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Monday, March 8, 2010

What Doesn’t Kill You…

…will make you stronger.

But it can also make you scream your lungs out for having to hold the pain when the water from the shower touches your underarms chafing skins. Ooouuuchhh!!!

The bad thing about not doing a training with a proper training plan is as what they used to say, ‘If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail’. Scary thoughts, huh?

Well, it’s not that I don’t have any plan at all for my training, but the plan is not being concretely scribbled on any kind of writing material, neither online nor offline. They are jumbled inside my head. I know, this is not good. And sure enough, I will get a proper training plan if I am to participate in more grueling events.

Anyway, apart from executing my planned LSD last weekend (I just needed to run long distance, that was my plan), I also made use of that opportunity to do one experiment. The risk of which if I fail, I may end up not being able to run for few weeks. Thus, I can say bye-bye to Energizer night marathon which is coming in 3 weeks time.

But, the success of such an experiment would bring me one step higher as I climb my pain threshold graph, so to speak. Yeah, I believe that we are able to adapt and accept bigger and larger pains, if we train for it. Our body has a very amazing adaptive capability.

The story started as I went out for my LSD run with my brand new date. Her name is Avi Bolt. No, she’s not a human being, nor she is a Navi (as in Avatar movie).

Amazingly light!

And the experiment I mentioned earlier was, to do long distance run without socks, in a new pair of shoes, in both hot and wet conditions. An experiment not fully done by choice, but also partially by force. Senang cerita, ada unsure-unsur terpaksa jugak la.

My Sunday started early, though I woke up slightly later that the time I intended to. Not sure whether it was going to be a good and strong day for me, but I desperately needed to do the long run as I’ve missed few running slots (i.e. training) recently. Jiwa kacau bilau.

By 6.30am, I prepped up and 10 minutes later, Kash and I rumbled slowly in the darkness making our way for another 3hrs plus time on foot, pounding the tarmac. Initially I was wearing socks, as I always do. But this time, I also put on some plasters at some possible-to-get-blister locations, just in case as I know this Avi Bolt which is half a size smaller than what I normally wear might give me some scars later.

Not long into the run (20 minutes I guess), the heaty and crampy sensations I felt in both feet were beyond comfort. Without many options, I took off my socks and continued running. I did not blame that virgin shoes, not her fault.

So, that’s where my experiment started.

Whether it will be a painful experience or not, that’s another story. “Let see how far I can survive the pain or discomfort”, I told myself. It was my first time running long distance without socks.

Arriving at Petronas Hartamas for refueling, I started to feel more discomfort but not much of pain as yet. Weird enough, it felt great to know that I was able to run sock-less up to this distance.

With the good cloudy morning weather, we opted to try new route. The running time has shown just over 1 hour as we departed after the short break. And instead of attempting for three mentally torturing loops around Matrade and government building complex as we did few weeks ago, Kash and I agreed to do an out-and-back route. I suggested to Kash that we should run into Bukit Tunku towards Bukit Aman, and just make a turnaround when we get to 1.5hours running time. That would give a 3 hours (plus plus) total running time, just as what we needed to.

With both of us still having full water supply (we carry our own hydrations), we plodded on. It has been quite a while since I last ran within the vicinity of peaceful Bukit Tunku. I think I like this place (to run).

Reaching the first T-junction, we made a quick recovery stop. I could sense blisters were trying to emerge at few places. The discomfort-ness has turned into un-easy-ness feeling. The feeling of which I wish I could stop the run and took off the shoes before something bad happens. That kind of feeling.

We then ran back towards Hartamas, and as we reached the government building complex again, I realized Kash’s shades were gone. She was shocked too. We decided to track back to the T-junction with a hope that the shades would still be there, untouched.

Kash’s pace increased tremendously, indicating to me how much she didn’t want to lose the pair. We even tried to hike a cab so that we can get to the T-junction faster, but the driver had something else to do. So, with not much help I can offer her, I told her that I’ll try to run there as fast as my legs can bring me. A short opportunity for some speed work, which I lack a lot.

I felt sad as well when I saw nothing lying on the curb at the T-junction where we stopped earlier. Kash must have had a broken heart when I returned empty handed. Anyway, life goes on, and the run must go on too.

I had to ask for additional plasters from Kash to cover some additional areas of chafing around my feet. The journey back would be slightly challenging as the pain started to tag along my run. It’s time to see how far I can take this pain. In addition to the chafing at the feet, there were also some building up at my underarms, due to the continuous rubbing with the sleeveless shirt I was wearing. Ok, this was purely my bad, as I forgot to apply any BodyGlide there.

When making another refueling stop at Petronas Hartamas, I cooled myself down with the pipe water at the petrol station, from top to bottom. Mandi terus. I increased my pace up a little bit when running from Masjid Wilayah towards Hartamas, and that may have caused my body temperature to raise. Hence, I needed to cool down.

And that really helped to refresh the body and soul, and also my spirit to finish the run strong. However, I was further risking my feet by wetting the shoes. Remember, I was not wearing socks. Not sure how much damage that would cause me.

Kash started to feel the fatigue as we headed back to Kiara from Petronas Hartamas and she decided to slow down to run-walk-run. I felt a bit guilty for leaving her behind alone, but I also wanted to see how much I can hold up the pain by running through it. Anyway, I continued my plodding after excusing myself to Kash. I had this kind of feeling mentally inspired by the memories I get from Langkawi recently.

It felt good to feel this fresh, especially after already ran for more than 20km plus. Very rare I had this kind of situation, seriously. Normally, I would already beg for mercy after doing 20km or so. But this time as I was doing the home run, I was somehow feeling strong.

Different story for the legs though. They were in pain, no doubt about it. If only you can see my facial expressions at that time.

I set my timer to beep every 10 minutes, to tell me when I should start to force walk and hydrate myself. Also, to rest the pain in the feet. With each and every 1 minute walk breaks I took, the legs were begging me to stop but at the same time I really wanted to see how far can I go along with this level of pain.

"Don't become a sissy and just suck it up lah!", I told my self.

Plodding alone with the pain was challenging enough. While monitoring (by feeling) my painful feet so that I won't create any permanent damage to them, I kept on running carefully towards Kiara Park where finally I saw Rais with his son, waiting for Kash.

I finally completed my 30km run that Sunday morning in spite of clocking a slow timing of 3hr 25min. Better than nothing. All I wanted to know at that time was whether there were any serious blisters developed. As I carefully took off the shoes from my painful feet, I was glad to see that my feet survived from any blisters despite all the pain that I felt during the run. And I hope that made me become a little bit stronger, physically and mentally, to battle bigger pains in the future.

Plasters at potential blister prone areas.
My apology for killing your appetite for the day.


Che said...

may u run like a lightning bolt, or as fast as husein bolt.. pergh.. (but dont forget to take our pics lah eh? ) hehe..

K3vski said...

Maybe after watching and supporting Ironman, you now have iron feet and toes hahhah. Well done and keep up your good training.

..::EnAikAY::.. said...

Yes, it's the raining/thunderstorm season nowadays, memang banyak kilat :)

Psst.. i just had the thought of running the ENR without camera, so how? Hehe.

Tell me that when i can do a 4:20 min/km pace like your normally run. Hhihi. Thanks man.

Fong said...

y kene train without socks.. d legs cam ble donate da =)

..::EnAikAY::.. said...

The real lesson here is: don't buy shoes in a smaller size than what u normally wear, eventhough the shoes have 50% or 70% discount tag on them.

But for my case, "padan muka aku!" hehehe

Yimster said...

urghh nice last pic :) i supposed these spots would hardened in time with the torture and become resistant to future blisters

eh Che, that day during the gunung run you were holding a camera plak :P

Kash (if you're reading this), Rudy Project is available in Msia but not sure if it's any cheaper compared to SG

Fong said...

chess.. baru igt technology ape.. now its fesyen lari kaki ayam =)

ziff71 said...

running in a pair of new shoes without socks is no joke and u are talking about 30km! Blisters really hurt. Baca pasal blister pun aku dah rasa sakit..hehehehe

Diket said...

30k in 3:25 in new shoes w/o sox. It is confirmed that you're the blue-est calves on earth :D

..::EnAikAY::.. said...

I hope so...
I'm still wondering whether blisters will eventually harden the skin, or makes the skin more prone to more blisters. I don't know.

Maybe i'm a fashion victim.

It's a no joke?
Well, in blogging there's this 80:20 rule.
20% truth...
80% gimmick & drama.. especially on this blog :)

..::EnAikAY::.. said...

Amboi amboi amboi....

Ok la, ENR nnti aku pakai kasut lama laaa... and with the socks too.

Anonymous said...

Nik... You didn't look like you have ran that distance... you were strong and when I saw you running, in my head - damn this guy could go on another 30 without breaking a sweat!

Well done Nik!


..::EnAikAY::.. said...

Yeah, that one also falls under the 'drama/gimmick' category.
When coming to an end of a run we must 'pretend' like we still look fresh.. kot-kot ada orang ambik gambar candid.

But the truth is... OH-MY-GOD-PENATNYAAA!!!!

And thanks so much for the bottle of 100Plus.

P/s: And i still owe Kash RM10, i forgot to bring cash that day.

KOOKY KASH said...

Haha…runners banyak drama, esp. kalau ada camera.

Yim: OK. I check but I aint buying. Kasi padan muka lama sikit. Thanks.

..::EnAikAY::.. said...

Too good to be true, right?

shuklazim said...

kasut baru, lock lace...dasat ni

eh! bau asap la

..::EnAikAY::.. said...

Salah orang ni.. kalau bab asap2 ni biasanya si Shakhir dgn Syah je.
I run with solar energy... smokeless, and not as fast as them.
Oh ya, you are also included as one of THEM!