Venue: Tapak A, Lake Gardens, Kuala Lumpur
Date: 18 January 2009
Distance: 30KM (29.8KM by Lynn's Garmin Forerunner 405)
Shoe: Nike LunaRacer+
Since the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2008, my trainings has just been during the weekends sticking with long runs. Haven't been doing much shorter faster runs during the weekdays. Although I managed to keep my fitness level up, I can feel that it has dropped at least a little.
I have high hopes for this year's edition of the Great Eastern Pacesetters 30KM. After having done badly the last year, I thought it will be nice to redeem myself with a good run out from myself. And besides, my beloved golden retriever name Sky passed away at the day of last year's run. Though it's still 2 days to his first anniversary, I thought I will dedicate this run to him. A primary goal of a sub 3 hour timing will be nice, but it will be great if I can better my 30KM split time of 02:46:04 clocked at last year's Penang Bridge International Marathon 2008.
Have already done a simulation run 2 weeks before to check out the new route and sure it's really tough due to mixture of gradients.
Everything kind of went smoothly till I had a bad fall while going up the stairs a few days before race day. Landed on both my knees and somehow pulled my left feet. Am feeling pain on both of my lower knee caps and also my left metatarsal, especially when in motion. To make things even worst, even my right metacarpals started to hurt 2 days from the race. Not knowing the reasons and hoping the pain will go away in time, I doubled my supplement intake keeping my fingers and toes cross that it will help. Unfortunately, it did not. So, I guess it's down to my persistence and my tolerance of pain to see me through at this year's race. And with this, I no longer think on both my primary and secondary goals stated earlier. Will just be great to complete it safely without much suffering.
Everything started on Saturday morning, a day before the race. Having collected the race packs a few days in advance, it's my duty to pass them to the "Platinum Runners" at the Bukit Aman car park before leaving to pick up Chee Kong who arrived from Miri at KL Sentral. Speaking of race pack, this is the first time I am running with a bib number of A001 which is normally reserved for elite runners. Kind of made me special, but a number is after all a number.
With Chee Kong, we were joined by Andrew, Jeff, Lionel and Wai Lam at a dim sum restaurant call Restaurant Hong Kee at Damansara Jaya. Having our stomach filled, we then proceeded without Andrew though, to Mid Valley to bring our Miri "tourist" around. Didn't do my legs good as the walking was kind of torturous towards my injured knee. Was glad everything came to an end 3 hours later when we all went back home after getting stuck in a nasty crawl around Mid Valley for about 40 minutes.
Happy faces after filling up our stomachs...
To the race day now as I woke up and was relieve that there wasn't any discomfort on my metacarpals. Did all the necessary and picked Chee Kong up from his place at 4.00am before proceeding to Bukit Aman carpark to secure my usual car parking spot. Was lucky that I didn't arrive a little later as cars were seen coming in. As I wore my 2XU compression tights and tops which I bought from Singapore recently, I test run with it doing a short warm up while waiting for friends to arrive. I just hope the compression will hold my knees in place as I tackle the route. Soon, everyone from Choi, Lawrence, Chin Chin and Lynn arrived and we made ourselves to the starting point.
Deposited our bags and went chatting away while waiting for the race to be started. Met up with David and Ben too who came all the way from Singapore. With 10 minutes to 6.00am, we checked into the starting area and waited. There appears to be some delay and the race only started at 6.15am. As with other Pacesetters events, there was no prior announcement for the start of the race. The air horn was just blew out of a sudden and off we went. As I didn't do a proper warm up earlier, I took the exit from Lake Gardens as one. Besides, it's a hilly a climb too.
Upon reaching the main road at Jalan Parlimen, I can already feel both my knees. Ben who passed me here could even tell by just looking at my face. Both me and Lynn exchanged positions for a few times and I must admit that it really help me a lot in trying to keep myself going.
Arriving at the reverse double hills route, I took it easy especially during descend. Lynn took advantage of it and off she went. Tried to stay in touch with her but she was getting further and further. Only managed to catch up with her after crossing the Duta Highway. As the route gets tougher as the mixture of up and down hills starts from the IRB building heading towards the MATRADE area, things too turned from bad to worst as I started limping. But I wasn't ready to stop just yet, and therefore I ran with it.
Arriving at Sri Hartamas which is the 15KM mark at the Petronas station, I took my Honey Stinger gel courtesy from Lynn and was rewarded instead with another gel from the guys from PowerBar. As my body reacts positively with Vitamin B presence, the Honey Stinger gel which was fortefied with it soon took effect and I felt the surge of energy. Though with loads of energy, my legs just wasn't working.
It's time now for the journey back and under the bright sunlight, it didn't do justice to my eyes. It was glaring at certain areas and I missed my Oakleys. After successfully tackling the MARTRADE area for the second time, I arrived back again at the IRB building. I took my first stop here as the pain on my right knee was just bad. Even my right Iliotibial Band was hurting. Took some time to stretch and also to wait for Lynn, as the point of breaking myself apart, I really need a friend to help me carry on.
There's still approximately 10KM to go and a quick check on my wrist unit shows that my GPS had stopped recording at 18KM. Probably due to memory storage but I was in no mood to check it.
At the long stretch of Jalan Langgak Tungku, I was passed by Chui Miew. Didn't really mind at all as I was already overtaken by countless runners earlier. My right metacarpals was showing signs of a slight discomfort here. It was rather stiff and I had to flex it as I ran. Thought irritating, it didn't pose to be a problem, at least not as bad as my knees. As I was back running alone again, I took a quick glance back to check where Lynn was. Didn't manage to see her and therefore had no choice but to carry on myself which I did only till Jalan Tungku when I stopped to stretch again. It was a long one and Lynn caught up. With her, I started running again and entered Kenny Hills but only to be forced to stop again for another stretch.
As I exit Kenny Hills, I bumped into Alex and managed a short chat to keep my mind of the pain. Then, it was a loop around the Tungku Abdul Rahman Memorial before hitting it at Jalan Sultan Salahuddin. One of the marshall who spotted by bib number cheered me on. I was kind of embarassed actually and replied him with a smile.
I stopped twice as I entered the palace area. As it was roughly a couple of kilometers to the finish line, I took one heavy stretch and went for it as I remembered that Luc one told me that speed towards the closing stages of a race will help ease the pain. I tried it but it didn't work out as my pain at that time was just hitting the red alert zone.
Finally, back in Lake Gardens. The finish line is near but still I stopped twice again to stretch. But towards the final straight, I was just relieved that I made it as I crossed the finish line clocking 02:50:14.
The whole thing didn't end as I completed my run with a rather dramatic ending. As I crossed the finish line, both my knees was just in a world of hurt that I couldn't even control my slowing down procedure. I nearly collapse to the ground but Sam was there to quickly grab hold of me. Thanks Sam! A medic from the Saint John Ambulance came to help me but I was fine after managing to grab hold of the umbrella tent to support my body weight. It was a pretty embarassing sight as there were quite a lot of people around. Even David and Wong (Nike) was there too!
Lynn came in shortly followed by Chin Chin too. Rested, stretched and rehydrated ourselves before proceeding to collect our well deserve medal and goodie bags before proceeding to hang out at a corner while waiting for the rest to return. And one by one, they returned safely but battered. Caught up with the rest like Ben and Yee Hua, San and Shih Ming before leaving the race venue for a well deserve lunch and back home for a cold shower.
Front view of the finisher's medal...
Rear view of the finisher's medal...
Overall, I was satisfied with my achievement considering my condition. I didn't even feel so wasted in running a marathon except for my first 2. But in the end, to achieve my primary goal is something I can live with. At least I completed it within the qualifying time this time. And to Sky, this run is for you!
Missing you, Sky...