Thursday, November 22, 2012

APBIM 2012 - My Maiden Marathon Journey Completed..

Truly inspiring words of wisdom. Credits to Azim and Rashid.. =D
Hello there, Happy Thursday and welcome back to my humble simply ME blog... I would like to share my experience and the special moments with all of you, my fellow followers about my recent Maiden Marathon at Allianz Penang Bridge International Marathon 2012 aka APBIM. All the hard works and trainings plus some dramas along the way will also be highlighted before the D day. Since this is the last farewell running event on this old bridge, I would like to compare it with my previous HM run @ APBIM 2011. So bear with me along this exciting journey towards becoming a true Marathoner. (^O^)

First of all, ever since I was intrigued to sign in for this Full Marathon when I read several RBU blogs aka Otai @ Kings of Ultras, Hardcore Marathoners & Triahtletes such as Deo, Ultra Ray, Yimster, Stupe, Jamie Pang, Arman, just to name a few even my dear respected strong will lady runner, Kak Lina aka Gadis Petai. Their FM and HM journeys sounded awesome, really2 inspiring with their PBs, full of fun too. Now I know reading a FM race reports isn't the same as running one, most definitely NO. It's totally different level altogether. So I started to appreciate their experiences and some of the tips for a FMV like me  that could be handy for me to brace myself for this insane journey. 

Pre-race preparation
A week before the event, I went to Langkawi for a family vacation aka JJCM also lah. I intended to do carbo loading as well as fat loading during the trip. No running activities at all, but lots of hiking up and down stairs at Dayang Bunting Island and Langkawi Cable Car - Mt Mat Cincang. As a result, I gained 2 kg in this 4 days 3 nights trip. (O.o) As usual me and my partner in crime, Rashid, also a distinguished blooming runner (Setelah berjaya meracun dan melambong dia untuk amik FM nih, hahhaa... Syndrome taknak kalah dan collecting finisher tee... LOL!) took off to Penang on Friday, 16th Nov. We normally did the makanthon before the actual marathon, so called carbo + cholestrol loading. Started with me having Sizzling Lamb Chop with this crispy stir fried mushroom and succulent lamb + chicken satays. More like protein loading to me... Hahahaa... To top it off, I had this Sirap Bandung PMC Special, using goat milk and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. My goodness! The food served at Puncak Mutiara Cafe was super awesome and the service was super fast!!!

Super delicious Sizzling Lamb Chop.. Yummeh!
Super crispy and crunchy battered mushroom!
Sirap Bandung PMC Special

On Saturday, 17th Nov. I managed to do an effortlessly 4km morning run in Kepala Batas Stadium after feeling a bit lemau due to not being able to run accordingly during my tapering week due to rainy storms evenings.  I just wanna warm up the legs so that I could do well during my maiden marathon. After that we went to the Queensbay Mall (QB) to pick up my racekit. Knowing that tomorrow is gonna be hectic, crowded and full with runners, we took this opportunity to strike a pre-race pose at the main stage. 

Me and Rashed, still FMVs at this picture being taken... Smile while we can... =D
Later we went to enjoy watching Skyfall and having a late lunch at Kapitan Restaurant nearby. I had this heaven sent briyani ricewith Tandoori chicken. Most definitely a meal to die for. Simply delish!!!   

Collected my racekit... Lucky number for me... Hopefully =)

The super divine scrumptious Chicken Briyani Kapitan, Penang!
It was around 5pm when I reached home. Oh we stayed at my best friend's house in Telok Air Tawar, Butterworth during our running trip. I tried to get some decent sleep by wearing the running vest. It felt so comfy and the fitting was just nice. A bit sexy for me but who cares... hahaa... I dozed off a lil bit until 7.30pm, I think. We went for a dinner at Aidy's Cafe at Taman Air Tawar Indah.  We both had a sizzling grilled chicken chop each with rice. Yummilicious... 
Aidy's Sizzling Grilled Chicken Chop... Best eaten while it still bubbling hot... LOL!
After having the early dinner, all the sudden, the drama began. 

I had my tummy bloated like hell after having my lunch  as I kept passing gas from time to time. It was getting worst at the night before the event. I could not be able to breath and walk properly as I could feel my stomach was stretched to the max and it was sooo painful. I rushed off to buy Eno Halia to sooth it down asap. Alhamdulillah, it subsided just in time... Fuhhh, lega!
Not only I run for fun, I run for a reason too! =D
Since we were staying on the mainland and trying to avoid any last minute traffic congestion on the bridge, we went to the starting line around 11.30pm. Still feeling super jittery due to not having enough mileage and enough rest, I tried to calm myself down. Fyi, we did ran for a cause. We pinned up Mission For Missing Children (MfMC) bib at the back of our running vest to create awareness among us. Thank you for the lovely stickers. For sure we will spread these among my running circle members too. 
Yours truly, Rashid and Azim pre-race posed before the flag off... I could feel  moths in my stomach already .. @..@
Met several familiar faces and otai2 runners from #Gengkakilari, like Azim, Faiez, Izman, Zarul, Razinah and Idot si Siput Sedot.  Not forgetting Dr. Shah who came all the way from KK Sabah for his maiden marathon too... Cayalaa.. Ramai rupanya FMVs pada event tersebut. Lega sikit rasa debar di hati, chewahh... hehe... After took some pictures and wished each other good luck, we were flagged off right on time, 2am.

The mental 42.195km journey
During my first 10km run, I still in a dreaming mode. I could not believe I will be running a 42km marathon. My body was running but my mind was drifting far far away, still in a disbelief mode. I targetted 5.30, at least Sub 6 finish by maintaining sub 7min per km pace. Tudiah, kondifen abess. And I learned it the hard way. Running in a wee hour like this was not fun at all as my body was in a confuse state. It was supposed a time for a shutdown and sleep but my mind said, "U gotta run and run all the way". That explained why I ran so lifelessly during my first 10km... My pace dropped eventually. I clocked in 1:11:09 with 7'28'' pace for my 1st 10km.   

As I entered the bridge, it was so hot and stuffy with no wind or sea breeze at all, unlike the previous APBIM where it was a very cold and windy night. It really demotivated me at some time. Luckily as i reached the summit, a lil breeze came to the rescue. As I reached the U turn before the Toll Plaza, i still could see the 5.30 pacers balloon and tried to chase after them but still failed to do so. Pace labi2, what do you expect. Hahaha... Along the way back to  the Island, it was still sooo freaking hot. I had to drink some leftover water bottles and splash my head and body with it to cool off the heat. I even soaked my socks too. Aiyohhh... I witnessed too many wastage from the plastic water bottles and sponges and some of them went into the sea also. What a pity. So not environmental friendly at all. 

I clocked in my 21km with a timing of 2:39:40 with 8'34'' pace. Exceeded my target of 1hour and 10minutes for every 10km due to many factors. I noticed that not many distance markers were put up along the route, unlike in PNM 2012. Maybe the organizer didn't want to scare the hell out of us the FMVs out with the HUGE distance numbers. Hahaha... I started to feel like having my first cramp on the bridge island bound, luckily there was still a medic crew with the analgesic spray. Thank goodness! 

As I reached the 30km mark, I managed to clock in 4:07:58 with 9'53''. I maintained the 1hour and 28minutes for every 10km. After that the run towards the KM33 loop U-Turn felt like endless. I was sooo hungry even on the bridge and the banana treat at KM33 was my only motivation. Should remind myself to pack some raisins and nuts for my next FM. Seriously I need REAL food as I had enough with energy gels and isotonic drink. Muak already... @..@
Sunrise view from Penang... Truly magnifique!!!  Credits to Ajim... 
I stopped for a while at the musolla tent at the U-Turn for a Suboh prayer as it was already 6.50am at that time, almost a Subuh gajah for me. hehe... I took my sweet time wrinkling out my soaked socks before putting it back on. My feet kembang like an elephant already because the socks were so drenched in sweats and water.  From there on, I had my second wind after a natural toilet break around KM35. High fived with Dr Shah and lifted my spirit some more to finish this run.  Later on, my left knee started to feel sore again and I immediately apply some hot rub on it. I felt a bit relieved by then. The sun was already started to rise and shine on us, runners around 7.30am. The sunrise view was super awesome! Subhanallah... 

The FM Route... Very mental challenging especially after KM30.. Totally mind daunting!!! 
The FM runners merged with those 10k n Fun Run participants along our way back to the finishing line in QB. I had to zig zag through those walkers by running on the right lane only. I decided to slow run despite feeling very super duper tired. I clocked in my 40km with a time of 5:45:25 and 8'15'' pace. It was over distanced route, as usual. As I could see the finishing arch, I sped off to give a strong finish look pose at those photographers.  I reached the finishing line with the time of 6:15:18:22 (chip time). Finally, I`m officially a true MARATHONER!!! Syukur Alhamdulillah... 

Managed to strike a strong happy pose here... =D

Me huffing puffing in an attempt to sprint out at the finish line

Post-race must dos
And I thought I can have my finisher medal and tee in a jiffy and in ease. I was dead wrong! I had to queue up a very long queue in order to get those precious thingy. My goodness. I almost couldn't stand anymore and immediately took off my wet socks. After that I couldn't afford to get in a Q for the breakfast anymore coz I was so freaking tired and tried to have the free sport massage but it was closed already. Poor me, the late finisher... Hehee... 

Farewell APBIM 2012... Hello there APBIM 2013... Hehee
So I decided to meet the other WAR runners, Rashid, Raja Del, Azlinah and her friend for a post race photo session. It was a very happening post race event but I was too tired to stand up and queue for the MILO drink, breakfast cereal and banana treat. X larat wehhh! I gave up hahaa.... 
FM, HM, FM finishers... We Run for MARDI... Hohoho...

Full Marathon Virgin... No More... Happy Much!!!

Rear view of our finisher tees... We deserved these so much!

Yours truly, Az's friend, Azlinah, Del and Rashed - Sweet WARriors Success!

After completing my maiden marathon, now I realised that I must always respect the distance and another 21.195km after the KM21 was not just an ordinary HM distance. It was a wicked butt-kicking distance to conquer and duly respected of. 

Overall, it was a good splendid running event with so many participants. They should improvise on the water stations and quality of sponge provided. The distance markers should be put every 2km at least. Less water bottles, more paper cups please. More analgesic spray should be provided, cold ice packs didn't help much to ease the cramp and pain ok!

 On the bright side, the inspirational words of wisdom were awesome and spirit lifting. I'm looking forward for my next FM in Borneo 2013. Hopefully I'll get my PB there provided I should train super duper hard and doing 25 - 30km LSDs every weekend. It was always my dream of a lifetime to do a FM there... For now, 6.15 would be suffice enough. =D

My precious 1st FM finisher medal.... Priceless!!!


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Race Report: LiveGr8 Run 2012 - Simply Rolling To The MAX!

Some where over the rainbow...  My pot of PB FMV perhaps? LOL!
Happy Wednesday to all my followers and fellow compatriot runners out there... Hope your are all just fine, stay fit and active with all your dedicated training regimes, since PBIM 2012 is just around the corner. Gosh, I can feel more and more goosebumps right now. It has been 2 days without any run, ZERO mileage still, must make it up for all those rainy evenings with morning runs, starting from tomorrow then... I`m planning to do one final LSD (18 - 21km) before the D day, since next week it will my tapering week...

Okay then, back to the main topic, I would like to give my sincere review on this recent running event I`ve participated in. This time around, the journey towards this run wasn't smooth sailing like the previous runs. It was full of dramas too. I'm sure many of us are Drama Queens and Drama Kings too, just like me... =D It's the spice of our life, right? 

I was down with sore throat at first, since last Friday. I thought it would be a normal mild sore throat. Apparently, it became worse and I suspected my tonsilitis striked again. Along with a swollen tonsil, came this burning fever and a very very dry sore throat too. My internal body system was  getting hotter. I tried to self remedy by gargling with salted warm water, Listerine some more and took lots of Dequadine to soothe my swollen tonsil. I couldn't eat properly without feeling the pain. Even yawning was very excruciating enough. 
It was raining cats and dogs that night yet the glorious KLCC looked  marvelous! hehee...
The night before the event, I went to my dearest friend's 31st birthday. I was tempted to see all the BBQ food galore at the party. Some of the food were my favourite ever, such as grilled lamb, beef, otak-otak and lots of garden salad. Yummeh... Dah lah badan tengah panas, gatal-gatal melantak kambing lagi, memang sengaja mencari bala la nih, hahaa... Stubborn old me, I guess. 
My sinful indulgence, could not help it.... The grilled lamb was sooo yummeh.. I siap tambah 2x! Got satay some more.. 
After the party, I had to run through the heavy downpour because my bestfriend was having a fever too and haven't had dinner yet. So I have to rush back. Oh dear, I was soaking wet because I didn't bring any umbrella with me that night. Tonsilitis + mild fever + soaked wet = not a good combo at all. 
Got myself a caricature sketch for free during the bash... Well done caricaturist!!!  I looked gorgeous.. =D
That night I went to bed early, around 1030 pm, I think. Around 4 am I woke up, felt so restless, my throat was burning like a furnace, dry like a Kalahari, my body ached so bad, my feet too. I went to the loo, doing no. 1, went to the down stair to drink a bottle of air cap badak, swallowed panadol and took 1 Dequadine to relief my swollen tonsil. I covered my bosy with a comforter and fell asleep like a baby. The intention of DNS passed through my mind. I texted my running buddy that I don't feel like running that morning. Miraculously, I woke up around 5.30 am, felt so fresh. The swell subsided at the moment, I sweated a bucket just in time to release all the excess body heat and off I go preparing myself up. 

I reached the Kompleks Persekutuan around 6.30 am. Parked nicely and saw many runners were already there, jamming the side parking area. I ate a bit of banana and half of a bun for my pre-running fuel. I forgot to bring my energy gel, so I have to rely on the energy drink provided along the route. I started at the back of the crowd. Around 7.15 am, we were being flagged off. 
The overall route... Lots of greenery area and awesome rolling hills... Luv it to the MAX!!! 
The route was awesome. It had so many rolling killer hills. I really like hills so much. They tested my stamina and limits and definitely a good lung bursting workout.. =D. During the first 3 km, I was struggling with my pace and discomfort of my throat. I've decided to stop at all the water stations to avoid myself from dehydration. Running when you are not feeling well wasn't a pleasant joy ride I tell ya... The experience of running near to the new Istana Negara (Gate 3) was surreal and definitely mind blowing. 

Unfortunately I didn't bring a camera to capture the moment. The inclinations around Solaris Dutamas reminded me of my 30km Pacesetters Back to Basic route the previous week. The only difference is, it was the reverse route only. I love the water barricades around 6.8 km, I almost tripped and fell when I tried to cross over the second barricade. Clumsy old me... hahaa... My timing was 45:58 for the 7 km with the pace of 7'40'' (Too much stopping by at the WS, I think...)

Once I was nearing the 10 km mark, I clocked in 1:06:48 with the pace of 6'53''. Not that shabby, considering my body condition at the moment. Mana bole DNS this auspicious running event, all my running circle friends were joining it as well. Nanti jealous tengok dalam wall FB diorang... Hahaaa...That thought was running through my mind early in the morning. Once I crossed the MATRADE finishing line, I clocked in 1:20:49 (my NIKE+ Apps), with the pace of 6'22'', while my net time is 1:22:00.25 (Tudiah detail abes habaq ang!). Not bad at all for orang sakit like me.... huhuuu... I've targetted my PB at least 1:10 but since I was not on my best condition, I'll have to satisfy with my timing. Syukur sgt2... 
Oh dear, why am I looking down? Must be the mintak nyawa mode activated already.. Panting and puffing so badly... 
Pose2 wajib feeling kurus after the run... LOL!!! This Salomon tight gave me a lot of chaffing... Urrghh!!!
The ambient at the finishing area was superb. Lots of entertainment, free hot yummeh taufufah n pastry for all runners. The medal design was chic and awesome. Plenty of isotonic drinks, MILO, mineral water, bananas for the runners too. It was time for post-run photography session for all of us, I met many otai2 runner as well, including #GengKakiLari like Azim, Faiez, Zarull, Razinah etc... Overall, the organizer should close some of the road totally, since there are like around 5,000 runners were running on that day, especially at the loop and around Gate 3 Istana Negara. Some annoying drivers were honking the runners. Typical Malaysian drivers. 

Front view... Pretty cool! 
Rear view... Nice eh?

Yours truly and Rashid, the Drama Queen aka Mami Jarum ... We are not twins, siblings perhaps? LOL
My We Are Runners Circle + Chin's Clan also... Huhu... Well done guys... Keep on running!!!
Till then, see you again LiveGreat Run 2013. Oh before I almost forget, Congratz to my fellow MARDI runner, Rashid for his accidental PB (1:02) and pace despite all his drama that had started since the day before the event. Such a true DQ... Yawned... Hopefully I`ll get my own PB next year then, I hope so... For now, let`s continue meroyan super duper jittery for my Maiden FM PBIM... I don't wanna hit the wall too soon... Uwaaa... (T..T)

Ciao bella! 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Race Report; Pacesetters 30km Back To Basic Run... Awesome Rolling Hills!!!

Salam Aidil Adha 1433H... Raya, raya gak, training berlari kena buat gak... Huhuu...
Helo there my fellow followers, this will be my 2nd entry... I guess it is not too late for me to wish all of you, Selamat Hari Raya Eiduladha 1433H. I`m sure many of you had a blast makan-makan time with your beloved ones, be it family members, spouses or even best friends. 
The magnificent Shah Alam Grand Mosque... Awesome...
I would love to share and chronicle my recent Pacesetters 30km Back To Basic Run, which was held on 28th October 2012 in Padang Merbuk, Kuala Lumpur. It was my first longest and furthest LSD cum recce cum running event I`ve ever made so far. A day before the event, i went to Padang Merbuk for the racekit collection. I was given an energy bar and a running bib with my friend`s lucky number on it. Not my favourite number though. Hehee... Felt a bit of super jittery feeling already. Met with Super Ultri Yim at the racekit collection venue. Ambik restu sat and said his.. Hehee... Planned to do a sweet timing of 3 hours and 30 minutes for my 30km... It seemed doable but you will never know what will happen on D-day, right?
My running bib... Number 222... Just like Jalan 222 in PJ... LOL!
My must do pose after run... No pre-run picture as I was already late to start.... huhu...
On the D-day itself, as usual, I woke up around 4.30 am, took  a shower and prep myself up for the event. I took off from my house around 4.55am, drove to KL was a breeze although i had to speed off coz I don wanna be late, as the flag off was on 5.30am... Managed to make some stretching and a light jog towards Padang Merbuk and I could hear the siren to take off already. I started at the end of the crowd. Gosh, super jittery coz I`ll be running my 30km solo with no running buddies from We Are Runners (WARs). 

From Padang Merbuk we were directed towards Bukit Tunku, the elevation was awesomely nice for a start with sooo many rolling hills in between. it was still dark around that time so I couldn't see inclines very well. Suddenly my right thigh and calf felt this sharp excruciating hot burning pain due to an OD of deep heating rub lotion I applied earlier on. I could only try to run as fast as I could as walking would not making it any better. My thigh felt so numb. I was looking for water to pour down on my legs to cool it off. Still not helping.
Look at me, I`m a Purr-plelicious Kitty Kat... Photo courtesy of Vivien Tay... Thanx alot! =D
Around 9km, I ran in front of the Masjid Wilayah KL to perform my Subuh prayer. There were a few sejadah (praying mat) and telekung being provided for the Muslim runners to perform the Subuh prayer behind the water station. I was given a big mineral water bottle for my ablution and took the opportunity to wash off my hot burning lotion as well. After that, I felt so relieved and free from the excruciating burning sensation on my legs and tried to run fast to catch up. I clocked in 1:10:46 with 6'50'' pace for my first 10k. 

The overall route, pretty amazing with all those rolling hills, especially around Bukit Tunku... But still, I had a blast!!
I ran uphill along Jalan Dutamas, I think, and passed through this huge shopping mall I never knew it exists before Solaris Dutamas... hehe... Maklumlah, x biasa pergi shopping kawasan elit2 ini la katakan.. huhuu... After that, I was running towards MATRADE Tower and Lembaga Hasil building when I saw such a picturesque sun rising view at the back of KLCC... Subhnallah, what an amazing view. I felt like I was running a recce run along this route for this coming weekend run, my LiveGreat 12km. Definitely a good start run for November. 

Then I tried to reach 15km, a half way point, it was an uphill route again, not that steep though but still a very pyscho mentally challenging hill. I managed to clock in 1:46:24 with 7'53'' pace. Not bad, considered it was pretty tough route at this point. And the good (bad) news was we have to do the second loop all over again... (T..T) I  could not believe it at first but the fight must go on, still. Here we go again. Uwaaa....

I reached my 20km mark with a shabby timing of 2:27:07 with 6'31" pace. Once I have passed my 21km, the furthest I have reached so far, my pace dropped drastically. And to top it off, suddenly I had a stomach ache and desperately need to do no. 1 too. So, both businesses must be done asap, I think... So since this was just a LSD running event, there was no portaloo being provided along the route. Runners must look for the available toilet themselves. For me,  I had to do my no 1 and 2 business in an abandoned house somewhere around Bukit Tunku... What to do, nature calls... Urghh... Hantam sajala Labu...

Afterwards, another 9km felt like an eternity to complete the run. I started to have chaffing issues at my usual spots, but luckily I tried to maintain my pace and make sure my tight won`t get soggy too. It was around 8.30 am where the sun started to shine bright and hot. Thank goodness I wore my Salomon cap. Or else, i`ll be prety much demotivated by the blaring morning sun. Hehe...
Me and my trusted Salomon cap... Very handy indeed, especially during the hot and sunny morning run... =D
Finally I`ve reached the finishing line with the time of 3:50:21 and 7'32'' pace, way beyond my targetted time of 3:30... Good enough for a Sub 4 hours. I took my finisher medal, which was quite cool design and a finisher tee, which I really deserved it so much with all the hard work and sweats and almost tears.. *drama mode activated. I was soo thirsty that I drank  a lot iced cold and mineral water along with slices of watermelon coz I was so hungry and tired. The yummy taufufah was finished already by the time I arrived.. 

I`ve survived pounding the 30km LSD Run... Yippie yayyy yayy....
My precious 30km finisher metal.... Another collection of medals... =)
My 30km finisher tee design... Very humble and down to earth one... Luv it!!!

Overall, the hilly route was pretty tough and awesome totally. Saw many runners did ther morning LSD run along the way. It felt so great to see so many people prepping themselves up for this coming event, be it PBIM or SCSM. Now I know how does it felt like doing a very long tormenting strenuous 30km LSD. I should do another 25km LSD run before my FMV attempt this coming November, alongside my tempo and speedwork trainings. Must always always respect the distance, that`s my mantra... hehee....

Post run photo session with #GengKakiLari runners (From left: Razinah, Faiz and yours truly) Good job guys for completing this mad hilly route in one piece, injury free =D
Me and a marathoner, Faiz... Awesome finishing timing despite having cramps here and there  after 20km, Faiz.. Woot2!!!
For now I have to rest for 2 days due to having some dehydration issues. I`ve been sweating while I was sleeping, over heated internal body system I guess... I could not do my recovery run coz I`m not well enough.. So I took a lot of air badak and get ready to face LiveGreat Run this 4th November 2012. Wish me luck to persevere this 12km run full with obstacles and lots of fun k guys!!! =D