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) 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Fast Food

Di suatu hari, ada la sorang tu tanya aku pasal WW's healing after an accident 8 years ago in which he sustained a collarbone fracture.
Dia tanya sebab baru-baru ni, suami dia pun teraccident and had the same injuries.
Aku bagitau, alhamdulillah, healing was good and he's doing well.
Pastu dia tanya,
" Dr bagi dia makan apa?"
Aku terkesima kejap.
" Err..makan nasik la"
Pap, dia tampaq lengan aku.
" La, maksud saya, bagi makan apa untuk cepat baik patah tulang dia tu."

Ha, ni la masyarakat kita. Balik-balik tanya makan apa untuk pulih itu dan ini.
" Makan apa nak cepat sembuh luka?"
" Makan apa nak elak kencing manis?"
" Makan apa nak kasi kuat badan?"
" Makan apa nak kasi pandai?"
" Makan apa nak kasik cantik?"
Dan yang paling best,
" Makan apa nak kasi kurus?"

Takdela unsur-unsur nak berusaha sikit.
Semua nak segera.
Agaknya kalau kita cakap nak bagi tak sakit gigi kena telan dawai kokot, maunya sekotak dihantamnya sekali gus.

Usahala sikit, kawan.
Kalau nak kuat, excercise.
Kalau nak pandai, belajar.
Kalau nak elak semua penyakit, live healthily, exercise and eat healthily ( eh, makan jugak?)
Kalau nak kasi luka pulih cepat, makan la ubat yang diprescribe dan bukan makjun-makjun lain yang ntahapekebenda isinya, jaga permakanan and kalau perlu change the dressings accordingly mengikut arahan.
Just ikutla arahan doktor.
Kalau dia suruh rest, restla.
Kalau dia bagi appointment follow up, pegi la.
Kalau dia bagi ubat, makan la.

Ni suka benor benda-benda alternative.
Minum la ntah pape drinks untuk jadi kurus.
Biarlah kalau kencing lepas tu jadi kaler hijau. Asal kurus.
Biarlah kos dia beribu raban, bergolak gadai, asal kurus. Asal sihat, katanya.
Pastu bila dah sedar benda tu mahal, sebab kena maintain ambik benda tu ( untuk terus kurus/sihat, katanya), barulah mengeluh.
Pastu lepas stop, gemuk balik.

It's a vicious cycle.
Yang boleh di stop dengan usaha sendiri.

I think semua orang tau pasal benda ni.
Paper dah canang. TV dan canang. Kat sekolah pun dah belajar.
Tapi ntah, masyarakat kita still suka cari penyelesaian segera, pastu menyesal kemudian.

Malas nak berleter dah boleh?

On another note, see you guys this Sunday for Taiping International Marathon.
Say Hi if you see me.
And if you see me wretching while running, don't worry.
That's normal.

Friday, September 7, 2012

TGIF - Kempen 10,000 Langkah

And I really mean it.
I'm not the kind of person to post a TGIF status religiously every Friday but this week is an exception.

Seriously, my on call last week was horrendous.
I got called 4-6 times a day on average and some of the calls lasted more than 4 hours. Might as well be on active on call.
My kids whined that they hardly see me. Mana taknya, I'm out the door at 4 am and back at 9:30 am, then called back for some assault case at 12.00pm and tak balik sampai 4 pm. Tu tak kira lagi the calls at night.
I had everything, from 2 cases of near fatal massive bleeding to chair-side counseling to a mother crying over some domestical problems while I'm stitching up her son. 
The last 3 day weekend went very slowly for me.
Crawling, actually.

This weekend is all about quality time with the family.
Dan rehat di rumah.
Dan beriadah sama-sama.
Dan makan on time ( hari tu we ended up eating lunch at 4pm)
Dan just enjoying the weekend.

Sapa-sapa free this Sunday, can join us KKM-ers for our Kempen 10,000 langkah in Taman Tasik Taiping.
There will be a 6.5 km walk around the lake gardens and I guess a bit through the town.
It's open for the public and it's free.
It's kinda a compulsory thing for my staff and they kept asking me whether I'll come.
So untuk menunjukkan contoh yang baik dan ciri-ciri ketua berhemah ( hins hins), what the heck, I'll join.

Asyik lari je, kita try plak jalan beramai-ramai.
Orang Tepeng mesti heran , " Ni piket apa la pulak ni?".