Tuesday, May 31, 2011


So I've been a little busy of late.

Ran the Sundown Marathon 2011 last Saturday night and came back in 5:52 (although I checked the official website earlier today and my chip time turned out to be 5:49:55 which means I took 3 minutes to cross the starting line....not too bad!) and survived a traumatic, sleep-depriving run.

Absolutely fatigued on Sunday....so much so that I overslept and missed my flight back.
In the end I had to contribute to the financial growth of Air Asia by purchasing a last minute flight ticket back to KL, on a later flight.
It would have been hilarious except that my bank account doesn't quite see the funny side of it.

Headed back to Ipoh on Monday to clear my stuff at my Ipoh house and realized that besides being manic-depressive on some days...I also have a serious problem of hoarding.
Yup...I've a huge ton of clutter that took 2 hours to clear....and that was only my room!
And to think I've got rid of another huge chunk of clutter a year ago when I moved into my current room in Ipoh!!!
I really have to consider downsizing my "stuff" and learn to either not buy/accumulate junk or learn to throw them out when clutter size grew too large for comfort.
(honestly, I suck at either option...sigh)

Today I finally got to sleep in and do absolutely NOTHING (which was such a treat).

Also, I've been reading this absolutely AWESOME book entitled "The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted" (yea yea yea, feel free to roll those eyes of yours), and despite my insistence of a high protein diet for MYSELF, I do agree with a lot of things being stated in this book. And I really like it that they are quoting studies and researches to back up their claim......
Yes....go read it.
The vegetarians will rejoice.
The meat eaters will sulk.
The dairy lovers will get depress.
But remember.....the results are statistically significant!!

Oh....tomorrow I'll start my masters program at UMMC (in case you're wondering, it stands for University Malaya Medical Center) and it'll be orientation day.
The day has finally arrived.

Anyway I'll post about the Sundown Marathon soon enough.....
It wasn't that exciting that it should demand an instant blog post.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

After 3 and a 1/2 years......

I'm finally leaving.......
In fact, tomorrow is my last day at work!

Yup.....if you've been following this blog with the eagerness of my late dog trying to chase the postman, you'd know that I applied and got in for the Masters program for Sports Medicine and will be due to start work/studies/prison-sentence-for-the-next-4-years promptly on the 1st of June.


I am SO gonna miss the nuthouse.

I can't believe I've been "institutionalized" here since January 2008.

It is amazing that I'm not "mortified" yet!!!!
(please not to be confused with the mortification of the flesh as common explained in the Catholic teachings but instead to the term of mortification as described by Goffman regarding individuals locked away for an extended period of time in any form of institution. Better yet, click HERE as I've done the hard work and Wiki-ed it for you!!)

Spent a year and a half in general psychiatry (after completion of my internship) when I was really green and still keen to pursue a career in psychiatry.
I wasn't "qualified" in terms of years in service to apply for the psych masters program after my first year. And honestly, that was the best thing that ever happened.

After that, I was transfered to Forensic Psychiatry for a good 2 and a half years!
(up until now)

I've seen my fair share of junkies, murderers, drug pushers, thieves, robbers, molesters, machete welding psychos, psychopathic personalities, dumb-arse idiots (who are trying their luck with the judicial system by claiming psychosis) and loads of mentally challenged.
Some were great actors, others suck at it and didn't get a call-back for another audition, some where just plain dumb, some were still high on whatever substance that was coursing through their veins and some where just really off the edge.

Some came back to us for "safe keeping and continuing of psychiatric care" and others were treating our prisons as if they were backpacker's hostels.
(folks....if you were ever wondering where some of that tax money was heading to.......be glad to know that you're feeding, clothing, treating and housing a lot of mentally ill people at the 4 mental institution in this country......and many repeating offenders of whatever charge in the prison system. Yeah....what a way to feel good about your hard earn money being well spent)

And I would be missing THIS?!

Well...yes....and no.

Human beings form attachment and I am no different.
I realized I've become very attached to my patients, my staff, my colleagues and my boss.
Oh...I'm also pretty attached to my messy cubicle, my extra hazard day-offs, my infrequent on-calls and my lunch time naps.

For the past few years, this has been my life (or rather, it has been my life from every Monday to Friday ONLY.....the weekends are reserved for my addiction issue with running).

I've cared for the inpatients, from the moment they entered the "forensic-psychiatry-system" (it's complicated) until the day they are discharge by certain sections in our judicial system and head back to society....(or remain as voluntary patients with us, which may surprise you, many chose THIS option. It is my firm belief that once institutionalized for over a certain number of years, the outside world will seem very foreign and hostile)

In a weird way....my patients have been my 'babies'.

I was their mom, their sister, their friend, their enemy, their social worker, their kindergarten teacher, their punching bag, their scapegoat, their mediator.
Oh and of course I was the treating doctor....but most days that took a back seat.

I've seen them become better people, worse people, more psychotic, less psychotic, more self aware, more delusional, pudgier, thinner, happier, sadder.

I've seen them waste away, died on me, hung in front of me, seen them through the verge of death and back, seen them on the post-mortem table.

I've encouraged them, scolded them, reprimanded them, counseled them, swat their head with the back of my hand when their annoyance was unbearable.

I've laughed at them, laughed with them, be happy for them, be happy with them, celebrated birthdays with them and for them.

I've cried with them, cried for them, mourned for them.

I've met and spoken to their families...their parents, their siblings, their spouses, their children.
I've seen their family members during good times and bad.
I've seen them at their most ill and shared the news of their family members' deaths.
I've was with them through their arguments, their divorces, their reconciliations, their happy endings and their sad losses.

They become your family. Their family sorta becomes your extended family.
In a way....how can I say I'd never miss all these?

I am also gonna miss my staffs (they are the BEST!!!!), my colleagues, my boss!

People make fun of psychiatry and the people who work in betterment for those inflicted with mental illness.
But people on the inside knows that their job is different from others in the medical line.
We know our patients a little bit more than others.
We know their family a little bit more than others.
We know their life histories.....the skeletons in their closets.....the family secrets....
Our patients are very attached to us...(and some a bit too close for comfort, and some you just wish you'd never meet again!!!)

But I can safely say one thing...I'm NOT gonna miss the neurotic patients.....the attention seeking patients.....the drug addiction patients.....the borderline patients.....the antisocial patients.....(in fact any of the Axis II, I really don't miss!)

I'm not gonna miss the paranoia floating around the hospital.....my Monday outpatient clinics....patients that insist on ONLY seeing a Chinese doctor......patients who think they know better than you and when they do not listen to you and something goes wrong, promptly points the finger at you......family members who think they know about antipsychotics better than you.....family members who refuse to support the patients, who abandon them with us like we're a charity nursing home, family members who do not believe in mental illness and argues with you about the supernatural-whatever inflicting the patients.....which by the way if that is the case, then why the hell do you bring them to us?!

I'm not gonna miss the court hearing datelines to draft our the medical reports, dealing with the police, with the court, with the law.....and of course, the pesky lawyers.

After 3 and a half years......

Sigh....now I'm being "released" to head back into the "outside" world.
The world that views my "world" differently...oddly.
The world that a lot of my patients find hostile and uninviting.
Double sigh.

Guess I'll just have to run more to keep myself sane.


Monday, May 23, 2011

That little voice inside your head

Since returning from the race yesterday.....or rather after my very long afternoon nap to clear off my sleep debt that I had incurred on Saturday night (and for waking up super early on Sunday morning), I've been on a steady "diet" of anti-histamines, paracetamol, high dose vitamin C, Strepstils (I only like the Orange Flavour, mind you) and lots (SHIT LOADS) of H2O.

In fact at one point I thought I was trying to drown myself through drinking water.
(obviously that isn't possible.....but you may kill yourself indirectly through hyponatraemia....but then we'd need a whole other post about "indirect" ways of suicide which isn't really the whole point of this blog....I suggest Googling somewhere else)

I woke up this morning and my throat felt like sandpaper.
My nose was blocked.
My ears were blocked.
My calves hurt.
I just wanna hide under my blanket and ignore that the entire world outside my bedroom exist.

Obviously I can't.
(yeah...big surprise there, rite?)

It's my last week at the nuthouse and I have SHIT LOADS of things to follow up on.

I have yet to hand in all my claim forms....(hooray for procrastination)
I have to clear off all the reports for the forensic psych cases that were left behind by the previous group of masters students....
I have yet to complete my ward rounds.....(writing down the care plan of "continue same" just seemed so tedious at that time)
I have yet to pack up my cubicle.....(yup, still looked like the Japanese tsunami paid it a visit)
I have yet to pack my room.....(mom, dad....can I blame you guys for the procrastination trait?!)

And....I have my Monday clinics filled to the brim with neuroses.....(someone PLEASE sedate me!)
Also, I haven't handed in the forms I needed to hand in.....fill up the forms that needed to be filled.....y'know, and some other shit like that.


It doesn't help when your brain starts questioning you on what the heck you're doing.

Can't it see that I'm having a really bad day?!
Doesn't it know that I can't multitask when I'm sick?!
Does it not care that I would actually like a lie down and a cup of camomile tea instead of completing my to-do list?!

Bloody insensitive bundle of neurons!

And to make matters worse......bloody thing is poking fun at me for failing to achieve my 100km weekly mileage last week.

Brain: Ha ha...loser!!!
Me: Shuddup!!!!
Brain: Can't even run another 2km to reach 100....LOSER!!!!
Me: Seriously SHUDDUP!!!!
Brain: *sticks tongue out* IN YOUR FACE!
Me: ........where is that Xanax when you need it.....

Oh....did I mention I really did not want to run today?
I was really REALLY keen for a lie-down in bed, perhaps pass out, hopefully only gaining consciousness tomorrow morning at 7am.

But if your brain makes fun of you the way mine does......running 10km when you know damn well you're suppose to...y'know....erm, whats that word...oh yes, REST.....is a MUST!

And I'll have you know that the brain did shut up somewhere between 6 to 7km in.
That or it was the hypoglycaemia taking effect.
(was too busy at work to have my post-lunch tea......)

....and I really have to stop procrastinating.
(blogging about it probably is my attempt at procrastinating at clearing up my room)

Oooh...I forgot to mention that I've just tweaked my "diet" slightly today.
Yup..I've added on antibiotics to the mix.
Yea yea yea.....I know it's probably viral and the antibiotics are useless......but on the bright side, at least I'd have clear skin one week from now!!!!!


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Larian Keputeraan Sultan Azlan Shah @ Kuala Kangsar - 22nd May 2011

Weekly mileage thus far (including the 14km ran for this race): 98km.
Dang dang dang....

Oh well...will try harder next week.
(and I'll explain why the lack of 2km)

So yesterday I was on passive call (last on-call at the nuthouse!! Whoopee!!!), and since was feeling a tad under the weather, decided to sleep in most of yesterday.
Which turned out to be a HUGE mistake....coz I was sleepless AND listless the entire night.

Woke up at 5am feeling incredibly lethargic and like absolute crap.
My nose was blocked....my ears were blocked (thanks to persistent blowing of nose)....my throat felt like sandpaper.....and the first thought of the day was DNS!!!!

But after showering, popping anti-histamines, some paracetamols and 1g of vit C, I was on my way to Kuala Kangsar.
I really needed the mileage.
Besides....I don't like DNS-ing a race I've committed myself to showing up at.

The drive via the highway only took 30 minutes in my semi groggy state.

Despite reaching just with 30 minutes to spare, managed to find parking.....find Yin Yin.....and find familiar faces to take pictures with.

* How incredulous was this!? 2 porta-potties catering for 2000 odd runners.
I refuse to imagine the conditions of the potties.....

* Alexis did mention that it felt like running at Bukit Aman on a weekend. I couldn't agree more. Plenty of familiar faces.

* Thank you SO SO much to Yin Yin Boey for collecting my race bib.

* Alexis volunteering for Pacesetters.....she's the official "sweeper" on foot. At least she gets to log mileage and boss other runners around!!!

* Compared to last year (please refer to the Double Bridge Run 2010), this year had a fantastic turn out.

* Last year....it was really small and quiet affair. And mostly school kids!!

The race started at 7.10am.
Was pacing nobody in particular.
Just wanted to run around in my VFF "Lizards" and snap as many pictures as possible.
It is my firm belief that if you cannot run fast....at least have loads of good pictures to show for later!!!!

Mostly ran past and got passed by Weng who's running philosophy mirrored mine....refer to the taking loads of photo bit.
Mind you, he's a really FAST runner who prefers to run slow and take pictures.....plus have fun!!!!
I really feel that sometimes we, as runners forget, in the midst of gunning of a better timing, that running itself is mostly about FUN!

We ran past the bridge (I can't remember the name for the life of me) and it was a misty morning.
The view was absolutely stunning.....the weather very cool, despite being a bit on the humid side.

* Don't you agree that you'd need to time to stop and appreciate the view? Thankfully for me, I snap a picture of it and can be appreciated whenever the time suits me!

The first water station was after about 2-3km.
It only served pure H2O.
But the volunteers were absolutely lovely.
I adore small town races because of the friendly and unassuming people!

* Making the first U-turn back on the bridge.

* Alexis running about making sure things don't go wonky. Hard to miss in that traffic stopping coloured vest of hers.

After the first U-turn, the route took us into the heart of town.

* More Ipoh KRI runners. I really have to dig up my old KRI vest.

From town, we head towards the palace, the famous mosque and the famous museum.
All absolute must-sees in the town of Kuala Kangsar.

* Again....the view, absolutely lovely!

* Running up past palace grounds.

At around 7-8km, I finally get my Gatorade. They were nice enough to let me take the entire can. Gulping down that ice cold Gatorade made me forget momentarily that my Morton's toe was hurting in my VFFs.....and that my nose was having a better time running the race than me.

* The museum...

Kept on running.
I"m used to the feeling of ground against my forefoot...but the Morton's toe issue was not settled.
But then again I usually run, like...7-10km in my VFF these days.....so rarely the 2nd toe ever gave issues.
Thankfully (although a bit gross, in hindsight), both 2nd toe nails had dropped off due to black toe nails.....and thus I do not expect any toe nail to be dropping off anytime soon!!!

At around 9-10km.....saw someone running in VFF and skirt in front!
I knew that skirt looked familiar....

Anyway....ran with EeWey until the end.

* Ain't it cool to have traditional street performers?!

* Almost there!!!!!

By the time I bump into EeWey...the sun was already at its full glory and shine.
In other words, HOT!

And I really want this race to finish ASAP!!!
I really really need to go pee!!!
(didn't you see the line in front of the 2 ONLY porta-potties earlier?! How to pee?!)

And I'm getting hungry.
And my Morton's toe is really annoying me!!!

* Finish line!!!!

* Finished just one step ahead of EeWey.....for 10th position in Women's Open!

* With 6th position A-Bou.....

* The United Colours of VFF....

But because getting on Podium was only for the 1st to 5th.....I just collected my prize (a voucher worth RM100) and then took more pictures...and left.

Anyway......after my really long afternoon nap post race...I got up feeling worse than before.
So there goes my evening run to tip my weekly mileage into 3 digits.

I hate being sick.

I hate being sick even more when I'm suppose to be training hard for the ultra.

Anyway.....Thursday's my last day at the nuthouse...*tears welling up*
Will save my sob story for next week.
For now...where's my meds?!


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Sick and tired....

Exactly how I'd describe my current state at this very moment.

I'm stuck in Ipoh......on my very last (yippee!!!) passive on-call.
Missing out on the back to back long runs...(and you all know how much I LOVE my long runs)
The group back home did 40km today....and a planned 60km tomorrow.
Dammit I'm stuck here!!!!

Last week manage to edge into the 90km range for my weekly mileage.
And this week, I was seriously hoping to break the 100km barrier.

Currently I'm at 84km and counting.
I have the Kuala Kangsar 14km run tomorrow and that brings me 2km short of triple digit.

Which means I'm doing a double run on Sunday......to cross over to the new "frontier".

Anyway......I don't quite remember training so hard for Sundown Ultra last year.
In fact I was hardly training........
Coz seriously, you cannot count 2 full marathons 5 months prior to the ultra marathon with longest long run capping off at 30km as TRAINING for ULTRA.
Ok so maybe it can....(because that was exactly what I did)
I mean I did cross the finish line before the time limit.
But I guess what I am trying to say right now it that....it was not proper ultra marathon training.

And what a change the past one year has been!!!!!

Suddenly I'm training for this year's ultra with such gusto that I'd probably scare the living daylights out of myself...if only I'd met last year's ME.

Never in my wildest dreams that I'd consider running a marathon distance as a casual long run.

Anyway....while the brain is telling the body to get a move on in training.....the body is somewhat retaliating in its usual way.....getting an upper respiratory tract infection.
Bloody sore throat and running nose.
Been pumping the system with high dose vitamin C and good ol' H2O.

But all that has done was prolonged the onset of a full blown infection.
I guess all those workouts and lack of sleep did that to the body.

On the good side, the legs has been holding up pretty well with the increased mileage.
No aches nor pains.
Been running in my Brooks Ghost 3 for the really long runs....and my VFF "lizards"/KSO (depending on which isn't wet from previous day's washings) for the shorter runs (less than 15km these days are considered short).
I was half expecting my knees to act up.....or my arches to start hurting....or my back to give way.
But none of the usual suspects showed up.
(Mo-maniac was SO right about barefooting makes for faster recovery)

It is amazing how fast the body can adapt to the kinda mileage that Terence suggest would be necessary to complete the 100km within 16 hours.
Now if only my immune system would follow suit.

Speaking of the cut off time of 16 hours, recently it was announced via the Sundown official website that they have changed...or rather, prolonged, the time limit from 16 hours to 18 hours.
No shit.....

And suddenly there was an outburst of disgruntled runners posting their dissatisfaction on Facebook, condemning the organizers of not upholding the past time limit and thus claiming the "prestige" of the race is now flushed down the Singaporean super-hygienic toilet bowl.

Seriously.....I don't know what the big deal is.
If they increased the time limit to 18 hours, so be it.
If you craved prestige.....then run it fast enough to cross the finish line less than 16 hours yourself.
Or better yet.....join another race.

I, for one, am thankful that they increased the time limit.
Not that I can slack on training......but to know that many more of my fellow runners have a shot at finishing this race.
I care more about that.....than about prestige.
I care more about my friends crossing the finish line, despite after 16 hours, and still qualify.
I care more about my fellow runners whose time they sacrificed for training would not be wasted if somehow on race day, things don't go their way and they finish the race slower than anticipated.
I care more about the fact that Uncle Gary (back from his non-running hiatus) will have a glimmer of a chance of completion!!!
(Yup...the same Uncle Gary that brought me back from the "abyss" on my very first full marathon 3 years ago. It is really sad that he had to go through his own personal abyss, thus the hiatus from the running scene and to see him struggle as he tries to gain his old running-self back)

Oh c'mon. Give me a freakin break!

Since when did running become all about getting on the high horse?!

Anyway....that's my point of view.
And since this is MY blog....I can point out whatever I want.

Now where's that pre-bed time paracetamol?!


Wednesday, May 18, 2011


So.....after last Saturday's 46km.....I was not really sure if Sunday's 30km was possible.
I was tired, exhausted and honestly, extremely sleep deprived.
(I so understand how Winnie Wong feels on a DAILY basis....)

But after a long afternoon nap on Saturday and a good carbo-loading dinner with the semi-retired-from-running Subang Lake Runners (complicated story.....), I was rather surprised that the legs were ready for more action!
They actually felt fresh.....or at least fresher than how I looked that morning.
I didn't need to drag my feet like I'd usually do running LSD post-LSD the day before.

So yup...30km down for Sunday.

Including the 17km (pathetic...I know!) I ran over the working week, I've managed to clocked in 93km of weekly mileage in the past 7 days!!!!
Big pat on the back.
I've finally skimmed the 90km mark.
And to think several months back this seemed so far fetch and out of reach.

And suddenly, within the group.....everyone was talking about their weekly mileage!
Without meaning to be.....it had suddenly turned into a competition......or at least it is for me.
(I know.... competitiveness will be the demise of me one day, I swear!!)

Andrew, in his coughing and expectorating glory, managed an amazing 113km last week.
I SO wanna make it to the 100km mark.
(even more so when I found out that Andrew planned to up the notch to 120km THIS week)

So Monday......I really wanted to at least go for a "recovery" run.
But I got up late and it was already bright and sunny (ie HOT) outside and I wasn't keen to get any shade of tan darker.
I figured I'd try an evening run.
But then it rained.....and I totally became lazy.
Oh well...you know how the story ended on Monday, rite?

Tuesday was a public holiday...(one of the very few reasons why I LOVE this country)
So I decided to start ramping up mileage early in the week.
Managed to convince quite a few nut cases to join me for another LSD at 4am.
(Andrew, Winnie, Chooi Wan, David, Chin Ann, Agnes......I'll prepare the antipsychotic injections for you)

Managed to clock 41.5km.
Winnie managed a 42km.
I think Bryan beat us all with a 43km.

So this evening.......I was determine to even out the tally by going for another run despite being shit tired and on the verge of falling sick...(but of course I could utilize a MC or two before entering my Masters program)
I arranged to meet Alexis at Bukit Aman carpark for an evening run.
I was really hoping to at least log 15km.

However, last minute Alexis was unable to move her vertically-unchallenged being from the office and I was stuck running alone.
(thank goodness for KK, Vijay and Azam for the company)

Managed to run 12km in the end.
The boys were heading home, it was raining, I was drenched and I didn't want to be stuck in a jam heading home.

I'm gonna pray really really REALLY hard for good weather tomorrow in Ipoh, so that I can start my run RIGHT away after work and hopefully log 15km.
Repeat on Friday.
Repeat on Saturday.
Then a 14km race at Kuala Kangsar on Sunday.
Perhaps repeat on Sunday evening.

Whatever it is....I am NOT going to be the person with the LOWEST weekly mileage this week.

I should really just jab myself with some antipsychotic as well. Sigh.....


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Battered....and heading back for more!

No...no physical abuse or torments here.
Don't you know this is a RUNNING blog?!?!

My weekly mileage until Friday was a measly 17km.
I took Monday off as my legs were recovering from the previous Towerthon and the last Sunday's 18km run in the heat and the hills.
Tuesday the aching has resolved.....so a 7km at a faster pace....(woohoo, I made it sub-43 minutes, my bench mark for a speedy run)
Wednesday was on-call....technically my last active call in the nuthouse before the transfer back, and thankfully the last active call had been good to me and my sleep-deprived soul.

Post-call on Thursday managed a 10km run.
Friday as always is the traveling day back to haze-imposed KL.
Sigh. Where is my rain?!?!?!

So over last Thursday and Friday, I've been planning on running long....over the weekend.
Not just LSD-long-as-in-30km......but a minimum of 40km-hopefully 50-although-ideally-60 sorta long.
Thankfully sleep-deprived idiots such as myself are aplenty in the Klang Valley.
Soon I was able to gather a group of people who were willing to aim for that distance.
Initially....we planned to start running at 4am.
Then someone suggested that we'd attempt hardcore and head off at 3.30am.

Which in hindsight made the whole sleep-deprived issue a little more "issued" since that would mean waking up at 2.30am for pre-run prep!!!!!
And to think I usually head to bed at 10pm.....probably only lulling myself into slumber somewhere near 11pm.
Three and a half hours later and I'm up to run a marathon and beyond distance.
Sometimes doctors have such brilliant ideas!!!

Telling myself to head to bed at 9pm was doable.
Telling my brain to shut down and knock off dead until 2.30am was a little more difficult.

And when the alarm went off at 2.30am.....I felt like I barely rested.
Suddenly my body was on "on-call" mode again. Sigh.

Prep and got ready to go by 3.15am.
I swear I should have prepare the hydration bag and packed the night before. But as always, I'm a little too optimistic with time and therefore was rushing.....again......as always.....
I never learn.

It was good to know....that however idiotic I thought the group (Uncle Vincent, Winnie, Alexis and Andrew) was to be there at that time of day (or rather night still), it was good and very assuring to know that Mr Mileage Masochist himself.....Jeff Ooi....had already graced the BA carpark with his presence.
Apparently he started at 2.30am if rumours were to be believed.
A very good candidate for where I am still working at!!!!

So we looped the bird park loop (and throw in the planetarium hill once)......and by the time we were ready to leave for Solaris....we had about 12km recorded on the Garmin.
(I barely remembered what running life was without the Garmin)

Headed to Solaris for refuel.....and I needed another 1.5L of isotonic to be poured into my hydration bladder. Damn I really sweat!!!!
Legs over all very heavy and fatigued.

Headed back towards Double Hill (trying to avoid Hartamas due to traffic issues) and continued until Tugu Negara.
Refueled at the stalls meant for tourists....and back tracked through Double Hill again for mileage sake.
My legs begging to walk instead of run, those hills.

By the time we were back tracking, the sun was already up and it was getting warmer.

The hydration bag that I was carrying was the exact same one that I carried for TNF100 and River Jungle (first edition) last year.
And since then it was in the state of semi retirement.

I filled it each time with 1-1.5L of isotonic into the bladder.
Each liter is more or less a kilogram. Who wants extra weight while you're running long? (no....I know there are....but I don't want to know at this point in time!!!!)
And honestly...I can't remember running with it being THAT noisy!!!!
All that sloshing and splashing in the bag was really started to get annoying.

And for some reason, my legs (and body) didn't seem to want to cooperate today.
No matter what the brain said...the legs just seemed to be having union strike!!!

Alexis was on a roll!!!!
I felt that we exchanged places from last week's LSD.....

Andrew.....was coughing and expectorating the entire way.
A chest x-ray was advised.....so let's see if he'd heed this doctor's professional advice.

Winnie disappeared somewhere in the back. She had been up since......Friday morning.
Sleep-deprivation was becoming her middle name.

Uncle Vincent was trying to scare us with the possibility of DNF at Sundown100.
*yea yea yea*
Like what else was new?

By the time we got back to BA carpark.....it was 38.7km.
I was tired....hungry.....chaffed.....and ready to go home.
But Uncle Vincent and Andrew were apparently rather determined to keep going.
Looped lake garden and up till Carcosa and back down...then through the planetarium...for a 6.5km.
Somewhere between 39 and 40....the Garmin decided to call it quits. Dead battery.

We were suppose to run (or rather walk, considering our situation at that point) another 2 more loops of the bird park.

But we gave up after completing 46km.
Time to head home.
Legs battered.....Injinjis gave me blisters (oh the irony).....the pounding of the hydration bag against my shoulder amazingly improved my neck and shoulder stiffness.....and I need sleep STAT!!!!

Will try and load up today with more carbo and head back to battle tomorrow.
Alexis and I are hoping for a 30km (minimum 20 would be great though....)


Still sleep deprived.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Who turned the thermostat up!?

Omigosh.....I don't know about you, but I'm on the verge of melting from the extreme heat wave that we've been experiencing lately in this part of the world.
*wipes sweat off keyboard*

Any warmer, I'd need to migrate to the North Pole....or at least go AWOL inside an air-conditioned room, turned up full blast, until the weather outside becomes less psychotic!!!!


I hate the heat.
Even worse....I hate the heat when my room in Ipoh does not have air conditioning.

I hate the heat even more now that I'm sleep deprived because I sweat profusely in bed until my alarm goes off signaling me to get my sleep-debt arse off and get to work.

I hate the heat SO SO MUCH because it was getting so uncomfortable sleeping in a sweat-drenched bed that I had to sleep on the floor and thus waking up with aching back!!!!

Also...running in the heat is no fun.

For one, I kinda like the shade of tan I'm at at the moment.....and since I don't like wearing sun screen (who says doctors are all smart?!), I don't plan on becoming a vintage leather handbag anytime soon....thus evening runs are kinda OUT!

Also....running in the heat makes me exhausted and suddenly my mind is flooded with all sorts of "let's-not-run-and-go-get-a-frappucino" thoughts which can be very annoying considering these days I'm watching my weight.

Besides that....heat in general just makes me wanna snooze.

Dear God...please...please grant us RAIN!!!!!!!!


Sunday, May 8, 2011

KL Night Towerthon - 7th May 2011

You know....I have, in my pathetically short running-"life", had many bad ideas in terms of races and training.

For example....signing and showing up at the starting line at TNF100 without having done any trail training....was a bad idea.

Heading for the Mount Kota Kinabalu Climbathon without any hill climbing training.....was another bad idea.

But considering this post is NOT about all bad ideas I've had, we'll just capped it off at the above two of bad-idea-previous-past!

But.....of ALL the bad ideas I've EVER had.....deciding to do the KL Towerthon definitely tops all previous bad ideas!
It ranks pretty high in my list of regretted-races......and I usually don't regret much!!!!!
(frankly, my mental capacity for regret is pretty low....)

Last week while at BIM, Maybel told me that the whole "uncle" gang was gonna be attempting the towerthon. I was told it would be an interesting experience.
Run Saturday morning......Towerthon it Saturday night.....run Sunday morning.
(note how easily tempted I am.....mention race....and more mileage...and I'm hooked!)

I liked the initial plan.

So I spoke to Dannie about trying to get me a last minute bib (coz the rational part of me....y'know...the part that dispense GOOD ideas told me NOT to sign up previously!) and amazingly secured the bib and timing chip under my name earlier this week.

It is amazing the sort of connection Dannie has......(in above pic with Carrie)

Since my registration was a tad late, I didn't have my name printed on my bib...
But I'm fine with that.

* Found out CS was going as well, and since I need to head there early to get my bib from Dannie, I am thankful that CS came and picked me up!!! Thanks buddy!!!
Now can I entice you with running more FULL marathons? I swear it is as INTENSE as climbing the stupid tower!!!!

The race was scheduled to start at 8pm. And they will flag off about 300 runners each time as to not clog the narrow stairway up to the top of the tower.
Also not to clog the elevator coming down.

Each flag off was suppose to be 15 minutes in between.
But of course, us being Malaysians......the 15 minute interval didn't quite work eventually.
The crowd at the top of the tower overwhelmed the getting-down system and thus forcing the organizing team to prolong the subsequent flag off.
15 minutes then became 20 minutes....which later, might I dare say, borderlining on half an hour wait.

* Carrie, Winnie and Maybel. We had LOADS of time to camwhore!!!!

* It is good to see Uncle Gary back in the racing scene!

* Going Vibram Crazy!!!! But I do LOVE my Lizards!!!!

There were like a thousand and one categories (totally exaggerating, obviously) and by the time they called for my category of E, it was way past 9pm of the supposed flag off time for women.

First they announce which category that was going to the waiting area.
And then we wait......we wait for the group in front of us to get flagged off.
And we wait for ourselves to get flagged off as well.
The waiting was due to the amount of runners still being stuck, either in the stairway or at the top of the tower, unable to get down.

The waiting part was pure torture.
At 10pm.....I was still waiting.....

* Well, obviously I don't like to wait......patience is not one of my virtues, unfortunately.

I think a little past 10pm, we were finally given the green light to go.
I told Carrie we'd run together.
I remember specifically mentioning WALK......but when the gun went off, she sprinted and somehow I followed.

From the starting line....it was on an inclined road up leading to the base of the KL Tower.

Did I ever mentioned that I HATE sprinting up hills?!
I didn't?! Ok.....now I have!!!!

The moment we hit the bottom of the stairs.....it was all warm and humid and everyone around me starting walking.

It is amazing no one fainted.

* Carrie waiting for me. Her Batu Caves training paying off now!!!

* Aren't I glad to see one of these water stations!!!

The climb was surprisingly fast.
Sure....I needed to stop at all levels with water station.....to camwhore, rehydrate and curse my stupidity of doing this nonsensical race.

* Everyone looked like zombies climbing up those stairs. Many actually sat at the side of the stairs catching their breath, probably cursing their own stupidity as well.

* I LOVE the water stations....because they had great air conditioning there!!!!!

* They mark each level as T-'a number'. And to get to a T-level....it was several flight of stairs up.....I actually gave up counting and try to focus on reminding myself to breathe.

* After level T-20 (or was it 21??!), we get to level T1-100. The race ends at T1-103.

And I was ecstatic when I reached T1-103!!!!!
My curse of stupidity has ended!!!!!

And then you head back down to T1-101 to collect your medal.....which I was told, that the medals given out last year were much fancier.
I don't really care much about the medals so it doesn't bother me much.
Mom says we're running out of closet space to store my growing collection of "useless" pieces of ornaments.

* At the observatory.....crowded!!!!

And after collecting the medals.....we headed to the observatory.....waiting for the lift to take us back to ground zero.
Except that the ever increasing mass of human population in front of the entrance of the elevator does not seem to be moving anywhere.

Apparently the lifts were overwhelmed and not functioning the way they were suppose to.
Oh...and they reserved one lift for the VIPs (whoever they may be...*rolls eyes*) and another had broken down.

We (Maybel, Winnie, yours truly) wanted to walk back down.....but we were told that we have to wait until all the participants were done with walking up...(which was pretty fair)

So we waited again.

We waited some more.......of what seemed like eternity!!!!

* Winnie contemplating taking a nap while waiting...

* Maybel contemplating on grabbing more water bottles to bring home...

And I was getting sllleeeppppyyyyyyyy......!!!!!!!!

After 2 hours of waiting, we were given the go-ahead to walk back down the stairs....
(mind you, the brilliant people that designed the stupid tower decided that one stairway was enough......then some other brilliant people decided that the only usable, single stairway would be a great idea to host a race where THOUSANDS of people would eventually participant in. After all....who cares if someone faints, convulse, had a fall....or any other emergency reasons to get OUT of the tower ASAP!? Nah......such minute, insignificant detail was not considered in the orchestra of the grand scheme of things!)

* Finally at the base of the tower!!!!

Thank you to Terence and Maybel for sending me home.
That was very neighbourly a thing to do!!!
Oh...and thanks for feeding my exhaustive digestive system.

By the time I hit the showers and got ready for bed...it was past 2am.

No way in hell I was gonna be able to arouse from my stupor state at 4am for my 5am long run.


Please remind me not to be so stupid again next year!!!!!