Monday, March 4, 2013

Brooks Half Marathon 2013

I never had any intentions of running this event so to find myself at Bukit Jalil Sports Complex at 4am this morning was rather puzzling.

What was I doing there, I thought to myself. I should be in bed and waking up only at 630am for my long run!

As I've never ran in the Bukit Jalil area before, I didn't know what to expect. Everyone kept telling me there were hills to be wary of. Jamie had a plan to run at a 6:00 min pace so I thought I'd follow suit, and Calvin hopped onto the bandwagon as well.

L-R: SC Khoo, Kenny, me and Jamie
Photo credit: Kenny.

Nick, Jamie, Calvin and I started off together, and it took us approximately 3 minutes to cross the start line that held up a tiny arch. (It was a sorry sight, in my humble opinion.) We were cruising during the first 2KM, at 6:56 and 6:35 min pace respectively, until Jamie and Calvin disappeared to attend to nature's call.

Nick and I continued on, confident that the both of them would catch up.

But after a while, we had a sneaking suspicion that they may have had unknowingly ran past us ... and we were right!

It was only when we approached the u-turn and checkpoint at 7KM-8KM did we spot Calvin on the other side of the route. Hey!

The humidity was unbearable. Running through housing area where there were occasional unlit sections of the route was dangerous. I found myself pretty much slowing down just to peer cautiously onto the road to watch where I'd placed my foot.

The water stations were always packed with people and it was frustrating trying to wrestle through the crowd just to grab a cup of water. I was glad I had my bottle in hand (water + isotonic drink) because there were no isotonic drinks served at any of the water stations.

Nick grabbed himself a bottle with some water in it at 10KM thereabouts (we were expecting the water station to be at 9KM!) and ran off to the side for his water break. He told me to go ahead and he'd catch up.

I was wondering whether I was going too slow for him as whenever we checked our watches, we'd find our pace hovering at about 6:30. I kept telling him to go on without me but he said he wasn't on training mode so yeah, he was in no rush.

So he left me at about 11.5KM and I never saw him again. Dammit, don't tell me I was boring company!

Anyway, I sped up or so I thought, but in actual fact, it was still a 6:30 pace. *grumble*

I saw a guy on the side of the road with people trying to resuscitate him, which was worrying. It's not a fantastic sight to see a runner collapse at all times.

By then, I was running on 'feel' and trying to stick to my targeted marathon pace of 6:23 but it was hard. Not because I was feeling weak, but it was just bloody crowded!

We were running with the 10KM and 5KM runners at this stage and it was frustrating to find myself stuck behind a slooooooow runner on the right side of the route every now and then, and worst, one with a sour body odour. *gag*

Ran past the Calvary Convention Centre, a slope or two, Astro ... and I'm not really sure what else I saw.

Come 17KM I was eager to speed up a little as I finally realised that I had been going too slow all along. Even slower than my targeted marathon pace! 

17 - 18KM: 6:07 min pace
18 - 19KM: 5:56 min pace
19 - 20KM: 5:54 min pace
20 - 21KM: 5:50 min pace

If I thought I could sprint towards the finish line, I was so wrong. It was too freaking crowded! 

The clock showed 2:21 which was a letdown for me but whatever. My watch displayed 2:18, telling me that I was 10 minutes off my targeted time for the run. Whatever.

Grouped up with Jamie, Choon Yuen and Calvin for about 10 - 15 minutes before I sped off (with false supply of energy!) towards the nearby park to hobble/crawl/walk/jog another 10KM just so I could record a cumulative 30KM run today. Stopped at 7.1KM as I had to meet up with some friends during the prize giving ceremony. 

With cheery people: Lum Oldman, Weng Woo & Yin Yin
Photo credit: Sharon Chow

 It was great to bump into familiar faces. :)

She won 2nd place in the Senior Veteran Women's 21KM Category!

Pros about the event:
1. Massive space outside the stadium for runners to gather around and queue up for food and drinks, etc.
2. Finisher t-shirt distribution was smooth.
3. Milo was awesome. I had 4 cups!
4. Medal trophy is cute.
5. The kids with the kompangs near the start line was great.

1. Did not enjoy the route with its unlit sections and narrow checkpoint mats.
2. Orange vest and finisher t-shirt - I don't like orange colour!
3. No isotonic drinks at water station.
4. A sponge station would have been great.
5. The start line did not display a 'START' arch - it was not noticeable from afar. I wasn't even sure that it was the start line in the first place!
6. The route was not wide enough to cater for the huge crowd.
7. Distance markers were almost 1KM off until 18KM.

With two young lovely ladies who were hoping to bump into femes people
but the femes people had already left! :)

Let me digress from this race report and talk about my marathon training.

Pre-race: 1KM
Race: 21.4KM
Post-race: 7.1KM
Total: 29.5KM - I don't care! *stubborn* I'm taking it as my 30KM LSD for today!

Ran/hobbled/walked/crawled around the lake about 14x for 7KM.

To have enjoyed the race meant that I didn't push myself hard enough. The fact that I could have a conversation with Nick during our run (except when I was trying to keep up with him!) reflects the effort put in. It does bother me a little, but it serves as an indication that my targeted marathon pace of 6:25 shall be about just right. If I had stuck to a faster pace say, 6:00 - 6:15, I may not have finished the race with some energy to spare.

Although it was troublesome to have the bottle of water/drink in hand, it allowed me to hydrate as and when required.

I consumed only 1 power gel; the first half at 10KM, 1/4 at 13KM and the remaining 1/4 at 16KM. I don't think I needed it but I thought I might as well. Who knows, I could have cramped at 19KM!

I ran up all the slopes. Yay!
My legs felt fine, no signs of cramping.

My right foot (near the bunion) was starting to chafe at some point. I'm beginning to wonder whether my GR2 wants to run the MWM or is pleading sick leave with one month's notice. 

Refuled with Gibraltar Latte (RM8.50) and Carbonara Spaghetti (RM17.90)
at Coffee Stain by Joseph, with Kenny and Andrew.

Went home and had a bowl of ice-cream to wrap up my brunch.
Napped for 2 hours.
Where we ran!

p.s. Quite glad to know that I wasn't *that* far behind my 2 pacers, 5 and 3 minutes behind Jamie and Calvin respectively.


  1. Hmph! I ddn't get to meet the femes people in the first photo. *sulk*

    1. They didn't get to meet Her Bunnyship either!
      We were asking around, eh where is she?

    2. She was queuing in front of the loo for 20 minutes, that's where! :-D

      p.s you realize that's you should say "we" instead of "they"? :-P

    3. Lina, it's "they" cos they always come out top of my Google searches so that means "they" are femes! :)

  2. Bunny was out dating with hubby.
    @Piffles - does that mean we can now run at 5:45 pace?

    1. @Jamie - I think she's more than capable of running at 5:30 easily!

    2. 5:30 is only applicable to 10KM!

  3. I think you have it all wrong la, it was more like me trying to keep up with you! I was actually envious of you having your own drinks on hand while I had to jostle with hoards of others to get a measly cup of tepid water. Where were the promised isotonics?

    Good job on your part though.

    1. Got isotonic. They reserved it for slower bunnies, not hyperactive ones like you guys! LOL