Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Real Deal?

"Cytomax® Performance Drink: The Original

The Sports Drink the Pro’s Really Use™.

Studies show that after three hours of intense exercise, athletes drinking Cytomax® perform better; lactic acid levels are lower, reducing cramping and post-workout soreness, while promoting re-hydration, strength and improved endurance.

Cytomax® Performance Drink is made with a unique blend of Alpha-L-PolyLactate™, complex carbohydrates, and electrolytes for an optimal energy supply. Compared to any other nutrient supplement available, Alpha-L-PolyLactate™ delivers energy faster, fuels the body more optimally, and better protects it from acid build up.

Benefits of using Cytomax® Performance Drink

Beats the Burn: Patented Alpha-L-PolyLactate™ buffers lactic acid production in your muscles, reducing the “burn” during intense training and minimizing post-exercise muscle soreness.

Steady Energy: Complex carbs stabilize blood sugar during exercise with no sugar "crash".

Cell Protection: Antioxidants prevent exercise-induced free radical damage to muscle cells.

Oxygen Delivery: Succinates enhance oxygen delivery by up to 11% during exercise, reducing perceived exertion and minimizing muscle damage.

Cellular Balance: Electrolytes ensure cellular nutrient balance is restored quickly after exercise.

Optimal Osmoality: rapid gastric emptying

Natural Herbal “Lift”: (in Tangy Orange, Go Grape and Peachy Keen flavors only) reduces your perceived effort so you can push harder.

Best ways to use Cytomax® Performance Drink

Before: Begin using Cytomax® Performance Drink 15-30 minutes before training for quick, effective hydration, lactic acid buffering and optimum levels of performance.

During: Use Cytomax® Performance Drink continually during exercise (32 fl-oz./hour) to ensure proper hydration/electrolyte replenishment and optimum levels of performance.

After: Continue using Cytomax® Performance Drink immediately post training to ensure glycogen restoration, electrolyte balance and to reduce post exercise cramping."

This is what I'm using now... is it the real deal that helped me shave off minutes off my running time? Or is it just a psychological boost?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

NB Klang Pacers 1/2 Marathon

This is it, my last race for April, and my third consecutive weekend of racing. Last week was a pretty good race in the Shoe String Run, with my fastest timing over 10km ever... How would I do this time around with double the distance?

I collected my running vest and number on Friday during lunch hour.. and it was a pretty good quality vest by New Balance, real technical wear, and not the cotton crap most races dish out...

Something to wear during my training runs...

As usual, my number was not really desirable with the 'sei sei die die' intonations... sheesh..

Discount voucher... I know what I'm gonna get..

They also gave us a 30% discount coupon for New Balance apparel / shoes and it couldn't come at a better time... Check out my wishlist on my side bar... The NB902LW is going to be my next pair of runners... after I've done 700km on my current Brooks..

Fast fwd to this morning... skipping the normal routine pre-race storyline, I got to the starting point with about 30 mins to spare. Did my warm-up around the running track and proceeded to the starting line up... Gun went off at 6:15am and I started my stopwatch... It was still dark and some portions of the road were not lit... Nothing spectacular, except for the fact that I nearly stepped on a dead cat with innards spilled all over the road.... yuckies..

At about the 1km mark, I noticed a familiar face amongst running circles and I ran up to say hi to Haza... exchange pleasantries and I was off on my way... At the 5km mark and 1st water station, I looked at my watch and it read 0:37:02. Crap, way off my target time.. I was going too slow...

Decided to work it up a notch and looked in the distance for a target to reel in... Picked a shapely girl (he he) about a few hundred meters away and set off at a pace a little higher than normal... After a while I passed her and as I caught sight of the 10km marker and 2nd water station, my watch read 1:08:00.. Cool! I'm way back in the game now!! Going below my KLIM timing of 2:24:xx is a very real possibility now...

I fueled myself with a packet of raisins (read somewhere that they work just as well as energy gels) and they actually do! Felt more energetic and with my bottle of cytomax in hand, I actually was able to pick up the pace even more...Raisins actually digest fast and 1 box of Ligo's actually give you 33g of carbs, more than a pack of gels.. Those runners who were running way in front of me at the start.. started to look tired and slow as I picked them off one-by-one...

The sun was beginning to shine bright by now and the weather had started to become slightly hotter... I was glad I had my sunglasses with me as there was a pretty long stretch that we were running into the sun...

15km point and 3rd water station, I clicked the lap button on my watch and looked at it in disbelief at the timing of 1:30:14... I just blitzed my last 5km in 22 mins!! Did I go too fast? Would I burn out before the finish line? Questions kept popping into my head...

4th water station was at probably the 17.5km (no marker as far as I remember) and I kept going... with 2 kms to go, my watch showed 1:54:xx and I knew that I had shaven off a big chunk of timing from my KLIM run... It was then that I started to feel my left shin and both calves in the initial stages of cramping... not wanting to cramp before the finish line (and after), I decided to slow my pace a little to not accelerate the lactic-acid build up in my muscles... The last km seemed like forever as my tired legs trudged on...

Nearing the finish line, as I ran towards the arch, the announcer called out... "Number A0004... Blah... Blah Blah.." It was indeed a refreshing change and a nice touch to the finish for them to call out your name as you cross the finish line.. As the photographer snapped my pic as I crossed the line, I clicked my watch to end the run at 2:10:49... my fastest half marathon timing in more than 10 years!!

The 1/2 marathon finisher's medal

The finisher's medal was also pretty nice... shaped like Superman's crest, it actually did make me feel like a Superman!!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Tha Goes My Haemoglobyn...

Just donated blood this afternoon... Blood donation drive going on in our office... Now I'm wondering... will it affect my run this Sunday? After all, I'm going to be exerting myself over 21km... over 2 hours..

I'll probably be running at only 80% capacity.... Probably do a run-walk-run-walk strategy. Don't want a DNF (did not finish) on my record...

Will I have enough red blood cells to carry oxygen to my depleted muscles? Will I faint? Will I need to ride in the ambulance?

I will tell you come Sunday.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Shoe String Run 08 - Update

The morning started off like any typical race day morning... Woke up, washed up, some milk and a bun before going to the loo for some necessary discharge. Whoa! Diarrhoea leh!! (That 'witch doctor' was right after all!!!) Some more stomach bloated and distended (banyak angin). Worried that it would affect me later, I downed 2 lomotils and 2 actals to counter the problems...

Plum picked me and my bro up at about 6.20am and we proceeded to the primary school where the race was to start... Saw a motley bunch of runners there... no Kenyans tho.. haha. There were your typical local 'kenyans' looking to sweep the top places, the weekend runners with a bit of quivering belly, the family of 3 little kids (this is after all a community / charity run) and my ol pal Plum who never seems to be able to get out of bed on a weekend.

Plum doin his warmup BEFORE the run...

It was a pretty straightforward thingy... register at the counter, lounge around and wait for the run to start... Fitness First, as one of the sponsors was there to guide the runners (who were interested) thru a 10 minute warm-up routine, which involved a lot of bounding up and down and touching toes.

Warmup session with music by Fitness First

The run started a wee bit late, should have flagged off at 7am, but I guess the organizers delayed it a little as some runners were seen coming in late to register. Didn't really check the flag-off time, but presumed it to be about 7.15am.

Saw Felix (another runner from Kota Kemuning) at the warm-up area and had a bit of a chat with him...

At the start line, I met up with the running uncle (the one who had the Ironman chat with me in a previous post) and he asked me to join the Pacesetters. They were lookin to form a mini-group for Kota Kemuning... As we were chatting, they flagged us off and we continued talking for a short while on the way out of the school.

Started at the back... but didn't finish at the back... =P

I totally forgot about my plans to treat this like my easy weekend run, and the pace kept going up as I found myself chasing the leading batch. The route was pretty flat about 80% of the way, with long straight stretches that pick you out mentally and some sloping gradients that give you a kick up your arse if you've been lazy with your hill runs.

At the 5km mark, I checked my time and was surprised to see 26:45. Man, I've been running sub-6mins pace! I can actually do this under an hour! Not wanting to let the pace slip, and totally throwing the idea of an easy run into the drain, I locked on to a runner doin a similar pace in front and made sure I didn't let him get away...

At around the 7.5km mark, the runner (another guy) in front of me was like 300m away, and the runner behind me was also some distance away... (the guy above with the similar pace faded off earlier).. Running alone with nobody next to me was tiring mentally as there was just nobody to pace with.... I think this is where I let my pace drop unconsciously... With about 500m to go, I picked up my pace again and finished the 10km run in 57:50. A sub-60 mins effort, with actually some capacity left in my tank...

Strong lookin finish..

Felix came in some time later, my bro a while after that and Plum came in with a doggie running next to him. Trust him to flirt around with a bitch while running...

We collected our certificate of participation, a goodie bag, had some drinks and off we went for breakfast. While walking off, we managed to get an obliging fella to help us take a group shot...

Best foot forward... (l-r) Felix, Plum, Bunny and Bro..

The goodie bag and certificate were ho-hum... but we were not into this for the stuff, we run because its for charity and because we love to...

Contents of goodie bag...

Certificate of participation..

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Shoe String Run 08 - Kota Kemuning

My first run at home!! Or close to home... A run that I can actually get to the starting line without needing to start up my car... A run in Kota Kemuning...

Tomorrow morning is the Shoe String Run, a 10km charity run for the children of Touch n' Grow...

Collected the t-shirt (not sub-standard t-shirt and design albeit it being a charity event..) and running bib for myself, bro and a few other frens who will be running together in the name of charity...

5 of us doin' 10km..

The t-shirt looks pretty good... not the standard white colour with multi-rainbow coloured sponsor logos...

I'm fitting into an M these days... hehe..

There's also a 3km family fun run attached to this event and seeing that Kota Kemuning has many families who always do walks around the lake, I'm sure the turnout will be pretty good.

Guess I will take this like my weekend easy run... part of the route goes thru my normal running route.. Reserving my energy for next weekend's Klang Pacers Half Marathon where I'll probably try out using energy gels during the run for the very first time...

Here's hoping it doesn't rain tomorrow morning like it did today...

Its 6:02am...

... and its #$%^&#!??*&% raining! I know most people would be salivating at enjoying sleeping in cool rainy weather on a Saturday morning, but me? I'm seething inside. Real bad.

Woke up 45 mins ago, washed up, had a glass of milk and a biscuit, did my hard bits business, pumped my bike tires, prepared my energy drink and pretty much laced up my shoe..... when it #$%^&!!??#$!?&%$ started to rain.

Mother Nature sure has a sense of humour.

Edit: Managed to do a 20km bike - 6km run - 500m swim after the rain stopped... At least waking up early wasn't in vain..

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Unscrupulous Maximus Gargantus

I'm sitting at home, feling sorry for myself. I'm in pain. I've got gastritis, I'm having chilly episodes and I'm feeling sore and achy all over. And for that, I am sitting at home, blogging about nothing.

Woke up this morning after a lengthy night of sleeplessness due to pain emanating all over my upper body from the gastritis. Achy joints and rising temp didn't help much...

The doctor opens at 0830, so exactly on the dot, I was there, 2nd in line and waiting for my turn. Its a polyclinic btw, so there are multiple docs. Only one of them is good, the rest, pretty crappy if I may say so..

As the nurse called my name, and I entered the consulate consultation room, ... haiya... its the crappy doc... This was gonna be a loooong day..

Me: Gud mornin' doc
Doc: Mmm... without lookin up
[Then... he looked up at me quizically but kept quiet... 0 points for your PR macha..]
Me: I have gastric pain... real bad. radiating all the way up to my back
[He whipped out a stethoscope]
Doc: Take up your shirt..
[And he proceeded to use his stethoscope BELOW my belly button..]
Doc: Where's the pain?
[I pointed to just below my ribcage (where my stomach is) and not BELOW my belly button where he was still fiddling about...]
Doc: Hmmm... you will have diarrhoea..
Me: [I misheard him... and said] No... I don't have diarrhoea...
Doc: With your gastric and viral infection, you WILL have diarrhoea...
[WTF!?!? Is he cursing me?]
Me: Uh-huh.
Doc: OK, I will give you med for your gastric, your fever and diarrhoea...
Me: Can I get an MC too?
Doc: Where do you work?
Me: DG
Doc: Coverage very bad la...
Me: Oh ya ka.

And I left the con room. Wahliu eh... just because my company is paying for the meds means he push whatever he can and charge ka?!?!? This guy really beh tahan man...

Also there was a little primary school girl who went in before me... I saw the nurse dispensing STRONG and EXPENSIVE anitibiotics (presumably under the doc's orders) for her.. Wah... lil girl la.. overdose baru tahu...

What is this world becoming nowadays?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

BHP Orange Run

Dreeet.... dreeet.... My alarm rang at 5.20am and I sat up groggily before looking out the window in horror at the rain... Lightning and heavy raindrops pelted the night sky as I contemplated whether to go ahead for the run or not...

Lazing around in bed for an additional 10 mins didn't help as sleeping in seemed like the better option... But... I finally got out of bed and washed up and had breakfast.. Sms-ed Plum to ask him whether it was raining at his end of town, and he replied.. "Yeah, not heavy. Cancel?" That's positivity for you mate. After a phone call, we decided to go ahead and I picked him up on the way to the Curve.

It had stopped raining when we arrived, and approx 10 mins after we got there, the race started.

Runners at the start of the race waiting for the gun..

I decided to pace Plum for the whole 9km as he was 'kind' enough to get out of bed with 3 hours sleep to do this run. I'm kinda trying to get him into running and to leave him to sleepwalk his way thru this would be unfair... So we went off nice and slow (real slow) and chatted the whole way (OK, more like me talking and Plum asking me to shut up)..

One of the uphill stretches along the route..

I'd say that overall, the traffic management was pretty poor, with no safety cones along the route and the authorities allowing cars and bikes to zoom by an arm's length away from the runners... I saw a couple of school kids running in and out of the crowd of runners with cars speeding by alongside... seriously not safe.

Plum doin his thing... and calling himself a lactic-acid warehouse..

I kept talking and talking and making sure that Plum didn't fall asleep halfway thru the run (or curi ayam) and 1hr 20mins later, we hit the finishing tape... ok more like running past the finish line...

The whole finish area was awashed with sweaty wet runners and we were supposed to line up to collect our goodie bag after the run. This was where lack of organization crept in again... hordes of runners cramping around with no particular visible queue to get their goodie bags... They should have just passed them out as the runners came in at the finish line, or at least made the goodie bag (of a cert and a bottle of water) area bigger instead of just 2 tables for a couple of thousand runners..

Like a pack of sardines waiting to collect the goodie bag..

The finisher's cert...

Grabbed some drinks after the run and went off with Plum for some mamak breakfast for refuelling...

Feeling syiok after the BHP Orange Run at the Curve..

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Twas The Night Before The Orange Run...

and all thru the house... not a creature was stirring... only my .... tummy..

Ok.. so it doesn't rhyme... big deal, sue me. I've got other things on my mind.. like my rumbling tummy.. Stomach feels bloated, distended and full of gas. Been farting like nobody's business too... Whoever's running behind me tomorro better have a serious case of sinusitis.. or the very least a high tolerance to stinking gas every other step.

My race number doesn't even bear good omens... C164??? For crying out loud!?!?! "Shit, all the way die??"... wah literal translation in canto-language really beh tahan man!

How to be run la like that?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

How Many Percent Ha?

Look what I got for my birthday!!!

Its a digital scale complete with body fat monitor...

Either J wants to motivate me, or she's sublimely telling me I need to lose weight and monitor the body fat!!!
And I'm not telling you what my body fat percentage is... not until I get it down to an un-embarassing level, that is..

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Another Day, Another Year...

Happy Birthday To Me,
Happy Birthday To Me,
Happy Birthday To Bunny,
Happy Birthday To Me!!!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

2008 Goals Update (March)

2008 Goals:
Distance To Run: 1168km
Races To Run: 6 Half Marathons
Weight To Lose: 6 kgs

What I've Done:
Distance Run: 406km
Races Done: 2
- KL Int Towerthon
- KLIM Half Marathon
Weight Lost: 2 kg

What's Left To Do:
Distance To Go: 762km
What's Left To Race: 5 Half Marathons
What's Left To Lose: 4 kgs

Am I On Track?
Spot on, baby...