Thursday, October 30, 2008

I envy lawyers

Lawyers are cool. With so much bad perceptions on them, I just want to go against the tide for once. I might be biased bcos my sister, my uncle and few of my close friends are lawyers. And the thought that when I was small, being a lawyer was indeed in my list of what I want to be when I grow up.

But guys, let us give credit to where its due, bcos we know there are many honest, hardworking and smart lawyers out there.

Actually, I was particularly impressed with lawyers in my company. This morning, I was asked to attend Anti-trust policy training conducted by the law dept. I was so amazed to see how easy for them to explain a concept or answer questions in a very eloquent, clear and concise manner. U could just throw the whole kitchen sink, they would still be able to handle it in such a cool and confident way.

Having said that, that doesn't mean I like all lawyers. They were also few occasions when I felt like choking them to death thru my experiences in the whole house buying/ LAD claiming process. But when I think again, I was so mad with them bcos they were good. They practically can argue any points or facts thrown at them, and I salute that. But luckyly I have the Housing Tribunal to help the housebuyers.

Well to all the lawyers out there (the good ones of course), hats off to u guys.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Jabir dah 'steam'

Relax...pls don't get the wrong idea. The term 'steam' as we know it, had been used to describe men's physiological condition, but it can also be used to describe the out most joy or feeling.

Well it was Bandit(fellow OP, my senior from RMC), who said 'Jabir dah steam dah', when we completed the ride from Genting-Peres to Lata Tekala. Well, he was 100% correct. Mmg I dah naik steam. It was quite obvious as I had this 'puas' look on my face when we stopped to load up our drinks in Lata Tekala.

And now, I can declare that 'cycling' is indeed for me. Not to say that I'd be focusing on doing it alone, but I think I have enough experience to say that I can do it to complete a full triathlon. One needs to complete 40KM of cycling leg based on Olympic standard. I did 65 KM last weekend, which in term of distance, I have covered the requirement. Next step is to focus on timing.

Ok, lets talk about what I did last weekend.

On Saturday, I did arnd 8KM of running in the morning. It was a failure actually as I had initially planned to do 11K. I think(just making an excuse), it was due to overloading of protein the night before. We went to this restaurant 'Bif Sentral' near my house. On Fridays, they have buffet for 25 bucks. The amount of red meat that I had was a little bit too much, no actually, way too much than what I ought to have. So the next morning, when I did the run, my calf just felt so heavy. I made the decision not to run extra 2-3 K. But to reciprocate that, I sprinted up a hill about 300m. But still, I'd regard the whole run as unsuccessful becos I did not achieve my earlier target.

Arnd 12, I met up with Bandit to test out the road bike that he wanted to sell to me. After few pedals, I knew already that this bike will give me a totally new experience, mainly bcos its a road bike. So far I've been using Chipang's mountain bike, which has totally different features from a road bike. That was one of the reason why I wondered whether I shd pursue cycling or not as the weekend before I did abt 46 K using mountain bike, and it was not really a pleasant experience. With some basic modification to suit my body, and newly purchased cycling short (very, very important), I'm all ready for Sunday's ride.

On Sunday, the plan is to do BT18 - simpang tiga - Genting Peres - simpang tiga - Tekala -simpang tiga - BT18. Its gonna be T-shaped route. Ride from BT 18 -simpang was an easy 11K flat road. Good for warming up. Next was 9K of hard climb to Genting Peres, at times, I was cursing to myself, why did I sign up for this? But for the last KM, I was practically cursing to Bandit(sorry). He told me it was only 8K climb, I dont know where he got that 1KM discount from. But as I reached the peak, it was well worth it. And I enjoyed it even more during the ride back down. That was the 2nd Phase.

The 3rd phase was from Simpang 3 to tekala, it was abt 10K ride of rolling hills, not as tough as Genting Peres. But the challenge was that the road is more open and we were exposed more to the heat of the rising sun. I was doing this leg with Chipang, except for the last 2-3K, Chipang had to stop to fix his chains but asked me to carry on. The view was quite nice as we were riding along Semenyih Dam. As we reached Tekala, we re hydrated ourselves and rest before the last leg home.

I started to really struggle after the killer hill in Tekala, most of it bcos of the heat. Suddenly the view is not so nice anymore as I started to feel the pain in my shoulders, especially when I need to tilt my head up to look for directions and oncoming traffics. (Note: need to work on neck and shoulder in the gym).

We stopped 3K before pekan Bt 18 for Laksa Buyung, fully recommend this. So while waiting for the food n drinks, I was quite amazed to see small crystals of salt appearing on my arms, and I was not sweating at all. But, as soon as i started drinking, suddenly my body was drenched with sweats. So, earlier, when I was not sweating, I was actually dehydrated, hence no sweats only salt coming out from the body. After Laksa, we rode back to Bt 18. Had another meal in the Kopitiam. Bandit mmg terer, gila byk dia belasah kat Koptiam tu.

All in all, it was a very satisfactory ride. Good enough to convince me to buy the bike from Bandit. 2 key points
1.I was using the right type of bike
2.I wore the padded cycling shot, It had tremendously minimised the pain in my ass that I had the weekend before.

So guys, I think I can do cycling, and betul cakap Bandit, 'Jabir dah steam'. Just did 10K spin on Deepavali morning after 1K swim pasal dah naik gian dgn beskal baru.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I can feel my lungs expanding

It is such a wonderful feeling. FYI, I have not smoked for almost 2 weeks now. For the record, I never intended to stop anyway. I was forced to actually.

Main reason - I felt like dying. Seriously, I can feel the oxygen not going up to my brain, almost to a point of hallucination.

What happened? In my quest of getting fit, fit enough to join triathlon competition, 2 weeks ago, I ran with Stupe(The freaking 'Ironman') for 15 KM. It may not sound so difficult, however, nobody says running with Stupe is a walk in the park. We were doing 5'30"/km for the first 4-5 K, and short sprinted up few hills on our way back. Those sprints really took its toll on me.

Man, I'm telling you, my lungs felt like burning, exploding and all the other horrifying feeling that u can imagine while doing the sprints. Stupe didn't say much when he saw me panting like hell. He just said, 'u need to stop smoking bro'.

From that moment on, I did not lit up a single cigarette. And not surprisingly, I'm feeling much much fitter and stronger now. In my daily workouts (running, swimming. gym), I pushed my self much harder than before to make my heart rate faster. And I do not(so far) felt the same pain sensations as what I had 2 weeks ago. In fact, sometime, I can literally feel that I'm taking in more oxygen than before. I cant explain it, but I really do felt it.

I just hope I can be strong enough to stop smoking for good....

Monday, October 20, 2008

Is 'cycling' really for me?

I dont know and I cant answer it for certain until I tested Bandit's road bike. In fact, this would be the topic that I want to share for this posting.

Since starting distance running (tak de la jauh sgt, max so far 15K), the thought or the urge to really trying out triathlon becomes stronger and harder to ignore. And Bandit's invitation to join his 'rubberman' gang was just too hard to resist, and came at the right time.

But even before I start, there are 2 main issues.
1. I dont have a bike.
2. I know I will be hurting my ass, the end of my tailbone to be precise, thru my experience so far of doing stationery bike in gym.

For problem no 1, I was fortunate enough that Chipang was more than generous to let me borrow his Mountain Bike, helmet and gloves. For problem no 2, well, I'll explain in details later.

The plan was to complete about 50K distance on Sunday morning. Route - the whole stretch of Guthrie Corridor Hway, from Bkt Jelutong to Rawang.

I'd be crazy to go and ride without having any practice session. So on Saturday, met up with Chipang at Tasik Permaisuri Cheras in the morning. He taught me the basics on cycling, things like wearing the proper gears, some terms eg; cadence and of course how and when to shift the gears to minimise usage of energy and maximise performance. We did about 12K just circling the park for few laps.

It was a good session to prepare me for the next day, but, as I mentioned earlier, I could already feel some tingling pain at the end of my tailbones. Chipang told me its 'sikit aje, besok aku bawak gelled saddle, mesti OK punya'.

Come sunday, I woke up at 6. Gobbled up 2 donuts and a plate of leftover Kuew Tiow from the night before. And managed to 'kubab' twice before going out of the house. Reached Shah Alam toll arnd 7am. And since i can still feel some deposits in my stomach, decided to 'kubab' for the 3rd time. Fuhhh..baru lega.

We all met up at Bkt Jelutong Golf Academy. It was 15 of us. Bandit stole the limelight with his gay-ish new bike, damn sexy. We pushed off around 8, it was smooth sailing for the 1st few KM. But as we entered the hway, the first long climb was the real test. I was struggling a little bit, more of it bcos I was disheartened to see all the other bikers easily passed over me with their canggih road bikes. U see, I was using a mountain bike, the main disadvantage was that mtb uses off road tyres which is 3 times wider and have more tractions compared to the slim road tyres. Furthermore, the body of mtb are built sturdier and tougher than road bike, hence it uses heavier material. In summary, I had to used 3 times more energy to a road biker.

But again, this was not the major hurdle that I had to face. It was actually the pain in my ass, no, literally pain in my ass. For a trained cyclists, they knew how to distribute their weight correctly between their legs and the ass. So even when they looked like they are sitting on the saddle, they dont really put all the weights there. Unlike me, being a newbie, I basically put most of my weight on the seat. And this had put tremendous pressure on my tailbones, hence the pain in the ass.

So after riding abt 23 KM, we reached exit Rawang. By this time, my ass was already in unbearable pain. We stopped abt 20 min. Continued the journey back, and the target was to stop at halfway point (hentian Elmina) for breakfast. For the 13 KM journey to reach there, I only sit like 20% of the time, I had to stand or sit using my sisi bontot, ala2 senget mcm perempuan dulu2.

At Elmina, we stop for abt 40 mins. So I took this oppotunity to really sit comfortably. As we started back for the final strecth, pain was just too much for me to hande. This time, I think I only sit for about5-10% of the time. And I was pedalling quite hard just to reach back ASAP. So to them yg nampak aku pulun kayuh, its not bcos I'm super fit, its more bcos I cant stand the pain and wanted to get it over with.

We reached back arnd 11. All in all, it was a satisfying ride bcos of the distance that I covered and the calories that I burnt, but I cant say the same for the 'ass pain' part. My highest gratitude to Chipang for lending all the stuffs to make this possible and sticking with me the whole time even when I was practically not moving (bila naik bukit kdg rasa mcm tak jalan je). And thanks to Bandit too for giving me all the tips to minimise the 'ass pain'. Not to forget, all the other OPs and cyclists for letting me join the 'rubberman ride'.

Lessons Learnt: I seriously need to get the paded cycling shot. If i really want to cycle, I think I need to consider purchasing custom made saddle, bcos of my ass problem.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I can see the finish line

My face was beaming with smile at approximately 9.45 am today. The President of the Housing Tribunal has made the judgement and its in favour of me. Alhamdullilah. I really think the Housing Tribunal and the Housing Act had served its purpose, which is, to protect housebuyers.

Eventhough the settlement will not be paid in lump sum, none the less , 11 mths installments is still good enough for me. At least I can better plan my budget rather than going crazy if I got it lump sum.

However, I still dont think I had achieved absolute victory yet, as long as I dont receive all the PD cheques in my hands and no money going into my account, it is as good as nothing. Still, I have to bear with the anxiety. Hopefully I can stand it for the next 11 months. Well, at least now I can see the finish line....

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I'm not strong

Few happenings last weekends made me realised how weak my mind was. I could have turned the tables on few occasions if I had stronger minds than what i perceived I had.

I was not strong when I stopped 3 times during my weekend run with Stupe. I know for a fact that I will be doing certain distance, yet I did not prepare my self well enough for it. So when this situation came, I had to rely to the mental toughness that I thought I have. How wrong was I, I was clinging to my dear life just to complete the distance. The whole time when I struggled I always blamed my self for not having enough rest and taking better food the night before. That was very negative, instead. I shd be focussing on the positives and my strenght to complete the run. I'll use this approach for the next run.

On other occasion, during an open house actually, I was also not strong to tell off a friend of mine for making an offensive remarks. It made me mad and I carried that feelings to bed. I shd have handed the situation better by using my superior mind rather than just be subject to abuse. I need to be more creative when faced with this situation.

I have to be strong, I can be strong, I'm strong.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Tunggu punya tunggu...tak dapat jugak

I wasted half of my day in the Housing Tribunal.

Arrived there arnd 7.45, eventhough the hearing was at 9. After a nice plate of Roti Arab and conversations with other hopeful claimants, talking abt how we are going to spend the money once awarded. I still end up writing to this blog, again, to express my disapointment on this whole house buying process.

The reason was simple, the defendant(developer) was not present. They, however did sent a fax to the tribunal around 10am claiming that they never received any notice to attend the hearing. They are using Raya as an excuse saying that the staffs in the offc had gone for holidays, thus nobody was present to receive the registered letter containing the notice. Memang pandai putar.

The implication though, was very significant. Why? Even without the defendant, we as the claimant can still actually get judgement from the tribunal. And the judgement can be very much in our favour. But bcos they are not present, the defendant can appeal it to the High Court saying it was not a fair judgement, thus making it a legal issue which is not covered by housing act and therefore can further prolong the claim process.

Luckily, the tribunal president advised us not to accept any judgement and just bear to attend another hearing which the latest will be on Dec. So the waiting game still continues. I'm just hoping that I'll get an earlier hearing.

Word of advice, if u are facing this kind of situation, go get the housing act booklet and read it. It will prepare u better with all this developer's tactic.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

12.65K in the bag

Before anything, let me first wish all of u Selamat Hari Raya. I hope u had a joyous Raya this year wherever u may be.

The 12.65K is not money, I wish it is. It was actually the distance that I covered by running. As I said in my previous posting, there are some targets that I have set for my self. It seems now I have achieved 2 of the targets. Alhamdullillah.

The idea of running that distance was mooted by Stupe. Well he initially said it was 10K, but he conned me. I dont mind anyway, bohong sunat. In fact, I did not take much deliberations to agree on taking this challege, as I felt pretty confident after doing the hard hours in the gym during lunch time in Ramadhan. It paid off.

So yesterday, I woke up at 5.30am all fired up to start the run. However, the preparation for the run was hampered with the stomach problems I was having. I had too much to eat on Saturday during an open house. To make matters worst, I had a plate of 'Onion loaf' plus my main course at Tony Roma's for dinner. So, I'm sure u guys know what was coming. I had to take a crap twice before we started running. So there goes all the carbs that I have been packing since Saturday. And not to forget, the after effect of doing the nature's call.

But I'd given my words to Stupe, and I'm not one to back out from it. So we started running at abt 6.30 from Bukit Aman to Income Tax offc in Jln Duta. For the first 6-7 KM it was OK. But then, we started the hilly route turning back from Jln Duta. I just wished I had lungs as big as hot air balloon. It was really difficult doing the sprints up those hills. But hats off to Stupe, he inspired me to keep on going no matter how slow I can go. But I did stop for a brief 10 seconds, so that is something I need to improve for my next run.

After those difficult hills, it took me abt 1 KM to recover. I was running very slow(sorry Stupe). But as I recovered from it, I managed to maintain 6"07' min/km for the last 3-4 KM.

All in all, it was a very satisfactory run. I have to thank Stupe for inspiring and keeping 'slow' with me thru out the whole run. I can't wait to do this again next week.

* Some stats : 12.65 km in 1:20'23'' with an average pace of 6'21'' and 1022 calories burned.