Monday, January 30, 2006

Tough LSD

On Saturday I arrived at the playground car park at the Lake Gardens just before 6.30am. Jason (pm23) was supposed to meet me there but there was no sign of him. 10 minutes later when he had still not arrived I send him an SMS and got a reply that he was not feeling well and would not be coming.

My plan was to cover 11 laps or 25.3k that day. I knew it was not going to be an easy run as I’ve started to realise that running laps can be quite challenging to the runner’s mind. In the first two laps my muscles were very tight and I felt rather uncomfortable. I only started to loosen up towards the end of the second lap.

Richard (pm36) was sitting on a playground bench when I was finishing the second lap. He was waiting for Ronnie (pm1) to turn up. As I was running at a very easy pace of 15 minutes per lap, I completed lap 4 in exactly one hour. Ronnie, Ah Loong and Kenny had just arrived, so I stopped to have a water break while saying hi to them.

With 7 laps more to go, Ah Loong joined me and it made the next four laps much easier. We continued at the same easy pace of appx 15 minutes per lap. I had to stop for water at the end of lap 8 and my pacer decided to continue on. The last 3 laps was tough as the sun was really hot by then. Ronnie, Richard and Kenny passed me only on lap 10 which showed that they were also running at a really easy pace.

I finally completed the 11 laps with a total time of 2h 45m. After a quick shower and a change of clothing, I hung out with the rest for a little while. It was after 10 when we finally left.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Run For Terence (RFT)

As you're all aware our running kaki, triathlete, duathlete, commando ultrarunner, Terence (Penguin-6) has been diagnosed with brain tumour. With his wife not working and his own job is at stake, whatever assistance and support we extend him will be useful.

Runners are known as a supportive and positive bunch. It's time to come forward to help a fellow sportsman in need. Treatment for tumours are often expensive and debilitating. The patient will also be weakened substantially by all the drugs. Besides resting and taking proper food, it's also beneficial to take food supplements such as antioxidants. All these require money.

To show our support for him, Der_Pacemakers and friends are organizing a run in his honour, after which we'll be passing the hat around to collect some contribution for him. You can also pen down messages for him in a book. As this is a non-competitive run, please bring your own refreshments. Typical of Terence's care-free attitude, you can run any number of laps you want.

Date: Saturday Feb 4th
KLCC Park, the large space between the carpark and the mosque
Distance: Any number of laps (1.3k per lap)

Please turn up to support him and spread the word around. Thank you.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Great Eastern 30k

I don't suppose the members of the planning committee of all PACM organised races are sadists? Well the most I can say about yesterday's race is that I completed it without any injury. I am happy to have run my first 30k and to have gotten a medal for the effort.

From yesterday's performance, I am almost convinced that my KLIM experience is going to be quite stressful. Since it took me 3h30m to complete 30k, I can almost picture myself dragging my feet to the finishing line, or perhaps limping with my stop watch showing well over 5 hours in my marathon.

What I can take consolation from is the fact that I still have over 5 weeks to build my endurance and strengthen my legs before D-Day. So having said that, its back to training today!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Cold feet

A few months ago, I would not have thought it possible for me to even run 20k, let alone 30k or 42k. I'm pretty amazed at how my body has adapted to my training, even though I must admit that I've not been achieving what I've set out to do in my KLIM training program.

With my first 30k race in just less than 48 hours away, I try not to let negative thoughts come into my mind. I don't really know what to expect from running such a distance since it will be my first time. I have decided that it would be best to run without expectations as it should help me enjoy the experience a lot more.

On the other hand, what I am certain about is that this Sunday's run would show me where I stand in my training for the upcoming marathon. It would also tell me if I'm ready to take my training to the next level. If I manage to complete the run comfortably, then I can have the assurance of being able to complete the other three 30k training runs I have planned over the next few weeks.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Weekend runs

I've been running most of my training runs at a very slow and easy pace recently. Becoz of this, I worry that I may lose my speed, so on Thursday I did a short tempo run of 5.7k with a timing of 29min. This helped reassure me that I would not lose my speed so easily after all.

I had planned to run a 20k on Saturday with Lim (PACM Klg area grp leader). Everyone else was too busy to join us. The plan was to run one loop from the Klg Stadium to Kg Jawa and back (13k) and a second loop to Sri Andalas and back (7k).

We started at 6.45am, and just after running 3k, I knew that it was going to be a really tough run. The traffic volume was really high and this made it very difficult to run on the road shoulder, especially with all the motorcycles weaving in and out of the busy morning traffic.

This, on top of the terrible pollution and exhaust fumes made it a very stressful run. By the 10k mark, Lim who has not been running much recently asked me to go on ahead as he could not keep the pace. We weren't really going that fast. Before I went on ahead, I confirmed with him that the plan to do the 2nd loop was off.

I completed the 13k and after a short water break ran another 2k (5laps) on the stadium track. By then it was starting to get quite hot as the sun had come out quite early. I was quite happy to have been able to complete 15k under such circumstances.

Yesterday I managed to run again in the late evening around my housing area, covering 10.1k in about 65min. I would have liked to cover more but it was almost 9pm by the time I completed, and I wanted to spend some time with my son before he went to bed.

Total mileage for the week...appx 61k. The only long run was my 20k run with Jamie on Tuesday. Only 7 weeks to KLIM!! My first 30k will be run in this weekend's inaugural PACM-GE 30K event. Let's see how that goes.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Magic pills

I started taking some anti-inflammatory tablets yesterday. Since my regular company doctor doesn't believe in any kind of steroids, I got the pills from my dad. He gave me enough supply to last me many months from the looks of it. I will only be using it for serious or persistent injuries.

With just a single dosage of two pills, my calf was better than it had been in over 2 weeks. It was just unbelievable. I went for my Wednesday fellowship run at Taman Rakyat last night and managed to enjoy my run without the slightest discomfort. Managed to cover 10.4k yesterday. The park was really empty and the weather wonderfully cool. At the end of my run I was having a 'runner's high'.

Learning KL routes

On Tuesday I joined Jamie at Bukit Aman for a morning run. I was quite skeptical that I would be able to complete the full distance of at least 20k that we had planned, since my left calf was still painful.

I arrived at the car park just before 6am. Jamie was already there. Many other runners were also getting ready for their run. Some were running the actual GE 30k route as preperation for the event.

The first 10k from Bukit Aman to the Petronas at Hartamas was very enjoyable. My calf didn't give me any problems at all, and the pace we were running at was very comfortable. I enjoyed having company to chat with, since most of my long runs recently had been done alone.

We had a good breather at the Petronas before starting the return journey. I had bought a bottle of 100plus and decided to carry it with me while running. It was the first time I was trying this and it was not as uncomfortable as I thought it might be.

Once we had crossed Jalan Duta, Jamie suggested we take the 'double hill' route back so we can prepare ourselves mentally for the 30k which would cover that route. This was only the second time I was running both the hartamas and double hill routes, and this time it did not seem as 'mean' as I thought it was on my first attempt.

My calf was a little tight towards the end but overall it was not that bad. We arrived back at the carpark in about 2h20m... I could really get used to this type of pace in my training, it was really enjoyable.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

KLIM 2006 - 2nd Circuit Run

I arrived at the car park around 6.45am and made my way to the starting point near the boathouse with my umbrella. I already doubted my plan to do at least 25k today since it was still raining quite heavily.

Many runners were already there and the atmosphere was much better than the first circuit run. This time I was told they had over 3 times the number of runners from the first run last month. I chatted with some of the pacemakers and other runners I knew.

Tey arrived later and registered himself for the first time. As promised, he gave me 5 small packets of the plum powder, which I stashed in the small pocket of my running shorts. At 7.30 or so we were asked to leave the tents and go out for the briefing. We were allowed to start shortly after that.

The first 3 laps I paced with Tey and we were doing split times of about 12m40s per 2.3km. After the 3rd lap, I stopped for water and told Tey to go on ahead since I wanted to slow the pace slightly. I then ran by myself feeling quite good actually.

It was at the 5th lap when an accident happened. My spectacles were completely fogged up by then and I could hardly see anything. As I was approaching the playground near the carpark, I did not see a very high step and ran directly into it, falling face down. My right knee took a slight knock, but the worst was the huge swelling on my left shin which was at least 3 inches long and 1.5inches high. There was also some slight bleeding.

I walked for about 100m to make sure that I could still run before continuing. I had to slow the pace down a little more due to the pain. Later I was into my 6th lap when the lower muscles on my left calf started tightening. By the 7th lap the pain was quite prominent and I stopped to take a short walk break. I didn’t think this injury would have lasted so long after resting and with proper treatment since Tuesday?

On the 8th lap which was to be my final lap for the day, I also had to walk a little. Tey and Kevin Chow passed me when there was about 1.5k to go. They were into their 9th lap. That’s when I decided to put aside all thoughts of the pain and started running again. I pushed as hard as I could and completed with total time of 1h53m22s. Total distance covered today was 18.4km.

Later I hung around for quite sometime, having my photo taken with the others and also icing my new injury. Most runners were quite concerned and offered advice on what I should do for the swelling. PM22 was der best… he said “aiyah this is a small thing!”… haha. Thank you all, and congratulations to PM36 and PM41 for their wins. Now I just hope to recover quickly!

Friday, January 06, 2006

Training setback

I have been adviced to listen to my body. I guess that's something that comes with experience? After the NYR on Sunday, I was feeling good and there did not seem to be any aches. I rested fully on Monday and started training again on Tuesday.

I ran 10.1k in 56min which to me didn't seem too fast and was quite an average pace. I don't normally stretch before my runs as I had a bad experience of overstretching and getting injured. So I prefer to warm up with a slow run and stretch after I finish running. However for some reason or other, I injured my lower calf on my left leg. The pain was hardly felt during the run, but it was quite strong after that.

Anyway this forced me to rest for 3 days. My calf seems 'almost' fully recovered now. I've been giving it a lot of 'ice treatments' and rubbing in the analgesic creams. Counterpain didn't work well so I reverted to the expensive cream from my Dr. called Voltaren Emulgel. That seems to have done the trick.

I will be going for the 2nd KLIM circuit run tomorrow morning.
Tey (pm22) has volunteered to support me with his famous plum powder drink, since I am hoping to attempt running 25 to 30k, depending on my condition. Thank you Tey! I will however listen closely to my body tomorrow... haha!

Another setback in my training would be my business trip to Mumbai, India sometime over the next few weeks. I should be there for a week or so. The worst part is I don't know if it will clash with my GE30k and CNY??! The dates cannot be confirmed until certain prerequisites are met at my distributors end over there. I don't know which hotel I would be staying in yet so who knows if there even is a proper gym with sufficient treadmills? Well I'll have to wait and see!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Happy New Year!

Welcome 2006... goodbye 2005! I feel as if the year 2005 was the quickest year of my life. It just seemed to have flashed by like lightning. Significant happenings in the year 2005...

1. Getting through the first half of my Masters Degree course with decent grades
2. Getting an unexpected promotion at work
3. Started running... lost 15kgs... getting hooked onto running and finally registering for a marathon!

I don't have any big plans for the year 2006. Some small things to work at are...

1. Put in more effort in the office and become more organised... improve on my people skills so I can better manage my team
2. Spend more time with my wife and son. Plan a decent holiday with them, now that my son is old enough to appreciate outdoor activities
3. Try to allocate more time for service in church
4. Try to complete as much of my Masters Degree as possible
5. Complete my first marathon and then to run in a few selected 10k and 21k races

Many years ago I used to be a perfectionist and thus always having tried things and given up on them after failing to meet my set standards. Getting married and becoming a father, alongside with other failures and experiences in life has now changed the way I look at things. I now give my best in everything I do with moderation in my expectations. This has helped me appreciate and enjoy the things I do a lot more.