Saturday, January 30, 2010


Fuh! The morning LSD was altered to follow the program instead and it was a blast. A last minute changes due to Alwin's tight calf resulted to the three of us trusties orang kampung BTHO gathering for a kampung run. Det, Nizam and me met up at the guard post agreeing for a delicious breakfast run menu. I suggested a 10km TT. Huuuuu....everybody shivered either in delight or scared.

We did a 20 minutes warm up around Zone 5 1.5km course and punched the timeline for a 10km TT upon exiting for the McDonald's loop. Pace was kept at conversational initially, cautiously making way up the first incline. A good warm up resulted to a good run, rather than getting those stiff leg feeling in the early morning. Anyway, we need it.

Reaching km3, we met bro Rizwan & Ipin. Seemed like bro Rizwan just started his run while Ipin was all in sweat, perhaps he has covered some distance earlier. Without hesitance, they joined us! Alamak! Now we looked like five runners pounding the kampung road. More commonly is to see those Kenyans running, but perhaps the scenario took a slight turn for the locals la pulak. Hehehe. This is very much a rare sight la especially seeing enthusiastic Malay runners running in group around the neighbourhood, but it's cool. Hopefully this would bring out those local hidden talents in our kampung.

With two veteran marathoners around, you'd probably expect a drastic change to the pace. Yep, NOS was in use quite prematurely before halfway mark. The casualties were seen as we ascended the secong climb after McD. Det seemend engaging into lower gears. Ipin was covering the back, or it seemend like his day has ended. Rizwan was busy sharing more stories from glory days. Nizam and me were nothing more like a living corpses seconded either in "ummph" or "whoah!" to every bit of Rizwan's tales.

We crossed the 10km mark and shook hands with bro Rizwan, thanking him for a "great"run and wishing him luck for his relay in Bukit Jalil tomorrow. We walked around for 20 minutes chit chatting before going back home gritting smile as we entered the gate with kids happily shouting dad came home early. Hahaha.

Sunday, I was still contemplating what ride menu should be served. A last minute party of three (the same member of orang kampung) headed out into Langat at 7.30am. Perhaps due to long weekend break for KL, we had the road to ourselves. It was awesome. Macam road touring kat oversea. We stopped at Batu 14 for some bike twitch by Det and another stop at Batu 18 for a breather. An hour in and another hour out. This is a perfect bike getaway and a flawless cross training. The ride back was another blast, hammering those cranks all the way back home. Mantap 800 kali!
Orang kampung

Photos thanks to Azhan (another orang kampung) with a RM7k lense!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Rain or shine, I DU

Took me a while to do this. Been busy resting and recuperating not just from weekend's activities but also from out station assignment. I wonder how long I can survive this but hopefully I can. Eversince the weekend started last Saturday, I was so excited and looked forward for my inaugural LSD with CAR. Furthermore, it was supposed to be sort of a simulation for the PNM. However, the morning was not complete without a workout, hence Det and me rolled off into Langat for a spin, plus a few short LT calisthenics. It was awesome, I should maintain this though it's short but packed. At least until the ENM2010. Habis aje ENM2010, it should be weekends on saddle for me. Yeah!

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.

We said bye-bye to the rest whom continued for another lap while some headed out looking for a lost runner. We prayed that things turned out ok for them. I was craving for a hot tea and food. The atmospheric-driven appetite ended up with a plate of nasi goreng ikan masin, a roti canai and teh 'O'. Nothing came close to the calories spent for a lap of 10k an hour ago. Janji happy. Our initial recovery plan to continue with the run the next morning seemed unfeasible, so we arranged it to be in the evening around the kampung. The lethargic feeling of two workout in a day started to creep in. I spend the whole Sunday indoors, crossing fingers for a good run in the evening. We managed to log in 11k that evening but pace was horrific. I was slightly struggling to keep up to the normal pace and some pin point pains started creeping in.

Monday was purely a rest day as I inched my way into the office and let the blues rocked me to the island of peace. It was a bit unfortunate since I had to take a trip down south the next day, which means cut short my recovery time and more hours burning calories in the car seat. The phobia of backpain recurrence sneaks in. That also means I need another evening recuperating just from the travel. Aiyo! Takpe, I'll just have to make my comeback a memorable one.

And so the much awaited first run of the week came. I was a bit lazy to continue the routine, which perhaps a continuation of "pamper-myself" syndrome. I was struggling to get out on the road. I was so indulged by the ever comfort of lying in front of the tube watching Inglourious Basterds on DVD after a day at the office. At least Mr Quentin Tarantino tickled my dissipated humor. I was smiling again. At the 30th minute of the story I urged myself to run. It was a tempo of 3 reps. Though I was short of 1 rep but the burning sensation of constant pounding hit me back with a boom. Thanks Mr Tarantino. Hahaha.

Friday, January 22, 2010

In pursuit of another 42

So, I've completed my 30km race/LSD (which was supposed to be a 25k progression run) and eventually managed to sign up for my second marathon. The 30k kind of amplified my confidence which was a good benchmark in pursuit for my next marathon. Rested for a day & I was already hyped with the recent launching of the on-line Energizer Night Race 2010 registration.

I was so glad when the rumor of this event flew around somewhere in December last year. It's a good chance for a 2010 double marathon. One in the first quarter and another will be the SCSM. Even better, I really need to secure one mara before April considering some major routine adjustment soon. Blessing in disguise. Awesome! By the way, I have to skip Sundown in full (signed up for half instead) for a family occassion and attempting another blundering SCKLM is nothing close to my senses.

However, with all these boost and up lift, I was down with an irritating back pain. It came somewhere late last year a result from frequent long hours driving. The pain came and go. I was a bit skeptical attempting those constant pounding on weekends but it was a relief when the pain subsided and didn't get worse. Perhaps those workouts helps. I suspected a weak core which I need to rectify. Obviously the recurrence takes place whenever I'm driving, even worse it occur although for a short drive. Aiyo! Is it the car seat? Kena tukar seat recaro ke? :D

Desperately looking forward for a good massge but never been to one. My last adventure was nursing my sprain ankle at a kampung ages ago when field sport was my favourite. The experience was gruelling. Tau je la urut kaki terseliuh. I was sprawling all over the place. Lucky I didn't kick him or I won't be running for the rest of my life. Hahaha.

Been asking around with friends. Since most I asked are fellow sportsmen (actually only two aje), I ended up with the same suggestion, Equal Fitness in KL Sentral. It's a sport massage place. Still contemplating & might ask around some more. In the mean time, I will just put the pain aside & hope to survive this weekend's simulation for night LSD. Amin.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Eat yourself healthy

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:

  1. 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.

  2. Don't eat cereals that change the colour of milk. This should go without saying.

  3. 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).

  4. If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don't.

  5. 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.

  6. 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).

  7. Avoid ingredients you don't recognise.

  8. 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.

  9. 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."

  10. 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).

  11. 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.

  12. 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."

  13. 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.

  14. Buy smaller plates and glasses. The bigger the portion, the more we will eat. Supermarket supersize portions to get us to buy more.

  15. Stop eating before you're full.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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).

  19. 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.

  20. 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

Powerhills NB-PACM 30k

L-R: Nizam, Shuk, Hanchik, Ian, Shaq, Amsyah, Saiful, Diket
L-R(F): Shaik, Fazil, Upiq

The inaugural Pacesetters 30km run never stops entertaining participants with hills, hills and more hills. It was like a nightmare for some and communal for others. Sights of runners struggling and some lost the battle brought me back to the movie Hamburger Hill. It was a battle between quads and valor. Those inclines were really killing and dampening the faint hearts. Twittering beeps of heart rate monitors reflecting the labour state of ones engine. Hills after hills awaited everyone. Small & steep ones. Long & grannies. Some even didn't allow for recoveries, especially the Wisma Tani & Istana Selangor inclines. Those really almost zapped my guts away. It's the best route involving least traffic disturbance, well actually more like motorists harassing runners (SCKLM 2009 experience).

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.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


No it's not N.B.E. as of Non-Biological Extraterrestrial like Lord Megatron or such. It is something that perhaps will resemble this Sunday's New Balance Everlasting-hills 30km bravado. Yes, they will be using the all time favourite Bukit Tunku-Sri Hartamas stretch but where they put the tiny pimple called Double Hill is the main concern here.

In Great Eastern 2009 we faced Double Hill in the early hour of the reverse. So, scaling those hills in the pitch black morning had us skipped our sight of the majestic grannies. The only hills visible that morning was Plaza Damas and the one behind Sri Hartamas school. Yes, I remember that spot was so taxing. My post run assessment rated the route as DIFFICULT.

However, from race map courtesy of Mr. Ronnie's blog, the mission seems near suicide. No wonder they didn't reveal the route map earlier. Last year I had the chance to strategize my race & study the route milage by milage. Cut short of all the normal LSD route, now here is the extravagance of it.

At KM20, we will take Double Hill from rumah P.Ramlee (that's what I call the place since the architecture reminds me of those days). We shall meet up Tijani route again (no idea which bypass will that be) and climb up that steep short peak before turning right exiting at Lebuhraya Mahameru. Perhaps, prior to reaching Mahameru runners will whack through more magnificent elevation gain. Then, it's the usual unforgiving Wisma Tani climb towards Istana Selangor, winding through tapered road to Tugu Negara. I say taper because the super elevation (engineering term for road cross falls) can be strenuous on tired knees. Lari senget sebelah! Linearly that will cover 6km.

Approaching KM27 to the end, the story will continue with the final chapter of Merry-go-round and Melly go-slow. Ammah! We will have to pass by Padang Merbuk, wave hands to the crowd at the event venue and say "bye-bye because I want to cry some more!". It's all the way back to Dato' Onn roundabout, passing Bank Negara, KTM commuter station and new Bank Negara...again! Double Ammah! if only it taste like curry, I'd love to say it twice. This will probably falls into insane phase of the run. It's either I will have to diminish my IQ and run in grief or be wise. There's two more days to go and perhaps I shall spend more time muhasabah diri and anchoring myself.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Seeing the Light

Officially my recent LSD flagged-off my next journey to another chapter of marathon story. As I was in the juggling mode for the last 2 weeks, mulling over indecisive mind, googling training programs, scheduling 2010 feat & fixtures and performing a father's role, I was so undecided about my next marathon appearance. However, things took a slight turn upon completing my 2010 Sri Hartamas debut, the puzzle seems to move in piece by piece. Insyallah.

Counting backwards from Energizer Night Race 2010, basically I have a tight 12 weeks window to embark into a marathon training. Doable? Hal only provided with an 18 weeks program but Runners'world gave some enlightentment. I can almost see the passage to Energizer plus hopefully they will give us a free headlight as shown in the website la :P

A glance at the program, it seems doable but require the most of commitments and concession is not an option. A closer assessment of it, it gets a bit technical with all those terms about TP, MP, 10% slower than MP etc. Felt like sitting in a physic class. This could be a crazy road trip and a leap of faith into a risky approach. Not many options I have. Within 2 months, I have to cope with more chores since bibik will be returning to the Malay Archepalago. Yes, we've decided to give it a shot at running our own errands. That was when the program peak. May the force be with us. Perhaps, with a few running events coming up in the first quarter, I presumed getting LSD buddies should not be tricky.

It never felt better. Now I'm hyped. Adrenaline's rushing. It seems like there's a purpose for everything. Have a goal to pursue. At the same time, leading to that goal will eventually help me steer a good life. God speed. Amin.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Pelari tegar

Eversince I followed a lot of runners' blogs and read them day by day, being inspired and learned about their skills surviving a day's life squeezing in runs and workouts, I read the word "pelari tegar" so often. That is from CAR's blog la. I also found more of the word in the newspapers and on TV. It sounds a bit funny but strong at the same. Anyway, I ran with 10 other "pelari tegar" to Sri Hartamas and back this weekend.

My pre-LSD day was so bad. I got stuck in the office without connection to the worldwide web & a dateline to meet. Weather outside was mad, with thunderstorm in mid-morning, humid in the afternoon and another whack of thunderstorm in late evening. As usual Klang Valley was paralysed, given the fact that it was also Friday evening. My Wednesday's sore throat got better but my running nose went from bad to worse. I was so chilled that the body started responding to near fever as I arrived home.

I had early dinner and pampered myself away for an early siesta hoping for a full rest. Mind was thinking hard that I can make it through the night for full recovery. I was looking forward for Saturday's LSD knowing the crowd and the need for it before NB30k next week.

5.00am alarm went off. Dragged my half awake legs to the bath & ready for a morning cold drive to Bukit Aman. Met the rest of buddies & performed our Subuh. By 6.37am we headed to Sri Hartamas at a conversational pace, it's LSD and I'm so determined that I can survive this although it was barely 6 months I have not ran here. And also realizing that I was about 98% recovering from a night's fever. AND, NB30k is next week dude!

Weather was great. Perhaps every drop of drain has gone down Klang River by now. It was still dark as we passed Bank Negara. When bloggers run together, it was fun. We talked a lot about blog writeups & how we fascinate other bloggers' entries & how they inspire us. Talk and talk and talk, we finally reached Sri Hartamas for a quick purchase of drinks & a breather. No time wasted, the journey back to Bukit Aman continued with good pace & faith. Though we got strung out surviving the undulating terrain of Plaza Damas & back to Jalan Duta, it seemed most of us were in good wellbeing. We regrouped at Jalan Duta and paced out each other all the way back to Bukit Aman.

I started feeling the lack of full fever recovery upon approaching Padang Merbuk & Bukit Aman. Running mechanics turned uneconomical. I was struggling to maintain a good pace. I knew that it was time to listen. Dude, take it easy la. OK. OK. Cool it dude. The final push back into carpark and that's it. Clocking 2:03 for a 20.13km was not bad at all pacing an average of 6.08. Need to refuel, and I mean fast. Stomach was rumbling like kenduri kahwin. A quick dashed for mee hun goreng at Tangling followed by NB30k bib collection at Hotel Singgahsana. Met up with some old friends. Spent the remaining time recuperating at home.

My Sunday ride was abandoned. A last minute text from Saiful informing he had to cancel his ride. With my half contemplating mind plus half ailing, I accepted the fact of no Sunday ride...again.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Wet Sunday

Abandoning a Sunday ride is something really frustrating when oneself really looked forward for it after a not so good new year run race. The alarm went off at 6.15 and as usual I jammed it to silent & wishing for a few more minutes pushing my face into the pillow. However, the tapping sound on the gutter awaken me with much more impact than the alarm. Hey! It's raining lah! Aiyo!

A quick text to ride buddies before I hurried for bath. A few messages came in reply as I heard it from the bath. Ibrahim, the furthest from Sg. Buloh, decided to bail out since he do not wish to drive across Klang Valley just to be welcomed with frustrated smiles. Saiful was already on his way & so was Hanchik. Bahri gave until 7.00 a.m. timeline for decisions.

Saiful & Hanchik arrived in time for me to unlock the gate & the three of us chatted our way through under the car porch killing time as the rain consistently drizzled for another half an hour. I suggested for a breakfast at a nearby hang out since my inner voice started to growl louder than the tropic thunder. Roti canai & teh tarik before a ride is a menu for a ditch. Rain stopped at 8.00 a.m. & each of us completed our trip to the restroom for decisions. Hehe. The ever-spirited Hanchik decided to drive up to Batu 18 & proceeded with the ride plan while Saiful & me opted for a lazy cozy Sunday morning.

It turned out to be not so lifeless morning eventually. I was incharge of the school opening fiesta at home. Preparing text books, exercise books, stamped names on them, teaching Amir on how to manage his school bag & filling up more forms. It ended almost the same time as riding up Peres & back. After lunch, me & the kids snugged ourselves deep into the sofa & watched Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs while wifey gone to the library.

The day was not given away that easy without workout. My original plan to make a trip to Lake Garden was abandoned after Det proposed for a loop of McDonald's route. Turn up was not bad. Four of us, my orang kampung, paced the 8.5km loop in a casual manner just in time before it started to drizzle.

Looking ahead towards NB30k which is just around the block, I knew that I have to train harder to enjoy it. With the remaining days, which is actually another week of training...aiyo!...I'm desperate to spend more time on my legs than ever.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Down memory path with the spirit of pia!

It was an awesome morning to welcome the new year with a race at non-other all time favourite Lake Garden. The smell of fresh botanic and deer dung enveloped Tapak A starting line with more than 200 other enthusiast runners. Der pacemakers guys hold this event every year. Since it hit the calendar with an ideal long weekend break, it's a good chance to get those running legs more milage for future events.

The race was simple, kept at a controllable crowd participation and yet successful. Big successful events born from small ones like this. I hope they keep up the good effort in serving our running community though I believed that it's no easy task organising one.

However I was a bit on the low side approaching the scene. Feeling a bit sluggish from unfocused mind & unsleepy night as I yawned my way towards Bukit Aman parking lot. Met Shuk and we were both excited upon seeing familiar faces to begin our day. We have Der Pacemaker guys, Chap Ayam Runners represented by more familiar faces & a new group, Cari Runners.

We completed the 3.08km loop in 4 laps which included 4 times cursing our knees up the 170 steps towards the memorial. Pace was inconsistent and my heart rate was zoning in the lactate threshold, a strong consequence from unprepared self. I was having difficulty to get a negative split at every lap to which I concluded the race with a 1:13:53 feeling exhausted, which reminds me that for next upcoming 30k will be another curse if I stayed undisciplined.

Despite all the sweet agony and a few more minutes blending in with new friends, I recalled all those moments down memory path as I ran around the lake. I was never born a runner but I loved the motion of being free. Though I started off running or perhaps jogging (as they defined it 20 years ago), it was totally meant to keep fit.

The serious running and getting into the habit only bugged me last year when I decided and successfully flamed the spirit with a few other buddies into signing up for the SCKLM. Spending more than 18 weeks into the program was enduring. Three evenings in a week squeezing time between afterwork & home, logging more milage as we went. Finding time was even more demanding than running it. Lake Garden witnessed our camaraderies. At times, we were the only souls left when dusk approaches as we cooldown & stretched by the playground chatting away with Ronnie & company. On weekends, Petronas Sri Hartamas was our hangout. Pounding those hills & enjoying Bukit Tunku's gorgeous landscapes. We get to know Glucosamine & I was a dictionary for hamstring for once. Hah! We knew the meaning of core, the greatness of carboloads & recoveries. We grew so leaned until people say "kau ni sakit ke?".

Yes, we trained hard & we deserved the glory of finishing our first marathon. It was no easy mission but somehow I honored the implications. I agreed with Bill Rodgers, winner of 4 Boston & 4 NYC Marathons: "The marathons can humble you". I held to it eversince & wishing I have the strength to do more.