Monday, April 30, 2007

Night Run 31km

I felt like running again, so off I went to ampang, hulu langat batu 14, then batu 9 and back to Yulek cheras.

The best thing about night run is, there's no blardy hot sun to raise the temperature. So your body works perfectly well, not to mention it's cooler too. There's always a funny feeling of longing to be back on the streets at night. It feels like home, although far away. And sometimes, you feel like you are dreaming, and wondering what the heck you are doing.

And the moon was almost full, illuminating a clear path along the way. Running on pitch black night would be hazardous. You can't see where you are stepping. However the cars light passing by gives a glimpse of where you should put the next foot forward.

I took a few photos while half way to Ampang look out point. It's really a nice view of kuala lumpur.

base of the road to ampang look out point

nice view of kuala lumpur

yep...some folks enjoying the night breeze

this one is clearer view...

you can go up...there's restaurant up there...and better view of course

Legs were kinda ok, not so bad...

Time: 4:06

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Night Run with New Pouch Bag

I should be sleeping...not running

Woohoo, I just got myself a pouch, and a cable for my sony ericsson k610i. So I went running 12 km on my usual route in cheras to see how the pouch feels. The cable is to connect to the PC. Yep, the cable comes separately. I managed to get one at RM25.

I have always been keen of taking pictures of the path I ran, so that I could post the pictures on this blog. Surprisingly the nike pouch feels alrite, and does not disturb my run. I could now put keys inside it. All this while, I have been running holding keys in one hand, and a water bottle at the other.

Here's a night picture...pretty blur I would say. Maybe I should stop my run to take them...would be clearer that way.

Kuala Klawang town...a very small town...

And the other hand, I have been thinking of running back to back from Gabai to Kuala Klawang. This afternoon, I drove all the way to Kuala Klawang from Hulu Langat just for some sightseeing. The distance is exactly a marathon distance 42km. So back to back will mean 84km.

But the main reason I really want to run there, is because of the hills. The path provides a spectacular view of Banjaran Titiwangsa, with lush greenery of slopes along the way. But running this path won't be easy. There's lots of hill climbing. And there's neither any food stalls along the middle way for refill.

I stopped by kuala klawang for awhile...and had a drink. Then I asked the kakak there...
"ada bas pergi kuala lumpur tak?" .... She looked a bit blank..."takde...pergi seremban je..."

Actually..i have a perverse thought of running from gabai to kuala klawang..then take a bus back to kuala lumpur...sounds easier that way.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

63km walk run hulu langat

"42km is just a mental limit, you can go farther"

That's what I kept on saying to myself. I had just traveled from Yulek Cheras, across the ampang hill, to batu 14, semenyih dam, gabai, then batu 18 hulu langat, then back to batu 14 hulu langat, then up the ampang hill again, and back home.

It's an 11 hour 20 minutes footrace. And i think I am not gonna walk tomorrow.

I don't know why I should push myself to do this...maybe it's just to see if I can come back alive.

At the starting path, it was a nice run, and thank God, my left knee has somehow learn not to scream pain each time I took a step. I have been adjusting my posture, and the way I ran. Probably this has help. Enduring pain with each step, is not an enjoyable experience. I am just glad the pain is manageable.

But when the sun starts to beat down on my face, and the temperature started to rise, I have started to slow down a bit. It was not the nuisance pain on my left knee, but fatigue. I just could not find the energy to run. At some points, I had to stop for some light snack and drinks. I just needed the energy to get back.

But there were times, I just had to walk. It's too bloody hot.

Nearby semenyih dam, a few cyclist went pass me. At those times, I just wished I was on a bike. One gal cyclist cheered "Keep on rocking" as she passed by. As for runners, I have not seen any.

Total hills that I had climbed and went down was 3. Ampang hill, and another one nearby Tekala.
The last leg up Ampang probably the hottest I have gone through. I walked up most of the way in the afternoon sun around 3pm. But at one point, I did some running to the top. One motorcyclist stopped by and asked me where I am going. I can sensed, he wanted to offer me a ride. But I declined...I just had to do this on foot.

I am glad I just back home. It's like a whole day on the road.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Pulau Kapas Swimathon 2007: The Swim

Every journey has a starting point. And to go to Marang Terengganu, it's a bus. KL swimmers who opt to choose the bus, gathered at Pasar Rakyat 11pm. The bus journey proves that besides the 6.5km swim, we swimmers have to endure 8 hours of breathing diesel fumes. Yep, bad luck sitting at the back of the bus.

(nice morning view at the jetty)

We reached marang jetty at about 7am, weary and tired (not enough sleep). Then we all headed to have some breakfast at some stalls nearby. Oh ya, if you ever go to Terengganu, you have to try out nasi dagang. Besides that, I got one bottle of mineral water. It's double the price on kapas island, so might as well get one here.

(before boarding the boat...)

(Mr Supra & me...he's the guy I followed most of the swim.)

(on our boat ... no turning back.)

At around 9am, more buses arrived from JB, and we had ourselves registered. Participation was RM 40.00. Then we gathered our stuff, and head to the jetty to board a speed boat to kapas island. We only had one way ticket to kapas. The other ticket is...swim. :)

Halfway to kapas, there was a marine naval ship. We asked why they need to do checking, and the boat skipper mentioned some check needed to be done on the number of passengers. Good
thing about that, since there's been a few accidents involving ferry boats in the past.

(pulau kapas from afar..."swim this far? hell no")

The boat ride was not that long, perhaps like 15 minutes. It was very fast, at times, the boat flew over air and crashed on the next wave. And looking at the side of the boat, at the passing sea, reminds me what I need to go through.

(reaching the jetty...nice beach)

Once on land, we get ourselves to the accomodation center. And at this part, I think I've got to consider myself lucky. Abang Jo, another veteran swimmer has booked the place earlier. And we got ourselves a chalet nearby to the starting point, plus aircond. For folks who want to come here, I advised better get a chalet with aircond, and some mosquito repellant. The mosquitos are huge, and very hungry.

(me at the jetty....)

(lots of fishes in the sea...)

(the starting point...)

(there's a scuba class going on..)

(a view of the other side...)

The island was nice, with crystal clear water, and lots of fishes at the jetty. There were some corals nearby shore. Some of us tried swimming at around noon. But there's one thing I did not expect when going into sea. It's sea lice. It's so small you can't see it. But if you get stung, it's kind of like a sharp mosquito bite. Pretty harmless, depending on your body reaction. You might get bad rashes if your body overreactes. So that cut short my exploration in the sea. It's just too annoying. Once you are in water, they will sting.

We had some briefing at 4pm. Mr Chan, who is one of the main organiser, gave some tips on what to do, and what not to do. There's one rule to remember, your swim will be disqualified if you didn't land at the right location at the mainland (pantai kelulut...not a nice name). So you just can't swim to the shore, and run back to the finish line :)

After the briefing, I had some fun swim in the sea. Met with some other swimmers as well. The mood was kind of positive for everyone.

At 7:30pm, we had dinner. Everyone was eating a huge portion, including myself. Swimming 6.5km needs it's better to carbo load...

Morning comes, and we had breakfast at 5:30am, and registered at 6:30am. So all swimmers got some numbers written at their body. Mine was 295.

(monkeying around at the registration..)

(better eat your powerbar...)

(small banner for the swim...)

7:30am, and we all started the long swim to the other side. I tried to tread slowly in the water, as there were sharp corals beneath. Don't want to get hurt now.

My goal was to finish, with no target timing as this is my first. So I swam at a moderate pace. Luckily not many sea lice, although there were, but not enough to hurt so much.

At first, I could see the bottom of the sea, some corals & fishes. But after that, it was all sand. And soon, I can't see a thing. Just bottomless green ocean. I tried to stave off the thought of cramping, and just focusing on swimming instead.

At first, there were a bunch of us swimming, but soon I found out the group swimmers has thinned considerably. Those fast ones, would have easily gone forward. At one point, my swimming cap went off, and a few swimmers alerted me. I had to get a kayaker to help put it back on. It's for safety purpose.

When reaching the buoy (there's 4 of them), I saw that there's actually a powerbar advertisement on it...So you know what, everytime after that, I just put it in my mind....get the next powerbar...err..not buoy. Good subconcious advertising.

In the middle of the swim, you can actually feel waves passing by. So to look at the next buoy, you have to wait a few times for the wave to pass, then only you can spot it.

After the forth buoy, there's another 1.7km. They had mentioned a big red ballon was up. But at this distance, I can hardly discern the location. So I just put the faith of finding the way by following the front swimmers. At least following somebody is better than alone. The waves were getting stronger. Good thing I had reserved most of my energy. Overcoming the waves would require harder strokes. And there's only 1 or 2 swimmers at the front.

The shoreline started to get bigger and bigger, and soon I could see the balloon. It was like a tiny speck, but that tiny speck is a big difference in direction. But it's one thing to know your direction, and to swim at the same target. Waves would change your course, and if you don't look up again, you will find that you have gone the wrong direction. A few times, I saw swimmers going the wrong direction.

Finally after some time, I could clearly see the beach, and landed on shore. The waves were crashing. It feels good to stand at the other side. So, to finish, I ran to the finish line, got myself in a t-shirt ( i have no idea why they require us to wear t-shirt before finishing), and had a medal on my neck..hehe...

My time was 3:42. It had been a great swim. Just looking back at Kapas island, makes you wonder that it's no small feat.

Can't wait for next year...

( far far away...)

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Swim 5km

After yesterday's 42km on foot, I quickly dashed to the pool near permaisuri lake. That's after having a nasi lemak with ayam. It's something I don't do everyday. Just to fuel up before swimming a long distance.

The wheather was a nice sunday morning. Would be a great if you could relax and play in the pool. But for guys who are on training, there's not a minute to be missed.

I got myself a speedo cap. Usually I don't wear caps, but figuring out that terengganu swim might need swimmers with caps, I got one. You see, in case you are in danger, they could spot you easily. Anything could happen, but the only thing I am afraid of is jellyfish. :P
One thing I am trying to figure out with swimming caps, is whether you should cover your ears with it, or not. I found out later, not covering feels better (at least for me), caused your ears will pain after awhile.

Swim was ok, not particularly that tired. The key to doing anything that requires a long period of time, is to build up an efficient aerobic machine. I could go on for like 3 hours if possible, but the pool opening hours is only 2.5 hours.

So, distance covered : 5km
Time: 2:10 hours/mins

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Run Walk 42 km in Hulu Langat.

I have not run for like 2 weeks. But I was just thinking why not. My target was to run from Yulek Cheras, over the ampang hills, reaching Batu 14 hulu langat, then going to semenyih dam. And from there, use the road to Gabai, and coming back to hulu langat then going back to cheras. It's a 63km according to my calculation.

Yes, it's crazy, but plans could go wrong any minute. Turn out I was not prepared for the run. So I manage to cover 20k continuous run, then made a u-turn, and starting walking back.

In total the distance was 42km. So that's 22km walking. And now, my whole body is so hot, I could use it as an ironboard.

Time out on the road is 7:37 hours/mins.

Coming to think about it, my main complaint on running is that I've got an old wound a few years back on my left knee. Feel off a bike (not my fault), but it hit the knees. Perhaps this is why my right foot is OK, and my left will start to pain after a few Ks.

When reaching home, I was burning, ....famish ( I have not eaten yet), but it was a good experience.

One thing about this track is, I went up 3 hills (ampang hill up/down) and the hill to semenyih dam.

Maybe next time I could nail 63km :)

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Not such a good swim

Swimming must be the most lonesome activity...if it's for 2.5 hours. There's no one to talk to, no team mates to shout at, and it's a consistent activity of rowing your arms. But I like to be a bit on the lonely side. It's just ingrained in me. I keep thoughts to myself.

But sometimes, I would try to solve some programming or maths problem in my head.

But I have got to swim at least 6km, but at last, I only did 5km. Timing was out. It actually rained quite heavily, prompting the life guard to order everyone out. So, the whole swim was not a continuous one.

I have to go through this, to make sure i could at least finish the 6.5km swim. I don't wanna get stuck in the middle of the sea with leg cramps or fatigue.

However, the pool is only open for like 2.5 hours, which is the max I did go.

Swimming speed is still ok, but sluggish a bit. Not like the other 2 fellows, blasting away like fishes.

But on the positive side, I still can swim on after 5km. Not really that tired. :)