Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Race Report - Men's Health Shape Run 2012

Event: Men's Health Shape Run 2012
Date: 14 July 2012
Location: Precinct 3, Putrajaya
Distance: 11.8km (12.28km)
Bib No.: A00965
Registration Fee: RM50 (Men Open)
Gears: Asics DS-Trainer, Garmin Forerunner 405
Starting Time: 8.00pm
Running Time: 00:59:14
Pace: 4:49 min/km

It was a long day, at least I felt like that mentally. Wifey sent me to the bus stop to board the bus at 9:30am and she was a little bit disappointed I left her home alone again, but I reassured her that I'd be back early the next day morning. This marked the beginning of a hectic trip to my first Men's Health Night Run, although I have read about it 2 years ago.

I had 7 hours sleep the night before so I spent some time reading the financial newspaper - The Edge Malaysia to make myself tired, so that I could go on a nap. Basically I spent one and a half hour reading it, it is a very informative material but most of the time I just dump it aside and surf the internet. That's kinda money wasting subscription, but luckily I told myself I must recover the fee by making some profit from investment, which was materialized a few days before, so I'm good with it.

After that, I just got into a nap and by the time I heard the driver yelled 'Puduraya'...'KL'.... I knew that I'm in the busy city again but somehow I could not recognize where I was. I guessed the driver must have been taking some shortcut or other routes, but I saw Petaling Street on my left. I know that place but I still did not have any idea to navigate myself to KL Sogo.

What the hell, took out my iPhone and key in the destination but I still did not know whether I got the direction right. I did not care, maybe I just walk more if I went to the wrong way. Walked to Jalan Tun Perak (a familiar name), should have ran on it during SCKLM, not only that.... I sat there after my SCKLM 2012. Recognize the route from the overhead monorail and the Masjid Jamek LRT station. Then, took one shortcut, but don't know to where initially which got me to Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman and Sogo is just around the corner, but the whole street was so crowded, wondered what was happening?!


Managed to reach KL Sogo and walked to the main entrance. Wow.... I just followed the line, the place was traffic controlled, even on the escalator. There was simply too too too many people there, believe me when I use so many too's. I was not even sure SportsDirect is up there, I just went up using the escalators from one floor to another floor. 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th.... and I saw the big banner. phew.... luckily I was at the right place.

I did not waste much time there by scanning around for the running shoes corner for my target - Brooks Pure Connect which was sold at RM239. I don't think I could get such price in Penang. I scanned through all the running shoes, there were some items in my wanted list but I was not going to buy any except Pure Connect, but I did tried on the Adidas Boston and Pure Flow, not as nice after I had put on the Pure Connect. Took my one sweet time there to test it, walked in it, simulate running in it, sitting and watching it. It is fit, but without socks. After I spent close to 30 minutes there, I decided to buy it because I felt good in it even without stocking. Suddenly, I saw additional 5% off, then I asked the promoter what was it about? He said I need a Sogo member card or Cherrie Maybankard? He even said I need either one to walk into Sogo, but I don't have any???!!!!


Then, the mathematics started to roll inside my head, 5% of RM239 is quite a sum and I could get another 5% to pay using my AMEX Maybankard on weekend spending. I quickly look for someone to borrow Sogo member card, luckily one nice lady helped me with that. Paid my bill and officially I got my Pure Connect at RM227. It is going to be my race shoes, but I need some training on it, else bad things would happen. (Discuss about this later)


Took my late lunch at Old Town Kopitiam (things are more expensive) and moved on to board KTM to KL Sentral or Bandar Tasek Selatan. I know the name of the place but have no sense of direction when I got to the commuter station. I had to download the route map and check carefully to avoid making any mistakes. After making some cost calculation, I guess it would be more economical to stay longer in Rapid/KTM rather than ERL, so I went down at Bandar Tasek Selatan interchange station and boarded ERL to Putrajaya Sentral.

I reached Putrajaya around 5 something and it was quite early, the race only start at 8pm. I checked on the map of Putrajaya and the buses that I could take to reach Prescient 3. Enquired the bus fee direct to Butterworth, it was RM42, scheduled to depart at 10.30pm.... reach too early at Butterworth (not a good move). Waited a while for it and I had to pay RM1 for RM0.50 fee because I did not have any coins, I donated all to the needy people when I walked on the KL streets. Donated another RM0.50 to a bus company -.-

It took merely 15 minutes and I reached the race venue.

I was there early, very early, I think it was 6pm. I walked one round to check on the race venue setup and booths (to see whether there was anything that I could take advantage of). After identifying the bag deposit area, I was looking for a washroom to get change. Changed into my orange vest and black pants and went out to prep myself. Applied Counterpain cream over my legs but I barely felt anything, put on my socks and shoes and I went hunting for food after depositing my bag.

I was so... so... so........... hungry because I was so anxious that I might not be able to get to the destination on time, ended up I ate nothing except the Ipoh Hor Fun, mind was laser focused on race :P I took 2 serving of corn flakes + milk (in my own experience, milk and run does not work well). I took another 2 because I suspect I would be running flat of battery after 3km. Searching for familiar faces but none found, until I heard someone told me not to 'keep eating'. It was Alwin Tan, so glad to see a familiar face, walked along with him and saw a few more runners from Penang. Then, I saw Tey. I was happy because I could have a decent photo again :P

Time flies, I did not know what did I do and the emcee was making announcement to get people into the barricades. I followed and it was only 7:30pm. Why I was so kiasu? That was the worst mistake that I've made that day. Long waiting time has drained away my energy, I was literally yawning among a sea of people. Wanted to sleep, at the same time trying to keep my body warm.

After long long time waiting, finally the race started. I wanted to do a good pace and get a good place, but I did not want to start too fast and pay for it at the end of the race. One thing that I dislike is many recreational runners squeezed themselves among the front liners, I'm not sure whether they were too optimistic, or being ignorant. I told myself, they paid the same price for the race, so let them be. I ran zig-zag to overtake some relatively slower runners, got one runner dashing from the back kicked my leg and both of us lost balance, luckily there's nothing serious.

When I checked my watch, I was running at pace 5:30, oh gosh.... too slow. I increased the pace and going past a few females i-runners that I could recognize. All three of them are fast runners, I heard from one of the auntie (I called him auntie not because she is older but by seniority) before that she could run sub-4 FM easily. Wow.... but she took pills (painkillers) before the race. What is the purpose of the exercise if you need to take pills to do it? Against my principle. I just proudly ran and pushed myself to the target pace of 4:45 and 4:30.

No problem in km-1 to km-2 but on the way to km-3 I saw the first elevation of the route, not good, I tried to maintain the 4:30 pace but it was not easy, I was breathing heavily by then. I think the ups and downs continued for 2kms until reaching the first water station, just water, but better than nothing. I was so warm that I needed to pour drinking water on my head to cool off the system.

The cooling system was not working well, I guess it was due to the limited water that I had taken because I took bus and I wanted to avoid pee-ing in the bus, but I paid the huge price for it, running in the full throttle mode. I was like dying, due to the heat, due to the uncomfy feeling, due to the new water bottle (the bottle that I have bought in the afternoon, never tried it before)..... but the water saved me and I kept refilling it during the water stations. Basically I drank 2 cups at each station and 2 cups on my head.

I was blaming myself for not preparing well for this race because I still did interval last Tuesday and hill jog last Thursday. It was taken toll on me. Every km was like 10km. Pace dropped to 5-ish but I could not do anything.... felt so useless and upset with the everything. However, I told myself I could run at this pace but at km-10 onwards I need to increase the pace to 4:30 or faster again.

At km-8, something that has not hit me for quite some time attacked me again. I was like running on top of a frying pan. It was like something burning from inside, firing at the bottom of my foot. That's a sign of blistering. I told myself, it was only 3-4km to go, I'm not going to slow down and I need to increase speed some more at the last 2km or so. It was painful, it was unbearable but I must not stop.

There was one Indian guy who was running at the about same pace with me, he always went faster going up the elevations and I was slower. I think we were exchanging places for quite some time, he was a front, then I was at front, he, me, he, me.... but I noticed that he was on barefoot. What an amazing runner, his footsteps was like a feather touching/kissing the ground, so gentle, yet so fast.

At km-10 to 11, I picked up my speed and only managed to overtake a few runners, at the same time, I need to deal with the pain from the burning. I'm not familiar with Putrajaya but when I hit km-11 and yet there was no sign on the finishing line, I guessed it was over distance. It proved me right that I was running when my Garmin show it passed 11.8km, but the route became familiar, I could hear the crowd. I wanted to push further or maintain the pace but I could not, I had to let go my determination when the finishing line was within my sight.

2 runners from that I had overtaken in last km ran past me while I was 200m away from the finishing line. I was so relieved to see the finishing line. I saw many photographers, I held my right arm with the bottle high up in the sky, to change some pose :P while easing the heat under my feet. I knew that I was far from no.10 judging from the time on Garmin, so another few placing behind will not make the difference. I was handed a little '45' card.

phew.... what a tough route, but glad that it is a job done. At least I can people that I ran in Men's Health Shape Run now. Then, I took a shower, made my way back to Puduraya. Paid another RM5 for RM0.50 bus ticket. Sien.... took KFC late dinner and back to Butterworth. All done in between 9:30am (Sat) to 5:00am (Sun).

Race Summary:
  • Rest enough for any races that you want to do good in, else, don't complain. Never walk in backpack around the city for half a day before making the way to starting line.
  • Don't get into the starting crowd too soon, it drains a lot of energy standing, you might not notice it if you are not racing or want to perform at the optimum performance.
  • Tough route and still quite warm at 8pm. Need to train at this intensity, temperature and humidity if really want to tackle this route. (Let me think about it, maybe years later?!)
  • Never do an intense race in new shoes or relatively new shoes. I'm not sure whether there is blisters down under, but I still could run the next day and next 2 day, should be OK then.
Garmin data:

Race Review:

  • Challenging route with multiple elevations, quite tough but good for competition. It reminds you what you are still lacking behind in running.
  • 3 water stations in 12km are sufficient. Distance marker at every km. I wonder why no Gatorade served in the second water station?
  • Many free food to eat, many freebies in goodie bag, many youngsters took part, 6500 participants for all fun run and competitive categories.
  • Good organization for bag deposit, medal distribution and goodies bag collection.
  • Early announcement to gather runners into the starting line barricaded area. Suffocating there....
  • No public transport information provided to runners, especially those who travel from outstation like me. Finding my own way there -.-'''
  • A little over distance? by 400-500m?
That's all. Gonna take a break until Hatyai Nature Run.

== woohoo ==

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