Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Stressed out because of not running

It's funny, but that's what I felt for the whole day. I did ran a few hundred of metres this morning, but because my stomach went beserk, I DNF. When you had to go, you just had to go. No amount of endurance will prevail in this case.

I usually run in the mornings, and not running, lands me in an uneasy feeling like I lost something. It's like a smoker who just need a puff periodically to get high. It's the same, I think, with all runners. You just had to run, because you know, you'll feel better at the end of it.

I can recall the last time I ran an ultra, I was on a "high" for a few days. I could still do work, albeit in a transitional state between fully concentrated, and drowsiness. My whole body hurts, but it feels good. It's weird, but pain just feels good.

As for running ultras, I just had one thought in my mind. If I could survive destroying my legs and body after that, I believe I would come up stronger for the next big distance. Somehow, not crossing that line, is something not easy to think of where to put it.

I am going to run 21km tonite...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Next Target: 147km Ultra Run

After completing 103km last weekend, I'll be planning and training for a 147km run. From Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, through Hulu Langat, then Kuala Klawang in Negeri Sembilan. And the, run all the way back.

Now why such a distance. It's easy to explain. If I were to run from KL to Kuantan 260km, I'll need to at least run such a distance to have confidence in reaching 260km. If I could take the brutal punishment of 147km, god willing, I could reach Kuantan.

Running 147km would also mean longer time on the road. I am hoping for 24 hours for finish.

There's a few things when running an ultra:

1) Bring a tape to fix your feet for blisters.
This is perhaps the best thing to bring. I had a blister at 35km. So I stopped, and wrap around it with tape. It felt better after that.

2) Bring extra socks. If it rains. Running in soaked socks and shoes is not the best experience.

3) Bring lots of food. If it's time to eat, you eat. Just think bout it. If you are hungry during normal meal hours, then running continuously throughout the day drains you more.

4) Prepare mentally to run through the night. Once you are in a state of acceptance of the dark lonely situation around you, you won't easily freaked out.

5) Bring some music. Running is a boring routine. Some music would be great to maintain sanity.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Ultra Run 103km: Cheras-Hulu Langat-road to Kuala Klawang

As I am writing this, I still have difficulty bending my knees. Yesterday's run was great overall. I started to run at around 6:30am.

The route is the usual. Going up Ampang Hills. Then reaching Kampung Sg Tekali, which is another hill. Then finally after 30km, reaching the foot of the hills to Kuala Klawang.

The plan was running 20km through this road, and back again, totalling 40km. It's not an easy 40km. I had to run 9km uphill, then the next 22km was up and down. I remembered this was the place that broke me on my last 84km. The wheather was a bit cloudy, which was great since it shielded the sun rays. But I couldn't stand the high level of humidity. It was humid and not much wind.

After reaching Genting Peres, I met Ngae, who was training on a bike. After reaching the distance marker at 22km, it's time to head back in the opposite direction. From this point, I had covered 50km. I headed back to a natural water outlet 1km before. As I walked back, I noticed the sky turned dark blue, heavy with rain. After refilling my water bottle, the heavens poured. So I had to take some shelter among the trees nearby, which wasn't much of a help. My shirt and pants soaked, as well as my shoes (which I really don't want to). I stayed like 50 minutes shivering in the thunderstorm. Nothing much I could do except to wait it out.

After the rain turned drizzle, I returned back to the tarmac. How could I run in rain soaked shoes? My only worry is that it will make things worse when the skin expand due to water, which will render the feet unrunnable.

But I keep on ploughing through. Mainly because of the coldness. I was shivering, and the only way to get warm is run. As I neared the 40km leg, I bought some rambutans for refilling. But actually, I was dreaming of fried rice and iced coffee before.

When I reached some place around Gabai, I stopped for an iced coffee. I didn't felt hungry. Maybe it was because of the rambutans. Earlier, I had brought along 1 powerbar, 1 muesli bar, and 2 bananas, which I had all consumed except for some powerbar, caused the taste just sucks. I had also had nasi lemak earlier at 20km mark.

After having iced coffee, I felt my running legs again. So I ran and ran, and finally reached Hulu Langat bt 18. Then I ran another 3km to reach a restaurant. It was already 9pm then. I decided eating dinner would be a good idea becaused I still had like 16km to cover. I had tomyam, rice and iced lemon tea.

After that I keep on running until I reached Hulu Langat bt 14. I still felt I could run, which was surprising. I still had one major ascent to go up (Ampang Hills). So I ran consistently until half way up, walk the tough part, then continued running to the top. From the top, it was all downhill 3km.

Finally I reached the bottom, and ran / walk the remaining 6km. I reached home just after midnight, and was still a bit soaked in rain. I had ran 103km in 17 hours 32 minutes. 51km dry, 52km wet.

Going up Ampang Hill..

Almost reaching the top of Ampang Hill

The bridge at Hulu Langat bt 14. It's a small sleepy town, but very near KL.

On the way to Kampung Sg Tekali

Had nasi lemak here for refuelling (20km) . I had too because there won't be any food stalls for the next 50km.

Going up Tekali hill

Had some water at a small stream after the top of tekali hill

View at Tekali Hill

View at Tekali Hill

Running up Tekali

Some limestones at tekali

Lake Semenyih

Running past Lake Semenyih

On the way to Kuala Klawang

After Genting Peres...going to run another 11km

After Genting Peres..

At this point, it's 50km

The water station nearby the 50km mark.

A nice view of the slopes. It was still drizzling.

At the top of Genting Peres. Am heading back to Gabai.

Had some footwork done due to blisters. It was better after that. My foot was soaked, with no extra socks. Will remember to bring extra ones after this for longer run.

Had some tomyam with rice for dinner, before banging another 16km.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Race Day: Adidas King of the Road 2007

I went to this race without any expectations. Not even a pr (personal record).The run will start from Sunway pyramid and through the NPE highway (2 tolls) then back to Sunway Pyramid again.

Waiting anxiously at the starting line...

I tried to called up Raymond Hee, since I promised to run together with him. No luck. So going to run this alone.

The runners for 21km starts first. And the VIP for that day is none other than Samy Velu. Highways and Samy Velu is very synonymous to malaysian folks. And are we going to pay tolls when passing 2 tolls later? :)

Running at dawn on NPE...

Soon off we went at 6:45 am. The first 5km was alright, just running my normal pace. The morning hue slowly rises, putting more colors to a spectacular highway view. Only this time... on legs.

Still running on NPE with no cars on sight...

As the next 5km nears, I could see faster runners on the other side. Funny...where are the kenyans? Did they ran so fast that I missed them? On half way point, I clocked 45 minutes. Which means if I ran the same pace, I could reach the finishing line in 1 hour and a half.

Feeling optimistic, I push myself for consistency for the next half of the race. On the way back, Shine passed me. And actually john did passed me at the earlier part of the race. He's way too fast.

After the halfway point...it's great seeing runners on the other side...

And I did followed a guy, who has legs so thin, you feel like it could be easily be broken. That's...a hardcore runner.

The finishing line...

And as the finish nears, I happily clocked 1:33:27. But later shine told me it was only 19.6km and not 21km. But overall, it's a good run.

Got a finisher medal...I think it's only for the first 300 runners. I didn't know what my position was because I forgot to look at the card passed to me.