Saturday is an unusual day for SRR LSD training. It used to be a monthly event, where SRR will hold the LSD at Dragon Back once a month. This was the second week a LSD at Dragon Back been introduced on a Saturday. The first was last Saturday which I was unable to participate due to family trip. This is a welcome addition to the SRR LSD.
I almost gave it a miss to this LSD as I was again overwhelmed by family activities as usual towards the weekend. The night before, I was helping my father to assemble a multi-purpose rack which he bought at a local hypermarket. It took me an hour to successfully done that (phew, I wasn’t a professional at this). It was almost midnight, when I thought all is over and that I can catch some sleep, that’s when my son asked for my urgent help to reactivate his expired WeChat account. Oh my… that went until pass over midnight. This was when I need to decide my priority. As I would most probably skipping the Sunday’s LSD at Taman Botani Shah Alam, I need the LSD at the Dragon Back. So, I shall run with little or no sleep. Well, I got about 3 hours sleep.
While on my way to Dragon Back, I had an impulse urge to calculate the number of traffic light from my house to dragon back. It was 18 traffic lights to Setia Badminton Academy. Can you guess how many traffic lights this time to get to dragon back? Well, it was a total of 25 traffic lights…. I don’t have to do the maths of 90 seconds for each traffic light, it will take forever to get there. But it took my about 35 minutes to be there. I suspect that I have a mild form of some disorder (I couldn’t recall the name), having the urge to calculate things 🙂
Reached the dragon’s lair at 5:00 am sharp. And nobody was there. I had a doubt for a moment that I might get the wrong address. Parked my car nicely and waited, dare not get off my car for a warm up. Soon more people had arrived. In fact the attendance was more than those who had registered (only 15 registered). Two side of the road were filled with our members’ vehicle. Quite a stunning turn out it has been. The surprise package was the presence of SEDEF members – including coach Toh. So happy to see them.
This hill looks intimidating with no visible end route, just the blurred horizon. In pitch darkness you won’t feel or look scary but by daylight it’ll definitely scare the wits out of a first-timer runner. In the straight stretch of the route, there are 3 or 4 steep hills and few others low rolling hills resembling the dragon back, hence the name. Immediately its steep incline once you start off and it’s the same with the U-turn back at far end (on the returning trip).
The previous run I had on this route was in 5 March 2017 – Dragon Back run 2017. This time somehow was less tense as it was just a normal run with friends instead of a race.
The run on the dragon’s back:
- Started the run sharp at 5:30AM. The weather was not warm. Started at a slow pace, when meeting the first steep hill. You got your first taste of why this dragon back is also known as a heartbreak hill. It will send your heart beat in a sky-rocket fashion in an instance.
- I had a stable and control cadences. It was all good except a little complain on the left plantar fasciitis, but manageable.
- I was running without any blinker or head lamp. So I thought of using the handphone as a light source. With one hand holding the handphone and the other with a soft water bottle. My hands were full. The funny thing was that I didn’t even switch on the torch-light function in the phone, but continue running with both hands full. I guess that I was too busy and distracted talking to fellow runners that I forgot that. It was quite silly of me.
- At about km 2 I felt what it seemed like a strong force from behind. Nope, this is not a ghost story or an encounter of the third kind. It was a chasing pack that comprises of Ravi, May, See How and a few fast runners. A quick chat with them before they sped off leaving me in the dust.
- I was running with Dr. Goh Kar Chun. Who was kind enough to shed some light to the path with his headlamp. As he was the only source of lights in a pitch-dark route, I have to stay close with him. I must say that he was a strong runner. Always ahead of me but not too far that I can see the light from his headlamp.
- We chat along the way, a form of training to the lung I guess, as I didn’t feel the tiredness and monotonous of the run along the way.
- There was one point that I had to step into the dirt patch of the road to avoid the incoming vehicle. I felt that I’d stepped onto some hump that was uneven. Which later Goh told me that was a snake. The fortunate part was that it was a dead snake…double relieve for me.
- I recalled vividly that the relax pace for today, was my fastest a year back. I had checked my records later and I can’t believe that it is true. My first taste of dragon back was in 11 Jan 2015 (race) and my first SRR LSD here at 8 May 2016.
- Even in pitch dark, I somehow can tell who was running at the opposite road. Maybe from their breathing, their running postures, etc. Almost that I’d developed an infrared vision or something. For those that I’d identified I would call their names. So it was like that all the way which made the run very sociable and fun at the same time.
- Time passed quickly when you were having fun, and I’d reached the last hill. I called it the dessert hill. Just when you had depleted all your energy on the second last hill (a double elevation steep hill), you will be greeted with a final climb. That’s why I call it a dessert. All my leg muscles were screaming and burning. But it was an exhilarating dashing to the finishing line at the end, which made it all worth while.
- One loop of 11km and I’m done for today’s training.
The following was the summary timing clocked:
- Cumulative time: 1:27:41
- Average Pace: 7:58 mins (best pace 5:01 mins)
- Average Run Cadence: 171 spm (max cadence 197 spm)
- Average Stride Length: 0.74 m
- Elevation: Gain 189 m, Loss 205 m
- Temperature: Avg 26.3 °C, Min 25.0 °C, Max 28.0 °C
Check this video of the run path ==> here
There was some suggestion to make this a permanent Saturday’s SRR LSD. As many SRR members are working on Saturday, let’s see how it goes.
Until next time, see you at the next SRR LSD.