KLIM, Sunday 19/04/09
I was up at 4.30 a.m., warmed the Esso's nasi lemak from yesterday, and was eating half asleep. I must confess that I never was a 'sahur' guy, i.e. I do not normally get up to eat for my sahur which is quite difficult for me to digest the unpleasant sensation of chewing food halfway between my already very little sleep.
At that point of time, I still did not know where to do my 15 miles (24 km) run. I was playing in my head the possible routes to sleep and woke up to continue playing it, still looking for options.
1) house to Kepong Metropolitan Park and back through MRR2 - total of 25km
2) Lake Garden through Bukit Tunku - not sure of total mileage
3) TTDI to Kiara through Sprint, Jalan Duta, Damansara to TTDI - not sure of total mileage
4) Bukit Jalil Park to Subang toll and back, with some in Bukit Jalil - 20km plus 4km around the park
When the time was up, I decided to leave the car, and go to Kepong on foot. I have always wanted to try this course anyway but could not pull any courage to run the notorious highway. When a highway is free without any tolls, people tend to abuse and misbehave a little bit. I know I have...
I took the road at 6.40 a.m. with a banana. The wind was super cool, and immediately the downhill run was super cool. There were some cars, but bearable. I figured next time I'd have to start running immediately after subuh, around 6.10 a.m. to make full use of less traffic and cooler air. I run slowly, so that helps. There are enough room for me to run by the road side, crossing traffic.
I know this road well since I was dating wifey back from 1997, back and forth Sri Damansara and Pandan, so I marked myself OK, knowing which micro landmark to look for. UIA exit, empty stretch, Sri Gombak stretch, Jalan Kuching roundabout stretch, KIP stretch, Kepong Metropolitam, U-turn, and back.
I reached the U-turn (approx. 13th km) at 1:10:24, and started to struggle with the fresh smell of rotten refuse spill from the trucks (we are using the same U-turn apparently, and that is the worst point). That made me to run faster and exert myself, I U-turned and arrived at entrance 2 of Kepong Metro. From there, I did not go into the running track inside, but continue outside along the staunchy stretch with some joggers looked in awe from inside the park. Some were regular faces I have been seeing every week.
They must have been thinking that I have lost my mind. At this time, sun was already up but traffic started to swell and I found it difficult to run from all the strong gust from the lorries etc. Had I been running not against the traffic, which is very dangerous, I could have been flying faster with all the force behind them lorries.
By the time I ran past the entrance to Kepong Metro, legs were very strong, and breathing was regular, which was a real surprise. Usually at this point I would have been like a fish out of the water. I reached Shell half a kilometre from Kepong Metro and bought a 100 +, and a bar of chocolate.
Mistake no.1, I drank the whole can.
By the time I finished it, I was heavy with sloshing water in my stomach. That was 16th km and I was very happy with time and progress (except for the sloshing water), and kept running towards the KIP stretch. From here I could feel my toes curling up, so I reduce the speed and resorted to walk/run strategy. By now, the sun as already up, and the heat started to eat me up. Plus, the traffic, and big trucks were true to the suggestion that MRR2 is notorious. After Shell is the incineration centre, and many refuse trucks were dripping foul smell on the road, and running at this point was very difficult.
By the time I reached the Jalan Kuching roundabout, I walked a lot trying to cross the intersection (too much of a chicken to go up the flyover) towards the Sri Gombak stretch. At Sri Gombak, stopped at Petronas to buy another 100+.
Mistake no.2, don't buy another can of drink if you have lots more to go... ok, ok, I got it. Mana ada orang bagi a can of energy drink at water station? A stupid mistake.
I missed some good time at Petronas to queue for the Bangladeshi cashier to sort out his morning blues etc. But at that point, I was dehydrated, and tired. I walked some 800 metres under the shade of the flyover, and ran on a hot stretch. Now I know what other runners say about running in the scorching heat. Ni la bahana bangun lambat... Memang panas, the analgesic rub on my legs were burning like crazy...
Passed the Sri Gombak stretch, and ran halfway towards the UIA exit. I was just running if it's hot, and walked whenever there were shades. Dah tak tahan dah.
Surprising thing is that, breathing and chest were still good to go, but my legs were quitting on me. I supposed that is the lack of electrolytes and fuel on my part. And my left knee gave me no problem at all. I have had some groin pain on my left leg, but other than that, it has been great.
Passed the UIA exit, I have another 500 metres before I made it to the 15th mile. Promised myself a cold water upon arrival, I sped up and reached the Shell station at 2:50:56. Had that bottle of cold water and started to run for the final 1km home. One last stretch uphill before the Melati exit, and it was here, middle of the climb when I finally got a muscle cramp on my left calf. Stretched, and walked/run towards Bomba Melati. I saw the Esso gantry clearly in front. Ahh, home... and I ran from Bomba, past Petronas, past the Nasi Lemak Antarabangsa and the ever-busy Kelfood with so many Kelantanese looking at me running with my skimpy shorts, Nasi Dagang Ulik Mayang, and finally reached Esso.
25km was completed in 3:16:11. That is the longest distance to date. And I am glad I ran it even though I was doubting it in the morning. I am even happy to have actually not listen to my guts and not run this route this morning. The view was ok, but the route is challenging and good break from going rounds at the park.
As I was swelling from too many 100+s and water, I couldn't eat my post-workout meal. Cooked the fettuchine as promised to wifey, and we had lunch at 11.45 a.m. As the white sauce was thick, and I might have over eat, I fell asleep immediately after, from the over-lunch, heat and fatigue. I got up at 3 p.m. and appetite was all over. Had few Hershey's Kisses, some crackers etc. Made some cereal drink, an apple etc. I screwed it, lah... No dinner for me tonight, I suppose...
Note for next week's LSD;
a) start earlier
b) breakfast like nasi lemak at 4 a.m. is fine, enough time to break into energy for the run
c) need to drink A LOT MORE water the night before
d) DON'T buy and drink the whole can at every water stop.
e) GP today was good for my half-marathon, at 5.38 mins/km as long as I don't over-exert myself
f) don't over-eat in my post run meal. Not worth it...
I am over the moon now. Finally training for a marathon starts to kick some sense.