Monday, May 30, 2011


Had a bad week in running last week.

A day after the Kuala Kangsar run, I caught a weird flu bug that left my nose runny especially at the office ( air cond sejuk sangat kot) and me feeling fatigued for 3 days.

On Tuesday, after I got home from work, I accidentally fell asleep at 6 pm and zonked out till 8 pm. Tu pun sebab my kids woke me up saying they were hungry. Alahai. Cooked my family some dinner, then went back snoring at 9.30.

On Thursday, still feeling out of the weather, but pushing it aside thinking that it's just me making up excuses, I ran on the treadmill for half an hour. Post run, I felt good but then later that night, had to telan a few panadols because I felt a fever coming.

The day after, ran again on the treadmill and announced to hub that I was okay to go for that 12 mile LSD on Saturday.

Saturday morning came, I was up early, excited to go.This time, we decided to run at at the Tasik. We figured, to complete a 12 mile run we need to go round the normal loop 6 times. If we use another hillier route, we can complete the 12 mile run in 4 loops.

I thought 4 loops seemed better than running 6 loops. And I better stop bitching about hills and do something  about it.

So we ran. We went up inclines and hills 4 times. I got parched. I gulped down almost 3 litres of water. My quads hurt. My left toe hurt.

When Wan Won suggested to push for a 13th mile, I said," NO!"

I love running, but not that much.

After the run, mentally I felt wonderful. But I couldn't ignore the sores. My quads hurt every time I went down the stairs. Tu la, orang suruh training hills pelan-pelan, aku hantam buat sekali  4. Padan muka.

But on Sunday, I was back running 4 miles. I HAD to complete 4 days of training in a week. Sore or not, fatigued from flu or not, I picked my sorry ass up and ran. When I got home, I felt like I want to lay in bed all day and do absolutely nothing. And then, my sniffles came back.

So today, I rest. My quads don't hurt as much. My sniffles are almost gone. I feel almost normal.
I plan to rest for two days but who knows,  maybe I'll run again tomorrow. ..

It's weird. I'm weird. I know.

Oh BTW, you guys read about the Taiping Marathon they plan to have this September?

It's too early to say anything and I'm nice enough not to judge but pleeeeeeease organizers, if you're reading this, open more categories please! I for one, who swears off marathoning this year, would happily do other shorter distances. But the Open Category is ONLY for 42K.

Ke you're suggesting, kalau nak lari shorter distances, hang join la Taiping Heritage Run seminggu sebelum tu.

Ntah, pekan kecik camni pun banyak plak acara larian ek? Tetibe.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Larian Hari Keputeraan Sultan Azlan Shah Kuala Kangsar 2011 ( that's a mouthful..hins hins)

I love this race.
I love it so much, I'll tell you again.
I. Love. This. Race.

They made everything easy.
Snap, snap, snap, done.
I wish all other races would be like this.

Last year, the Kuala Kangsar Double Bridge run was a small affair. I remember there were only 10 of us girls in the Women Open Category. They only had one water station and a truck would follow us runners with men standing at the back offering, " Water? water?" and hurled bottles if we agreed to some.

This year, initially I thought it'd be the same.
Tapi bila tengok guestlist di FB, wah, kemain lagi.

Picking up the bibs was hassle free. No lines, no glitches. They got my name right.

Race day morning, mak ai, ramainya umat.
It was nice seeing familiar running faces in a small town all together racing.
Blogger pun ramai. Cap Ayam pun ada. Not to mention the usual running people you see in FB.
Meriah woo.
Pastu buat aktiviti biasa la. Mingle mingle.

Starting line: Raja Nazrin  was on time. On Time! I guess you're only  fashionably late if you're a politician. Ha.
So he gunned us off with a smile. I'm not actually sure whether it was he who horned us off because I didn't actually see who held the air horn, but I can be certain I saw his face before the air horn went off . ( what a useless piece of information) .

Ok, let me tell you one thing. I was really sure that they were going to use last year's double bridge route. I mean, this is Kuala Kangsar. Small town. How many routes can they come up with?
I even took a picture of the running route but didn't even bother to look at it. But then again, I'm useless at map reading anyway.
 Mari berjoget

Last year's route was flat like your grandmother's lempeng. But ladies and gentlemen, leave it to Pacesetters to actually find a HILLY route in small sweet Kuala Kangsar.
It's like , 'Give them hills, after that more hills. Make sure on top of those hills, got hills some more!."
Okay, I'm exaggerating. You know how I hate hills.

They made us run up the new Kuala Kangsar bridge ( can't remember the name) two times. Then after a nice stroll in the pekan, they made us run up Bukit Chandan.We had to run up and up and up and up and the drums and gamelan that they nicely arranged by the side of the road synchronized with the pounding of our feet.

We ran up and around the Istana. I was looking up at one of its windows and imagined one of the royals pointing down at us and chucking, " Look at those idiots."

I had no major aim for this race. Like I said, participation was overwhelming and I see fast female runners all around. So what I planned for, was to  maintain a 9:30 minute/mile pace throughout the race. Wan Won agreed once again to be a pacer as he was still a bit sore from the whole SASTIEC thing. I thought I could do this sebab ingat route cam lempeng kan?

Tapi bila itu hills mari, cam biasa la. Berterabur.

Pujuk hati ni. Relax. Jangan tensi tensi. Naik je.
Tapi penat wo.
Wan Won makin ke depan. Signalled me to follow.
Aku plak makin ke belakang.
Bila naik incline, mamat-mamat askar potong laju je.

When we came back into town, I seriously thought the race would be over soon. But the kakak volunteer told us there was 3 K to go.
Longest 3K of my life.
Did I mention I felt bloated. Did I mention that I felt a flu coming a day before but blocked it somehow with my trusty antihistamines.
Well, that all came back to me in the final 3 K.

Pastu nak tambah best lagi, final 1K matahari keluar dengan sangat teriknya. Adoi.
Then I saw the Finishing line.I saw Yim with his green sarong from afar snapping pictures.
My husband said, if you can smile, you can definitely step up.
I smiled but my feet felt too malas to bukak langkah.
I felt, what's the use, it's not like I'll get podium ke hape.

I crossed the finishing line.
And the officials congratulated me.
Handed me a no 5 placing card.
Ha? Really?
Korang pikir, bosan la minah ni.
Balik-balik, tak sangka.
Tapi betul la, I was really surprised. Wan Won lagi teruk, siap cakap kuat-kuat, " Aik, betul ke?"

Tapi betul la kot. Dapat la jugak aku amik hadiah dari anak raja yang putih melepak tu. Isteri dia lawa woo. Korang mesti cair tengok. It's the closest we can get to Prince William and Kate Whats-her-face..
Okay, stop rolling your eyes.
Almost closest.
 I seriously don't remember smiling that wide

 Nice, huh? I think it's pewter. Heavy as hell.

Tapi best la race ni. Bukan sebab aku dapat hadiah. It was genuinely one of the best organized races I've ever participated in.
After race food and drinks were aplenty. Goodie bag collection went smoothly and prize giving ceremony was done really fast and early. Not to mention the good company.
 Gambar senget-senget ngan Pui San mesti ada.

 With Speedy Doris. She got No 8 in her category but she was 4 minutes faster than me. 
Shows how fast the girls in Jr Veteran and Veteran categories are. Wow. 

 With Yin but no Milo Ais..heh heh.

 I went straight up to Kak Ida Izumi and told her I loved the race ( she was part of the organizing committee)

Best thing was : A finisher's shirt! Brooks!

And I have no idea how they managed to pull all that off with only RM35 running fee.
Congrats Pacesetters! You guys are the best - except for your hilly routes.

Tapi hari ni saya tak lari lagi. Saya demam dan tersumbat hidung. Saya rasa tak larat nak bekerja.
Bila rawat pesakit, saya akan berbunyi syrott syrott.
Gross kan?
(Nasib baik saya pakai mask)


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Untung 3333%

My turn. My turn.
Although a bit stale.

I had to do some running last weekend. Can't waste a weekeng doing nothing when I'm in the middle of training.
Miraculously, we found out  about a small run in Parit Buntar the same weekend of hub's race and I thought,'What the heck".
And the entry fee murah gile. RM 3 beb. Skarang beli nasik bungkus kadang-kadang 3 ringgit pun tak lepas.

So that morning, I arrived at 6.30 am because the poster said that they'll start at 7.00. Tapi tarak sapa maa..So I waited in the car and contemplated on trying to aim for one of its limited medals . I thought, it's a small race, in a little town- tak ramai orang kot. But as I was thinking this, I saw 2 cars pulled in full of runners from the Nibong Tebal Running Club. Hah, there goes any hope for a medal.

Reporting started actually at 7:10-ish. Aisey, ramai pulak dalam kategori Women's Open. Dalam 50 lebih ada kot. Ingatkan tak sampai 10 orang.  But hey, it's a 3 ringgit race kan? Sape tak nak masuk?

Lepas reporting, kena paksa buat senamrobik pulak. Biasa la, program sukan gomen. Kalau takdak senamrobik tak sah. This time, they called it senam seni. Ada stail joget la, ada buat kuda-kuda silat la. Layan je beb.

But I really thought it'll be like only for 10 minutes because by the time the senamrobik started , it was already 7:40. Rupa-rupanya, depa bantai sampai almost 30-40 minutes, and we were all roasted already.

Finally, they let off the under 12 category. And that was already 8 something. The MC happily announced that other categories will be let off after these kids come back from their run. Huh. Pukul berapa tu? 10?

Long story short, women and men's open were gunned off at 8:40 am.
Lapan empat puluh.
Panas. Terik. Silau.
Lari against the sun.

My first thought, get it over with quickly.
Serius panas.
4K ( je) feels like 12K.
Tambah budak-budak sekolah suka benar brek mengejut. Panas hati beb.

Women/Men's open kena lajak sket and make a u turn at a roundabout. I saw a few men coming back, but no women. Eh? Ke aku silap route?
At one point, the traffic was so heavy, I couldn't see anybody in front and can't look back, so I didn't know where to go, so I was like calling out to the Police guy, " Encik, mana, mana?"

When I came to Parit Buntar's famous clock tower, I knew I was almost near the finishing line.  Bukak langkah la beb sebab nak menyelamatkan diri dari terus dimasak. I swear, these transition lenses are the best investment I've ever made for running but if I get tanned, they'll leave white circles around my eyes and I feel like a gibbon.

Sampai end of a line, an indian boy called out," Cikgu, cikgu! Ambik ini nombo."
Selamat hari guru.

And I won.
Biar betik kan? - korang pikir.
Aku pun pikir cenggitu.

Dapat RM100.
Untung beb.
Lepas race dapat air mineral ngan free breakfast lagi.
Not to mention a nice, heavy coloured medal.


 very karerful.

I'm one happy gibbon.
Uk uk uk.

Monday, May 16, 2011


Cemana nak mula ekk..?

Let me just say that it's the toughest run I've ever done (yet). If I can call it a run la. Sebenarnya, rasanya part yang aku lari tak sampai 1 kilometer kot. Serius tak tipu.

Meh nak cerita dari awal. Aku sebenarnya join buat jiwa murni kat Tioman nu sempena event SASTIEC 2011 ni gak la. Pegi Tioman naik kapal navy dari Tanjung Gelang. So alang-alang join tu, masuk la skali race ni. Kalau ikut website yang tak siap tu, katanya dalam 30K la, which is about 18 miles. Cut off time dia bagi 7 jam. I thought it was very doable, and I was going to treat the event as my LSD. Really taking it easy.

So my plan (or lack of it) was therefore very simple. Just bring a bottle of plain water, with some energy (in the form of cloud9 and a roti krim jagung) in my left pocket. Poket kanan ada sunglasses and a ziploc bag containing a few plasters and my phone. Slow run along the trail and refuel along the water points. Hey, I survived longer distances using that trick, so it can't fail right?


My buddies had already recce'd the race route (they were part of the medical support team). And some of them had to stay overnights (!) at the checkpoints due to the rough terrain.They'd already warned that the route is tough. But I thought.. "It's OK kot.. It will be just like a trail run with rolling hills. Lagipun ramai weekend warriors join mende ni. Takkan la diorang nak buat susah sangat kot. It will be just like a simple trail run." Anyway, I was already there, it's really too late to do anything about it.

But I forgot a tiny detail. Askar yang pegi tebas trail tu. I should've known better. Memang takde ampun maap punya.

Kat starting point tu jumpa la Yim ngan Ray. Itu je la yang aku kenal nama pun sebab pernah sembang sebelum ni. Runner lain biasa la tengok muka tapi nama tak tau. JJ mungkin tau la kot. Plan pun sama. Just to complete the thing in one piece. Flag off je.. mula la berlari. Aku memang stick to the plan la. Rilek-rilek duluuu.. Yang lain banyak gak aku tengok take off berdesup laju depan aku. It's either they're really good, or they didn't know what's gonna happen. I guess for most of them, probably it's the latter. Aku pun lari le ngan sebotol air kat tangan, pastu standby roti ngan cloud9 tu dalam poket. Tak sampai satu kilometer pun lari, dah masuk hutan dah. And the torture began.

Masuk je trail tu terus panjat bukit. Memang singletrack punya. takde ruang sangat pun nak selisih. Merangkak la naik atas tu. And it went on and on and on and on.. The thing was, the terrain was slippery (wearing the wrong kind of shoes did not help at all), I had to grab onto something when scrambling up and sliding down. More often than not, I grabbed hold of the thorny pokok nibong and akar rotan. The next scene after that was me imitating Wile E. Coyote plucking out the inches long thorns out of my palms. Yang kecik-kecik tu are still embedded in my palms at this time of typing. Kejap lagi kot baru nak cungkil ngan pin.

Oh, and my water bottle? I had to hold it between my teeth during the intense ascending and descending maneuvers.

Hot and humid conditions made me sweat a lot. So instead of drinking every twenty minutes as per my initial plan, I gulped every 5 minutes or so. The first checkpoint was A1, which was also a water point. The marshals manning the checkpoint distributed a bottle of drinking water per person. With a very specific instruction: Ration the water and keep the bottle, the next water point was a long way to go. I guess very few followed it as a lot of bottles were discarded not very far along the route towards A2.

Walking towards A2 was more climbing, more scrambling, more thorns, more rock hopping, more tripping, more of everything other than easy. One woman asked me if  I had any plasters with me. It happened that she stubbed her toe and had some bleeding. I happily gave her two strips of plasters and went on my way. So far I felt okay-ish, but water supply was running real low. I hoped A2 will have a water point. It had one alright, except you had to refill yourself at the nearby stream. We were told during the race briefing that the water is safe to drink so I had no hesitation at all. What other choice did I have anyway?

It was at the stream where I bumped into Yim and his friend. Cramp started to set in and I had to stop a few times to sit down and let the feeling pass. Yim took the opportunity to snap photos of me and asked how I was doing. Seeing that I had only plain water, he offered a packet of ORS and his friend gave half a gel. Thank you guys very much! Yim's friend, sorry I didn't catch your name but you're my friend all the same.

During the river water drinking and the hike between A2 and A3 where I had to jam and squeeze myself through the rocky sections, scenes from the pages of Ralston's book flashed in my mind. I'd seen the movie too, so it made the visualisations really easy. I used a lot of 'chimneying' technique described in the book, as my shoes provided no traction at all. Kengkadang rasa cam Jackie Chan pun ada. Anything to distract my mind. This section was where I ate my cloud9.

A3 towards B1 was done in zombie mode. My arms and legs were a mess. Calar-balar. Palms full of holes. Most of time I was alone, with just the route markers guiding my way. Dehydration effects really made its presence felt. Kat sini makan roti separuh tapi minum kena jimat sebab air dah tinggal sikit gila. Kena berenti every 10 minutes sebab cramp. Glancing at my watch, it showed that I had barely covered 10K (6.2 miles) in almost 4 hours. Karut ni.

The strategy changed  from finishing to just to make it to B1 and see how I feel there. Jalan punya jalan, panjat punya panjat, golek punya golek.. sampai la B1. Really disappointed when it looked like B1 was just a checkpoint, and that was it. No water, no nothing. Sambung la jalan..

Less than 50 meters past B1, I felt lightheaded. Relaxed for a few minutes and during this time I reached into my right pocket for my phone in the ziploc bag. Sekali itu ziploc bag sudah masuk air peluh derr. Lingkup tepon aku. Sunglasses pon patah sebelah tangkai. Morale memang down gila masa tu. I glanced at my watch again. It had been slightly over 4 hours, and I was nowhere near halfway done. It's impossible to finish the race before the 7 hours cut off time. No point in risking my life over this. Logic said that I should let this one go.

Went back to B1 feeling lightheaded and nauseous. Told the marshals there that I'm done. Waited there for some time and soon there were about 7-8 other runners there throwing the towel too. Met a hardcore bomba guy who cracked his ankle. Seems like he used to do adventure races like this a lot. Also met a vet named Erni (I think) who sprained her left shoulder or something, and a barbed twig got caught in her hair.

From B1, we were shown the escape route towards Jeti Genting pastu naik bot bomba balik Jeti Berjaya ke start/finish area. So that was it. 6.65 miles done in 4 hours, 11 minutes and 6 seconds.

Got my arms cleaned at the medical tent there. Kaki melecet sebab pakai kasut masa race, sebelum ni dah lama gak lari barefoot. Lepas sembang dan minum air lebih kurang, went back to my room and took a bath. The soap stinged my open wounds but at least I was freshened up. Solat and then try tido. Except I couldn't.

I vomited. Went out to borrow a buddy's phone and called JJ describing my DNF situation report. She was worried because I cannot be contacted. Nak contact cemana, telepon dah lingkup. On the way back to my room. I threw up again on the grass.

I called the medical team's room requesting for a normal saline drip. An IV line was set up. And then I vomited. Again. Some minutes passed, and I vomited for the last time. Dr Zaki came over to see my condition and we talked for some time. Penat ooo muntah banyak-banyak kali ni. Nak sembang pun tak larat sangat pastu aku tido le. Akhirnya.

Esok pagi bila bangun, alhamdulillah, I felt better. Rupanya sudah 3 botol air masuk daa.. 1 normal saline, 2 lagik glucose 5%. Patut la kenyang.. Rasa pahit tekak ada lagi, tapi tadek rasa nak muntah la. Pagi tu belasah gak 1 nasik lemak bungkus. pastu lagi 1 nasik lemak boh dalam pinggan makan kat kedai sementara tunggu kapal kat jeti. Balik naik kapal APMM pegi Tanjung Gemuk.

Come to think about it, this was my third time dealing with dehydration issues. Memula kat ENR 2010, muntah. Pastu kat PBIM 2010, muntah gak. Pastu kat sini, yang paling teruk la sebab siap masuk IV drip. Tak belajar-belajar lagi.. ekeke.. Yang tak muntah waktu PBIM 2009 je, tapi tu siap ITBS pastu lutut kong dalam sebulan lebih.

Tips for weekend warriors attempting this next time:
- Don't assume. I underestimated this thing and paid the price for it.
- Start trail running. Actually, this is not your usual wide open trail through the woods. Think of it as bushwhacking but without the parangs.
- You have to do hill training. Even after you think you've done enough hills, do more hills. Hills hills hills. Without training on hills, this race will trash your quads faster than you can say "quads".
- Wear gloves.
- Long sleeves and pants if possible.
- Wear proper socks and shoes. Trail shoes. Not aqua shoes sans socks like what yours truly wore.
- Plan for hydration and nutrition. Self-sufficiency is the key here. Carry them during your training runs.

Itu la dianya..

-wan won-

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Just to share.
I went running this evening. The weather has been bad these past few weeks for running outside after work, but today somehow the sun wasn't so cruel and gave way to the clouds.
During my 3rd mile, I heard a call from some random guy at the side of the road,

" Oi, saiz macam tu pun nak jogging lagi."

Okay, I may act like a tough cookie, but underneath all the logic and practicality, deep down inside, a part of me is still that insecure teenage girl and even just for a fraction of a second, sometimes I do ponder over useless comments like that.

And I think it could either be interpreted into 3 things:

  1. I'm too skinny for running
  2. I'm too fat for running
  3. I'm too old for running  
But like I said, this was only for a millisecond. Because after that, for all that matters, I'm running.
And I feel sorry for the guy because he just doesn't get it.

no captions needed 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Swim, Bike, Run and Eat

Not particularly in that order.

Hah. Not me. Bertuah. The kids. We went on a short holiday in a resort by the beach in Penang. At first I wanted to expose them to mandi laut. But the beach wasn't the way I pictured in my mind. The water was murky and the waves were crazy. So we went to plan B.

 Yup, clothes and all. No worries, everybody there jumped in the pool like this. 

Again, not me. Just saw the guys from the Interstate Ride passing by my kampung before we went for our Penang trip. I even rolled down my car window and went , " Yay, Interstate!" to one of the solo riders, who looked at me like I'm a loony bin.
Yay, Interstate. ( Takat yay je la, nak join kirim salam.)

Me. Me. Usual story about running. Bla bla bla. 
Building up my mileage for SCKLM. Trying to reach a certain goal. Am really worried that my training won't be enough. Last Saturday baru buat 8 miles. Ni dah masuk May. Sempat ke ni? Hoih.

Haa.. yang ni paling best. Bes ooo makan.
We googled some recommended places to eat in Penang. Yo yo je. There was this website about great eating places in Penang. Kami pun bulat-bulat la percaya.
For dinner we went to this mee place. Website gave them 9/10 in flavor. Their specialty  was mee kuah ayam. So we ordered that along with mee goreng ayam and mee goreng extra pedas.
But it's either orang buat website tu tak reti rasa makanan, or they were out of cili boh, or they changed their cook. 
Tak. Sedap.Pun.
Malas la nak boh nama kedai apa sebab pakcik and makcik jaga kedai tu sangat baik.
Eleh, tak sedap pun abis jugak. Choih.

Tak puas hati punya pasal, we went to another place this website recommended. Konon best nasi lemak ayam in Penang, sanggup kami dinner 2 kali.
This one was a bit better. Tapi not the best in Penang definitely.  

Pembuat website tu kan, baik tutup je fooodie's blog dia tu. Tekak tak best langsung.

Pastu kan, we thought about having dinner the 3rd time later that night at Nasi Kandar Beratoq. But kesian the kids la, I heard that you have to put up with a long queue (hence the name) before you get your nasi kandar. Plus it opens a bit too late.
Next time, Gadget. Next time. 

The next day, we went out early to get our nasi kandar breakfast at Kampung Melayu. We felt a bit guilty watching Penang  runners doing their LSD loop near our resort. Rasa cam nak lari je.

 Sebab ni lagi best. Heh heh.

Ok, itu sudah crita basi. Today is already Thursday.
Back to square one.