Monday, November 10, 2008

My PowerMan Race

Before i go on, here is my dinner.

The above is a QUAD stacker from Burger King. Four fat laden beef patties on four pieces of oily cheese topped with some hydrogenated fat sauce and pieces of deep fried bacon.

The only healthy portion was the sesame seeds on the top of the bun.

But it was good.

The same can't be said about my performance in PowerMan race yesterday.

Mervyn and I drove up to Lumut yesterday morning at 3am and reached Lumut at 5.30am. Upon arrival, we helped Melody and Adele to set up the secretariat table (put covers on top la) and waited for Bandit to come over with the timing chip.

Participants slowly trickles in by 6am and we checked in the bike by 6.30am.

The Devil - Exorcised

By 7.00am, Mervyn and myself was starting to feel really really lethargic. In fact, if any of us were to sit down at one place, we will just fall asleep! Nevermind the Ktubah Subuh blaring from the speaker at the mosque behind (and frankly, i was shocked at what that was preached...ISA stuff man!)

By 7.30am, everyone was at the starting line and the usual suspect were all there.

With AJ and Mervyn

Seriously, i was half wanting to race. At that hour, i calculated that i only managed to sleep a total of 6 hours within the past 48 hours (Friday - 4hours, Saturday 2 hours).

I know that's the wrong mindset to start with and it goes totally against my racing principle "to defeat myself" and i am not gonna let fatigue takes over, not the Powerman race, no SIR!

The gun went off at 7.30am and it was a frenzy at the starting line. The pros are most probably a good 1km away by the time i cross the starting line. I made my pace slowly, going at a good 6:10 pace before picking up to 5:30 midway. By then, i've caught up with AJ, Zabil, Julie and Yusran. I tried to maintain those superhuman pace set by AJ and Zabil.

I was smiling because i managed to keep up with the two super IronMan

By the 7th KM, i found myself catching up with more people and was going at a cool 5:00 pace. I knew if i maintained the pace, i would either suffer the rest of the race, or post a possible PB for the distance.

Since i've pretty made up my mind that this race will be a TRAINING first and a RACE second, i find no excuse not to push myself.

It was all smile when i crossed the 11km mark in 57minutes. It was my best 11km run.

Went into transition and spent a good 5 minutes there as i find it hard to reach out to my shoes with both sides of the bike still next to mine. It was almost impossible and i had to kneel down to pull my shoes out. By that time, Mervyn has left me almost 3 minutes away.

It was a slow stroll from the bike rack to the bike out. Reason was the cycling shoes wasn't meant to walk on those soft mushy wet field. I did not want to dirty my anniversary gift in such unglam manner (inshort, sayang la).

I mounted the bike and pedalled away. Minutes into the biking section, i started to get cramps on both my calves. It was hardly 1km into the biking and haven't even reach those double bump near the stadium.

I was cursing myself.

Could it be me pushing too hard during the run?

Or could it be me, just being tired?

I caught up with Ariff and the cramps got worse. Looking at my calves, i saw both the inner calves muscle contracting and caving in. Not good. It was painful (and i am paying the price for that NOW).

A short hill came about at Sg Sitiawan and i power pedalled through. Magically, the cramp went away! How can it be? I started to tell myself that as long as the cramps stayed at bay/in-control, i stand a good chance to finish the biking. I will consider the run later. Yes, i was thinking of quitting!

After the short climb over the Sg Sitiawan river, i power pedalled all the way through. I was going at 35km/h everytime i looked at my meter and never a km/h short of that. I appear to smile, but it was actually me breathing hard and trying to contain the pain in the calves.

The second waves of cramps came about and it magically went off again after the power climb through the slight incline up the second bridge.

And then, the last bridge overlooking the exit of Sg Perak to Straits Of Melaka came about. It was a big climb (because the middle of the bridge needs to be high enough to let boats/ships clear).

But i never am afriad of climbs. I love hills. And i tell you, it helped a lot.

I powered through as if i was gonna catch up with the leader of the pack (which by the way, has a good cool 16km or ahead of me as i met them half way on the opposite side).

I managed to close the first 32km within 1 hour. I was pleasantly suprised to see an average speed of 31.5km/h on the first lap. The second lap wasn't any kinder to me as the sun starts coming out and the cramps return everytime on the flats.

Again, the same thing happen when i climbed. I repeated the same thing and power through the biking section. At the last 6km to transition, the energy level took a big dip and that was when Laif came from behind with his spanking new Planet-X and dissappeared into the horizon.

The last 6km was me, trying really hard not to drop down and scream in agony because of the uncontained cramps. Stretching the calves muscle on the bike at 4.30 clock pedal position does not help and seems to make it even worse. I had to bite bitter pill the final 6km and settle for a 1:10 split.

My final bike average was a 29.5km/h; which i think was damn good despite the cramps through the 64km.

Pushing my bike gingerly through the transition, i almost blew my cool when particiapant 188 and 189 happily placed their bikes in the place of 190 and 191. Leaving me with no place but potentially place in 192. But 193 already came back from biking and that would meant 192 would not have any place to place his bike if i selfishly put my bike in 192's place (and claim ignorance)

Being the considerate racer that i am, i decided to help place 188 and 189 back to their respective places. I could had just throw their bike on the ground but i did not.

The final run of 10km was the most painful i ever had this year. It was worse than my IronMan marathon! I struggled through the whole 10km!

I tried running and only managed the first 5km. Everyone i managed to overtake on the bike happily strut past me like walking in the park. Elaine (Boey) ran up to me and walked with me a few hundred meters before leaving me to inhale her dust.

It was painful. Really painful.

Long Straight Road Of Loneliness

I whipped up my phone and video called wifey to let her know i am ok, but struggling.

I ran a bit and walked a bit and the last 3km was spent walking.

Walking so slowly that someone else walking could overtake me as well!

I was struggling up till the final 500meters and Jaja managed to shoot this picture of me....struggling.

gotta lose those weights i gained after IM08 - i looked fat. I am fat

I jogged to the finish line when i entered the stadium.

The 10KM run took me a good 1:29 to finish and i am damn shy about that.

It wasn't the explosive finish i envisioned in my mind.

But nevertheless, i finished the 11-64-10 race.

4:39 - hardly impressive and my worse outing ever

I am 3rd time PowerMan with the completion of yesterday's race.

I am looking to my fourth and i hope to better the timing to below 4:10.

I would give myself an F9 for performance, but a C3 for effort.

And i am so looking forward to sleep through the 13 hours flight which i will be boarding to Milan in the next 1 hour.

To all the new PowerMan and returning Powerman...WELL DONE. You guys and girls truly deserves a big QUAD Stacker for your effort!

I'm gonna miss my wife and kids.

See you all in Milan!

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