Sunday, November 9, 2008

Not So Powerman (now with pictures)

I was not in the right state of mind for this race.

The events of the past week had made me physically, mentally and emotionally unfit for this race. And I knew it. Yet, like a stubborn old git, I went and did it.

Before the start, already not in the mood to race.

Race morning and my strategy was simple: race as hard as you can, harder than you've ever done, so hard that it hurts. Not the good hurt, mind you, any kind of hurt. If it hurts, maybe, just maybe, it'll take away the hurt from my heart. That's what I really needed to do.

I figured with this strategy, I'd end up with a personal best or in the hospital.

The first run went ok. No, better than ok. I was running at approximately 5:30 pace the entire 11k, and felt good. This go-harder-than-usual strategy seems to be working. And the hurt was coming fast too, but so far, it's been the good hurt. Gotta keep it up.

Going hard, faster than usual.

Pain is good.

Arrived in T1 in about 58 minutes and change, 4 minutes faster than last year. So far so good.

Got on the bike. New race wheels, new position, I was determined to go faster than last year. Last year I had to battle cramps from kilometre 10 onwards. So far this year, no cramps.

I was going as hard as I could yet, could not put out the speed I was hoping to. This seemed like the beginning of the end. And I was hurting too. My right knee was starting to stiffen up, and my neck and shoulders were killing me.

Hurting real bad up that bridge.

Still I went as hard as I could. Just kept pushing it, but the average speed was getting lower. Got off the bike in about 2h12m, 5 minutes slower than last year.

Thank God the bike leg is over.

To make things worse, when I got off the bike, my knee completely refused to work. It just wouldn't bend. I hobbled into T2 in pain and considered calling it a day.

Then I remembered the strategy, go hard till it hurts so it can take the hurt from the heart away.

So I hobbled out of T2. Perhaps not the smartest thing to do but hey, I was physically, mentally and emotianally unfit, remember?

I tried running, but it just wasn't happening. This guy sprayed something on my knee and rub it down real hard, and that seemed to work. For a while.


I was soon walking again. Just beyond the first drink station, I stopped and stretched my ITB. That helped, I was able to run all the way to the next water station at around 6:30-7:00 minute pace.

But as soon as I got back to the stadium, I was walking again. On the second loop, Vong showed up on his bike and gave me an ice cold can of 100Plus. Thanks Vong, you're a lifesaver.

I was later joined by Bean, Ishsal and Omar. We would walk a bit, run then walk again. Towards the end, Ish and Omar went off, and I managed to put some space on Bean. I crossed the line in a miserable 4h48m, 8 minutes slower than last year.

Hobbling to the finish line.

What a miserable 4h48m.

So did my strategy work? Of course not! I neither got a PB nor ended up in the hospital, but I was much closer to the latter. There were a couple of times out there when I thought I was going to faint. I was seeing spots and everything was spinning. And while I did hurt a lot, it never took away the hurt in my heart. Oh well, can't say I didn't try.

As I type this, my knee is in a lot of pain. As such, I will be skipping the Penang Marathon next week. I don't think my knee can endure a 42km run and I don't think I can endure another weekend like this one.

I'm also thinking this could be my last Powerman, because I'm not so Power after all...


Abu Soffian said...

Bro...kita sama2 belajar dari kesilapan

KOOKY KASH said...

But you didn't give up. I admire you la…you are really tough. I'll run Penang Bridge for u on Sunday. And by the way, you looked good kat FB Jaja. Mana ada suffer?

tryathlete said...

abu: ko takde nak bagi power. that's why...

kooky: believe me, i was suffering. and thanks for running penang for me. good luck! look forward to your race report

Darren said...

Bro, i think you are already a powerman by completing it in an almost impossible situation. That itself is a feat. Though not a nice experience.

I am no where in a position to tell you wat u shud or shudnt do. But i know this : being the best you can be out there is by letting go the worst of yourself and putting on the best you have in your heart.

An athlete with the heart big enough to say "I can and will do it" is already the champion. Not because of capability, but because of determination alone.

You are a determined person. If you can learn to channel your thoughts and shape your heart better ,you can be the best you want to be.

I believe no one is made a failure but born as a successor.

Cheers mate!

Ride 2 infinity n beyond said...

hey we all have good race day n bad race day ok, chill out, rest well, come back next year for revenge, dont give up so esily , u can do it, u r already ironman after all :)

tryathlete said...

darren: it's not in me to quit a race. i did it in my first ironman and have vowed never to quit ever again unless it's something really serious or a mechanical failure that cannot be fixed. but for obvious reasons (to me, at least), this is one time i wanted to end up in the hospital. and even that i failed to do.

ade: i think you should know that i'm not upset about having a bad race. I've had enough bad races to to accept you have good days and bad (remember PD, where I crashed?). what i am upset about is the circumstances that caused me to have a bad race and i'm pretty sure you know what they are. emotions play a big part in determining how well you race and i wasn't in the best emotional state that day.

KOOKY KASH said...

Ariff, where did you buy your helmet?

tryathlete said...

kash: i got a friend of mine to buy it in singapore. not sure where in singapore though

Anonymous said...

hak ala...delete orang punya comment plak..nak komen best best je dia letak..sudah sudah lah tu...

anakpanyu said...

ur already have the power to finish the powerman. I was there last year all the way from Brunei. Check out or