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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Running with the force

What an interesting experience I had while running at the garden yesterday evening.

The main server at my company went down yesterday since lunch time, up till the end of the working day. No internet, no email, no SAP – which means not much work can be done without those things.

So, at 5pm sharp, I left the office (I should have done that an hour earlier) and drove myself to the garden – to run.

I get to start running just slightly after 5.30pm, and I went on my own way with the target to run at least 45 minutes, or 1 hour. Few minutes into the run, I bumped into some friends, and detoured my way and follow the group.

After making one loop, I saw a platoon of the elite force from the Johor Military Force (JMF) running in the opposite direction. My rough guestimate says that there was about 30 strong men altogether. They were singing while running, you know, the army way of singing. When they passed my running group, I heard they were saying (or singing), something that goes like this;

”… Serahkan nyawamu pada Tuhan…
Serahkan awekmu pada kawan…”

I laughed. And upon hearing that interesting lyric coming out from the platoon, I decided to detour and run with them, following the platoon closely at the back.

It was fun, but it was tough too. Fun because while running I was actually enjoying the songs they were singing, and the noises they made while running. They shouted something like, ”Uh.. ah… uh… ah...” with every two steps of their runs. Tough because they were running at a faster pace than I normally do. I was the only runner (or civilian in this case?) in that group running in my red sleeveless t-shirt. The others were in black.

There was one guy leading that platoon, running at the front most, wearing the army jacket (the others were just wearing black round neck t-shirts with writings like “Elite Force”, and shorts), to which when I asked one guy at the back, he replied by telling me that that guy in front is no other than Raja Muda Johor (RMJ) himself.

I was shocked as I never saw or met RMJ before, other than from one episode of Majalah 3 long long time ago. I was also afraid if he would scold me for following his strong team of elite force. So, I slowed down a bit and continued following them slightly further behind, but still able to hear their singings.

At the end, they stopped running and began their physical exercise at the marching field opposite the Istana, and I continued my journey until I reached my 50th minutes of running.

What an experience. It would be better if I was running with my camera phone. A video of something like that would be interesting, aye?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

No ECO for me

With a last minute unexpected hick-up that occured yesterday evening, I'm not going to participate in the first JB City Eco Challenge 2009 which is planned to be held this Sunday.

However, I'll be one of the officials/marshalls for the event, helping those friends who are the organizers/event managers. They have helped me before in triathlon sports, now it's time for me to pay them back.

Well, here are some highlights for the said event:

Race Date: Sunday, May 31 2009
Race Time: 0800 hours
Location: Race starts/finish is at Dataran Bandaraya JB
Categories: Elite (Men & Mix), Novice (Men & Mix)

The Race:
Elite: They first have to cycle with their MTBs for 10km (9km road, 1km offroad), and then kayak for 3km, and finally run for 12km.
Novice: Running for 12km with 'team activities' at 3 check points

For more info, feel free to contact Mr. Mahdhir Dale at 0127088173 or creativeemotions.events.gmail.com

A busy weekend for me this time. Busy helping others.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Is this the peak?

I didn’t really know what to expect from running more than 31km run (my last longest run was a painful 31km, two weeks ago). I know now that it’s doable (provided you’ve done the base training), but whether you’ll end the run with a smiling face or not, that’s totally a different story.

And my story goes like this.

As normal, Friday would be the day I made arrangement and planning with Kash on how far and when to start our Saturday morning long distance run. This time, the plan was a 32km, to be started at 6.30am from Kiara Park. I leave the actual running route plan to Kash as she is more familiar with the area. No matter how many loops or where the u-turn point would be, I will just run it.

”Daddy, daddy, ni henfon daddy bunyi”, I was awakened by my daughter who passed me my handphone when the alarm rang. She was in feverish mode on and off that night, and at 5.45am in the morning when the alarm went off apparently she was not sleeping well. But, good to see her getting back to her deep sleep as I walked out the house for the run.

I arrived at Kiara Park with just enough time to swallow (after proper chewing lah) two cream buns, a little bit of hydration and to stretch my leg muscles. When Kash showed up, we finalized our preparation and started running in the Kiara Park.

For I’m not sure what the reason is, we saw lots of mountain bikers that morning. They were everywhere!

Kash directed us to run 1 loop inside the park, and 3 mix loops (big n small) outside the park, before heading outside to Hartamas and LHDN building. Somehow I know the run that day will be more than 32km.

My time was showing around 1hr18min (if I’m not mistaken) as we finished the loops nearby Kiara Park, and I still felt strong. We chit chatted while running most of the times. My legs felt strong, breathing was very smooth and calm. I thought it was going to be a good running experience, with that very good start.

Maybe I spoke too early. After 1hour 25minutes running, I started to feel the pain at my toes. Still bearable, I continued running. But from then onwards, I had to keep my mouth shut. Focusing the energy to endure the pain in the legs rather than wasting it for talking.

We soon arrived at Petronas Hartamas for a quick hydration break. A bottle of Gatorade each would do it. It was a pretty fast break. Arrived there, bought Gatorades, drank a bit, filled up our bottles, and off we went to continue the run.

2 hours into the run, the knees started to feel the pain. Somewhere nearby the Masjid Wilayah Persekutuan I asked Kash about how she was doing, whether she had any pain or not. I told her that if there’s a blinking light at my feet and knees (like the one Ultraman has on his chest), the lights at my feet and knees would already started blinking in amber color.

Upon making the u-turn at the LHDN building, I asked Kash to stop for a much needed rehydration. I almost drank all the water inside my two fuel belt bottles, I was so thirsty. And the pain in the legs never seemed to reduce or subside. Kash suggested me to start taking glucosamine to strengthen the knee joints. All I could think was where else could I fork out some extra cents to get that kind of expensive supplements. Almost 1 month to go before the actual marathon, realizing that my knee joints are in trouble for long run is not a good think to know.

Running our way back from there, Kash took the lead. That’s the point when I told her that she was running strong. She looked strong, and she was indeed running strong, like nothing could stop her from moving forward. Fortunately, the weather that morning was very pleasant. It was pretty enjoyable to run in that kind of weather.

I followed Kash from behind, slowly running up the rolling hills nearby Plaza Damas. The longer I followed her, the slower I ran. The distance was getting bigger. My ‘ultraman’ light at my knees was already turning red. So did the light at my toes. Checking the distance, Kash told me we’ve passed half marathon distance, 21km. I was in real pain. With every step I took I was thinking I should stop running and start walking instead. I started to have the doubt in being able to finish the whole run. I really was.

Upon reaching Petronas Hartamas for the second time for another rehydration stop, I told Kash that I needed two bottles of Gatorade when she offered to go inside and do the purchase. I sat down on a bench, took off my shoes and gave them a little bit of massage. Now, my toes were in much more pain than the knees. One bottle of Gatorade went straight into my body, and the other one went to my fuel belt bottles. 1 ltr of fluid added to the weight I had to carry for the remaining 7km run.

To keep myself strong, I chose to run ahead rather than being at the back. Not that I sped off and left Kash behind as I could always hear her foot steps. I just needed to be at the front, to help maintain my mental strength running in the pain. I know, if I let Kash run in front of me, I would immediately start walking.

As she wrote it in her blog, when we faced the slopes after passing KLGCC, she asked me whether I could still run. Maybe I’ve complained about my pain too much. I wanted so much to run throughout the slopes until the peak, to test my inner strength. When realizing that I was running as slow as I would if I was walking, I then walked. I turned my head back and at that instant, I saw Kash also had started walking. I felt a bit regret for starting the walk because I had the feeling that if I continued running the slopes, she would too. And that would be a great achievement to be running up the long steep slopes after running for more than 3hr45min.

About 200m from the park, Kash increased her pace, like she was heading towards the finishing line. I tried my best to follow closely behind her. I almost ran out of breath.

I stopped my watch. It was showing 3 hours 57 minutes. Kash said the distance was 34.9km.

I then screamed, ”Yeayyy, 35km!!!”, while punching my fist into the air.

And to think about it, that almost 4 hours of running was somehow tougher than 3.5hours spent for an Olympic Distance triathlon (I’m sure I myself won’t agree to this statement when I am in a triathlon race, hehehe).

I was happy, but I couldn’t afford any big smile at that time. After a little bit of cooling and stretching down, I took off my shoes. Luckily there were no blisters, and everything was still intact. The pain I had that morning was the greatest amongst all pain that I’ve had while doing marathon training.

With practically 4 more weekends available for training, I don’t know whether it’s good that I consider this as the peak (35km, or 4 hours run) of my training. Of course I won’t stop my run training until race day. I do have plans to clock some lighter long distance training while in the tapering process. But looking at current schedule and condition, I think this is where I peaked.

35km is done. Hmm, I wonder what would the remaining 7km do to me.

For me, 42km is not anymore equal to 35 + 7. It’s more like 35km in pain, plus PAIN, PAIN, PAIN, PAIN, PAIN, PAIN & PAIN.

But, pain can also make you become stronger. True?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Inspirational Indeed

I bet most of you have seen the very famous movie Forrest Gump where at one point Forrest (Tom Hanks) went out running throughout the States of America after her mom (or wife, I can't recall) passed away due to cancer (if I'm not mistaken). From there, the quote "Run Forrest, run!" became every runners' favourite quote, but replacing 'Forrest' with their names.

I came across Emma's blog today and found out one amazing real story of a woman who ran the whole world. No kidding, the whole world.

First, take a look here, and then here, and finally here.

With what she had done, it makes a full marathon of 42km run looks like a very little small tiny piece of what we call
R U N N I N G.

Q & A: Period

Q: What is the closest thing similar to a woman's period?

A: Your SALARY. It comes once a month and lasts for 3 - 4 days. And if it doesn't come, you are in deep trouble!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Re-attempting 2km swim

On Monday, I was so busy at work that I had to throw away my running plan as I couldn’t leave the office at 5pm. I had to stay at my desk until 6.30pm and that ended me up with a choice of re-attempting another 2km swim at the MBJB swimming pool, where I always do my swim training.

Am I lying if I say I was busy at work, yet still able to squeeze in a minute or two ‘communicating’ with a colleague? Upon telling him that I went for a 2km swim, he asked me whether I could teach him how to swim via on-line?

So, I tried coaching him. Starting with how to breath, and then with some secret recipe on how to better the swim.

As for my 2km swimming story, I was glad I could do it again. For me, I still consider 2000m to be a long long distance to swim. The result of my re-attempted 2km swim goes like this:

At 500m – I didn’t look at my stopwatch becuase I felt I was swimming slow. Started to feel the pain at the shoulders, but fortunately breathing was still OK.
At 1000m – I clocked 23 minutes. Slightly slower than my previous attempt which was 20 minutes. Fair enough, just keep on moving.
Reaching 1500m – Time had passed 34 minutes. I surely know I was slow.
Completing 2000m with the time of 45 minutes, I was surprised again as it was the same timing as my first attempt.

How could it be? I don't know. I just swam, and swam, and swam.

I’m happy to know that at least, I could maintain the timing. But for how long? I’m not sure as for now. Perhaps I also need to mix the training up with some upper body workout at the gym.

I still wonder how can I swim even faster, and longer.

Anybody knows where can I find giraffe’s lung? Hehehe...

Monday, May 18, 2009

A quick 17km

OK, I'll try my best to do this update within 10 minutes. It's now 3.20pm and I'm super busy today. So, here it goes.

Last Saturday, I tried to do a solo long distance run. Not so big of a target. Something between 15km to 20km, or anywhere near 2 hours.

Not making any prior arrangement or planning with anybody, I ended up running alone. I almost blew the run away by not waking up on my first alarm which was set at 6am. I continued sleeping, and only after performing my morning prayer just before 7am, I gained whatever mental strength I had that morning to go out and do the run.

So, at 7.15am I went off. From my house, I headed to Kota Damansara. So I ran, and I ran, and I ran. Alone. No partner, no MP3, no nothing.

Not having any means to gauge the distance other than my stopwatch, I planned to run for 2 hours. Once reached 50 minutes into the run, I was looking for a place to do the u-turn.

(Gosh, 10 minutes is too short to do a blog update leh).

Bla, bla, bla, I ran, made the u-turn at the play ground somewhere near Kota Damansara Seksyen 10 (I think), ran back towards Ikea/Ikano, headed to Tropikana golf course, turn back towards Ikano, and reached my apartment after running 1hr 55min. A little short than my original plan of 2 hours.

Well, it was worth it. With my slow and steady pace, I would say I've ran about 17km. Better than 0km if I stayed on the bed continuing my sleep.

Ok, it's 3.28pm. Time to stop blogging and continue what I'm supposed to do (Work lah, apa lagi. Takkan nak ngulor sampai petang kot!! Hehehe).

Sunday, May 17, 2009

HiJack!

(Source: A forwarded email from a friend)

A piece of advice while flying.

After a month-long holiday in the US , my wife and I finally boarded the plane in San Francisco last Sunday heading home.

As the plane reached cruising speed with the seat belt sign switched off, a 6-footer black man with the build of Mike Tyson in the front row got up from his seat, turned to face the back, raised his arm and yelled, 'HIJACK!'

Everyone was frozen to the seat, expecting the worst to happen. Two stewards were about to jump onto this guy to overpower him when another voice answered from the back of the plane: 'HI JOHN!'

The moral of the story is:

If you have a friend named Jack, for heaven's sake don't ever call him in the plane. Otherwise you may land yourself in deep trouble!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Finish Strong

I got this clip via email from a friend. It's so touching. Listen to what he says.

Very true indeed, FINISH STRONG!!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Wondering

Wandering around and do nothing is obviously not a good thing to do, unless you are resting your body, mind and soul after a long hard day of work or training.

However, wondering (spelled with an ‘O’) about certain things may bring some positive effect, depending on how you react or act towards it.

For example, a year ago I used to wonder how could I cycle on a stretch of a flat road with speed of 35km/hr or more without vomiting or cramping.

I also used to wonder how could I run for more than 30 minutes or 1 hour without ending up in the hospital due to breathing shortage.

Well, one of the wonders that I’ve been thinking in the past few days, especially when reviewing my past two triathlon events I participated is, how could I swim faster? Or, to be more specific, I wonder whether I can swim 1.5km in less than 40 minutes. I also wonder whether I can swim more than 1.5km.

For a real case study scenario, I swam the 1.5km distance during PD tri in 40 minutes, and 43 minutes during Kenyir tri. Very slow, yes I know that.

And, have I done my best during those two events? I think so. In fact, I almost drowned during Kenyir triathlon because I tried to swim faster in the crowd of people (I was out of breath and panicked). But still, I was slow.

That wonder has kept me pushing myself slightly further. A bit at a time.

Yesterday, I arrived early at the swimming pool with the intention to answer what I’ve been wondering about. The target was pretty simple – to swim 1.5km and check my timing, and then swim another 500m to get a total swimming mileage of 2km.

My last geli-geli swim training was on last Thursday, and knowing yesterday’s going to be a long swim, I warmed up and stretched my arms and shoulders and started the swim with a very comfortable pace, i.e. not too fast, and not too slow either.

The first 1000m, I clocked 20 minutes. I was shocked!

Reaching 1500m, my stopwatch was showing 32 minutes. Double the excitement!!

Completing the 2000m swim in 45 minutes, TURKEY!!!

I was pretty glad with what I achieved yesterday. It was like getting three strikes in a row for a ten pin bowling game. However I should say that it was not an easy task to achieve. Plus, swimming alone (almost) in my lane in the clear swimming pool will never ever match the actual situation when swimming in triathlon events.

And my new wonder now is, “Can I do better than this?”

Monday, May 11, 2009

Longest so far

You know what? Sometimes it’s good to have a certain goal in doing something, especially in progressing into higher state or level. But at times, getting to the goal itself may eat your self from the back, or front, or from your knees.

As planned since the week earlier, last Saturday I had planned with Kash to run 30km plus, or at least to reach 3 hours of running time. The last long distance run I did was a painful 24km, with a terrible running time of 2hrs40mins.

I sms-ed Kash on Friday evening as I hopped into the express bus going back to KL from JB (yup, I’m a weekend husband/daddy), to confirm whether the planned run on Saturday is still ON or not. She said “yes”, and I started to feel nervous again. Nervous because I think 30km and above is as a super long mileage to cover. Even cycling with an average speed of 30km/hr will take you about an hour to finish.

I reached home kind of late and managed to get asleep by around 12.30am. Alarm was set to shout at me by 5.40am. Heck, with just over 5 hours of sleep, I’m not really sure whether I could wake up on time at the first place! It was one of the hardest mornings to wake up with a complete combination of tiredness from whole week of work and travelling and not having enough dreams rest.

If there was one thing, and one thing only that had pushed me to get prepared for the run was – the anticipation to see how can I survive running that 30km! I know for sure with my slow pace that I would need to run for more than 3 hours.

If you want to visually feel how far 30km is (for those who never run 30km, like me), try going to mapmyrun.com and plot on the map a 30km route, starting from your house (or office, or toll Plaza Sg. Besi), to wherever that 30km will bring you. It’s far. And if you fancy running on a track fields (like those inside a stadium), you need to run SEVENTY FIVE LOOPS. Dare to even imagine doing that?

OK, back to the main story.

The morning of that nice and shady Saturday, I arrived slightly earlier at the promised meeting point. Enough time for me to chew on two cream buns, two sticks of Milo wafer biscuit and half a liter of water. Stretched out the legs, preparing the legs for the torture.

Kash picked me up and we went straight to the Kiara park. She said we’ll be doing two small and two big loops at the park before heading out to the main road. I just nodded my head and follow her direction, as I don’t really know the route she had planned. One thing I know, the total distance for the day would be 30km, at least. The first one hour was spent there, circling the park.

This time, knowing exactly where I would be running (the route), I broke the run into smaller pieces, into the shape of “going to the next stop point”. The first stop point was the Petronas station. A can of Gatorade flowed down my throat in seconds. So, I bought another bottle of Gatorade for my fuel belt bottles refueling. From then on, I felt heavy with water in my tummy and water in the two water bottles I carried.

After the Petronas stop, we ran on the very hilly route somewhere behind the Petronas (relatively speaking). Lucky we had a very shady morning, or else that would be first place where I might started walking.

Going past the Plaza Damas, I started to have the mental game of “to-run-or-not-to-run”. It was already almost 2 hours into the run by this time, and I can’t wait to get to the u-turn point. We kept running, a bit slowly when going up some of the small climbs, and back to normal speed when on the flat.

I asked Kash about how she’s doing, as I could hear her heavy breathing since the start of the run. She claimed to feel a bit “mengah”, especially when ascending. As for me, breathing was still OK, but the pain at the knees area started to surface.

We made the u-turn behind the LHDN building and I asked Kash to stop for a while. I wanted to give up actually, a sudden rush of fatigue crept in. I stopped for few seconds, drank some more, trying to catch up a little bit of breath. I knew Kash had a certain target for the run, and I didn’t want to put any damage to it (by stopping), so I gathered some strength and continued running, heading back.

Soon, Kash told me we’ve passed the 20km mark. The pain at my knees was getting stronger, but still bearable. At the long slope nearby Plaza Damas, I started to walk. I told Kash I didn’t want to damage my knees and I wanted to save some energy for the remaining 10km run.

I remember when running up the super steep hill during Kenyir triathlon last April, where there was a participant, a lady who still kept on running very slowly that she couldn’t even overtake me, who was walking. It was somehow funny for me, that a running person was travelling slower than a walking person. I laughed in my heart every time I remember about that experience.

The same case happened again, when Kash was struggling up the hill running, trying to catch up with me who was already walking slightly ahead of her. Well, not that I was walking fast, but I guess even if I run, I would be running as slow as if I was walking. True enough, when going up those kind of slopes after 2 hours plus of running.

Another glance at my stopwatch, it was showing 2hr 35minutes. 5 minutes more to break my previous record. I started to smile, happy to be able to run that far. When the time showed 2hr40min, ”Yeayy.. I made it!!!”, I shouted silently in my heart as I broke my own long distance record, yet again.

I guess that might have been the extra source of strength that kept me moving forward. I turned back and noticed Kash had been slowing down a bit. I continued running to the Petronas station, can’t wait to rehydrate as I’ve already ran out of water supply.

Arriving at the Petronas station, I could feel the intensity of the pain at my knees. I did some stretching with the hope to ease the pain. ”How good if I can end the run here, and not any further”, I told myself. Kash was also feeling the pain on her calves and ankles. It was amazing to see how fast she finished the 500ml Gatorade. Hahahaa, yeah, she was very thirsty and tired. So was I.

Perhaps, the run from then on was the toughest for the day. Legs were already feeling the fatigue. If there was somebody in front of me, that person would have had the opportunity to see my bad face expressions as I hold the pain to keep on moving. Kash got dropped again. I looked behind once in a while to make sure she was still running.

Once I passed by the KLGCC, I stopped and waited for her. Obviously it was not fun to be running alone especially if there will be ascends again in front. Somehow I can sense that both of us won’t be able to run up the slopes. So, we better start walking. At least, we were still moving forward.

Wanting to finish the run strong, we continued running towards the park after the last hill travelled walking. My stopwatch showed 3hr 35min as we halted the run at the gate of Kiara Park. It was a total of 31km, according to Kash.

Another new record for my self – and I’m glad I survived it. This won’t materialize if I were to do it alone. So, thanks so much again to Kash for the good company.

And yes, now I know that running for 3 hours or more is painful. However, sooner or later the pain will go away but the experience stays in your memory box, right? (or at least the story remains inside this blog, as long as its existence)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

I may not have the luxury of time and money to prepare something big or a surprise to my mom for the Mother's day. She is back home at the kampung, and without any extension of leave I can take at this moment, I won't be able to be there on the special day. But I've set an alarm on my handphone on Sunday morning to give her a call and wish her the best of life, and to tell her I love her (hopefully to be the first among my siblings to do so, hehe).

On the other side of the world (I mean, for my daughter to celebrate for her mama), I've 'helped' her to prepare something really simple to give to her mama for this coming Mother's Day. I hope my wife will be surprised and happy.

To my mom, I know you won't be reading this blog but I want you to know that I love you so much, always. Thanks for bringing me up as a good man. I can never pay back what you've sacrificed and done to me. Happy Mother's Day! Semoga Allah sentiasa merahmatimu.

To the mama of my daughter (i.e. my beloved wife), Happy Mother's Day to you too! I know you've done more than what you could have done, to make sure our daughter grows up as a good, healthy and intelligent girl. I love you too, and I'm really sure Nurin loves you much much more than I do.

To all other moms that I know, or know me, or read this blog... Happy Mother's Day to you too.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Mega Ouch?

I was having a discussion with an ex-colleague where somehow the conversation turned into what's my weekend plan would be.

What surprised me was that, she could already feel my pain upon reading about my plan to run 30km tomorrow (Saturday).

Well, I'm not sure what will be the turn out after the run. I just hope I can finish the run and that the pain won't be that "MEGA".

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Inconsiderate?

What would you feel if you get trapped in a 5 or 6km traffic jam on your way to the office in the morning, just to find out that the reason for the traffic congestion was because there were one or two signs on the side of the road which says “BERHENTI, PEMERIKSAAN POLIS” (Stop, Police Inspection), and what you can see that there are a bunch of officers in their uniforms sitting down chit chatting at the nearby bus stop and did not do any inspection to the passing by vehicles?

The unexpected traffic congestion this morning.

They were just chit chatting at the bus stop, and no single officer was doing any inspection at the road block at the time I passed by. What's wrong with them huh?

What the heck is going on!?!?

I was so pissed out. I was so pissed out that I took out my digital camera and took some shots to prove how inconsiderate I think their actions were. I’m a bit lucky in the sense that my company do allow for occasional late coming if there is any issue. But I was thinking how about those people who are in real need to rush in the morning?

How if there’s an almost due mother who needed to rush to the hospital for labor? Or if there’s a parent who needed to rush their child to the clinic due to high fever or excessive vomiting?

How if there are some poor guy or girl who needed to report duty at their working places on time, or else will face a chance to be expelled due to coming in late (they might be reporting to an inconsiderate supervisor who will not accept any reason for coming late)? And that poor guy or girl will be having tough time to get another job to support their moms, or dads, or their younger siblings?

There might also be some unfortunate fellows with not so good car condition that may get overheated easily, or getting very low on the gas.

The traffic jam had caused my normal 7 minutes journey from home to work, to become 35minutes. A colleague told me this morning that his normal 15 minutes journey to work turned to 1 hour. Another colleague told me that the officers were stopping and inspecting motorcyles.

Yeah, I lived and worked in PJ before where the daily traffic jam had become a second to nature, somehow. But, that is kind of normal, and already anticipated on daily basis. You even know what time the traffic would be super bad, and at what time the traffic is going to be slightly bearable.

OK, the officers surely have their own reason to do the inspection road block. But, here are my points:

Why must they do the road block at the peak hour time where almost everybody is rushing to get to work? Yesterday evening I noticed the similar kind of traffic jam (or maybe worse) on the other side of the road, right at the time where most people were rushing back from work. Poor time management?

Why don’t they take away the road block signage as soon as they finished their duty so that people won’t get distracted and slow down as they see the signs? Are they waiting for foreign contractors to help them to remove the signs?

Why can’t they be more considerate to the public while doing their duty?

Yes I do understand Malaysia is famous for their individuals who are lazy but selfish in a way or another (Some of them. Well, I’d say most of them, but not everybody), but when performing work or duty, can’t they be more professional? Regardless whether one works in a government sector or private, I believe being considerate is one aspect of professionalism. Correct me if I’m wrong with my statement above.

“Dear mister policemen (or JPJ-men, or whoever), please be considerate lah…”

Monday, May 4, 2009

2 Hours Barrier – Broken!

I remember the last time I did my long run was months ago, at the point where I stopped running as soon as my stopwatch showed 2:00:00 (i.e. 2 hours on the dot). It was a big achievement for me, and since then I wanted to know whether I could run further distance or longer time.

I’m not shame to admit that I’m a slow runner. In fact, I never was a long distance runner. Only for the reason of doing triathlon that I have no choice but to learn and love (yucks!) long distance running.

With the long holiday last weekend, I was thinking of running in KL. When I saw comments on Kash’s blog where she said that she had planned to do a 25km run on Saturday, I braved my self to call her and asked whether I could join her. I was glad that she said OK. Then, I felt nervous.

I was nervous because I’m not sure whether I could finish the run. Remember second paragraph above? I’m not a long distance runner.

By the way, I was so looking forward for the run. First of all because I will be running with a partner. If I was alone, I may not even be awake at 5.45am on a cool Saturday morning.

Kash’s sms-ed me on Friday night, “OK Nik. Meet at Mobil station on the main road of Tmn Tun, besides Restoran Makbul. 6.30-ish.”

To be frank, to start training before 7am is something that I never ever had imagined of doing. Yes, you’ve guessed it right – I’m not a morning person either. But, I took it as a challenge. 6:30am, so be it!

I arrived Mobil station slightly earlier (semangat lebih beb!), and took my time to eat one cream bun and went to the toilet. As I finished with my own business, I saw Kash at the station (to which she thought I was lost. Sorry Kash, I should have sms-ed you when I arrived). We then quickly went to the starting point of the run – the Kiara Park.

We started off slightly before 7am after settling with my fuel belt and water. I brought two bottles of plain water, but Kash offered me her endurance drink. So, I gulped a bottle of plain water and refill the bottle with the endurance drink. We started the run by doing 3 loops in the Kiara Park before heading out to the main road – where the torture fun began.

One advantage I had was that, it was the first time for me to run that route (Kiara Park – Plaza Damas – Government Buildings at Jln Duta – and back). Not knowing where to turn or where to cross the road, and not knowing how much further ahead I need to run, was kind of a ‘running mystery’ which helped me mentally to ignore the distance. “Just run, Nik. Just run.”. I only make a glimpse look once in a while at my stopwatch to see how long have my legs pounded the tarmac.

All this while, I only read in blogs about people running that route and mentioning check points like the Petronas, Plaza Damas, etcetera. That morning, ”Oooh, so this is the Petronas station” and ”Aaahh, this is the famous Plaza Damas” were playing in my head as we came across them. Macam orang jakun pulak.

At 1hr30min, we arrived at the u-turn point. When I asked Kash how far we have run, she mistakenly said ”dah 19km”. “What?”, I was shocked because if it was true that we’ve ran 19km to the u-turn point, a run back would do us a good 38km. Hahaha. A second look at her gadget would say that we’ve done around 11km (if I’m not mistaken). That sounded better.

Running back from then on, the whole thing gets a bit challenging. The sun has risen higher, and fatigues started to kick in. Nearing the Plaza Damas, I already started to feel a bit of pain at my feet and at the knees. Soon after that, the pain kind of moved upwards to my thighs. Gosh, what a feeling of pain.

I still felt strong though having those pain in the legs. Well, not very very strong, but perhaps strong enough to finish the run. I kept on moving ahead, together with Kash. The last few climbs were the toughest as the legs were already very weak. The thoughts to start walking came through the head with each step of run I made, but not even once we stopped and walked. Maybe we were motivating each other by the means of 'not walking'.

Being that tired and having those pain in the legs, many times I told Kash, ”If I were running alone, I would have already walked long long time ago”. She then said, ”Yeah, me too!”.

Finally, we reached the park. With total running time of 2hrs 40min, for whatever distance covered (Kash said it would be a good 24km), it felt good to be able to break the 2hours record I hold earlier. Both my thighs were in deep pain and it lasted until Sunday afternoon. I secretly am hoping that that was a good pain, a pain which would make my legs stronger.

We drank icy cold 100 plus upon reaching the park, stretched down and made our way back to a mamak where another can of icy cold 100 plus and a plate of tosey each, served us a good breakfast.

With another plan to do longer run this coming Saturday, I hope to see this 2hr40min record to be broken again.

Thanks so much Kash, for having me as your running partner last Saturday. I would like to emphasize again, ”If I were running alone, I would have already walked!”.

That’s how tough training for a marathon is. The legs, body and brain should work together in harmony, or else you’ll end up walking. Hahaha.