Friday, August 20, 2010

Muar National Charity Run 2010 - 1 August 2010

5 weeks after KL Marathon with only a 10km run around Woodlands sandwiched in between, i embarked on another half marathon; this time at Muar. Didn't know much about Muar except for its proximity to Malacca and Mount Ophir. I found out later that it is also home to the best-est Mee Bandung.

Anyhow, with Ed opting to attend National Day preview, I set off driving up to Muar with IMD and Yeehua. Arrived at 5pm, collected race pack and checked-into Townview hotel. After dinner, i prepared the race essentials: Blue TNF Arnuva Boa, 2009 SCKLM vest, black mizuno shorts, socks, fastened race bib on racebelt together with USK, then went to sleep.

Got up at 5am, didn't get much sleep anyway. After shower, met up with IMD and Yeehua at the hotel lobby and realised that it was raining. Decided to drive to startpoint about 3km away. Organisers were still setting up the race area when we arrived. After much waiting, the race started at 630am with me right at the back.

Ran beside Cik Rustam, the Pacesetter president for the first 3km before deciding to slow down. I then joined a pack of 4 runners and we ran together for the next 2km. After a waterstop at 5km, i was all alone. I could see a few runners a couple of hundred metres behind me. I wasn't tired, no soreness or aches.

After turning left towards Malacca, we entered the highway portion of the race. Nice looking houses lined the side of the highway, the kind of kampong houses i would love to have. The road were deserted as i maintained my 8km/hr pace. Mok Ying Ren appeared as the first runner on the opposite side of the road, meaning he was 5km ahead of me. Soon, a marshal guided me towards an overhead bridge to cross the road.

Another marshal called out to me to enter the forested portion of the race. Palm trees lined both sides of the track and it stretched for about 2km. A waterpoint appeared halfway along the track and i took my pack of powergel.

Re-entering the highway, i spotted a runner ahead. Slow but constant steps. i caught up to him and eventually overtook. He seemed to be in pain. Crossing another overhead bridge, i entered the last 5km of the race. I remembered an Al-Ikhsan shop was due to appear on my left followed by Giant. As i passed by them, i saw the bridge towards Muar town. A marshal on bike was waiting for me at the other side. As traffic was already heavy by then, the marshal on bike personally escorted me for the next 2km.

Entering the last km, i caught up with the tail end of the 6km walkers. Coffeeshops were already lined with patrons and smells of prata and satay filled the air. I felt hungry and wanted my plate of mee bandung but continued the slow run. Before long, I approached the finishing area. Officials were still waiting for finishers then as i crossed the line in 2:49. Tired but still feeling fresh, i collected my race medal. No more soya bean drink so i took plain water instead.

Both IMD and Yeehua came in top 10 in their respective categories and received their prices on stage.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur Marathon, 27 June 2010

Can't believe the last race i did prior to this event was the same event exactly a year ago. Then again, i have been slacking since.

Arrived in Kuala Lumpur with a tight hamstring on the right leg on Saturday morning with Teelee and Taz. Hamstring was due to a session of badminton with EG aka idiot on Friday. Anyhow, picked up the race pack at Stadium Titiwangsa before making our way to the hotel. Laid out the race essentials and started to put them into their respective places; race tag on my new TNF Arnuva Boa 50 blue, number tag on 2009 SCSM vest, urban survival kit (USK - ID, credit card, travel insurance card and cash), a pack each of powergel and deep heat rub in race belt, Road ID, Polar RS200D and 2XU visor before getting my head on the pillow to rest.

Got up to the sound of Teelee leaving for his 42km at 0430hrs. To be honest, i didn't get much sleep. After shower, applied plaster on nipples and put on race kit. With Taz, left for startpoint at 0530hrs while munching away a pack of Powerbar Triple Threat. Startpoint at Dataran Merdeka was only 3mins away.

Did some stretching and warm up before meeting ST, Ham and Wishbone and friend. I still could not believe i was doing the race. A 21km would have been breakfast for me in 2006 or 2007, but i'm nowhere near being physically fit in 2010. At 0615hrs, start flag was waved signaling the start of the half marathon. I had no choice but to follow the crowd to cross the startline.

I realised that Wishbone and friend was not going fast and rather liked their pace and used them as my pacer. We ran past the old railway station before heading towards the new one at KL Central. It was then a left turn to Jalan Travers and right on Jalan Tun Sambanthan before left again to be on Jalan Syed Putra. At 5km i realised that my pace was a 8.5min/km, which was way slower than the 6min/km i used to do in 2006. Old age perhaps.

The stretch from Jalan Maharajalela to Jalan Cheras was only 5km long but felt like eternity. I felt that Wishbone and friend slowed their pace at 7.5km waterpoint so i headed out on my own. It was 1:30 when i arrived at 10.5km; that must have been the slowest 10km that i have ran, ever. Even the run leg of Bintan Tri in 2008 was completed in 1:18hrs.

I found a new pacer at Jalan Cheras, a girl from Trengganu. She said that this is her first ever race. Brave of her. Another runner tried to follow my pace, though he was brisk walking. I was that slow.

Strangely enough, i did not feel tired or any pain anywhere. I was comfortable with the pace. Even the weather was good, cool. That didn't last though. As soon as i arrived at Jalan Bukit Bintang circa 15km, my hamstring started to tighten and feet started to hurt. I kept my breathing slow to prevent a rising heart rate. My yoga instructor Shan once said that you can fight pain by controlling your breathing, i think.

I passed by McDonalds at Bukit Bintang thinking about hotcakes but it was already 2:00hrs then. My personal worst 21km was the first 21km i ran: SAFRA Half Marathon 2003 at 2:45hrs. However, on the plus side, other than at waterpoints, i have managed to maintain running continuously at 8.5min/km. Can't expect much if you don't put in the training.

The last 5km was painful. Sore feet, tight hamstring and hunger. Jalan Sultan Ismail was downsloping but a left turn into Jalan Raja Chulan was upsloped. The right turn into Jalan P Ramlee was better and i found a new pacer in Doris from Shah Alam. We ran by KLCC before a left turn brought us past Zouk and then a right for the final 3km. I then had to walk for 2mins. Feet was too painful.

Slow jogged and brisk walking, i turned left into Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman. Doris was 100m ahead of me and the brave girl from Trengganu was to my right as i struggled the last km. Tey was snapping photos and Yeehua and IMD called out to me before i crossed the finish line at 3:01hrs.

Verdict: Crazy for me to even attempt this. The last long run i did was a 15km in early May. Short 5km runs doesn't count when you are preparing for a half marathon. The race though, was a marked improvement from 2009. Route was, though flat in Malaysian standards, was convenient and safe. Race pack collection was systematic and customer-oriented though only god and the organisers know why the venue was Stadium Titiwangsa.

Distance: 21km
Time: 3:01hrs

Monday, May 10, 2010

Summary: Week of 3 to 9 May 2010

Finally got some mileage:
  • Mon, 3 May: 5km run; 5 1km loops at Tampines Park
  • Tue, 4 May: Another 5km, same 5 loops
  • Wed, 5 May: 7km of Fire Station-Pump Station-Utilities Office-Pump Station-Fire station route
  • Thur, 6 May: Rest, no training
  • Fri, 7 May: No training
  • Sat, 8 May: No training
  • Sun, 9 May: 15.5km on Tampines Ave 5, Pasir Ris Park, Bedok Reservoir route
Total mileage: 32.5km of running
Feeling: Pain

Monday, May 03, 2010

Smello sambal stingray

Felt like eating fish and made my way to Giant Tampines. They normally have a good spread of fresh fishes but the trays on display were rather sparcely filled with not very appetising fishes. Anyhow, saw a couple of stingray steaks and immediately thought of BBQ sambal stingray. Got a 3 serving size steak and headed home with a bottle of chincalok.

Cleaned the stingray before panfrying it. I then packed it in aluminium foil and banana leaf, with a few strings of onions and many dollops of sambal. It was then sent in to the oven for 30mins of grilling.

The stingray turned out fine, except for a strong pungent smell, sort of dried fishy, thai fish sauce kind. I then thought maybe i missed a process, a cleansing kind. Vaguely remembered my late granny soaking fishes in a mixture tamarind juice and salt. Wonder if that is the solution.

By the way, i guess Ed enjoyed the fish, served with short grain brown rice and stirfried baby kailan, with chincalok at the side.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Update... hopefully a sustainable restart to my active and healthy lifestyle

Since the post below (aka A Farmosa Sprint Triathlon 2008), my sports activities has been pretty much... inactive. I've gained lots of weight, indulged in what my father remarked as.... expensive food... and memorises the programme schedule on Starhub cable TV.

1) Ok, events/race wise, i've done:
  • A Farmosa Triathlon 2008 Olympic Distance: Came out of water 2nd last and was comfortable on the bike leg, only to get a puncture of rear tyre at KM17. Tough luck. This was the only ride where i did not equipped myself with a spare tube and pump.
  • New Balance Pacesetters 2008 in KL, Malaysia: I decided to go to KL for the food, rather than the race. Completed the run anyway, so slow that i managed a nice pose for IMD the cameraman at the finishing line.
  • Bintan Triathlon 2008 Olympic Distance: Woohoo... completed my maiden OD in 3:45. I was again.. 2nd last out of water with the whole senior management of Bintan Resorts and Nirwana waiting by the beach (i hope not for me) but managed to overtake many (about 20) racers during bike and run leg.
  • Powerman Duathlon Malaysia 2008 in Lumut, Perak: Thanks to Alvin, managed to get seats on bus and hotel for this race. Tough as hell (maybe) but completed in 5:30. Had an excuse though; Scotty's rear D jammed up leaving me with 2 speeds to play with for the 64km ride.
  • Bintan Triathlon 2009 Sprint Race: Played coach to the company's ladies relay team. Was slow but not strolling and completed the race in 2:15. Then visited the medic station for a bad case of cramp.
  • Tons of DNS since. 2009 was the year of DNS for me. So my KPI for 2010 is... no DNS.
2) Life and material wealth:
  • Followed the average married man's route towards inactivity, tummy growing and weekend slacking.
  • Based in Bintan, food and training opportunities are very different from Singapore. No more of post 7pm/pre 7am runs/rides, and the food.... don't get me started.... too good. Limited to 5 to 10km of climbs on the Fire station/pump station/Utilities office route, gym work and once-in-a-blue-moon 50km rides on weekends.
  • Having a car and a vespa means less familiarity with public transport and even lesser walking. Looking for parking lots is the sport i'm better at now.
  • Ed gave up her Helios 500. I took over and swapped the Ultegra gruppos and Aksium wheels from Scotty, who i gave to Ed's brother.
  • Got a Cannondale F5 for my 32nd hatchday. Though under-riden, i have clocked some quality KMs of offroad dirt on it so far.
Now the rot stops here. It will be slightly more than 2 weeks til Pacesetters 15km run. I hope with the old practice of recording my training in this blog will 2010 not be another year of DNS.