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Saturday, January 31, 2009

My first 2 hours run

Since I'm in JB this weekend, I decided to give it a go at running past the longest distance I've ever run, which was 1hr20min.

Before going to sleep last night, I made the intention to run at least 2hours today. Or, if I feel stonger I might attempt to do a 21km run.

First challenge was to wake up much earlier than I normally do during working days. To run 2 hours before the sun goes high would need me to start running at 7am, which means I need to open wide my eyes no later than 6.15am for the preparation and travelling.

Second challenge was, to take shower in that early morning. I did not install hot shower so I have to bare with whatever temperature of water coming out through the tap. Menggigil jugak la.

Third challenge was to fuel up my tummy with moderate amount of food because when I did my long run last time, I had to cut it short because of feeling extremely hungry due to so little food intake prior to the run. But, mistake was made this morning when I ate two fried buns which have sausage inside of them. They were a bit oily, not good at all. Mulut dan tekak dah rasa berminyak-minyak. Erkk... lesson learnt the hard way this time.

Ok, at the end, I shoot off with my run at 7.15am. Since this is going to be my longest run so far, my strategy was just to achieve 2 hours of running, doesn't matter how slow I run. Speed and distance were not in my brain today.

And so I did.

I ran one loop after another (I ran my normal 3.1km/loop route).

During the first and second loops, left side calf was feeling sengal. I don't know the exact translation of it, but it was neither fatigue nor pain. The thoughts of bungkus-and-balik-rumah-makan-roti-canai-lagi-bagus started to surface.

Finishing my third loop, the time showed 1hr something. Aduhai, another hour to go.

By the fifth loop, I started to feel the legs getting heavier. At this moment, dah rasa macam orang biol je asyik dok lari pusing-pusing taman ni.

Half way doing the sixth loop, my Timex watch was alraedy showing that I'm almost there to reach the 2 hours duration. So, I had to cut short a bit on the route, not doing the normal 3.1km.

On the dot of 2:00:00, I stopped running and walked towards my car. The feeling was, "Aduhai, penat nak mampus kalau lari 2 jam non-stop nih"

But, did I regret doing it? NOT AT ALL.

Though I ran very slowly and not even reaching 18km of distance, at least now I know I could run 2 hours non-stop. Hopefully this will help to boost up my mental power if I ever decided to run a half marathon distance (12km), or even the full marathon (42km).

And I secretly hope that this will be a new stepping stone for me for running longer in the future.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Weekend long ride plan

Plan has been made for this Sunday's long ride.

If everything goes to plan, it will be a 120km ride (approx.)

Starting from Taman Impian Emas to Ayer Baloi, and return.

Am I ready for this? I'm not sure.

But insyaAllah, I will do it.

P/s: Those grey balloons with numbers inside them are kilometer markers.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sneezy nosey heavy leggie

Ironically, as I posted about cold and flu below, this week I got struck with sneezy-schmeezy. Lots of sneezings going on this few days back. Maybe not getting enough sleep was one of the factors. I already took two tablets of 500mg vitamin C for faster recovery yesterday alone. Today, I'm running out of stock.

Or, is it one of the signs of overtraining? Gosh, I don't even feel like I've clocked enough training. How could I be overtrained at the first place then?

On the other hand, legs were feeling heavy too during last night's cycling. The 30km distance was done with a linear decrease of speed from the first loop to the fifth loops. At the beginning, maintaining 38km/hr on the flat portion of the road was pretty steady. By the fourth's and fifth's loops, doing 30km/hr was all I could manage. On the climbs, panjat bukit sampai keluar air hidung pun speedometer was only showing 20~24km/hr.

I really feel I need to do long rides again to build the leg strength. Anything more than 80km would be good for now. The more the better, but the pain will be greater too. We'll see how it goes this weekend.

P/s: I read in newspapers last week that we are under attack by the dengue fever nationwide. No wonder la I oftenly being disturbed by the wheezing sounds of mosquitoes when I wanted to sleep. Dulu takde nyamuk. Eish, tak boleh jadi ni. Mopiko lai laaaa.....

Saturday, January 24, 2009

About Colds and Flus

How to Prevent a Sore Throat from Progressing to a Cold
By Dr. Ben Kim on March 09, 2008
Natural Health Solutions

Before I share a great little tip on how to stop a sore throat from progressing into a week-long cold, please know that periodically experiencing a cold or the flu can actually be helpful to your health. If you have no idea why this is, please view the following popular article that I wrote on this topic:

What Most Doctors Won't Tell You About Colds and Flus

You just won't get this information on why colds and flus can help you stay healthy over the long run from medical textbooks and mainstream media - please consider sharing it with family and friends.

Although experiencing a cold or the flu once in a while can help rid your body of your weakest cells, I'm willing to bet that there are times when you would really prefer to delay such a period of cleansing and malaise.

Here's how you can stand a good chance of preventing a cold from developing:

As soon as you experience that sore, tickly feeling in your throat that precedes a full-blown cold, gargle with warm salt water.

And when I say gargle, I mean really gargle; take in a mouthful of warm salt water, look up at the ceiling, and gargle aggressively. You may want to tap at your throat (the Adam's apple region) with your fingers while you gargle to encourage the warm salt water to trickle deeply into your throat...

Gargle like this several times with a glass of warm salt water, and repeat as often as possible throughout the day.

Warm salt water can remove viruses from the tonsils and adenoids that line the back of your throat region. Viruses that cause colds and flus typically get caught by your tonsils and adenoids before they spread through your body. Your tonsils and adenoids are important parts of your immune system because they are located near the entrance of your breathing passages, and they serve as a first line of defense against undesirable airborne microorganisms and substances.

This, by the way, is why it is best not to remove tonsils and adenoids from your throat region. Chronic swelling of tonsils and adenoids is best addressed by reducing sugar intake, adopting a minimally processed diet that is rich in fresh plant foods, and supporting immune system health by getting plenty of rest, exercise, and exposure to sunlight and fresh air.

Cold salt water may also help to remove viruses from your tonsils and adenoids, but warm salt water tends to be more effective. Warm water may help to melt the fatty coating that protects viruses that cause the cold and flu.

What if you gargle for all you're worth but still end up developing a full-blown cold?

Get lots of rest, drink plenty of fluids, and take comfort in knowing that countless viruses are at work destroying your weakest cells. And don't forget to blow your nose as often as it runs; help your body get rid of what it wants to get rid of.

P/s: I got this article via email from a colleague at work. Thanks buddy.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Psycho

Last Monday I ran 3 loops of the 3.1km/loop at the garden. Feeling satisfied.

On Tuesday, I only ran 2 loops because I wanted to rush for the swimming pool afterwards. OK la, running 2 loops was kind of sap-sap-sui (after being able to run 3 loops).

Wednesday no run - saving the energy for the weekly night ride. Cycling was fun, pushing my legs harder and harder to maintain above 35km/h on the flat, and above 25km/h on the climbs. Manyak syiokkk woooo!!

Yesterday, I planned to run 3 loops again (no swimming planned afterwards). The thing is, when I almost completed the second loop, 'psycho' datang menyerang in the form of my brain telling my body to stop running at second loop and not doing the third.

Memang psycho habis. With each steps I made, I was not sure whether to stop of to do another loop. Legs were not that tired yet, and my heart rate was not showing any peaking yet, still stable. But somehow it was the brain who was poisoning me to stop running.

Fortunate enough, I kept on going and going and going dengan muka yang dah herot (Utara's slang for 'senget'). After passing the first long climb of the third loop (nak panjat bukit tu yang psycho sebenarnya), I decided just to move on to finish the third loop.

At the end of the story I completed another 9.3km run, with 2 minutes shoved off from my Monday's time as a bonus.

Then I told my self, "kalau nak jadi kuat, kena rasa sakit dulu kot".

Memang menyakitkan mental! Hehehe...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Pipot's gone

I decided to do this triathlon thingy when I was having my job training in the States, back in the year of 2007. I had lots of spare time being alone there and internet was somehow a saviour.

I did not start triathlon there and then, but I started first by reading blogs upon blogs of normal people like myself who are fathers or mothers, or husbands to somebody, or wives to somebody, and even single men and women who also have their normal daily work, who do triathlon as part of their hobby or as a mean to keep fit and strong. That's what makes these blogs kind of special. It shows how a normal person like us can do special things.

Since 2007 till now, I can say I visited these blogs almost every day, as much as I have time for it. Just to keep me going on myself. Some of these blogs are really really inspirational, and the stories and experiences they shared with others publicly never fail to keep me motivated to do what they do. I tell you, training for triathlon or marathon is so tough to be done alone and for that reason, I continue coming to these blogs to search for little bit of inspiration to keep me going.

I had this in my brain, "If they can do it, so can I".

The weird thing is, reading their blogs most of the days make me feel that somehow I 'know' them, but of course they do not know me. Anyway, I don't mind, it's normal.

As much as I don't want to disclose any blogs that I frequently visited, I can't help myself to blog out about this particular person (or blog) - PIPOT.

I started reading PIPOT dotcom since 2007, during which he posted lots of stories and photos of his training and triathlon events he took part. He's one of the PowerBar Elite triathlete team if I'm not mistaken. Having completed few Ironman and lots of triathlon events throughout 2003 to 2008, he had proven to many that with proper and sufficient training, anybody can do it (triathlon).

Not only that, he made it look easy and fun!

Well, reading from blog and meeting the person (blogger) in real life are two different things. When I voluntered to become a volunteer (erm, does it sounds right?) for the Trikidz event at UM in last year November, I had the chance to meet him in person. How happy I was.

Meeting him and other triathlete bloggers at the Trikidz event, made me feel like I'm meeting celebrities. Yeah, for me, they are celebrities (with respect to local triathlon activities). I was shy at first to step up and talk to them because I know they don't know me. But heck, I was there for a good cause hence I shouldn't hide my head inside the ground. By the way, having Azhar (JB triathlete) who introduced me did help a lot to break the ice.

And the main reason I volunteered for Trikidz was to help Mr. Pipot, as I know being an organizer and race director for such an event, getting more hands to help is a blessing.

That was the first and the only time (hopefully not the last) I met him in person. And from that very short occasion, I can see how affectionate he is in this sport, not only for himself, but also to the next generation. I stayed back to help them clean up everything until the last bit, and I was happy helping them.

Recently for the reasons only-he-knows, Pipot dotcom has been seen to slow down. It was not as active as it were in 2007 and beginning of 2008. When I visited the blog again this morning, I was shocked and sad to see that he will no longer be updating Pipot dotcom. Aaaahhhh....

There gone one of my strong inspirational reading source.

I'm not sure whether Mr. Pipot reads my blog or not, but I'd like to dedicate this entry to him. It's always sad to see good people leave, but we always have to pray for their success in whatever they do. Life goes on.

With that, I wish him all the best in his hijrah and if he reads this blog, I want to say "Thank you Azwar."

Hope to see you again.

(Photo cilok-ed from pipot.com)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Burundanga

First, I received below email.

"Must Read and Please becareful out there!!

A man came over and offered his service as a painter to a female putting gas in her car and left his card. She said no, but accepted his card out of kindness and got in the car. The man then got into a car driven by another gentleman.

As the lady left the service station, she saw the men following her out of the station at the same time. Almost immediately, she started to feel dizzy and could not catch her breath. She tried to open the window and realized that the odor was on her hand; the same hand which accepted the card from the gentleman at the gas station.

She then noticed the men were immediately behind her and she felt she needed to do something at that moment. She drove into the first driveway and began to honk her horn repeatedly to ask for help. The men drove away but the lady still felt pretty bad for several minutes after she could finally catch her breath. Apparently, there was a substance on the card that could have seriously injured her.

This drug is called 'BURUNDANGA' and it is used by people who wish to incapacitate a victim in order to steal from or take advantage of them. This drug is four times more dangerous than the date rape drug and is transferable on simple cards.

So take heed and make sure you don't accept cards at any given time alone or from someone on the streets. This applies to those making house calls and slipping you a card when they offer their services

PLEASE SEND THIS E-MAIL ALERT TO EVERY FEMALE, OR EVEN MALE THAT YOU KNOW."

The next thing I did was to search at Wikipedia. And the result is as below:

"...Scopolamine has been used under the name burundanga in Venezuelan and Thai resorts in order to drug and then rob tourists. While there are unfounded rumors that delivery mechanisms include using pamphlets and flyers laced with the drug, not enough is readily absorbed through the skin to have an effect."

You can read more here.

My conclusion is: SCARY Stuff!!!

Run Map Re-visited

I remember posting my run map around the Garden during my initial stage where I would normally tried to run 30min to 45min. One loop of those was about 2.4km if I'm not mistaken.

Just before I took off for a week being out of office (i.e. out of JB) last week, I tried a new route. Slightly longer in distance. My new run map now is as below, with a distance per loop of approximately 3.1km.

So yesterday, after a week of hybernation from training, I tried running three loops of above. I completed my run yesterday in 1hr on-the-dot, without knowing exactly how much distance I have covered. My target was only to run 1 hour, that's it.

In an anticipation to know exactly how far had I run, I went to mapmyrun dotcot to measure my new run route, as you can see above.

Hence, 3 loops x 3.1km/loop = 9.3km in total, covered in 1 hour.

Ish ish ish. Slow nye aku lari. Sangat mengaibkan.

OK, let's do some maths shall we?

To do a half marathon on this route, I would need to run 7 loops.

And to do a full marathon on this route, I need to run almost 14 loops!

Mampussss!!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Determination @ GE30km

I was totally unprepared (yet) to take part in a 20km or 30km race for this year's Great Eastern run event. But, for the sake of absorbing the 'mood' for a race, I went to witness the event at Lake Garden, KL on a nice Sunday morning yesterday.

It was tough getting up early on Sunday morning, which was the reason for me arriving there at 8.15am where some of the runners were already on their ways back to the finishing line. And since it was my first time being there at Bukit Aman/Lake Garden area, I had to spent few more minutes extra finding a place to park my car. The whole area was full with vehicles, mengalahkan car park kat shopping complexes.

I made my way (after asking for directions from few people) to the Start/Finish point. Few runners have already finished their runs, both in the 20km and 30km categories. My basic maths would say, "They started running at 6.15am, and by 8.20am-ish the 30km runners have already finished? Wow, amazingly fast. 30km in 2hr-ish. Gilo, memang gilo punya determination."

I spent quite some time standing by the finishing line, enjoying the view of the happy runners thrusting their ways towards the finish of their grueling 20km or 30km runs. Some raised up their hand and smiled in victory, some just ran in as if nothing were in front of them, some gushed through as it was a 100m race, and some finished the run hand-in-hand with another friends.

Some of the photos below might not tell you the whole stories, but at least it lead me to be tempted enough to sign up for next run events myself. I don't even know most of the runners (and I bet they don't know me either), but one thing for sure, it was the determination that brought them to the starting line, and finishing up the whole journey on their own.

Respectful, indeed.

The fun of being at a race event did not stop there. I then spent few more minutes at the booths where all the runners sat down, or stood up, with their friends talking and sharing their experiences to each other. I met (read: saw) few more triathletes/runners which I get to know them through their blogs which I sometimes read (kalau cakap SELALU baca blog diorang kang, dituduh jadi blog stalker pulak, haha).

One of them is Abu Power. Yang lain-lain tak sempat nak snap photos coz I had to rush back early.

Last but not least, talking about determination, it's not only important for the runners/triathletes. I'm sure enough, this photographer below has much higher determination to be there from the beginning until the end, to snap photos of almost all who ran and finished the run, nonetheless whether he knows them or not.

Ok, now not only that I'm tempted to run longer distances. I'm also starting to have the temptation to upgrade my photography hobby (hobby ke?) to a DSLR.

If only I can afford it.

Macam biasa, me enter frame sikit standing on the right with Aini bebola api and another ex-schoolmate

Been away

I've been away for the last one week. Bukan pergi bertapa kat Gua Niah laa, but I had to attend a seminar in KL. Hence, no blog update for the whole week.

Yang lagi sedih apart from no blog update ialah, ZERO training. ZERO!!!

But, the good thing is, I spent lots of quality time with my family. Awesome.

So, this week will be a pulun-cukup-cukup-sebab-minggu-lepas-langsung-tak-training week. Harap-harap takde orang mengada-ngada set-up meeting pukul 4.30ptg, ke, 5ptg ke. Memang cari nahas la.

Another draw back for going to a long days seminar is that, after a week of not checking my email (work email that is), today I have to read approximately 230 emails. Mampus!

Fun, fun, fun!

Yeah, right.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Loose Vs. Gain

If we were asked to define the term 'success', can it just revolve around loosing or gaining?

For example, is it fair to say something like "I'm not being so successful today because I just lost a business opportunity". Or, is it fair to say "I'm a successful person because today I get the offer to work as a bla bla bla..."

We all wish to be successful. Who doesn't, right? Everybody wants to gain things, to win things, to be on top of everything. It's just a normal thing as a human being.

But hey, is it not a natural thing that a gain would sometimes come after loosing something?

Maybe yes, maybe no.

For example, a student may be said as being a successful student opon scoring or gaining good grades during the SPM, but God knows how much he/she had to loose in terms of fun times with friends, burning late night oil to memorize the notes, etcetra etcetra.

Another actual example would be on my self, in my sports life, per say. Previously, I envied all these super-powerful triathletes who could swim, bike and run much faster and much longer compared to what I could do. I felt like I'm not going to see a success in it.

But, after 'loosing' lots of energy and time to continue training harder and harder, at the end, I hope I can see the success coming nearer to me. We just can't stop trying and doing what we need to do, or the thing that we need to 'loose', before we 'gain'.

This posting is to mark a point in my career life where today, I feel like I'm making a decision that might be seen as 'loosing'. This is all done with the highest hope that one day, sooner or later, I'll be more successful than yesterday.

Only God knows what will happen tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Istana Garden - JB

Few days ago I posted the satellite view of the place I'm running nowadays - The Istana Garden, or 'garden' as the short form of it. Today, I'd like to share with you some of the beautiful scenaries around the garden which makes it the most favourable running/walking/exercising ground for people around the JB town.

Ample parking space with lots of trees to provide shades for the cars.

This is the Istana itself.

Lots of greeneries. Very refreshing to the eyes and the breathing.

Yes, what you see is the Straits of Tebrau. And on the other side of the water is our neighbouring country, Singapore. Just imagine cycling on the road just alongside the straits, wonderful isn't it? Who said there's not much beautiful places in Malaysia?

Sometimes you could even spot youngsters like above taking photos. I've also seen many times newly weds came to this garden to take their wedding photos.

Last but not least, this is me. Photo taken on one fine evening few days ago, after running 45minutes around the garden (menyibuk ah mamat ni, dia pun nak enter frame jugeekkkk...).

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Cicak Bike

If people in KL can produce the movie Cicak-man and Cicak-man 2, here in JB we from the JTriClub presents...

The Cicak Bikes

Main actor #1

Main actress #1

Supporting actor

Those people responsible to cast these actors and actress are:

Mr. White, standing on the left leaning by the car - he's responsible for the casting of main actor #1 (Nama sebenar terpaksa dirahsiakan sebab aku takut kena balasah

Mr. Baps - he casted the main actress #1 and supporting actor. He's standing second from right. (Nama sebenar terpaksa dirahsiakan sebab aku tak tau nama sebenar dia)

Anyway, those are some photos of our new year's eve Wednesday night ride last week. Not so many people turned out actually, but we had fun cycling and then mentekedarah kat kedai mamak sampai pukul 1am.

This was what I had - Nan cheese + tandoori chicken set. The most favourable dish amongst us. Super yummy! Sehingga menjilat jari dan jugak tray.

Say "Nan cheeeeeesseeeeee..."

Monday, January 5, 2009

Tu oh-oh nain

Today we are already in the fifth day of the new year. How time flies by very fast, that I missed out the chance to wish everybody Happy New Year on the first day.

Anyway, what did I do on the last new year's eve? Well, I went cycling as it was our normal Wednesday cycling night. Rugi la kalau miss. And then we went for makan-makan and borak-borak session until 1am.

As far as I could remember, being an introvert person as I am, I do not gila-gila celebrate new years, or even my own birthdays. I normally kept things low profile when it comes to celebration.

But, I remember doing a bit gila thing during one of the new year's eve.

It happened back in the year 1999, on the few last hours before the clock strike 12 o'clock midnight, entering the new millenium of year 2000. At that time, I was in my cold room of the rented small house which I shared with my other two uni-mates, in Manchester, U.K.

During that time, it was already considered as a luxury to have a PC with 180MHz Pentium II processor speed. Mine was only a mere 150MHz Pentium I. Many of the assignments and even lab reports have to be 'PC-written', i.e. to make write ups with Word, and to make spreadsheet and graphs with Excel.

Errm, I also used my PC to pratice my blind-typing skills - through chatting via MiRC. Haha.

Those who were a bit IT savvy at that time should still remember the famous Millenium Bug, which was expected to cause a dramatic crash on computers when the PC clock cannot recognize the year change from 99 to 00 (during that time, the PC clock only showed 2 last digits of the year, instead of 4 digits being used nowadays). Konon-kononnya when the clock turned from 99 to 00, it will register as year 1900, instead of 2000.

Maka, aku pun dengan bangangnya (I repeat: BANGANG) telah menanti saat ketibaan detik 12 malam memasuki tahun baru 1 January 2000 di depan PC tanpa berkelip kelopak bijik mata sambil-sambil berharap PC aku tak crash dengan tak semena-mena.

Luckily, my PC did not crash and nothing went wrong with my PC until the end of my degree.

But, remembering the story make me smile by myself, looking back into the past where we as human being, once in a while surely may end up being or doing, well.. something stupid.

Happy New Year 2009 to ya'all.