Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Legend Marathon

I signed up for this race sometime in June. It had showed up in my email and when I saw that the date was close to graduation, I was more than pleased. I felt like I needed to make my trip back to NZ a bit more worth while so I signed up for it without much hesitation. The next day I boasted about it to my colleagues and friends and I remember my boss, the owner of Configure, saying to me, "Oh that one's a toughie. You need to add about 30-45 minutes to your best marathon time to that one. It's quite mean!" Oh, darn. And then my girlfriend Ingrid said her boyfriend did it and had to add about 35 minutes to his best time, and he's a pretty awesome marathoner. So, that would mean I'd have to add more than that because I'm not that strong a runner as he is. A quick search on Google and I found out that the Kiwis rate this to be the toughest on-road marathon in NZ. To be completely honest, that got me more keen. :D

Time really sped by and before I knew it, I was on the plane back to Auckland again. I touched down Friday morning. Had not had much sleep on the flight, which turned out to be a good thing because by 9.30 pm Auckland time, which was 5.30 pm KL time, I was more than ready to go to bed.

I got up at 4.45 am on Saturday morning. Heather picked me up at 5.15 am, and we got to the race venue before 6 am. 6.30 am was start time. It was freeeeeeeezingggg cold, so I decided to run with my yellow jumper on. I knew I'd regret it later on because I'd have to take it out and then it'd be a liability, but I couldn't stand the cold.

I started alright, running alongside Heather. I had my brother's iPod in my ears because I carelessly lost mine (again!). I also had my mobile phone with me to put RunKeeper on. About 10 minutes into the race, it started to drizzle, and then it started to pour. (it rained 4 times throughout this darn race!). My jumper got really soaked and heavy so I took it off about 8ks into the race. Cold, wet, and coughing, I had trouble keeping up with Heather, so after about 12ks of struggling to keep up the pace, I told her to go ahead. Took the pressure of me. haha...It wasn't until about 16ks into the race did the incline start to increase exponentially! That was when we started slowly (well, me anyway) tracking up to the Waitakere Ranges. It was insane! About 6 kms of possibly 30-40% gradient. Gosh. But I was loving it. I cursed the hills, but I was loving the fact that it lived up to its name. I kept thinking to myself, if i completed this I'd have the honour of saying I have done 8 marathons, and I just did NZ's toughest on road race. Hooyah! :D That was my motivation to keep going. I slowed to walk some of the uphills, but generally I kept on going whenever I see the road plateau. I knew a 4:30 time was going to be impossible, so I said as long as it was under 5 hours I'd be pretty happy with myself. I did just fly 10 hours the day before, and was sick for the most of last 2 weeks.

Long story short, I took in the fresh cold air and amazing scenery and came in in a time of 4 hours 48 minutes. I was happy. =)

8 marathons done! Now for Penang Bridge Marathon. hehe...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Salomon X Run 2011

It's been a while since I posted up a race report. I think I've kinda lost the interest in posting lengthy written reports since a single line of expression coupled with a post on my race route, pace and time on Facebook seems to get way more attention. It's a tech savvy world out there. =)

But I have mixed feelings about this morning's race. I went this morning not feeling too confident to begin with because I have not been training in the past 2 weeks. It is part because I was sick and part because I was just a lazy bum, still struggling with full time working hours and so on. Also, last night's dinner was BBQed lamb chops, cheese sausages and fried mee hoon. hmm, probably not the best pre race diet because i had a bit of indigestion this morning.

But no matter how many times I tell myself to just take it easy, stay calm, run your own race, this is an easy run, just go and have fun, and God knows what other self talk I do to ensure I take my competitiveness out of the equation, it always resurfaces the moment I see all the familiar faces at the start venue. All the self talk just dives out the door when I see the regular runners lined up at the start line, rearing to go. I wish, with all my heart, that I am able to pull off one of my fluke shots. (Must not have been flukes since I succeeded very frequently in the past). heh.

So anyway. Gun start. Off all the powerful women go, leading the pack. It took a lot of will power to refrain from keeping up this time, because I know I'm not 100%. I took a slower steady pace, so I can run the whole distance without stopping to walk. But it was useless. I stopped to walk halfway through a steep hill about 4 kms in. I was puffing like mad, my heart was pounding against my rib cage and I wondered whether my hyperthyroidism was back. Because I have never reached max heart rate doing a silly 10k run before. My tummy was bloated and uncomfortable. I picked up running again after the hill, but breathing was very hard.

I stopped another 2 more times after that. It was pathetic. I was going into self loathing at that time, and half my reserve energy was now used to refrain from tearing up. :( I know it's silly because I'm obviously not a 100% and a lesser performance should be expected used to be a lot easier to bounce back when I was younger.

I think it's a social thing. I am very sad to see that my reputation as a young, fast female runner is now overshadowed by other younger, faster, prettier women out there. boo. So stupid, right, to think this way? I know. But it is still disappointing. Plus, with being a fitness trainer at Rebel and a Personal Trainer to others, I really wanted to be an inspiration to everyone. What inspiration can I be when I am overtaken by so many other less experienced runners.

I need to grow up. But it's so hard!! *pout*

[edit] Though I have to say the route this morning was gorgeous! It really reminded me of running in NZ with all the cows and horses and piles of poo along the track. haha..=)

Friday, September 02, 2011

People are interesting.

They never cease to amaze me.

I went out for yumcha with Weng and an old schoolmate, Seng Chee, this afternoon. I haven't seen Seng Chee in quite a while, and that catch up was the randomest meeting which started off as a simple Facebook comment.

Anyway. He was pretty much the same person he was back in high school, although I never really hung out with him much back then. We were doing the usual "Hey, how's it going? So what are you doing right now? Working? Oh, for who?" and that sorta stuff. And then we started talking about relationships. (And the lack thereof). And, I don't know, I just never thought he was such a deep, philosophical person. And he said a lot of things which made sense today. Of course, he said a lot of things which I already knew as well, from experience. Haha, I sometimes feel I should write a book on how to screw up a long distance relationship. heh. And just like that, I left that mamak with a somewhat different impression of Seng Chee. He's interesting.

And just earlier today, I was feeling somewhat restless so I decided to head to Pyramid to do some shopping. I figured I didn't have much free time left from now till I fly off to Auckland, so I'd better start buying those things for my friends. One of the items I was supposed to carry with me to Auckland were wedding magazines for a friend who just got engaged recently. I even played a tiny tiny role in the planning of the proposal. True story. So I found a couple of nice ones at Popular, and proceeded to pay at the counter. And the girl at the counter gave me a wide grin, to which I smiled as politely as I could in return and said "These aren't for me". Her face almost immediately reddened and I felt bad so I wished her Selamat Hari Raya, quickly paid and went away.

I don't blame her. If I saw a young woman holding a bridal magazine I'd smile myself giddy as well. It's nice to see a girl at that time. It's probably one of the happiest moments of a girl's life - getting married. I would think so anyway.

I think, that my parents are probably trying to guess whether I'm dating anyone at the moment. Everytime I mention a friend's name that I'm going to meet, they probably mentally cross reference it in their heads with the last time i mentioned that same friend's name and make a mental note on how frequently I go out with him. I wish I could tell them I am dating someone. But, well, I just haven't met him yet. =)

I need to do something out of the ordinary. I need to meet new people, partake in new activities, reach out of my comfort zone. I need a new breath of fresh air. Maybe then I'll meet someone cool enough to be my man. =)