Putrajaya 70.3 // 2016- ian

Race result : swim 43mins, bike 2:31, run 1:46 . Total sufferfest – 5:08hrs

The feeling when I crossed the finish line this time was different from how I felt last year; I dragged my broken body across the line this time round, numb from all the pain that engulfed me for the past 5 hours.

My friends probably noticed how stoned I was while sitting in the “ice bath” hugging the ice block, staring into blank space. The real worrying thing was when I was getting out of that “tub” when I realised I hurt my foot on the run. 1 week on, I’m walking normally now and might start a bit of spinning next week.

Pre Race
The drive up was pretty straight forward this time round, no jam through the 2nd link on a Friday morning. “Touch and Go” card has to be used/topped up at least once a year to make sure the card doesn’t expire. So looks like Putrajaya 2017 is in the planning books once again. (gotta keep that card valid!) :)) We had great company for the trip, a star studded cast i must say, definitely had some great laughs over meals during the trip.

Jaime wasn’t feeling too well so we kept dinner simple and bought something from the supermarket which was surprisingly well stocked. Dorsett Hotel is located in the heart of the event area in Putrajaya, for about $100 per night; it was a 5mins walk to the Registration/race expo and 5mins cycle to the Race start area. The hotel recently opened and while some of the facilities and restaurants were still “work in progress”, the excellent managers tried their very best to make sure we were all comfy and well taken care off. kudos to the Dorsett team!!

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The registration and race expo was in a different building this year, shopping was never my thing and i walked away empty handed as usual. Proving myself to be one of the most poison-proof members in ironproject. Some guys tried the massage service and the reviews were really really good.

There were talks about the possibility of modifying the course because of the ridiculous heat wave that week, but they kept to the original plan since the forecast was indicating a cooler 34deg on Sunday afternoon.

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Race morning was a blur as usual; wasn’t feeling as relaxed as I liked to be. In Bintan70.3 I remembered going into that race with absolutely zero expectations and no stress; walking away with a great race and a PB. I somehow couldn’t calm my nerves for this one; I knew it, but still couldn’t do anything about it.

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SWIM

As I jumped into the murky waters at the start of the race, the same panicky feeling came over me even as I took my time to cover the first few hundred meters. The crowd was a little rough this time round, I got man handled quite badly and was really shaken a couple of times along the swim. Got out of the water disappointed and it was reaffirmed when the watch was showing 43mins.

Hai, I’ve always had confidence issues on the swim, the slightest thing would cause me to panic in open water. It’s usually all fine in the pool and the timings were coming along nicely. Looks like I’d have to start practicing my open water swims at ECP more often.

BIKE
Same as last year, slow swim led to an angry bike start. Blasted my way out of T1 with a 170bpm heart rate, slowed it down to 160 ish after the first few minutes and figured that would be my race pace. I recently changed the batteries on the cadence sensor and I wasn’t sure if the speed was indicating correctly as I didn’t calibrate it to my 650c wheels.

Small problem, just raced by feel and crossed the halfway point at 1:14ish feeling good, heart rate was still showing 160 plus and this would usually mean I’d blow up on the run so i made a conscious effort to slow down a little to save a bit more for the hot hot run ahead.

Finished the ride in good time, but a new problem awaits at the run….

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RUN
Plantar fasciitis. I get it sometimes when I run too much too soon in training, I have learnt to identify it and deal with it so well that I haven’t suffered from that for the past year. The first step I took after putting on my running shoes, I felt the familiar strain on the arch of my right foot.

Sigh… readjusted my shoe and tried again, same pain.

I did the next smartest thing i could think of, ignore the pain and run it off!! So I took it easy for the first 15mins and miraculously the pain disappeared, I started picking up the pace a bit to try to keep a 5mpk average with walks through the aid station.

The walks were important, iced and cooled myself down, drank 1 dose of isotonic drink, a bit of water…and off i go.

Jaime was at the usual spot and that was the only thing that kept me going throughout the race. Heart rate was through the roof and I’d typically blow up in spectacular fashion and slow down to a crawl. Today was different, and I have to probably thank my coach for that.

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I only managed to see the guys after the 13-15km mark. Andrew with his fancy new trisuit was spotted miles away. I told him it seemed like the race in Frankfurt when I saw him at 30km into the  run.

We had a quick chat and continued with our run. Met Wille next, having a really rough day on the course, the heat was getting to everyone; it even melted the soles off my Kinvaras.

Raymond was in his usual high spirits, bursting with positive energy. And right after him I saw Yang with his bright yellow cap which i nearly bought at the expo!!

2ks to go, and what felt like I “put the hammer down”, was actually me just keeping my normal pace and not slowing down. I eventually ran an evenly paced 21k, a very rare event indeed. Crossing the finish line in 5:08hrs…. really happy with how the bike/run went this time round….a PB would’ve been a nice bonus but I’ll take this as one of my better victories.

Jaime was there at the finish as she always have, all things wouldn’t have been possible without an understanding partner:) thanks for letting me do crazy things like this Dear:))

Ling Er had an awesome day, winning her age group and also clocking 2nd fastest women’s AG. It’s great to see such a motivated athlete going through such a transformation and still improving in leaps and bounds.

The rest of the boys back safely across the finish line everyone was sharing all the war stories while still raw with emotions from the race. It was great to have so many friends racing together coz everyone knew exactly how sucky it felt on the run!

Back home in Singapore, my body was in full protest and went into shutdown mode…it’s been almost a week now and i’ve yet to get on my bike for an easy spin. I’ll listen to my body for now…but next week, the mind will take control. hahahah.

Thanks for reading all my ranting on a race that I won’t even wish on my worst enemies. till next time…. adios.

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