped and get my car permit. The driving experience was so-so in NSEW and I was becoming more cautious after crossing the border.

This queue took me more than 1 hour to get my passport stamped.

I still wonder why the Thailand immigration officers collect RM1 or RM2 from the each person that went across the border. Is it an official fee? or?

From 99.7 My FM is Malaysia, my car radio was in Thai FM at 99.75, I guess. Although I do not understand the language from the radio station, except those numbers, like neng, song, sham...etc ... but the music kept us entertained. 555....

We used ah Huat's GPS to reach Be My Guest Apartment. I'd booked 2 rooms with Anne's help and the rate was very good. RM60 per night, the room is clean, the hot shower is working (but not many need it in Hatyai due to the hot weather), and the receptionist speaks Mandrin. We wanted to go to Gan Ying (甘英) to have our lunch and we were not sure whether is it and we were planning to hop on to one of the tuk-tuk, but after getting the consultation from the receptionist, were were asked to walk straight out of the entrance of the hotel and go straight. We followed the instruction and we were in disbelief because it is just 300m away. Save 20 bhat per pax for the walk. Look at the dishes we had.

After the lunch, we drove to Jiranakorn Stadium to register for the marathon event. It was very very hot and the registration did not take too long, maybe around around 10 minutes for filling up the form, make the payment, choose the vest/T-shirt, check the timing chip. Then, we're done.

After that we were checking out all the merchandizes on the booths in front of the stadium, there were so many things, we were not quite sure whether they're genuine or counterfeited products. Anyway, no risk taken, so we did not buy any running shoes there although some of the Adizero Adios only 1000 Bhat per pair, tempting. However, I will never let go the chance to buy running pants which are quite expensive in Penang or Malaysia.

I have bought 3 pieces of running pants, I guess 2 are Nike and 1 is Adidas, I guess all are counterfeited good but I can live the quality of the pants after trying them in the 'Hong Nam' - toilet. 3 for 450 Bhat equals to 1 Adidas running pant after 40% discount, imagine buying those normal price item. Besides, I grabbed one dri-fit Siamdidas cap for 150 Bhat too... it was just too hard to resist.

Look my wifey's face when she cannot tahan the hot weather. After spending quite some time there, we decided to go back to the guest house to rest, everyone was tired after exposing under the sun for quite some time.

We gathered at the lobby around 6:15pm Thai time and we headed to the Bethai Night Market. Wifey did not get anything in the afternoon, she was so eager to shop at the night market. That's the whole purpose that she wanted to join this trip.

To be continued ...

Thursday, May 24, 2012

FM Clashes with CQE Courses

I was lining up my races throughout 2012 and planning early in good for myself to have an overview of 2012, apart from the 2012 new year resolution. But, again, it happens again, something else came up. There is no big deal if there is no clashes between those events, or if it is just one time deal.

I was told that CQE, stands for Certified Quality Engineer certification training courses was available, and it would cost me an arm and a leg if I choose to take it myself. From the internet, I saw it is only USD399, which could convert to a few thousand ringgit, quite expensive, indeed. I was happy to know that it is open for enrollment, but bad news is it is a 24 full days course, from 9am to 5pm. OMG.... it will suck up all of my energy, to make thing worse, most of the training are on Saturdays.


I have to skip the first class this Saturday because of the early planning of my own race schedule, because of the late notice by HR and the intention of getting the CQE certification. After I marked all the course date on the calendar, I could miss out as many as 4 classes. (Seems like I'm giving higher priority to FM :P )

Maybe the priority will change, but the money paid for race registration will be 'tong ko sui'. The RJM and Taiping International Marathon would be on the line now...

We'll see how they (the other colleagues) that attending the course negotiate on the course schedule, it could be better or worse, so no point talking too much about it now.

For sure, Hatyai... I'm coming.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Endurance Calculator

Running is simple. Running is an exercise. Running is good for health.

Some how, the adrenaline rush often makes us forget the initial meaning or intention to start running. We began to put in a lot of mileage, we squeeze the time out of nowhere just to fulfill the weekly mileage, we started to sign up a lot of races, we are hunger for success, we want constant Personal Best from back to back events. Out of nowhere, the joy of running is depleting, we have the complicated feeling upon the arrival of each event, the pressure to outperform is there, and the excitement to out-run the previous self is there.

It is going to be the first full marathon for 2012, the fourth one in my entire life since the three "broken apart" FM's in 2011. I have had set a higher bar for myself, which is a stretched goal of finishing a sub-4:15. If I could do this, that means I will shave off 30 minutes from the previous best at 4:43 in PBIM 2011.

Hatyai, a place that I know for good Thai food, good Thai massage, good shopping place but never a PB hunting field in marathon running, but I'm going there this weekend to take on my first full marathon in 2012 and in Thailand.

I can feel the pressure now, I'm wondering whether everyone has it?

People says one would afraid of darkness if he sees ghost before. The 2 occasions that I hit the wall, not in FM but in < 10k three weeks ago and the recent PJ Dawn. I do not wish to encounter that again, giving that all I want to do is hit my target and I need a flawless execution. The target is actually quite disturbing now, I wrote down one target, plus another stretched target, but inside my mind, there is something which is more overwhelming. I want to do a sub-4. Oh ou.... this could be the reason that I could not sleep well this few days.

Anyway, I want to know how much I should eat to NOT hit the wall in Hatyai. I browse the web and I saw this web site called Endurance Calculator. It is designed to enable endurance runners to determine safe, personalized racing paces over distances such as the marathon. So, I tried it.

I put in the ambitious target there, and here you go:

So, I guess I would need 1460 kcal on race day, excluding the routine calories that my body needs to keep my body routine tasks. Conservatively, I shall run a 5:46 pace to hit my 4:15 target and faster than that for a sub-4. OMG.

The aggressive best marathon performance is very interesting. I wonder when it could become a reality for me?

Please don't be so happy about it first, please read below:

Interpreting Your Calculator Output

Carbohydrate loading should be conducted in the days preceding a race (approximately 12-36 hours beforehand) and should be completed by approximately 12 hours before a race, in order to enable time for glycogen uptake into the muscles. The number of calories of carbohydrate indicated by the calculator for a particular target pace represents the total minimum excess, over and above normal caloric requirements, that should be consumed as carbohydrate (neither fat nor protein can be substituted for carbohydrate in carbohydrate loading) during the loading period. During that loading period, the entire diet should consist primarily of carbohydrates. The form of the carbohydrate is not critically important, though moderate- or high-glycemic-index foods consumed immediately after exercise of the target muscles (the leg muscles in runners) will be most effective in loading those muscles. The Conservative and Aggressive figures refer to the calories of carbohydrate required to sustain the corresponding speeds.

The calculator generates `Conservative' and `Aggressive' estimates. The Conservative time reflects the best time a runner at a given level of aerobic fitness could hope to run without hitting the wall, assuming he or she runs with everyday carbohydrate stores; that is, not having carbohydrate loaded and without fueling during the race. By contrast, the Aggressive time reflects the fastest pace that same runner could theoretically sustain without hitting the wall, assuming the runner is maximally carbohydrate loaded and that his or her performance is limited by the ability to store carbohydrates. The calculator can predict quite fast Aggressive times, especially for runners with high maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max greater than approximately 65 milliliters of oxygen per kilogram of body mass per minute). Carbohydrate storage is not the main performance-limiting factor in those runners, who are the most aerobically fit, and so those runners should not set their target paces based on the Aggressive predictions; the calculator will generate a corresponding warning message for such runners.

Carbohydrate loading will not guarantee an increase in speed, but it can ensure that a runner will not hit the wall at his or her chosen speed.

Can I load myself with 2644 kcal and see what will happen in Hatyai?

Oh.... if you would like to try it. Visit


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Functional Food

All of us eat functional functional foods every day, the main function of the consumed  food is to fill up our stomach and not feeling hungry. I agree most part of it. However,the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (USA) describes functional food as whole, fortified, enriched, or enhanced foods that have a potentially beneficial effect on health when consumed as part of a varied diet at effective levels on a regular basis.

So, by the description, I guess some food is beneficial to us when we eat it regularly. It is a long article and let me summarize it into a few major categories and the benefits of each. Mind you, we will be talking about the benefit to prevent CVD, not Chemical Vapour Deposition (as in semiconductor industry) but cardiovascular disease.

1. Fruits and Vegetables
It is known that or widely spread that routine consumption of fruits and vegetables which are abundant in phytochemicals, antioxidants, and fiber protects against CVD. I'll skip all the chemical compound that could lead you and me go crazy, bottom line is you should eat onions, tomatoes, berries, apples and cabbage which are rich in phytochemicals.

There are a few food which are abundant in antioxidants but rarely found OR very expensive in Malaysia, including blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, cherries, eggplant, and purple cabbage, have been shown to enhance endothelial function and suppress infl ammation that may lead to CVD. I guess the most affordable ones are the eggplant and purple cabbage. Does it mean that purple colour food are good? Yes, but not only purples, eat all colourful fruits and veges, you can boost your defense system against the CVD.

2. Legumes
That's including all beans, peas, lentils, etc. They provide low fat plant-based proteins, fibers and other healthy nutrients. By choosing plant protein, you get much more bang for your buck, in our case, is RINGGIT. You’re getting amino acids, fiber, minerals, iron, and antioxidants, and you’re getting a food with bonus nutrients that boost your body’s antioxidant levels, lower cholesterol, and provide folate, which is known to lower homocysteine—high levels of which are a risk factor for CVD—all this for just pennies on the dollar. With animal protein, you’re getting the excess baggage of saturated fat and cholesterol and more calories.

Besides, it is more economical or easy to prepare food from beans, you save some time, you save the ringgit. Why not?

3. Fish
Fish are high in protein, low in saturated fat, and loaded with omega-3 fatty acids. Wild salmon is the recommended food, but if everyone going after the wild salmon. How many would be left in this world?

To be serious, consuming fish rich in omega-3s may decrease the risk of cardiacarrhythmias, which can lead to sudden death (Remember the Muamba case when Bolton vs Tottenham), decrease triglyceride levels, slow the growth rate of atherosclerotic plaque, and modestly reduce blood pressure.

4. Whole Grains
For a good source of dietary fi ber, along with nutrients such as B vitamins, iron, vitamin E, polyphenols, magnesium, and selenium, six to eight servings of whole grains per day is recommended. Oats in particular provide significant cardiovascular benefi ts due to their high content of the soluble fiber beta glucan, which is believed to reduce LDL cholesterol.

Therefore, any time you have white rice, try brown rice instead; or instead of white pasta, have whole grain pasta whenever possible. So you’re not making a major change. You’re simply switching out a less healthful item for a heart-healthy whole grain option.

5. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts are rich in heart-healthy fats, antioxidants, phytosterols, protein, and fi ber and are thus key players in CVD prevention. So, eat more walnut, hazelnuts, etc.... make it an afternoon snack to replace those unhealthy tidbits.

It is time to go nuts.

6. Heart Healthy Beverages
Drink more green tea, control the coffee intake 2 to 4 cups per day and one glass of red wine per day if you are not restricted/prohibited from drinking it. Although some studies show that there are some benefits drinking the beverages stated above, the effect is not more evident than the food intakes.

Wow.... seems like everything is covered here except meat, so you know what it means, right? Maybe we need to make some positive changes to actually change our health condition or live longer.

We should be pushing these lifestyle changes because we know they work. Heart attack and stroke is the leading cause of death worldwide, but largely a preventable condition.

Partially summarized from Reducing the Risk of CVD, by Megan Tempest. Today Dietian 2012-04

**** :-D ****

Monday, May 14, 2012

Pace Chart

Just to keep for my own reference.

50, 84 and 100km added so that I don't need to create a new one when I 'run fire'.

-siao siao liao-

Race Report - PJ Dawn

Event: PJ Dawn
Date: 13 May 2012
Location: Stadium Kelana Jaya, Petaling Jaya
Distance: 21.0km (20.90km)
Registration Fee: RM50 (Men Open)
Gears: Adizero Aegis, Garmin Forerunner 405
Starting Time: 3.00am
Running Time: 01:46:15
Pace: 5:05 min/km

This is the first 21km or half marathon of 2012. I have set 1:45 as my HM target in 2012, it was benchmark to my previous best at Across-3-States half marathon timing at 1:53 which I have achieved in late 2011. It is a reasonable target, I told myself repeatedly. With all those long steady distance training that I have thrown in starting in 2012, all those were non-existent in 2011. This probably could tell how much badly I want to improve the timing.

On Saturday morning, I drove Wifey to The Athletics's Circle @ Jaya One to collect my race pack. The whole Jaya One structure is like a maze to me, I spent some time reading the map and finally got there. The outlet is fulled with 'imported' stuff for runners, such as 2XU compression attire, Nathan gears, running skirts for ladies, Newton shoes, Polar, etc. I wanted to get the roller so much but that thing is RM65, not cheap man. I wandering inside for a while before I left.

Then, we joined Shin Yi and her friends for brunch @ Kluang Kopitiam in 1-Utama. We killed some time there and again, wandering in One-Utama new wing and old wing. Took a peep at the Oakley running sunglasses but they are really expensive, from RM6XX to RM1XXX. I'm not ready to spend 'that much' money for that yet. I foresee I would need one in SCKLM.... LOL....because I'm not fast enough to beat the sunrise.

In the evening, the great mistake had taken place. I decided we buy some food and bring back to Kotzen's house to eat, in case we are hungry. We bought 3 buns and I only took one bun as dinner. There goes my so called carbo-loading. Killed some time watching entertainment show with wifey and I slept.

Woke up at 1am and changed up, woke up my wife and we were set to go. We were quite early when we got to Stadium Kelana Jaya, we managed to get a good parking spot, a legal one. At the back, the cars were flocking in after a few minutes, wifey was wondering why they were there? I said "They are here for the race lah!!!!:"

A little bit hungry, so I took 2 bananas. I think that were the two of three life saving bananas that I had on 5-13. Put on my shoes, then I started to get boring. Look at my face.

After that we went into Stadium Kelana Jaya, I forgot to mentioned this was the first time I was there. We went to the car park instead of inside the stadium. It could be so much better if we could finish inside the stadium.

Wifey who has been very nice, skipped her sweet dreams to help me snap photos at this hour. So, I had to post to respect the sacrifice that she has made.

 As soon as we finished the warm up conducted by an instructor on the stage, most of the 21km participants went to the starting line. I was so hesitant to bring my Nathan Trek but I felt glad that I had made a positive decision. I saw a few runner that I could recognize, from the blogs that I had came across. One is Moey, who has just participated in Boston Marathon 2012 recently, I think he finished first in Men's Junior Veteran. What can you say with the speed of a Boston qualifier?

The race was flagged off at 3am or 2:57am according to my 405. I could see many runners smoking me, which I fall behind as soon as the race started. I wanted to start slow enough so that my HR can climb up gradually, measuring with my own sense, because I was strapless.

But things do not always follow your wish. I think I was starting quite fast but I still can hold the rhythm quit well, so I was not worry and I was checking my 405. It was like you know the speed limit is 110km/h but you continue to drive 120-130km/h, without any intention of slowing down. Felt good about it although there were quite some moderate hills and slopes. I was holding well.

By km-10, I felt something went wrong, or something unusual happen. It was my first race in compression tight, I was not sure what happen. Is the tight too tight? Am I over-hydrated? Is the glycogen depleted? The right leg did not hear the command from my brain anymore, it was like cramp but not exactly, more like a car which the fuel was cut off. I was running + limping for one km or so, I could not feel the ground, I could not measure or sense the distance of my sole and the ground.

Until the water station at km-10/11. I knew I had to stop although the will to achieve the target of 1:45 was fading away. I thought I would be in 6 min pace for the rest of the race, so I was pretty much defeated. I saw Deo overtook me, the strides were so confident and running strong, how I wish I was in that condition.

A young St.John first aider was asking my condition and I told him that most probably I did not eat enough. I massaged my right leg for a couple of minute and I continued the race, I revised my target to be better than previous race, rather than the 1:45.

I was still struggling, although I felt better after the stop. I was cursing, why there was no isotonic drinks served? It supposed to be a reputable racing event (I drew conclusion from the race pack that I have collected, a timing chip, a finisher T, finisher medal, etc... wow.... I thought).

I was struggling from km-12 to km-15, plus the hill, it made everything more difficult. However, at the km-15 water station, I had the third living saving banana, I was so tired, I gobbled down 80% of the banana, and it was a downhill then. I leveraged on the built up speed and went on as hard as I could, I knew that I still wanted the 1:45 so badly, it looked possible to me based on some rough calculation.

Argh.... can feel the lactate building up and yet I wanted to finish good, so I pushed and I was aware of the last 5km to go. I told myself to hold on, hold on, I can make it. I think I saw Karen Loh (another runner who I know from some blogs as well) cheering for the runners, asking the runners not to slow down. That's the last thing I wanted too.

After all the torturing kms, I finally saw the route turning into Stadium Kelana Jaya, I realize that the distance markers offset that occurred at the beginning was compensated at the final km's. The runners needed to take a loop round the stadium to cross the finishing line. I held on and I made it, with 1:46:15. I knew I won't be able to hit it in the last KM, but it is another PB for myself.

I'll take the positive from this race. I can make peace with 33rd placing and work harder next time.

All the splits will tell the stories.

1. Finisher medal and finisher T for those finished within qualified time.
2. Good marshals, ensure runners go in the correct ways. Stop the cars from crashing us.
3. Warm up session to cheer up the runners before the race.
4. Finisher could have nasi lemak, banana, nyonya kuih, etc at the finishing point.

1. No isotonic drinks.
2. Offset distance marker (although I don't really care)


33rd Placing ~!!!!

I like the finisher T so much.


Well done. It was not the best race that I have done, but it is the best recovery I ever had so far.


Monday, May 7, 2012

Race Report - Merentas Desa Hari Buruh

Event: Merentas Desa Hari Buruh
Date: 06 May 2012
Location: Taman Sri Rambai, Bukit Mertajam. Penang
Distance: 9.0km (8.78km)
Registration Fee: RM10 (Men Open)
Gears: Adizero Aegis, Garmin Forerunner 405
Starting Time: 7.00am
Running Time: 00:40:12
Pace: 4:35 min/km

5:15am, I woke up from the bed. I wanted to have some time for the body to wake up as I have had experience that my body was in 'sleeping' state while I was in pounding the pavement at 6am in the morning. I took my sweet time, checking Facebook updates, made myself a cup of Milo and took a couple of cookies. I did a stupid interval on Thursday afternoon and it was taking some toll on my body, so I skipped workouts on Friday and Saturday, although I should have at least log 5km slow run.

It was going to rain and in fact, it rained around 5:30am and did not stop until end of the race. Before I drove to the race site, I said good bye to wifey and she did not forget to remind me to win 3rd placing for the race because I told her that it was a small scale race. However, I also reminded her that although the scale was small, some of the great runners will be there. I reached there quite early to get myself prepare although I would want to materialize my wifey's wish.

As soon as I saw those great runners turning up one by one, I knew that the chances of winning a trophy was slim because only the top-4 will get something. I saw Wong Jin Ji and Eric from i-Run, both very fast runners. I told myself what the hell, I will just go compete and run the best race that I could.

Oops, I forgot to mention that I made a decision to run strapless because that's how I ran before 2012, I did not track my HR, I did not track my speed, I did not track the distance. I just want to go run as fast as I could, as hard as I could, although I still wore my Garmin Forerunner 405 to collect data for post-mortem.

The race started late by 17 minutes instead of 7am because the organizer decided to wait for more runners because it was raining and some could be late. I did not blame them although I have to keep myself warm from 6:30am onwards, but they should have started race as scheduled.

Bang, the race was started by the countdown of 3, 2, 1...go. In the very first few seconds, I have to find the way out of the crowd, many participants really like to occupy the first few rows although they are not competitive. I was like bumping on uncles and auntie if my brake was not functioning. Or they just want to be on the photo?!

I'm quite familiar with the route because I grow up in Bukit Mertajam and still live here. My secondary school is just nearby. At the first turn like 30m away from the starting line, I could see the front pack already leading like 50m. Walao eh.... very fast.

I pushed myself a bit more, trying to close the gap because I was way back like 50 placings, that would dash my hope, or my wife's wish for the 3rd placing. I pushed and at the same time, tried to push harder, I did not look at my Garmin.

At km-2 or 3, I had managed to went past Eric near Dell and tried to maintain the pace, which I thought I could. There are 2 indian runners who in front of me, I managed to went past one at the somewhere near Dell as well and another one near Bukit Minyak turning point to Kota Permai.

Then, I set my sight on another 2 runners in front of me, their pace were quite the same as mine, hence it was very difficult to catch up with them. When running into Kota Permai, I was like losing steam, I can sense the pace drop although I did not check my pace. The Indian runner that has mobile water supply overtook me. I felt my whole body a.k.a. was overheating, although the sun was not shining brightly yet.

I felt I was going slower and slower and until I got back to Jalan Song Ban Kheng, Eric overtook me, I guess the consistent pace is always better. There is around 2.X km to go yet because I checked on the mileage counter when I drove over that morning.

Another veteran overtook me, I was thinking to stop because I knew that 3rd placing was not possible then, but that was against my principle so I ran as hard as I could, or as consistent as I could to get to the finishing point. By that time, Eric was 80-100m in front of me. There was no more energy for final dash, so I finished the race at 40m12s for 8.78km.

From the timing chart, pace vs distance, the pace was dropping from km-4 onwards, the blank area under the horizontal line 04:00 states that I was getting slower and slower.

From the splits record, it is very clear that the average pace drop as much as 40 seconds between km-3 and km-8. Too bad. Apart from all this, this was the best race that I ever had, with average pace of 4:35 min/km for 8km. I shall take the positives from this event and move on, again, work on the intervals, find the best breathing rhythm and gauge my own performance again during another 10k race.

Regarding the event:

1. Good running route, I would say it is quite flat, except some minor elevations.
2. Cheap registration fees. RM10 with a T-shirt and another 'rocket' T-shirt as souvenirs.
3. Free mineral water and bun after the race.
4. More than 10 lucky draws prizes, including electric boiler, iron and 3 bicycles.

1. Not many placing.
2. Race program not scheduled. Started late, not sure when is the prize award and lucky draw.

Lets focus of getting fit again for PJ Dawn 2012. I guess the heart was working very very hard during the 8.78km and I was like super tired after the race. Got a nap after breakfast, still tired. Got a nap before dinner, still tired. Wake up this morning, still tired.

Futsal tomorrow evening and maybe a 5k on Wednesday or Thursday and I ready to go.

-Well Done-

Thursday, May 3, 2012

SCKLM 2012 Route

I'm not sure whether SCKLM 2011 full marathon route is the same with SCKLM 2012 or not because I know nothing about the geography in Kuala Lumpur except following the crowd to the starting point since 2010.

Back in 2010, I was doing half marathon that year. I still remembered that my wife and I stayed at Yng Shan's place at SS2, that was Euro 2010 time. Soon Huat said he wanted to send me to take the shuttle bus but he fall asleep after watching the football match.

I had to wake Yan Xu (Yng Shan's hubby) up and sent me to 1-Utama to take the shuttle bus. I had a tough day, I forgot when was the last time I ran 21km, or the 25km in 2009 was the last >10km run that I did, which ended badly as well (I think the finishing time was 3hours+). Arghhhh.... I was naive. I was like dying after the 21km. That day when I was checking back some of the photos that I have, I saw the finishing line photo by marathon-photo. I looked fat, double chin and in bad shape.

In 2011, as the 2011-resolution spelled out, I need to do 3 full marathons. One of them is SCKLM 2011, my second marathon after the maiden marathon at Sundown Marathon, Singapore, which was around 1 month apart. It did not end well in Sundown as well, although I love to run at night or without the freaking hot sun keep roasting me. I did it in 5:44 and I was like walking like a zombie for 2 weeks post race. 

I want to congratulate myself again for getting myself to the starting point in 2011, it was not easy to drive to somewhere that I totally have no idea, in the dark. Luckily I saw the LRT rail and I managed to parked my car at one the shuttle bus parking area. It was so close. During the race, I told myself to do better in the second full marathon in my life, I managed to shave off 21 minutes. I took all the positives although I was not well-trained for FM.

The hills at the very end of the SCKLM 2011 route still fresh in my mind, I double check the climb in the image above. Oh no.... here you go again, a double peak at km-35 to km39 in 2012. Hopefully I am more prepared this round.

I do not want to put too much pressure on myself, sub4:30 is the target, stretched target at sub4:15, anything below 4 is simply amazing. Oopss.... I go day-dreaming again.

Need more mileage or speed training. Balancing of family, training and work. I need it.

-Good luck-

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Registered 2 more FM's

Before the early-bird closing date which is May 1st, I have managed to pay RM90 to register for the full marathon that I always wanted to join, which is River Jungle Marathon (RJM). To be frank, I like the idea of "run your own race", which means run as fast as you could to finish early, or run as comfortable as you can to enjoy the scene. I plan to do the RJM in makan angin pace and take photos along the way.

The only question that I have "Is it possible to run a full marathon bring along the DSLR which is not lightweight to carry for 42km?"

If you would like to join, you could visit here.

I found that the registration portal still showing RM90, for those that wants to enjoy the early bird fee, please act fast :P

In another few days I knew that Penang Bridge International Marathon is going to be open for registration on 28-April. I wanted to register early but I have totally forgot about it and only managed to register on Sunday night. The numbers are running fast, but I cannot retrieve the bib number that I have got.

The early bird fee for full marathon is RM60, valid from 28 April to 30-May. Please register quickly at the official site of PBIM.

I had a personal best at PBIM 2011 and I hope to do better in FM's 2012. Hopefully with the right training, right conditioning and right hydration and refuel, I could do better at beat the stretched target at 4:15.

Until then.... train hard.

In April alone.... I have paid RM313 for race entry fee, which is quite a lot for events below. I think all the major events should have been covered, the schedule is already packed and I shall start saving money to make all the necessary trip :P