Sunday, 26 July 2015

Seremban Half Marathon - The Third Time Around

I've never really liked Seremban Half Marathon, truthfully. I mean the route is nice and all, but there is nothing special about the race itself and I usually suffer finishing it. Yet, for the past 3 years; even with my own bad reviews, I keep coming back. Sucker! Hahaha

The route itself is undulating and can be quite a challenge. They aren't steep but you get them one after another. And the last hill at KM19 mark can really sap one's energy and suffer mentally.

Anyway, I entered this year's Seremban Half Marathon edition because I needed a 21K and I need to run it faster than my usual long run pace or my easy run pace. So I decided to rely on how I did during TM Fan Run and put a target average pace of 7:20min/km. 

But bearing in mind that I usually start slow and only pick up my pace after 3K, I only put  target pace of 8:00min/km for the first 3K.

We arrived the race venue a few minutes before 6.00am and the first order of business was search for the toilet. I needed to do both "job" before I run and went to the building next to the field to use the toilet. Apart from a nearby mosque, Muslim runners have the convenience to pray at this building too.

The Half Marathon category was flagged off at 6.30am and I met a few friends there.
Leen, Wai Ching (who managed to get 2nd placing for Men Open 10K) and Tengku Azeezoon who was pacing a friend. ^^

Flag off was at 6.31am my watch, but I only stepped on the starting timing mat at 6.33am. There seemed to be a lot more runners than previous years and there's an increase this year of Women Open 21K runners participating.

I didn't want to be too pre-occupied with looking at my Polar V800 watch and check my pace constantly so I set it to give me alert at every 3K I've done and run pretty much on perceived effort.

The first 3K felt quite easy, even with a bit of climb as we reached the KM3 mark so I was quite surprised to see that I did the first 3K in 21:14. Way faster than the 24min I had allocated for.

A runner said hi to me around KM4 as we were climbing up yet another incline. He was so nice and told me he read my blog and even welcomed me to Seremban. Awwww, thank you.

We chatted a bit about our next race - he's doing Kampar and I'll be doing Sungei Lembing. ^^

Later, another friend (the prez of a running group, no less) said hi as he passed me.

While I was slow at KM4 as we climbed a long incline, I managed to make up for lost time when we started going downhill towards KM5. Another incline at KM6-7 then it's downhill to get to the second water station located at KM8.

A friend said hi there as we stopped for a drink but I just smiled and raised my hand to acknowledge her and didn't stop to chat. Sorry! ^^! 

A cup of mineral water and a cold sponge to wipe off my sweat, and off I went again, still feeling pretty good and happy. So happy that I was singing a nasyid in my head. Not the "insaf" type but the #syukurselalu type. Hahaha

Seremban traffic sure was pretty busy today, compared to when I ran in 2013 and 2014 but have to give credit to Seremban patient drivers. Not a single honk was heard and they even made sure they drove with a gap past us. Thank you Seremban drivers for your consideration. 

The 3rd water station wasn't placed at the junction near Giant at around KM10 this year but was instead moved to KM11 near Petronas petrol station. Good choice. 

I also noticed traffic control was better this year with more volunteers and police manning junctions. Never mind there hadn't been any major incidences with traffic before this but I wish organiser would still place safety of runners as their priority. Just because no one got run over (yet) doesn't mean it'll stay that way.

KM10-14 was pretty easy with mostly flat section and I just maintained what I feel was a pace I can sustain for the next 6-10K, especially knowing there are hilly sections I need to tackle later. Two of them actually. A runner ran a bit and chatted with me at KM10 before going off as we crossed the road. It's always nice to have a bit of distraction while running and talk to people. Well, for me lah.

Another runner said hi and asked about hubby after KM12. Actually, he was the third person who asked hubby's whereabouts! Hahaha

No lah, hubby didn't run today. He and Son waited for me at the finishing line instead today.

It was at KM13 where I got to the the incline I dread and I decided to walk instead. My first walk break, for about 500m. I somehow felt relieved as I managed to walk as fast as other runners who were running beside me going uphill.

Then off I went, trying to cover the slower pace from the walk and managed to finish my 15K at 1:47 (target 1:50) so was quite happy with it. Especially since I was still feeling OK and not that tired yet. Perceived effort run seemed to be going well for me today.

But I decided to take a break at KM16 and took another walk break for a few hundred metres. Just got damn lazy and the stretch was HOT lah. Thirsty. Hihihi

A runner suddenly asked me for the time and it was 8.31am when we reached KM16.

I picked up pace afterwards and started running until I reached the KM19 mark where we had to cross a busy junction. Thankfully, I didn't have to wait to cross the road this time as there were two traffic police manning the junction.

From here, near two petrol stations, was where 21K runners converged with 10K runners. Hoards of school kids "forced" to join and complete their 10K. Hahaha

Bumped into the runner friend who had asked me about hubby earlier and said hi to him. He continued to run the last (steep) incline with another runner who had encouraged both of us while I chose to walk the incline.

A lady runner, whom I keep on either passing her or getting passed by her, patted my back to encourage me.

Knowing that I'll be able to make up for this slow time when we go downhill at the final stretch of the route, I just smiled at her and gave a thumbs up.

Sure enough, I managed to later catch up with her. We paced each other for a while before I started to push for the last few hundred metres.

As I crossed the road to get to the field to finish, I saw two friends taking photos in the middle of the closed-off road. Since I was being blocked by other runners and I want my photos taken, I weave through the crowd (instead of concentrating to finish), pose in front of them and then run towards the field. Muahaha
Photo credit : Leen AlKhatib
Hubby and Son were waiting for me at the finish line, as expected. As were a few other friends who stayed around to cheer for other runners.
My timing against the 3K split target written on my hand. Target 2:35, finished 2:29:33.

And didn't feel like dying finishing it. So I was really, really happy with my run.

And this was my personal record for Seremban Half Marathon. My best timing for this route. ^^
 The route we ran in, in Seremban Half Marathon.
The elevation map. Got a pretty good workout and some good hill training today. Hopefully, it'll serve me well when I do Pink 50 next week!
Got to the finish line and it was time for photos with friends! And new friends too!

What a great day!

26 comments:

  1. Great job and congratulation on archieving your target. I saw Ramie during the flag off but sorry didn't managed to say hi with you.

    Tgus year thr field was much bigger and more competitive. The organizer sure need to look into better traffic control if they want to continue to grow their number.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Congrats on your sub 1:50.

      Yes, agree with you.

      With more runners drawn to this event, they should place more priority on it.

      Delete
  2. You did well, Lina! Congrats!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I suspect is the name kot. Seremban Half Marathon sounds neither glamorous nor exciting. Good job setting a personal record though ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha

      Brand name doesn't rock my boat when it comes to running. ;)

      Delete
  4. Nice meeting you all ! Congrats again !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Congrats on your 32min 10K too!

      Delete
  5. Just curious........ Have you run in SG before? Wonder if there's any difference......

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The difference would be the high cost of RM conversion to SGD. LOL

      Delete
  6. Well done! I like9 the small goals you set in the run, perhaps I should learn from you too. Finishing at 2.39 was fast!! Well, maybe I can consider this race if it falls on a long weekend, as my in laws are from Seremban. hahaha...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pace chart is a normal thing, you can do it if you want to do a target time.

      I usually do it on my 12-16 hours run.

      Check out Runner's World for an idea. :)

      Errr.. It's 2:29 btw, hahaha

      Delete
  7. wow, PB for your SHM, and not felt like dying.. no wonder so happy, even at the finishing line, Mak Glam was smiling.. I actually love that shot from Leen..

    ReplyDelete
  8. eh, got marking on your hand!! haha.. means your brought a pen and your mark the split timing while you were running!!! I wonder the watch does not support split recording??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Got, but I just have it alert me every 3K otherwise the beeping will get annoying.

      And writing it that way, makes it easier to glance at my timing.

      Delete
  9. If you got come SG run, don't forget to tell me, will go support you...

    ReplyDelete
  10. LOL ...bad review still go. That is call passion leh. You passionate about running.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Timing within your target . Good. Shaping well for the coming big run leh. Jiayoh!

      Delete
    2. This year no wacky or hunky runner ke?

      Delete
    3. And it's not SCKLM! That one is just a recovery run. HAHAHA

      Delete
  11. Tahniah. Runner mmg suka cenggitu kan. suka, tak suka, tetap join. kerana satu matlamat, kita suka berlari, tertamanya dalam persekitaran yang terkawal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Gme.

      Betul tu.

      Apa race yang kita pilih, ianya sebab apa yang kita minat dan kena dengan matlamat kita.

      Yang penting, keseronokan berlari yang dapat dikongsi bersama. Kan? :)

      Delete
  12. Hiya Lina

    I never got a chance to wish you and family, Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri Maaf Zahir & Batin. I hope your Aidilfitri has been a lovely one so far (since raya is 1 month heheeh) as for me rushing back home on the eve of Raya was madness but it was great seeing my mum and dad after 2 years not seeing them.

    Wow, well done with your run and achieving your target. You have such great willpower to keep this up. One thing which I like as i read through your blog is, your husband and son waiting for you at the finish line what an encouraging sight to see.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri Maaf Zahir & Batin to you and family too! :)

      Delete

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...