Tuesday, August 25, 2009

First Ramadhan Run

My first Ramadhan run went ok. Actually it went good.

I took it slow, and the route I took was a simple 3.23km around my neighbourhood with some uphills. The sun was blisteringly hot, the weather you would expect at the beachside with clear blue skies. The first few cars looked at me like I was crazy. Nobody runs under the sweltering hot sun at 530 in the evening! But to be honest I like running when the sun is shining. I sweat more and I like it because it's something I'm used to. Heat is something I grew up with, therefore I find nothing wrong with a drenching workout. I hate running when the weather is cold or windy and the sun is hidden by the clouds. Sometimes when I have a late start, at 630pm and the sky was cloudy or overcast I feel a little bit sad. I like to have the sun shining on my face and warming my back as I run.

Trying to run again today. But careful not to hurt my left knee. Yesterday at the end of the run it hurt quite a bit that I had to hobble.

I bought another running shoe yesterday. When I first started I had only one: a New Balance 408. And then I left it at my parent's house so I had to buy a cheap pair - Reebok Premier Pheonix. Yesterday I left that pair in the car that my sister was using so I bought another cheap pair - Reebok Premier Smoothfit Cushion. Personally, I like the third one. It's very cushiony and just snug - doesn't bite into my toes like my New Balance does. The guys in the store were trying to make me buy an Asics but I prefer to take my time when it comes to buying a seriously expensive shoes. I plan to get a good running shoe when I go to Singapore as they have a better, greater selection. But for the time being I think these 3 pairs are enough. I have one at my parent's home, one in the car (mobile), and one at home.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Running in Uni

I haven't been running for 5 days.

Most runners fear gaining weight when they stop running. I fear losing my stamina and endurance. Unlike most people, I don't really seem to 'enjoy' enjoy running - I only like the after effect of running, that feeling when you feel invincible and able to do anything. That was my pure motivation when I was in uni, lacing up my running shoes (a cheap Power bought in Giant with my scholarship money, no less) in the evenings while my friends either watched downloaded series or napped or watched boys playing football.

I used to run in the mornings as well too. I was an early morning runner when I was in high school. My dad and I and mom would go to the lake that I run now and we'd be doing a couple of rounds. Running in the morning is the best feeling. You just feel more energized plus the whole world is slowly waking up. There's nothing more beautiful for me.

In uni I would run straight after Subuh. I remember there was this senior dude who always run too. We would be running in opposite directions and I would secretly look at him because he was kinda cute. I think we were silent running partners for over a year. Then my subjects got really tough and I slept later than I would and would run in the evening. It's not so good because that means boys are around playing football and the really naughty ones would cat call you or just tease you while you run.

But all throughout I always have a love-hate relationship with my running. Somedays I dread it, some days I couldn't wait to do it. Sometimes I hate it even while doing it - this usually means that the whole run would be a mental one as I would be struggling to complete the distance - and the would be other times, very rare though, that my legs just feel loose and my knees don't hurt an my mind singing. I love it when that happens.

One thing I love and hate about myself when I run is that I never give up. If I've started to run 5km, for example, this means there will be no turning back. I could never go back to less than 5km unless I'm doing speed intervals or the likes. Sometimes I get tired even at 2km. The moment I get tired, I know it's not going to stop. It is then that I find myself thinking, "Let's just do 4km. I could stop this." But I would push myself hard to do 5km because I know the end result is highly rewarding. I've beaten the odds. I've actually challenged myself.

This is what I felt when I ran my first 10k. I haven't been running properly for a year until then. I took up other sports: since last year I've been doing kickboxing, swimming and badminton religiously every week. Then I found out that a friend I used to run with did the marathon and I got such a jealousy kick. I mean, I've ran with her. And look at her, doing a mara. I searched the internet and instantly registered myself to 3 running events that july. I was filled with the vigor of such an overwhelming level. I felt like I wanted to leap out of my office chair and run.

But I ran only twice that week. And it was only 3 km I think. Then I went to Thailand and bungeed jump. When I went back, I only ran twice for 4km. I was still gaspng for air.

Then I ran my first 10k.

The race was horrible, and my legs screamed after the first 10 minutes. Uphills were torturous, and I think my pace were as slow as a snail. I paced myself behind a lot of other women, sometimes overtaking them, most of the time being left behind. And, then, about 4km to the finish line or so, I couldn't quite explain it, my body just felt lighter. It was such a noticeable difference, like swimming into the colder parts or the sea, and I felt my legs sprung to life. I ran faster than I could imagine at a pace I usually reserve for the last 200m of my running.

I got the qualifying medal.
I spent the whole day riding the wave of my euphoria.

It's ramadhan, and it's a wonderful month to be in. I had such a fine Ramadhan last year that I'm all happy about celebrating it this year. If you put aside the fact that you can't eat/drink, this holy month has such an upbeat, warm feeling to it. I owe a lot of my positive outlook to the ramadhan month, specifically last ramadhan. My life wasn't too great the past few years becaue of some emotional problems I was going through but during ramadhan I decided to buck up and focus on what's important and even though it sounds cheesy, but I'll just write it anyway: there is a reason for everything, and God knows what He is doing and everything is already pre-ordained for you. There is nothing to be sad about.

Running today. Kinda looking forward to it. Actually, really looking forward to it. But we'll see how I feel at 4pm!

Friday, August 21, 2009


I seem to be losing things, or misplacing them. More so lately than ever before.

My wristwatch is missing. I use it to time my run. The last place I remember seeing them was beside the laptop in my room. I have no idea where it is now.

My passport was misplaced too.

My lower back hurts like hell. It's the sort of pain that is fiery and hot and numb and soaring. If I could illustrate it, you could see a red hot pulsating band circling my lower back. Oh yes.

My left knee hurts too. When I clench my thighs you could feel them hurt under my kneecap.

I think I'm going for an early run just to get rid of all these negativeness.

Last Fueled Run

Tomorrow Ramadhan starts.

Which mean today will be the last day I will run with a proper energy.

I didn't run yesterday because I had to go back to Nilai for my sister's bbq. I planned to run early in the morning today but I slept until 9 due to my sore throat and back pain (I got my period yesterday which explains the aching body parts).I told myself that I will take a break from running and start again Monday.

But I can't. I didn't run on Monday. In fact, I only ran on Tuesday and Wednesday! And I ran for such a short time on Tuesday! I have no idea why I get crazy if I don't run even for a day. I feel like my stamina will decrease and it'll be so hard to start running again. It's not like swimming. Swimming is an easier sport mentally to me because probably I seem to enjoy it a *tad* more than running. It's not as taxing to start again to do a 5km swimming as opposed to 5km running. Maybe because when you swim your knees and your stomach and your lower back don't scream and tire as fast and much as when you are running.

For Ramadhan, here is my proposed plan:

Monday: Regular run
Tuesday: kickboxing
Wednesday: Speed/hills
Thursday: Regular run.

Friday and weekends are for resting. Because based on last year's ramadhan, my friends and I seemed to do a whole bunch of break fast meetups during these 3 nights.

Since we get off at 4.30pm, I will probably have a longer time to run. But I will take my time. And will not over exert myself. And drink lots of water!

BTW, I'd registered my dad for Mizuno wave run. It will be our first race together! And his first official running event. He's excited and I keep telling him, "All other old men are probably seasoned runners who have probably completed many races. Do NOT let your male ego get over you and try to keep up with them when you just couldn't!" I probably have to run with him so he doesn't feel like he's missing out or anything.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Great Run

One of the reasons I love running is because it is a solitary sport. It's just you and all the long empty road stretching ahead. You could be having the biggest problems in the world, or you could be feeling horrible, or tired, or anything, but they provide the best form of base for you to start your running. Most of the time I enjoy running with my mind going loose. I would go through anything my mind could think of; how lazy I am at work, the next haircut I'm going to take, my annoying friend who keeps talking about her pregnancy, etc. Then something would catch my eye and my thoughts would go towards it and work until another thing catches my attention.

 Today as I was going for my run I was thinking about how - even though I love the solitude - how nice it would be if I had a friend to run with. Maybe I am just demotivated or plain lazy, but today I was not feeling up to it as much as the other day. Sometimes running around the same lap more than 4 times could get boring. A friend that I could converse with could take my mind of the boredom that sometimes plagues runners.

 As I was doing my second kilometer, Dennis fell into step beside me. We went to the same school. Shared a couple of classes throughout middle and high school. Even so, we weren't friends-friends - our history in school was more of a mere acquaintance. He was a prefect until the senior year and once chased my ex-boyfriend up until the hills. Should have known he was a runner even then. We met a couple of times at the lake but always said hi-bye or the customary what are you doing, do you know this and this is married? Today was the first time we ran together and had a conversation. After the second round, the skies were as dark as night and lightning stuck a few times. I wanted to stop but Dennis suggested that we have another round. Not wanting to give up, always liking a challenge, I said yes. And I was glad I did. I actually ran at a faster pace today than any other days. And I managed! I thought I'd be gasping for air but I was able to maintain for about 2km.

 It's so obvious that running alone has somewhat dwindled my training. I never seem to get better because I don't seem to be pushing myself. Running with someone forces me to try to keep up and keep my mind of the possible tiredness.

 We did only 3 rounds today due to the rain but it was a nice run. 3.3km for 22 minutes and 07 seconds.

Monday, August 17, 2009

you better?

I didn't run the whole weekend and also yesterday. I felt guilty, because I hate missing a workout but at the same time I know I need rest since my knees were hurting constantly last week. Plus, I need to rest mentally too. There's no point in getting bored with my run since I plan to do it often.

Yesterday I was hanging out with my boyfriend and his bestfriend. I was contemplating to have my Monday run but at the same time feeling lazy to. They convinced me to take a rest, saying that there's no point on me running if I don't improve - a result of being mentally tired. I told them at least I still run. Any run is better than no run. This got us talking about sports.

My boyfriend and his bestfriend met when they were representing Nike Freestyle for football and basketball respectively. They're, in not so many words, good in what they do. My boyfriend has played for many tournaments and football leagues. Both of them were professional sportsmen until injuries/realife/studies took over. My boyfriend now coaches football full time to Japanese kids. They are, in short, 'true blue athletes'.

When I started running competetively, my goal was simple: to complete the race running. That's all. It was never about winning anything because I'm not really a competetive person. So when I completed my first 10k run after 2 weeks of 'training', and got the qualifier medal, I was estatic. I called my boyfriend up to tell him the news, to which he asked, "What number did you get?" When I told him that I ran under the qualifying time and got the medal, his response wasn't really what I expected.

I understand where my boyfriend is coming from. His sports is highly competetive and has a definite win-lose record. You're pitting against the other team and your goal is to win. And then win the next game and the next. Therefore he thinks that all sports require the same output. To him, there is nothing at all to having completed a 10k and getting a medal for it. You don't win if you're not in number 1. He doesn't seem to know the sense of euphoria and achievement I felt when I crossed the finish line. I ran 10 stinking kilometres and I did not walk at all. Ran. In fact, I sprinted at the end. To me, finishing that is awesome enough. That's WINNING for me. I've managed to defeat every single voices in my mind and head screaming for me to stop. I rose to the challenge. Years ago, I thought 10k was a daunting distance. He thinks just because I don't have a winning goal, and that it's merely finishing the race, it's not worthy of the same sense of elation/achievement.

We sort of argued for hours over the fact. The worst was when his friend said, "This is bad of me to say this, but, I don't think running is a sport," HAH! I nearly laughed out loud when I heard that. Of all the cocky, ignorant remarks they could say... but I chalked it up to them just having the typical Male mentality. I mean, how ignorant can they get? A true sports person would never say that. A sport is a sport, even something as docile as... lawn bowling. All sports require the dedication and discpline to get better, the mental strength to overcome negativity. Just because one sport is less physically exhausting or exciting or demanding, doesn't mean that it's pointless.

It's highly disappointing that they think like that. Mind you, we are talking about athletes here - during their football/basketball season, they have all out daily trainings, sports doctors, they get massages and have monitored diets - but mentally they're as matured as ants.

I don't think I'll be the sort of runner that will be aiming for any top 5 finishes. I run because I like knowing that I am capable of pushing myself. I like knowing that I do not give up easily when in other aspects of real life I do. I like mentally going through things when I run. I am happy finishing a race running. I might not be an elite runner or one with many ribbons or medals. But I am still a runner, and running is a sport.

And if my egoistic cocky boyfriend thinks the otherwise, it's a sad sad thing for him. I won't even bother correcting. Or defending. There's nothing to defend.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday Speedwork

I realized the importance of doing intervals or speedwork after my first 10k run. The kick you need to run faster at the last stretch of the race does not come from simply just training at a normal pace. You need to condition your body to be able to run fast at short bursts. It's just like my field hockey training when I was in high school. We all, in addition to having a top notch endurance, should have the stamina to run fast and stop for how many times we need to.

I warmed up at a normal pace for 1.1k around the lake, then did 7x30 seconds of fast running, maybe RPE 6-7. In between instead of walking like last week, I ran at a slow pace. I finished the whole thing in 26:35:78. The sky was already dark when I started, didn't really want to push it even more.

Today is Saturday. I didn't go for a swim. Felt a bit guilty, but I was tired and I think I deserved a nice rest.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thursday Normal

Yesterday it was one of my hardest run. I was struggling to finish the boring 5.5km lap as opposed to other normal days. I also think it's because I didn't have sufficient energy to burn. I had toast for breakfast, and nuggets for lunch. And that was it. Today, I had 2 helpings of Nasi Lemak with fried chicken... not exactly healthy, but just want to see whether this whole carbo loading theory is true or not. Hahah okay that's not a reason for me to gorge on food for breakfast. My department is actually having a little feast to celebrate the coming of Ramadhan.

Today would be my second speedwork. To be honest I can't wait. I just want to run better. But I know it'll be crazy. Plus, I'm nervous about this upcoming event I have to be and mc for on Monday. I need to burn the nervousness.

5.5km = 38:34

Everybody's Sick

in the office today. Myself included. I'm having a mild sore throat which I bet was transferred from my boyfriend as he was coughing last night when we were in the cinema. We watched G.I. Joe which was great. Later that night he followed my running route just to gauge the distance... and it was a disappointing 4.6km.

This morning I went and used google map to map my route and measure the distance. My Monday route was a dismal 4.6km, but yesterday's route was surprisingly longer = 5.2km. The route felt shorter but definitely harder. I enjoyed thinking about it now, but yesterday I nearly fainted with the effort. There are some hilly parts in my neighborhood! But it was a good run because I was fighting with myself and to me suceeding to ignore and fight my inner running wimp is way better than winning anything. I always feel good after challenging myself.

My knees are hurting on a regular basis now. They hurt even when I was static... more so. I think I better start drinking Anlene or something. And wear those knee wraps my dad wears after a run. He says they work wonders.

Talking about my dad, I am dying to run with him in one race. But I am afraid that he'll overexert himself and get a heart attack or something. My dad is a typical Lelaki Melayu Gagah a.k.a Ego. Having run as just a hobby (like I was until this year), obviously he was more concerned with how fast he is than the others and not how good the running is. I was like that too. I always mentally judge or compare other runners. But when I started 'training' I told mysef that I will take my time and take it real slow, no matter what other people think.

I used to like running with my dad but not anymore since our priorities are different. Before, we would just run for the heck of it. We would race each other and stuff. But last 2 weeks when we ran together, he was running at a faster pace than I was and when it was obvious that I could go longer and he couldn't (after 5km), he wouldn't want to stop. He would push himself just so that I don't beat him. What a runner's ego! I am WORRIED that he'll just get a heart attack or collapse. I mean, he's 57 and smokes like a chimney. Plus all he cares about is beating me since there's no specific goals for him to achieve (like, increase speed slowly over one month period, etc etc).

I've managed to persuade him to join the Mizuno Wave Run but now I'm not so sure about it. The other senior runners have been running for years and know how to pace themselves. My dad is a typical male who wants to run AND win. I'm just afraid he'll push himself too far. When I told him that simply finishing a race is amazing enough he eeked me and said that there's nothing more embarassing than having others waving you on. I told you he's a typical Gold, Silver, Bronze sports person.

Today is running! I hope the traffic at the lake is clear or else I'll have to settle with my neighborhood.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


I didn't run on Tuesday... and I feel seriously draggy. Slept late because we picked up my youngest sister who is back from UK for a semester break and woke up early to my father's request to have roti canai together. Then came back and became a bum watching dvds until boyfriend comes over to have a late lunch with the family.

But I went for a run on Monday though. Felt guilty that I didn't run on a Sunday, was supposed to do a LSD, so when I laced up my running shoes on Monday that's what I decided to do. I wanted to have a go at doing the long distance thingy. I decided to use my neighbourhood and measure it by time, not distance. As long as I ran for one hour, that'll be a good distance.

But the tiredness I felt and the sore aching joints that have been persisting for days now reigned me in. I think I ran for only half and hour before calling it quits. Based on my running time, it must have only been around 5km! PFFT! And to think that I wanted to do a LSD.

I went back and spent a good deal of time stretching out my legs, especially my left leg. I am noticeably getting tighter as the years passed by. My flexibility was my glory back when I was doing karate. Especially my left leg; since I'm a lefty, I kick harder and better with my left leg. But when I took up kickboxing last year I noticed that I can't stretch as far as I used to, and my left leg is horribly wound up.

Anyway today is Wednesday. I'm going for a run today. Today is going to be a steady run.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Saturday Swimming

Today after a long while I went swimming!

Oh how I've missed it.

I used to do about 10 laps of freestyle on one side, then another 10 on the other side. This was because when I taught myself to swim freestyle, I started with the left side. But I wanted to be able to do both, so I spent many laps doing the right side. At first it was horrible and I kept swallowing water, my form was awful but after a while I got the hang of it.

Today, I combined: I swam left and right after 5 strokes. I know it's such a long time to resurface back, people usually do about 1-3 strokes, but I like to play with my breathing. I think it helps me a lot in my running. To be able to do 5 strokes without resurfacing is hard work for me. Because I haven't swam for a while, the first lap of that left me winded! When I swam regularly I could do a straight 100m (albeit a slight delay at the end of the lap because I have yet to master the flip turn!) but now I had to stop after 50m for 5 seconds before continuing.

After 500m of so, my breathing went back to normal and I was able to focus on my form. I wanted to make sure I wasn't kicking from my knees, but from my hips instead. I read in various swimming forums that knee kicking is the worst thing you could do. Plus, with my weak knees I do not need the extra pressure.

I did the last 100m in a faster pace, just to send my heart racing a little bit.

Best part: the chinese uncle who swims regularly (always see him on saturdays) for his spine problem gave me a thumbs up after my final lap. "good la you," he said. OH YEAH!

It was an amazing 1km swim. I can't wait to do it next Saturday!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Friday Speedwork

Today was my first attempt at doing speedwork... or intervals or however you call it. To be honest I have no idea how to do it but I figured the easiest way would be speeding for a distance and doing it for a couple of times. I remember when me and my dad used to run at the subang lake 4 years back there was this uncle who always did speedwork on wednesdays mornings. I haven't seen him around at the lake anymore.

Measuring it by time would be tough because my stopwatch is a simple 'start-stop-erase and start again' system. So I used distance markings. I warmed up with an slow 1.1km run in 7 minutes trying to loosen joints on my knees and ankles. Then I did 200m (roughly) in a pace of RPE 5-6. I wanted to run slowly in between but my heart was pounding so hard I had to walk, but I was careful not to let my heart rate slowed down to a normal level. So this is what it feels like to do speed intervals, I was thinking to myself. What torture!

I did it for 5 times before calling it quit. I would love to do more, but I didn't want to overexert myself plus I've been feeling quite tired the past few days. I spent more time on stretching then headed home. I was satisfied because despite the brief workout (30 minutes) I covered 3.3km haha. Any km is good!

Memory Lane

Ever since I started to run seriously last July, I have joined 3 running events: McDonalds Run, Siemens, and Adidas KOTR. I didn't have pictures for all three because I either went alone, or we were always late to register and arrived just in time. Our bags would be in the car.

But this was a picture I found last year on a run me and my friends did for fun, but it was that run that made me feel like running for something, with a goal, is more fun than simply running:

It was a normal breakfast run with a distance of 7km going up into the trails of the TTDI hills. I have stopped running regularly for quite some time after graduation, busy with work. All three of us had just started working, but ALi (stripped shirt) insisted that we joined this thing. So we did. We were amateurs, without proper shoes (them, not me hehe) and have never actually tried running in an event. I think I walked most of the route. The funniest part was when we got out of the trails into the normal tarred road, a man was like, "Keep going you're one of the first!" and we were spurred... until he continued, "just behind the women's seniors." HAHAHA

Other pictures I found off my old hardrive that are not about running, but working out a sweat nevertheless:

This was in 2000-2001. I was crazy about bodyboarding and surfing. Every year during the moonsoon me and my friend (who is fortunate to live in Teluk Chempedak, Kuantan) head to her place and spent about 2 months (for semester break) surfing. I got soo dark tmy pictures turned orange due to the flash. My family took turns taking pictures with me just to compare how much fairer they look. That was me at the back. I think I just scored a couple of swell waves.

Hahaha me jumping into the deep end of the pond. This was earlier this year, after we finished some random jungle activities such as:

Waterfall abseiling. It was a crazy thing, slippery and my palms burned and I slipped a couple of times but I survived. A schoolgirl did the same thing and she banged herself pretty bad against the rocks though.

Flying fox! This is a pretty simple one compared to the hairier versions I've been through.

White water rafting in April... before our raft flipped over. My bestfriend fractured her hipbone and chipped her tooth. This was Kuala Selangor which is considered to be the toughest rapids in peninsular, the toughest in malaysia being in Sabah. I don't like it as much as the Sg Kampar because you make a lot of pit stops to prepare for the rapids, as opposed to Sg Kampar where you just float through.

In Sg Kampar... you can see me at the far end of the tree giving my infamous peace sign.

Today I shall be working on my speedwork... although to be honest I have no idea how to do that. It's just something I read about in running sites haha. But there's always time to learn and to implement!

One more thing I've been wondering about: When we go downhill, do we let ourselves run with the faster speed or try to contain the speed and run at a normal pace? I think I've read before that you should try to maintain your speed while going downhill but I see a lot of runners giving it their all while going downhill... won;t it hurt the knees? *paranoid*

Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon

Without a doubt, this is the worst race organizer ever.

Well the term 'worst' is relative since this is my first encounter of such unprofessional handling of matters.

Look at the picture below:

It is a screen shot of my Maybank2u credit card transaction slip. It says, if I may, that I have made a payment to Standard Chartered Singapore SG for the amount of $52 (for half marathon) on the July 27th.

I have emailed them about 5 times. I called their hotline about more than 15 times. I think they all know my name already. I still haven't received the confirmation slip. When they checked their database, they say my name nor the payment is recorded. They asked me to check with my bank.

I checked with Maybank, and they said there is really nothing they could do because the payment has been made to them. I should print out this transaction as proof, they said.

I have already attached this screenshot. And the hotline said that if it was their payment, it would have the RBS Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon on the slip.

So I said, okay fine. I'll re-register again, even if it means I burned rm 128 for some phantom payment to standard chartered, even if it means I missed out on the early bird fee.

This morning, I registered. And I GOT THE SAME PROBLEM AGAIN. As soon as I pressed Ok for the visa payment, it LEAD ME BACK TO THEIR WAIVER PAGE, no confirmation whatsoever. What is wrong with their system?

To say that there is something wrong with MY card, it couldn't be because just yesterday I registered for the great eastern women singapore and it got through just like in seconds. From RBS as well. So no complaints from my card or the bank.

What I am frustrated about is the fact that they don't want to help at all. Like, dude, I am sorry, but you seem to be the ONLY one who's having this problem... so it's your loss not mine. We've already received a staggering response from people.

I told them that I have no idea how this happen, but my intention is simple: I just wanted to register. Is there anything, ANYTHINg you could do? I mean, short of telling me I have to register in person in singapore, there's nothing they could do, they say. Just like that.

The worst thing is that I might have to look for someone who lives in Singapore who is kind hearted enough to register for me at the registration center. The standard chartered people gave me their number, and when I told them (the singapore athletics association) they say it's typical of the race organizers to 'tai-chi' the problems to the registration center. That guy was really kind. He says since they have no such technologies, and they can only accept manual registration, he would allow somebody else to register for me, even if it is strictly in person.

THAT'S how you want to help people. Even if I'm the only person having this problem. How could you say, "Sorry... there's nothing we can do?" to someone who wants to register?

Anyway, yesterday because of this particularly upsetting news, I decided to take it easy on my running. I did a simple 5.5km in 39:38:09 which is slower than my normal times, but I couldn't be bothered. My knees hurt all the time now... and my shin is starting to throb. Im feeling an onset of injuries piling in. But I'm a bit upset about the registration to worry about other things. I do not want to miss the race. But how am I able to register if they won't let me??

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Wednesday Lake

I just realized something on my run today.

 I am getting slower each lap. And it's my own fault.
 I started out too fast because I was already comfortable doing 2km as opposed to when I first started - gasping for air at the last 500 meters. Because of that my time for the first lap was the fastest. I maintained the speed on my second lap, but got progressively slower the third until the fifth.

 I am such a show off. I hate it when I feel like I need to run fast just to show that I could. Urgh. I'm not in high school anymore, competing for 200m.

 Tomorrow it's going to be my easy run. I'm going to start very slow, slower than normal, because if I could, I'm going to up my distance to 6.6 km. Why 6.6? Because one complete circle is 1.1km.

 My time for completing today's 5.5km? 38 minutes and 05 seconds.

 I didn't really sweat as much or felt exhausted like I usually do after the run. Maybe my body is telling me that I can up the distance now. But I'm careful to take it slow because my knees are starting to hurt even when not running and my shin hurt too when I run. I am SO scared of injuries especially my knees. I have weak knees which is the reason why I swim so much.

 I have a good news today, which carried me for the first lap. And then I psyched myself to finish the last km by thinking about how much I miss my boyfriend who is at a football summer camp in Japan. Hhaha whatever works ey?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Kertih Beach

I heard that someone died during the Adidas KOTR. He was 22 years old.

So young.
I hope running was his passion. Because at least he ended his life doing something he was into.

I can't fathom deaths. I think at some point I was (or maybe still am) obsessed with subject of deaths.

My next door neighbor who was fit as a fiddle died of a heart attack at age 25. He was playing futsal. That was 2 years ago.

Anyway, I am writing to you from the comfort of my friend's apartment. I am in Kertih, on a work assignment that ended way too early to my delight. My flight is at night. So I am here hanging out by my lonesome enjoying the beautiful view of the shore.

Yesterday was supposed to be my rest day according to my 'training plan'. But my bestfriend (who works in Kertih) told me she's going for a jog by the beach, and I didn't hesitate. I've been meaning to have a taste of running along the shores with the waves beating down and the fresh air and the wonderful view for ages. Plus, there's something challenging about running on the sands.

So we did. I think the distance was about... give and take 2.3k-3km. It's not really that far, but the level of exertion was twice as much if you were running the same distance on a normal route/terrain. The wind was exceptionally strong. The shore was uneven, the sands too soft at some places, just hard at some. The waves lapped at my feet, sometimes tugging me into the sea. I struggled for the longest time at one stretch of dune because of the soft sands, sweat trickling off my face and neck. I stepped on thousands of seashells, giving me feet a nice reflexlogy massage. But it was an amazing run, a different mood altogether than my normal straight to the point run. I'm glad I made it to the far end of the bay. Plus, my knees and shin don't hurt so much because of the soft ground.

Since I'd only be reaching Subang at 7pm, I'll make today my rest day.

And I'll start running again tomorrow!

To be honest, I am worried that I'll stop my running if there aren't any events to look forward to. I've been running dilligently for the past 2 months because there were events I was training for, but now since the nearest event is in October, plus the ramadhan coming up, plus some crazy schedule in my life coming up, I'm afraid I won't be able to maintain my routine.

But I guess it's all mind over matter. When there's a will, they say, there's a way.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Adidas King of The Road, Shah Alam

Aaah... to be back in the lovely comforting place called home. This is my second official 10k race... and I started this one out with a slight glitch.

I woke up at 540 am, and woke my friend up (who always join the events with me) at610am, but he took his own sweet time and we arrived there at 650am, and when we were walking towards the stadium, we found out that the race has begun! So we rushed to the area and after running blindly for a couple seconds looking for the registration area, somebody slapped me with the wrist band and told us, "Just run!!"

So the last of the runner was ahead of us about 10 ft away. When we reached the first roundabout I managed to overtake the last group of runners. I think the first 7km was great; my body has warmed up due to the rushing, and I made my way slowly until I feel comfortable that I'm at the right runners' pack (in other words, runners who will safely make it to the qualifying time).

But as we reached the last 4km, fatigue started to show its face. I felt it more so on my upper back, and for the first time ever my shoulders were tensed. I had to shake it out. I was carrying the small water bottle but took only 3 sips in between running; I'd considered dropping the bottle off as it was weighing me down but didn't want to litter the place. I asked a couple of ladies whether they wanted water but none of them did. When I looked at my watch I realized that the qualifying time is about to be over, and I silently cursed the hills!

The hills were such a mental torture. I always start the race really slow but picked up pace on the last 4~5km. But the hills made it impossible. I told myself that my goals for entering a race is simple: to complete the distance without any walking. I soldiered on the first few hills, but before we reach the last roundabout, the hill were so taxing that I was forced (yes, forced) to walk for I think 2~3 minutes. I felt like I lost the race already. My thoughts were like, "don't walk! You want to complete the race RUNNING," and "Just a minute of walking wouldn't kill you! Besides, you're already at a walking pace!"

When we reached the stadium I picked up pace (realized now how important Gentle Pickup and intervals are!!) because I thought the finish line would be at the same place, but instead they took us to a really mentally taxing underground route. At this point my brains were screaming bloody murder. "Damn you KOTR!!"

When I arrived at the area, there was no F sign anywhere. But I figured the F sign probably fell off and I took the rightmost lane, and was awarded with a smile and a medal. Since I was already 3 minutes late from the qualifying time (according to my stopwatch) I thought everybody gets the finisher medals, but realized that not all ladies were holding a medal. So I'm not sure if my stopwatch is not accurate... or they cut some slack with the qualifying medals. Either way...I'm glad I did finish this race, but NOT GLAD that I walked for 2~3 minutes.

My time? According to my stopwatch, I completed the 11km in 01:23:50. I that good or bad?