Tuesday, September 27, 2011

River Jungle Marathon Race Report

THE DAY is finally arrived. I woke up around 3am, done the usual chores and left for the starting point at 3:45am. Told myself that I had done all the preparation, now is the time to enjoy it. Reached the starting point around 4:30am and the briefing started when I was still in the car park opposite the school. So I rushed a bit on putting on the shoes and some sun block.
I missed the notes that Organizer put on the Distance Marker.
This is a good one at 20KM. By Tey.
Met Chan at the starting point, but I was too occupied and we didn’t chat much. Then the race flagged off on 5am. I set my GF405CX to 9min/km pace with some hope that I will do better then 7 hours. Anyway, I stayed on the 7 min/km pace until I reached the 17km waterstation right before the climb. I only managed to run on the climb for about 1+km at snail pace then I walked the rest of the climb plus the down hill until it is rather flat at around 23km. The knees are not really in good shape to take the down hill. Lots of runners passed me on this stretch. Then it was the Semenyih reservoir at 23km, which is a 1.5km stretch to heading to Semenyih then u-turn. The scene is magnificent, and some one flying parachute fan in the sky. The sun are now on and off came out from the cloud and temperature starting to rise.
Towards the peak @ 20km, still fresh look.
After the u-turn and the 25km marker, I really had nothing much left in the tank to push. The balanced 17km are purely stretched me to my limit. I am on my foot for 4hours now and the every single step is an extra effort from my limited endurance. The ITB is almost numbed and toes in the shoes are hurting like hell. I started to run 1km, then walked few hundred meters. The cloud was finally thickening enough, and turns into a rain when I reached 32km. More walking now. The demon of DNF & drop out started to appear on and off. But there were not many runners in front and behind me, I felt a bit less stress and managed to keep the demon and mindset at ease. The walk-run-walk-run strategy kept me going.

At the last KM with Khoo
Courtesy of CP Tan
Then, I ran into Khoo. He is friendly and kind enough to offer me some pacing and encouragement. His 3 minutes run, 1 minute walk strategy drilled me into the reserved tank that hidden in my inner soul, some place that I didn’t aware of. With his company, I completed the balance 7km, and ran the whole last km (or may be 2km) to the finish line in 6hours 31minutes.

Overall, this is definitely a very good running event. I don’t felt the stress in term of competitiveness, finishing timing or pace. Anyway, I guess I should keep this ease mode for all other marathons that I registered for this year. I am obviously not very well prepared for marathon distance. The ease mode will definitely helped in the way to prepare myself to be a better runner for future races.

Side track, my Garmin Forerunner 405CX decided to give out earlier than me. It’s idle at 41.01km and now, the screen is blank and not able to charge (I guess). May be some rain water get into the unit or it’s just the battery issue. Will wait for another few days to see if it really needs to be send in for repair. On battery wise, it’s last all there way to about 6hours 15minutes. So if you plan to finish your marathon longer than 6 hours, you may want to consider use a normal stopwatch or in my case Polar FT4. If you experienced the out of battery state for GF405CX (it will just continuously restart-off-restart-off until the battery is totally flatten), you don’t want to have that during your race.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Preparation for my first Marathon

Finally, I got my bib number from River Jungle Marathon last weekend from Running Lab @ Tropicana CityMall. And its time to finalize my thoughts and trainings about this coming marathon.

In my own believing (or you can call it naive-thought), as long as I can finish the race distance in a week’s training, it should have no problem to complete the race on the race day (key emphasize: to complete! Good completion timing not included). I am now ready to prove it myself. So far, my maximum trained distance in a single ran is only 25km on last Saturday. But I had keep my passed 10 weekly mileages averaged about 39km, with 5 weeks had more than 42km, and 3 weeks down mainly due to ITBFS and flu.

One of my colleague (whom a season runner too) said the Half Marathon distance should be set to 30km. 21km is only half of the distance, and not even close to 1/3 in term of effort compared to a full marathon. I will be exam this quote myself too this Sunday.

I had really enjoy the excitement come with the 42km race and the process to get myself ready (or not) to handle it. I experienced lots of self-doubts, withdrawal, injury, and other challenges especially to talk myself out from these negative conditions. Not forget the work loads in my 8 to 5 are picking up too with my new boss on boarded. On the good side, I PB at the previous race before the Fasting month’s break (Men’s Health Night Run 12.3km with a pace of 5:39/km), did some enjoyable speed works, back to back LSD and meet some new friends. Those are priceless experiences and it’s hard to tell the payoff is worth for the efforts. Anyway, happiness is a way of travel, not a destination!

I will fill in the final piece of this RJM preparation on Sunday. I can’t promise a good timing or even an enjoyable race (this will be based on my feeling of cause, please don’t expect me to say this is an enjoyable race if I reduced to crawling back to finishing line after beaten by the 42km). But I can assure you that this is just the very beginning part of my running journey. More marathons will be schedule in future; in fact Putrajaya Night Marathon is just right around the corner and Singapore Marathon in early of December.

Some day, I will definitely able claim that 42km is an enjoyable running distance. Now, let see what I will bring back from my very first attempt to the 42km.
Enjoy Running!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

ITBFS fixing in progress

I have to admit that I pushed too hard and too soon to minimalist. Shoes definitely play an important role on the running. The US size 9 NB905 definitely not a good fit to me, and I ran too much too soon in VFF before even build up my leg/feet strength. All these actual reduce the enjoyment of running, as the pain left from each run is greater than the fun. I guess I am still consider lucky to realized this only after 110km inside the VFF, before more damages done. So far, the worst injury is a tight left ITB. But actually I am not able to pin-point whether the shoes (VFF or NB905), or just simply over-trained had provoked the problem. The joyfulness running in VFF is still tempting and I will definitely working towards minimalist (will retire NB905 now), but I had a big challenge to handle right around the corner, my first marathon, River Jungle Marathon by end of the month. I need some solution to at least treat the ITBF syndrome to allow me to maintain the minimum training amount and complete the marathon later.

First, I took some time off from running. I rested from running for 4 days, with occasionally icing the ITB area. When I resume on the 5th day for a short run, the syndrome looks ease a bit but still persisted. Used the KT Tape, but may be due to my technique, the effect is limited. So I took the opportunity on Hari Raya for another straight 5 days off from running.

Second, I reverse back to running in supporting shoes. Got a Brooks Adrenaline GTS10 with RM215 (50% discount) but its support felt like the old NB1226. Will post the review on the shoes later. So far already made 4 runs (27km) in this shoe, and I felt great as it seem to not worsen the ITBFS.

Third, I apply ice to the ITB area right after each run. I also ice the ITB area at least one more time on daily basis. I also included some stretching on the ITB before and after each run. These actions had post a good result on the ITBFS.

Forth, I do some ITB stretching and strengthening exercise everyday. 2 methods suggested by runnersworld. Click the pictures for full articles link to runnersworld.

Like the title of this post, the fixing is still in progress. I am yet back to my full training plan, those workouts so far are reduced amount so that my body can slowly rebuild from the ITBFS. I am now fingers crossed and hope for the best.

It is stretching time now :)