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!