Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Relay for Life

Hi all,
We are having Relay for Life again this year on 16-17 July 2011. This time in Bangi UKM sports stadium.

Please come one and all, inform and gather all your friends to support the event.
Yes It has been a tough month for June with so much charity runs. Please do one more for NCSM and all cancer patients and survivors. You can make the difference. I assure you. No need to run. Just donate or pass the word around. It will be worth the cause.

I append the link to the Relay for life website for details and form for registrations/donations.

Take care and God bless.
Allen Lai

Standard Chartered KL 2011

Smiling me


 Ready to go

 Crowd coming in

Me and June Malik

I had Registered for the SCKLM fairly early as a commitment to continue running as a health cum recreational requirement. I had been off the road for quite a fair bit of last year. Could I still do the Half Marathon ?
Fear I had not, other mind issues aplenty. This year's SCKLM will be my Waterloo if anything. It is to do or die. I chose the former.

For the whole week just before the event I had more that the normal anxieties. I had more than butterflies in my stomach. I had literally panic fears. I had cold sweats and hot flashes, compounded by my quarterly Zoladex injections. Just the thought of the SCKLM will trigger horrible moments with hot flashes. Do I abort the race? Can I do it? My heart said YES but my mind said firmly NO ! Talk about dilemmas.

Sunday came too soon.

I finally said yes to participate, one final run if any. Shouldn't we all deserve one final run? There were also other family and relatives factors that made me participate. Done. I am in.

I had collected my gear at Bukit Jalil on Friday. Thankfully it was very well organised and no queues. What, with 22,000 participants, I was actually anticipating a mad collection queue. Pinned my blib number and fixed the tab to my oldest pair of shoes on the same day. Got my grabs together on Saturday night, water, bites, emergency sugars, iphone, a cap, head sweat band and my pair of knee shock absorbers. I am all ready.

Left the house at 3.30 am for want of a nearby parking space and more importantly see off the full marathoners. Parked at Pardang Merbok and walked slowly to the Dataran. Too early to warm up. The Dataran was already picking up with the early birds like me. The anouncer tested the mics, the stalls were preparing for their sales and promotions. Met a couple of old friends and meekly exchanged hellos as I was missing out most of the runs in the past 9 months or so. Nice to be back. Familiar faces and friendly smiles in the brightly lighted Start area.

I had also a particular mission that morning. I wanted to meet a virtual online friend from JB. I had, but had not met June Malek aka Anak Mami, an angel and mentor to a group of passionate runners who styled themselves as FMVs. It wasn't hard to spot her. She had a beakon, a halo which reflected a distinct charm of leadership and grace. Nobody would missed her and nobody needs a GPS to find her. I just waited quitely at a chokepoint in the spectators area and there she was. It was a hello and goodbye fleeting moment. If our meeting was any longer I gladly would have aborted my run to join her at her Kedai Runcit at 37 km.

The half marathon event flagged off at 6.15 am. I had lined up at the rear of the crowd early, but was pushed up to the front area unconciously. I finally found myself three quarters upfront instead of being in the rear group. It is OK, as I would be falling back after a few hundred metres after the startline. I walked briskly to warm up usually for the first 3 km or so. I know my pace and had set my target to 3.30 hours, it being cutoff time for veterans. I had managed 3.40 minutes twice over two Pacesetters LSDs. So my target would be quite realistic. It is a doable.

I had made an assurance to myself and that is to listen to my body. No matter what. I must run SAFE. My heart is my archiles heels. I can compromise the pain in my knees but I should not push my heartbeat beyond 160 hb for my age and hypertension. My heartbeat rate will be my critical throughout the run. For the first three km my hb was ranging 150 - 160. A slightly faster pace or a slight up slope would bring my hb up to and pass 170.I would slow down for a minute or so to 160. I was maintaining my pace like that for the whole run. I had no choice. A group of elderly singaporeans wearing SAFRA ( Singapore Armed Forces Retiree Association) vests 'pushed' me to increase my pace. I actuall felt kiasu. But my mind said stop it. Run safe, it is OK to su. The leader of the SAFRA said that my pace was 9 mins per km and I would be finishing about 3.30 to 3.45 hours. So he was pacing me and squaring me up. I did not get Batu Api-ed. Let him go. I need to run safe.

I was doing all right for all the 20 km until the home run. I backed off each time peak at 170 hb. I had no pains, no cramps and thankfully there was plenty of water every 2 km on the route. I was safe and I felt good, no need for any finishing medal. Just come in in-style and comfort.

But that was not to be. On the final approach along Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, the crowd cheered me on. A few more minutes to cut off. You can do it. I CAN? Go Allen Go. All hell let loose. My heart beat went 175 - 180. Slow down? No way my ego said. Die die my have the finishing medal. I foolishly decided to hold at 170 hb max. It is dangerously high for me. BUT the finishing line was already in sight. My heart was pounding as I crossed the line at exactly 3.30 hours my watch time. I think I am going to die. I felt like a bloody fool to die like this. I had failed myself. I had failed my family and friends. I rested a full five minutes to stable my hb to 140 before I headed to the finisher's tent and got my finisher's medal together with a few more runners just behind me. I made it just in time.

Happy?yes. Sad? yes, Cried? Won't tell.
Will I run another Half? You tell me.
Take care

Allen Lai

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Kordel's 7 Km Charity Walk

 Me all all system Go !

 Ya da ba da boo

 Sea of red

 Waiting for the horn


 Julie and friends

Julie and me

Hi all,
I participated in the Kordel’s charity walk last Sunday 12 June 2011. This was my first time participating in this walk, which is an annual affair to promote awareness for arthritis. It was a relatively small event with about 1000 participants, enough to make it a fun morning.
The event was well organized by Pacesetters. Everything was like clock work and the walk was without any hitches. The organisers were thoughtful enough to set up a water point mid way. There were also plenty of prizes to be won after the walk. Thanks to Kordel.

It was a beautiful Sunday morning, with the sun up but surprising it was not a hot morning throughout the walk. I managed to walk with a consistent pace of 6.5 km per hour without much effort. I finished within 1 hour 10 minutes gun time. Even my heart beat behaved nicely, working hard with my zone.

Juliana Ali set up a boot in the event to promote her charity 100 km race scheduled later this month in Singapore. She will be running for charity to help the Japanese who are still suffering post tsunami. A lot more help is still needed in disaster zone and we are proud that Juliana  will be doing her best to make a difference. I helped her to promote her cause. Please contribute to her charity which is in conjunction with the Red Cross to send aid to Japan.  
For more information please visit her blog here:

Take care
Allen Lai