The month of July must be the month of the Dragon. As this is the 3rd consecutive week SRR has been running on the back of the dragon. The punishing long rolling hills with never ending route to the blurry and misty horizon.
Today was our new LSD training route. A maiden training route that was first discovered by SRR member Lai SS and Jeffrey Lim a couple of weeks back. The route comprises of 10k flat road + 10k hill road, from Urban Park Setia Alam to Dragon Back, and return. This is an ideal training distance for runners who are participating Half Marathon events. According to Master Chew, if ones’ can control their pace and form in this route, they should be able to handle any HM with ease.
Quite many season runners do not favour this route due to its pitch dark path, especially on the Kampung road stretch. To some, however, it is an easy route, but I for one would appreciate the freshness with a little adventure to our routine Sunday’s LSD training.
The anticipated new route has been announced by Master Chew on 13 July 2017.
An enthusiastic start with slight confusion
Quite a good turnout today, about 30+ of runners (SRR and SEDEF). All assembled at Mamak Fatimah in Urban Park Setia Alam right before 5:30 AM. You can feel the positive energy coming out from each runner. It is all written on their facial expressions.
Started off a few minutes passed 5.30am. I’d volunteered myself to be the ‘Sweeper’ for today. Naturally, I was running as the last person with the last pack of runner. The front pack was led by Master Chew. They were fast…about 300m+ ahead from the last pack.
Everything was according to plan until about at the 2km mark. The front pack led by Master Chew overshot the left turn-in junction into the Kampung road. As it was too dark, the runner missed the Bliss Garden signboard. Chin Heng, LeeAnne, Tony Lim and Eng was running with me. Tony Lim was the first to notice the front runners took a wrong turn, but it was too far to reach those runners. I can see a lot of headlights flocking at one end that seems like not moving and slow down. It took a few minutes before I decided to run towards them and ask them to U-turn. I shouted my lungs out “U-turn” “U-turn”. I’d redirect them to the correct left turn to the kampung road. That confusion took about 5 minutes of our time. But at least everybody was on the proper route now.
The heavy downpour
It seemed that the dragon was putting on obstacles and barricades of challenges to us. For we the eager runners were seemed to be like challenging the dragon. As soon as every body headed the correct way, the rain starts to come. Drizzle at first and soon turned into a heavy downpour. At that time, the back pack were CP Lim, Lye Hock, Eddie and me. Running along the narrow kampung road (Jalan Hamzah), there was no place to shelter the heavy rain. We have no choice but to carry on at the wrath of the water dragon.
The rain went on for as far as 5 km into our run. All runners were completely drenched all over. But this does not seem to break our spirit to ride the back of the dragon. Bring it on Dragon!! We runner do not worry about getting wet all over, the only thing is our shoe must stay dry. As blister will form quickly in such situation. Wet shoe is runner’s enemy number one.
With my strong beam headlight, I’d caught on a baby snake crossing the road and some dead frogs. There seems to be a lot of animal casualties along the road side.
Enter the dragon
We soon reached the road adjunction to the main road of the dragon back. It was exactly 5km at that mark. Took a bottle of water before resuming to our usual dragon back route. We would start at this point at the usual Dragon Back training, but we had run for 5km now. Not so fresh with a little tiredness sets into the legs at this point. It was a whole different type of mental training now. I find it a little bit harder to defy the gravity at the first hill challenge of the dragon back. Oh, the dragon is throwing its wrath once again, but no, we won’t give up. We march on. Well actually, walking. (you can see it in my performance chart at the bottom). The rain subsided at around the middle of the DB route.
At the break of dawn and with the rain subsided, nature presents itself the most fantastic spectacular scenic view for us to enjoy. The roads at the end of the horizon were misty with the mountains as the backdrop, the atmosphere was cooling which is rich with oxygen, ideal for runners to run longer distances at this time. This was as if the Dragon had welcomed us as we had passed the test of mis-turning a route and endured the heavy rain. As the old saying goes “If you want the rainbow, you have to endure the rain first”. I’d finally understood and experienced this proverb first-hand today.
Photo credits and courtesy of Chong Yit Mei
“If you want the rainbow, you have to deal with the rain”
~ John Green
There was a second water station at the u-turn of the dragon back (with bananas). At this time we (Chin Heng, LeeAnne, Eng, Wendy, Sandy, Eddie and me) were practising the Pasar Pagi routine a.k.a. Walking. So it was run-a-bit, walk-a-bit, the selfie in the middle of the road and so forth. Really running tourism 🙂
The Pasar Pagi team
Returning to the Kampung road
Just at the last hill slope (the dessert hill), we met Ryan running alone. Behind us were LeeAnne and Chin Heng. At the foot of the Dragon Back, Eddie, Eng and I decided not to fool around anymore as it was getting warm now with the sun rise. So we decided to run from there onwards, non-stop” thru the kampung roads. Though it was shady, there was a lot of traffic on the narrow roads. As we were surging forward, we couldn’t see both Chin Heng and LeeAnne at the back. So we were thinking that both of them boarded Ryan’s car. We realised later that they rejected Ryan’s offer. Good on them.
Along the way, I saw a lot of dead animals, dead monkey, the dead snake, dead frogs, dead birds. It was a very different scene in day light. It was an exhilarating run till the starting point. We had finally made it, conquered and tamed the wrath of the dragon.
The summary of my performance
Looking at the performance indicators, you can tell from the cadences records that I did a lot of walking on this route. Like a lot of walking. This must be reduced if I seek for improvement on my endurance.
- Cumulative time: 3:15:24
- Average Pace: 9:00 mins (best pace 5:19 mins)
- Average Run Cadence: 136 spm (max cadence 246 spm)
- Average Stride Length: 0.83 m
- Elevation: Gain 275 m, Loss 305 m
- Temperature: Avg 26.3 °C, Min 24.0 °C, Max 30.0 °C
Acknowledgement of appreciation and A big Thank you to all of you who attended today’s LSD training:
Master Chew, Chin Heng, Wendy, LeeAnne, Bee Eng, CK Teh, Kuan, Lye Hock, Eddie, Jason, Teh Kok Meng, Boon Kiat, Mohan, Yit Mei, Kam, Sandy, Rachel, Hooi Chee, Vinlee, Geraldine, Courteney, Siew Yee, Tony, CP Lim, Chia Hoi Leong, Jesslyn Choo, Jeeva, Jeff Liong & yours truly.
Some words caption from Ching Yit Mei
A twist from our usual routine; route and weather this Sunday.
Started off 530am passing by construction site where it is muddy and rain pouring throughout our few kilometres run.
Mother Nature never fails to mesmerise us. I enjoyed every bit of the 21 km today. Couldn’t resist to capture a few of her beautiful work.
Thank you all for the great company. Setia Road Runners.
The video of the run:
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