Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Race Report: PACM Back to basic 30k

Like I said in previous post, running 30k alone in LSD is very tough and mentally challenging. So, what is better than having few hundred more people training together with you on a beautiful Sunday morning? I signed up this event immediately when it opened. The route is very challenging. We start from Padang Merbuk, the reverse double hills, and then run one round of Hartamas Height. That only counted 15k when we back in where we started, 2nd loop is there waiting for us.

I didn’t train specifically for this event, just make sure that I had my normal short runs during the weekdays and I should be ok to complete this 30k. The only concern will be the temperature. I will at least spending 3.5 hours on the road in order to complete the 30k. Looking at the recent weather, it will be on the extreme, either a very wet run or a very hot run. But we had some luck that morning, the weather is running friendly and the sun only came out 7:30am.
After the 1st loop, don't know why I am so happy :P
On the 2nd loop around 24k, can't smile anymore ;P
The event flagged off around 5:30am. Lots of participants still chit-chatting and taking picture when we flagged off. Everyone seems to have the same plan, “take it easy and have fun”. That’s what in my mind too, back to basic and have fun :)  I enjoyed every single pieces of this event. The challenging and changing terrain made the event even more enjoyable. Not much issue on the 1st loop, and I think I handled the mentality challenge posted by the 2nd loop quite well. The reason for me to signing up these long distances events/races is to see how far I can go when my energy drained off. The few marathons I did previously gave me the experience of coming back or running on reserved tank after the main one drained off. I repeated this thought whenever the mind trying to shut down the legs when the sun is high up, magically there were always some new energy coming up when I dig deep enough. This kept me going and the GF910XT only recording about 600m of walking in this 30km run (mainly over the water stations and a short distances around 28k). Finished the 30k (slightly under distance, recorded 29.62km only, may be I cut too much corners) in 3:36’45”.
As usual, plenty of food and refreshment served after the finish line. Took lots of watermelons to make sure I replenish the hydration level. Waited a bit to collect the special PACM finisher-T for SCKLM 2012, loved the design but the event was in June, it will be much better if we can have it earlier. No complain about the even, everything smoothly organized. My only suggestion will be providing icy-cold water/Gatorade at the water stations. The weather is tough after the 9am and the cold water will be great help.

Coming weekend will be a short run in CICM. Only doing 10k so I don’t over stressed my body before the PBIM. Tapering will start after that event, but I doubt that I will slow down significantly. Really looking forward to PBIM, which will be my last race for year 2012.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Race Report: Putrajaya Night Marathon 2012

This is my 7th full marathon. Like all other runners, I was expecting a wet night run in Putrajaya. The sky was so dark when I am on my way to Putrajaya and no one will belief that we will eventually don’t have a single rain dropped that night, and the whole morning before the flag-off was dry and sunny too.

Arrived the parking around 6:40pm, already the parking is filled with cars and runners. Walked around the starting line and bounced into Khoo and his family. He was volunteer last PNM but this year only come to show support. Met with Nick before we were called into the starting pen. Not much warming up for me as I think the slow pace will only do the warming up on the route. The race flagged off right on time. I ran with Nick from the start. I think we started too fast, the pace for the first 10k was around 6.5~7 minutes, which is too fast for my target (but too slow for Nick :P). I knew that my under-trained condition will not allow me to hold on to this pace, so I just slowed down at 10k water station and Nick continued to pushed on.

This year got more runners in full marathon category, the route don’t felt so lonely this time. But this time I got new problem to deal with… I felt sleepy! This is the first time I felt sleepy in the middle of the race. The sleepiness really took away my pace and I beginning to slow down to some walking break from 21k onward. We were running on the long boring stretch of the highway at this point. Used varies methods to kept myself awake, counting lamp poles, cons, cars, and people passed me; stopped at all water stations too.

Finally, reached the 30k u-turn point and collected the gel at 33k (I don’t bring gel with caffeine). I gulped in the gel and slowly ramped up my pace again. Anyway, that the hilly section of the route started, and continued all the way to the finish. I had to reconfigured my running / walking mode. Walking up all the climbs and running on the declines and the flat route. I found that I actually enjoy doing this! Slowly regain my momentum, and I started to run all the way from 40k. Crossed the finish line in 5:46’13”.

Charging to the finish line.
Overall, organizer did a great job in PNM 2012. My only request for 2013 version will be allowing more runners to join the full marathon category (only about 800 of us registered this year). Putrajaya have wide open road to handle more 42km runners, properly this can be grow to 3rd biggest marathon event in Malaysia.

Good thing from this race, my feet seem recovered or the focus on the running gaits really help on it condition. I have one more full marathon (PBIM) to test out my goal of sub-5 marathon. I will need to ramp up the training to normal level now. Can I achieve my goal in Penang? We shall see :)

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Just happened to browse thru the Dailymile site today, and saw this beautiful number on my total mileage. I started in Dailymile few months after I ran regularly, so I guess the total mileage since Sept 2010 will be about 500km more? I used to keep checking on these numbers especially the pounds/donuts burned, those were my motivation on my early stage of running. Rounding the world is another interesting number to looking at. I know this mileage is not really significant compared to some of the running hardcore, but I just wish to keep a record to mark down the distances I went so far. Hopefully, the running journey will continue until I rounded the world few times :)     …. btw, how far is it around the world?

Less than 48hours to my 7th Full Marathon.
See you guys in Putrajaya!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Race Report: KRI Anniversary Run 2012

This is my first ever bandit into a race. Incase you are not aware what is bandit a race is all about, it means running in a race without registration. Why I did this? I did that just for fun and I planned to support myself all the way from the starting line. The only resource I used is the marshals and traffic control, so I think it is ok to try it out. The initial feeling is ok, but I don’t really felt great after bandit a race. I quite agreed with the blog HERE. Guess this will be the first and the only bandit race I got for experience sick.

The right feet still feeling some pain, I grounded for few days to see if it will heal by weekend. But sadly the pain was still there when I did my 7k on Saturday morning. Anyway, as I need some long distances run to see if I can go for next week Putrajaya Night Marathon, I decided still give it a go. The drizzling started about 30 minutes before the race flag off, just nice to wet the road and give some nice cooling ambience to start with. I started with very conservative pace, stay with the 6:45~7 minutes pace all the way to 7km. This is to test water to see how my feet doing, and I need to save the water in my Gatorade 500ml bottle until 17km.

The route is actually very flat with only an overhead bridge at the start and the end. Great PB route but I am really not in condition to push for one. Btw, Jalan Kuala Kangsar is really not very good for runners and traffic is heavy even in the Sunday morning. When we directed to cross a traffic light @ 7km into the Tasek Industrial Park, I found that I am running all alone and the traffic police under lots of honks and pressured me to go faster. The right feet straight away complaining right after that, I need to slow down and adjusting my landing to see if I can continue. Lucky, the pain subsided after a while and I continued my 7 minutes pace without issue. After the industrial park, we got detoured to a housing area for another u-turn. Then back to the main road, I stopped by the Shell petrol station @ 17km for a Gatorade. Without much hesitates, I up my pace to 6.3 minutes and hold it up until finished with 2:22'17".
Running with the free t-shirt from MPIB 2013 Running clinic
Great things about this race,
1. Great organizing especially on the water stations, the supplies are plenty (eventhough I didn’t use any of the supply).
2. Route is relatively flat, good if you aiming for PB.
3. Ipoh race, plenty of lenglui (pretty girls) running in this race. You always got a reason running right in front of you to run faster to chasing them.

The only thing to improve will be the traffic control, especially on those traffic lights crossing points. Saw a near miss for the 10k lead runner stopped for traffic.

Overall a great event and I will come back next year to run as an official participant. On a side note, the registration fees for this event is actually on the high side. Lets hope that next year they will improve on this too.