Sunday, March 30, 2008

All's Well Ends Well....

KLIM 2008 Report.

Sat nite...
9:40pm - Left calf still sore from the week before. Put some medicated plaster and hoped it would go away.
10:10pm - Tried to get some sleep. Set alarm to wake up at 3:00am.
10:59pm - Still tossing and turning.
11:47pm - Still couldn't get any shut eye... Nerves? Or just adrenaline?
Sun morn...
3:00am - Woke up as the alarm went off.. Bro already up and watching the MU game..
3:20am - Had a bun and some choc milk.. Took a quick warm shower to relax the muscles..
3:40am - Tried to do my 'business' but failed miserably.
3:52am - Came out of toilet with no achievement. Gettin worried about a possible stomach discomfort in front of Mid Valley later.
4:05am - Called Plum. Woke up already.
4:15am - Left home to pick up Plum and off to KLIM. Bro and Plum taking part in the 10km.
5:02am - Arrived and parked near Pasar Seni. Walked over to Dataran Merdeka.
5:30am - Reported for the 21.1km start and walked into the fenced area behind the starting line. Did some last minute stretches for my calf and hoped for the best.
6:00am - BANG! There goes the gun...

21.1km Race:
Started off slow and steady, reminding myself not to follow other runners' pace and just to follow my own rhythm. It was difficult seeing runner after runner passing me by, but I told myself that I'll just reel them in one-by-one later when they pancit... Haha.. yea rite..
Throughout the race I was breathing comfortably, my calf didn't give me much problem after I got into my stride after 3km or so... I was pretty much enjoying myself and watching other runners go about the race... some shuffling along, some bouncing up and down more than forward, and others just plain walking...
Along the way, there were certain stretches that were really mental... along the Sg Besi highway at the airport strip.... The Adidas shower near the end.. (mental because it looked so inviting, but I didn't wanna get my shoes wet..)
Some things of note... running a 21km race is totally different from running a 21km training run. Why? Well, for starters, in a race, you start sweating buckets even from waiting in the crowd for the start of the race... there goes your hydration plans. Lucky me, I had a bottle of water with me the whole way...
Another thing is dodging runners who abruptly stop running and start walking, or those that walk in a group and effectively making you run an extra few metres round them... Prolly in training, the only dodging you need to do is evading bird poo...
The 1 thing that the organizers could improve on was to put distance markers along the route for all marathon, half-marathon and 10km categories. Without the distance markers, we were practically left to guess how far we had run so far, and how far left we had to go...
Running the last 2 minutes upon seeing the finish line was the most comforting feeling in the world... 2hrs 24 mins and 29 secs of pounding tarmac come to an end. And what do we get from putting our bodies on the line?

Front of the finisher's medal

Back of the finisher's medal

Some goodies...

For the full marathon and half marathon categories, the certificates complete with timing and position will be posted to the runners within 3 weeks. Or so the organizers say.

Post Race:
Joined up with my bro and Plum at the finish / refreshments area... Both of them did their first 10km official race and both did extremely well... Bro finished in 1:06 while Plum did 1:15, both qualifying for the certificate of completion.
After returning my chip, grabbing a couple of cups of 100 plus, we went off back to get the car and headed for some well-deserved breakfast...

Highlights of the race?
1. I managed to overtake 2 Kenyans/Africans. 1 was a guy running the 21km, but he was probably treating it as a morning walk... 2nd was a lady running the 21km... However, in my delirious state near the end when my focus was only on my burning muscles, I didn't know whether they blitzed me back!!
2. No urge to do any 'business' that I worried about earlier... woopee!!
3. The opportunity to run on Federal Highway. I think this is the only time we are ever allowed to do so.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Countdown to KLIM

1 week to go...

Did my last long run last weekend (17km), a couple of easy runs this week, a mini triathlon on Thursday and a 12km run + 1000m swim this morning. Feelin good except for a sore left calf that refuses to leave me alone.... Guess I'll just rest my legs more this week...

Schedule for the week: Likely to be another swim tomorrow night, a short 20 - 25km bike ride on Tuesday morning, and faster paced 7km run on Wed morning and a last 5 - 7km easy paced run on Friday morning before the KLIM half marathon on Sunday. Will probably treat that like a training run since I've done some 20km runs in training recently. No time expectations for this... Anything within qualifying time will do... To me, its gonna be a fun race..

Got my races lined up for the 1st half of 2008... after this weekend's KLIM, I'm due to take part in the BHP orange run and Klang Half Marathon in April, the Pacesetters 15km and Port Dickson 1/2 Marathon in May, and probably one of Pg Bridge run or Lion City Marathon in June.

And when November comes along, its Powerman 2008!!

I'm gonna be so tired at the end of the year....

Friday, March 21, 2008


My daily dose

I'm a pill-popping person. Fish oil, Calcium, Ginkgo Biloba, Glucosaminesulphate, Multivites.... Whoa.. Every morning with my mug of coffee. Am supposed to be taking Chondroitin as well... but haven't gotten around to buying it yet...

Thursday, March 20, 2008

2hrs 55mins 16secs

.... Thats the amout of time it took me to cycle 30km, run 10km and swim 875m this morning.

On a slow, cool slightly dark morning when most people would be sleeping in, I woke just before the alarm clock went off at 5:35am. By 6:15am I was out the door into the early dawn, with streetlights and the occasional motorist for companionship.

Biking in the half-darkness calls for acute senses and a lot of anticipation. Potholes, puddles, errant motorists, bumps, stray dogs... the hazards are endless... Well, to cut the ride short, it was pretty eventless, save for getting lost in some deserted industrial area that I stumbled on and losing about 4 mins looking for my rear light after it popped out when I hit a pothole... Time taken to kau tim the 30km on wheels: 1:06:49, with an average speed of 26.9km/h and max speed of 45.6km/h.

Transition 1: 0:05:27 was spent taking my bike up to my condo unit, parking it, changing into my running shorts, lubbing my inner thigh, grabbing a cereal bar, water bottle and running shoes and going back down.

The first 3km of my run was hard until I managed to get into my stride and rhythm... after that it was all mental and some slight discomfort in my left calf. Engaged an elderly man (who is an avid runner) in some light conversation...

Elderly man (EM): Hi.. training for the KLIM? What are you running?
ME: Sort off.. I'm doing the half. What about you? You running full?
EM: Supposed to do 10km, but cheng meng la..
ME: Oh yea hor..
EM: So how much you running today?
ME: Just finished cycling, so gona just do 10km today, then later go for swim.
EM: Oh... joining the Ironman huh?
ME: Haha... 3 years later maybe la.. haha..
EM: Yea... that's a tough one huh...
ME: No kidding..
EM: OK... catch up some other time...

Timed my 10km run at 1:02:37 averaging >6min/km...

Transition 2: 0:05:56 took me back upstairs, changed into my swimming trunks, grabbed a glass of water, my goggles and went back down into the pool...

Swimming was just monotonous.... back and forth.. back and forth in the pool... I could feel my quads and calf tightening up and therefore I wasn't pushing as hard as I think I could... Finished the 875m thrashing about in 0:34:27...

Estimated total calories burned? Close to 2000 calories. This calls for some foodie-down-my-tummy celebration... Hehe..

Went back upstairs and found J reading... took a shower, and out we went for breakfast... Chee cheong fun with rendang chicken, glass of soya bean and a bowl of bubur cha cha... fuiyoh.

And by the way, don't think of it as torturous. I actually find it fun. And thats the way I would ACTUALLY like to spend my holiday.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


.... well .. almost.

One-tenth of wat? 1/10th of an Ironman...

A Triathlon Ironman consists of a 3.8km swim - 180km bike - 42km run... back-to-back. Elites can complete it all in close to 8 hours; while mortals like us only dream of doing it... Well, dream no more. I intend to BE an Ironman, and I will work my way towards it, with grit, determination, sacrifice and a whole lot of heart.

With such fire in my belly, I decided to take a 'slightly' longer than usual lunch break today and headed for home to expend some overflowing energy emanating from within.... I only had about 2 hrs to complete my workout, eat, bathe and get back to the office... so I decide to trim it down to 1/10th of an Ironman distance... and that equates to a 380m swim - 18km bike - 4.2km run.

And I did it in reverse order. In the gym. Well, almost. Did my run on the treadmill, my cycling on the stationary bike, and my swim in the pool (under the blistering sun at 1pm)... Note: I have not yet learnt the freestyle stroke in swimming, therefore I could only breaststroke my way thru the water..

4km run: 00:24:12 - treadmill run @ <6:15mins/km
Transition 1: 00:01:36 - stopped treadmill, adjusted bike seat and pedals
18km bike: 00:28:44 - stationary bike @ >36km/h average
Transition 2: 00:05:36 - locked gym, went up 3 flights of stairs to condo unit, changed into trunks, grabbed a swig of water and came back down into pool
300m swim (that's why almost): 00:16:15

Total time taken: 01:16:26

And now, I'm back in office. Blogging.

Note: Pool cleaner came along while I was trashing about and shoo-ed me away. That's why I only managed 300m.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Check That Out!!!

Wah.... how come I never got that when my daddy taught me to ride a bicycle ha?!?!?!

Next time when I give my kid(s) their first training wheels, this will be top on the list... Hehe.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Post Mortem

Uh Oh Hmmm... Ho hum. Well... Its official.. No landslide victory for the National Front (Barisan Nasional)... No making up the numbers for the Opposition. Nope. It was a shocker that nobody would have forecasted...

... A 60%-40% win for BN in Parlimentary seats. Nothing like the 2/3 or 75-25% widely expected.
... BN didn't manage to win back Kelantan state. It was more like a whitewash win for PAS.
... BN lost another additional 4 states to Opposition. Kedah, Perak, Selangor and Penang. Major states at that.
... Transport Minister, Information Minister and Deputy Head of Wanita Umno all lost...

My sentiments? It was all about voting against, and not voting for in this year's General Elections. It was not about voting for the party you believe in... but more of voting against the party you just love to hate.. In a decision-making process, it was selecting the lesser evil.

Me? I didn't vote. Didn't even register. Wasn't at all interested. I didn't really care whether BN had an avalanche of votes (phantom or not) or whether a tsunami blew thru the elections like it did. I was resigned to the fact that every country and every political structure in the world was corrupted. It was all a matter of how well they covered it and how well they took care of the welfare of the citizens. I guess Malaysia fared pretty badly, as the consensus of the general masses was "BN sure win, lets just vote for the Opposition, so that they dun win by so much and become egoistical"... Little did they realise, it became the domino effect. One by one, each vote cast had the X mark on the Opposition side of the ballot paper.

Nobody really cared who the actual candidate was representing PAS, or PKR or DAP... As long as it was BN on the blue side of the ring, they were rooting for the red side. Case in point... Defending Heavyweight Champion Lee Hwa Beng vs Rookie Loh Whatz-his-name.... Winner? Not the defending champion, although he had done loads and represented his constitution well..

Another case in point... Back in my hometown of Teluk Intan, running for the parlimentary seat was incumbent Mah Siew Keong (who according to everyone I spoke to has done a good job) vs an Indian dude who doesn't even stay in Teluk Intan. And because Mr Mah has the BN logo on his side, an outsider beat him to the seat. An outsider who may even have to ask directions to get to the post office (I presume), an outsider who calls Ipoh his home.

I dun really support BN, but I wouldn't put my fate in the hands of Opposition rule either. My opinion, if it holds any weight, is that an ideal situation would be:
- exactly a 2/3 majority win for BN in parliment,
- the loss of 2 states (Kelantan and Penang) to the Opposition,
- close fight with simple majority wins for BN in other states

This would give BN something to think about... of how close it could be for them to lose their standing... of how the voice of the people need to be heard. This would also give the people a first hand view of how the Opposition would perform if given the chance (in this case - Pg) without the risk of putting a huge number of eggs in 1 basket.

As it is now, Opposition has power in 5 states... big ones at that like Selangor, Penang and Perak... And if I were to liken Malaysia to a chicken, its as if Opposition are feasting on the breast, thigh and drumstick as we speak (I use chicken as an example, not cows or pigs so as not to be racially-sensitive). Are we confident in giving such a big chunk of the chicken to them? Are they experienced enough to cope? Do we expect miracles in the next 4 years? Do we REALLY expect them to reduce the price of petrol???

However, I guess one good thing has come of this... In the past, it was widely regarded that BN was flaunting their power, and the Opposition was trying their best to be roadblocks. Now, with the split in power more even, both BN and Opposition will be all out to try and prove themselves. BN will want to recover some of the trust they have lost... and Opposition will want to prove that given the chance, they can be the real deal.

Lets hope the winds of change and the so called tsunami sweep thru and uncover some hidden gold that we never knew existed.