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Monday, May 31, 2010

Shout Outs Eighty Four

I don’t really know where to start. The most unprepared and unplanned race in my entire endurance sports history (so far) has been done. I guess I could say that I’ve won the battle against myself, completing the whole 84km on foot, in a beautiful little country known as Singapore.

However, it would never be materialized without supports from family and friends, so I’m dedicating this entry to all of you.

To my lovely wife and daughter, who had to live a weekend on their own without me being around as I normally do. Yeah, I’m a weekend husband/daddy so my weekends are always special. Thanks, love you both so much.

To Shaqi, who gave me the opportunity to run with his 42km marathon bib number. Without it, I won’t even make myself available in Singapore. I really hope you recover fast with your injury bro. I dedicated one loop of a marathon for you bro. Thanks a lot.

To Ian, who has offered me his help for many times in making sure I get the license (i.e. race bib) to run at the Singapore Sundown event. You’ve been very supportive, thanks bro.

To our King Mambo, Shakhir. What a pleasure to know that finally you could make it to Sundown. Thanks for the lift from JB to Changi. Also thanks to Alwin and Dett who gave me some final encouragements while I was busy changing into my running gear inside the car.

Also, big thanks to Rais who has helped not only me, but many other running friends for the race bib collection and distribution.

Thanks also to Azam (Kash’s brother) who helped to hold my race bib at the start line, and for helping me with transportation and accommodation issues after the race.

And to the buddies that I met at the start of the run who I’m sorry I can’t chat much before the race (because I was already late), thanks for your last encouragements. Also to some friends who were willing to wait until the end of the race just to see us cross the finishing line. Among those at the race site that I can vividly remember were Syah, Nadia, Yim, Khairul Anuar, Dett, Alwin, Shakhir, Zaki, Ijam, Tey and urgghh... I can’t recall any others. Sorry if I’ve missed anybody.

And to those who wrote on my FB wall, thanks so much. Sorry I can’t access FB from the office, so responses might be well delayed. And to those that I’ve missed, thanks so much for your encouragements too. Though your names are not mentioned here, but I have you guys near to my heart.

Not forgetting to the race organizers and also to the wonderful volunteers alongside the race course. You guys did a very good job that has set a high standard in running race organizations. There’s plenty of things we can learn from this superbly done event.

Second before last, congratulations to all friends who participated in Singapore Sundown marathon, let it be in 10km, 21km, or 42km categories. You all did an awesome job. Well done!

Last but not least, this special shout outs go to all Ultramarathon finishers especially to our two ultra queens, Haza and Kash. Also to some other running bloggers like Dr. Pui San, Yip and ZulHassan who were also there battling the 84km. There were also some other Malaysian runners like those from Chap Ayam Runners or Pacesetters Malaysia that I am yet to know them, but anyway, ultra congratulations to all of you. You all did very well indeed.

I’ll share my whole experience during the Sundown marathon in another longer rambling episode after I’m done with today’s work (or maybe tomorrow). Yup, I’m back in the office today (forgot to apply leave, duh!).

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

LTPDTT

Sometimes, not following the last instruction is the best option.

I Can, You Can, We All Can.

You may laugh at me when I don't know the recent abbreviation commonly used nowadays, which is "TT". In cycling, TT stands for time trial. But I just learned that TT sessions also brings the meaning of Teh Tarik sessions.

Aduhh... patik sungguh ketinggalan zaman.

Oh yeah, take a guess what LTPDTT would possibly stands for. I just invented this abbreviation a minute ago, because I'm experiencing some mental freeze of what to blog about.

My current mental state.
Nice huh?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Chasing The Rain Clouds

… but we were a tad too late.

Answering my invitation for a second attempt of Kiara Park – Bukit Aman 30km route LSD run, four other companions gambled on the cloudy dawn. I did it alone previously, on a hot morning. And this time I was just as glad that my second attempt will be accompanied with hilarity, apart from the very handsome weather.

You just need a pair of running shoes to run, right? Wrong!
You need shoes, socks, cap, shades, Heart Rate Monitor (HRM), stopwatch, Fuel Belt water bottles, Road ID and waist pouch.

And if you are the King, you need some secret drinks too.
No one knows what the majesty was drinking that day. Some rumors were saying that it was air ketom.

6:40am, these kaki lambung were more than eager to hit the road.

The weather in the morning was cooling enough to our comfort. We took off from Kiara Park, heading towards KLGCC while climbing those Double-Hills-lookalike long stretch gradients. The morning cool breeze that hit our faces injected loads of internal bliss. So we carried on in the pack with a very comfortable pace.

Still on their first gear, warming up.

After passing Bukit Kiara Equestrian Club, we ran alongside Sprint highway, passing through National Science Centre on the right side.

Running through the autumn-ish dead leaves.
(Wow, bulu kaki sapa tuuu?)

King Mambo showing his latest ‘hommie’, still in progress.
“Jemput datang rumah minum Gatorade ye!”, he invited us.

We ran passed Hartamas and Plaza Damas without making a stop at the Petronas since we were all still have our tanks full. The further we ran, the higher the tendency for us to get stomach cramps. Oh no, not from running hard or fast. But stomach cramps by laughing rolling rolling (gelak guling-guling daa) due to the non-stop lambung sessions we had.

Syah hit the highest ‘kena lambung’ score of the day with the hilarious plan of becoming a relay swimmer for triathlon.
I had to hold my stomach, it nearly got cramped, seriously.
We had the biggest laugh behind this LHDN building.

We also saw few other runners as we crossed Jalan Duta getting towards Bukit Tunku. Few weeks from now when SCKLIM 2010 is getting nearer and nearer, this area may see more runners clocking their LSD mileages on Saturdays and Sundays.

We also met Doris and her gang.

Did I tell you that I love running on this winding road with trees on the sides?

As we ran nearby the Sasana Kijang, we started seeing some SCKLIM banners on the streetlight poles.
Model-model sedang berlatih posing bersama tiang lampu

After 1hr 35min, we made it safely to Bukit Aman car park after trudging for about 15.5km non-stop. Some suggested we should sit down and help ourselves with a bowl of the yummylicious bihun soup each, but that would be suicidal as we were only half way through. We spent few minutes there for our first hydration refill.

Time to re-load our mobile hydration systems.

If last time when I ran to here alone, I was hallucinating of driving back home instead of running back to Kiara Park because of the morning heat. But this time, the pretty cloudy and cool weather, together with friends, provided a good motivation for the home run.

And my friends bukan calang-calang punya orang tau. One of them just got promoted from Ketua Kampung KLCC park, to President of poco-poco runners of KLCC park.
I should have video-ed him showing his poco-poco skills.

“OK, good. Muka camera-man memang lebih hensem daripada pokok pisang!”, they told me.

Out of all, for me, if I were to push myself to run very long distance, I would always choose to run an out-and-back route. Reasons being, no matter what, once you’ve done halfway through until the turnaround point, there’s no short cut you can make to get back to where you started. Slow or fast, flat or hilly route, hot or cool weathers, you just have to make your way back home. That will give you the mileage endurance and mental power to get you going the distance.

Coming up from Hartamas Condos towards Plaza Damas, in full focus sebenarnya dah penat gile mode.

Though it was already in our 18th or 20th kilometers, I had a second wind to tackle the rolling routes from then onwards. I switched to over-drive mode and ran at higher pace while climbing up, as I honestly needed some strength in that department. I don’t want to succumb to my oh-i-so-hate-the-hills mentality forever and ever, so I better start to wrestle it.

The long awaited second re-fuelling stop at Petronas Hartamas finally arrived. I quickly grabbed two bottles of Gatorade and sat down for a breather while silently persuading my tired legs to stay put with me for another 7km-ish or so, to get back to Kiara Park. Once again, I can’t emphasize more on how much the cool weather has helped us all.

Refreshed, and ready for our home run.
“Kasi lambung sama diaaaa..”

Drizzle started to visit us as we departed from our stop. Luckily I brought along a Ziploc plastic bag for my camera. Looking over to the sky on our way to the equestrian club, we were chasing against the rainy clouds.

Surely enough we were already spent out and with the low energy level, shifting to our highest gear was impossibility. The heavy clouds finally poured down blessed water from the sky and that’s where I totally enjoyed the remaining 5km of the run. Fortunate enough there were no lightning or thunders. I can’t recall when was the last time I ran under a heavy rain, but even until now, I still love it so much.

Shakhir enjoying the run in the rain, while listening to Shuk karaoke-ing Ramli Sarip’s songs.

I felt like a 10 years old boy.
The heavier the rain, the more I like it.

The heavy rain didn’t even dampen our spirit to finish our 30km run strongly. The total running hours of 3hr 20min that we had was my best ever feeling of any LSD I’ve ever done. Didn’t even feel ‘that’ tired, as compared to any other even shorter LSDs run under the hot sun.

And our fun didn’t end as soon as we stopped running. Shuk brought along a football-sized fresh seedless red oh-so-juicy watermelon, as our post-run fiesta by the park. Thanks Shuk!

“Gaban Z Potong Dua, zaaasssss...”

Dett: “Ala ala alaaa uchuk uchuk, meh sini I suapkan U tembikai ni meh…”
(Syah hampir terkena stroke mengejut sebab gelak kuat sangat)

Nyummm.. nyumm.. nyumm… sluurrrppppp…

“Tak rock laa kunyah tembikai kecik-kecik ni… “

The reward for being the camera-runner-man of the day was very.. ermm.. rewarding.

And don’t be surprised if five adults could finish up all the watermelon in one sitting without any guilt feeling, and could still smile and ready for another big breakfast at home.

All in all, it was a superb second Lambung Sampai berDarah outing for us. Syah scored the highest lambung score of the day while King Mambo get his chance to ‘relax’ a bit (a bit aje, but still parah jugak pendarahan telinga dia), Dett won the award as the quietest-but-strong runner of all, Syuk clocked his fastest speed work running down chasing a golf ball in the rain, and I won the award for eating the most watermelon sampai buncit. If only the others could joined us, it would be double or triple the fun.

And last but not least…

Alahai… manjanya mereka berdua ni. Cute sangat!

Ahahahahahahahaaa…..

And if you are thinking that all this, this and this blogs are having the same entry title is just a mere coincidence, think again.

Enjoy the whole series of pictures I took.
Click to go to the album and feel free to play the 'mari-buat-dialog' game.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Filet OH Cheese

Not always I take fast food as lunch during work, but there was one occasion last week where I gave the big M a visit.

“Sekali sekala apa salahnya…”, I told my self as I locked my eyes on the cholesterol level written on the nutrition facts of the Filet-O-Fish box I ordered.

This was what I ordered. Uuuuh.. I just love cheese.
Marketing photos are amazingly delicious and attractive, aren’t they?

I poured all the fries on the tray, sprinkled some black pepper and started to enjoy my little meal with a colleague. Then, I flipped open the Filet-O-Fish to add some chili sauce, to which I was disappointed to see the size of the cheese they put in.

It should be one square piece of a cheese slice, shouldn’t it?
Mine, only half. And I still have to pay for the full price.

Alamaakkk.. saya sudah kena tipu liao…

I was not in the mood to argue at that time so I just gobbled down everything and pretended I never got angry or upset. But in case if you order this meal or any other similar kinds from any fast food outlets, take a peep inside them first. Maybe this is their new way to increase their profit margin while keeping the competitively low prices.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Second Attempt

The Kiara Park – Bukit Aman go and return route of 30km which I did before was not that fun, because I did it alone. So, with the splendid atmosphere surrounding us with LSDs upon LSDs, I’m opening an invitation to join me for a second attempt at this 30km route.

Kiara Park – Hartamas – Bukit Tunku – Bukit Aman, and return back to Kiara Park.
I jotted down my experience here.

Date: Saturday, May 22.
Time: 0615hrs meet at Kiara Park, 0630hrs roll out.
Venue: Kiara Park, TTDI.

There’s a mosque nearby if you wish to perform Subuh prayers there. And please bring along any kind of rehydration support (Fuel Belt, water bottle, etc), and also cap and sunglasses. Oh ya, bring along some small cash ya (for rehydration refill). If your feet are prone to blisters, spare some plasters ok.

For those who want to do shorter distances, you are also cordially invited to join us. There’s plenty of turnaround options that you can choose if you want to clock 10km, or 15km, or 21km, etc. It’s your choice, but it would be great if we all can roll out at 0630hrs, barula meriah sesi lambungan kita.

I’ll sacrifice my arm muscles for the run, to run along with my camera and shoot you all in action. Don’t be late ya!. And please don't expect same photo outcome as our more terer photographers like Haza or Tey, or others. I'm one step lower than an amateur.

Or, if you are not free on Saturday, there’s a “Tribute to Ngae Run” happening on Sunday (the next day), starting from Bukit Aman car park at 6.30am.

Monday, May 17, 2010

I Believe I Can Fly

Yeah right. Keep dreaming. Where got man can fly one? Even if you wear your brand new red color underwear outside of your track bottom, and tie your kain pelikat around your neck to mimic like Superman, you still can’t fly.

But you know what? Even flies who can fly every day, may sometimes feel bored you know. Let’s take a look at what they do when they get bored of flying. I got these raw creative images from a friend via email, and while my brain was still unaffected by the Monday blues, I embedded some dialogues for extra spices into the images before posting them up here. Enjoy! Click them to enlarge.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Infected Once Again

I think I’ve fully developed my immune system towards the M-bug. However, I need a lot of energy to struggle with this new virus. Let’s just call it the TMS-virus for now.

So, how do I define TMS-virus?

It’s easy. In the first minute, I have some idea of what to write on the blog. But come to the next minute, I totally lost everything. I can’t even proceed to the second or third paragraph of writing. The small idea for a blog entry cannot be further developed (or dramatized, to be exact).

And having such a melancholic personality trait, writing super short entries like those on FB walls is not my forte (macam la tulis panjang2 ni terer sangat… hampeh jugak). Not brilliant enough to play around with bombastic words added another strong venom to the TMS-virus, making it a full package deal.

That’s my TMS-virus. I’ve had this for quite some times now, which I believe started when I was bombarded with loads of urgent work a couple of months back. I thought the virus has left me last week where I managed to blog every two days or so. But it seems like the great great grandmother of the virus is still residing inside my nose (or brain? I don’t know).

Which explains why even my posting for the grand night LSD at Putrajaya which was full of fun, with many good running friends along, with lots of photos captured, also got delayed for few days before it gets published.

If you yet to get my drift, TMS means “Two Minutes Spirit”. It’s a direct translation from its original Malay version of “Semangat Dua Minit”, as what my training buddies here in JB usually say to those who, well, have high spirit to do something which ended up doing nothing, very quickly.

Life is pretty much similar to a roller coaster ride, only with unpredictable up and down times.

Imagine, we wake up one morning with big smiles on our face, suddenly we get a phone call or a text message that is powerful enough to turn the smiles 180 degrees in a split second. Be it family issues, friendship issues, banking issues. You name it.

Or, we came out from a meeting room with a high hope that our proposals or ideas will be accepted, only to see a new email coming into our mailbox few hours later saying something in the line of “Sorry to inform that due to certain circumstances we have to reject your blablablablabla…”

Or, when nobody appreciates us for staying late in the office for additional few hours everyday of the week, but yet, dare to make noise to higher management when we are late to work for only 7 minutes.

Not my fault what? The alarm was dead maa.

I just wanted to say that I’m having a feeling that my desire and interest in writing is slowly declining.

I think I should just download an anti-virus into my brain. Habis cerita.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Night Weekend Warriors

“Running Bloggers United”, as mentioned by Haza, is such a strong pulling factor for the community we are now in. Initiated and triggered mainly by entries and comments left on some of the blogs we frequent, the night LSD run training at Putrajaya’s Palace of Justice came to reality last Saturday.

Based on my very strong visual memory (assisted by the 87 photos I took), there were twenty night warriors, plus one amazing support crew. Let’s get to know them, shall we? (Ini kes dah kehabisan modal nak lambung la ni)

“Kalau nak gaya lambung baeeek punya, buat macam ni la!”
The King Lambung a.k.a King Mambo, showing the latest version of Lambung V1.1, released one day earlier.

Special appearance by the lady in white, who had just ran 45km in the earlier morning. I guess we all managed to download* a little bit of her inspirations. Haza came to support our night LSD, especially her partner-in-crime, Kash.
(*Err.. download?)

In their Fast n’ Serious mode.
I had difficulties chasing their sub 6min/km pace to take this shot.
L-R: Shakhir, Azmar, Nizam and Dett.

Daud a.k.a CheRaMiChe (right) gave his glowie band to Syed a.k.a Crusshio as he retired the run after 11km.

Saudagar kurma dari Cheras sedang buat promosi PowerDates kepada Pak Wibowo the librarian runner.

Upon completing our first loop of 11km-ish, we had some kurma fiesta.
Khairul Anuar (white/red vest), Yim (with the fuel belt), and Ian (squatting) picking up the last bit of dates.

Just like a superstar, Syah’s grand appearance was just before we continued with our second loop.

Syah lead the group on our second loop. Looks just like larian pasukan rumah putih

Rais n’ Kash’s “kedai runcit” is now mobile!
And they operate on special occasions only.

Ijam with his LSD… eh, I mean, SLR!

Ketua Kampung KLCC park, Shuk (left), running strong alongside FMV Minister, Yim.

I’m not sure if I’ve covered everybody. Perhaps not. I’m going to put all the other photos on my Facebook album (for the first time ever!), where we can continue the sesi lambungan sesuka hati.

Anyway, my first loop of the run was OK. But coming to the first half of the second loop, it was KO. I suddenly lost the gas in my tank, and slowed down and started walking. I decided to stop at 16km, after gulping one bottle of Gatorade sponsored by Kash (thanks!) in less than a minute. As he came by, I told Ian that I doubt I could finish the second loop but he told me otherwise. So, I ended up forcing myself to continue plodding with him for the remaining half of the second loop.

By the time we made a turn behind PICC, I knew I won’t be able to clock 30km as I initially intended to do for that night. Finishing up that first 20km was already a difficult task, in that environment. This time I find it difficult to run strong at night.

We took another rest in front of Palace of Justice (PoJ), and as soon as the sweat on my skin evaporated, few of us braved the quiet boulevard for another few clicks, to finish it off with 25km-ish in total. My running time was 2hr45min, very the slow.

Strong legs in action. Definitely not mine.

We ended our night at a restaurant with another session of LSD (meLantak Sampai Demam)

A group photo of the night warriors. 90% of them are bloggers.
We should invite more bloggers to run, and more runners to blog.

I leave you with a final quiz.
Siapa punya kaki lambung ni haa?