Thursday, November 17, 2016

Lucky Number N9NE, Sub4 at last! Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur Marathon 2016!

I registered full marathon category this year willingly after one year hiatus. My aim was to get that elusive sub4. If possible I want to get sub3:45.

My previous FM timing:
1) Penang Bridge International Marathon 2012 – 05:17:37.24 (virgin FM)
2) The Island Ocean Marathon 2013 – 4:44:02 (unofficial)
3) The River Jungle Marathon 2013 – 4:06:11 (unofficial)
4) Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2013 – 04:08:58.00
5) Putrajaya Night Marathon 2013 – 4:31:19
6) Penang Bridge International Marathon 2013 - 4:23:20.03
7) Kuching Marathon 2014 - 04:38:01
8) Penang Bridge International Marathon 2014 – 4:22:02

I already recognized my weakness as I stated in my previous post. Yes, the mileage issue. I wasn’t able to run well after 30km. The ‘istiqamah’ (consistency) issue too. After the registration, I promised myself that I’ll do better this time around.

I reset my training and started with base building. Putting more mileage was my top priority. Somehow few friends gave snide remarks with my base building concept and execution. Maybe because my method was way different from them and maybe they were quite sceptical with the possible outcome. I knew what I was doing and shrugged them off.

I wasn’t a mileage junkie and having little problem adjusting my body with the mileage increment at first. It got better with time actually. I also tried to be as consistent as possible especially with weekend long run. Luckily I got few friends that I could run together for my daily and long run. Running with friends did help! I also ran during Ramadan month. Cannot escape this one. I skipped almost a week of training in the last week of Ramadan and 1st week of Syawal. It was a busy time and I was a little bit under the weather. There’s one thing I picked from the internet, no need to ‘qada’ missed training as it will do more harm than good.

Ramadan night LSD Sabun. Blue shirt guy was Haziq
Long run and sahur @ Coffee Village
Kuasa bulan akan menghukummu! Me with Bangi Track clan
There were 3 races post-Ramadan which were most suited for SCKLM tune up races. The races were TM Fan Run (HM), Newton Challenge 30k and Men’s Health Women’s Health Night Run (HM). I registered myself for TM Fan Run and got free slot for MHWHNR. However I felt very reluctant to register for Newton Challenge 30k. Sahlan didn’t register as well and I quite agreed with his reasoning. With the SCKLM just around the corner, running a race with rolling hills could be tricky. Possibility of injury and long period of recovery. Points taken. We had our 30k (rainy) long run in POJ on that day instead.

Sub330/KL Striders 30k run
Meanwhile for TM Fan Run, I planned to do a total of 30k run. I successfully ran 6k + 21k TM Fan Run + 4k, totalling 30k. I met Tnie in the 1st 3km of running TM Fan Run route and became his accidental pacer until the end of the run. She got fifth placing (last placing with prize).

Accidental pacer and pacee!
As for MHWHNR, I vowed myself I’ll get a personal best for sure. I haven’t clocked in any best time for years. My best HM was in 2014, 2XU Compression Run, 1:47hr. My target for MHWHNR was sub 1:45 with average sub 5min/km pace. If possible, I’ll try to get sub 1:40hr. However, it was raining before and during event. I didn’t know why but I wasn’t able to do sub 5min/km pace for the 1st half of the race and minor side stitches were there. I soldiered on and gain my strength after 15km. I tried to run as fast as possible but the merging between HM runners with 10km runners made it difficult. Dark stretches made it worse. I quickened my steps and gave my all towards the finishing line. I successfully crossed the line in 1:43hr! Yes, it was a PB! My last long run completed with a PB! Sub3:45 FM is possible!

PB @ MHWH yeah!
As for the taper week, I ran easy most of it. I ran easy on Wednesday at my favourite place and spotted Jironi! I was starstrucked! I saw the video of him running strong and winning SEA games gold medals few years ago. We took photograph together and asked few tips from him.

Amik aura champ!
Thursday wasn’t so nice to me. I felt uneasy in my throat and went to clinic after work. The culprit was tonsillitis. It was getting worse at night. I became dizzy and couldn’t stand up properly. I asked help from my housemate to ‘tapau’ dinner for me and I was only able to eat small portion of it. It wasn’t getting any better on Friday morning. I was bedridden, feverish, having headache and experiencing sore throat. I asked help from other housemate and he bought me a McD porridge. I whatsapp-ed few friends that I might not running SCKLM as my conditions worsen. It was so sad, months of preparation going down the drain due to few days of sickness before event.

You're my medicine, medicine (Shakira feat. Blake Shelton - Medicine)
By the way thank you friends for the wishes, really appreciate it. I felt slightly better on Friday night (TGIF!). The medication has shown its effect. I was able to move from one short point to another even though my body was still weak. I told Ariff and Bac, if my condition gets better on Saturday morning, I’ll go to the race site with them. We actually booked a budget hotel room nearby to the starting line. Luckily I felt better on Saturday and we went to the hotel in the afternoon. We walked to the nearby restaurant for dinner and went to starting line

Wall of fame! Full marathon runner names were in the blue background
Yeah got my name!
REPC and bib checking
Special SCKLM 2016 poster by Ijat for Divana group. Hampeh hahaha
Wefie, night before race
Race Day
We woke up early. I ate few slices of Gardenia bread and took half bar of Marathonbaker brownies. I slow jogged with Bac for warm up. However, my heart beat fast. I was stunned. How am I supposed to run 42.195km if my slow jogging caused irregular heartbeat? I decided and told them that I’ll run slow and ready to DNF anytime if the situation getting out of hands. I entered sub4 pen and we were flagged off on time. I tried to maintain my targeted pace of 5:30-5:45min/km. I saw few friends ran fast and overtook. Ah well, I was in no competition with anyone. I maintained my pace and kept in my mind I need to run aerobically. Thanks Munir for the tips. I consumed my 1st Hammer energy gel and Endurox pill at the first 45mins. Thanks Jepah for the tips.

At the 17th km which was AKLEH elevated stretch, Botak overtook. My body unexpectedly became tired. My pace dropped. Thought of stopping and DNF came into my mind. I need to look for medic tent if I really want to DNF. Suddenly I saw Suzie, marshalling with bicycle. We talked a little bit and she took my photo. That photo somehow elevated my mood and I was able to continue my run. Magic! I stopped at almost every water station to drink, eat energy gels and rest for few minutes. I knew it was a waste of time but that’s how I normalized my heart rate and shaking off my tiredness. Frequent stops at water station did help! I was still able to run from 1 WS to another WS with sluggish pace. I saw 3:30 pacer and unofficial 3:45 pacer around 25-27km ran overtook and I wasn’t able to follow their pace.

Magical photo by Suzie, thanks sis!
Entering Bukit Tunku at 30km, I felt my body still (slightly) strong and able to run well even though the fever effects were still there. This was new and I was elated. For the past 8 marathons, my body especially feet hurt like hell and I was only able to run walk run past 30km. I told myself that I’ve survived 30k with fever and I need to tolerate 10km more. It was all about mental. Saw Tristupe & RaijuRunners along the way. Thanks for the cheer, love it. The stretch was pretty hilly and I need to run smart, avoid exerting myself. I ran with suitable pace and if the hill was too long and elevated, I power-walked. No point pushing my body.

At 35km, I met Ridwan at Padang Merbuk stretch. He seemed tired, the hilly route took the best out of him. We ran together for a while before I asked him to go first as I wasn’t able to follow his lead. It was torturous running at Padang Merbuk. The climb was like forever. The merging with half marathon runner made it worse. After the downhill section, I pushed myself to run slightly fast. I set in my mind, sub4 will be mine if I could maintain this pace. My initial target of sub 345 already gone with that pacer.  I 'psycho'ed' myself to run faster as I have another 5km to secure the sub4 timing. It'll be suck if I did 4:01hr. It's now or never. Fever, pain and sore can wait. I reached the big gantry stating another 1km to go. Bloody crab, I thought this was the end. Body please cooperate. 1 more km to end this suffering. The last stretch I believed was more than 1km. The final 200m I sprinted like mad person. Not a beautiful face portrayed with bad running form. I crossed the finishing line in 3:56min. Yeay! Sub4 at last!

Sleep, sleep, suffer. Last 10km stretch
Smile, smile, suffer. Almost there!
I vomited air. Whole body was aching. My throat felt way worse. Dry and super uneasiness. Possibility of getting a bad sore throat once again. Met few friends there. They reached the finishing line way earlier than me. I sat on the ground while waiting for other friends to arrive. I had no energy left. I asked a friend of mine to take my pic with the medal while sitting. That’s all I can do. More friends arrived later including Bac, BroZul and Taha. I regained my energy and walk around searching for friends as I didn’t have my phone with me. Met Ariff, Bac and Hafiz while I was on the way to hotel. We went to restaurant for breakfast and WARS clan joined us later before checking out.

Mission accomplished! No energy, can't walk properly
Live tracking. Love the app!
My FB post. Nak berdiri pun tak larat huhu
Yes, officially a sub4 FM runner!
It was saddening when your months of hardwork almost went to the drain because of few days of sickness. Fate was somehow cruel. However, I felt lucky as I was able to complete the marathon in sub4 eventhough my sub345 aim wasn’t met. Next time I’ll take more precautions. Next year I’ll participate in marathon again, with sub330 in mind. After that I’ll take a long rest from marathon once again and focusing on shorter distance as well as my wishlist events.

MARDI Runners! SCKLM 2016 finisher!
Lina and Kak Riha, our strong MARDI Runners women runner
WARS clan
I would like to express my gratitude especially to sub330 whatsapp group, Divana, Komplot Lari, MARDI Runners, Voltrunners, Xtrafit, Santai Pace Runners and of course my family. They helped with my training, motivation, encouragement and also carot-mencarot haha. Congratulations to all SCKLM 2016 finisher too. See ya next year! Thanks for reading!