Monday, August 13, 2012

Restarting Engine

Running had been one of the essential parts of my life since Sept 2010. As I peak my training mileages in March this year, it seems to be some over-trained effect posted on me. I find it hard to head right out the door eventhough I am still waking up on 4:30am. I normally dragged myself until 5:30~5:45am so that I only had enough time for 4~7km. The impact is clearly shown on the monthly running log. I am not really good at self reflection, so it took some time for me to make up my own story about this. The 11 days of grounding period that without running at all really helps.
Two main points (which there are not really stand alone) to summarize this,
1. Running is not solely for enjoyment anymore.
2. Sense of achievement some time can be too heavy to bear.

It is good to have a training plan and adhere to it to achieve a preset goal. It is embedded on my personality that I will normally felt depression after a big event, especially there are nothing else will be happen in the near future. Like we usually joked about the incline in a route, every ascent will be follow by a descent. The achievement is great, but we will later need to endure the down side of the story. Sadly, running which give big sense of achievement fall nicely into this model.

In other term, as long as I trained enough and did it right on the race day, the sub-5 marathon goal is really achievable for me. But I think I am too afraid to ask myself, what’s next? I am happy if I am running a 4 hours plus marathon, but I think I will need to put in many more effort if I wish to improve further, and it may tentatively take away the fun part from this activity. Eventually, I will hit my best and how should I handle that situation?

I wish I could have the answer to myself, but I don’t, at least for now. I am still running because I signed up some races and I still enjoy reading my fellow runners’ blogs FB posts. I am trying out some new thoughts and ways to handle the feeling. Isn’t that life always is? I am consider lucky that I am still understand my own feeling and able to put up some thoughts about it. May be one day I will be able to overcome the huddle and become more invincible to my emotion swing. I will settle with what I had for now. One good thing that I learned from running long distances, focus to your current step!
The Olympics Men Marathon last night gave me some adrenaline to continue. Meb Keflezighi can still come back after 8 years and finished at 4th at age 37. Stephen Kiprotich from Uganda running at his own pace and stayed on the chasing pack until 37km before he take the lead, break out 200m from the Kenyan and claimed the gold medal.
Meb Keflezighi took over the 4th place on the final stretch
Stephen Kiprotich win the 2012 Olympics Marathon.
Both Olympics 2012 photos taken from internet source:

I am restarting my engine now for the River Jungle Marathon in 9 Sept. No sub-5 expected from this marathon. I think I missed lots of scenes and other fun during my first marathon last year. I will take my own sweet time to enjoy this route again.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Race Report: Pacemakers 8th Anniversary Relay Run Series 1

This is my first relay event. Thanks for KY who brought us together from Dailymile to take part in this event. The event organized by Pacemaker in conjunction to celebrate their 8th anniversary. This is the series 1 which flagged off in Tapak A at KL Lake Garden, with the distance of 3.2km per leg. Four of us (Lina, Nick & CK, KY last minute pulled out due to injury) will run the same distances and same route, which inclusive rounding the lake for 2km, and then climb up many stairs before continue for the balanced 1+km.
Team photo before the race
About 1.5km rounded the lake, before the dreadful stairs
Final km, after the dreadful stairs
Happy faces team photo, after the completion
This is a high speed event, so I put in some speed repeats for the last 2 weeks workouts. It’s turned out the effort well paid off. I ran the fastest 3km in my life with the 4:38 & 4:54 minutes pace for the first 2km. Running in 2nd leg after Lina. Like most of the participants, I sprinted to my limit for the first 2k until the stairs, and then walked up those stairs. Finished my leg with 16’30”, and the team finished in a total time of 1:08’53” for the 4x 3.2km, placed 44 out of the total 80 teams. Happy with the result and glad that we will not going for the series 2 eventhough we will missed the medal in Autobat design (the organizer claimed that is a much challenging route compared to series 1).
An overview of the stairs on the 2nd km of the route
Finisher Medal - Decepticons
The relay was really fun and we can go all out for sprinting as the distances are short. The other great experience is cheering and being cheer by the team members and others. Many photographers were supporting this event. The FB wall is flooded with photos from this event. The above photos taken by varies supporters from FB.

Now is about time to restart my training plan for the sub-5 marathon goal, a nice 16 training weeks from the APBIM. But life won’t the free from obstacles and went smoothly. My works and family demanding more time at this moment, and the hazel just returned to KL. Lots of adjustment needed to fulfill my goal, but all these obstacles will only make the final result taste better. I will return to my first marathon race, RJM for its 2012 edition on 9/9/12. Looking at the elevation at Bukit Hantu, I will be happy if I complete this marathon within 5.5~6 hours.

Happy Running!