Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sundown Marathon 2010...

Event: Sundown Marathon 2010
Venue: Changi Exhibition Centre, Aviation Road, Singapore
Date: 29 May 2010
Time: 6pm
Distance: 84KM (42.19KM per loop by MapMyRun application)
Shoe: K-Swiss K-Ona C
By Frank

My story of ultra running started back in 2008 when I joined the inaugural Sundown Marathon 2008. Reading about Ben Swee's experience inspired me to take on this challenge. From there, I made my debut in last year's 84KM race which was supposed to be my first and last. But an advice from Geraldine telling me not to take it as my last brought me to where I am today. And my third ultra marathon adventure begins here...

28 May 2010. Pre race day.
The day started early, in fact too early as I couldn't get myself to sleep. Probably I was nervous, but on second thoughts, it sounded like a good idea to adjust my biological clock to suit the race the next night. And so, I arrived at One World Hotel as early as 6am to await for the First Coach bus which only depart at 8am. Yip, Keat Seong and Jennifer arrived around 7.15am, had a light breakfast before starting our journey.

About 5.5 hours later, we arrived safely at Novena Square. Met up with Lawrence there and bumped into Adeline and Mahizzan too. Had lunch at MOS Burger before we adjourned myself, Lawrence and Yip made our way to our hotel at Changi Village. Checked in, took a short rest and we found ourselves back on the street again at 4.30pm.

Together with Choi, we went to City Hall to to meet up with Boon Yeong who helped us collected our race packs last weekend. We also met up with Lynette too. From there, we went to Orchard Central, a new mall at Somerset to meet up with Keat Seong, Jennifer and Siok Leng for dinner at Spaggedies. I recommended this place as I enjoyed it 2 years ago. I simply like their pasta, however I can't say the same for the pizza we ordered. The sky opened up and we were forced to take shelter there. I was already very blur due to my lack of sleep here. Eye lids were heavy and my head was spinning a little. I wanted to sleep but I held on. "Too early" I told myself.

At Spageddies for our carbo loading dinner...

I ordered Grambero pasta ...

As the rain stopped, we proceeded to Orchard Cineleisure and met up with Chee Kong here to passed him the BV Sport Booster. Then it's back to the hotel as I prepared my race necessities before I called it a night at midnight sharp.

29 May 2010. Race day.
I woke up at about 9am. Just 9 hours of sleep. I don't think it was enough. However, Yip was missing. I made myself breakfast, watch TV for a moment before returning to sleep an hour later. Not a good idea with a tummy partially full of breakfast, but I had no choice. At 12.15pm, I was awake again. This time, I felt it was enough. Yip returned to the room and we joined Keat Seong and Jennifer who just checked in for our early "dinner" at the nearby hawker centre. I had the exact same chicken rice I had last year but I topped it up with a plate of economy bee hoon and a slice of black sesame apom balik pan cake which was simply heavenly. Had a good satisfying meal before I returned to the room for race preparation.

Poh Seng came to our room at about 4pm. I was already almost done at that time. I offered a place for Terence and Tey to drop off their luggage, but they did not come. So at 4.45pm, all ultra marathoners gathered at the lobby to greet everyone. Keat Seong, Lawrence and Poh Seng came too to see us off. Took a cab to race venue and was lucky that we were not drop at the wrong place, else we had to walk almost 2KM. Phew...

With Yip and we are ready to rumble...

Ultra marathoners of 2010 ready to rock and roll and also trying to recruit the odd one out here to join the club. Guess who is the odd one...

The race venue at Changi Exhibition Centre was huge. I now understand why the change of venue as Changi Village can't accommodate the number of runners this year. Greeted lots of friends here and while heading to the special needs bag tent, a gentleman was seen snapping photos at me. I looked up and it was Karim, my BV Sport sponsors. Shortly, Matthew too came by. We chatted for a moment before I had to leave to deposit my bag as the race will start in a while. Made my bag deposit and joined in with other Malaysian ultra marathoners for some photo session. I too met up with Sallehan again whom I met back at the Putrajaya Night Marathon.

With Karim, my BV Sport sponsor...

With 15 minutes to go, I warmed myself up and did some dynamic stretching. This time, it was definitely better compared to last year. No rush, and I felt prepared. I put on the special memorial bib for Ngae and I'm sure he will bless me throughout my entire 84KM distance. And with that, I went into the start area with Richard. The quest for a sub 10 hour adventure begins...

The start gantry...

I'm ready...

Butterflies in my stomach? Not this time...

An idea of what we are going against...

The quest for sub 10 hours begins. The first loop.
At 6pm sharp, the race begins. The atmosphere was great with music blasting and crowd cheering. I started along side Yip but he disappeared just as soon as the race started. I ran with my own comfortable pace of 6 minutes per kilometer. 1KM into the race, Richard came along side me and we ran together. As we entered the long Changi Coastal Road, he asked if this was my normal pace and I replied him with a "Yes". He seems comfortable with me and I certainly welcome a companion. However, I had to slow down a little from 4KM onwards as I was hit by side stitch. I tried to follow him but he was slowly disappearing into the distance.

As I battled my side stitch, Adam, the OneArmRunner from Singapore ran to me as he spotted Ngae's memorial bib. We chatted for a while and I even shook his hand. It was a great honour to have shaken the hand of another icon here. We ran together for a while and he even asked for "Kopi-O Kau" at one of the refreshment station which I actually burst into laughter. This guy not only can run, but he is certainly full of optimism too.

My side stitch finally went away at around the 10KM mark. Certainly a long battle with it but I was still on my pace as I arrived here in close to 59 minutes. Now that the long costal road is behind me, its time to enter East Coast Park, a part that I'm not looking forward too due to the concrete pavement. The first sign of entering it was the smell of barbecue chicken. Made friends with Hong Soon here who was tailing me since earlier. He introduced himself to me and said he was really comfortable with my pace. I welcomed him to tag along but he was really talkative. I'm a runner who can't talk much (short breath), but he kept entertaining me. I tried to replied when I can though.

Nothing much happen along East Coast Park except that my nostril was attack by the smell of food from the weekenders spending their time barbecuing there and also those who patronised the hawker centres there. I caught glimpse of Sallehan, Yip, Keven, Richard and Poh Chye as I approached the u-turn point at Tanjung Rhu. As I made my return, I cheered for my other friends like Jeff, Choi, Amelia, Haza and more at the opposite side. Hong Soon was still with me this time though and was still bombarding me with his speech. Hahaha... As I completed 25KM, I told him that I could not talk anymore and could only gesture.

Besides the smell of food, I was enjoying the scenery here. The night was brightly lighted by the big round moon which I believe was Ngae looking over us. I'm sure he was taking care of all of us here.

I was still running and feeling great here but I do want to conserve my energy as after all 30KM is where most will hit the wall. I noticed Richard near 28KM and finally was reunited with him. his tummy was giving him problems but his pace was still really strong. As for me, I felt a burning sensation on my right feet. It was near the big toe and I knew a blister is slowing forming. I had no choice but to bear with it and to avoid any chance of speeding it up. I took my first energy gel here and we ran together again but we did exchange positions for a few times, just like cycling in a peloton.

Arriving at the turning into Aviation Road heading back to the exhibition centre, Richard told me that it will be nice that if that was the second loop. Acknowledge him but told him to tell me later at the actual second loop if we are together again. I don't want to think too much now. Haha...

I took my second energy gel at the 40KM mark, and noticed that I was still way under my projected time of 04:45:00. Nevertheless, I still ran at a pace of about 6:15 per kilometer here and finally completed my first loop in 04:27:24.

The pit stop.
I was led into the pit stop where I was entertain by the group of friendly volunteers. We were really treated like VIPs here as I rested with Richard, Poh Chye, Ching Tai and Hong Soon. I quickly re-inforced my blister prone toes with surgical tape, rehydrate myself and took a small box of raisins and half a slice of bread. Washed my face and I was ready to rock and roll again. The time I spent here was about 16 minutes, 6 minutes off from what I expected. Sigh...

With Richard forcing a smile out at the pit stop...

Beat the sunrise. The second loop.
The second loop, where the real challenge begins. Leg was a bit stiff here, but I learnt from last year that I had to jog slowly to avoid both legs locking up. I held on but towards the end of the straight, a blue volunteer asked me to return to the pit. I told him that I just came out from it but he kept asking me to return. I repeated to him again that I just came out from it before he acknowledge. Was he sleeping? He at least took a couple of minutes from me here. Grrr...

As I made my way out again, I spotted James and we high fived each other. Then it was Roger and I told him buffet is served at the pit stop which was generally true as there was unlimited supplies of bananas, muffins and drinks there. Into the long Changi Coastal Road again, and I spotted Richard walking. Ran to him and asked him to start running, at least jog. However, his tummy was really playing with him and he really had trouble. However, once he starts running, he would passed me. That shows how determine and how fast he was.

The fluid that I took during the pit stop is showing signs of making its exit. I needed a toilet break and finally got one at the 50KM mark. Phew... Signs of relief as I continued on. Shortly in front, I spotted Keven at one of the refreshment station. He is calling it a night due to indigestion and had to hop into the ambulance. I feel for him, but at least he was all right. There's always another chance. Took my third energy gel here.

Re-uniting with Richard in East Coast Park again, signs of fatigue on my legs was starting to show. I wanted to stop to stretch at times and kept telling myself that I will stop at the next kilometer marker. But I did not. It was until I spotted Richard lying on the bench that I took my first stop at 60KM. My longest single run minus the refreshment stop and pit stop. I surprised myself. I stretch a little before continuing on. Richard was still resting, but he caught up quickly enough. 1KM before the u-turn point again, I spotted Sallehan at the opposite and he told me he was sleepy. Later it was Yip. I couldn't see him well but shouted to him. He was acknowledge but was reduced to walking immediately. I felt bad for breaking his concentrations here. Sigh...

Lynette and her support crew was in front. I asked for water but she only had coffee and Milo, both I can't take for tummy reasons. I appreciate her offer though as I continue on. There was a refreshment station with ice cubes ahead which was heaven sent. I inserted a few cube into my calf sleeves and that rejuvenated my calves a little. It helped relieved the soreness a lot and my pace actually increased here. However, the moment it wears off, I was back to my usual pace.

I passed Lynnete and her support crew again. She passed me a bottle of water which tasted "sweet". I thank her for that for it really did help a lot. I took my fourth energy gel with it.

Then, I made my mistake. I rested too long to stretch. Legs started to lock up. I tried to shake it off by jogging but the damage has been done. I still tried to hold on to Richard, but he found his form here and slowly left me. Marathoners were seen at the opposite side, some which I knew like Boon Yeong, Lai Fong Sang and Jennifer who called out to me. My apologies for not replying in speech back as I was almost a goner. I could only wave to them. And to my horror, I am left with no energy gels. I made a mistake by replenishing one pack lesser at the pit stop. I had to rely on isotonic drinks here.

I was running, jogging and power walking already. My quest for a sub 10 hour was still there but I know it was slowly fading. At 8 hours into the race, I had 17KM more to complete. I kept telling myself that I already come this far, and I do not want to waste this opportunity. However, my legs wasn't too supportive of my thoughts. The horror of last year's injury came back and Lynn's message asking me to look after my legs came into mind. I tried to battle on, but upon arriving at the 72KM mark, I know it's all over. 12KM more to be done in 72 minutes is almost impossible at the state I was in that time. Sadly, I literally let it go here aiming just to complete the run, which was my main objective after all.

At about 6KM to go, Keat Seong who was running the marathon finally caught up with me. Both of us couldn't speak so we only gestured to each other before he took off. 5KM to go, there was no second wind for me unlike last year. I was still mixing running, jogging and power walking. Into Aviation Road, I tried to hang on as long as possible before making my final walk which lasted less than 30 seconds.

I pushed here, look upon the big round moon as it shined throughout the night. At the last 1KM, Lai Fong Sang who completed his marathon came out to support. He cheered for me which I was so grateful of that I forced a speech out of my dry mouth to acknowledge him.

As I approach the final stretch, I slowed to remove Ngae's memorial bib from my race belt, raised it high up as I ran with it and eventually crossed the finish line in a time of 10:30:23, 97 minutes 7 seconds shaved off my previous effort. This is for you Ngae!

This is for you, Ngae...

Keat Seong was there at the finish line as he welcomed me back. I made my way to collect my finisher's medal and shirt. Ching Tai came in too and we gave each other a big hug. I bumped into Richard and I gave him a big hug too for he ran a splendid 9:56 on his first ever ultra marathon attempt.

Yip wasn't doing very well though he ran a 9:50. He looked very wasted and after resting for a while, we together with Richard and Claris made our way back to the hotel to have our well deserved rest.

My split times.
05KM - 00:28:27
10KM - 00:58:44
15KM - 01:28:36
20KM - 01:58:31
25KM - 02:30:05
30KM - 03:02:50
35KM - 03:37:19
40KM - 04:12:30
42KM - 04:27:24
Pit stop - 04:43:20
47KM - 05:22:20
52KM - 06:01:45
57KM - 06:38:18
62KM - 07:21:50
67KM - 08:00:40
72KM - 08:45:11
77KM - 09:32:28
82KM - 10:13:49
84KM - 10:30:23

Post race.
After waiting for Poh Seng to return, I took a short 3 hours nap. Poh Seng and Yip was already awake by then and I was really glad Yip was back to his normal self. However, he had lost his finisher medal and shirt while he was sick after the race. I feel for him but I will try to find him a replacement for I do know the organisers. Took light snacks and packed up.

At 12pm, we were reunited with other fellow runners at the lobby as we checked out. Khoo Yit Kiat who silently joined the half marathon category appeared out of no where and together with Keat Seong, Jennifer, Lawrence, Yip and myself, we went to Novena for our breakfast and lunch. Khoo left us after filling up his tummy and the remaining us shop a little while waiting for our bus at 3pm.

It was a long journey back home, a 7 hours one due to heavy traffic along the expressway. Back home, it was time to catch up on sleep as Sundown Marathon 2010 is finally over. Project 84 V2.0 and another chapter of ultra running close.

Front view of the finisher's medal...

Rear view of the finisher's medal...

Post mortem.
I did not run a sub 10 hours 84KM. I don't deny I'm a little disappointed here but at the same time too I'm very happy with my achievement. To complete an 84KM is no simple task and to run a sub 10 hours is certainly really tough. I under trained for this but despite that, my timing was pretty acceptable for my standard. I knew I gave it my all here and I have no regrets over my actions taken throughout the race. If I would to blame anyone for not achieving the sub 10 hours, it was only myself. A simple mistake I made for resting too long was the main cause of it, but I know there's always another 84KM race. Look back for experiences, but look forward always. There is no denying that tomorrow will be better. Till Sundown Marathon 2011...

Thank you my sponsors...

- K-Swiss and BV Sport for sponsoring the amazing race gears.
- Every ultra marathoners and marathoners that was at the Changi Exhibition Centre on 29 May 2010 like Cheang, Chee Kong, Choi, Lawrence, Gary, Poh Chye, Poh Seng, Mohan, Richard, Terence, Tey, Yip, Amelia, Kash, Haza, Pui San, Yen Erl and many more whether Malaysians or Singaporean for it really was memorable moment.
- Keat Seong and Jennifer for organising the night training runs.
- Boon Yeong for helping out with the race pack collection.
- Lynette and her support crew for the aid given.
- Luc for 2 busy us always try to keep each other entertained with weekday morning runs.
- Lynn, Michelle, Raymond Ng, Raymond Hee, Cheong Hin, Shine, Jamie, Geraldine, Seow Ping, John, Wai Mun, Juliana and many others that had wished for me.
- Fellow ultra marathoners I met along the way like Sallehan, Hong Soon, Baldwin and more for keeping each of us entertained throughout the journey.
- Organisers, volunteers, marshalls and supporters for a job well done.
- To those whom had played a part, you know who you are. Thanks a lot.
- And finally to Ngae for I know you were there throughout the 84KM.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Date With 84...

By Frank

I will be leaving for Singapore tomorrow morning for my third ultra marathon and my second attempt at the 84KM distance at Sundown Marathon 2010. My travel mates will be Yip, Keat Seong and Jennifer before meeting up with Choi, Lawrence and Loke at Singapore. As usual, an entry before I leave for a big race.

As mentioned before in previous entries, my training leading up to this hasn't been on par. I told myself that I will continue on from where I left off at Macau Marathon 2009, but things didn't go too well after my fall at the Malakoff Interstate Fellowship Ride 2009/2010. Took me a while to return and although I did 2 full marathons, things didn't really shape up too well until the end of April 2010 when Keat Seong organised a few night runs where I put in some decent mileage. It was sufficient to bring a little back in me, but insufficient overall. A quick check on my training log revealed a mere 500KM running distance covered since 1 January 2010. The distance speaks for itself here.

Last year's attempt was to complete my first 84KM ultra marathon in the fastest time possible and to gain experience from it. I had a painful and yet memorable race but I was left disappointed at the finish line. I'm sure it will be more or less the same this year. Though there are more friends taking part in the ultra distance together with me with some running it their first time, things just won't be the same. Nevertheless, I look forward to be running with them from Haza, Cheang, Choi, Jeff, Richard, Tey and Yip. Not forgetting the ever inspiring Singapore Blade Runner and Adam One Arm Runner too. Lawrence, Loke, Keat Seong and Jennifer will be running the marathon distance instead.

I hope to participate in this year's The North Face Challenge running in the 100KM solo. But in order to qualify for that, I need to run an 84KM in a sub 10 hours time. Not an easy task and with my condition now, I believe it's near impossible. But I will still my give my best shot. This is a race where I will rely on experience rather than fitness and I do hope not to repeat the same mistake I did last year. Therefore, any time better than last year's timing of 12:08:16, I will be very happy. But if I can achieve that dream, it will be a bonus. After all, nothing is free in this world. I need to train for it and with the amount of training I had, I know my limits. In this area, I believe Yip stands a rather good chance though.

I survived Macau Marathon 2009 to be given another chance to run. I will give my all again at this race. There will be risk I'm taking but I'm sure Ngae will be looking after me at his "new home" for I dedicate this run for him. I will be wearing the special bib printed for the entire distance.

My race gear has been selected. And I thank my sponsors for giving me the best they carry. Not forgetting to my friends too for organising training runs and also your wishes. They were heard and I will remember it when I run. For now, I will rest myself for the assault on Changi and East Coast Park begins this 29 May 2010 at 6pm! To all running the Sundown Marathon 2010 regardless of distance, have an awesome one!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Easier Doesn't Mean It Ain't Tough...

By Frank

My first 2 Sundown Marathon over the past 2 years has took me running the same route through East Coast Park, Bedok reservoir, HDB flats and climbing the same pedestrian bridges throughout the night.

For the 2010 edition however, a new route is introduced. Gone are the 4 route sections of Strings Of Lights, Heartland Twist, Waterfront Trail and Homerun. This time, runners will be starting from the Changi Exhibition Centre running along the airport road into East Coast Park till the end of it and back. And for the ultra marathon category which I will be running in, this will mean that I have to go through it twice. Definitely not a very "scenic" route compared to the original but I assume that it will be packed with supporters all around as this will be in a park after all, not to mention the smell coming from the barbecue pits as weekenders spend their weekends there.

The new race route for Sundown Marathon 2010...

The race route will now be purely flat. It does sound easier but remember that it is still partially running on concrete instead on tarmac. And running a 42KM and 84KM distance is not an easy matter. But I'm sure being a race held a Singapore, there will be lots of support even from those we do not know. This will really help as we run through the night.

I'm now in my tapering phase. An easy 10KM run earlier and with one more to come and a 5KM recovery run after that will call it close for this training. And being on a low carbohydrate meal is certainly not easy. Can't wait for Wednesday for I shall start fueling up. BURP!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Run In Memory Of Ngae Koh Hieng...

By Frank

This morning, an initiative to run in memory of late Ngae Koh Hieng was done by Wan Yew Leong together with Pacesetters Athletic Club Malaysia. The idea behind this run was to pay our tribute to the icon himself who sadly left us last weekend. I've attended his wake the past Monday but still am still unable to accept the fact that he is gone.

In conjunction with the memorial run, Wan has prepared a special running bib for all runners who has the option to wear it for a run to be done together although the distance and the route isn't fix. I asked for number 84 which they gladly gave as I assume that will be my bib number (as printed on my receipt) for next weekend's Sundown Marathon 2010 and I will be wearing it. I'm now in my tapering phase and I ran an easy 10KM yesterday morning. And with exactly no sleep at all since 8.30am yesterday morning (simulating next weekend's race condition), I opt to run an easy 5KM first around the Bukit Aman to bird park area before joining the others for the memorial run running the double hills route.

A simple but yet meaningful running bib...

The distribution of bib started at 6am and we had a 1 minute silence before we all head out to run at 6.30am. I wore a sarong for this run as Ngae was made famous by running with it together with his barefoot running style. I borrowed the sarong from Jasmine and the first thing I noticed was the flower design instead of the usual boxes. I asked her and found out that the design is for women. Hahaha.... No wonder. I'm not able to run barefoot but I guess Ngae will understand. Perhaps 1 day I will. Who knows right?

Running in a sarong is certainly not easy. My hats off to Ngae for doing it all the time. I started well with it, but once it gets soak in sweat, it sticks to the skin and movement became limited. I ran the entire double hills route with it and I was lucky it didn't came loose. Kind of surprise with how well I put it on. Hehe...

Anyway, I had a good run with the others although not everyone ran together. And since this is the final tapering weekend, I do feel better running 16KM this morning. And after the run, there was a mini pot luck breakfast where some of us contributed some food. I contributed some Gardenia Twiggies. Wan made his signature teh tarik.

I had a wonderful but tiring morning. Back home, it was laundry before I fell asleep after entering this entry. As for Sundown Marathon 2010, the final week now approaches. Mentally I do feel a bit ready, but physically wise, it's another matter. Let's see what I can do in this few days.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Loss Of An Icon...

By Frank

The Malaysia ultra endurance sport scene lost an icon yesterday. Ngae Koh Hieng famous for his down to earth lifestyle, barefoot running, sarong, desert and ultra running, singing while racing and training, and also for his big smile on his face has passed away on 15 May 2010.

I was really tired yesterday as I did not sleep a wink as I am trying to simulate being awake in the wee hours for my Sundown Marathon 2010. As I was about to call it a day yesterday, I received a SMS at 9.30pm from Lawrence delivering me the sad news that Ngae has passed on. I was really shocked when I learnt about it and actually took me some time to accept the fact.

Ngae was had a tumour removed a year ago from his head. He recovered well from it and I remember the photo that Lynn took of him during last year's edition of New Balance 15KM Run (this year's edition actually happened earlier this morning). He was all in smiles. But then, I first learnt about his deteriorating condition during my trip to Langkawi Island back in February 2010 for the Ironman Langkawi 2010.

Though I only got to know Ngae for less than a year, I have read about his adventures since I first stared running 3 years ago. The time when I got to know him was during the preparation for Powerman 2009 where we trained together. We had our pre-race dinner and raced together too, but little did I know that, that was the first and last training and race that I did with him. I remember very well on his praises for my run and also on how he overtook me in cycling. And also the moment he got lost in Putrajaya during our Powerman 2009 simulation. Not to mention him promoting and passing around his traditional "Foo Chow" biscuits during our pre-race dinner at Lumut.

With Ngae (in shades) after our Powerman 2009 simulation at Putrajaya...

Ngae promoting "Foo Chow" biscuits...

I'm sure many will miss this great icon for he lived a life too short. Ngae if you are able to read this, we all miss you and wish you a good journey ahead. My condolences to his family and loved ones.

Rest In Peace, Ngae Koh Hieng (08 January 1954 - 15 May 2010)

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Penultimate 40KM...

By Frank

It's finally banished! The Putrajaya jinx is finally gone as I ran a 40KM long run through the evening yesterday. And this will be my penultimate training for this year's Sundown Marathon 2010. After this, mileage will take a drop as I begin to taper.

After having done 17.5KM at Cyberjaya Perdana Lake View park the night before with a running nose, I know this is run will be going to be a tough one. And this will also be the run where I test out my race gear which except my socks, everything else is new. My 2XU sleeveless compression top, 2XU compression shorts, BV Sport Booster and most importantly, the K-Swiss K-Ona C. I even cut my hair early in the noon (I normally cut my hair 3 weeks before a big race)! Hehehe...

I started alone at 7.10pm using last year's first loop pace. Weather was really humid as it poured an hour ago. By 5KM, I was alrady drenched in my sweat. I was adapting to my race gear well, but there was this discomfort in my gut as I ran. Kept burping and had this sensation of throwing up. It was only after 15KM or so when I released a big "BURP" that I felt better.

More and more runners started to show with Lawrence first coming into the picture before I met up with Shukri and Yim back at the carpark. Keat Seong and Jennifer arrived about 9pm with Ezer being the last around 10pm. However, I was still running all alone.

It was only from 35KM till 37KM of my run that I joined Lawrence and Keat Seong for a while before I started with my warming down run. And at the end of the night, I had really a satisfying run. I wasn't really tired at all as legs weren't as sore as last week (no dumpling calves) and I adapted to my race gear really well. Could have continued longer but I guess my body deserves a rest. After all, it's Putrajaya.

And with 3 weeks to go, it's tapering and fitness maintanence as I look into any areas of improvement. Perhaps there is still hope...

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Potty Pot Putrajaya...

By Frank
It's 3.33am as I lay on my bed waiting for my hair to dry. And while doing so, let me make use of time to blog about my run earlier at Putrajaya.
It's the second night long run in conjunction the upcoming Sundown Marathon 2010. The sky opened up in the evening. I initially though of starting my run earlier at 7pm, but I guess the person up there didn't agree with me. The rain got heavier, but that didn't stop me from going to Putrajaya. Yeah, I'm taking the risk and upon arriving, the rain stop! Gamble paid off here. Hehehe...
And so at 8.05pm, I started my run and did 8.5KM minus the loop around the Putrajaya International Convention Center (PICC) and also the big roundabout at the Prime Minister's office. As I got back to the car, Lawrence has already arrived but Keat Seong and Jennifer was no where to be seen. Waited till 9.15pm before we decided to go ahead without them. Spotted a few other runners too and this certainly made the running atmosphere here much better.
I pace with Lawrence for about 7KM before he dropped out as he had a late dinner and wasn't feeling comfortable at the tummy. Continued on myself and by the time I got back to my car to rehydrate myself, Lawrence arrived shortly. He used the run walk combination well and after a short rest, we continued on.
Keat Seong and Jennifer did come and started their run on themselves. Cheang also did come and ran solo. As I completed 22KM, my adidas adizero Tempo gave out some weird noise and I decided to change to my ASICS GEL-Trainer 14 and continued on.
This third loop, I decided to run the PICC loop as it will give me some extra distance. Completed it successfully and rewarded myself with a sip of my Endurox R4 which I carried since I changed my shoe earlier. However, my stomach started giving out weird signals later and upon arriving at 28KM, I couldn't take it anymore. I stopped running and was in need of the toilet! I was at least 2KM away from the nearest toilet and by walking, it will take me at least 20 minutes to arrive there. The AGONY!
Luck was on my side. A Malay chap who was ferrying fluids to the other runners via his motorcycle slowed down beside me to ask if I was joining the Firefighters Run the next day. Replied him that I am not, and while he is preparing to leave me, I asked if he can etch me back to my car. He agreed and I hop on instantly and off we went. I was really glad to be back at the car and dashed straight to the toilet.
After making my deposit, I accompanied Lawrence with his third loop, and this was my warm down run. A 4KM run to total it to 32KM. Not a fast time, but I was glad I made this far. Hobbled towards Keat Seong and Jennifer to have a chat with them. Both did 21KM as Keat Seong had some discomfort on his ankle.
My left calf stiffen up and looked like a rock in just a short while after completing my run. It felt really uncomfortable as I have just ran an ultra marathon. I couldn't stretch properly and had to sit down to massage it according to the flow of my bloddstream. It got better and by the time Keat Seong and Jennifer was about to leave, Lawrence came back victorious as he completed 30KM. Well done!
Chatted while we rested and it was certainly nice to have catch up with him again. It's been a while. At about 1.15am, we made our way home to have a well deserve rest.
An improvement over last week's run. Probably it was due to the weather. I was actually hoping to be a humid run actually as I do want to suffer a little as it will benefit me in the later stages. Besides, I ran most of the run on concrete pavement as it will be the same thing at Sundown Marathon this year. The potty pot issue at 28KM nearly cancelled out my run. I swore that if without that Malay chap's ride back, an "explosion" will have happened near the lawyer's department. Phew... My many thanks to him.
I think my hair is dry now and I shall try to sleep. However, 1 question remains. How am I to sleep if I keep visiting the toilet due to the amount of water I drank? zzZZ...