Monday, December 22, 2008

Malakoff Sunday

With all the postings I had made before, this posting would be the first on an actual race that I participated.

Date: 21 Dec 08
Time Start: 7:12 am
Venue: Taman Rimba Kiara
Route: Taman Rimba - KLGCC - Sime Darby Convention Center, patah balik and make another round.
Distance: 12K
Time :(unofficial 1hr 03 min)

First and foremost, I'm glad that I completed the run, and shaved 2 mins from the trial run I did a week ago. However, there are few things that I'm not satisified and I can see a lot of improvement could be done.

Woke up at 4.40 am. Straight away ate half of Powerbar energy bar (courtesy of Mantat). Manage to kubab a little bit. Went out abt 5:20. Reached TTDI arnd 5:40. While looking for parking, mcm biasa, perut buat hal lagi. So dashed off to look for the nearest Petrol station. Kali ni byk sikit keluar. Lega...

Met Azmil, with Suraya, adik dia and his children(kecik2 dah ikut daddy, besar nanti boleh jadi pelari M'sia) on the way to check in. Sampai je kat padang tu, I can see a long line (min 10) of runners queueing up to use the toilet. Nasib baik aku dah melepas. But, walking further down the field, I saw 2 mobile toilets with nobody queueing up, and tak pasal2 perut meragam lagi. Apalagi, terus la pergi melepas for the 3rd time!!!. I think I have the opposite of 'jambanophobia'. Nampak jamban je rasa nak melepas. Apa ubat dia ha???

The runners line up for the run at 6:40. Very uncomfotable dgn bau mcm2 and nyamuk yg dok tibai kaki aku. And boleh pulak rasa nak terkencing pulak masa tu. So, mcm biasa la, sprint out to take a leak.
Finally, thank god, the runners we let off at 7:12. I took the righmost lane, and was running at 60% capacity. Started tu bukak langkah on the first small hill. Just to create gaps and distance with other runners.

Had no problem on the first long hill. But, starting to fell sluggish on the second hill towards turning back point at Sime Darby Convention Center. Took a sip from the water station. And maintained a good rthym untill the hill at klgcc. I think I made a mistake by quickening my pace climbing up that hill, when I reached the peak, I felt my legs a bit heavy and I'm panting more than usual. So just strolled down the hill untill the turning back point for 2nd round.

I could not maintained the speed that I wanted to on the long hill for 2nd round. And the worst thing happened at KLGCC entrance hill. I WALKED for 30m. This is unacceptable. After walking, I was not running at the pace I did on the first round. However, to my surprise, looking at my analog watch. I have 10 mins to complete abt the last 1-2K to equal the time I made last week. So, apalagi, dgn segala kudrat yg ada, I quicken my pace and did the striding ala 400m to reach the fininsh line. And still sempat to senyum to Suraya who took my picture at the finish line.

The positives:
I know I can complete 12K
I know I can push my body for the last 1-2K.
I broke my personal best for 12K

The negatives:
Bad preparation, need to eat the right food and control my bowel urge.
Walked for 3om.
Did not maintain pace

Action for improvement:
Educate myself on better preparation (food, going to toilet, etc)
Buy heart rate monitor, pace checker watch
Train harder..definitely.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

And so the DUKE was conferred

On Saturday, 20 Dec 2008, 7.30, The 'DUKE' highway was officially conferred by myself, Bandit, Kam and dozens of other cyclist/runners.

Bandit called me on Friday dgn penuh semangat to tell me about the Saturday ride. I told him I shdnt be doing any serious activity as I wanted to ease up my body for Sunday's Malakoff run. Bu tthen he said, kita layan pelan2 je, and the total distance shd be less than 30K. Its too good to resist and so I agreed.

Saturday morning, ride down to Bandit's house to pump my tyres. Kalau pakai my pump tangan yg kecik tu berzaman la nak habis pam. Started out from Bandit's house abt 7.20, went down from Akademi TV3 simpang and managed to get thru the plastic barricade to get into the highway at Setiawangsa intersection. Bandit called Kam, and he was just abut to leave his house, so Bandit ajak layan time trial. Clocked max 43km/h. I think I can tekan some more but didn't want to overload my quads (Sunday Malakoff).

Turn back and waited Kam under the Setiawangsa overhead. Kam, future IM09 came riding with just a mountain bike and without the cycling attire (short n jersey) Dia pakai seluar and T-shit biasa je. As we started off, he told us just to carry on if he's lagging behind as he was using Mountain bike. But, that did not happened, he was with us all the time pedalling effortlessly on his MTB.

From Setiawangsa, the hway took us thru belakang polis depot, belakang ttwangsa and cut thru in the middle of setapak near the Masjid Jamek. Its a bit weird bcos u never knew all the Taman perumahans existed kat area Setapak, but one thing that was very familiar was the 'tungkik' smell from the Loji belakang TTwangsa GC.

The highway stop short at Sentul. Stop for a while to check out the incomplete part of the hway. We think it will take 1-2 months more to be completed, hopefully they can do it sooner, tak larat la nak pakai Jln Tun Razak kalau nak pegi to the other side of KL.

From that point we turned back and headed to Gombak. On the way, there was this high point on one of the bridges/ramps. Stopped to look at the view of Genting and the range of moutain belakang Melawati. Kalau photographer mesti suka gile because the view was exhilarating that it made me fell off the bike, litterally. Very funny man, I forgot that I was using cleat pedals, so when we stopped, I just fell down with my bike like a nangka busuk, lupa nak unclip the shoes.

The Gombak part stops at the simpang 3(kiri Sentul, kanan Setapak). So we turned back and made our way back. The wind was blowing very hard on our ride home. That was where I learned from Kam that he had experienced the difference between aero and normal position, it can go about 20K/h.

Parted with Kam at the Setiawangsa intersection, and still need to climb damn steep hill to get out of the hill. Nevertheless, this will be my new favourite route if I need a quickie.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Morning smile

One of my colleague today asked why I smiled without no reason. I was smiling from ear to ear bcos I was happy. I was happy bcos now my blog has attracted readers that are very critical and sharp minded. It was reflected on the comments made on the previous post.

Those kind of of comments are good. It helps me to check myself rooted to the ground and be more sensitive to what I write or tell. How ppl view issues or ideas almost always depends on which side of the wall they are in. Like Charlie always said, its a matter of perception.

Even though initially the idea of creating this blog was to logged all the UP stories that my close circle of friends always discussed(bunyi intelek giler, padahal bergosip sebenarnya), but it has evolved into a place where I logged my quest to become a triathlete( disclaimer: ada unsur2 UP disini), and also a way for me to share interesting stories about the activities, places, events that took place.

But some times, what I put into writings were completely bcos I was angry, frustrated, sad, disappointed and many other negative feeling. So it can be very one sided and biased and to a point can be a little bit hostile. But, as I mentioned in few postings before, writing to this blog is one of the outlet of my emotions, hence, I can be emotional at times.

If any of you readers think that I depicted you guys in a negative way, I'm so sorry for that. I don't like to mention names when I talk about bad things, names are not important, the lessons learnt is.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Can u really save?

Saving money might be one of the important agenda to most of us nowadays... impact of the current economic crisis. But come to think of it, this is also a good opportunity for us to start investing as prices of stocks and properties dipping further down. And sometimes, for you to invest, you need to save up for you to be able to put your hard earned money into good portfolios.

Talking about saving, I'm still trying to figure out, to what extent can you save? Would it be to a point that you 'ikat perut' and suffer on the basic needs of a human being, like eating?

A friend of mine, just bought a house for half a million. After going thru the hassle of getting loans and coming out with the down payment, he is still scratching his head(even though there's not much hair left) to figure out how to fund his renovation works as he claimed costing up to 150K.

I guess, after doing much scratching, he figured that he could save a lot by only drinking plain cold water(not mineral) for his meals. It is definitely not for health purposes. If he goes to places like Nandos for example, he would specifically ask for plain water. But if he goes to say, McDonald's, he wont even be ordering any drinks. I wonder, how much can he save by doing this.

Ni semua pasal dia nak UP la. Brader, 'ukurlah baju di badan' dulu. (mcm Karam Singh Walia la)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Noah's Aqiqah

I would like to express my gratitude to those who had attended my son's (Mior Ali Noah) Aqiqah feast. People say, the more people came, the more rezeki the person(Noah) will get. Alhmadullillah, I praised the lord for the attendance on that day eventhough there was a short heavy blitz right after Zohor's azan.

One of the intent or purpose of this ceremony is to show gratitude on the gift(baby), given by Allah to the parents. And I feel so satisfied that I had performed this ritual. Insya'allah, Noah will be bestowed with rezeki and happiness all his life.

Malakoff 12K 'dress rehearsal'

Last Sunday would probably have been one of the busiest Sunday I had for quite some time. Woke up at 5.30, wanted to do a trial run on the route for the Malakoff 12K next Sunday. Decided to do the route survey first by car. Got into KLGCC, but the road leading to Taman Rimba can only be used by authorised users. Never mind, turned back and got into the highway across National Science Center leading up to Hartamas. From Hartamas got into the Sprint Highway. All the while, I was looking around on the best way for me to run, i.e; which side of the road, when to cross over on the highways, the best visibility for the traffic to see me, etc.

After passing thru the tunnel, made the exit into TTDI. Tiba2 perut buat hal, macam biasa. So as always, did my kubab business at petrol station. Parked my car at VADS. And started the run at 6.50.

The weather was excellent, just after rain, and the temperature was quite low. The route starts off by a climb towards KLGCC. I was following a group of seasoned runners (looking at the way they dressed and run). Interestingly, I managed to maintained 10m behind them all the way untill National Science Center. Proud of myself. They took the turning to D'sara Height while I went straight towards Hartamas. That was the second long hill, almost 1K I think.

From Hartamas needed to get into the Highway. Luckily there was an abandoned ramp adjoining to the Highway. It was pure more than 1K climb to reach the toll. After that, its all downhill except for a small hill in Taman Tun.

I quicken my pace as soon as I saw VADS building. My target was to complete it before 8. Successfully completed the run at 7:55. Overall, 12K=1:05. Pretty good huh? Hopefully can repeat this feat next week or do even better.

Friday, December 12, 2008

'Istikan' tea

For those of you who like to eat Mid-Eastern food, you may came across 'istikan' in the beverage section. It is a famous black tea popular among Mid-Easterners. I was told the history of the name 'istikan' by my dear neighbour, Omar Ganim, Iraqi born Qatari while having lunch at 4.30 PM in Naeb, Ampang. Istikan originated from India, (main exporter of tea to the Mid-Eastern region) was actually picked up by locals after hearing the British saying 'east can', referring to the Indians(east) drinking the tea from small(can), hence as it goes through the tongues of locals... 'Istikan'. Sounds Arabic.

What? Lunch at 4.30? Yep, Omar told me, back in Qatar they only work from 7 until 1 PM, and they are done for the day, so lunch is always at the end of office hrs. He was buying me lunch for a small favour I did for him. The food was great, as usual, but what was more satisfying was the conversations that I had with him.

He is an Economic Analyst for the Qatari embassy. His insights on local and global economy and politics were very juicy and delicious just like the food that we had. If you want to know what we discussed, you need to bring me out for 'Istikan' la. Too sensitive and controversial to be published here.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Yap..yap..yap... mr/mrs/ms 'know all'

While driving to the office this morning, listened to an interesting discussion on Lite FM. They were discussing on the effect of phsycological condition to the physiological state of a person. One of them were saying that if we dont treat the problems that we have in our head, it can lead to actual illnesses or diseases like cancer, tumor etc. He was saying if we try to keep our tears from flowing thru the eyes, the other organs internally will do the eye's job by weeping inside, thus putting unnecessary stress to the internal organs which may eventually leads to complications.

I did not listen till the end of the discussion, but one key point that i learned is that, there must be an outlet for anger, frustation or other negative feelings. This blog is actually my outlet, so today I'm going to write on something that has been bugging me for quite some time...'Mr Know All'.

In our lives, I can be very certain that you have came across a mr/mrs/ms 'know all' (MKA).

Let me try to define it first. I think MKA is a person who will try to get into a conversation, try to dominate it, and act as though they know better than the others...when in actual fact they are just bullshitting.

This behaviour is quite common amongst small kids. For adults, its just immaturity. OK, let me give some example to illustrate this. Say in a conversation, an MKA will know every person that u mentioned, been to every places that u have been, knows every gadgets that u have and off course they know everything that I mentioned better than you.

Bila u cakap pasal mamat 'X', dia mesti kenal 'X' and kenal as though as mamat tu is his/her brother. Bila u cerita pasal a place that u recently traveled, MKA will goreng as though as they had been living there for 10 yrs, so on and so forth. I think u guys are smart enough to get what I mean.

But the truth is, they dont really know. It will just force them to UP and bullshit.

So why are they behaving like this? I believe the main reason is inferiority complex. I just tagged them, as what my wife always said -> immature underachievers.

So when they are in a group of ppl that they feel superior than them, they will try to prove their worth at any cost, most of the time by 'UP'ping or lying. And you can almost be certain that they would just yap..yap..and yap.

Well friends, I'm also guilty at times. I'm so sorry for that. But I also know when I've crossed the line. At least I'm aware of it and try not to do it. Problem is with people that doesnt know that they have this problem. How do we tackle them? What I'd normally do is I'd probe and probe some more to a point that they would admit that they don't actually know what they are saying. Man, damn satisfying....

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

'Tekan' in Taman TAR

Yesterday I had fully exercised flexibility in my training regime. Initial plan was to do intervals in the morning followed by lower body strength training. Threw off that plan as I only woke up at 6:30, not enough time to complete everything before 7.30.

Then, I changed the plan to do pure gym work during lunch instead. Threw that off as well as I went to lunch with Azry and Azmil. Wanted to know more details from Azry as his in-law's house was just 1 house away from the land slide.

Finally, I had no choice but to do some serious work in the evening. I'm not really keen on doing my runs in the evening bcos of the weather condition. It will usually be either raining or too hot. But yesterday, knowing that I was going to have 'Lamb Mandy' dinner date with Ampang-Jelatek Foodies (Maon, Lifah, Erika, Anna), I had to increase the metabolism rate so that I can really belasah the food for dinner.

My oh my, how surprised I was after completing 2 big rounds of Taman TAR in a rather fast pace. Managed to maintain the speed while even doing the uphill sections. It was helped, by a group of 'bapuk' who was busy looking at the monkeys on top of the hill. They were whistling to me, maybe bcos I was quite sexy with my tight sleeveless T and Adidas formotion short, and the body drenched with sweat. (UPPPP siot). Well for whatever reason they whistled to, it did motivated me to run faster.

My posting wouldn't be completed if I don't follow up with food stories. Yep, we did the 'Lamb Mandy' date and it was fabulous. We literally clean off the plates, we thought we wanted to help the dishwasher by doing that. We had 2 Lamb Mandys and 1 whole ayam golek. These dishes were sitting nicely on top of big plates of rice. The ayam was juicy and succulent inside and damn crispy outside. Habih tulang2 dia pun kitaorg kunyah. (Charlie: We definitely need to come here)

Next date is the initiation of Jelatek foodies to Nong n Jimmy or is it Jimmy n Nong? Who cares?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Its a time bomb

I dont think any body was really surprised with the land slide tragedy last Saturday, it was a ticking time bomb. I felt somewhat connected to the incident as I have so many friends and relatives staying very near or nearby the location. Some are even as close as few houses from the slide. I dont want to comment much on it, just hope that everybody impacted is safe and well.

For me, last weekend was not really a bomb. Ate too much train too little. I still eat even when I'm not hungry. Come on Jabir, you are stronger than that.

Did a solo ride to Bukit Ampang look out point on Saturday morning. Pretty happy as managed to do 28-35 KM/H on flats. Struggled a little bit climbing up the hill. I was actually quite nervous bcos I saw few dogs by the road side. At that point I just hoped that they dont come and chase me, cos if they do, I'll definitely turn back downhill. I wont even attemp to outsprint them up the hill.

One other thing that made me happy is that I think now, I'm quite used to using the cleat pedals. It was tested heavily as I had to stop many times at the countless trafic lights along Jalan Ampang. Overall, did 35K in 1.5 hrs.

Sunday was an intentional rest day. The problem was, I did not rest my stomach. I was practically slogging from noon til 6. Had brunch with Maon, Alifah, Erika and Anna at Alexis. I had this hearty breakfast meal which comes with coffee/tea. I opted for coffee. They said they couldnt make it as the coffe machine was out, I need to wait for a while for them to fix it. So fine, I said I'll wait. After practically cleaned off my plate, licin bro aku sental, called the waiter to check whether the coffee machine is ok or not. It was still faulty, so I asked them to get me tea instead. The waiter went back to the bar, then came back and told me I could not get my tea too as the hot water was coming from the same coffe machine and it is still broken. Was just too lazy to argue, apala benak sgt diorg ni, pegila masak air pakai periuk ke apa ke, itu pun tak boleh nak pikir ke? After Alexis layan Starbuck's and at 4.30, belasah lagi kat PHOP in Curve to celebrate Mir's B'day.

On Raya Haji morning, I planned to run. Nak test seluar Adidas Formotion baru that I bought less 50%. But it was raining, so pagi tu mcm sedap je tidur, berat gila nak bangun. So the rain was the excuse for me. (stop giving yourself excuses man). Raya, biasalah, adalah hari perayaan untuk melihat brp byk makanan yg boleh disumbatkan di dalam perut. Damn, need to train doubly hard this next few days to burn off all the food.