Monday, May 14, 2012

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.


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