Monday, November 22, 2010

Retiring with a PB

Yes I got my Personal Best, thank you Penang Bridge.

I would never ever run the same long distance route twice (21km and above) but Penang bridge is something else. The route is never boring, never mentally challenging, and always feels SHORT. To me, that is the best kind of race ever. Of course, I've only done it twice but both times I finished it happy and elated.

7pm: Met my friends who went back to penang for a wedding. They took us out for cheese naan and butter chicken and nasi beriyani kambing. Tasty.

The only picture in this post and it's not even on running.

10pm: Went to sleep after carefully arranging my running outfit. Realized I forgot to bring my running pouch or whatever you call it where you can stuff your cellphone and counterpain. Damn it, I think, back to stuffing my sports bra again. I have decided to run in my vibrams. Forgot to bring my Vaseline to smear my feet with. I guess I'll have to bear the pain of blisters all over again like that Sundown nightmare. Well, at least it's for half the distance, I consoled myself.

When I woke up,it was already 236am. I rushed, forgetting to eat any breakfast at all. In the car managed to swallow half a banana and a swig of coffee. Left my car somewhere in front of Gold Coast Resort. It was 3.06, and the half marathon male were already running.

I realized I left my bottled water in the car. At the starting line I grabbed one of the bottles lying by the roadside. Thank God I'm not squeamish.

When we were flagged off, I quickly look for someone to pace on. My plan was to start fast so that even when I get tired I won't be too far behind (what a stupid strategy... but hey whatever works). I saw these 2 girls in the 'right' running gear - the Zensah calf thingies, beeping monitors, even the Running for Orang Asli sign. I am sure they are in the 'in' running crowd, therefore, would run a good proper race. I latched on.

They kept a quick and steady pace. Discussing about this and that, mostly about running and running events. One of them were faster than the other and she quickly left us. I was glad to follow the slower friend. In my heart I hoped she won't go any faster.... it's only the first km!

When we reached the bridge my spirits soared. It's near the end! Only a u-turn and back again. Already the blisters were forming and my Plantar fasciitis (sukahati la spelling macamana pon) started to rear. I dropped the Orang Asli friend (the only way to describe her) when we went up the bridge. I have to go faster here as I plan to walk all the way down. My knees, what else?

All the way running up there was this black lady - a foreigner - who grunts. She grunted so loud that the runners near us (I was running just beside her) would turn to look. I wondered why - to say that the incline was so bad it was just a fart of a hill. She didn't look too exhausted. Yet she grunted, until I started to feel embarrassed. It sounded like full fledge porn movie and I was the co-star... I mean I was standing next to her. I quickly dropped her. Nope, did not even grunt.

Walked all the way down, looking at all the other runners I passed charging past. I wistfully wished that my knees weren't such grandmas. Oh well, you do what you can, right? One lady ran smoothly down. Your knees, you idiot! I felt like shouting to her.

I was just jealous.

The rain started. First it danced softly on us, then it showered. And then it roared, pouring. Pelting. After the u-turn, everybody ran looking down at their feet, like shuffling zombies. But everybody was running at this point! I think somewhere between last year and this year more Malaysians have been running... nobody seemed to walk. Damnit.

I was secretly happy it was raining so hard because I won't be the only one suffering with blisters so great. I secretly laughed at those wearing shoes with socks... my condolence.

Everybody was soaked, whoever wanted to mandi wajib, would have gotten so. Not a single thing was spared. To my horror I realized that I was wearing white... and you can see my blue sportsbra as clear as day. I might as well be running without my t-shirt on! I only hoped you cannot see the outline of my underwear as well. They're all running looking down anyways right?


Going up the second incline, I ran beside an uncle who... grunted all the way up. What wrong with me? I thought. Why do I always get stuck with groaning uphill runners?

The buns were soaked. But I was hungry, plus, I needed something to down my actifast. Yes, I cheated. I took a painkiller to blur the blister pains away. My apologies.
The bun was very soggy, cold and tasted like wet paper. I swallowed them without thinking.

At the end of the second downhill a guy spoke to me. He was doing the full marathon, and asking me questions, trying to make a conversation. I didn't get the point; granted this is a social event but it's 5 am in the morning and I feel bad slowing you down. When he left me I hoped the reason he talked to me at all is NOT because of my transparent blue sports bra.

The U-turn back! yay, so near to the end. I started to feel cramps coming up in my leg. Of course, since the only thing I took was water, and bread. Couldn't find any shop in Penang that carries ORS. So I ran it drinking water and 100 plus, hoping 100plus is enough to keep cramps at bay.

600m to the finishing line, I saw this lady runner who looked like the younger version of Kak June. Short hairt, gorgeous body, the works. She kept a steady pace, and I still had it in me. Suddenly I felt like I wanted to show her what finishing in style means. I surged ahead, cutting her, speeding up. Huh, baru kau tau pentingnyer speedwork! I thought smugly.

Then the cramps hit. BAD. At my calves. I stopped abruptly and hobbled jerkily. The lady runner ran past me without even a glance. I was left eating my medicine and it is bitter! I bet she was mentally laughing her ass off.

I hobbled to the finishing line.

Result: 2 hours 35 minutes... a full 30 minutes off my average half-marathon timing. YAYYY terrenyer akuuuu.

Why I think it happened:
1) acupuncture?
2) painkiller? It helped to keep my knee pain in control.
3) good pacers - the orang asli and various other lady runners I wished I could beat.
4) butter cheese naan
5) i just enjoyed this race.
6) good fitness base? eventhough without any lari at all since september.

Anyway like the title said this will be my last half marathon race. I have decided to gantung kasut and only run in events with my dad instead. We'll see how it goes. I hope we will all still be friends. I would still be writing in here.

I would definitely be joining on all the weekend activities, so don't tak ajak!

how did you guys do?


  1. Yay! Good on your with a new PB! I love the part about the grunting galore although I didnt have the chance to experience any :D. But I had another issue to contend with lol.

    Rest well for the time being. I sometimes feel like doing the same and taking a bit of a break also. Hopefully yours wont be for too long ya!

  2. awesome. 30mins is a lot of improvement there. keep it up. must be the rain. I know u always enjoy running in the rain.

  3. i think this is the most detailed race report I've read from you. Great then, I'm doing my last marathon and you are doing your last half. So, what's next…haha.

  4. Good job Nadia, what happened at the end of the movie?

  5. a very fun race report and congrats on ur new PB .. I wish, I now, have the younger version gorgesous body of me that you saw hehehe .. too bad we did not manage to catch up .. another time :) take care of those knees !!!

  6. this race report.Grunt..grunt.
    And congrats on your PB :)

  7. yim: nothing can beat your issue!
    ian: i think so too it was the rain
    kash: let's travel! i already have plans
    shuk: hehe that's for me to know
    kak june: tu la next time we will see each other ok
    julin julai: thank you doc!

  8. congratulations nadia..woohooo!!..
    I can see enormous pattern of sports bra that day...
    why gantung kasut?...vibrams boleh gantung ke?
    tak best la macam ni...

  9. Congrats Nadia! May b after this we could meet in a group ride? :D

  10. Running always able to surprise us, kan? All the twists and turns...
    Congrats on a good run and a PB!
    p/s: Ziff melambong kat sini jugak??