I came back from my 2nd 21km solo run, happy that I managed to cover the distance again. Showered and decided to write about it, but I wanted to read Haza's blog first. Been waiting for it!! Her report
about her SEVENTH full marathon, done in style all the way in Dubai, running the same race with the great Haile Gebrselassie! I was totally immersed in her story and was in awe of her achievements and suddenly my report is err .. nothing compared to hers. So, I didnt write this the same night hahah .. But she is in a league of her own and I am well .. in no league LOL. Anyway I guess I can write for people like me :) (please read mine first before u click on her link for u may not come back here hahahah)
Two mistakes. One, I didnt eat enough (eer breakfast was nutrient shake, noon was 3 pieces of bread dipped in oxtail soup- yummy :) and an apple, all before 3pm) that caused many kilometres of cramps. (well I wasnt planning to do 21 but 12, somehow it got reversed!) Two, I went on a new route that I have never tried before and its a main road that didnt have pavement and had to walk many more kilometres for fear that the next name up in the casualty list would be mine!
Started well, with alternating pace of 6'24/km, 7'24, 8'06/km. For my standard its good. Once I was out of my kampung I've already decided to do a 15km which meant I have to go all the way to the Balai Polis Trafik Klang (7.5km) and turn back. I was pacing good and not out of breath. Went up and down the pedestrian overhead bridge that came my way (3 of them), and when I reached the end I was feeling good. So I thought why not? Decided to go for 21 and instead of turning back I went on to the main road facing oncoming traffic heading to the Klang General Hospital.
BIG MISTAKE. No pavement (which I didnt realise till I am there) only road curbs. Its narrow and bumpy and had holes every few steps. I had to walk and oncoming cars were really fast. Its after office hours and people were trying to rush out of Klang before the jam gets really bad. I couldnt cross to the other side either cos of traffic and one car honked at me furiously. The road had a bent and I guess he was startled to be greeted by me standing so near to the road edge!! I managed to cross over but now traffic was behind me. Its bigger on this side but its all grass and wet. It just rained heavily two hours ago. I decided that safety is more important than keeping my time (I was hoping to do better than my 1st 21 attempt) so I brisked walk, and jog whenever I could. This was about 2km and then the turning into Jalan Batu Unjur area. (you must be wondering why I didnt just turn back and take my route again? honestly I wondered about it too LOL)
Better, I can run on the side and its a big lane. But my toes started to curl and tightens, ouchh .. and I could feel the strain coming up the calf. Oh no, I am still a long way home. So I pressed on the toes and walked on, painful but bearable. It went away after 1km or so but then my right toes decided to do the same. So I walked with toes all curled up. Walked and jogged and jumped up and down. People watching me wont be blamed if they thought I was crazy! 3km of walk with my toes giving me hell. I am lucky the strain on the calf did not start to twist! I nearly wanted to hail a cab. Then I asked myself, would I have quit if this was the actual race? Hell, NO. So I limped on.
By the time I reached my jogging place, I was reaching 14km and my cramps were gone. It was still sore but gone. So I started to slow jog. It was already past 7pm and not many people left. I needed to get 3.5km here before I could start on the road to get back home to get my 21km. Passed the poor guy that got teased because I said hello to him during the 15k run. He was already cooling off and ready to leave. Not bad, I could still jog. One down, two more to go. As I started on my 2nd one the guy called out and asked if I was still running? I have to do two more I said. He jogged up to me and I told him of my "mission" and he was concerned cos it was getting dark. I will be ok I assured him, will be taking the main road pavement on my way back (and only 100 metres of dark stretch near my place, info that I kept to myself) And he introduced himself, Choy. (we've been hellos and hi's and nodding friends before this). And he said that he will accompany me till I finish there. I was glad for the company. Didnt even attempt to stop him, selfish, but it was getting dark and the jogging area was already deserted and could be dangerous. I am sure it was a walk in the park for him doing the slow jog with me but he didnt say anything. We simply jogged not talking. We finished the rounds and he offered me a ride home and told me I had done enough. I thanked him but told him I have to finish this 21. I guess he understood. He drove behind me while I got out on the road and we parted ways at the traffic light. I must get him a few bottles of gatorade next time to say thank you! (he always ran with one in his hands), cant very well ask him out for a drink can I ?? Major scandal! Our society is such.
The strain was coming back on my calf so I jogged and brisked walk, alternating. Finally its the turning into my area. Still 1.5km to go and the road is smaller and darker than the main road. I prayed that the cars would see my white tshirt and realised that someone's running before its a tad too late. I turned into my housing area, passed the dark stretch and reached home. I had done 21.10km, 3:16:30. 6min17secs more than my first attempt. Well I was still under 3:30:00 cut off time in Putrajaya. And considering I walked a lot and a good 3-4km with cramps, I thought this was a better run. I was not that tired, just my calf threathening to twist.
I will eat well this week and next week for the run in Putrajaya. And I will take Haza's advise to sip on ORS at the start of the race. I hope to finish my first official half marathon without any cramps and if possible faster than 3:10:13. I know one thing for sure. I believe I can plod on till 30km. But not 42km. Not yet. And I have time on my hands to reach the mark.
Oh, did I tell you I got splashed? not once but twice!! My Nike+ LunarGlide now is almost all grey turning black. I think the original colour was, eerr white?