Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Sun Is Going Down...

By Frank
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Sundown Marathon 2008 official banner. It says it all...

The sun is going down and when it does on 31 May 2008, I will be running my second marathon of the year being my fourth since I started running. The battleground for the Sundown Marathon 2008 will be at Singapore starting and ending at Changi Village. What makes this marathon unique from others is that runners will be running at night. There will be 2 categories which is the 84KM ultra marathon and the 42KM marathon. I’ll be taking part in the marathon and will be starting the race at 11.59pm on 31 May 2008.
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The race route...

My preparation for this event has been fast and furious. With only 9 weeks in between KLIM08 and Sundown Marathon 2008, I had to plan my training the smart way. Time isn’t the one thing that I have as there were many road races in between these 2 major events. I had completed 2X5KM races, 2X10KM races, 1X15KM race, 2 half marathon races and 2X30KM runs, one of them being a night run, all leading to Sundown Marathon 2008. Been racing for almost every week. And most of these races that I have participated in, I managed to outdo myself in achieving a new personal record. I’m feeling very good now even after the recent RMAF Half Marathon 2008. Things are really looking positive. My fellow running friends are expecting me to do a time of 4:15 at Sundown Marathon 2008. Although I guess it’s pretty possible with my current form now, I’m sticking with my own target of 4:30. I don’t want to set myself a target too high only to fail at the actual event. To shave off 31 minutes off my best timing is just too high, although possible. So basically, I’ll be very happy if I’m able to meet my own target, and it be a bonus if I can meet my friends expectation of me. Therefore to achieve this, my strategy will be to pace with Choi and Jamie for at least half the distance, hopefully in a time of nothing more than 2 hours. From there onwards, it's negative splits all the way to the end and hopefully there won't be any walls waiting for me. Sounds easy, but it won't be easy doing it. But one major advantage I have this time is that I'm going into this race with 100% fitness. My previous 3 marathons are all met with health issues leading to them. I had diarrhea and hemorrhoid during KLIM07, fever and total loss of voice during Singapore Marathon 2007 and chest discomfort during KLIM08.

Besides the races, I’ve always trained during the weekdays. All the running I had done after KLIM08 till yesterday including the races I participated in all totaled to 324.33KM. Been kind of rush, but I’m glad I managed to run some quality runs. I ran from Tuesday till Thursday with additional resistance training during Monday, Wednesday and Friday. All these has helped me maintain and improved my fitness level.

I had spent much time in other exercises too such as plyometrics, core and stretching. Pylometrics has given me the edge in races I have participated earlier, and I hope to gain advantage from it especially during the mid section of the race. As for core training, I hope to strengthen my core muscles as I had a very bad back injury before. My threshold for a marathon is the 30KM mark and I hope by strengthening my core muscles, it will help my posture to go further. And finally stretching. I paid extra attention to my hamstrings and calves. Reason, my hamstrings has always been tight and I need my calves to perform the pylometrics. I can now feel the effects of these three exercises I have undertaken. I just hope on the actual day, nothing fails me.

And so, with only slightly more than 3 days left to the big event, all I can hope now is for the best. I pray nothing happens and I together with the rest of the runners will safely reach the finish line. In the meantime, stay tune for the report…

Monday, May 26, 2008

Day 19: Good Response...

By Frank
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It's been 16 days since I last blog about the adidas Response Control 7 which I got it courtesy from adidas Malaysia for their shoe seeding program. Reason... I can't find any major faults with the shoe! But since it's day 19 now, I guess I will blog a little something more on it before the final review on day 30.
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Front view of the adidas Response Control 7...

And so, I have been wearing the adidas Response Control 7 for my trainings. Although I wore it once for a 10KM road race at the recent Larian Bersama Bomba 2008, my feet ended up having blisters. I guess it was due to the fact that the shoe was still new at that time and I was pushing it to the max. But a week later, I wore it for the New Balance Pacesetters 15KM 2008 which gave me absolutely no problem at all. In fact, the shoe helped me to achieved a new personal record for both the races.

So, why do I like the shoe so much? Firstly, there were plenty of room for my toes to move in it. The width of the shoe which was 2E allows a snug but not tight fitting. I felt that both my feet are being hugged and not squeezed. You get the idea, don't you? The laces were made of anti-slip material unlike the one on my adidas adizero Tempo. I did not need to worry about the laces coming loose even without having to tie it twice. And the shoe's tongue sat quietly in place, not moving around like the adidas adistar Cushion 6.

An inside look on the shoe's width...

The shoe's tongue proudly showing the model of the shoe...

Well...The probably one downside that I managed to find out about the shoe right now is the very thick rear outsole. It may feel all right during an early part of a race, but as I reached the 10KM mark (during the New Balance Pacesetters 15KM 2008), I felt a bit uncomfortable. As I'm a person who prefers a thinner soles like those on a racer shoe, the rear outsole of the shoe made me felt that I was "bouncing" too much. I didn't like the feeling as I felt my heel being irritated by the heel counter due to the "bounce". Thefore, as I mentioned earlier in day 3 entry, the shoe is made for a 10KM race. A 15KM race might be all right but I guess that's pushing it to the limits. And also, by the time a 15KM distance is achieved, both my feet were soaked in sweat as the ventiation for this shoe is pretty poor.

A rear view of the shoe. Notice how thick is the sole...

And so here's to a very short entry on day 19 with the adidas Response Control 7. Till the next entry...

Sunday, May 25, 2008

RMAF Half Marathon 2008...

Event: RMAF Half Marathon 2008
Venue: RMAF Base, Sungai Besi, Kuala Lumpur
Date: 25 May 2008
Time: 6.30am
Distance: 21KM (20.03KM by Polar RS800sd S3 footpod / 20.47KM by Choi's Garmin Forerunner 205)
Shoe: adidas adizero Tempo
By Frank

The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) is celebrating it's 50th year anniversary and in conjunction with it, a half marathon event was held this morning. It was held at the RMAF base at Sungai Besi and the event was a blast! Read on...

Although I only managed 2 hours plus sleep, I woke up feeling really good. After all the preparations, I was ready to leave home. The moment I slip both my feet into my shoes, I felt that I can do something today. My legs felt light and strong after training with heavier shoes. Initially, I thought of just treating the run more like my training run as the Sundown Marathon is just next week. After analysing my situation, I decided to give a little push for this event today. I was targetting a time of 02:15:00, but then after thinking about it, I guess a time of 2 hours will be nice.

And so, I went to Bukit Aman carpark to meet up with Ronnie, Chek, Geraldine and some others as they do not know the way to the venue. Ronnie and Chek followed me in my car while others just tailgated me. It was a convoy of around 5 cars if not mistaken. Arrived at the venue in just a matters of minutes and managed to find a nice parking spot. While finalizing our running gear, I suddenly heard a lady saying that the last bus was about to leave for the starting point. We were all caught by suprised as we though the starting point was within walking distance. Packed everything up and rushed to the bus except for Ronnie who had to visit the toilet. At the starting point, we all gathered together for a group photo before the adventure begins.
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It's always a tradition to have a group photo together before the suffering...

At 6.30am, runners were flagged off. The first 2KM was along the airstrip. It was an unforgetable experience having to run on it. And to make things even more interesting, there were fireworks as runners made their way to the main road. I started at a very comfortable pace following Choi and Jamie. I caught Lim PT busy snapping pictures of the fireworks. Hehehe... There be a lot of interesting pictures from him, I'm sure. And so, at the main road, I let my legs and body do the talking. I plan to do the ever effective negative splits but this time, I did not look at my watch. I just run the way my body is telling me. After 3KM, I caught up with Lai FS. I gave him some encouragement as he looked tired before I took off. From there on, we made our way into KL city via Jalan Imbi before heading towards Jalan Sultan Ismail. I totally enjoyed the run here as it's not always that runners are allowed to run on the streets here. The beginning was a small hill climb which I dealt with it easily. After passing Lot 10, the memories of KLIM07 and 08 came into my mind. The route here all the way to Dataran Merdeka was just meaningful. Approximately around the 9KM mark, Choi caught up with me and I was pacing him all the way till the 10KM mark when it's time for me to break away. This was my plan actually, to run a sub 1 hour for my first 10KM, and then to go faster from there. And I did it! 10KM in around 50 minutes! And the best part was, I was still feeling good. No pain nor fatigue.

At Dataran Merdeka, I was greeted by the guys from PowerBar. Just before reaching them, I shouted to them asking if they had the vanilla flavoured PowerBar Gel. They replied they didn't and so I had no choice but to accept the strawberry banana flavour. Taste pretty OK actually. From here, I ran pass the National Mosque and suffered along the way as there were many vehicles here. I had to look up the sky to avoid breathing in the fumes. I quickly got away from there and soon found myself at Federal Highway, another place which brought back memories of KLIM07 and 08. No problem here and quickly enough I found myself at the Seputeh area heading towards Cheras. It was hilly but then somehow I'm feeling great! Not sure what happened to me today but I just felt so good. I saw Tay Poh Chye and I got a little worried that he may fartlek me should I overtake him. Hahaha... As my gap with him grew closer and closer, I gave him a thumbs up and away I went. Shortly later, I caught up with Ryan who was walking! I cheered on him and asked him to start running but he was just too tired. With nothing I can do, I continued my run and soon found myself next to Smart Tunnel. I can see the RMAF base from here although it's still 3KM away. With it, I decided to do my final push all the way. With the last 1KM to go, I looked at my watch and saw my timing. I was so happy as I was on route for a new personal best! Just before entering the base, Tey ET was there snapping pictures. I slowed down at the finishing area as the finishing line was in the middle of the field and it was filled with little holes. Not wanting to risk a sprain ankle, I tackled it with caution and finally crossed the finish line at position 75, clocking 01:45:18! A new personal best for me!

Almost to the end...

I later found out that the race route was under distance. Nevertheless, I enjoyed it. It was a great and well organised event. Distance marker was there, sufficient drinks and traffic control was good. And for me to clock this time even without me going full out, what else can I ask for? It's almost 15 minutes better than what I had aimed for, and even after my run, I was still feeling good! Man... All these is giving me pressure to do good at next week's Sundown Marathon!

A well deserved certificate of participation and finisher's medal...

Front of the finisher's medal...

Rear of the finisher's medal...

After congratulating almost everyone, we all went back to the car park to get changed before proceeding to the muzeum to have some pictures taken together with the planes. I shall let the pictures do the talking from here onwards. But before ending this report, I would like to congratulate the organisers for a job well done! And to Ronnie and Choi, thanks once again in believing in my ability to push myself to greater heights. You guys believe it more than I believe in myself! And so with this, it all comes down to next week's great 42KM!

Monday, May 19, 2008

4th Pacemakers Anniversary Trial Run 2008...

Event: 4th Pacemakers Anniversary Trial Run 2008
Venue: Metropolitan Park, Kepong, Kuala Lumpur
Date: 19 May 2008
Time: 4.30pm
Distance: 3.3KM (3.35KM by Polar RS800G3 GPS sensor)
Shoe: adidas Supernova Cushion 6
By Frank

With 20 days to go till the 4th Pacemakers Anniversary Run 2008 (PAR4), Ronnie was kind enough to organise a trial run for the runners to get themselves used to the route. I was there at 4pm and it was hot! Ronnie on his motorcycle took Lai FS with him for a spin around the track to measure the distance using the roller wheel courtesy from Lai FS, and it measured 3.38KM on the middle lane. So it's more or less 3.3KM (as indicated on the race info) if we were to run on the inner lane.
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Ronnie (on motor) with Lai FS returning with the roller wheel after measuring the distance...

Not many runners turn up. Just basically Chek, Julie, AP Tan, Chin, Daniel, Lai FS, Stanley and myself. While the volunteers who turned out to help out were Rachel and Wai Lam. And so at 4.30pm sharp after a quick group photo, the runners went for our first round. With still a tight hamstring after yesterday's race, I decided to go on an easy pace just to get myself used to the route. The starting was tough with a mixture of up and down hills before the flat area around the lake. The last 300M or so was a slight uphill climb to the finish line. I clocked 00:16:36 during my first trial. Some of them proceeded to do a second round but I opt to rest and do the third round instead.

Good and ready to go...

Runners off for the first round...

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The start of the first round, in video...

The third round being my second, I felt better and decided just to increase my pace by just a little but still at easy pace. I was pacing with Lai FS and Stanley, but Lai FS dropped back after 1KM or so. Therefore, it's all the way to the end with Stanley clocking a time of 00:16:12. I felt I can do better on the actual race day. Just hope my body will be fit after the Sundown Marathon which happens just a week before PAR4.

Off for the third round (my second)...

Finishing my second round with Stanley...

Basically the route is pretty nice to run. The only downside was the lack of trees which might make breathing a bit difficult for some and also the direct heat from the sun. The sunlight and heat might not or will not be a problem during the actual race day as the event is starting at 7.30am in the morning. The trial run ended after slightly more than an hour and we all now await for the actual race day. Thanks Ronnie for organising this trial run and also to the volunteers and runners who turned up today.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

New Balance Pacesetters 15KM 2008...

Event: New Balance Pacesetters 15KM 2008
Venue: Padang Merbuk, Kuala Lumpur
Date: 18 May 2008
Time: 7.00am
Distance: 15KM (14.98KM by Polar RS800G3 GPS sensor)
Shoe: adidas Response Control 7
By Frank

It's my second New Balance Pacesetters 15KM run ever since I started running last year. Being a high profile event, I have great expectations and set a target time of 01:20:00, although I'm pressurized to do a 01:15:00 by Ronnie. I did a 01:33:26 last year so if I can achieve my target time, I will be satisfied. However, there was a change of route this year. Instead of doing the famous double hills for 2 times, this year was only once. So how to cover the 15KM? Read on...

I came into this race with two strategies in mind. To attack the hills and to make full use of my plyometrics training! And also, to pace with Lai FS as I know through pacing with him, we will be able to help each other. And so, I arrived at the Bukit Aman carpark at 6.00am, and it was already almost filled up. Luckily I found a sweet parking spot although I prefered to have my usual parking spot next to Choi. Met up with Andy, Choi, Jamie, Loke and Wan. Chatted till 6.30am before we went to Padang Merbuk, the starting area. I met up with even more people there inlcuding Ben, Yee Hua, Geraldine, Kenny, Krishnan, Raymond and Ronnie who was rushing off to the toilet for his big business. Hahaha... And also to my suprise, I met Wenisa, my fitness training manager when I was back working at Fitness First. It was certainly nice to see her again although I got to admit that I was suprised as she did mentioned that she hates running! I proceeded to the starting line, this time at the road heading to the area at the back of Padang Merbuk heading towards the National Monument. I panicked at the starting line as I could not locate the person giving out the ribbon band that proves that we reported in. After searching high and low, I then heard that they ran out of it and we can proceed with the run without it. Duh... And so, I met with Lai FS and started side by side with him at the third row, pretty front. But the start was just shocking. No indicator or anything, just like the Great Eastern Pacesetters 30KM 2008. They just started the run without any announcement. I do appreciate if the organisers are able to give a signal like" Runners, are you ready?", before blowing the air horn to indicate the start.

As usual, my start is always slow. Lai FS managed to get a clean start but I managed to stick with him. It was a small hill climb before the more demanding hill as we approach the National Monument. I overtook Lai FS around the 1.5KM mark but managed to control my pace to stick with him. Soon later, Ben overtook me and gave me some encouragement! For the third time, he overtook me at the early stages of a race. This guy is just fast! Around 2.5KM, I found myself back at Padang Merbuk. It's mentally challenging as it's so near to the finish line but yet I still got another around 12.5KM to go. And so, my journey continues as I head towards the hill behind Bank Negara. After completing this area, I look back and to my suprise, Lai FS is no where to be seen. I felt sad and guilty that he couldn't keep up. I slowed down a bit hoping that he could catch up but upon reaching the middle part of Kenny Hill, I still can't see him. With that, I decided to carry on myself and increased my pace. It was also here that I bump into Tey ET who is returning after his long run, carrying his DSLR! Greeted him and away both of us went, in the opposite direction of course.

Shortly, came the challenging double hills. Kee Fong who volunteered was there to give out the ribbon band. I lost some time here as I didn't manage to grab it at the first attempt as it was pretty small. After strapping up the ribbon band on my wrist, I started to attack the hills. I decreased my stride but increase my speed. This helps me attack the hills more effectively and I managed to overtake many runners. I reached the top without any difficulties and from there on, it's smooth sailing all the way down. At the 10KM mark, Ija was there too volunteering and she managed to snap a picture of me. Thank you, although I was too into running that time to say hi to her. The reason, I looked at my time and I'm on course for a 01:15:00 time! Got back at the hill heading towards National Monument and soon back at Padang Merbuk. It's very near now although there's another 2KM or so to go.And so it was here that I started to empty my tank. I ran with all my heart out as I head to the area behind Bank Negara for the second time. As I climb that area for the second time, I spotted Tay Poh Chye just a few meters in front. I decided to overtake him and I managed to do it, encouraging him on the way. And so, Padang Merbuk finally came into my sight for the third time and Ben was there around 300M from the finish line cheering. Thanks Ben as it really boosted me for my final sprint. And so, I sprinted all the way to the finish line crossing it at position 109 for the men's category, clocking 01:15:23! A new personal best for me, 00:18:03 shaved off my last year's attempt although off Ronnie's time set for me by 23 second! I was so darn happy. I really have to thank him for the pressure he gave me as he believe in me more than I believe in myself.
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In action. Thanks Ija for the great shot...

Proud of our achievements...

It was not the end yet as I stayed near the finish line cheering for other runners yet to finish the run. And when everyone is back, well at least the gang, we gathered for a quick group photo before proceeding to the sponsor area for some post run meal. It was in this run that I met up with Eugene for the first time. Good run! Before leaving, I had a very quality and long chat with Wenisa. She did great herself in this race and I hope to see her more in future races. And so, the event came to an end with a sudden downpour when I was back at the carpark with Choi promoting Saucony shoes. Hehe... Overall, a good event except for the hiccup at the start. And not forgetting the unique medal shaped as a New Balance shoe. Next up, the RMAF Half Marathon 2008 in a week time.

Front view of the medal. So unique...

Rear view of the medal...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Runners2Runners Program...

By Choi

I am launching a program whereby I am recruiting runners as members to help promote and create greater awareness on Saucony running shoes within the running community. This program is called Runners2Runners Program. All appointed members of this program will be reference as “Saucony Shoe Ambassadors”.

For those interested to participate, please send an email to Choi Chik Choy (cchoi_2020@yahoo.com). Please include your personal contact number in your email. Upon receiving the email, I will give the interested party a call to further evaluate on whether they will be the right candidate for the program itself. Selection of the candidates will be based on certain criteria that will be highlighted during the discussion.

The key objective of this program is to promote the Saucony brand and also to offer another brand of running shoes to the running community itself, and hopefully coupled with value for money models. Lets get together and make the running community more vibrant, knowledgeable and last but not least helping each other in anyway we can.

Runners2Runners here we come !!!!

Signing off……

Choi Chik Choy

Sunday, May 11, 2008

World Asthma Day Jogathon 2008...

Event: World Asthma Day Jogathon 2008
Venue: Padang Merbuk, Kuala Lumpur
Date: 11 May 208
Time: 8.00am
Distance: 5KM (by officials)
Shoe: adidas Response Control 7
By Frank

3.5 hours after completing my Putrajaya Night Run, it all comes down to my third running event within a time of 25 hours. The World Asthma Day Jogathon is a charity event to help promote the awareness of asthma. Coming into this event with a sore and tight legs, and not forgetting the blister and the wound I suffered earlier, I decided to just run comfortably and to finish the whole run.

Group photo before the run...

As usual, met up with the usual gang and had our group photo taken before proceeding the the starting line. Bump into Kenny who arrived late. Had s short chat with him before the event started at 8.00am. Out of a sudden, stitch attack me out of no where. I haven't even yet started running and the pain came. Gosh... It's not making my run any easy, especially just having done the earlier 2 runs. The starting venue was bad as it was located in the middle of the field of Padang Merbok. Being a field, it was unstable. I tried to avoid any holes as I do not want to sprain my ankle. As I entered the tarmac road, everything got better and I ran at a very comfortable pace and just hope to get everything over with as fast as soon as possible. The route is almost the same as the recent Olympic Torch Relay Fun Run where is was hilly. Making my way to Bank Negara, I bumped into Andy who was returning after his long run. After completing around 1.5KM, I heard Kelvin and Saiful shouting at my name. These 2 jokers were literally shouting throughout the entire 5KM. Some might find them irritating but at least, they brought me entertainment and laughter especially during this run when I was struggling with pain. And with it, I quickly found myself completing the run sooner than expected as I crossed the finish line at 00:31:59.

To the finish line...

Meeting up with more friends after the run...

And so with this event, I have successfully completed 3 runs within 26 hours, running a distance of 45KM! Not an easy task I will say and despite being tired and in pain due to blisters, I am certainly proud of my achievement.

Putrajaya Night Run Simulation For Sundown Marathon 2008...

Event: Putrajaya Night Run Simulation For Sundown Marathon 2008
Venue: Palace Of Justice, Precint 2, Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur
Date: 11 May 2008
Time: 12.30am
Distance: 29.3KM (by Anil's Garmin Forerunner 305)
Shoe: adidas Supernova Cushion 6
By Frank

In preparation for the upcoming Sundown Marathon 2008 which is going to happen in just 3 weeks time, a night simulation run was organised at Putrajaya. To me, it's a very interesting event and it would be fun to run in the night. With only 3 hours of sleep after participating in the earlier Larian Bersama Bomba 2008, I just hope that I can run the distance of at least 25KM.

I did not know how to get to Putrajaya, and therefore asked Cheang for assistance. We both left from his house at USJ at around 11.15pm and managed to arrive at sharp midnight. Tony Quay, the organiser is already there with some others and is in the midst or preparing the necessary things. Shortly, Jamie and Kit too arrive and I was introduce to Anil. Familiar faces too was taking part in this event. Some of them were Ben, Yee Hua, Fook, Yen Erl and Haza.
.Group photo (we all should be sleeping instead)...

Jamie, Kit, Frank, Cheang and Anil...

After all the runners has arrived with close to 75 in total I guess, we all took a group photo and went through a short briefing. With all done, together with Jamie, Kit and Anil, the 4 of us started at 12.30am. The first 10KM was on a easy pace. To my suprise, we were greeted by a light breeze which made conditions very cooling. We were the king of the road for the night as we were running on the streets with almost no vehicles at all except for some who were hanging out at night. The 4 of us were running strongly together till the 5KM mark when Kit and Anil slowed down slightly. I continued on with Jamie and on the way back to the starting point, we met up with a few other runners making their way. Back at the starting point, we had a quick sip before making our way to the Prime Minister's office area. Upon returning to the starting point again, we have already ran a distance of 11.16KM. Not bad.

However, at the start from the 12KM onwards is where I began to struggle. I suffered from some blister on my right toe and feet at the earlier Larian Bersama Bomba. Though I did bandage the affected toe, I guess the condition of night running and also the moisture from my sweat worsen it. I continued running despite the pain and am still managing to pace with Jamie. Kit managed to catch up here while Anil is still behind although within a catch up distance. Jamie laid down the gauntlet at around the 15KM mark and began to pull away. Not wanting to increase my pace, I was lucky I had Kit with me. We both pace together till we arrive back at the starting point for a slightly longer rest period. Continuing on, I paced with Jamie this time as it was Kit's turn to hammer the road. He was very strong from here on. As for me, I can feel some fluid on my right feet. First thing that came into my mind was blood! Though I felt like stopping upon returning to the starting point to check on it and to have it bandage up should there be a wound, I did not. I bear the pain and went on and this time, I had lost both Jamie and Kit although I can still see them. I spotted Anil behind me and I slowed down so that he could catch up with me. We both ran together from here onwards.

At the 25KM mark at the convension centre, I guess fatigue is crawling into Anil as he slowing down a lot. I broke slightly away from him though I'm struggling a lot on the pain on my right feet. Not wanting to to further impose any damage, I decided to finish off the run upon reaching back at the starting point clocking 03:04:26, a distance of 29.3KM according to Anil's GPS sensor. Jamie and Kit were still running though. Jamie returned shortly later as his calf was hurting and decided to call it a night too. Kit was the king of the night. He ran a distance of 33.3KM strongly in a pair of new shoes without any problems. Kudos to him!

After completing the run, I did my warm down and stretches while chatting with Ben, Jaime and Kit. Cheang who had completed his run ealier doing a 20KM distance was already dressed up to return home. I guess everyone was already tired a this point. I took my post-run meal and supplement, and checked on my right feet. To my horror, my right sock was blood soaked at the ankle area, and not my toes. Although my toes blistered, it was my ankle that had an open wound. Not wanting to risk an inflammation, I quickly clean and dry up the area.

Ouch...

Overall, it was a good and interesting run. Thank you to Tony Quay for organising it such a good simulation run and by now, most of us will have a feeling of what is awaiting runners at Sundown Marathon 2008. After hanging out for a while, I adjourn from the place at 4.30am. I still have one more run coming up in 4 hours time and I decided to return home for a quick shower.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Day 3: Larian Bersama Bomba 2008...

Event: Larian Bersama Bomba 2008
Venue: Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur
Date: 10 May 2008
Time: 7.30am
Distance: 10KM (10.93KM by Choi's Garmin Forerunner 205)
Shoe: adidas Response Control 7
By Frank

I missed last year's Larian Bersama Bomba due to a boil I suffered. So it will be first time participating in this run. Although I'm very optimistic about this run as I had been improving positively, I just got the feeling that I miss the medals by a few placing. The medals offered for this run was for the top 75 runners. And to get it, I must complete it within 53 minutes based on last year's results. To find out if I managed to get myself a medal, read on...

It's Day 3 now since I received the adidas Response Control 7 from the adidas shoe seeding program. Having tested it on Day 1, I guess it's time I put it to race test. I arrived at Dataran Merdeka at 6.45am and to my suprise, the place was already packed with runners. The usual parking spot where I park my car has already been taken. Got no choice but to park at the basement car park which costs me RM4! Met up with Ronnie who arrived at 5.30am. So early! As I did my warmup and stretching, the gang arrived. Adam, Chen, Choi, Hong, Lai FS, Ryan, Saiful and Geraldine all came except for Kenny who was late. He overslept. Haha... And so after all of us were done with our warmups, we proceeded to the starting area after having our group photo taken. I entered the staring area with Choi and we chatted a for a while, while waiting for the even to be started. This loosen me up a little. Kenny then arrived just in time. Ben who is running too saw me and called me. We both wish each other the best out of this run.
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Group photo before the run...

And so at 7.30am, runners were let off. I had trouble getting a good start as I was blocked by slower runners. Adam and Kenny started cleanly and I told myself not to loose them. I tried get myself an empty running space in front of the slower runners and I managed to do so with Choi just right behind me. I was running at a comfortable pace of 6:00/KM. Didn't want to start off to fast after what happened at the recent Olympic Torch Relay Fun Run. After the short hill climb after JKR, I began my race pace. As I entered the Kenny Hill area, I started overtaking runners around. My pace was averaging around 5:10/KM here and I felt floating on air. This made stride bigger than usual. All thanks to plyometrics. I managed to overtake Chen, Lai FS, Ryan and Tay Poh Chye here. I really felt good and strong here, and hope this will go on. But I know it's going to be tough at the front once I enter the Duta Highway. At around the 4KM mark, I overtook a Malay runner but he managed to pace by my side. I didn't mind as this helps each of us and he doesn't pose any problems for me. At the 5KM mark, I began to free myself from him as I approach the refreshment station. To my disappointment, only plain water was served. There was no isotonic drinks.

After the refreshement station is where the real challenge began. As I entered the Duta Highway, Chen overtook me back. I know I will struggle at this part due to the vehicle fumes plus the hill climb. I'm still able to see Kenny which I did from the start but now he is already like 20 seconds in front of me. I didn't want to lose him so I tried to maintain my pace but I know I'm starting to slow down. As I approach the Indian Embassy, I suddenly heard loud running foot steps from behind. At first I thought it was Lai FS. It gave me some pressure but a good one as I increase my pace back again. But in the end, that runner managed to overtake me and he was Tay Poh Chye. Haha... Soon later, Choi overtook me too. I guess I'm slowing down a lot already. But then, Yaziz came into my picture with 2KM to go. He gave me some encouragement and we managed to pace each other for a while before I broke away from him at the last climb at the Jalan Parlimen flyover. After the climb, I can feel that fatigue is taking over me. I tried to push, keeping Choi and Tay Poh Chye in my sight. As I arrived at the Bank Negara roundabout, Yaziz overtook me. I guess he really wanted to win me this time after what happened at the recent Bidor Half Marathon. Hehe... As I made my way to the finish line which was in the middle of the field, all I can hope for is the best as I had already did my part. I crossed the finish line at 00:52:52 and I was thinking whether do I stand a chance to get a medal. As I queue to receive the certificate, I asked a Malay runner who was 2 places in front of me on his position. He showed me his position card which was 75 and with that, disappointment took over me. Sigh... I missed the medal by 2 positions!
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After the run, tired but yet still smiling...

Though I didn't manage to get a medal, I was extremely happy that today's timing was my best for a 10KM race. And hey, this race was 10.93KM as recorded by Choi's GPS sensor. That made me even happier. To me, medal isn't everything. As I long I did my best, and the results shows, that's all that I can ask for.

The certificate of participation...

So how did the adidas Response Control 7 performed? It was very comfortable. The light weight helped a lot especially during the closing stages of the run. And even without geoFiT, my ankle was well protected especially when I took the corners. But as the shoe was still very new, I suffered a slight blister on the bottom of my right feet, but not serious. I guess I have to run in the shoe a bit more. The unsteady heel which I complained 2 days back seems to have disappear. Not sure of the reason behind it, but I gues could be the terrain of the route. So overall, I can now certify this shoe suitable for a 10KM race. Well at least for me.

But that's not the end for today. I will still have a midnight simulation run for the upcoming Sundown Marathon at Putrajaya later at midnight. And not forgetting the World Asthma Day Jogathon tomorrow morning. It's going to be tiring but I just take it as a training at the next 2 runs. And besides, it's going to be fun with all the familiar faces around for the midnight run. So, I'm signing off here for now as I need my rest.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Day 1: Responding To My Call...

By Frank
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adidas Malaysia...

I'm in need for a pair of training shoe, one that at least can do a 15KM run. I was eyeing at the new adidas Supernova Control 11 where I first saw the sample at the recent KLIM08 race kit collection day. But then, came the adidas second shoe seeding program of the year. I was very happy with the previous program and so, I decided to participate in this round too. Made an appointment with Krishnan and together with Ronnie, Kenny and Saiful, the 4 of us drop by at adidas Malaysia's office this noon. After informing on our feet size, Krishnan brought 4 pairs of shoes out. And here's the story...

The shoes...

The 4 shoes were the adizero Tempo, adizero Mana, Supernova Sequence and Response Control 7. I was presented with the Supernova Sequence due to the fact that I'm a mild pronator. However, after testing out each pair, Ronnie felt that the Supernova Sequence suits him better. I offered to change with his Response Control 7 as the shoe of suits me too, although I got to admit the Supernova Sequence was just excellent. But I believe Ronnie's feet can be pretty choosy on shoes, so I sacrificed. Hehe...

Details on the Response Control 7...

The adidas Response Control 7...

And so, I got my hands (or shall I say feet) on the adidas Response Control 7 for my second shoe seeding program. The shoe is a basic entry level model for the training/competition range. Not so much of high end technology built into the shoe. I love the colour of the shoe as it came in shades of white, metallic silver and red. And compared to the previous adidas adistar Cushion 6 I've got for the first program, this shoe is light. Here's a little background of the shoe's technology before I continue on.

adiPRENE: The main absorber at the heel.
adiPRENE +: The absorber at the forefoot which is also used for toe-off.
adiWEAR: A durable outsole used at high impact areaa.
FORMOTION: Acting as a suspension system provided by 2 plates at the heel area. And with it, the 2 plates moves around to adapt to the ground at every heel strike.
TORSION SYSTEM: A stabilizer used to provide arch support.
pro-moderator: Used by motion control shoes to limit the pronation of the feet.

One very interesting thing I found out was that, upon taking out the insole, I actually found out that instead of the usual adiPRENE 45 used on the inner rear heel sole, the LITESTRIKE 55 was used this time. Not sure on the diffrence though. But hey, let the running do the talking here.

LITESTRIKE 55 at the inner rear sole...

The weather was good today and training was on at Lake Gardens with Ronnie and the rest of the gang. And so, I slip into my new adidas Response Control 7 and away I went. First thing I felt was, the toebox was so roomy! I can move my toes around. Nice! But the heel area was pretty hard! Not sure was this due to the LITESTRIKE 55 or was the shoe too new? But as I ran, it felt better. The pro-moderator worked very well and I can certainly feel the support between my arch and heel. One thing that got me a little worried about was the stitching. As all my adidas shoes came with the noseam technology, the Response Control 7 didn't come with it. I was afraid of blisters or cuts that might happen but luckily it did not. Actually, it felt pretty nice except that the shoe isn't that well ventilated compared to my other adidas shoes. I miss the holes! Another concern of mine was the heel strike. Although the 2 FORMOTION plates were present, the mechanism that sits within it is missing. I'm not sure whether does this contributes to it, but I felt the rear sole to be moving too much. It was't really steady at every heel strike I made. Hmmm... But anyway, I felt really happy with the shoe as I ran pretty comfortable with it at a fast pace today covering 7.5KM. Here's a little summary of my early Day 1 test of the shoe:

Pros
1) Comfortable and light weight. No fancy high technology used.
2) Excellent pronation support by the pro-moderator although just only at the heel area.
3) 2E width suits those with wide feet.
4) Handsomely designed.

Cons
1) Ventilation could been better.
2) Heel area appear to be unsteady.

Pronation support by the pro-moderator...

The 2 FORMOTION plates...

The missing inner FORMOTION mechanism...

I'm happy with the Response Control 7 as it suits my requirement for running 10KM or max 15KM. I don't think I can run anything more than that in this shoe. Although the shoe is still new and have yet to run-in, I felt confident in it and might use it for this weekend's 10KM Larian Bersama Bomba 2008. How will the shoe fare in a race, only this weekend will tell. Till then, stay tune for my report.

And before signing off from this entry, I would like to thank Krishnan and adidas Malaysia for allowing yet another opportunity for me to participate in their shoe seeding program.

Group photo (From L-R: Saiful, Kenny, Ronnie, Frank, Krishnan)...

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Story Of Ryan And Alicia Shay...

Please take your time in viewing this inspiring and touching video about the late Ryan Shay, Alicia Shay (Ryan Shay's wife) and Ryan Shay's family on life after Ryan.

Part 1 of the video...

Part 2 of the video...

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Labour Day, Labour Of Love (Pain)

Event: Labour Day, Labour Of Love (Pain) LSD Run
Venue: Bukit Aman carpark, Kuala Lumpur
Date: 1 May 2008
Time: 5.00am
Distance: 30KM (30.32KM by Jamie's Garmin Forerunner 205)
Shoe: adidas Supernova Cushion 6
By Frank

It's a cool Labour Day morning and I was up as early as 2am to catch the Champions League semi-final second leg match beween Liverpool and Chelsea. Sadly, Liverpool lost. But hey, I'm not to here to talk about footie. This is a running blog!

After KLIM08, most of us has been slacking on our long runs. My recent Bidor Half Marathon 2008 can be considered one actually, but the pace is very different. It's a race after all. Therefore, in conjunction with Labour Day, Jamie organised our first LSD run for our upcoming Sundown Marathon at our usual Bukit Aman to Hartamas route. However, those who are interested were welcome to join us. He named the LSD run Labour Day, Labour Of Love (Pain) run. Haha... Seriously, I like the name. There were 2 "categories" for this run. The first being the 30KM runners scheduled to start at 5am, while the second being the 20KM runners scheduled to start at 6.15am.

I decided to put on my adidas Supernova Cushion 6 for this run. Despite not wearing it for quite some time already, I still find it very comfortable. And besides, 30KM is no joke if I were to wear the heavy adidas adistar Cushion 6. Me together with Geraldine, Jamie, Choi, Cheang, Kit and Tey were in the first batch and we started off around 5.10am. I had Geraldine to run side by side with for the first 10KM. We were chatting along the way and this made my run relaxing. Didn't worry about my pace too much as quickly enough, we found ourselves at the Petronas station at Hartamas already. Jamie managed to caught up with us and we did 4 loops around the petrol station so that we can cover till 30KM later. Geraldine did only 2 loops and she went off by herself. By the time we completed the 4 loops, we covered a distance of 13.2KM in a time of 01:22:35. We took a breather at the Petronas station and rehydrated ourselves while waiting for Choi, Cheang, Kit and Tey. And when they arrived and have rested enough, we continued our adventure.

This time however, it was the start of a lonely run for me. Jamie has up his pace and I just couldn't keep up. Back at the income tax building, I met up with the second batch runners doing the 20KM distance. They were Ronnie, Tay Poh Chye, Stanley and a few whom I don't know. I did one loop around the income tax building and upon doing so, was rewarded a view of a beautiful rainbow formed up in the sky. What a pleasant view and I managed to share it with Choi who was just behind me before we made our way back to Hartamas again. Bumped into Geraldine just before reaching Petronas. Although I'm tempted to stop to rehydrate myself at the station, I didn't as I wanted to keep going. Jamie who was there with Ronnie and the others took off as I arrived.

As I left the station with Tey, Choi too checked in followed shortly by Kit and Saiful. At this point, I can feel my quads aching already. It felt very tight. Didn't want to give up as I had already come this far. Besides, I have Tey just behind me to add a bit of pressure. Hehe... But he slowed down once we reached back at the Duta stadium, and soon I lost him. So I was all alone from here all the way back which was like 5KM more to go. So in the end, I made it all the way back in one piece, and was greeted by Geraldine, Jamie and Ronnie who had completed their run earlier. And so my time for the total 30KM was 03:05:51.

We all did our warm down and stretching while chit chatting, and once Choi is back, we all gathered around him as he showed us the 2008 Saucony model which was just one word, OUTSTANDING! And before we all left, we took a group photo to to mark a successful LSD run on Labour Day 2008, one with lots of love and pain.
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Despite running 20KM and 30KM respectively, we are all still smiling...