Friday, March 30, 2007

Summary for week of 18-24 Mar 07

The week after KLIM... achings everywhere!!
  • Sunday, 18 Mar: KL Marathon.
  • Monday, 19 Mar: Reached home at 9am, took a short nap. Got up and rushed to Blood Bank, only to discover the place closes on Monday.
  • Tuesday, 20 Mar: CBD Run.
  • Wednesday, 21 Mar: No runs, watched Ed easily beat her opponents in her badminton game again.
  • Thursday, 22 Mar: Travel day. Got back and visited Granny at the hospital before hopping to another hospital, the Blood Bank, to donate blood for the 45th time.
  • Friday, 23 Mar: No runs, watched Ed's badminton game again. Though her tag-team partner was not her usual, they still won.
  • Saturday, 24 Mar: Was on duty at NATAS Fair at Suntec. Then went on a makan and movie spree with Irwan.

1 week to Port Dickson Half Marathon.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

CBD Run - 20 Mar 07

Still partially limping due to KL Marathon over the weekend, i braved myself for the CBD run, hoping it could serve as my recovery run. Left office just after 6pm, having changed into my white/blue Mizuno vest and blue shorts. Stopped by Tanjung Pagar market to get a comb of banana, JT and Le_charlotte complained about being hungry.
Most of the runners were already at scene by the time i arrived. After exchanging hellos, i put on my Asics Cumulus and organised my urban survival kit. Tiwazz briefly briefed the group on the route we are going to take; Along Maxwell Road before turning left down Shenton Way towards Esplanade. Then it will be under the bridge, bringing us to towards Victoria Concert Hall, Empress Place, Clarke Quay, Robertson Quay and Kim Seng. From there, we have to make our way along Outram Road, Cantonment Road before turning into Lim Teck Kim Rd. After that, a left turn into Anson Rd and we'll be back to the start point.
I started the run at the back of the pack, together with IMD. Chatting away, we realised that the group was running at a rather fast pace. Then again, i wasn't feeling tired or any soreness when i was running, a total reverse from when i walk. By the time we reached Clarke Quay, i slowed down and accompanied Orange Tee, who was the last runner. Along Outram Rd, Tiwazz took over the sweeper's role while i joined the front gang, having promised to run with JT.
Lim Teck Kim Rd was dark and so i dropped back and ran with Piglet. Soon, we reached the start and ending point, where Philip and a gang of Nike people were ready to show us their new technology.
According to Tiwazz, the route was 7km. It feels like 7km but the Nike people though, using their technology, claimed that it was 10.9km, which made many runners quietly happy.
Good recovery run, just what i need.
Distance: 10.9km (can't argue with technology, can i?)
Shoe: Asics Cumulus (still rather stiff, and hard at the forefoot area)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

KL International Marathon - 18 Mar 07

Got up when the alarm sounded at 2am. Had a quick shower and applied lubricant to abrasion prone areas. I then donned my SGRunners vest and Adidas black shorts. Forced myself to drink the Myoplex protein shake as replacement for breakfast and gulped down 2 capsules of Amino Acid. I then put on my Adizero SN Red and made sure i feel comfortable in the shoe. Just before 3am, i grabbed my urban running kit and Creative MP3-filled nathan Waist wallet, Adidas white cap and left for the lobby.

Realrunner was already waiting. I did my preliminary stretches while the others appeared, one by one. Babumouse gave me 2 salt tablets. Though i would breach the rule of no experiments during raceday, i felt that salt tablets are handy aids to prevent cramps. We left for Dataran Merdeka as soon as everyone arrived. It took us about 5 minutes to reached the event location. I called Tey from Pacesetters and met him to pass his Ultramarathon finisher's tee. After exchanging best wishes, i deposited my luggage and looked for a toilet with Balasing and Benruth. Saw some familiar faces along the way, Kayano, Burnz, TLR from SGRunners. I also saw Hayley from Pacesetters, she looked super hot but calm and composed.

After being ushered into the reporting zone, i did another set of stretches and got to know a new friend in Steven. Before i knew it, the race started. I did a slow run with Balasing. Yeehua was nearby and overtook us somewhere near the 5km mark. After a pee stop, i ran faster and left Balasing, knowing that he will catch up as the distance increases.

I reached the 10km mark in 1:07. Not too bad, as i aimed to cover 9km/hr. Burnz appeared and after having my first pack of powergel, i continued on. I drank at every water stations. At 15km, i took my first capsule of salt tablet. I wasn't feeling tired or any pains. Saw Andy who was complaining of pains in his foot. I gave him some words of encouragements and moved on.

At 2:15, i reached the 20km point. Took another pack of powergel and looked around for familiar faces from the 10km stop. That way i can more or less judge who runs in similar speed as me. I saw Burnz and another Malaysian runner. We exchanged best wishes and continued on.

We reached Bukit Bintang before turning right towards Concorde Hotel, where a group of Adidas cheerleaders were chanting "Impossible is nothing", god knows what that meant. I came across Lim Kok Wing University Gallery, which sounded familiar and i realised it to be what i saw on "Gol and Gincu the series".

Being bored, i got frustrated when i didn't see the 22.5km water point where i felt it should have been. I then realised that i must have slowed down. Feeling a bit tired and a little irritation on the right knee (must be the old injury from the football match), i continued on and passed by a shop in the vacinity of Masjid India, selling Nasi Kandar. I stopped and took a deep breathe, enjoying the aromatic smell of curry fish head probably, before continuing on. Saw some 21km runners zooming past before the sight of Dataran Merdeka appeared. I knew that there will be a turn somewhere, that will take us another 18km or so, so i tried hard not to get excited.

I stopped for another pee break at a toilet, the keeper was nice enough not to demand 20sen from me. I continued on and reached the 28km water station. After that, my strides felt slower and the route feels longer. I came across a junction with a traffic controller on duty. I realised that i was alone. It was an amazing feeling when the controller commanded all traffic to stop and wait for a slow me to cross the road. I knew for sure that that will never happen should the race be held in Singapore. Thumbs up to the warden and the motorists.

I then passed by Chow Kit Road, not before nearly taking a wrong left turn when i should have gone straight. Thankfully a passerby called out and pointed me to the right direction. The support and understanding of the people was pretty amazing. Finally, i reached the 30km mark, where a fella with a casted hand enthusiastically gave out powergels. I took one and that was my third pack, washing it down with plain water. The next 5km was a run-walk, mainly walking. Balasing overtook me and i was looking over my shoulders for Burnz. Perhaps i looked too often as i had a very painful cramp of the left shoulder at 34km. Applying some heaty massage oil, courtesy of the medics at the waterpoint, i also took my last capsule of salt tablet before walking slowly.

The cramp subsided when i reached 35km where i heard a call for "Shut". I turned around and saw SV, who then called me a slacker. Fair enough. SV got me to go on a slow jog with him, and i constantly reminded him not to increase his pace, not wanting to get anymore cramps. Until then, a personal best was within reach. However, sub-5hr was realistically beyond us. SV and me decided not to "chiong" back and continued our slow jog. Got to the 36 or 37km waterpoint (the 6 and 5km to-go markers were less than 20 metres apart) and took a good sip before peeing behind a truck. It was then a slow jog to the u-turn point and back up for the final 4km.

Caught up with Steven, who looked dead tired. I motioned for him to follow us and he did. Got to the 40km waterpoint at about 5:05 and saw Babumouse, who complaint of knee pains. Babumouse, SV and me walked the next km, talking about anything under the sun. Mythos ran past after waving at SV. I then remembered that SV and me were wearing SGRunners vests. No way can we be walking back to the finishline, it will be so embarassing. So with 1km to go, i dragged SV for a slow jog. A couple of runners who have completed their races lined the pavements leading to the finish line, cheering us on. I advised SV against increasing his pace. The painful cramps i got from SCSM for "chionging" the last 200m or so served as a good lesson. Slowly, we reached the finishing line in 5:20, 8 minutes slower than SCSM for me.

I collected my finisher's pack containing finisher's tee and medal, and returned my timing chip, recovering the RM20 deposit. I then took out another RM30 from my urban survival kit and registered for the Penang Bridge Full Marathon in June. Just finished a torturous marathon and there i was registering for another one.

I guess the PB will have to wait. No worries though, as i thoroughly enjoyed this race. Organisers were great, people were great, I love running in Malaysian races. Next stop is Port Dickson Half Marathon on 1st April.

Distance: 42.195km
Shoe: Adizero SN Red
Timing: 5:20

Summary for week of 11-17 Mar 07

The week before KL Marathon.
  • Sunday, 11 Mar: LSD at Coastal Rd.
  • Monday, 12 Mar: No runs.
  • Tuesday, 13 Mar: No runs.
  • Wednesday, 14 Mar: Planned for a short 10-13km but had to forgo due to travel. Watched Ed's badminton game when i got back. I have known her for more than 10 years but never have i seen her that lively. For the record, she played doubles and won the match straight sets. Well done babe!!
  • Thursday, 15 Mar: Too late for any runs. Visited granny at the hospital instead and started packing for KL when i returned home.
  • Friday, 16 Mar: Ed played in another game. Though the team lost in the end, her doubles pair won their match straight sets. Carbo loaded after that.
  • Saturday, 17 Mar: Left home very early to join a group of SGRunners at Golden Mile for the journey up to KL. Bus left at 730am and my stomach was not feeling good. Reached KL at 1pm, and Yeehua came by to hand us our race packs. Had lunch at Kenny Rogers and dinner at Nando's. After preparing gears for the run the next morning, i was on the bed by 10 but could only sleep at 11. Next day is race day!!

I am not as prepared for KL Marathon as i was for SCSM. I hope everything will work out fine.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Last LSD before KL Marathon - 11 Mar 07

A week to go before KL Marathon. Thankfully, i have done long runs lately and felt a last LSD may be sufficient before i get to the start line at Dataran Merdeka. NL got addicted and asked if i wanted another LSD. With Brokie, Dreamrunner, DO and others planning a 21km at ECP on Sunday morning, i managed to convince NL to start our run at 7am instead of his prefered 9. I also managed to get Teelee and Sassy along.
Arrived at ECP Carpark F2 just after 7. Dreamrunner and gang arrived soon after and after putting on my Orange Mizuno top with black shorts, white Adidas cap and Adizero SN Red with the Nathan waist wallet, i did some warm up waiting for NL to arrive.
Though i expected and planned for a slow 16-21km end to end and back along ECP, the group decided for a 25km Carpark F2 to Changi Ferry Terminal along Coastal Rd instead. Sassy was with me all the way, we run-walk as she complained of stomach pains while i didn't want to push myself hard. Coastal Rd seemed neverending, no wonder SGRunners call it the Demoralising route. Even when we reached the traffic light somewhere halfway of the runway, we couldn't see the bend leading to Changi Ferry Terminal. After close to 1:20, we reached Changi FT, tempted to turn back numerous times.
A short break at the dirty toilet later, we turned back and started our return journey. Thankfully, most of the route was shaded. Cyclists zoomed past; i recognised some doing multiple laps. At times, Sassy's stomach pains seemed very bad. I was tempted to flag a cab to bring us back to the start point, using the excuse of not wanting the group to wait long for us. No cab came by though, i remember running up to a car, thinking of asking for a ride ie hitchhike. I guess we were so bored that i brought up the issue of hitchhiking to Sassy, saying i find it funny that in a country deemed safe, hitchhiking is not a practice by many.
Anyhow, we reached the road leading to NSRCC and Sassy said she needs to run so that the pain will go away. I found that strange but didn't want to argue. So run we did, and walked a few times before reaching the end point in more than 3hrs.
It has always been my dream to run the Coastal Rd and i have fulfilled it. I hope i am prepared for KL, though it will be nice to have another short run before leaving on Saturday.
Distance: 25km
Shoe: Adidas Adizero SN Red

Monday, March 12, 2007

Summary for week of 4-10 Mar

Week of 4-10 March, finally burned some rubber on my Adizero SN.
  • Sunday, 4 Mar: 21km LSD at ECP.
  • Monday, 5 Mar: No runs.
  • Tuesday, 6 Mar: Went to CBD but the rain that started @1800hrs meant slippery floor. Had dinner instead.
  • Wednesday, 7 Mar: Did a 21km (SCSM Half Marathon route, less the Padang finishing stretch) LSD.
  • Thursday, 8 Mar: Travel day, no runs. Mum called in the evening, her brother passed away. The last funeral in the family was my grandma (Mum's mother), about 16 years ago.
  • Friday, 9 Mar: Was at my aunt's place for my late uncle's funeral. When the Ustaz was wrapping the body with white cloths, i realised that i am not prepared to die just yet. Not that i can choose but just that there are things i need to learn and prepare myself before leaving for the next world.
  • Saturday, 10 Mar: Ed's birthday was Friday, so i fixed up lunch, based on what she requested for; usual stuff, salmon, brocolli, almond jelly with longan, rootbeer float etc.

I realised how fragile we mere mortals are. My new aim in life is to prepare myself for the next world. Like Morrie said, "If you know how to die, then you'll know how to live." HHmm.. wait.. did Morrie said that? or was it Andy McNab?

Friday, March 09, 2007

Evening LSD - 7 Mar

It was raining late evening of Tuesday. Nevertheless, i left for the CBD Run meeting point but was discouraged from running by the wet and slippery floor. Abandoning the plan to run, i had dinner instead. Therefore, i had to make up for it.
At 1700hrs on Wednesday, i set off for what would be a very demoralising 21km run. Donning my NB white top and black shorts, with the red Real Run arm pouch holding my urban survival kit and mobile, and Adizero SN on my feet, i started the run from Crawford Street, along Marina Promenade towards Esplanade. I then made my way up to the bridge before continuing on towards Marina South. In short, the route was similar to the SCSM half marathon.
Perhaps i was still recovering from Sunday's LSD. Perhaps i was just plain lazy. I couldn't get into my slow run momentum, constantly going too fast and getting tired. Worse still, my footpod died on me during the run.
I however finished the run just before 2000hrs, meaning close to 3hrs worth of walking and running. I plan to do another easy 21km this weekend as my final preparation for KL.
Distance: 21km
Shoe: Adizero SN Red.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Mid-morning LSD - Sunday, 4 Mar

NL was a buddy of mine from NS. We served in the same unit at A Div. I have been pestering him to join me for a run, knowing what a speedmonster he is. Remembering that he has lots of relatives in Port Dickson, i immediately though about asking him to join me in the upcoming Port Dickson Half Marathon.
He called me up on a Friday and asked if i wanted to run a 10km at ECP on Sunday. Being deprived of anything that comes close to being a run, i duly agreed before suggesting on a 21km end to end and back run. Could be training for him but a much needed final preparation for my now-seemed-like suicide-attempt at KL Marathon.
We met at 0830hrs and he drove us to the carpark before Fort Rd. After putting on my Mizuno Blue vest and shorts, Adizero SN Red, Cap and Nathan Waist wallet, we set off for the run. Not knowing what slow meant, NL pushed me to a 5min/km pace. I had planned for a 6:15-30 pace. After 3km of that, i reached my limit and slowed down, saw Roonz along the way. NL continued on. Took my first powergel stop at the 7km mark, and bumped into Cokiee, who was probably taking part in the NUS Biathlon. Saw TLR before i continued running towards Tanah Merah. Another water break at Changi Sailing club before u-turning at the entrance to NSRCC.
Slow and steady, with plenty of walk breaks, i reached the 14km mark, the same toilet i saw TLR and Cokiee. The Biathlon was in full swing by then, and i took the opportunity to follow some of the runners' pace, after having my second and last pack of powergel. As i passed the chalet, i heard a call for 'shut' and i turned around seeing Sotong. A hi later and he breezed past me.
With aching thighs, calves, shoulders and feet, i reached the imaginary finish line at Fort Rd. My timing was a disgrace. However, i was glad to have completed the run. It may not have been similar or better than the 35km i completed 3 weeks before SCSM but it'll do.
Shoe: Adizero SN Red
Distance: 21km.
Time: 2:42.... well, still better than my first half marathon in 2003. That was about 2:48.

Summary for week of 25 Feb - 3 Mar

A high on the Sunday and nothing else after.
  • Sunday, 25 Feb: National vertical Marathon. Couldn't run after that.
  • Monday, 26 Feb: No runs. Visited granny, no mood thereafter.
  • Tuesday, 27 Feb: No runs. Was all ready to go for CBD but a last minute directive by the-boss meant i had to carry so many stuff home, needed to travel to Bintan the next day. So i gave up CBD, and lugged the stuff home.
  • Wednesday, 28 Feb: Travel day. Again, a last minute directive by the-boss meant i had to take a later ferry back. Too late for anything by the time i get back. Went to visit granny again, and was in the worse morale ever when i saw her condition. The morale became even worse when i saw my grandpa, having to explain to him my absence. Sadness.
  • Thursday, 1 Mar: Took leave. I guess what happened the day before left a lasting impact on me, and particularly my head. A massive headache meant not just no runs but also me on the bed with an ice-pack on my forehead.
  • Friday, 2 Mar: No runs. Had a meeting with a national hero, someone from the team that scaled Mt Everest. I was impressed. Visited granny again, grandpa was there. Surprisingly, and a good surprise indeed, instead of whining about how much he misses her, he actually recited some prayers for grandma. Made me feel a whole lot better, but not enough to wipe away the sadness.
  • Saturday, 3 Mar: Finally got to run, though a very short distance of 6km. Ed will be taking part in the Women's Outdoor Challenge on the day i'm due to leave for KL Marathon. Sad that i will not be able to cheer and support her during her race, i encouraged her to do this run. Did a 6km from Crawford Street and went past the River HongBao Festival at the Esplanade on our way to and from the u-turn point just before Clarke Quay.

Well, nothing much other than me being sad each time i see my granny. 2 weeks to KL Marathon, better do something or i will suffer.

National Vertical Marathon - 25 Feb 07

My first ever Vertical Challenge. Have always wanted to do this, now is my chance.
Teelee came to pick me up at 0600hrs and we made our way to Raffles Place MRT Station. Arrived just before 0630hrs and a short queue of competitors had already formed. Knew nothing about the race, we joined the queue and soon registration for Men's Open started. I was handed number 30 and allocated detail 5.
At 0705hrs, the first 8 details were requested to report and so we did. We then made our way to the start point, at Republic Plaza. My MP, Teo Ser Luck (MP for Ponggol South) was the guest of honor and after giving some encouraging words, flagged off the race for the first detail right on 0730hrs. Subsequent details were flagged off in 2 minute intervals.
Mine was at 0738hrs. I started at the back of my detail, brisk walking to the staircase. I double stepped my way for the first few storeys and before i knew it, 9 storeys passed and i started to feel thirsty. Thankfully the first waterpoint was at the 10th level and the marshal was happy to provide me with some. After gulping a cup of plain ice cold water, i continued on.
I started to feel burning sensations on my thighs as i climbed, one step at a time. Teelee, who was a detail behind, overtook me at the 19th floor. Another competitor, an "ang-moh" did the same somewhere after the 30th floor before an MR25 runner breezed past. Then i climbed past a competitor who was resting.
Taking drinks at every drink station, i suddenly realised that i had climbed 50 storeys and had 10 more to go. Without breaking a stride and a cup of water in my right hand, i climbed and pulled my way up to the 60th floor, finishing the race in 15:56mins.
I then saw Teelee, who completed his in just below 10minutes. Finishing point was in an enclosed area, not the open-air top on the roof kind i expected. After resting for a minute, we were ushered down to the start point and claimed our goodie bag.
Good race and experience. Organisation was commendable.
Shoe: Adizero SN Red
Time: 15:56 minutes
Distance: 60 storeys

Summary for week of 18-24 Feb

Nothing happened. No training nothing, just laze around and memorize the tv schedule.
  • Sunday, 18 Feb: No runs. Chinese New Year. Got up late after watching Man Utd's FA Cup match. Was also parent-meet-parent day.
  • Monday, 19 Feb: No runs, second day of CNY.
  • Tuesday, 20 Feb: No runs. Public holiday in lieu was what they called this day. I called it lazy day. Sent mum and dad to the airport for their annual "pilgrimage" to Kiwiland. They better bring me back some manuka honey.
  • Wednesday, 21 Feb: Boss gave 2 extra days leave, for free. Too lazy to run.
  • Thursday, 22 Feb: No runs.
  • Friday, 23 Feb: No runs. Back to work.
  • Saturday, 24 Feb: No runs. Visited granny at the hospital and no mood to do anything after that.

Can't believe i let the week passed by without any runs.