Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Broga in the mist

Some people think triathlon is just like any other sport; well let them think that; triahtletes know better. Being a triathlete requires a lot of discipline, hard work, mind over matter, force your body on to new limits etc. No morning sleep-ins, with coffee and the Sunday newspaper for this brand of people.

No, instead they wake up at 5am, have a quick breakfast (usually some energy-bar). load bikes & other gear and leave the house before the crack of dawn.
Before a long ride many are tense, especially the new-comers. But we show it by chitchatting while getting the bikes ready, bottles filled, helmets in place…

And so it went yesterday (29dec; Awal Muharram). A group of us met at Hulu Langat; ride for the day; Broga (apparently the word means ‘terror’ and I’ve heard many terror stories about his ride. A fair group of people showed: CK, AJ, Jaja, Kooky and Hubby, Amir and Norizan, Upiq, Chan JS and several ppl I hadn’t met before.

The weather around us was cloudy with a slight drizzle coming down. The mountains were shrouded in the mist. AJ checked the weather from the satellite pics on his phone and it didn’t look good. All of Pahang was covered by thick clouds and it looked there was heavy rain in store for us. Not a good day to ride a mountain-road with steep slopes. AJ decided to head home instead.
The rest decided to give it a try. Shoes clicked into place and we set off unto the road. Upiq made a headcount to ensure no-one would be left behind during the long day ahead.
The drizzle continued on the first 10km. Darren had a flat tire. We regrouped at simpang tiga to wait for him. Muscles just warming up, mind set on a hard task ahead, ready to face the first hills….
CK contacted Rashid who had ridden ahead earlier; the news was not good – heavy rain in Sg Tekala forced Rashid and Fong to retrace their tracks and head back. We absorbed the news for a moment; two of the toughest athletes among us, would we be able to conquer where they had failed…….

So, we turned back…….
Only a few followed Mr. Chan’s group up to Perez instead.

However CK had made arrangements for us to have breakfast at his friend’s house in Semenyih. So we loaded the bikes back in the car and rode in comfort to Semenyih; TOTAL CYCLING DISTANCE COVERED 23km @#**??!/{GRR

So the group of hardened athletes spend the morning having some of the best nasi lemak I’ve ever tasted at OP Khalili Khalid house. Anyone gets invited to taste Puan Salha’s cooking would be a fool to say no. After the food was greatly diminished the songbook came out and undiscovered talents among the cyclists. Still dressed in full cycling gear we had a jamming session: our host on the piano, Darren as guitarist, leadsingers CK and Rais (Kooky’s husband), back-up singers Bahri, Jaja and Kalam….
We had a lovely morning, lots of laughs, good food, good music and good friends….
(hih At least we did a 40km ride with run the previous day with Dino, Xman, AJ, Juli and Amir)
On the way back CK showed us the route we had missed (big gulp, I don’t think I’m ready for this ride yet).
During our recce we got phone-calls from home; Darimi who had been complaining about a headache a few times in the past days was crying non-stop at home.. We were caught in the middle of the route. Suddenly the beautiful scenery didn’t matter anymore. Blaming ourselves for being bad parents and not spending the day at home with them we drove back as fast as we could. We received several more distress calls; Darimi was crying so hard and Danial was convinced his head was gonna explode. In the end we called our neighbours and asked them to help by sending Darimi to HUKM. Shortly after we arrived at the A&E department in HUKM. We found our wonderful neighbors with Darimi and our maid. He wasn’t crying however. After an 1 ½ hr wait we got to see the doctor who had a good look at hi;; turns out his tonsils are badly swollen and some fluid behind one ear. So we went home with antibiotics, and no swimming for him for awhile.
Today he complained again of a headache in the afternoon but with Mama at home his acting skills are not fully appreciated; of course he got cuddles and medication –but no allowance for more drama…
It is difficult to find the right balance between some time for our own interests and giving ample attention to the kids. So, no long rides for me, but I can’t survive by just being a working mom. I need this sport to be able to breathe….

Shouldn’t be updating our blog; I got a 45page translation to complete this week. A horrible document about ship stability. Horrible because it is an area I know zilch about, so every term I have to research…..
Okay, tomorrow back to work in the hospital. Try and finish another page of the translation before I shut the PC down.

Pics to add later

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Many many stories to tell

After failing to update our blog for quite a while I have a big job ahead. Big job because the silence didn’t mean nothing happened. More like too many things happening and too little time (what else is new)….
Having four kids( plus a husband hihi), holding a fulltime job, training etc. eat up a lot of time. But another big problem is our computer. Danial and Dayan use it for their games (their Playstation hasn’t been repaired yet). So now every time I want to use the computer it goes like; “How long are you gonna use it?” “Can I use it after you’ve done?” “You said youre only gonna use the computer for half an hour but is 45minutes already!” etc etc. Today I told them the computer is strictly mine and no requests are allowed!!!! Have to get tough sometimes.

I will try to go tru the events of the past month or so. Starting form the most recent one down to Powerman 2008. Expect the entries to get shorter as I go along cos my memory is slowly fading, hihi getting old you know.

Malakoff run
This morning Danial, Dayan and me took part in the Malakoff run. The run almost didn’t materialize, I had such a tough time finding the place yesterday I almost gave up. Not very familiar in Damansara area I circled around several times. Turned out their map was also a bit off (wrong streetname ).
Anyway the run was fun. The usual suspects showed up; Aini, Emma, Siok Bee, Mich, Audrey (from Singapore), Keat Seong, Eugene, Jason, Bobby, Ngae, Simon, Mac, CK, Richard, Xman, Chew, Lee, Ihsal, Abu, Saiful, Iwata, Inoue and so forth. Mr Tey was around to take pics (I seldom bring a camera so it’s always a joy to see him). From Gleneagles hosp. Dr. Chin showed and also three OT nurses.
Danial and Dayan did the 6km, I did the 12km. Just had fun running, didn’t manage to run all the way because of the hills. Really enjoyed being outside, the route was nice.
There was even a Santa running along (red shorts, red T and santa-hat) handing out sweets!!!
Kalam came along to support (and to ensure I didn’t get lost in the morning). He just came back from Gunung Jerai challenge and was satisfied just watching. Afterwards I signed up for the 20km GE run, next event to look forward too.
Dayan walking to the finish

Danial finishing strong

Three ladies in green (see two pics below and pic above) are Gleneagles staff - OT nurses

First International Putrajaya 12 hour walk
Last weekend I took part in ‘First Putrajaya International 12 hour walk”. I used to do long distance walks many many years ago in my home country. So I wanted to give it a try once more. The walk started at 8pm. I was surprised to see quite a few familiar faces, hadn’t expected many triahtletes.
Walking was tougher than I expected. I realize now you should train for specific events, being overall in a reasonable shape doesn’t cut it. Obviously I didn’t train for this event. Walking was also quite boring, one km round and round. Quite different from other events; they served freshly cooked foof every two hours -but I'm not used to eating while in race-mode, so I took very little, mainly coffee to keep going. I prefer to walk to some where; walk to next corner, next village, next hill, much easier to set goals. The first two hours were hampered by pain radiating from the ischiatic nerve to my leg (nothing new, this has been bothering me on and off). After some five hours cramps and tiredness set in and I started resting on and off. But worse were the blisters that started to develop. After some 9 hours I dropped by the medic tent. Would you believe it –they were completely out of plasters!!! One of the medic draped some bandage around my feet, but now I couldn’t wear my shoes at all. So I took them off and walked a few more km slowly. I wanted to at least finish 42km, marathon distance. The last two hours I spend watching the others. However since I had to pick up my bag and return the race-chip I decided I might as well walk one last loop. Lucky I did because I just made it to the 58th place (Prices till number 60). Got a medal and a RM100 Genting card.
Early stage can still smile!
But the best part was my support team: Kalam and the boys were camping at the side. Love you guys for this!!!!!!
Danial walked several rounds in the middle of the night with me to keep my spirit up. Kalam went for a run with Dr. Hisham early morning.
My results:
first two hours;11 km
second two hours; 11km
third two hours; 9 km
fourth two hours; 7 km
fifth two hours; 4 km
sixth two hours; 1 km
After the race my feet had giant blisters! For several days I couldn’t walk straight, hobbling on the sides of my feet instead. Had to use diving shoes to work as no other shoes would fit! My college’s think I’m crazy, especially when I told them on Friday gonna do a 12km run this weekend haha. Lucky to see I share my madness with a few thousand others this morning

I'm not the only participant from Gleneagles: Dr. Chin is a familiar face during run events

Still going strong

Hari Raya Haji
We didn’t go back to the kampong for Hari Raya Puasa so Hari Raya Haji is considered a must. We only left on Sunday, Saturday bizy with post-mortem Trikidz meeting.
Hari Raya Haji was a rainy affair; the rain poured down non-stop till late afternoon. We only visited Kalam’s bothers and sisters but had a nice time catching up. Several new cute babies in the family.Ati and Darimi
Ati decided to stay back in the kampong with her relatives for a few weeks. She was hesitating till the last moment whether to stay or return to KL with us. Guess it’s a good sign she likes being part of our family. Hope she’ll be fine when we pick her up end of this month. Sometimes the switch is difficult for her.
My kids and me - I love the four of you

When we returned from the kampong on Monday evening we made a sad discovery. Wild dogs had killed several of our cats. A group of wild dogs has been roaming in the camp. They killed one of the kittens last month but during our absence a worse massacre took place. Even after our return on Monday night they killed another cat before we could chase them off. Now we keep the backdoor at peep at night so the remaining cats can hide inside. Danial and Dayan have kept watch several nights trying to pepperspray the dogs when they came sniffing around, a few near misses but no success sofar. The dogs even chased Darimi while he was waiting for the school truck early one morning. We’ve reported the dogs presence several times but the current camp management doesn’t seem to care...

Our beloved Janey, the matriarch of all our cats. I feel guilty as hell; when we left on Sunday I put her out of the house. She kept on trying to sneek back in but I didn’t let her. As Rahma was also on leave I couldn’t leave the door open and unlocked. She was due to give birth to new batch of kittens any time. She was a wonderful mothercat, took excellent care of her kittens and even chased wild boars off if they got too close to her young ones… I hate those dogs

Xeli and her two fluffy kittens. All lot of our cats have Siamese looks but this was the first time we suddenly had two long-haired kittens. These two balls of fluff were soo adorable

TriKidz, 3rd clinic and race 2008
The earlier two events were small and easy to handle but after we got publicity in the Star newspaper registrations started raining in. We had originally put a limit of 100 participants but many parents begged for places for their kids. So in all 128 kids took part.
This time around I know how Samantha feels: lack of sleep, lots of worries, not enough hands to help everywhere were help was needed etc etc.
But in the end it was worth all of it. The kids had a great time. Receiving a medal made each one of them grow 5 inches. They were telling stories of how hard the run was, how they managed to push their bodies to go faster, how many medals they’ve already collected. Marianna’s son took part and his mother may have cupboards full of medals but this one was HIS!!! After the race he just couldn’t stop talking. The little ones were of course the cutes; some were soo excited they couldn’t recognize their own bikes. Some reached the finish-line wearing bike-helmets, swimcaps and goggles!!! Quite a number were so intent on catching up with the front runners they forgot all about their shirts –giving the timing-crew a big headache.
Thanks to the help and sponsorship of many the event was a success –of course there’s room for further improvement so we’ll ‘tri’ again in Mrach 2009.
Thanks too: UM, Powerbar en Nestle, Fit, Tengku Zafrul, Dr Fiona etc
Beneath are some pics of the clinic on Saturday – (no time to take pics on Sunday)

Coach Azhar in action

Practising mass-starts

This one doesn't know how to use the pedals yet

Determined athletes

Kayuh jauh

Learning to use a helmet

Aren't they adorable?

This cheeky fellow looks familiar

Three stooges

Running class

Cycling practice

Girls secrets



Tough guy

Bicyle sale

Getting organised

Lucky rainbow to start our event

Danial's 15th birtday, how time flies

Powerman 2008
My aims for Powerman 2008 were simple; improve my time for the sprint (shouldn’t be too hard provided no bicycle trouble this time around) and run the first 5km without stopping (strictly no walking):

Nearly had a heart-attack while waiting for the students to show up with our bikes. Adele was already shooing everyone out of the bicycle-area when they arrived. No time to check the bike, just hope the bike would be okay.

Kalam took off with the big guys doing the long distance. It really amazes me how he does this. He can finish all these events without so much as a scrap of training.
Started the run slowly and found myself running along with a lady I hadn’t met before. Senay is Turkish (living Malaysia obviously) and was doing her first duathlon, her hubby Denis was also doing the long distance. We chatted the whole 5km and running felt nice. A whole string of runners from the long distance overtook us and and many shouted a friendly hello. Which led to two obvious conclusions:
I got a lot of friends in this community
2 I run very slow
After a quick transition took off on the bike. I felt good had my race bunnies marked. I know I’m a race bunnie for many people. Some guys seem to take it as an personal insult if I overtake them. They will do everything they can to overtake me back. There wer a few guys from Malakoff who desperatedly tried to stay ahead. However with another 30km or so to cycle I knew I could potong them. But duty called; on the second bridge a marshaller just stopped by a guy lying unconscious on the side of the bridge. I stopped by to check. After cooling him down he recovered enough o sit up and talk and I left him in the care of the marshaller. All in all I lost at least 15 minutes and was now surely in last position. So I pushed to catch up and slowly made my way up from the back. On the way back saw the ‘pengsan’ guy sitting at the roadside nearer to town smoking a cigarette; s##&%!!/?**#!!!
Also met Dayan at the roadside, once again his bike broke down during powerman (Hun, I promise we will take ure bike for a full check before next years powerman!!!). A few more cyclist suffered falls and quite a number of flat tires – Dayan wasn’t the only one….

Back in transition on to the second run. Teamed up with Bandit for a short while but left him behind. I didn’t manage to run all the way cos my legs started to cramp but not too bad. Spotted my race bunnies and managed to overtake them after all. Whoahaha, me overtaking anyone on the run, you gotta be kiddin…
So all in all, aim achieved, next year can improve further provided no-one pengsan at the roadside.

Sorry, the pics are jumbled up:

I love the pre-race athmosphere. Bikes ready, chatting with frens stretching muscles, jittery with anxiety

Dayan is tougher than he looks

We'v finished loooong time ago, where's daddy

Finishing the bike course

Dayan getting ready

Aki, one of my cycling group.

I owe a lot to these guys. They keep us safe on rides, wait for us, function as sweepers, make sure evryone stays on the route. Aki, Esmen, Jason, Dino, Kalam etc without you guys we girls would have a tough time cycling
Xman (@Esmen)

Sue Ee; The hard training is paying off, cant even catch sight of her during cycling

Dayan with Audrey following behind

Love the look of the long hill behind me . Cool I managed to climb up and still smile



Like mother like son; Danial also prefers swimming over running

Senay and me running with Dayan following close behind
Waiting for papa, Time's running out, 5 hour cut-off

Yeah, papa finished!!! Just beyond cut-off

UPNM, 2nd place mixed relay

UPNM, 2nd place men's relay

The triathlon-club from UPNM is on a winning streak. They won prizes in all the events they took part in lately; Perhentian Challenge, Powerman, Pedu duathlon.
They have some real talent among them. Chan JS beat Eugene Chan and Jin Rong in Pedu!! Pity UPNM’s support is lacking. No officer to encourage them, instead they find a lot of barriers –not allowed out to train cycling, no permission to take part in events etc. Luckily the teamspirit among them is strong and they continue as best as they can.
The change in management of the university has been obvious. They spend countless hours doing rollcalls every morning and night. But their study-results have been affected. Still find it hard to believe the ministry of Higher Education has approved of a VC without any qualifications (from the army side I’m not surprised; intelligence has never been their strong point).