Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Summary for week of 13-19 May 07

ICT week.
  • Sunday, 13 May: Spent most of the day clearing work and packing. Decided against going for the NB Pacesetters 15km the next weekend, as OC Troop informed that the troop has shrunk in size as many have completed their 10 year ICT cycle.
  • Monday, 14 May: Reported for ICT. True enough, only 20 troopers reported for duty in Troop 2.
  • Tuesday, 15 May: IPPT day. Passed and will strongly consider re-taking to claim the monetary reward.
  • Wednesday, 16 May: Live shoot. Managed to attain marksmanship again, for the 4th consecutive year. 1 round went astray by the way.
  • Thursday, 17 May: Long training day.
  • Friday, 18 May: Booked out and had a sumptous dinner.
  • Saturday, 19 May: Reported back to camp. Can't mention here the reason why. But in between shifts, i managed to squeeze in 3 laps from carpark B to Armoury and back. The road to armoury is uphill. Reason why i did this run is to make up for the NB15km pacesetter run that i will miss. Played street soccer with the guys after the run.

Another ICT completed, next year will be the last.

In-Camp Training 14 - 21 May 07

Under-went my 8th year KINS training. It was a 5 day residential. The last time we had to stay in was in year 4. I was happy to see my fellow troopers; Malik, Reuben, Sharil, Jufri, Risal, Mohsiadi, Chua, Nasir, Yaakob, Jason, Baker, Chan, Wong, Bryan, Neo, Kevin, Tang, Lau, Allen, Zul and Martin. Was rather sad that others were not around; Cikgu, Eric, Ansouri, Dicky etc.

Anyway, not much difference this training as compared to the previous in-camps. Weapon training, IPPT, Range shoot, Fibua etc. Managed to clear my IPPT: 50 sit ups, 0:00:10:04 for shuttle run, 224cm for standing broadjump, 4 chin ups and 0:11:53 for 2.4km. No $$ reward though. I did receive $$ reward for shooting, managed to gun down 29 targets out of 30, same score as last year. Wonder where the other round went to.

1 more in-camp to go before i ORNS, provided no policy change by the government.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Summary for week of 6 - 12 May

Rushing for everything.
  • Sunday, 6 May: Ipoh Centennial Run. Grandma passed away today.
  • Monday, 7 May: No runs, limping away.
  • Tuesday, 8 May: No runs.
  • Wednesday, 9 May: No runs.
  • Thursday, 10 May: No runs.
  • Friday, 11 May: Started packing for ICT. No runs.
  • Saturday, 12 May: Had to go to Bintan for a site visit.

No way am i ready for IPPT. Will surely struggle to pull 3 chin ups and jump 216cm.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Ipoh – Singapore: The rush home

The Ipoh leg of the trip has been a rush. Firstly, we rushed to Alor Star bus terminal after Larian Bendang, not having breakfast and lunch. When in Ipoh, we settled for the first halal food shop we found instead of having what Ipoh is famous for. We then rushed to Ipoh 88 bus terminal after the Centennial run, having rushed through our washing up process in the hotel.

However, the biggest rush was when we reached Yong Peng, 2 hours away from JB. I checked my handphone and realized that I had many missed calls and messages. The first one I read crushed my heart. My cousin Yana sent a message which read “nenek dah meninggal at 1010am” (grandma passed away at 1010am). My granny has been sick for a very long time. It took a while for that to settle in but when I realized what that meant, I also felt very helpless since I was so far away. Instead, I called Yana to confirm and she told me something that gave me a bigger headache. She said that she couldn’t reach my dad. I tried calling my dad but to no avail. I called my stepmum and also received no answer. I messaged my mum, sister and brother and informed them. Tried calling my dad again and this time he answered. That provided some relief.

All I could do the 2 hours journey back was pray that I could make it on time, since the burial has been planned after the mid-afternoon prayer. If the bus made it back by 430pm, I still had a chance.

Like an act of god, the bus did reached Woodlands at 430pm. Not knowing what to do, I called my mum and she told me to go to my aunt’s place where she was at, and drive her to meet the rest of the family at the cemetery. I reached my aunt’s place at 5pm and drove to the cemetery at Lim Chu Kang. Unfortunately for me, my granny has already been buried by the time I arrived. Not to be disheartened, I made my way to her grave and offered some prayers. It was then explanation time as I had to face every member of the family and hoped they will not ask why was I not at the wake?

All this made me realized that God planned and decide everything. If I had not taken the 10am bus, I would have missed the whole funeral. Then again, if I had not finished my run in 2:08, I might not have made the 10am bus anyway. Then again, if Kak J has not been injured and Clinton had not pulled out from the trip, the possibility of me going back at 10am will not be discussed in the first place. Then again, if I had not gone for this trip, I would have been able to attend her funeral and maybe even be by her side before she died. Then again, then again, then again……….

Ipoh Centennial Celebrations Run – 6 May 07

Got up at 445am. After shower, applied NEAT Cream to abrasion-prone areas as well as plasters where required. I then put on my Mizuno white vest and black shorts, Adizero SN Red and USK-filled race belt before swallowing 2 capsules of Amino Acid.

NL and me then headed out to the start point. After registration, we did our customary stretches before the GOH arrived to flag us off for our 21km run.

The first 5km or so was run within the town. NL and me did a slow run, partly because we were nursing sore limps and muscles after the Larian Bendang, partly because we needed to encourage each other to finish the race in 2:30 latest so as to catch the 10am bus home.

The first waterpoint appeared circa the 5km mark. The route then continued on for about 8km on each side of Jalan Kuala Kangsar. Though my legs were tired and the muscles were sore, I could continue running had it not been for the other sore limps of the body. I ran slow and brisk-walked the rest of the route, stopping at the 12km and 17km mark for water. I eventually finished the run in 2:08.

Not exciting this run, the route was rather boring, much unlike PD or Bidor, or Putrajaya. Even Petaling Jaya 21km was more interesting. Though the water points have sufficient water, sponging stations would have been appreciated. I am now reconsidering going for the Ipoh International run a week after Penang Bridge, if the route is similar.
Collected my medal and goodie bag. Terrance was around to congratulate us. He seemed more relieved than we were now that we are able to make it for the 10am bus. Met Yeehua who finished 2nd in the women’s category. Congratulations to her. Also runwitme appeared and informed me about him missing the Bendang run because slept through the Alor Star bus-stop. A cup of water later and NL and me were on our way back to the hotel. We stopped by a pasar tani, selling everything like what Sungei Road does and bought Nasi Lemak and the tarik.

Distance: 21km (Though I seriously doubted so)
Shoe: Adizero SN Red
Time: 2:08

Summary for week of 29 Apr – 5 May

Rain, rain go away.
  • Sunday, 29 Apr: No runs, went back to office to clear some work.
  • Monday, 30 Apr: No runs, collected my new handphone.
  • Tuesday, 1 May: Labour Day. Missed the May Day HSP run. It was raining anyway.
  • Wednesday, 2 May: Did a light circuit training at the fitness corner near the office. 2 sets of 50 sit-ups, shuttle runs, hang at the chin-up bar, flat-feet tuck jump etc.
  • Thursday, 3 May: Left for Alor Star, Kedah.
  • Friday, 4 May: Arrived at Alor Star.
  • Saturday, 5 May: Larian Bendang.

Good week, could have been better if not for the rain. But then, rain is good.

Ipoh, Perak – 5 May 07

After washing up and a short rest, the group assembled at the hotel’s lobby, waited while Vincent checked us out. Kak J appeared with bandaged palms and elbows. She told us that she will not be joining us to Ipoh and will be taking a flight back to JB instead. Kak J then told us about her mishap; fell and injured her palms, elbows and knees at the 10km to go mark. I gave her my good wishes as the taxis came to bring us to the bus terminal, and we arrived in no time. By 12, we were on our way to Ipoh. In the bus, Vincent and Terrance informed NL and me that we can join the rest of the group on the 10am bus back to SG from Ipoh, if we can complete our 21km run within 2:45, since there are 2 extra tickets due to Kak J and Clinton’s withdrawal. With soreness everywhere, I felt it was a daunting task. I was more interested in addressing my hunger, not having breakfast or lunch after the run. I replied that we will try to make it. 10am bus will do us much good as compared to the 10pm we were scheduled to leave by.

At 430pm, we arrived at Ipoh. A few of us made our way to the race pack collection centre, the office of Perak Chinese Chamber of Commerce, the race organizer while the rest headed for the hotel. Yeehua called and requested my assistance in collecting her group’s race pack, since they may not arrive by the 5pm cut off time.

Having collected all the race pack, we met Yeehua and gang before leaving for the hotel, a good 15mins walk away. After check in, NL and me left with Terrance, Vincent and Kevin and walked to the famous bean sprout fish place. Doubted the place serves halal food, NL and I opted for a Malay coffee-shop selling Nasi Kandar instead, and had a simple meal of rice with omelette, fried chicken, vegetables and curry fish.

After dinner, we walked around the area, where a pasar malam was being set up, and bought a bowl of bean curd each. By 730pm, we headed back to the hotel. After cleaning up and preparing for the run the next day, we watched Man Utd beat Man City 1-0 before headed to dreamland.

Larian Bendang – 5 May 07

Got up at 5am. After shower, I applied NEAT Cream to abrasion-prone areas as well as plasters where required. I then put on my SGRunners vest, Adidas tights and cap, Adizero SN Red and USK and camera-filled Nathan Waist wallet before swallowing 2 capsules of Amino Acid. Having forgotten to bring Myoplex Protein Shake and Powergels, I had to rely on just the Amino Acid to see me through the run.

Left and met the rest of the crew at the hotel’s lobby before walking towards the stadium. Within 15 minutes, we arrived. I did my customary stretches before taking pictures. Having not made any preparation for the race (been busy with work since PD Half Marathon), I decided to take this as a sight-seeing run, and equipped myself with my Lumix FX-8.

Just before 7am, the GOH, the princess of the Kedah Sultanate, appeared and flagged off the 21km runners. I did a slow jog, and NL was already a distance away from me by the time I left the stadium. Soon, I past Nezz, who told me she arrived from KL the evening before. I was looking out for Runwitme, but to no avail. About 25minutes into the run, we came into the more rural part of Alor Star. I could see to many beautifully designed kampong houses on either side, but was more interested in looking out for water-points. Instead, I saw a butcher stall, with what looked like cows hanging from hooks.

Soon, padi fields appeared on my left. A short while later, a group of traffic wardens channeled us into a road, flanked on either side by padi fields. The first water point soon appeared and I took the opportunity to take some pictures. I then continued running and chatted with Nezz, who caught up while I was snapping some pictures, and a runner from Padang Besar in Perlis. We passed a distance marker indicating we had 13km to go.

After turning left, then right and left again, we came across another water point. However, this time the water point was running out of water. I was fortunate to get half a cup of water. With 7km to go, another water point appeared, this time with more water.

Soon, I ran past the 5km to go marker, and saw many runners zooming at hyper speed. I soon realized they were running the 10km race. Trying hard not to be influenced by their speed, I kept to my slow pace and soon, had 2km to go. A lady runner caught up. From her accent and attire, I could tell that she was not local. There were only a handful of lady runners in the 21km category. Though I guessed she came from KL, this runner was actually from Singapore. She caught sight of my SGRunners vest, and introduced herself as Eliza, also a SGRunner. We ran the last 2km together, chatting away about other runs. I finished my run in 2:18, not a personal best, but who cares.

Good run, good route, but bad organization. The first water point could have been nearer and sponging stations would have been much appreciated. Nevertheless, Alor Star is a place I enjoy and would not hesitate to make a return visit. 6 cups of Milo and 8 cups of 100plus later, NL and me limped our way back to the hotel after buying a Kedah football team t-shirt at one of those pasar malam stalls.

Distance: 21km (felt more like 19-20km)
Shoe: Adizero SN Red
Time: 2:18

Alor Star, Kedah – 4th May 2007

After dinner with Ed, NL and I met the group led by Vincent and Terrance at Golden Mile. Uncle Chan, the 77-year-old runner who I tend to meet each time there is a run, was also part of the group. Vincent informed me that one runner, Clinton, pulled out at the last hour. Nevertheless, at 845pm, we got on Grassland’s bus and left for Alor Star.

After a grueling 12 hour bus journey, we arrive at the Alor Star bus terminal at about 8am. Had a light breakfast after buying the bus tickets to Ipoh. Left for hotel after that. Vincent and Kak J managed to check us in. I took a nap before waking up for Friday prayers at the nearby Masjid Zahir.

After prayers, walked past the hotel again, looking for a makan place. Took a wrong turn and ended up heading towards the stadium. Came across a place called Old Town White Coffee. I had chicken curry with rice and a delicious white coffee.

Having been given directions towards the town area of Alor Star, NL and me walked for 5 minutes towards a shopping centre. Half an hour later, we decided to go back to the hotel after having a tea break at a road-side stall.

Upon reaching the hotel, bumped into the rest of the group, who planned to go to the stadium for the carnival. Apparently, the half marathon is only part of the whole carnival. So we left the hotel and walked towards the stadium, passing by a banner informing about the carnival, and that we can expect to see Malaysian celebrities like Awie and Sharifah Zarinah. I would have preferred to meet the whole cast of Gol and Gincu.

Anyhow, 15 minutes of walking later and we arrived at the stadium. Pasar malam style stalls were set up, selling anything from t-shirts, bags, kacang puteh, drinks, foot reflexology services etc. Some competitions were held; sepak takraw, futsal, x-treme skateboarding and stunt bikes.

Collections of automobiles were also on display at the carnival. Being a fan of old cars, I took photos of all the VW Beetle and Vans on display.

After having a disappointing version of Nasi Padprik for dinner at the hawker centre near the stadium, we left for the hotel. Having cleaned up and prepare the necessary for the race the next day, I closed my eyes and slept.