Thursday, September 20, 2012

Acknowledgment & Recognition to Wifey

What could be more motivating when you know someone is waiting for you at the finishing line?

I'm lucky to have married a wife who is very supportive and accomodating. She would follow me to the races, help me taking photographs, keeping me accompanied, reminding me what I've forgot to bring, etc. She does not have to do it, but deep inside I believe that she does it because it is an act to show her love to me and to my passion.

Every time I saw her at the finishing line, I would pose for her. When I saw her standing there, it makes me think how lucky I am, how I should love her more and keep the balance between her, my passion, work and everything else.

In the recent 4 weeks, there were 2 poorly organized events among 4 that I have joined. MPSP Larian Hijau Half Marathon, Sungai Petani Half Marathon, River Jungle Marathon and Taiping International Marathon. Unfortunately she was there waiting for me at the 2 sub-standard events, which are SPHM and TIM.

During SPHM, wifey was waiting from 6:30am onwards to around 9:15am. She watched movie inside the car, waiting at the finishing area and probably she did something else that she did not tell me, to KILL TIME. I told her that I would finish in around 2 hours. Yes, I did it but the weather was quite hot that day and I know that 'waiting' is never a fun activity.

In the last 100m, I was checking out for her and I finally saw her playing with the camera setting and was not aware that I was about to finish the race. Luckily, she managed to snap the shot of the day. Thanks a lot. Of course, she still helped to snap photos of WJ and a few photos of us afterwards.

Trying to get a better placing :P
WJ crossing the line in a minute later

Ghost face.

Happy face to have completed the HM

Dr.Tham, WJ's friend, WJ and myself.

Myself, Dan and Wong Jin Ji (fast runner)

Time past so fast and we were at the Padang Esplanade for the TIM. Wifey slept a little longer than me and spent her sweet time at the room with the iPad, I guess. I told her that to reach the finishing area about 830am (too ambitious) since the starting time was 5am. Maybe I was just playing safe with the number, 3:30 for FM is still far from me.

Wifey had to walked from the hostel, maybe 1km away from Padang Esplanade. Really appreciate her effort doing that. Shits happened, for me and I only finished the race with 4:43. Disappointing timing but I just take it. Wifey waited for quite long due to my wrong estimation or my poor performance, then she got headache later.

However, she managed to take my photos. Her skill really improves a lot compared to last time. After that, she bought me Sprite from the McD nearby, else I would be seriously dehydrated and overheated.
She has done a lot. Thanks again :D

Kwang Leng or Captain Yellow.

Dan Low always in red.

Dan Low with Teh O Pheng

I'm back, finally.

Hair standing pose.

WJ coming back~!!!

WJ with Teh Pheng

A tough race.

Forgot waiting for what...

Thumb(s) down for TIM organizer.

Thank you, wifey for taking all the photos. Like them a lot.

I love ya.

= YipPie =

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Race Report - Taiping International Marathon 2012

Date: 16 September 2012
Location: Padang Esplanade, Taiping
Distance: 42 km (43.08 km)
Bib No.: A 0005
Registration Fee: RM50 (early bird)
Gears: Brooks Pure Connect, Garmin Forerunner 405
Starting Time: 4.30am (5:09am)
Running Time: 04:42:18
Pace: 6:33 min/km

First, it was not a pleasant experience joining this race, the second race I had in Taiping, the first one was back in 2009 or 2010 for the 15km Taiping Heritage Run. It was a good run for me back then, clocked 1:15 for 15km, a decent average pace of 5:00 min/km. I think I took a lot of encouragement from that run onwards, because I really pushed for it in the last few km back then. Anyway, let's get back to the most recent one.

Saturday, 2pm, the sun was demonstrating on the sky, showing off its heat. The bib collection centre at Padang Esplanande was not spared as well. First, I saw many runners lining up to collect the bibs but somehow the lines were like never changing, never becomes shorter but longer. First thought... shit~!!! Another chaotic bib collection scene, would it be as bad as it was in SP Half Marathon?

Hesitated a while and I joined in the queue. The full marathon line was not as bad as those half marathon lines. Happy to get a 'seeded' runner bib - A 0005, with my name printed on it. A big WOW. Normally this type of bib are reserved for those elite runners, not 'pua tang sai' runner like me. Anyway, I was happy to pose with it, since I do not expect myself to get this type of number next time. Lucky. However, there was no more 'S' size vest for me and I had to take 'M' size, which is too big for me.

Sunday, 3am. Woke up myself even before the alarm blew me awake. Went it and out from the room to get my running shoes, Nathan hydration pack, sunglasses, and breakfast. Took a shower, prep myself with the maroon colour running pants and Sundown 2011 white running vest. Trying to have more variety and not just red and green. By that time, many runners already up as well, Dan, WJ, Kwang Leng, Steven and Ewe Cheong, I think everyone was sitting and waiting to depart around 3:30am.

Eaten 2 tau sah peah, I knew it was not enough but I could not take more. I sensed that my heart beat was a little yo-yo, so I took a measurement. Resting HR was at 72 BPM. Shit.... I was trying to be more positive and ignored it, although I knew that's not a good sign. Departed to starting point at 4:00am and thought to have a gun off at 4:30am but I was postponed to 5:00am.

Another "SHIT" from me... I ate so little yet all the runners were made to wait. We had the timing chip given by the organizer but we were also given another 'cable tie' as ribbon. Cable tie are not made for human and if it was tightened in the wrong way, it could cause some serious issue. I ignored the distributor instruction to tie it on my wrist but instead on my Nathan. I made a crude circumference measurement using my wrist, I believe it could not fit into many runners with a 'bigger' wrist.

At 4:45am, the bus carrying the volunteers to water stations still there. It was really a mess, isn't that a simple thing to get the bus earlier and gather volunteers earlier. Sigh...

We waited inside the barricaded area.

We waited.

5:00am and we were still inside the barricaded area. Many runners started to 'boo' the organizer for not starting the race on time. After a while we were moved outside the barricaded area. It still took some time for the organizer to figure out what to do. 5 minutes later, the race started, how did I know? because I saw runners start running, it was 5:09 I crossed the first timing chip station.

I tried to execute the race plan, the plan A. I had a plan A, which was to finish sub-4. I started slow, I knew my condition was not good, probably due to the mild flu I got the night before, anyway I stick to the race plan. First km was done in 6:15, 15 seconds faster than the 6:30. At that time, 15 seconds was insignificant.

Then, we ran into a dark area, the road was not well-lit, could not see the road very well. Anyway, just follow the runners in front, you won't be wrong. Then km-2 was done in 6:03, again, I thought that 12 seconds was not significant. However, I pushed a little too hard in km-3 which I was reminded by the 405 1-km split timing at 5:36. I should be running at 5:50 pace, I slowed down.

I was trying to run at 5:50 min/km pace for the subsequent distance until km-10. Passed by the water station, which I saw 500ml mineral water bottle being distributed. I was angry. How many runners actually could finish the 500ml? It could easily cater for 3-4 runners if it was served in cups. I did not stop and hopefully runners behind me could make use of it.

I continued to run the subsequent KMs until km-10 in an acceptable pace around 5:50. Then, from that onwards, I needed to run 5:45 min/km, I tried to increase my pace but it was difficult, so I tried to find a target to tag along. After making the turn into the main road after the North-South Expressway exit, the road was totally dark, could barely see the runners at not far in front. Then, at km-12 or so, runners were running against the wind, it was like an invisible force pushing me behind (I felt that way). It was for like 8-10 minutes long, extra effort being out in to run at the target pace.

At km-13 or 14, I tagged along with a group of runners who were running at similar pace, just like training partners. Then, it started to drizzle and the group basically running together at 5:40 pace until km-19, which the rain stopped. It was good running in a small group as it was like helping each other out, even without a single word spoken.

At km-20/21, I had made to the half way, I felt good, but I needed to increase the speed to meet my target pace at 5:20 min/km. I could see Eric Lim in front of me but I did not have the 'ummph' to close the gap, so I just tried to follow from 100-150 m away. I was motivating myself, trying to take the positives from the 5:23 and 5:24 pace that I had put in.

However, in km-24 to 25, I sensed the discomfort at the diaphragm area, I tried to hold on and run my target pace. I struggled, it became more painful. I told myself I had done 25km, I could afford to stop for a while, to let the pain go away, so I walked.

The pain eased a little and I resumed my run. It struck back, the pain came back immediately after I picked up my pace, I was not sure what was it but I could not run with that pain. I was so disappointed with myself because I knew that I could not run anymore. The HR also peaked without my notice up to 193 BPM. Argh.... I hated this so much.

I was down to run/walk from km-25 to km-27, and more and more walking from km-27 to km-30. I saw the water station at km-30, there was a pack of biscuit and a few cup of water. I took one and I intended to take another one, but when Dan stopped by, he was surprised to see that there was so little water left. He asked the volunteers to make call and get more water. I counted the cups, 6 left, I canceled my idea of grabbing another drink from that station and moved on.

Dan was running at a good pace, I only can see him disappeared gradually from my sight. Again, I felt so useless for not be able to run. It was like not be able to run after losing the momentum.

Basically walked, walked, ran, walked.... it was getting hotter and hotter, the sun was practically burning my skin. The second last water station was at km-39. I grabbed the sponge, rinsed it mutilple times in the water and rubbing it on my body, it was good, but why no ice???? I felt like a valcano inside my body.

Walked and ran with walking pace around Taman Tasik Taiping. Saw many runners who had completed their run and enjoying sightseeing at the lake. It was hell like for me... I was wondering why it was so far to get to the finishing line.

After that, we were directed towards the Taiping City before getting to Padang Esplanade. That's where the most chaotic things happened. I was running with the cars and bikes. I could not see the direction marker as it was too small. I did not know where to go. I was pissed off. Where were all the race marshals?

At times, I just stood there and checking out the direction and guessed which way to go. I was exhausted, by my Garmin already showing 42km. Then, I saw 2 volunteers distributing the final ribbon. I was surprised that one of the girl told me 1km to go... walao ehh....

I ran into the 7-11 around the corner, bought myself orange juice and chocolate milk. Finished the orange juice within the 100m from 7-11 and continued to run along the busy Jalan Kota, with cars and bikes around me. Wow.... I could not care much, I just wanted to get to the finishing line.

Finally, I saw Alwin Tan near McDonald. Being cheered by the spectators/runners to complete the remaining 400m. Then, I saw Kwang Leng, Miow Chin, Sam Khong all taking photographs. I opened up my arms to welcome the finishing line. Crossed the final timing chip monitor at km-43. Over distance~!!!!! in 4:42:18. No more M size finisher for me, got XL, luckily still got medal.

Took a glance at the sponsor tent, no more Milo, no other drinks. Luckily I still held my chocolate milk. I had 'FIRE' all over my body, I was roasted by the merciless sun, dehydrated by the warm weather and super TL with the organizer for such 'International' event. Wa Pui~!!!!

Race Summary:
  • First back-to-back Full Marathon done with RJM and TIM at moderate timing of 4:32 and 4:42. Failed to meet my target to better the RJM result.
  • Really lack of mileage and experience to handle full marathon at the moment. Need to spend more time on my feet for 30 or perhaps 35k LSD.
  • Maybe too much, too fast, too soon for me to excel in my minimalist Brooks Pure Connect. It works great in HM but need time to adjust my body to 'accept' it for FM.
  • Need to be selective in joining full marathon races, not simply join those sub-standard races. 
  • So, you all saw Plan A but never read anything about Plan B, C, D, E..... Honestly, I completed the race in Plan Y. Plan Z is DNF :P
Garmin Data:

Race Review:

  • Beautiful lake and city. That's all?
  • Bad bib collection arrangement. Could not get running vest with my preferred size.
  • Postponed the starting time and yet failed to start on time. Runners suffer under the hot sun.
  • Bad 'cable tie' distributed to runners as ribbon. What is the timing chip for then? Don't tell me this is 2 layers of protection?
  • Bad water stations arrangement. No enough water station after 30km and not enough water and isotonic drinks.
  • The promised banana and powerbar/powergel are not there.(Feel like being cheated)
  • Lack visible distance and direction markers.
  • Not enough food and water for full marathon runners at the finishing area.
  • No preferred Full Marathon finisher T size.
  • Is that all? .....
I, mou gan tai.

Hopefully next year, no more. Thanks.

= O.o + =

Friday, September 14, 2012

Race Report - River Jungle Marathon 2012

Date: 09 September 2012
Location: Pekan Bt.18, Hulu Langat
Distance: 42 km (41.94 km)
Bib No.: A 123
Registration Fee: RM90 (early bird)
Gears: Brooks Pure Connect, Garmin Forerunner 405
Starting Time: 5.00am
Running Time: 04:31:16
Pace: 6:28 min/km

Months before the registration started, I was hesitating to join either Adidas King of The Road (KOTR) or River Jungle Marathon (RJM). It took me a while to make the decision. I like the vest that Adidas given out to runners in KOTR 2011 but I did not get a good result that I wanted in that race, so I wanted to do a redemption so badly. However, after settling down the 'pay back' emotion, I found that I love the 'tree' on the RJM finsiher-T even more, the RJM 2011 finisher medal design was beautiful and since then it was in my 'must-own' list.

I forgot what had I went through and I am glad that I registered for RJM. I was wondering whether I might be hooked up with full marathon and I would ditch any other race for FMs. The fact is RJM is a 'special' race, it is a race that runners are encouraged to 'run your own race' on a difficult route (my own opinion, if you don't buy in, try it for yourself). I was checking the elevation again and again 2 days before the race day to see how bad the elevation is and how bad I was going to suffer for that. After convincing myself that it was not that bad, I threw the race behind my head, did not think much about it, until the race day.

Collected my race bib and The Marathon Shop at Taman SEA, Petaling Jaya. Don't ask me where is it because I was navigated there, without knowing where was it. There was no vest, which I was very curious why there are none spotted wearing RJM vest during the 2011 race, errr.... run, not race. They are not giving out any vest for participating but only finisher-T for those who finish the entire course, I would say the longest time that I have heard is 9 hours plus. You will get one as long as you finish it.

Did not rest well and woke myself up at 3:00am at Jayson's house, somewhere at Cheras. Quickly prep myself in 15 minutes and got to go, no time for a proper breakie and bowel cleaning session. I searched 'Batu 18, Hulu Langat' in Waze (a free iPhone navigation Apps) but I failed to find it. I did not care much, I just needed to get to Hulu Langat, so I just followed whatever I was 'advised'.

Went along Jalan Hulu Langat, it was a long road, but I only saw Batu 9, I was shouting inside "where the hell is Batu 18??????!!!!!!!" I had zero idea where I was heading to, I was new there, it was the first time I drove into that road in my entire life. Shit.... it was already 3:40am and the compulsory briefing was on 4:15am. I stopped in front of Batu 9 Police Station, I calmed myself down, pulled out the RJM booklet and I got my clue there. That's why the organizer gave you the booklet, there must be a reason.

There was only one turn that I did not take, I was hoping that THAT's the one. After made the turn, I saw that the signboard stated Pekan Batu 18, Hulu Langat 10km. Wow.... I was running out of time. However, I still drove carefully, you never know what's in front, the fact that I was even sure where I was. Just followed the signboard.

Finally I saw the Batu 18 Police Station and opposite was the Choon Hwa primary school, there were already many runners there. Cars were parked along the roads, it was 4:05. Parked my car and put on everything I needed, Brooks Pure Connect, Nathan Trek, RM7 headlamp and kaya-kok that I bought for my breakfast.

Organizers were still moving around, arranging tables and chairs, move stuffs here and there. Many runners gathered and took photos, I know none of the runners there, except a few well-known ones, like Tey (the dedicated photographer), Deo and Yim (the one always in Sarong, many people thought he is a Malay)... LOL....

Runners were called inside the school compound so that the briefing can be started. I hardly can hear what was being said because many runners were taking to other runners, it was noisy. I just heard 'headlamp, dark, careful, Volkswagen, photo'... That's all.

At 4:56, the race was started, runners spotted wishing each other good luck and everyone was literally running to the underworld (it was so dark). I started slow at the back. I knew so well that this was not a PB route and after the back-to-back 21k, I just wanted to complete the run in one piece, so  that I can continue the mission impossible for another 42km in Taiping International Marathon. Way under mileage to put in a good run.

Really running in the dark, I did not use the headlamp in front but switched on the red blinking light at my back. First km, I was running at a easy and mau-tak-mau pace, by the time I went past the 1km and heard the buzz from my Garmin 405, I was running at 6:40. LOL... way too relax. I tried to run faster, maybe around pace 6:00 and I started to see runners coming back before km-3, saw Yim among the fast runners in front. By that time, I knew that there was a U-turn not far away.

After the U-turn, it was till dark and we were going back to the place we started, there was the first water station. Grabbed a cup of water and continued running at comfortable pace, when I checked, the pace was around 6:00 min/km. I was feeling great and I tried to increase the speed a little by little as I could still overtake some runners might started too fast. That gave me some morale uplift. The air was cool, I paid attention to my running economy because I could not afford to use up the fuel, unintentionally.

I was running so fine that I thought I could be running to break my PB again (it was just a split second thought). Crossed the 10km mark at 61 minutes. Around k-11, made the first turning to left into a place that I did not and still don't know.

However, that's the place that I saw Karen, I know from internet which she did 2 marathons in a day with Yim. I was trailing behind her, like 200 meters. There was a little elevation and I tried to run in a more economical way because my shoulders were heavy, maybe it was because of the tensed muscles? or lack of training in upper body :P. I think both.

I overtaken Karen around km-14 to 16 before the 300m+ elevation. I was feeling great. Great. Pace was around 5:50 km/min. My pace was still OK until I saw the slope in front of me, it was not as bad as I imagined looking at the graph. I shouted 'hoosh'.... I could hear Karen said that 'that's 3km to the top'. Should be OK for me...

I was still running up the hill, they call it Bukit Hantu? Many runners already stop running and started walking up the hill. I could see Jeff Ooi, who was in a soaking wet white pants and shirt, asked him to continue running. I felt light, I felt great, I felt that I could tackle the elevation after running 500m on it, not as bad as Tokun, the hill near my house. It was foggy and at times, there was a little sprinkle, probably due to the higher altitude, but just for a while. It was dark....

The first km on the elevation was 10 min, second km was 12 min. I could hear some runners talking nonsense watching a few runners like me who were treading our way up the hill. "Why waste energy running up the hill laaa, stupid laa" Anyhow, I did not care, I syiok sendiri and you're behind me now. I felt like I worked harder in the 3rd km up the hill, I checked the HR and it was close to 183, a level that I tried not to 'disturb' at the moment. So, I stopped to walk a little and ran towards the water station which was at the highest point. Completed 20km at 2:13, not bad at all, on track for 4:30 finish.

I refilled my Nathan Trek bottle with isotonic drink and began my journey down the hills. That was the toughest part of the race, running down the hill, with my minimalist Brooks Pure Connect. I tried to balance the pace and impact on my ankles, but it was very difficult. I was like smacking my feet on the tarmac 80% of the time going down the hill. The pace was not impressive as well and it was only like 6:09 and 5:35 until the next water stations. My ankles were screaming for help... at that time, it was still about half to go.

At the bottom of the hill, Karen caught up at the water station while I was taking my time with the banana. Her pace was great, I could not let myself slip so much, so I gave her a chase. I tried to tag along as my motivation level was going down quite fast after the downhill run (maybe I was stupid for doing the uphill run?)

I tried to maintain the distance between me and Karen, as I did not want myself to be distracted, I found that myself was doing OK tag from a distance away. I ran with average pace around 6:15 from km-25 to 29, it was quite difficult to maintain that pace, maybe I did not take the 2nd gel, because I ate a lot one day before the race :P

Luckily at km-30, there was a coconut drink water station, it was the first time I had coconut drink in full marathon run. I did not want to waste much, hence I almost finished 90% of it. Quite full. Karen was still not far from me as she left the water station earlier. Coconuts drink had it's magic. I chased Karen and tried to tag closer to her, I think we ran with an average pace around 6:00 min/km. Could see many cyclists doing their long ride at the same route too.

However, at km-35, I gave up to continue running the whole 40-42km. I chose to walk because the ankles were still screaming. Snapped the photo of my Garmin 405, uploaded to FB and wished that there was something special happen, but none. (Sorry, runners could be thinking something else while hitting the wall)


From km-35 to km-38, there was no one overtook me, I was wondering whether I was on the right course, I was somewhere else, I was too fast, others were too slow, etc.... but it was a huge relief, other runners were still there. I just ran, walked, ran, walked. At the time, the sun was quite high up. Sometimes, I walked in the shaded area, ran at the open area, just to escape from the sun. Played some running games, like mini-intervals, mini-tempo, who gets to the 'X' location first, etc.

Math started to play inside my mind, whether I could make it sub 4:30 or not. It was playing quite some time inside my mind, until the idea finally went off at km-39. I ran, walked, ran, walked again. Every km was like 10000m again, but I was doing fine.

I knew that the finishing line was close, I adjusted myself to run at a comfortable pace, I wanted to end in good condition. Made the right turn to the main road of Pekan Batu 18. The hawkers were already started operating, there were more cars on the road, more people walking around, compared to 5am just now.

I crossed the finishing line (entrance of Choon Hwa Primary School) at 4:31. Got the finisher medal that I always wanted, the finisher-T with the 'tree'. Missed the sub 4:30 but lesson learned that I just need to keep running and forgot about the whether sub-X or sub-Y, just run if I could. Greeted by Deo who finished the run much earlier than me.

Race Summary:
  • Enjoy the race so much although under mileage for full marathon. Have not done any run >21km since SCKLM 2012 (end of June).
  • Need to do some serious LSD to train up the endurance again for PBIM 2012.
  • Love the medal and finisher-T, but the T would look better without all the sponsor's trademarks.
  • A challenging route with sufficient support from the organizer.
Garmin Data:

Race Review:

  • Challenging route with all the up hill and down hill running, surrounded with mother nature and not concrete or skycrapers.
  • Sufficient water station with sufficient water and isotonic drinks, banana, coconut drinks, gels and banana were distributed along the run.
  • Abundance of nasi lemak and isotonic drinks after the run at Choon Hwa Primary School.
  • Beautiful medals and finisher T.
  • Full marathon runners only, did not need to mix with runners from shorter categories.
  • Quite expensive?
  • Quite dark in certain area and might have some safety concern.

Taiping International Marathon, I'm coming.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Race Report - Sungai Petani Half Marathon 2012

Date: 01 September 2012
Location: Dataran Zero/Jam Besar, Sungai Petani
Distance: 21 km (20.69 km)
Bib No.: (It was not my number, so forget about it)
Registration Fee: RM35
Gears: Brooks Pure Connect, Garmin Forerunner 405
Starting Time: 7.00am
Running Time: 01:59:17
Pace: 5:46 min/km

Wifey and I departed from home around 5:15am by following the direction given by Jincent Yeoh, who lives in Sungai Petani. It was not that difficult to reach the destination but the traffic lights was not tally to what I was being informed. Anyway, we got there around 6:15am. I asked WJ to collect my bib for me because I knew that I was going late.

As soon we saw the signature landmark, the clock tower, I already start looking for parking lot, luckily I was be able to see one, although an illegal one but I just parked my car there. My guess was the police officers were not going to issue 'saman' at this type of event day, which parking lot became scarce if you are a late comer.

Looking for WJ to get my bib. I sent him the printscreen of my confirmation email with the bib number but I did not see him but only other Cari Runners like Kenny, KFC, Chan, etc. It was chaotic at the registration/enquiry counter. I was being told that race day bib collection time was due at 5:30am. Wow.... unbelievable. I finally saw WJ and got the bib, it was not the my original bib number. I was told that the organizer already messed up the whole thing, as long as you have a bib and ribbon, you're entitled for a finisher medal. Another O.o from me.

Later on, saw Dan Low and Dr.Tham, we took a few photos together. Dr.Tham's family was there too. The participants were scattering around the clock tower and there was no one organizing or coordinating the crowd.

By 6:56am, the race started. Talking about the starting time, it was another mind-blowing change. It was announced to the runners a couple days before the race day that the starting time would be changed from 5:30am to 6:45am. Another WOW from me, because even a moderate runner that could finish 21km in 2 hours would means 8:45am. The sun rises around 7am and potentially the heat would make everything more difficult.

Anyhow, I told WJ that I only have 2 targets. First is to finish the race in one piece, had a terrible experience in MPSP Larian Hijau. Second is to finish in front of him. LOL....

I started at the back, took it easy. Tried to control at 5:15 km/min pace. I was doing fine, however, I was going at slight below 5:00 pace, I double confirmed and adjusted a bit. I think it was due to the traffic overtaking runs, overtook Dan Low and Sam Khong in km-2, not showing off but just trying to maintain a good pace according to my fitness and condition.

I could see WJ at 100m in front of me and my spirit to achieve my target fired me up. I was catching up slowly and I think he started a little too quick and his pace was not quite stable. I ran past him between km-3 and km-4. Everything was still fine, heart was not feeling the pressure, keep running in easy pace.

Saw a few runners making U-turn already, wow.... they're fast, but I did not care much, I just want to finish in one piece, because I hardly patched myself in one piece again in the last 6 days. Saw KFC, Dr.Tham, etc... greeted them and applauded them.

The first water station was at km-6.5, I grabbed a cup and continued to run. Pace was consistent around 5:15 +/- 5 seconds. I was expecting another water station at km-10 but there was none. I just kept running, trying to be more positive, because I still carried my Nathan Trek, but I wanted a pure water station so that I could gobble down my gel to power me up.

Luckily the weather was forgiving, sun was hiding behind the clouds, else it would be a live human BBQ already. Time stalled and finally I saw the second water station, around km-14. I started to question the water station arrangement because I was told by Dr.Tham that it was 5, 10 and 15, but it wasn't.

Drank 2-3 cups of isotonic drinks and finished my gel. Maybe the gel came in too late, I only ran for another 2 km before I decided to stop, I could feel the fatigue and the heart was pumping fast. I stopped to walk at km-16. I told myself that I need to finish in one piece, no injuries are allowed because I still have 2 FM's to go back-to-back in the next 2 weeks.

I took my own sweet time, look see look see around, although all just kampung area. I saw one Malay stall was open, so I bought 2 cans of Revive. I finished one can in 200m walk and I was like too heavy to run already. I held another can on my hand, hoping to offer it to runners that I know who was catching up from behind.

After walking for quite some time, finally I saw Hu Diong Young at km-17 or 18, offered him and he took a couple of sips before smoking me.... anyway, I don't care, but what to do with the opened can? I could not run with it, so I mixed it with the salt water that I had in my Nathan.

On the way, there was a runner asking for water, so I just passed my Nathan bottle to him, twice, because I was tracking him. At one point, I just stopped, resumed my walking again.

Until km-19 or so, finally there was another water station. Inside my head.... WTH.... you placed a water station at 1.5km towards the finishing line? What's the problem? I was checking my time, a sub-2 was a reasonable good result for me. I just tried to run towards the finishing line for the remaining distance.

I could see the clock tower and finally I was in the same road that we started. Saw Uncle Alex Ong at the front, taking photos, held my arm high because it was not an easy race for me. Then, I ran past wifey, who was still busy setting up the camera. I slowed down to call her but she was still blur blur, but it was good to have her accompany me in running events.

Put on another pose for Dr.Tham, who finished 10th in his category. Well done.

Crossing the invisible finishing line at 01:59:17, well.... sub-2. Taking a few photos with friends before joining my SP friend for dim sum breakfast. Besides, met my blog follower, I was in hurry and no time for a chit-chat, paiseh nia.... I still don't know your name, please let me know so that I can greet you next time.

Race Summary:
  • Run with good pace until km-15. Satisfied with a sub-2 result because the 21km from previous week was much worse.
  • Finished in front of WJ < 2 minutes, he almost did the sub-2. Maybe he did not realize it at the final few KMs.
Garmin Data:

Race Review:

  • Errr.... let me think. Nice place to run.
  • Chaotic bib collection. Should have a more systematic way to distributing the bib to participants.
  • Late starting time. 5am is the best and 6am is still acceptable. 6:45am is a NO-NO.
  • Bad water station arrangement. km-6, 14 and 19? It could be easily better.
  • Not enough water for slow runners. Come on... basic things, you always need to have sufficient water for all runners.
  • Bad traffic coordinating. Stop runners to let cars move? Err.... I did not experience it but I had to run across the road on my own risk.
  • Lack of coordinator at finishing line. Where to get hamper? I did not know. Where is the finishing line? I did not know. Where to get the medal? I did not know. Should have assign someone there.
  • Lack of water/beverages at the finishing line. Milo was finished very soon, not even enough for 2:30 runners.
Bad, bad, bad.... hopefully the organizer could improve next year. Since the organizer already apologized for the shortcomings, hope for a better event next time.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Another Loss

I always tell people that every ignorance has its price but sometimes we tend to overlook ourselves. We tell people you cannot do this, you should do this, you must to do this, in order to ..... but we could not see something which is coming to our way.

Just now when I was preparing to get to work, as usual, I looked at my shoes, they are all lined up properly at the car porch. 2 reasons I do that. First, I dry my shoes like that, all my shoes would be soaked it sweat or water after the exercise, it is no good to expose your shoes direct under the sunlight, the UV would damage the shoes and shorten the lifespan of the rubber and glue. Second, convenient. I like to see them all the time, whenever I like to have a workout, I will pick the best available shoes other than the wet one.

Well, my Asics DS-Trainer 14 (worn out, retired,working shoes now), Mizuno Wave Rider 13 (trainer), Brooks Pure Connect (racer), Adidas Adizero Aegis (retired shoes, using on track now), the safety boots and Adidas Adi5 futsal shoes were lining up properly.

Just now, when I was trying to get my working shoes, I found that it was a mess, I did not do that to my shoes. First, I was thinking what the hell.... must be the cat. But I see empty slots in the line up, in my heart, I shouted WHAT THE FUCK!!!! My shoes are stolen. Shit.... Shit.... Shit.... Mizuno Wave Rider and Adi5 are gone. My working shoes and safety boots were thrown on my wifey's heels like no other business.

Shit... both are the new shoes. One is my good trainer which I bought to replace my Nike Relentless. The Adi5 is to replace my Adidas F50. Well, that's around RM450 gone.

At least, the fucking thief did not take my Brooks Pure Connect. I'm even luckier that I kept my red Asics DS-Trainer 16 inside my shoes cabinet inside the house.

Shit... SHIT... SHIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (I eating my own shit now~!)

I'm going to clean the plastic shoes racks and move all my sports shoes inside, whether there are still wet or stink. I cannot afford to keep buy shoes and keep losing my shoes.

Contingency plan: Use my Asics DS-Trainer 16 as trainer and use the old Adidas futsal shoes. What a way to start the morning.

May the thief/thieves be cursed, step on corroded nails during walking, choked with fish bones or other food when eating, nightmares all night long when sleeping, may he lose some of his natural abilities and being hit by a lorry when he was riding/driving. God bless him. Don't let him die, just make him suffer.

*** Sorry, I'm only good to people who is good to me, not thieves or criminals. Fuck him!!!


Monday, September 3, 2012

Race Report - MPSP Larian Hijau 2012

Event: MPSP Larian Hijau 2012
Date: 26 August 2012
Location: Majlis Perbandaran Seberang Perai, Bandar Perda
Distance: 21 km (20.72 km)
Bib No.: 1270
Registration Fee: RM25
Gears: Brooks Pure Connect, Garmin Forerunner 405
Starting Time: 5.00am
Running Time: 02:26:35
Pace: 7:03 min/km

(Will amend photos when I'm free....)

Bad run, bad run, but I am going to write about it as well. I know that it is overdue since it has been one week past already and I had joined another race which I will blog later.

This is the run that I wanted to do well the most, because it was held at my hometown - Bukit Mertajam. I was thinking that with all the training I put in, I was expecting that I could do well, at least on par with the PB I had (I thought like that because I was running quite well for the several run after my Bali trip).

Woke up early in the morning, took 2 bananas that I thought could fuel me up to at least 15km. One hot milo to add up the fuel that I need. I reached the race venue around 4:35am and it was already very crowded, many cars moving into the compound of MPSP building. Since this is the MPSP building, I don't think that I will get a saman for parking illegally in this event, so I just follow the cars in front and parked beside a small lane.

Put my Brooks Pure Connect on, took my Nathan Trek and I was ready to go. Bumped into Kenny and Raja Uda Idol. Their car was just 3 cars away from my car. Chatted for a while and we went to the starting area where all runners gathered.

Of course, I met many friends and familiar faces before the start of the race. Did some talking and stretching, muscles were tight, did not know due to what reasons, or maybe it was just psychologically weak. The next thing that I knew was the race started and the crowd start moving.

I told myself to hold the pace for the first km and I did well to control it around 5:30 min/km. However, I was excited, I was shouting at friends when I saw them, maybe the 'must-be-a-PB-race' mindset already carved inside my head. At 2nd and 3rd, my pace was significantly faster at around 4:4x or 4:5x. I controlled my breathing rhythm, this was the pace that quite similar to what I did in PJ Dawn at the beginning. I ran past the road which I always take to go home.

We ran towards the Police Station (traffic department) towards Tanah Liat and Kubang Semang. I thought I was doing well, but I took a glance at my HR, it was 190 BPM. I thought it could be temporary because I could feel that the heart was pounding too fast and too soon. I ignored it for a while and continued to run, until km-5 I checked my HR again, it was 190 BPM again. I could feel that my body was not able to cope it.

It was not like the Shape Run which I could still sustain the high HR and continued the run, it was just 12km and this was 21 - 7 = another 14km left? I knew that I cannot sustain the HR for the rest of the race, so I slowed down, hoping that the HR could recover and I would be able to run at an optimum pace that could help to hit my PB.

I slowed down, I walked, I drank water.... then I restarted my run again, the HR was rising so fast from 14x to 18x. Arrgh.... I hated it so much, I hated myself so much. The race was finished during my first attempt to continue running after a short rest. I began to walk, many runners ran past me, Ewe Cheong, Steven, WJ, Young, Raja Uda, etc. I could not recall all names now but I knew that that was going to be 'hell-like' race for me.

My target was revised to finish the race in a complete set. However, I was down to walking, whenever I tried to run, the pace seems like out of control and HR shot up to 18x BPM. At 10th km or so, the chest strap could not hold well and it dropped to my waist level, I just left it. It knew that I would be suffering, I would not longer run a complete 1km without stopping, so I would be depending on my own instinct and senses to tell me my HR.

Always listen to your body.

I ran/walked past the bendang, it was dark I could not see anything, just one after anther runner that overtook me. Haih... so sad. I was not sure whether I had let my body down, or my body let myself down.

By the time I passed the no.x of water station which was near the SRJK(C) Lay Keow, Garmin showed that I probably have 5-6km to go. Again, I walked, ran, walked, ran, past the bendang again.

Passed my Power Gel to Qamarrul some where there, he still could run, I cannot, so better let him utilize it :P

Then, ran past the UiTM Pulau Pinang, Universiti Teknologi Mara, Politeknik Seberang Perai and McDonald. By that time, I knew that I was very close the finishing point, but still every meter was like a kilometer. I was smiling to towards a photographer near the McD, although deep inside, it was all shit.

I slowly picked up the speed and hopefully I could cruise towards the finishing line, but only managed to do it like 70% running 30% walking pace to the finishing line. I saw that MPSP building, I was relieved.

I saw Uncle Alex (another dedicated sports lover), Tey (super race event supporter/photographer), Captain Yellow who I was surprised to see. I gave them a bright smile whenever I was facing the camera. Captain Yellow asked me what happened to me, I just smiled "It is just one of those days"

It was a tough race but I finished it. LOL, I almost laugh out when I received the multi-purpose medal, it was like a 20 cents or smaller than 50 cents coins, of course with a lanyard and a hook. I guess that multi-purpose means that we could use it as a key chain or lanyard? Not sure, but it is a special medal, I mean the size.

Race Summary:
  • Bad run, what a bad run. Rated among the worst run that I had, almost on par with ASJC. LOL, from my performance and personal feel stand point.
  • Dr.Tham said I could be suffering from myocarditis.
  • I have no excuse for failure to perform as good as my PB or break my PB, but I will bounce back stronger. Give me time.

Garmin Data:

Race Review:

  • Got multiple-purpose medal for multi purpose use. At least, it is different from other events.
  • Generous sponsors by Yeos. Many H20 drinks at the finishing area.
  • Cheap registration fee at RM25, you get a dri-fit vest. Initially I thought it would be T-shirt only. So, I screwed up the size. Never mind, I gave it to my dad.
  • First time a 21k event held in BM, good organization, many marshals and volunteers.
  • Too dark at the certain place of the route, especially the kampung area. Luckily no speeding cars.
= Astalavista =