Saturday, November 24, 2007

I came, I saw, I ran

I went to Singapore for a business convention with a colleague. It was my second time on the island. We stayed at NSS hotel, which is a budget hotel nearby Raffles Hospital. The hotel was quite old, and it even had a manual lift. A person is needed to pull the lever, sort of like an on and off handle to operate it.

On the day of the event, which was at The Legends, Fort Canning, we took a walk rather than using the MRT. It was a way to savour the life and sights of Singapore. But my colleague swear he won't walk again next time, because by the time he got to the hotel, he was drenched in sweat.

The next day, I took a run around the city. Singapore is trying to make the whole city as a garden concept, and they really did made it such. Though there's concrete everywhere, sidewalks are well planted with trees, and shrubs.

There's a few other runners too, who I suppose are training hard for Singapore Marathon 2007.
I didn't actually planned where to run. So I followed a shirtless dude with HRM for awhile.

Another thing is, you can get shoes quite cheaply here. I got a pair of Adidas (not the adizero of course...), for only SGD 39.90. There's also New Balance shoes selling for 19 SGD...dirt cheap.

Good luck for those running this week in SG marathon...It'll be fun.

Start of the run..

At Pearl Park

I am still following this guy...

Merlion park...

Running along the river

The trouble of running is stopping for traffic lights....

Running down Esplanade Drive...almost no cars on a saturday morning..

The Durian...

Quite a small park...

Back to Fullerton hotel again...

Self pic War memorial park.

Adidas ad of 2 singaporean runners...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Google Map now supports Malaysia Roads

I was suprised to see malaysia road maps on using google map. Now, as road become more obvious, runners can see what name of the road and also surrounding potential routes.

Check it out...and thanks Google.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Google Road Map Available to Malaysia

Allright, here's something you probably don't know. I've attended a webmaster's gathering last saturday, and in delight, the google representative for Malaysia, Hanson Toh, announced that Google is working hard to create street maps for Malaysia. They have a non complete version, but it's looking great.

Here's a sample showing the road path (non highway) from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Kelawang:

View Larger Map

What this means for runners, you can easily use the map to measure the distance of roads.

Try's a blast..

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Bukit Aman Training Run

Bukit Aman conjures an image of the police for Malaysians, but for runners on a run, it's the best place to train & meet other runners.

Last sunday, Raymond Hee & Raymond Ng & I had a run. We started at 6:45am. Already I could see lots of other runners starting out. Vincent & Khoo joined in the early run, but soon outpaced us. Yeap, they were that fast.

The route is scenic, with rolling hiles at some parts to make it tougher for runners. But I think the most fun part of the run is meeting others on the same trail. So far, I have just run alone, and well...the feeling is different. Running can be much fun if you got a few partners.

The end of the route is a petronas station, which I have no idea where. That'll be 10k, but you could another 1k going around it. So to and back will be half marathon. Double this, and you have a marathon. :)

On the way back, I am feeling a bit bored, so I pushed a bit. :)

On comparison with my usual 12km or 20.9km in Cheras, it's much easier and milder. Hence I was able to run up & down with ease. For my training runs, I do lots of hills. Total elevation up is 236 meters. I've got so used to fighting hills, which is quite rewarding for strength training.

But definitely, this is a good place for run.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Ultra Run 147km: Road to Kuala Klawang DNF

Starting running...

Actually I don't feel like writing this. But I think writing it down, will prevent anyone crazy enough from doing this course.

Before the run, I brought along 3 powerbars, 1 small pen torchlight, a tape, and some money to go through the journey. I started at 7:00am, which is a bit late. But since I am preparing to stay awake 24 hours, I guess it doesn't make much of a difference.

Dawn in Kuala Lumpur...

Running up Ampang Hill...

Running down Ampang's a superb view... ones...

At Kampung Tekali...there's a wedding going on...

Going down Tekala hill...

It rained so much, practically lots of water gushing down. I really had no problem on hydration...

Road is the usual, from Cheras, up Ampang Hill, then Tekala Hill, and finally reaching the start of the 42km to Kuala Klawang. At this point, it's 30km. Previously, I stopped at the same store for nasi lemak, and had a chat with the owner. He asked where I was heading, and I told him Kuala Klawang. Then he asked, how? I said by running. His eyes grew bigger in disbelief. Then he asked again, is there anyone following. I said no.

42 km back breaking run to Kuala Klawang...

As I start the 42km leg to Kuala Klawang, I was still feeling quite ok. The weather has been nice, and cool. But as I reach the 50km mark, things become hotter. I sat down for awhile on the side of the road, pondering the next 22km to run. I set a mental task that another 10km, there's Kampung Sg Muntoh or heaven, as I would put it because there's the place they serve 100 plus and watermelons. And after that is another 12km to Kuala Klawang. Sounds easy hypothetically. But the worse has yet to come.

Genting Peres....surprisingly empty...must be because of Lumut Powerman..

At 50km point...

It's still a long way to go...

Because it was 1pm, the sun is merciless. Needless to say, the sun had me until 5pm. I was roasted. I changed between running and walking. Running in the hot sun is a terrible experience. When I reached Kampung Sg muntoh, I had what I mentioned before. It feels so nice to sit in the shade, that I don't want to run anymore.

I seriously don't want to run in the hot sun....

After awhile 5pm, rain clouds formed, and the weather cool significantly. And then it started to rain. I ran quickly to a Mobil petrol station. Luckily it was near. There's a surau nearby, so I did a combine prayers and had some snack. After this, it's only 5km to Kuala Klawang. Once the rain stopped, I ran continuously till I reached the bus station. I was a bit on the emotional side as I finished 72km. It was 6:30pm.

Finally reaching Kuala Klawang after 72km...

I had dinner with rice and tomyam. Mentally I struggle to find the solution for another 70 plus km. I was thinking, finishing 42km at 1am, and reaching cheras at 6am. It was really wishful thinking.

It was a beautiful evening with 2 rainbows...

I restarted running at 7pm plus, reached the mobil station (and did combined prayers again), and then continue on. Since this place is so remote, you don't have street lights. That's when I started to use a pen torchlight I bought a day earlier. It was the only tool to keep sanity in this remote dark area.

Gas station, 5km after Kuala Klawang...this would be my last stop.

Soon I was reaching 21km on the run, but will need to face 21km of gruelling hills of Kuala Klawang. Mentally tired, and with my right leg lower shin in pain, I was really to throw in the towel. Now, the pain is unbearable, I am practically dragging my right leg forward. Every step is painful enough.

I thought of home, and how far it is. I still got 50 plus km to cover, to get back to cheras. The thing that broke my spirit was really not the night, but having going up the hills again.

So, I thought I could get some help to get to hulu langat by flagging down cars. Maybe I could get a lift. But as I learned the hard way, no one will stop for you at this part of the road. Understandable, who would do that? The suspicion is on a guy, out at night, who might have bad intention. Not one car stopped.

But finally out of my suprise, a police car heading to a police station nearby stopped. He asked some details, and identification (which I didn't bring). I told him, I need a lift to at least Gabai. I also told him, where I came from, and what I was doing. He was just bewildered. But what he answered next totally disappointed me, because he can't go to Hulu Langat, because it's not his area of control. You see, hulu langat is in state of Selangor, and we are in Negeri Sembilan. But he offered to drive me to Kuala Klawang which I declined. I just wanted to move forward. Not going back to where I came from.

So, I made the decision to go through 21km of hills in the dark. It was already 9 or 10pm. Sometimes, when you run this place alone, it feels like dreaming. But with battered legs and mind, I was really not enjoying it. It's one km after another battle. A battle with physical pain and mind. Sometimes I wish I could just lay down and sleep, but I had to go on.

I finally reached genting peres at 1am. Not a single car passed this area. As I sat down, I told myself, I will continue to a bus stop before Gabai, and then wait for the morning bus. But the next run downhill turned into a walking affair. My right leg is busted. I did try running once in awhile, but the pain keep on coming back.

At last, I made it to the end of 42km leg at 3am. Yup, I completed 84km back to back, but there's nothing to celebrate. So I walked another 3 km to the bus stop, slept a little while at the surau nearby, waiting for dawn prayers. I did the prayer, with a congregation who was also suprised to find someone running / walking from kuala klawang. But I didn't told them, I went there earlier on foot too.

Now, I learned another thing too, the bus service here sucks. One guy mentioned the bus only comes at 8am, which didn't turned up. Furious, but still thinking, I decided to walk to hulu langat bt 18. It was a struggle, because my right shin is still in pain. I finally got a bus at 10am plus, which finally brought me back to cheras.

Would I do this again. No,...not in the near future. Total distance covered is estimated at 124km.
I'm FUBARed.

Google map of locations covered.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

No more KFC, MacDonalds

I've just came back from having a decent snack plate size KFC. I went with anticipation of a nice finger licking meal, but found myself hating every bit of it.

It's very seldom that I went for fast food. I think a decent meal cooked at a stall is much more nutritious and healthy.

Think of fat, think of all the calories you are swallowing, and not using them. Rather than taste nice, somehow my brain has been rewired to expunge the taste. And not to mention the mayonnaise on top of salad. Besides, the 2 pieces of fatty clinging skin, is deep fried. Think of it. Deep fried, and while you are eating, you can still taste skin fat, with fried oil.

And then we have pepsi as a drink. Whatever happen to plain water? Notice that your set meal does not come with a choice? If you want, you'll need to get a separate bottled water at an extra cost.

It's something about fast food that makes them so mechanical, colorful, tasteful and attractive, but lacking the home made taste that we are so used to. That something is the mechanical systematic process of food production and hyped out marketing of millions.

I am not going to eat KFC, ever.

And I'm going for a 3km swim just to burn it off.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Running Songs

I am trying to compile a list of songs for running. Songs are a good way to start your motivation before, during and after run. :)

Here's my pick:

1. Bleed it out - linkin park
great song if you feel like kicking a**. Guarantee to smoke the rubber on your soles of your shoes.

2. Where'd you go - fort minor
Reminds you are so far away from house during your long run.

3. How Far We've Come - matchbox 20

4. Where Are We Running - Lenny Kravitz

more to come...