Wednesday, January 24, 2007

True friends!

I've really not had the time to update my blog or even visit the Pacemaker's shoutbox anymore. Actually I've been still faithfully training as usual, leading up to GE30k last Sunday, and had some really high hopes in doing well in that race.

But due to my kiasuness and over confidence, it ended up a disaster with me completing in a much worse time than even last year when I had just started running. Anyway to cut the story short, the main cause was an overdose of Powerbar which caused me severe indigestion and stomach cramps from the 2km mark right up to the finish.

To make matters worse, my well rested legs were also not performing and for the first time in my running history I suffered from some bad cramps on both legs right from the 15km mark. Even in KLIM last year I only felt some slight muscle pulls. Anyway this is a good lesson learnt that I need to both respect the distance and stick to what is familiar during a race and not try something new!

The funny and touching thing is that my dear buddies the Pacemakers thought that I was wallowing and in sorrow over this bad performance and today I received a series of emails from them encouraging me. This really helped me remember a posting I wrote last year where I said to me running is actually more of the friendship I foster with my running buddies rather than race day performances.

Anyway guys, just so you know I am fine and totally cool about my disappointing performance. It's just work that has been keeping me busy and will continue to keep me busy, thus reducing the time I spend in the CBOX. A big thank you to all of you for your encouragement and kind words! Btw, I'm not done with der marathon yet lah! Still plenty waiting for me, just that I need to make sure I respect the distance as some of you put it, and participate only when I really can afford the time to train for it.

Yours in running forever!


Jamie wrote...


I admit that I was in 2 minds to email you but after thinking for 2 days (see I really think about you!) I thought that I can't be considered a friend if I don't do it. Also I'd have failed to live up to the adage of runners helping runners if I don't write you. Therefore here's this mail written in all frankness and I think I speak the same as your other running kakis. So please don't be upset and if I somehow come across as harsh, please pardon my writing.

I have to admit that you're not the only one disappointed with your results. I was curious as to the reason why you took 2 bars which I think led to the start of the problems. In any case what's done is done. Recognize the mistake but never dwell on it. Move on.

As corny it may sound, what didn't kill us will make us stronger and I think it's generally true. It's often how one reacts to setbacks that one becomes the wiser for it. I don't doubt that you can bounce back or run much faster and I'm sure you know that fact too. Your improvements over the Hartamas route is proof that you're already a better runner. Once you've built up the experience and patience, results will just improve (not everytime but definitely on the upward trend).

Old fashion wisdom always hold true for us (gifted ones like CB Leow and Chen don't count).

1. Never try new food/techniques/shoes in a race.
2. Respect and train the distance. Anything over 20K can do lots to the underprepared and performances under 20K can't be used to gauge the performances over 20K.
3. Patience. In terms of training and strategies.
4. Confidence. This quality is gained after ingesting the above 3 points,

Your decision to stay away from 30K and the marathon is not the answer. I'm one who believes that the more I fail at a distance, the more I want to succeed in it. Neither should you withdraw into a shell. You have friends who are very supportive of you and that's your source of inspiration to bouncing back. So come back running and of course to the Shoutbox when you can. Paula Radcliffe failed big time through a combination of sickness and the weight of expectations in Athens. But she bounced back in style by winning New York just 3 months after that. You can do that too.

Monday, January 08, 2007

What's New?

I've not had much time for blogging recently and at the same time no mood lah. The long holiday seemed to have turned my clock upside down as I slept late and woke up late almost everyday. Getting back into the normal routine has been tough. So what's new??

This is what's new!

With GE30k just round the corner, I know that I've not been putting in enough mileage to be able to complete the distance comfortably. I've struggled to maintain my weekly mileage of 40k for the past few weeks. I guess it could partly be due to fatigue as I improve the quality of my workouts.

This method of low mileage (recommended by Chen) seems to work for me. With one hard speedwork session, one hard LSD and a couple of tempo runs per week I seem to be improving much faster compared to my high mileage training days. But I have yet to prove this to be effective for any distance beyond 21k.

An example of my fitness improvement...

Route: Klang Stadium > Shah Alam UITM > Klang Stadium
Measured Distance: 20.1k

Timing - 6 Aug 2006: 2hrs 4min 37secs (Still remember I pushed all out and almost want to collapse)
Timing - 31 Dec 2006: 1hr 54min 54sec (Felt like quite an easy effort)
Timing - 7 Jan 2007: 1hr 50min 12sec (Still felt like I had some gas left)

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Blessed 2007!

I've been on leave since Dec 22nd. The holidays and long break shall come to an end after today. It's been a good break away from the daily routines with plenty of late nights and sleeping in. I had a little Christmas do on the 24th night at my place and some of the Pacemakers and Pacesetters turned up. Thanks guys for coming and also for the gifts.

What I've enjoyed the most in this past two weeks is spending more time with Nick as I don't normally get to do that. It also gave me a little time for reflecting on the year 2006, and this got me realising that I need to have more of a balance with my family, church and running... in that exact order. I don't list work here, because work will always be there from 9 to 6, Mondays to Fridays.

I don't have any big resolutions for the year 2007 as most lofty resolutions are never seen through. A quote from today's Daily Bread Devotional "Many of our New Year’s resolutions may actually accelerate our pace of life instead of helping us to slow down. In a quest for greater productivity and efficiency, we overschedule our days, then rush through meals, drive impatiently, and wonder why the joy of living eludes us." My only two goals for the year are to refresh myself with God and spend more time with my family.

Work is definitely not going to be as free as it was in 2006. We just secured a few more projects locally and overseas... for instance OCBC bank, UOB bank and Malaysian Airlines. This is a good sign that things will start picking up after some sluggish growth in the past year. This will mean less time spent at the CBOX so you guys shall be free of my empty chatter haha!

Now let's talk about running... hmmmm. I've just browsed through the 2007 running calendar and have identified the key races I shall take part in. These may have to change as the year's committments change, my overall target is to get 10 medals for the year.

Possible 2007 Races

1. GE 30k - 21st Jan 2007
2. KLIM 42k - 18 March 2007
3. Power Run 10k - 22 April 2007
4. NB PACM 15k - 20 May 2007
5. Pg Bridge Marathon 22k - 24 June 2007
6. Ipoh Half - Date TBC
7. PJ Half - Date TBC
8. Subang Jaya 10k - Date TBC
9. Klang 10k - Date TBC
10. Putrajaya Marathon 21k - Date TBC
11. Singapore Marathon 21k - 2 Dec 2007

2007 Race time targets

10k - 47 mins
21k - 1h 55mins
42k - 4h 45mins

Here's wishing all of the PM's and my running buddies and blog readers a very blessed and successful 2007. May you strive for more excellence in everything you do while remembering and spending more time on the more important things in life like your family! God bless all of you!