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: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/311974322

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)

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