Saturday, August 13, 2016

Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2016 Race Report

2016 is a big year for me to chew ever since I set up my goals to be achieved. The main goal is to pass my Air Engineer’s board followed by all the sporting achievement goals include breaking all my personal best by end of the year. My main goal took up a lot of my time, I come back to my room really late at times. Hardly get an 8 hours working routine because I need to learn as much as I can in the Air Wing. Not complaining, I enjoy learning new things. 7th of August became my big day to break my long overdue personal best for Marathon Distance. The last time I seriously ran a 42.195km was in 2010 when I finished 3 hours 38 minutes with lots of walking at the last 10km, poor pace management. I knew I have the potential to do much better than this but I had some other commitments, so I put this goal on a rain check. Standard Chartered KL Marathon is my best chance to break my PB. 

Based on my race records, I consistently clock average 4.19-4.25mins/km in all my Half Marathon distance. So I worked out my pace from there. I was a fat 58kg athlete 4 months before SCKLM, the goal was to shed 4kg before the race week, consistently carboload after training, stay injury free by stretching every day and gradually increase the training mileage. I bought a digital weighing scale, every day after training I will strip off naked for weighing before I key in my weight data in Garmin Connect. As I slowly increase my mileage, I notice my ankle couldn’t take the stress. I went back to Garmin Connect and check my Running Dynamics to confirm my running gait. True enough, I have very minor imbalance in Ground Contact Time. The left foot kick off faster than the right foot, taking up more stress compared to the right foot. I did some correction drills but not much improvement seen, the left foot is still kicking harder than the right. I came to the last resort, working on my cadence. If I can up my average cadence from 180 to 182, I can greatly reduce the ground impact and also improve my vertical oscillation. I set the metronome in Garmin Forerunner 920xt every time I do cadence drills. It helps to keep my tempo without overstriding. Roughly one week leading to race day, my resting heart rate went down to 49 beats per min. I was very well rested.

Utilizing Garmin Connect to correct my running gait.

Pre Race Day
I weighed 55kg before I drove back to KL from Lumut with my squad Lt Quek, he will be losing his marathon virginity in SCKLM. =p I got my race pack delivered to my house but he didn’t, so we still had to drop by the race expo to pick up. I didn’t check the race pack collection area so we both went to Dataran Underground instead of Kenanga Wholesale City Mall, rookie’s mistake! Then we walked to KWC Mall, brisk walk passed all the booth saying hi and wishing each other good luck for tomorrow then got back home by noon. Quek and I had super heavy Nasi Goreng Kambing, my way of getting a good sleep. I love to sleep after heavy meal. 7pm we were already on the bed. At 10pm, I was awaken 2 times by Azan, then I couldn’t get back to sleep anymore. I watched youtube, checked the race route, had a look at my race gears, then laid on my bed again. I just try to let the body lay flat and rest despite not able to sleep. The pre race jitters got really serious, I was listening to my own heart beat middle of the night. 

Race Day
Train ride to race start.   

Had my breakfasts, 4 breads and kaya, 2 bananas and a hard boiled egg made by my mum before she slept. The complementary train ride was a big thumbs up from me. This shows how much of attention to details given by the organizer to make everything easy for all runners. Baggage check in was a bit far from race start, but I believe it was a smart move to prevent congestion at the starting line. 30 minutes before gun goes off, I was inside Pen2 doing my warm up. I had a lot of thoughts lingering in my mind. GPS signal locked, metronome set, virtual partner good to go and all alerts are working in my Garmin Forerunner 920xt. I am very sure Skechers GoMeb Speed 3 is perfect for me, the only thing I modified was the traditional laces replaced with lock laces. Annie said she wanna run with me but I told her that I am willing to screw up this race holding at high pace, so if I fumble this time please proceed with her podium goal. I will try to hold 4.45mins/km as long as my body could take it. 10 seconds before the race kick off, I took a few deep breath and wet my body with the mineral water I carried too cool my body down. I wore my 2ndskin Vapor Lite running vest, so the evaporation mechanism helps to cool my body off.

First 3 kilometer I was doing like 4.15mins/km without realizing. I slowed down a few times just to stick to my 4.45mins/km plan. Deo and I were running side by side but we didn’t talk, both wanna PB so we save the nonsense after the race. =p Many runners formed their pack but I never bother to follow, I have my virtual partner in my watch already. I took a caffeinated energy gel at Jalan Jelatek Fire Station kilometer 10, one capsule of Hammer Endurolytes and Hammer Anti Fatigue. Up till kilometer 21 as I entered Duke Highway, my rhythm was awesome as I felt fresh, super fresh. Average pace was holding at 4.30mins/km. There were a few rolling hills around kilometer 22, all of a sudden I felt a little sluggish. My watch’s alerts never stopped beeping to warn me that I am slower than 5.05mins/km! Weh panjat bukit la for sure la slower! I picked up my coke given by OP Azrul X Game, he paced me a bit with his new bike. Didn’t get a chance to have a glimpse at his new race machine. Maintaining a caffeine free diet gave me the advantage of kicking the pace higher once I get my caffeine boost. Soon, I was back to 4.30mins/km pace. My parents were on the highway cheering for me in the wee hour because Duke Highway is just next to my neighborhood.
I had to consume more gels from kilometer 24 onward. I started to starve a little, pace was dropping to 4.40mins/km also. My simplest rule, eat energy gels when hungry. Every 5km I took in one gel. The change was a dramatic one, from super fresh at kilometer 21 come to slight hunger at kilometer 24. This is not good. I am aware of the major climbs at kilometer 33 onward, so I needed to refuel at every single water stations. The drum beats along the highway kept my tempo going, and the volunteers were really helpful in assisting us. I snatched one cup of isotonic, and two cups of plain water. My Skechers GoMeb Speed 3 was not soaked with water despite some of the cups I missed, the ventilation was superb!
Kilometer 30, I was a struggling to keep my 4.45mins/km pace, my face tells everything. I still can finish this within my PB time because I am more than 20 minutes ahead of my PB time! Hydration and refueling went as per planned, till around kilometer 34 I snatched a Caffeinated Hammer Energy Gel given by my team mate Tri Stupe. I stuck the tempo set by my metronome, keep up with the 180 beat per minute. The slow pace alerts really discouraged me, I can’t dig anymore deeper in my reserves! Kilometer 35 onwards, I barely survive the hilly winding roads of Langgak Tungku at 5.00mins/km pace. Although I am lacked in LSD mileage, I have nothing to regret because every single day I am racing against time to finish up my work! The mental battle starts now. Legs feeling the tingling cramping sensation. 

Kilometer 35 took a long time to reach, I saw my 2ndskin team mate Jason. Took another coke, drank as much as I could to get the caffeine boost. Yuan Yu Fang local women champ overtook me at this time. Then I saw my UPNM batchmate Aiman, he escorted me with my 5.00mins/km pregnant tortoise pace. Still ahead of time, possibly hit a 3 hours 21 minutes finishing time! 

I was about to tell him that if I ever collapse please wake me up, I have 20 minutes nap to spare for my PB =p Hope he knows that I wear my LifelineID Companion. I cannot wait to settle this and go home to sleep! 

Smoked a Half marathoner=p

Kilometer 40, I up the pace to finish off whatever I left in my tank. Tried to take one more Hammer Anti Fatigue and end up dropping it. Huge disappointment! Till now, I had sucked in 11 gels in total! Surely my urine will be the same colour as the energy gel later. Haha. The legs start to cramp, my jaw and fingers cramped also. If any shorter distance runner bang me, definitely my weak body cannot take the hit already. I just need to survive 9 more minutes and I can collapse after that. 
 Sufferfest! =)

Just keep going!!! 500m before the finishing arch, my parents, Edan were cheering so excitedly. Aiman left me here to let me conclude my mission. Come on!!! I pumped my hands and kick as hard as I could to score the very final phase of my Marathon at pace 4.10mins/km. Once crossed the finishing arch at time 3 Hours 22 Minutes 40 Secs, beat my personal best by 16 minutes! That’s around 3 kilometers ahead! Hoorah!
 3 Hours 22 Minutes. New Personal Best by 16 minutes! =)

My body hurt so badly, once I received my medal and finisher tee, I laid down on the floor and nap. Aiman is a true friend sitting next to me ever ready to give me assistance, then my parents came. I had massage, didn’t have to queue because I finished the race early. Haha. One thing for sure, I was not in disbelief because I could have done this long time ago if I put an effort to break it. In the meantime, I use the apps made by organizer for us to checkout on our friends. Quek and Annie were still out there. Deo already finished a few minutes behind me, he scored his PB as well! I was so glad for the race went smoothly and uneventful. I will be taking one week of break from running, let my two toenail peel off first before I come back to training. I am done with my marathon dream this year, next will be Ironman!
Let me sleep first =p 
 With my parents=)
 Lt Aiman the Great

My Thank You wish =)
Thanks to my parents for waking up so early made hard boiled egg for my breakfast and stood by the road cheering for me. Thanks to my friend OP Azrul X Game for offering me the bottle of coke that revived me from a sluggish 5.00mins/km pace to 4.30mins/km at those critical kilometer marks. Thanks to my team2ndskin fellas, it is always a fruitful discussion prior to race day. Thanks @jasoncolour and Tri Stupe for the coke and gel at the Langgak Tungku ever ending hills, I was brought alive from dead. Thanks to @alphot for escorting me starting from kilometer 35 when I was really struggling and bonked so badly, it meant a lot to me. Thanks to all family and friends for tracking me and all the midnight good luck wishes. Thanks to @becca_jori for being so understanding throughout my busy days working and training, you're the best girlfriend ever! ;-) Thanks to @2ndskinasia @hammernutrition @skechersmalaysia @garminmalaysia @lifelineID and most importantly Royal Malaysian Navy for all sorts of support including providing gears and fuels for this race. Thanks to Tadonamo and Old Putera gang for keeping track. Congratulations to my buddy virgin marathoner Lt Quek for the strong finish.
3 hours 22 minutes, my new Personal Best for marathon distance 42.195km specially dedicated to everyone who supported this mission of mine. 
‪#‎team2ndskin‬ ‪#‎teamNavy‬ ‪#‎teamOP‬ ‪#‎garminmalaysia‬ ‪#‎hammernutrition‬‪#‎2ndskin‬ ‪#‎skechers‬

  Finisher Certificate. Ranked 39 Overall. =)

4 Days after SCKLM, I sat for my Air Engineer’s board with my boss and I managed to pass it smoothly. Next target is to pass the Chief Engineer’s board for me to slash the biggest goal of this year! Nobody understood the pain I had in my body underneath my uniform, I never complain or give any excuse to skip my work for the sake of racing. All age groupers face the same challenge, just like me. Right now, my motivation is high and strong. Hopefully 2016 will be a fruitful year for me!