Tag Archives: pacer

PUMA NIGHT RUN 2014

IMG_5423The Puma Running Club has a special place in my heart. It was where my running journey really began. It was a society where I felt that I was cared for, loved and wanted. From being a member, to a pacer and now, one of the leaders of the club, all I can say is that this group is SOLID. With the Puma Running Club, many of us achieved our running goals and PBs. Together (both the pacers and our running club members), we grew in our running abilities and our love for the sport.

IMG_5420The Puma Night Run 2014 was the first ever of its worldwide series in Malaysia. This was the club’s major highlight event. It was where we could showcase what we have been doing every week, pacing our members and helping them reach their goals. We also had a 10KM program that was tailored for this event.

10733769_10152856017696388_96275407701808454_oThe months and weeks leading up to the big day were stressful for us. Although we were not part of the organizing team, we felt responsible for anything that could possibly ruin the whole event. We highlighted every single detail to the organizers and made sure that they met our needs. Stuff like the route being under distance was out of our control as we couldn’t get pass the authorities. All we hoped for was a killer event for the runners!  IMG_5419I was down with fever on the morning of the big day (of all the days to fall sick, it had to be on this day!). I was thinking of giving the event a miss but I knew that I HAD to be there. I had 2 panadols before making my way to Setia Alam.

Upon arrival, I was impressed with the Village Area. It was like a mini Puma carnival with large canopies, a stage and many miscellaneous stalls around. Honestly, this event exceeded my expectations. Judging from what we had to deal with the few weeks leading up to this event, I wasn’t expecting this.

IMG_5426We gathered at the Convention Centre for a briefing session and also to get our pacer balloons. LED BALLOONS! How cool is that?

IMG_5429 IMG_5422Lighting up the night!

IMG_5428We had some time to catch up with each other, take photos and walk around the Village Area before gathering backstage. The whole atmosphere was just really chilled and relaxed. I felt really good! For once, I will be pacing the runners instead of competing with them.

IMG_5435Going crazy backstage!

IMG_5436After the short warm up session by our celebrity guests, it was our turn to go on stage.

10734001_10152399456776048_5303479239131490496_nThey introduced the pacers. Our 1 minute of fame?

IMG_5437I was the 60 minute pacer, along with Yung Hui and Felix. As I don’t own a GPS watch, I had to rely on them to make sure that we were getting our paces correct. We stayed within 5:45 to 5:55, with a few minutes of buffer. It was an enjoyable run. The route was pretty much flat with one small hill (element of challenge?). There were many U-turns which I thought was great! I love U-turns because you get to see the other runners on the opposite side of the road. I cheered for all the top runners when I saw them running pass. SO EXCITING! And of course, seeing the other pacers and runners go by was also very exhilarating. I felt so good that I had forgotten that I was sick. Running is the cure!

I was surprised to see water stations at every 3KM (total of 3 water stations). I don’t normally drink for 10KM races but you would usually find 2 water stations. So, thumbs up for 3 water stations! I would have preferred if they had placed the last water station at the finish line. Also, traffic control was a bit poor. During the final KM, I had a few cars getting in my way.

75935_10152856017886388_1457225353403871153_nAs a pacer, I am glad that I was able to help motivate and push some of the runners to the finish line. Some of them managed to hit their Personal Best! Way to go! When the runners thank you personally at the finish line or through social media (Facebook, Instagram, twitter etc), you know that all your hard work has paid off. It is so rewarding. Their faces and their expressions – Priceless! I feel so happy for them!

10702011_10152856018061388_7944656669250686649_nWhen you are dedicated enough, you will find a way.

Before the big day, all of the pacers met up during the Deepavali Holiday to test the route. Although it was a Public Holiday, everyone made it for the trial run.

I want to take this opportunity to thank all of our guest pacers: Zi Shen, Hui Xin, Lucas, Yuki, Michael, Xiao Jin and Seven. Thanks for helping us out! And of course, our core pacers: Victor, Elaine, Daniel, Shu Wei, Yung Hui, Felix, Peng Peng and Brian. Special thanks to Zi Shen and Victor who made many other small arrangements and making sure everyone did their best.

As pacers, we NAILED our timings and I am so proud of them.

IMG_543350 minute Pacers:

0:47:59 – Zi Shen

0:47:59 – Daniel Lai

0:48:06 – Shu Wei

IMG_543460 minute Pacers:

0:57:32 – Yung Hui

0:57:33 – Felix Boi

0:57:36 – Adele Wong

IMG_543170 minute Pacers:

1:06:37 – Peng Peng

1:06:39 – Hui Xin

1:06:43 – Lucas Ng

IMG_543280 minute Pacers:

1:16:22 – Yuki

1:16:23 – Michael

1:16:25 – Xiao Jin

IMG_5430Sweepers:

2:08:30 – Victor Cheong, Elaine Tan, Brian Kit and Seven

IMG_5440After our run, we went to look for the sweepers. We ran/walked all the way back to the finish line together. No one was left behind.

10556307_10152856017441388_1518777635714235246_n63952_10205589844325062_3185327727986011138_nThe Puma Night Run 2014 winners! Congrats! Psssst, 3 of them are our running club members!IMG_5442The night ended with fireworks! SUPER!

All in all, I think it was a pretty good event! The pacers had loads of fun at the after party concert! You should have seen some of them. Everyone was out of their “running element”.

IMG_5445Errrrr…presenting…our fastest runner. IMG_5444We received quite a number of feedback from the runners, both good and bad. Thank you for all of them! No event is perfect, the organizers are humans as well and sometimes, we make mistakes. On behalf of Puma Malaysia and the organizing committee, we apologize for any mishaps that occurred along the way. We value all of your comments and we will forward them to Puma Malaysia. We hope that the Puma Night Run 2015 will be even bigger and better! Thank you for all of your support! It means the world to us!

10556316_10152856017471388_9171922350484687040_nOh and ummm, post run fuel with the Puma gang.

IMG_5441We came and we conquered! GOOD JOB GUYS!

At the end of the day, it all boils down to our love for running. We are all in this together. We are here because we share the same passion. Let us encourage and empower each other, instead of bringing each other down! Spread the love people! Love you guys! Thanks for making it an awesome one!

See you at the Puma Night Run 2015!

Post-race Report: Bomba Run (Larian Bersama Bomba) 2014

Pre-race Week:

I think I killed (REALLY KILLED) my right calf muscle after the last race (Muzium Run). I couldn’t muscle through the last few KMs (the route was only a total of 4.4KM) during the KL Car Free Day Fun run which took place 3 days after the Muzium Run. The pain was sharp and intense which was worrying because it didn’t feel like the normal post-run muscle soreness.

The Bomba Run was less than 7 days away and if I wanted to stave off any further injury, I knew that I had to stay away from running for the next few days leading up to race day for maximum recovery. I was feeling pretty low throughout the week because as the days went by my calf didn’t feel any better. Walking in certain angles would trigger a sharp pain down the side of my leg and I was afraid that it would turn into something more permanent.

I continued to cross train and kept my heart rate up by doing many laps in the pool. One hour of swimming was not enough to satisfy my run-crave but that was all that I could do. I also worked on my core but nothing that required the use of my calf muscle.

It was a good week of self-discovery/learning. I had to learn how to deal with my emotions and inner thoughts. With my free time, I read up quite a bit on recovery, all the do’s and don’ts etc. I tried nearly everything under the sun from KT tape, to ultrasound, to radio frequency, to massages and deep heat treatments, there was probably nothing left to try. I also received a lot of encouragement and advice from the people around me which made all the difference!

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Ultrasound. Did it by myself in the clinic. Fun stuff.

Race Day:

I slept really well the night before, probably because I wasn’t expecting too much from the run and myself. I woke up feeling excited though. Excited to run but also hoping that my calf wouldn’t give way.

Kevin was on time (without my morning-call!) and we were there by 6am. The first thing on our list was to look for the public toilet and to locate Chee Wai. Chee Wai offered to let me use his brand new compression calf guard for the race (THANKS A BUNCH!). I hadn’t tried running in compression guards before this so I decided to only wear the right calf guard. At least, if at any point in time during the race it felt uncomfortable, it would only be in one leg instead of two (Forward thinking! Haaaa!).

This race was a little different for me because I had a pacer! Zi Shen was kind enough to offer to pace me throughout the race. Actually, he probably only agreed (finally) on accounts of his bib not being in his name and probably already calculated that he would still be eligible for the limited 150 finisher’s medal.

We met up with all the other runners, took a few photos and continued to look for the public toilet – that was our pre-race warm up.

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Within the enclosed area…waiting…

We waited for a good 15 minutes in the barricaded area for the VIP to finally arrive to flag us off. We were off at 7.38am. My pacer had already told me beforehand that we would be running at a certain constant pace but as soon as the gun went off, I totally forgot whatever he had said and darted out with the crowd. I liked the feeling of being ahead although I knew that I couldn’t keep that pace for long. He even said: “Seriously? This pace?!” and chuckled in disbelief.

He pointed out a few of my competitors and signalled me to keep up. I slowed down quite a bit at KM 5-6 probably because I was battling with my inner negative thoughts (can’t even remember what they were). I was so slow that my pacer wondered if he had to stop to wait for me.

I took a sip at the first water station which was also the half point mark where we had to grab the ribbon. Zi Shen signalled me 3 times to remind me to take the ribbon, as if it was my first time running in a race. Seriously? I think my pacer needs to have more confidence in me. After KM 7, I sped up and managed to run almost side by side with my pacer.

I couldn’t be any happier when my pacer made a hand gesture that we had 2KM left. At the same time, he glanced back but didn’t say a word. I was tempted to know what that meant but decided not to ask. At the last KM, he glanced back again. This time, he said: “100m”.

At that point, I was already tempted to start walking. My feet were burning. He told me to keep the pace but it already felt like death. At the final bend, with 200m left, he looked back and told me that I was “safe”. I didn’t care what he said at that time, all I wanted to do was to reach that finish line.

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Ahhhhhhhhh! THAT feeling you get when you cross the line, that feeling is always gold. I came in 5th and my pacer got a card with the number 62 (obviously still within 150!).

Cooled off for a bit and drank up whatever they had to offer. I waited at the finish line with a cup of Milo for Kevin. I think he achieved his Personal Best! All that running with Helix (his dog) paid off.

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2 thumbs-up for my pacer!

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The Puma gang. What a great turn out!

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PUMA KICKS!

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Special thanks to Victor and Elaine for supporting the event and for taking all the photos!

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And of course, there’s always time for a SELFIE!

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Pacer’s GPS. Not too shabby for an injured runner. I was just glad that there wasn’t any significant pain throughout the run. Either the compression calf guard worked or the adrenaline completely masked the pain.

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Top 10.

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The VIP.

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Somewhere during this time, Chooi Fern (The insanely fast girl on my right) asked if Kevin was an Indian. I laughed so hard, I couldn’t contain myself.

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Post-race thoughts:

-Trust your pacer and follow their lead. Instead of listening to my pacer, I made the mistake of setting my own pace and my pacer had to adjust accordingly.

Ok, I only have one thought/lesson.

Post-race Noms:

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Salmon! Healthy fats and protein.

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It was Mothers’ Day so it was an excuse for me to order cake. This brown butter cake with vanilla frosting and salted caramel was baked by Su-Yi’s (Uni mate) mom.

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Of course, I had a slice, or two, or three maybe. Oh, the buttery goodness! So GOOD!

At the end of the day, all Praise and Glory and Honour goes back to Him.

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

Recovery Run

For the first time in a very long time, I brought my friend/colleague along on my run today. Although I prefer to hit the roads alone, I agreed.

I agreed for many reasons and one of it was because I had planned a recovery run. I ran in the ICE charity run 2 days ago with considerable effort. It was evident that my body was screaming for rest as it was showing signs of aches and soreness. Pacing a friend would be a great way to ensure that I don’t go at my usual pace which would ruin my recovery run.

We jogged, brisk walked and did some uphill sprints. As I was running well below my efforts, I had enough energy to gab away throughout the run. I gave her some running tips and pointed out all my oddball neighbours. I had a lot of fun! I came back feeling refreshed.

1924444_10152300796521388_256082866_nSTRETCH!

Scheduling in time for recovery is just as crucial as planning your training/workouts. You have to recover enough to be able to nail your workouts again day after day. The body needs time to return back to “normal” after intense sessions of physical stress.

Recovery rates and recovery strategies are tailored to each individual and their workouts. People often get confused as to which recovery strategy works best – Massages? Stretching? More sleep? Foam rolling? Ice baths? That, you have to discover on your own. You can opt to try all of them and see which one works out the best for you. It is all about trial and error. Sometimes you get it right and sometimes you don’t. So learn from those times when you have failed.

 

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…for the body

A runner’s body is never at rest. On off days, it is busy breaking down, repairing, refuelling and recovering. So, I’m glad I did this today because I know that my body really needed a break. I have to admit, I’m a little addicted to the endorphins that come with running. I like to complete my runs, even when I know my body has reached its limits. I’m not crazy; its just obsessive compulsive behaviour, really.

QOTD:

Knowing when to stop running for a day or a week, isn’t easy for many runners, but understanding that it will enhance performance in the long term comes with maturity. ~Alberto Salazar