Monday, September 17, 2012

Taiping International Marathon 2012- 10K *PR

I had many qualms going into this race.
The first issue was training. I hadn't trained much since Ramadhan due to fatigue. Sure, I managed to squeeze in running 3-4 times weekly but my mileage was comparatively, poor.

The 2nd issue was my condition. And relative to that, my fitness.

I had to take 5 of these babies on a daily basis

So  I did a few research on the net. What I summed up from the articles, forums and a few blogs were :
  1. Avoid over-heating and dehydration
     2.  Get an 'okay' from a doctor first.

Okay, number 1 was easy. Number 2, not so much.
It's really hard to convince any one of my doctors about running in my condition ( most of them are old school, I guess) so I resorted to the only Dr I know who would give me an easy yes.

" So you've been running regularly?" he asked.
"Of, course"
" And you haven't experienced any pain or discomfort while running?" he drilled again.
" Nope. Only, sometimes I feel that I need extra effort to run at my previous easy pace. Other than that, I feel fine"
 " I guess it's okay to go ahead racing. Be sure not to overexert yourself," my husband nodded his approval.

Ye, saya main kotor.

So on Friday, I went to Padang Esplanade to pick up our race bibs. They advertised in the website that racing kits can be collected from 1pm to 7pm. So after picking up my kid at school and lunch, I parked near Dewan MPT just to find a long queue of school kids also waiting to get their bibs.
The organizers haven't even set up the booth yet. And these kids have been waiting there since 12:30pm.

So I was too lazy to wait and decided to come back later to pick it up.
I came back at 3 pm to see that a booth had been set up in the middle of the field. Surprisingly, although there wasn't much of a line, it took me 20 minutes to pick up the bibs because they had some sort of confusion with online registration and stuff.
I had a feeling this race would be in chaos right then and there.

So on Sunday morning we left our kids at my parents' place with a promise to Mom that we'd be back at 8 am. My parents had to go pick up my sister's graduation robe in Penang so they had to leave as early as possible to avoid the holiday traffic ( as if).

When we reached Kamunting, we saw some runners already into their first 30 minutes of racing (I assumed immediately that they were half marathoners). They were racing most of the time in pitch black so I wondered how on earth were they going to see the route markers ( what route markers? I found out later)

WW asked me a few dozen times regarding the starting time of our 10K. I repeatedly told him, according to the website that it was supposed to be 6:30 am. Plenty of time for us to either do our prayers, go potty and do some warm ups.

As there was no make-shift surau ( no surprise), we decided to just pray by the road side. Not  long into our 1st rakaat, suddenly I heard the loud familiar whack of the gun off and the pattering feet of people running.
 I was praying and panicking at the same time. Were those runners in our category? Did they push ahead the gun off time to 6.00? There goes WW's PB, I thought.

Immediately after our salam, I approached an uncle walking by, with my telekung and all ( must have freaked him out) to ask.
" Excuse me, what category did they let off just now? Was it the 10K?"

" No lah, it's the half marathoners" said Uncle, not even fazed by my attire.

" What? I thought they were to be gunned off at 5:30?"

" No lah, the organizers delayed it to 6. "

Oh, macam itu pun boleh ka?

With a sigh of relief, we went to the port-a-potty to do our respective businesses as there was no line ( no line!)

At about 6:30am, all of us 10K runners, with cable -tied hands (!) aligned ourselves at the starting line.
WW went to stand at the front of the pack to secure a PB. I reminded him, no podiums please as we had to get back early. I who wanted to run the race at an easy pace just stood with the masses in the middle and grinned from ear to ear. I couldn't see anyone familiar but I sengih-ed anyway.

lightning shoes 

So we were gunned off. Most of the runners went flying past. I got sucked into the excitement and forgot my promise not to overexert myself. For a split second, I even contemplated on targeting a sub 60 with my condition.

Then we got to Bukit Doremon, a steep incline and I thought, okay, screw that.

So from there I got back to my conquest to run happy at an easy pace. I say conquest because for me, seeing all those other runners running fast, it's really an effort to tell myself to calm down and take a breather.
Ye, saya agak kiasu. ( JJ slaps herself around a bit with a large trout)

1 mile into the race, I did a self check.
Breathing : Ok
Overexertion: No
Dehydration : No. I carried a water bottle
Overheating : possible.

It was kinda hot. But I was glad to see black clouds rolling into the horizon. Yay, rain!

I ran halfway with a guy who paced me till the 5th km. We had a nice conversation about the weather and other stuff. I even offered him some water from my bottle when we saw the first water station was out of water. I lost him sometime after that chasing this lady with a cute purple shirt. I planned to thank him post race but I couldn't remember how he looked like.

The 1st water station lady told us that there would be water and sponges in the next station. But when I got to the next station, they just ran out of sponges and I was really hot. It rained a few drops and we had to battle running against strong winds but at times, it was still hot.

When you're running leisurely, you tend to notice things you hardly ever notice before in previous races.
I started to appreciate the scenery, the early morning coffee shop aroma and newspaper vendors, the flat as pancake roadkill in the middle of the road and I started to notice that runners, when sweaty, they tend to smell like coconut husks. And that people hardly talk to you unless you talked to them first.

When I got into town,. I knew that I was almost done with the race. I still had a smile on my face and although I know I am never photogenic when it comes to race pictures, I smiled at every camera I saw whether they were pointing at me or not.

 WW came from around the corner, already minutes after finishing his race to cheer on other runners.
I gestured for him to come and run with me.

Macam jalan-jalan je?
( Thanks Sean Wong for the pic) 

We ran side by side with me grinning macam kerang busuk and him encouraging me to hasten my pace as I was so close to the finishing line.
I ignored him and ran like my bapak's race.
Realizing that, he encouraged other runners to pass me instead. I joined him, telling a school girl behind me, " Come on,faster. You can surely beat me" and slowed down for her to have her glory.

So I ran to the finish line, seeing a couple of my staff at the sidelines cheering me on.
It was never a prouder moment.
I felt so happy I could pull this off.

I did not glance even once at my Garmin during the race and ran by feel. I expected my  Garmin to display a 70-ish minute finish but it gave me an extra surprise to see this:
 A bit over-distanced, but that's okay.

And I was even more elated  to calculate that if it wasn't over distanced,  I would finish in 63 minutes .

So that's it folks. My *PR.
Although that's almost 10 minutes off my 10K PB, but no biggie.

His and hers 

WW achieved his PB of 46:54. Unfortunately ( or fortunately) he missed podium and only secured a 12th placing. So immediately after the race, after collecting our medals and goodie bags ( wasn't much swag), we kept our promise to Mom and got home. Major bummer that we didn't get to meet other familiar faces there but a promise is a promise and we also had a long day ahead what's with shopping and eating and visiting my best uni mate in Kedah and all.

I heard some major complaints about the race today. It was all expected to me. I gave a few heads up in my previous posts but I guess everybody signed in , expecting  the organizers to improve.

I went into the race expecting the worst, so I braced myself for bad things to happen along the way.
They ran out of water, they ran out of wet sponges, they had no route markers and hardly any road marshals but I guess I was prepared for that.

At least the medal was nice. 

Nevertheless,  I had a good time. I never smiled more in any other races than I did yesterday.
This will be my last race for the season as I'm entering my 2nd trimester.

I will still be running regularly, hopefully throughout my pregnancy so I'll still have something to yak about here.
And I will still be at a few small races, to cheer WW on. So maybe I see some of you guys there, okay?
*PR = Pregnancy Record ( atau Poyo jeR) 


  1. At least dapat medal Doc. After reading your post about it last year, I expected the worst and braced myself for it. Ramai yang lari susah payah tak dapat medal. Rupanya limited medal. :( FM finisher tee pun limited. Sian orang yg habis >6hours. Seb baik lah runners (forgot which group) pegi beli 100-plus bagai and gave them away a few mtrs before the finish line.

    So, in the end... I enjoyed my run. Met and chatted with a lot of people (running with a rabbit's ear tend to make people chatty, methinks) took photos and came back happy because Taiping people (and all the drivers) are soooooo nice.

    Anyways..... la.... padan la cari keliling padang, dalam khemah bagai tak jumpa. Rupanya dah balik. huhuhu

    I tunggu sampai 11.00am (when they finally announced the results and gave away the medal) to catch a glimpse of you tau! (ala ala fan gitu). *sob sob*

    1. La, kesiannya. So sorry about that. I was bummed too for not meeting up with you guys.
      No worries, kalau ada rezeki, one day we'll meet up. I'm sure of it.

      And don't let that race reflect your opinion on Taiping. It's a nice town with nice people although the race sucked. Maybe Taiping Heritage Run can make up for it next year, eh Kevin Ooi?(pandai-pandai je aku)

    2. Lupa lak nk congratulate U on your no. 3 :P

  2. Congratulation to u & WW. Hebat betul, yg tak pregnant ni pun malas .

    1. Thanks Gerb.
      Jangan malas-malas, nanti kena rotan!

  3. Doc. Julin,

    A preggy runner!! Congrats, Doc. I have been out of the running scene for months and was desperately looking for my running mojo..and i tot of your blog.Hope to actually meet you in person in one of the races...Take care

    1. Hi Salwati,
      Wow, you looked here for your mojo? I do hope you find it because I'm trying to look for it myself tapi tak jumpa sepenuhnya lagi..heh heh.
      Glad you came for a visit tho ;)

  4. pregnant??? congrats on both occasions ..kj ketinggalan keretapi pasal the pregnancy hehe .. take care. hugss

    1. Haha. Bukan saje KJ yang ketinggalan ketapi. Semuorang pun.
      I only told my parents and siblings about this pregnancy after finishing the race.
      My mom freaked out and was like, "What were you thinking running like that?"

    2. Hahahh long as you feel alright, I think you can go ahead .. Jangan super Lasak jer! So bila due date??

    3. Next year IsyaAllah. Late March or Early April.
      Doakan everything goes well :)

  5. Firstly congratulations on your third pregnancy, murah rezeki you Doc. About 2 months back I left a comment here and doa utk Doc + partner di redhai Allah, lari laju and jauh, tengok2 memang dah jauh pun heheh.

    Taiping "International" Marathon was super dissapointing, dengan pick-up race kit nya, start lambat, tak cukup air, paksa runners pakai gari getah yg cut into the skin, takde spray, ada runners tak dapat reben, ada yg terlebih reben, ada ke medic (?), ada yg lari terlebih distance, TAK DAPAT MEDAL, TAK DAPAT T-SHIRT even though we met the cut off time (kot ye pun nak kata limited, takkan la org yg meet cut off ni tak dapat, kan)

    Dah sampai kat finish line, air pun tak bagi, malah officials naik2 suara pulak ke runners yg dah lari kepenatan, melecet, panas and terpaksa share2 drinks dgn strangers. Yg lari laju mcm Chan Jun Shen pun tak dapat goodie bag, yg belakang apatah lagi.

    Ada bunyi2 kat FB that some medals were nicked - I wondered apalah kes org yg tak lari tapi nak sebat medal meant for halfies and full? Apa keseronokan dapat medal yg you didnt deserve?

    Anyway, congrats again on your good news and salute that you are still running despite your condition, I bummed into MissJewelz running with her baby bump at KLCC park and I reckon it just goes to show that girls like you and her are the types yg cari excuse to keep on running and not those who cari excuse to stop moving.

    1. I am terribly disappointed and ashamed of the bad organizing as well. I feel that this shouldn't happen in my town. They shouldn't tarnish Taiping's name like this.

      And yes, some of the race officials were terribly rude. A friend of mine approached one to ask about her placing just to be told off rudely.

      And yes, I can confirm some of the medals were nicked because another friend witnessed some people in leisure attire took medals from an unattended box and stashed them in their pockets. Nak jual kat tukang besi kot?

      I didn't know MissJewelz is pregnant! Congratulations to her.
      And thank you ( a whole bunch)for the doa.
      If only you wrote down your name, then my doa for Miss Anon won't be so , erm..general?

  6. Nota: Komen kulapuk terpaksa saya panjangkan due to kesibukan melampau lately.

    I guess, they shouldn't be using the word 'International' until they improve the basic necessaries. Very shameful of them.
    Despite all the odds, congratulations for another enjoyable race & race report and of course the best part is congratulations for the new family member. Semoga dipermudahkan dengan penuh berkat & rahmat. Amin.

    1. Thanks, Diket.
      Sorry too for the late reply. Oncall ini minggu.

      I hope they get it. Test the waters first with a local race.
      Ni nak terjun terus. Mana tak tenggelam.

  7. salam kak..pahabaq? congrats to u and bro ww on your no3 :-) my no1 insyaAllah early May..pakat sama2 doa no..take care kak!

    1. Wei hangggg, lama tak dengaq crita. Guttentag!
      Hang dok Jarman lagi ka dah balik Melesia dah?
      Congrats no. Bila hang kawin? Pada no hang tak jempuit..haha