Thursday, September 13, 2012

River Jungle Marathon 2012

The mummies (After 'morning walk' up the hill)

With the most dedicated runner cum photographer
It was all planned, knowing that RJM was about 3 weeks after Raya, I had to train hard. But what did I do?
I joined the gym just before the fasting month, to provide me with the milleage I required. My weekend runs of roughly 25-35km on Sat and Sun were not enough. I was not getting any weekday runs. So with hope that the gym would provide me with some desired milleage. And so it did. Morning or lunch time 30-40 mins and sometimes strength classes did help. Helped improve my core strength and I believe it did help overall.
And so when the BIG day arrived, I was nervous as though it was my first race ever. Yeah, 42km 6 years after my 1st 42km, which was my personal best and which I trained really hard for it.
Knowing it was 9 miles away from my house, I felt abit better, but knowing that there was going to be a 3km climb, I was worried. I'm not a hill person. Although I did hill work on and off, nothing has prepared me enough for this. PLan was to try to slow jog, but of course, it was just us, but everyone else seemed to be walking!! (except those fast runners)
So, taking it easy....we walked almost the whole climb up (between 17-20km) and slow jog down cos we're old and injured :P tyring to take care of our weak joints :P after the slope down, we started running again....errrr did I say run? ok, jog...:)
Somehow Fong asked me to go off first, just before the 25km mark, so likely it was about 24km. REluctant as I was, I left her, asking her not to stop...we didn't have enough training, but for her, she was only 6months it was definitely harder.
And so I didn't stop....except to get water, until the 28 (or 29th)km where we were served fresh COCONUT water from the fruit itself!! CAn you believe it?? and after gulping it down so fast, I had to walk about 50m before I could run! And so it started again....I ran until the road through Kg. Sg. Lui, where the marshall says '10km more', but road markers says '16km to batu18 town'..I tried to tell myself, maybe it's 12km, but because I've cycled that way before, I actually knew it wasn't :P
But I tredded on...and on...and on...until KM32 (I think) water station, which felt like forever. Ok, I was determined not to stop ....but it was getting hot and feeling of cramps were setting in. thank God for that small water bottle I had. At some point, Nizar cycled by and had like a 20s chat with him. It kept me sane....till KM36, which the road marker evidently still didn't lie, and said 8km to go.
At some point between there and the next water stop, I had to walk. It just felt never ending. The main road was not in sight. IT was taking forever. But I felt good because I was getting ahead of people who were previously ahead of me :) that kept me going. Now, 5hrs 30 mins, felt like possible.... so i tredded on.
AT KM40, the ladies were so cheerful, saying 2km more, but road markers didn't lie. Yes, 4km more! :P hahahaha so I just tried to keep my spirits up and just kept going. And then perhaps 5:30 wasn't too do-able. now, let's target 6hrs...
IT was a very long 4km....and finally '500m - simpang ke KL'...WOW! FINALLY! But that 500m, felt like 1km to me. It took really really really long to reach....and after that final turn, the finishing line was also about 500m away, but spirits were lifted. I was just a tad disspointed that I couldn't do 5:30 (but hell, I didn't train, so how could I?), and tired and knowing I left Fong behind, I wasn't really 'celebrating' at the finishing. hahaha, expressionless finisher, I would say!
But glad I took the challenge, and my knee didn't even hurt post race. My heel, which was giving me slight issues was fine too. Now thank God for being able to complete it. Just slightly out of 6hrs....:) And I think its about 43-44km!! :P
Now, lets plan for the next 42km..:)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Full Marathon - after so long

Considering conditions of my knee (and also time limitations), I have not been very keen to pursue a full marathon. I know my knee's capabilities, and am very afraid that it may fail me, or cause me to suffer the post-race-effects for very long.

So after long contemplation, knowing my time constraints, I decided to just go ahead and do the very scenic River Jungle Marathon (RJM) which starts literally, at my 'back door'. Well, 9 miles away, that is :P

Managed to convince Fong, who was also dying for some 'target' to train for (but obviously both of us seem to be so 'tidak apa' (not very bothered)), and also wrong timing, cos its only 2.5weeks after the fasting month, so we didn't really have proper training. My so-called proper training was throughout the month before fasting, and the first two weeks of fasting, where i managed some decent 15km during the weekend. After that, it was almost downhill.

After Raya was worse. And field work this time didn't make time for me to even run. My last minute training, the week before the race - Mon&Tues (speed work for 30mins), Wed (strength), Thurs & Fri (7min pace for 40mins) and those were during my lunch break. The only time I could afford :(

And so come race day, all nervous but just went for it.

Stay tuned for the next post for the race write up :)