I guess they didn't want to call it a 10K anymore, because it certainly isn't. LOL!
Anyway, from my last race (Subang Jaya 10K), early July, I was rather looking forward to participating in this one, just to race again. It seemed like a long time since then. This time around, the designated route is the 'DOUBLE HILL' route. Means, LOTS of hills.
Like usual, I only had about 3 over hours of sleep. Came back home from Alexis after Denise's show at almost 2.30am (I was supposed to leave at 12.30pm, but the show was just too good to leave halfway!). Before I slept, I prepared my usual things for the race - Accelerade, PowerBar Recovery Drink, socks, running kit, clothes change, etc. I'm using my New Balance 890 (cushioning) with my orthotics for this race. Decided not to take the risk of not using the orthotics for my flat feet.
I woke up just before 6am, thanks to Devin for calling me. I totally didn't hear my watch alarm. Got freshened up fairly quickly and had a quick bite of peanut butter jam toast, and a mug of Milo. Picked Devin and headed to Dataran Merdeka.
Like the smart fella I am, I decided to park at Lake Gardens, so we can get a few minutes of warm-up jog to Dataran Merdeka before the race starts. The only drawback about parking there is walking back there AFTER the race. There were quite a number of people already huddling up in the kennels from the 10k and the 7k categories, and other huddlers who still haven't gone in yet. We entered the 10k kennel and just hung around, did a couple of stretches and just waited for the gun to fire off.
After the cheerleading squad performance, the Sultan Abd Samad clock (Big Ben..?? Not!) hit 7.30am, but no flag off yet. The race official went, ".. okay we are going to start the race soon.." *BANG* and off we went. Pity her.. she didn't even finish the sentence, much less do a countdown, and the gun went off.. hahaha!!
First 3k.... what? Hills already ah...??
Not my first time doing this route from Dataran Merdeka, but after the first 300 - 500 metres, the route already heads up a hill behind Bank Negara. It's never easy to hit up a hill so quickly after just starting off in the race. But like my training dictates, go easy on the pace in the early stages of the race. I tried to maintain a steady breathing 2-in/3-out pace for most of the race, even in the hills.
Note: My heart rate monitor watch went bonkers on me 2 days ago, probably due for a battery change. So I didn't use it this time around. It'll be the first time in a long time where I have to be extra mindful about my pace.
It's been a long time since I've run up Bukit Tunku. I definitely want to start training long runs up this way again. I haven't had a decent long run in a long time too. But it feels good to run up this route again. The roads are much wider and easier to run on this time around.
About 5k +... WHAT? MORE hills?? Wah liao ehhh...
This is the killer stretch of the whole race.. the hill up Jalan Laman Tunku (I think.. correct me if I'm wrong!). It goes uphill (about 10% incline, at least) for at least 1km plus all the way until it flattens out at Persiaran Bukit Tunku, slopes up a bit and downhill all the way to the Bukit Tunku/Jalan Sultan Salahuddin interchange. In the uphill, most of the runners who I thought pushed themselves pretty early have already started walking up the hill, and hammering it after a few minutes of recovery. Like usual, I challenged myself to remain on the run (even though with baby steps), but try to maintain a steady, comfortable effort.
Met our good friend, Albert from the New Balance shop at Bukit Bintang. He sure was huffin' and puffin' up the hill. Told him to take it easy and not over exert. Especially up that hill. But he was doing great. Kudos Albert. Last 2k... aiyo... I think I tired already ahh.. but cannot stop.. Oooh.. got leng lui?
At the flatter portions before Persiaran Tunku, I was catching up with this cute looking, nice bodied, chick in blue Dri-Fits. I maintain a steady pace behind her to admire some "art", but later realised that she was only slowing down to accomodate running with her male running partner (boyfriend? Hmmph! heh heh). On the last 3km downhill after Persiaran Bukit Tunku, the both of them picked up the pace, and I couldn't really catch up. I didn't want to push myself yet, so I just maintained my rhythm. Bugga...
Oh yeah, halfway through the race, we passed by a water stop. Guess what? THEY RAN OUT OF WATER? Like how INFINITELY STUPID can they get???? You know is a !#$%^&* race, make sure have lots of water in stock, man! *sigh* Malaysian standard of organising races.
Once I reached Jalan Parlimen, I started pushing the pace a tad bit after passing Lake Gardens (can I take my car and drive to the finish line instead ah... helppp.. ). I still couldn't really catch up to the blue leng lui even at that pace... never mind, just keep your rhythm. You don't want to pancit so close to the finish, right?
Sprint to the finish!!! YAAAAYYY... *pant... pant... pant...*
At the last 500m, once I passed the roundabout at Bank Negara, I actually put some speed and I managed to "cut vegetable" (or overtake.. Pacemaker gang slang..) past the blue dri-fit leng lui and her boyfriend. At that point, I already don't care lah.. I just want to finish the race good and strong..
Saw Tey.. said hi.. and this is what I got:
Thanks Tey for the pic!
I sprinted all the way to the finish line and clocked 74:58 for 10.7k. Not exactly what I would've hoped for, but oh well, what the heck. It was a good run for me nonetheless. I felt good throughout the whole run. And I think I was more satisfied with that than the timing itself.
Pacing - I was quite happy with the pacing in the race. I was careful on not starting out too fast, and losing wind quickly. I have noticed that I am able to pace better if I had a warm-up run prior to the race, than when I did not. Based on the pace calculator, running 74:58 over 10k, I was running today at an average pace of 7:00min/km. It's probably expected due to the hills. I think I would've done better if the route was more flat. So, I'm still quite happy with it.
Form - I felt comfortable with my running form. Less tiring, maybe all those exercises, runs, cycling, and dengue helped a bit by making me lose weight. Found that I my strides are definitely wider and faster than it used to be, and I don't feel terribly "pancit" when I run. A few kgs off my body really does help the running! So to all weight-loss enthusiasts out there... start working out.. reduce your diet to lose weight...
* * * * *
Looks like I might not do any 21K this year. The dengue fever really threw my rhythm off my training. Upcoming half-marathon races include Putrajaya Half (next week), PJ Half (fortnight), and Singapore Marathon in early December.
Also, the following two weeks will be a busy week for me. I'll be heading to Shanghai for another 2 shows there this week. Going to Singapore first on Tuesday, a rehearsal and flying off Wednesday night to Shanghai. Will be there for about 6 days, before heading back to Singapore on the 12th and KL back on the 13th. So any chance of doing a half-marathon is virtually non-existent. But I am aiming for KL International Marathon next year... 21K, if they have that category.
I definitely won't be doing Singapore Marathon this year too. I might be involved in the Penang Jazz Festival this year end on the 3rd and 4th December. So, it'll clash with the marathon event. Too bad. Could've gotten a nice discount as a returning participant.
Anyway, I might not be blogging for the next couple of days... or for the week, even. I might write about my Shanghai experience, if I feel up to it. I am feeling rather lazy to blog these days. I dunno why. Maybe I'm just tired of it.
Well, signing off for now...