Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My Other Half ( SCKLM 2011)

I'm really glad almost everyone enjoyed their SCKLM 2011 experience.
I hate to be a stick in the mud but it was horrible for me.
It's all about  bad choices, bad timing and a big large dose of padan muka.

Oh, and I forgot to tell you the most important advice in a series of so-called-advices in my last post.
Listen to your body.
That's the one I failed to follow.

See, I had this terrible cough since a week and a half ago. Dah telan dah Bena Expectorant, Ubat Batuk Cap Ibu dan Anak, KK's Dephenhydramine Expectorant, macam-macam lah. I even tried a friend's petua of drinking really chilled coke- bad, bad advice.
I even had short bouts of chills and fatigue during the last week which I dismissed instantly cause I thought it was due to the sudden change of temperature from freaking cold in my clinic to scorching hot outside.
And by race eve, the cough was still there but I told myself it will get better and downed a few cups of hot tea.

WW also had a fever 2 days before the race. He was still on anti pyretics on Saturday and was contemplating on crashing the 10K run. Instead he got sucked into my dumbness and decided to run the half marathon anyway. Sayang duit punya pasal.

The weather that morning was superhot. Gile. Pukul 6 pagi pun humid sungguh.  And it got worser when WW pulled me to the middle of the pack. Macam sardin. Belum start race pun ada bau -bau yang kurang best dari kiri dan kanan.
Then we were gunned off like cattles in a herd. And it felt like running in a sauna.Worser yet, in the first 3 K of the race, you have to weave in and out to avoid being sucked into the crowd.
By this time my nightmare started. I started coughing. Again and again. Every 5 minutes, I'd start hacking. You know the phenomenon when one starts coughing, others in the same crowd will start coughing too. Well, I could hear echoes of coughs after I started but when it all died  down, I was still coughing.
And it hurt. My tummy ached. And I was in fear that something  would get herniated.
My breathing got erratic. So was my pace. Kunun nak try to stick to a 9:30 min/mile pace- huh, hancuss.
Berangan saje la , labu.

I felt so tired, my legs felt jiggly, perut senak, peluh dingin.and it was only 5Kin the race. Orang lain nampak cam enjoy, aku muka cam nak terkucil.
As early as 7k in the race, I felt like giving up. I felt like, " Screw this."  But I felt llike I was letting WW down. He was so eager running in front to get me to follow him. So I promised myself that I will not quit, not this early. And it's also only a half. Lagipun kalo berenti, pastu nak hala ke mana? Mampuih sesat. Heh Heh.

So I went on shuffling for it seemed like ages, only to come up to a distance marker showing 10.5K.
Argh. Gile frust.
And then my legs felt like they were on fire. Not in a good way. My calves and feet felt like they were burning up and every step I took was a hard stomp on the tarmac. Then, I got side stitches.
Heran betul, tak penah-penah time race kena side stitch.

Whatever I did to ease the coughing, got it worse. Pandang atas, terbatuk. Pandang bawah sangat terbatuk.
Minum, terbatuk. Lap sponge kat badan pun batuk-batuk.
 There's this one time I thought I saw somebody I knew pass by and I called out his name but it only came out as ," Uhuk uhuk uhuk"
Tensen, beb.

The only time I smiled was when we saw Ian and his client and said hi, then everything went really downhill. For real.
The inclines of Bukit Bintang killed me. I was weak to the max. I remember running this route last year and I felt really energetic and good that time. This year, rasa cam nak quit pastu usha barang kat Low Yatt je.
And when the route went downhill, I thought I was in my element. I love downhills. But it didn't do me good. My pace was still erratic. My calves were still burning.

Nak jadi ceritakan, 1 mile to the end of the race,I felt so tired and hot, I couldn't go on running anymore.  In fact, it go so hot, I began to see coloured flecks and spots. Right in front of Globe ( according to WW la- I don't remember this), I began to sway like I was on the verge of losing my balance. So WW asked me to stop and walk. Usually I would protest, but I was glad this time.
WW had to hold me to get me to walk upright. Bila dia lepas je, I would swerve involuntarily ke tempat lain.
Nampak cam lovey-dovey but seriously he was keeping me upright to avoid me collapsing onto the street.

Dia pujuk, lagi 500m je lagi. Aku sumpah seranah, bodo la diorang ni buat finishing chute jauh-jauh. Hehe.
Sampai je finishing line, WW called out , step on the mat, press the stop button on your Garmin. But I was in confusion, I saw lots of mats. I tired to run again, but was attacked by a sudden cramp on my right leg. Sakitnya yang amat.
Terpaksa berhenti . Kena sumpah seranah mamat ni. Best betul nasihat makan diri sendiri. Heh heh.  Tapi sakit daaa, kalau ko cramp teruk cam tu ko pun berenti la, mangkuk.

I don't really remember the details as I crossed the line. Sedar-sedar je aku dah duduk atas kerusi. Aku ingat aku ada sembang ngan minah sorang ni. But I remember the conversation in bits and pieces. Then  first aid volunteer came to me looking concerned. I remember she was very pretty. She took the trouble to get me a can of 100 plus and water.
I know by that time I looked like a mess. People passed by looking at me with concerned faces. To tell you the truth, I didn't have a clue what was happening. I was dizzy and every time I attempted to stand, I not only felt woozy and nauseous, but I also felt cramps creeping in both my legs. Then, my stomach acted out too. Cramp jugak.
So I went to lie down. Lantak la org nak tengok pun. The volunteers told me to put up my legs. Some other people came and asked if I was alright. I told them I was good, with a smile but I was really disoriented. When I sat up, I looked at my arms and they seem extraordinarily long. Then when I loosened my tudung, aku jadi lupa macamana nak lipat balik tudung and pasang balik kerongsang. I took off my specs and they seem really small. I looked at WW's hands and I thought I saw 4 fingers je on them.
" What?" he said, " What's wrong?"
And I couldn't answer. Instead I looked at my extra long ape arms and fiddled a few times with my tudung trying to figure out how to fasten the brooch.
Gile kelakar when I think about it now tapi at that time I was scared to death.

When I finally got a wee bit better to walk across the field and back to our parking in padang Merbok, I really hoped I didn't meet up with anyone. Mana la tau, kot-kot tengah sembang  , aku sembang merapu ke, aku termuntah atas korang ke. So WW, who was now having chills from his unrecovered fever led the way. I wasn't really sure where exactly we were at the time.
On the way back, my feet kena cramps and buckled a couple of times. Then kami balik, mandi and tidor. Not before me downing 1 bottle of rootbeer and 1 bottle of Spritzer Pop.

I guess I got dehydrated. All the signs were there. Ingatkan WW je asyik kena. Heh Heh.
And I guess the batuk made it worse. Or was it the other way round.
Ntah la.
Anyhow I  made it in 2:19 which I'm really thankful about.
But this is just luck. Next time, I'll listen to my body.

Tak best oo jadi bengong tak reti kelepet tudung sendiri.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

From A Small Town Girl.

Kak June dah buat dah entry pasal running a marathon. Diket pun dah gebang.
So aku rasa tak salah jugak aku nak tumpang eksited kat korang yang nak buat marathon SCKLM ni.

Ramai gak dok mai kat aku tanya aku buat full ke. Yang lebih cemerlang tanya aku, " Hang lari marathon berapa K?". Heh heh. Apapun jawapannya sama ja : Aku terjebak dalam half je. Tadek masa training la. Nak-nak bila anak-anak aku dah mula sekolah.

Tapi tu tak mematahkan kegigihan aku nak tulis entry ni untuk korang.  Diket dah bagi tip cara dia. Bes jugak tip-tips dia bagi. So aku pun nak nyebok jugak la bagi tips

But what I'm conveying is more to my personal experience la. Ceh, pengalaman konon. Baru lari 2 marathon. Ptuii..

Anyway, this is all I can offer, small town -style.

That's taper to the rest of you. I guess by now, you've done all your training, your LSDs, your speedwork and what nots. It's time to tapir. Jangan nak gatal lari tiap-tiap hari this week. It won't make you faster, it wont make it easier. Take it easy, ideally today should be your last run before the race. Do not try new exercise routines this week. Kot la, kat gym nun, diorang ajar the latest way to zumba ke, give it a polite pass Try to stiff the urge to increase the weights in your strength training. This week is a bad time for an new injury. Next week can la.
And on race day eve, please try to refrain yourself from walking too much at a shopping mall ke, expo ke, dll. Actually, this one's for me. Heh.

Makan nasik je! Nak cari pasta bagai. Kalau orang rumah tak reti masak spageti, satu hal la pulak  nak perabih RM18.80 untuk makan spinggan spageti ciput kat kedai. Take it from us, rice is enough. Nak-nak kalau dapat nasi ayam. Pergh. Murah pun murah. Sedap pun sedap. FYI, one of Lance Armstrong's favorite carbo loading meal is rice and eggs. Okay, so he's not a runner but still..
But skip la on those sambals, tomyams and masak pedas. Angin yang keluar ikut belakang semasa berlari tidak boleh dianggap sebagai daya tujahan ke depan ok.

 Race Day Attire
Basically to me, you can wear anything you're comfortable with. There's no rule saying you're obliged to wear the official running vest or shirt. Kami penah tanya masa jadi newbie at a race, " wajib ke pakai Race T ni?" Akak organizer tu cakap, " kalau kami cakap wajib, kang berdosa lak kalau tak pakai." Ok, noted.

There's also no rule saying you have to really wear those state of the art technical shirt or short/pants to be faster or to get your PB easier. All that needs proper, well planned training. If you've trained well, you can wear anything to get your PB
Don't save a recently purchased shirt or pants to try out at your marathon. A marathon is no place to start trying something new. Anything bad that can happen will happen. Who knows, maybe that sleek looking running tights might cause a major blister to God-knows-where. Or maybe that cute sports bra can graze the skin of your you-know-what.
And no, I've yet to find a dry fit tudung and anak tudung.So to all those tudung clad ladies, wear any tudung that fits you best and you're used to in your training runs. Tak kira la cap Wardina ke, Aryna ke. Aku pakai tudung cotton, tak pun bawal je. Tudung manik-manik labuchi simpan untuk makan kenduri.

Race Day
Arrive early to get a good parking place. Keep your I/C and some money wrapped in a clear plastic bag in your pocket. Don't leave anything valuable in your car. Kawaq-kawaq la ni dah pandai. Pi acara lari sambil pecah masuk keta orang. Memang tahap ungka.
If you have to do a no.1 or no2, or have the slightest feeling, do go. Especially when the lines aren't long.
Do whatever rituals you do prior a race. Kalau takde prerace ritual, toksah dok start skarang.
Make sure you have evrything in your pockets. If you don't have pockets, make sure you got everything fastened on your hydration belt ke, tucked in your sports bra ke, apa-apa je lah yang korang biasa buat taim LSD dulu.

If you're used to running with a bottle, I personally think it's better to do that in a marathon. Save you a lot of time from stopping at  water stations. Lagipun, bila nak gulp je, you can gulp and not exhaust yourself wondering where the next water station is. Bila air habis, refill je kat water station or grab another bottle. Tapi kalau tak biasa, toksah dok start skarang.
Same goes with whatever energy gels or bar you're used to. Kalau selama ni telan satu brand gel ni taim LSD, jangan tetiba plak rasa nak tukar selera try gel brand lain taim marathon tu jugak. Ye la kan, takut perut tak serasi. Taim tu plak rasa cam nak terberi.
Personally I don't like gels. Or bars. They taste weird and chemical-ly. Unfortunately I never train myself to anything else pulak. I read before that Scott Jurek refuels with bean burritos during his long runs. Wah, alangkah syoknya kalau sambil lari refuel dengan karipap ke, ais krim ke. Wah, bestnya. Tapi mungkinkah makcik-makcik kepoh kat kampung akan mengadu kat mak aku mengatakan aku tidak senonoh semasa berlari. Dan, sekiranya ini terjadi, maka akan bertambah modallah mak ku untuk memperbaharui permohonannya untuk cucu ke 3.

Try to practice good racing ethics throughout the race. Smile whenever you can. Greet people if you feel up to it. If you feel great bu the 35th K, try not to annoy the walking zombies by rubbing it in their faces. Rather, give words of encouragement. "Looking good!" Just might do the trick. If they flash looks of daggers at you, try to hasten your pace. LARI!
To me, it's not a good idea to challenge somebody in a fast footrace in  the early part of the marathon unless you're sure you can keep that pace throughout the whole race. Nanti pancit buat malu je. Beria potong orang tu, last-last kat KM 30 dia potong balik. Kalau hang potong sorang, ingat ada la 500 orang depan hang. Bukan nak menang pun. Not that I'm saying, it's not cool to pass other runners. You pass who you can pass. But do it with grace.

Again, end your race with grace. Don't be kiasu and try to block other passing runners 100m to the end of the line. Don't stop abruply. Don't swerve suddenly. What you do can  affect another person's stride. Tak best la, syok-syok lari the whole distance, nak dekat habis kena sumpah seranah.
End your race with finesse. Smile at the cameras even if you feel horrible. Post race bila orang tengok gambar, depa bukan tau pun korang penat ke, cramp ke, nak pengsan ke apa. Janji nampak enjoy. Haha. And if you have a sudden surge of overwhelming emotions, do cry. Be in the moment. Bawl you eyes out. Be melodramatic. Feel lucky you felt this.
Me, I never had those feelings. I never had that meaningful finishing moment. Ake lebih sebak tengok TBL punya contestant finishing a marathon distance ride on a stationary bike. Serius air mata berderai tengok episod tu. At the end of my 2 marathons, the only feeling I had was relief. Sebab aku penat.
And I wonder why is this. Didn't I try hard enough? Didn't I give my best? Or is my heart calloused due to work related stress?

Apapun peeps especially FMVs, enjoy your first marathon. Anthing you achieve will be a glorious PB. Don't be surprised to see me clapping/ patting your back during the race if I happen to see you. I give you,  full marathoners, my full support. You are truly super.

See you guys in SCKLM. I'm trying to convince my calloused heart to wear something in a girly color for a change.

Then again, maybe not.

***Oh yes, Good luck to all the Sundown 100K runners, Yim, Kak Kash ( I'm not sure if she even read blogs anymore), Ray, Zacky, Pui San and last but not least Zul ( who I'm not sure is running or not) All the best! *** 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Alice in Wonderland

Punya la gigih pi lari kat tasik petang tadi nak tangkap gambar ni untuk korang.

Ni la graffiti tercool aku penah tengok kat Tepeng ni. Ada kat salah satu gate sampah kat belakang Zoo Taiping.
Kalau lari keliling taman tasik sure mesti nampak punya.
Sangat epic dan  harus menaikkan semangat bila langkah dah lintang pukang.
Tak tau la status dia halal ke haram tapi yang pastinya Majlis Bandaran tak padam lagi la.

Ini arnab sangat creepy tatkala berlari pukul 6 pagi.

Dan, aku baru teringat kenapa aku tak berapa gemar lari sorang-sorang kat tasik waktu petang. Banyak benor bunyik-bunyian dan sahut-sahutan yang tidak diundang.
And I'm not talking about the animals at the zoo. 

Monday, June 13, 2011


I was truly looking forward to this race organized by KKM Perak which was supposed to be held tentatively on the 2nd of July in Taiping. I told my Matron to hand me the entry form the moment she gets her hands on it.
Tunggu punya tunggu , dah nak masuk mid June pun sepatah haram pun tak dapat lagi.

So last Friday, at a management meeting, dengan muka tak malunya I asked. What happened to Larian Kesihatan?
It's postponed to another date due to unavoidable circumstances.
Such as? I pressed.
Shrugs all around.

Then on Saturday, while reading a newspaper, I found out.
Nak buat acara Larian 1Murid 1Sukan 1Malaysia rupanya ( berrrapa banyak 1 daa)
A one mile dash  involving school kids around the country. Peringkat kebangsaan will be held right here in Taiping. On the same date. Same location.
Some big shot politician will come clad in a sponsored windbreaker,trackbottom and sneakers and will shuffle/pretend to run-walk also lah.
And konon an attempt for a record apakebendantah will be made.

Ooo, padanla race kami ditolak ketepi kedebuk cam tu je.

But it got me realizing for the 2nd time. Banyak pulak race in Taiping ni ek this year.
Taiping International Marathon la.(hmmm...)
Taiping Heritage Run la.( Yay!)
 Larian 1Murid 1Sukan 1Malaysia la.(ha..)
Then my Larian Kesihatan la.(bila?)
Hui. Banyak betui. For a small town.

Kinda make me proud to be a so-called runner from Taiping.

So people, come September, do come and race here ya.
It's nice, and cool in the mornings. The scenery is beautiful. The food is still cheap ( comparatively la)
And best of all, we're here!

But seriously now, jokes aside,the question is:
Can I pass as a student this 2nd July?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

:) / :(

This week has been, is and will be overwhelming.
If you want to read another posting about running, better skip to the next blog.

Last Saturday, my only brother got married. And I'm sad in a happy way and happy in a sad way.

My brother finally got it right. Found himself a nice sensible pretty girl to settle down with instead of the hags he dated before. But in a way, I feel like I'm losing a part of him.

You see, when I'm with my brother, it's like we're forever stuck in a time warp in which I'm always 10 and he will always be 5. We tease each other a lot. We play pranks on each other. I bully him and I guess just because I'm his big sister, he lets me get away with it ( most of the time).

When my husband got into the family, he thought we were weirdos. Macam budak-budak, he used to say. But he got used to it and now when I smack my brother occasionally on the forehead( and he smacks me back), hubs joins in laughing.
But now, if I go on like that, will my new sister think , " Is she mentally retarded?"

 To me he will always be this way.

And then, 3 days after the wedding, my tokwan passed away. My only remaining grandparent.

 He used to get sick before. Had serious heart problems. But he fought back attack after attack. Usually, a day after being discharged from the hospital, we'd find him chopping wood somewhere, or tending his chickens, or digging up something for his orchard ( despite my dad's protests)

A day before his demise, we even talked about fixing in new dentures when he gets well.

He loved reading. He read everything. I remember, if you buy the day's newspaper, you had better get your hands on it first before he did. He'd have it for ages. He read every article. Page by page. If you wait for your turn, he'd ignore you. Berjanggut la tunggu.

He loved his family. All 9 children. All 34 grandchildren. I don't even know how many great-grandchildren he had, but I truly believe he loved every single one of them.

He passed away 3 days after the wedding of his favorite grandson. How sad is that? Or is that supposed to be a happy ending?

Life is weird that way..

Worser yet, this week I'm on call. And it's only Thursday. 

**Normal JJ will be back next week**