Monday, October 04, 2004

Arrrgghhh... so many down, Teh Tarik Crew, Powerman..

FAKKKK!!!! My computer went konked on Thursday! I had tried to download the Windows XP Service Pack 2 online, and when I did, it restarted, and then the whole damn PC hanged at the Windows XP introduction sign! I tried restarting it on safe mode, and some stupid funny things all come out, and it hangs. Bladddyyy hell.... why la, must do this to me at this time. Some more that time I have to send some important emails, pay some bills, and of course, update my blog... damn celaka la sometimes. The more high-tech things get, the more complicated and headachey it gets... anyone else feel that way? Anyway, back to the story telling...

Thursday 30 Sept:

My brother, Gavin's birthday, today. Only plan was to go and teach some students, then if got time, go to KL to do some stuff. When I reached Endah Parade, Sri Petaling to teach, the school called me up and told me that the students are not coming! Usually, I would start cursing, but it turns out to be a blessing. I had the time to go to KL and do some stuff. I wanted to exchange the red Asics pants I got from the Parkson sale. Although it said XL, but it was tight.. like that New Balance pants I got from Albert at the NB store. So I went to Albert's shop first, exchanged the NB pants for another Axel pants. Then I bought some more DVDs (I, Robot... De-Lovely... and Ghost In The Shell 2 for my brother as a small gift). Went to KLCC after that and exchanged the red Asics pants. Oddly enough, when the salesperson got another pair of the same pants, and we compared sizes, the newer pants was bigger. And the sales manager just told me to take the pants in exchange! Such a nice guy. Usually supermart stores like that don't have a policy of exchanging the stuff after you've bought it, y'know? And I guess it was a old-stock item, they probably don't bother that much la, maybe. So that's cool!

Anyway, didn't have time to send the damn PC to the service centre.

Friday 1 Oct:

Ohhhh booyyyy.. I had such trouble getting myself out of bed. I have a rehearsal with the Teh Tarik Crew (TTC) guys (and a real pretty chick by the name of MizzNina!), at 11am. Such a drag.. to drag myself out. Managed to anyway. Luckily, most of us were a bit late, so we managed to grab some breakfast. Anyway, we managed to get all their songs down fairly quickly. They had to leave fairly quickly, as they had to go for a soundcheck (they were opening for Alicia Keys that night). Then me, Justin, and AJ went to Mid Valley to makan and hang around. We all left later, and I went to Armada Hotel for the Powerman Malaysia briefing and dinner. I was quite apprehensive going in there alone (Greg came a little later). Anyway, met up with some familiar people who I met when I volunteered for one their Malakoff Duathlon races sometime last year. It was fun, having food, and chatting with the rest of the athletes and stuff. I was signed up with a Mixed Relay team. I met my 1st runner (Nora), and my cyclist (Rita) in the team. Some insights about Triathlon/Duathlon events as compared to running races later.

Saturday 2 Oct:

Wanted to get up early to do a short, easy run, but couldn't la. Me and my Buffy DVDs! Arrrgghh, I should really stop sleeping so late in the night. Anyway, woke in time enough to go for the soundcheck at BarBlonde for the KLue 4th Anniversary gig - Seven Collar T-Shirt and Teh Tarik Crew album launch. While doing soundcheck, it rained like mad! Nice weather. Managed to go home for a couple of hours before going for the gig. Cool. One mistake though, I should've taken a nap, but NOOOOOOOOOO!!! I had to watch my Buffy DVDs. Bad mistake. Should've slept a little bit, and get as much rest for the Powerman race. Anyway, I left for BarBlonde and reached around 9pm (we were scheduled to start at 9:30pm). Guess what, there was a power failure!! Wah liao... such inpeccable timing to have a power failure. That means the first band, Seven Collar T-Shirt (SCTS) hasn't started performing yet. So we hung around for about 30 minutes to an hour before the power finally came back. SCTS started their set, then us, with TTC. The show was good, to say the least. It was really fun for us, I think it's sorta a first time for us playing with a fairly real hip-hop band. The vibe was really cool, and groovy. A lot of pretty chicks at the venues around there la... from BarBlonde, That Indian Thing, Bar Savanh... the whole row of shops (aptly named Asian Heritage Row). Went to have some tea at the Lotus mamak next to Nikko Hotel (met a couple of cute girls there.. AJ's friends). I left around 2am to go home. Needed to sleep la... I'm thinking to myself.. am I gonna be up for the Powerman race in the morning???

TODAY, or rather yesterday, as I'm typing this, 3rd Oct:

Managed to wake up to my alarm clock at 5:30am. But I had a bit of a tough time pulling myself out of bed. Still feel tired. I had serious doubts about doing the race. Darn, why did I have to sleep so late? Anyway, pulled myself out anyhow, washed up and then packed my stuff for the race. Managed to make some sandwiches for breakfast. I also managed to prepare a bottle of the PowerBar Endurance Drink (which I bought at the Powerman briefing on friday) the previous night and chilled it, too. Good time like no other to try it out. Hopefully my stomach will agree with it. Anyway, after the Desaru episode, I'm determined to not dilute my body of electrolytes and sodium, so I wanted to make sure I take more isotonic drinks with some balance of water.

Started my journey to Putrajaya, Precinct 2. I took the first turnoff to Putrajaya (coming from Kajang), and followed the signs to Precinct 2. Guess what, the main road leading to Precinct 2 was blocked! WTF???? They were organising some event and they closed off the road.. how the heck was I gonna get there?? I was pretty afraid of being late, and then not able to meet up with my team and all. I took a couple of turns here and there, and I managed to find my way to the Ministry of Finance (MOF) building. Met up with my team members, Nora and Rita.

The first group to flag off at 7:30am was the Individual category. The second group was the Men's and Mixed Relay teams at 7:50am, then the Sprint category at 8:10am. Saw off Nora in the Mixed Relay flag off. Then I hung around with Rita and managed to chat with her quite a bit while waiting for Nora to return. Nora eventually returned from the 10K run after ab0ut and hour and 20 minutes, and Rita started off on the bike. Saw some of the other athletes like Greg and his wife, June, coming in from the run, transitioning to the bike, and then off to the 2nd 10K run. Rita came in about 2.5 hours later, and I started out my run at 11:27am. By that time the sun was pretty high and was really sunny and hot already.

I started out the run fairly fast. I was running out of time, as I only had about an hour 10 minutes before the qualifying time was over. Bad mistake. I had a bit of stitches (or maybe stomach cramp?) the first quarter of the way.. bugger. I had to do some walks on and off to cool off the stitches. Anyway, the 10K route was a straight route from the MOF, all the way to the Putrajaya Convention Center where the route doubles back around the PCC, then back to the MOF. So the deceiving part about this route was that you could see the PCC from the MOF. You'd think to yourself, "It's not that far, away?", but once you're on the run, the road seemed to go on forever trying to get the the PCC. Good thing about the route was that it was fairly flat. The only incline area was the overhead bridge prior to the PCC and the round trip around PCC to double back to the MOF. Anyway, I managed to cover half the 10km route at around 35 minutes, which meant I may have a chance to score the 10k in less than 1hr 20 minutes. I picked up the pace slightly, somewhere around 4km to the finish. Stopped to walk for about half a minute a couple of times. There were times I thought I had that tingling feeling (reminiscent of Desaru), and I thought to myself, "Oh boy, not again!". So I walked about half a minute, sipped on the PowerBar Endurance Drink, then proceeded to run again. I picked up the pace a little bit more the last 2km, I was getting really psyched.. the finishing line was getting really near! Stopped once for about half a minute to walk, because I couldn't hold that pace too long. Then I decided to run all the way to the finish line... Rita was waiting for me with another runner whom I had just met as well... the two finishing line ladies holding the finishing line prepared the line for me to cross... I ran as fast as I could... and YESSSS!!! I managed to reach the finishing line, and had time to put a smile on my face (not sure if they took a picture or anything)... stopped my watch, and I clocked 1:08:08! That was about 11 minutes faster than my Adidas KOTR time which was 1:19! Wooo hooo... not bad! Right after that, I guzzed down 3 cans of 100Plus Power.. I didn't want to make the same mistake as Desaru! I assessed my body... no tingling feeling on my face! Didn't feel disoriented. Aahhh.. okay la... I'm gonna be alright! Wooo hoooo!!! Another race finished! I'm happy with my time.

Later on, I met up with Greg and June, and with the other athletes whom I managed to chat up with while waiting. Went to the toilet to change, wash myself up a bit, then joined Greg and June for some food that they were serving. They didn't have much food for vegetarians, so I just gobbled some kuih, fruits and one fried egg. Had more 100 Plus and water too! After the prize giving ceremony, we proceeded to our cars, and managed to take some cool pics of us with our medals and prize. Then we drove all the way to Section 17 PJ to eat at Kanna's Curry House! Long, out of the way... I know, but never mind la. Anything for some good post-race food!

For dinner, I went out with my family to La Bodega, Bangsar. And ordered lots of food to eat.. 2 plates of penne with mushroom cream sauce, vegetarian pie, salad, grilled vege sandwich, 3 types of cheese with baguette, and a plate of tiramisu and choc fudge cake! Had a nice dinner... ahhhhh...

Post-race analysis:

1) Tried out the PowerBar Endurance drink, Orange flavour. Works pretty well for me. Not sure if there's much difference, but as long I'm not fainting out or feeling a great loss of energy, I don't worry so much about it!

2) Should've taken some more lubricant with me, the ChampionChip leg-strip chafes a bit. Luckily it was only 10K.

3) More sunblock, especially if you know you're gonna race in the hot sun most of the way.

4) Should learn to start the pace fairly easily and not start running too fast, even though the body was feeling anxious and want to burn rubber.

5) Sleep early! Buggaaa... musicians..!!!

6) Tried one of their new ProteinBar products, Chocolate Caramel Nut. Easier to eat than the Chocolate Fudge flavour. Less protein content and lighter, but easier to eat.

7) I didn't suffer from the cramp thing like Desaru, so drinking more iso drinks and some water does help!

8) Enjoy the race like always la...

9) Finally, I find that there's much more camaraderie in these events like Powerman and Triathlon events compared to typical road races! With normal road races, unless you know a group of people already, you're most likely less able to make friends easily, because the range of participants are wide, whereas in the multi-event races like the former, you're most likely to see some of the same guys from the previous races. It's more "familial", in a manner of speaking. Once you're in the multi-event races, you're like in a family, automatically! At least I felt it more than in the road races. But of course, as I've said before, I already knew quite a number of people from the road races that I've joined in. So that makes going to them races more fun, than going alone or with only two or three people.

That's it for now. I'll post them pictures once I get my PC back!


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