Monthly Archives: May 2015

Post-Race Report: KL Towerthon 2015

“NEVER!”

That was my thought in regards to taking part in the KL Towerthon, or any other race involving a tower.

I’ve heard HORRIBLE stories about it. The worst of all would have to be stumbling upon a puddle of puke on the floor. Can you imagine slipping and falling into someone else’s puke because you were already too fuzzed up to look at where you’re landing?! *Shudders*

And the SMELL! Think – confined area, stuffy, crowded, humid, puke, sweat and other biological fluids…… It DOES NOT sound appetizing, AT ALL!

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So, WHY did I decide to take part?

Somehow (I don’t know how), Jeff managed to convince me to do it. He allowed me to curse him AFTER the race, so I knew it was going to be BAD. But then again, he was really helpful. Having done it before, he gave me a few pointers on how to tackle the race.

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Source

Pre-Race Preparation

I did not do any stairs training/workout prior to this race. To compensate, I did quite a bit of hills with higher knee drive. Not exactly “stairs” but at least I’m working the same muscles. Also, I do plyometrics (box jumps/burpees/jump squats etc) on a regular basis.

I gave the trial run a miss because I like surprising myself on race day. I’ve said this before, I don’t like knowing what I’ll be going through until the race itself. I don’t check race routes prior to ANY race.

I was feeling a bit nervous as race day approached. I am well aware that stairs and road running is VERY different. Being reasonably good on the road/track does not guarantee that you would do well for stairs! You cannot use anybody as a benchmark. So, I did not know how I would fair. I had absolutely NO IDEA what my timing would be like or how I would do.

As it was my first attempt, the only goal was to FINISH……in one piece!

Race Day

I set 4 alarms, not taking any more chances here.

Fuelled myself with some simple carbs because I’d be needing every bit of it!

When I arrived at the race venue, the Men’s Open category was already done and there was a prayer break for the Muslims. I bumped into Pei Leng as I was heading towards the starting area. She gave me a lot of last minute tips! THANK YOU! She went for the trial run so she could give me a rough idea of how it would be like. It was her first time too! According to her, it was hot, stuffy, wet…… it was everything that I was afraid of and not exactly what I wanted to hear, again!

I braced myself for the WORST!

I had about 45 minutes to kill before the flag off. Got a chance to catch up with Michele Tan and Kak Amelia. Kak Amelia told me that the Women’s Open category itself had 3 different waves! Thankfully, I was in the first wave!

IMG_4585Source: 2009tonton.blogspot.com/

After the Men’s Senior Veteran wave, we were allowed into the starting pen. I managed to squeeze my way to the front. We waited for about 15 minutes for them to clear the way.

IMG_4586Source: 2009tonton.blogspot.com/

Errrr… ok i was pretty close to the front.

The flag off – the starting area was really tight and I was running very close to the barriers for the first 15 meters.

After the first 20 meters, we were greeted by a hill! What a great way to kick start the lactic acid fest! I broke away from the crowd but I didn’t go full speed. I was hanging behind in 5th place. After the first turn, it didn’t get any better. It was a slightly steeper hill! Jeff had warned me about this before race day, so I was expecting it.

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See how I gradually made my way up to zone 5! I was being conservative. I am using the Mio watch together with the Mio Go app!

I slowly made my way to 4th place before the straight stretch leading up to the tower. The crowd was wild! I could feel the energy and it was nice to have people cheering for you along the way!

IMG_4594Credits to ET Tey

We had to go up the escalator, make a few turns before hitting the stairs! I was feeling pretty excited! As I didn’t push as hard, I felt ok when I went up the first few flights of stairs. By then, I managed to make my way to 3rd place.

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Credits to ET Tey

I was lucky to be in the first Women’s Open wave because I had the first half of the way to myself! I had enough “air”!

I wasn’t running up the stairs, more like fast walking? I used a combination of bending over and using mainly my quads and hauling myself up using the railing. The railing was relatively dry and clean (I would like to think that it is clean!). It was also not as stuffy as I thought! The floor was completely dry although I was half expecting to see a puddle of puke.

IMG_4591Credits to ET Tey

Nearing the top, I caught up with a few men from the other waves. Some were seated at the side and some were “enjoying” their way up. I greeted most of them, cheered them on and asked if they were ok! I was making my trip up a bit more tolerable.

It felt like forever! And I was a total blur case. I thought we had a LONG way to go. I had no idea that I was nearing the finishing line. When I reached the top (even after crossing the timing mat), I continued running until the lady told me to stop and I had to ask if it was over! It was funny and I laughed to myself.

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The journey back down was pretty smooth, no hiccups whatsoever.

When the results were out, I was pleased to find out that I came in 7th overall and the 3rd Malaysian with a time of 18:27. Pretty satisfied! Congrats to Kak Amelia and Michele for taking home the Gold and Silver respectively. And honestly, I had the BEST experience ever! I enjoyed every bit of it, even running up the stairs!

IMG_4554Conquered 2058 steps! Road running, half marathon, marathon, trail, adventure race, towerthon – CHECKED! What’s next?

If you’re thinking about attempting the KL Towerthon, take it from me – DO IT! Try it, at least once! You’ll love it…… I think!

Disclaimer: These are my thoughts and my personal experience. Please do not hold me responsible if your future towerthon experience didn’t turn out as good (HAAAA!). HAPPY CLIMBING!


Snippets from my 9to5 run!

I finished 4th. I actually took part in this race for the lucky draw but MEH, not so lucky!

 

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Credits to Rashid

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Keep Running!

Be Your Own Champion

Competition is inevitable, everything is about competition. Herbert Spencer explains Darwin’s mechanism of natural selection in 4 words – survival of the fittest. Those who can adapt to the current environment will survive. In other words, if you want to thrive, you’ve got to be the smartest, most successful, strongest, fastest and all the other –est words that you can find in the dictionary.IMG_1618

 

No competition there 😉

We are all fighting for something – our jobs, our families, our lives. If competition didn’t exist, there wouldn’t be the need to fight for anything and we’d all be mediocre people.

We are always striving to do better than others. It is good and healthy to have a little friendly competition. After all, that is what pushes us to be our best, right?

Unhealthy Competition

Competition becomes unhealthy when it is channeled away and skewed towards negativity against yourself (or others). Thinking that you are not good enough or sinking into depression or the fear that seeps in are all huge setbacks towards working on a better version of yourself.

Sometimes, we need to take a step back, reflect and realise that we are all different. We are born with unique characteristics, traits, personalities, talents, capabilities, strengths and even weaknesses. To a certain extent, we are restrained by our genetic make-up. Other people’s capabilities may not be your capabilities and vice versa.

IMG_2328Be as silly as you can be!

If you spend your entire life trying to be someone else, you are wasting the very person that you already are.

Be a Better Version of YOURSELF

Stop looking at everyone else.

Look in the mirror.

Invest in yourself. Learn to expand what YOU can do, within YOUR capabilities. Instead of hating on the world and yourself, channel that energy into becoming a better YOU.

IMG_2927PUSH to where you want to be.

Hard Work + Perseverance = Success

Even if you cut out competition, you cannot come up with an excuse to cut out hard work. There is no “easy” way out.

When I graduated as the Best Graduate in my faculty in Monash, I was asked: “What is your secret?” You want to know the secret?

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I just read a little more, took a little more notes, stayed up a little later than everyone else and used the extra free time in between classes to prepare for the next class. When you think about it, there is no secret. We all KNOW what it takes to achieve something. The question is: Are we willing to do what it takes?

I was never academically good in high school. I was just average. But I made a choice. I decided that I wanted to be the best version of myself. I had nothing to lose, even if I failed. At least, I can tell myself that I did my best. If it didn’t work out, I could always do something else and whatever that was done can be added to the “experience” bucket. The goal was not to be the “Best Graduate”. I didn’t even know that title existed until AFTER I completed my degree. I made sure I pushed through the hard times. Perseverance!

It is good to have certain goals in life but the goal should always be: To Be The BEST VERSION OF YOURSELF.

Consistency, Persistence FullSizeRender_2

I was never a sportsman or a runner back in school. I was active in all sports but I never stood out. Whenever I was short listed to be trained, I would run away and come up with excuses to skip the “hard work”. I never fully explored my potential. I held back. I wasn’t prepared to put in the “hard work” that was required.

IMG_4377#flashback.

I didn’t run to compete. I ran because I wanted to stay in shape and to get fit and healthy (HAHA!). It took a lot of hard work, determination and consistency to do just that. Life has funny ways to applaud you. When I realised that I could place within the top 20 when I ran my first race, I couldn’t help but think of the “what if”. What if I ran a little harder? What if I pushed a little more?

I couldn’t just stop there. 

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My running achievements are nothing to shout about. The reason I get to be up on the podium is because the best in the field are not around. If they were, I’d float away in the sea of mediocrity. Having said that, those achievements are MY personal achievements. It is my journey and I know that I have come a long way.

Celebrate Who You Are

Learn to celebrate the little achievements/milestones instead of always beating yourself up. But then again, be careful to not let your victories go to your head or your failures go to your heart.FullSizeRender(1)

With each running related post that I upload or write about on social media, I am hoping that I am able to motivate and inspire other people. I am NOT an EXPERT. I am still very much on this learning journey and it will continue till the day my heart stops beating.

I just want to show other people that with a little hard work, determination, persistence, time, effort and a speck of craziness, even the most normal person like me is able to achieve something. I am grateful for everyone who has contributed in helping me get to where I am and where I want to be.FullSizeRender

If you are stuck in a rut or going nowhere in life, ask yourself: “Am I giving it my best? Is this where I should be? Am I using my gifts and talents to the best of my capabilities?” Chances are, the answer is no.

So, what are you waiting for? Get out there, discover your potential, PUSH and learn to BE YOUR OWN CHAMPION.

I thank GOD for everything that he has done and blessed me with.

Nothing is possible without HIM.

Post-Race Report: Superheroes Race 2015

hugh-jackman-the-wolverineSource: http://www.filmdivider.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/hugh-jackman-the-wolverine.jpg

“I’m the best there is at what I do, and what I do best isn’t very nice. I’m the Wolverine.”

My all-time favourite Superhero – THE WOLVERINE!

The Superheroes race was yet another last minute sign up! My legs were itching to run and I realised that the Superheroes Race was coming up! Ariff and Rashid spoke of this race earlier on in Feb/March. But as usual, I procrastinated. I think I like the thrill of signing up at the very last minute!

I buzzed Ariff about the race and he so graciously offered a FREE SLOT! Thanks man! (This was Wednesday, 29th April)


Pre-Race

The flu bug hit me 2 weeks ago (after Earth Day Run) and my body was still picking up from where it left off. Mileage has been relatively steady but I was lacking key workouts. I kept it nice and easy throughout the week focusing more on my core and cross training. I didn’t want to do too much too soon!

I spent much of my Labour Day (Friday) morning stretching and foam rolling after missing out on Cari’s training session at Desa Park City. This alarm issue is not limited to race day!

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Labour Day lunch! Healthy food to prep my body for race day!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetThe carrot cake was infused with RUM! SO GOOD! Topping off my glycogen stores (Haaaaa!).

The rest of the day was spent cleaning out my room and packing some stuff for donation. It was a SERIOUS WORKOUT! My body was aching the next day!

fsafeAlso, it was my Dad’s Birthday! The man who has supported EVERYTHING I did/do. He was always there for me, through thick and thin. Words cannot express how much he means to me. I thank God for blessing me with an amazing Dad.

I LOVE YOU, DAD! 


Race Day

I had planned to go to bed by 11pm but “The Fault in Our Stars” ruined everything. The next few hours were spent bawling my eyes out. Yes, I’m pretty sensitive.

Anyway, I still managed to put in 4 hours of quality sleep! And, I set 3 alarms!

Breakfast was biscuits and banana because I ran out of bread! GAH!

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The race was at the Bukit Jalil Stadium. Funnily enough, there was another race going on at the same place, side by side (Carpark B and C respectively).

We were there by 5.20am to collect my race kit! Kevin and I parked our car and we went straight to the counter. I was standing in line for about 20 minutes before I finally got my bib! I was feeling a bit queasy and my stomach was acting up. Took 2 gastric pills 20 minutes before the flag off.

By the time I got my race kit, I didn’t have enough time to warm up. Strolled to the starting line at 6.20am. It was great to see a few familiar faces before heading off!

The crowd was small and manageable. I don’t like it when I have to stand shoulder to shoulder with everyone towering over me.

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Because there was another race going on, some of them (who were supposed to be at the other race) were standing with us before the flag off! That’s the problem when you have two different races side by side. It was funny to watch!

The countdown was on and we were off! I love the fact that the flag off was early. It was still nice, dark and cool! The weather was great but the roads were wet! I faced the same resistance struggle as I did during the Shape Night Run! URGH! Every stride was tough. FullSizeRender

The struggle is REAL. It is a constant fight with the part of me that wants to give up! You just have to dig DEEP and pull through!

I started out pretty fast to pull away from the crowd. Spotted a foreign lady runner ahead of me but I kept to my pace. The route was relatively flat with a few hills that were evenly spaced out! Enough recovery time before the next one!

This route is my new favourite! I don’t like running around Bukit Jalil but things have certainly changed! Oh, and the distance was pretty accurate too (10.0KM-10.2KM)!

IMG_4090Thanks to my MIO Alpha 2, I can finally see my effort in numbers! Drop me an email/comment if you are interested in getting yourself a MIO watch (special discount!).

I don’t exactly know what pace (ignore the pace and distance) I was going at but I made sure that my watch flashed one colour – RED (zone 5). I was running alongside this other guy. I guess we were both pushing each other! It is always fun to use somebody as a point of reference.

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As you can see, much of my time was spent in Zone 5.

There were not many road marshals along the way to direct the runners but it was not easy to get lost. So, that wasn’t a big problem. When we made the final U-turn, I could almost smell the finish line!

As I was approaching the stadium, I sprinted a bit too early because I saw the wrong finishing line (it was the Larian.my finish line)! That was a real killer. Just when you thought it was coming to an end and then BOOM, you have another 300m to go!

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Thanks to Running Malaysia for this picture. The final sprint! This counts as my “Superhero suit” because Superheroes love the colour RED, right?!

Made the final turn where Khairul was at (marshal) and he cheered me on! And then YAY! The No. 2 tag was hung around my neck. FINALLY, IT WAS ALL OVER! They were serving 100plus at the end but I needed water! Thanks to Zhaff who went and got me a 1.5L bottle of water! Such a dedicated team of people! Thanks a lot!IMG_4115Always refusing to take a decent shot! Grrrr!

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Oh hey, fancy meeting you here! Bestie alert! So happy to see her there!

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Ariff! The organiser and also the reason I got a chance to participate in this fun-filled event!

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They were all in sync. 2 thumbs up and 2 peace signs! Haaaaaaa!

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The after run party! There were many things going on that morning (Zumba dance, Lucky Draw, Superhero appearances etc). The energy from the crowd was amazing. It was so fun to watch everyone dress up AND run! Omg, I don’t know how they do it! Kudos to those who did. It was a great family event where parents and kids can have fun while doing something HEALTHY together!

We had more than 2 whole hours to kill! It was a great time catching up with all the runners. Spotted some Puma Running Club members too! They all did so well! WHOOP!

IMG_4084After the big hoo-ha, the lady who came in first was disqualified and I made my way to 1st place. Pleasant surprise! 🙂

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Group pic.

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Post-race grub!

Ahhhhhhh! 🙂 Thank you once again for having me at this awesome event! It has been a long time since I had this much fun post-race! Perfect ending to this 4-day holiday!

So, uhhhh, when’s the next Superheroes race? 😉

Keep Running!