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Monday, February 20, 2012

Pacesetter's 4 x 3km Relay

I guess a quick race deserves a quick story update.

Yesterday, I joined the Pacesetters Relay 4 x 3km speed race at Padang Merbok. I like to call it speed race because from my general understanding of endurance running (as an avid slow long distance runner), short distance means F.A.S.T.

Together in my team were Shanaz (team captain), Syah (anchor runner), Dan (an ultramarathoner - who had to replace Nana on the eleventh hour) and yours truly, a nobody who was brought in as the first runner. Was I nervous? Yes, a little bit. Target set by team captain was to run that 3km undulating race route within 15 minutes.

That’s a freaking sub 5:00mins pace requirement!! Something which I’ve never done before. 500m yes, but not for 3km.

For the first time ever I was standing at the very front of a start line. It was a considerably small size race with a total of 102 teams (so I was told). To my right was Marlin, and to my left was Ray. Left hand holding the baton, right hand getting ready to press the start button of my stop watch. It was 07:00hrs, wet dark morning. And the race started right on time.

Me: ”Ray, jam kau tu Garmin model apa bro? Ada GPS ke? Nampak canggih je tu...”
Ray: “Ini lagi canggih dari Garmin bro. Model ni diorang jual kat pasar malam Segambut je. Aku rembat anak aku punya pagi tadi. Haa, tengok ni.. ada keluar lampu kelip-kelip...”

Check out that guy in front row, third from right.
Gaya starting sikit-sikit dah macam pro, tapi baru bukak tiga langkah dah kena sayur dengan orang belakang, kiri dan kanan.
Ketara sangat beliau hanya pandai bergaya, tapi tak terer mana pun.

Kita terjaaaahhh..!!!!!

For those who are familiar with the area of Padang Merbok where the race started, one would know the starting of the race would lead us straight into a few hundred meters of steady climb. Although I was intimidated at first to follow the first pack of speedsters, I refrained myself from doing so and just ran as fast as I can maintain my heart rate to hover slightly above the comfort level.

Just after few meters running, the race leader was already out of sight. Partially because it was still dark, but mainly because they were in another league lah. There were sayuring and de-sayuring process taking place. Getting to halfway through, I didn’t manage to overtake anybody anymore, and no one overtook me. I was afraid to hit my booster much earlier for the fear I cannot maintain it until the end. I thought I’ll wait for the final decline to go all out. It was a struggle though. At one point I wanted to turn my head back to see if any other runner was trying to catch up, but I was afraid that might just turned me into panic mode. Hehe…

Tak ku sangka, aku pun kiasu gak sikit-sikit rupanya... ngeh ngeh ngeh.

A marshal at one corner said it was down to the last KM, I checked my stopwatch and it showed 10mins plus plus. ”Okay, target within sight. I think I can finish up the final km within 5mins”, I convinced myself.

I shifted slightly into another gear, trying to gain some speed. I had no idea what position I was in at that time, I just wanted to finish it once and for all. On the final descent towards Padang Merbok, I tried bigger stride and made full use of the gravitational energy.

The finish line was soon in sight and my team number (#54) was being announced by the emcee to let the second runner ready to take the baton. I tried sprinting down to the line and as I passed the baton to Shanaz as the second runner, I stopped my watch at 14min40sec. Someone told me I was among the top ten runners to arrive and that gave me a reason to smile, while I tried to catch up with my breathing.

The other runners in the team performed very well too. Finally, Syah, who was our anchor runner, crossed the finishing line and put our team into 11th position, out of 102 teams altogether. The total time clocked by our team was 1hr 1min. And in my book, that was an awesome effort by the team.

Well done team #54!

Now, it’s time for me to move back to the drawing board… for another mission in 2012 - The Marathons!

And as I mentioned earlier somewhere…

“Long run is tough on the leg muscles, sprinting is tough on the cardiac muscles.
Both require high mental strength to complete.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Some Points

I was clearing up my desk and I saw some old notes I took during one of the sales course which I attended last year August. Just feel like sharing it out here. I've forgotten the whole context of these stuffs, hence I won't be elaborating on each of them (and bore you to death). I jotted them down while I was struggling to keep myself awake during the course (teruk gile kan.. hehe).

1) Don't postpone any appointments - it shows your commitment.

2) Change something every month.

3) Do things that ONLY YOU can do. For other things... delegate lah!

4) Don't let people see or know your weaknesses.

5) In a win-lose situation, don't be afraid to walk out (if it is obvious you are on the losing side).

6) Don't believe others, just believe yourself.

7) Don't be a victim from the surrounding, be influential to the surrounding.

8) Don't be distracted by other things that make your progress slow.

Dah, itu je... sekian. :)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Lepas Gian

Haritu ada cuti weekend yang panjang. Bersambung dari Sabtu sampai Selasa. Time nak tido hari Ahad malam tu, tiba-tiba terlintas nak bangun pagi besok nya untuk buat solo run – 30km. Suatu perkara yang memang dah lama ditinggalkan. “Takde sakit cari penyakit” nama sindrom ni. Harap maklum.

Malam sebelum tido dah siapkan air dalam CamelBak yang dibancuh dengan Glucolin perisa oren. Letak dalam fridge, atau bak kata orang Johor “ice box”, bagi sejuk secukup rasa. Dua-dua henpon aku dah set dua alarm on each phone, to make sure aku tak terbabas tido di hari cuti.

Gedebuk gedebak, 06:35hrs pagi esoknya di dalam gelap-gelap suasana Subuh aku dah start mengorak langkah perlahan dari Kiara menuju ke arah Bukit Aman. Telinga tak tersumbat apa-apa hiburan muzik melainkan alunan lemak merdu burung-burung dan katak-katak yang baru bangun tido. Suasana amatlah gelap bila lari kat incline sebelah KLGCC tu. Sekali sekala melintas laju kereta-kereta kat situ dengan lampu high beam. Lantaklah kalau depa nak terkejut beruk tengok makhluk berlari dalam gelap sorang-sorang. Dalam diam, hati aku masih ragu-ragu samada boleh habiskan jarak 30km ni atau tak. Almaklum ajelah, last time buat long run sebegini jauh ialah tiga bulan lepas.

Dalam keadaan takde apa-apa race yang terdekat, dapat kumpul motivasi untuk berlari sebegini jauh pun dah merupakan sebuah kejayaan yang boleh disebut-sebut di wall FB la. Tengok aje prestasi kecundang tahun lepas, lapan bulan straight aku rehat mengumpul lemak kat perut. Punyalah takde motivasi langsung. Arakian, buat masa ni sementara stok motivasi belum basi, aku belasah je lah apa-apa yang terlintas di fikiran.

Half way bila dah sampai ke Hartamas, lepas panjat bukit-bukit sikit kat depan Plaza Damas dan juga incline yang kat sebelah Masjid Wilayah tu, kaki terasa bersemangat untuk break personal record for 15km. Jarak dari Kiara ke Bukit Aman kalau trace guna MapMyRun ada la dalam 15.3km gitu lebih kurang. Actually aku pun tak tau apa personal best untuk 15km aku. Tapi tiga bulan lepas masa aku buat solo run yang seumpama ni, I clocked 1h35mins. Itu je yang aku ingat. So, aku shift masuk gear lagi satu level up, cuba mendesupkan diri dari simpang Jalan Duta sampai ke Bukit Aman. Kejap-kejap mata aku melilau tengok stopwatch. Tak best la kan kalau dah penat-penat push but still takleh nak break personal record. Maka bermulalah larian ‘game-face’.. ahaha poyo.

Kebetulan pada weekend yang sama ramai yang masih berlari di Hong Kong, dan segelintir berlari di TNF Thailand dan juga cuti-cuti Chap Goh Meh, maka tak ramai runners masa aku sampai kat parking Bukit Aman. Time clocked was 1h28m for the first 15km. Walaupun tak laju sangat pun kalau nak dibandingkan dengan para pelari tegar yang lain, tapi aku rasa sedikit kembang la hidung bila dapat pecahkan rekod piring hitam peribadi.

Decided not to rest for long time, genap 8 minit rehat aku terus re-start stopwatch untuk merakam waktu larian dari Bukit Aman ke Kiara pulak, the second 15km. Ego punya pasal, lupa nak top up teh tarik kurang buih ke dalam CamelBak masa kat parking Bukit Aman tu. Akibatnya.. kita sama-sama nantikan di peranggan yang akan datang.

Baru 9 minit berlari dari Bukit Aman, tiba-tiba degupan jantung jadi tak tentu hala, hilang arah tujuan. Sampai kat satu bus stop tu, aku terpaksa melontarkan bontots ke situ untuk rest and recover. Kaki dah terasa sedikit penat, tapi yang lebih kelam kabut ialah heart rate. Nampak sangat aku masih belum fit untuk long run, bisik ku perlahan (fuhyo, macam bahasa novel siot).

Sambung balik larian sambil-sambil mengawal rentak degupan jantung. Ternyata short break aku tadi tak mencukupi, ataupun aku dah ter-mendesupkan diri tanpa sedar. Maka aku pun terbongkang lagi sekali dan terpaksa berhenti rehat kejap semasa melayan lenggok-lenggok bukit kat Jalan Bukit Tunku tu. Heart rate amat mengganas, tak berani aku nak push takut diserang sawan mengkarung.

Tukar plan. Tukar balik ke gear paling rendah, layan perasaan lari slow sikit. Matahari dah makin meninggi, dan aku sedar air dalam CamelBak aku dah makin mengering. Congak-congak dalam kepala hotak, ada lagi 10km. Kaki dah makin penat, peha dah terasa akan terkena renjatan cramp tak lama lagi. Bermulalah mental game. Kuatkah aku untuk mengawal nafsu daripada menahan teksi? Jeng jeng jeng…

Penangan ‘mileage shock’ ni sangat memeritkan. Kalau program training untuk marathon, biasanya perlahan-lahan mileage dinaikkan from week to week. Ini tak, ribut takde taufan takde tiba-tiba gatal kaki nak buat 30k. In the name of ‘nak test power’, aku teruskan jugak perjalanan tanpa menahan teksi walaupun dah lebih lima bijik teksi lalu di sepanjang laluan aku tadi.

Lepas je cross flyover Jalan Duta, peha dah sengal lain macam. Signs of cramp setting up semakin ketara. Tak pernah-pernah aku training long run sampai cramp peha. So, orang cakap alang-alang menyeluk pekasam kan… so aku belasah la jugak lari pelan-pelan sambil tahan sakit maskels peha. Bila dah tak tahan sangat sakit cramp, aku berjalan. Yang aku heran, bila berjalan je cramp makin menjadi-jadi. Apa-ke-hey-nya…

Pun begitu, jiwa masih tekad nak pecahkan rekod lagi. The previous solo 30km run, total time was 3h15m. So dalam hati aku, walau dapat 3h14m pun jadilah. Run walk run walk je lah. Jiwa dah kacau, especially bila air dalam CamelBak dah kering kontang, dan aku ada lagi 7km sebelum tamat larian, dan matahari pada jam 9 pagi amatlah menduga akal.

Duit ada bawak RM30. Lepas sebijik teksi, lagi beberapa bijik lalu. Aku dah terlintas bestnya duduk dalam teksi berhawa dingin tu. Tapi aku fikir, kalau aku naik teksi, aku takkan cukup 30km, dan aku takkan tau samada aku boleh pecahkan piring hitam lagi sebijik atau tak.

Mak aih, panjangnya aku melalut.

Oklah, to cut long story short (aku tau korang dah boring baca). Akhirnya aku habiskan jugak larian 30km tu dalam masa 3h9m (i.e. the second 15km done in 1h40m). Yes, kembang hidung aku sekali lagi. Peha memang dah kesakitan, tekak dah kering kontang, kaki memang dah tersangat lunyai tak larat nak berdiri, tapi kepala hotak sempat lagi fikir pantun apa nak letak dalam status DailyMile….

Sepandai-pandai tupai melompat,
Akhirnya jatuh di atas batu,
Akibat LSD dah lama tak buat,
Baru 30K lunyai kakiku.