Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Official Timing

Got the official timing for 42.195K


And this is my wife's timing for 10K


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Maiden Marathon

As I'm writing this, the pain below my feet is still tingling. Good, that will make my memory fresh from the marathon that I ran yesterday. Yup, I ran the Kuala Lumpur International Marathon and I completed the full 42.195 KM in 5hrs 02mins.

I shd porbably start with my journey to reach this goal. As some of u are aware, my ultimate goal is to be an IronMan(IM), and marathon is 1/3 of the disciplines that I need to complete to become one. It would be foolish if I go to IM without even completing the full marathon distance first.

The farthest that I had run before this was 30K, and this was back in January. And since then, my training has been irregular becos of so many unavoidable reasons, but some of it because I had lazy ass. To cut story short, I had compressed my training plan into 1 mth, and that was a month before the Marathon. (not a good idea).

With the compressed training plan, I never achieved the distance I wanted to achieve in training, because I will always get cramps abt 3/4 of the distance. Eg; If i planned to run 24K, I will end up running 20K only. So, coming in to the Marathon dates, I was not as prepared as I had hoped for. This is not good for me, because my confidence always comes from knowing that I had enough preparation. But I guess now I just had to rely on my mental strength than anything else to carry me thru this.

In terms of food intake, the preparation was the same as before, a lot of carbo 2 days before, but this time, I add on a lot of potasium and sodioum from stuffs like banana and prunes, hoping to prevent the cramps.

So on the race day, woke up at 3.3o. Had breakfast and most importantly, kubab. My dearest wife sent me to Dataran Merdeka, she needs to get back to prepare for her 10K which only start at 7. As I entered the field, met up with Kam, Budin and Akmal. Then Bandit and Shazly came along.

The race was flagged-off at 5 am sharp. The only thing that was on my mind was the the tip by Stupe, 'keep your pace, don't get overly excited'. I felt very good for the 1st 10K (1:10), as it was quite cooling after the slight drizzles just before the race. I re-hydrate at every water station, and that was my plan, to keep on drinking at every stops. Succesfully maintained 7-7.30m/km.

As I passed 15K, my mind started to think abt my wife and Noah. I dont know why, but I was feeling the goosebumps. One thing for sure, I know I have to do this for them, I need to show them u can do anything if u put ur mind into it. I had a banana at the food station, and my pace had risen up to abt 6.45K/min, the sun was abt to rise.

Reaching the 2oK mark, the time was 2hr 1omins. I was going too fast, need to slow down. Went to relieved myself by the bushes and continue running. At this point, I have not stop running yet.

Moving along, tried to slow down the pace to 7mins, but I felt strains on my calves if I try to do that, so maintained 6.45 pace. As I reached 25K, I think somewhere arnd Beach club, I walked up Jln Sultan Ismail instead of running as I'm starting to feel strains on my quads. So I changed my strategy, I will only run up any hills if I dont feel the strains.

But after that, managed to run at 6.45-7min pace till 30K. Eventhough, the pain in my legs is getting stronger, I told to myself, I'm not tired, I'm just in pain. Just shut-up, tahan sikit sakit and get on with it, dont be such a sissy.

I know Mantat is somewhere arnd 30K as he was distributing the power gel. From abt 100m I could saw his towering firgure. I dont why I just felt terharu to see him there. I even refused to take a power gel from the person in front of him, I want to take it from his hands. Well this is what 30k of running is doing to u, it will get u emotional.

It was 8:15 when I reached 30k. I have 1hr 15 mins to do it sub 4:30 and 1:45 to do sub 5. Very do-able. Or so I thought...

I'm telling you guys, the marathon only starts after 30K. The last 12K felt like forever. I only ran when there were flats and downhills. Unfortunately, half of the last 12K was uphill. The part from Istana to Jln Sultan Sallehuddin was ruthless, with big hills and totally exposed to the sun and traffic.

But the worst has yet to come. I was doing the walk 50m run 200m strategy from lake gardens to the peak of Jalan Sultan Sallehudin, to my horror, there was no water at the water station. Its 5k to go and 40 mins to do it sub 5. Sounds easy right? wrong. It was the hardest 5k of my life.

As I start to run with a faster pace, both legs started to cramp, everywhere. Shit, all sort of questions came thru my mind. Will I be able to finish this? I cant even run without having any cramps. But I have to do it, for Tesa and Noah. They must know that I'm not a quitter. I'm not running against time anymore now, I'm running against myself.

At 39K, my strategy is walk 100 run 100. On top of the cramps, I'm starting to feel sharp pain at my rib cage. I was trying as hard as I could to run, but the legs just wont give in, it will just lock.

As I see the finishing line, I was trying with all my might to run, I dont want to finish a marathon walking. But I couldnt bend my legs anymore now, little bend will cause severe cramps. I was limping 100m from fininsh. To withstand the pain, I was grinding my teeth so hard that I think it would crumble into sands.

50m from finish, the public was cheering for the finishers. I tried to run really slowly. I could hear Isma and Callie (frow work) cheering for me.

But my saviour, my angle, my wife came to me 30m from the line. She screamed on top of her lungs and dragged me to complete it running. I dont care abt the pain anymore, I ran as hard as I could without bending my legs at all, to reach the goal, the ulitimate recognisiton of being a MARATHONER. And so I did....Alhamdullillah. Thank God for giving me the opportunity to realised my dream, my everloving wife, the pillar of my strength. And my family and friends, for giving the me support.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Kinabalu Climb - 10th Thoroughbred 20 years of friendship (part 6)

Day 3 - 22 May 2009 ( Summit Climb)

The guides told us that we need to reach Sayat-Sayat, the last and only checkpoint, before 0530. That gives us abt 2.5 hrs to do that, very do-able. Our game plan was to stick together as a group, at least until Sayat-Sayat, where the guides will verify and certify you to climb to the top.

If I'm not mistaken, we were the 2nd group that started the climb to the peak, as we can see few moving lights ( assume to be headlights, abt 50m ahead of us). We were all walking in a single file. To make sure everybody was close to each other, we started calling ‘nombor dari depan’. I was no 2, behind Ayun and in front of Idi.

It was pure climb all the way man, and you couldn’t see anything except the person in front of you. From time to time, when there were clearances(no trees/rocks), as I turned back, I can see the shimmering lights of KK city. And at that point , I started to realize that the view was not much different from an aero plane. Heck, we were like 3500m above sea level, that’s abt 10-11K feet.

Every 10-20 mins, Ayun will shout for nombor. Mula2 tu dgr la, 1 sampai 11, lepas tu 1 sampai 7, bila dah sampai 1-5, dah malas dah nak call for nombor lagi . Apparently, some of us needed to stop and rest. Air was getting thinner, susah nak bernafas.

To keep the spirit high, at the front of the pack, Ayun, Idi and myself tried to keep the spirit high by singing. But it was a tall order, adala 3-4 lagu je kitorg menyanyi, sampai ‘Taman Rasyidah Utama’ kitorg stop, tinggi beb lagu tu, tak sampai….angin pun dah tarak.

The real...I mean the 'real' climb came when we saw so many lights high above us, but not too far from us, basically kena dongak abt 45 degree jugak la. It was a little bit congested actually, bcos this was the part kena start panjat pakai tali, so pergerakan agak slow.

There were no more trees to protect us from the forceful wind. And for the first time, I doubted myself. All the negative thoughts started to kicked in (kalau terlepas tali, mesti jatuh bergolek2 masuk gaung) . But I stopped for a moment, rechecked, and doubled up the positive thoughts. I’m not one to be put off with this challenges. I must carry on.

At this point, I realized that only Ayun and Idi were left with me. And bcos of that, Ayun was the sole victim of the angin that came out of my ass. Gila bai, asyik terkentut2 je. Ni la bahana makan byk sgt, tapi tak berak2. Eventhough Ayun was walking in front of me, because of the wind, dia yg terpaksa menghirup dan menikmati kentut aku. Sorry bro, Mantat kata pasal ‘Nature’s Valley’ bar. Byk kacang dlm tu. Don’t blame me.

After abt 1.5 hrs, we reached Sayat-Sayat. We cheked in our name and I went to kencing. Still no sign of rasa nak 'kubab'.. good. We(Ayun&Idi) shared, the power gels and put on lip gloss here.

After abt 10 mins rest, we started again. In my opinion, this was the hardest part of the whole climb. Steep gile, kena pakai tali and totally exposed to the wind. Silap langkah mmg Jatuh gaung punya, gerenti.

But it had the most beautiful view of the sky, it was soooo clear. I just felt so close to the stars, I feel I can reach them. But on the ground, we struglled to move up. We stopped every 50 steps.

Kaki rasa berat gila and perut tiba2 buat hal. Byk org kata, tuhan akan bagi dugaan yg berbeza2 dalam perjalanan ini. To me, the god was testing whether I can hold my stool or not. FYI, when I climbed G. Tahan, I sudah melepas kat puncak, and perut sakit the whole way back (Own, my G.Tahan buddy can verify that). Now I don’t want to make the same mistake again. I said to myself if I have to berak dlm seluar, so be it. I don’t care any more. Well obviously, I did not do that. I kept my dignity intacted and passed the test with flying colors as the sakit perut hilang after 10 mins.

Few stops later , suddenly we heard a very familiar voice. Capoi!!!.

As he was the only experience climber, initially he was at the back of the group trying to support the others who he anticipates gonna have problems. But he said, he needed to make a move up bcos he would not be able to continue the climb if he arrives too late at Sayat-Sayat.

He urged us to walk faster if we were to catch the fantastic sunrise. But we told them its hard to do that, so he asked us to walk zig zag. Really zig zag man, like if u walk straight u take 5 steps, by zig zagging u’ll take 20 steps. Sounds like kena jalan lagi jauh, but it fought off the effect of gravity as compared to climbing straight. It works man, it really worked. But by then, Capoi was nowhere to be seen, mcm sherpa la dia jalan.

Now, we were not struggling as much as before. I kept on walking, and I made a target to reach a landmark abt 200m ahead where I saw few lights close to each other. It was actually the 8K mark signboard(3929m). I stopped there and waited for Ayun and Idi. They arrived few minutes later, with Itik and Own, who also started at the back as the sweepers. Unfortunately, they told us that Izzat could not join us to the summit . I feel for Izzat but at the same time I felt very happy as I can reach the summit, which was abt 750m away, with at least 4 other guys at the same time.

We stopped abt 10 mins, gobbled up the PowerBar Gels and drinks and snapped up few pics. Now, this is it man, the last climb up to the peak. We started walking again and I felt very comfortable doing the zig zag. After a while, I turned back, the others were quite a distance from me. But I couldn’t stop, I’m on a good rhtym now.

At the 90 degree turn, maybe 100-70m from the peak. I started to feel very tired again. But as the sun started to rise, I can see the imposing figure of the peak....It was a very humbling feeling.
Allahuakbar, Allah maha besar, those were the words that I uttered, subconciously . The feeling was indescribable. I just felt like I'm soooo small, terharu, sebak and happy. God is great. I don’t know what else to say.

Well I need to keep on. I'm not there yet. I kept on saying “One little step at a time, don’t stop until u reach your goal’. Abt 50m from the peak, suddenly I can hear very clearly Capoi shouting, “C’mon Jabir, sikit lagi”. Those words brought strength to me. I ramp up the pace and at points was running. 5m from peak, Capoi held out his hand to reach and hug me.

At 5:50 AM, 22 May 2009, I was the highest man standing in South East Asia (4095m). Alhamdullillah....

Ayun, Idi, Itik and Own reached the peak few mins after me, to join Capoi and myself at the top. We spent quite some time at the peak to take pics. No need for me to elaborate on the view, it was fantastic. But more importantly, we stayed up there as long as we could (sejuk gila bai angin dia) to enjoy the moment, the moment that will stay with us for the rest of our lives. The moment where we celebrate 20 years of friendship....

Farouk, Pelat and Mantat reached the summit a while later. I’m just so happy for them that they can reach the summit despite all the problems(during the climb) that they had. Bedul succefully reached the 3929m mark and Izat also achieved 3272m.


Monday, June 1, 2009

Kinabalu Climb - 10th Thoroughbred 20 years of friendship (part 5)

Day 2/3 - 21/22 May 2009 (Laban Rata)

We were given 2 bunks at Laban Rata Rest House. One can fit 8 and the other 4. Semua double deck. The only good thing arriving earlier than the second group was that we can pick the lower deck. Sorry ye kawan2. You know, kalau dah letih tu, nak panjat katil double deck pun considered a serious effort.

After taking the icy cold shower (to be fair, kadang keluar jugak air panas), we waited for dinner and the 2nd group to arrive. We wanted to greet them as they arrived, so Farouk was on standby with his cam. And as I mentioned earlier, they arrived just as the rest house was starting to open the food buffet counters.

I never had that much food since god knows when. Hentam cukup2 punya. Nasi 2 pinggan, mee sepinggan. Belum campur lauk2 and other stuffs. Literally rasa mcm nak pecah perut. Ni bukan carbo load lagi ni, ni dah kira mentekedarah. Lepas makan, most of us just hanged out at the canteen drinking the local coffe and tea, and not forgetting the PowerBar recovery powder, again, courtesy of Mantat. It tasted quite good, mcm orange Tang.

During this time, we were not so active compared to when we started in the morning. Mainly to conserve the energy, or we were actually dead tired. By 7.30PM , most of us went back to the room. Nak kena tidur awal, pkl 1.30 pagi nak kena bangun dah. Semua dok apply deep heat and put on layers of clothing, sejuk gila bai. The room heater only started working at 8PM, and that was only after they stop the water heater, kena gilir2 la... So we lights off at 8.30PM, the heater was still not working.

At this point, lying flat, I started to have difficulties breathing. Rasa mcm tak cukup oxygen je masuk. Took me like 30 mins to get my breathing rhtym back. For me, the key was to inhale really slowly as compared to sharp and intense inhalation. And I was also not feeling comfortable bcos of the bloating in the stomach. Perut tak digest2 lagi. I started to worry bcos I know I need to excrete the food before the summit climb, kalau tak mesti susah nak cari tempat kubab punya.

Tiba2 arnd 10-10.30 most of us bangun serentak, and to my horror, I saw the towering figure of Mantat wearing only his underwear, walking out of the room. Baru je nak sound dia gile ke sejuk2 pakai spender, I felt so hot and warm. Rupa-rupanya the room heater was working sooo well that it made the room felt like an oven. To make it worse, tak boleh nak control la pulak heater ni. Cikai betul. So Mantat was actually walking up to open the door to let the cold air in and balance up the temp. After that it took abt an hour for most of us to get back to sleep.

At 1 am, we were awaken by the thunderous voice of Bedul. Angin betul kitorg semua, ye la, semua kunci jam nak bangun pkl 1.30, mamat ni sudah masuk awal setengah jam. Dah la susah nak tidur, especially si Pelat, langsung tak tidur(teringat girlfriend kot). So we started the final prep for the summit climb and went down to get supper.

This was the point where we needed to wear the snow caps, the gloves, the wind breakers, the headlamp and all the other essentials for cold weather. All set and ready to go. But I was still feeling worried, ishh, tak kubab2 lagi ni, bahaya betul, cos I know I had too much for dinner, and tak keluar2 lagi ni.

At around 3 am, we huddled up outside the rest house. This time, we were in a more serious mode. Nothing much was said, just the recital of the doa. But Bedul had said one powerful statement. "Kita nak panjat puncak ni niat mesti betul. Allah jadikan gunung dan Allah jadikan manusia, jgnlah niat untuk 'tawan' gunung ni, niat untuk menikmati kebesaran Allah"

Dgn bacaan bismillah, we walked up one after another into the darkness of the nite and the bitter coldness of the mountain wind.