Monday, March 31, 2008

My 3rd marathon

KLIM 2006 - 5h24m19s
KLIM 2007 - 5h58m24s
KLIM 2008 - 5h24m13s

I had my heart and determination set for a good finish time from Dec '07 and put that into a structured training program. But as any training program, a lot still depends on other unavoidable circumstances which might put a dent in our efforts.

The last four weeks leading up to the race seemed to be a systematic de-training or de-conditioning for me after seeing myself through a solid 3 month training that saw a tremendous improvement in my form and fitness. 18 consecutive days of completely no running or cross training followed by some last minute desperate short runs to warm up the muscles again was what I was left with to face the gruelling 42km that lay ahead of me.

In any case I'm glad for friends like Tey, Jamie and Choi who gave me the encouragement to still lace up and arrive at the starting line yesterday. I was feeling quite relaxed and ran at a constant comfortable pace for the first 21k (2h21m).

Everything was still feeling pretty good but that soon changed when my right quad started to pull just before reaching the 25k mark. I'm glad that it was just that one muscle that gave me problems this time (unlike last year) which allowed me to continue to adopt a run-walk approach for the rest of the race. Crossed the finish line with a chip time of 5h24m13s.

Sundown marathon (Singapore, 01-06-08) - Sub 5???

Photo courtesy of Tey at 37km:-

Friday, March 28, 2008

Our precious gems

Picture taken 22-03-08

Monday, March 24, 2008

Road to KLIM08

Updated - 24th Mar '08

Week 1
3-Dec: Gym + 4.5k
4-Dec: Rest
5-Dec: Gym + 5k
6-Dec: Rest
7-Dec: 4.5K @ home
8-Dec: Gym + 4k
9-Dec: 14.5k LSD
Week's Mileage: 32.5k

Week 2
10-Dec: Gym + 4.5k
11-Dec: 7k @ home
12-Dec: 8k @ home
13-Dec: Gym + 5k
14-Dec: Rest
15-Dec: Rest
16-Dec: 18k LSD
Week's Mileage: 42.5k

Week 3
17-Dec: Rest
18-Dec: 8k + Gym
19-Dec: Rest
20-Dec: 11k in Klang
21-Dec: 5k + Gym
22-Dec: Rest
23-Dec: 21k LSD
Week's Mileage: 45.0k

Week 4
24-Dec: 5k + Gym
25-Dec: Rest
26-Dec: Rest
27-Dec: 8k + Gym
28-Dec: 10k @Botanic
29-Dec: Rest
30-Dec: 21k LSD
Week's Mileage: 44.0k

Week 5
31-Dec: Rest
1-Jan: 13.8k PM Run
2-Jan: Rest
3-Jan: 4k+Gym+Bike
4-Jan: Rest
5-Jan: 20k
6-Jan: 10k
Week's Mileage: 47.8k

Week 6
7-Jan: Row,Bike,Gym
8-Jan: Rest
9-Jan: 16k @ home
10-Jan: 8k + Gym
11-Jan: 8k @ home
12-Jan: Rest
13-Jan: 14k
Week's Mileage: 46.0k

Week 7
14-Jan: 10k @ home
15-Jan: 5k + Gym
16-Jan: 10k @Botanic
17-Jan: 6k + Gym
18-Jan: Rest
19-Jan: Rest
20-Jan: GE 20k Race
Week's Mileage: 51.0k

Week 8
21-Jan: 10k @ home
22-Jan: 8k + Gym
23-Jan: Rest
24-Jan: 13k @ home
25-Jan: 5k + Gym
26-Jan: Rest
27-Jan: 30k
Week's Mileage: 66.0k

Week 9
28-Jan: 11k @ home
29-Jan: 9k + Gym
30-Jan: 10k
31-Jan: Rest
1-Feb: Rest
2-Feb: 5k + Gym
3-Feb: 21.5k
Week's Mileage: 56.5k

Week 10
4-Feb: 10k @ home
5-Feb: 10k @ home
6-Feb: 5k + Gym
7-Feb: Rest
8-Feb: 8k @ home
9-Feb: Rest
10-Feb: 32k
Week's Mileage: 65.0k

Week 11
11-Feb: 10k @ home
12-Feb: 8k + Gym
13-Feb: 10k @ home
14-Feb: Rest
15-Feb: 8k + Gym
16-Feb: Rest
17-Feb: 20k
Week's Mileage: 56.0k

Week 12
18-Feb: High fever
19-Feb: High fever
20-Feb: Still down
21-Feb: Still down
22-Feb: 6k
24-Feb: Singapore
Week's Mileage: 22.0k

Week 13
25-Feb: Singapore
26-Feb: 10k
27-Feb: Rest
28-Feb: 10k
29-Feb: Rest
1-Mar: 31k
2-Mar: Rest
Week's Mileage: 51.0k

Week 14
3-Mar: Muscle ache
4-Mar: Muscle ache
5-Mar: Muscle ache
6-Mar: Muscle ache
7-Mar: 3k ache
8-Mar: Overseas
9-Mar: Overseas
Week's Mileage: 3.0k

Week 15
10-Mar: Overseas
11-Mar: Overseas
12-Mar: Overseas
13-Mar: Overseas
14-Mar: Shifting
15-Mar: Shifting
16-Mar: Shifting
Week's Mileage: 00.0k

Week 16
17-Mar: Shifting
18-Mar: Shifting
19-Mar: Rain - Busy
20-Mar: Rain - Busy
21-Mar: 8k
22-Mar: Rest
23-Mar: 10k
Week's Mileage: 18.0k

Week 17
24-Mar: Rest
30-Mar: KLIM 2008
Week's Mileage: 00.0k



Sunday, January 27, 2008

A perfect long run

This week has been rather hectic for me at work and at home, especially since our new house renovation is almost completed now and there are just so many things to look into. It didn't help knowing that I needed to increase the training mileage and complete a 30k long run.

Surprisingly enough though I managed to get through the weekdays covering a total of 36km in four runs of 10k, 8k, 13k and 5k. I didn't really give much thought to the 30k run that was awaiting me on Sunday and was just hoping that I would be able to cover the distance without too much trouble at a comfortable and easy pace.

Peter didn't make it this morning, so I was running with Lee and Mani. We started at 5.05am and I was carrying my half full 600ml water bottle. At almost the 10k mark, Martin was waiting for us at the UITM hostel as planned. I proceeded to refill my bottle from the water pipe there and we continued.

The conversation with the guys and the easy pace we were running at made the run very enjoyable. The weather was excellent and cooling as well since it had rained the previous night. Our split time at the 10k mark was about 67mins and my body was feeling very relaxed.

The next 10k passing the Istana, Bukit Cahaya turnoff, Concorde hotel, PKNS and finally back to the UITM roundabout was again covered very comfortably with lots of conversation. Our split time at the 20k mark was 2h15m. Once again I proceeded to refill my bottle at the UITM tap and consumed the powergel that I had brought along. We waited there for a few minutes for Lee to catch up, said goodbye to Martin and continued on.

My legs and form were still feeling great and I kept thinking how long it would last. I hadn't run anything more than 21k since last year's KLIM and it has just been 8 weeks since I resumed training after a 5 month lapse which saw a drastic form drop and increase in weight. I concentrated on my running form as much as possible and kept my posture upright as recommended in order to increase running efficiency.

Just 5k more to go! Form still looking good, the powergel had kicked in and there was no sign of any muscle or mental fatigue. Watch showed a split of 2h50m. I continued to pace with Mani as Lee had slowed down and was left behind. It must be his post GE30k fatigue. Salute to him for running another 30k back to back!

The sun was up by now and I was enjoying the warmth it was giving. Simply maintained my pace and concentrated on my running form. With just one more kilometer to go and with no signs of fatigue or muscle tightness, we finally arrived back at the stadium with a total running time of 3h23m including the few minutes of pit stops we had made along the way.

At that point, I felt that there was still plenty of zip left in my legs. Overall condition was still very relaxed with absoultely no signs of muscle tightness. I could have continued running for another few kilometers but that's best left for the next long run. I estimate an average pace of about 6m40s per kilometer, and I'm certain the even pacing played a big part in helping me maintain my form througout the run.

Things that worked for me over the last 8 weeks:-

1. My 2 gym workouts a week have helped increase my LT levels tremendously and overall conditioned my body, helping prevent injury as I increase the mileage and training intensity.

2. Having one medium distance run mid week

3. Keeping most runs at base pace i.e. 6m18s per km with one tempo or speed workout a week

4. Endurox R4 is simply an amazing sports recovery drink that I couldn't do without

5. Discipline, discipline, discipline!

Things that worked in today's long run:-

1. Having a simple breakfast of two sliced of Gardenia toast em with one slice of cheese and one can of Ali Cafe! (Hehe)

2. Cool weather as it rained the night before

3. Great pacers and good conversation

4. Even pacing, simply one of the most important things for me. Helps preserve glycogen stores!

5. NB 1061 even at the end of its lifespan was simply great! Immaculate cushioning. Too bad I could not get another pair at Albert's shop as they are out of size and waiting for the 1062 to hit stores in March. Perhaps I must try other NB outlets. The 756 I picked up is not as smooth and is a little rigid. I hope it gets better as I break it in.

6. New NB coolmax imported socks, comes with special left and right sock. Simply cannot feel the sweat while running, but after the run if you squeeze the socks it will result in a pool of water at your feet! Cinya unbelievable! Simply must try, only RM20 per pair at NB outlet.

7. Carrying my own water bottle (half full) and being able to sip whenever I wanted. The UITM tap is at a very convenient location (9km, 21km)

8. Pinning the power gel to my shorts. Yes I succeeded and it was unbelievably comfortable. Did not feel its presence at all throughout the run.

So now, with all this you might be asking what my target is for KLIM? Well to be honest I don't have a target apart from wanting to RUN the full distance without walking! Can I do it?? I don't know! Now with 8 more weeks to go, I just hope that injury stays away and I keep up my good form and be able to peak just as the event draws near. One thing I have learnt is that pacing and patience is key to running a good race! So guys and gals out there, know your pace and your form on race day and stick to it and you will be surprised at what you can achieve.

Happy Running!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Chiew Chin's visit to Korea

Isabelle turns 2 months

Nicholas goes to school

It seems like just yesterday that we were playing with a little bouncy baby boy, and last week we had to see him off to school. Nick has started going to kindergarten and we hope he settles in fast and enjoys his time there.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

What lies ahead?

2008 was ushered in without any resolutions being made as I intent to take everything as it comes while fulfilling my commitments and responsibilities.

Nicholas, while just having turned 4 in December, has started going to kindergarten. He seems to have adjusted quite quickly but it will take some time before he starts mixing with the other children and making friends. Perhaps we should have sent him a year ago, but we felt it might be too soon and didn't want to pressure him as some parents do with their toddlers these days.

Isabelle who just turned 7 weeks old seems to be growing well, drinking well and sleeping well. Besides the occasional restless night, she only wakes up once in the night for her feed. Having a big baby does make parents life much easier most of the time, especially when they tend to drink more during each feed thus being able to sleep longer.

Chiew Chin is still on maternity leave and goes back to work officially on 14 Jan. However she leaves for South Korea on a company incentive holiday for 5 days on the 8th. It will be a well deserved break for her before having to get back to a rigid and monotonous routine. I shall be filling in as home dad for 5 days while she is away. We are in the process of getting a maid but there are some unexpected delays so we have to manage for now.

As for my running, my updated training log in my 'Road to KLIM' post gives all the details of how that has been going. My gym workouts have definitely been helping me build some well needed muscular strength that enhances my endurance which running alone would never be able to do.

Will the KL Marathon materialise this year? Announcements have just been made for the impending general elections and that might be a sign that we might possibly have to forgo running in this annual event this year. Anyway lets hope for some good news and even if KLIM isn't on there will be other events to look forward to. For me the next definite marathon shall be the Sundown Marathon in Singapore which I've signed up for.

I would like to wish all my friends and fellow runners a very blessed and happy new year. God willing I hope to see you guys and gals and some of the races this year. As time permits I shall choose the events that I hope to participate in this year carefully. Take care and God bless!