Let me tell you, when I signed up for this race a month ago, it was called Larian Festival 1Malaysia. But somehow, when I turned up on Saturday to collect the race kit, it has magically transformed itself to Larian Antidadah dan Jom Cegah 2009. Pulak dah. Whatever. As long as it’s a 10k, I’m still game.
My partner and I have a mutual dislike of overwhelming crowds. So local runs are our thing because of the comparatively small crowd. This race has fewer than 400 people taking part, I think.
So as usual, or as VIPs go, the MB arrived fashionably late. The race was supposed to start at 7.30 but we were flagged off nearing to 8. Thanks to my new attitude towards racing, I lost all my kiasu-ness. Sape nak potong, potonglah. I’m no longer intimidated when I see some girl trying to overtake me, or some makcik whose pacing faster in front of me and I try macam nak mati to catch up. Of course, I’ll overtake who I can overtake but I try to avoid dying in the process.
And the fact that Hub decided to run with me helped a lot. It’s so nice to go over the distance with somebody to talk to instead of the usual drup-drap-drup-drap rhythm of some guy behind you with heavy sneakers or wrong footing. And I don’t care how many LSDs you have done before or how far, but 10Ks to me never get easier. I guess it’s like childbirth. No matter how many kids you had before, this next one ain’t gonna be less painful. Oh, it’s okay at the beginning of the race, you think “ Hah, It’s just 10K..easy peazy lemon squeezy”, but I can guarantee right in the middle of the run, you’ll find yourself thinking, “ Hoih, brapa lama lagi daa..”. But because I had a partner with me this time, it was less tiring. Or at least, I thought it felt less tiring. We had a blast, talking, laughing, even dancing to the senamrobic music that could be heard at a distance. When time isn’t a factor, I guess it’s less stressful.
The waterstations were efficient enough . We didn’t have to stop or line up one bit. The guys expertly handed our drinks and we were on our way. The St John’s team and officials who showed us the route were strategically positioned and they happily cheered for the runners all the way. It’s true when they say that the best runs are organized by running clubs. Kudos to Ipoh Roadrunners!
There was this one lady with red running shorts who was in her late 40s or so, got my attention because she had this undeniably fast feet turnover and was in front of me a good 200m all through out the race. I made her my benchmark and just tried to follow her pace. I told hub, that I’ll try to take over her to challenge myself ( okay, the kiasu-ness is still a bit there). Tried to do it in the 2nd K, but she quickly took over me a second after. We suspect she heard me voicing out my plan. So I thought,” Okaylah, takpe. Maybe some other time”. When Hub’s Garmin buzzed telling us there was only 1K to go, we decided to hustle and I let Hub breezed his way in front of me. I didn’t want to be left far behind, so I gave it all I got and in the process, I finally took over the red shorts lady. At the end of the race, I wanted to go over and talk to her and tell her I admired her through out the race tapi uhuk uhuk..malu pulak..hahaha.
All in all, it was a good, no, great race. I got to be with my partner. I got a good exercise. The exhaustion wasn’t there at the end. We weren’t panting or any parts of our bodies hurt for that matter. Hub did 68 although I'm sure he could do way better if he wanted to. My overall time on my watch was 66 minutes but Hub’s Garmin told us that I did it in 69 ( He claimed, “ This is Garmin okay. GAR-MIN!”) So 69 minutes it was. A good 4 minutes later than my IIR 10k record.
cooling off ( kununnya)
Although we didn’t receive medals or finisher’s certificate at the end of the race, it was okay. We didn’t have time to dillydally and stay to find out if they gave out any because as running parents, we had to rush home to our kids before they drove their grandparents crazy. Takpe la, at least we have the race bib as souveneirs, kan? My prize was when we got home, my son took my bib and pinned it on his shirt and paraded around saying ,” Look, mama. I’m a runner, just like you.” And my little girl scampered about the living room chanting “ Adik lawi, adik lawi.”
Now, how on earth can you beat that? toddler translator : lawi = lari
I was wondering why after Ramadhan, I felt exhausted. I no longer felt the rush to run. Running felt more like an OCD-ed chore. I felt lousy doing it but at the same time, it felt awful not doing it.
So I figured, I'd run faster. I increased my normal pace of 5.5-6 mph on the treadmill to 6.5-7 mph. Sure it got me on my targeted mileage faster, but I was sweating like a pig and breathless at the end of each run. I also tried to go faster on my long runs. I wanted to have a 10 K sub 1 hour record. I was obsessed with other people's achievement that I wanted to make them mine too. She's 5 years older than me but she's pacing at 7 mph. He's a dinosaur and he's doing 8 mph.
But I couldn't do it and I was stumped. And my left knee hurt.
Then, as if God didn't want me to be discouraged just yet, I stumbled upon this book which told me straight in the face what I was doing wrong. I wasn't training right. I was going too fast for my heart which hasn't yet developed for that stage.
So now I'm rebooting myself to heart rate monitored runs. This heart rate monitor thingamagig monitors my heart and tells me whether I'm going too slow or too fast. I understand that initially, it's gonna be a pain in the ass as I have to run slower than my usual pace. But eventually, as my heart builds up its endurance, I'll be able to go faster but not as tired as I was before at that pace. Macamana nak cakap ek? It'll be like, I'll still feel the muscle fatigue, but minus the exhaustion. Minus the injuries.
Last Saturday, I tried my first heart monitored run of 14k. As expected, into the 6th km, the monitor buzzed every 10 minutes we ran indicating we were running faster than we ought to be. So we had to bite our egos and walked for about 20 seconds to decrease our heart rate. Then, we ran again, and it buzzed again, and we walked, then ran, buzzed, walked, ran right up to the 14th Km.
Sure it took longer,but it felt way better. I can talk more with my partner and not be as grouchy in my faster runs before. And I can be rest assured that if I follow this heart monitor plan, I'll eventually go faster to my heart's content. Literally. I'll just have to be a little bit patient these few months.
For now, I'm settled if I can't go any faster. I'll just train at my pace. I have to remind myself that I'm not a natural born athlete. I can't afford to go out on daily outdoor runs on my time constraint. I don't sprinkle protein dust on my food. I can't do that sub 1 hour 10 K (for now).
I'm just a working mom, with a loving hub and two little kids trying to make ends meet. I'm trying to juggle work, household chores and hobby like your next Bozo the clown. I'm just a person who polished off that half a pizza pie without the slightest pang of guilt.
And with that in mind, I'm ready for my next run. And this time, I'm happy ready.
Footnote : I'm not a whiz when it comes to explaining all this technical mumbo jumbo, so if you're interested, try Googling about this heart rate monitor training plan. It could do you good too.
This entry is to motivate my good friend KC and my demotivated best friend PP
Out of nowhere she asked ," How do you start?" Interesting as that's what I struggle with everyday. How do you overcome all the lame excuses you try to make? How do you overcome the : "No mood la" "Ate too much" "Ate too little" "Too hot outside" "It's raining" ( even tho it's just a drizzle) "No time" For an amateur, I think I'm in no place to give out big advices.But the best I could come up with is ~ Don't think, just do. That's just about it. When you're tired or down or full or swarmed with work or just plain lazy, don't over analyze it, just put on your shoes and go. The first 5 minutes will be grueling. You'll want to stop, you'll want to haul those shoes in the drain, you'll swear under your breath what the hell you got yourself into, but trust me after those 5 minutes it'll be okay. Just do. Best yet, somewhere in the run, your feet will go on autopilot and suddenly you find yourself thinking "What? *insert appropriate mileage* already? Trust me. Don't really think of how tired you will be, how fast you are, how slow you're going, how far you're covering. At least, not too much. At the end, you'll think, by golly she's right. You did that much. You did that far. You did it.
As I mentioned, I struggle with this too everyday. If only runs were not that tiring. Ain't it grand if you can run all day without being tired? This I told him. He wisely nodded, then said " That'll be just great. Right until you drop dead smack in the middle of the road"
(Last week accumulated run was only 19K. Don't think, just do. Hehe)
Pada satu hari, saya telah pergi ke shopping mall tanpa ada niat apa-apa. Tiba-tiba, kaki saya melangkah masuk ke kedai Adidas dan hati saya terpaut kepada sepasang kasut.
Setelah men'test drive', saya berasa sangat teruja lalu bertanya kepada sang suami, "Patut ke tak patut?" Sang suami menjawab, " Ambikla kalau rasa tengah kaya." Ya, saya perasan saya kaya pada waktu itu, terus merembat kasut tersebut. Budak kedai memandang saya dengan wajah skeptik lalu berkata,
Budak kedai : Akak beli ni sebab nak lari saje-saje ke ada tournament? Tournament? tournament pun tournament la Sang suami : Tournament Budak kedai : Oooo, ye ke? Kat mana? Saya : Merata-rata. Perak, Penang dan sebagainya.( macam bagus) Budak kedai : Oo..kalau camtu kasut ni bagusla untuk akak.
Saya dapat agak budak kedai pada mulanya hendak merekemen kan kasut yang lebih murah untuk meyelamatkan saya dari hangat-hangat taik ayam. Syabas adik, usaha murnimu itu saya hargai.
Setelah dapat kasut di tangan, saya sungguh-sungguh teruja. Saya berasa ingin pulang ke rumah dengan berlari memakainya. Heee....
Oh Gazelle, semoga dengan kehadiranmu, saya akan sepantas namamu. Chiuuuu chiuuuuu chiuuuuu... (bunyik seekor gazelle membelah angin di Afrika)
Nota kaki : This week, did my long run of 12km.. tu pun pancit jugak..hahah..bahana sebulan tak buat long run. Accumulated runs for the week : 23K