Wednesday, December 21, 2011

GPS Watch

I'm looking for a GPS-enabled watch but I'm not sure whether I'm going to buy any, WHY? Maybe I delaying my gratification, who does not like new things? latest gadgets? sexy stuff? But when it needs some financial support, I'll think more than twice, unless it is a very impulsive purchase.

Have been reading some comments, feedback from GPS watch owners. Going through the specifications at Garmin, Polar, Timex, etc. I need to know which model is the best watch? the most 'dai' watch to buy. 'dai' means 'value for money' in mandarin, I think.

I came across this blog article and I think serious runners that want to buy a GPS watch must read this:

Life of A Runner - The Great GPS Test

New York Times - GPS Watch Can Be An Unreliable Training Partner

There are many more, but I think this 2 articles can really help you to know the drawbacks of a GPS watch and the comparison among the contenders.

Feel free to add more...

Added Garmin Forerunner 310XT in my wish list :P

Race Report - Valdor Run 2011

Event: Valdor Run 2011
Date: 18 December 2011
Location: Valdor, Penang
Distance: 11km (10.6km)
Gears: Adidas Adizero, Puma Digital Watch
Starting Time: 7.00am
Running Time: 00:52:20
Pace: 04:56

It was the last race for 2011 and I want to finish the season or the year in high note. I got into bed quite early and preset my old Nokia 6233 alarm to 5.30am so that I can get up early, get the blood flowing, if you know what I mean. Yes, I did got up, but I dozed back because I was tired, I woke up intermittently because I heard some 'noise', that's a sign of not sleeping well. About the noise, it is not what you think!!!

I planned to get to the starting line by 6.30am but as soon as I woke up for real, it was 6.05am, I know that I cannot get there on time and I could be late, too. I skipped breakfast, very important breakfast. I boiled water for a cup of Milo, but I did not get to even prepare it. I sped off in my car, taking the longer way, instead of the shortcut that my wife knows. She is still very proud of herself for taking that route to and back from work. I'm quite proud of her too, because I still cannot recognize the route. I could take it, but I'll be late, the second worst thing for a race day after not showing up, is reaching late. I had that in my maiden full marathon in Singapore - Sundown Marathon 2011, terrible experience.

I managed to get there on time, I think 6.45am, imagine how many traffic lights I have beaten, bad role model. I parked my car at the place that I parked in 2010, nice place, not so muddy. I walked like 100 to 200m to the starting place where they gather the runners. The washroom is full, I saw people queuing up, so I dumped my idea of getting a poopoo.

Then, I saw a group of people taking photo, then I saw Dan. He was surprise to see me, but I'm not. He got a new Garmin Forerunner 405 (wow... a personal trainer). There were a lot of good runners, veteran and seasonal runners there, I guess everyone also want to end the year in a high note. We were ordered to gather at the starting line, it was crowded, with many students. Dan was calling me as pacer, as he thinks I'm fast enough, but at the bottom of my heart, I know I'm not fast enough.

Wooh...woooh.... the laoyiah gun started the race. There was so many traffic that I could not run properly, and I kept telling myself to start slow (that's not going to get me into the top 10 positions) but what to do? I'm a slow starter. That's why I want to get up early.

There is no distance marker, I guess because we do not really need one as it is only a 11km race. My target is again, beat the one in front of me, that is what keep me going, motivates me. Dan was running behind me, he was serious about the pacing thing, so I must not let him down and let myself sia sui. So, I tried to adjust to my pace as soon as possible but it was quite difficult without knowing the actual pace. I told myself not to look at my watch because that will impede me from going forward (running away from reality :P).

The route is not easy, with some mild elevation, which I like it because I prefer running on those than the flat route like aeroplane landing lane. Up and down, up and down, and finally don't know at how many km, there's a water station. That was like a life saving pit stop, I took one cup and shower another cup on my head. It was refreshing, it gave me a kick.

The time when I asked Dan how long we have gone, he said 9km, I know we are almost there, so I tried to increase the pace again, but actual pace is still unknown. Since I know some of the landmark there, I knew I have to get faster, then I saw the big silo in front of me, it is very familiar. We were at the end of Kampung Valdor, which only a few hundred meters to go. We got into the kampung route and heading to the school, the finishing line. I tried as hard as I could and went past one runner from the same category but I did not manage to maintain the pace and lost my position back to the Malay runner. According to Dan, he was the runner that overtook him in the final 50 or 100m in the race that he got No.5.

I'm OK with it because I know that I am not fast enough from the beginning and I was playing safe. I knew I'm not going to get in the top 10, so I did not push hard enough. Anyway, my timing is 00:52:20 and the distance covered is 10.6km. That's a marginal sub 5.00 pace. Haiya...

Anyway, let me share some of the data that Dan has collected on his Garmin Forerunner. Our run should be quite the same, except the last 400m. Congrats to Dan and myself. Hopefully we can come stronger next year.

My finishing line dash.

 I look funny and fat.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Leading is tough

Being a leader requires you to:

• Be a good communicator
• Have a clear vision
• Be a meticulous planner
• Make the right decisions
• Be self-assured
• Be a good people manager
• Instill belief
• Be inspiring
• See the big picture
• Be intellectually astute
• Show passion
• Be a mentor
• Have a high tolerance for stress and pressure
• Be a good listener
• Know the relevant detail
• Problem solve
• Remain calm in the face of adversity
• Be optimistic
• Know your people’s names
• Have a high level of emotional intelligence
• Be a team player
• Learn from your mistakes
• Care about your people
• Be innovative
• Show empathy
• Be visible
• Let people make mistakes
• Balance the short and long term
• Address underperformance
• Command loyalty from your people
• Empower people
• Handle conflict
• Deliver the strategy
• Recognize good performance
• Delegate
• Recruit good people around you
• Be a good negotiator
• Ensure change
• Tell it like it is
• Be determined
• Have integrity
• Take risks
• Trust people
• Have charisma
• Be a good influencer
• Involve people in decisions
• Coach
• Be your own person
• Seek feedback
• Be able to give bad news
• Set goals
• Build team spirit
• Know what drives your people
• Make people accountable
• Role model the organization’s values
• Set high expectations
• Deliver the results

The list goes on, can you believe it?

Monday, December 19, 2011

2012 Resolution Proposal by Runners World

I have yet to conclude a report for 2011 but I have stumble upon a beautiful and motivating article in Runners World 2012 January issue. I'm getting excited after having a good meal, with 2 portion of vegetable, tofu, fried anchovy, and barley. I feel so healthy :P

LOL... Anyway, I would like to share the 12 resolutions propoased that could reignite the passion for running and have more fun. (Level of difficulty is included to give you a heads up what you are getting into)

  1. Run Farther (7/10) - If you are at 5k, move to 10k; if you are at 10k, move to half marathon; if you are at 21k, move to full marathon. I'm thinking I'm a 3 time full marathon finisher, shall I attempt the ultramarathon? Probably 50k?
  2. Try Yoga (4/10)- Practising yoga gives you whole-body strength, especially hips, core and upper body. Ei... I just signed up yoga class with my wife last week, we paid the fees for one quarter, so I guess it would make a little difference :D
  3. Lose 10 Pounds For Your Good (10/10)- Some good suggestion including have protein in every meal, eat a meal within one hour after running, don't skip meals, stay hydrated before, during and after running, eat food, don't drink it,
    run from fast food, and lastly, eat only when you're hungry.
    I've shed ~2kg, equivalent to 4.4pound in 3 months. Now, I'm 65.5kg +/- 1kg. I want to cut more and gain more lean muscles.
  4. Be More Consistent (6/10)- Start with reasonable goal, develop a plan, record the workouts and make it happen. I'm in the middle of setting my resolution in 2012, must try to be more ambitious, rather than too conservative.
  5. Try A Triathlon (8/10)- You know what? I actually think about this. I want to join one, but the plan is not concrete yet. I need support from multiple aspects, from wife, family, work, finance, etc... I need a road bike, I need time to learn how to swim properly. How could I do it if I do not sacrifice some of the routine that I'm doing?
  6. Win A Medal (9/10)- Is that really so difficult?

    I do not want to pick a low publicised, inaugural, low turn-out races to win a medal. Although it is quite difficult, but it is challenging.
  7. Try Real Trail Running (4/10)- This one is also in my mind. I want to do more trail running, but this means I need to buy extra shoes, could have more injuries, etc. But, that's the way people run in ancient time, there is no asphalt a few centuries back.
  8. Stop Giving Up (6/10)- It is coherent with my motto "Sign up, train up and show up". I shall expect myself to be mentally stronger in 2012, despite all the obstacles and challenges ahead. Don't miss the training.
  9. Figure Out My Watch (2/10)- Fully utilize your watch. Use the split function for interval training. Did it meantion that getting a new GPS-enabled watch? I want to get one!!!
  10. Give Back to The Sports (3/10)- Volunteer in sports events, handing out waters, cheering for the participants, raising funds for trail maintenance, etc. In my mind, I was thinking like, be a pacer? LOL... I'm so ambitious. Or, at least, 'sell' running to people around me, which I'm doing. My wife has pick up running recently, I hope she will get benefits from it.
  11. Find More Partners (3/10)- First, there was a stranger I met in, his name is Dan. We had just completed a Valdor Run 2011 together, I finished slightly in front of him. It is fun to have a partner. Secondly, my wife. I'm going to accompy her to do some leisure run for her good.
  12. Beat my PR (9/10)- Setting a new personal record seems like a good resolution but it is not easy without diligence, patience, determination, training, and luck. This caught my eyes, develop leg strength by hill running, core strength with core exercise, speed with intervals, training consistency and good nutrition are all important.

2012 is coming ... be prepared.

Health Check

No matter how many miles you run every week, how many types of sports you play, or how healthy the way you eat, a regular health check is a MUST. You cannot change many risk factors such as your genes, your family history, your age, your race, your lifestyle, etc. It is always good to catch the troublesome issues early.

Always check (What? How much is okay? When?):
  1. Blood pressure. Below 120/80 mmHg.  Start at 18, then every year.
  2. Cholesterol. LDL <100 mg/DL, HDL >60 mg/DL, total <200 mg/DL. Start at 20, then get doctor's advice.
  3. Thyroid-stimulating hormone. 0.5 < TSH Level < 5.0 mIU/L. Start at 35, then every 3 - 5 years.
  4. Iron (Serum Ferritin). >25 ng/mL. When you feel increase fatigue, muscle soreness, achy joints, etc.
  5. Blood sugar. <100 mg/dL. Start at 45, then every year. (Depending on family history)
I guess these are the basic one. Of course, we shall not neglect all those test results that does not meet the recommended parameter. See your doctor now to find out more.

Health is precious.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Say 'No' To Shark Fins Soup

I suggested to my wife before our wedding dinner that we shall not eat shark fins anymore, many sharks are being killed every day, in inhumanity ways. That is a big different between the 'killing' of other species of fish from the ocean, we eat the fish. In shark fin industry, they capture the sharks, extract the fins and dump it back to the ocean. It is breaking one's hands or legs and dump them in the water.

Enough with the human inhumanity.

We talked to the floor manager of Sunway Hotel that we do not wish to have shark fins, and she told us that they will serve gelatin shark fins only, or simple we call it, artificial shark fins. We are OK with that and I'm glad that we made that decision.

Now, I'm going to spend RM25 or RM50 to get a couple of 'Say No to Shark Fins Soup' T-shirts from Hazel Oakley. Like it or not, I'm trying to contrbute a little with the hope that everyone else also do a little to make this world a better place.

Let our future generation see the sharks. They are beautiful.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Chi Running - Must Watch

Wow... you can notice that the way Danny Dreyer run, is like the ancient steamed powered automotive, so natural. The videos below are very useful for runners, he teaches a runner how to run naturally (with shoes),

How to avoid heel strike!

Running Pronation

Running Posture (Fundamental and very important)

Cadence (Number of strikes per minute)

I sincerely hope everyone is benefited from this sharing. Have a healthy life, do sports, walking or running.

Barefoot Running

Hmm... I actually changed my running style to forefoot strike after the Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur half marathon 2010 because I was having a bad pain after the race, and not be able to walk properly after the race. My knee hurted like hell.

Everything happened so naturally without myself realizing it, maybe it was to avoid the injury that keep coming back after each mid to long distance race.

There is physic behind it, not simply anything plucked from the air. Watch the video and hopefully it will help you. You don't have to be a barefoot runner immediately, because our legs are pampered for quite some time already, try the forefoot strike, change to minimalist shoes, etc.

Take progressive steps. Good luck!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Sushi Addiction

Recently I'm addicted to Japanese food, especially sushi. I was not fond of sushi long time ago, but don't know since when I started to like sushi and Japanese food, no.... LOVE sushi and Japanese food.

I think I just had 3 times sushi @ Sushi King in this fortnight. First time was with the Seagators at QBM. The last time was with my wifey at Sushi King, Autocity. Today, I just took another sushi meal at QBM again, but this time I went alone, but I totally enjoyed the time I had there. Normally I will just have sushi, rather than sashimi because it is cheaper and more filling to have sushi.

I took some time to made the lunch choice today, either McDonald value meal or Sushi King. McD is much much cheaper than sushi because the portion is larger, but not so healthy. In other hand, sushi, one of the healthy food around is more expensive. I was struggling until I convinced myself that I need more healthy and nutritious food rather than rubbish food.

So, I had 6 piece of salmon sushi and 2 piece of crab sticks sushi, not to forget the 'must-drink' hot green tea. I had three and a half cups. I love it, although Sushi King does not serve the best sushi around. It cost me RM15, almost double the price of the McD value meal and half the portion.

Can I have sushi every Monday? There's 20% discount if pay using the Sushi King credit card with Diners Club. Nudge me if there is any RM2 sushi promotion again :P

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I'm A Sport Shoes Lover

I enjoy playing sports and I like wearing sport shoes, it is very casual, it is very comfortable. Most importantly, there are bargains out there.

Adidas Lascelle DB - David Beckham @ RM120 only!!!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Philips Micro Hi-Fi MC147 [Wanted]

I always want a Micro Hi Fi in my living room. Why? I enjoy listening to music, great songs, oldies while lazying myself on the couch. Now, the opportunity is here.

I need to be among the first 10,000 to spend RM4,000 to get a guaranteed gift of a Philips Micro Hi-Fi. I got to know that on the 3rd or 4th of December and I have completed the task on Sunday 11-12-2011. Someone must be saying that I'm too desperate, or doing too much just for one Micro Hi-Fi.

Maybe you don't know. The Micro Hi-Fi would come in almost free, with the condition that some adjustments to be made.
  1.  First, consolidate the list of due payments that you have. If the amount is not enough,  ask from your family members whether they have any unsettled bills.
  2. Second, add the sum up. If it is more than RM4,000, register your SC card immediately according to the preset format.
  3. Proceed to swipe the cards at selected outlets or make online payments.
  4. Finally, collect the money and settle the credit card bill.
It is easy, isn't it? Although I'm not so convinced that I will be among the 10,000 who charged RM4,000 to the Standard Chartered credit card, but there is hope.

I mentioned that it would incur some cost including the extra traveling you made to settle some payment for others, some advance payment that you need to make in order to make up the amount, call and time cost of making arrangements, etc. However, I hope actually by getting the Hi Fi, I can forget about the hassle that I have caused.

Let's hope I can get this Micro Hi-Fi at the beginning of March 2012. Although it is a bit long, but I can wait :P because they will only announce the winner by 29-Feb-2012. Maybe I can win myself an extra LED TV too.... LOL...

Good luck~!

Thursday, December 8, 2011


I'm wondering what I should get for myself in the very last month of 2011. I have always wanted a few things, but I never really want to buy it because it is not the 'perfect' one for me yet. However, I still tend to spend time, another valuable asset to check the latest trend, technology, price and review. This is what I have done for the whole morning when my boss is away :P

I guess there is no way to miss the items in my wish list. Smartphone, DSLR and GPS-enabled Heart Rate Monitor watch are all in the list for quite some time. I do not want to spend because I need to spend, hence, I keep looking for justification to acquire something that 'expensive', I term something expensive in 2 ways, one is being the market value or monetary value of the item, secondly is the need of getting the item. More often, I will divert myself from buying those things, because they are really expensive.

Since I'm quite free, let me go through one by one. First, smartphone.I'm still using the Nokia 6233 that I have bought for myself in 1997 when I was still in university. During that time, the iPhone still a rumour, and my coursemate, Fook Wai told me that my Nokia phone looks like the iPhone, yet I still do not know anything about it, because I do not want to know it. Besides, I don't really know Steve Jobs that time. Now, probably venturing into different business other than routine 9to5 work, I had acquired myself a new phone number, a couple number with my wife. I would foresee there is going to be much conversation and meeting being held with the partners and probably communication with customers or vendors, so I guess need one phone that is smart that allow me to go on-line anytime, anywhere. Now the sim card is temporary hiding inside the phone that I have 'confiscated' from my mom. I want a windows phone.

Justification for smartphone:
  1. I got a new number that needs a smart home to work.
  2. I am going to have much communication or interaction with wife and business partners.
  3. I would like to have a new phone. (lousy justification!!!)
Secondly is the DSLR, I have held several DSLR that was released months before and I felt that my DSLR is way behind them, in term of technology, megapixels, function, etc. I can name a lot. I am tempted to buy a second hand camera body, selling my baby (but I don't really want to sell it). I used the Canon D550, I saw the D60, I held the D90 and D3100. Each and everyone of them is awesome. I wanted a new one, but a better second hand camera body will do. I need a portrait lens and an external flash too.

Justification for DSLR:
  1. My camera is old enough and many many generations away from its successors.
  2. I can shoot good photo if I have a 'good' camera, just like any amateurs holding Canon MK-II can shoot an award-winning photo.
  3. I'm not poisoned or addicted like some other photobugs.
Lastly is the hybrid of HRM and GPS watch. I have been checking the brand of Timex, Garmin and some other so so brands. I would like to buy something that I can use anytime, any sports, anywhere. I have locked my target although it is a quite 'old' model, just because it has been released some time ago, the function is still the best among all, just not so fancy.

Justification for GPS enabled HRM watch:
  1. It is a good training partner/coach. It can help me to make progress in my training as well as in the competition.
  2. It is a good 'life-saver'. Sometimes, accident happens because of our negligence. We do sports and we apply stress to our heart, it is good to something always there to tell you to 'slow down'.
  3. It is also a fancy watch. Maybe I can influence others to run more too.
LOL... I feel funny also writing all these because I keep justifying myself for each purchase, but I am yet to make up my mind. Is this procrastination? or delay gratification? I just list out all the pulling factors but not the pushing factors, is it not fair?

How? Buy all?
  1. Windows smartphones. Phone cost RM1800. Usage/maintenance cost RM80/month.
  2. New SLT-A55V, RM2300. New flash RM800. Second hand SLT-A55 RM1650 + second hand flash RM400.
  3. Garmin Forerunner 310XT. RM1200.
Who wants to pay my bill? Probably RM5000 - 6000. Siao.....

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

NTCRC Across-3-States Half Marathon

I was not feeling well, or I was feeling lazy after spending whole Saturday joining and helping out in Hooi Kheng and Kuan Meng's wedding. My legs were not excited at all, not like the time during the PBIM 2011 which I stayed up until 2am to make sure myself was good for the race. Anyway, I slept around 1am, and I had to wake up at 4.45am, I can't believe it.

The alarm woke me up, I went down to prepare everything, woke up my wife who was very enthusiastic to help me taking the photo of crossing the finishing line, later I will show you the masterpiece of my wife. I do appreciate it because I did ask her to skip this race as she was so sleep-deprived due to the wedding as well, although not as intense as me, because I had to run here and there to capture some photos. Where are the photos? I need to ask from ChunChew.

I took 2 sips of Milo that I prepared for my wife and half hand full of macadamia nuts because I did not have anything for breakfast. Haih... in PBIM, I had classic Chicken McDeluxe value meal. Then, we drove to Nibong Tebal through the creepy Bukit Teh, Tasek, Valdor and reached the starting line just in-time.

Wife was trying very hard to capture a photo of me in the dark dawn at 6am, but the built-in flash did not perform well enough, all black and without me. I guess it is time to justify to get an external flash. :P

Met up with Dan, a friend that added me in Dailymile, we greeted each other and the race started in minutes. I'm not sure how to run a half marathon since I have not running any since the last PBIM 2010 which I have clocked 2.09, due to muscle cramps and blisters in the unforgettable rainy days. I started the race without any doubt, telling myself to finish it in 2 hours, because I did not foresee how well I can do it.

I started in intermediate pace, but I don't know how fast or how slow, it is a biological HRM. I did not see any distance marker until the first water station which people told me that that's the 5km. After a 2 glasses of 100 Plus, I picked up my speed and I told myself to catch up with whoever that I see in front of me. So, I tried as hard as I could, but I still try to suppress myself not to exceed the 'no-way-return' pace. It worked quite well.

Ran passed the 'highway' in front of USM Engineering Campus and towards Clock Tower at Parit Buntar town, and towards Bandar Baharu, then I was lost, I just followed the runner in front of me. I felt good when I went past a few runners and be able to maintain my pace until I see the side entrance of USM Engineering Campus again, I did not know how far to go and how far I have gone. It is torturing.

Then, we were directed to Bukit Panchor by the marshall but by that time, I was so weak, the pace dropped dramatically, I felt the heat underneath my feet due to the friction, I don't like blisters. The last few km were very bad, I could not hold the pace, but when I turned into the Nibong Tebal town again, I know that it is close, the most 2-3 km to go, so I had to keep running.

3 veterans ran passed me which I have overtook one hour ago, I guess. They must be laughing at me because I cannot hold up :P I saw the banner, the finishing line, I saw my wife, I ran in normal pace because I know that I cannot go faster than that already. I checked my watch at the finishing line at 1:52:14. A good result, but I asked my wife to wait there at 1:20. LOL... I told her after the race that I want to be the champion.

I'm a bit disappointed because I though I can go lower than 1:40. I got the ranking the 35 in the open category. Not bad, but can it be 3 only or 5 only? Never mind, I try again next time to come back stronger and faster.