Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Updates!!!

Ok...so it's a wee teeny update but still an update nonetheless.

I'm back from Desaru and since I'm blogging, it's bloody obvious I survived (albeit barely).

I'm now nursing a sore lower back, peeling sunburnt skin off the back of my shoulders (despite the SPF130 directly imported from Japan being slathered generously all over!!!!), feeling the dwindling euphoria from finishing the race.....and despite cursing my own stupidity over signing on for such a distance a tri despite not being well prepared (during the race)......I'm already wondering when I'm heading back for another go!

Yes, folks....I'm a masochist.
And a damn stubborn one at that as well!!!!

Things are a little busy lately in yours truly's delusional world, thus the post on the Desaru tri might take a while.
.....like next week sort of a while.

I'm currently on a manic-spree (damn those anti-depressants and my ability to switch), am sleep deprived, and missing an ATM card (the prospects of going to the bank for reapplication for a new card freaks the hell outta me)......and am extremely bummed about not being able to run the King of the Road race this weekend as I'll be stuck in Penang.

No...not flaunting my sunburnt bare skin in my Victoria's Secret bikini by the beach sorta Penang trip.......but stuck in a lecture hall learning all about Kinesio taping sorta weekend.

My KOTR bib was passed on to Vince's wife, who is super speedy and I'm hoping to return home on Monday to see that I've "PB-ed" when I log on to the official website.
Heck...at least there's a good side to things.

Sigh.
Did I mention somewhere before that I need a REAL ACTUAL HOLIDAY?!?!?!?!
Yeah.
Can't wait for my Kota Kinabalu trip.


Later!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I NEED a holiday!!!!!!


I need a REAL holiday.



One that takes me away from the anxiety that I face at work when I realize my inadequacy from not reading enough about....well, just about everything.

One that allows me to lay in bed in perpetual motionless state for hours on end without having to worry about being late for work.

One that takes me far far away from the haze and the traffic that is Klang Valley.

One that allows me to not think THINK......and be a figurative dumb blond for a few days.
(it is cool to be dumb...sometimes)

One that allows me to enjoy the freedom of my carefree youth.
(I swear I'll grow up by 35!!!)

One that doesn't involve running a marathon!

By the way...I totally blame Shanaz and Nana for my sudden need for a holiday.
Click HERE to see what I mean!!!!

And then I got to thinking......yes, I deserve a holiday.

In fact if I were God, every other day would be a holiday!!!!!!
But then human would be idle, lazy and complacent and probably will be up to more no good and they will all burn in hell.

Thankfully I ain't the Big Man up there.

And since I found out quite a few friends and acquaintances were heading off to Kota Kinabalu for the annual Climbathon, I figured why not head THERE for a holiday and double-up duty as cheer leader and supporter!?
I could bunk in with KD and drag her sorry behind up to Kundasang with me as well.
Nothing reeks of a 15 year friendship as driving all the way up to Kundasang together.
I could enjoy the fresh mountain air......
I could go island hopping......white water rafting........I could just chill and do absolutely NOTHING!!!!!


.......but........


........I then realized that it would be such a waste to BE at Mount KK on race weekend and NOT be one of the participants.

Yes, yes....I do remember how bad it was attempting the Climbathon last year.
For your sake, I took the liberty of searching last year's blog post on the event.
Click HERE.

After some thoughts put into it (well, actually not much. I pretty rash)....I figured, oh what the hell......I don't like sitting back and watching others suffer for the sake of enjoyment (absolutely an oxymoron, which lies the very essence of our much beloved endurance sports), so I shall attempt the Climbathon one more time!!!!
(again, I emphasize that I'm never smart at making these kinda decisions)

Of course I shall also regret when I'm stuck up the mountain half way and am unable to get back down due to my incredibly insane fear of heights....and the fact that I suck at trail footings.

.....but I'll deal with the regret and the fear.......in due time.

And in the mean time......I'M HEADING FOR A HOLIDAY!!!!!!

Ok...but lets get one thing straight.
I'm NOT aiming to get to the peak.
I'm NOT aiming to really compete.
Heck.....I'm NOT even aiming to get to Laban Rata!!!!

I honestly don't know what my aim is in joining the Climbathon this year.....besides the fact that I don't wanna lose out on the fun.
Besides.....getting loads of pictures and camwhoring the entire way are pretty decent aims for someone on a HOLIDAY!!!!

Sigh......see what 2 days of tapering made me do!!

Oh.....aside from 15 years of friendship, I still failed to persuade KD that joining the Climbathon on a lark was a brilliant idea.
Damn.....why does she always have to be so in check with reality!?!?!



Just a really cool Nike ad that I found online....somewhere.
(and no...still don't quite like Nike shoes.....)



Later!!!!!


Sunday, September 18, 2011

zzzzzzz............



Last long run before Desaru, just before the tapering period starts.

Well....can't quite say I'm a huge fan of taper.
And honestly, it's not much of a taper when the last long run is exactly 6 days prior to event.
Yeah...some taper I'm gonna be having.
*rolls eyes*

But since I crave the endorphin-high, to hell with caution and tapering......and 20km from Bukit Aman to Hartamas for me!

Also another reason why I wanted to run a 20km was that I wanted to get a better feel of my new shoes......
Yup.....I'm definitely a driving force to our ailing economy when I bought the New Balance Minimus trail shoes.

I actually took it out for a test drive of 10km last Saturday (btw, the pictures are from last week's test-run) and I'm happy to report that I *almost* fell in love with the shoes.

It was like running in my Komodosports VFF, minus the issue with the Morton's toe.
I feel the ground right beneath my feet but with just amount of rubber between the soft, delicate skin of my sole (try not to gag)....and the uneven surfaces, tiny rocks, pieces of broken glasses (from cars that drive too recklessly) and other unmentionables that litters the roads of this country.
Superbly flexible.....and I felt ultra nimble in them, just like I would running in VFFs.

But let me explain the *almost* before I go on any further.

The sizing of the Minimus trail was.....a little odd for me.
I usually wear size US8.5 for most of my running shoes.
The Minimus came in size US8....and the next size up was US9.
US8 fitted just right......without my usual socks on.
US9......my toes could run a marathon in them. They were huge!!!

The sales lady did say that the shoes were meant to be run in sock-less.
So I decided to go with size US8.

....issue was (and still is).....I rarely run sock-less....even in my VFFs.
The only times I ran sock-less.....were the times that I left the house late and forgot to pack socks.

And since being new shoes, I have my reservations about blisters and what-nots.

So I wore my toe-stockings that I usually wear with my VFFs.


* Brand new.....and super duper clean looking....still.

* I don't see how the sole is gonna hole up running trails......but I'm a road runner so who cares.


Unfortunately, my toe stockings did not cover the back of my heels........which means, MAJOR ABRASION!!!!!
*ouch*

* Raw skin.....sigh
I know.....can't help it if I was born with such soft and delicate skin, right?!


That was the only issue I had with the shoes.
(the fact they didn't have it in bright pink, I could ignore)

I figured if I could have worn socks (of course that would have been a bit tight for my feet to be in those shoes), the abrasion issue would be a none issue.

So today, I taped the back of my ankles where the abrasion would have been.

And voila!!!!!

20km and no issues whatsoever!!!!!!

.......so perhaps I should just shop around for much much thinner socks instead.
(I'm hoping to be able to run Putrajaya Night Marathon in these!!!)

Anyway....photo-log from a week ago:


* Ran with Khai Leng and Elaine through Double Hill a Saturday ago.


* Can you spot the raw area? I'm thinking I could actually be so cheap as to keep running through the abrasion (and the pain!) until the epidermis of the area thickens and adapts to the Minimus Trail.
....nah, I'll go get some thinner socks.


* Bumped into Jamie, sporting the Ultra Trail Du Mont Blanc shirt in my favourite colour!!!
I looked at him in bewilderment!!!!!
Turned out, it was given to him by a friend who actually DID run the race.
Literally green with envy....

Btw....if you didn't know what UTMB was (*gasp* you don't know?!?!?!), I did the hassle of Wikipedia-ing it for you.
Click HERE!!!

* Mr Jamie Pang was sporting a very colourful pair of pink Nikes......which I gather was from a previous seeding program. Lucky dude....

* Elaine and I at the BEST coffee place in Damansara, The Departure Lounge.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE the latte!!!!


Next week......main aim.....to be lazy......and try my darnest not to gain any weight while lazing around.
Oh...and try my darnest not to have so many issues as well!
Sigh...the things I do in the name of tapering.



Later!!!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Name me one person who doesn't love a public holiday......


I'm sitting at home, on the couch, staring forlornly at my already packed bag filled with my swim stuff (packed it last night), intermittently staring out the window at the progressively dark skies outside and listening to the sounds of non stop thundering.

It sucks that I'm absolutely DYING to go for a swim but hesitated and unable to, due to the innate fear of getting strike by lightning while swimming in the pool.

I'm not ready for my 15 minutes of fame on the front pages of tomorrow's newspapesr......not yet.

So it is quite understandable for me to be sulking and in a shit of a mood at the moment.

So foul a mood that even the endorphins from this morning's 45km ride could not equalize.

But on the good side of things, the 'heat wave' from the past 2 weeks has finally ended (woohoo!!!) with the daily afternoon showers. And the haze issue is progressively getting better with the rain.

And with Desaru occurring in exactly 8 days time, I know I should be hibernating from much of my activities, all in the name of tapering.
(but of course, if you've been following this blog long enough, you'd know how I personally feel and do about tapering....)

But trust me, I've been more or less resting (at least it felt like rest to me!) since the start of this week.
......it is difficult to go cycling, swimming and running with heavy rains during the evenings on MOST days.

Regarding my back pain......well, it is kinda non existent without me hunching over Tobias so I'm really thinking it's the bike fit.
Actually I would not regard it as pain per se.....more of extreme numbness which eventually somewhat becomes pain.
(Well...I don't know about you, but it makes perfect sense to me)

Terence toyed around with Tobias and made the seat slightly higher.
I'm hoping that would resolve some of the numbness.
(but we'll see coz will be riding again tomorrow morning)

Anyway......mopping around ain't gonna make me feel any better right now.
So to maximize the cool weather of the moment (it's already pouring as I am typing this), I shall head to bed, and hopefully get some dreams that is NOT about DNF-ing at Desaru.


Later!!!


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Salomon X-trail Run - 11th September 2011


The run that coincided with Taiping Heritage Run........which I kinda told myself last year I'd run it THIS year.....but you gotta hand it to Terence and Maybel in persuasiveness.....coz suddenly I found myself registered for the Salomon X-trail.

Thankfully I persuaded them to pick me up for the race......coz there ain't no way I'm gonna drive down to UPM at five in the freakin morning, half awake and brain waves still resembling dream-like state.

* Terence and Maybel wanting to run loops around the stadium before the start of the race. All I wanted to do was snooze.....

* Chooi Wan and I....camwhorers unite!!!!

* Mo-maniac came down from SG for the weekend, Amelia and Lesley....

* With sifu Rupert.

* Amelia and Irwan......


The race was held at UPM, and flagged off from the varsity stadium.
It runs through the farming area of the university, and it delights the participants with the invigorating aroma of cow/horse/other-four-legged-animal dung.
(I'm sure there are some two-legged-animal-dung as well....but it's not quite my place to comment)
The weather that day was lovely......cloudy and cool.
Well...at least I think it is clouds......coz it's a bit hard to tell with the URTI-inducing haze situation at the moment.
(but if you want my opinion, NOW is the BEST time to fake a terrible sore throat and cough, then tell your boss you're calling in sick. But don't quote me!)

Runners are flagged off in 2 separate batches.
The female runners (all category) run first at 7.00am......and followed by the men 10 minutes after.

The initial 'game-plan' (or at least I thought it was a game plan) was to start right at the back and have a leisure stroll along the 10km 'trail' route.
Well...I thought everyone else was having the same game plan as well.
So when the horn (or was it a gun or something?!) went off, I followed behind several other runners whom I thought were also following the said game plan.
.....except they never did slow down......even at the uphills.

That was when I realized that I really was delusional most of the time.

* The 7.00am flag-off for female runners.

* Take a deep breath.......and enjoy the refreshing aroma of "nature".

* Kelvin being his usual loud self..... :)

* Malcalm and Nizam volunteering at the race.....and being made a buffet spread for unrelenting mosquitoes!


But since the run was really really enjoyable, I figured no point stopping (unless it was to take pictures) and to keep going without slowing down.
It wasn't as hilly as I thought it would be......and the downhills were FUN!!!!!

* Does this face say, "I'm hungry?!"

* Definitely great weather......minus the haze.


* I couldn't help myself but to pose with the moo-moo's.
Bet I stepped onto one of these fella's poo....


It was also shit fun (pun intended) to run and try to avoid stepping into a huge pile of animal poo. And the entire route was littered with small mole-hill of poo.....every few meters of so.

There were a total of 3 water stations which was sufficient for a 10km run.
....and thankfully the second and third stations had Gatorade......coz I was feeling kinda hungry at 2nd kilometer onwards.
(with gastric emptying time like this....it's no wonder I'm still at my current weight. I blame genetics!!!)

Since the UPM farm area ain't exactly the size of Sarawak state, the route looped all around, to and fro, back and forth......that sorta thing, around the area to make up 10km in distance.
You may run through a wrong path, which if unfortunate may be a longer distance, if you're running way ahead of the pack.....like what happened to Lai Chee (whom ended up placing 6th position in her category).
But if you're in the middle of the pack.....there would be nothing to be worried about.
.......well, maybe except looking hideously ugly in race photos. But there's always photo-shop.
(you've gotta love technology!)

The race ended the same place it started....the varsity stadium.
Apparently there were limited medals for each category.....100 pieces to be exact.

* Leaving the farm road...

* Heading back to the stadium....


* And onwards to the finish line....

* Woohoo...got a medal.....which mom says it will be adding to the clutter in my room!


I came back in 1:09 (which is kinda alright considering I stopped to take pictures, drink several cups of Gatorade, had a chat with some friends manning the water stations.....etc etc) and I did bag myself a medal!

Oooh....before I forget, congrats to Maybel for coming in 5th position in her category!!!!!

Anyway....one more weekend, and then Desaru.
I swear......it's like its creeping up on me and trying to scare the living daylights outta me!!!!!
I still haven't gotten anything done regarding bike fit.....I'm still going on prayer......and if all fails, there's always non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs!!!!
....and perhaps several days off from work.



Later!!!!!


Friday, September 9, 2011

Dear God......


Disclaimer
: No....I actually don't ever say this sort of prayer......ok, maybe sometimes.



Dear God,

I have a problem.
A huge one at that as well.

My lower back hurts.

Not just the regular-run-of-the-mill sorta back pain that I usually roll my eyes at when I get such cases at outpatient department previously.....but like a REAL, shiteously annoying, mood-altering, temper-inducing sorta back pain.

I know that You know that I've been cycling a lot more these days coz I'm shit worried about my Desaru Tri. And I know that You know that I've asked for some assistance coz Tobias wasn't doing much at home except staring into space and making friends with the spiders spinning cobwebs around him.
But I didn't know You'd send people who are (in their words) 'fast and furious' to train with.
And now I'm stuck with the most irritating, spine-numbing lower back pain ever.

Yes....I know You've given me the insight to get my bike properly fitted but You know me.....and my procrastination......(I still think You should have factored that bit in before answering my prayers)

Besides my lower back pain, my ankle pain has come back to haunt me.

Yes yes...I know You have also given me the insight to realize how stupid I was to not rest the right ankle of mine after injuring it.....like how I'd tell all my patients, but You should also have known that I'm a tad bit stubborn (ok, so I'm a whole LOT stubborn) to listen to rationales.

And I figured You should have also known that bit coz You've made me that way!!!!!
(I'm not blaming You...just stating the obvious....)

Also....I'm currently experiencing quite a fair bit of fatigue.
Yes I know I'm not resting as much as I should although I did pull back quite a bit compared to the previous week.
But I pray that I'll go to sleep tonight and wake up tomorrow morning feeling miraculously much better!!!
.....and then I can head back to training without a care in the world!!!!

Please....pretty pretty please, God.....heal me and make me well again.
And perhaps while healing me, You could make me a whole lot stronger so I can beat Andrew and Bryan at the cycling leg!!!!

Special note to mention to You......the weather these days suck.
Big time!!!
It's shit hot and now we're shrouded in a thickening blanket of haze.
(but of course, You knew that already.....)

Please put in as priority to send rain......especially at night......coz my sleep is kinda sucky as well and the rain might just do the trick, perhaps better than the clonazepam I'm keeping for my emergency insomnia-attack.

Anyway, big thank you God for listening to me whine.

I'd be really thankful if You'd put my request higher on Your to-do list.
....coz I really don't wanna come in last at Desaru!!!!!
I have faith that You will come through for me......coz after all, Jesus did say, "Ask and you shall receive".
Which by the way, just a gentle reminder, my prayer for me to go to sleep and wake up miraculously 10kg lighter (You are after all omnipotent, and all powerful!!) has not yet been answered. Well...just a reminder.

Alright then. Thanks God.

Amen!





.......and one wonders why some prayers don't get answered.......

Monday, September 5, 2011

So Tobias is a little squeaky...deal with it!!!!!


Yes it is a known fact that Tobias squeaks....a lot......
And yes...it has been brought to my attention on countless occasions.
Frankly, if he likes squeaking...there isn't much I can do about it.
To each (bike) their own personality, I'd say.

(but reality being I'm a little ignorant that my bike needs to be oiled on a regular basis)

Anyway....the past week has been a very numbing experience.

Numbing for my nether-regions, that is.
(if you're queasy about the mere mention of anyone's nether-regions, you shouldn't be reading this blog, by the way)

My cycling mileage went from being almost-non-existent to more-than-almost-non-existent-but-still-not-Andrew/Bryan-standard.....but it's ok. I'm quite happy to be putting in the mileage anyway, despite it not being enough to actually properly 'race' Desaru.

Terence reckons that as long as we keep being able to cycle 30km per go....we'd be fine on race day.
Frankly, I still haven't quite grasp his logic behind his idea......but these were also the kind of people who believe that running a marathon on a weekly basis, is not only doable but a must-do on most weeks.

Unfortunately, I'm the naive sort and I tend to buy into these sorta crap and integrate it like it is my freakin religion.
(yes, I may have 'issues' but as long as I hang around the above said people, I'm the norm!!!!)

Fortunately for me......I've already left the nut house for a total of 3 months and counting......and so far, regained some sort of sanity.....and decided that I have to at least try a 'long' ride before heading off for an apparent suicide attempt at Desaru.

I called in the help of Mr. Anonymous (ok fine, we shall name him Rupert) and with David, they helped lead me into my first ever 'long' ride.
Again it's not a 'Richard-Tang/Sofian-Triathlete-approved' distance......but it's still something.
On Thursday, they lead Tobias and I off into the middle of nowhere and back....for a total of 89km.
My nether-region was never the same again after.
(but hell, I was so proud of my fat-boy-bike that we survived that distance!!!)

On Saturday, still high from Thursday's "success" and still numb at the appropriate places, went riding again with Rupert and his brother, David......somewhere in Hulu Langat.
50km down and I'm still as numb as numb can get.
It is as if numbness and I have intertwined at the core of our souls.
(you can tell that I've been dabbling in Paulo Coelho's works again)

Post ride, the dude wanted to run up Nuang until the waterfall.

* Photos courtesy of Rupert. Mind the finger.
Thanks to David for waiting.....and to the camera man for the invite....and the pictures!

* Yes I have terrible posture. I'll look into bike fit...erm....after Desaru!!!

* And yes....Tobias squeaked the entire way.....


I, being late, forgot my running shoes.

All I had in the car.....were my Vibrams.....(the Lizards, post-Daryl-intervention!)

Well....he ran up....I had 14km worth of 'reflexology'.
I still don't know how Mo-maniac does Macritchie runs with his VFFs.
Sigh....some things are just meant to be a mystery.

Sunday....I tagged along for Tony's Powerman simulation training.
Yea yea......I know it's like 2 months away......but no harm starting a little early.
It was a 5km run, 55km ride and another 5km run.....under the hot, glaring and unapologetic sun in Putrajaya.
Sun cancer risk, now up a few percent.
I was still tired after Saturday's ride/'reflexology' and sat out at 44km in the cycling leg.

* Tony Quay, briefing on the day's 'menu'.
Photos courtesy of Winnie Wong!!!

* The group....yes, mostly females and mostly newbies for the FULL Powerman!

* The first 5km run to Palace of Justice and back.

* Obligatory photo op at PoJ!!!! Life is definitely more fun with a camera around.....

* Thanks Tony for the ice cold orange juice and to Yee Tze for the delicious muffins!


And believe it or not.....that Sunday's run of a total of 10km was my FIRST run of the week!!!
That thought dawned on me while I was running the last 5km under torturous but ideal-for-Powerman-simulation weather, that for the first time in a very VERY long time, running took an absolute back seat.

Anyway.....I'm kinda sick of the current heat wave and am praying fervently for rain in the early afternoon when the heat is at its worst!!!!

Gosh....I'm already so exhausted and dehydrated thinking about the potential 8 hours and more I'd be spending under the hot sun at Desaru in a couple of weeks' time.
......which reminds me I need to stock up on more sunscreen!!!!


Later!!!!