Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Drive, Cycled and Ran the Penang Bridge

Congratulations friends who had participated in the Penang Bridge Marathon (PBM). Met Wendy, CK, Adeline, Maysenn, Kam Kasturie, Kar Yan, Adli, Roger, Admiral, Azmaar (my saviour), Tony Q, Saiful, Abu Power and most fantastic Tey (our favourite photographer - we owe him a lot of lunches and dinner). My apologies if I have missed out other names.

I can now safely say that I have driven, cycled (Interstate2007) and ran across the Penang Bridge.

Morning prep for some of us began as early as 1 am on Sunday morning. Prior to this, we arrived in Penang after a 6 hour journey from KL and getting stuck at the entry of Penang with a massive jam just before the PBM toll house. Pick up our kits at Queensbay Mall and went around Queensbay Mall for some late shopping. Decide to carbo load at Kassim Nasi Kandar (near KOMTAR branch) just before 6pm. Went back early to get our planned beauty sleep. Most unlikely as we soon found out as there was lotsa people making lotsa noise at B-Suite.

Decide to leave "early" at 2 am, but unfortunately road block had started, hence had to do "involuntary" warm up by jogging to the race site. Race start was very uneventful, after watching CK, Senn and Kar Yen started, some of us decided to loiter around for the next 1 hr 30 min waiting for our own flag off.

I actually surprised myself by being able to run all the way from the start line to the turn around mark (which was 12.5km).By about kilometer 15km, i was on a walk/jog/walk mode until km 20. Reaching the 20th km mark, with the road being clogged up by the Fun runners (10km) (mere excuse on my part), i resigned myself to just mere walking back. The actual reason being is that my knee had given away and the ball of my feet felt like bursting. It was the longest 5km walk back (1 hour plus) as I embarassingly hobbled to the finishing line. The absence of drink station on the way back and it being finished does not help many of the marathoners. Some even thought that it is very inappropriate and pose a danger to some slower runners, as the days get hotter and some runners might dehydrate.

Reaching the finish line, I was quite surprised that I was given a finisher medal since its about 4 hours 10 mins passed the start time and I had thought that the cut off was 3 hours 30 mins. I thanks god and every one else who had given me the motivation along the way to finish the race and not wait for the sweeper bus like many this year.

Overall, its good training before Singapore Marathon which is due on the 7th December 2008. Looking back, if someone was to tell me that I will be running 25km, last year, i would have dismissed the thought as rubbish, but now looking back, i am quite surprised that I can become this insane and did it, more so since we just came back from Powerman the week before ;-).

Monday, November 10, 2008

Coming back from the DEAD

When u are old, sometimes u wonder whether life is going to dish you anymore lessons ;-). Yesterday, I learnt many valuable lessons.

Lesson 1 - Preparation for cycling event and multisport event is different for oldies like me.
We, being the forgetful bunch that we are, can be well prepared in bringing everything to the Transition area, but not to pack it in our jerseys. Case at hand, after my 5.5km run, i was on my bike phase, i had a pucture 5km before the transition area. What do I have, tubes - but no tyre levers, no pitt stop and no pump. I thought my race was finish and i had already started to walk with my bike back to the Transition start point until 2 saviours came to my rescue, which brings me to my second lesson. Lessons learnt, bike stuff are best kept with the bike during race.

Lesson 2 - There are many kind souls out there who was willing to make sacrifice and give motivation, when all seems lost.
My hats and hearts go out to Azmar for loaning me his pump and to Bandit for loaning me his tyre lever and another pump. I had asked them not to waste time with me as I had lost my steam as i saw all the cyclist/runners that I had overtaken me had gone pass and I had lost about 10 minutes already. I was also not in the mood to continue my race, as a dear fren of mine (May Senn) had passed out at the begining of the race and was concern to get back to transition to find out how she is?

But credit had to be given to Azmar and Bandit for being the gentlement that they are and made sure I can go back to Transition area gracefully and not walked back the 5km. While changing my tube, Tony another fren also had a puncture. Seeing that someone had blessed me with pump and tyre lever, I stuck out another 10 minutes to helped out Tony with his puncture.

I cycled back quietly thinking my race was finished. At transition, as i was sitting around and looking for May Senn, I just couldnt find her, so I though "Well, since I had a bit of time, might as well finish the race, even if I had to walk all the way", which brings me to lesson number 3.

Lesson 3 - Complete your objective, you will have one less regrets
At this point of time, I was not in the mood to race, adrenaline had gone down, legs felt heavy, donno what happen to senn, seeing all the people I had overtaken during cycling all passed me by a good 30 minutes. I went out walking, taking a powerbar in hand, and as I walked out, I saw there were many other runners who were worse off then me who had cramps. I started running again and was doing my running/walking stint just before the second water stop. After that, my legs came back and managed to run all the way into the stadium to be greeted by recognizable faces. So much satisfaction, horrendous timing but the feeling of coming back from the dead is a happy one.