Thursday, June 28, 2012

Something different

I am lying here quietly waiting for sleep to come in my so called dorm room in a hospital in Ulu Kinta.

No, I'm not admitted or anything, I'm just here for my training for the Sukan KKM thingy that I mentioned before.

I'm in day 2 of training and I'm loving the idea of myself being called an athlete (konon) day by day.

I love it that right now I'm being paid to run. Even though, let's face it, I'm not that good compared to the others.

My teammate to me is superfast. She can do a 40 minute-ish 10K. Her easy run is my moderate pace. But somehow she still believes in me. All the while I'm making fun of myself, she tells me I have a chance. You can't get a better teammate.

Despite my doubts, I still train dilligently. what - lack in the speed dept. I make up with my fierceness to train. Train je, tak rugi pon.

I love it when we train at Stadium Perak. We're in the same field with Sukma runners. I warmed up today doing laps while a bunch of football players cheered me on. Found out later, they were the state team.

I remember myself 20 years ago sitting at the sidelines wondering when my turn will come.

I am grateful just to be given this opportunity.
That's the word. Grateful.

Whether I win or not, whether I PBed or not, I will still be forever grateful.

I am sleepy. My fingers are tired typing this with my phone.I will rest now.

Hope you guys had a great day too.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Build Up And Let Down

Someone told me about a  race said to be held near the Lake Gardens on Saturday.
Totally unadvertised. Totally by word of mouth.
And I'm such a sucker for small races.

WW was out of town. And my parents offered to look after the kids so I thought, what have I got to lose, eh?

I haven't been to the Lake Garden in a while. It's literally a stone's throw from my office.  I could actually almost see it from the window of my surgery. It's a wonder how something so close can be so far.

Anyway, I arrived at about 7 am. No signs of any banner. Or any racers. Or Any organizers.
Just the usual Saturday morning crowd.
I decided to be optimistic. Maybe it was too early. So I decided to recce the place with a good 1 round warm up around the whole park.
As I made my way into the park, I could see some of the hardcore runners finishing or almost finishing their runs. That's how hardcore they are. Finishing up at 7 when the rest of the normal people ( read: me) are just starting up.

So I ran that 2-ish mile loop. Still no sign of any race. No matter. I decided, alang-alang dah datang kan? Might as well go on another loop.

Now I've been running indoors for weeks. That's not counting the usual 1K I do with my kids on Sundays in another park.
 So after sometime of running stationary, running on a road feels liberating.
Now I'm an advocate of treadmill running just because in the current situation I'm in, I have no choice.
But if you ask me, really , truthfully, seriously : I'd rather be running out.

There's just so much to see and so many runners to beat. Did I just write that? Beat? I meant meet.

So did I care  when a  RELA volunteer manning the road told me that there WAS to be a road race that day but it was ONLY for school kids ? Nope. I was just having too much fun running and soaking up the cool weather.

So by the time I knew it, I've done with my 3rd round. I wanted to do more but I promised my mom I'd come back early. And anyway, the sun was getting fierce.

I was elated to see I've done 7.45 miles. A bit surprised. But Happy.
But then I checked my pace.
8.34 min/mile?
That can't be right.
There's no way I could have pulled that off. That's almost 12 freaking kilometers, man.

Then I checked my laps.
lap 1 : 10.44 min/mile
lap 2:   8.05 min/mile
lap 3:  8.53 min/mile
lap 4:  7.03 min/mile
lap 5:  9:41 min/mile
lap 6:  9:34 min/mile
lap 7:  8:04 min/mile

What the hell? Some of the lap readings were ridiculous. Totally off.
There is no, absolutely no way I could have pulled of 7:03 min in a mile.
I would have collapsed of an asthma attack.
Even when I did my speed sessions on the treadmill set to 7:42 pun macam nak pitam.
And 8:04 min/mile? 8:05? Equally beyond me in a 7 miler.
Not to be modest folks but for me to pull off these numbers would be magic.
Or a myth. Or a fairy tale.

So I was bummed the whole day wondering what went wrong with my foot pod or my Garmin. I tried to Google about false pace reading vs foot pod reading vs Garmin vs road running vs treadmill running and all I could register was tra la la la la yada yada yada german france urdu bla bla bla ( too heavy reading on a Saturday).

In the end,WW theorized that maybe my foot pod was  loose ( hence the false reading)  and I need to calibrate both my road running shoes and my treadmill shoes.

Secretly I wanted to sooo much to believe that my Garmin was telling the truth and I really did manage to run 7:03 min/mile without even realizing it.
Sigh. A girl can only dream.

So to test the whole loose foot pod theory and calibrating whatsit, I ran on the treadmill today for my strides, foot pod fastened tight, at 8:10 min/mile and I got a slight minor asthma attack on the first lap.
Theory confirmed.


It's like being given this and told, " Go on, eat it. It's only 50 calories. Promise."

And then after it's been gobbled off , you're told, " Oh did we say 50? We meant 5000 calories."

Ok then. Back to reality.
And training.

Oh by the way, I did polish off that ice cream cookie.
And it was d.e.l.i.c.i.o.u.s.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Run Like A Kid

Every once in a while, usually during school semester break, I like to take a little breather from my hectic schedule, and go for a short retreat. No, it is not a holiday. Nor is it a vacation. Just a retreat.
Meaning that I take a break from doing the normal things I do such as work, doing house chores, ferrying the kids around, cooking and running.
What I'd do is, haul the kids to WW's apartment in KL and stay there for a few days, doing absolutely nothing but watch TV, ogle the Internet endlessly and watch movies till my eyes water.

I don't think about work, shut my office number off ( my boss knows my other number in case of emergencies), don't even cook, and I forget about running(temporarily). I do some laundry occasionally though - and a little bit of sweeping here and there because I can't fully commit to being a sloth.

It all good for the first 2-3 days : eating out 3 times a day, waving off calories, lazing around, catching up on some TV and old movies, shopping senselessly, and milling in malls without any actual purpose.
But sadly it gets old.
I get tired of pecel ayam, burgers and fast food joints. I have the attention span of a fish when it comes to watching telenovelas and drama swasta and I run out of things to read.
Sadly, I tire myself of doing nothing. And I want so much to run.

I remember one day I insisted  WW to go out for his run while I spend time doing a one miler with the kids near a lake garden. It was  a Sunday and SCKLM season which meant more runners were doing their LSDs and finishing up on their weekly mileage. And although I was a tad jealous of them being so absorbed in their training, I was still happy to be just running .

And running with the kids is another different story. Two of my kids are totally different runners. Chiam runs 1K or more daily so he is used to the constant pounding. But he's a fierce competitor and refuses to let other runners/walkers pass him. So he'll be blocking the path if he hears anyone coming from behind and I'm constantly muttering my apologies and gently pushing him aside to make way.
Adik is more of a sprinter. She runs fast briefly, gets tired, nags the rest of us to slow down, then once we're all fast walking, she'd go on sprinting again.

So it was like this
Run- sprint-block-apologize-jog- complain- halt- slow jog-block-complain- sprint-halt- jog-walk-sprint-complain- jog- and abrupt stop ( because we finally reached the playground)

And although it was only a one miler and full of drama- I totally enjoyed the run.
Free of any designated pace, free of any serious purpose, free of any intended timing.
Just run like a kid.
Highly recommended.

Post-run : Latihan membaca dan membetulkan tudung  

And with that only, I got my running fix for my so called retreat.

And today I end my 5 days break with a 5K.
You can't imagine how good that feels.
Oh , wait a minute.
You can.