Venue: Stadium Shah Alam, Selangor
Date: 2 August 2009
Distance: 22KM (21.82KM by Choi's Garmin Forerunner 205)
Shoe: Nike LunarGlide+
After last weekend's Shape & Mens Health Run which made me realised that I'm really out of shape, I decided that I shall start everything from scratch again. Therefore, it's with this edition of the adidas King Of The Road 2009 that I will start off with my periodization phase. 22KM worth of easy but quality run is what I am looking for, not speed. Though my legs are yet to be 100%, I believe this run won't take too much out of it. Besides, this will probably be the "last" event before the fasting month begins. So, I will have plenty of time to rest, provided I don't get myself involve in any stressful weekend training. Haha...
Arrived at 5.15am and was surprised that the stadium car park was pretty filled up. Was lucky that I found myself a good spot. Soon, I met up with Henry as we agreed to meet up as I just sold him a Polar heart rate monitor. A quick change into my running gear and off I went looking for the toilet.
Arriving at the main gate to the stadium, a reporting booth was set up and runners just had to pass the reporting card to the officials to receive a wrist band. Pretty efficient. Arriving at the toilet, the queue was long and hygiene was pretty poor. I held on to it and just walked out and soon met up with Kevin, Pueh Tian and Julie. The rest like Andrew, Choi, Loke, Marvin and Shine soon arrived and it was time to run.
Runners were lead out to the road just outside the stadium at at 6.30am sharp, the Selangor Chief Minister started the race. Off I went with Choi and Loke but I soon let them out run me. Immediately, I miss Jamie who I ran and paced with at last year's edition. This year, my pacer will be my heart as I just want to run my own easy pace, maintaining my heart rate at about 70% from my maximum heart rate. Though I didn't wear any heart rate monitor, I'm able to estimate it through my own experience. Besides, 70% is a comfort zone where I wasn't feeling breathless and am still able to strike a conversation.
The start was about a 2KM climb towards the Selangor Palace before hitting the long stretch of Persiaran Kayangan pass Concorde Hotel, Shah Alam Mosque and a few shop lots and housing areas. Though running at an easy pace, things weren't easy at all. Left knee immediately felt uncomfortable from the start and my stomach was acting up as the earlier visit to the toilet was a failure. Things were getting a bit out of hand, but I didn't want to stop running. I told myself to just keep running, keep breathing and to shift my mind towards something else. I even restricted myself from drinking even from my own tumbler which might trigger off any further discomfort which I experienced last week.
Arriving approximately at the 8KM mark, a Petronas station appeared. I was really tempted to make my toilet visit here but was worried that I might cramp up. Therefore, I ran pass the station with my fingers cross hoping it was the right decision.
Ran pass the Federal Highway and into Padang Jawa where the Transport Authority office was. This is where the start of the industrial area and roundabouts. Based on last year's experience, traffic can be pretty dangerous here so I just have to have my eyes and ears open. Thankfully, the traffic police were doing a remarkable job this year, though I can't say the same for our Malaysian drivers. Impatient and honking at runners, sometimes I felt embarrassed to be part of this country. And at a certain point too, I overheard a lady cursing in the car while the driver was enjoying himself honking.
Continuing in the industrial area passing a few known factories like Panasonic and Toyota, I felt my stomach discomfort slowly disappearing. Though it was a good sign, I still didn't dare to risk drinking. However, legs were getting a beating. Hamstring were tight and soreness is felt. I was suspecting it might be due to the tough outsole of the Nike LunarGlide+. Besides this, my left forefoot too was a little painful. Hmmm... What is going on here? A post-mortem on the shoe will be done soon.
Persiaran Selangor is a very much welcome sight. I know this will lead to the giant roundabout which overlooks the Federal Highway and the stadium is within reach in about 4KM. I started drinking at this point, slowing sipping my Endurox R4 and eventually finished it just before arriving at the Kayangan roundabout. It was short climb here towards the final roundabout before entering the stadium compound where Bong who completed his run, called out to me.
Into the stadium tunnel I ran. There was a little Olympic feel to it except to say the tunnel lighting here was yellowish dim and pretty dull looking. And somehow I felt the tunnel was really long. It took a pretty long time for me to emerge out from it or maybe it is all in my mind. Hmmm... As I emerged out of it, I heard Shine cheering from the side. Gave him a wave and off I ran into my finishing funnel as I completed my run in 02:17:49, a slight 2 minutes plus from the cut off time as I heard the gun went off later.
Did my warm down and stretching before hanging around the field after collecting my finisher's medal and certificate. Soon was greeted by Choi, Lau, Yin Fook, Pui San, Shih Ming and Yee Tze before I made my way home. No post-race meal this time as I was feeling a little unwell and also most of my friends are either at Penang or doing the Desaru triathlon at Johor.
Rear view of the finisher's medal...
Overall, though a lonely run with half of it hoping no bowel mishap will happen, I was glad I had an easy but quality run. Legs no doubt is a bit sore but am just glad. You get what I mean. Though there were hiccups like missing distance markers and bad runner lane control in the stadium tunnel, I was glad too that adidas learned from their mistake from the previous 2 editions where water was a sacred item. This year, it was sufficient. Besides, the Stadium Shah Alam was a great place to hold this event. The atmosphere was just excellent. And my hats off to the traffic police who did their job well today. Finally, my thanks to Bong, Shine and Uncle Sonny who came to ask about my condition rather than asking about my timing. I'm going borrow this phrase from the oldest runner in last year's Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon. "Don't ask me how fast I ran. Ask me if I completed it?". Very true indeed!