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Friday, September 30, 2011

My First Triathlon!

It's been a really busy work but I still managed to find the time to run a triathlon! And boy, was it a stretch to finish it!

Ok, ok, I didn't run a triathlon, not that I could even if I wanted to cos the moment I hit the water, I'll sink to the bottom. So, what do people who have delusions of wanting to do a triathlon but can't swim for nuts do? Why, they just log on to their PC and play Extreme Triathlon, that's what they do ... LOL!

I was about to head for work yesterday when I saw the younger boy (who skipped school cos of fever and cough) playing this game called Extreme Triathlon and I was instantly curious about it. It had all the elements of a triathlon - swim, bike and run. And it looked pretty darn cool too.

So, when the opportunity for a little free time came up, I gave it a try and though it was a pretty cool game, one thing's for sure, I can't swim for nuts even in a game, I think I came out last ... hahaha!

Well, at least now I can say I took part in a tri without leaving my desk! Oh and apparently that little brat actually came out in first placing and put me to utter shame ... hahaha!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Siemens 10K Run 2011 Race Review

It's a great feeling to be running a race again with a whole bunch of other runners. The weather was beautiful (though a little hazy) and the run was a good one. The only thing that caught me off guard was the last minute change of route to avoid clashing with another race being run nearby.

As usual, the wife and me got to the race location a little early to make sure we get some decent parking nearby. I was a little worried about the race cos both of us only had about 3 hours of sleep and we both woke up feeling like zombies. Didn't want the lack of sleep to hound me throughout the run so once we reach the race location, we parked the car and snoozed for 20 minutes.

While waiting for the race to start, an announcement came that got me worried. They made a last minute change to the race route (maybe they did send notices but I sure as hell didn't get any) to avoid clashing with the Pudu Charity run. No big deal really but I had my mind tuned to the original route and had all my race pace planned for each section of the race and this sudden change really had me running blind as I had no idea where the new route would take us.

The race started exactly on time and I was cursing the moment I hit the Jalan Parlimen stretch as it was a 1KM incline with a horribly cambered road that made running up that stretch pretty uncomfortable. By the time I hit the top of that stretch I was panting for breath. Thank god for the short decline immediately after that.

From that point it was pretty flat but I decided to keep it at a steady pace to prepare for anymore of those goddamned hills that may litter the route further up ahead. And my guess was right cos from KM6 or so, the route hit the stretch behind the National Mosque and I knew I was in for a tough hilly stretch which I've never run before.

It took quite an effort to negotiate that stretch and once I was out of the Bukit Aman area and heading back into Jalan Parlimen, I thanked whatever gods that watch out for 'poor aged and totally on the verge of collapsing runners' like me for the downhill stretch to the finish line.

Actually the finish line was like about 2KM away but heck, a downhill stretch is always welcomed. From that point, after a short slow down in pace, I picked it up for the last 1.5KM that saw me hitting a sub 5 minute pace to the finish line coming in with a time of 52.29 in position number 57 to pick up my much deserved medal.

Overall the race was organized pretty well. I have not a single complaint, well except for the sudden route change, about this event. The wife had one complaint though and it isn't at the race organizers, it was aimed more towards the drivers who had to wait in traffic that was blocked by the cops to let the runners pass by. According to her, they kept honking and harassing the runners for ruining their Sunday morning drive for getting stuck in traffic.

I don't know la, you people knew there was going to be two runs in KL and notices were posted weeks in advance so it's your own fault for wanting to drive through the race route. Besides, give the runners a break la, we're busting our asses out there running while you're sitting there in your air-conditioned cars and you can't wait till the runners pass? It's not like we do this everyday!

With that said and done, congrats goes to the wife for a personal best for her 10K and here's looking forward to next weekends Adidas KOTR.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Sabbatical

It's a National holiday tomorrow for Malaysia day and normally I'd be delighted cos of the opportunity to do a longer morning run for three consecutive days. I don't do morning runs on weekdays simply because I can never wake up. But it's a different story entirely when it comes to holidays and weekends cos I'll be up at an ungodly hour of 4am to pound the streets.

Unfortunately, the next three to four days is going to see me hitting zero mileage as I'm going to be pretty tied up from morning till late night with some stuff that needs to be done by Sunday. Though I could try to squeeze in a run, I know it'll just be an effort in futility. I don't think I'd have the energy to run let alone walk. Might as well just give running a miss for the next couple of days, at least until I get everything done.

Besides, it'll give the tired legs some time to get refreshed before the Siemens run next Sunday, followed by the Adidas KOTR run the following week. While I'm not too concerned about the Siemens run, which goes through a nice leafy route, I'm a little skeptical about the Adidas KOTR run cos I've never run the NPE before. It's practically shadeless and there are some pretty long inclines along the way.

It's been quite a while since my last race, the Shape Night run and I'm itching for a race. The Siemens run will be quite a good warm up before taking on the Adidas KOTR, The Night Marathon (21K), The PJ Half and the CICM Responsible run (21K) with the Desa Park City 10K as the final race for the year. It's going to be a pretty tight schedule seeing as how almost all the races are just two weeks apart. Hope these old legs can hack it.

Next year will be a pretty interesting year for me as I attempt to try my hand (or rather legs) for my first full marathon. I haven't identified which event I'd like to attempt the FM just yet. I'd probably give it a go with the SCKLM, if they don't cancel the event that is. It looks like a nice setting to come out and run myself silly for 42.195 kilometers. Any suggestions on a race I could use as my inaugural FM?

With that said and done, if you're maximizing the long weekend with running, have fun and as the Brooks motto goes, run happy :D

Thursday, September 8, 2011

How Much Should A Race Cost?

A conversation with a client this morning.

Client: I heard you're into running.

Me: Yeah, I do a little running now and then. 

Client: That's good, I used to run quite a while back.

Me: Cool, not running anymore?

Client: No la, races these days are too expensive.

Which brings me to my question for today. Are races really on the expensive side these days? I don't know, I'm in two minds about this. Yes, I do think races are priced pretty steep these days but then, as a person who comes from an advertising background and have been involved in organizing events, the cost to organize a race with an average number of participants ranging from anywhere between 5,000 to 20,000 people doesn't come cheap. The logistics involved can be pretty phenomenal at times.

Besides, in my humble opinion, no one forced me to pay the exorbitant race fees anyway. I did that on my own free will cos I relish the opportunity to run with countless other runners. Training runs on your own are one thing, but running with a host of people is a total different feel altogether. It's where you put all that training to the test. So yeah, though I do think that races these days are on the high side, I will still pay to take part. Of course, next year, I'll only take part in select few races because of the cost involved.

The conversation with my client went on to the point of him saying that all the stuff are sponsored anyway so why do we have to pay so much. Back in the old days, races were only RM6-RM10. The key word here is 'back in the old days'. Heck, these days, Chinese tea alone cost RM0.60 compared to when it cost only RM0.20 'back in the old days'. You really shouldn't compare the cost of races from back then with now. Everything has gone up in price, so it's only natural that the cost of races would go up as well.

Like I said, I'm in two minds about this. With the cost of taking part in a race being on the steep side, it might just turn away lots of would be runners from taking up the sport, which would be a sad thing cos we need more healthy people in this country. Maybe the bigger corporations that sponsor these runs could look in subsidizing these races a little more. I know they already do, but go a little further to encourage more people to take up the sport without being turned off by the cost.

So, what do you think? Are races just too expensively priced these days? What would you think a reasonable cost for a race should be?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

I'm a Runner: Drew Carey

I'm a huge fan of Drew Carey and his 'Whose Line Is It Anyway' and The 'Drew Carey Show' back when they used to air on TV over here. I wouldn't miss a single episode and would really laugh out loud, not the 'LOL' kinds you find here ... LOL!

Back then, I remember him as this fat (no offense to any fat people out there) and funny guy. Then the series stopped being aired in these parts of the world and I totally forgot about Drew Carey, that is until a month or so back.

I buy the Runner's World magazine every month and glanced through a short article about this runner named Drew Carey and actually didn't realize it was the same Drew Carey from the 'Whose Line Is It Anyway' series. It wasn't until the wifey told me that it was the one and the same Drew Carey that I was totally stunned.

The Drew Carey I saw in Runner's World was half the size he was from before and looked way healthier and younger and to top if off, he's a runner these days. That got me interested and I dug deeper and was amazed that he lost close to 85lbs (or maybe more) and is now happily interested in running :D

Then and now ...
And what made him decide to get fit and loose all that weight? 'I got sick of being fat!', was his reply. I'm seriously happy for him. He's now the host of 'The Price Is Right' and he's looking pretty good and healthy and so much younger than what he used to look. He's so far run the Marine Corp half marathon in 1'57", two whole minutes faster than my SCKLM time (damn him!) and is already scheduled for a full marathon this October.

He's featured in the October edition of Runner's World so be sure to get one today if you're a fan of Drew. If not, you can always read about him here in their online edition. It just goes to show that if you really set your mind to doing something, you can and will achieve it with hard work. Excuses like 'no time', 'it's not for me', 'I'm too old' and many more are just that, excuses!

Now excuse me while I go see if I can find an online site where I could download those old 'Whose Line Is It Anyway' episode. I simply love that series.