Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Nike We Run KL 10K Race Report

This event happened almost towards the end of my SCMS FM training, so I didn’t really put in any training for this 10k. I was at Bukit Aman about 5:25am for a decent parking and some warming up run, and to get myself used to the new CW-X tights. I looped the bird park loop for 4 times before heading to the starting pen.
Bird Park warming up, 4x loops = 9.4km
Nike We Run KL 2011
At the starting pen around 6:55am, the area was crowded with orange/red color people! I only get into the pen area after the official flag off. From there onwards, it’s jammed all the way to the flyover lead to KL Sentral. Hard to keep a decent pace and lots of attention needed to lookout on other runners. It was eased a bit after the first water station, then the feeling of packed race came on and off as the varies road conditions, especially on the narrow stretches on the Jalan Tun Sambanthan and Jalan Kinabalu which we shared the road with buses, motorcycles and cars.
Towards the finish line, photo by Jason Thai
Finally, we reached the wide opened road after Bank Negara. Also during that time, I saw the Reindeer in Sarong flied passed me. I think he must AWOL from Santa on the Christmas preparation to join this race :)  I stopped only once to refill my bottle and kept a consistence pace. I didn’t push the pace (also not much left to push after the 9k warming up at bird park loops) and finally reached the finish line in 64 minutes.
1GB Nike Lunar Glide 3 Thumb-drive upon completion of the 10k
Overall this is a very well organized event with sufficient water station and crews/supporters/musicians to keep the runners entertained. The only problem is still our running etiquettes. Runners simply stop at will in the middle of the road will caused problem in such a crowded event. Some even bended down to tight their shoes laces in the middle of the road. I can imagine there will be some unlucky person will definitely ran into these obstacles. I was extra alert and kept my strides short for any possible condition that I may be on this race.

This is my first run in Compression Tights, the result is positive and no issue observed. Before the run, I am anticipated running in full length tights may be very hot, but I felt ok and in fact a bit chilling through out the 19km. And yesterday, I completed another 21km in the tights with no issue too. Now I am confident to use it for the SCMS.

You can now downloading the PDF version of runners guide for SCMS (HERE). There will be 20,000 participants in Full Marathon category, and this will be a really packed event. I am really excited and there are only 4 more days. See you guys in Singapore!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Nike We Run KL 10K

This week will be the famous Nike 10K. The race sold out in 2 days time, so, I will expect the turn out will be quit good. I didn’t put too much of effort or plan for this event, but it’s a 10km happened towards the end of my preparation for SCMS, so I will only add in some additional mileage before the 10K to maintain my minimum weekly mileage. The plan is, reach Bukit Aman by 5am, loop a few loops at bird park until 6:30am then clean up a bit and head to the starting line. Not much expectation on the finish timing too. My previous official 10K race was Bareno in March, completed in 64 minutes. As I am in the mid of FM training, I will be happy if I finished the 10K within 70 minutes.

So far, the preparation of the SCMS went well. I had over the training peak and now is time to relax under slow gear. In fact, I think I am just too relaxed until many empty slots start to appear in my training daily and I only achieved 2/3 of my training plan for November. I think I will need to top up some extra over this weekend to at least recondition my body to take the 42k next Sunday. Weekend plan will be doing 15k on Saturday morning, 20k on Sunday morning (bird park plus the Nike Run), and 20k on Monday morning (my first try on the Newton Challenge Route at Bandar Kinrara). All these will be done in LSD pace (7~8 min/km) except the Nike 10K with target pace of 6.5min/km. It shouldn’t tax my legs so much before the big event.

I am getting my hand on the CW-X Expert Compression Tights from Choi’s year end promotion. The additional weekend mileage also for me to familiar with the compression tights. If I am able to get along with this, I will use it during SCMS. Will put up my review on the compression tights after SCMS.

I am looking forward to the Full Marathon and Singapore trip in 8 days time. 

Link to Race Report

Monday, November 21, 2011

PBIM Half Marathon Race Report

When I registered this event back in June, I don’t expect myself doing any Full Marathon in year 2011, I only go for another Half Marathon. But eventually I started my FM journey in September, so the feeling is mixed by relief and jealous when I walking around the starting line before the FM flag off.
Clouded sky, will it rain tonight?
I took FireFly to Penang on Saturday afternoon, reached the hotel about 3pm. The B Hotel (it is a budgeted hotel located opposite the Sg Nibong Bus Terminal, not the B-Suit Hotel) don’t have my booking records, same happened to few runners who booked online as early as June. Waited until 4pm only the issue resolved by downgrading my room to smaller room with shared bathroom. Dumped my bags into the room and I walked to Queensbay Mall for early dinner. The sky looked clouded and tentatively it will rain very soon. After a quick survey on the start area, its carbo-loading time :)
Serious Carbo-loading session
Back to the hotel after dinner. The hotel is renovated from a 3 stories link house, with at least 12 rooms. The hotel condition is so poor and I made a terrible mistake. First, the shared bathroom located on ground floor and my room located on the 1st floor. Second, the “room” was made of single layer gypsum board by boxing up the family area on 1st floor. As it located right next to staircase, I can actually tell what’s happening in the whole hotel. Third, the housekeeping is very poor and spiders’ webs are everyway (the photos on the hotel’s website only true if I came 2 years ago). Fourth, the hotel has no security and the access is free for all. I am on the bed since 7:30pm, but couldn’t sleep at all. Kids are running around, then some people having laugh conversation, and etc. like a drama on for the whole night. Finally, its 12:30am and the hotel start to get quiet down. Too bad, I need to wake up and prepare myself.
It is about 1.5km from the starting line, so I jogged slowly at 9min pace to the starting line for warming up. Hang around the area and say hi to familiar runners on the FM category. I felt relieved as I don’t need to run 42k now with minimum or no sleep, but I felt jealous too as I am only doing 21k. I promised myself I will back next year for a Full one. The FM flagged off on time and then followed by the HM on 3am. I stayed with 6:30 pace for the first 3km and then pushed up to 5:45 pace. May be due to lag of sleep, I found that I had some hard time to hang on with 5:45 pace, so the pace kept dropping from 5:45 to around 6:15. I completed the first 10k in 60 minutes right after the u-turn on the bridge. Tried to psycho myself to push harder when heading back to island, but didn’t work. Decided this is not my day and switched to 7min pace from 15km onwards. Felt some discomfort in the stomach around 20km, so used the run-walk-run strategy from there. Finished the 21km by 2:16’18” and felt great.
Got my finisher medal and headed direct to the baggage counter. Saw the hopeless queues as the 10k race is yet to start, and lots of runners trying to deposit their baggage. Lucky they dedicate a lane for withdrawal. No rain for the entire event, but the strong wind from sea kept us cool. This is the first time I felt my body cooling down so fast after the run, so I changed to a dry t-shirt to avoid caught the cold. Head back to the hotel to catch up some nap.
Overall, this is a good event and the experience of running on the bridge is unique. There are some complaints from FM runners, mainly on the out-of-water at varies water stations, finisher t-shirt giving out to non FM runners, joined & narrow finishing route with 10k and fun run (caused the walking human “wall” towards the finish line from 7:30am onwards, very tough to those exhausted 5:30~7:00 hours FM finishers). I will take note on these complaints and prepare myself for 2012 version (but seriously I hope the organizer do improved from the feedback, especially lots of them are repeated one).

Only one observation from me, the stress of the 1.5~3km on HM route are very dark. Some lamp pole out of service and we can’t see the road condition clearly. Worst still, the organizer assigned some scout to distribute 500ml water bottles here. I saw some runners ran on these poor scouts due to poor illumination. To me, the water station located just nice and no one needed those 500ml water bottles and it’s straightly a waste.

Learning from this race:
1. Don’t try new thing during a race and keep the routine practices. I brought a GU Chomps and use it for the first time. I haven’t used it and perhaps it causes my stomach discomfort (sure the lag of sleep contribute to this too).
2. It is tough to hope to have an improved finish time in HM, during FM training. I am training for a sub-6 FM, naturally my body is tuned to running at ~8min pace especially in long distances. It’s nearly impossible to reverse the tuned body overnight and hope it running on 5:40 pace for a sub-2 hours HM.
3. Touch & Go, or overnight trip for an outstation event is killing me. I already skipped some hassle by taking flight to Penang, but still the exhaustion is tough. So, I am planning to limit my outstation races next year. For PBIM 2012, I will bring along the family next year and stay longer in Penang before and after the event, for more makan & beach fun :)

Another 12 more days to SCMS.

Monday, November 14, 2011


This is one of the most famous race in Malaysia. I heard this race when I still in Primary school back in 80s. Once I had change to ride over the 13.5km Penang Bridge, I can’t belief there are actually lots of people will run the Bridge on this yearly event since 1985. After 1 year plus addicted to running, I will be one of the runners in this event on coming Saturday!

As I planned this race quite early, I am only registered to Half Marathon. By that time, I still planned to stick to 21k through out year 2011. No worry, there will always be a next year to run a full marathon on Penang Bridge. The race start at 3am (FM start at 2am), it will be tough to drive there from KL/Ipoh. So I will be taking the FireFly from Subang and reach Penang on Saturday afternoon, and return home on Sunday 3pm.

Game plan for this HM? Nope! I would like to focus more on my preparation for the SCMS, so this 21k will be on normal 6 minutes pace. No attempt on sub-2. Btw, I just got the confirmation from AECO that my unit arrived at their HQ and waiting to be transfer to Digital Mall. I will again running with my GF405CX and it will be easier to gauge my leading/lagging from sub-2 during the race. I may speed up on the 2nd half if I think I am doing well.

Not much training during last week as my brother getting married. Only managed slot in a long run on Saturday but can only do about 12.8k before the rain started. It had been a while I didn’t ran on Polo Ground in Ipoh. Felt it’s overcrowded during weekend morning 7~9am. I planned to run on Polo Ground until dawn then heading out to have some road running in Ipoh town, take about 8k and do few more laps back in Polo Ground to make up the 20k in total. From my observation, both main roads next to Polo Ground are not suitable for running. If next time I need to run around that area, I think I will run the inner roads only. I mapped few options to get a 10k road runs to prepare for my next round.

I will also take it easy from now on until SCMS. Maintaining 3x 5km during the weekdays and 10k + 20k over the weekend. My body will need the 45k weekly mileage to keep in shape & tuning, for at least 2 more weeks.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

LSD and Training

October was a good training month. Although I only did mostly 5km runs during weekday, but I clocking 50+ km per week with mainly Saturday-Sunday back to back LSD in 20~25km. I hadn’t done any LSD for 30km. So, over the last long weekend, I planned to use the PACM LSD at BA-Hartamas to challenge the 30km.

As usual, I wake up early but arrive late at BA car park. Start on 6:10am, so it will be a tough day for more then 30km. Anyway, it’s a beautiful morning for running with cooling from the previous night rains, and PACM was serving Gatorade in both water stations. I completed the 10km without any issue. Surprised to see the Petronas was under renovation, so no toilet and water to rinse away my sweat. I headed back to Jalan Duta and looping back to Hartamas after the Masjid via Matrade. Detour to Hartamas Shopping Complex for 7-Elevent. I don’t carry power gel so I needed some replenishment of fuel. Returned to Petronas only after 8:45am, and PACM water station actually ran out of supply and packed up early. I made up my mind and headed back to BA without any stops. Ended up I ran 29km in about 4 hours.

I would considered that I improved from 2 of my previous FM. I am now able to reprogram my mental state to follow the course I fixed before each run and complete them without too much of mumbling. This allows me to face the 25~30km without major issue and perhaps I will be able to complete the FM distances in 6 hours now. The reopen of PBIM FM registration actually tempted me to swap my category, but I held back as it’s too closed to SCMS. The PBIM will stay as a 21km speed works. Btw, AECO finally came back to me (after I called them twice) said the GF405CX will return latest by next week. So I will have a better manage of my pace in PBIM.

Also, the ITBFS seem to be at ease now and I am not nursing any injury on the rest of the parts. The legs & knees still felt soreness and tiredness after each long run, but nothing really serious. I will tune down the training intensity this week onwards to 30~40km per week until SCMS.

25 more days until SCMS.