Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hill Repeat Today?

Still lazy to write the race report for Rock to Rock Run 2012 which wifey and I had so much fun. Will write it A.S.A.P.

The thing that is playing in my mind is the mild elevations in PBIM (mostly 1 - 3%), gotta put more runs on route will with moderate amount of hills or elevations.

Thinking of doing a short 200m hill repeat today.... how many rounds I can sustain? 8, 10, 20?

I don't know now but I guess I will know later in the evening.

Quad killers on the road.... :P

Thursday, October 25, 2012

DHL Tracking

I never stop having fun tracking the shipment using the Air Way Bill Number. I have done it several time using Pos Laju and of course it was not as exciting as the more details provided by those 1st tier courier service companies.

It must be the Expectation~! Hope~! and Joy to purchase, made to wait and receive the things that you have bought. Not many people have the confidence in our local delivery services due to the number of losses or MIS (missing in somewhere) along the way.

Somemore it is a long way from US.

Let's hope that I would be able to get it by today.

CUSTOM clearance is DONE~!!!!!! hurray....

Have to pay compound again but this time still OK.


Saturday, October 13, 2012

New Trainer from Al-ikhsaN

After the two unfortunate incidents, which had cause me to lose 2 pairs of my beloved running shoes in the last few months, I was down to 2 pair of running shoes. The first one, Brooks Pure Connect which I use it for most races after I have retired my Adizero Aegis after SCKLM 2012. The second one is the red Asics DS-Trainer, which I found it becoming not my cup of tea after a few runs in it.

I had to rotate using this 2 pair of shoes which made me quite inconvenient because my shoes are normally soaking wet after each run, then I have to wear another pair during the next run. Even I become very skeptical/hesitant drying my shoes outside when I am out to work.

I told myself I got to get a new pair of shoes, but I only need a suitable shoes and the best one is the one that I have tried before, and preferably a considerably cheap one. I started to source for a new pair of trainer. I browse online, I search in the stores, etc.

Finally, I saw Nike Relentless (the one that I had misplaced) was available at Al-Ikhsan Online Store. It was priced at RM149.00 which fall into my preferred budget, there was free shipping some more. It took me a while to decide and I had finally purchased it by justifying the need of it for my LSD, since I was not going to use my Pure Connect for LSD.

I double checked my the previous shoes box that I still keep, checked the available size and I was quick to wrap up the whole thing, in 3 minutes.

Nike Air Relentless US 8.5 (Old Box)

Then, I just wait for it to be couriered. I placed the order in the morning around 9am and I received a call around 1pm to verify my online purchase, the model and size, since a buyer could mess up with the US and UK sizing. I was amazed by the respond. In my head, I must have said "Wow, Amazing...! This is the way to do online business."

The very next day after I returned from work and visit my parents house, the package was there already. That means it took Al-Ikhsan 2 days to close the sales, 1 day to receive order, process order, prepare shipment and getting it delivered the next day. Impressive.

It was from Johor.

The first thing I did is verify the size. Yes, it was the same as the previous one.

Nike Air Relentless US 8.5 (New Box)

During my unboxing, there was actually a purchase receipt from Al-Ikhsan with the price correctly stated. There was also a flyer of the latest promotion of Al-Ikhsan. I took a glance and sent it to the recycle bin already. I hope they cut down the flyer distribution and try to advertise online, instead.

Receipt and flyer.  
Then, I saw my shoes again. The shoes that I have worn for quite some time, it looks totally the same, just newer. They sit quietly inside the box, well taken care of, clean and smell good, but that's not the place for them.

Comfortable shelter.
They were ready to heat the pavement during the LSD and I am glad that I have actually loaded 84km since I have received it on the 14-September-2012, for 2 LSD and a few shorter runs. I hope it will continue to serve me well.

Please don't ask me whether this shoes is counterfeited or not, because I don't know. Good thing is I am running fine in them.

It was RM40 cheaper and I feel that it is a good bargain for me.

Ready to Heat the Pavement~!!! 
+ yoyoyo +

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Mileage of 100,000km

Guess who can cover 100,000km in 5 years time? It is averaging like 20,000km per year. Can you believe it? Wow... it is certainly not me, but my Honda City. I purchased it in 2007 and now it is 2012, I'm still paying the bank for it though...

I was lucky enough to see the magic moment when the digits turned from 99,999 to 10,000km. It might mean nothing to you or Tom, Dick and Harry. However, I viewed it as a milestone. I did not calculate exactly how much I have spent on the car and maintaining it, but the number is sure not a small one. Please continue to read...

99999 km
100000 km
From here, I would like to do a simple calculation. Assumed that the average distance covered per litre of petrol is 14km and petrol prices pegged at RM1.90 per litre. Of course, we had a few price fluctuation back in 2008 and 2009 but the calculation would be too complex, for me.

Price per km = RM1.90 / 14 km = RM0.136

Amount of money I spent on petrol = RM0.136 x 100,000 = RM13,600.00

Shit.... I have spent RM 13,600.00 on petrol only for the past 5 years. It is a huge number. If it was not that there was some sort of car-pooling plan during 2008 - 2009, I guess the number is even bigger.

Apart from that, of course, we spend on petrol, to ensure that the engine performs at the tip-top condition and enjoy the fuel economy for a long term, I need to pay again, this is for preventive maintenance. When I purchased this car, there was 2 years free preventive maintenance. I took it for granted but it was pain in the ass after the 2nd year.

PM Cost Captured from Honda Service Centre
From km-40,000 onwards until km-99999, I should have roughly paid RM2585 to Honda Service Centre, excluding the spare parts which I remember it was not cheap too. The painful thing is the next PM for 100,000km is RM823.xx Walao eh~!!!!

Beside that, I have had changed the four tyres twice. First time was the Micheline Performance tyre, which cost me RM880 and the later one is only Goodyear which cost me RM180 x 4. I changed to a lower grade tyres because the Micheline did not last long enough, it was around 45,000km only. Maybe the road condition was not so good and my driving skill was bad. Hmm, the shoes of my car cost me RM1600. 

Of course, I have had spent some money to clean the car as well but there was no records for the spending, so just assumed that I spent zero amount on the aesthetic maintenance. 

I almost forgot about the insurance coverage and road tax as well. In average, the insurance that I have purchased was around RM4500 and road tax of RM90 x 5 = RM450.

Conservatively, I have spent RM17,785 on the car + the car retail price RM78,000 + interest (I don;t want to remember the amount) + insurance + road tax = > RM100,735. Can you imagine the cost of ownership of a car?

If you are rich, buy a new car, like what I did, which is quite stupid. Else, buy a decent second hand car which is in good condition, can move around without any problems, fuel economy, spacious and safe.

That's all.

100001 Symmetrical number!!!!
What is the purpose of a car if you don't travel around with it? Why buy it? There is always give and take, pros and cons. Balance it and optimize it.

= $$$$$$$$ =

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Race Report - KRI Annual Road Race 2012

Date: 07 October 2012
Location: Kinta Riverfront Hotel & Resort, Ipoh
Distance: 21 km (20.97 km)
Bib No.: A 0118
Registration Fee: RM55 + RM4 (early bird)
Gears: Brooks Pure Connect, Garmin Forerunner 405
Starting Time: 6.30am (6:26am)
Running Time: 01:44:31
Pace: 4:59 min/km

As I have mentioned in my previous post that this would be the last Half Marathon that I did in 2012 because there are no news on of Across-3-States Half Marathon. I have set a high bar for myself early of the year to hit sub-1:45 in 2012, I was close in PJ Dawn 2012, but still > 1 minute away from the target. That's what I always said, when you missed something, you have had missed it, whether it is by a second or by a whisker.

Wifey and I took this race as a gathering in Ipoh with her INTI friends, continue from the previous gathering at Pulau Langkawi in July 2012, I have ran in Pulau Langkawi during the stay and might have successfully pass the running bugs to them. A few of them actually took up running, a group chat was formed and is still active. I feel proud that they actually signed up, trained up and turned up. Kudos to Jacky, Jincent and Devin, next time the ladies shall run.

I was quite excited because I wanted to run the best half marathon in 2012, I woke up a couple of time, quite early before the alarm and slept back. At 4:47am, I was awake and I felt that I needed to pull myself up and not to be hurry on the preparation. In consequences, wifey became the victim of all sort of noise I made. I boiled water, I took a warm shower, I applied cream on my legs, switched on the TV, etc. At one point, wifey asked me what time I was leaving and I clearly understood that I was tearing her sweet dreams apart.

In order not to torture wifey, I went down to the lobby quite early around 5:45am and made a call to the guys room, in case they overslept, but a soft reminder is always welcomed (I guess). The 3 guys actually were up and came down on 5:50am. We walked to the starting line at Kinta Riverfront Hotel which is about 800m to 1km away. It was sprinkling and I wished that it won't stop soon because it was so cool and refreshing. HR could be in a more comfortable zone as well :P

The walk took us around 8-10 minutes and we could see cars keeping coming with runners beginning to warm up. This was my first time and I had no clue where to go and what to do too. Just keep walking and I saw the Batu Kawan runners, Dan Low, Steven Heng and Woei Jye all there, chit-chatting and cam-whoring (that's a normal activities for regular runners before the race begin). Since all my INTI friends were starting 15 minutes, they were doing 10k while I did 21km. I tried to ran a little to warm up the body and stretched a little too.

Steven and I in the same Nature Run 2012 outfit. PB outfit?

Cleared excessive liquid from my body and I was off to the starting line after wishing all of them good luck. I was at the back again, there's good and bad. Good in the sense that I could not run fast in the beginning and could help me in the later stage of the race. Bad in the sense that I need to queue and run zig-zag to overtake runners in order to move forward. Dan told me to move forward because I was chasing PB but before I did anything the race started, early.

From left to right: Dan Low, Steven Heng, Woei Jye and me.

I was quite nervous and started my Garmin 405 during the gun time, so what you see above is actually the gun time result.

I wanted to take it slowly but I saw Captain Yellow - Kho Kwang Leng (one of the dedicated half marathoner + photographer) surged up front, so I followed. I did not want to be left behind and tried to move forward in a comfortable pace. I was not familiar with the route and it has gifted me a surprise of a flyover in the very first km. I kept reminding myself to take it slowly, or in another word, not too fast at 5:00 min/km pace.

Then, I was running at the faster pace than my race plan, still no discipline in this department because I was so kiasu and I wanted to hit the PB so badly. I kept moving forward in a steady motion, I kept focus on my form and breathing rhythm, to set myself in the cruising mode. 4:51 in the second km but a little bit over the at the 3rd km, it went to 4:41. Of course it was a good pace, but not sustainable, so
I adjusted a bit.

By that time, it was like going up on a mild elevation stretch, I could not even know how far was it but it was mild. By that time, the runners already split into several small groups and I tried to beat one by one. I remembered that it was 3 groups that was within my sight. It was just a straight route, from km-4 to km-8, I have successfully overtook the 3 groups with an average pace of 4:55 min/km.

That lead runners into the an industrial area, I could see 3 runners in front of me, with one run quite close to me. I forgot his name and I could recognize him by his head swing and arm swing. He ran past me in the TIM a few weeks back. At km-9, I was running shoulder to shoulder with him, I was running with a more consistent pace. Whenever I ran past him, he pushed forward to 1 or 2 meter in front of me. I did not bother it and concentrated in my breathing rhythm and in no time, I was ahead again, he pushed forward again, I think the cycles had went on nearly 1-km. Finally, he gave up and I shifted my focus to the runners in front of me again.

Took a gel in km-10 at the water station where all the relay runners gathered. It was quite hard to maintain the instantaneous 4:5x pace and I had set my sight on the runner in front of me, he was running in a good form, good posture, relax, etc... I was running 10m behind him and follow his pace as I could not draw further energy to increase the pace. Good thing is that we were running down the mild elevation in the first few KMs.

Made a turn into a petrol station and I could saw a Chinese temple there, could not remember the name and kept my focus, because the engine was not really responding to what I wanted it to be. The distance between us still the same and as deeper I we got into the route, I could saw the fast runners coming out, but not African runners, I guess they have made it to the finishing line by that time, however I could see a few fast runners from Penang, such as Dr.Francis, BM Leopards, Wong Jin Ji and so on.

There was a U-turn but it took me age to reach there and not far away, there's a water station, took water and isotonic drinks, cooled my head and neck with sponge and continue to the run. Unable to hold the pace below sub-5:00 and I held on, not to let the time buffer that I have made in the first half of the race. Saw Steven, Dan and WJ during my way out of the U-turn. Tough...

Then, it was only one way ticket, by that time, we were joined by the 10km runners and the runner that I have tailed since 10th km was pulling away from me in km-19. I checked pace.... argh.... I was the one that slowing down to slower pace, probably he was a little bit faster. I could only see him disappearing in one of the turn.

We were made to run up a short connecting road with elevation as well, I was tired, I wanted to dig deep for more energy, but seemed like there was no avail. I walked up for a short distance and resumed as soon as I got to the top, that was maybe 20m? I don't know. What I knew was that I was not going to hit below 1:40 already with around one km to go.

I could see the Kinta Riverfront Hotel but it was still quite far away for me at that moment, maybe because I was tired, 1km was too far, too heavy for me. Saw Tey taking photograph, posed for it but deep inside I knew that I was struggling. Why the finishing line is so far away????

Suffer face?

Then, made a left turn, I could see the entrance to the hotel and I tried to ran a little bit faster and I could see all my INTI friends were already there, wifey and her friends were there as well, posed a 'seahorse' style for them before I crossed the finishing line at 1:44:31. Later, I found out that chip time was 1:44.01. Not bad, it is a PB but still much work to do on it.

Finally, I saw the finishing line.

Gun time or chip time. Does not matter, because it is a PB~!

Went to grab medal and drinks, then took photos for Steven, Dan and WJ. Then, photograph session with wifey and INTI gang.

Oppa Seahorse Style

Wifey and I.

Race Summary:
  • PB of 1:44:01 set at KRI Annual Road Race 2012. Achieved my 2012 HM target.
  • There is no negative split again, started fast and finished not-so-strong again.
  • Good thing is overall no cramp, no HR burst, no panting like a dog. Does that mean I finish the race with much fuel unused?
  • Overall, it was a good race with good organization.
Race Review:

  • Good water stations arrangement, with sufficient water and isotonic drinks.
  • Good organization of marshaling, I guess no runners would ran into wrong route.
  • Many things in the goodies bag, must have please many runners looking for for freebies.
  • Many drinks at finishing line, got 100 Plus, Red Bull, V-soy, watermelon etc....
  • Did not capture vest or running T size during registration causing out of size during race pack collection. I had to take women L size.
  • Still using ribbon although already collect expensive registration fee for timing chip.
  • No certificates for participants. An e-cert will do.
  • Relay team runners have to share 1 trophy instead of one for each runner.
  • Should have run in Ipoh city instead of the high traffic routes and industrial area

So thirsty.... drink drink drink....
From left to right: Jacky, Jincent, myself and Devin with Seahorse style.

+++ jia you +++

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Pre-KRI - Last Attempt for HM PB

Attached are the HM timing that I have had achieved in 2012 with the plan time as my benchmark to beat the sub-1:45 finishing time. Time is running out as the final 21km of 2012 is happening soon, this coming Sunday and KRI annual road race 2012.

Reflecting back to all the races I have done, I am still not sure how I did the PB although all the splits were well-captured by my Garmin Forerunner 405. So far, the best half marathon that I did was the PJ Dawn (1:46:15) back in May, the first 21km race of the year, after that the performance seems keeping dropping to an 'out-of-control' range.

I did fine in Hatyai Nature Run in early August with a commendable result of 1:47:35, given the elevation that I have never trained on before. Maybe the tomyam helped a little bit.

After that the back to back races started. I have got the worst performance during the first race of the four - MPSP Larian Hijau with finishing time 2:26:19. Suffered a lot during the race, KO-ed as early as km-5. Maybe it was due to some mental problems, physical problems and medical condition. I still don't know but I choose to believe that all the problems would be solved when the correct remedies are put into places.

Then, I had Sungai Petani Half Marathon at the following week. Some actions had been put into places. Some take time. I fought hard to finish within sub-2, I'm proud with myself to be able to run until km-15 with the condition I had. Finished the race with 1:59:17, albeit poor arrangement by the organizer.

I want to hit my HM goal sub-1:45 so much and I would not mind spending some time to study my own performance over the races and I have made a few observations:

  1. I ran PJ Dawn without HRM compared to others which I would wear HRM to monitor the HR to collect more data.
  2. PJ Dawn is the race I had enough warm up because the organizer did arranged warm up session lead by instructor on the stage.
  3. Often, I started fast and suffered at the second half of the races.
  4. In another words, I was huffing and puffing, breathing with nose and mouth during the races especially MPSP Larian Hijau was not good at all. Oxygen debt too high.
  5. My training mileage was high that maybe I did not taper enough or condition myself good enough to perform in races.

KRI is the last half marathon race that I have this year, as of the registered events. In order to hit sub-1:45, it is quite obvious that I have to dive under the pace of 5:00, which including the time I will take to UP the engine and drink. Whatever I desire, there is not enough time for me to react. I am bringing with me the confidence of finishing 2 LSD in the past 2 weeks with me, 25km and 30km.

I would be do a little different this time:
  1. Get the body warm up before the gun off, start slow and pick up gradually.
  2. Hydration strategy: bring along my Nathan Trek (600ml) with sufficient salt replenishment.
  3. Refuel strategy: Eat enough the night before, take a decent breakfast and one gel on the km-10.
  4. Be determined, 'ATTACK' the one in front of me at the final 5km. LOL....
Wish myself good luck. Is 1:43 possible?

=Good LUCK=

Monday, October 1, 2012

First Day of the Last Quarter of 2012

Time flies.... very fast. It is the first day of the last quarter in 2012.

Reviewing the 2012 resolutions done back in January 2012, many things, many items, still in RED, means that it is not done, not completed, or not even started. After updating the Q3 performance, I know that procrastination is the 'virus' that simply had to be removed.

I'm quite disappointed on what I have achieved or done in Q3'2012. I should have done more things, more things that will lead me to hit the goals, rather than counting day by day, until 2013 and hoping that miracles would happen. I must accept the reality that, if I don't move anything, nothing moves.

It is a short reflection, however there are a few major things coming up in the last quarter of 2012.
  1. Wifey and I would be joining the same race, first time ever in Rock to Rock Run 2012, although she would be doing 3.8K and I'd be doing 10K.
  2. Penang Bridge International Marathon is like 6 weeks away from now. Still have a handicaped race with WJ*.
  3. I will be doing CQE internal exam 1 day before PBIM and external exam 2 weeks after PBIM. OMG.... can I....? nail it or skip it?
Besides, I want to improve things below:
  1. Home improvement. Beautify the landscape of my house. (This is very time consuming....)
  2. Clean up the things in my work desk (in my office)
  3. Install NJOI at my house, not sure whether this is a good idea since we can live well without any TV reception at the moment.
  4. Cut unnecessary spending.... at the same time, reward myself for working hard.
That's all. Hope that I really can focus, plan, and execute accordingly.

Until then, bye.