Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Fried Rice Paradise

In 1989, I bought a cassette called The Mad Chinaman..It has the best rap version of Rasa Sayang...

Yesterday I sat at the Esplanade listening to that song, I became that teenager again...

Me in my Box Seat

The Feel of the Stage before the show
The Story of Fried Rice Paradise is set in 1979 and Singapore in the midst of modernisation. In the race to create a world class city, old districts are being torn down. Rickson Goh is one such developer with big plans to run Jalan Calamansi into an entertainment area.

Its surviving residents ( many moved to brand new HDB like Ang Mo Kio) include Chow Kew Teng and his daughter Bee Lean, who runs a noodle shop on the ground floor of their crumbling shophouse home.

Together with the neighbours, Bee Lian struggles to save  her little street. Along the way, she encouters excitement, fear and love...

The actors in the musical include Taufik Batisah ( the 1st Singapore Idol) , Denise Tan (who played Bee Lian), Sebastian Tan, the legendary Rahimah Rahim etc...

For me, the star of the show is Denise Tan. Her duet with her 'father' Lim Yu-Beng was equally touching. They have voices suited for the stage.

Taufik Batisah only shines in his solo when Denise is falling in love with Sebastian. That song has the same feel and during the intro..I thought he was going to sing Me and Mrs Jones..the song that brought him to fame in the Singapore Idol.

Overall, it a heart warming show and I can never forget the line "Fried Rice Paradise, Nasi Goreng very nice..

If I must say, this show is better than the previous Dick Lee's  musical..Beauty World

Fried Rice Paradise

Monday, August 30, 2010

Newton Pacemakers Relay No 6 : Let's hear it for the girls

I have never participated in a relay (except in training). As they say it is more exciting than a individual race. The NPar6 relay was opened in few months back. I advertised in my FB and the first to respond was Geet Kandiah. We climbed Mount Kinabalu together in Apr this year and she was the first girl to reach the summit.

Geet on the way to Laban Rata in Mount Kinabalu
Then I called my friend Suki Tang and Eunice Toh  and they both agreed.
Taiping Heritage Run 2010

I know it will be competitive, so instead of fighting for position..let's me it a fun run. I told them not to worry about the position. Most teams are 3 boys and a girl...so we just need to beat any team with more than 1 guy ..that's all...

Since I am the Captain.. I can get to choose the team's name and with the support of Eunice, we named ourselves James Bond 007 so that they can be Bond girls..

Me and my previous Bond girls

Eventually Suki had to pull out and she got her fellow Bukit Jalil kaki..Britanny Lim to stand in for her..and Britanny pull in her good friend Yuen Hoong Chin..This is the pic of our first training in the Metropolitan Park on 15th Aug...

Hoong, Me, Zenon, Eunice and Jet
We have some supporters from Germany and Kepong too. Sorry, Geet was late trying to locate the Metropolitan Park and therefore not in the pix above. Thank God all us found it on the 15th Aug.

Owing to miscommunication with PM1, we practised the WRONG direction twice. On that day Hoong was the leader in completing the loop in 15:30, I was 15:40 . Eunice managed a 20min and Geet 22min.

Geet felt bad and wanted to pull out. I assured her that it all for fun and asked to stay on.

We had a second session on the 22nd Aug. In retrospect , our on site training really helped our actual day as we get to familiarise with the terrain.

Eunice did her 1st sub 20min then and Geet improved to 21min.

Race Day

Geet was the first to arrive at 615am. We met at my car and decided our running position ...Eunice shall be 1st runner, I will be the 2nd runner , Geet will be third and Hoong shall be anchor. We warmed up around the race site about 2 times, then we ran in the loop in the right direction...finally.. Total distance was 4.5km in 31:30min.

Ms Brittany Lim and her sifu Mr Tang also came to support us. We are very touched by their presence.

Eunice started and came back in her record time of 18min 20sec. Her PB definately. She was in the 18th position.

Taking Over from Eunice
I took over and speed ahead but kept telling myself to pace. I overtook a few in the beginning. Then after all the hills I was already burnt out but kept pushing.  I tried intervals by picking up alternate lamp posts. Lastly I saw runner no 12B ..he was the last person I wanted to overtake. I did.

After overtaking 12B..Storm Runners
Then I almost fizzled out and suddenly Bro Tey Eng Tiong shouted...He overtook me..
Being Overtook by Storm Runners 12B

It was the end of the blue track..So on the uphill climb to to finishing I emptied my fuel tank and eventually overtook him ...
Passing the baton to Geet

Geet ran the race of her life and she back in sun 20min..19min 53sec to be exact. She was grateful to Brittany and Mr Tang for pacing her. Her heart rate has gone up to the sky.

Hoong  took over and came in a good time of 14: 40..We finished the race of 13.2 km in 67min 15sec.

This is our summary:-

Eunice Toh  18:20 --> 18:20 Position in Race = 18
KK Yum      14:22-->  32:42 Position in Race = 12
Geetha         19:53-->  52:35 Position in Race = 20
Hoong          14:40-->  67:15 Overall Position = 19

41 teams competed and we were at the TOP HALF at all times..We were racing with sub 3 hours marathoners and I am proud of my team members.. Like many things in life, we can't do it alone...

Hoong, Mr Tang, Britanny, Eunice, Geet and I

Friday, August 27, 2010

LSD on 28.8.10. Bukit Aman to Hartamas and return

Today is 28th day of the 8th month..a most auspicious number to the Chinese.

I made arrangements to Sandy since last Sunday to do the LSD today as tomorrow I am participating in the Newton Pacemakers Relay. Henry contacted me yesterday and made arrangements to meet us.

I got up at 530am and made myself coffee & had Nature Valley Cereal bar for breakfast. Then as I opened my windows, I realised that it is drizzling. However, in the spirit of Bootcamp, I knew Sandy would be there rain or shine. Fresh from her trip to Koh Samui..

I got there at 615am and texted the both of them. By then, Henry would have done 2 loops of bird park about 5km. We start with light stretch and we took off at the auspicious time of 628am.

We met Bobby Yap and SH Foo from the beginning and the 5 of us took off at about the same time. After Bank Negara, I left Sandy and Henry to the front. I intended to wriggle my way of out doing the MIsery Mountain loop at Hartamas.

Slow and easy jog with SH Foo. At times, I felt that I need to keep to his pace also. Arrived in Hartamas after 64minutes. By then, Sandy already left for Misery Mountain loop. Henry having his R&R at Petronas.

I was warned that Sandy wanted me to do the Misery Mountain 2nd loop with her. We waited for Sandy. She was back in 15 minutes. Couldn't wriggled my way out of the Misery Mountains. Thanks to the guys who ABANDONED me.

So I did an extra 1km small loop with Sandy with the time of 7 minutes.

From there, we headed straight for the home stretch. We saw SH Foo and Bobby walking in front of Plaza Hartamas. Apparently to conserve energy for tomorrow's relay. Henry was nowhere to be found.

We strived on and after the KL mosque, we saw Henry. We had to intention to overtake him yet..We want to overtake him at a comfortable pace. We are maintaining about 5:45/km pace.

Finally after Tijani, we overtook Henry. Sandy set a 4 hr 20 min target for Henry in  Singapore Marathon. So I said to Henry...Catch up and try imagining the 4:20 ON THE CLOCK. He did manage to catch us up somewhere near Bank Negara Kommuter Station. He shouted something inaudible..

We pressed on and finished with a sprint in the car park like before with a nett time of 54:44 from Hartamas.

Summary of Run

Bukit Aman to Hartamas:
Distance: 9.75 km (According to my Polar)
Time: 1: 03: 56
Average Pace : 6:33 min/km
Maximum Pace: 5:40 min/km

Hartamas small loop
Distance : 1.0km
Time : 7min

Hartamas Shops to Bukit Aman
Distance: 9.31km
Time : 54:44
Average Pace: 5:52min/km
Maximum Pace: 4:05min/km (wow..must be the sprinting finish)

Total Distance : 20.06km
Total Time : 2hr : 5 min : 40sec

Sandy and I at SCKL 2010 (Women Vet ..No 5 Placing)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

adiNation of Runners KLCC: How I ran a PB

On Wednesday I was informed that we are doing a 3 lap time trial. This is in preparation for the Newton Pacemakers Relay No 6 this Sunday. I got to our meeting place before 6 pm. I saw Woei Jie who was the super photographer which the most elaborate Nikon equipments I have ever seen.

Our Meeting Place at KLCC Park every Thursday. All our bags and drinks are placed under the Blue Signage
That's Woei Jie in green. He helped me to take the shots from my Canon as my assigned phtographer was late. These are the poses in the latest Pacemakers Malaysia running vest.

Latest Pacemakers Malaysia Vest

The Back of Vest
As I wanted to take the T shirt version , my camera battery died on me. So have to wait till this Sunday to take the T shirts..I am doing this as a favour for PM1 as he needs to put the pics up in his blog.

My previous 3 lap best time was 18min 25 sec..So I set a target of sub 18 min this time. My strategy was to do 6min 20sec for 1st lap, 6 min for the 2nd lap and sub 5 min 40sec for the final lap.

I knew I needed to warm up as much as possible..So I started with the slowest possible lap of 1.3 km with the time of 8min 30 sec , then slowly increased to 7min 53 sec. By the time I finished the 2nd lap, I saw the whole gang was there and started warming up. My third and fourth lap was 7min 37sec and 7 min 15sec. The total  time of warm up was 31min 17 sec..(Average per lap 7min 34sec)

Then the race began...

There were 15 of us starting at the 800 tracker distance marker as usual. I tried to keep up with the pack..Lionel Lee who turned bare foot runner on that day, Ronnie and Shafiz was in front as usual. Then the 2nd group of Fong, Lai, Chee Ming, Andy, Calvin, Dominick and Daniel. I kept this 2 groups in sight.. I finished in the first lap in 5min 28 sec. I knew I was too fast.

Then in the second lap, I began to take the toll of the 1st lap. My breathing was getting harder. I tried to maintained my stride and land on fore foot most of the time. However, I still managed to overtake the 2nd group one by one except for Fong. He zoomed ahead of  me like the wind. My time for the 2nd lap was 5 min 44sec. That when I know my splits are all over the place. If only I had better mental strength.

For my last lap the 3 persons ahead was Lionel, Ronnie and Fong. I kept them in sight all the time. Lionel and Ronnie zoomed ahead through halfway at the last lap. I only have Fong as my marker from The Binjai Condo onwards. I have no intention of over taking him. That's because I knew that my PB is safely in my pocket.We maintained a distance of 10m till finish. I completed my last lap in 5 min 36sec.

The total time for 3 laps was 16 min 49 sec. My average lap was also 5 min 36 sec similar as my last lap. My average pace was 4min 18sec /km.

I was estatic as usual and when I looked at Ronnie splits..I thought to myself perhaps negative splits doesn't count in a short sprint?

adiNation of Runners KLCC: How I ran a PB

DER PACEMAKERS NETWORK - Spirit of Pia!: adiNation of Runners KLCC: "What : adiNation of Runners When : 26 August 2010, Thursday Meeting Point : KLCC Park Route : KLCC Jogging Track Time : 6.35pm Menu : 1..."

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Top 10 Rules of doing a LSD

LSD stands for Long Slow Distance. It a long run to build up endurance so that we are able to complete the distance of a marathon or sub marathon.

Here are the Top 10 rules of doing a LSD..
  1. Trying  not to overeat the night before
  2. Miminimise on sweets.
  3. Do not consume excessive alcohol
  4. Get enough sleep.
  5. Do not stay up till 2 in the morning
  6. Sleep in your own bed so that you are familiar and better rested
  7. Minimise walking or running the day before
  8. Try to save your breath by minimising talking
  9. Talk softly if possible
  10. Do not tired yourself by meeting so many new friends.
Ok. I broke all the rules above and still manage to do a LSD on Sunday but it was fun and here the pictures to show..

The Group of the Night Birds

My new friend from Krung thep Mahanakorn aka Bangkok

Mummy no 63 who has to leave early

I aim to please...

Sometimes I take matters into my own hand

Need I say more..
A reminder....

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Why I Like To Run KLCC Park?

I work out in KLCC since May 2002. Never been to the park much. Except for this time somewhere in 2004 where the gym offer a free Polo T for running in the park. So I did just to get the T shirt.

Then during the bib collection for Energiser at Hotel Melia in KL, I saw the booth for the Adination. So I signed up and called up this person listed on the website named Ronnie See. And you say the rest is history..still in the making.
One Big Happy Family
I didn't make it the first week I called up because it was running cats and dogs. So I met them first time on the 8 April 2008. There was Captain Ronnie of course, Richrad Habeya, and they were so fast. They were doing sub 5min/km for 1st lap. I tried to follow but eventually fizzled out. I clocked my 1st 5 laps with them with time of 37min 56sec. the total distance of 5 laps is 6.5 km.

I always put this time on my Facebook wall as a reminder of where I have started from. 6 weeks later I achieved my PB for 5 laps which still stands today at 31min 58sec. An improvement of almost 6 mins. I think that was the only time I beat my dear brother Shafiz Sazanuza.
Shafiz Sazanusa and I
Nowadays I still float about 32-33mins for 5 laps. The best is yet to come..

From Left, Kee Guan Chye, Captain Ronnie See, Wind Fong, Khairul and Happy Me

The happy shots of me running in the park reminds me of the happy times there.

From left:  Shafiz, Daniel  Chow, Lai Fong Sang and Ronnie See
The look on everyone face after 4 laps chasing the Captain.

Peace to all.

MapMyRun.com | View Taiping Raya 18.5km Run in Taiping, Malaysia

MapMyRun.com View Taiping Raya 18.5km Run in Taiping, Malaysia

Monday, August 16, 2010

My Virgin Marathon

I select my first posting to be on my virgin marathon and here it goes..

I was reminded by a gym friend late last year of the coming runs for the year 2010. He especially informed me about the coming Hong Kong marathon that is coming up late Feb 2010. So, when I log on the website in early November, the registration was already opened.

I have done a couple of halfs but never attempted a full marathon. This is because for me, the full seemed to be such a mythical and unattainable distance. I was so tempted to do the full marathon mainly because the route passes through 3 magnificent bridges. The bridges are the Stonecutter Bridge which is a new bridge just opened in December 2009, the Tsing Ma Bridge and the Ting Kau Bridge that leads to the new territory.

The Magnificent Stone Cutter Bridge
I arrived in Hong Kong on a Thursday evening during the cool season and it wasn’t as cool as I thought. I was prepared with sweaters and gloves that I brought for my race. Perhaps it was the excitement of the race; I woke at 5 am the next day. I didn’t know what to do, so I decide to take the first train to Kowloon which is the starting point of the race and check on the time. It only took me 20 minutes to get to Kowloon from Northpoint in Hong Kong Island where I was staying. I was at Kowloon park by 630am. That was good as my race will start on 715am on Sunday and the organizer will not permit anyone to start the race after 7 25am. I had a slow jog in Kowloon Park that morning looking at retirees doing tai chi and walkabouts. That was my last run for about 30 minutes and I took the star ferry back to the island.

At HK Disneyland
So instead of roaming the streets of Hong Kong, I decided to go to Disneyland on Friday. There was still walking and standing in line but whenever, I get a chance I will park myself in a bench be it taking photos or looking at the parade. I was so tired on Friday due to the early mornings and the amusement rides at Disney. I dozed off at 9pm. That was a good as I know I will not be able to sleep well the following night. 
Collection of Bib
I woke up fresh on Saturday at 9am. It was a blissful 12 hour sleep and looking back, I think it helped me on race day. I went to collect my race day pack at Victoria Park which is only 2 underground stations away from my hotel.

Sorting out race packs
In fact, it was like another day in the park with people strolling by. I made proud to queue in the full marathon queue for the 1st time. Volunteers were packing goody bags in the sun and as for me; these are the real heroes of the race.

Finishing Gantry
I tried to sleep by 10pm but it was difficult. I found my self awake by 130am and I look out the window, they were already started closing the road. The 10 km race starts at the Eastern Corridor which is right in front of my hotel. By 2 am, there were no cars on the road.

I was woken up by 2 alarm clocks and the hotel reception at 5 am. Had my shower and breakfast and saw the first group of the 10km running in front of my hotel. The Hong Kong government make sure that the first underground trains starts at 330am in order to bring people to the starting line. That was a good effort by the authorities.

The view from my hotel room showing the 10km race at the Eastern Corridor in Hong Kong Island
I took my train at 610am and arrived at Kowloon Park slightly after 630am. There were so many people and there were more than 30 trucks waiting for luggage deposit.  By the time I finishing queuing, I just barely had enough time for my last toilet break. I look around for water stations and  found it down Kimberly Street and drank from the paper cups. I squeezed myself at the sides of the starting pen. By then my heart was pounding with excitement with the hope that everything will go well.

Starting Gantry at Nathan Road
The flag off time was 715am and with much fanfare too. The honourable Donald Tsang did the flag off. Confetti was flying every where.
My first time running through the streets of Hong Kong and I passed the Baden Powell house in my first km. Then on to the Olympic Station and to the Western Corridor which is the highway to the airport. We were directed to the 1st left turn and on to the stone cutter island. It was a climb from street level to an elevation of 80m.
Tsing Ma Bridge
So many local runners stopped and took photograph because this is a new route and a new bridge. It was opened not more than 3 months. As for me, my 1st toilet call happened on the bridge and I queue for the mobile toilet.
Nam Wan Tunnel: the 1st of 3 tunnels
Stone Cutter is a cable stayed bridge pretty much like the Penang Bridge. The feeling of running on it was magnificent. I can see tankers going below the bridge. The mid span of the bridge is the marker for Km 8. We crossed the stone cutter bridge to go from Stone Cutter Island to Tsing Yi Island. From the bridge, we head to the stone cutter/Nam Wan tunnel. It was a straight 2km down hill tunnel. This is the first of the 3 tunnels in the race.
After we exit the stone cutter bridge, we can see the grand Tsing Yi Bridge and the Ting Kau Bridge.

The 1st turning to Tsing Ma Bridge is at km 15. Tsing Ma is a suspension bridge that is even longer than the Golden Gate. We had to do a U turn on the bridge.

After we exit Tsing Ma Bridge, we have to turn to the Ting Kau Bridge that leads to the new territories. The half turning point of the race is at the U turn of the bridge. I reach my 21.1km mark at 2 hr 19 min. It was much slower than my usual half marathon time but then again I am not running a half marathon. I have another half marathon to go.

They feeding us bananas and chocolate bars by then and some really stop to eat and enjoyed the view from the bridge. The highest elevation of the race is at the Ting Kau Bridge which is 90m from sea level.

By now, I have experienced all the 3 bridges of the Hong Kong Marathon. Now onto my second tunnel which is the Tseung Tsing tunnel which leads to Tsing Yi satellite town. .

After we exit the Tseung Ching tunnel, it was an elevated highway all the way. I saw the IFC tower and thought it that Hong Kong Island is near. In actual fact this was the new IFC tower that they built on Kowloon side. The highest 5 star hotel in the world will occupy the top 15 storey of this building.

It was still a long way to go and I only the 26km marker. I chase for time because I wanted to do a sub 5 hour marathon. I know it’s within my reach. So I chased for the time for the 30km mark. I managed to clear the 30km in 3 hr 29 min. I was so happy and really thought I can do the next 12.2 km in 1 hr 30min. That was when the torture began...

After the 30km mark, I slower down and felt my heel is aching. It could have been worse if not for my titanium tapes I stuck on my calves and knees. It was a mental race from then on. The 30km to 34km was rather flat as we were on the elevated highway. I was in pain and said to myself never again a full marathon.

Then it slopes down from 34km and I can see the last tunnel of the race, the Western Cross Harbour tunnel, a sub sea tunnel that links Hong Kong and Kowloon. As the saying goes, whatever that goes down must come up (or is it the other way around). I ran to the bottom of bottoms at 37km mark which is actually 30m below sea level. I had my third power gel at that point.

The Climb at the Western Cross Harbour Tunnel
From the lowest point of the cross harbour tunnel, it’s a 3km climb to surface and a climb round the elevated flyover like we encounter in the putrajaya run. Welcome, to Hong Kong. This is the home stretch.

I saw SheungWan and passed the Shun Tak Centre. The 2nd last drink station is here and we pass the business district at Central. They didn’t close the road completely. By then, I was running next to traffic jam. One more small tunnel and up to the side road away from traffic.

I passed the City Hall and my leg screamed pain. Then to Wan Chai, saw the Hong Kong Red Cross and the Hong Kong Performing Arts Centre. Then the grand Hong Kong Exhibition and convention centre built for the 1997 handover.

Then my last km, I skip the last drink station before the turn at Marsh Road. I had 12minutes to run my last km. Then, I saw another fly over at Marsh road. I was swearing then.

Finally down the flyover, into Causeway bay. I heard crowds around me but I was in zombie mode. I passed Sogo and the right turn into Victoria Park. I was chasing this Caucasian girl and over took her.

I saw the clock. The time shown was 5 hr 00min20 sec. My heart sank. I didn’t bother to push anymore. I took my time with people passing me. I didn’t cared .I was at the verge of tears at the last 50m. Then I composed myself and held myself together. I pass the line with a time of 5 hr 01 min 06 sec with a victory pose.

I was given my well deserved medal. I have ran a good 42.195km. 28 Feb 2010…the magical day I lost my marathon virginity.

When I crossed the finishing line, I changed my mind of not wanting doing another marathon. I will do another one. When I heard the evening news, I found how tough the day has been for some. They were expecting temperature of 16-18celcius and on the day of the race it was 24 Celsius and humidity was more than 90%. 55 persons were admitted to hospital and 3 were in critical condition. The Kenyan who won the marathon again said that this was his toughest race ever and his time was 5 minutes slower than the year before.

Now that I have conquered the marathon, I know there’s nothing I cannot do if I put my heart and soul into it. That faithful day gave me courage to do bigger things in life.

The Running Engine

Hi,  I just started my running blog. I chose to study engine when I was young. The human body is an engine. The more you train it, the faster it runs.