The date... 26 June 2005 (Sunday)
The place... Subang Jaya City Council (MPSJ) USJ 5
The mission... complete a 10K race
I started my first day at the Cotton Club with my quartet on Saturday night.
I made sure I slept Saturday afternoon after waking up early that morning for a quick short run at Lake Gardens, then performing at a apartment developer's walk-in open-day in PJ, and jamming my way (half asleep) to MPSJ to collect the race kits for the SJ 10K. Then I went to work at the Club from 10.15pm.
I came home at 2am. Before I slept I prepared two bottles of Accelerade, one to bring during the run, and one for post-run. Then i took a quick shower and I headed straight into the sack.
Woke up to the alarm at 5:30am, but refused to budge until it was almost 6am. Really feeling the lack of sleep. I dragged myself out of bed and did the usual morning rituals. Was already in my running pants to save myself the trouble of changing (I do it everytime before a race, or before an early morning run to psyche myself to get up).
I prepared the usual stuff like change of clothes, water, shoes, etc. Made myself a toast and Milo-to-go, and next thing I knew it was already almost 6:30am. I'm like, "oh my god, I'm going to be late!". Started rushing a little bit, to the point when I got into the car, fumbled with trying to put on those stupid running bibs (I hate putting it on the back of the vest... go NB Pacesetters 15K, one nice one in the front!) by taking off my vest and pinning them on to the back, then the front (naturally misaligned when you're in a rush!). Sped my way using the Puchong Highway to USJ in about short of half an hour, parked near the HSBC building, and promptly wore my Nike waterpack with Accelerade, and warmup-jogged my way to the reporting site. Sent in the reporting card and walked straight to the starting line. Saw and greeted my friend Alexis, stretched a little bit and chatted with her.
Flag off and first 5k:
Boom! Off the gun went at 7:30am (at least according to my watch), so I was quite amazed at how on time this race was.
Like usual, being the conservative racer, I started out running at a more conservative pace. At the first km or two, I paced together with Alexis at approximately 7:40min/km. But I found I could actually pick up my pace by 10 secs or so, and managed to maintain that pace, at least for most of the flatter part of the course. At about the 3rd km or so, there was a slow, long incline leading before the Summit Shopping Complex, before turning left into the other USJ housing area. There were actually other long, slow inclines along the way, which I thought was quite an energy sapper. It was still generally flat with some long undulating sections. With hills, you're mentally prepared once you see it coming. But with these long undulating roads, it's harder to gauge effort until you actually feel the incline, although it doesn't visually feel challenging.
Oh yeah, halfway around the 4th km or so, I met Albert from New Balance Shop, Bukit Bintang. I knew he was running this 10k, as he called me up more than 2 weeks back (before I even registered for the race) to ask for some training and race advice! Wah, he's asking ME for advice? I was flattered! Ahahaha.. but nevertheless just told him what I knew, and what I was basically doing to prepare for races. I think he told me that this was his first 10k race!
"Go, Albert... 'kah yau' (step on the gas, or generally means an encouraging "go for it" kinda thing), Albert!"
There was NO water station!!! In most 10k's that I've done, there's always at least ONE water station. Wow, that's something interesting to ponder. Was it an oversight? Or they ran out of water/sports drinks very quickly? Luckily I always bring my water pack for 10k or longer distances.
I think I was already running at about 7:00min/km pace, which is pretty fast for me.
When we finally turned out back into the main USJ road from USJ 9, I knew that the finish was close. I looked at my watch and it showed around 52 minutes or something like that. I only could estimate that the remaining distance would be less than 4k or so. When we finally reached the USJ 5 road, I definitely knew the finish was close. But I was still rather cautious in terms of pace because I knew that the last 1.5k was a really long, steady incline all the way to the finish line! That last stretch goes from the start of one side of USJ 5 to the end of the road and U-turns back another 500m or so back to the finish line at MPSJ field.
Guess who I saw at this point? MAC CHEW!!!! He was just running into the MPSJ track area to the finish line. I was SOOOO surprised to see him there! For those who aren't in the know, Mac Chew is the arranger/composer for a lot of major Chinese recording artistes in Taiwan and China, and in Malaysia as well. He also played piano during the Malaysian Idol trials. He also backs a whole string of Malaysian artistes in their concerts, from Sheila Majid, Zainal Abidin, Juwita Suwito, and a whole lot more.
Before the U-turn, I slowed down my pace enough to tackle the incline (I was almost feeling pretty out at that point, as I was pushing quite a lot this race). After the U-turn I picked up my pace a little more, and once I entered the track area of MPSJ, I stepped on the gas ALL the way and sprinted my fat ass all the way to the finish line!
I clocked on my watch 69:36.
I jogged around a bit to warm-down, and I met the Pacemaker runners, Azwar, Kenneth, Rohaizad, Jason, Justin, Ronnie, Phyllis, Tey, Jamie and few others more. Also met up with Pek Fui, when I lined up for drinks. I also rendezvous-ed with my sifu Greg Lyons, his wife June, and Mac of course to chat and stuff.
Since I have trained for most part for this race the last 2 - 3 weeks or so, I felt more mentally and physically prepared for it, even though I technically didn't really sleep well enough for it. But I am paying for it at the moment of writing (I'm coming down with the slight case of sniffles, where I'm sneezing like nobody's business now!).
Pacing - I think I paced fairly well for this race. Like most of my other previous races, I paced out rather conservatively: slow and easy at the start to warm up, and slowly pick it up midway, slow down at certain parts of the race to recover, and then sprint kau kau all the way to the finish line towards the last 500m or so! Using the Nikerunning.com training log, my average pace for this race was around 6:58min/km (that's pretty out there for me!). I was told that the measured distance for this Subang 10K race was really 10k, plus minus a few yards, so this is probably the most accurate distance race in KL so far.
Timing - Although it was short of a minute or so from my 10K PR of 68:08 at Powerman, Putrajaya last October, my timing of 69:36 was definitely an improvement from the last few 10k races I was in. The last being Cops race where I did a lousy 76 mins and previously KL Marathon '05 at 71 mins (both races I was quite untrained for). As before, I still have a feeling that the Putrajaya route was less than 10k. But one thing is for sure, this race is definitely my PR for a 10K road race (and not a multisport race). So, yay to me. Ahahha.. I'm such a narcisssist! So sue me. But I'm still very happy with it.
Race organization - I was generally quite satisfied with race registrations, picking up of race kits, and even their goodie bags. Reporting cards were as simple as just putting it into a ballot box and off you go. No water stations, so that's a bit of a downside. Traffic control also was fairly okay lah, thought they could've done better, but no trouble so far. The MPSJ officers were pretty cool bunch of fellas, as they were like cheering us runners, so that was pretty cool. The flag-off organization was a bit messed up too, as some of the shorter distance (7k, 5k) runners also ended up starting off with the 10k runners. What do you expect shouting out of a low wattage portable PA speaker. How to hear? Not that it affects me or most of us.
See you next year?
I think I'm gonna lay off races, maybe until Klang 10K on 31 July. I'm still considering it, so that might be my next race. Other future races may include Adidas King of the Road, PJ Half, and definitely Singapore Marathon in December.
Happy Birthday Justin Lee aka PM19!
After the race, we, the Pacemakers group, dropped by Justin's house nearby the race site under the pretense of freshening up at his house before breakfast, but in fact we were there to throw him a surprise party. He'll be 31 (?) on June 30th.
It couldn't have been possible if it weren't for Justin's friend, Jeanne's, help in keeping it a surprise. Imagine the bunch of us, huddling around RIGHT after a race in a house, with all our combined "aromas", but like Rohaizad said, luckily the smell of the nasi lemak managed to overpower it!
Definitely a highlight of the Subang Jaya 10K race as well! Have a good one Justin!
You can read other race reports and Justin's little party at their websites: Jamie, Azwar, Rohaizad, birthday boy, Ronnie, and Kenneth.
Well wishes to Ajeep!
Ajeep aka pm26 aka HamsupMan was injured in a bike ride last week on the highway, when he ran into a pothole and crashed in the sidelines. He broke a collarbone and was admitted to Sunway Medical Center. Last I heard, he'll be out of commission from work for at least 2 months and running/working out for 4 months!
GET WELL SOON AJEEP! (although I know that won't stop you from being the HamsupMan)