Desaru part 2:
Sunday 19 Sept - Had a really good sleep on the night of the race. We slept around 11 - 12-something in the morning and I woke up about 10:30am, I think. I slept like a log! Might as well, my feet felt like logs, still. It's not as stiff as the night before, but the discomfort from the cramps and heat-exhaustion was still there. I could walk better... although I may have looked like someone who just started to learn to walk again. I also realised that it rain last night up until this morning - Why, oh why, didn't it rain like that during the race???
Greg and wife had already woke up, while I freshened up, so that we'll try to catch the Sprint Triathlon event (1.5km swim, 30km bike, 3km run) which took place today, and then go for the complimentary lunch at the hotel for all the athletes. When we reached the hotel, the organisers were already clearing up the scene: the race was already over. It was rather fast... and we found out later that the race started at 9am, and not 10am like the Long Distance event. Anyway, we sat at the lunch area, with Sam Pritchard (the winner for the Men's 50 - above category), and talked shop, of course, among other things. Later Mon and his gf, Jasmine joined us as well. Jodie Ann (winner for the Women's 30 - 39 category) also joined our table. While waiting for the lunch ceremony to begin, they had cultural dances from a kids' dance troupe from one of the local schools. The kids were awesome! They looked and danced like they were trained professionally! I was so impressed.. and they were so in the groove of the music, and their movements were so natural! They have a good teacher, and definitely good sponsors. You won't see that around in KL schools... one thing Klang Valley schools have to learn. Then the lunch started, and the award presentation ceremonies took place. Greg got 7th place in the 40 - 49 Men's Individual category. By the way, lunch was crappy.. hotel food was really crappy. Anyway, after watching the Pro's get their awards, we all left the hotel. We went back to the chalet and packed our stuff to leave Desaru. On the way back, at Kulai, we had some more food at Thamby's Banana Leaf restaurant. Had good roti canai and mee goreng, with vegetables. Food's great there, a place I'd recommend. Back in Kajang, we had a nice seafood dinner (I ordered vegetarian, of course) with my bass player, AJ, as well. He was keeping our saxophones and bags, so we gave him a nice dinner treat. Greg then sent me home, and then I hit the sack to get some very good sleep and rest, which was overdue.
It was a really good trip... I loved every minute of it, including the painful bits. Let's just say it was worth the pain and effort. I got my very FIRST medal (for any sports event, as a matter of fact!) for my FIRST ever half-marathon race! What else can I say...??
Analysis of race:
Race plan - As I began running at 2:40pm, in the blistering hot weather, I told myself to pace myself a little slower, to avoid burning out too fast. And so I did. As I only intended to finish the race, rather than to make a PR, I took most of the race in an easy pace. The heat definitely didn't help much, so I drank a lot of liquids from the aid stations and took lots of sponges and wet my body, stuffed them on the shoulder sides of the vest, and even put them in my cap. I also put ICE in my cap to keep my head cool.
Fueling - As I mentioned before, I drank a lot of water and pissed a lot before the race. BAD idea. I think that was what led to the body cramps, heat exhaustion. I believe it was a case of water poisoning. As salt/sodium is purged from the body via sweat (and even more on a hot day), there's a need to constantly replenish the body with sodium. Sources of sodium may come from isotonic drinks or even PowerGels. Although I had two PowerGels, I still drank a lot of water at the aid stations, and since only TWO of the aid stations had 100Plus Power, I didn't have much stock of isotonic drinks to fuel my sodium in the bloodstream. Even the liquids I brought in my hydration pack (Water + Excel Blue) had too little electrolyte and sodium content to replenish me. Anyway, drinking too much water dilutes the sodium content from our bodies, and I think that made it worse for me (hence, water poisoning). I may have been able to avoid the body cramp, if I had guzzed down several cans of 100Plus Power immediately after I completed the race. Note to runners/athletes: when running for long distances in hot weather, make sure you balance your liquids by drinking some water and isotonic/sports drinks. Take PowerGels if your runs are more than an hour. Don't drink water excessively, especially before the race. If you're doing triathlon events, possibly load up on salt (with salty soup, for example) as well as carbo-load before the race.
Wet yourself? - If possible try to avoid getting your feet and shoes wet from all that water the aid station volunteers try to gush on runners. Wet shoes = blisters on feet. Stick to the sponges. But honestly, sometimes it may not be avoidable, it's hot, and you need to rinse water over yourself.
Heat protection - Sunblock..VERY important on afternoon races, or training. I recommend Coppertone Sport SPF-48 (it's a blue contoured bottle, can get at Guardian or any good pharmacies). Caps.. white or anything bright! (Only good cap you could get is from Nike, but a little pricey unfortunately. Good though, it's breathable). Running gear... white or anything bright too! Bright colors reflect heat away from your body. Absolutely no black gear! Shoes... make sure you don't wear a new or fairly new pair of shoes to race, break them in first.
.. and some pictures!
That's it, I guess... now, on to the pictures! Here are some cool pictures from Desaru, you can check out the rest of them in my Yahoo! Photos album.
Desaru beach in the morning - oh what a beautiful moorrninnngg!!
Desaru Triathlon sign
The finish line
My race gear - NB 765 shoes, Nike Dri-Fit sox, Nike Air white cap, bib 817 on Asics Yellow combo
Me coming in the first lap
Me passing by the first lap
My medal - on the front
My medal on the back - FINISHER!!
Me, June (Greg's wife) and Greg at hotel after luncheon
Anyway, I will be taking the week off from any training. Might take a short, easy jog to clear up the calves, though. But definitely no training. Might train from the middle of next week.
Ok, till next time... ttfn..:)