Tuesday, December 17, 2013

5000KM into Running

I started running for more than 3 years now. First I used Sport Tracker for mileages records, and then slowly I moved to DailyMile since March 2011. Why I faithfully login my training mileages? I used them to encourage myself to continue. Like what I read from Haruki Murakami’s book about running, me too got tones of reasons to not running every morning, but only few kept me going. Hence I need to carefully preserve those few. The statistic, analysis, equivalent numbers of donuts, TV powered, around the world, etc. do spark the interest of keep going. I also loved the interaction between runners in the DailyMile and met some great running friends like Lina, Nick and Kah Yen.
Now 3 years passed and I cumulated 5000km training mileages (with 200km of cycling earlier this year), just to reflect on my progress so far,
1. Started running with the intention to loss weight, now I am 18kg lighter than the time I started. 10kg from the first year, then it stayed around 70-73kg for 2 years until I started follow the training program and control my diet, now is 65kg.
2. Running getting faster. My first 10km race was about 90 minutes, and now its 55 minutes. My first 21km race was about 2:25’, and now its 2:03’. My first 42km race was about 6:31’, and now its 4:59’.
3. Completed 2 oversea FM, Singapore and Germany (Munich)
4. Started to felt that I had too much of medals in collection, and some time paying too much for a short race.
5. Calves, knees, ankles, lower back and some others parts I don’t know the name are suffering regular soreness (and some time pain), like all other seasonal runners does.

60 more days to my first Ultra 50km.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

New Year Resolution 2014

Only now I start to plan for my 2014, I awared that I had 2 sets of goals in both DailyMile and in my Blog.
Goals set at DailyMile,
1. 4x Full Marathon
2. Sub-5 in Full Marathon
3. Control weight at 65kg
I achieved all these goals (the weighing scale started to show 65-66kg now).
Goals set at Blog,
1. 1x Barefoot Marathon
2. Sub-5 in Full Marathon
3. Sub-2 in Half Marathon
4. Control weight at 66kg
I only completed 2 out of 4. Barefoot running take a back seat this year. Even though I still race on and off with barefoot, but it more like for fun instead of training up to FM distances. The next will be sub-2 HM, I completed the last HM in 2:03. Let’s leave it for next year.
I am now following the Hansons Marathon Method training program. The recent two PB are obviously from the training program. I am excited with the result so far. I was not really good in following training program, all my previous program will only lasted for 2-3 weeks. Now I am actually completed phase one of the Beginner program and partially into phase two (8 weeks into training). Missed few workouts but mostly are on schedule. The weekly mileages stacking up to 65km, and ran 216km in November. I expected more to come in December and January before shifting back to low gear for tapering in February for the 50KM in Titi 100.

So it’s again the time to plan for 2014, I am actually struggled to find enough races to fill up my once a month quota. There will sure be lots of shorter or longer races come up later, so I will live with what I had here for time being. For half marathon, I will skip Brooks HM and Seremban HM, adding in the Bidor, Ipoh KRI (not sure the date) and PNM HM (don’t want to back to back FM weekend). 3 x 42km and 2 x Ultra. The Taipei Marathon will be part of the family vacation plan :)

MPIB Run, 12KM
Titi 100, 50KM
Bidor Half Marathon, 21KM
Larian HKSAS, 15KM
B2E, 12 hrs Ultra
River Jungle Marathon, 42KM
Taipei Marathon, 42KM

Target for 2014,
1. Complete a sub 4.5hrs Full Marathon
2. Complete a sub 2hrs Half Marathon
3. Complete a 52min 10k
4. Control weight around 65kg

Don’t think I will venture into full time Barefoot running soon, will continue to focus on speed training to expose my limit.

Hope the new year will be as fruitful as 2013.

Happy running!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Race Report: GM Klang Run For It 7

If I took out all Setia Alam races (2x CICM), then this is my first race in Klang. I didn’t know why I always missed races in Klang, and this year I only did 2 half marathons, hence I sign up this race as soon as it open up. No target set for the race but as it was at the mid of my training plan, I would like to check if the training workout positively.

From the last week’s 10k, I knew better on my current fitness level. So the plan will be hold up an easy pace (<150BPM) for the first half, then speed up to the finish line after 12km. Only I wish to avoid the repeat the previous mistake of pushing too hard, hence the max heart rate should be 170BPM. I will be looking for another PB if I able to stay between 5.9-6.1 min pace all the way. Btw, the race is on a very flat route you normally don’t see in other local races.

The race flagged off on 5:35am, I started slow but steady around 6.5 min pace. Not too many runners in this category and the road are wide in this part of the town, the crowds eased after 1km. I sped up to the target pace of 5.9min. Heart rate was steady and stayed below 150BPM, and start to overtaking other runners. Said hello to few familiar runners until I met my colleague Fong. He is going with about 6 min pace, and I figured that I should stay at my current pace (I was still speeding, almost 5.5min pace right before I met him) hence we ran and pace each other at the 6 min pace. The race felt much easier when you had some company. We exchanged some stories and office gossip, 12km just past like that. We merged with 10km runners, and then is time for me to push on.

I knew that I had lots left in the tank, so I took my PowerGel at 12km and sped on alone. The burst only last for 1km, then not too sure what was the reason, may be I was too comfortable with the company, the formation of the blister on my toes or the route is just plain boring. I lost the steam to stay on 5.5min. I can only push my best to sustain the speed at 5.9-6.1min pace. The situation finally over after I stopped by the water station at 18km to refill my bottle. I then sped all the way to the finish line and completed with a PB of 2:03’35” (Fong did returned with a PB too).
Towards the finish line. Photo thanks to KelvinTan.my
Finisher Medal and PB for Half Marathon
Overall, the race is ok. I enjoyed the flat route, the friendly water stations volunteers and the check point volunteers (as they busy recording top runners from other categories, I reported my number just to make some fun out of it, the response was great). On the other hand, the organizing part got nothing to shout on. Water stations gave out 350ml bottles to all runners, some sections no marshals, traffic control only at most of the big junctions (this may not be an issue as we don’t observed heavy traffic during the race). And the best part was my medal… I got a finisher medal of 10km, on a race that I got my half marathon PB. Only realized it when I reached home and I wouldn’t drive all the way back to Klang just to exchange it. Anyway, I will still return to this race next year. I will push harder for my sub-2 HM target here :)

The PB shown the result from the training program, and I am heading to the right direction. Also I reconfirmed my targeted marathon pace with my 10k and HM race result, hence the 4.5 hours finishing time is achievable. I will continue to stick on my training program and enjoying few short races in between. 69 days until the big 50KM race.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Race Report: CICM 10KM 2013

This race becomes part of my office routine, another year into the corporate challenge. Some of the members not able to make it as the race rescheduled from September, we had 2 new team members this year. No pre-race meeting as we all knew that the Managing Director will be at the race site on that morning so we need to win! And we did, successfully defend the champion this year. The event is some how less eventful compared to last year. I think about 400-500 in the HM and 800-1000 in the 10k. Many withdrawn from this race as it not only rescheduled, but also moving back to Setia Alam from Putrajaya. We are 3rd times running the same route since CICM moved to Setia Alam from Bukit Jalil. And you can see how much the township built up from scratch.
Didn't bring the Official Event T :P
As I am mid way thru my training program, I took this as one of the training pace determination run. If the race result matched or better than my training pace, then I will continue with the current training pace, else, a revise may be required. The training pace I picked needed a 10k pace of 5:52, which converted to a finishing time of 58’40” for the 10k. So my plan was starting with 5.5min pace, and speed up to may be 5min pace after the 3rd water station heading back to finish line.

Reached the starting point 5:30am and walked around to finish my breakfast. Not long, the HM was flagged off around 6:15am (I still think is ridicules to flag off a 21k race in Malaysia after 6am). I started my warming up after used the toilet. We gather into the starting pen around 6:40am and flagged off on 6:45am. The start off was kind of packed, but lucky the traffic police block off the traffic on the main road. I started with 6min pace due to the congestion, but managed to catch up the plan 5.5min pace after flying off the descent. With the momentum I pushed a bit to 5.1min pace on the 2nd KM. Then I slow down and kept a decent effort on maintaining the 5.5min pace. The crowd was cleared. The heart rate was already 168BPM, but I was not panic like last year (knew very well that you need to push hard to get speed, and I held up that HR for few hours in my last marathon). I stopped at all 3 water stations for half cup of water, for hydration and regulate the heart rate. The heart rate actually stayed at below 168BPM until the 3rd water station at 8km before I decided to push harder.

The race was too short for a second wind, hence the decision to push harder was a difficult one. The speed again went up to 5.1-5.2min pace, but I was not able to maintain my heart rate this time. It’s burst from 170BPM all the way to 197BPM and my Garmin made hell lots of noise due to heart rate high alarm. No choice but to hold back and slow down. Finished the race with 55’28”, 8 seconds PB from last year race (I can continue with my training pace now and aim for a 4.5hours full marathon).
The paces for both races are very similar. 2 biggest lost time for this year race compared to last year, was the start up (I didn’t get to the front like last year), and I didn’t push after climbing the 2nd incline at the 5th KM. Overall pace kept very well at 5.4-5.5 min pace at 5-8th KM. And the heart rate kept very well below 170BPM until I pushed. One of the possible improvements will be the push (apart from starting in front). I should push earlier and not too hard. It’s really not a very good feeling when your heart rate went beyond the maximum (safe exercise zone).

Next week will be my 3rd HM for 2013. I will try to challenge my PB (2:07’19”), just keep going with the 6.0-6.1 min pace and I will reach another PB. Sub-2? May be next year :)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Training update: Hansons Marathon Method

After 12 full marathons, I achieved my first sub-5 hours (hopefully is the first one). I didn’t follow any kind of training plan as I am not really good to follow thru the 16 weeks routine and all my training was ad hoc. But now I started to wonder if this will be my limit, or what will be my potential if I follow thru some training plan. And Nick introduced the Hansons Marathon Method to me.

I must say I am totally bought over to the ideas shared in this book. The layout of the information is very well and it’s explained the training program before jump into the training time table. I spent some time to first digest the information, and then I spend some time looking into my time table and an event that fit into the timing to test out the result. That’s why I register myself to my first ultra 50km. Back to the training program, it’s explained why the speed work, tempo, strength building and long run, and why the program layout into a full 6 days per week workout.

I picked to start with Beginner program, cause I needed the rest and I got not confidence at all after I looked thru the weekly mileages required in the Advanced program. Beginner program started with 25-35km per week, then step up to 55-68km when speed work kicked in. Then shifted to higher gear when strength building run kicked in, peak with a whopping 85km per week. I can tell you I never ran that much before in a week! Maximum in my records was 60km only, and that’s only happened once! I am sure if I can survived this training program, I will be running any marathon with a comfortable pace (sub-5 will not be an issue any more).
Pace setting for the training program is slightly less emphasized. For any target pace you wished to follow during your race, a set of training paces recommended. So you can move up the target pace (together with set of training paces) if you later found that the pace is too easy, or slowing down if the program is getting too hard for you. Anyway, in order to identify one target pace, the past racing pace should be used. If you ran a 5.5 marathon previously, probably starting with the relevant training paces will be good. For me, I check out the easy pace (7:08 min) that I usually do, then look up to the target pace (6:24 min), which is a 4.5 hours marathon finish time. May be an ambitious target, but let give it a try and see how far I will last in the training plan, and adjust later.

The first test will be the 10k race on 1st Dec. It is recommended in the book to reconfirm the training pace if you have no completed any marathon, by doing a 10k race full out at around 7 week into the beginner training program. Hence I will try to match or better the training pace of 5:52 min. I was doing a 5:22 min pace last year on the same race (pushed hard due to company assignment to win in cooperate category), hopefully I can repeat the same result this year. And then I will comfortably use this set of training pace for the rest of the program.

Anyway, the final test will not be a marathon, but a 50km ultra @ Titi 100. I will need to adjust my 5 hours target for 42km to something like 6.5 hours for the 50km. The target looks great! Let see how far I can go with the training program for the next 94 days.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Race Report: Salomon X-Trail 2013

My 3rd barefoot race, and the first one on trail. The decision to barefoot on this event is mainly just for fun. I didn’t put in any training on trail and my last trail run was January 2011 (was only less than 2km on trail plus other in Lake Garden area, in a Cross Country event by FTAAA KL), it’s not even in my blog :P  I don’t have any target, just planned to have some fun and play with some mud.

It was hot in Saturday, but the early morning rain before the race start made the race more interesting. Arrived the MAEPS site around 6:20am, and it already packed with runners. Preparation was simple, just took off the sandal and walked to the starting point. Hang around the area to chatted with some other barefooters (I am not the only crazy one in this race) before we headed to the flag off point. Flagged off on time and we are heading towards the trail which is about 1.5km away. I just kept a comfortable 6.5 min pace.

Once I entered the trail, ops, I felt regretted to barefoot as there is a trail filled with lots of stones & pebbles. No choice but to slow down to brisk walking and needed to be mindful to put down every step. Lots of runners overtook me, I started to get used to this humble feeling. I only ran when the trail surface is dirt, mud or grass. Uphill is relatively easy for barefoot, but descending on the stones/pebbles filled trail barefoot is really painful. So most of the time I did the reverse compared to other runners, running uphill, walking down hill. The pace is awful 10-11min walking pace for that whole 4km trail section.

Finally the trail ended at about 6km mark. All runners heading back to the finish line via tarmac. I slowly pick up some speed here and finish the under distances (7.18km only) race with 1:09. Luck, no damage on both soles (only the usual water blisters formed and gone).
Thanks Dexter for the nice photo towards the finish line.
Overall the race is very well organized. Organizer and volunteers did great to make this happened and everyone had fun. Overhead some one said the route cut short due to rain and some section is not safe to run. It will be great if the organizer can announced up front the short in distances.

With out sufficient trail training and the race was jam-packed with another thousand plus runners on the trail, I don’t think I could run any faster even if I went in with VFF/sandal, hence the decision to play with barefoot still a great choice. With this race, at least I confirmed that I am not really for trail running (at least at this point of time, hard to say never especially after you read the story about the road racing Carboman Jamie also started flying over those trails).

No matter on what surface, keep running :)

Friday, October 25, 2013

Race Report: Adidas KOTR 2013

This is my 2nd barefoot race so far, and first time I joined KOTR. The previous editions often crashed with other races, so I planned to sign up this event immediately after it announced. Eventually it still crashed (or some say back-to-back) with Putrajaya Night Marathon, but the choice was easy cause I ran in PNM for the pass two years.

The race started from Sunway Pyramid, actually just 6.5km from my place. The plan A is to run from home, do the race, and run back to home, then I will clocked 30km in total. But I don’t really had a race in near future needed this LSD, so plan B, to cycle from home. Reached the venue with about 10 minutes before flag off, rushed thru the baggage checkin and breakfast, then I joined the big crowd in the starting pen to start off from the back. Then we were flagged off on time. Expected from this kind of popular event, the starting part was people mountain people sea. The human wall only starts to clear up a bit after 5km.
I decided to run a full barefoot race, hence didn’t bring along any spare tires. I concluded that it felt really good to ran barefoot on NPE. I was too excited and speeding all the way! The pace maintained at 6 min/km at until 7th km, overtook lots of people until I hit the usual limit of my soles. I am lacking of barefoot training, hence the soles are not conditioned to go long distances or go very fast. From the previous experience, I knew very well that the soles still were doing fine, no actual damages yet, but they getting too sensitive now. No choice but to slow down to 7.2-7.8 min/km. Then lots of people I overtook earlier not overtook me. The stamina and muscles were all doing fine, but the soles can’t kept up now, it felt terrible. Key notes, must plan and adhere to race strategy. Finally, finished the race on 1:52’08”, with a great relief.
People mountain people sea, but start to clear off now.
Entertainment at the U-turn point.
Merging with the 10k runner.
Finally finished.
Nice Finisher Medal.
Hang around with some barefoot kaki and took some photos, then heading back home to checkout the damages on the soles. There were 2 water and 1 blood blisters formed. I didn’t pop them, just clean up the surface and let it heal by itself (didn’t felt them anymore until Monday evening, and Tuesday morning I can continue my usual running). Think these blisters are from the soles condition, and the speed I started. I should be doing fine for the whole 16.8km if I only go with 6.5-7min/km.
Barefoot kaki Hawaii style!
When barefooters met the Viking...
 Overall, this was a great event with the overall closure of NPE. The only draw back will be the number of participants. Most of the participants are not regular runners, so you need to anticipate the human wall at the start, and dodging lots of people who slowed down half way (me inclusive this round).

Now, back to regular training plan. Signed up a big one in February next year, and planned to follow the Handsons Marathon Method. Btw, I have not much confident on myself to take in the whole 17 weeks of training program. Since the program started this Monday, I already missed 2 workouts :P

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Race Report: Munich Marathon

My new role gave me the change to travel to Munich this year for 4 times to attend some training. I didn't realize that the change for an oversea marathon came when I got the news that my last training week will change to October. I was planned to join my other colleagues to visit one of the trainer at Vienna. Later I had to drop the plan to visit to the beautiful city.

I been barking on to sub-5 in my marathon timing for 2 years and to be frank, I am very disappointed with my SCKLM result. I hoped to improve from last year but some how I didn't performed that day. Now I put some hope into this marathon cause the believes of
1. Runners perform better in cold weather.
2. It’s a relatively flat course.
I wished to improve the timing even if I need to seek for compensation of my limit in a cold weather.

I spent the whole week attending training and walked lots in safety boots. Both legs felt like iron rods each evening and the right calf even cramped in one night. I was thinking "Shit! I am going to shrewd up big time this weekend!" Fortunately, these legs got some rest with only 3k running gears test run, and the walk/shopping around on Saturday helps to relax them. Race kit collection done in Saturday morning. It also had a 4k fun run in traditional costume. Spotted a sarong man but didn't manage to talk to him. The run looks really fun but the weather was still very cold (~6°C) hence I only watched the flag off and quickly moved into the event area.
Finisher Medal (gingerbread hearth) for the Traditional Costume Run
Spotted Sarong Man!
Surprised by the first booth - Leguana, the Germans barefoot running shoes/gloves. Tried the shoes and it’s very comfortable to wear. But the price tag of €69 put me off. It’s still cheaper than VFF, maybe a possible replacement for it later (btw, from my observation, I was the only one running in VFF). Race bib collection was easy and lots of things happening in the event area. I spent almost 2 hours shopping, plus looking at the expert demo on how to fix the KT tape. Got all the supplies that I needed, and I took a different route with the tram back into the town. Time to do some shopping! Had a great dinner at one famous Bavarian restaurant, then head back to hotel around 8pm. Went to bed around 10pm and set the alarm to 6am. No rush like back in homeland, the race only flag off by 10am.
Race day morning, woke up earlier than the alarm, a bit pre-race anxious. What is my game plan? I planned to go with a consistent pace of 7min, as usual. It was still drizzling outside hence the concern was too cold to run. But it was too late to DNS now. Put on all the gear, took the hotel breakfast, then off to take the trains to the stadium. The organizer provided a big enough event bag for baggage check in, so I used it, and lots of other runners too. Hence it's very obvious that morning if you are going to do the marathon. There was only handful of us in the first bus I hoop on, then growing into plenty when I changed a train, and eventually in the last train to the stadium, the whole train was filled with participants! The race comrades came early! "We are going to do this!"
Paranormal view of the stadium
Before start
Starting line
The sun came out!
Reached the stadium with 45 minutes to spare, as they divided the baggage check in by every thousand, no queue at all. I just found a corner near by my 6000+ counter, took away all the warm clothes, and start to warming up slowly. The sky still gloomy and the sun didn't seem to coming out soon, but at least the rain stopped. I got a plastic bag to use as temporary warmer. Headed to the starting line around 9:45am. It's 2km from the stadium to the starting line, so I jogged slowly to keep myself warm. The race will flagged off in 3 waves. 10am for those sub-3 and elites. 10:10am for those 3-4 hours, and 10:20am for everyone else. So I started at the back as usual. The wave 1 flagged off with a big bang and instantly the sun came out and it started to warm up. It was beautiful and we made the weather! Waited no more and off we go.

Even though this was my 4th visit to this city, but I only covered very limited areas. The marathon route will brought me to some areas that I never visited before. We started from Olympic Stadium, heading to the city for a u-turn in front of Ludwig Maximilian University and ran into the famous English Garden. That will be the first part that covered 16km. Then we continue heading east and running past mostly sub-urban areas and we will turn to west after the starting point of the half marathon. After 24km, we will past the Munich East station and followed by the Deutsches Museum, and we are moving into downtown. From 27-32km, we will run thru the city center - Marianplatz and detour into the University area until 36km, finally we heading back to the stadium to the finish line.

After 4km, there will be a water station about every 2.5km. So I decided to abandon my water bottle, and first time running a marathon without a bottle on my hand. The first part of the race was easy going. I kept a consistent 6.5-7min pace, lots of people pass me and I needed to try very hard to avoid speeding up. The first challenge of the day came before I reached English Garden at 8km mark, I felt hungry! The breakfast was 4 hours ago, and I needed food! This wasn’t the usual marathon that I did back home, which happened mostly at ungodly hours and I can do without food replenishment. Luck they served banana from the 10km water station onwards, I made sure I took some from each water station. Observed some runners ran with a piece of sponge, I knew that the race will not provide sponge, but as the sweating level reduced, I wonder why people need sponge. But even you felt less thirsty in cold weather, but you still sweating during the run. I was drinking about 300ml of water from each station (about full one cup), sometime more. So what happened to those sweat came out on your face? They dried out and formed salt! Runners wet the sponge to wipe the salt off. Lucky I only felt them after I completed the run.

Exist from the English Garden we entered the sub urban area. This session of the route is like our normal housing area training run, not much excitement factor to share. But from time to time we pass some cheering groups that offered aid, music and even beer! At 2:24, I pass the half marathon starting point. From the start until now, the Garmin Pacer (virtual partner set at 7min/km) never passes me. So I still had enough time for my target. It’s getting hard to kept the pace now. If you think you will enjoy a better speed under the cold weather, you probably are wrong. My hearth rate stayed 150-160BPM since the beginning. The cold weather may only reduced the stress factor, so you can stay on with high hearth rate for longer. The sun had come out, most of the runners trying to follow the shed but I was on the other hand, following the sun. Even thought it’s noon time, it was cold when there is wind. I needed the sun to keep me warmed.

After 28km, back into the downtown area and we passes some office building and followed by the city center – Marianplatz. If you read until this point, you may wonder how the traffic control was. I can tell you, no issue at all. This is the marathon that 75% of the route had barriers that separate running route from traffic (being cars, trams, buses, bicycles and pedestrians), from the starting point, all the way back to finish line. Only few sessions that goes without barriers, mainly in the sub urban area and some part of the downtown area, where the incoming traffic is blocked outside of the city. This is the advantage of the city with great public transport. Btw, most of the shops are closed on Sunday, it helps on the traffic control.

After Marianplatz, at 32km, we can see the Siegestor, the Roman-style triumphal arches that we pass earlier in the first u-turn. But we still need to detour into the University, until 36km. And finally, we were heading back to the finish line. At this point of time, the Garmin Pacer passes me for the first time. I knew that I will had 4 minutes to spare if the course measured to 42.195km, but as my pace started to drop below to 8, it was too much risk to take. I must keep going! The sub-5 target was the only thing in my mind that time. Hearth rate goes beyond 160BPM, didn’t care! Left calf felt like going to cramp, didn’t care! Gear up and keep going!

Lots of runners finished and cheering us along the way back to stadium. Ran pass the starting point, I just needed to keep going! Ran pass the stadium perimeter, finally, we ran pass a dark tunnel passage with dry ice smoke came out, 2 photographers taking photos! So dramatic! I saw the light at the end of the tunnel, and heard the cheering of the crowds inside the stadium! Like a champion, I entered the stadium with pride. But the excitement won’t last long, still another 400m to go and the clock is 4:56 now. Drained my last drop of energy, sprint thru the final lap inside the stadium, I clocked a net time of 4:59’57”. It was definitely a fantastic experience to finish in an Olympic Stadium. And achieving the sub-5 target definitely a bonus!
Paranormal view of the stadium, when I finished!
One Happy PB Finisher!
Served beer at the finish area, alcohol free...
In conclusion, I am happy that I achieved my target, but clearly I was still not ready for a sub-5 back home. Lots of improvement needed if I wanted to achieve the same result in Malaysia climate. Also, the cold weather will help, but you still need to face the challenges like the hearth rate, elevation (physically) and mind game (mentally) if you looking for a break through result. Anyway, once you tried it, you will be able to handle the challenges better. Like, now I knew that I can run the whole 42km without walking (only walk few hundreds meters in total, from all water stations stops, plus 2 toilet stops), and the legs will be fine too. So next time I will know it’s only a mind game when I am thinking of walking or too hard to continue before I reached 42km.

It’s time to take out the drawing board and workout the new training plan. Next year target will be sub-5 in Malaysia!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Race Report: Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2013

This race was postponed from it original schedule from June due to haze condition. I thought it will be a great opportunity for me to be more ready to sub-5, but turned out this is an unfinished business for my next marathon.

I arrived at Dataran Merdeka around 4am, walked a bit and said hello to some familiar faces. Then we gathered into the starting pen and ready to go. The weather is hot. I consumed almost half of my 500ml water, which never happened before the flag off in other races. I knew that it will be very challenging race. As the biggest marathon event in Malaysia, closed to 4000 marathoners flagged off together, and it took me 4 minutes to cross the finish line.
Before flag off, look so not into running mood...
I started off slowly and ramped up to target pace of 7 minutes. The route is packed with others but still manageable. After about 5km, I finally caught up with one of the 5hrs pacers and I planned to stick with him until we done. The only hold back is my condition, not able to sleep well before the race (anxious) and the running nose bothering me. The pace is slow, but the effort is high with hearth rate averaging at 160BPM. Tried my best to keep up with the pacers, but it getting harder by time. From 18-24km, I can only tail them from far, and I lost sight of them after KLCC. The traffic from that points onwards was havoc. The whole stretch of Jalan Tun Razak, Bulatan Pahang until Jalan Ipoh was in mess. Don’t feel comfortable or safe running on this stretch.

After turn into Jalan Ipoh (27km), the mind started to play trick. “The sun so hot, the pacers are gone, walk-lah…”, repeated in my mind whenever I struggled. Then, I gave up and started some walking around 30km. Repeated the last year mistake, started off too fast and got into other’s race (pacers). Then the rest will just the usual running from water station to water station. Planned to back in running after 38km mark, but the engine was too cool to restart. After merged with the 10k runners/walkers/shopping goers, the last drop of my will to push on gone. No mood to speed, I just walked most of the stretch for the last 2km and only sprint to finish after past those crowd blocking the way. Completed my 11th full marathon in 5:24’06”, only 2 minutes better than the RJM with much tougher route.
At 36km, not much steam left to run. Photo by Kelvin Tan.
In front of camera, have to pretend running a bit. Thank Lina & Zaini!
2013 SCKLM Finisher Medal and T-shirt.
Like what I observed last year, the race is still a very well organized and happening event, but none of the area for improvement resolved. The Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman still jammed by walkers and supporters. Especially the junctions with Jalan Tun Perak, people just block off the road and only left a small gap to let past 3-4 runners at one time. I appreciated the spirit to support, but please at least don’t obstruct the traffic! Ok, I think I going to kept this post a short one, else these complains will continue.
Unofficial Result.
The result page is now more like the one I got from Singapore 2 years ago. Looking at the statistic, not much changed, I am still fit perfectly into the middle pack of runners. May be is time to look into a difference running and training approach. Meanwhile, I got unfinished business with the sub-5 target. Look like I can’t go by my makan agin pace in Munich, but to give in my best. Need to focus on a good recovery now.