Category Archives: Post-Race Report

Post-Race Report: Sultan Mahmud International Bridge Run 2015

One year ago, I vowed to never attempt this race ever again.

12 months later,

I went back (Haaaaa!).

I had a horrible experience last year. You can read about it here.


The best thing about the registration process was that you didn’t have to pay upfront. I signed up first without giving it much thought.

FullSizeRender(2)

I couldn’t decide if I wanted to go. In fact, I only DOUBLE confirmed 3 days before race day. Transport was the main problem (amongst others). But thanks to Wai Ching, he managed to find someone (Lili Suhairi) that we could all carpool with!


 Hello Terengganu!

The journey was surprisingly very pleasant! I had imagined it to be a 6-7 hour ride but we only took 4.5hours with several stops in between! I guess we had a pro driver. Plus, I had the whole backseat to myself! There were supposed to be 4 of us. Affindi pulled out on the morning of our departure.

IMG_8011

This trip was rather spontaneous. We hadn’t even book a place to stay before we arrived! After settling our race kits, we drove around to look for a place to stay.

FullSizeRender_2(1)

We called Muhaizar up and thankfully, his apartment had 2 extra rooms left! So, we bunked in with him and the rest of his mates.

FullSizeRender_1(1)

The biggest room with a double bed all to myself!

After checking in, it was time for dinner! We ate at the stall by the roadside. I didn’t think it was a very good idea to eat by the roadside, especially before a race! You never know the quality of their hygiene and true enough, I found two bugs in my soup! Thank God for my stomach of steel (it was all good).

IMG_8020

Room mates!

After dinner, we bought some snacks and water before heading back to our hotel. It was around 10pm. I took a shower and called it a night. The rest of the guys stayed up to watch football! Take note, this is what elite runners do a day before race day (Haha!).

Although I went to bed early, I couldn’t sleep! I was very tired but my mind refused to shut down. This would have been my 4th consecutive day of disturbed sleep. I am such an insomniac.


My alarm went off at 5am. It felt as though I was awake the whole night!

This is where it gets a little interesting……

Okay, you know how sometimes we have pre-race day rituals/routines that we follow  and how we should NEVER try anything NEW on race day (to make sure nothing goes wrong)?

Well, my routine went out the window and everything that could possibly go wrong, WENT WRONG! Here’s the breakdown:

-First of all, I signed up for the Half Marathon. But I actually wanted the 12KM (this was just me being lazy, blahhhhhhh!). I was so sure that I could change to the 12KM that I wasn’t prepared mentally and physically to run the Half Marathon.

-I wore “new shoes” (a BIG NONO). I brought 2 pairs of shoes – Puma Ignite and Nike Flyknit Free 4.0. My Puma Ignites have been worn down to the core (more than 800KM). I shouldn’t even be wearing them but they are my only pair of training/road racing shoe! I have placed my order for new shoes but they have yet to arrive.sfsr

On the morning of the run, the guys advised me against wearing my Pumas. I felt that I shouldn’t take the risk too. I had no choice but to wear my Nikes. I HAVE NEVER RACED IN THEM. And it was going to be a HALF MARATHON! IMG_8076

*Disclaimer: I have permission from my Sponsors to wear Nike*

-I wore new socks. My usual thicker pair of performance socks was soaking wet so I had to wear the other one which was still new. New shoes + new socks = ?

I didn’t have my usual breakfast. I usually eat 2 slices of Gardenia wholegrain bread and a banana. I brought 5 slices along with me from KL. After knowing that I couldn’t change to the 12KM category, I had to load up for the Half Marathon. I consumed all 5 slices the night before. I wanted to buy a new loaf but I couldn’t find it even after going into 3 convenient stores!FullSizeRender_2

And then the banana. I brought two bananas with me. GUESS WHAT?! They both had worms wriggling around! I had to throw them away.

No bread AND banana!

Whaaaaatttt! I had to settle for a pack of Meiji biscuits and an apple.

-I didn’t bring any gels (because I was so sure that I was going to do the 12KM). Thankfully, Lili had ONE extra pack. It was the High 5 gel WITH caffeine. I hadn’t taken that before.

-I forgot my iPod.

I didn’t get my haircut. This may sound a bit funny but I was planning on getting my haircut before we left to Terengganu. Time was not on my side and I didn’t manage to. I WAS FEELING VERY UNEASY about it! I like to get things done when I set my heart and mind to it.

-I didn’t get enough sleep and my right eye was swollen near the tear gland.

So, yay! Everything went wrong. You can imagine how excited I was for this run.


We made our way to the starting area 30 mins before the flag off. Did a short warm up and met up with all the familiar faces!

The crowd was small but very competitive. We were off at 6.30am. You know how I always dart out at the start? I didn’t do it this time! It was a good start. Ran alongside Annie and Yu Fang for the first few KMs before they broke away. There were a few others following closely behind but I managed to shake them off before we hit the bridge.

I remember hitting the wall last year at KM 15 because there were only 2 water stations! This year, I made sure I drank heaps at every water station! I even drank some of the water from the sponge (they were pouring mineral water over them). To my surprise, there were about 5-6 water stations throughout the entire course! WHOOP! They also had many sponge stations!

When we got on to the bridge, it felt so familiar and I knew it was going to be a long straight road ahead. It was mentally very challenging. I tried to maintain my pace. I think I went a little faster after we made the U-turn.

I decided to take my gel at the last water station on the bridge (KM 15). I was contemplating whether or not to take it because I hadn’t taken that particular one before! I wasn’t feeling spent of energy but I didn’t want to risk not taking the gel. Thankfully, it went down pretty well.

It was very hazy. I could barely see the surrounding buildings. I remember it was blazing hot last year but this year, it was cool and rather gloomy (probably due to the haze).

I wanted to slow down towards the end as I felt blisters forming beneath my toes. When I looked at my watch, I knew I was going much faster compared to last year. I kept the momentum just to see if I could hit a PB (I really wanted to slow down).

I gave 85% down that last stretch! Crossed the finish line and stopped the timer with a smile. I shaved off about 4 mins from last year and a PB for my 4th Half Marathon (if you extrapolate that is. It was only 20.5KM)! I finished 4th too, behind Annie. Double 4! Coincidentally, my bib number was 1163 and hers was 1162. 🙂

My feet were burning. I had to kick my shoes off! Walked around the grass area for a light cool down and met up with Lili, Muhaizar, Amelia and Nik. IMG_8092

Thanks to Nik for the sports drink! Best way to consume it? Put it in the freezer and drink it like a slushie! SO GOOD!

We chilled for a bit before heading back to the hotel room for a nice cold shower! We checked out and went back to the race area to collect our prizes. Had a good chat with the other runners. Everything was fast and efficient. We were done before 12pm!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Congrats to Wai Ching for his 2nd place in the 12KM Uni category and Lili in 9th in the 21KM Men’s Open. Everyone went home with something!

Every year, this race attracts the elites of Malaysia (well, most of them). It was good to catch up with them and of course, a privilege to race among the best. I am glad I came back for this one! The organisers made the necessary changes (like adding MORE WATER STATIONS) to improve race day conditions. It was a good day. 🙂

IMG_8078

I was in the mood for bread and milk. IMG_8022 JUNK!IMG_8056The guys loaded up on sugar!FullSizeRender_1


Training Progress:

9 weeks in since the dengue episode. Starting from the bottom, I wasn’t expecting much from my body. I pushed when I could and rested when I should. I certainly did not expect to break my 5KM, 10KM and Half Marathon PB!

1. Listen to your body. Many people told me to take 3 months off post dengue. Some people do need that much time to recover. You know your body best. YOU decide.

2. Train hard

3. Be consistent

4. Never give up!

God has been good. Without Him, I would never have had the courage and strength to push through. Praise the Lord!

What’s next? 😉

Post-Race Report: #Runwithus

After a 2 month hiatus, I am back to bore you with my post-race report!

We are only halfway through 2015 and I’ve already been to the hospital twice (severe food poisoning and dengue). I hope the rest of 2015 is on my side.


It has been a challenging few months. Thank God that health wise, I recovered fairly quickly after being discharged from the hospital. Sadly, I cannot say the same for my fitness.

My first day back on the road was a killer. I could barely complete 10KM. It was a 9+1KM. My breathing was all over the place and my heart rate was through the roof. I struggled to hold 5:30min/km. I guess the experience was more taxing mentally than it was physically. With time, I knew that I could get back to where I was. All I had to do was to convince my brain, run with heart and go easy on myself. It was tough to see how much I had lost in terms of fitness in just 2 weeks!

For my first key workout, I was off by a good 20-30seconds. You can imagine how demotivated I felt. The thought of giving up has never flashed so many times in my mind, ever. But it was during this time that I remembered why I started running. I ran because I loved it and because I could. I had no expectations.FullSizeRender

Passion is lost if you are motivated by what others expect of you.

My main focus: to enjoy running!

Special thanks to all my friends (you know who you are), the Puma Running Club and the #tracktuesday team who have been keeping me accountable and for all the encouraging/motivating words. It means the world to me.


Fast forward 3 weeks later, my first road race #Runwithus! This would have been my first race post-dengue.

I won’t lie, I was actually VERY NERVOUS. I didn’t know how I would fair in a race setting. I was required to hold an uncomfortable pace for 12KM, something I haven’t done in 2 months! Plus, I have this nagging hamstring injury since 2 weeks ago. It hurts to walk, sit, stand, anything that involves putting my weight on my leg. BOOOO!

The Arrival

I arrived 20 minutes before the flag off and immediately, I was greeted by all my competitors. It was a competitive crowd, both for men and women. But then again, I was happy that I could meet all of them at one race!

Did a short warm up sesh with Zi Shen before heading into the starting pen. I managed to squeeze my way to the front and I found my twinny (Michelle Chua). We waited for about 10 minutes for our dear PM to flag us off. Let’s just say we weren’t too excited to see him (oopps).

The Flag Off

We were off at 6:45am. Michelle offered to pace me for the first few KMs (YAY!). But as usual, the first few KMs were at a suicidal pace (HAHHAHA!). We both went a little crazy before settling into our respective paces. Annie overtook us shortly after and we gave each other thumbs up along the way. Loving the positive energy! 🙂Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Oh, and I decided to enjoy my run with some tunes (first time in over a year). But for the first 3-4KM I was busy fumbling with it because it kept coming off and it was not playing the songs that I wanted. I need to find a better way to attach it to myself, ideas?

IMG_7087

At the first water station, I decided to cool myself off by pouring water all over my head and face. I totally forgot that I had my iPod! I did the same thing with the sponges too! Side note: SPONGES should be provided at ALL RACES (nuff said)! I hope my iPod lives to see another day. I got it about a week ago and I wish to fully utilise it for the next 2 years.

Setting Mini Goals Along The Way

I think physically, I was more or less prepared; mentally, not quite. There is a mental element when it comes to racing. And I wasn’t prepared for that. I wanted to stop to walk SO many times during the run. I told myself that I could stop at the next KM (I wasn’t actually going to but it helps). When the next KM came, I told myself maybe the next one. This continued all the way till the finish line.IMG_7088

My goal for the day was to try to COMPLETE the race at a decent pace. I am pleased to say that I managed to exceed my expectations! Although I am not where I want to be just yet, I did my best with whatever I had.

Whatever happened to me happened and I am thankful (Yes, I am!) that it did. I managed to discover a few things about myself. It was good to experience these feelings and to learn how to hop over these hurdles.FullSizeRender_1

Adversity can either bring out the best or the worst in you. Use it to your advantage and become a STRONGER you.


Post-race pictures!

IMG_7008

Run #likeagirl ! IMG_7009

Photobombed! IMG_7010

Stole this from Angel who managed to do her PB that day! CONGRATS girl! She has improved so much! IMG_7129

 Shameless selfie. Thanks for collecting my race pack!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetCongrats on your win, Jessica! Had a good chat with her while waiting for the Lucky Draw. We were not so lucky. Booooo!

IMG_7011


To my fellow readers:

I have said this before but I am going to say it again, life isn’t always going to be smooth sailing. You’re going to get hurt, you’re going to feel like crap, you’re going to hate your current situation, you’re going to get criticised, you’re going to stumble and you’re probably going to fail.

BUT…Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

I want you to get back up. Keep pushing, keep fighting for what you want and never give up. It is easier said than done. But I can promise you that you WILL get through it and you WILL get what you want. You just need a little determination, persistence and perseverance to get pass this stage.

Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9

God has been my source of strength and my source of hope. He remains faithful in every change.

eafea

There are billions of people in this world going through the same motions. And if they are constantly fighting for their lives, you should too!

 

Post-Race Report: Mount Stong International Climbathon

Pre-race

Remember how my foot was hurting before the Kiara Trail Run? It got worse after that. But that was due to stupidity on my end. I had mixed symptoms of an ankle injury and plantar fasciitis. Every runner’s worst nightmare!

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the connective tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot. The cause of it can be a combination of foot mechanics, overtraining (sudden increases in mileage or speed work), overpronation, running on hard surfaces and wearing worn out shoes.

I’ve heard about the much dreaded plantar fasciitis, but I didn’t think that I’d be suffering from one! It came along after I did a mixture of hard sessions and introducing new strength based training (currently working on a little project!). I pushed it a bit further by taking part in the Kiara Trail Run. I felt ok after the trail run so I didn’t think that it was serious. What caused it to go over the hill was not enough rest coupled with continued running.

Keyword: REST!

By Tuesday evening, I was hobbling around. I couldn’t take a step without feeling a stabbing sensation under my foot. I could only survive 1KM with the Puma Running Club on Wednesday. In view of my Stong Climbathon coming up on Saturday, I stopped running for 3 days. I crossed train with swimming and some upper body strength work.

By Thursday, I wasn’t feeling any better. I thought of giving the race a miss because Kelantan is not exactly very near. I was disappointed in myself because there was a huge possibility that I would not make it for my FIRST CLIMBATHON. I prayed hard that I’d be ok by Friday.

The Day Before Race Day – Friday

By Friday, my foot was feeling a lot better! THANK GOD! I finally decided that I should go for it! Super excited to be attempting my FIRST CLIMBATHON! I’ve always enjoyed climbing (rock climbing). It was what I did before I started running.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

After finishing some work, Kevin and I set off on our journey to Gunung Stong at about 4pm. We took it slow because the roads were narrow and dark. We also made a few stops along the way.

IMG_5189

There were parts where we drove through total darkness with fog in the atmosphere. It was like a scene from a horror movie!

IMG_5157RACE DAY FUEL!

We finally arrived at the Gunung Stong base camp at 11pm! I had a bit of supper and went straight to bed! We “camped” out in the car because it was too late to book a place. The camp site was free but it was raining so Kevin failed to set up his hammock! The rain certainly cooled the air but that would mean muddy trails the next day!

Race Day

Got up at 6am and took an icy cold shower! Refreshing! I had my breakfast of bread, eggs and banana. The good stuff!

IMG_5158

God answered my prayers! My foot had no sign of pain and my legs were feeling pretty fresh! The crowd was small but competitive! I saw a few familiar faces. Most of them had either done a climbathon before or had a lot of trail running experience. And there I was, the city road running girl, standing in the midst of the pros. I felt so out of place!

5, 4, 3, 2, 1……IMG_5389

We were off at 7.50am. There was only about 50 meters of road before we entered the never ending upward climb nightmare. The first grass climb was so challenging! I was out of breath by the first 150 meters! It got worse after that, of course.

I was in 4th place at that time, running closely behind Hani. I stayed as close as possible. I lost her at a point when I was struggling to haul myself up. My shoes, Puma Mobium, were NOT meant for the muddy trails. I kept moving my feet but my body was going nowhere. I slipped many times and the uncle behind me had to catch me with his knees! THANK YOU! There were many parts where I had to pull myself up using only my arms because I was wasting too much energy trying to gain traction.

IMG_5379

By then, I could not see any of the girls in front of me. I didn’t have it in mind to chase any of them. I just continued to climb UP, UP and UP!

The route was challenging. It was harder than climbing up Mount Kinabalu! I kid you not! I didn’t have to use my hands for Kinabalu but for Stong, I had to get my hands dirty! We had to jump over huge logs (that were too big for my physique), cross rivers and climb up rocky terrain.

After 1 hour and 40 minutes, I made my way to 3rd place (finally)! Thinking that it was “only” 14.5-15KM, I didn’t think of taking my gel. Instead, I had my Kopi candy. It worked! I had my caffeine and sugar kick! After a few more climbs, I saw the girl in 2nd place! She was shocked to see me and she went a little faster.

Before reaching the peak, I managed to climb my way to 2nd place. As I was heading towards the peak, Liana (the girl in first place) ran pass me. She was just under a minute away from me!

IMG_5257

I got the last coloured band and started my journey back down.

Sliding My Way Down

Going down was SO MUCH harder than going up! I didn’t want to slip or hurt my foot/ankle any further so I went REALLY slow! I had a huge lead because I bought a lot of time on my way up. After about 10 minutes, the girl in 3rd place appeared RIGHT BEHIND ME! I was shocked! So, I changed from my slow careful hike down to a running/jumping pace. I still had a lot of energy in my legs but I just didn’t know how to hike down the tricky terrain. Wearing the wrong shoes made it WORSE!

IMG_5388

To make things worse, my shoelaces came undone and I had to stop to tie it. And as I did, the girl overtook me. I stayed really close behind her. I could see that she was slowing down. The funny thing was that she had to tie her shoelaces too! So I took the opportunity and made my way back to 2nd place! This time, I went as fast as I could. Whenever there was a straight flat trail, I ran.

Things got uglier after that. The second part down was mainly mud. The first part was more of rocks and branches which were easier to go through. I was falling and sliding my way down. I suffered several blows to both my knees and the palms of my hands (from trying to break the fall). I was counting how many times I fell but I lost count.

IMG_5381The cut on my right knee took 2 days to dry up!

Both my knees were bleeding by the time I made it to the river crossing. The bomba men stationed there kept asking if I wanted to stop. NO WAY was I going to give up! I said that I was ok and pressed on.

Meeting The Kind Soul

During my falling saga, a guy caught up with me. He told me that the 3rd girl was very close behind. True enough, Hani zoomed passed me. She literally flew/hopped her way down! Crazy fast! Looking at the terrain, I wasn’t going to risk injury by catching up with her. It was not worth it.

IMG_5382

He saw how much pain I was in and he was kind enough to stay with me for the rest of the way down. Thank God he was there because I don’t think I could have made it without him! He supported me all the way and helped me up whenever I fell. THANK YOU!

IMG_5387The Kind Soul! 😀

The Final Blow

The last fall really pushed me over my limits. I fell (for the thousandth time) and my right thigh jabbed and scraped the side of a rock. It was a huge blow to both my leg and my mind.

IMG_5372

Everything came crashing down. The pain from previous falls, fatigue, jelly legs, the frustration from having enough energy to run but just couldn’t and the thought of losing a huge lead, it was an explosion of emotions. Everything that I was holding in from the journey just hit me and I burst into tears. I really wanted to give up. It was both a physical and a mental test.

I wasn’t prepared to give up and I knew if I continued, I could still secure my position. But it was so hard. During the last downhill part of the trail, a lady in another category caught up with me. She was at least 10 minutes behind me when we were going up!

By then, my hands and feet were getting numb. It was about 3 hours in and I haven’t had anything to eat except for the Kopi candy! I kept that lady behind me and started running as soon as we hit the flat bamboo trail. It was an open area and we were running under the scorching sun. It was there that I had my second Kopi candy.

Just When I Thought That I Could Cruise To The Finish Line……

Before crossing the last river back to the road, I looked back. To my horror, I saw another lady in MY CATEGORY! I was thinking to myself, THIS IS UNREAL! Adele, you suck!

Thankfully, that was the end of the trail so I started running. When we turned up to the road, we were greeted with a STEEP hill. I walked the first part up and jogged the middle part before continuing to walk up the last part. I turned around and she was still within my sight! I harnessed whatever energy I had left and started running. The road was long, VERY LONG! It seemed like the longest stretch of road in my life!IMG_5401

You can see how much I slowed down during the downward phase of the race!

I ran for a bit and stopped to walk. And then started running again. This went on until the last 200 meters of the way. I lost sight of her, phew!

At the junction, there was nobody behind or in front and I thought I went the wrong way! I stopped to ask the police men who were having their morning cuppa at a pondok. They said that I had 100 meters left! So, I RAN! But it was NOT 100 meters. I stopped to walk again. When I looked back, she was back within my sight. I hobbled my way through until I lost sight of her. I was just 50 meters away from the finishing line. But I had exhausted everything I had. Plus, it was ANOTHER HILL!

IMG_5295

So, for the first time ever, I walked straight up to the stage to the finishing line.

IMG_5385

IMG_5383

FINALLY, THE END!

FullSizeRender

I went straight for the medic tent and they gave me a big bag of ice. I was in so much pain but at the same time, I was so relieved! The ATM (Angkatan Tentera Malaysia) guys came over to keep me company. Everyone was so nice! We all had a good catch up sesh.

FullSizeRender_1

Kevin came in after that and he managed to place 30th! He went home with a prize too! WIN!

IMG_5299

I must say that it was VERY well organised! Despite the tricky terrain, marshals/bomba men were stationed at all the major checkpoints. There were more than enough water stations too!

Plus point to the MC of the day who spoke perfect Bahasa and English AND SHE PRONOUNCED MY NAME CORRECTLY! WHOOP! She was a lot better than many of the MCs in other races.

IMG_5298

The Minister spoke to me in Hokkien! This was me laughing because I don’t speak Hokkien (HAHA!)!

IMG_5284

Congratulations to all the winners of Mount Stong International Climbathon 2015!

IMG_5281

1, 2, 3, 4 !


Thoughts About The Climbathon

Mount Stong certainly lived up to standards! I chose to do this particular event because I thought that 14.5KM sounded like a reasonable distance for my first climbathon. I was wrong on so many levels.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

14.5KM with an elevation of 1443m is not an easy feat! It was a lot tougher that I had imagined it to be. It was NEXT LEVEL! It blew me away and clearly, I was not well prepared (in terms of pre-race and in-race fuelling and proper attire). I only had 2 Kopi candies throughout the whole journey! I didn’t know that this route would take me 3:19 hours (according to my Mio Alpha 2). It was almost as if I ran a full marathon!

FullSizeRender(1)

Definitely an experience to remember!

And I learned a few things too:

1. Never underestimate a CLIMBATHON

2. Get proper trail shoes

3. Carbo-load!

4. Get a waste belt with drink bottle. I was holding either 1 or 2 bottles all the way.

5. Never settle/cruise/take it easy EVEN when you have a big lead (applies to anything in life too!)

6. The body is capable, you just have to convince your mind!

Some things cannot be read or seen, it has to be FELT WITH THE BODY AND THE HEART (and blood, sweat, tears. Hah!)!


 

Up For A Challenge?

This route definitely challenged my physical and mental capacity. It was tough. But I am glad that I can finally add Climbathon (and everything else that happened) to my experience bucket!

Sometimes, you learn a lot about yourself when you are pushed beyond your limits. It is a true test of perseverance, endurance and strength. This applies to anything that you encounter in life.IMG_9612

When was the last time you tried something new? Something that would make you feel uncomfortable, scared, awkward, excited or nervous? Stay within your comfort zone and you risk not realising your full potential.

Have fun with life and let the experience shape you!

Keep Running!

... And let us run with perseverance

the race marked out for us,

fixing our eyes on Jesus…

Hebrews 12:1-2

Post-Race Report: Kiara Trail Run 2015

Pre-Race

Took a break from racing for the last 2 weeks before the Kiara Trail run.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Spent one of the weekends at Penang with my girls. It was one of the most fulfilling trips with loads of good food, deep and meaningful conversations, time-out from the world and just pure relaxation.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

I love how I can be my crazy self whenever I am with them.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Raw. Straight up. No judgements.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Although it was an awesome weekend, there was a twist to what was supposed to be a happy ending. 3 hours after arriving home from Penang, I suffered a sharp pain to my stomach.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

I thought it was just the case of indigestion because we had a lot of food throughout our trip. I had diarrhoea and vomited a few times. I went to bed thinking I could sleep it off. It was 12 am at that time. I was wrong. The pain did not go away. I spent the next 3 hours rolling on the bed and enduring every random wave of stabbing pain. I finally gave in to pain and had to call my dad on his phone because I could not walk.

IMG_4762

I was wheeled into the emergency room, curled up into a ball, shivering and shaking. I had a very high fever and the doctors were concerned that it was more than just food poisoning. I remember having my blood tested, a few jabs and 2 packs of IV drip. Thank God the pain went away and it was nothing more than severe food poisoning!

I took a few days off from running to fully recover. I had a lot of rest (adding up the rest days in Penang and when I fell sick)! The first day back on the road was tough. It felt like I was running for the first time! It was mentally tough too. Everything was BLAH and it just felt like I could not do it anymore, it was a real stab to my confidence level.

I took it slow. Did a bit more of strength training and stretching to work on my flexibility. I was feeling tight all over!


Race Day

The Kiara park was closed a few days before the race because apparently 6 armed men ran off into the trails. Michelle and I wondered if the race would go on. Thankfully, the park reopened just 2 days before race day. But we were still concerned over the thought of 6 armed men being somewhere in there.

I woke up that morning feeling like I had been hit by a truck. I was feeling very tired and sore all over. That was because I was doing all sorts of running and strength training throughout the week. My left foot was hurting too. It had been hurting since last Wednesday. It hurt whenever I walked but seemed ok when I ran.

The race flag off was at 8am, so I had a bit more time to sleep. Dragged my 2 feet to the race venue.

IMG_5069

Source: ET Tey

It seemed as though Coach Mark photobomed a rather decent picture of us.

Put in a mini warm up before heading to the start line.The flag off was odd! We had 3 different “flag offs” because the runners didn’t know if they should start running! It was a mess! We were finally off after the 3rd sound of the horn.

I was told that the entrance to the trail was very narrow. Coach Mark said that we had about 700m of road before heading into the trails. To avoid being jammed up at the start of the trail, it was important to get a good lead during the first 700m.

I was following Michelle and Danielle during the first part of the race. We were just behind the lead pack and we entered the trail head with ease. After about 1KM, the crowd started to space out and there were only a few guys behind and in front of me.

IMG_5032Source: ET Tey

The guys were really supportive! They let me pass whenever I came near, cheered me on whenever I slowed down and asked if I was ok whenever I slipped. THANK YOU! I slipped and tripped quite a bit but thank God I did not fall or twist/break anything! My foot was already feeling a bit weak and the last thing I wanted was to twist it!

IMG_5066Source: EnAikAY

The body is able but the mind says no. Strengthen the mind and harness your will to succeed. Running sucks, giving up sucks too. PICK ONE!

I love trail running because it is both very challenging and technical. The techniques you use to steer your way through, up, down, shuffle from side to side, crawl, avoiding the mud and jumping over branches/rocks are all very different and not what you would encounter during road running. This was a pretty tough course with a good mix of uphill and downhill. The regular strength sessions and drills that I do certainly helped a lot!

Trail running is a lot harder to navigate because the route is not always clear. We got lost twice. Danielle was ahead of me and at one point a group of them were on the road shouting for the right way to go. Luckily the marshal saw us and pointed us in the right direction. I waited for her to come back up from the road and back onto the trail.

I saw all the route markers – 6, 8, 10 and 11. It felt like I had completed 10KM when I saw the 6KM marker. My legs were dead! There was definitely some crawling involved. I slowed down to a jog quite a bit and surged up the hills whenever I had regained my strength.

IMG_5071Source: ET Tey

The second half of the route had white picture markers all over the trail so I knew I was headed in the right direction.

There was another major turning where there were no marshals and I caught up with Danielle again (because she was lost). I think many people got lost here. During the first part of the race, Jessica was running quite closely behind me. I lost her somewhere after the 6/7KM marker. She appeared in front of me during the last stretch of the race. I was shocked and she was shocked too. She had the courtesy to let me pass :). It was not her fault if she took a wrong turn because it was not clearly marked! She was looking really good and strong at that point. Whoop!

After the end of the trail, there were a few meters of road to the finish line! Thankfully, that was the end of it and nothing more because my limbs were jelly-fied. I waited for Jessica at the finish line. We gave each other a pat on the back for surviving this race!

IMG_5008

Michelle conquered her first full-fledged trail run! Happy for you, twinny! But I think she won’t be joining another trail run anytime soon. She probably cursed her way through!

IMG_5078Source: Tan Tai Nyee

Managed to catch up with a few other runners. Bumped into some of the people from OBC too!

IMG_5009

Yes, Michelle carried pepper spray throughout the run to errrr, spray the 6 armed men in the eyes? Right…… (bahhaha!)

women open

After the adrenaline rush, my whole body felt like it was about to crash. Michelle and I just wanted to lie flat on the ground! Thank God the prizes were given out soon after. Overall, it was a good run. Relatively well organised and I enjoyed the tough route!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

BURN!

FullSizeRender

Time for a good stretch and foam rolling sesh! AND SLEEP!

Hope you guys had fun at the trails! If you haven’t tried it before, GO!

Keep Running!

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!

IMG_9795

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.

believe-dream-inspire-justin-bieber-Favim.com-1156270

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.

IMG_4588

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.

IMG_4592

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.

IMG_4557

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!

 

IMG_4264

Credits to Rashid

IMG_4283

IMG_4273

IMG_4274

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

IMG_4258

IMG_4263

Keep Running!