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Friday, May 29, 2009

One More Day To Sundown Marathon.


Tomorrow I will be flying to Singapore to run my first marathon-Sundown Marathon.As the race will only start at midnight,I intended to have plenty of rest in the afternoon and after dinner.I will try to get some sleep but I doubt it since the nervousness and the excitement will definitely keep me awake.So the plan B is to watch FA Cup final on TV in my hotel room.The final is between Chelsea and Everton;and I am supporting Chelsea!!

I have decided that I must go all out to complete this race,42km,a distance I have never run before.

Special thanks go out to Yee and Eric for the advice and encouragement.Also to Frank for his advice and helping me to collect my running bibs.Not forgetting my wife for her support to make my dream come true.

FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION!!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

1 Week To Go.

Wow...it is just less than one week before my first marathon.How time flies!This Saturday will be the a testing time for me if I will be able to survive 42.2km running through out the night.Hopefully I can finish the race in time to watch 'The Incredible Hulk'-the movie which is going to be shown at the starting/finishing point.Maybe I will be too tired then even to walk!

What am I doing this week?
-Running for a short distance on Monday and Wednesday.Then no running until race day.

Mental preparation is the focus this week according to the article given to me by Yee.
-if feeling anxious,remind ourselves that we are physically prepared because we did the necessary training and mentally prepared because we did the necessary trouble shooting and goal setting.(wow..easy to say but for a first timer like me,there is always doubt and worries until I have completed a full marathon.Until then,I still can't judge if my body can take it).
-try to minimize job,relationship and travel stresses all week.Don't do anything tiring.Don't try anything new eg foods,drinks or sports.
-Stay off the feet and catch up on movies,books and sleep.

Nutritional needs.
-Emphasize on carbohydrates more than usual in the last 3 days before the race.
-Wash all carbs with fluids so the energy and water level are high on race day.
-Don't look at the scale as fully stocked fluid and fuel stores will make one gain a few pounds.

Getting ready and packing early to make sure I won't miss any important items.

Well,the time have come to test my capability.It is too late now to do any training except some mental training or changing the old negative mind set.

Focus on the positives and the goal.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sundown Marathon Athletes' Guide

This is the latest update on the Sundown website;the guide for this year race:


Adidas SUNDOWN MARATHON ATHLETES' GUIDE

No idea how to get to the race site?

Wondering about the activities at the carnival on race day?
Fret not!

The comprehensive Athlete’s Guide, containing everything you need to know about the race, including information on the Sundown Race Expo, Race Start and Finish Area, Route and Safety, the guide will assist your preparation for the highly-anticipated night race.

The full download of 28 pages can be obtained from:
http://www.sundownmarathon.com/index.php

Reading through the guide makes me anxious and panic.The feeling of uneasiness,worry and self doubt arises since this is my first attempt to run 42km.


The 42.195km Marathon route features four uniquely named sections:
String of Lights (22km) – This runs along Nicoll Drive, behind the Changi Airport runway and down towards East Coast Park
Heartland Twist (7km) – This features 3 overhead bridges linking East Coast Park with Bedok Town Park and Bedok
Waterfront Trail (6km) – This goes around the reservoir towards Pasir Ris
Home Run (7km) – This last stretch is where runners will face a 300m uphill battle before reaching the finishing line.

Previous runners have complained about the overhead bridges and the torturing ending where one has to run uphill during the end when one was very tired.Seems like the organiser decided to stick to these tough route.

Going through last year race result for 42km category,I found out 849 runners did not finish(DNF) the race.Total runnners for the full marathon was 3600 runners.That works out to 23.6% failure rate!!Must be quite tough....

Monday, May 18, 2009

My Wish List

My wish lists for my first marathon:Sundown Marathon,Singapore:

1)The most important is the pain from my previous injury;hopefully this will not come back and cause problems to me during the race.Lately during my short runs I can still feel the pain especially on my right ankle but it is still tolerable.My strategy is to take a potent pain killer just before the race and bring along some 'counter pain ointment' along.

2)Weather:I hope for a nice cool weather which I think all runners will agreed with me.No thunder storms or heavy down pour!!Previous year I think there was a heavy down pour during the later part of the race.How to run in a heavy down pour when we are all wet and the shoes are soaked in water.However light shower during the later part of race is welcome as it can help to cool down the body.

3)Injuries free!!Must not get any injuries at the end of the race.Injuries can disrupt running plans and cause more health problems.

4)Run smoothly and comfortably like what I experienced during my Bidor Half Marathon.Sometimes it is the mind that is giving negative input to the body and this can disrupt running pace.Got to be mentally strong.Never say die!!!

Sundown..here I come!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

2 Weeks To Go.

It is only 2 weeks to Sundown Marathon.What have I being doing?

-My running mileage for the coming week will be about half of the peak mileage done before tapering.

-mental preparation:setting goals and targets.My goals are:
1)to finish within 5 hours.
2)not to walk during the race.
3)not to get injuries from the race.

-studying reports from previous races and following the progress leading to race day.

I usually visit http://sgrunners.com/forum (have to be a member to read the postings).From this forum I can follow the discussion on Sundown mainly among Singaporeans.

My favourite running blog on Sundown will be the Teamfatbird at:http://teamfatbird.blogspot.com/ (I tried to follow their running programme but failed.I can't keep up with their mileage and frequency of training)

And the most important website of all(for now) is the official Sundown website at http://www.sundownmarathon.com/.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

3 weeks To Sundown

It is about 3 more weeks before Sundown Marathon.Now I have started on my tapering programme:meaning I will run less and rest more.Study have shown that rest more than work will make one stronger during the last few weeks before marathon.The levels of muscle glycogen,enzymes,antioxidants and hormones depleted by high mileage will return to optimal ranges during a taper.Muscle damaged that occurred during training will also be repaired.The immune system and muscle strength will also improve.I have read this in an article on tapering given by Yee.

I decided to follow these recommendations:


1)Training checklist:
-Distance will be one third less than the highest mileage done last week.
-Avoid running hilly courses and speed workout.

2)Mental Preparation:
-Thinking of all the problems that could arise and how to handle them.
-Mentally rehearse certain scenarios eg.race plan and pace,what to do if old problems like pain act up during mid race.

3)Nutritional Needs:
-Take in a lot of protein to aid in repair and recovery of damaged muscle tissue.
-Load up on Vitamin C-oranges.

The article even recommend to buy a new pair of shoes for the run which I do not intend to follow.I will decide during the last week either to use my Mizuno or the Adidas shoe.

Currently I am surfing through the Internet/blogs to look for runners' reports on last year Sundown.Hopefully I can learn from the experience/obstacles/challenges they faced during the race.

As a first timer,I still have doubt if I can ever do it in less than 5 hours without stopping or walking.However I am quite confident I can finished the race if timing is not a factor.But I wish to follow the 'standard' set by my running mates:Yee and Eric........

Full marathon timing more than 5 hours is a failure!!

Walking during any part of the race is also a failure!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

HOT...HOT...HOT

Weather has been extremely hot for the past few weeks.I find it difficult to run in a hot conditions.After reading this news,it even make me more worry since the hot weather is expected to last until September.The KL marathon is in June and the starting time is 5.00am,so for an average runner who needs 5+hours to complete then he will be running under the hot sun for at least 2 hours.

KUALA LUMPUR: Temperatures have been rising all over the country, with Klang Valley (Subang) recording 35.6°C last Friday.
Outside the Klang Valley, Pahang (Batu Embun) experienced the hottest temperature last Thursday at 36.2°C.
The Meteorological Department said the hot and generally dry spell was expected to persist until September.
Department chief assistant director (central forecast office) Ahmad Zaki Mohamad Saad said the weather pattern was a usual phenomenon in the country.
He said that April and May were the hottest months according to climatology studies.
“The change of wind direction during the inter-monsoon season last month has caused the weather to be drier,’’ he said.


Ahmad Zaki said the country would experience the South-West monsoon from mid-May to September which usually brought a dry spell, he said.
He said although humid weather was forecast during the day, occasional rain and thunderstorms could be expected.
The maximum temperature is expected to range from 30.7°C to 34.1°C
.

I think it is better to have some training under the hot morning or evening sun so our body can get use to the hot condition.I hope to try this after my Sundown Marathon.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

My Last Long Run Before Sundown

Today I was looking forward to my last long run and hope to break my longest distance done so far:35km.As usual I woke up at 3.00am,took my breakfast and took a bath since it was a very hot night.The weather has been extremely dry and hot lately,there was no rain for the past 2 weeks.

Went to meet the Seremban group at the City Park at 4.00am and the turnout seemed to be good:there were 12 of us.Heng did not join us since he has to do some voluntary work at a temple during this Wesak Day celebration.

We started off at 4.15 am going through our usual route.However about 3km into the run,Hoong Pak tripped and fall.The part of route was slightly dark and he injured his palm and knee.His knee was bleeding but he insisted to continue running with the group.After some persuasion and advice, Hoong Pak decided to go home to nurse his injuries.

We continued with our run with two water stop at 15km and 25km marks.

Today long run was quite tough and tiring for me compared to the run I did on Labour day.The reasons were probably the faster pace today and inadequate rest the day before(I did a 8km run the morning before).Throughout the run I have been trailing Woon and Yee.Both of them are very fast and fit.

Finally I only managed to run about 32km today.I failed to break the 35km mark as I was too tired to continue after I reached City Park.Woon came in first followed by Yee, myself,Lau and Teh.The rest of the group completed a shorter distance.

For me,today long run was a failure as I did not managed to achieved my distance target although I have been mentally prepared for an all out assault to break my 35km mark.So my mind failed me today.Mentally I am not strong when the tiredness and the pain increased during the long distance run.

However Yee has some comforting words for me:
-race day adrenaline will push and motivate me to run.
-the benefit of tapering and rest during the next 3 weeks will help on the race day.

Hopefully I will be able to complete Sundown with timing less than 5 hours."Any timing above 5 hours is a failure!!"-a famous quote from Yee.That is an addition stress to me as Yin,a female runner in our group did 5 hours in her maiden Ambank KL Marathon, so I should be doing better as a man.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Countdown To Sundown

How time flies!!It is only 3 weeks to my first marathon.Lately my training mileage was not that great,about 50km per week since I sustained injury to my left knee and right ankle.By now I should be hitting the maximum mileage for my training before starting my tapering for the next 3 weeks;probably 60 to 70km per week.The good thing about decreasing my mileage was my knee pain has gone away but my pain on right ankle still persist but less.

I began to feel anxious and worry yesterday when I received a PM(personal message) from Frank of Running Circle.He reminded me of my authorisation letter for him to collect my Sundown race pack since he will be going to Singapore a day earlier for the race.Suddenly it struck my mind that I have only 3 weeks more before my first marathon!!.I began to check my passport,my hotel booking and my flight schedule just in case I missed out any important item.

Tomorrow I will be doing my last long run and I hope I can at least achieved 35km like last week.The Seremban group is very supportive and many agreed to join in the 30+km long run tomorrow at 4.00am.

Since today is a public holiday-Wesak Day,we did a short 8km run around S2 and will be looking forward for the longer run tomorrow.

Monday, May 4, 2009

SCKLM Route Tour

Those taking part in the coming Standard Chartered KL Marathon might be interested to 'feel' the route before the actual race day,they can watch this video on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFj-W9UF534...player_embedded


I found the link in one of the local forum site.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Adidas King of The Road

I received an email from Mr.Krishnan of Adidas last week:

Dear Runners,

The popular adidas King of The road 2009 ( Half Marathon ) is back.

We promise a BIGGER & BETTER race this year and will be improving some of the set-back in last year's event. In line with the Bigger & Better theme the event will Start & Finish at Stadium SHAH ALAM and we had charted a panoramic & very challenging route meandering across the fascinating landscape of Shah Alam.

The event will be divided into twelve categories and we are limiting the participation to 10,000 runners from all walk of life. RM80,000.00 worth of prize and 2350 finisher medals are for taking.. We will be puttingSEVEN water & THREE sponging stations for the Half Marathon runners. We hope to see many new runners and also welcome back our loyal runners who have run in previous editions of this race.

Attached is the soft copy of the entry form and we would appreciate if you could either post them in your blog or forward them to your friends and family.

Thanking you and please register early to avoid disappointment.

Best Regards

Krishnan Karuppan

012 350 3668

Since I do not know how to attach the entry form into my blog,those who are interested to join this race can download the form from Runners Malaysia website at:
http://www.runnersmalaysia.com.my/events/images/form_kotr09.pdf

Friday, May 1, 2009

My First 35km Run

Today is a public holiday-Labour Day and most people will wake up late except for the Seremban group of runners who gathered at the City Park S2 at 4.00am.The park was quiet with no people except 12 of us.For non runners, they might think we were a bunch of crazy people;running at such early time of the day.

We are not crazy but have great passion for running.That is why we are willing to sacrifice our sleep for running.I usually can't sleep well the night before a group run or race.I afraid I will overslept.Even I have set my alarm clock,I still wake up a few times just to check on the time.

The turnout today was beyond my expectation.I am happy to see this group committed to train for KL Marathon even the race is about 2 months away.I am glad they are willing to go for such a long distance during the early part of their training.

So far 14 members of the Seremban group has committed to take part in the KL Marathon-all of them will be in full marathon category(42km).

Today I completed my first 35km run which is part my training for the coming Sundown Marathon.It was tough especially during the last few kms of the run and I am happy that I managed to overcome the long distance.I also like to thank all members of the Seremban group for being so supportive and their willingness to train together with me.