Friday, January 10, 2014

Waving goodbye to 2013, stepping forward to 2014

Hi everyone! I guess it’s not too late to wish Happy New Year 2014 to all, may this year brings happiness, success and strength to overcome whatever obstacles. If we translate this to running, may this year brings more PB/PR (podium if possible), better, farther and faster run and healthy all year long. 
Happy new year! 
I would like to recap on my running activities in 2013. This recap is important as it serves as a reminder and a benchmark to make myself better in terms of timing and endurance. I did blog on my 2012 achievement and we’ll see how well I did last year.

We start with mileage. Last year I ran 1515.68km, an extra of 98.05km from 1417.63km in 2012.

My so-so yearly mileage
In 2012 I’ve participated in 20 events but in 2013 it was an increase to 33 events. I raced in 31 events, volunteered 2 and DNS (Did Not Start) 3. From 31 race events, 5 full marathon, 1 (almost) 30km, 3 half marathon, 3 trail run, 1 towerthon, 2 obstacles run, 1 relay, 1 16km run, 3 15km run, 1 14.5km run, 3 12km run, 2 10km run, 2 7km run and 3 closed events. 

33 awesome events!
I volunteered in 2 events which were Zombie Run and Malakoff University Duathlon Series (UPM). I DNS-ed in 3 events which were NTV7 Feel Good Run, Rock 2 Rock Run and Bangi Fun Run.
My bling-bling and bibs
Happily doing the marathons, or not ;)
Me, myself and I, and running ;)

From the list, some were my back 2 back attempts with flag off few hours apart from one event to another.  Those back 2 back events were:

1) KL Tower International Sunrise Towerthon Challenge and Milo Breakfast Day Run (5:45am and 7:30am Sunday)

2) Men's Health & Shape Night Run and Pacesetters 30k Back2Basics Run (8:30pm Saturday and 6am Sunday)

3) Putrajaya Night Marathon and Adidas King of The Road (8pm Saturday and 7:30am Sunday)

4) Petzl Trail Night Run and Newton Challenge (840pm Saturday and 6:30am Sunday)

The most epic back 2 back event was KL Tower International Sunrise Towerthon Challenge and Milo Breakfast Day Run as the time difference roughly 2 hours. It was our 1st attempt and luckily we managed to pull it off. Another epic back 2 back event was Putrajaya Night Marathon and Adidas King of The Road. I ran full marathon for PNM and finished running around 12:30am. However, I need to wait for friends who were still running and we went home around 3am. We managed to sleep for 2-3 hours before start running Adidas KOTR.    

I keep tabs on my achievements and timing. That list (not shown here) is important to me for safekeeping and reference. I gauge my performance based on the race events record and not from training days. Below are my personal best (PB) and personal record (PR):

FM         4:06:11 (The River Jungle Marathon)                   5:47min/km
HM         1:57:03 (2XU Compression Run Singapore)      5:35min/km
16km     1:20:26 (Mizuno Wave Run)                                   5:04min/km
15km     1:18:19 (UKM Victory Run)                                     5:14min/km
12km     0:59:31 (Men’s Health and Shape Night Run)       4:50min/km
10km     0:47:17 (TM Fan Run)                                               4:46min/km
5km       19:41 (Larian Kampus Sukan MOA)                        4:11min/km

My coveted pace is 4min/km. If I stick to my plan, I might be able to do this pace supposedly in end of 2015. I blogged about my 4:30plan, however due to some illness, this plan failed miserably hahaha. Ah well, better luck next time. Need to learn more and train more. Meanwhile, while PB is celebrated, the accidental PW (personal worst) is unavoidable. I accidently did 2 PW last year, Brooks Half Marathon, 3:11:38 and Adidas King of The Road 10km, 2:18:25. Brooks Half Marathon was my anniversary marathon but my PB hope shattered when I realized that I had a bad food poisoning few hours before the flag off. I vomited 20+ times while running, how not cool was that. 20+ times for 20+k, eh. For Adidas KOTR, I did FM PNM beforehand and experiencing soreness so I spent most of the Adidas KOTR route catwalking walking.  Usually it shouldn't be a problem for me to get top 100 spot but when I accidentally did PW and hit bottom 100 spot, I had a great deal of time to do some reflection. In the end, I felt humble and grateful to God for being able to run and getting a good placing.

I had my own fair share of injuries. Running all those mileage and pulling back 2 back stunts got its consequences. As an endurance runner, we tend to tolerate well with soreness and small injuries. However, there's possibility we might aggravate it and it’ll become a bigger problem soon. In my opinion, we need to learn more about injuries especially the root cause, the treatment and the prevention. Know thy enemy. It’s not the end of the day if we need to rest longer before start running again (even though it felt like one).  Being an endurance runner, we tend to overlook small injuries and keep going. Here’s my list of injuries:

1) Calf tightness
This was happened due to footstrike change. I was a heelstriker so I was thinking to change to midfoot strike. After some lengthy discussion with friends and with some reading, I bought Skechers GoRun 2. I had a love hate relationship with this shoe, honestly. I changed the way I run especially the way my foot land and hit the ground. It was not easy and I need to be aware of this everytime I run. The earlier time was hard and caused some serious soreness to my calf as different footstrike supposedly using different set of muscles. I ran for a day or two and the rest was about the same count. My mileage was low. I was lucky that the Standard Chartered KL Marathon was postponed from Jun to October 2013, thus giving me more time to adapt to the new style of running. It took me almost a month in adapting and I’m glad it was over. No more problems after series of muscle conditioning and rest. It’s proven that I didn't heelstrike any more from photos that they took when I was running. Not easy but I survived, oh yeah.

2) Inner thigh pain.
This pain was not serious but it managed to bug me for weeks. I have no problem walking but I could feel little pain when running. However, the pain subsided whenever I ran long enough but it came back when resting. Weird, eh. I got this pain after successfully completing Reebok One Challenge. Doing all those obstacles has its price when you weren't fit enough. I didn't run for weeks and the pain seemed gone but in reality it wasn't. I ran SCKLM and PNM with this inner thigh pain. It went away but never come back (hopefully) after a long series of resting.

3) Peritoneal tendinitis
As I mentioned previously, I did back 2 back Putrajaya Night Marathon and Adidas King of The Road. Imagine running 42.195km night run plus 10km in the morning with few hours apart. Kinda insane. Thanks to the previous injury, I was lacking in mileage and undertrained. I had a not so great night marathon and felt beaten up after completing it. My whole body was sore and my foot not in a great condition. For 10km, we decided to cat walk only, not running as the soreness that we had after FM was still there. After 7km, we saw a photographer from afar and decided to pose run lil bit in front of him. My right foot felt a tingling sharp pain at the right side after that small run. I was limping after that and it was  torturous walking the remaining 3km. My foot condition worsen. It was peritoneal tendinitis, a sign of overuse muscle. The pain subsided after resting for few weeks. It took me two weeks before I can start running again. What a lesson.  

I met and knew many new runner friends after completing certain race events last year. They are a friend to a friend to a friend to a friend and the list goes on hihi. From one person led to another person and led to a group to another group. There are many unofficial running groups here, consists of close family and friends. Three events that I met and knew most of runner friends this year were Chap Ayam Relay Fun Run, The Island Ocean Marathon and Le Sabuns Ultra run series. The most important thing is don’t be afraid to befriend new people and please accept their FB friend request hihihi. I also met and befriend many runners cum photographers and now you know where I got my great running photos from. Kudos to them all.   

I self proclaimed myself as a competitive runner. I may not win a podium placing now but I do target a better placing and timing in every competitive race events. The lesser the better. My main dream is to win a podium placing in a big competitive event. I wanna win not for the prize money or goodies, but for the sake of satisfaction and sportsmanship. The best placing that I got so far was around 50-80. I’m hoping to reduce it to 20-50 this year. And 10-20 a year after that. All those training and mileage that I put are not for nothing. By the way, I’ve won 3 closed events this year ;) I won 1 closed event (held in our workplace) for the very first time 2 years ago. The participants were relatively small and thus ensuring high probability of me winning. I won Larian KSSM at my workplace in March, advancing to Larian Kampus Karnival Sukan Dwi Tahunan Kali Ke-5 in May and won it too. My string of luck didn’t just stop there as I won the last piece, Larian Kampus Sukan MOA in July. Seems like an easy win right? Actually no especially the last part. I’ve to endure 4-4:30min/km pace for 5km before I can claim the podium placing. My official and competitive pace was 5min/km and running below that has caused a great deal of huffing and puffing and stress to my running engine. The 1st runner up was not that far from me. Lucky that there was no sub-4 runner pace at that time hihi. Hopefully I could do sub-4 pace for another edition of Larian Kampus Sukan MOA which will be held in 2015.     

I would like to thank my family, friends and foes for support, encouragement and help. Special shout-out to my accomplice, partner in crime, Aizat, for making most of the runs possible. Also to WARS, Fantastic Four, Totisthoners, Le Sabuns Ultra and other running groups as well. Thanks again.

2013 was a great year for me. I met many friends, score PBs and also won few closed events. I’m hoping that this year of horse will bring better luck and greater achievement to me and to you too ;)
Looking forward!


  1. Salam bro, tumpang tanya, running tights yg 3/4 yg tutup smpi lutut yg dlm gambar tu brand apa/beli kat mana ya?

    1. Salam. Salomon, beli kat The World of Outdoor kat The Gardens. Suka sbb tak ketat sangat dan tak longgar sgt

  2. Wah. Good recap. moga 2014 lebih cemerlang, dan selektif temanya.

    1. Thanks Gme. Moga thn ni jadi lebih baik utk kita. Moga dpt berlari dgn lbh baik dan injury free.