Monday, January 22, 2007
The day I saw STARS
Two days before the GE 30k on 21 Jan 2007, Jantzen Tey (PM22) was asking me whether I will go all out for this race. My simple answer to him was "Tey, I have never run a 30k race before, the only 30k run for me are those LSD training for a marathon, so I dont know what to expect. But I will definitely run to my full capabilites on the day"
The nite before race day, it was raining thoroughout and it shud benefits us runners the next morning. The temperature will definitely be lower and much cooler. I hit the bed almost at midnite, eventhough I need to wake at by either 4am or 4.30am the next morning. I am a morning person and normally do not required 8-9 hrs of sleep.
Woke up at around 4am, clean up and just drank a glass of water. I dont normally eat anything before a run or a race. Just drink a glass of water and thats it. No powerbar, cereal, bread or what so ever. Send a morning call to my race pacer LIFEMOU to make sure he is awake. Then drove my car out and in about 20mins I reached the Bukit Aman carpark at 5.15am. By that time the place was already half filled with cars and you start to see runners putting on their running vest, and some doing some light strecthing and warming up. Activities are inching up.
Next to my car, I greeted a guy (forgot his name) good morning. He was doing his first 30k and was asking me how many PowerGels he needed to bring along with him, while in his hands he was showing me the 8 packets that he have. I told him he shud consume one before the race and the organiser will give out one PowerGel at the 20k mark. At this moment, Wong sifu appeared. He had made it to the race (having a heel injury) and we chatted for a while before making our way to the starting point. Along the way bumped in Karen who was doing her warmup along the route. Chatted for a while and continue towards the starting point.
Start of the race
Registered myself and was at the starting area. Then out of a sudden my pacer of the race showed up. Saw Lee, and was asking him whether he see DK, my other pacer who was going after a sub 3 finishing. DK was not in sight and at 6.00am sharp the race was started.
The group of runners squeeze thru the narrow path going uphill and I was following my pacer behind. As some runners tried to cut into your line left, right and centre, I eventually lost my pacer as we ran out of Lake Gardens and onto Jalan Parlimen heading towards Bank Negara. And now I am just running alone without a pacer again!!!!!
I am pretty familiar with the 30k route, and so I know what to expect. I know the hills will eventually take the toll on me and saps out every bit of my energy and make my muscles work extra hard for the day. I ran at a pace which I am quite comfortable but definitely faster than the pace when I do my weekly 20k run with the group.
Completed in probably slightly over an hour after reaching Tugu Negara, and we are back along Jalan Parlimen to start the next 20k to Sri Hartamas and back to Lake Gardens. By now the crowd of runners are kind of separately from each other where most were running in small groups of single file within a distance. I wasnt pushing myself too hard cos its still a long way to go with many hills to tackle.
By now I think my so call pacer shud be way ahead of me and no way to be seen. I just continued to run at my own pace, just being very kiasu that if I push too hard I may suffer muscle cramp very early (like in SG Marathon). Reached the intersection of Jalan Duta and all the runners are diverted further up to the traffic lights to cross over to Sri Hartamas. And this is where the hills began. At this stage I saw the leading pack of the 30k race on their way back. Cut thru the path where the KL Mosque intersection is and all the way towards the Petronas Station of Sri Hartamas (where we normally have our water stop during our 20k LSD) Reached the 20k water station and wallop one packet of PowerGel for energy refuel. Then the turn back to Lake Gardens began and 10k more to go.
At the midpoint before reaching Plaza Damas, I saw my pacer. Woh, I was surprise to see him behind me, no clue when I had overtaken him and where???? We greeted each other and I asked him to speed up. At a later stage , I saw both Karen and Nezz on the oppposite and greeted them. Crossed over back into Bukit Tungu area, and I know there will be two hilly slopes coming after me. Slowed down my pace a bit to conserve energy for hills and finishing. Took on the first slope which was pretty short and then the next one at Tijani's. This is the longer stretch and instead of running (which my leg is a bit tired now) I tried the speed walking style up the hill. In fact I was overtaking some runners which are running almost at walking pace. This pattern suits me well, and I felt to have reserve more energy after that and my down hill was pretty fast until reaching the JKR building for the last 1.5km. I know there will be another uphill from Bank Rakyat's traffic junction all the way to the entrance of Lake Gardens. As I reaches that stage, I adopted the same style, speed walking till the middle and engage back to running all the way towards the finishing point. Crossed the finishing line in 2:53.09
And I could not believe myself that I had ran a 30k race in sub 3 timing, and I know I always perform better with no time pressure. Just perform to my full capabilities, and this will be my tagline for all my 2007 races.
After collecting my goodies bag, I saw STARs and almost to a point of blackout. Couldnt stand on my two feet steadily and decide to sit down and rest. My body started to feel numb and mild cramps are getting to both my feet. Good thing my pacer was with me and he was kind enuf to get some drinks for me while I am resting. Later Karen was sighted and we had a chat, and rested together on the pavement. It took me more than 30mins to recover to my normal self. By that time Ben and Karen had left. I took the opportunity to mingle around, wallop three cups of Nestle flakes+milk (cos I am feeling so hungry) and bumped into Cheong and wife. Had a photo seesion with him, and the PM group before making my way back to the carpark.