Monday, January 18, 2010

Hills Schmills- A NB 30K story

First of all, let me get a few things clear. I don’t do hills. I never trained on hills. I have no experience running hills whatsoever.My highest incline set on the dreadmill is only at puny 3. If you think PBIM’s slope as hills, well, they’re merely road bumps compared to the NB Pacesetters 30K route. Hills schmills, I claimed earlier. Me and my big fat mouth. Those hills are really humbling.

My trip to KL started on Friday. My doctor a few days earlier insisted that I take MC for the whole week because of my foot infection but I HAD to work on Wednesday and Thursday due to appointments that couldn't be changed ( sebenarnya boleh je tapi kesian kat patients ).Anyway, My MD made me take Friday off which was fine because I was limping to work anyway plus Hub had to get to Kl early because he had an MDA Convention in Sunway.

I did not run the whole week. Even though, on Saturday the foot felt much better, I couldn't squeeze in a run because it was raining cats and dogs  and my tummy was filled with sate Kajang.

A day before the race- kids were a bit comot after a day at Sunway Pyramid.

On Sunday morning, woke up at 4.30, put on my attire, hauled the kids in the car and got going. Actually, the whole process took a longer time then I initially planned, especially the hauling bit so when we finally arrived at Padang Merbok, it was already 5.20. I practically ran downhill from where our car was parked, got my starting band on in time, fastened the Garmin on, and kissed the kids goodbye. It was all in a blur.

The first hill wasn't a surprise. We went through that hill the day before after finding out that Padang Merbok wasn't anywhere near the Taman Burung despite the name ( but that's another story). After a week of not running, I guess my joints were a bit berkarat. I wasn't even in the first km and already I ached everywhere. Kak Kash berjaya menyayur pada KM ke 2. I couldn't say hi at the time because I was busy trying not to die. Almost everybody whizzed past. And I felt I was left behind in a cloud of dust.

Some of the route we had to go through was poorly lit. No, that's not right. It was pitch dark. And for a rabun ayam person  like yours truly, it was a bit creepy finding out the man thought to be standing at the side of the road all that time was just a tree. And I got jumpy every time anyone jumped out from the bushes from peeing. Jeez.

They talked before the race about double hills. Truthfully, I thought that was all we had to go through. Two hills. Boy, was I a sucker. It was more like a gazillion hills. And when we weren't going uphill, we were going up steep slopes and climbing stairs ( to the masjid-hehe).

You know what's ridiculous? As if those hills weren't treacherous enough, there were road bumps on those hills. ROADBUMPS. On Hills.

Oh I did very well , thank you very much, on flat roads. I smoked downhills. But every time I scaled a slope, everyone I passed while going downhill or on flat grounds managed to catch up. That's how bad I was on hills. And I did what I never done in a road race before. I walked. Gasp! But only on Genting Highland type steep hills. And only because everybody else around was walking. Yep, we mediocre runners walked on hills because it was faster walking in wider strides than running uphill at a pace slower than walking itself.

See, still managed a smile.( tapi dalam hati agak terseksa)

But I'm not complaining. I'm just venting about my slow-poke-ness.  I was happy climbing up that route. I was chit chatting with random people along the way. I smiled mostly throughout the race. The only brief moment my smile faded was the time when I thought there was 1K to go and I quickened my pace to 9 mile/hour and ran and ran and ran for 3 more kilometers right until a big fat signboard told me there were 2 Ks to go and 1 more hill to climb. I was frustrated and had shin splints and was thirsty and only had a few minutes to cutoff time. But I ran into ( no pun intended) this nice girl who gave me some last minute semangat to tread on ( big wave to Natasha!). And when we came to the final run downhill to the finishing line, we mustered enough strength to run togeder-geder with my kids cheering at the side of the road. I finished with 3:55 ( unofficially- lepas tolak masa kat masjid jugak ni hehe). Slow, I know but who cares. At least I finished happy (with new made friends!)

I couldn't stay long after the race. After saying goodbye to Natasha and a nice lady who I met on the road with cute pigtails, I hurried to my family waiting in the car. Hub had to attend the remainder of his convention for the rest of the day.

 The 'can opener'

I belek-ed the medal at my sis' house. She laughed and said " You ran all 30 kilometers just to get this can opener?" . Okay, it wasn't that flashy but the finisher's shirt is niiiceee.

So I did it. I guess I conquered those hills. Although it was a painful first experience and I'm sure I could have done with better timing on a flat route ( you can only wish), all I can say is : tak serik pun.
Give me more hills. I'll be back.

With better training, of course.

And today, I awarded myself with chicken and risotto, pizza, spaghetti and Avatar! 3D Avatar!
Trudy rocks.


  1. yay! glad you did it and you were not turned off. next year i would be doing those hills :) chewahh.

  2. congratulation doc for finishing the longest distance so far. Next is 42, kat mana ek? Putrajaya ada, cyberjaya pun ada. Mari Mari mari

  3. well done! sikit sikit tambah mileage, kan. now train more so boleh acquire the keting Avatar tu semua...

    Go Doc!

  4. Well done Doc!
    Ooohh.. patutla power, carboloading dgn satay kajang rupanya.
    Tahniah sbb berjaya gak habiskan larian 30km berbukit bukau.

    P/s: I think i ter-accidentally snapped your photo masa baru2 start running tu, later i'll post it up on my blog ya (kalau ada masa nak update laa.. hihi)

  5. congrats. didnt know there were any signboard though. my marker was the water stations along the way. but good job la conquering all those hills. Org KL sendiri pun x berani try lagi.. haha.. (jelesnye tengok finisher tee korang) :P

  6. So hebat!!! Congratz doc. Well, the hills scmills mmg ntah hapa2. I usually run those area (closer to my workplace) and mmg never like it. Hahaha...I am not a hills person as well.

    Congratz again and yah the medal looks like can opener but whatever. The satisfaction tops everything!

  7. Congrats Julin, next time please say Hi. Gives me a chance to slow down even more. We could've run together. The guys semua dah berdesup so I had to find random partners along the way. Congrats anyway. You did good. Very good. Well done!

  8. nadia : Yay! And maybe next year we'll run togeder-geder pulak
    shuklazim : next is 42K in...Cyberjaya..hehe..didn't register for Putrajaya pun..see your asap there..hehe
    amsyah: Puh..keting Avatar susah nak capai tu..tapi akan diusahakan..cheewah.
    enaikay : Power? power hape..powergel adalah..yang mana saya telah berjaya menelan 2 peket semasa larian hari tu..hehe
    che : jeles? orang jeles tengok timing dia..You'll do better in next year 30K i bet.
    mclarenna : you usually run that route?..then I tabik you..puh terer.
    Kak Kash : I'll dfinately say hi next time ..I need more training to run with you ~sigh

  9. Someone shud have warned you kalau PACM punya races mesti train on hills. Anyway, congrats. And don't ever say you're slow, nanti orang yg lagi slow terasa hati ehehehehe. And yeslah, ekceli we just holler names during races, hahaha, don't worry, people oredi think we're crazy for wanting to run 20-30km.

    Hope you're resting well and let's keep running.

  10. Kak Haza: So it's okay for me to holler next time? Ok then. I'm trying to rest but sometimes my knees tend to buckle involuntarily. Kelakar jugak.

  11. welcome to hartamas and double hill routes :P
    but u did it very well! congratulations!

  12. I was initiated by those hills indeed. haha..thanks doris!

  13. well done doc, sub-four tuu (in fact u did way better than my very first 30k run)....
    p/s - doc, the bumps on the slope are meant for vehicles coming down :)

  14. ian : yo la tu...haha..
    p/s -for whatever reason they put those things on the road in the first place, they should take them off when there's a road race. I don't care how..just take 'em off..:p

  15. Doc, congratulations on completing a very hilly 30km! Welldone, my dear. Sayang we tak jumpa along the way. Hope to really really see you at PNM.

  16. Nah, Not doing PNM..I'll be at Enigizer Run..see you there kay?

  17. my fellow runners from klang told me that the hills that we ran 15km here is more tortureous .. so if you want to try, let me know and i can be your guide heeheh