Back in June, I wrote a blog post about me hesitating to join Pink 50 which was held earlier today at Taman Saujana Hijau in Presint 11, Putrajaya.
And yet, I still joined and ran in it today.
The reason being :
1. I needed to do a 32K LSD this week. So, why not join this because otherwise, I doubt I'll do the 32K alone!
2. I need to get out of my comfort zone and challenge myself to something I don't enjoy - running hilly route.
3. In support of women running development in Malaysia.
As always, for runs in loops, I turn to my yellow post-it-note to jot down my pace chart and plan my timing.
I split my target time into 3, first 7 loops (total of 21K), then another 5 loops (15K) and finally 4 loops (12K) for a total of 48K. Then whatever time left, I hope to do at least another 2 more loops to make a total of 18 loops (54K).
Truthfully, it was quite ambitious target but hey, why not?
So how was the execution?
First 7 loops
I started the run with a runner, Eena. She wanted to follow my pace and although I warned her that I'll be running slower than what she used to do (she's a really fast marathoner), she stuck with me.
It was kinda nice running with someone. It made tackling the incline less stressful, for one. Because we were too busy yakking! LOL
The first 3 loops were done in a 7:30min pace which was kinda fast from what I earlier planned but I was feeling good and the pace didn't feel hard. The cooling morning weather helped a lot too. It was such a joy at that time to run in the scenic Taman Saujana Hijau.
But it was definitely slower than what I did last week in Seremban HM. But of course lah. Last week I only ran 21K. This week, I ran more than double that.
But during our 4th loop, while running of the flat section of the hilly Taman Saujana Hijau route, with less than 600m to finish the loop, I tripped and fell.
I later spent about 15 minutes at the checkpoint 2 (CP2) to get the wounds cleaned up by two very nice medic personnel and I told Eena to go ahead and continue without me.
I scraped both my palms and my elbows too and got my Columbia long tee torn a bit. But other than that, and the sting from the wounds, continuing wasn't a problem.
But I guess I was in a bit of shock as my pace went down a bit after that.
But I still managed to complete the first 7 loops (21K) in the 3 hour time limit that I set out to do.
Showing off my cleaned-up elbow for photo proof. Hahaha
Second 5 loops
After the first 21K, my run was by now reduced to run on downhill and flat sections and walk the uphill.
By 11am, the sun was up in full force and there were sections of the route that felt so hard to tackle because of the elevation and the heat.
By now, I occasionally ran together with other runners for company - didn't matter whether we knew each other or not. We talked, we fantasize about waterfalls, cold drinks, etc, we bitched about the route, comparing about how much easier it was to do Route 68...
I had prepared my own stash for fueling (soya bean drinks, chocolates...) but as the sun went up, I was hankering for cold drinks and most importantly coke.
There were no ice or coke served earlier at the water stations and when Hubby arrived later, I told him I needed the two items. Badly.
The first time I request it to him, he replied with "so?" and that got me feeling down a bit but I still continued with my run, trying to be satisfied with just warm Revive and my soya bean drinks.
A nice lady offered some ice which her friend had brought over but I declined.
After I finished my loop, I requested for coke again and he simply replied "didn't you know they're not serving coke?" which actually got me pretty annoyed at him. I was hot, tired and I need a sugar boost.
Since realising it was after all my own fault for not bringing the said ice and coke myself, I just continued my run. But I have to admit, I wasn't in a happy place at that time. *note to self, bring own stash of whatever I want to eat/drink when running in looping event that has no shops in the near vicinity*
But all was well after I finished the loop because hubby had a cup of COLD COKE in his hand for me! BLISS! By this time, all was well in the world for me, and I love my hubby back! LOL
When it got unbearably hot, I changed my Adidas cap to a cap with flap to keep my neck covered. As I reached CP2, I'd fuel up, hydrate and then wet my cap so that my head got cooler.
I managed to still do this 5 loops in my target time but just barely and I knew it would be hard to try maintain the third target.
I've only spent time training by running on the treadmill at the gym during Ramadhan and night runs and those aren't enough to prepare for a run in hot weather. I seriously got pooped.
Truthfully, after finishing the 11th loop, I had thought of quitting. My training plan only requires me to do a 32K this weekend and I achieved that. I don't really need to do 50K right? But somehow, I couldn't let myself stop before it's time to do so.
Trying to push ahead, I'd alternate a loop where I just walked and suffer less, and then do another loop where I'd run for 100m then walk a 100m.
The Third 4 loops for 48K
By now, I knew that trying to finish 48K in my target time or my lofty dream of achieving 50K in 8 hours would be very hard to achieve.
By the 13th loop, I did a mental calculation and realise that trying to do the 18th loop would mean I'd run in more than 9 hours, because I have only 20 minutes to spare for loop 18 if I continued at my current pace.
I even confided about this to one of the race committee, Lina K who walked with me up the uphill section at KM2 point before she stopped to look after a runner who seemed to be cramping.
After trying to cut the 35 minutes that I did for the 13th loop in the 14th loop (I managed 33 minutes), I felt that I had nothing to gain to over-achieve and get 54K this time. Especially since I have another race to run next week.
So for the final 3 loops to get 51K, I calculated that I could finish within the 9-hours cut off limit by running at the max, 40 minutes for each loop. So I makan angin. I walked.
Did my 15th loop in 39 minutes (including rest and toilet stops), 16th loop in 36 minutes and with hubby keeping a lead (he decided to do a loop with me), I did the 17th and final loop in 35 minutes and managed to finish my 51K ten minutes before 9-hours.
Thank you to the Pink 50 committee and volunteers for a good challenge for me today.
Shyam, Suzie, Lina and Asni.
Also to Team Pacat.
Thank you too to MURA for the water provided at KM2 and all the encouragements. Friends who came to support. Fellow runners who always encouraged. Kahwai who made me do rope skipping even though I was at that time already doing 39K. I still can jump! LOL
And lucky me, I even won a hamper during the lucky draw today! ^^