Saturday, November 28, 2009

Penang Bridge (half) Marathon 22/11/2009

I've been really looking forward to this run.

Ok....erm.....perhaps I should correct my above statement.

I've been really looking forward to my trip to Penang....which the core reason for the trip was the run!
I've been looking forward to hanging out with my Subang running buddies....over-eating (I don't want to think about the over-eating!)....the beach (although didn't quite get to dip feet into seawater this time around).....the getting out of the weekend norm.

I drove up straight after work on Friday (curse you, rainy weather!!!) and I kid you not, the over-eating starts right from the get-go!!!


* CY ran the full (gasp!) marathon.......and she did it in less than 6 hours!!! Good job girl!!!! So proud of you!!!



* US at the race kit collection site.....and we're trying to RUN for FUN!! (shit, am I the only one laughing at my own lame jokes? No...don't answer that!)



* Us toying around after collecting race kit.


The race (we're all running the half marathon) starts 3.30am (yes...you read the time right!) for the boys and 3.45am for the girls.....like 15 minutes of staggered start is gonna stop us girls from overtaking the boys.....(mind the feministic undertone of the statement....I just finished watching 'The Vagina Monologues' and am pretty fired up!)

Everyone bunked in at Sany's place at Ferringhi and we were all up by 12.30am to prep for the race.
I doubt anyone actually slept the night before......I mean if you were needed to be up at such an ungodly hour when the rest of Penang is still at some pub getting wasted and progressively killing off their liver, why bother really sleeping anyway?

The pre-race atmosphere at the apartment was like a scene out of some zombie flick where zombie-fied runners walking aimlessly with a perpetual dazed and confused look on their faces, trying to grab safety pins to pin on their bibs and trying to locate their timing chips.
This is what happens when the group collectively decides to give up taking nappy time in the afternoon the day before to cramp in more eating-time in town!


* Zombie-fied and still have to pin your race bibs.



* Lube up!!!!


We got to Queensbay area (where the race was held) at around 2-ish in the morning.
The full marathoners were already in the holding pen waiting for flag-off.
We halfies have an hour and half to kill.
I'm literally feeding off the energy that the other runners are emitting!!
I swear...if I turned up at that race ALONE, I'd really opt out of running due to lack of sleep!
But knowing how hyped up runners can be pre-race......it's bloody contagious and it kept me up (almost) until the finish line!!!!

The porta-potty situation greatly improved from last year's race.
However, no matter how vastly great the male to female runner ratio is....the queue for the female porta-potties are always predictably longer than the male's.
It's probably one of those unfair facts of life.....
Who cares if you have a shorter urethra because you're female. Your toilet queue will still be longer than someone with a penis!
(But if you guys remember the Klang Half Marathon earlier this year.....the female queue was almost non-existent!!! That was because the female participants were also almost non-existent! So non-existent that I manage to come in at No. 9 for the 21km!)

The boys took off at 3.30am......and gave us girls another 15 minutes to get in line.

Lining up before a race always gets my heart rate up.
I'm anxious (have not done a long run in quite a while).....and freakin excited!!!
I can literally feel the adrenaline pumping through my blood vessels....exciting the leg muscles, and readying them for the 2 over hours of running that they are about to endure!

I LOVE this feeling!!! 
(I know I'll be asking myself the rationale of running 21km when other "sane" people are sleeping soundly, especially when I hit the 10km mark and am starting to get tired....but the euphoric feeling of just being at the starting line is addictive enough to get me to repeatedly sign up for races!!)

The gun goes off (honestly, I was a little "off" to actually remember if it was a gun or a horn that flagged us off) and off we went!!!

I could see Pearlie in front of me and decided to tail her for the first bit....until I get out of the crowded situation right in front of me.
Pearlie is aiming for a sub-2....I'm aiming to NOT get injured before Singapore Marathon.
No way I'm gonna hold her pace for long......(frankly I'm not prep enough to hold her pace!)

And Pearlie wasn't kidding about the sub-2.
She was going fast!!!
I managed to tail her for the first few kilometers and once the amount of runners in front of me thinned out.....I decided to slow down and watch Pearlie sped off like Speedy Gonzales.
I felt I was still running faster than I should be running.
I knew that this was one pace that would be difficult to sustain once the initial adrenaline rush wears off.......but at that point in time, it felt good!!!
It didn't feel like I was doing a training run....
It actually felt like I was racing....and I LOVE that feeling of competition.

Right in front of me, I could see a few half-marathon guys slowing down......and each time I pass one of them, I think to myself, "Yeah....I'm 15 minutes ahead of you!!!"
It became a game in my head.....overtake a guy...and you're 15 minutes ahead of their timing!
(I know....totally lame but do understand I was a sleep deprived person......and, erm....I work in a mental asylum....FINE, not a good excuse....but still....)

The slope up on the Penang Bridge was a lot more difficult than I remembered it to be last year (but then again I was doing it VERY slowly last year) but right next to me, I saw Anne running past and I just went into lazy-mental mode and followed her pace all the way up!
Oh...Anne is from my running club back in Ipoh and she's a running-mummy.
And she ALWAYS outruns me during weekly long runs!!!!!
Yes....although it pains my ego, I am WOMAN enough to admit that I always get out-run by a running mummy!!!

I have to comment that the water situation this year was a whole lot better.
I didn't quite like the fact that they handed out water bottled instead of cups and they didn't have that many isotonic hydration stations......BUT at least they HAD water stations WITH water.....unlike last year!!

At the slope down with about 3km before the turn-around (10km mark) I looked at the other side where some runners were returning to the island, I spotted Deon and as always, he was making EVERYONE of the Subang running gang look BLOODY SLOW!!!!
(however he got his timing chip switched with someone Sany's and ended up being the slowest! Apparently sleep deprivation makes you switch timing chips as well)

At the turn-around point, I glanced at my watch and it was 1:00:32.
Good job, Puisan.....you ran this 10km faster than you did back in Nike Human Race!!!
I started to think that perhaps I could actually pull in a sub 2:10.....a good and respectable timing for me, in my opinion.
And then I hit the second slop on the bridge on the way back to island.
First time I had to walk.
Suddenly the tiredness hit me out of no where!
I took that walking time to down a packet of GU and water.
Glad that I bumped into Terrence again...someone to talk to.
I'm starting to think each time I "stumble" (mentally and physically) during a race, I will somehow bump into Terrence. Cue KRI's Bukit Kinding trail run!!!!
Will try NOT to bump into him in Singapore during the race....shit I'm getting superstitious!!

Then tried to pick up to the pace before the wave of fatigue hit.
It was a bit difficult to sustain it at that point......so slowed down to maintain running.

Just before the got back onto island, I bumped into Sarah!!
(Sarah is an ex-colleague and is Shanaz's sister)
Sarah's doing her very first half marathon and I must say....she's looking and running pretty well for a first ever half!
It is always nice to see familiar faces during races. Always makes me happy!

At around 5-6km remaining.....my pace was generally slower than it was at the first half, and I really REALLY felt tired.
I'd do almost anything to stop running and go sleep at that point!
And THEN......I felt like I really need to go do a number-2.
OMG....it's like I was back in Kota Kinabalu running the BIM and the tummy upset launched itself and there's nothing I could do to stop it....besides.....going to the loo, which honestly at that point of the race course, I could see no toilets!
SHIT.....literally!!!
Run....the tummy ache gets worse.....forced to walk......pain subsides......repeat in such order until reach the finish line!

Yeah yeah yeah....I know I shouldn't overeat.....but too late to cry over spilt milk!!

In other words, I walked almost the entire last 5km. 
I didn't have a choice.....I just couldn't imagine myself taking a dump at the side of the road, behind some random bush!
I was so HAPPY to see the finishing line.....and sprint to the finish and then to the porta-potty queue!!!!

I did this 21km in 2:25!!!
(Upsetting.....but I can live with it....it's still faster than the Safra Army Half Marathon timing!)

I think the most shiteous part of the whole entire race was actually walking back to the car which was actually quite a distance from race site. By that time, I was THIS close to closing my eyes and dozing off right there and then.....

The BEST bits of the race:

1. The company!!! (I LOVE my Subang running peeps!!)
2. It wasn't hot.....well, it CAN'T be....it was a 3.30am start and the race was finish before the sky got bright!
3. My first 10km was faster than my last official 10km race! (who cares if the second 11km took me forever to complete! I like to compartmentalize my achievements!!!)
4. There were enough hydration stations!!!
5. The free race photo downloads....(but I've still yet to find mine as the internet connection SUCKS big time at the moment!)
6. Compression tights ROCKS!!!!

The SHIT bits of the race:

1. While the official race vest was orange.....I was stuck with a black vest!!! (odd one out as always)
2. Stomach ache last 5-6km.....I attributed this to over-eating in Penang!
3. Lack of sleep......it's a week since the race and I'm still feeling the deprivation.....(I'm NOT being overly dramatic!!!)
4. I should have gotten another pair of compression tights for post-race recovery.....(yeah...not exactly race related but it's my blog!)
5. .....I'm STILL not prepared for my next 42km in Singapore......(what?! I thought the half marathon would be a good prep for the full....but I'm just NOT feeling the preparedness yet!)


Overall.....I enjoyed the trip.
To a certain extent....I enjoyed the race as well.

Next year.....I'd like to book a room at the newly built Eastin Hotel (right next to Queensbay) to avoid the 12 midnight getting up time for the race!!!

And now......to prepare for Singapore (full!!!) Marathon.
(shit shit SHIT I'm NOT prepared!!!!)
I am looking forward to the Singapore trip though......

Oh alright......taper now until Singapore!!!!


Later!!!!


p/s: I'm sorry for the lack of photos! Like I've said...connection has been sucky and I've postponed this race report long enough. I'll put up more pics once fast internet connection gets going again!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Yes...I'm still here!

Been a little tired post Penang Bridge (half) marathon weekend.

Thus the absence of any new blog posting!
But I swear.....the race report for the above mention run will be up...erm...SOON!!!!
 
But since I'm really in lazy mode post half marathon, I'm so considering the current period of comparative-inactivity as my taper for the Singapore Marathon.

Yes...doing full.

Yes...sanity in question.

Yes...still regretting not getting compression tights in SMALLER size...(erm, another blog post perhaps?!)

and Yes...very underprepared.

Despite all the above, I'm still super excited about heading down South for this race!!!

And this time around will try not to overeat and be forced to need to do a number-2 while running second leg of race!
(erm...will explain in following blog post!)

Oh and before I forget...HAPPY TGIT!!!!!



Later!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

5 days and counting...

Yes...Penang Bridge (half) Marathon is 5 days away!

I'm SO excited!

This will be my second time running the bridge.
I did this race as my FIRST ever half marathon last year and had TONS of fun despite not training more than 11km prior to the race.
I figured that the optimism contained within me will carry across the total of (then) 25km!

And guess what...IT DID!!!!!
Optimism ROCKS!

Anyway I guess I should be tapering this week.
Gosh....haven't heard that word since SCKLM.......
Partly because I don't quite believe in it for a half marathon (or any race for that matter especially if you plan to run it SLOW)......and partly because I'm running the half marathon as a piece of the big picture that is Singapore (full) Marathon on 6th December 2009.

Unfortunately at the way things are at the moment, I'm forced to taper....just like for Borneo International Marathon.

Yup...the back pain came back.
It's a little annoying and fortunately not as debilitating as back in October prior to BIM.
And after yesterday's 10km run, my quads are now carrying pickets protesting any more "intense" running......(I'm quite sure no one would actually call my training regime "intense")

So today I'm taking the whole day OFF to rest.
Honestly, the rest wasn't by choice.
My lower back hurts, my thighs feel like Jell-O and it was raining with no signs of clearing up.
As I've said....forced taper.

But indeed, I planned to stop running from Friday onwards.
This will give me a good 2 days of non-running rest that I'd need so that on race day, I'll walk up to the starting line with legs feeling fresh as daisies!

Also I've decided to run in the Brooks Adrenaline GTS (yes....that same blister inducing pair) for the half marathon.
If it passes with flying colours (ie I didn't cry running across the finish line due to pain from a popped blister), then I can safely say I have my marathon-shoes all ready to go!
I so hope I'm making a good decision on this.

Oh.....speaking of things to wear on race day, I've decided to wear the KRI club vest that, I swear, glows in the dark!!!!
Yes...THAT same one.
And I'm wearing it with compression tights and skirt.....(what? I need to stash my gels in pockets the skirt provides!!)

My aim?
Not gunning for sub-2 here.
Nah....didn't train properly for speed and frankly, am focusing on Singapore Marathon and hoping to do 5:30 for the 42km then!
I'll train smarter next year and hopefully achieve a sub-2 for a half marathon then.

Anyway I'll see you guys in Penang this coming weekend.
Taper well....carbo-load well.....
....and come say hi at the starting line.
You'll know the vest!!!


Later!!!!



Sunday, November 15, 2009

KRI Bukit Kinding Trail Run 2009 (15/11/2009)


I'm truly humbled.

Yes.....my running ego is a little bruised but like everything else in life it will heal and soon I shall be a stronger and better (hopefully) runner because of today.

And these KRI running uncles weren't joking when they say this is a TRAIL run!!!
Cue the mud...the gravel.....40 degree incline climb.....trashed quads and knee joints......and a great view!!!


* My number. It follows alphabetical order....which was why I ended up with 001. 


Today was the annual KRI run and for this year, they had a trail run in Bukit Kinding Resort.
Bukit Kinding is about 5-10 minutes further up from my hospital.
The club had been having trial runs for this route several times prior to the race.
I've been told to go a couple of times but I always managed to come up with some excuse, although at this point in time, I'm not too sure if my excuses were truth based or not.
Short term memory, y'see.


* I LOVE the Brooks shirt that was part of the race kit. The shirt that Wendy collected for me was Women's L size. I like the colour and material so much that on race day, I bought another one, in Men's S size!


The night before the race, I had a locum shift at the casualty clinic from 8pm until 12am.
And before my shift, I met up with Wendy (who collected my race kit...thanks!) and Keon for pseudo-carboloading.
And I had a mocha drink thinking I need something to keep me awake until midnight for work!

Big mistake.

I spent the whole night staring at the ceiling.
Probably only feel into some sort of slumber at 4.30am!!!!
(I'd know...I kept checking the time on my mobile and the last I checked was 4.30am!)
My mind was in full hyperactive mode.....like a Jack Russel Terrier puppy on crack!

I woke up at 6.30am (race being at 7.30am and the race site is 30 minutes from my place)...quickly showered, changed and sensing the time limitation I was facing, I decided to forgo breakfast and took a couple of swigs of isotonic drink and off I went!


* The start. I wonder who I have to suck up to, to get my "running picture" up on NEXT year's club running event's banner!!!



* The turn out wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. The crowd was small compared to many of KL's running events......but I like the intimacy of small events like this!!! At least that way you can find your friends easily!


2nd Big Mistake.

Reached race site with 15 minutes to spare! *phew*
Met a couple of the KRI members whom I (sometimes) run Sunday's long run with.....
(Then again this race was full of KRI members......we support our own event!)
Then bump into Terrence and Gary (from Borneo International Marathon) with their mental asylum jokes.
(Outstation running uncles find that a certain young female doctor working in Malaysia's largest mental institution the most hilarious thing known to mankind!)


* Terrence and Gary....(Gary's wearing next week's Penang Bridge Marathon's event vest)


One of the running uncles (cue uncle Philip) said that it would be a flat 2km on road and then we will hit the off-road which is all the way up-hill for the first part and then down-hill subsequently.
Told me to take it easy and to save my energy for the hills.
And when we took off down the road for the first 2km, I went full force.......thinking I'd walk the hills and tried to save time by running faster initially.


* More random pictures taken before the start of race.


3rd Big Mistake.
(yes I know...today's just full of mistakes!)

They weren't joking when they say it's all hills.
IT WAS ALL HILLS!!!
And at such a steep incline!!!!
It was mental torture to see all those upward route winding around the hill right in front of me!

I had to walk.

Unfortunately, the combination of poor sleep, no breakfast and fast running first 2km....I was now struggling to even walk up the hill.
My heart was beating so fast and with such intensity that I could hear it through my chest wall (it felt that way....)
My head started to feel light and for a moment there I thought my vision was gonna go black and my GCS was gonna fall to 3 from a full 15!! (Glasgow Coma Scale....go google it!)
Suddenly I felt like it was difficult to suck in air into my lungs!
Honestly, I was panicking.

More runners are running/walking past me.

I try to keep walking.....
The route was still going uphill.
I try to keep going but the fear that I might black out was persistent.
I was thinking, "Shit....if I faint here...how the hell is the ambulance is ever gonna get to me?! I'm in the middle of NO-freakin-WHERE!!!"

I had to stop.

I stood still, closed my eyes and could hear many more people passing me.
Focus.....breathe......don't think of worst case scenarios....it ain't gonna help now!

I had to keep going.

One more steep hill. One step at a time. Don't faint!
I can't DNF!

I finally reach the top of that stupid hill where the first water station and first-aid station were.
I told the volunteers manning the area that I needed to sit and that I was gonna faint!
They brought me water and some lozenges (that was the only sugar they had)......and the first-aid people gave me some 'minyak-angin'.

Slowly my vision became clearer and the pounding against my chest-wall has resided into a quiet strumming.
I could breathe well.
Then I see Terrence walking up to the water station and I knew I wasn't the last person on the course!
(look....I can't help it.....I'm competitive!)
You have no idea how happy I was to see him!


* Wendy got 4th place!!!!



* Shanaz got 7th in her division. Oh and she's gonna attempt her first 42km in Singapore!



* Yen Erl and buddy!



* Winnie, whom I've met at Dim Sum back in Damansara Uptown


I felt better after that.
(Perhaps because I'm safely assured that I wasn't last and that I wasn't gonna DNF at that point)
I walked with Terrence up more hills and he was telling me his marathon-conquests from previous weeks with Mr. Marathon-maniac and gang!
I don't know how these people do it with their 'a-marathon-a-Sunday' regime......but I told myself I'm so gonna give it a try before I require Total Knee/Hip Replacement!!! (whichever comes first!)

Because of the rain the night before, the route was very muddy and slippery.
But it made the weather so lovely.....the mist hung low on the surrounding hill tops and there was a mild, cool breeze to aid the already depressing situation!
I wish I brought my camera along!
The view at the top was breath-taking!!

The route did flatten out eventually and that was when I started running again.
I ran all the downhills as well and at the remaining 2-3km, it was back on the road and I tried to catch up for lost time by running slightly faster.
I knew I wasn't gonna make it in respectable time but I didn't wanna walk back either.

I made the 11km in 1:43:31.
Yes.....slowest 11km EVER!!!!
And you know what....I'm actually ok with it.
I'm actually good with my timing. I'm not overtly depress like how I usually am after a crap race and I'd be moping around for the remaining of the day.
Yup.....some mental maturation has set in!

The race, however, did force me to to review my weaknesses and my racing state of mind.
I realized that my ego played a huge part in me not wanting to give up.
Sure it's a little affected by today's race but I am glad I didn't throw in the towel.
I also find that hills are a HUGE weakness of mine.
It has always been but today's race made it more apparent that I need to train on more hills.
Perhaps hill repeats.....(yuck!)
Yeah......I should also throw in a hill-hike every few days or so into my training to prevent another "catastrophe" like today.


* Teng and Keon at the finish line. Teng's not running due to knee injury!


So here's my lessons of the day:

1) never NOT sleep well the night before a race. 
2) never drink CAFFEINE the night before a race......you're guaranteed insomnia and end up feeling like Tera Moody...except Tera Moody does well in races!! (Runner's World, September 2009)
3) no matter how late you wake up on race day morning.....please PLEASE eat something!!! 2 gulps of isotonic drinks just don't cut it. It may do fine for a daily 8-10km run on flat route but not a hilly race!
4) when running uncle tells you to go for trial run on race route.....JUST GO!!!
5) when running uncle tells you to hold back on the flat road prior to the shit hills......LISTEN TO RUNNING UNCLE!!!
6) get a pair of trail shoes....eventhough you only run trail races once in a blue moon....but there's no other excuse you can come up with to snag yourself a new pair of running shoes!



* This year's medal. Pretty cool huh!



* Only in Ipoh races, you'd get so much food in your goodie bag.



* I don't know who the genius is, but someone manage to get U-Mobile to be a sponsor and they were giving out extra freebies.....I even swag a new prepaid sim-card!!!



* The mud doesn't look very prominent in the picture but I swear, it was soaked with mud!!!!


Alright.....Penang Bridge (half) Marathon next weekend!
That...I'm looking forward to...at least to all the good food that I can get my hands on!!!

Regarding training....I'm not gonna do anything drastic or different until AFTER StandChart Singapore Marathon. So after the 42km in December, I'll really have to buck up and do hill repeats...(eek!)

See you guys in Penang next Sunday!!!



Later!!



Saturday, November 14, 2009

Random stuff for the week

It's been a pretty mundane week.

Really....I've not even begin to exaggerate on how mundane it has been since my return to Ipoh earlier this week after the RealRun in Singapore.
(I took Monday off this week as part of the Save-Puisan's-Sanity-Program which is on-going until today!)

But for the sake of exaggeration, I'm gonna pretend it was been SUCH an eventful running week and in turn, will now attempt to fill you in on what's HAPPENING in my little running world, no matter how "self-contained" it is at the moment.
(Did I mention that I LOVE you, dear readers, for putting up with all my bullshit?! I didn't? Oh well....I love you NOW!)

So after the 15km RealRun in Singapore and I'm done wallowing in self pity regarding my mediocre timing for that race, it is again time to focus on the longer distances.....and the upcoming one would be Penang Bridge (half) Marathon on 22nd November 2009....
In more plain term, that would be 7 days and counting.
Amazingly, I'm not hyperventilating....yet.

The last time I ran a half marathon was....erm.....I think it was Safra Army Half Marathon just before the diving trip.
That was quite a while back.
Frankly, I'm really looking forward to the race.
Penang Bridge (half) Marathon 2008 was my FIRST ever half marathon....5 months after starting running "seriously".
I enjoyed it then and I'm looking forward to the same enjoyment this year that I experienced in the last.
Problem is....I don't really have a shoe that I feel "psychologically" comfortable with to run long distance.

Y'see.....my Brooks Defyance (R.I.P.) was my go-to shoe for long distance. It has done many long runs, many half marathons and even a full 42km.
Unfortunately, it outlasted my knee joints and I had to say good bye to them.
The last race those babies ran in was the Nike Human Race 2009 (24th October).


* My Brooks Adrenaline GTS.......the one that has been causing the heartache....
Why must you give me blisters?! Oh and ignore the timing chip.....I'm always a little slow to remove such things.


And after those shoes....I sorta didn't prepare any of my other running shoes (yes I have many pairs) for that kinda distance.
None of my other shoes have ever gone more than 15km.
And this worries me to no end......(I'm neurotic, so sue me!)

I've been running in the Brooks Adrenaline GTS lately, hoping to morph it into my "distance" shoe but unfortunately it has been causing a bit of a blister problem for me.
I totally don't understand why.
It was suppose to have the same last as the Defyance....just with the addition of the stability plate. I didn't change any of my socks and I even made sure I trim my toe-nails!!!
So why am I getting the annoying blister?

Honestly I don't think I have much of a choice of running in another pair.
My Brooks Axiom does not feel comfortable long distance (but fantastic for running on grass and rocky terrains) despite that it is more "worn-in" than the Adrenaline GTS.
The Brooks Ravenna are just too new despite being less blister inducing.
It has never done more than 10km in distance per run.

And I think it's a little too late to go out and buy another pair of Defyance!!!!


* Perhaps I should run in the Ravenna instead?!


So that's my dilemma.
I don't mind YOUR opinion (although I may not actually follow it) so shoot away!


Oh.....and I bought another running skirt online.....(click HERE)
Runningskirt.com was having online sales and I thought the camouflage pattern was really cute. In fact I'm planning on wearing that in Singapore Marathon 6th December 2009!!!
(Please let me have my ditzy moment)
Anyway I totally recommend getting it online at the moment while the SALE "season" is still at full-steam......because they don't charge for postage fees!!!! 
Seriously!!!
You ONLY pay for the skirt itself!


* I LOVE the pattern......and am thinking of getting another one!!! Gosh I should STOP going to that website!


And yes I remember the consequences of the skirt and not enough lubrication at specific areas during long races. Borneo Marathon and it's painful chaffing has permanently etched itself into my memory.
But skirts are MY thing......
So this time around.....I'm gonna wear tights underneath as well!


* My full length compression tights. It's pretty comfortable but I've yet to fully realize it's full potential!! Will give it time.


Cue the 2XU Compression Tights!!!!
(click HERE......I got it from Choi)
I got it this Monday and have so far ran it in 3 times.
I'll do a proper write up on it after I've done a speed-ier run and a long run in them.
Yup....I don't expect any chaffing in THAT area anymore...hopefully.


* It's suppose to do ALL that? The manufacturers probably forgot to make the tights run on IT'S OWN!!!


Oh....and do you guys remember the Estee Lauder Walk For Pink on 3rd October 2009?
(click HERE for my interpretation of that event)

Well...I'm not sure if I mentioned but there was also a lucky draw for that event.
I didn't stick around for it despite feeling lucky......
My stomach beckons for food at that point in time.....so we left early.
The week after that, I got a call from the nice people of Estee Lauder informing me that I DID win something!!!
They didn't leave any hints of what the winning was and I didn't have the time to pop around to Midvalley to collect it....until this Monday!


* My lucky-draw of a prize. Pretty cool huh! Unfortunately I don't use any of those products. I gave it to mom and told her to figure out what to do with it! I'm thinking I'll never see any of these products ever again!


So that's my week.
Tomorrow I'll do running the KRI Bukit Kinding Trail Run.
I don't know exactly how long it will be....probably 11-12km.
And I haven't figured out what to wear!
Oh the dilemma!!!!!


See....I told you it was all overly EXAGGERATED crap!!


Later!!!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

RealRun, Singapore 8th November 2009

So while EVERYONE else is in Lumut, Perak doing the Powerman stint, I've headed down south again to the ever-sterilized Singapore for the 15km worth of RealRun that I was sorta coerced (or made to feel guilty somewhat if I don't join) into participating.

Oh all right.....I joined ever so willingly because.....no reason.

I just felt that I might need a 15km race before a half marathon (Penang Bridge, 22nd November 2009), and a half marathon before a full blown 42km again! (cue Singapore Marathon 6th December 2009)

I flew down on a Saturday via Jetstar (which I think so blows AirAsia out of the sky.....just because it flies from KLIA!!!) and reached Changi Airport just in time for brunch.

Spent most of the Saturday museum hopping (coz I do LOVE a good museum.....and besides, it's the ONLY place in Singapore that wasn't crowded like a can of sardines on a weekend!) and this time around I did the Singapore National Museum and the National Arts Museum.

Yes....indeed a very lovely way to spend a Saturday with minimal actual spending.

I went to this race with SC (who initially said that he wanted to gauge his "fitness" against mine by running this race with me.......and it was HE who persuaded me to 15km it!! Yea yea...you outran me by 5 minutes!)


* My bib with my name on it. Apparently it's not compulsory to ACTUALLY have your ACTUAL name on it. You can be 'HE-MAN', 'LAZYPIG', 'COOKIE'. I was thinking perhaps next year, I'd be 'DEEP-SHIT'.


Got up before I had enough time to fall into deep slumber at 4.45am and left SC's place by 5.15am, popped by a nearby 24 hour HDB neighbourhood foodcourt for pre-race breakfast of toast and eggs.
Head down to Changi Exhibition Center (where the race was held) which was, frankly speaking, a little too near to SC's place for food to digest....


* Let me have my narcissistic moment. It's 5am on a Sunday morning and I am post-post-33hour work day and still sleep deprived. Oh...and I skipped the running skirt this time....but the skirt will be back for the next race, I promise myself that!


The event had a 10km race and then the 15km race.
The 10km race starts at 7am.....the 15km at 7.30am.
Yes...when the sun is high up there blasting it's cancer-causing UV rays unto our (at least mine) unprotected skin.
Fine...it wasn't freakin hot at 7.30am but it's the impending heat and sun rays that I'm bound to face (since y'know...I'm kinda slow) somewhere along the 15km that is mentally torture-some.

Anyway the route goes something like this.
First 4km was along the dirtroad somewhere behind the Changi Exhibition Center....
And after that it was an all out straight road for about 10km and more.
Somewhere between that 10km of road was a stretch of less than 1km of running on beach.


* Post-race in my RealRun shirt! I LOVE the shirt!!!


In my opinion, the dirt road was the most fun to run.
Keeps me focus, trying to not sprain my ankle. And the sun wasn't killing me just yet.
The 10km or so of road running was boring me to death.
I started to aim to overtake other female runners, one at a time.
It became a mental game where I was the only willing and knowing player.

I realized that I was keeping pace pretty well....
And for once, in a very long time, I actually felt...sorta fast!
But with each hydration station, I'll grab 2 cups of isotonics and start walking until I downed them all.
Then to re-start back the running, it took a short while to get back to previous pace.
I hated that feeling......
The feeling of trying to get back to the "happy-place". 
(Happy-place is a state of mind and running pace that you feel you can go on forever and ever!)
So that was what I did.....
Once I get to my "happy-place" and feel fast enough, I try and overtake as many female runners as possible. 
When approaching hydration station, grab water and start walking.....and then attempt to get back to the pace I was at.....
This took place until about 12-13km in.


* So THAT'S what R.E.A.L. stands for......sheesh!


That was when I really felt tired and couldn't be bothered with wanting to keep pace.
It didn't even bother me that those runners that I've initially overtook are now zooming past me.
And when I reach the beach stretch of it.....about 500-600 meter worth of sand, I just walked the entire thing.
It sloped to the sea and that made running it a bit painful on the left knee.
It also helped that I was tired and the sun was wearing me in......walking seemed like such a sane thing to do at that point in time.

The last 2-3km....I just want it to be done and over with!
It was really really hot and I am feeling the burn against my exposed skin.

I passed the finish line in 1:41:00......nothing to shout about but at least I didn't inch any nearer to the 2 hour mark!!


* Yes...it was THAT hot.....can't you see the pain etched over our faces from the unforgiving rays from the sun?! What d'ya mean I'm overdramatizing things?!!!!



* The START and FINISH....and NO...that's not my finishing time.



* In the comforts of the air-conditioned surroundings inside the Changi Exhibition Center.



* Everyone waiting for the lucky draw. Singaporeans are SO optimistic about free stuff!


Anyway.......all in all, I don't regret running this race. 

The GOOD bits:
1. I enjoyed the 4km of dirt road.....
2. The goodie bag was pretty good....LOVE the shirt and the bag!
3. The boys at the goodie bag station found my phone...(erm, long story)
4. Enough hydration station

The BAD bits:
1. It was hot!!!! Dang....it was HOT!!!!
2. Too much road...too little trail!
3. The guys were HOTTER in Army Half Marathon.....ahem!
4. Did I mention it was HOT!? (I'm allergic to hot weather....what a pity I live in the tropics)



* The finisher's medal.


* Feet....I'm so proud of you guys for not staging some protest in the form of annoying blisters and odd chaffing. You guys rock!!!




* The goodie bag! Did I mention I LOVE the shirt and the sling bag?! Well, I LOVE it!


This coming Sunday, will be running a trail run in Bukit Kinding, Ipoh (which is a stone throw away from my hospital)!!!
It's only about 10-11km...(I'm not too sure exactly) but I have a very bad feeling it's gonna turn out to be a pseudo-trail run again!
But I'm running it in support of my running club and.....because the running uncles told me to!
Therefore, I am also supporting the running uncles!



See you guys this Sunday in my territory!!!


Later!!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Alive and Kicking!!!

No I'm not dead!

Really....I can't exactly be typing this blog posting from the afterlife.
I don't think the internet connection in Heaven is that great, honestly.
Frankly I'm not too sure if God is that keen on having internet up above!

Anyway I know I've not been blogging much these days.

I don't have an excuse besides being plain lazy.

But at least I AM still running.
Not exactly the 60km per week like I initially planned, since with unforeseen circumstances (ie being lazy and perpetually tired and sleep deprived), I was forced to go with the contingency plan....which was anything more than 40km per week.

In MY opinion....(mine and mine alone....go copy someone else or get your own opinion!), 40km per week is the minimal one can do before one can call that particular week a decent running week.

50km per week is a GOOD running week.

60km per week is a 'I'm-really-training-for-a-marathon' week.

70km per week is a 'Quick-give-me-an-award-for-outstanding-runner' week.

ANYTHING above 70km per week is a 'Give-Puisan-some-antipsychotic-coz-she's-going-out-of-her-freakin-mind' sorta week.

Y'know...just thought you'd be interested to know my definition when I say I am having a good running week....(and since I'm kinda neurotic about it, it's NEVER a good enough running week)

Anyway.....I'm back from Singapore (yes, again) after running the RealRun 15km multi-terrain race.
Actually it was more like 4km dirt road, less than 1km sandy beach side and the remaining on normal road.
I'll be doing that write up...erm.....SOON!
I just need to give my own arse a good kick to snap myself out of this lazy spell and chronic feeling of being tired!!!

Yes.....to fuel up a GOOD running week (refer to definitions above) starting from tomorrow, I need to hit the sack STAT!


Later!!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Terry Fox Run 2009


So...who IS Terry Fox?

He was a young Canadian dude who LOVED sports and was unfortunately diagnosed to have Osteosarcoma of the right leg after some complaints of right knee pain.....and subsequently had above knee amputation in attempts to remove the cancer.
That....was 1977.

Three years after losing the right leg, he valiantly decided to transverse the whole of Canada from coast to coast, in what was then known as the Marathon of Hope.
His hope....was to raise a $1 from each Canadian citizen.
I don't know much about Canadian geography but I've seen the map of the world and Canada is pretty HUGE!
This dude, in my humble opinion, was THE coolest single-amputee ultramarathoner!


* Terry Fox.....running the Marathon of Hope.


So the Marathon of Hope started at St.John's, Newfoundland on 12 April 1980.
Unfortunately, he didn't manage to complete his goals....
The cancer had metastasized to the lungs and on 1 September 1980, Terry was forced to stop running after 143 days somewhere near Thunder Bay, Ontario. 
He had then ran 5,373km.

He went back to God (R.I.P.) on 28 June 1981 at 4.35am after developing pneumonia and went into coma.

Yeah so this is only the lowdown on this dude....go google him up!

Anyway the Terry Fox run has been held annually in KL for the past few years.
Held as a charity run, to raise money for cancer research.
You don't pay a cent to run it....just show up and preferably (hopefully!) buy a "Terry-Fox-shirt", where the money of the sale of shirt goes to the cause.

I meant to go for last year's event and the year before that....
But something always seem to be up on the same day.

Anyway this year...I made it there!

I was back home in KL and was not running anywhere else.....so decided to support this good cause!

It was a choice between a 3.5km route and a 5km route.
Yeah.....it was called a run......
But I was lazy....(it was afterall my "Lazy-Week" although it had seemed that way since the marathon was over)

So I walked the 5km.

And since I wasn't huffing and puffing attempting to run the entire 5km, here are some photos I took during the event.


* Thanks Elaine for getting the shirt for me in advance.....I was already comfortable in my shirt, didn't bother changing into it. Hey.....it's the BUYING of the shirt that counts!!!!



* Thank goodness I was NOT the only one who chose NOT to wear the shirt of the day.



* The sarong-wearing runners/walkers.....apparently it was a trend they started and it soon became a Terry Fox Run tradition.



* EVERYONE was dressed in black.....the irony was, that it appeared like a massive funeral procession at some point!



* The crowd was overwhelming! The last time I saw this many people crowded together was at the starting area of Singapore Marathon last year (I can't imagine how much more worse this year will be in terms of crowd). It was always impossible to run with this sort of crowd. Everyone else seem to be walking. So I'm just going with the flow!!!



* I spotted this dude wearing the Vibram Five Finger Foot Glove that I've been reading about in Runner's World! Apparently he and his friend bought theirs from Singapore for nearly rm400. Gosh it cost more than my Brooks Defyance!!! But I SO covet a pair!! I WANT!!!!



* Bump into YL and WM after the run (ahem, walk). They did their own Sunday morning run in Lake Gardens and was post-breakfast. But good thing, they bought the shirts to show their support. Good on ya, babes!!! And I'll see you guys at Penang Bridge Marathon!



* The shirt for this year. I actually liked the one 2 years ago....a picture of Terry running along the Canadian Freeway......I wish they still sold it!


Yes...you can tell I'm getting lazy with my blogging.

It's not YOU (I still love YOU, my blog readers)......I'm just really keen to find out who dies next in the thriller that I'm reading right now!!!!


Later!!!!