23 November 2010

i said i wouldn't run on the bridge but i lied

Yup. I lied. Being the bad brother that i am, i ditched my initial plan to attend my brother engagement do and went to penang to revisit the bridge. My justification, the engagement will still take place with or without me around. After all, it's only an engagement, not his wedding.. Hehe.. (saja sedapkan hati)
I went to penang not placing any hope to clock a good time, what more a personal best. I dont even hope for a sub-5 timing. I've been slacking with training with the last LSD being the newton race more than 2 months ago. The target was to only to complete the race injury free and to have have an enjoyable time running on the bridge.
I swear i was salt overdosed prior to and during the race. And i think i was also overhydrated. Not wanting to experience potential cramps, i bloated myself with 3 litres of water diluted with 10 sachets of ors. Feeling that alone was not enough i brought along with myself nuun salt tablet to be consumed while running. And not to forget the customary bananas walloping for instant energy.
I started off steadily with my normal pace. Not too slow and not too fast for sure. I was still good entering the bridge phase and scaling the incline at the middle of the bridge. It was airry and breezy which was divine to me, just like when i ran on the bridge for the first time last year. I was still okay after the u-turn at the far end of the bridge with my pace still intact.
As i strode to scale the incline at the middle of the bridge, it was drizzling which was nice as it gave cooling effect sensation. I hope the drizzle would last till the end of race. Boy, was i wrong. As the full marathoners converged with half marathoners at the middle of the bridge, the drizzle transformed into torrent and i had a whale of a time running cum showering..
It was still raining hard when mr.cramps started saying hi to me. It was when i passed the 26th km marker that i felt minor jolts at my shins muscles. It was still ignorable when i slowed my pace. A few 100 metres away, the real muscle cramps started rearing its ugly heads. Both shins and thigh muscles felt stiff and i was statutorily unable to move. I was literally standing in the middle of thousands of thronging runners waiting to be trampled by them. I managed to make my way to the side of the road. Lucky that i brought a long deep heat lotion tube and applied the lotion on my shins and thighs.
From then on it was a 80% walking – 20% running affair. I was reduced to walking most of the time. To top that, after the bridge phase ended, the full marathoners needed to run a mentally torturing, neverending, stretch. It was so frustrating that while i still had my energy fueling me, my running effort was hampered by mr.cramps. Everytime i lifted my thighs and legs to run, the muscles compacted drastically that it was unbearably painful . I lost track of how many cramps-attack i had as it kept revisiting even when i was walking. That was how bad the cramps attacks were to me. I swear by that time, i have already popped into my mouth 5 nuun tablets but they were frustratingly futile.
I have lost the sense of time, but i knew i would clock more than 5.30 hours as the 5.30 hours pacers passed snail-pacing me. I was still walking when i converged with eager 10km runners. Couldn’t care less, i decided to walk among them as it was still painful to resume running. It was approximately at the last 3 kilometers that pui san called my name to join her with the rest of the runners pacing the 6 hours pacer, choi cc. Strangely, the cramps disappeared and i could run a modest pace. I was pacing alongside zaki yui the last kilometers. We crossed the finishing line together and clocked almost the same timing.
I am glad that i finished the race despite the timing was way off my personal best time (1 hour and 19 minutes). I clocked my personal worst at pbim but learned a very valuable lesson from it. To run a full marathon, one must be fit physically and mentally. Even when one is mentally strong, it wont just jive if one’s physical is unfit. I don’t blame anything else for my unflattering timing, i don’t blame the futile NUUN tablets or the ORS or even the torrential rain (which is believed to be the major cause for the cramps). I put the total blame on myself for slacking off with training which resulted to my unfitness.
InsyaAllah, I will put much effort on training on my next full marathon at Putrajaya Night Marathon which is slated to be on January 2011.
Verdict Full Marathon PBIM10
Timing : 05:46:53 hours
Position: 743
p/s: btw, I am pulling out from Stanchart Singapore. Therefore,  interested, yet to be registered runner may have my bib.
p/p/s: congrats to those who finished PBIM irregardless of categories. Good job! Kudos to those who emerged as finishers with PB.
p/p/p/s: thanks kakjune for the kedai runcit. The sight of you and ijam’s friend alone gave morale boost to RBUs especially the budding FMVs.

04 November 2010

family first

If running is a job, I am going to shirk one particular job. The PBIM ’10 job. Apparently, the date coincides with that of engagement of my younger brother. Too bad for me that my family only decided the engagement date last week. It did occur to me to forgo this engagement thingy and put my runner self above all plans. Come to think of it, my brother only gets engaged once, and I surely want all my family around me on that special day should my turn comes only-god-knows-when. Yeah, I have to place my priorities right. And it is without doubt a right thing to put family first above all things. It’s the most natural thing to do.

With that my FM Bib has changed hands. I am gonna miss running on the wee hours of the morning on Penang Bridge. I am gonna miss running while enjoying the gust of sea breeze blowing my face. And I am gonna miss the food hunt right after the run just like what my friends and I did last year. And ultimately I am gonna miss fellow quirky runner friends' good company.. :(

In another light, this comes as a blessing as I am really undertrained to run a full marathon. The longest run I did was during the Newton 25km Race. And that is all about it.

Alas, memory lane could not be revisited this year. And I am cool about it knowing I am doing the right thing. :)

03 November 2010

failure to launch

I attempted a recovery run, post GTB yesterday evening. It was at the usual playground, picc-masjidputra-picc. Did the customary warming up of muscles and loosening the joints prior to the run. I knew I must run this 11km route, as I would do on any normal day.

Sadly, it was an attempt that failed unceremoniously at its premature phase. It was after a 100 meters that my shin muscles felt stiff, as if they were compacted by some mysterious force. I tried to ignore the uneasiness and proceeded on. The uneasiness recurred as I strode a few more meters and that was when I decided to call it a day.

I knew I have to love my body first rather than forcing it to work beyond its capacity, though deep down i felt tinge of jealousy as other runners have started recovery runs as early as Monday morning, the day after GTB ..

02 November 2010

a repenting slacker

Guilty as charged!

*clearing cobwebs* I know I am such a slacker. I slack in updating my running escapades and I also slack BIG TIME in training. Slacking in documenting my running activities does not hurt much, but slacking in training really took its toll on me. After completing my first FM at SCKLM, I began to play truant from training, citing commitments to works as culprits. There was one time I haven’t run for almost a month resulting my stamina plunging to its lowest. Due to almost non-existent training, I performed terribly in few races clocking undesirable time i.e Men’s Health Run 12 km (1hr 05 mins) Newton 25km (2hr43mins).

It is only of late that my training begin to pick up its mileage but it is really nothing to shout about if compared to powermen-to-be’s (you know who you are) mileages. And I haven’t been running LSDs since god knows when. OMG! I am so screwed up! It is scaring the shit out of me knowing that I have 2 weeks more to prepare for my 2nd FM at PBIM2010. I am gonna go all out with mileages before the big day arrives come 21 November 2010.

On another development, I participated in Genting Trailblazers last weekend partnering Shanaz in the mixed category. I prefer our team to be called The Peejays (peejays as in Putrajaya) but shanaz don’t like the idea and she preferred Fit and Fabulous instead which sounded corny to me. Hehe. This is my 2nd year scaling the hills and jungle of Genting. And hell yes, we had whale of a fun doing it with company of close friends and quirky RBUs’s antics as cherry on top. Overall, it was a great and challenging race (always love the scaling and sliding down the muddy hills part and not to forget the mineral rich mudbath at the end) and we ended up securing 22nd placing (original target was to be in the top 10! Fat chance!)Okay dah tu..

From today onwards, I promise myself to incorporate running as part of my life’s routines emulating what some people has diligently been doing (read: syah, yim, shanaz, zack yui, rayzeef, our powermen friends, etc) and not to forget to reenact my running activities in the form of write ups in this godforsaken blog.. InsyaAllah, preferably microblogging would just do it.. 

11 July 2010

My mi adidas Baby

My good friend Wira insisted to get me a present for my 29 forever birthday (denial! I am 30 btw) and demanded me to name anything I want for a birthday gift. And his idea of birthday present has always been something that is practical and functional. Something that wont be tossed inside the store room for lack of functionality. For me, it is way too much for one to ask/request/demand a birthday gift from people. It’s sheer indulgence. Simple birthday wish or a lunch treat would just bowl me over. :)

But he was persistenc and asked whether I would want running gears as a gift. Then I had eureka moment (insert bulb here)! I have been meaning to get myself a new pair of running shoes (or adding a new pair to existing collection for that matter, which is my one and only pair of Saucony Triumph 6, LOL!). I know that unlike others, i am such a miser for not indulging much into my hobby/passion. Others indulge themselves with expensive running gears like garmins, 2XU tights, HRM, visors, supplements etc. But yours truly is sheer cheapskate. Hands down! LOL!

My old trusty Saucony Triumph 6. Kasut ni best gile. Tak caya tanye Shuk.

I told him that I am an Adination runner passport holder which entitles me to enjoy for 50% discount of any purchase of miadidas shoes. And I further told him that mi adidas is a marketing stunt by adidas that allows buyer to customize the shoes according to the nature of his/her feet and running gaits. One can also personalize the design and color according to the runner’s preference. The cherry on top is that, one can even put his/her name on the shoes!. Wira agreed to the idea and off we went to Adidas outlet in Pavillion on one fine weekend.
Normally, one would need to screen their feet on a feet scanner to determine what kind of feet one is running on, be it natural arch, low arch or high arch or whether one is a pronator or whether one is a forefeet runner or midfeet runner etc. These findings would help one to choose the correct type of liner and sole for the shoes to maximise comfort and its functions. Since I already know what my shoes size is and what type my feet are, I skipped the process and straight away went to the best part of miadidas shoes creation that is customization and personalization.

I opted to customize my shoes after the Supernova Sequence II model as it is cushioni-er than other option for running shoes that is Adizero Tempo. I tried putting my feet in Adizero Tempo and found it a lot less cushiony. I could even feel the flatness and the chillness of the floor. I think Adizero Tempo would suit best if one only wears it on raceday due to its lightweight. I was looking for a trainer and I need something that is durable and could last wear and tear longer.

An adidas representative helped me in customizing the shoes through a software in the miadidas website. As the software is accessible online, it would be easier if one has beforehand customized their preferred shoe model before going to the outlet. That would prevent rushing of customizing which can cause faulty in designing and personalizing. Though on-the-shelf Supernova Sequence II are meant for pronators, I could personalize it to be a normal-feet running shoes by selecting preferable width, type of sockliner and sole! Aint that great?!

After wrapping up with the customization process, the adidas reps informed that the details of the customization has been stored in the database and the shoes wil be manufactured in China and will be ready in 1 and half month to 2 months time.

I received a call from an adidas rep last week informing that my baby is ready for collection. I went to the outlet in pavilion yesterday, all excited and giddy to see my baby.
Presenting you my current love affair, Adidas Crushio.
Macam colour transformers bumble bee tu kan?

I havent had the chance to run in it yet. And i am sure it will take quite sometimes to break them in. Tried walking in them. The cushiony feeling is divine! Will blog about its performance one day!

p/s: The best thing is, an Adination of Runners's passport holder can enjoy this 50% discount of mi adidas shoes once a year! Thats very generous! Marilah beramai-ramai jadi ahli adination of Runners and customize your own mi adidas baby!
Thank You, Adination. And Wira of course!

29 June 2010

Full Marathon : Checked!

I was very ambitious enough to aim a sub-5 finish as i learned most newbies finish more than 5 hours on their 1st full marathon attempt. Despite that, instead of following the 5 hours pacer, i followed the 4 hours pacer so if i fall behind, it would be still within sub 5 hours time. It's more like a safety net mechanism for me to materialise my goal. But if it is more than  5 hours i would still be more than contented completing it. After all, it's my maiden full marathon, finishing it alone, regardless of time clocked,  would still make me feel like a million buck..

It rained for the 1st 10km. Quite hard but not torrential. Something that i have always wondered how does it feel like running in the rain on a race day. I found it very relaxing and chilling. At the initial phase of the course, i feel like i have run an indefinite eternity only to discover that i have only covered 5km! dang! It meant that i had to cover 8 more eternities to complete the whole course. Double dang!

1st half of the course was ran good. My limbs were doing great and energy level was still good (thanx to 5 bananas that i walloped before the race) and there were no signs of cramps as yet. I ran the normal pace that i used to run during LSDs. Not too pushing and not too laid back. 

The 21km marker was at Jalan Bukit Bintang where it came with a digital timer. It indicated 2hours and 8minutes the moment i passed the marker. I quickly made a mental calculation that if i could maintain current (at that time) stride and pace, i could clock a sub 4.30 hours timing. i restrategized. i made it a point that i must run between 4 hours pacers and 4.30 hours pacers in order to finish below 4.30 hours. Taking into accounts potential cramps, lethargy and time taken at every water station breaks, i had a leeway of 2 hours of 22 minutes to achieve my new target time.

It was at kilometer 27  that i felt presence of cramps on my both legs. It was mild ones on right limb and hard ones on my left achille's heel, calf and thigh. I never experienced cramps before, not even during LSDs, probably because my LSD never passed the 25km wall. The cramps were kinda throbbing and at the same time jolting and stretching the muscle hard. Thank god, they were not acute that i have to completely stop running and nurse them.

From there onwards, i ran cautiously. I couldnt stretch my legs for bigger stride to reduce the frequency of cramps. I made it mandatory to stop at every water station to replenish the lost electrolyte with 100 plus drinks and at medical aid team to apply ointments on my cramped limbs. It was indeed a run driven by mental strength the moment the cramps reared its ugly heads.

As my mental strength was at its lowest along the tijani stretch, the sight of julie wong, kash and rais at KM36 really gave me a mental boost. These people are  angels  in disguise. They cheered, they came out with motivational placards, they even distributed drinks and foods to runner friends. All in the name of love and passion for running. God bless them!

KM 35 till KM 40 is the playground of RBUs where we used to happily frolicking and gallivanting while exchanging anecdotes and jokes in our LSD session. But this time around, the stretch was passed by rather strugglingly with mental mantra i.e, u can do it, bring it on, sikit je lagi, relentless forward motion etc. By this time the sun has risen, the heat has depleted the energy level tremendously and occurrence of cramps has become more often. All i wanted at that time was to see the finishing arch.

But not so fast, it is not over until it is really over, the finishing arch would have to wait . At KM 40, runners were made to run uphill into Kementerian Kerja Raya only to do a u-turn at the mid-climb. It was totally a mental torture, why oh why must the organizer do this to us? why? jerit hati kecilku.LOL! i plodded on. i dared not to take walk-breaks as i was afraid that i would surpass 4.30hrs time. 

The turning to Jalan TAR was somehow a breath of fresh air. the  physical lethargy, the mental exhaustion and the cramps strangely disappeared. The turning converged all runner from all categories. Suddenly there was merriment in the air. An atmosphere so festive that triggered me to run with head held up high towards the finishing line as if my limbs were as good as new.

i lost my full marathon cherry the moment i crossed the finish line. I did it!. It was an epic run for me. Epic enough for a john doe like  me. It was indeed an episode to remember in my life. An achievement that i would never thought of earning before.

I thank Allah for giving me good health that has enabled me to complete this epic race injury free. I would like to attribute this personal achievement of mine to the  support systems (RBUs, FMVs, Kaki Lariks, AdiNation Runners) that has strengthened my belief that full marathon is doable. You guys are the coolest! I am also thankful to myself for having the bravado to take this marathon challenge as i badly need something to be proud of myself. Here's to many FM races to come, insyaAllah!

verdict : 42.195km - 4 hours and 27 mins (PB @ PW)
ranking : 344

23 June 2010

Apakah Perasaan Ini?

While I should be peaking in gathering mileages 2 weeks back, I was bogged down with injury which resulted myself not being able to run for two weeks. That’s TWO FREAKING WEEKS! Considering myself a 4-days-a-week-with-minimum-10km-per-session runner, that was a massive blow to me! I knew that I was gonna miss the adrenaline rush, my endorphine dose, and the highs that I got from sweats trickling down my face. During the first few days of resting, I twitched madly to run, and did run once only to find that the injury would have to stay at the back of my right knee joint for quite a while. So a running hiatus I took instead of going full swing with the mileage.

I am now 90% recovered and have done two 11km runs and 2 LSDs since I first resumed running after recovering. The pain is still there though its presence is faint. During the runs, I discovered that my body could not accustom to my usual running tempo, stride and speed. I’ve to be cautious with my running gait in fear of further worsening the pain. Apart from that, i easily pant and grasp for air. While breathing is laborious and sluggishness is evident, the ever irritating side twitch is felt too. In short, I am not the runner I used to be.

Somehow or rather, this has only waned the pre-race jitters that I normally experience in other big races for I know I am not gonna fare well and as I don’t prepare well.

Unlike Kak June, Yim, FMVs, RBU, GBS, Kaki Lariks who are now being taunted by pre-race jitter bugs or the thumping of Kompang that Diket keeps hearing as SCKLM is inching nearer, I don’t feel the same gung-ho-ness when I am about to embark into an epic chapter in my running book. Ironically, i feel emotionless when I should feel giddy and zesty. IT'S MY FIRST FULL MARATHON, FOR GOD SAKE! I know I am gonna get the zest back, but not before the big day. :(

Whatever it is, I am gonna run and finish the race nevertheless, but not as my normal runner-self.

p/s: Good Luck, folks! Run within safe limits. More importantly have fun running. Lets blaze the streets of KL!

03 June 2010

The Knee Injuries Club

What’s with knee injuries that have been plaguing fellow runner friends? It started with Nadia and Shaqi. Shaqi busted his knees during NB 30km if am not mistaken and Nadya suffered it long before I discovered her blog. Just recently, Yim also succumbed to one, crushing his attempt to do his first full marathon at SCKLM. And today I read about KakJune’s plight on the same injury and about Ziff’s kissing goodbye to his participation in SCKLM for the very same reason.

Truth is, I am also nursing one. I contracted this injury during an LSD run last Monday night. I did 2 loops of the Masjid Putra-PICC-Masjid Putra route. It was on the 2nd loop that I noticed there was some nagging pain at the back of my right knee joint. I couldn’t seem to stretch my stride bigger. Every time I did, my joint felt strained. And I found that I couldnt run the normal gait that I used to. My cadence were smaller and as a result it took longer time for me to complete the usual 2 loops that I normally did.

Till to date, the pain is still there even when I walk i.e at office, at home. Though it’s not something like major, sharp, stinging pain, I am worried that if I continue exerting my self with strenuous training, it will further deteriorate that I can kiss my FMV attempt bye-bye. Hence, I haven’t been running since then to rest them knees so that they can be back to their normal, natural form. Unlike the rest, I have yet to visit any sport injury specialist. The most that I did to nurse them were icing them and spraying them Salonpas spray (goodies from NB15km race). Alhamdulillah, they are doing okay though the pain is still dangling.

I googled the net and discovered the closest description of my knee injury. Most probably, the situation that I am experiencing now is called Poplietus Injury which may have been caused by overusage of poplietus muscle. It may also have been caused by poor biomechanics or movement patterns. Thank god the remedial measures do not involve operation or long rest from running. The website stated that all that one need to do is to rest from aggravating acticities that involves the affected areas and stretch the hamstrings several times a day.

The Popliteus is a small muscle located at the back of the knee joint. It is responsible for internal (medial) rotation of the Tibia (shin bone) as well as for 'unlocking' the knee joint when bending the knee from a fully extended (straightened) position. Essentially it initiates knee flexion (bending).

So it has been 3 days of non-running which has gotten me restless. The runner inside me badly twitches to sweat myself out and to get the usual dose of endorphine and runner’s high but I guess I will be deprived of those for these few days :( I guess I will only try doing a light run next Monday, hoping by then, my knees are gonna be better like brand new. InsyaAllah.

Akhir kata, Love thy body. Your body is a shrine. Worship it. Take care of it!

25 May 2010

Kids in a Candy Store

Most runners will find themselves like kids in a candy store for the 2nd half of 2010. Running events scheduled in the pipeline are aplenty for runners to choose from. I bet most runners will be all ‘rambang mata’ in selecting which race is worthy to participate in. So many interesting running events, so limited weekends. *sigh.. There are few equally interesting races which fall on the same date will surely give hard time for runners to decide. Me myself have shortlisted 11 races that I plan to take part in, tentatively.

Klang Centro Run – 11th July 2010 *new race for me, not sure whether last year got or not..registered oredi

Siemens Run – 18th July 2010 *participated last year, event was not that bad, hilarious lady MC

Shape Men’s Run – 31st July 2010 *potential goreng pisang panas, RM300 worth of goodies, a must run race!

Newton 12/25km – 26th Sept 2010 *expensive goodies, cool 2XU socks, interesting distance

Adidas King Of The Road - 3rd Oct 2010 *sentimental value-sake, among early runs that I took part in, love the atmosphere in the stadium

Mizuno Wave Run – 17th Oct 2010 *love the upm hills

Putrajaya 12 hours walk – 24th Oct 2010 *gonna be a maiden 12 hours walk for me

Genting Trail Blazer – 31st Oct 2010 *Revisiting the muddy trails, I’m all up for dirty fun

Penang Bridge Marathon – 21 November *revisiting the bridge and perhaps cuti-cuti penang afterwards

StanChart Singapore Marathon – 5th Dec 2010 *revisiting the merlion, plan to go there like a pauper this time around

Malakoff 12km run – 19th Dec 2010 * wretched hills of mont kiara got the better of me last year, so it’s pay back time this year..

These are the races that I’ve shortlisted from many races slated to be held. How crazy is that? Running is in for Malaysians nowadays so it seems. Maybe Malaysian find it fashionably cool to be spotted in running gears and wearing bib numbers. Hey, that was what I thought in the initial phase of my involvement in competitive running! A poseur I was before and now I am regularly running and regularly participating in running events. That’s not a bad thing kan?

Sadly, as many think that running is a cheap sport, it is not that cheap when one talks about fees of races. I notice that the price of few running events have spiked up to exorbitant range of fees which could be a pushing factor for one to enter a running event. To encourage people to take up running and to participate in running events, organizer should consider lowering the running fees. This could be achieved if the organizer make it optional for runners to opt whether to have the running vests or to forgo them. Runners who opt to have the vests may pay more than those who choose not to have them. Come to think of it, this year alone there are like more than 20 races and all runners are made compulsory to have them through the fees that they are made to pay. That said, one will have to store 20 vests in the wardrobe for year 2010 alone! Gile kan? And one wont get the chance to wear all, as us runners do have preferable or favourite running vests that makes us feel at best when wearing them while in action *i am talking about my self here, mine would be the white NB15km 2009 vest and the orange Adidas KOTR 2009 vest, ironically, both vests give me chafings! LOL! I don’t fancy the idea of piling up running vests in my tiny wardrobe in years to come.. i make good use of them by wearing them as baju tidur though..

Why restrict to running vests alone? Runners may also choose not to have them goodies or even post race meals as these may help to lower the running fees even more.. All the runners need to pay is administrative fees and off they go with their own shirts/vests and bib numbers provided by the organizer once they are let off at the starting line.. *I know, I sound like a cheapskate already.. hehe

If only seasoned, influential runner can highlight this matter to those money-milking organizer and enlighten them about their supposed social responsibility that is to encourage more people to run, and that is by lowering the race fees, they could attract more sedentary Malaysians to move their butts from the couch and eventually take up running as mean of exercise. *especially for those in the lower income bracket, that’s me!

No need seasoned and influential runner lah.. we can get so called newbies *otais actually* to create a “WE DEMAND CHEAPER RACE FEES TO ATTRACT MORE MALAYSIANS TO RUN’ group in the Facebook and recruit fans to file a petition to powers that be. (read: yim and kak june) hehehe..

Just a wishful thinking from el cheapo me.. it's not that i am starting a running revolution though, hehe.. Having said all that, choose wisely, folks!

17 May 2010

Romancing The Hills

New Balance 15 KM 2009 marked one of my earliest participation in competitive running *though I don’t run to win. The route for this race was a runner’s nightmare *at least to me, as the organizer included the vertically challenging and brutal hills of Bukit Tunku. It is still firmly etched in my mind how I struggled my arse out to complete the distance up to the point of blurting out vulgarities and cursing myself. LOL! I clocked 1 hours and 46 minutes to complete the whole course and swore to never get myself running on that hell-ish route again. But, sometimes people don’t mean what they say, and first love is hard to forget so they say. I registered myself for New Balance 15 KM 2010 last December for the sentimental value of it and to see how much have I improved as one year has gone by since the 2009 edition.

So, the memory lane of NB15 km was strolled down again last Sunday. I was a bit prepared knowing what to expect *the mean double hills of course, how to tackle the hills, and how to run during the whole course but still the jitters never ceased to haunt me. Tortures of the hills still remain though. Punishing enough to those who didn’t wisely plan on how to conquer them. And the scorching morning heat was equivalently evil, draining every bit of energy there were in grasping-for-breathe runners. The only salvations throughout the course were the time going downhills. Just only when one thought the suffering was over, just before one could heave a breather of relief, there came another hill mounted infront waiting to be scaled up!

But, Just like Yim and Nadya, I love them hills especially when going up. It is the time where I gotta sayur back people who overtook me at the corner of somewhere flat earlier. Contrary to many people, I kinda dislike going downhill because this is the part where people sayur me back. I don’t know, I guess my stubby legs couldn’t take the speed and the momentum of going downhill. Sometimes I feel like fumbling forward when I was going too fast running downhill. I’d rather maintain my cautious stride and don’t give a hoot when other runners overtake me when racing downhill.The idea of my body rolling down the hill doesn’t fancy me much.. LOL!

The last stretch going downhill from jalan parlimen to the finishing line was heaven-sent. I upped my pace and strived bigger aiming to overtake a Chinese uncle, maybe participating in the Men Sr Veteran Category, whom I paced on the 2nd half of the run but to no avail. He was just too fast. Nonetheless, crossing the finishing line, knowing that I have improved my timing from last year’s is just enough to give me a runner’s high. :)

Time : 1:46:41             Men Open Placing : 423      Overall placing : 926

Time : 1:15:34             Men Open Placing : 37        Overall placing : 77

p/s: Met the usual suspects at the race – syuk, diket, det, ian, yim and kak haza. truly weekend warriors!

p/p/s: thanks to kaki lariks – irwan, babart, aliff, ted and amir for the company and for the sinful-but-justified nasi lemak session after the race.. :)

28 March 2010

The Much Anticipated, Most Talked About Energizer Night Race 2010

The most hyped up and talked about running event in Malaysia in recent time finally took off. Yours truly took part in the half marathon category. Due to lack of training I didn’t expect much in this race. I was only hoping to clock a decent time of 2 hours and 5mins. A sub-2 hours timing would be a bonus though.

Though half marathon was only due to start at 8.00 pm, the kiasuness in me itched to reach the race venue early to avoid parking hassles. So off I went to cyberjaya and reached the Street Malls parking area and secured a parking spot. After a somewhat less than 7 minutes shuttle-bus ride I reached the race venue at 5-ish pm. Full marathoners were spotted in sight, busy preparing themselves who were scheduled to start off at 6pm. Met otai runners i.e syah, ian, nik, shahir, shuk who were all psyched up to run their early evening marathon. It was still blazing hot when they were let off at 6.00 pm and I bet those runners were crossing their fingers hoping that the weather would get cooler soon.

At 8.00 pm, the half marathoners were let off but not before the cheeky cheerleaders performing their funky routines and sensual moves first which attracted catcalls noise from the runners. The early phase of the road where we were let off was lit off. I think it was intended so that the runners’ headlamp that the sponsor supplied would be seen as effective. It worked though. The headlamp can be a nuisance but if one knew how to tie it, it wouldn’t be that bordersome.

Lesson learned from Putrajaya Night Narathon is not to pulun at the early phase of the race. The strategy for this race was to go for a negative split. So I opted to deploy a not-so-slow,-not-so-fast pace strategy for the first 15 km. Along the way I bumped into Yim who was spotted from behind sporting 4 glowies! Had a quick chat with him and exchanged good-lucks before we continued running on our own. The route was 70% flat with 30% hilly parts that was not that taxing. Surprisingly, unlike PNM, the much dreaded hot and humid night condition was not felt. Instead, it was chilly and at certain part of the route it was breezy, perfectly ideal for a night run. I managed to keep my pace steady during the first phase of the race and not to tense myself up when other runners overtook me. I kept reminding myself to stick to the strategy or otherwise I would burn out too soon, way before crossing the finishing line. Along the way, I tried pacing some fast runners just to make sure that I was not going too slow. Some were paceable and some were very fast that it was hard to keep up.

Towards the 15th km onwards, numbers of half marathoners that I could see in front of me has reduced in number. I reckon that it was at the 17th km that the half marathon route and 10km route merged at this particular intersection and I found my self running into swarm of thousands of 10km runners who were coming from another direction. I had to run in zigzag motion and criss-crossing to avoid bumping into them. The half marathoners who I paced earlier were no longer in sight. Realizing that it was the final kilometers of the race, I ran a faster tempo hoping to clock the time that I desired. And as in any other races the final kilometers are always the longest and seems neverending and this race was not an exception. We were made to run on a final long stretch which has the longest incline ever and I was repeteadly cursing, “Where is the effing finishing line?!” and almost blurted it out loud. It was only after I saw the final roundabout that I know the elusive finishing line would be finally in grasp.

Overall, I ran a good race . The dreaded heat from energy-sapping, blazing hot tarmac was not felt this time around. Sticking to my strategy of not going too strong at the beginning of the race really pays. The bananas that I consumed really worked in providing me instant energy (I had 8 bananas from 3-7pm). And not to forget plenty intake of 100 plus during the race day has prevented me from experiencing potential cramps. And it’s even sweeter that I rewrote my 21km’s personal best time!

Verdict - 21km Men's Open Category
Placing : 33
Chip Time : 1:55:30
Gun Time : 1:55:59

09 February 2010

Putrajaya Night Marathon 2010 – In Search Of Better Half

My NB20km timing that I clocked 3 weeks ago was promising (according to my amateur standard lah,  of course!) that I set such a high benchmark (again, my amateur standard) for me to surpass this time. NB 20km run was not precisely 20km, in fact it was actually 2 kms short of a half marathon. After much calculation and estimation of what I have done and could have done, I have set a target time ranging between 1 hour and 50 mins and 1 hour 55 mins for me to clock this time around.

Reached the race compounds at 7.30pm with the rest of Kaki Lariks who earlier gathered at my place. We parked our cars behind the what-used-to-be-MECD-building and rushed to Perbadanan Putrajaya to perform maghrib prayers at a surau there. Bumped into Che at surau and he handed me 10 glowies. *che,will pay u today eh.. The atmosphere was great. Sea of enthusiastic runners donned in white vest/shirts flooded the Perdana Boulevard. I caught a glimpse of a marching band troupe in blue in their position ready to perk up the night. Weather was fine. But the much dreaded infamous night humidity had yet to surface.

After depositing our belongings to the luggage tents, we rushed to the runners’ gantry located in front of Palace of Justice where there were already early birds all hyped up to be released. I bumped into Shuk and exchanged hellos and all-the-bests. Did a little warm up and chatted with Babart and Irwan to make me feel more relaxed and less jumpy. We were released when the digital clock indicated 28mins-ish after the full marathon runners were let off. I was at the middle of the pack and it took me 30 seconds navigating through eager runners before I could cross the starting line.

I started off maintaining my pace, striding big but not pushing myself hard that I could tire myself easily. I darted through my way towards PICC and got to ran side by side with the inspirational blade runner from Singapore. I later ran into Yim whom I identified from behind by the glowies he wore. We ran together and parted ways as I made a little detour to join fellow runners emptying bladders just before the climb behind PICC.

The route was a mixture of not so torturous hills and flat surface which was a good thing. And there were not-so-long stretches, gentle slopes, turns and roundabouts. In short the 21 km route was not boring. The rest of the run was smooth. I managed to maintain the same pace and stride until I made a turn into the route leading to Prime Minister’s Department. It was like a long stretch about 4 kms before the finishing line. My feet started to feel numb. The warmth of the tarmac which could be tolerated before has become unbearable. It was as if my running shoes were absorbing the heat from the tarmac like a sponge does to water. The numb feeling and the burning sensation was such a deadly combination that it really drained me. It got worse with every constant pounding on the tarmac. My pace has gone haywired and my stride has turned smaller. The more I tried to stretch my legs for a bigger stride the more drained I become. I was literally running at a snail pace. Quite a number of runners whom I overtook earlier took sweet revenge overtaking me and my effort to keep with their pace was futile. It was like the most excruciating and the longest 4km in my life and to double-whammy that, it came with a cruel detour behind Palace of Justice before the runners could really end the race.

Finally, after what felt like ages I crossed the finishing line. I immediately took off my shoes and limped barefooted on the tarmac, looking around for my friends who were done with their 7.7 km run earlier. Believe me the socks and the shoes were totally drenched. The feeling of having to get off the shoes from my feet was just heavenly.

Overall, mission was not accomplished. :). It was mainly because of the agonizing and punishing last 4km. If I could have maintained the same pace from the start, if i could have known how to handle the burning feet, the targeted time could have been achieved. But it was a feat for me too as I managed to shed 7 minutes off from my personal best done at SCSM2009. I really have to train myself more frequently doing the real distance in order for me to achieve that. Energizer Night Race is the venue for me to achieve that. InsyaAllah.

Verdict : Official time - 01:58:49 , Nett Time :1:57:51

p/s: how does one deal with burning sensation from the tarmac? What kind of socks/shoes one needs to wear? I observe that this burning sensation is only felt during night run. I experienced the same thing during PBIM.

25 January 2010

A Soaking Wet Night LSD

It was during last Tuesday’s Adination Runner Session that Bro Zul, the trainer, mentioned that there’s gonna be a night LSD in Putrajaya tentatively on Saturday night , 23rd January. Though I think it was a great idea to familiarize with night running condition as Putrajaya Night Marathon is inching nearer, I was at first indecisive to join the LSD as I promised my friends to go for a morning run at Lake Garden and Kenny Hills vicinity on Saturday morning.

However, it turned out that the morning run had to be cancelled as my friends had a late night outing that Friday night thus I opted to join the night LSD run and was very looking forward to going for the session. As planned, the meeting point for the night LSD was at Taman Seri Empangan, a recreational area at the feet of spaceship-like Putrajaya International Coventional Center (PICC) and we were to start at 7.45 pm. The meeting point was only 5km away from my home, so l left home at 7.35pm. I reached Taman Seri Empangan 10 mins later and found out eager beaver runner were already there. Some of them were pelari-pelari tegar from Chap Ayam Runners whom I am not well acquainted with much, Adination Putrajaya Runners- Bro Zul, Hafiz, Midun & Nora and blogger-runners – Che, Syah,Yim and Shuk. Altogether there were about 20 runners who thought that they would rather run then watching crappy cerekarama on saturday night. The weather was chilly and breezy, perfect for one to go for a run.

Bro Zul briefed that we were to run towards the round-a-bout infront Putrajaya Holding (PJH) and Jabatan Imigresen and to do a U-Turn and to run straight ahead towards PICC and to take the the route behind PICC and to finish it Taman Seri Empangan. The distance targeted to be completed was around 30km (that is 3 laps of the route). But one could choose whether to run 10km or 20km or to do 30km. We started off around 8.15 pm and it was drizzling and I believe most of us were finger-crossing hoping the drizzle would not develop into a heavy downpour. The finger crossing was proven futile as the rain turned catty and doggy after estimately 5 mins we started running.

Like the famous saying,‘Rain Or Shine.The Show Must Go On’ we went on nevertheless only to find out that we really enjoyed soaking ourselves wet during the run. I felt that I was running with pair of boots as the shoes absorbed water from the rain and from the ditch that I ran into. But it was fun afterall. The route was 80% flat. The only hilly terrains were at the bridge before reaching PICC and the route behind PICC. After almost an hour running in the rain we completed the first lap and made a pit stop at Taman Seri Empangan to wait for the rain to stop or at least lessen in quantity. It was during the pit stop that we realized an Indian lady runner who was with us was nowhere in sight. It is believed that this Indian lady runner was at the back pack that she couldn’t follow the front pack pace and completely lost track of the route.

After about half an hour, the rain kinda dissipate in quantity, and some eager beaver runners wanted to continue with second lap while some decided to call it a night. I went on with the second lap run and only to find that the rain got heavier as we were halfway of the route. About one hour of running in the rain, we finished the 2nd lap and cleaned up ourselves. Surprisingly, as I don’t get to run much in the rain before, I found that I didn’t feel that knackered completing the 2 laps – that’s totaling to 19.8km. Yim told me it was because the cooling effects the rain gave. If it didn’t rain that night, we would have panted, grasping for air, all the way to complete the distance.

It is not unusual for one to feel hungry when the temperature drops especially when it rains. And in our case the hunger feeling was much more intense as we ran in the cold rain. To replenish the lost fuel and energy I joined Che, Yim, Syah and Midun to mamak presint 9 to grab a late nite bite. It is very rare of me to have a late nite supper but I was feeling peckish and felt like having Milo Ais which I haven’t had for quite a while. I asked for crunchy thosai which later I found tasted a bit burned. As exhaustion and sleepiness creeping in, I excused myself and said bye-bye to the rest and drove home.

Overall, this night LSD run was fun, I gotta familiarize myself with condition of night running (which didn’t really serve the purpose as it rained- it is said that normal night running is much more tiring as opposed to running during daytime as the heat felt is stronger than daytime) and also gotta meet fellow blogger-runner which I haven’t met before like Yim and Syah and Shuk (which I didn’t get to say Hi that nite). I am very looking forward to running in next LSD. Jangan lupa ajak, okay! :)

p/s: the indian lady runner finally found her way back to the meeting point. She ran into us as we started to run into our second lap.

21 January 2010

Of Sluggishness

I despise running sluggishly when I know I could’ve strode bigger and paced faster. I notice that I tend to be sluggish while running when I resume running after days of not running. On another occasion sluggishness is experienced when I run back-to-back or for few days in a row.

Sluggishness makes me feel heavy on the lower body especially the limbs – the thighs and the shins. My limbs would feel weighty and the effort to plod felt laborious. I have to summon extra energy to run the normal pace that I normally do which always end up myself running slower. Running sluggishly is not enjoyable. Even the most upbeat, catchy, remixed song I play on my MP3 player cannot beat the sluggish feeling. It is frustrating because I am very much looking forward to having an effortless and enjoyable run in every session of running. Running is supposed to be therapeutic and fun and it shouldn’t be of a struggle doing it.

Yesterday’s evening run was an example of a sluggish run. The sluggishness may have caused by a run that I did a day before with AdiNation Runner Putrajaya. But I plodded to the last 10th laps of Taman Putra Perdana jogging track route nevertheless. People say resting may help to prevent the sluggish feeling as rest is also a part of training. Resting gives time to joints to rest from overstraining and for muscles to develop or to flex to its new shape. And after a sufficient rest the joints and the muscles would be able to function to its new capability. But if I rest and resume running the next day, I would feel sluggish anyway.. so how la?

Btw, I plan to run again this evening.. hopefully I am gonna have an enjoyable run..

p/s: I suspect that I can get rid of this sluggish feeling only if I get rid of the spare tyres first.. :)

17 January 2010

Of NB20 KM Race Eve Anxiety and Report - Regular Training Pays!

It normally occurs to me to experience race eve anxiety the night before the actual race takes place. While my mind normally would get too preoccupied with what is gonna happen during the race day, my body would feel twitchy and becomes restless. Anxiousness and excitement normally overwhelm me that it is very difficult for me to catch sleep.. In effort to catch sleep I would toss my body to the right and the left side of the bed countlessly.. And even if I manage to fall into slumber, it would be interrupted many times that I will always check the time for the fear that I might oversleep passing the time that I have set to wake up. For this NB30km race, it was no different from other races, actually it got worse. I didn’t get any sleep at all!

I just couldn’t contain the excitement anymore and left Putrajaya for Padang Merbuk at 5am. I drove to Bukit Aman and reached its parking area around 5.30am. Met a fellow runner there and later performed Subuh prayer at Masjid Bukit Aman. We later rushed Padang Merbok as there were 5 minutes left before the 20km category participants were about to let off. Sharp 6.30 the race started and at that very time I could feel the sleepiness creeping in.

I started off well and managed to keep pace with much faster runners. The only problem that I struggled with was not lethargy or fatigue but it was the sleepiness that I really hoped to dissipate quickly. I felt like a zombie while running except that I was not in slow moving mode like a real zombie would be. After approximately 5 km of psyching my mind up against the heavy eyelids, the sleepy feeling was gone and I felt I was at the top of my game.

It was during this run that I found myself loving the hills. I kinda know how to tackle hills this time around. Thanks to Adination Runners running sessions where I had the chance to observe one of the seasoned runner tackling hilly route effortlessly. And I kinda loving this new discovery more as I managed to overtook many runners when plodding uphill. Throughout the run I tried maintaining my pace, speed and strive and after 1 hour and 43 minutes-ish I crossed the finishing line.

After 2 half marathons outings (PBIM and SCSM), I kinda inspired to renew my personal best, they were 2hours6mins-ish.. I have always targeted to do a sub 2 hours time for the next half marathon. Judging from this race’s time where the race distance are 2 km short of a half marathon’s, I estimate that if the distance is to be extended to another 2 kilometres ,and if I maintained the pace and the speed, I would have recorded my PB just below 2 hours!

This only proves that regular training really pays.. All my evening and weekend runs that I toil finally bear its fruits and really worth it!
So now I am anxious and eagerly counting days for next half marathon that is 3 weeks away from now – PUTRAJAYA NIGHT MARATHON on 10th February 2009. I seriously hope that I get enough sleep in the process.. :)
* actual distance is 19.36km
* i found the finisher medal hideous. Dont u guys find the same?

16 January 2010

Untold Previous Races and NB30 km Run Jitters

so i have been neglecting my blog for quite some time and this defeats the purpose of having a blog in the first place which is to update it with race reports and my running activities.. okie i promise to be a good boy and to update this blog as frequent as i can with updates on my running escapades..

here are recaps of races that i have participated but i didnt get the chance to update in details:

1) Singapore Standard Chartered Marathon 2009 - 21km - 2 hrs and 6 mins
I only managed to rub few seconds off from Penang Bridge's time - it could have been a better timing or sub 2 hours had i gave the toilet-break a pass, i queued for more than 5 minutes to use one.. it was a good run over all, almost 50000 runners participated, loved the atmosphere, Singapore streets were flooded with sea of runners clad in blue,it was an amazing sight to behold, I just cant describe it, it is something that we don’t find when running back home, The event organizer sure knew how to make running events fun and festive.. oh ya, i hate the many,many u-turns though..

2) Malakoff Run - 12km run - 1 hr and 9 mins
the hills of Mont Kiara really killed.. i was not familiar with the route.. i went all hyped up climbing the 1st hill only to find there were many-many hills later to climb.. i went pancit on the 2nd half of the run and there was one time when going up hills was impossible, i gave up and walked my way uphill for 5 mins.. i never walked in my race before! i then resumed running all the way to finishing line and got smoked by many runners in the process..morale of the story for me is to include hills in my training as most of my regular runs include flat routes.. lucky that I just joined Adination Runners Running Fraternity where the training route include some challenging hills to overcome..

training-wise, I ve been running regularly in the 1st and 2nd week of January at my regular training ground that is at Taman Putra Perdana, Putrajaya for my evening run and at the vicinity of Lake Garden and Kenny Hills on weekends. I log the distance that I run at this cool training log website
to keep track of speed and pace and calories burned every session of running..

this year, I am upgrading (challenging) myself to only run in 20km runs or half marathons for race that offers categories.. I need to familiarize and get myself accustomed to 20km distance before I can further venture to 42km in 2011..

tomorrow, I’ll be running in the PaceSetters NB30 km run.. but yours truly will take part in the 20km category (the actual distance is 19.36km).. insyaAllah, with sufficient training, I think I can complete the race within target time below 2 hours.. but the only thing that can hamper that are the hills.. yeah the killing hills as my training doesn’t include much hills.. InsyaAllah okay kot.. For the rest of Kaki Lariks and fellow runners I wish u all the best for tomorrow's run and have fun running!