Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Things I have done before PBIM 2013 (3/4)

Seems like I am talking nonsense in Part 1 and Part 2, but anyhow I am committed to finish all 4 parts, so I have to do it now.

I have made some changes of the way I trained for PBIM. It might sounds a bit difficult or stupid but I truly believe that I have benefited from the changes and I recognize them as positive changes.

7. Longer run for each run
  • Last time, I used to run 5 to 7 km for each easy session because I saw that in people's training plan and even some of my running buddies are doing that.
  • After listening to Dr.Francis who recommended the 10K x 5 + 20-30K plan. I decided to switch and try that plan since he has done it, the margin of error is low. It is not that the 5K and 7K easy run is not working but rather the benefits that you expect to get from it.
  • Just do some simple mathematics, if I am doing a 5K easy run and increased to 10K easy run, it is a 100% increment!!!! If I am doing a 7K and now 10K, it is still a handsome 43% of extra work.
  • Of course at the beginning, my body faced tough times adapting this but that is the time determination and persistence play their role. If feel not well, take it slowly and try again the next day, or take a day off.
  • When the 40% of extra work stacks up over a few weeks, I feel the difference. I think 10K is the minimum I had to do during easy run days, that was the commitment that I have made to myself.
  • In some days, I stretched it to 12 or 13K, which have brought great benefit for me to run economically and laid a good fundamental to nail the Sub-4 full marathon.
  • After certain period, you will notice that running the 10K is getting easier and easier, which means your aerobic fitness is improved. I was running at 5:30 - 5:50 pace for easy run at the beginning but at the peak of the FM training, my easy pace could up to 5:05 - 5:15 min/km.

Easy runs were shorter is distance (April/May 2013)
Almost all 10K in every easy run (October/November 2013)
 8.  Utilize progression run
  • Sometimes we follow everything on the book, word by word, literally. It is quite same for running. When the training plan mentions tempo run for 5km or 10km, we hammer the asphalt or track for the exact mileage that it suggests. It is not wrong, but there many things that we could modify, change or improve to make it more suitable for ourselves, at the end, the body can honestly tells you whether there is any improvement.
  • Progression run could be taken in many ways but I am going to mention 2 only. First, progression easy run. Start running at easy pace and increasing the pace gradually to the threshold pace. In the easy runs, we start with ease and gradually push to the threshold limit, without adding too much stress to the body. Do it 1 or 2 times a week should be fine.
  • Imagine, if you could do this consistently for weeks, soon, running at the threshold pace is going to be easier because you have spend maybe 20 - 50% of your easy run pushing to the threshold pace. In no time, your fitness is going to improve.
  • Second is progression long run. Many full marathoners do LSD or long slow/steady distance training. Normally it is 30 to 90 seconds slower than the goal pace.
  • In progression long run, run the first half or 80% of the distance/course with easy pace. Then, run the remaining mileage with marathon goal pace or a faster pace that your body can take.
  • This can train the body to adapt running when the body is tired and wants to stop. Pay attention to the running form and breathing rhythm. Don't do it too frequent, try that maybe 1 in every 2 weeks could help. This could help you to run more economically too.
  • Don't overdo it, have sufficient rest if you could feel the stress of the workout.

Some pace change due to ascending elevation. (Not anywhere near to perfect progression)

Bad example of overdoing it too soon too fast at km-18 to 21.

Point 7 and 8 are just a couple of tweaking on the training method, it should be not very much different from what you might have been doing. I did that and I found that it worked quite well for me. However, I cannot guarantee that this would help everyone, maybe just serves as a reference.

Just 2 points to cover in the last chapter. woohoo...

To be continue...

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Things I have done before PBIM 2013 (2/4)

After going through the first part of the things that I have done before PBIM 2013, which is goal setting, know your race course or route and prepare a training plan. Let us continue...

4. Mileage
  • When I was training at Mengkuang Dam some time in August 2013, I met Dr. Francis Yeng who is avid marathoner who holds a PB at 3:00. Before that, I was just joining a few good veteran runners from BM Leopard to run. Francis's appearance and experience sharing after the runs really help many runners there.
  • I was asking for advices and training tip because I have a few weaknesses that I found it difficult to overcome. That seemed to be barriers that blocking me to achieve my sub-4 dream. Francis never stingy in his advices.
  • He has done it before so he is likely to be correct than wrong. He said that if one wishes to do a sub-4 full marathon, that is easy, do 80km a week. Maybe just 5 x 10km and 1 x 30km, or a combination of that easy run should be major of the training plan and 25-30% of the weekly mileage is long run.
  • I consulted him on my high heart rate problem and he said I have to do more moderate to long distance run with easy effort.
  • I took some time to digest the information and convince myself to stick with the 80km and more longer runs thing. I emptied my glass (discarded all mental blockages and excuses). I told myself to just do it like you are a fool.
  •  From week 33 to 36, I tried to increase as much as I could without injuring myself. I did not go down but I was having a bad time, my fitness was not there, the mileage yo-yo too much, 69, 33, 59 and 27, I was doing all the last minute work to be SCKLM Sub-5 pacer. I dare not fail, I afraid that I am going to be famous for the wrong reason. I held on and slow down during the SCKLM week to stay injury free and I am glad that I finished it with a decent 4:55 (A little too fast, but I forgive myself because that was the first time to be an event official pacer)
  • I tried hard to hit the magic number and as you can see, I never really did 80km per week. I know I have set a high bar, like people used to said aim for the moon, if you missed, you could land among the stars.
  • I would say if you can run 80km weekly mileage, you can still walk and do your routine after the race. Just after PBIM 2013, I can still walk to take some drinks, talking standing, walk to my car, shower, take photos, cheer for others, etc. This is all plus points.
  • You can see the sudden increase of the monthly mileage below, from 121 suddenly shot up to 249 and 295km monthly.

 5. Know your weaknesses
  • If you have attempted Sub-4 for several times and still failed, but others have made it. There must be something 'not right' somewhere. It is not right does not mean it is wrong, some improvement could be made.
  • Your training plan has indicate that you need to train for the next 12-16 weeks and you have to cover 50-80km per week until tapering week. Sometimes, a plan is only a plan without result if it is not executed.
  • I know my weaknesses, it might take some courage to admit it, or to brush away the ego to talk about it. I am OK, no one is perfect, admitting my weaknesses does not make me a lesser person.
  • My HR is not stable. My hill running is weak. I perspire a lot. I was under mileage. I have too much commitment.
  • By addressing each of the weaknesses, actually you can find a good prescription or solution to improve it. HR could be due to the pace control and aerobic capacity. Train to control pace and improve the aerobic fitness. Weak hill running could be due to weak quad and hip. Train more on hilly routes. I perspire a lot but there is no cure, I either train to drink less water or drink according to needs.
  • For under mileage issue, got to know why cannot fulfill the mileage requirement. Lazy or not committed enough? Too many other activities? I stopped playing futsal for 10 weeks so that I can avoid injuries. I wake up earlier in no work days to run, maybe 4:30am or 5:30am. Sometimes, I ran twice, once in the morning, once in the evening.
  • Of course, give your family priorities and find time to train.
6. Specific workout focus
  • Now you know your committed weekly mileage and weaknesses. What should you do? What did I do? I plan my workouts to address each specific components of my running.
  • In the training plan, you have easy run, threshold run, tempo run, interval and long run. How are you going to distribute the 80km or weekly mileage into each run? It is all depends on your needs.
  • Easy runs should be scattered across your training plan to prepare yourself for a hard run the next day or as a recovery run after a hard run. Don't run faster than the conversational pace.
  • Threshold run should be still conversational which you are still able to put up a word or two during the run. Do this maybe once or twice per week depending on your training plan. Boost running economy.
  • Tempo run is a pace that is faster than the threshold pace which you are not likely to speak during the run. Do this once a week or to replace the threshold run. Considered as hard workout. Normally train speed and lung capacity.
  • Interval run is could be 400 x 8, 800 x 6 or other combination which considered as hard workout. In my opinion, the useful training for full marathon, could be 800m x 8, 1000m x 6, 1600m x 6 etc. I train your body to adapt to run and recover from stress.
  • Long run which could mean 15km or more. Pace slower or close to easy run pace. Mostly train your body operate aerobically, boosting run economy and spend time on your feet. Considered as moderate/hard workout, given the distance.
  • For my own training, I focus majorly in easy run, threshold run and long run, with threshold run contributing the most to my fitness, but must be managed carefully.
Next is about the changes I have made from 2012 to 2013 training... Part 3/4

Friday, November 29, 2013

Things I have done before PBIM 2013 (1/4)

Sub-4 seems like an elusive target for full marathoners in the running community. Of course, achieving a Sub-4 meaning that you have completed one full marathon within 4 hours does not make you an elite runner, but rather a milestone itself. On the other hand, one that never ran a Sub-4 full marathon does not make him a loser as well. Every step counts and I believe that it takes courage and commitment to run a full marathon and everyone that crosses the finishing line is a winner.

I am taking break from running, not to say that I am not running at all, but the mileage is beinvg reduced, it is like a summer break or year end holiday for running now. Year ends really make things go slower, probably everyone is in the 'holiday' mood or mode. Enough with the crap... actually I am writing this for myself to record down the things that I have done during the preparation of the PBIM 2013 full marathon event. Perhaps, you could get some idea what are you going to do with your training for the next marathon. However, I would like to stress that things that work for me, might work or might NOT work for you. You have to find your own way... like what I have done.

Some background. I have started running full marathon back in 2011 and I have completed every single full marathon event (12 FMs) within 6 hours, before PBIM 2013. The best result that I had was 4:05 in SCKLM 2012. I would like to have a breakthrough in the full marathon event, so I knew that I got to do something.

1. Set Goal
  • or I should say set a S.M.A.R.T. goal. For me, my case was quite straight forward, I would like to complete PBIM 2013 in less than 4 hours. Is it specific? Yes, PBIM 2013. Measurable? Yes, less than 4 hours. Attainable? Yes, I need to improve at least 5 minutes from my previous PB. Relevant? Yes, personal achievement. Time bound? Yes, we'll talk about that in the training plan.
  • Preferably, a goal should be make early of the year during new year resolution or at least 12-16 weeks before the full marathon event. That will allow sufficient training time to adjust training plan to align to the goal being set.
  • Write it down somewhere you would see it everyday, or you carve it inside your brain. I did both. I wrote it down in my dailymile goal and it is carved deep inside my brain since SCKLM 2012. I just did not have the ingredient to make it before this.
  • Recap your goal as frequent as you can. I did it weekly as I started to write a weekly note to wrap up each training week. It helps you to focus.
2. Know Your Course/Route
  •  It is like the old Chinese saying, know your enemies and you shall defeat them. In this case, we have to know our running course of the full marathon event. You need to know everything, not just the event name and event date.
  • I have ran the same route 2 times. Once as a rookie in 2011 and second time in 2012 gunning for Sub-4 as well. I cross the bridge every day and I thought it was easy because I am driving across it, not running across it, so I have to be sure. I paid more attention to the elevation once I have had set the goal. The back and forth of Jelutong Expressway is not fun too, it would kill your quads if they are taken for granted. So, check the course profile and elevation, incorporate that in your training plan. If possible, train on the same course, I said if possible.
  • Beware of the event start time. PBIM starts at 2am which is the time that the body is in resting condition normally. What do you need to do to compensate that on race day? What preparation need to be done upfront. It must be planned and done before the race starts. I knew I could not sleep well, last year I slept 3 hours in the evening. 2013,  I slept for 2 hours. Luckily I have compensated it with a more rigorous training.
  • Know how many participants and starting traffic.In Malaysia, runners are not started by coral or waves, so knowing how fast you could run, how many participants and how accessible is the route can help you to save precious time. Normally a few thousands of runner will take 1 -2 km for crowd dispersion, depending on your speed. I lined myself up at the 4 rows because I did not wish to waste time at the back. However, please be realistic, try to position yourself accordingly. If you are doing a 6 hour marathon, you might want to start at the back a bit.
 3. Training Plan
  • If you fail to plan, then you might plan to fail. That's why a plan is always good. We are not going for a leisure backpacking holiday, but rather a 42.195km by your feet event, it is tough for your body and it is very long even by car.
  • A training plan sets you in the correct path. Sometimes, we drifted away from the original path, so we do regular review to that sure that we are on track to achieve the goal.
  • Ideally you should have 12 to 16 weeks training plan that consists of short run, tempo run and long run. It has to be tied to your fitness level and goal, remember.... be realistic~!!!
  • Those new in running might not be able to just kick start with a 40-60km base building mileage, but rather to get a mentor or coach to break in gradually to prevent injuries. If you are a marathon virgin with no running/fitness background, probably a 6 to 7 hours goal is realistic.
  • My training was very inconsistent in 2013 before this. Lack of long run. Too many runs without objective because there was no goal and no execution of training plan. No commitment, no discipline, bla bla bla... I had it all.
  • I have actually tried to use back the training plan that I used for SCKLM 2012 and PBIM 2012, but it was not quite successful because simply there too many administration and finally I have decided to use a mileage and specific workout training plan in the subsequent post. Another reason is that I only had 10 weeks instead of 12 or 16, so I need to be flexible..
    I'll share that, maybe next week?

    Example of the training plan of SCKLM 2012/PBIM2012:

To be continued... Part 2/4

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Race Report - Penang Bridge International Marathon 2013

Date: 17 November 2013
Location: Queensbay Mall, Penang
Distance: 42.195 km (42.8 km)
Bib No.: A00647
Registration Fee: RM60 (early bird)
Gears: Brooks Pure Connect, Garmin Forerunner 910XT
Starting Time: 2.00am (1:59am)
Running Time: 03:52:00
Pace: 5:25 min/km

It is the 3rd time I am running on Penang Bridge International Marathon. It was all started with a rookie that knows nothing about running a marathon in 2011 that my 3rd marathon happened to be PBIM 2011, I still remember that the timing was 4:43 after 2 disastrous  FMs. Then, back in 2012 I was exposed more to running, incorporated LSD into training but somehow, I stumbled after kicking the water sprinkle pipe, then it was gone. Sweet and painful memory here.

2013 is not an easy year either, especially before month September. All the training went haywire, there was no consistency, there was no goal, except be a 'good' pacer for Sub-5:00 which I have delivered about 4 to 5 minutes faster on 29-September-2013 in Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur Marathon. Changing of job means that less time on blogging, so you see less and less of me, except this one.

I am tempted to write and share the experience that I have had during the preparation for PBIM2013, but I think it is better for me to focus on race report at the moment.

November 16th 2013, Saturday. It was a morning dim sum breakfast with family, then do a little housekeeping. Wanted to have a power nap but it ended about 2 hours and I was awake and not be able to sleep again. Wifey and I went to Sushi King to have dinner and I was checking out the calories of the sets that is offered. There was one Christmas set that comes with a perceived wholesome food at the cost of over 1000 calories. Wow... I skipped that because the combination was not attractive to me, at all. I ended up with a Salmon and Fish Roe rice, more than 800 calories. Good for full marathon :P

We went home. I was busy checking all the required items for my FM, just to make sure that I did not leave anything behind. I trained so hard for this, not going to ruin it by a little carelessness. Hydration belt, checked. Gel and salts, checked. Bib and shoes/socks, checked. PB suit... no... it is just the first Brooks running vest that I have purchased years back, need to fully utilized it. I love it. Checked.

Open the door. It was raining. Live update from Penang island, also raining. At 10:30pm, I kissed wifey good bye and drove to Queensbay Mall. The traffic was surprisingly smooth, it took me less than 40 minutes to reach QBM. I parked at the roadside because I did not want to 'chopped' by QBM for the parking fee and I like immediate escape from traffic after the race. The price to pay was I had to walk farther to the portal pottie. Nature call came at the wrong time, I had to take out the umbrella and walked about 500m to the portal pottie. The wind was chilling and I was shivering on the back and forth way. Shit... so cold.

Time was ticking quite slow, only 11:45pm. I ate the banana and Butterscotch bread, only 2-3 pieces then I started to apply the analgesic heat rub on my ankles and calves which could be the most susceptible to injuries during run (just apply for me). Big business calling and I had to hold it because another 500m, back and forth 1km, was not an option. The rain became sprinkle and soon there was nothing....

After getting everything ready, I went to clear my bowel at 1am, it was a must-do and luckily I did it, else additional 500gram to 1kg of waste need to travel for another 42km before being discarded.

Then I met Huei Giap, who was going to run his maiden full marathon and he came with little preparation due to his family commitment but I never doubt his ability and determination to complete it. We greeted each other and walking towards Coffee Bean where most of the Cari Runner, BK Runners and LLC will gather. Huei Giap and I took a photo together, as an evidence of his full marathon participation. Then, Chau Kok Yik caught me by surprise with a selfie as well.

Captain Yellow, Steven, KL Tan, Kenny, KFC, Rango, Andrew & Fibi, etc... were there, everyone seemed to be prepared for this. They were talking about Waja vs City, which is the handicap 35 minutes that I have given to WJ, I know that I have to perform in order to beat Waja + handicap, besides I must do Sub-4 to be 50% safe. The stake is not a lot but the side betting made the whole scenario very interesting. I do not wish to disclose here because betting is not good. LOL...


1:35am and I started to do some warming up, some usual stuff that I do before training run and race. Had to calm to nerves a bit because I have seen many cases that people failed to cope with the pressure and failed in pursuing race goal. My primary goal was simple, which is to be a Sub-4 full marathon runner. If I do that, I will break my PB of 4:05 in SCKLM 2012. However, I constantly remind myself not to think about it too much, what could be done is done before the race, now it is the time to enjoy the race.

1:50am most of the FM runners taking the line. I was still busy looking for other runners that I might know and wish them luck in the race. Sub 4:00 pacer just stood in front of me, Dave Ang, who is from Forward Sports Club with respectable FM finishing sub 3:30. I did not think about it much, pacer was not part of my race plan.

CM Lim gave his speech and we were flagged off at 1:59am. Many runners flocked out like it was a 10km race and I just eased my body into the comfortable pace, I was holding the pace cautiously because I know that it was a long way to go. The weather was very humid after the rain, first KM pace was 5:30 min/km, which was good. I adjusted the breathing rhythm gradually and felt much better. Many runners still overtook me along the way before Penang Seagate U-turn, the pace was well under control at 5:33, 5:28 and 5:27.

The 2-3 lanes road was crowded with runners. After the Penang Seagate U-turn point, bridge bound runners simply squeezed to run half of a lane while U-turn bound runners simply occupying the whole road... Sub 4:00 pacers were behind me, I was not sure what were their plan, but I think I could run in front of them, so I don't really care (unless I drop behind them, which I will try my best to avoid that).

Going past QBM on the coastal road or Lebuhraya Lim Chong Eu, the crowd was getting more scattered as I know most of the runners in front me are good runners that capable to do a 4 hour full marathon. See Wei was running beside me, but we did not talk as I guess both are actually under similar pressure to break the Sub-4 spell. I took a couple of sips every 2-3km as I knew that humidity is not very friendly to runners. I reminder See Wei to drink more, too.

We progressed steadily past QBM, N-Park and I grabbed one cup of water to drink and another to cool down the body. The pace was slightly faster at that time around 5:20 min/km and I saw KFC and Rango not far going up the ramp into the Penang Bridge. There were in front and maybe the pace was not sustainable. I fueled up with power gel at km-9. 10km at 55 minutes, still good. See Wei and I went past them and it was like a 2 horse race going up to the midspan of the bridge. It was mild elevation from km-11 to km-13, I tried to increase cadence and run as economical as I could because I know that this would be a killer if not manage properly.

I could see Sui Yu (water fish) in front and from his pace I knew that I could overtake him easily in a couple of KM, so no hurry. At the time going up the elevation, I could see the See Wei was having a strong strides up, I wanted to keep up but I dismissed the idea since still long long way to go. I reminded myself again, what goes up must come down, so I knew I could make up the seconds lost from midspan onwards.

Overtook SuiYu around km-12 and I could to cheer, although I wanted to because he was not really a 'nice' person compared to his wife, who is more friendly and cheerful. From the highest point, I just let the gravity does it magic to propel the strides, with as little fuel as possible.

The pace increasing and I could easily overtake See Wei. I leveraged from the down hill and build on the momentum. The average pace from km-13 to km-18 is below 5:10 min/km and that was done with the headwind blowing towards runners and that was one of the key range that I think I have lost control and let the pace overruled me.

I could see Jensen at KM-17 and managed to get into shoulder to shoulder at KM-18. Greeted each other at the Toll Plaza U-turn and I still moving with pace a little over 5 min/km (which is not in my plan, it must be the adrenaline's fault). I fueled up at KM-19, went past Jensen and tackled the ascending elevation of the midspan again. I knew I was a little speeding but I did not slow down, I overtook Pirate Chan Hong Tiong and still built on my pace to reach the peak, the point that I planned to take a rest.

The pace going ascending the midspan was 5:37 which was acceptable, but I did not really want to stop, the pace already gave the signal that I was spending extra fuel to sustain the pace from KM-18 to 24. The downhill was sluggish as compared to the 5:1X before the U-turn. Took some time to pour the electrolytes and refill my bottle. I could not let myself down. There was no wind, there was no more sprinkles, I felt hot and it has taken toll on my body and pace. I acknowledged it but I had to continue.

I was struggling from KM-26 to KM-28, but as soon as Jensen came up from behind, my fire was re-ignited again because he said I was slowing down (I know that~!!!!) but I could still paced with him. We chatted a bit until we almost missed the power gel at KM-28. We ran side by side from Tesco onwards to the U-turn point at Goh Tiao Lor. Fueled up immediately at the next water station and we tackles the Bukit Dumbar hills and Jelutong Expressway hills together, the pace was going remarkably strong at average 5:15 min/km. Greeted Dr.Francis, Lee, Huat that were already heading back to QBM.

At the U-turn point Jensen just sped off, maybe he was doing a negative splits while I was taking it conservatively. I did not want to lose it as I have had went thru the hills at 5:15 min/km... no way... The ultimate target is Sub-4, not beating WJ, that's just bonus. I ate half banana and I just wanted to maintain the pace at average pace of a Sub-4, which is 5:35 min/km. I was holding well... saw WJ on his way back when I was at km-35, he was fast, faster that I've predicted, but I did not really care. Focus on my own goal is more important.

Pace started to drop ans out of control at KM-39, due to the human traffic from half marathon. Had to run zig-zag and asked runners to keep to their left, quite tiring. This was compounded by a bad decision to skip one gel at KM-38. Pace dropped kao kao lat... The angels and demons were fighting, walk or run? walk or run? better time or Sub-4? because should able to make it with a little walking. I was exhausted, I just let them talk inside my mind, I did not care about anything, just continued running.

I knew that the last 5 km in full marathon is always the farthest 5km compared to any 5K, 10K or HM. I simply had to pull it through, I just ran, my lung was bursting, the rising heart rate became more apparent, my feet was aching, I was sipping the last drop of my electrolyte when my watch showed 40km, but after 42km, I was only making the turn into the Persiaran Bayan Indah to QBM.

It was over-distance as usual. I knew I was not far away when I ran along the roundabout. I was going to make it. I saw Alwin jumped out to take photo and I posed with a Sub-4 gesture but some how it was blur. I saw many cameraman but all I wanted just to cross the finishing line.

From distance I could see the digital timer 03:51:XX and ticking and I adjusted my form and cadence to finish in style. It was not a really strong finish but I have done it. It is a first Sub-4 full marathon for me. It is achieved in Penang Bridge International Marathon 2013, home ground. Yes... finishing time on my Garmin Forerunner 910XT wass 03:51:59, distance 42.8km.

Mission accomplished. Helped Captain Yellow with photo shooting for a while after change up.

Race Summary:
  • This is my 13th full marathon and first Sub-4:00 full marathon.
  • Break the myth that PBIM is not a PB route (to certain extent). Faster by 13 minutes.
  • Average HR 174bpm is lower compared to PBIM 2012 181 bpm. Aerobic fitness increased.
Garmin Data:

Will share my training plan when I am free.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

My Sub-standard Runs 2013

I thought 2013 is a year to slow down and indeed it is a slow down year, for me. Up to date, I have completed 4 Half Marathons, with Penang Run 2013/14 - Series 3 coming up this weekend; 4 Full Marathons and a couple of other runs.

Half Marathons:
I might have 5 HM under my belts in 2013, one short of 2012, but the timing for this year are quite 'slow'. I did not really have the 'will' or 'fitness' to compete, finishing is the only option I have/had. The most decent time that I had was during the Penang Run - Series 1 where we ran from Esplanede to Teluk Kumbar, the timing was 1:47:07. I am not quite happy with it although it was just 3 minutes out of my 21K PB. I walked... and I walked. This is not something a runner should do when competing at a higher standard, not sub-2, not sub-1:50 but to break sub-1:45 and run comfortably at the desired pace. Going to take Series 3 easy, will try new thing, like running according to condition, not pace, see how it goes.

Full Marathons:
4 out 5 full marathons that I ran in 2012 was sub-4:30, but up to date in 2013, 4 out 4 FM that I had ran was more than 4:30, if minus off the SCKLM 2013 which I was the pacer for sub-5:00, still 3/3 takes more than 4 and a half hour to complete the course. PBIM is the only chance that I have to set a new PB or at least run a marathon with minimal, or no walking. 5 weeks to race day and 3 weeks to beef up the mileage. It is not easy and I hope I could run a race that I am going to be proud of it.

Train wise, train safe.

That's all for now. Penang Run - Series 3. Hills O.o


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

I am tempted to blog about RJM...but...

Argh... there goes the consistency again, it is difficult to make a decision not to write, yet it is another uneasy decision to write about the experience running in River Jungle Marathon 2013, it was a cool experience.

I am hesitate because I know that writing this and not writing that later, will be a constant form of consistency.

I'll just leave a few lines here and see whether the itches go away later....


Friday, August 2, 2013

Learn to be Assrtive and Love It~!

It has been some time that I last updated my blog, I came across something quite interesting today and I think it might be useful to myself or others that read my blog, accidentally. I like the article very much.

It is written by By Elizabeth DeVita-Raeburn From Health magazine

  1. A new, confident you

    Somebody cuts in front of you in the grocery store line. You’re irritated but don’t say anything. You disagree with your boss, but say nothing. Sound familiar?

    You think: I’m confident, I’m smart, and I know what I want. Why can’t I just say it? Being assertive—standing up for yourself and speaking your mind in a clear yet respectful way—can be remarkably hard on a good day. We worry if we ask for what we need, we’ll put someone out. Or that we’ll come across as a you-know-what. So we just let what we want go unsaid.
  2. Be your own advocate
    In your defense, it is more of a challenge to state your needs these days. The still-shaky economy may make you hesitant to ask for that raise at work.

    The payoff of having your own back, though, is enormous. "When you say what you want, you live a happier and more authentic life," says Caroline Adams Miller, author of Creating Your Best Life. Those who speak up do better at work, have more time, and have healthier relationships.

    So how do you master this crucial skill? "The three keys," explains Miller, "are knowing what you want, believing you have a right to it, and finding the courage to express it."
  3. With friends and family
    Surprisingly, your nearest and dearest can be the toughest to stand up to. "They’re the people we want to please the most," says Miller. "We’d rather be unhappy ourselves than disappoint them." To complicate matters, we have to fight a lifetime of old (bad) habits—saying "sure" when we really mean "no way."

    True, standing your ground can be momentarily uncomfortable, but it’s so worth it—your relationships will be stronger as a result, Miller says. Try these tactics:
  4. Saying "no!"
    Your sister is always asking you to watch her kids; your running buddy keeps dragging you to Spinning class, which you hate.

    The solution: Take a deep breath so you sound calm and just say, "No, I’m not able to do that," says Simon Rego, PsyD, director of the cognitive behavioral training program at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City. If she pushes back , repeat, minus a word or two. "No. I’m not able." This may go on for several rounds.

    "Each time, you shorten the phrase until you eventually just say no," says Rego. "It’s extremely effective because it allows you to convey what you want without getting upset."
  5. Sticking with your values
    You need your folks to respect your decisions about your kids; you want the in-laws to stop breaking the bank on gifts.

    The solution: When you’re broaching a sensitive topic, it’s best to start with the word I. "I statements are expressions of your own needs, which we all are entitled to have," explains Rego. Using you statements, on the other hand, can put the other person on the defensive, which will only escalate an argument.

    Keep it simple and own it ("I feel my kids act crazy when they eat candy, so I don’t want them to have any.")
  6. Breaking a pattern
    Maybe your friend always picks the restaurants (and pricey ones), or your man chooses your vacation spots every time.

    The solution: This one pops up a lot in close relationships. Here, too, that I statement is key. Soften it with at least one thing the other person will be happy to hear ("Our date nights are so fun, but I would love to see a movie this time.")
  7. At work
    Overdue for a raise? Longing for more interesting assignments? Working with spotlight stealers who are constantly broadcasting their accomplishments (and taking credit for some of yours)? You know what you have to do!

    "Assertiveness is one of the most crucial tools for success," says Gabriela Cora, MD, a psychiatrist who specializes in workplace issues. "To be able to clarify a thought, make it precise and relevant, and share it at the right moment is an art." Luckily, it’s a learnable art.

    Consider this your cheat sheet for getting your needs met from 9 to 5.
  8. Ask for a raise or promotion (and get it)
    Show your best stuff is yet to come. "You do need to present your case, citing two or three of the valuable contributions you’ve made to the company," recommends Dr. Cora.

    But equally crucial, adds Dr. Cora, is to look ahead to the future: "Discuss the things you want to do in the future that are in line with your boss’s goals." In so doing, you gain power in the negotiations, because you become more valuable to your manager. What if the head honcho flat-out says no?

    Ask: "Can we talk about my performance again in six months?" You’re not pushing; you’re just showing that you believe in your skills enough to follow through.
  9. Get an idea green-lighted at a meeting
    Don’t go first. Though you may think it’s always best to get your idea on the table first, it’s actually smarter to listen before you take the floor, says Dr. Cora. "Look to see how you can piggyback your idea with someone else’s," she advises. Wait for two or three people to speak, then make your case, saying something like, "My idea, which works well with Sara’s, is…."

    Keep in mind that brevity helps, so make your case in three to five sentences, advises Dr. Cora: "When people don’t feel confident, they tend to say too little or too much, and their point isn’t clear."
  10. In public
    The maÎtre d’ at a restaurant gives away the table you were next in line for. The guy using the treadmill before you leaves it dripping in sweat.

    You’d think that speaking up with strangers would be easy—after all, you never have to see them again. But some of us actually have more trouble in these situations because we feel like our speak-out skills are on display.

    Make it simpler with this advice.
  11. Register a complaint
    Not sure how to ask for a refund on the top you washed once that promptly fell apart? Make what’s called a "complaint sandwich", says Arthur Gallego of Gallego & Co. Brand Communications, which manages customer service programs for companies.

    The layers of the sandwich, in order: a statement saying how much you enjoy the product or brand, then a description of the problem, then a statement that you hope the company/store can stand behind its products and fix the issue.

    Sample script: "I shop here all the time, but I washed this shirt once and it came apart. I’d like you to replace it or give me a refund."
  12. Asking someone to stop doing something annoying
    If you’re not used to speaking your mind, your go-to reaction may be a pointed stare or loud sigh, but these nonverbal expressions of anger aren’t going to help you get what you need—or make you feel good about yourself, notes psychologist Sharon Greenburg, PhD.

    Better bet: State your case in a neutral tone (think TV newsreader) and reserve the eye-rolling for when you watch Jersey Shore marathons.
  13. When you want to right a wrong
    Empathize, advises Josh Denton, president of Denton Consulting Group, who consults with companies on customer service and human relations.

    Say a fellow shopper snatches a marked-down pair of shoes out of your pile. Instead of snapping at her, put her move in context. A simple "Wow, this sale is crazy!" before pointing out that those heels are yours helps you get what you deserve—in the most pleasant way possible.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Race Report - Penang Run 2013/14 Leg 1/4

Date: 12 May 2013
Location: Esplanade, Penang
Distance: 21 km (21.25 km)
Bib No.: 1109
Registration Fee: RM50 (early bird)
Gears: Brooks Pure Connect, Garmin Forerunner 405
Starting Time: 5.30am (5:29am)
Running Time: 01:46:68
Pace: 5:02 min/km

Although I planned to sleep early the day before race day by not going to the rally held in Stadium Batu Kawan but I could not resist to watch it LIVE from the internet. Although I apolitical, means that I am not really a hardcore supporter of neither BN or PR, but I would like to have a change, that probably places myself in the PR pact, whatever it is, believe it or not. That's it. We are talking more about running here.

I jumped out from the bed at 4:15am and with my cotton T-shirt wet, not wetted by own piss or anything to do with the wet dream, but the enormous perspiration due to the heat and humidity in my bedroom. I quickly stormed down to boil some water, get the contact lens done and everything else accordingly.

Then, I woke up wifey that was still in her sweet dream, I bet she was exhausted after queuing in the sea of people for almost 2 hours. Wow.... that's unbelievable. She was reluctant to wake up but I had to wake her up as she would be the photographer for the event and we were going to celebrate my birthday after the Penang Run. I drank one cup of Milo and took one Ferrero Rocher chocolate as my breakie and we left.

I have had asked WJ to collect my bib for me and we rushed to Esplanade, the starting point. I was driving very fast until wifey complained that she was going to puke, but that time we were already at the Jelutong Expressway already, just less than 5km to the starting point at 5am.

Called up WJ to meet in front of the GE office which the road was being closed, I was quite in a mess, pinning my bib on the vest, get the championship chip on my shoes, trying to ensure that wifey can get to the finishing point at SMK Teluk Kumbar but somehow the Waze (iPhone Apps) and Garmin were not working like I wanted to. So, verbal instruction was given by that time.

Then, I realized that I did not perform the must do ritual before any race, which is pang-sai, so I quickly look for a toilet but queued 5 minutes for it, but I got the business done in less than 3 minutes. What an achievement~!!! Did some running on the way to the starting point, which is 100 away from the toilet, stretched here and there, double checked my Garmin. At the same time, greeting all those familiar faces like Dan, Kenny, etc.

Then, 1 minute to program the 'don't stop' mindset into my head, I guess the time was too short and the upload was not complete. You will know why at the end.

Bang, all runners started strong. Captain Yellow was running beside me, yet there were many runners that started slow blocking the ways, but they paid RM50, I also paid RM50, so cannot complain much. Saw Yoko was taking photographs too.

Captain Yellow beside me (Photo by: Yoko Fujimura)

I told myself not to look at the watch, listen to the body and with that I could concentrate on the running form and breathing rhythm. However, I could still know roughly how many KM that I have covered by counting the beeps. I could see 2 African runners running past me at the first KM mark, I think they could be late or might have detoured. Anyhow, their pace simply are inhuman.

At the second km, I could see a small pack of runners, maybe 10 of them, I tried to close the gap and finally I could see a few very good runners that I know, who are Debbie Chinn and Shanon Ong. I paced together with them from Georgetown to Sungai Dua. Shanon and I managed to keep the pace and I tracked him until the water station near the Krystal Point roundabout. That was the first time, I checked on my watch and I was at km-12.

That's the first time that I had the thought of giving up but I discarded that thought almost immediately after drinking the water, at that time, Shanon already smoked me by more than 100m. I kept running, telling myself to keep the pace below 5 min/km. Ran past the industrial area with my buses and vehicles heading to workplaces, that's the worst air quality along the run.

At that time, my pace started to drop a lot from 15 to 30 seconds per km. That's alot!!!! I am not sure whether that was due to the dehydration, lack of sodium or not enough mileage, since I did not carry my hydration waistpack like I always do.

Just before the airport, I managed to overtook Hugo while he was walking and I passed my PowerGel to him. Just after the airport, going into Teluk Kumbar, there was a mild elevation, that was the time that I gave up, resorted to walking for 50m, I guess my mental strength was not there. Then, I continued to run, at a moderate pace since I knew that PB was not going to happen.

The final 3km was long, there was a 50m elevation and I walked again. Bad habit.... Hugo overtook me and I was like giving up at all, lost the fighting spirit. However, I kept telling myself to run since I know that I could still make a worse run into a bad run.

Almost near the finishing line. (Photo by: Yoko Fujimura)

Finally, I saw many cars along the roadside, I knew that the finishing line was not far away, I just accelerated a little and crossed the finishing line at SMK Teluk Kumbar with Garmin 405 time at 1:46:58. 3 minutes off the PB, but I take it, although I know that there is much homework to do.

Raise my hand to give myself some uumph. (Photo by: wifey)
Gun time 01:47:09. (Photo by: wifey)

Race Summary:
  • It was a good timing given that I did not run a good half marathon timing in 2013 yet.
  • The route was tagged with 'Speed' which means relatively flat and easy route compared to the remaining 3 legs, so I should not expect the next 3 races to be any easier.... only HARDER.
  • Sleeping 4 hours does not help. Again, this is self discipline problem and commitment.
Garmin Date:

Race Review

  • Nice route. It would not happen if not Penang Run 2013/14.
  • Started on time and RM50 with chip timing.
  • Sufficient water station.
  • Attractive lucky draws.
  • Traffic control to be improved.
  • Running vest quality is not that good. I got mine with defects.
  • Could have provide more isotonic drinks.
Wifey and I (Photo by :Woei Jye or Dan Low, I don't know, I forgot!)

From Left: Woei Jye, Steven, Hugo and myself. (Photo by: wifey)

From Left: Steven, myself, Dan and Woei Jye in front of the backdrop. (Photo by: wifey)

From Left: Steven, Woei Jye, Dan, myself and Wong Jin Jin - the rising star. (Photo by: wifey)
I need a good mantra for the upcoming Hatyai International Marathon. (Photo by: wifey)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Life has been busy

Blogging does not get to stay in the priority list when the more important things come out of no where.

Race reports for Gunung Nuang Endurance Race 2013 and Malakoff Penang are still a blank template. The daily job has taken much time from the usual routine, due to the new projects kicked in since last December. I'm not sure how this would end, but I wish that I could still write a few blogs from time to time.

Until then, take care and all the best.

Monday, February 18, 2013


Read this from a shared article in Facebook. It is very useful, try it.

Link here.....

What IS The Main Ingredient of WD-40?
Before you read to the end, does anybody know what the main ingredient of WD-40?
No Cheating.....

WD-40 ~ Who knew!

I had a neighbor who bought a new pickup.
I got up very early one Sunday morning and saw that someone had spray painted red all around the sides of this beige truck (for some unknown reason).
I went over, woke him up, and told him the bad news.
He was very upset and was trying to figure out what to do....
probably nothing until Monday morning, since nothing was open.
Another neighbor came out and told him to get his WD-40 and clean it off.
It removed the unwanted paint beautifully and did not harm his paint job that was on the truck. I was impressed!

WD-40 who knew?
"Water Displacement #40".
The product began from a search for a rust preventative solvent and degreaser to protect missile parts.
WD-40 was created in 1953, by three technicians at the San Diego Rocket Chemical Company.
Its name comes from the project that was to find a 'Water Displacement' Compound.
They were finally successful for a formulation, with their fortieth attempt, thus WD-40.
The 'Convair Company' bought it in bulk to protect their atlas missile parts.
Ken East (one of the original founders) says there is nothing in WD-40 that would hurt you.
When you read the 'shower door' part, try it.
It's the first thing that has ever cleaned that spotty shower door.
If yours is plastic, it works just as well as on glass.
It's a miracle!
Then try it on your stovetop.
It's now shinier than it's ever been.
You'll be amazed.

WD-40 Uses:
1. Protects silver from tarnishing.
2. Removes road tar and grime from cars.
3. Cleans and lubricates guitar strings.
4. Gives floor that 'just-waxed' sheen without making them slippery.
5. Keeps the flies off of Cows, Horses, and other Farm Critters, as well. (Ya gotta love this one!!!)
6. Restores and cleans chalkboards.
7. Removes lipstick stains.
8. Loosens stubborn zippers.
9. Untangles jewelry chains.
10. Removes stains from stainless steel sinks.
11. Removes dirt and grime from the barbecue grill.
12. Keeps ceramic / terracotta garden pots from oxidizing.
13. Removes tomato stains from clothing.
14. Keeps glass shower doors free of water spots.
15. Camouflages scratches in ceramic and marble floors.
16. Keeps scissors working smoothly.
17. Lubricates noisy door hinges on both home and vehicles doors.
18. It removes that nasty tar and scuff marks from the kitchen flooring.
It doesn't seem to harm the finish and you won't have to scrub nearly as hard to get them off.
Just remember to open some windows if you have a lot of marks.
19. Remove those nasty Bug guts that will eat away the finish on your car if not removed quickly!
20. Gives a children's playground gym slide a shine for a super fast slide.
21. Lubricates gearshift and mower deck lever for ease of handling on riding mowers...
22. Rids kids rocking chair and swings of squeaky noises.
23. Lubricates tracks in sticking home windows and makes them easier to open.
24. Spraying an umbrella stem makes it easier to open and close.
25. Restores and cleans padded leather dashboards in vehicles, as well as vinyl bumpers.
26. Restores and cleans roof racks on vehicles.
27. Lubricates and stops squeaks in electric fans.
28. Lubricates wheel sprockets on tricycles, wagons, and bicycles for easy handling.
29. Lubricates fan belts on washers and dryers and keeps them running smoothly.
30. Keeps rust from forming on saws and saw blades, and other tools.
31. Removes grease splatters from stovetops.
32. Keeps bathroom mirror from fogging.
33. Lubricates prosthetic limbs.
34. Keeps pigeons off the balcony (they hate the smell).
35. Removes all traces of duct tape.
36. Folks even spray it on their arms, hands, and knees to relieve arthritis pain.
37. Florida's favorite use is: 'cleans and removes love bugs from grills and bumpers.'
38. The favorite use in the state of New York, it protects the Statue of Liberty from the elements.
39. WD-40 attracts fish. Spray a little on live bait or lures and you will be catching the big one in no time. Also, it's a lot cheaper than the chemical attractants that are made for just that purpose.
Keep in mind though, using some chemical laced baits or lures for fishing are not allowed in some states.
40. Use it for fire ant bites. It takes the sting away immediately and stops the itch.
41. It is great for removing crayon from walls. Spray it on the marks and wipe with a clean rag.
42. Also, if you've discovered that your teenage daughter has washed and dried a tube of lipstick with a load of laundry, saturate the lipstick spots with WD-40 and rewash. Presto! The lipstick is gone!
43. If you spray it inside a wet distributor cap, it will displace the moisture, allowing the engine to start.

As for that Basic, Main Ingredient.......
Well.... it's FISH OIL....
Who would have guessed ? ? ?


Friday, January 18, 2013

Ion Wristband from Skechers Malaysia

Since I have one pair of blue Skechers Go Run and I do not run on them yet, but wear it as my every day working shoes and walking shoes. I just got to know from my friend who is wearing Skechers Go Run that there is an ion wristband giveaway from Skechers Malaysia.

Without wasting much time, I asked a colleague to take a photo of myself with my Skechers Go Run and submit my photo thru the app in the FB page.

Looks like I have won myself a ion wristband?

Too get more information, please visit Skechers Malaysia facebook page.

I was trying to be low profile in my office :P


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Busy or Lazy

Apparently, I'm struggling in between busy and lazy. When I'm busy, I do not have enough time to write my own blog; when I'm lazy, of course, I'll find excuses to pretend that I'm busy. This is not healthy and productive.

I have not wrap up the year of 2012 but I already have something drafted inside my mind of 2013. I'm not sure how bad it is going to be in 2013 but I'm going thru it, by all means. Hopefully all turns out to be good and not bad and not very bad.

I'm going to join more races in Penang and cut down the trips to other places in Malaysia, except those that worth the traveling like full marathon events such as SCKLM and RJM.

I tried to get a list of the running events in Penang and I have got this from Penang PAAA. I believe the list could be very useful to me in 2013, to ensure that I'm not going to drift away from Penang, too much or too often. You know, sometimes, people change their mind like changing clothes.

Nah, here you go.... the tentative dates of running events in Penang.

I'm yet to write about my Kulim Half Marathon, probably I should give it a waiver. Argh.... going to travel very soon. Going to have Chinese New Year very soon.... another busy season.

Be Happy :D

Thursday, January 3, 2013

2012 Mileage


I thought I would be doing averagely 60-80km per month, but I ended up being poisoned.

Total mileage covered is 1690km. *wow* I never ran this long in any lifetime before.

The lowest mileage was 92km in January 2012, I still did not get my Garmin 405 at that time.

Else, it could be more.... hypothetically.

Highest was in July, must be me responded after the almost sub-4 in SCKLM 2012.
Weekend LSD could be lesser and could be none.

Hopefully I still can make time for some training.

Good thing is I improved FM timing from 4:45 in 2011 to 4:05 in 2012. It was hell lot of effort.

Pat my own back~~~

Happy Running in 2013~!