Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Hunt for the White Balloon

Inspiring I am after reading all gratitudes, thankfulness and colourful entries from fellow friends. Took me two days to read evertyhing. But I'm still stuck with major issues that require top notch doing laundry :D

I should start now before the hard disc corrupts to other form of hazardous activities, like upcoming trail run and brick trainings. OK. Overview of the race - done. Those IRRs chapters - over. Ironboard - checked. Great part about post marathon - I got a brand new washing machine! Yeay!  Here's the story...

Had a stupid nightmare three nights prior. Got myself lost in the race. The whole marathon left me for whatever reason I can't think of. I was running all over KL looking for them. Best part was, I get to go back home, think it over and wifey told me to go and look for them again. Lol! Crazy dream but it sure give me the chill when I woke at 3.00 a.m. shaking my head in disbelief.

Despite my own reminder to start with all those preps, I only started taking in electrolytes on Friday. Liar. I came across Camelbak hydration tablets at the expo. Yes, I revisited the expo on Friday to get those. Looks workable and I got bigger tablets at a descend price. Another top notch priority to keep cramps at bay especially beyond third hour.

Two pasta dinners. Nice promotion from Delifrance. Kids were enjoying every moment accompanying dad for super carboloading.

Not quite a rest day and upon receiving Nik's text wishing for a nice rest, it was the opposite. Ran a five miler on Saturday morning with the Orang Kampung after zero weekday runs. Twitching, they call it but I took it as anti-jitters. Only to find later after the run that our trusted 10 year old washing machine busted big time. Aiyo! We went to Pasar Tani for groceries while still thinking of how to get rid of those three loads laundries. Eventually, wifey took charge of the lunch while I hit the scrubbing part. It was totally wrecking. Trust me. My last manual wash was ages ago back in campus. I had to stop for lunch, nap and continued for the third load. My back was screaming in misery but all was good. At least I kept my mind free from possible threats due race day.

Race day
I hit the sack only at 10.00 p.m. despite the norms of having early bed race day eve. Busy downloading MP3, a final strategy for odd moments. As planned, an hour of calmness and checklist before leaving home at 3.30 a.m. A sudden gush of wind through the window stung my nerve. Texted Nizam for early departure. It was a cold ride to Dataran on top of the real chill I've been gasping for the last few days. Arrived just in time for a trip to the loo before Haza yelled my name. The FMVs were busy getting even more busier. June even thought of dipping in the fountain when her bib flew in. Hah! Talking about the jitters. One could burst the Richter scale if they have one right there.

The more we blend into the running community, the lesser the jitters we felt. The friendly crowd was simply awesome. Familiar faces at almost every corner of the venue, nothing like running in Sundown recently. Though temperature shot a sudden decline, the camaraderie of the affair was very warm. Smiles, jokes, chats and handshakes flew around. Photo sessions were countless.

Nik and Ian gone for their warm ups. Shuk and Syah can't be located. Ijam, Ziff and Nizam stood by the lamp post with more chats in the middle of the drizzle. Azmar and Dicky joined in the get together with a few others. Azmar suggested me a warm up is as important as the run itself though my initial thought otherwise. It's a long run, the first half an hour can be the warm up? Wrong. With this kind of weather, warming up those muscles is crucial for the hours beyond. I obliged and ran with him for a few minutes before flag-off.

We were singing in the rain. Singing to the beat of the tapping raindrops and pounding of our soaking shoes. The weather was too generous this year. And so was the full marathon crowd - felt bigger.

Nik, Shuk and me tagged along nicely aiming for the white balloon. Syah was left with his own pace before hitting him with a "lambung" in the middle of the rain. Sorry dude, your gigantic Gato bottles were too obvious :D. I was monitoring the pace note closely. Plan to do so at every 5KM. We hit Seputeh at a slight negative split. Nik suggested we give a chase with the balloon and get us a nice 10 minutes upfront for our solat. That would be at KM17, a DBKL Madrasah. We caught the balloon somewhere before entering Sungai Besi and had our headstart. Nik and Shuk paved on but I decided to chill with the pace, just enough to have visuals of them. Swigged in the first gel. Overshot 5KM instead of the earlier plan to take it at every 10KM. A race day test that I wagered.

Solat went smooth and we were still on track but Nik decided to hold up a bit more for an additional agenda. Shuk left and followed by me. A quick leak at the mobile loo before Shell and minutes later caught up with Ian. He was targetting anything below five and his last words for me to pursue the 4:30 gave me a boost. That was where all the encouragement, though from total strangers aided me. Caught up with Syah pulak and he asked to catch up with Shuk. Slightly before Jalan Tun Razak, these champion runners doing their half marathon smoked me like I was running backwards. Obviously they were racing and unlike me, I was running against myself. I tried to loose those unfruitful moments by responding to a she-male who was waving and cheering at us XD

From Jalan Tun Razak to Jalan Bukit Bintang, I was mostly alone but the distance shouting and beating drums got my attention. I was running TO the beat and almost forgot that it was a climb that used to zap my juice from previous marathons. The power of music. My rising heart rate was disregarded and the need to enjoy this spectacular entertainment was enticing. These were cool people.

Things got better by the minute. The clapping Indian taxi drivers at Jalan Sultan Ismail and the cheering gals at Raja Chulan. After leaving the last performers at Jalan P.Ramlee, I was almost out of breath from excitement. Shuk joined me a few moments with the fiesta before I decided to give him the go once he stucked the Jawbone onto that race face. Out of loneliness along Yap Kwan Seng and re-entering Tun Razak, I was again amazed by another beautiful gesture from a Malay lady waving and showing thumbs up from her second floor Kampung Baru flat. He made me happy though for mere minutes but it was enough to crack my first tears. I was smiling to myself and responded to her the same way. She kept on with her support to all other runners. She made me forgot that I have stepped into KM25 which was the beginning of agony for most of my runs.

The support didn't end. The plodding through fuming Tun Razak towards Bulatan Pahang was starting to give me the boredom. Fortunately a trio foreigner dressed in bright attire and wigs standing on the road median cheered me on. High 5 guys. You guys were awesome. That also came from another cheerleading group at Bulatan Pahang.

Jalan Ipoh. The stretch of eternity. Though only measured 4KM, the constant pounding for almost 3 hours now started to play games in my mind. Marathoners appeared scattered in their loneliness. I struggled to turn those motivational pages in my subconscious mind. This should be the second 10 miler where I should be running with my legs - head cannot use anymore. I felt a tight calf creeping on the right leg. Pain means disaster. Disaster means repeatative pain. Pain oppose to Nuun. Strategy works. I sipped half Nuun and the pain faded away. Thank You.

Free gels were handed out at KM30 as promised and no choc flavour this time. Phew! Thanks Total Field. Straight away swigged in hoping for a second wind. No luck but the soldiering continued till the end of "eternity". A bunch of five runners suddenly overtook me, like they have seen a daylight or something. Upon entering Jalan Kuching, I had to quaff another gel for the push. That would be KM32.

Look out guys, this DJ and singer will be blasting his lungs out. Another plan perfectly laid out for this moment. 10KM to go in an hour window, which means I'll be running like there's no tomorrow. It was another gamble actually. The late fatigue stage workouts was nothing close to this distance. The last one was five. Rocked on!

I was running to the tune of well laid songs and it gave me an advantage to survive the chaotic Jalan Kuching and the mild incline towards Jalan Duta. I was huffing away regardless of my pounding heart rate. Then, there was the familiar territory - the Tijani Drive. I was hyped by now and another gel was scoffed at Hockey Stadium. The volunteers were never tired of handing out drinks and sponges for the last 35KM. My utmost thumbs up to them. I repaid with a kind gesture and smile at every one of them. Thank you.

Rais and Kash Sundry Shop appeared at KM36 as promised. The rarest. We have Julie Wong and Uncle as well with their placards. It was so exciting. Rais handed me Coke but I had only one gulp and can't take anymore than that for the final push. Thanks a zillion guys. As I mentioned before, you are the rarest.

Tijani stretch passed by like any other LSD only alone without the Kaki Lambung. I have only Paul Simon for company. I picked target. An Indian chap with the same Adination vest as victim. Overtaking this fella will be my Tijani glory. Hahaha. He bailed out at the Tijani climb. I doublechecked once I headed towards the crest and pounded on to Bukit Tunku. What goes up, must come down. The advantage of having a strong push up inclines is to push on after the peak. Two lovely marshalls exchanged smile with me before I headed out for that downhill blast. It was Train - Soul Sister.

That was before I came to a halt when a familiar mirage against the sunlight caught my attention. Macam wayang kulit. Dude, I haven't seen you for ages, man! Shuk suffered cramp. Nuun! The other half that I spared for rainy days. Gave it to him and upon confirmation from big brother that he'll be OK, I whacked away. The finish seemed so near but yet so far. The dumb U-turn made it worse. That's where I caught the white balloon again but it was already making it's way down towards Bank Negara while I still have to make that unintelligent climb. There was only a handful of marathoners pacing with it.

My strides doubled up towards Raja Laut and met Det. The sight of him pulled me through faster. The power of familiar face. Hehe. He offered 100 Plus but thanks bro, I need to finish this. Within 100 steps after I left Det, suddenly I was zapped to the last juice. What was that bro? You can't turn in right now. 1.5KM to go and this is the push you really need. That conversation lasted until the 41KM mark and I saw three marathoners passed by. I'm sinking here! I stretched my neck to make sure there's no bluff with the turning ahead. Lucky the route decided to turn earlier and not at Chow Kit.

Once entered Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, I decided to pick my final victim. The lady that overtook me moments ago during my distress call. SOGO was the mile that I shifted into higher revolutions but it seemed like a slow-mo. Steve Austin from Six Million Dollar Man coming through! It was until Kamdar that I managed to caught her and blazed to glory whilst eyeing my time. I overshot by a minute and 22 seconds and that one minute was so thorny to grab a hold of.

All in all, I was amazed with the achievement which actually came with slightly lack of trainings but with loads of plans and strategies. I can't stop thanking for all the greatness. The weather, the race management, the beautiful people and friends. Thank you all.

"We are different, in essence, from other men. If you want to win something, run 100 meters. If you want to experience something, run a marathon."
- Emil Zatopek

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Circle Just Got Bigger

Det said to me as we headed back from Dataran towards our motorbike, "Marathon kali ni best giler la kan?". My reply in silence "Of course bro. We are beautiful people, why not we make it a beautiful day for everyone?". On top of the splendid marathon management, my highest thumbs up would be to all the fellow friends and people that have made it a beatiful and memorable day.

Put aside my personal race review for later, I have the urge to put across the greatest feeling for having a magnificent runner united. Waka! Waka! This one for RBU! Besides some nervousness and jitters at the start line in a beatiful rainy morning, the race turned out to be an awesome runners' bonding comradeship. We had our own feelings and sense for the marathon, the suspense, the pressure, the rolling butterfly in the tummy, the pain, the battle, the fall, the sorrow, the rise, the pave, the achievement and the glory.

"Pain heels, chicks dig scars, glory lasts forever" (Keanu Reeves)

We could've done our race, took the medal, finisher tee, luggage and sped off looking forward to nurse the aching legs for days to come. But we didn't. The moment I left Dataran after basking under the sun for luggage pick-up and walking into Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, I saw faces of believers and achievers. The initial thought of swigging in nasi kandar at Ibrahimsha came second - which I proceed to eat also la.

I cheered to all these souls. They nodded in silence and carried on pushing the limits. After the carbo reloading, we joined KA, Ziff and Deo by the roadside. That one hour was the paramount of all moments. We cheered, hail support to our last voice at every marathoners that crossed us. We waved at them from miles away to buckle up and start running. Obviously it brought a second life to them. The smile that almost dried to the late morning sun. The huge strong steps that almost lost from trembling and aching legs. The hands that were put out to accept our challenge to push on. It was beautiful.

As what were sincerely done by fellow Brazillian Drum Corps at Pavillion, the clapping fellow taxi drivers at Jalan Sultan Ismail, the cheerleaders at Istana Hotel, the Picolo Mondo Club performers (think so), the kakak that waved to me from her second floor Kampung Baru flat, the trio Mat Salleh in colourful attires at Pekeliling bus stand, another cheerleaders at Bulatan Pahang, the couple at Jalan Duta, our special 36KM Kedai Runcit Operator, the trio Mat Salleh at Bukit Tunku (again?!)...I trust everything came deep down from their mortal hearts - the spirit of sportmanship. It was a blast. I wish the circle will become bigger and stronger till we have a nation full of loving and caring people  cracking tears everytime I passed these beautiful people.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

IRR - Part IV

I arrived half an hour before 12 but got myself entangled with an old friend. He was manning the Powerbar booth. We caught up with lots of stories but mostly with our passion for being a weekend warrior. He's into mountainbiking, my old hobby. Been two years now since my last dirt days. Perhaps I'll make a return after KL-Marathon. Aiyo! So many things to do la dude. Where you wanna put the much awaited trail runs with RBU pulak?

I startled to find all the lanes were half full and it was only 10 minutes before 12. Aiyo! What's my plan? I stood at the Full Marathon first but the progress was slow. Hardly moved an inch. So I decided to hit the 10K lane to collect Alwin & GFs' bibs. It was so-so, not so slow but still move like snail pace. This little guy punching the IC number into the laptop, I almost wanted to assist him. I recall having faster service with FTAAA only by turning the A4 pages of printed namelist. Slack!

Now, I have to move back to Full Marathon lane only to understand that there are two lanes for bulk collection. Second Aiyo! Syah and June were already 40 person infront of me. Shuk was three person behind me. There were CAR buddies and Azmar and Dicky. So I was chit chatting to and fro and the lady exactly behind me giggled eveytime we threw jokes. Oh! My fullest respect for her. She stood there to collect her husband's bib. Hubby serving with PDRM in Malacca and she never failed to give her support at all races. And her hubby is 42! I wish I could meet this guy.

When progress was too much on hold, Golazo took the initiative to open up a new lane for Bulk Collection. That reduces about a quarter of the queue but pace was still poor. Most of us did our PW in bib collection every year. I wonder how it would look like if these guys handle Boston or New York Marathons. People might end up a week to get to the counter. Ammah!

OK dude. Chill. Woosah. Woosah.

There. My race bib. My bestest  gratitude to all my running friends. My kampung dudes. RBUs, GKLs for all the jaw-aching runs. For being there, virtually and on the tarmac. My special thankfulness to the loving people whom contributed to my Run For A Cause campaign. You guys are the greatest. The total donations as of today is RM1,105.00 and these are for National Cancer Society of Malaysia. Total collected for NCSM by donating runners and organizations is RM90,663.00. The total charity collection from KL-Marathon for all charity organization is RM254,195.00.

Blessed are those who give without remembering. And blessed are those who take without forgetting (Bernard Meltzer)

IRR - Part III

"I am William Wallace, and before me, I see a whole ARMY of my countrymen here to battle the English. Ay, fight and you may die, run and you'll live. At least a while. And dying in your beds many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for one chance, just one chance to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives.... but they'll never take our FREEDOM!!"

So, should I run and die in bed? That's confusing. I'm running to the battle dude! I came across this quote yesterday but not from William Wallace. It came from James "Howling Mad" Murdock. Crazy bugger. Always love the character. I saw The A-Team and it was one hell of a blast. - so many of them, for the whole 117 minutes. Boom sana sini. Perhaps all those explosions triggered my pounding heart. I think so la. Hazardous, especially when one have two jittering days to go!

Never mind that. I think everyone does. Perhaps even the pros have jitters. Even worse, they have pro-jitters! Now that's something. Anyway, the big day will come and it is best to have some plans laid out so as not to go whacky and run like a lunatic. I'm a Green Guy. No, not Hulk. The structured type - that's what they told me ages ago. I love to have plans but yet to improve to work on it :)

I love it when a plan comes together!

Today, race kit collection at Taman Tasik Titiwangsa. I'm going at 12.00 p.m. Shall grab 4 Powergels (strategise each for every 10k) - that means I'll be sipping the last one at the finish line?! Ammah! See, my maths is getting worse...
  • Will start swigging Nuun today.
  • Will start having Italian and France food today.
  • Will be getting Qiblat's direction today at Seputeh area and locate solat spot.
  • Will run a bit later today if weather permits.
  • Will pack up my gears tomorrow.
  • Will plan Saturday's schedule to avoid unnecessary fatigue.
  • Leaving home at 3.30 a.m. Sunday by bike.
  • Will freak in an hour waiting for flag-off.
  • A bottle of Gato and a Powerbar in that one freaking hour.
  • Anchor! Anchor! And more anchoring...
  • Will pre-order nasi kandar at Ibrahimsha for post race carboload :)
I'll be wishing lucks to everybody everyday until race day. Even at the start line. Good luck dearest buddies. May the force be with you, always. Don't do anything insane these last few days.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Irregular Race Ramblings - Part II : My heart will go on

The kompang is a shallow frame drum with a goat or cow hide skin nailed to a wooden frame by metal nails. It is usually found in large kompang assembles throughout Malaysia, playing interlocking rhythmic patterns for processions to accompany the coral singing of zikir and to perform music for various social occassions (Matusky, 1985).

Kompang is usually played in groups with legs crossed when sitting, standing or walking in procession, depending on the need. The player uses one hand to hold the kompang while the other is used to hit it (Nik Mustapha, 1998).

I am always amazed with kompang performance especially at wedding receptions. The more kampung atmosphere I get, the more Bang! Bang! Boom! of the beat. It is a must for wedding receptions. I will try my best to make sure my kids endure the love for traditional musical Malaysia.

What I'm trying to tell here is that, my heart starts beating like kompang right now. Not that I'm getting married or what, but the jitters of Sunday race starts creeping in. Aiyo! Hang in there dude...

Monday, June 21, 2010

Irregular race ramblings

Five days to go and I'm already thinking ahead for other freaking activities. Aiyo! Have I gone nuts or what?! Junkie I am if I continue to have this kind of thinking. KL-Marathon should be my marathon anniversary. Ran it for the first time last year and like Nik said, it was my PB. Hehe. PW also can what? You can name it either way - Nik, what on earth were you thinking that Saturday morning? First marathon got PB or PW eh? Okay. Okay. Hopefully the run will turn out great for me and the rest of my fellow buddies. Perhaps PB for everyone. Yeay!

Like I said, the race have yet to start and I'm already scheduling a non-commitment training agenda. With only a month and a half before Ramadhan, races spark like thunder claps - pounding on the wallet and plastic. Some small races should be fine I guess. Small in distance and fee. But I need to consider leaping onto my bike soon. The bricks must start before it's too late. I don't count after raya as training days anymore. My base should start somewhere in July and slowly progress during Ramadhan. Westerners say base training in winter, I call it base training in eid-Mubarak. Cool.

Having to attend our second swimming class, Det and me were bitten by the water bug - big time! Now he's already hunting for pools to leap into during lunch time. Me? I will let him do the hunting and will only join him next week. I suggested the ex-mining pool near MRR2 in Ampang - wonder why he replied my text oddly. Flooding another stuff prior to big day isn't helping my tight schedule. The bite was too severe, I bought my kids swimming goggles for each one of them - Father's Day gift : Speedo at 50% off from Studio R. Kids got new goggles, daddy got good bargain. I didn't get mine since all kiasus wallop everything for adults. If God permit and my swim progresses nicely, PD tri worth considering - at least the sprint cat. If not, some bricks after SCKLM could be useful for MUDS somewhere in early August. Slowly does it dude.

All in all, these are only laid out plans. No registration done yet which means I'm still open for options. The eyes will be set for something big after raya - Seri Manjung...hmmm alahai : The Sequel - coming soon to theatres near you XD

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Wokey Waka KL-Marathon Last LSD

Hah! The final was good. Attendance was the magnificent 9, most of them RBU members except for Det, Azmar and Nizam - perhaps soon to be bloggers. The rest was the normal GKL taikos and Rayzeef finally opted to leave the World Cup morning match and joined us. Oh! Daud was caught by us running solo on our way back from Seri Hartamas somewhere at Duta Hockey Stadium. He missed the 6.30 train though he said he arrived at Bukit Aman as early as 7.30...?

Weather was kind except when it shines straight hard on the forehead as we climbed back from Tijani crossing Mahameru. Pace was evenly placed when regrouping was required upon checking back for the sweepers. Tossing jokes around was the usual stuff, all the way to-and-fro plus some chats about post KL-Marathon programmes besides the mini races. With 9 of us around, we changed chat buddies for the two hour run and nothing bored us even a second. OK, sorry. Perhaps I was too blanket on that. As posted in the LSD shoutout earlier, the last 4km (Tijani) was the point for some personal breakthrough. That happened and yes, we actually didn't chat from there onwards.

Strangely and funny enough, once we reached Tijani 2, the group turned silence. It resembled a bike race where at the last few kilometers racers will react at the tiniest movement. This happened among us just now. Every one of us remembered the LSD menu and were cautioned. It was a bit tensed if I can recall the moment. Hehe. Kelakar la. Of course it should be, especially when everyone have loaded quads and milage in those legs. This was the biggest non-verbal lambung in LSD.

The whole pack went chaotic. The usual suspects tagged along when there was a surge in the pace. I was surprised from the reaction and most of us had our race face on. Aiyo! So the scary. The constant pounding stayed straight on towards the end and the martyrs concluded with loads of satisfied huffing puffing. Awesome.

Looking forward a good rest and a week of planned carboloadings. Thursday June 24th will be the start of race pack collection at Titiwangsa. Need to grab a few Powergels and start loading on electrolytes. We'll never know what the weather will offer on June 27th. Happy tapering :)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Final Waka Waka LSD 19 June 2010

Waka waka! And we have another 9 spine chilling, nerve wrecking and chest thumping days to go. Whatever the feeling is, the Waka Waka time will come. We have trained for it, in and out, we just have to make it to the starting line injury free, alive and kicking. Please excuse me with the waka waka thing. I got carried away with World Cup bug and my kids been playing the song over and over.

Fish King Syah and Raja Poco Poco Syuk have posted the invitation on their kingdom. I just wanted to lambung a bit more :) Everyone's invited for the final LSD as follows (the more the merrier):

Date : 19th June 2010 (Saturday)
Pounding time : 6.30 a.m. (Appreciate if you could come 10 minutes earlier)
Meeting place : Bukit Aman Carpark fronting the mee hun sup stall
Route : Bukit Aman - Seri Hartamas - Bukit Aman
Milage : 20km

It is advisable to take this LSD as a simulation for race day. I would go with these stuff:
  1. Wear the race day shoes and socks and maybe shoe laces
  2. Wear the race day attire i.e. tee, vest, short, tight, skirt, caps, Buff
  3. Try out race meals - pre, during and post race i.e. karipap, nasi lemak, coffee, powergels, nasi kandar
  4. Simulate hydration plans - we can start hydrating today be it plain water or topping up electrolytes
  5. We shall do this run as usual, in a group to and fro. However, I wish to push up the pace at the last 20 minutes of the run progressively to get the race pace. So, don't be surprise if suddenly all hell breaks loose. Hehe. Normally this would take place somewhere after Tijani on the way back.
  6. And whatever things that you can think of during race day.
  7. Let us also pick a place or spot so that we can meet up before and after the race, like we did in Sundown.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2010 Route (Full Marathon - 42KM)

There. The final route for 42km is out in PDF format from KL-Marathon's website and I came across this video from Zul Hassan's Facebook wall (thanks bro). Perhaps this would be a great opportunity to review the route, visualise it, strategise for pace, hydration and food, solat or maybe pick up a point to burst for the final glory to the finish line. I wouldn't take any chance ignoring this precious informations considering the route is smack right in the middle of KL where most of the roads and landmarks and perhaps the terrain are known to us. I successfully made full use of this kind of informations for my first marathon in 2009 (kinda - after being off target by 14 minutes). I failed in Energizer Night Race.

Looking at the overall view, this year's route had adjustments at the first quarter, third and the last. It still goes through the city at the second quarter but the remaining of it are more of a cityskirt. Expect flat and long stretch of road like Sungai Besi Airport, Jalan Loke Yew, Jalan Tun Razak, Jalan Ipoh and Jalan Kuching. These roads may welcome ugly traffic in late morning especially Jalan Kuching when we are at the 33km mark.

Also expect some inclines to the terrain be it the natural topo or bridge ramp. We can anticipate the Seputeh climb from Midvalley to be easy since it will be at the first 5km. I am more concern with the rest of the bump at the later stage of the run when tired legs and cramps start creeping in. These would be expected when climbing the Jalan Duta - Segambut roundabout, the Tijani short steep one and the last one to curse, would be the short climb at KM39 (Jalan Sultan Salahuddin) where we need to make a stupid U-turn.

So, let's walk the route shall we? Following Brader Trafik would be a bit too fast la :)

First 10km would be a stroll in the park stretching from Dataran Merdeka to old train station passing Muzium Negara and into the heart of Brickfield for a smell of spices. We shall go down to Jalan Tun Sambanthan (expecting Subuh time around here) and up Seputeh before hitting the flat Sungai Besi Airport going back into town. A bit of an incline at Bellamy ramp (10K) and roll down to Dewan Bahasa & Pustaka before another flat straight out at Jalan Loke Yew.

Jalan Cheras (badminton stadium) and Kg Pandan Roundabout should cover the remaining distance towards 21K at Jalan Bukit Bintang (Pavillion). There's an incline here, so watchout those breathing and pace - take it easy and enjoy the city scape since daybreak should've started by then. These will include swirving through Raja Chulan (KL Tower), Jalan Sultan Ismail, Jalan P.Ramlee (Picolo Mondo?) and KLCC before crossing over onto Yap Kwan Seng. That should cover another 4km before hitting Jalan Tun Razak along General Hospital - expect fumes and honks from early morning traffic here.

Jalan Ipoh will cover another 4km and here we shall feel the 30K big bang. I would prefer to save whatever juice in those legs for this part. Yeah, NOT till the fat lady sings. Map says Powergel will be provided here - hope they have tangerine or strawberry banana and not choc. I would expect this stretch will be a bit boring since rows and rows of old skool shops lining the street. Anyway, just run la dude.

The worse have yet to come but I would expect it to be a tiny hazard. After running of more than 3 hours, Jalan Kuching at 8.00 a.m. can be quite a nuisance and pollutant. Well, this 3km stretch should pass by in a brisk when we look forward for the escape into the lush cool greenery of our LSD playground, Tijani. We are fortunate since we will be running in a familiar territory at this last quarter despite that particular painful U-turn at Sultan Salahuddin.

One could plan for the last push when hitting Jalan Raja Laut (DBKL office) to the rear of Sogo and U-turn at Pertama Complex. With all those striding sets and running gait workouts, this last kilometer back to Dataran Merdeka will be useful. Don't forget to smile while finish strong at whatever the timing is because fellow friends and love ones will be waiting and cheering for us. Remember, this is a JOURNEY.

p/s. Map also shows water stations at every 2KM which I presumed will be mixed between plain water and isotonic - cross my finger while typing this part. On top of that, I hope weather will be perfect.

Jayden vs. Machhio

Mr. Miyagi! Mr. Miyagi! That was way back in 1984 when Ralph Machhio was my sister's 'BF' - he is now 48! Yesterday, Mr. Miyagi no more but we have Mr. Han and Xiao Dre Parker. Cool stuff. We were expecting Toy Story 3 treats for the kids but that won't happen until June 17th. Amir will be hyped  whenever the beat of Fort Minor - Remember the Name in the air eversince he saw the movie's trailer. Best thing was, wifey thought Jaden Smith was a girl! Hahaha. "Can I touch your hair?".

Storyline was the basic thing, expected at every turn of it but the way they play with emotion were awesome. I was humored, sad and gritting teeth in anger throughout. Have I gone soft? Or is it the age factor. Amir liked the bad kid's hairdo while I find his kung fu teacher's cool. Jackie Chan himself never fails to amaze me with his smooth moves. Even the fights between these kids were awesome - they really enhanced those punch, kicks and backflips.

Yes, I was entertained eversince Green Zone and Sherlock Holmes. Cool stuff. Unlike some others that I missed but managed to catch up on DVD i.e. The Book of Eli, Shutter Island, Edge of Darkness and a few other craps.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Two Weeks to 42

The second last LSD before marathon. Not quite prepared for it. I was just plain relief after recovering  from Sundown chronic fatigue and need to cover some milage but not to push the body. A few twitchings with what was left of GKL, Syah and me managed to put up something for Saturday - other GKL and RBU members were out of town. Ian, Ziff and Crushio decided to tag along but Rayzeef gave way to World Cup 2010. Irwan, Crushio's friend was introduced to the not-so-killer GKL group.

A large running group started a few minutes before us and we tagged along from Bukit Aman. The menu was nothing special, plodding in tortoise mode towards Seri Hartamas via Matrade to and fro and a detour into Double Hill back to Bukit Aman - that should cover about 24km. Up my sleeve, to add another 8 clicks at Lake Garden to cover the scheduled 32km which was postponed from last week. Yes, you guess it right - another attempt like ENR training.

Group LSD's protocol - nobody gets left behind and that includes Bro Ziff, our Snail Pace RBU member. This will be his preview of Bukit Aman - Seri Hartamas weekend warrior's path. The pace was excellently paved from the beginning with us had a lot of catching up on latest Ebuzz i.e. TNF100, friends whereabout and of course when Ian's around, I took the chance to get tips and advise about food. Thanks Ian, you are one awesome food lover. Your description of in between snack meals was already making me drool.

Based on Endomondo (did I spell it right Ziff?), the milage right at the front door of Seri Hartamas Petronas was 12.34km clocking 1hr18min. Hmmm...that was fast?! Like I said earlier, this LSD got my poorest attention. No proper pre-run carboload, no solid food for breakfast and unrated hydration. My Friday lunch was a piece of Fillet o'fish at 4.00 p.m. and five forkfull of mee hun goreng for dinner with my kids. I have only running anxiety and a pair of Father's Day gift to flourish me throughout. I almost starve reaching Petronas and a blister at the back of my left ankle. I grabbed a box of soya bean, two plasters and Air Badak - slimmest bottle to hold for the next run back. Ian bought and shared a pack of six puddings among us. Anything secret between running and puddings ke Ian? I swigged it in without further waiting for Ian's answer because when the Fitness Food author gives, we eat :)

The journey back had to be stalled at the Seri Hartamas traffic light junction for a few minutes when Ziff's Endomondo decided to switch to Picolo Mondo. There was a glitch with the software - sigh. I was just about know more from Ziff's gadgetry. No worries bro. It's a cool stuff. I'll get back to you on that. We plodded along until Matrade when Ziff pulak went glitch. Hehe. Of course the Matrade climb la. I decided to stay with him and rain him with loads of run talks and tips. I hope he could digest most of it since attempting the climb was already taxing. The rest of the group regrouped at Government's Office traffic light junction. We walked and talked more.

Double Hill is always Double Hill. Never failed to kill the faint hearted. That perhaps zapped the remaining of my juice. As I ascended Wisma Tani's long granny, I was struggling to reach Istana Selangor's junction with Ian by my side and Crushio leading the way while Syah and Ziff in pursue . Irwan decided to head straight through Mahameru back to Bukit Aman. Took a break and continued back to Bukit Aman passing by Tugu Negara. We arrived in a group and that was cool. Crushio decided to join me attempting 3 laps of Lake Garden which turned out to be only one lap. Aiyo! Terribly sorry bro. The legs just ain't responding positively. And perhaps the vista of Syah, Ian and Ziff enjoying a bowl of hot mee hun soup at the carpark stall was irresistable. We headed back to Bukit Aman with more chats and found Ziff and Syah at the stall. More chats and meals until 11.30 a.m. We called it a day and looked forward for the final tapering LSD next week with more GKL and RBU around.

New Designer Templates

WoW! New template designs! First round of selection. Need to give way to my kids to use the PC.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

LSD 12th June for SCKLM

"With the Allspark gone, we cannot return life to our planet. But fate has yielded its own reward: a new world to call home. We live among its people now, hiding in plain sight, but watching over them in secret, waiting...protecting. I have witnessed their capacity for courage, and though we are worlds apart, like us, there's more to them than meets the eye. I am Optimus Prime, and I send this message to any surviving Autobots taking refuge among the stars: We are here. We are waiting."

Calling running friends and people. We have another two weekends before the final journey of KL-marathon. This weekend will be my peak LSD milage and another weekend to reduce the milage. I am attempting a 32km if God permits. Amsyah will be joining. Our idea is as follows:

Date : 12th June 2010 Saturday (So sorry for the wrong date earlier). What am I thinking?
Start : Bukit Aman
Time : 6.30 a.m.
Route : Bukit Aman - Matrade - Seri Hartamas - Double Hill - Bukit Aman.
Syah's estimate : 24km - I'll be looking for another 8km later.

All are welcome to join. Nik, Shuk and Det will be out of town for the weekend. See ya!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Perfect Plan

Talking about crazy? I dunno but the races that bloom like mushrooms lately really drives me to the edge. My body tells me that I have yet to recover from Sundown's weekend but my mind's been telling me "Go for it, dude!". I have yet to look at my race calendar and voila! a new event crept in like I stared at my buddy's blog blankly. Whoa! Can or not? The mind starts to tremble and been digesting it for days. Blog entries keep flowing in with the event details. Aiyo!

I've always love the forest. I've been into the mud and dirt thing for ages. Love the smell of the damped ground. Admire the beauty of God's creation. Been accepting myself as one tiny creation compared to the vast giant greenery every time I'm out there. Lots of stuff I've been through that perhaps taught me the meaning of appreciation and how tiny I am and how great the world is. Like they say, The World is Just Awesome!

I've been on mountains, into deep valleys and dark caves, crossing cold and wild rivers, slept soaked in rains for nights, enjoying hot coffee on a log by the river - the best-est moment, encountered wildlife, clinging for life from a rope at 30 feet cliff and more other beautiful memories that made me a better person right now. Nature is one hell of a classroom. Now I sounded like Bear Grylls la pulak.

The North Face 100 Singapore is really one awesome race but hey! I have to shelve it for other things. I'll spare my Kanadia for it next year and perhaps for POR with Ian and Syah. Unless miracle come knocking on my door, I might reshelve the whole end of year freaking running fiesta. However, the FEE is the other main concern here. Phew! We are talking no less than 300 bucks! Ammah!
I just to have to put it straight on - as of right now. Priority is priority. I have missions and passions for this year, so I might as well stick to it. Like Zaki listed it up in his race schedule for 2010, perhaps it works for me as well to just spread it out so as not to cloud myself on top of doing laundry and ironing :P

Nearest around the corner - 17 days to go. Yikes! would be KL-Marathon. I have one more weekend for LSD! OMG! Trembling now as I look at the calendar three times to confirm. Affirmative. I gotta have a boost. Gotta get something for a mantra.

Two weeks after KL-Marathon - July 11, the 23rd Seremban Half Marathon. Like I said earlier, this is another of those race mushrooms. For 12 bucks, this is one rare cheap fee - equal the toll price from KL and back. As the running bug still dangling on my toes, I've signed up for it. The bib is way so wide, I can cover half my waist :P I've been eyeing this race since last few years but the running craze didn't caught me back then. Do I have the legs to run it after KL-Marathon? No idea. Perhaps Cendol Leman Dawi would do the trick. Haha!

Another week after that, Siemens Run. That should be a fast 10K. Done registering. I missed it last year. Perhaps another get together race for fellow running friends. 20 bucks.

Another week after that, PD Triathlon. Am I gutsy enough for it? God knows. That depends on how liquified I am with the swimming class. 70 bucks for the Sprint Cat. 100 for the OD. This clashes with the Malakoff University Duahtlon (MUD) Series at UPNM. 50 bucks for a 3.9km run - 13.8km cycle - 3.9km run. I'll give this one a skip.

Another week after, MUD Series 2 at UM. Another 50 bucks should I want to sign up. Nah! I might opt for Men's Health Night Run at Putrajaya for 40 bucks. I'll get a 12.3km run with perhaps another year of awesome goodies and loads of post race snacks. Brought my family last year and they enjoyed the fiesta. Cool. But I've yet to register for this one. Closing is July 10th, 2.00 p.m. at FTAA or at

Another week, MUD Series 3 at UPM. OK, perhaps I'll give this one a shot. One last run-ride before Ramadhan.

However, the fasting month will never be quiet. In fact, it was one hectic Ramadhan for last year. We have kampung runs after Tarawih prayer once or twice a week and night cycling at Putrajaya till the wee hours every Friday. This year is never an exception I guess. Especially there will be one running Prada race smack two weeks right after Aidilfitri. That would the Newton 25km Challenge brought by 2XU. Registered. 60 bucks paid.

A week after that, Adidas King of the Road at the haunted Shah Alam stadium - like Ronnie said. Date have been fixed at October 3rd. Details of the race have yet to be out. Stay tuned.

Only two races in October. The next one will be Mizuno Wave Run at UPM hilly course two weeks later. 11km for 30 bucks but please be caution of car break-ins. Lots of runners turned victim last year. Haven't sign up. Gate crashing? Hmmm...

A month later, November 14th will be Powerman Malaysia. Fee-fi-fo-fum! I smell revenge in the blood. Last year's road trip was awesome but not the race. It was hell-ish. I burnt everything I got. 150 bucks for toast and grill under the Seri Manjung freaking hot sky. God speed I'll sign up for it. Early bird period closes on July 31st. My July pay cheque will fund this one :)

Last year, Penang Bridge International Marathon came 2 weeks after Powerman and I had to miss it. I might just go pokai if I travel up north twice in a month. This year is no exception either. One week gap only. Aiyo! November 21st. A running getaway for the family might be fun though, if I just keep it to the half marathon cap. Will require the skill of an accountant to pull me through November. 35 bucks for halfy and 55 for full length of the bridge.

Last but not least, I've signed up for Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore - even before I run for KL-Marathon. What was I thinking? Beats me. Sign up first, think later. How much did I pay for it? I can't remember - talk to the hand.

All in all, I will have three marathons in 2010 oppose to the earlier plans of having only one. The passion just grew stronger and I can't deny it. The constant pounding is just simply irresistable. And the total cost for all events that I've signed up and will, goes to approximately 500 bucks. Double-ammah! Despite all these, other agendas have yet to be considered. I've heard about weddings coming through after Aidilfitri and definitely will have to sacrifice one of those weekend races. Phew! Lights out.

Monday, June 7, 2010


Capati with Cadbury anyone?

The weekend never felt better. Always is. My weekdays were miserable. After surviving a stormy weekend back in hometown and across the Causeway, I was glooming under the weather for days. Sore throat, blocked nose, tight forehead and I believed my sinus starts creeping in. Legs were OK but the thought of whacking the tarmac never crossed my mind. All I was thinking was to get rid of the sinus. It's been driving me crazy.

The Saturday 32km LSD which was planned earlier with Nik had to be shelved at the very last moment. I had no confident to proceed and tormenting myself with the plan would only make things worse. With only 20 days to go, that would be a wise decision. I think. So, approaching the weekend without the slightest plan of what in store for this weekend warrior. However, the Running Bloggers United (RBU) have arranged for a great Sunday morning workout followed with a get together at Mosin. That was not an option but a must.

Come Saturday, it was not just me but the whole family were into the running affair. Yes, no LSD but there were sprint sets for my little ones. We decided to sign up for Trikidz Running Course. Azwar lead the class venued at Komplek Sukan Seksyen 15, Bandar Baru Bangi. Just some tips for us parents-kids that are into kidz sport that I got from Azwar. Basically it sounded like this :

"Kids are born with fast twitch muscles. If kids are into running, it is best that they train those fast twitch muscles for speed. Never ever train for long distance running because it will only discourage the muscle development. Encourage only to sign up for 5K races".

Those were the words from Azwar. I read it somewhere before. And the kids were enjoying/suffering every second of the class. The 400 metres track seemed so far. Yasmin were holding steady despite a tiny sharp pain in the tummy. Azwar advised to take deep breath until the pain's gone. Surprisingly Amir was strong! Azwar complimented. There were two mat salleh kids, Ethan and Owen. Of course Amir couldn't catch up with their lean and longer legs but the fight kept on. Umar, he straight away retired right after the 400 metres warm up run and opted to play Hot Wheels instead. There were two more kids who came all the way from Shah Alam with their mom. Admired the support. The class consisted of:

- 400m warm up run
- barefoot running on the football field
- 20% of 50m sprints and recoveries of 5 sets on the grass
- 80% of 100m sprints and recoveries of 5 sets on the track
- sprint telematch
- 400m recovery run & walk.
- theory and homework

That was plainly fun and interesting. Weather was perfect with a 10 minutes of cool mist blown in from the rain clouds. Kids made new friends and coach wanted them to sign up for PD Triahtlon on 18-July under the Trikiz banner. That sounded interesting, but can my darlings swim in the open sea?! Aiyo! I must bring along my running shoes for next class. As of today, Yasmin was complaining of stiff legs. I need to nurse that with ice later after work. No Kumon for today. Tuition was skipped due to tired legs but swim class in the afternoon was a must. They had a pretty hactic Saturday.

Nah! I can do better than that. Look, I have spikes on dude!

Sunday is dad's day. Due to unplanned weekend workout, a last minute gesture from Alwin did the job. I opted to get back to basic and let nature took my heart out. I should apologise to RBU for not joining the short run and stretching but I just need some remedy for this webhead. The pounding on hard surface would only bore me more - at least for this particular week until recovery. We started early from Kiara Park and headed out into the woods climbing Lung Buster trail and Twin Peaks. The jolly part was the descending. We went through endless switchbacks, knee high over obstacles, dodging fallen trees and chats. The green surroundings just blew me away. The instant I hit the dirt, I knew this was a wise option. Continued one lap around the lake and another walk-chat around the bigger loop. An hour of uncommitted workout works wonders. Sometimes it's just plain awesome to skip the training regime once in a while I guess.

Of course the TT session was the limelight of the morning. There were Kash & Rais, Ian, Yim, Nik & family, Syah & family, Rayzeef, Zaki & family, Ziff, Fadil, Julie, Alwin and me. Did I miss anyone? Can't clearly recall since we were sitting at two separate rows of tables. The norms : jokes and nonsence flew across the capatis and teh tarik. Rayzeef brought along hasil tangkapan from Setia Eco - thanks bro. Ian distributing signed copies of his Fitness Food book. The closing was the longest I guess. We talked about Singapore Marathon and The North Face 100. Some ideas about having pre-race BBQ at East Coast Park. Most of us signed for the marathon. Some of us are looking forward for the TNF 100. Let us send RBU teams. Ammah!

Bro, bila Rayzeef nak bukak cekelat ni daa?

In the afternoon, it was a date with wifey. We went shopping while the kids were left to be reunited with fellow cousins at in-law's. Nothing fancy, nothing Prada or what, but we went to Low Yatt :P Wifey needs to replace the laptop battery and adaptor. I was window shopping for a new digital camera. Grab myself a few magazines. Again, it was a tiny window of escapade from the normal chores. Felt good.

The final chapter to wrap up the weekend was the coolest. My first formal swim class. I never had the chance before, it was basically from Youtube and friends. Det and me, signed up for it. The same coach for my kids. An hour of bubble blowing protocols and pull & push stroke adjustments. Coach even had our swim recorded to point out areas of improvement. Now that's cool. As usual Det and me poked and joked around at our swimming video at the end of the session. Ligths out early with a trifling light headed feeling but all was good.

Hoping for a splendid days ahead. Perhaps with kids' running homework of three 20 minutes easy run should do the trick to get me back up the running board.
Homework on the run with Trikidz