The KL Standard Chartered Marathon (10K) this morning served as a kick-off for my base training leading to my key race next March. The HMM 6-week base program demands for 66K weeks and while I was on track for the just concluded Week 1, 3 days manning the Gold Coast Marathon booth at the KLSCM Expo sapped my energies too much to maintain my plan.
I went into W1 of base running much less than I’d like to, due to the hazardous air quality. I’ve no gym membership to move my running indoors. When the toxic smoke from the fires in Indonesia continue to blanket the country, I had no choice but to finally enroll myself into a gym last week. I can imagine the anxiety of those who have registered to race the longer distances – will the race go on? Fortunately, the wind direction changed and the country saw daily rainfall, enough to clear up the air significantly.
I clocked 47:49 last year (then, the race was in April hence I was already in GCM18 training), and with no key races anymore this year, I went into this morning’s race with very modest expectations – a 47-minute finish. The stretched goal was to dip under 45 minutes, but that really was what it was – “stretched”.
I love the KLSCM 10K course. Mostly flat with a climb at the 7K mark. The 2019 course is a carbon copy of the 2018’s so I know what’s in store. The train service nearly derailed my plans for an extensive warm up, stopping at every station when it was only supposed to do so at designated stations. I had hardly broken sweat when it was time to enter the race pen. I reminded myself to avoid repeating the EE Run mistake when I went out too fast. A younger me would’ve tried to hang on to Daniel Tan longer but 49-year old me was much wiser. After 300m or so, I held my comfortable pace while Daniel gradually drew away.
Other than a couple of KMs where I had the company of a young chap in Peg Turbo (he dropped off pace around the 6K mark), I was mostly running alone. But I did find myself passing more runners this year, thanks to a more conservative early pace. I was still weak, endurance wise, heading up Jalan Parlimen though. My choice of the Vaporfly was a good one since my legs felt great throughout. As I entered the finishing chute, Pat Carroll who returned to emcee the event, called out my full name not once but thrice! He must’ve thought I didn’t hear him so I waved my hand in acknowledgment! Thanks, Pat! My watch showed 46:28 for 10.3KM (4:31 pace), which I believe to be my PR and good for 21st position in my veteran category. It’s certainly an encouraging result for sure, something to take forward into my marathon training. It’s always about the big picture. These races merely act as stepping stones and building blocks towards the ultimate goal. Keep building, keep improving and being patient is the game plan for me.
Caught up with the GCM crew, who nailed their PRs on KL’s tough courses as well. These guys are just getting faster and it’s great to have everyone in support and in pursuit personal goals – works wonders for motivation!
I’d like to thank the generous contributors to my fund raising for Hospis Malaysia under the Run for a Reason initiative. They provide evidence based, palliative care to patients and families living in the Klang Valley and support the nation through palliative care education, training and advocacy initiatives. The total sum collected pales to the work they do. To learn more and to support these wonderful folks, click on the link above.
My thanks also to the KLSCM organizers for always taking the runners’ needs and welfare into consideration and supporting us bloggers and media reps in your annual biggie and congratulations yet again on a job well executed! KLSCM retains its position as the best large-scale running event in the country.
To my fellow GCM crew, onwards and upwards!