Sunday, March 30, 2008

KL International Marathon 2008...

Event: KL International Marathon 2008
Venue: Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur
Date: 30 March 2008
Time: 4.30am
Distance: 42.195KM
Shoe: adidas adizero Tempo
By Frank

It was a fine day. In fact, it was just too good. The day I have been waiting for has finally arrived. KL International Marathon 2008, my third marathon. It all comes down to this after all my training.

Woke up at 12am feeling refreshed and energised. After preparing myself, I left for the "battlefield". Arrived at Bukit Aman carpark at 3.15am and waited for Choi. He arrived shortly and we were joined by Jason as we made our way to Dataran Merdeka. It was an approximately 1KM walk there, so it's a good way to warm up. Upon reaching, I met up with Haza, Rashid and Yip. Went to the washroom and cleared everything before I reported in. Met up with the rest of the Pacemakers like Jamie, Kenny, Kit, Dinesh, Shine and Ping Loong, and we chatted and wished each other just before the start of the run. At 4.30am sharp, we were flag off. We all gave each other a thumbs up and it's the start of a long adventure.

I started very well, in fact too well. I found Jamie and Choi and decided to pace with them. It was then at the 2KM mark that I decided to go ahead of them. Reason is because I know that I will lose them eventually if they are ahead of me. Therefore, knowing they are just behind me, I managed to maintain an average pace of 5:45/KM. Talk about pressure. I also overtook Ping Loong shortly. I arrived at the 10KM mark at 01:03:32, still feeling fresh. Stepped on the mat, *beep* goes my ChampionChip and it's 1 down, 3 to go. It was at the 15KM mark that Jamie and Choi went in front of me. My pace has dropped to an average 6:00/KM. I still managed to pace with them but they eventually went further and further away from me. It was around the 17.5KM mark, that I lost both of them. Sigh...I'm all alone. I reached the halfway point 02:10:21, a very good achievement for me. Out of a dark corner, Shine suddenly overtook me and just disappeared!

From here on, although my energy level is still good, I can feel my legs weakening. My pace has dropped to an average of 6:40/KM. But I didn't want to stop and rest just yet as I told myself not too until I breach 33KM which is the longest running distance I've done which is at the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2007. At around the 25KM mark, there was this ClimaCool zone prepared by adidas. Last year, there wasn't a single drop of water. But this time, it was showering so darn heavily! I didn't want to get wet, so I just ran pass it from the side washing my hands in the process. Arrived back at Dataran Merdeka for the U-turn. Further ahead, both my ankle joints was really hurting but upon checking my time, I have completed 28KM in around 02:58:00. Although just a slight improvement over my circuit run, I was still motivated. Pain aside, I kept going and was greeted by the PowerBar booth at the 30KM mark. *Beep* goes the third mat as I clocked 03:19:26 and continued on with my journey. My pace dropped drastically to an average of 7:50/KM. I eventually reached the 33KM mark. I told myself that I must go till 34KM before I take my first stop as my ankle was really hurting like no tomorrow. And as I arrived at the 34KM mark, I told myself, "Why not another kilometer?" I kept asking myself this as I completed another kilometer and it was when I reach the last 4KM, I told myself to go all out till the end. Chest was feeling a bit tight here and although I do not want to do a Ryan Shay, that didn't slow my progress. It was really tricky towards the end as it was hilly. But it didn't stop me from increasing my pace back to 6:30/KM. And it was at the last 1KM that I started to empty my tank. I finally saw it, the finish line. Kenny who was making his way back to his car saw me and cheered for me. It was so precious and that push me all the way. Near to the finish line, the Pacemakers were there to cheer all runners on. Ronnie, Lai, Jaime, Choi, Pueh Tian were all there. I compose myself emotionally and as usual look up the sky for one final push as I stepped on the final mat and *beep* goes my ChampionChip, crossing the finish line at 04:46:22, 25 minutes 38 seconds shaved off my previous personal best set at Singapore last year. I screamed to myself at the finish line punching my fist before settling down to collect my finisher's medal.

video

Towards the finish line...

A tired but yet proud runner...

I made my way back to meet up with the Pacemakers and was congratulated by them for a job well done. I was really touched, proud and happy. Not only did I shaved time off my previous personal record, but I actually ran a sub 5 hours marathon. To make things event sweeter, it was from the start till the finish line, a whooping 42.195KM! A major achievement for me. It was a perfect start to a full marathon adventure for 2008.

A few things though. On the positive side, water and sponging stations were oragnised very well this time. Traffic control was also a step up from last year. However, I was disappointed that there weren't any cheerleaders or bands throughout the entire course of the race except for 2 places where some employees from adidas was screaming off their lungs. Looks and sound like hooligans! And the finisher's t-shirt. OMG! I do not know how to describe the awfulness of it. But anyway, it's all over. See everyone at KL International Marathon 2009! .

The finisher's medal...

The finisher's t-shirt. No comments...

Official results of Runnerz Circle and friends:

A – Men Open 42.195KM Full Marathon (ChampionChip timing)
04:46:22 - A0003 : Frank (Category Pos. 134, Overall Pos. 379)
05:46:23 - A0045 : Rashid (Category Pos. 206, Overall Pos. 636)

F – Men Open 21.1KM Half Marathon (ChampionChip timing)
02:49:18 - F5110 : Terence Ng (Category Pos. 397, Overall Pos. 953)
02:57:38 - F5003 : Andy Chee (Category Pos. 449, Overall Pos. 1061)
02:24:29 - F5617 : Eugene Teoh (Category Pos. 236, Overall Pos. 576)

M – Men Open 10KM (Individual timing)
01:15:00 - M0488 : Andrew Chiam
01:21:00 - M0002 : William Lee
01:30:00 - M0212 : Andrew Chang

N- Women Open 10KM (Individual timing)
01:18:00 - N2106 : Ija (Category Pos. 271)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Approach To KL International Marathon 2008...

By Frank

Got my race kit this morning. As usual, it's full of hiccups. Actually, it's even worst than last year. There's no paper bag for us to store our race kit. Everything came loosely. First I got my bib, then programme schedule, then vouchers then finally the ChampionChip. Why can't they get everything ready the day before? It's an international event but the standard is just so below par. Sigh... Anyway, I met Krishnan from adidas Malaysia there. I spent a short quality time with him studying some of the 2008 upcoming running shoes. The shoes are now so colourful and striking!
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A view of the race kit collection centre. Not so "international" feel...

The simple yet hectic full and half marathon race kit collection area...

adidas 2008 running shoes. Wicked...

adidas 2008 running attire. Nice...

My race kit...

So, how did I prepare myself for this third marathon attempt of mine. After a miserable run at the Great Eastern Pacesetters 30KM 2008, I double the intensity of my training hoping to improve myself in time for the KL International Marathon. I’ve joined Der Pacemakers lead by Ronnie in his gruesome training beginning at the end of January. The usual people that attended the training from Tuesday till Thursday are the regular Geraldine, Lai, Kit and Kenny although sometimes we are joined by others.

Normal training is held at Lake Gardens. On Tuesday and Thursday. It’s a normal run around the lake. At 2.8KM per loop, we usually do at about 3 to 4 loops. It was challenging as it’s a mixture of flats, up and down hills which will be beneficial for upcoming events. On Wednesday, it was speed works. It was usually done at the 270M distance with a gradient estimating at 4% value. However, there were times when we changed to a shorter 200M flat distance or a more challenging 6% gradient. Training with these people is really tough but as time passes, I am now a better runner thanks to their guidance and motivation.

During the weekends especially on Saturday’s, I’ll do my long runs, also known as LSD (Long Slow Distance). It’s about the distance of 20KM or even 30KM on my feel good days. The usual runners are with Geraldine, Jamie, Loke and Choi although Andy and David do sometimes join in too but for a shorter distance. Not to mention the 2 circuit runs organized by AmBank. I regarded it more like my LSD training rather than a race.

I believe a runner has to train overall rather than just sticking on running, although running is still the main thing. Therefore, I still do resistance and weight training though on Sundays. Besides that, core and rehab exercises are also on my regular training schedule.

There was a setback though on the first week of March. Out of the blue, I suddenly felt a discomfort on the left side of my chest. Yes, it’s my heart! Took a couple of days off training after running the third circuit run with it. Lucky enough, the pain went away in 4 days time although. I did not visit the doctor though.

And as off 12 days ago, I have started my tapering phase. With the big day just 3 days away, I guess I can say that I’m both physically and mentally prepared to battle myself, my heart and the route. My target this time will be to shave time off my personal record set at Singapore last year, and to dip below 5 hours will be a bonus. Although it’s tough as the course is more demanding, I believe it can be done. Therefore, it’s time for a “revisit” to KL International Marathon, this time the year 2008 edition.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Tapering...

Extracted and modified from Marathon Training.

Many runners fail to realize that one of the most important aspects of marathon training is the taper phase. Tapering refers to the practice of reducing or tapering off exercises, days or weeks before a competition, stating longer endurance events requires longer tapering phases. Typically, tapering for relatively short endurance events takes as little as a week or less, but tapering for an event like the marathon takes at least two or three weeks. Medical studies shows that the final three weeks of any marathon-training program are the most critical stage of training; a review of fifty studies on tapering indicates that optimal levels of muscle glycogen, enzymes, antioxidants, and hormones, which are significantly depleted by intense endurance training, are achieved during a taper. Here are a few basic steps to taper.

- Reduce the distance and intensity of your training runs during the tapering phase prior to the marathon, eliminating long and hard efforts.

- Listen to your body. Remember, there are no workouts the week prior to the marathon that will enhance your preparedness for the race. An important rule of thumb is "Less is Best", particularly if you are feeling either physically or mentally tired and/or your leg muscles are fatigued/achy.

- Keep stretching as much as possible during the couple of weeks prior to the marathon.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

KLIM 2008 Circuit Running 3...

Event: KLIM 2008 Circuit Running 3
Venue: Lake Gardens, Kuala Lumpur
Date: 9 March 2008
Time: 7.15am
Distance: 2.8KM per loop (to complete as many loops in 03:30:00)
Shoe: adidas Supernova Cushion 6
By Frank

I took a big risk by turning up for this event this morning. My left chest was actually hurting yesterday. Yes, it's the heart. It felt that something is nailing it and it's going to burst anytime. I never felt this pain before and being a runner, I am confident that my heart is healthy. I was in fact hesistating to actually run this morning. But at the end, I decided to give it a go.

I took a slow and steady pace as I didn't know what's happening inside my heart. I didn't have my heart rate monitor with me as I have sold it off and currently waiting for the new model I ordered to arrive. Besides, I didn't regard this as race. In fact, it's more like a training. Turnout was pretty good and at 7.15am, we were let off. My shoes were very comfortable but at certain places which was wet, it was really slippery especially the downhill section near Carcosa.

I completed my first loop at around 17 minutes, just slightly off pace. It was a comfortable pace and I told myself to go with it. Things started to change only at loop 6 when I took the GU Energy Gel. It boosted me physically and I up my pace a little. I was lucky at this point that my heart is still all right as I have not stop yet. But, a new problem arised. The weather! As it rained yesterday evening, there were minimal clouds. The sun shone straight through. I felt that I was being barbequed! Everytime I passed the refreshment station, I wet myself with a cup of water.
.

Suffering from a diffrent angle...

Then at loop 8, I suddenly felt the pain again. Slowed down to a fast walk pace to ease the pain and lucky enough, it went away. Didn't want to push my luck too much, I slowed my pace down. As I completed loop 10, I checked my time with the time keeper. I heard he said 03:14:00, which was 16 minutes more to the end. I might not have enough time to complete another loop with that remaining time so I decided to call it a day, successfully completing 10 loops equivelant to 28KM in 03:00:15. Yes, I know. It's not a typing error. 03:00:15 is in fact the actual time. Sigh... I could have completed another loop but it was already too late as I only found out 5 minutes later and has already downed 250ML of water and 2 cups of Milo. Nevertheless, I was very happy with my results as if this was a race, I would have achieve a Personal Record already. In fact, I was very suprised I can actually achieve this time with my pace. I guess my training, persistent and motivation I received has been a key factor.

After a tough run, we still manage to smile...

Call me stupid or daring to actually participate in this event despite my condition. To those reading this, please do not follow my footsteps. My advice is, "Listen" to your body well.