Saturday, February 27, 2010

Here we go again...Peres

Another weekend ka-ba-boom ride up Peres after an LSD. This time no more fatigue legs from the run. Looks like I've recovered well. The weekend ride was supposed to be a long trip to Bagan Lalang but a last minute adjustment had to be made since a few buddies were down with fever and covering 100km was not feasible. So, we ditched Bagan Lalang and turned to non-other lovingly Peres. The buddies were complete and the weather was perfect, just like yesterday. Alhamdullillah.

We were stucked at Batu 18 for 20 minutes into the ride when a C50 tyre got a flat. To make it worse, the valve was short to potrude out of the high rim wall. Adding spice to it, after rounds of pumping the valve simply came out of the tube. Aiya! We were laughing our guts out. Fortunately we have Alwin to resolve the situation like an F1 pit-stop in minutes.

These are one of the few jokers (tukang lambung) around.

Though the weather climbing up Peres was near perfect due to our delay with the C50, the humidity drained some of us, especially the ones whom just recovered from fever. Luckily we have this spring fall along the climb. It was a life saviour. This happens only during desperate measures. You know la how those water can be full of microoragnisms.

Gauging from my fresh legs starting from home today, I attempted Peres in what we called the recipe for "crank besar masak kicap". It's a strength workout, engaging into the large crank and hauling all the way up the 9km climb. It can be tormenting at times, especially when every turn of the winding road doesn't provide you with the view of the peak.

As soon as descending back to flat ground ended, it's time for more heart pumping adrenalines. After a quick stop topping up glucose and electrolytes at a kampung shop, we cranked it up burning those rubbers back to Batu 18. That should cover 8km, but the speed was amazing. I caught a glimpse of 40kph on the speedo but didn't dare to peek at the HRM. We were inches away from each other drafting and eyeing our lines. As soon as we reached Batu 18, I thought I had it all out - all berterabur on the road la I guess. My journey back home for the remaining 20km would be disastrous.

Well, I guess wrong. Thank God I can still spin those cranks, and again the weather was on our side. For two weekends in a row, an 80km ride after LSD, I guess I started to adapt to the punishment. Even better, it's only Saturday! There is Sunday tomorrow la. Phew! I might take it easy on next weekend since 35km LSD peaks my ENR training. Hopefully I can survive.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Chatting over tiang kelong

What do we get when we add the blue calves to tiang kelong? Yes, we get miles and miles of chat at comfortable pace within zone 3. Of course, the morning weather was on our side. It was perfect. With a bit of sprinkle at the beginning of the run and overcast throughout the route. Perhaps we could log in more milage but we rather stayed to the menu and laid back after the run instead.

There were Syah, Shuk, Det, Hanchik, Syed and Akmal. The menu was 25km from Bukit Aman to Hartamas via Matrade 100% long-steady-distance. I missed my weekday runs due to tight schedule and post work fatigues, and I need the LSD badly. It's a stepback week before next weekend's ka-ba-boom milage.

Buddies were great, we ran in a group all the way to Petronas, fueled up and started running in pairs as we crossed Jalan Duta. Syah had to slow down to bring down his HR which stayed throughout the stretch towards Tijani. Rough week perhaps.

Hanchik and Syed - golongan muda a.k.a. keting tegar, were the leading pair. We lost sight of them as soon as we peak the Matrade incline. Shuk and me took walk breaks while waiting for Syah and Det to catch up. But not until we passed Tijani 1 when our conversation took over our pace as we made our way back to Bukit Aman with big grins on our faces =) What better way to celebrate a successful run with perfect weather than to dig myself into a bowl of hot mee hun soup at the parking lot stall.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Spin those tired legs la dude

This is a very delayed entry. The body simply wanted to shut down on Monday morning but for both Monday & Tuesday, I was caught in the middle of a dateline. Short notice pulak tu. Ammah! After too exhausted from the LSD and consumed to the invert, I regretted deep down that I have to wake up in a cool snuggly Sunday morning for a pre-arranged ride. It was supposed to be a casual and simple recovery ride which would take an hour the most. However, the more the merrier it may sound but the legs should take precedence.

I was late and had to drag my feet across the room for all the necessary compulsions and rushed for a last minute check and balance. It was not as simple as preparing for a run. Totally more protocols and procedures. That's where I guess I prefer running over cycling nowadays. Perhaps due to it's simplicity and down to earth thing. Grab shoes, socks, short, vest, drink, bar and you're ready for the road. Fortunately my legs have somehow recover and the attraction for a riding camaraderie inspired me to tag along. Short, jersey, helmet, oakley, gloves, shoes, socks, bottles, nuun, tyre levers, cash, phone, bike, tyre pressure, lubes...oooh man! I'm all used up by simply arranging all those. And Saiful already at the front gate!

We rolled off to Batu 14 and met up with the rest. There were perhaps almost 20 cyclists which included - supposed to be Chap Ayam Runners, but dominated by the Way2ride guys. It was a planned get together ride after years of absent from the spinning world. I was there just for my recovery spin, paying attention to my HR for not wanting to dash towards speedlimit signage nor racing up a climb. For what supposed to be a ride from home to Peres junction and back which should log 64km, I couldn't resist the temptation of Peres climb itself. What other excuse when we have a packed peloton ready to attempt the 9km agony. Awesome.

After lacking myself from spinning more than three weeks, Peres climb hammered me to the bone. However, never a climb to be given away without a fight. It was always the lush green and fresh cool air with tiny bites from the sun that rewarded Peres attempts. And always the Barisan Nasional sign atop the peak that alter all frowns to smiles as we crank the final push.

Gently we tapped the brake levers as we cruised down back to the junction, letting the cold mountain air clout our faces. I was breathing deep, letting go of myself from all sorts of stress, anxiety, hassle and constant worriness - though I had only 15 minutes to do it.

As we reached the flats, it was time to crank up those big gears. The 10km kampung road was perfect. The nasi lemak waiting for us at Batu 18 was flawless. That's what we get for a combo meal on Sunday - nasik lemak lauk sambal crank. Lazat. I was kind of surprised that I survived the 82km ride after my gruelling lsd attempt. And I was glad that I still got some juice left to end my day with kids at home. Fun isn't it? Yep, now looking for one more day before a long weekend. Bagan Lalang anybody? =)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

28K soul

What do I get when I did my longest LSD so far - alone? Summary of it:
  1. I was pacing with Syah from Bukit Aman to Matrade, despite 15 minutes delay rolling off.
  2. I noticed my current LSD pace needs to be slower considering my fellow running buddies, Saiful & Zaidi were left behind upon reaching Bank Negara.
  3. Syah's farewell as we split at Duta Tropika junction was heartrending.
  4. Nothing more peaceful than the Plaza Damas rolling hills.
  5. The sight of Petronas Sri Hartamas via Sri Hartamas Primary School was live saving.
  6. The welcoming gesture from the Petronas cashier was so heart warming.
  7. Seeing Laif, Nik Arief and buddies having a breather at the Petronas was reprieving.
  8. Watching Nik Arief passed by and made a turn towards Masjid Wilayah instead of my Matrade route was disheartening while Laif was way back behind.
  9. Conquering the Duta Tropika incline in the middle of a humid rage was a triumph.
  10. The morning sun hitting my forehead in front of Matrade made me wished I had my oakley along.
  11. The perfume smell from Mr Iqbal -a fellow Bangladeshi, whom heading out to town for a weekend hangout reminded me of my Tommy Hilfiger ages ago.
  12. I was thankful I decided to have this LSD here instead of running in kampung as I passed the Tijanis stretch'. Cooling.
  13. I regret dumping my mineral drink at Jalan Duta when I swigged in a Quaker Oat bar approaching Arab School at Jalan Tun Ismail. Lucky it wasn't that dry swallowing compare to Powergels.
  14. OMG! It's Memorial Tuanku Abdul Rahman infront of the new Bank Negara!
  15. The Padang Merbuk climb back to Bukit Aman was so taxing.
  16. The tiny smirk from Uncle Rajoo (DBKL grass cutter) was affable.
  17. Squeezing my Nuun drink at the car was 200% thirst quenching.
  18. The Carcosa route at 10.00am is a bit scary due to abscence of runners and joggers.
  19. A peek between the greens and fence towards Lake Garden's jogging track couldn't lock any living creature.
  20. The Taman Rusa climb was agony in the making.
  21. The final push from Bird Park at LT concluded my verdict of not wanting to complete a 32km menu. Fell short of 4k which was perhaps a wise decision.
  22. Perhaps this is not just an LSD, it was more of an anchoring,.
  23. And many more small and big thoughts that came across along the 2:55 LSD.
  24. And my Adizero Tempo have logged 506.5km. Can it hold on till ENR?! Aiyo!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Kasi pecah!

I knew that the coming long holiday would mean disaster for training, for which I opted to "balun" earlier. Prior to my drive back to food heaven hometown JB, orang kampung and me planned for a really long-slow-distance run around our beloved kampung. With less LSD buddies left around the Klang Valley, we were determined that this McD 8km loop will clock it's most laps ever ran by any other orang kampung :P... The menu was 3 laps which should cover about 24km, something of a revenge from PNM's defeat.

We started our pounding at 6.50am, still under the sparkling stars and shining streetlights. Wishing for a cool morning that would last throughout the run. With the three of us, in our own kampung, running a bit slower than our targeted MP, it was awesome. Yeah, that was a beautiful intro.

Come second lap, we were caught by surprised that it was so bright which was only 7.45am!? Bright light! Bright light! This means bright chance we will toast on the third lap. Det bailed out at the end of the second lap...sekali pak mertua tunggu breakfast daaa...ceh! We stopped for a drink at every lap.

Yes, it was definite, for the remaining orang kampung (Nizam and me), the last lap was agony. For me, it was a misery in disguise. I really wanted it. I planned for the LSD, the humid and temperature that rolled in just adds up to the recipe. I need to push the envelope a bit further. The state of mind game that might wait us around the corner of Cyberjaya ENR route. I need to come prepared.

We continued on with our pep talks and push each other in discreet at the last path towards the end. I almost wanted to stop and walk but Nizam's silence and continuous pounding enthused me to push on. It was so hot that on the way back that any orang kampung who witnessed us might think that we are crazy. Lucky for us traffic was innocent, perhaps most of them have left town.

Nizam had to call it a day short of a kilometre to go. He can't ran an inch more and opted to walk straight home instead of finishing the run at our starting spot. I had to hold on to my goal, at whatever pace I had left. My steps was so mini that every bit of it was in pain. I wonder why la? I've finished my 30k a few weeks ago, strong. I've dragged myself across the finish line at the 21k PNM a week ago in a state of conscious. But why not this week? Is it the climate? Or is it lack of rest? No idea. As I punched my stopwatch clocking about 2:43, my HR was idling at 80% though I was running at snail pace. That was labour at only 24km. However, the bright sight of it, rekod kampung sudah pecah! Hahaha! Next menu...32k.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Putrajaya Night Marathon 2010

As I prepare this entry, there was nothing more disturbing than hearing about casualties from the recent PNM 2010. The chills kept on growing upon leaving the venue that night, and after a few more chit chats and thoughts, the upcoming Energizer Night Race gave me more chills.

My part of the Putrajaya Night Marathon 2010 chapter didn't come easy as well. Yep, it's either victory or shear agony, but every marathon shares it's own story. Though I signed up for half cat, my epic journey into the unknown was something unusual.

The orang kampung came together and ran together. That was the plan. We knew that the odds are always around the corner when running at night especially in this beautiful landscape called Putrajaya. The flag-off went well from a magnificent venue. It was lively. Credits to the organizer. We were totally mesmerized by those neatly arranged layout of the venue. However I felt a bit peculiar that familiar faces ain't that many...maybe sebab gelap daaa...

A peek at the HR, it was slightly high which perhaps explained that something ain't going normal. The humidity I guess and maybe the joy of meeting more friends as we moved on. However, the pace was not normal. I wasn't myself. My closest findings should be no other than my earlier morning agenda. The sight of every water station was good news. The sight of kilometre mark was not. I walked at every WS (as usual) and hoped for a boost. It did, but a tiny one which lasted only for five steps before I went back to my "huru hara"pace.

Between Nizam, Det and me was like a yo-yo. I strung out to the rear at WS, caught up back with them and got strung again at the next WS. It was total discreet among runners. Reaching kilometre 15, I yelled for motivation. 30 more minutes for sub-2 stretching 6km. Doable? I knew that it was a gripping attempt but I kept on chattering.

Now the final kilometre was scary. Nizam was already a minute or two ahead. I managed to catch up with Det. We were clocking 2 hours at the moment. Bye bye to sub-2. Only to finish the run. However his total silence to every pep talk was a bit creepy. As we saw the finish line straight ahead, I was more eager to motivate ourselves to push all out. He did. I don't know where Det got the juice but he did left me a clean 30 seconds. However the finish line gimmick caught us big time. My courage went from low to zero.

As I made that ridiculous left turn, I saw as if Det was swaying to the beat of Michael Buble's song. He was swaying to the right and left more, rather than moving forward. It can't be. Not all people play jokes at this final juncture. With whatever strength left in me, I knew that I have to close that 50 metre gap before this guy make a faceplant. I caught his arm and struggled resisting his extra 30kg swaying between us. We walked for 30 feet before I decided that Det had enough. No verbal direct answer to all my questions. Face pale. Sweating excessive. Not good. I shouted at the marshal manning the junction for medical support.

A marshal on motorbike went for help. An ambulance arrived 10 minutes later but it was full with two patients onboard. A medical stuff waited with us while the ambulance sent off those patients. A preliminary diagnosis, Det was down with symptoms of hyperventilation. Whoa! That does not sound cool. I was worried stiff but stayed cool attempting more communications with Det though I knew the response would be...nothing. Eventually Det got onto the ambulance 10 minutes later.

I edged my way for the remaining of the most agony-able distance. Hunger crept in. Hope was lost. It was totally a different type of misery if compared to Manjung which was unexplainable. I crossed the finish line but was in no interest of the time. I need to find Nizam and passed the message while I need to swig in something solid. There was Shuk waiting by the gantry. Most relieve moment that night, a familiar face when you need it most. He knew about Det and have already told Nizam. Phew! Now I can bedal those food calmly.

Det took his time recovering at the sick bay. We waited by him along with Shuk and Azmar. The medical tent resembled something like ER. Runners got hauled in every few minutes. Horrific. However the medical officers handled the cases with ease. We left Putraya at 12:15am. Our fellow friends running the full cat closing in for their last 10km. We sent Det home and called it a night. We had our fair share of the deal tonight. We win some. We lose some, but losing a buddy is not an option.

Sunday, February 7, 2010


The start of 6km dash. Gruelling!
I can't stop thinking of what an eventful Saturday that was, as I attempted to put my eyes to sleep at 1.30 a.m. last night. We win some, we lose some. Shall I put it that way? Perhaps, a part of it. We can just always judge from the following agendas that took place.

My Saturday morning started off with a run/race. Yes, I was crazy enough to risk my upcoming night half marathon for an occassion at my kids' school. They organised a Larian Integrasi for the kids. Daughter and son participated. Perhaps a simple support by ayah "the weekend warrior" would boost some motivations. Even better, I signed up for a RM3, 6km heart stomping dash. Mission : Podium. Hahaha. Crazy?! I don't know. You tell me. Considering the chances, I gave it a shot.

The race gave way for the Year 1 to Year 6. Consuming what was left of a cool morning running climate. The flagged-off for them was gruelling! My heart was pounding so hard watching them dashing away like it's a 100 metre sprint. With hudreds of them in each category, casualties in the main bunch was possible. Kids came tumbling on each other on those hard tarmac were so devastating. I can't help watching and volunteered myself to be the safety marshall, shouting at them to slow down. It seemed that the organizer was nothing more than Octagon. Safety was listed as number 10. Fortunately my kids took my earlier advise to stay back and pace themselves with the crowd safely.

The open (parents) category was flagged-off at 9.00 a.m.! The heat had started taxing on our run. With only a bunch of us, 20 I guess, remaining too far back was not a good option. Without any warmup (which may look obvious), I revved up a notch to catch up with the front runners. Det, my orang kampung running buddy was pacing slightly hard which in a way, a risky attempt, pushing our muscles in labour state. At 1km the back of the 4th runner caught my sight, 200 metres ahead I guess. I was so tempted to catch up on him did I not realise Det was left behind at the first incline. Now who was playing with risk instead eh? This 4th runner was a teenager and his shoe laces were loose. He knew that stopping to knot them up would risk his position. He carried on, ignoring my advise to tidy those laces as I passed his heavy panting.

Next target, the third runner, one of the school teacher. I can tell from his event t-shirt. Now it already sounded like a race. Suspense and determination filled the air. Feeling like a Kenyan yet? No lah, not even close...hahaha! Because I was not even dressed for a race. A 2kg cotton t-shirt and a baggy track bottom. Felt like running in a sauna room. Kids were all over the place. Some were walking, chatting, enjoying their companions and some were even teasing at me for not being able to catch up withe their teacher! Choit! Something of the opposite you'd expect in a race. Hahaha!

I was consistently closing the gap. Do or die. This is a chance in a million. Now or never. So you think you can dance? All sorts of quotes pouring in. The chase lasted for a kilometre. The teacher was "terkezut" when I ran along him giving a courtesy smile that lasted for 5 seconds. "Wheh! Lajunya?!" he said. I was informed earlier that he was the first runner up last year. No wonder la so tough to catch-up. His pace was good. Now he was pacing me instead. This was not good. In a race, the person behind will always have the advantage, so I read la. Perhaps it's true. I was pressured, and so were my legs. I doublechecked once in a few minutes, making sure a safe distance between me and him. Another kilometre to go, a small climb, that was where I decided to shift to fifth gear or whatever gear I have left.

Turn after turn, eventually I managed to lose sight of him. The last stretch, there was this Indian kid, he was not wearing the school t-shirt but a running vest with MSSD Hulu Langat written at the back. It didn't cross my mind that he was competing in my category. His small figure successfully disguised him as one of those primary school runner. No wonder he was shocked to see me behind him. He was the second runner la! Aiyo! How could I ever missed that?! He was running leaving me like he just saw a ghost. Kah! Kah! Kah! This was where our 35 years gap made a huge different. Perhaps his sixth or seventh gear deserved his second position as we crossed the finish line 10 metres apart. I was all good. A podium stand, a bronze and a box of six beautiful bowls for us to share in the family. Kids were so happy that daddy came home with a prize. Hero? Perhaps. Det came in fifth.

My tale doesn't ends here cause the Putrajaya Night Marathon 2010 had it's share of the Secret Saturday episode. An epic that was and an agony that followed. I'll be back...

The piece

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

May us run in peace

Perhaps this info would help for those doing the full marathon in Energizer Night Race 2010 on 27-March. En. Rustam Affandi's reply to my query:

"Basic praying facilities are available at the 23rd km and 26th km water stations. We expect runners to pass thru these said stations at around 7.30pm."

Maghrib : 19:24; Isya': 20:33

I think MMU's mosque is somewhere at km23rd also.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Middle age spread

I got this from NST few weeks ago and been shelving it. I like collecting articles but failed to keep it safe. Perhaps, blog is the best way to file it. With a year to go before punching my biological clock into the fourth decades, the following extraction could be useful for men:

In your 30s
What's happening to your body
You need to start looking for yourself, not just by exercising but with good nutritions and by drinking lots of water. If you've been abusing your body since your teens, you'll start to look like a woman. I'm serious: man boobs and a fat butt are common consequences of alcohol, bad food and toxins creating more oestrogen in the system and causing a more feminine body shape. Beer is probably the worst offender - recent research from Oregon State University found beer hops to be the most powerful substance in terms of oestrogen replacement for post-menopausal women.

How to keep in shape
Towards the end of your 30s, your muscle strength starts to diminish, so make sure that you do resistance work (lifting weights, preferably free weights) backed up with some cardio, maybe a bit of boxing or a light run a couple of times a week. Taking up jogging will not be the answer to all your problems. It's not a good idea to do just cardio work because the increased respiration speeds up the rate of oxidation in the body's cell, which ages you. Those dumbells matter - the more muscle you have the faster your metabolisme will be and so you'll maintain a better body composition with less fat.

Start thinking about taking up supplements - a couple of fish oils and multivitamins - to make sure that your system is well-nourished.

In your 40s
What's happening to your body
You need to be much more conscious of what you eat because it will start to show on your body more. Eat fruit, vegetables and especially fibre, not least because there's an increase chance of colon cancer in your 40s. If you're not eating enough green vegetables, try a fibre powder (available in health food shops). Your metabolism starts to slow down, your testosterone productions slows too, but remember - if you still change your body, it will do it's best to keep up.

How to keep in shape
Believe it or not, you should be aiming to exercise six times - the standard three days won't be enough if you want to look and feel good. Don't worry if you're new to exercise. Start with a brisk walk and take it from there. If you can walk into a room, you can do a simple squat and lunge - there's no excuse for not being able to do there basic movements.

It doesn't have to be an hour's long in the gym - run around with the kids, teach them to surf, go to the gym and don't dismiss Pilates or yoga. As you get older you develop faulty breathing patterns from being stressed at your desk, so breathing is a huge part of being healthy and lots of men find that Pilates and yoga help. I've had clients get up to 90 per cent more oxygen per breath. As a result, they find they have much more energy and less stress.

A tip for feeling instantly less stressed is to breathe like a baby - breath right into your tummy, then push the breath out using your tummy muscles, breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth.

The article covers 20s and 50s as well. 20s is history, 50s in later coverage la kot :)