Photos thanks to Azhan (another orang kampung) with a RM7k lense!
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
And so the evening arrived with overcasted skies above Cheras. It drizzled when we left home. Nizam, Det and me carpooled to Taman Empangan. Rain or not, we still need to be there to be certain. It was my first trip to Taman Empangan though I passed the place thousand times driving and even cycle around Putrajaya. Quite a nice place especially for families. The thundering sounds of massive volumes of water falling down the spillway intake welcome visitors.
We performed our Maghrib prayer and gathered for a brief route check with bro Zulazlan as CAR's lead trainer for the run. Quite a good turn up. We paced ourselves towards the Boulevard at 8.05 pm with dark skies approaching and chilled wind. The dryness didn't last long. At km2 it started to rain and getting heavier by the minute. We were splish sploshing along the Boulevard all the way back to PICC and stopped back at our starting point. It never gets easier especially when my foot sploshed into one of those pot holes. Alamak! Badan bukan makin panas but it gets colder pulak. Perhaps the thought to abandon the run is more feasible. Takpe, esok masih ada.
Friday, January 22, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Since I'm in the mood of being healthy and perhaps a bit sharp tonight, I can't help to share these rules I've read from todays NST. These are the old wives' rules which I found the term "old wives" to be a bit witty :)
And, I've heard most of these rules from our family nutritionist. He's been talking for ages about these which I agree most of it, but obeying 100% of it is unfeasible...sigh! (I wish my mom is around to cook those delicious & healthy Malay food). If these are perhaps a bit too late for us, at least it's for our kids. Insyallah.
Anyway, here goes the helpings for our reading & eating ourselves healthy:
- The whiter the bread, the sooner you'll be dead. This blunt bit of grandmotherly advice is a reminder of the health risks of white flour. As far as the body is concerned, white flour is not much different from sugar. Recent research indicates that the grandmothers who lived by this rule were right: people who eats lots of whole grains tend to be healthier and to live longer.
- Don't eat cereals that change the colour of milk. This should go without saying.
- Avoid foods Grandma wouldn't recognise. These are now thousands of food products in the supermarket that our ancestors simple wouldn't recognise. They are processed in ways specifically designed to get us to buy and eat more by pushing our evolutionary buttons (such as our inborn preferences for sweetness, fat & salt).
- If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don't.
- Eat your colours. The idea that a healthy plate of food will feature several different colours is a good example of an old wives' tale about food that turns out to be good science, too. The colours of many vegetables reflect the different antioxidant phytochemicals (whatever this means) they contain.
- Avoid long list of ingredients. The more ingredients in a packaged food, the more highly processed it probably is. (A long list of ingredients in a recipe is not the same thing; that's fine).
- Avoid ingredients you don't recognise.
- Shop at the edges of the supermarket. Most stores are laid out the same way: processed foods dominate the centre aisles, while fresh foods - meat, fish & dairy - line the walls.
- Don't overlook oily fish. Mackerel, sardines & anchovies are particularly good choices. Dutch proverb: "A land with lots of herring can get along with few doctors."
- Only eat foods that eventually rot. The more processed a food is, the longer the shelf life, and the less nutritious it typically is. Real food is alive - and therefore it should eventually die. (One of the few exceptions is honey, which has a shelf life measured in centuries).
- Avoid foods that are labelled "low-fat". Removing fat from food doesn't necessarily make them non-fattening. Carbohydrates can also make you fat, and many low-fat and non-fat foods are more sugary to make for the loss of flavour.
- Eat slowly. Eat slowly enough to savour your food: you'll need less of it to feel satisfied. One strategy, encoded in a table manner that's been all but forgotten: "Put down your fork between bites."
- Only eat foods cooked by humans. In general, mass-produced food is cooked with too much salt, fat and sugar, as well as with preservatives, colourings and other biological novelties.
- Buy smaller plates and glasses. The bigger the portion, the more we will eat. Supermarket supersize portions to get us to buy more.
- Stop eating before you're full.
- Don't refuel at the petrol station. Food sold at petrol stations - except perhaps for the milk and water - is all highly processed, imperishable snack foods and extravagantly sweetend drinks.
- Try not to eat on your own. When we eat alone, we eat more. The shared meals elevates eating from a biological process of fuelling the body to a ritual of family and community.
- It's not food if it has the same name in all languages. Think Big Mac or Pringles. (Now this rule is awesome. Couldn't agree more).
- Treat treats as treats. There's nothing wrong with special occassion foods, as long as every day is not a special occassion. Chips, pastries and ice-cream offer some of the great pleasures of life, so we shouldn't deprive ourselves of them, but the sense of occassion needs to be restored.
- Finally, break the rules once in a while. Obsessing over food rules is bad for your happiness, and probably for your health too. There will be special occassions when you will want to throw these rules out of the window. All will not be lost. What matters is not the special occassion, but the everyday practice - the default habits that govern your eating on a typical day.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
However I came 98% prepared, mentally most of it, and responded valiantly like dodging a dogdeball coming at 220kph. I never train for hills. Perhaps the most rigorous hill repeats was my previous Salomon appearance. That was a month ago. The thought of attempting Double Hill during my LSDs never hovered. But the key of it is strength. The current plan I employ allows for strength key workouts. So far, it has been proven workable today. Alhamdullillah.
My yarn started Saturday evening with two dinners. Early dinner/carbo load with family followed by unplanned neighbourhood dinner function. Though my initial plan was only as a social obligation, but the menu was undeniable. I ended up reaching home at 10.00 p.m. bloated. Took me an hour to at least settled the initial digestion stage while killing time nursing my son, pinned up the bib and lacing up the timing chip while smiling away to Liverpool's continuing blunder. The pre-race anxiety never fails hooking me up during my sleep as I tossed and turned for at least another hour. 3.30 alarm went off & I know that I was still digesting my dinner. A munch of the tiniest granular bar would not be a good idea.
Met up with the rest at Bukit Aman at 4.30am & walked towards Padang Merbuk for the flagged-off. I was a bit 50-50 about my strategy which I didn't had time to attend to. Hence, my initial run was a bit cautious. Nicely paced myself out of the second kilometre into Jalan Parlimen where I met Kash. She was a bit surprised to see me way back from the rest of the buddies. We chatted a while which I didn't remember what was it about & paced on. Still contemplating.
Climbing Bukit Tunku in pitch black was a bit wobbly. It was not even 6.00am and the streetlights already off? Caught up with Shuk at the peak. Approaching Jalan Duta, azan from Masjid Wilayah can be heard. Our mission is Petronas Sri Hartamas. Nizam and me caught up with Amsyah and we continued on. Reaching Dutamas, the front runners had already u-turned. Pergh! So fast eh? Their stride were strong and determined especially the non-Kenyans i.e. our local runners. You guys have my uppermost admiration. We had our fajr solat at Petronas and continued on. It was KM13 and I was hoping there's a water station soon for my first powergel. Just at the bottom of Plaza Damas hill, I was joyful to whizz down my first food.
My pace towards Matrade was raised. Caught up with Amsyah, again, but I was busy ignoring another runner who was either pacing me or trying to challenge me. It seemed like he was pushing himself against the long incline & at the same time giving me some hard time with his horrible pace & peptalks. The disgusting moments lasted for the next 2km when he suddenly burst from beside me and left me in peace. Lega! You won't last long if you keep doing that buddy. As I reached Jalan Duta, the 20km runners have started flooding the scene. I was fascinated to see more runners coming in. Managed to wave at Haza. Ooops! I got carried away with the excitement. I forgot about my next mission, to complete in 3 hours. I know that Double Hill and it's siblings will jumble up my pace but perhaps it's a long shot.
The first and perhaps the most killer incline suffered most runners. Met Nik Arief and a few others including the suicide-pace guy. I hurriedly passed him to avoid another episode of unnecessary confrontation. Up and down. Free powergel before going down. Up again and down again. Approaching Mahameru, I saw a familiar figure. It was Nik! His bobbing white cap propelled my effort. A quick snap from his trusted camera & he jokingly reminded me not to get lost again like in Salomon. Hahaha! My laughter almost cost me a tummy cramp. Sheesh! Nik stayed with his pace & I continued chasing my assignment.
Ignoring the taxing route of Istana Selangor and repeating Jalan Parlimen & Jalan Dato Onn, I pushed on. Met AJ and said Hi. There was stillness in the air as I climbed the second last rise at KTM Bank Negara. Only a few us and everyone was keeping it to themselves. Muhasabah diri kot and that includes me. I was in search for the last kilometre but there was 4 minutes to go. The last climb was unacceptable but it's the only way to the finish line. No use cursing la dude. Push and the glory is yours. Fortunately it was a 500 metres downhill to stop my watch at 3:03:51. Though I didn't achieve it but all is good and I was glad that the race was so enjoyful with friends and satisfying. Alhamdullillah I thanked Allah for his mercy and wifey for the anchorings.