Friday, July 31, 2009

Royal Military College, Malaysia

There can only be ONE RMC in Malaysia. I'm proudly a product of this Institution.



I am taught to Serve To Lead.

I am taught to perserve and to only do my best.

Lead I will, Serve I am, Perserving everyday and doing my best, all the time.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Family First




Triathlon training is self-indulgent and selfish.
This is especially true when training for longer distance races such as the Ironman.

More than likely, you will be training most weekends, weekday morning or evenings, leaving you very little energy for anything else.

Always put family first. It's better to miss a training session than a child's birthday party or an anniversary celebration. Take time for the things in life that matters most.

Family First. Triahtlon Second.





Saturday, July 25, 2009

Shape Night Run 2009 : Pirated

Last minute decision and decided to pirate the run with Wifey and Nadia.

Yes, we decided to bring Nadia for her very first run as it was night and i don't need to worry if she will be exposed to the sun and sweat all over.



Before i go on, i must apologise to the Orange Man and his TwentyFirst Century Crew for me pirating the race. It wasn't that i did not want to register, i was just unsure if i will be around this weekend.

Nevertheless, i must say Orange Man and his crew ace this again, right after Siemens Run last week.

I arrive at Palace of Justice at about 7.45pm. Race were supposed to start at 8.00pm (and it did).

Wifey, Nadia and myself went for it - from the sideline. We joined the slow runners behind and slowly make progress towards the middle pack. It was pretty alright to be pushing the pram as we run. We do not have dedicated running pram but the Graco we have were good enough and steady enough for the run.


No, we only got ONE Nadia

As it was, the run was a last minute decision and there is no commitment whatsoever to run what distance at what time. We initially went for the 11.5km route.

After the Convention centre, instead of turning left to the 11.5km route, we took the right, heading back towards the finishing line. By then, we've covered 6km already. Not too shabby either.

We completed the run in 1:04 and covered 7.4km. Hardly impressive but it is a fun/family run - with Nadia, no less!



We saw a bride, which took to the road a day before her wedding. Well done. Certainly do give a meaning to "runaway" wedding eh? Congrats and we wish you all the happiness and the best!

From my point of view, the race was well organised. There were sufficient water station for the 11.5km run but the 7.7km run only has one water station. The humidity during the race was high. I was sweating bucket just after 1km. I believe this got to do with Putrajaya being a marshland and lack of trees. Essentially, Putrajaya is a concrete jungle wannabe greenfield.

I even saw Orange Man and crew directing runners towards the finishing line. Leadership by example, you don't see this everywhere (well, certainly not SCKLM!).

The finisher goody bag was very very impressive. I did not get any as i did not register (and that is one big big regret). For RM30, you get the running vest...and after the race, a cert and a bag (Pink for female and red for Male) and the bag contain so many items inside. I saw shower cream, multivites, magazines, medicine...

What did we get for SCKLM for RM40 again?


Certainly NOT Nature Valley's muesli bars!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sorry, You Can't Wear This While Driving



I sent my second pair of Timberland Classic Moc Commando Sole Burgundy for the second repair on split sole.

Previously i was wearing a Timberland Classic Moc Commando Brown. It was sent for repair threeFOUR times for the same issue - split sole. Each repair takes them 2 months, or more.

I got a replacement and was advised to take the "original color" Classic - which is burgundy because it was "better built". That was last year February.

So, after wearing it for 6 months (the second pair aka the replacement pair), the sole split again. I sent it back and gotten the shoes back after 3 months (before CNY). Now, 7 months later (time lag due to me not sending the shoes on first notice of split sole), the sole split again.

I sent it to the branch in 1Utama (the place where i bought the first pair, and gotten replacement from as well) to be repaired and decided to call their HQ to seek clarification or to "enquire".

"Ee-Van, i might need to case study you. It appears only you have this problem", he asked.

"Did you leave the shoe in the car?", he added.

"You do not wear the shoe often?", he enquired.

I told him that he can case study me all he wants and no, i do not leave any shoes in the car and no, i wear the shoe everyday.

I got 50 people in the office that can be my witness.

"You wear that shoe to work? Wah, what you work as?", he questioned.

"Engineer, but i am confined to desk duty. If i go to the site, i have to wear MS 1599:1998 certified ankle high safety boots", i answered.

"Do you wear the shoe to drive?", he probed.

At that point, i was lost for words. But when i told myself to remain calm. I am a civilised person. No more cibai-lised. I must talk to him as calmly as possible, afterall, i would need his help to get a replacement pair, right?

"Yes, i wear the shoe while driving, but for the past 2 years, i walk to work more than i drive", i explained, with the office 700meters from home - a 4 minutes run should anything happened at home.

"you are not supposed to drive in that shoe la. The commando lug, same as the 6 inch shoe, are not supposed to be used while driving. I am telling you this on a personal view ah, not representing Timberland", he explained.

*blood boiling, jaw dropping*

"I reccommend you not to use Timberland shoes again la, if this happen the third time, i reccommend you to exchange the RM599 with some clothings", he offered.

"you mean...i can't wear anymore Timberland shoes?", i asked, very very calmly.

"Ya, no point la. We also must make money, i can't keep replacing for you. Moreover, it is not a lifetime Warranty and we honour it if it is spoilt within 3 months", he said.

Everytime i send my Timberland for repair, it will take 1 month, at least. Longest was 3 months.

So, essentially, in one year, i maybe get to wear the shoe for...4 months?

"Ee-Van, to be frank, you also gotten your money worth already la", he reasoned.

I know that is true. He even calculated for me.

But i bought this RM599 Moc Classic because it is Timberland flagship model with lifetime Warranty because it is handsewn to the highest quality ever.

So, there you go.

1. Stupe can't wear the Classic Moc for Driving.
2. Stupe can't wear Timberland shoes. Period.



Seriously, you really can't wear the above for driving.

TIMBERLAND - PLEASE PUT A NOTICE ON THE MOC CLASSIC COMMANDO THAT THE ABOVE IS NOT FOR DRIVING


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

T-Shirt Of The Year



Click to see bigger pic - if the above ain't big enough.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Desaru Long Distance Tri - Photographer's Service

Remember my beautiful IronMan photo album?

I was told by a bird that he and his team will be on site to capture the race at Desaru this year.

I am not sure about the pricing, but you all can always email :

SmoothShazly at gmail dot com

If any DESARU LONG DISTANCE TRIATHLON participants are interested...email IronMan Shazly Khan:

SmoothShazly at gmail dot com

or call him:

016-six-four-six-double four-six-four.

Sorry had to post in this manner to avoid bots from picking up emails and phone numbers.

I was told that they take order to do any events under the sun and he has with him a team of photogs ready at your service.

P.s - Don't worry too much, i am not one of them, so your photos quality won't be compromised that much :P

Monday, July 20, 2009

Siemens Run 2009



This year Siemens run took another twist for myself. I did not run. It was my first official duty as a photographer. I got much to improve and an opportunity such as these are hard to come by, and let go.

I signed both Wifey and my sister, Ee-Svun up for the run. This is their second 10km run. Again, no training. I am feeling very bad and guilty for putting them through these sans training.

However, i always believe in will power, and i know that wifey has more than just that and sis, by virtue of being my sister, will have more or less the same amount of will power as i am.

The atmosphere in the morning at 6.30am was great. The MC for the day, an official from FTAAA were already warming up with the participants. Way to go!

The reporting gate opened by 6.45am and in goes all the runners one by one. It is certainly different to be at a race, but not racing.

At 7.15am, the CEO of Siemens reached and by 7.25am, Dato' Bandar was already at the rostrum to gun off the race!

You can see the determination on the races of the front runner.

I put myself right in the middle of the run to get the picture above. It was only on a 105mm lens and the effect you saw are very much what i did with Ryan's pic previously. I would say (yes, pardon me for saying) - GOOD PIC!

OK, self praise is no praise.

On with the race.

Siemens Run was sponsored by Siemens and they uses this run to give back to a few charity organisation. It was jointly organised by TwentyFirst Century - which is a local outfit that organises a lot of races. They have been under the cover for a while and keeping a low profile.

Seriously, after my exploits with Xterra Malaysia, i begin to appreciate the amount of work that goes into every races i entered - well with exception of TWO races that was just badly organised (one in Gopeng by the local council, and the other one, is well, SCKLM 09!).

This Siemens run is not even an international event. It does not carry big names except Siemens. It was just superbly executed.

Race kit collection? No waiting time. They even delivered the stuff to you for a measly fee that will not even cover your petrol and time to town.

Water station? No problem! Wifey reported she passed at least F-I-V-E station. That is enough water to drench yourself silly.

Race atmosphere? Check out what the organiser placed at the final 2 km to Dataran.













The above are just some of the atmosphere i wanted to show. There were more at Dataran but my duty was to walk/run/crawl and shoot Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman from Sogo to Dataran.

The whole road was filled with festivities and drumming was non stop the whole 2 hours of the race! The Dataran saw VI band (yay!) playing and flags display to accompany the band (i saw from far, but can't run fast enough to capture any).

There were also carnival like atmosphere where there is a dunking machine, an airfiled castle for kids and of course, the compulsory MILO!

After 27 minutes of the race start, the first runner was already at 1km to finish line. I supposed he might had finished it within 30 minutes.


First official "action" shot turned out alright - oh well, except i snapped the tong sampah behind him as well - DUH!


MUCH better

From then onwards, i was very aware of my surrounding and tried to ensure i was able to capture a proper sports photo. Those that people WILL BUY.

But with my measly gears...lets just practice on shooting for now la.

:)

I am also extremely proud of wifey and sis. The ran their first 10km during SCKLM and finished it in 1:35. This time, with a more challenging hilly route (double hill partly and behind National Monument), they ace-d it with their Personal Best of 1:25!

Great improvement!

Teng, a friend, managed to better his PB by 2 minutes despite an injured knee. I shalt not show his pic here, he might sue me for that.

All in all, Siemens run was great. Everything was in place, including the cleaner cleaning up Dataran Merdeka immediately after the race! The CEO stayed until almost everyone went back and the guys and girls at TwentyFirst Century ensured that everyone went back happy!

The host of sponsors make sure that everyone that paid RM10 went back with goody bag worth at least RM50! Now, that is what i call a RACE!

Congrats to all that posted their PB and finished their first 10km. You guys and girls were the hero. It takes loads of encouragements and loads of will power to even walk the 10km if you are the first timer. I salute you all!



ps - to the photographers i met but did not say hi, sorry ya, i kinda shy la...new to all this!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

IM09 : Inspiration for IM10

Just what i needed. My legs are rekindling with my mind and there is an amber now in my heart.































Monday, July 13, 2009

Nike LunarGlide+ : Review



I was amongst some of the luckier one that was seeded with the above shoe last week at Nike's HQ in KL. LunarGlide+ is an extension from the LunarRacer and LunarTrainer+. As usual, the + sign denotes that it is Nike+ (or NikePlus) ready.

But if you think that the three are the same, you are not wrong to assume it as they all carries the Lunar "branding". But essentially all three are different. I shalt not go into the details of LunarRacer and Trainer (the latter can be found in my blog) but will concentrate on how different Glide+ perform compared to a few Nike Bowerman series running shoes.

LunarGlide+ comes in a bit heavier compared to the LunarTrainer despite having the FlyWire technology found in a few models. For you all new here, FlyWire is a technology that Nike use to lend support to the shoe minus the bulky "structure". Essentially, they looked like wires running across a certain section needing more support while shedding some weights off.


Flywire running in the midsection

LunarGlide+ comes in heavier might be due to the fact that it has heavier cushioning and very specific density LunarFoam at certain area. This is to cater for the (yet to be) patented Dynamic Support System which promises (Vomero?) plush ride with (Triax) stability. It is like a one-shoe-fits-all-kind-of-foot scenario where an overpronator, underpronator, high arched, low arched, neutral arched runner will find it comfortable to use. More so, this should appeal to beginner runner being daunted by all those terms above and might end up buying a foot specific shoes wrongly (ie buying a less supportive shoe when you have high arch) and ended up hating running.

In my own layman understanding, the LunarFoam biased towards one side, lending support to lateral movement, giving more support where and when it is needed. A search on the internet (and as per my pre-glide teaser in my Facebook) shows the left cut out section of the shoe, with the inner side of the left shoe being thicker to lend support to the arch.

Rocket science, really.


Thicker LunarFoam at the "inner" foot area


Food For Sole

Another different thing i noticed on the shoe is that the outsole was built differently compared to the other shoes. The LunarFoam was inserted directly to the sole and could be visible from the cutout section. It also has the waffle like outsole to lend flexibility and also to reduce weight.

The upper section of the shoe is made from mesh and it was quick drying compared to Triax, Elite and Pegasus. It was even quicker to dry compared to it's near cousin the LunarTrainer+.



LunarGlide+ comes in gender specific features and the women Glide+ has more thoughts put into the shoe. I wasn't privy of a pair of the ladies version but what i gather is that it comes with more support on the inner side to counter overpronation usually associated with ladies. Also, the toe box was also larger to accommodate bunion caused by wearing highheels.

To be frank, i can't comment on the above as i do not wear highheels and i definately do not run like a girl (again, let me reiterate that more girls run faster than me).

Nike Malaysia - a pair of sized 11 for the women in me to try and see if it makes any differences? Or a sized 8 so wifey could try it to give her opinion? ;-)

The pair i had came in black with striking orange sole. It is both subtle and attention grabbing - more so if you wear with the side specific quarter socks with orange heel cup. Compared to Pegasus, Glide do not have that many reflective materials, which might make it not a good choice to bring out running at un-Godly hours. If it can't be avoided, i recommend sets of blinkers (just don't over do it, else a plane might think you are an airport).


Beautiful

So, after all the talk above, how did the shoe fare in real life?

While i ran in it for a short 2.7km on the day i was given the shoe. It was too short of a distance to tell how it would perform in real training days.

I had the chance yesterday when i was participating in the PD Tri.

I've ran in multitude of shoes in my whole sporting life (i wouldn't call it a career as can't make a living out of it, not in this life) and i would say that LunarGlide+ is a relevation.

OK, i know that is like kaw kaw marketing, but i can't help but to say that since every other Nike they gave me was something better than the last. However, there is a caveat to this as one particular model, IMHO, perform below par. That is another story for another day.

LunarGlide+ has bounces in it. You feel like you are running on spring. every heel strike and transition to take off are spring like. I was tired after the bad swim and so so bike but the shoe yesterday performed.

Unlike LunarTrainer+ where the cushioning was too plush to the extend there wasn't any bounce or energy return, LunarGlide+ gives life to your heel strike.

I feel like i was gummy bear after eating the gummy jelly.

Seriously, i came out of the run beaming. The seamless contruction and the Nike specific socks gave me zero blister and zero funny feeling (of the bad kind).

I will use this for my 21km run in Desaru and if the sole outlast my running, i will be donning this in IM2010 (this mean i will have to ration my shoes properly...each pair would last a max of 500km and i am running thin on most of them)

But the highlight was when more than three triatheletes commented that the shoe looked great and at least 5 says i am a "whore" to color coordinate the shoe with my Ordu.

Am i one? I will leave you all to be the judge.



Bottomline
If you are looking for a decent shoe, please consider the LunarGlide+. They are retailing at the store at RM399/pair and definately cheaper than some of the shoes selling at RM699, which offers the same function/features.

Thank you Nike Malaysia for the opportunity to try the shoes and hosting the event at the HQ!







PD Tri 2009 Report

Firstly, i must apologise as this post would not have as many photos as i wanted my race report to be, bearing in mind that THIS is the FIRST Race report that ever came in after IronMan in February (SCKLM not counted as that is not a race report, it was a complain entry).

So, here goes.

For the past 3 years, i have stopped staying overnight at the race venue if the race is nearby or within a 3 hours driving. The motivation is to save cost and to be able to spend a little more time at home with the family.

As much as i would want to bring Wifey, Ryan and Nadia along, it was no longer practical as the kids are growing up and are nothing but a handful. I would need to consider wifey having to run after two very active kids should she come along.

So that is my first reason for most of you not seeing them on the race day, like they usually do.

Secondly, it was cost consideration. PD to be frank has nothing that interest me except maybe the yearly triathlon. They have taken off Melaka as a race venue, so that again, nothing loss there as A Formosa is as interesting as the backlane of One Utama.

So, i drove up on race day. This year, i left a bit early and reached PDGCC where Bandit and family were staying. I reached PD at 6am, fresh.

I was at race site by 6.30am for body marking and as luck would have it, it started to rain. I kept my gears close to me as i hate to have my shoes wet before the race start. I know for a fact the sun will come out and it will not rain - well, not this year at least.

Familiar faces beacons the transition area. There were estimated 600 racers, both OD and Sprint distance that signed up (and paid) for this race. So, the numbers of OD racers looked more like 400, at most.

A good number i reckon.


With Friends and Racers


With Le Tuang
Above pics, thanks to IronManIsh+BabeZab

Swim 1.5KM - Something different
PD swim has always been pleasant. No drama kind and one would be able to post their PB on swim in PD with a Marina that cover the swimmer from current and waves. In short, it is almost swimming pool calm.

This year, it was rough. The first 500m and last 500m you would be exposed to the undercurrent and waves.

I struggled on the swim. My PB in PD for swim was about 26 mins. Average would be 32mins. Yesterday, it took me 44 minutes.

44 freaking minutes i would has swam Desaru 2km!

I came out of the water dazed. When i saw familiar faces coming out from the water, i knew it wasn't me, but the sea condition. Looks like there will be a lot of issues for some people recording their PB timing.


Dazed.Confused.Want to throw up. Thank you Xterra-ian Kash for the pic


Happy to be alive. TQ Zab!

I ran to transition and took a bit of time to clear my head as the effect of the waves was still throwing me while i was on firm land!

Target time : 40 minutes (first time i swam after Kapas-Marang). Actual : 44 minutes. (whoa....might as well just float)

Bike 40KM
Ordu back in action. I wanted to sell her after IronMan as i couldn't bear to see her not being used and hung in the store. A machine like that deserves to be ridden hard and fast and the current owner (moi) are nothing but an overweight has-been.

Nevertheless, i've told myself that i will push hard.

As i went into aero position, Emma TBB, which started the race 5 minutes later than me, overtook me with ease while i was hammering at 35km/h. I tried to play catch up. But the only thing i caught was the sweat flying off her butt. I dropped off after a short drafting.

The biking course was predictable and i've done this course every year for the past 5 years at least. Nothing changed, except that the military shooting range has an official entry point and the rubbish dump was cleared and no more foul smell or dirty rubbish laden road.

I was averaging 29.5km/h the first 20km and intended to maintain the average. I pushed myself to go hard and fast on the decline and spin on the incline. Almost paid off handsomely until i realise i had blisters forming.

The timing chip that was given by Uncle Chan ate into my ankle. I was distracted and keep trying to shift the hard velcro. A mistake i shouldn't had even attempted to do.

The last 15km was spent ignoring the burning sensation on my left ankle. It is a wonder what the mind could do.

However, damage was done and i lost precious time.

Target Time : 1: 15. Actual : 1:25.

Maybe i am just slow.


Darn timing chip velcro strap
Pic above courtesy of Marathoner Kash

Having just post a so-so 40km timing, i moved slowly to the rack. Most bikes are already back at transition and i know i must be darn slow if i see 75% back from cycling.

Run 10KM
I have a pair of Nike LunarGlide+ with me. Fresh and new and only used for a short 2.7km run. As usual, i have this thing for using new shoe for races; of some i paid for dearly - Pearl Izumi Kenyir Tri - 2 months nursing blisters.

Taking off the straps was such a happy thing. I could almost feel a relief. If i leave it any longer, i think the velcro would had eaten into my flesh and i would have a permanent RFID device on my ankle.

I slide on the socks and strap the chip back. Set the Ipod and ran. As with every BRICK, the first 1km will be less than pleasant. Slowly, i picked up my pace from a slow 6:30 and managed a decent 6:00 throughout the rest of the run. It was no drama and straight to the point. Go out to PD town until Avilion, U turn and come back.

The most pleasant suprise was when i saw Puzi and Karo manning an ILLEGAL WATER STATION. They did put a disclaimer that they are serving TAP water. But the wonderful thing is that the table has Rambutans, Langsat, Sirap Ros and a hose to shower you down.


WooHOO!

The above got me smiling the rest of the run. Seriously.


Maybe it is just smoke and noise as i was really tired already
Pics thanks to IronMan Kam

During the running course, i saw Jabir, Bandit and TSB on their maiden full OD tri. My hats off to them for attempting it. Infact, i know they will finish it no matter what it takes.

With the new expanded friends from Facebook and even another running group, i can't help but to say hi to a lot of people along the way.

Target time:62mins. Actual : 62mins.

I am really racing based on experience and knowledge of what my body could deliver. I pushed myself yesterday but i guess that is the best i could give.

Finishing
Those carpets all bundled up along the finishing line is a hazard, i almost trip and fall head over heel as i entered the finishing. It would not be a pretty sight to see that i am sure.

I was so slow as when i entered the finishing line, everyone just seems to be waiting for me.

"get over it you slow bugger!", i think they are secretly saying that.

I crossed the line in a slow 3hours 15 minutes. 15 mins off my targeted time.

Was i happy?

Yes i am. With no training, it would be foolish to expect a PB at any race. Infact, targeting 3hours was almost achieve-able IF the swim wasn't as choppy.

But as with every race i entered, i learn new things.

Yesterday, i've learnt humility. One must be able to live up to their own expectation. I've done my best. That much i know. And i did not regret it a bit.


Ipod acting up as it started playing Mariah Touch My Body as i run to finish
Thank You Ironman Kam

Saturday, July 11, 2009

PD Tri - Carboloading Dinner



I forsee:

Swim 1.5KM : 40 Mins
Bike 40KM : 75 Mins
Run 10km : 62 Mins

Total time plus T1 and T2 = 3 hours.

Lets see if the Lulian Power will pull me through tomorrow.

PD Tri 2009, here i come.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Live In Expectation



On your training days and race days, expect the best day ever and there will be no distractions. When you live in expectation, you will also live in faith and you will attract the best of everything that is surrounding you.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Persevere Relentlessly



Often time, training will become hard. You Wonder - How can i do this? How long will it take me? Am i crazy to be doing this?

Stay on course. When your mental toughness is challenged, it is a sign that you are getting closer to victory. Continue to persevere relentlessly. Your rewards are close at hand.





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