Monday, December 14, 2009

I'm IN for 84km!!!

OMG....

I'm officially INSANE!!!!
That's right.
After almost 2 years of slogging it (sort of) for the government in a mental asylum and I've gone as NUTS as the next person in straight jacket.

I SIGNED UP FOR THE SUNDOWN ULTRA MARATHON.....

Give me a minute while this whole impending suicide sinks in and I start to hyperventilate.
It's still a bit unreal at the moment.

*Starts hyperventilating*

Ok....it has sunk IN.

Yes folks.....ran 2 marathons with dismal timing and now decided that I'm all ready to prep for an ultra.

Y'see...in my world, you don't really need to think or act rational or reasonable...(it's optional)

Just dream BIG and aim HIGH!!!!

Hopefully you'll crawl across the finish line and snatch your finisher's T-shirt from the volunteer's grasp before passing out due to exhaustion!!!

Anyway...will be needing to sign up for the Putrajaya Night Marathon (6th February 2010) in preparation for the ultra!
Yup....more 42's to go!!!

Erm...about the compression tights write-up.....
Yea yea.......am getting to it...SOON!


Now big question is....

HAVE YOU GUYS SIGNED UP FOR SUNDOWN YET!?


Later!!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2009


This is my last race for the year.
I've nothing lined up subsequently (until 2010 approaches)......so it had better be darn memorable!!

For this "holiday" (every race in Singapore is now consider a holiday coz I come back feeling SO much better and slightly more prepared mentally for work), I took the Friday before and up till Tuesday after race-day, off work!!



* CS and PS enroute to Singapore!!


Went down on Friday with CS via FirstCoach...(love this bus!) and bumped into Uncle Sonny and wife, Jenny (I think.....). 
In fact they were sitting right IN FRONT of us.
Coincidence? I keep bumping into him this trip.

Anyway when we got to Singapore, we were picked up by Nard (thanks again, dude...you're THE MAN!) and we went to Expo to collect our race kit.
The rest of the Subang-Lake runners weren't there yet...(ironic that this is my running gang considering I'm NOT from Subang and I STILL think PJ kicks Subang's behind!) and the remaining are arriving on Singaporean soil Friday night.



* Look at the amount of counters available and all the volunteers eagerly awaiting to help us with our race kit collection!!!


But we wanted to look around the Expo so we went first.
The collection process was smooth and fast!
They had SO many counters open to assist in the quick and effective race kit collection.
Puts the KL marathon to SHAME!!!! 



* ME NUMBER!!!


After that, we walked around the sport/health/fitness expo adjacent to the collection area looking at really cool stuff that would be difficult to obtain from KL unless via Choi.....and even Choi has limited choices!!!

Again bumped into Uncle Sonny while browsing at the different display booths.....



* Lynette and her newly-converted Singaporean self


That same night, met Lynette (who has transplanted her entire career and life to Singapore since middle of last month) for dinner and then went for a walk at the airport while waiting for Nard's sister's flight arrival.
I don't know about this...but Singaporeans LOVE their airports so much that they are sorta converting it into a pseudo-shopping mall!!
Now it's not just a place to catch a flight to somewhere...it's a must-visit shopping experience!!!
And perhaps while you're at it, catch a glimpse of and ogle at some really hot air-stewardess or pilot....*shrugs shoulders*



* Mr. Marathon-Maniac (Mohan) and Uncle Sonny


The next day we had to go back to Expo again to meet up with the remaining of Subang-Lake runners (coz y'know...they still need to collect their race kits and stuff) and plan the rest of pre-race day and the logistics on race day itself.

Again....bumped into Uncle Sonny and this time with Mr. Marathon-Maniac....
In fact, bumped into the Ipoh running uncles as well!!!
Which is good for photo-op!!!



* Girls in RED!!



* Foong and Leen



* Oi...Ipoh Mali!!!


Anyway the remaining of the Saturday was for last minute bingeing on food and to try and pass gluttony for carbo-loading.
It was all eating....walking around Orchard Road to view the diminutive Christmas decorations (as compared to when the economy was booming but overall definitely a whole lot better than the 'Look-closely-or-you'll-miss-it' decorative efforts in KL!), then more eating......then a trip to Velocity to look at more "sporting stuff" and then back to Orchard for more food.
I know....I already feel SO tired just recollecting the entire day's event!!



* Supposedly famous prawn noodle...right after breakfast!!



* Best pre-race dinner ever!!! LOVE Japanese food!!!


Sunday (RACE DAY!!!!) morning was a bit of a blur. Woke up 3am (but at least we had a somewhat nap prior to the waking up as compared to PBIM!!) to prep for race before rushing off to catch the charter bus to race site.
Of course we were dilly-dallying and in the end had to RUN to the Bedok Stadium to catch the 4am bus....but later had to alight from it as CS forgot to bring WWM's bib which he had collected on his behalf.
So we had to catch the 4.30am bus.
I figured we've had enough warm up from all that frantic running to catch the second bus!



* My motivational statement!



* On the bus, first time around.



* CS, WWM, Foong, Nard......you guys ready!?


So we met up with the troupe that was running the full.
Me...CS....Nard....WWM....Foong.
Tactic.....run slow and try to NOT die prior to crawling across the finishing line.
Good plan, no?

The first 10km was such a nice and easy run. Didn't even feel like I was running.....like running a slow pace for a Sunday long run.
Then the next 10km until the 21km point, we've lost CS and WWM....so I was running with Foong and Nard.
Pace was slightly increased but it's still tolerably comfortable.
At the East Coast Park, was just hoping that the turnaround would be soon....but it was so torturous as it was never ending!!
And I could see Uncle PK running back on the other side wearing, as always, the club's bright neon yellow vest......oops, I guess I must have missed the memo!!!

The chattering and jokes shared early on in the race has now subsided into an occasional pointing and chuckling when seeing some oddly dressed runner with some "oddly written motivational note" pinned on the back.
Nard took off into a faster pace at around 25km and I ran more or less with Foong until before 30km.....then I lost him as well.
Was not quite sure if he was running ahead or behind me.

30km onwards was pure torture.
My feet hurts...my toes hurt....my knees hurt.....
Heck...the entire lower part of my body hurts and I just want to keep on walking!!
Honestly, despite this being the second time running a 42km....nothing prepared me for the overwhelming sense of fatigue that I was feeling then.

Yes....I'm as forgetful as always and I seem to have forgotten about the pain that my previous full marathon had "blessed" me with during the race.
Alright FINE....I didn't prepare that well for this marathon either.
I admit that was my own fault.
I always vow to prep better for subsequent races which I almost never do.....
Procrastination!!!!! (I will change...I WILL....erm...maybe TOMORROW!)

The last 10km was such a daze for me.
I was walking more than I was running.....and everyone around me was walking as well.
I felt nauseated from the Powergels that I was consuming and the thought of taking in another banana almost made me puke.
The isotonic drinks started to taste stale and luckily I had that electrolyte tablets (Nuun in some berry flavour) to break the monotony of 100-plus!

I swear..the last 3km was a total blur. I think I was on my feet and I think I was somewhere between a shuffle and a walk....if you can still call it a walk....more like dragging feet beneath me...thinking sweet thoughts about the finishing line!

And when I do SEE the finish line....suddenly my legs don't feel that lethargic anymore and I feel the renewed energy in my legs and I started running.....like really running and not the slow pathetic shuffle that I was doing previously.
And when I pass that finish line...I look down and DARN IT.....I didn't get 5:30....
Instead, my second full marathon finishing time was 5:45:43.......
I can live with it.
It's still a PB, I consoled myself.



* How MY FEET felt!!!


The pain of my ankles bilaterally and feet were excruciating but luckily subsided tremendously by Day-2 post race and by Day-3, legs were almost back to normal.

GOOD BITS:
1. Good planning from the get-go
2. Tons of hydration station
3. Compression tights rock!
4. Finishing time better than BIM
5. Good company

BAD BITS:
1. Got sunburnt despite being cloudy day...oh fine, I'll use sunscreen next time!
2. Crap training....yes, my fault! Will train better...next time.
3. 100-plus starts to taste like CRAP after 30km
4. No more races after this until 2010 rolls around!!!


Sigh.....
That's the problem with running a marathon.
You always forget the pain and the agony....while only cherishing the good bits thus luring you to run MORE marathons, in hope that the pain will lessen (just like your finishing time) with each subsequent race!!!



* Good job guys!!


* My sunburnt self.....and Lynette after her FIRST EVER HALF MARATHON.....running as Alice



* FOOOOOODDDDDDDD!!!!!!!!!


Sigh......ok.....so when is my next marathon?!



Later!!!!!

p/s: BTW...did I also mention that I, again, bumped into Uncle Sonny right after I collected my finisher's medal and shirt and walking around like a zombie? Oh nevermind....

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I'm BACK!!!!

I'm back from Singapore and currently am at Day-2 post-42km....

...and am happy to report that the legs are doing ALRIGHT!!!

Yes...big difference from the first 42km where I was literally limping for the entire week after!
Perhaps it's the rest.....or the effective taper (like I did NOT run at all the week leading up to the race).....or perhaps...it's the COMPRESSION TIGHTS!!!

Yes....can't you tell I'm such a convert at the moment?!

I ran my second full marathon in 5:45:43 (self-timed....I had to pee in between that took up about 3-4 minutes) which was not exactly what I had hoped for BUT it is still a PB since I came across the finishing line on my first 42km in 6:03!!!

I'll take any achievements at the moment no matter how pathetic and minute it is!!!
It's good for the running-ego!!!

And I'm very VERY (extremely!!!) proud of my friends who ran their very FIRST full marathon with me!
Congratulations to CS, Nard, WWM and Foong.....you guys rock!!!!
Recover well and I'll update you guys on the next full.....(and don't forget to sign up for Sundown!!)

Also congratulations to Lynette and Emmy for their very FIRST half-marathon!!!
I'm so happy for you guys.....try and ignore the subsequent pain and aches.....you'll get used to it, trust me.

Anyway will do a proper write up of the race.....soon.

I'm currently contemplating between signing up for the Sundown marathon....to either run the 42km or the 84km.
Call me crazy or overly-enthusiastic......but I'm kinda serious about the ultra. 
The free-spirited, psychotic (with poor insight) part of me tells me that I can achieve WHATEVER I put my mind into.
The conservative and saner part of me is tugging at my sleeves, begging me to reconsider this absurdity, and to just sign up for the full since I'm pathetically keen to get a finisher's T-shirt.

I'm heard the arguments for and against the 84km over the weekend that I spent in Singapore with my running comrades. They aren't that encouraging, to say the least.

So PLEASE tell me what you think.
Should I run more 42's first to build up the distance so that I can make it through comfortably before attempting early-knee-joint-suicide (and possibly extra early Total Knee Replacement) by doing the ultra (in this case would be 2011).....

OR.....to just go with my live-like-no-tomorrow attitude and just sign up for the ultra RIGHT NOW!!!!

Tell me...tell me.....I wanna know!!!!


* pre-race and totally amped up on adrenaline!!!!


Later!!!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Prepping for SCSM...and feeling SLIGHTLY better....

Yeah....I'm almost reaching the end of my 4 day working week!
You've got to be thankful and happy about that!!!
Almost TGIT!!!!

I'm driving back to KL tomorrow after work and will be heading down Singapore with CS on Friday morning.
After the back and forth on HOW to get to Singapore (to fly vs. to train vs. to bus)......I'm glad to report that we're bus-ing it down South. At least I'd get my 5 hour nap in between!
And if CS starts to bug me....I'm ignoring him and will start watching the in-bus movies on the FirstCoach bus!!! (just kidding.....but I will if I reach my annoyance limit!)

Anyway I'm packing tonight and I'm trying to not UNDERPACK as always.
I don't wanna be wearing the same shirt/shorts/whatever, 2-3 days in a row because I didn't pack enough garments and am too cheap to buy new ones there because am trying to downsize my support for foreign economy.



* My race outfit!


And finally I've decided on what to wear on race day.
I know.....pathetic and so unimportant but YOU are probably deciphering it from a non-double-X-chromosome perspective!!!
It is ALWAYS important for the female population!!
Anyway I'm gonna go with my all time FAVOURITE running shirt (despite it being a little ratty from the many wear and wash and the colour has faded from weird areas on the shirt....)!!
I wore this SAME shirt last year for the SCS(half)M.
I wore this SAME shirt when I ran my first ever half marathon.
I wore this SAME shirt when I first join the running uncles on my first ever Sunday long run.
And no matter how bad this shirt gets from wear and wash, I will always ALWAYS LOVE this shirt!!!
(sorry for the emotional tangentiality......but I really LOVE this shirt!)

Of course, since now I'm a compression-tights-convert (really pricey but totally worth it!), am gonna wear it for the 42km.
And how can I NOT wear a skirt?!
I don't want to know what you think about the skirt......*SHUT UP!!*.....it's MY thing!
Besides...the skirt can pocket 4 packets of gels pretty well so don't you dare mock it.



* Brooks Ravenna and iPod shuffle


Oh yes...I think it may be feet-suicide but I don't wanna run in my Adrenaline GTS...(blister alert)
I'm gonna go with my Ravenna's....it's a gamble but one I'm ball-sy (stupid!!) enough to take!

Must remember to fully charge my iPod though.
And if you spot me and wanna say hi during the race, do so from my right.
My headphones, despite only being less than a year-old (bought it in Melbourne during the Boxing Day sale last year!), has already lost the right ear sound function, most likely due to the excessive sweating and the crap care that I have shown to it.


* I'm packed and all ready to go!


I feel a whole lot better today...especially since after my swim post-work.
I still can't muster any enthusiasm to run but I know on race day, the adrenaline pumping their my blood will do wonders to bolster up my running-esteem and enthusiasm!!!

Yup....now am REALLY looking forward to SCSM!!!

See you guys there!
(and remember.....right ear...)


Later!!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Suppose I MAY be depress for some reason.....

......but honestly that's how I feel of late!

I feel perpetually tired and my enthusiasm for running is on all time low!
No joke about it......these days I actually find reasons NOT to run.....

Gosh...and to think my relationship with running was indestructible!!

I feel ambivalent about a lot of things and lately don't get as easily excited about things as I used to....(and if you know me personally....you'd know I get easily excited about EVERYTHING!!!)

Anyway Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon (SCSM) is this Sunday and I'm trying my darnest to focus on the trip down instead of the daunting 42km, which if I think about it hard enough, I'd feel overwhelmed....and then start hyperventilating.
Not good to be feeling this way..... 
Not good at all....

5 days to go...I shouldn't be feeling like this.
I should be feeling on top of my game!
Honestly I haven't been training the way I thought I'd be on the weeks and days approaching SCSM.
I really felt down after Penang Bridge Half Marathon and since the start of this week, had barely run at all!

Perhaps I'm just plain tired.
I did just finish my 33 hour work day!
Perhaps I just need to lay off worrying about the distance that I'll be doing.
Perhaps I need to sleep in more and rest well.....
Perhaps I'm just having a really shit week and the crap shiteous excuse of sleep that I had yesterday is just not helping the situation and with my emotions.
*Bloody hormonal system!*

I'm just gonna (try) psych myself up for a fantastic trip down South and to meet up with all my friends and somehow find a way to finish the 42km without needing a visit to the Emergency Department of some hospital!
I'm sure it'll be fun.
I'm sure I'd feel a whole lot better tomorrow.
I'm sure once this Sunday arrives, the adrenaline will start pumping and I'll be all hyped up and the endorphins will make me ecstatic!
....hopefully.

And IF by post-marathon week I still feel crap like this (coz I believe I'm rather prone to post-race blues).....perhaps a doze of Prozac will help!


Gosh I don't sound like usual self!!!! (and that's SO depressing)


Later!!!