The coveted 30k LSD – 9Apr2017

I finally did it!!!  Covered the coveted and illusive breakthrough points of the 30k LSD.  Although not in a superb running form and pace as I would like so no flashy finishing time for me.  No confetti to greet me in the finishing time as well, except the blazing sun, screaming muscles and a concerned running buddy.

Despite the previous three setbacks (first-12Feb2017, second-26Feb2017 and third-26Mar2017), I was more than determined to achieve the distance this time.  For some reasons, I had the following reservations coming to this LSD:

  1. No hydration support – bring your own water.
  2. Setback after 3 times.  There’s always something will pop-up during the run that prevent me from doing the distance.
  3. My plantar Faciitis and foot pain.  It is getting better after icing the area a day before, but I’m afraid the pain will come back after doing some distance of foot pounding along the LSD route.

 

The state of condition going into this run:

  • Weather: Quite volatile, as it starts with 28 degrees celsius, up to 33 degress celcius – average about 25 degree celcius
  • Time starts: about 5:05am
  • Sleep: 4:26 hours – due to checking and updating social media 😦
  • Food: a simple cereal dipping into milo drinks
  • Mood: Determined and doubtful at the same time
  • Body condition: Foot condition is better, no sign of pain and could move freely
30km LSD route
30k LSD route

Armed with just 1 bottle of 600ml water and 2 sachet of ORS,  I’m off with the 30km LSD route.  I was running along with 7 other experienced runners.  Master Chew, Jason Chua, Mohan, Tang Yi Fang, Teh Chui Mui, Tony Lim, Jeffery Lim.  It was a rather humid morning at the start the run, which quickly turned into a windy and cloudy day and end with a sunny day.

I started quite speedily, I think it was 7 or less mins pace.  Master Chew and Jason Chua slowed me down considerably.  “You are not doing short distance today, slow down so that you can last the distance”, both of them said the same message.  I slowed down my pace from 7mins to 8mins to 8:30mins pace.  The plan is 7:30mins to 8:00 mins pace.  Everytime Master asked for a conversation from me, Jason would stop me from answering.  It was quite a hilarious exchange of words and situation.  It brought in some comradeship among the 6 of us running alongside them.

As there’s no water being prepared in all the usual hydration stations, we were forced to use our water at hand sparingly and cautiously.  It turned out, I was more cautious with my effort (sort of minimising the sudden exertion of effort), which save a bit of energy.  Surprisingly, I didn’t stop at the first water station mark (6.5km) which I would normally do.  We took a new route leading towards the Lim Garden.  An under construction route to a couple of blocks of what it seems like a low-cost apartment.  By the time I’d arrived at the second water station mark (12.5km), I still felt alright, and also able to had a little bit of conversation.  But of course Jason still stopped me from doing so and asked me to conserve energy to last more distances.  Around this point (13th km), I’d consumed the first sachet of ORS as I could felt a little tightness in the glutes and calf areas.

Entering into the apartment area, I’d finished all my water reserves.  Luckily Mohan and Jeffrey Lim bought some water for everybody.  This had replenished the much-needed hydration into my body.  Fatigue set in at this point as I find myself moving slower than when I started (Master’s theory, if you start walking, you will want to continue walking).  The running momentum was diminishing slowly from this point onward.  The leading pack was moving away from me.  From 20m to 100m to 200m to 400m.  I felt like closing the gap by attempting to chase them.  This was where Jason stopped me again, and asked me to run at an even slower pace…maybe 9min.  Wow, this Jason is like a man who can’t be easily be intimidated.  I have much to learn from this behaviour and nerve of a steel. Instead of looking at the leading pack, he asked me to look about 45 degree down, and look ahead about 20m or whatever distance you think your pace can take you at that time.  And focus on his calf and tries to follow the pace by mimicking the cadence.  This will let me stay with the person in front of me which is at similar pace with me at that time. I like this method.

At the route coming out from Tenby, I was spent.  I’d used my second and last sachet of ORS.  I was a walker from this point onwards as the pain at the bottom of my foot was back (a little).  Jason refused to give up on me, he said walk a little and run for a little and assess the condition.  That’s where he shared the story of coke, which help restoring energy at the shortest time.  At this point, Ping joined us until the end of the run.

I couldn’t continue running at the point reentering into Setia Mall.  So we stopped at the Modern Mamak opposite of Zawara.  Trying to get some drinks but all three of us didn’t have any money with us.  So we negotiated with the store owner about paying later.  It was a relieve that the owner agreed to our request.  Happily took the drink and a brief rest by sitting down.  This had greatly relaxed my almost cramped muscle as by this time we had ran for almost 3:30 hours.  Surprisingly no more pain at the foot and I was able to continue running with renewed energy.  But this was where the new challenges started – the heat wave.  By this time, the sun was blazing and I could feel the heat wave combing upon us.  Ping was running with his vest off.  The last 5.5km was the most challenging of all, as the temperature rose from 29 degree to 33 degree at this time.

We didn’t go to the Honda route, but straight to the Setia Badminton Academy (SBA).  Which I still have about 1.5km to go.  So made a round robin towards Honda from SBA and back to SBA.  The moment of where I’d barely made it to the finishing line, crawling literally, 30.01km exactly.  The joy of achieving that much-needed breakthrough milestone was simply indescribable.  But I thought Master would not be amused and that I’d made him wait long for my arrival, but instead the first word he uttered was the condition of my foot.  I’m touched by that gesture.

So does that means I’d made it.  I would say no.  This was simply a beginning of great things to come.  A milestone to a psychological barrier.  The total time taken is 4:27hours.  There’s simply nothing to shout about.  I still remember my very first 20km LSD since joining SRR (which rendered my unprotected phone unusable due to excessive sweat).  I would say that I’m able to do 20km comfortably now.

Special thanks:

  • Jason Chua was a true mentor for today.  He is actually a 5mins pace marathon runner, but was accompanying me a 7mins pace runner do a really slow LSD – until the last km.
  • He never let me give up or DNF at any point.  “Let’s do another 2km and see what happens” was all he said throughout the distance.
  • Some of his wisdom:
    • “If you plan to do 30k, you must finish what you set out to do, no matter what is the condition and excuse – unless you are really injured”
    • “The real running starts from the 21st km”
  • Thanks to Mohan for buying mineral water at the 16th km, coming back to the apartment portion.  Really appreciate it as I finished my water at this point.
  • Thanks to the mamak who was willing let us have the drink first and pay later (1 coke, 1 100plus and 1 mineral water).

 

This is the longest distance I did so far this year:

Farthest PB
longest distance

 

Reflections:

My running experience so far has been to chase time and fit in others’ schedule.  For example, an hour windows for running before doing some chores, must finish run before 9 am at every Sunday LSD as I need to be back home attending to family matters (that is the reason why I seldom join the after-run breakfast with group runners).  It has some bearing to the performance psychology when I run – not entirely running free.

This has all change when for the first time, I just forget about the time, pace per minute, even when the sun blazing its ferocious heat wave on me and fellow runner who accompanied me.  Covering the distance is all I have in my mind at that time.

There has been many occasion where I would just throw in the white tower (entering Ecopark, at Tenby, at Modern Mamak, when the heat came, the last 5.5km), but with the constant and tireless encouragement from my mentor, Jason, I would then be able to complete the distance.  At this juncture, I wasn’t thinking of what I’m going to blog about this run, or post any photos etc.  It would be I just want to go home kind of feeling 🙂

Just a day before this LSD run, Master Chew had shared the following wisdom about running and social media.  This is a timely advise to the determined latest attempt at the 30k LSD.

Excerpt from Master Chew on Social Media

This is not about making anyone happy but you. If people are annoyed with your constant running posts, that’s their problem. What we’re talking about is leaving your phone at home and running free with no record, other than the pictures in your mind, of what happened out there. Contrary to popular belief, If you don’t post it to Instagram, it still really happened.

Most days you really don’t know how your run is going to go until you start. Whatever happens, leave judgement out of it. For just one run, stop thinking about being too slow or too heavy or too whatever and just go!

There are always going to be good and bad running days but, I think all runners can agree that a “bad” run is much better than no run!

See you at the next LSD training.  No matter whether my time will improve or got worse, I’m coming for my next training.  As change is the only constant, I’m more determine now to make my next 30k LSD an easier experience.

 

Further reading:

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