Against all odds, I managed to rake in a third placing in the Malakoff 7km Run yesterday! This was supposed to be a take-it-easy cum training run for me since I had earlier earmarked the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon to be my last run for 2009. In addition, since it was organized by Pacesetters, hills (not hill!) are a given; recall the double hills at the Mizuno Wave 10km when it was held at Padang Merbok and the Great Eastern (now New Balance) Pacesetters 30km? One or two of the runners did a reconnaissance of the route prior to the weekend – the conclusion: four hills per loop with the last one being the steepest. I cannot phantom doing seven hills; thank goodness I only signed up for the 7km instead of the 12km.
Since this was a Pacesetters’ organized event (i.e. organized by runners for runners), we did not have the usual VIP attendance and speech (thank goodness!) which meant that the flag off was right on the dot. The 12km runners went off at 7 am while the 7km, 15 minutes later. I started at around the middle of the pack so the timing delay was probably about 40 seconds. Getting out of the Bukit Kiara Equestrian and Country Club (Kiara) was pretty much a tight squeeze given the narrow road – so I probably lost a bit of time there as well.
The gentle upslope at Kiara was followed by a very short flat route leading to the junction at the National Science Centre/Securities Commission building. After that, it was a long uphill climb to the junction of Jalan Beringin. Some of the folks were already walking at this stage and we were only 1km into the run!
From thereon, it was basically rolling mini hills one after another but somehow I wasn’t as perturbed as I was during the Mizuno Wave 2008. Someone (I think it’s Tey) had commented that the killer slope would be the one just after Hock Lee Supermarket and Shell because it was a long uphill climb but surprisingly I didn’t think it was that bad. Well, unless of course I was mistaken. The killer slope for me was the last one which was really steep and I was more or less reduced to walking or taking extremely small steps. It was also here Ronnie passed me and he was already doing his second and final loop!
After the killer slope, the last stretch was essentially a downhill cruise from Jalan Beringin heading into the road leading to Kiara. This was the most enjoyable portion of the route and probably the least energy required – heck, I could even roll down the hill past the National Science Centre and Securities Commission building. No doubt, the split timing for this portion was the best at 4.56 min/km. It was also here Fauzan ran past me (oh great, people who were doing 2 loops were even faster than my 7km run!).
At the home stretch at Kiara, one of the girls overtook me and at that stage, it did not crossed my mind that I was in contention for the prize and hence the let-it-be attitude. Only when the marshals took down my race bib number and handed me the 3rd prize tag did it sink in that I had actually won something! All in, my Garmin clocked 6.88 km for 38:18 minutes though the gun time was about 38:40 minutes.
The first water station came onto the scene roundabouts 2km but as always I could only manage 2 drops – it takes a lot of might to actually run and drink from a cup and stopping was not an option. This was repeated 2km later and I skipped the last water station since I figured it was not going to be any better. Since running with the adiNation group, I have learnt not to take gulps after gulps of water during the run and have not been using my hydration belt. This is a proven theory in the Hammer Nutrition Guide i.e. we do not need to replace ounce for ounce of water expended as the body has more than enough stores of liquid. Caution: they are not advocating zero replacement and instead replace sufficient to keep going. The rule of thumb is about 400-600 ml per hour.
As the prize giving only ended at around 945 am (for me at least), I only made it to the gym just after 10. After a quick shower, I realized that it was a bit too late for breakfast and too early for lunch. To ward off the hunger pangs, I had a glass of soymilk. I couldn’t eat much either throughout the day – some black sesame puffs for lunch and tea and noodles for dinner.
And neither could I nap yesterday afternoon even though the yawns came and my body was physically tired.
The muscle soreness and aches usually weaves in 24 hours after an event and thus I came into the office with shin splints and some tightness in my hamstrings. I might also add quads to that equation! Oh well, it was still a good run and I can look forward to my massages in Bangkok this Friday and all weekend!