Tag Archives: KL

Half Marathon Debut – 2XU Compression Run 2014

I was supposed to run my first half marathon at SCKLM (Standard Chartered KL Marathon). Registering for the half for the 2XU Compression Run was something I did on an impulse. I regretted my decision soon after. Just about a week ago I requested to change to the Women Open 10KM category. They wanted to charge a RM30 processing fee, which I thought was totally not worth it. RM65 + RM30 to run 10KM? Nah. So I left it at that and decided to take this race as part of my training.

Yes, I honestly didn’t plan to compete. I was planning to follow the 2 hour pacer and even told Kevin that I will only be back after 2 hours. As i didn’t have it in mind to compete, I wasn’t race ready. I didn’t rest enough the day before (I only had 2-3 hours of sleep and I was out the whole day) and didn’t pay any special attention to what I ate. Actually, the thought of not competing eliminated unwanted stress/pressure and I was calm.

I had no clue on how to prepare for my first half marathon. Everything was by trial and error. I woke up at 3am (2 hours before the flag off) to get ready and have my breakfast. I usually eat 1 hour before a 10KM race. Since I was planning to eat a little more, I allocated 2 hours for my food to digest. I had toast, bananas and a powerbar.

We arrived at Lake Gardens 45 minutes before 5am. I was feeling rather fresh and energized. The weather was perfect. It had rained the night before so it was wet and cool.

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I casually strolled to the starting line and I was right up front!

About 5 minutes past 5am, we were off. As usual, I darted out. I have this bad habit of going out too fast at the beginning. I had to keep reminding myself that it was 21.1KM and that I had a long way to go!

200 meters in and we were greeted with the first incline. I heard a lot about this route before the race, about how it was very hilly and challenging. The rumors were TRUE! It was insane.

Studying race routes before races is not my thing. I don’t fancy knowing what I’m up against. I like “discovering” the route on race day. I was glad I did the same for this race. If I had known how crazy this route was, I would have been demotivated at the starting line.

Running is not all about your physical ability; it is about your mental ability as well. In fact, it is more mental than it is physical. It’s all in your head! As cliché as it may sound, you have to believe in yourself. Believe that you can do it. That is the first step. *hint hint*1524934_10152773735676388_3113678794514105039_nIn terms of pace, I was just as clueless. My goal was to either maintain the pace or speed up. I told myself that if I felt good then go for it. I didn’t reserve any energy for anything because I didn’t know what was ahead of me. Every hill came as a surprise and kilometre after kilometre, I gave my best.

There were many U-turns throughout this route. It was pretty scary as I could see how far or how near my opponents were. The only good thing about these U-turns is that you are able to cheer for the other runners.

1896803_10152776567801388_5539403941500996667_nI felt a surge of energy every time my friends /other runners cheered for me. It made a lot of difference! THANK YOU!

I was constantly monitoring how I felt throughout the race. I usually ignore water stations but this time, I made it a point to drink at every station even if it was just a sip. In terms of fuel, I ripped my gel pack after passing the 10KM mark. I was actually planning to take my gel after 1 hour but I didn’t want to wait until my body was crying for it. I didn’t want to wait until I felt tired or cold before fuelling up. The only mistake I made was taking the gel without water which threw me into a mini coughing fit. Thankfully the water station was up ahead!

We ran the whole course in the dark. I could barely see the road beneath my feet. Thankfully there were road marshals at every major turn. After inching my way up the last hill which felt like death, the race was finally coming to an end. I could smell the finish line!

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A wave of energy coursed through my veins at the thought that I had 4KM left. Again, it is all in your head! Your body is capable of it, you just have to convince your mind.

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Crossing the finish line was the best feeling ever. My first half marathon, done and dusted in 1:43:22. Kevin made it just in time to catch a glimpse of me running through the last stretch. He wasn’t expecting me until after 2 hours (because I said that I wasn’t planning on competing). He was contemplating on a nap but he had a hunch to be there earlier (Yay! So much love!).

Camera roll:

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With Voon Ying who also finished strong! Thumbs up!

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The sister. 5KM Champ!

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Yvonne, my colleague, took part in the 10KM category.

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Zi Shen who didn’t wait for me. We crossed paths 3 times throughout the race! Grrr! He also said he was going to “take it easy”. Lies, all lies! Lucas, on my left, did really well too!

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Goh Shu Wei.

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ParX team mate, Goh Jing Jing.

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Doon! She has improved so much! So proud of her. The only goal I gave her was to keep running. Every time she felt like stopping she could imagine my nagging voice in her head. Haaaaa! I guess that’s a good thing! Well done girl!

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Daniel hit his PB but he ended up on a drip at the emergency tent. Got a shock when I heard that he fainted. Thank God he was okay!

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3 monkeys?

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3rd place.

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Team Dirigo – 1, 2, 3!

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With the Champs!

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Stuff from the race.

This route was perfect for my half marathon debut, challenging with many unexpected twists and turns. No regrets. I truly enjoyed every moment of it. Zooming down the hills and climbing up others in the dark was pretty exhilarating.

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Yep, this race was totally RAD! Very happy with my first half marathon! Looking forward to all the other races in the future! Bring it!

Keep Running!

Word text images from various sources: Tumblr, Instagram, Google

Running Spots in KL

Thanks to http://www.healthworks.my/ for featuring my article on “Running Spots in KL”!

They feature everything from food to fitness to health advice to daily motivations. If you’re a health nut like me, you would definitely want to check them out. Remember to “LIKE” their Facebook page too.

The article that was featured:

Congratulations, you’ve decided to run! You’ve bought some flashy (and most probably expensive) running gear. You’ve set some goals for yourselves (hopefully). Now the question is: Where to run? The real answer to that question is: Anywhere!

But I guess sometimes we just need specific pointers to get started, so fret not, here’s a quick and short list to help you identify suitable running locations. Okay, I know the locations listed below (except for number 1) are mostly in Kuala Lumpur. That’s because I’ve only listed the locations that are familiar to me. But hopefully, even if most of the locations on this list aren’t very accessible to you, you’ll find it a handy guide to look for and find your very own running trail!

Without further ado, here’s my list:

  1. Your own neighbourhood

Sometimes things are just outside your door step! Before you venture far away in search of that perfect running trail, explore the surroundings that you commute past every day on your way to school or work. I’ve been surprised because some people tell me that they’ve never considered their own neighbourhood for running.
Think of it as a tour – how well do you know your own neighbourhood, really? You can make your run more interesting by greeting and chatting with your neighbours (not too long, though!), smelling the literal roses, petting a friendly dog (make sure it’s friendly!), or checking out that newly renovated house (perhaps chuckling to yourself that money can’t always buy taste). You may also spot some eye candy you’ve never noticed – a shiny new car, a hot girl, a cute guy.

A good thing about running around your own neighbourhood: you don’t have to look for parking space!

  1. Desa Park City

If you feel motivated by the sight of other people running, this is where you should be. Parking is free and safe, on accounts of guards patrolling the area. There are many other runners in the park, along with cyclists, people walking their dogs, families and their kids.

There is a relatively flat running/walking track that makes a big loop around the waterfront, for a distance of 2.2 kilometres. If that is not challenging enough for you, you can go all the way up to Ridgewood, also known as “DPC Hill”. Be prepared for a non-stop 600 metres of uphill torture! There is an additional 200 metres up to the water tank, but I’ll leave that for you to decide once you reach the round-about. I will say, GO FOR IT!

You can run here at any time, even late at night.

central-parkSource: desaparkcity.org

 10001511_10203681770064398_1275453995_n“DPC Hill”

1723556_10203681816825567_472968638_nOn the way down from the water tank!

Source: Victor Chong

  1. Lake Gardens (now known as Perdana Botanical Gardens)

This is a popular place for runners in Kuala Lumpur, especially on weekends. Many runners do their LSD (long slow distance runs) there, and many running clubs and communities gather there. Go and join in the fun and meet new people. Most are welcoming and will let you run with them.

There is a variety of terrain to keep things interesting – a mix of stairs, hills, flats, twists and turns.

The park itself is relatively safe with a lot of runners around during peak times, but it is a big place. Take care if you are running alone, in the more isolated areas. Don’t leave valuables in the car, as there have been cases of break-ins.

Segway-Tour-Lake-Gardens-KL-Kuala-Lumpur-bridgeSource: Google

  1. KLCC Park

Another popular location for runners, this park is convenient if you work in the heart of the city and want to put in a run after work, or before. One loop around the purpose built running/jogging track is 1.2 km. It is quite safe, as there are guards patrolling the park. I believe the park is closed after 10 or 11 PM.

Parking is expensive. You are, however, rewarded with a view of the Petronas Twin Towers, and the park and track itself is very well-maintained, with water fountains located throughout.

1538793_10202927450041525_900563239608092125_nYeah, we have loads of fun (at our Puma Running Club Sessions)! Or maybe its just me.

Source: Victor Chong

  1. Kg Pandan Sports Complex Track

This is a competition 6-lane running track (where one loop equals 400 metres). The track is open and free to the public. Parking is free and relatively secure – you can see your car from the track so if you’re the paranoid type you can even keep an eye on it while doing laps around the track!

There are quite a number of runners after working hours and on weekends, but not so crowded that you can’t run properly. On a “closed” flat track with clearly marked distances like this one, it is easy to train with speed runs and intervals.

 

kampung-pandan-trackSource: kakithon.blogspot.com

  1. Indoor

I very much prefer running outdoors than doing miles on a machine, I love the wind in my face and the feeling of covering ground with my own feet. But there is an alternative when circumstances just don’t allow running outdoors (Rain? Hail? Snow?): the treadmill, either at home or in the gym.

The good part is the convenience. But the convenience can also be a bad thing – you can easily hop off the machine and quit a run halfway!

When you’re out running, your main focus is of course the run itself. But safety is paramount. If you are used to running with some tunes, lower the volume so that you still hear the sounds around you – it’s not a good thing to not be able to hear a car beeping their horn because you’ve strayed onto the road!

1003585_10152347139061388_1610799531_nWhen you run, don’t just focus on your footwork. Look up, be aware of your surroundings (and also enjoy the view along the way). Remain alert, especially when you’re running alone. Have fun and stay safe!

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Long runs are better when the sun goes down.

Time to explore the road ahead of you. GO!