Saturday, December 27, 2008

Fraser Loop Ride: Pure Climb

I started the ride quite late, around 8:55am from HOA. The plan is to ride what cyclist call the Fraser loop (HOA Gombak-Genting Sempah-Bentong-Tranum-Fraser Gap-KKB-Batang Kali-Ulu Yam-Batu Caves-HOA). Think of it of going over the Titiwangsa range twice, and you get the feeling of how much hill climbs one has to tackle.

Manage to reach Bentong after 2 hours 5 minutes. Then I head straight for the famous Bentong Kow Po iced serving for refuelling. It's going to take more than ais kacang to climb up to Fraser, so I had some usual mixed rice from the nearby mamak. After half an hour, I head for Tranum, although I roughly try to guess it's on the way to Raub. Actually you don't need to go Raub, because after a few km north, you'll see a left turning to a road that goes through 2 villages before hitting Tranum.

The path before Tranum has rolling hills, generally on the uphill, but with some downhills as well. I stopped at one of the village to have 100 plus, and also to refill the bottle with chrysanthemum tea. There was this middle age guy, who looks more like a taxi driver, but somehow I think he stays nearby. We chatted a little. I asked how far to Fraser, and he said quite a distance. He also did mentioned of tigers appearing on that stretch, which I can't make out whether he was pulling my leg.

Once I reached Tranum, which looks more like a ghost town with a police station, is the point where I had to climb 21km uphill to Fraser Gap. And boy, this ain't easy. Harder than Genting Sempah. There's no flat surface, and the gradient hovers around 4-5% consistently. The scenery was nice though. Very fraser like..

Manage to reached Gap, and there were tons of cars queing up to go up to the top. Rested awhile, before speeding like mad to Kuala Kubu Baru. But got drenched by the rain as I reached town. Settled for roti canai for refuelling, before going to Batang Kali (around 16km from KKB).

Stopped to pray for awhile after Batang Kali. There is a turning to Gohtong Jaya, and yes, there's some crazy fellows (bacin, shazly, adzim) who went up Gohtong Jaya, then Genting Sempah, and then HOA.

Ulu Yam is just 6km from Batang Kali. Then this is the last stretch before hitting batu caves. There's 2 major climb, one long (4km) and one short (few hundred meters). The first one got me pedalling slowly, grinding at 11kmh, and boy, it's not easy after all those climbs before. Then zoomed down at excess speed of 50kmh afterwards. The last climb had me worried. Could I make it?

It's short but every bit of it is like going up Genting. I was pedalling at 9kmh, and after much hardship, finally it's over. Then passed through batu caves which has terrible, terrible traffic. Then went up to the road to UIA, and at last, hammering it down back to HOA.

Managed to reach HOA around 7:20pm. Mileage is 192km.

Tired, yes...Butt pain...yes....can run? .... yes..i think so. I better be able to run coz ironman is another 42km of running.

After Genting Sempah...

Kow Po...was quite deserted. The boss was wondering where were my other friends...

The road to Tranum...I got chased by a pack of dogs...but they get bored after awhile. this actually a town?

Fraser Gap...

Monday, December 22, 2008

Get Moving People...

This morning, I went for, once in awhile, breakfast with roti canai with teh tarik (less sugar). I know it's not the best and healthiest breakfast, but I wanted to enjoy the morning sun, having breakfast and looking at the papers.

And sometimes, I look with amazement at how some guys maintain disproportionate waist line, while having almost exactly the same kind of mamak food. This guy was, I guess, morbidly obese. And he was gulping down mee goreng and teh tarik. I had a few questions. First, does he tried to help himself by slimming down. Secondly, does he know that this kind of condition will worsen into diabetes and heart problems? In fact, does he really care for his health? I couldn't imagine myself being in his shoes.

In fact, the revenue stream collected by government run IJN is into the millions of dollars ( RM287.3 in 2007 ), shows that heart related patients are on the rise. And with Sime Darby eyeing IJN, it's becoming a reality that treating heart disease is looking way profitable than oil palm plantations.

How many malaysians really do sweat out? Ever wonder why men die earlier than women? After running around my neighbourhood for some weeks, I began to observe the following. Middle age and older women usually take a walk together, chit chatting, and they probably walk an hour or more. The men? One guy walks his dog, with pot belly hanging around his waist, while smoking. Another middle age obese guy, was sweeping in front of his garden. A few guys do walk. Some walk the dog with their wife. Only one or two men ran seriously.

The rest? I hardly see them exercise, or maybe some do go to the gym or some indoor sports. But I reckoned that 50% don't do a thing.

As I walk to my office this morning, I saw a Vitagen sign "Health is Wealth". And how true is that....if only majority of us start realizing it, and get out to sweat out.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Kuantan - Kuala Lumpur ride 276km

Luckily for the third day, the rain stopped, the sun embarassingly poke out, and it's a good day to cycle.
So I had to do what I had to do. Cycle back to my home in KL. My parents sort of disagree for safety concern.
They thought it's better to courier back the bike and take a bus.

After having fried rice for breakfast, I departed at around 7:40am. I had some worries on my tires pressure. Had not pumped in
since the ride from KL. Couldn't find a pump in Kuantan as bike shops were closed. So I am betting on getting home on not so inflated ones.

Reached Gambang without much difficulty. Stopped an Sri Jaya for some fruits and drinks, then passed Maran to quickly get to Temerloh.
Once in Temerloh, after the bridge, had some lunch. I think distance covered was 120 plus km. I was hoping to reach Karak in about 4.

After lunch the remainder of the journey was a bit hot as the sun came out. Didn't manage to get much speed, and reached Karak at around 4 plus.
Karak is just 52km from Temerloh. At Karak, had some drinks and was soon off. The previous fruit seller was surprised I cycled back. I acknowledged his comments,
but I knew ahead the path back is still a long way back. karak to bentong is around 15km. Had to cycled part of the highway before turning into Bentong Timor.

Reached shell station at bentong around 5.30pm. I knew I had 30 plus km to Genting Sempah, and I don't want to be stuck in the dark climbing up.
But at this point, with 195km on the meter, I was on the verge of bonking. Forget it, I am already bonked. And all this while climbing up to Sempah.
With numerous twist and turns of never ending tarmac, I just hoped my legs could take it. For if I have the choice of a support car, I wouldn't mind throwing in the bike.

After 1.5 hours and close to 7pm, I managed to reached the small bridge just before the steep ascent up. It's a 5km, I think, climbed up to to Bukit tinggi.
Stopped for awile to lace up the front LED lights because this part is totally dark.

With energy at zero, and lots of pain, and pedalling like mad, I finally reached Sempah. I was spent. But I've got to eat before going another 40km.

With lots of thinking to do, I finally concluded, anything more than 200km for cycling is pure hardship. Throw that in hills, and it becomes insane.

After dinner, I propped up the bike for the last ascent up, which is like 1km climb, before descending down to Hospital Orang Asli.
There's zero lights here, and while gravity helped on descent, it's certainly a harrowing time figuring what lies in front of the road. I was more worried of
rocks, potholes or anything that can throw me off, than some polong or hantu. A crash here will be a nightmare. In fact there was once I hit a hole and almost lost it.

Finally managed to reach HOA, then cycled to Gombak toll and back to city life.

But that's not the end of it, with 20km of MRR2 highway in the rain, it's just as hard as well.
With 1 km to go, finally the back tire went flat.
I was so glad it was 1km. I slowly walked back. At least I could still walk. Didn't want to change the tire because mine is very very hard to changed. It's not those bendable tires,
where you could easily popped the tube out.

As I reached home, I saw my car, and I felt wouldn't it be easier if I had just drove. I love my car more than ever.


Riding from KL to kuantan is not hard. At least 10 hours of riding time.

Riding from Kuantan to KL is very hard because of the climb. And also a longer distance because you have to reach Bentong first.
I think that's additional 5km. In fact it's so hard, I don't think I want to do it with support car either.

Road to Gombak...

The intersection just before Bentong, go left to hit the highway...

Temerloh soon...

At Maran, but still have 70km to cover...

After Gambang, the road is lighted, so was not worried...

Pedalling as hard as can to reach kuantan...

On the way back to KL, before Gambang...

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Kuala Lumpur - Kuantan Ride 271km

The ride from KL started at 7:17am. The wheather was cloudy, and a bit wet, which was great. That means the sun is out of the equation.

Managed to reach Karak after turning in to the highway just before Bentong in 4 hours. Stopped by to have a piece of papaya and 100 plus. The fruit seller said it would be a better idea to put my bike on the truck and take a trip to kuantan. I kinda agreed since there's still 180km.

The next destination was Temerloh situated 52km away from Karak. Managed to reach in about 2 hours time. Had lunch, rested, and was soon on the way to Maran around 40 km away. Until Temerloh, I had covered 149km.

I didn't feel worn down or fatigue. It's just that the distance is so far, and the time cycing is taking the toll on my butt. I didn't need a new pair of legs, but a new butt would just help. And I soon find out that the trucks, 18 wheelers that plied this area with ridiculous speed, could actually suck in my bike. It's due to the bernoulli effect. If two bodies moving at the same speed parallel, there'll be an attraction force between them. So everytime a truck passed by, I had to hold on to dear life, in case I became one of the roadkills.

I finally reached Maran, clocked 195km, at around 5pm. I still had 70+ km. Had 100 plus here as well, then was soon off chasing time to Sri Jaya. Then Gambang. By the time I reached Gambang, it was already 7:15pm. The sky has turned dark. I stopped by Gambang for some nasi impit but no sate and iced coffee.

After Gambang, it's the new 4 lane road to kuantan, totalling 30km. By this time, raid was already pouring, and I was getting wet. I kept on pedalling and the kilometers was closing in. When I finally see the bridge over the kuantan river, I finally knew I reached my destination.
After this was another 3km back to my house in bukit setongkol.


Surprisingly, I didn't feel much fatigue or leg pain, only butt pain for such a long ride (around 12 hours). Maybe it was because I was just using high cadence and didn't use much strength.

And now, am not sure if want to cycle back. It's been raining non stop. Lets see how for tomorrow.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Climb Climb Climb

The rest of the folks are out doing 200km from KL to Simpang Pulai, so I decided to do some cycling on my own. The route is exactly the same route I ran. From cheras to klawang and back 147km.

But this is probably the ride with the most climbs I've done. First, ampang hill. Then Bukit Hantu. Met with Isma and another young rider tagging behind him while climbing here. Isma is a pretty strong rider, and they were doing double bukit hantu. Bukit Hantu is notorious for its 3km climb with no respite in elevation. It's all the way up. In fact this is the harder than Peres and back from Titi to Peres.

Then, it's going up Genting Peres, and down all the way to Klawang. Even after Genting Peres, there's still 3 major climbs. It's not all downhill from there.

Reached Klawang just before noon, and had lunch.

After that it's back to Peres again. The last time I hit this path was a few weeks back. Back then I bonked. My guess was because I didn't had breakfast, and had not been cycling for a long long time. This time it was pretty manageable.

The last climb is again back Ampang hill, which it did rained a bit.

Total time spent riding is 6:49. Meter says 149km. But I was thinking, could I ran a marathon after that? Ironman is getting nearer...

Monday, November 24, 2008

HOA - Bentong Ride

Darren, Kenny and (sorry..forgot)

At first glance, I thought Darren's bike was polygon, but it's actually a Look carbon frame.

Kow Po Ice Kacang...a heaven for hot cyclist

I've always wanted to do this ride. The road from Hospital Orang Asli to Bentong old road is a favourite among cyclits for its hill climbs and long stretch road of nature. I've driven there a few times, enjoying the tight turns while speeding downhill. Aka Initial D.

I was stuck in the traffic for the UIA grads convo. So I started a bit late. Paddled like crazy to reach the gang who had stopped because John's bike had a puncture. I was pretty happy to made it to Genting Sempah in 50 minutes. Usually it would take more than an hour. Met with crazyDarren and then Ariff. Then it was a speed fest all the way to Bentong.

With the occassional burst of speed, I was left hanging chasing Darren and Arif. Kenny was also in the fast pack. Managed to cling on to Kenny for sometime as he was doing 36km average. Sometimes I lead, then Kenny. I was pushing it. And the good thing was, I was able to reach 40km/h. When we finally caught up with the pair, I was stoked. These 2 guys are very experienced riders, so their riding style was kind interesting to observe.

Finally in Bentong, we had a ice kacang special at this famous shop 'Kow Po'. With RM 3 bucks per serving, it was pretty not bad.

On the way back to HOA, I tried to cling on to Ariff and Bernard, but they were too fast. So, for some few kms, I was riding alone. But I still pushed, and it was getting hotter. Soon I found Ariff, but Bernard was gone. He had trouble catching up with bernard doing 37km/h, and that's a bit uphill gradient!

I had wanted to stick with him, but then thought of chasing Bernard. The tough part going back would be the bridge just before the steep climb up Genting Sempah. And here, it was suffering. Cramps was on the verge of coming, but I kept on going. Had a break just at Sempah munching a few raisins, before the last major climb. And guess what, just when I started back again, there was Ariff. He had chased me down since I left him.

However back to HOA, I had a puncture, but kept on riding till we reached back. Reflecting on the ride, it was hot, fast, and lots of climbs. But I knew I need to do more long distances, and ante up the speed for Ironman. Thanks to tomatoman for organising the ride. Now...we should hit the holy loop (HOA-Bentong-Raub-Fraser-Ulu Yam-HOA).

Friday, November 21, 2008

Shoe Review: Nike Lunar Trainer

With countless training shoes in the market, the Nike Lunar Trainer is an attempt to give a different look and feel for runners and athletes out there.

It surely didn't fail in design department. I've had people commenting they looked 'nice.' With such a radical sole design, I thought "What was Nike thinking?" It had a few jagged lines horizontally sidelining the base of the shoe. While it does give the impression of space walking, it certainly kept me wondering on the functionality of it.

I tried out a few runs with it. While the large base sole was a bit needing getting used to it, I soon found that it is quite comfortable when running. Personally, I am not a fan of too much cushioning and support in running shoes. Too many running shoes focused too much on giving the 'running on pillow' feeling, that they lost focus on making the shoes light and responsive enough for natural running gait.

The Nike Lunar Trainer, build with very light materials, managed to keep the pair light. And not to mention was that I was wearing size 8 UK (my usual size is 7.5 UK). So it ought to be heavier but not.

After the run, my legs was still feeling great, and not worn out. Nike claims this is due to the spread of pressure points which spreads out across the shoe, on each step. This would help greatly in cutting down the micro damage when running.

To understand how this works, you've got to dissect the shoe to see what is inside. I would love to do the Shell cut half sort of thingy, where they cut the rally car into half :) But luckily for their brochure, I don't have to. Inside that fluorescent sole is actually the Lunar Lite foam core (white color). And this is the stuff that actually distributes the stress when running over a larger area. It's 30% lighter than it's outer Phylon (fluorescent) core, which makes it ultra light.

Bottom line, it's pretty good. The light weight feeling when running was great, although it did feel like running in sandals because of the large sole. And it's a trainer shoe, so you could use it for other workouts in the gym as well. Should you get it? If you wanted some attention grabbing pair of trainers, then it's not a bad idea to get them.

Retail Price : RM 389.00

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Train you must

Since most folks went to Penang, John, Dr Ray and I were the only ones cycling from Bukit Jalil to Putrajaya-Salak. I was hoping we could cover 100km, but after using the mapmyrun tool, it was only 80 plus. It's pretty much a straight road, but quite heavy traffic considering most busses and lorries use this route to KLIA and back. From Bukit Jalil to Salak is only 30+km. So this put me into thinking mode of where to get the 100 plus km. Some routes in Putrajaya would cover for that.

Sunday. I had planned 2x bukit aman as part of the 200km. On the first loop, met with most runners coming back. Rashid was with me the first few km, but then I had to put up a faster pace. My goal was to run in the preservation mode. That means trying to run as efficiently as possible, and not pushing it. By the time I was back from the first loop, it already took 1:57.

I walked back to the car, got a slice of bread, some water, then got the sunglasses to keep the shades in, and went for the 2nd loop. The shades really helped to cool things down, at least from the visual perspective.

I kept thinking of whether I could do 10 loops. And frankly, I don't have the answer, nor do I really try to grasp it. As long as the legs can run, I'll just move on. I think most runners who had ran marathons knew the feeling at 10k, 20k and 30k are really different. You might feel good at 20k, but at further distance, you are just hoping the cramps don't come in. Or the fatigue doesn't sets in.

So how do you push further then? The answer is that you believe that at some point, you get out of the low point, and can continue from there. It's not all progressively going worst. You can actually push further, and then recover at some point.

By the time I finished the second loop, the time was 11:50 plus. It was humidly hot. The wheather had been sunny, and I seriously think ironman wannabes should run this route at noon to get used to the heat.

Now, lets go on to the next week.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Running in Loops

Since getting hit by a bike a few months back, I've been running in loops in my own housing community. It's not that paranoia of getting hit the second time, but I think the air is easier to breath in. Running the usual 11.7km uphill and downhill is along mainstream traffic, and you can easily guess how much exhaust fumes that goes into the lungs. Not good.

Another thing I soon found out. Running hills and flats is very different. The fact is you are using different muscle groups to tackle different terrain. The 1.5km loop I've been running in has a bit of elevation, but 80% is flat, which gives good workout on running flats.

At times it becomes boring, but if you treat it as though you need to complete a job, it'll work out fine. I did the impossible (sort of), by running 14 loops of 1.5km, totaling 21km. Want a marathon? just run 28 loops. I think it's easier running hartamas 20km that this. At least the scenery changes.

My game plan now would be trying to run at least 6 times of 21km, and 2 times of 40km in order to prepare for the 200km run. It won't be easy, but I'll need high mileage to get the body used to it. With no races at all, I could now really focus on getting this goal wrapped up, before doing more cycling for ironman. Actually I have to do more cycling in parallel. But one thing at a time.


On another note, I sometimes find that we could shock non runners by saying how much we ran. Just say "I ran 10km this morning..." and they'll look awed. Then I have to explain that 10km is pretty short for most runners. Try putting in marathon distance and I think they could faint.

Well, if you don't do anything for your body, you'll end up with clogged arteries.

Study: Obese Children, Teens Have the Arteries of 45-Year-Olds

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Getting Dirty: Genting Trailblazer 2008

Quite a number of folks who entered this race. There's Tony and San, then Siok Leng and Joanne, Heng and Kelvin Lee, and also new friends as well.

And as usual, Tey the photographer was there to caption all the fun and muddy participants slogging it out at the obstacles.

For the race itself, Shih Ming and I partnered for the mixed team competitive. But with Shih Ming's left arm dislocated injury not 100% healed yet, I was actually more worried about her than the race.

The race is a 14km from Awana resort, around 1.5km tarmac through the golf course, and then into the trails.

We were flagged off at 8:30 sharp, and the front runners all made a mad dash, us included. Before the golf course tarmac ended, we managed to pass Steph Chok and her causassian partner. Feeling good, I was able to crank up the speed to set the pace for Shih Ming. When the trail finally started, there's where more fun starts.

At the start, there was a bit of downhill, and flats with the occasional muddy parts. Then we came into an opening, did a few run up small hills and slide down on the butt kinda action. And after that it was the long long 40-60 degress climb uphill, which was kinda tough. If you were wearing normal running shoes, pretty much you will find yourself losing grip. I had opted for 'adidas kampung' while shih ming was in her Inov trail shoes. It had rained the previous night, which made it all the worse.

The organisers did a good job of preparing ropes for us to support during those ascent and descent. Yet, I still find myself slipping a few times.

We went through 2 streams, and I had some gulps of water there. Then the next half of the race, Shih Ming went lead. Somehow I had a cramp on the left calve. I guessed that swimming too much causes irregular breathing because you tend to breath at longer intervals. So I tried to rid it off by actively breathing faster.

The final part, when we just came out from the jungle, we met with another team in the same category. It was a malay guy and an indian lady. We did managed to pass them, but they were able to push harder. And after the last uphill, I was left all alone chasing shih ming at the lead, who was waiting at the obstacles.

The first obstacle was a chest deep 1.5 meters water hole. Shih ming went in first, and I took the plunge second. Immediately I had cramps from the cold shock. It took awhile to register that I had still had to pull shih ming out of the hole with one hand. Then another 2 water holes...and a long pond which we need to duck under. After that a few runs up some mounds. I thought we were still chasing the third team, but they were nowhere to be seen.

Yet we still went through the rest of the obstacles like maniacs. I was more worried about shih ming, than winning this thing. There were those 3 vertical 1 meter wooden barriers that you have to flung yourself over. With 2 hands, it's pretty easy. But try to do that with one's impossible. Yet she can still haul herself up with one hand, while her left is still in pain.

The last obstacle was the muddiest pond. I had cramps just jumping into it. My feet were stuck in the mud to the knees. I was beginning to think this is a warzone in Vietnam. On the verge of cramping and still moving on, I had to move slowly. And the finally holding hands to the finishing line.

My partner has given more than 100% just to finish, and that's what I called sheer determinism. was a lost battle but we still got 4th in 1hr 22min. Pretty happy with that nevertheless.
Tony and San managed to get 9th placing, Siok Leng's team 6th in the adventure category.

Note: It's not really a flat course. There's major uphills with muddy terrain. And you'll need to get trail shoes with grips. Normal runnin shoes won't cut it because there's no grip.

Coming back after slogging through the obstacles.

The third winning team for mixed..

The 2nd winning team for mixed. Note that we were at the back of the picture...I didn't know we were so close to 2nd.

More pictures at Tey's blog:

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Thank you smokers....

BAT (British American Tobacco) earnerd higher pre tax profit for the first 9 months this year RM 865 million on top of 3.13 billion revenue.

Now who said the economy is in recession? If purely judging from cigarettes sales, it could mean economy is going pretty well.

BAT ought to publish a full colored page on major papers, thanking their customers:

"Keep on smoking....and you can redeem the following gifts:"

1. cancer of the bladder, esophagus, larynx, lung, mouth, throat
2. chronic lung disease
3. chronic heart and cardiovascular disease
4. die 13 to 14 years before nonsmokers.


Monday, October 27, 2008

Shiny days are here...

I took this picture last friday evening. The incessant rain, which battered KL daily had finally stopped. It was so rare to see a sunset the past 2 weeks because it was always raining. And that meant less training, less cycling and less everything. So I stood momentarily for awhile, trying to appreciate those fleeting moments. Sunsets can be beautiful and enchanting, but just for a while.

On another note, I've finally able to run properly and out of the pain I've had for the exact 2 weeks. Had a run with Shih Ming and San at Bukit Gasing, because we're heading for Genting Trailblazer mixed team. The terrain is quite suitable for running, and less demanding than Nuang. But there's one section to the top with gradient around 30-40 percent which is quite tough. I tried to sprint a few times to see if I still have the flow of trail running, and it was pure fun. Running trails is a bit dangerous, but definitely not boring.

I decided to put the ultra run to another date, because of injury and also because of Trailblazer. It won't be so fair to Shih Ming if I were to bust my legs out before a race.


Putrajaya Powerman Simulation

With the route hotter than Powerman, we're supposed to do 10km run, 60km cycle, then 10km run. There's was quite a bunch of people, some new faces as well.

The first 10km, I was pushing the pace and managed to clock 44 plus minutes. But as usual for the cycling, I decided to just cycle moderately for completion, and the rest of the gang went pass. The last 10km run...translated to a lesser 7km run due to the 12pm sun. But some made it full distance (raymond ng, San and michelle looi).

That done, I am not actually going for Powerman this year.

Some thoughts: Putrajaya would be good for heat simulation for ironman.

nutrition: I knew nutrition is important, but it didn't occur to me that I need more protein. I realized I was losing muscle mass when I kept training at the same intensity. After a few research on the net, for active people like us, we've got to have protein intake x 2 body weight. That means around 100g protein per day. So guys, try to do a rough calculation for your protein intake. It'll definitely help in recovery.

Friday, October 17, 2008

David Goggins ran 150 miles

150 miles = 241 33 hours 36 minutes, a new course record (McNaughton Park Trail run )

Watch this understand the sports of ultras.

New Pair of Shoes: Saucony Grid Fastwitch 3

Woohoo, I just got a new pair of shoe from Choi.

It's the Saucony Grid Fastwitch 3...My current adidas trainer is probably 1000km + mileage and is totally worn off the soles.

But the new pair of shoe must be cursing the hell out of me. For its' virgin run, ehem...I went hiking up the muddy slopes of bukit segar. My feet was still in pain, and I suspect that this injury might take longer than I thought. Walking was all I could do.

The end result was mud all over. the shoes are pissed... I promise not to use it for hiking the next time.

Best waterfall in Malaysia: Berkelah, Gambang

I was pretty sick during the first few days of Syawal, but managed to hit this tropical paradise nearby Gambang, Pahang. It's Air Terjun Berkelah.

It's remote, not much people, and beautiful. You got to walk 1 km deep inside to reach the really nice spot.

But because I was recovering and half sick, I couldn't even swim properly in the deep end. My brother told me big fishes can be found there, ... but I didn't brought any googles, so I was left wondering what we might find.

However, as usual, I would like to condemn those local tourist, it had to be local, who keep on piling rubbish after rubbish like it's their own backyard. In fact they won't do this at their own backyard. Polystyrene cups, plates, plastics...what the hell...I am not reserving any vulgarities against these eco unfriendly people. How could you enjoy visiting a place, then leave the rubbish there?

Let's put it this way. Malaysian Tourist mentality = Rubbish mentality. And I am not sorry for stating it, because I've seen enough to be sad and angry about it.

There's a deep end at the falls...just becareful not to get drown...

hike up...and you get to see more beauty...

I jump...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I would rather swim

Last evening, I went for a swim. It's just another ordinary swim, but I've feeling restless past 2 days due to injuries on both feet. You see, I've got pain on top of both feet. It's bad enough to prevent me from running or cycling. In fact, walking to the office radiates pain.

I tried to swim consistently for 3km. And immediately I felt better. I know, my swim stroke is terrible, my strength gone done the drain, and am feeling ironman so far fetched an idea. How I felt? More like orang kurang upaya (OKU) [disabled folks]. But it felt better because I was pushing myself again. Oddly, I can't sit still. I just got to do swim, or bike, or run.

But I kept on going, like someone chasing a fledgling hope of getting faster, but just in vain.

Then it rained. And it rained more. And thunders started to streak across the sunset sky. Soon, I was the only person left swimming in the olympics size pool. When things started to get worse, I knew I had to bailed out my plan on the 3km swim. So I ended after 2.55km.

Last week cycling was really in the dumps. After almost 2 months of no cycling after Desaru, I felt reluctant to cycle. Maybe it was due to the bad experience of stuck gears during the race. I don't know. I just know my cycling is probably the weakest link in this tri sports.

Yet, I opt with some of my cycling buddies to cycle to Titi. First, I have to climb the Ampang hill, then climb up to Genting Peres, and up and down after Peres. I was so famished, or near bonk, so I stopped just before the 12km mark to kelawang to dine in with the rest.

And going back is suffering in slow motion. Had to climb back to Peres, then another climb back Ampang hill. Back pain, butt pain, hand pain, and getting roasted in the sun,...I was kept wondering what's so fun of cycling. I would rather run 8 hours than sitting on the bike for that long. I know, I would need to pump in the mileage for cycling if I wanted to be good at it. But at the moment, cycling is something the least I would choose compared to swim and run. Basically, no love in cycling.

Nevermind, it'll definitely take time, but time is soon fleeting away as the clock ticks closer to ironman langkawi...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Sick and Out

I've fallen ill for the past few days. I think it was due to work stress more than running stress. It was just a few days, but when I started running again, every feeling in the legs says I am done for. The joints feels like an old man, and I was wondering if this is the end of my running career. Or is it running Genting Highlands 3 times disturb that old man's peace, and that's why I got sick.

I am putting of the 200km to 25th so I've got enough time to get back on track. Now everything seems like a train wreck.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Genting Highlands Night Run #3

The descent proves to be chilling as well...I ran with both arms wrapped around the body.

Beautiful Pagoda Arch..

Note how steep the descend is...

Third time. The problem is I've got bored of Genting. But some of the same group of people still want to organize it for the last time before Ramadhan, so that pulled me in. But this time, the group was larger. Ngae informed us, his friend working at the Resort had prepared for us, some hot beverages when we reach the top.

This time, as usual, I've strapped on the light pair of Saucony Type A2, anticipating a quick run up.

For the last 4km, the cold damp wind proved to be bone chilling. And as I near the last 1km, met with Mac on the way down...wondered where he was heading to.

I managed to clock 2:22 on the way up, more than my 2nd attempt. Then I went straight to coffee bean to get a hot cup of coffee, which is one I really need to keep warm. I soon found out that they had a Sammi Cheng concert up there.

Met with the rest of the gang at Starbucks. Elaine, Dino, Ngae were already there. I opted to run down just after 1am, because I did't want to reach home too late.

And after 1:55, I reached Genting Sempah again. Total time was 4:18.

A few other fellows also did ran down: Alex, Elaine, Zac (hungary guy), Jacq and Nurashid.

And no, no more Genting after this. Maybe next year.


I am planning a 200km run 11th Oct, achievable by running 10 loops bkt aman - sri hartamas. Only one loop around Petronas station. Estimated time is 1.5 days. Is it doable? I am not sure, but will give it a try.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Genting Highlands Night Run #2

Descending from Genting Highlands...

Where's my bed?

Before the run, I had an invitation break fast at Hotel Impiana near KLCC. The food was pretty good and as usual, different varieties of food were laid out. While the rest of the diners plunged into a variety of almost everything, I took a few bites here and there. Didn't want to stuffed up with food before going for another run up Genting Highlands....

These days...any middle age working adult person would start the conversation about the political uncertainty in Malaysia. Frankly, I've had it with politics. I skipped political news and blogs, and only glanced throught the headlines. The details were not important... Sometimes, I had wished they would talk about something running :)

9:30 pm sharp and a bunch of runners were already there. Notably Steve, Alex, Julie, Dino, Kam, Ishal, Jaclyn, and a few other new faces. This time, I laced up the Saucony Type A2. I want to run as fast as possible to set a PB.

We set off around 10pm. For the first few km, I quickly find a suitable fast pace into the lead, and kept on to it. One caucasion guy (zach..), was tailing around 50-100 meters for the first 3-4km or so. Pretty impressive. This time, less lights were lighting up the road. And fewer cars as well. At times, we were running in total darkness, saved for the faint white road line. Soon I lose him.

Downhill section was after 5km mark, so I pushed it here. Managed to reach the 10km mark in 0:55:11s. As I reached the last 9km mark, I was wondering if I could do sub 2 hour, which required a pace of 6min/km. However as the road starts to elevate higher, I knew I was just hanging on to a slow pace. The last few km was tough, as knees radiated pain and minor cramps. I kept reminding myself not to stop and keep on running. Finally I reached the top at 2:13:58. Although far from sub 2, somehow I was pretty satisfied with it.

Then I had iced blended coffee at Coffee Bean... and some dates. Some of its' patrons were wondering the attire I was in. The weird part ought to be the red LED blinking light at the back...

After around 15minutes...I slowly walked back to Starbucks. No one was there, and it was freezing cold. So I started the descent. Now..the motivation is to get home and sleep. I was missing bed terribly. But I got to run another 20km to get back to Genting Sempah. As usual, it was pretty alrite saved for some uphill after 11km.

But it wasn't the pain in the legs that struck me the most while descending. It was the tranquility and clear night sky. Stars vividly showed their brilliance, and there was hardly any wind. Reminds me if this was the Night of Power (Lailat-ul-Qadr). But then I should be doing some prayers then, and not running in the midst of hills.

Reached back the car, drove to MacD, and had sahur. Woked up dazed with millions of endorphins in the blood stream....the most legal way to experiencing getting stoned.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Genting Highlands Night Run

Azmar, Alex, Shazly, upiq, Kai Yen, Sean Chang...before the run

Ironman Robocop Stupe

At goh tong jaya

At the top!

The planned run starts from Genting Sempah and up to the top of Genting Highlands. Distance up is roughly 20km.

So a bunch of us, mostly runners, a few on bikes gathered at McD at around 9:30. The fellows were Stupe, Shazly, Upiq, Ariff, Julie, Ishal, AJ and some others I have met for the first time. Some have done it. Some the first time.

Stupe and I started just before 10pm, because the plan was, to run down as well later. Stupe was dressed up more like a SEAL member with all the gadgets like GPS, headlamps, and a back pack with stuff inside, which is almost 3kg!. I wore a pouch bag, some dates, money, and holding a small water bottle, and also wore the red back light lamp.

So the first 5 km is all the way gradient at around 5-10, the most 15 degrees. Since running at night is pretty dangerous, I paced with stupe. Amazingly, this is his first run after desaru, as he have to wait for his foot blisters to heal.

We reached Goh Tong jaya at around 1 hour later. Then as we hit the last 9km, this is where it gets a bit harder. I have to leave Stupe behind at the last 7km, then I started consistently running non stop to the top. After doing Kinabalu, Genting looks so tame. So I convinced myself not to walk, but just keep on running.

I crossed the arch at 2:47, pretty ok time, but could have been better. While waiting for the rest at Starbucks, I was wondering if I should run down.

Soon the rest came....julie, yusran, rashid...I bet the patrons sitting at Starbucks have no idea what we were up to.

Then I made the decision to run down. Stupe has yet to arrive...and i thought it would be too late if I keep on hanging around. I was already freezing up there, so running down fast would be a better idea.

Running down is perhaps the easiest and enjoyable experience one can have. Not much work need to be done. While going down, one could see KL basking with lights and it's simply a nice view. There are a few tough parts, which is after 12km mark, which I have to run some 1-2km uphill.

Soon the rest of the guys in support cars were coming down. It was nice of them to offer a ride, but since I have just like 3km left, I could finish it. However running in this kind of hour and place reminded me of running at Genting Peres at midnight. It's a surreal experience.

I reached back Genting sempah around 3:36 am, which took 1:56 to come down. So total distance covered is 40km. The mileage for that day was 46km, since I had ran in the morning 6km as well!

There's another genting run next week as if anyone wants to try it, I would say just do it. It's actually not so hard running up.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Kota Kinabalu stroll

The seafood in KK town is gorgeous. Visiting one will make you think that you are at a marine park.

Since my flight was tuesday, I took a trip to pulau gaya on monday. Trip by a speed boat will take only minutes to reach the other side. And this is the usual transportation the locals used.

The boatman had stopped me at a school, which is also build on stilts. So I made my way towards the resort which lays somewhere to the west north.

From the town, pulau gaya seems like an laidback coastal village. But on nearer observation, it's a place of immigrants and lacking basic amenities like water and electricity. The villagers live in houses with stilts above the seawater, which are so flimsy, strong winds would have toppled them. The beach nearby is also littered with rubbish, plastic bags, and is so polluted, it deserves to be called a slum. And children plays amidst all this.

But as I reached the resort, the whole scenery changed. Now you could see, nice sandy beaches, with fishes and corals. There's even a marine conservation center, and a seafood restaurant. Pulau Gaya is like a 2 face island. One contains the slums, and the other paradise.

A trip to the local pasar malam was quite interesting as well. Seafood is usually roasted with fire, and displayed for patrons to choose from.

Kota kinabalu seafront...nicely decorated with fishes...

Another view from the seafront...nearby are fisherman boats..

The jetty to pulau gaya at the back...

A mosque constructed above the waters at Pulau Gaya

Walking towards the resort Gayana

I found nemo...

Bamboo sharks..



Mantis shrimp

This is a live squid..and it's so charming to be eaten.

sea turtle..

Some fishes..

no idea what are these

Looks like cat fish

Stone fish....the world's deadliest fish.

Puffer fish

The shark is just beneath...

Having a sip at Gayana resort

Napolean wrasse...unfortunately some restaurants here still serve this endangered species.

Another napolean wrasse..

Grouper fish..

The slums of pulau gaya...

The beach is littered with rubbish everywhere...

The school on stilts..

Glorious seafood...

Lobsters ... one cost RM 300 bucks.

See that napolean wrasse?

Live seafood on display..

Live abalones as well...

Now...this looks weirdly familliar

These looks like giant moths...dare to try?