Thursday, September 30, 2004

Lousy day

I lost my SPANKING BRAND NEW stylus yesterday... AGAIN! Shit! I can't believe it. I bought the damn thing on Tuesday and I f-king lost it... CRAP! CRAP! CRAP! Looks like I have to go and buy another one.. shit, man.. cost me RM40 a pop!

So yesterday afternoon (Wed), I went to KLCC, thinking I could fit a run in. Before that I had to meet a client to pass a demo CD, and by the time I did that, bought some iso drinks, it was past 1830, and it was drizzling. Met Jamie, Rohaizad, and Kenneth who just finished their run. Also met Tey, from Azwar's
website. Ended up not running also, so I thought, "what the heck.. go to Isetan to see got any nice running gear while they're having their sale". Went there, found that there was nothing worth buying.. celakak. I was told that Asics running vests and shorts could be found half price, but Isetan weren't carrying any Asics stuff (other than the shoes). Crap.. then decided to try out Parkson.. it was their 17th Anniversary Sale... and taa daaaa... the Asics stuff was there! Misinformation. The Asics 50% off stuff is at PARKSON and NOT Isetan! Runners who like Asics stuff.. take note! But I only bought one pair, and the other pair of Asics running gear combo was from their new shipment, very nice. The cheap sale pair was a blood red-white stripe color, and the new pair was Orange with some cool lightning streaks on the side! Ehhehee... at least something came out from today.

Other crappy stuff:

1. There's only ONE freakin' electronic shop that sells PDAs, notebooks, etc, and they don't have stock of the stylus for XDA II.

2. My only foreign sax student (I get paid RM100 an hour, okay???) says he's got a sax teacher from UK in his school now, so my services are not needed anymore. Well, this might not be so bad, I can spend more time practicing my horn, or running! Or even going to the gym. Although I'll be rm100 poorer every week now.

3. This is yesterday's news (literally), but my NB black shorts I got from Albert's in BB Plaza can't fit me. And it was an XL.. shiteee.. not that I've grown bigger, but they were made smaller. Locally made NB stuff tends to be smaller... discrimination! The new NB singlet I bought was an L-size, but it was imported from US. And that one fitted like an XL, very nice. Anyway, I sms-ed Albert, and he said I could bring it back and exchange it for something else.. yippeeee...

Any other crappy stuff today..?? No more la... that's it for now..

Pics of "I Have Dreamed"

Here are some pics I took from my camera for the "I Have Dreamed - An Evening with Sean Ghazi". Go to my Yahoo! Photos to check out all the pictures.


Stage @ Actor's Studio Posted by Hello

My mum and Sean Posted by Hello

Me and the cast of "I Have Dreamed" Posted by Hello

Us signing each other's posters Posted by Hello

Us @ The Social, post-show party Posted by Hello

Me and sexy Aura (ahh..wwooooo!!) Posted by Hello

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Buffy DVDs, running gear, training run, and gig at Senja, Hyatt Regency

Ah, crap.. Yahoo! is down.. I can't log in to check my mail all of a sudden, and I can't even post photos into the photo album. Sorry, have to wait for that to happen, so I can put in some photos of the Sean Ghazi gig I did last week.

Anyway, for the day's events:

I went early in the day to KL to do some shopping. Thought of taking advantage of the Isetan sale to get some running gear for cheap. More on that later. Went to Low Yat Plaza and got myself a stylus for my O2 XDA II phone (I lost my last one TWICE last week... the first time I found it and on the same night, lost it again). Then off to the New Balance shop at BB Plaza to check out some new stuff. I got the new New Balance dry-fast technology running singlet/vest. But no short pants to match, so I got one of the older NB shorts (black color). The new NB 834 lightweight trainers look and felt interesting la.. dunno whether big guy like me could use those or not. Didn't buy it la.. maybe next time. Went to Isetan at Lot 10 to check out the sports stuff. A lot of stuff going cheap.. Adidas shoes 50% off. But I couldn't find anything for me la.. it's like me and Adidas shoes got no fate and affinity. I looked at the Nike rack (50% off also) found one of their running singlets, but no pants to match.. celakak! So I didn't buy it. Ended up I didn't buy anything from there. Thought of trying out Isetan KLCC tomorrow... anyway, went back to BB Plaza, and got a set of Buffy The Vampire Season 3 on DVD! Woo hoo.. I love Buffy, man.. and Sarah Michelle Gellar! Can't wait to watch them..

Managed to go back home and changed into my new running outfit to go for a quick run before heading to Hyatt Subang to work. Guess what.. the NB pants can't fit me.. even though they're an XL.. shit!!!! The thigh area too tight.. basket! Had to wear back my blue Asics pants. Might have to give it to my dad to wear la like that, and I'll get another pair. Went out for a run, about 40:45 for 6km. Since I'm building up my running power again, from not running after the Desaru 21K, I decided to run fairly easy. Halfway back, it rained light.. wah, damn fun to run a bit in the rain.

Went to Hyatt Saujana, Subang to play 3 45-minutes set at Senja Restaurant. Some old friends playing there, Khairil on piano, Albert on bass, and Yahya Sulong (or we call him Pak Yah) on drums. Anyone remember Yahya Sulong? He used to be an actor on TV and some movies, I think. But one thing's for sure.. he's a hell of a swing drummer! He's from the swing era from the 40s onwards, and by far, he's the best (authentic) swing drummer I've ever played with other than Lewis Pragasam! Felt really good to play some nice swing jazz... I could hardly get to play it, really.

I spent a couple of hours talking to Khairil after the gig. Nice cat... very jovial, but very experienced. Imparted a lot of knowledge of experience to me. We feel similar on a lot of things pertaining to the current music scene. The music scene for musicians today, is not as rich as it used to be. The state of music in KL is nothing short of sad, really. Younger musicians like myself don't get as much opportunities to play and learn, compared to the older days. Hence, our musical development is pretty slow. At that, I really feel strongly about getting out of KL, going to another country (U.S of A preferably), get my ass kicked in the music scene, and learn as much as I can.

Ahhh.. just as I type this, the Yahoo! Photos is up and running again. Check out this site for pictures of the Sean Ghazi show.


Monday, September 27, 2004

"I Have Dreamed - An Evening with Sean Ghazi" comes to an end..

Today was the last day of the show. Today (Sunday) we did two shows, one was the Sunday afternoon matinee, and the usual night show. Today's show was the best show, among all the other shows from the previous days. Today's shows were full-housed!! And today's show, ALL of us just let loose, and let the magic of the music flow within all of us.

This is the end of "I Have Dreamed - An Evening with Sean Ghazi" show at Actor's Studio Bangsar. For those of you who missed it, you all missed a stunningly good show. Don't get me wrong, it's not because of me in it, but it was the whole gang... the singers, Sean, Aura, Adam and Izlyn (or known affectionately as Sizzlin' Izlyn!), and of course, us, the musicians behind the music.. me, Charles on drums, Wan on bass, Vivian Chua on violins, and Adam Farouk on piano. At the end of the day, the whole week was something of a dream for me... literally. Felt like I went through a dream for the whole week (and a very well paid one, at that!). Now, I'll just have to wait for the post-performance depression. It's almost like that for every big gig that I do. And hanging out with this wacko bunch (non-stop laughter!), the post-performance depression will be slightly extra more depressing. That's expected. We spent the whole week together, performing, and creating some musical magic night after night (and one afternoon).

Anyway, to recap... the repertoire for this show, mostly involved repertoire from Sean's career in musical theatre and showbiz. From musical theatre shows like The King and I and Miss Saigon, to broadway and jazz standards, local standards and even pop music, we played songs like Sun and Moon, I Have Dreamed, (a really funky) Can't Take That Away From Me, Last Night of the World, Meadowlark, Getaran Jiwa, to Josh Groban's You Raise Me Up. Sean had guests Aura Deva (who was the lead role in Miss Saigon in London), Izlyn Ramli, and Adam Farouk (he's the musical director for the whole show). The chemistry between these guys were so strong... they improvised a lot of conversation in between songs (a lot of them really, REALLY funny!). But they were (and still are) all awesome singers. I almost wanted to cry each time when Sean sang The Water Is Wide. It's such a beautiful song, and Sean sang it with such passion.. it's very touching! Aura showed her real element when she was singing Meadowlark, and other songs like Sun and Moon, and I Have Dreamed. Adam also sang one song, Elton John's Your Song. That was a hit for the audience the last couple of days!

After the last show, we all had signing sessions.. we all signed each others' posters and programme books. Then we went to The Social in Bangsar, for post-show drinks and celebration, as well as mamak food brought into Social. That was awesome... mamak food in a classy joint like The Social. And the exchange of stories, and lots of laughter are the norm!

I won't know if there are any plans to do this show anymore, so as I said before... y'all missed a good show. It'll be a while before any of us will be doing this music anymore.

For those who came to the show... thank you. We really appreciate the support and I hope y'all enjoy the show! God knows we all did.

Anyway, I'll be posting some pictures on the Blogger, soon. A lot of cool nice pictures as well.

Till then.. see y'all soon.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Desaru results

I just checked the Net, and the Desaru Triathlon website. They've released the results of the race. My relay team (Men's Relay), which is Jonathan Tan on swim/bike, and myself on the 21KM run, did 22nd. It's second last la.. but who cares, man. I enjoyed myself. Lucky I told Peter, that I'm a slow runner, so don't have to worry about trying to get a good time record. Of course, my long term goal is to run with better time la. But in this case, was to finish a half marathon.

Anyway, click
here for the results.

"I Have Dreamed" - An Evening with Sean Ghazi

I Have Dreamed - An Evening with Sean Ghazi poster Posted by Hello

Today was our opening night for this show. The turnout was great.. full house at Actor's Studio Bangsar. It was a fun gig of sorts today, plus it being opening night. A lot of small things happening during the show, which is like improvising... certain conversation lines between Sean and Izlyn, and even the musical arrangements, etc. Very fun to play.

It's quite an entertaining show, but the tickets are pricey though. But it's worth the money la.. aside the fact that I'm also playing in it. But the whole production is awesome. For those who don't get to watch Broadway shows, this show can sort of give you a brief glimpse of what it's like to hear Broadway or West End singers doing their stuff.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Desaru pt 2...analysis of race...and some pictures!

Desaru part 2:

Sunday 19 Sept - Had a really good sleep on the night of the race. We slept around 11 - 12-something in the morning and I woke up about 10:30am, I think. I slept like a log! Might as well, my feet felt like logs, still. It's not as stiff as the night before, but the discomfort from the cramps and heat-exhaustion was still there. I could walk better... although I may have looked like someone who just started to learn to walk again. I also realised that it rain last night up until this morning - Why, oh why, didn't it rain like that during the race???

Greg and wife had already woke up, while I freshened up, so that we'll try to catch the Sprint Triathlon event (1.5km swim, 30km bike, 3km run) which took place today, and then go for the complimentary lunch at the hotel for all the athletes. When we reached the hotel, the organisers were already clearing up the scene: the race was already over. It was rather fast... and we found out later that the race started at 9am, and not 10am like the Long Distance event. Anyway, we sat at the lunch area, with Sam Pritchard (the winner for the Men's 50 - above category), and talked shop, of course, among other things. Later Mon and his gf, Jasmine joined us as well. Jodie Ann (winner for the Women's 30 - 39 category) also joined our table. While waiting for the lunch ceremony to begin, they had cultural dances from a kids' dance troupe from one of the local schools. The kids were awesome! They looked and danced like they were trained professionally! I was so impressed.. and they were so in the groove of the music, and their movements were so natural! They have a good teacher, and definitely good sponsors. You won't see that around in KL schools... one thing Klang Valley schools have to learn. Then the lunch started, and the award presentation ceremonies took place. Greg got 7th place in the 40 - 49 Men's Individual category. By the way, lunch was crappy.. hotel food was really crappy. Anyway, after watching the Pro's get their awards, we all left the hotel. We went back to the chalet and packed our stuff to leave Desaru. On the way back, at Kulai, we had some more food at Thamby's Banana Leaf restaurant. Had good roti canai and mee goreng, with vegetables. Food's great there, a place I'd recommend. Back in Kajang, we had a nice seafood dinner (I ordered vegetarian, of course) with my bass player, AJ, as well. He was keeping our saxophones and bags, so we gave him a nice dinner treat. Greg then sent me home, and then I hit the sack to get some very good sleep and rest, which was overdue.

It was a really good trip... I loved every minute of it, including the painful bits. Let's just say it was worth the pain and effort. I got my very FIRST medal (for any sports event, as a matter of fact!) for my FIRST ever half-marathon race! What else can I say...??

Analysis of race:

Race plan - As I began running at 2:40pm, in the blistering hot weather, I told myself to pace myself a little slower, to avoid burning out too fast. And so I did. As I only intended to finish the race, rather than to make a PR, I took most of the race in an easy pace. The heat definitely didn't help much, so I drank a lot of liquids from the aid stations and took lots of sponges and wet my body, stuffed them on the shoulder sides of the vest, and even put them in my cap. I also put ICE in my cap to keep my head cool.

Fueling - As I mentioned before, I drank a lot of water and pissed a lot before the race. BAD idea. I think that was what led to the body cramps, heat exhaustion. I believe it was a case of water poisoning. As salt/sodium is purged from the body via sweat (and even more on a hot day), there's a need to constantly replenish the body with sodium. Sources of sodium may come from isotonic drinks or even PowerGels. Although I had two PowerGels, I still drank a lot of water at the aid stations, and since only TWO of the aid stations had 100Plus Power, I didn't have much stock of isotonic drinks to fuel my sodium in the bloodstream. Even the liquids I brought in my hydration pack (Water + Excel Blue) had too little electrolyte and sodium content to replenish me. Anyway, drinking too much water dilutes the sodium content from our bodies, and I think that made it worse for me (hence, water poisoning). I may have been able to avoid the body cramp, if I had guzzed down several cans of 100Plus Power immediately after I completed the race. Note to runners/athletes: when running for long distances in hot weather, make sure you balance your liquids by drinking some water and isotonic/sports drinks. Take PowerGels if your runs are more than an hour. Don't drink water excessively, especially before the race. If you're doing triathlon events, possibly load up on salt (with salty soup, for example) as well as carbo-load before the race.

Wet yourself? - If possible try to avoid getting your feet and shoes wet from all that water the aid station volunteers try to gush on runners. Wet shoes = blisters on feet. Stick to the sponges. But honestly, sometimes it may not be avoidable, it's hot, and you need to rinse water over yourself.

Heat protection - Sunblock..VERY important on afternoon races, or training. I recommend Coppertone Sport SPF-48 (it's a blue contoured bottle, can get at Guardian or any good pharmacies). Caps.. white or anything bright! (Only good cap you could get is from Nike, but a little pricey unfortunately. Good though, it's breathable). Running gear... white or anything bright too! Bright colors reflect heat away from your body. Absolutely no black gear! Shoes... make sure you don't wear a new or fairly new pair of shoes to race, break them in first.

.. and some pictures!

That's it, I guess... now, on to the pictures! Here are some cool pictures from Desaru, you can check out the rest of them in my Yahoo! Photos album.

Desaru beach in the morning - oh what a beautiful moorrninnngg!!Posted by Hello

Desaru Triathlon sign Posted by Hello

The finish line Posted by Hello

My race gear - NB 765 shoes, Nike Dri-Fit sox, Nike Air white cap, bib 817 on Asics Yellow combo Posted by Hello

Me coming in the first lap Posted by Hello

Me passing by the first lap Posted by Hello

My medal - on the front Posted by Hello

My medal on the back - FINISHER!! Posted by Hello

Me, June (Greg's wife) and Greg at hotel after luncheon Posted by Hello

Anyway, I will be taking the week off from any training. Might take a short, easy jog to clear up the calves, though. But definitely no training. Might train from the middle of next week.

Ok, till next time... ttfn..:)

Monday, September 20, 2004

Desaru Pengerang Int'l Triathlon... Cramps.. IV drips.. and my FIRST medal!

I just came back from Desaru with Greg Lyons and wife. I took part in the Desaru Pengerang International Long-Distance Triathlon on Saturday 18 Sept. The race was particularly interesting, as they had star triathletes brought in to compete, such as Jason Shortis and Brian Rhodes (sp?). I did the Men's relay and ran 21KM, while my swim/bike relay buddy Jonathan Tan of KL did the initial work (great job Jon)! The 21km route was a 2-lap 10km stretch of road from the Desaru Golden Beach Resort, which began in the middle of the route, and that meant that there were two U-turns, which heads back to the resort.

It was a really fun race trip. Actually, to say "really fun" is really understating it... keep reading:

It all starts... here...

We travelled to Desaru early morning on race day, from Sunway Hotel Resort. Greg had a gig at Avanti's Restaurant at Sunway, so he arranged for his wife to drive us to Desaru while we slept in the car. We left at 1:30 in the morning. I slept on and off in the car, while Greg slept through almost the whole journey. Reached Kulai (at Johor) at about 4 something, and reached Desaru at about 5:30am. The stretch from Kulai to Desaru was pretty misty, as we couldn't see much except the line markers on the side of the roads. Luckily it was dead of night, so there weren't much vehicles... lorries are a pain on single lane roads. Anyway, we got there safely, and checked into the chalet.. the Desaru Holiday Chalet. It was about a km or so just before the Desaru Golden Beach Resort. As soon as we unloaded our stuff we headed off to Lala-land.

18 Sept morning:

Woke up at about 9am, when Greg got a call from Peter (the guy in charge of organising mixed relay teams), and Peter spoke to me, that my cyclist wanted to see me, and pass me my bibs. Greg was already prepped up to go to the race site, and I promptly washed up to go to the race site with him. Anyway, Greg was to do the whole stretch of the Long Distance Triathlon which was 2km swim/90km bike/21km run. As I was only to do the last event, the 21km run, I was told to expect to start sometime in the afternoon. Anyway, I met Peter and my cyclist Jonathan Tan. Got my bibs, wished Jon and Greg good luck, and I headed back to the chalet. After pinning my bibs to my running vest, I slept about an hour or so, just to get some rest some more.

Around 11:15am - I got up to take a shower and prep myself up for the race, with my running gear and all. My running gear: Yellow Asics running vest and shorts, my New Balance 765 shoes with Nike Dri-Fit ankle socks, Nike Hydration Gear (with water + Excel blue mix), two PowerGels I bought the day before (Choc and Tropical Fruit flavour), Nike Air white cap which I bought the day before as well, Adidas shades, Polar Heart-Rate monitor, and sunblock. I applied Coppertone Sport SPF-48 sunblock (I know, I know.. very extensive list.. but I like to be prepared to race), and had some light food to eat to add some energy. Drank a bottle of Gatorade to fuel up on electrolytes and salt. Then me and June headed out to the race site, and by that time, most of the racers were already on the bike event. I hung out with June and a friend, Jasmine (who's the girlfriend of one of the triathletes, also a friend of Greg's, goes by the name of Mon). Warmed up a bit in the already blistering hot weather while I continued to hydrate myself with water (bad mistake, will explain later). I must have pissed like 3 - 5 times while waiting for my cyclist. While warming up, my HR must have spiked up to almost 80% because of the heat. Hung out a little bit more with June and Jasmine and cheered for the pro triathletes and a few others of the Individual and Mixed Relay categories who were the initial racers that transitioned into the 21km run.

2:30pm - Jon came in from the bike event, and passed me the relay band. He wished me good luck and to enjoy, I told him "good going, you did well", and off I ran my 21km. Actually, I had wanted to take a last piss before Jon came back (even after I pissed about 2 - 3 times from the several bottles of water), but he came back earlier than expected. So I had to hold my piss three-fifths of the run. Anyway, I reached the first water station fairly quickly, and I took the water they were passing out to the runners. I passed the first turn-about (which was closer to the resort), and the next water-aid station was up. I drank the 100Plus Power and took some sponges (soaked in ice-cold water) and squished them over me to keep me cool (something I do pretty much throughout the race). Of course, there were several water stations along the way (but only 2 served 100Plus Power). Then, I passed the resort and ran about 6 - 7km to the next U-turn. J ust before that U-turn, the route turned out to be a short steep hill, which of course made the course interesting, which then U-turns at a roundabout back to the road that led back to the resort. Had another water station with 100Plus Power and my first PowerGel. I passed the resort which was the 10.5K split at around 1:17 (which was two minutes faster than my previous 10km record at Adidas KOTR of 1:19... yay!).

(Footnote: My plan for this race was to finish rather than to clock a certain time finish. So, I had planned to run to every aid station, and walk for a minute after stopping to grab my drink and sponges. It was really hot, and the sun was at its peak, so I didn't want to push myself too hard for this race.)

The second lap was a little more trickier. I started having some cramp attacks around my left calf down to my ankle. Everytime that happened I had to stopped and stretched my legs a bit, especially the affected area. A few hundred metres after the first U-turn (2nd lap), I stopped at a john at the side of the road to pee (cannot tahan already). And I started running again. Throughout the race, I cheered for some runners and vice versa, to motivate them and myself. Feels great doing that. After passing the resort on the 2nd lap, I had to stop to walk a little bit more than the first lap to stretch out the cramp attacks. Each time the cramp disappeared, I walked a minute, and continued a steady running pace. Before the hill heading to the 2nd U-turn, I stopped to walk with one of the triathletes from the Individual category. He had cramps and he was walking quite a long while, when I caught up with him. Chat with him a little bit while I walked. At the aid station before the hill, I grabbed some water, ice, sponges and pressed up with my running pace. This time, threading up the hill, I decided to try the lateral running technique Danny Dreyer recommended in his ChiRunning book. It's basically running partially sideways so that your feet is about 45 degrees against the road rather than parallel to it. It helped uphill running a little bit, as it uses lateral muscles that you don't usually use when you run straight up. Came up to the 100Plus Power water station, sponged, dranked and move on. Took my second PowerGel. After this point, the cramp attack came a little stronger, so I stopped a little longer and stretched a bit more and walked a bit more. After about 2 minutes, I felt that the cramp had disappeared, so I pressed on the running. At this point, around 2 - 3km to the finish line, the sun started to set a little bit, as dusk started to break a little bit (around 5pm). I didn't get the cramps anymore, so I ran again, this time to the finish line. I clocked 2:47.46 on my watch (2:47.11 on the recorded results). My relay team got 22nd place (I forgot the total finish time.. but it's about 6 hours and 30 to 40 minutes).

Intermission: Sorry la.. this blog very long.. but wanna tell whole story in one post. AHhaha... anyway, back to the story...

I got my FIRST ever racing medal!!!! It was a finisher medal, but my first finisher medal nonetheless. Best part about it, it's a heavy medal, not them cheap plastic ones that some of the more common running races give. As I received three medals from the presenter at the finish line, and the MC announced my finishing, I stopped running (of course!), and walked around the chill down. Jonathan was waiting, and cheered me and congratulated me, while I reciprocated. Walked around a bit more. At this time, I was feeling a funny tingling feeling around my nose area.. that kind of feeling like you'd get on your butt when you stand up after you've sat on a chair the whole day, for example. I thought it was just a sign of my body cooling down. Met up with Greg, Peter, and some of the other athletes, who then cheered me for my finish. I then realised why they had given me three medals.. it was for the three events. So I proceeded to give Jon two of the medals, which were obviously his, although I didn't realise it after a few minutes later. Talked with Greg a little more, got my change of clothes and walked to the pool toilet to dry up and change.

This is the fun part...

At the toilet, I was still feeling that tingling feeling on my nose, but I think it spread a little more around my face, and some parts of my body. I was talking to one of the indian school runner boys, when I started feeling a little shaky. I felt like I had not enough food to eat, and I was feeling slightly nauseous. Next thing I knew, the tingling feeling had spread to the rest of my body. I sat down on a chair thinking that I should sit down and relax. By then my hands and fingers started to cramp up, and so did the rest of my body. My hands and fingers automatically cramped to a clenched fist, although I tried hard to resist that by trying to straightned it. I felt I had lost control over my whole body, I tried to get up to walk around, but I supported myself standing by putting my hands on the table. I started to grunt out of reaction from this, and one of the athletes nearby saw me and asked me if I was okay. I told him no, and I told him that I was feeling like my whole body was cramping up. He helped me a little bit by supporting me, while his friend tried to get help. One of the top Malaysian triathletes, Eugene Chan, was nearby and he came over and asked me what was wrong and where I was cramped. I told him the same thing, and next thing I knew he rushed to get medical help. The first guy (Tee was his name), and his friend helped me to walk a little bit. The stretcher came, and I think 6 guys helped me lie down. And the 6 of them hauled me to the medical tent. That shows how heavy I am.. hehehe!

I had several people from the medical team attending to me, from spraying cooling water on my body, putting ice, and rubbing deep-rub salvos onto my legs. I was in excruciating pain, as my body felt like pins and needles poking all over me. To top that, both my calves were cramped up and the pain from that was even more excruciating. The moment anyone touched my calves, it hurt like hell, much less trying to stretch them by stretch my feet inwards. I screamed in pain quite a lot. I was in pain for about 10 - 15 over minutes, before they managed to calmed me down by getting me to take deep breaths and to not think of the pain. They inserted an intraveneous (IV) needle into my left hand, and had me on sodium drips. At this time, I had calmed down quite a bit and relaxed myself, but the feeling of absolute stiffness pervaded. There was a point or two, I almost lost feeling my face. Greg asked me how I was feeling, and I replied, "I ccnnntt fllll myyyy fcceeeee" (I can't feel my face) and I laughed. The first bottle finished, and they replaced it with another one! So I had TWO bottles of sodium IVed into me. By that time I started to regain steady feeling in my body bit by bit, from my face, to my torso and hands and then my legs. I felt like a car tyre getting pumped with air at a petrol station. By the time the second bottle finished, I could feel most of my body. My calves still felt sore and crampy, though. I thought I could use a third bottle, but it was not necessary.

One thing I must mention: The nurses and the medics were really, REALLY nice people. If anything, their great attitudes helped me calm down and relax even more, and made my recovery better. If not, I'd probably be still hyper-ventilating and all that. This makes me think back about one of Jamie's past report on being a volunteer or the organization of it, rather than being the participant. Note to all amateur athletes, runners or multi-sport athletes: Thank the fella at the water station, the medic team, the massage team, or whoever that's part of the event, but not participating in it. They're equally important as the participants in a race.

I definitely felt better at that point, and I was given salt water to drink. I tried to sit up, but getting my legs and feet to move was a rather painful effort. My calves felt so sore that every touch my feet made triggered the painful feeling. It's like having to trying to get your feet to walk when all you have is your legs are replaced with two big heavy twigs stabbed into your hips. I had to limp all the way to Greg's car, he helped me by being a walking stick support. Even that, it was limping in pain, and I could do it out of some tolerance to pain! Just imagine that your legs are made of wood and you could only walk with your legs 100% straight, and just add pain to that. Greg drove back to our chalet, and I threaded into the chalet painfully slow (literally!), and I even took a shower. And we preceded to drive out to Sg. Rengit (an hour-long drive) to have our dinner. Apparently, it seemed like a tradition that most of the triathletes go there after the race to have dinner, and there are several chinese restaurants at that, too. So the whole triathlete community were at Sg. Rengit after the race. The restaurant we went to was called Jade Garden, and most of the Malaysian triathletes/relay racers who are considered familiar faces were all there. And we ate like pigs!!! We ordered lots of food, myself included, although I had the kitched do vegetarian food for me. I had a plate of fried race, and ordered some vege dishes like taufoo, eggs, and green vege. I had another small bowl of rice to help finish the vege dishes! I ate portions enough to feed TWO persons! But it's only natural to replenish after you've done a race, especially if it's a heavy one. So that's the only time that a person who's training could really pig out (aside from carbo-loading a few days before a race). While waiting for the food, I got some ice and applied them on my calves, which helped alleviate the pain and the soreness a bit. I started to walk a little better and faster, but still with a wood-draggy feeling. After having long chats over food and drink, we proceeded to head back to our accomodations to have a mighty good rest.

More coming up next... if not you'd probably fall asleep on your keyboards trying to read this...

Up next: Desaru pt 2.. analysis of race.. and pictures!! Stay tuned

Friday, September 17, 2004

CIMB function...

Just got back from Mandarin Oriental, as I did a function with the I Have Dreamed band. The performance was pretty much half of what we did in the actual show. The performance was nice, very fun... as it so, to play with these guys again. The crowd, however, was not particularly interested. Out of the 80 or so tables, only few stayed to watch, including the VIP table where the Deputy PM Najib was present. The rest went to the reception area to mingle and smoke or whatever. So the claps that we got was just short of pathetic. But there were still people who enjoyed the show. I didn't give a rat's ass of the audience, as I was having fun just playing with the band, with Sean Ghazi, Aura, and Izlyn singing.

We got day rooms to use, so that was nice.. could relax before and after the show. And I ate a lot today.. sorta carbo loading for this Saturday's race. I had a light snack after soundcheck (that's around 4 something). Then walked around KLCC a bit to do some shopping to buy some necessary items (like the latest Runner's World - got nice cover of a chick.. young triathlete), and some stuff for the race, like sunblock. Then went to the hotel coffee house to eat a little bit more (their mushroom soup is great).. had mushroom soup, vietnamese spring roll (which i ta-pau-ed cos i couldn't finish) and a yogurt desert. After the show, I ate a little more of the buffet food from the dinner function.. ahahaha.. I'm gonna burn it all at the 21K race, anyway.

Well, so much for now, won't be posting until I get back from Desaru. Have a good weekend to those who're reading this.. and wish me luck for the 21K. Good luck for the PJ Half Marathon participants!!

Next up: Desaru Triathlon 21K....

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Prepping for "I Have Dreamed"

Just had our second rehearsal last night. I am part of the band that will be backing Sean Ghazi and his two cohorts, Izlyn Ramli and Aura Deva (flown all the way from London.. but she's from Phillipines), in a musical show next week called "I Have Dreamed - An Evening With Sean Ghazi" at the Actor's Studio Bangsar, BSC. This is the second time we're doing it this year (the first show we ever did was in May). We'll be performing a number of songs from Broadway, West End repertoire, as well as some jazz standards. It's like a musical account of Sean's career in theatre showbiz, from when he first started up till now. It's gonna be an interesting show, definitely. We had lots of fun playing it. Tickets are not cheap, I have to say, but if you have the chance (or the budget) to catch it, please do come and support us la... and the local arts scene. And have a jolly good time as well.

When for a short run yesterday at Lake Gardens. It's my tapering week, taking it easy on the training to get as much rest for this Saturday's run. Anyway, I went for the training run prior to the rehearsal, and I brought towels and change of clothes. My plan: do the run from 6:15 to around 7:15, shower at the Lake Gardens public toilet (they have public bath toilets for a small change of 50sen! not bad!), then head off to the rehearsal just before or at 8pm. So I ran, came back and stretched, and promptly took my clothes and towel to the bath. Here's the tricky bit: IT WAS CLOSED!!!! Arrrrgggghhhhhhhhhhhh!!! I had slightly over half an hour before rehearsal time and the damn bath was closed. Teruk man... so I thought of driving over to Fitness First at Menara Maxis to take a shower there, but the roads were so jammed (and I took the worst route to go also.. celaka..). I took the road heading back to Jalan Loke Yew, and I was stuck at the Edinburgh circle. Shitteeeee. Then I saw the BP station at the side, just before the turn off to Jln Imbi. So I decided to just change there, maybe use some water and wipe myself, so I won't be too sweaty. Luckily the water works well, so I did just that. At least it feels slightly fresher, and not so sweaty (damn malu la, if I went to the rehearsal all stinky).

Man, why must they close so early. At least 8pm la.. hahaha... teruk la, me...

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Almost 20km long run... Disagree at Berjaya Times Square

I woke early today, and headed out to Lake Gardens. I decided on trying out the 20km route from Lake Gardens to Sri Hartamas and back.

The route started from Lake Gardens, to Bank Negara Malaysia then hilled up into Bukit Tunku. It then passes thru Kenny Hills then out to Jalan Duta. Then I cut across up to Jalan Sri Hartamas, passing through National Archive building. Since it was my first time using this route, I wasn't very sure where it headed out, and coming towards a traffic lights crossroads, I was baffled on where to turn. So I just saw a sign saying "You are almost home to Hartamas Regency" or something like that.. so I just turn and follow that road la. Next thing I know, all I see is construction, and the road just thinned out to a small passaged road, but cars and motorcycles could pass through. Then I thought to myself... sh*tee.. I took the wrong road. I probably ran about a kilometre pass the place before the road rendevous-ed to the Jalan Sri Hartamas I was familiar with. Then I ran all the way thru two hills to the Petronas station right after the Sri Hartamas-Desa Sri Hartamas junction. By that time I already saw a lot of some other Pacesetters runners doubling back. Man, they run pretty fast.

Anyway, I bought a Gatorade, did a few stretches to relieve my legs, and proceeded to run again. I reached the Bukit Tunku area again, and at about 2 hours, I was getting a tad tired. So throughout the rest of the run, I was down to run-walking. I think I may have done a little too far this time around. I've never ran any distance more than 12km and never more than 2 hours. So to avoid injuring myself I took it easy by run-walking. And I was running out of water too. When I arrived at Bank Negara Malaysia junction, I was reduced to walking the rest of the way back to Lake Gardens. Don't think I could've ran anymore than I should. I think I may have covered at least 19K, and it took me 2:21:23. That's the most I've ran to date. I think I will take a rest for the next couple of days, maybe just do walking to relax the muscles. I think I should've taken a shorter route, like 15K or something like that. Later, I had a nice breakfast (vegetarian chicken rice, a roll of popiah, and a fave drink: soya cincau! Woo hoo!), and proceeded home to a nice warm shower (to relax muscles) and took a short nap.

Woke up around 1:30pm, washed up and headed to Berjaya Times Square. I was to perform with Disagree for the Anugerah Era Showcase. Some other bands were playing, but I dunno who they were la. Couldn't be bothered at the time. We only played one song, which is obviously "Crumbs" (if not they probably wouldn't call me to play also laaahh..).

Anyway, when the show finished, we all adjourned and I decided to check out the shopping complex. Other than today, I've never been to that place since it opened. And I have to say, I'm really, REALLY disappointed with that place. It's like a really good looking Sg. Wang Plaza. It's not a bad thing, but personally, I was expecting something close to Lot 10, or Mid Valley kinda thing. Most of the tenants there are like outlets similar to those in shopping complexes in rural areas. Like a friend of mine described the place to be very "jinjang". Like I said, it's like a high-class Sg. Wang Plaza. You got the typical boutiques, whose clothes styles are suitable for Ah Lian, Ah Beng types... several pirated DVD/VCD retail shops (like in Sg. Wang); so much so that each company selling those had occupied several units in several different floors! ... small-small handphone shops (probably the under-the-water types, too)..and the like. The first two floors would gave an okay impression to me, but the higher the floors I go, the less and less of what I expected was... man.. so disappointing. Some of the makan places are nice la.. but there aren't that much makan places, though.. for such a big complex. Maybe Berjaya WANTS to attract such clientele. I wouldn't know if I wanted to go there again la. If you like that kinda thing, then be my guest. Not to say I am for those high class type la.. but I'm definitely not fond of the kind of setup they got there la. At least like Mid Valley la... I'm more comfortable with that kinda outlets. After all, with the outlets like those in BTS.. I can't buy.. no, I can't FIND anything that is to my liking and my style. Maybe except Debenhams.. the clothes there are really, REALLY nice.. but darn freakin' expensive. Sigh.. the price of vanity...

Oh well.. ttfn...

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Bombing at Russia... David Gomes Quartet @ Avanti's 10 Sept 2004

Man.. did you see the news or read about the Russian bombing thing.. and that was just after the Australian Embassy massacre at Indonesia. What is going on with the world today.. what, what, what? Why can't people come to their senses and just be at peace with themselves, then with everyone else? Why? Why?

And today is the 3rd anniversary of the Sept 11 World Trade Center terrorist attacks.. a moment of silence..

Still silent? Okay, never mind.. here's my account for yesterday:

Nothing much happening today, except playing with the David Gomes Quartet at Avanti's Restaurant, Sunway Hotel and Resort. I arrived at Avanti's at about 4pm for the soundcheck and a short rehearsal, and guess what? - No backline (i.e. drumset, monitors, amplifiers, etc). Usually, the outlet people would hire a sound system supplier to supply all that, but obviously this wasn't the case. The drummer had to bring his own drumset, and David had to bring his bass amp. Kind of ridiculous. All these stuff should've been provided. So we had to use their in-house system, which was nothing much.

Well, at least they provided rooms to hang out at the new Sunway Resort (next to the Resort Hotel), and also makan at the coffee house there. Buffet galore...

We started playing at 10pm, played a couple of tunes first, jazz standards like All The Things You Are, Fly Me To The Moon and some others. Here's the funny bit: while playing Have You Met Miss Jones (with David singing a powerful rendition of it), the power to the sound system shorted out... and only the piano and drums were heard. The bass amp had no sound, and David couldn't sing to the mic (no power mah), so I had to finish the song up, and I could play loud with amplification. Heh... took a break until they sorted it out.

They got it sorted out and we finished up the set with a few of David's original tunes, as well as some other nice jazz standards. Thing was, I was kinda disappointed with myself. Didn't play well today (at least to my own standard). Even to the point, in one song, I didn't rely on my ears, and only found out after my improvisation bit that I played it in the wrong key, and it was because I was reading off the chart (David started the tune in a different key, as he couldn't find the chart for the song). The key in the chart was in F, but he played Eb, but I played F. I was scratching my head.. why so funny.. is this the right key, I'm playing in? This is one of those moments, where my head rather than my ears were in control, whereas it should've been the other way round.. arrgghh.

Gotta practice more. Like running, you need to practice (train) a lot to be good at it. Even though I don't have a day job, but I have to practice in the daytime, and that takes several hours at least. But sometimes when there are lot of things going on, I won't have time to practice. Who said being a musician was easy...? Must kick their bekside.. still have to work. Sometimes the work hours are more than the average white collar worker some more. Practice sometimes take all day.. rehearsals take several hours.. sometimes rehearsal at odd hours. Oh well.. all part of the trade.

Okay, I'm sleepy as I'm typing this... better go..

Up next: My training long run in the hot sun...

Thursday, September 09, 2004

15K Run at KLCC: Unsuccessful.. blehhh..

Arrgghh.. couldn't finish the 12 rounds around KLCC park yesterday. After the 9th round, that's about 11.7km, my body was already giving signals that I should stop. I think halfway also I sorta lost concentration on breathing and proper form and stuff... anyway..

Went to KLCC around 5:20, got some PowerGels and PowerBar from KLCC, then joined
Jamie, Newton, Rohaizad on the 1.3km jog track. Rohaizad and Jamie was pacing with each other, and Newton was about 30 seconds or so behind, and I then paced with Newton. Didn't get to really warm up, so I tried to take it easy while on the run. Thanks to Newton, we had a bit of a conversation while running, so time passed pretty fast, and next thing we knew, we've already ran 10k and more (I was two laps behind Newton). Around that time already, my body was starting to revolt a little bit, and my heart rate was going above my set limit of 85%. I set that high, because of certain uphill stretches on the park, and that takes a little more effort than flat. Around the 9th round, I held up the towel, as I think my body was saying, "okay, that's enough for today...". I think it probably has to do with the long run I did the day before at Lake Gardens, and my muscles probably aren't fully recovered.

Gonna try a long run again on Saturday or Sunday. Will try to do it late morning to afternoon also, as I heard the 21K run segment in Desaru is gonna be sometime around 1 - 2pm in the afternoon, with the hot sun and all. So I better get myself acclimatised to the hot sun.

Oh well...

Oh yeah, to whoever is reading this, just a gig notice: I'll be performing with David Gomes Quartet on Friday night 10 September, at Avanti's Restaurant, Sunway Hotel Resort. Music starts around 10, 10:30pm to midnight. For more details, check out, or click the link on the Upcoming Gigs column.


Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Long run, and updated some pics..

Started out my day with a rather lethargic bout... well, no surprise, I came home sometime close to 3am from a rehearsal (and post-rehearsal mamak). Not only that, during the rehearsal, only me and Eddie (my trumpet player) doesn't smoke. So what does that tell you.. man... smokers (or more accurately, cigarettes) should be banned.. and I say it with full conviction, if it offends somebody, I meant it with all my apologies to smokers. Second hand smoke.. no difference with the haze man. Why must we innocent fellas who don't smoke suffer this sh*t?

I still see people coming from a workout at the park, and first thing they do is light a ciggie.. like.. WHAT? Of recent, after the Adidas Race, I saw this bloke (could be a older kid, I dunno la), lighting up a cigarette... like.. WHAT????

Anyway, spent about two to three hours online updating my blog, then I had to go and teach. Then I decided on doing a long run today, one of several this week, to build some endurance. I hope to do it easily though, not putting too much stress on myself. I don't think I'm doing the PJ Half race this year, as the offer to go to Desaru to do a 21K in the mixed relay (Desaru Triathlon) proved too tempting. Although I don't think I'm really THAT prepared for it, but just go for the fun of it.

I went over to Lake Gardens to run, and tried out my new shoes: the New Balance 717 (yay!). The route I took began from the jogging trail start (next to the playground and dead-end parking lot), past the turn overlooking KL Sentral, out to the road trail (uphill) which turns out to Jalan Cenderawasih, left past the Bukit Aman Police St. parking lot, and into the road heading towards Lake Club and back to that jogging trail start point. I reckon it's about 4km per round (someone correct me if I'm wrong). I managed to do 3 rounds at 1:20:47 and only stopping once to walk-recover for one minute. I think I just surprised myself. Felt really good. I decided to reward myself after the run with McDonald's chocolate milkshake (which I've read is good for muscle recovery!). HEhehee.. anything for a milkshake.

Lastly, I've updated some more pics of Adidas KOTR 2004 (courtesy of Ketam Batu and Mei Jyn as well) in my Yahoo pic site here.

Next up: 15K training run at KLCC with the KLCC Fellowship runners.

Monday, September 06, 2004

The Village, Chi Running, KL Monorail and new shoes (yay!)

After a tiring day yesterday, I decided to take half a day off to myself (although technically everyday is a day off in the white collar worker standard). By that, I went to KL for a movie and did some shopping. Hahaha.. typical girl behaviour? Nahhh.. thing is about me is that when I shop, I do it probably because I want/need to, and it's usually once a while (unlike real shopaholics.. usually women, right? right? who probably wanna shop all da time? *feel like I'm gonna get severely beaten here.. hehe*).

Went to KLCC for The Village... the show started 12:25, I was there about 12:45. Oh well, missed the first 10 - 20 minutes, but never mind la. But I think I came in just in time to get the gist of the story in the beginning. Since when do they ever start on time on the dot? Interesting show it was, knowing M. Night Shyamalan. It's a story about a small village community, where its villagers are not allowed to step beyond a border from the village. The consequences of doing so involves some strange creature causing terror in the town in any of the villagers were caught crossing the border. It starred Sigourney Weaver, Joaquin Phoenix, William Hurt, and Adrien Brody.

Went to Kinokuniya after that to get a copy of Danny Dreyer's

My teacher Greg recommended me to get it, so what the heck. Just reading the introductions and all, already starts to make perfect sense. Western sports research suggests that to enable a runner to run faster, stronger, etc, one must build stronger muscles. What they miss out is that, in the process of training and building stronger muscles, runners that run without proper form tend to get more injuries which results in them stopping training for a period of time at least once a year. Danny's research aims to help runners to be able to train with shorter periods of recovery and even prevent injuries. An extension of that is that his programme is also supposed to help runners better their performance. Well, I'm gonna read this book and perhaps try it out. If it works, I'll definitely post a review here.

Next, I went to Bukit Bintang area from KLCC. Instead of driving there, I opted to take the train transports. From KLCC station (Putra LRT line), I came out at Dang Wangi station, walked over to the KL Monorail Bukit Nanas station and stop at Bukit Bintang station. Today marks the day of me taking the KL Monorail for the first time. The feeling of taking urban train transport reminds me of taking the MRT in Singapore, as well as Transperth train and bus services in Perth, Australia. Lots of walking, which I like. And it felt good to walk around also. Walked over to New Balance store at Bukit Bintang Plaza, met up with Albert (who works there), and bought me a new pair of New Balance 717s!!

New Balance 717 (mine's grey/yellow)

With the Pacesetters discount, I got it 30% off! It's sure good to be a member of a running club. Woo hoo.. will try them out this week!

I've also updated my photo page. Check it out at

Adidas King Of The Road 10K - 5 Sept 2004

Man, I couldn't sleep laa.. it's 2:30am and I can't sleep! First, got lotsa mosquitoes, secondly, my head is ringing of the Biophonics gig for the last two nights! How like that?? I could just close my eyes, but I think it's only a half-sleep kinda thing. Next thing I know, my watch and my PDA alarm already beeping... 4:45am. Aiyah... shittee.. just bangun only la.

Hmmm.. one of my friends who I registered for couldn't make it, and another one.. well, I dunno what happened to him la. Called his handphone few times only got Voicemail, later I malas to call already. At least one of my friends Pek Fui will be going for the race.

Packed my stuff, all in order, and I left my house to pick up Pek Fui.

Reached Dataran Merdeka around 6:25am, and I was worried that I might not get a parking space. When I reached the church next to Selangor Club, I actually found a parking space (well, technically it's on a yellow line, but who's counting?). Wah... lucky. Then wore my shoes and packed my Nike Hydration Pack, and went to report in. Met up with Kenneth (pm20) and the Mrs. Then met up with Jamie, Bernice (Becholi) and Andrew (KetamBatu). Chatted up a bit, then ran around the field to warm up muscles. Bad thing was, I felt some slight tug on my right shin. My first case of shin splints? It's not painful, but definitely feel some slight discomfort on and off. But generally still okay to run.

Looked around for Greg and wife, couldn't see them. I think they didn't make it.

Like all races that I've generally been to, there's always some boo-boos with the race management people. They had a tent designated (with a sign as well) "Reporting Station". But then we were told that we were only to submit our report slips when we enter the "kandang lembu" (cow herds, if I'm not mistaken!). Hehehe.. they set up fences to separate the 10km categories with the 7km and the 5km. So it's like a cow herd.

Flag off gunshot was at 7:30am (more or less), and off we went! Like usual me, I just took it easy and ran on a fairly easy pace to start off with. My friend Pek Fui, and the others were already way ahead of me by the 3rd minute. So I just took my time, and didn't want to start out too fast. I told myself this time, that I will challenge myself in this race to not stop to walk at all (as I've done in previous races). So as a strategy to not tire myself out too quickly I ran an easy pace. (Shit.. I wanted to take a piss, but didn't get to before the race. So I pretty much held it there for the whole race.. argh. But I think after a while it didn't feel that urgent).

The first hurdle was the hill going up Bank Negara. I'm not a veteran (yet) of running this route, so it was quite a challenge for me. Took it easy and did the most feasible thing: short but fairly paced strides (as compared to long strides up the hill..which is tougher). Found that at the at the current pace, I could still maintain the run without getting tired. Somewhere up in Bukit Tunku, the route incline slowly became more flat, then it was a downward slope. Picked up the pace from there and let gravity do its job... hence, "potong sayur" from quite a number of runners.

Somewhere in Kenny Hills, I reached the water station somewhere past the 4km mark, and grabbed two cups of 100Plus and drank them while running (albeit at a slightly relaxed pace). Good tip from Runners' World and other running tips: When you grab your drinks at the water station, and if you're drinking while running, squeeze the cup at the top to form a spout like a kettle spout. That way, the water won't spill and drinking it thru a spout is much easier.

Shortly past the water station, the route then broke out to Jalan Duta. This was a challenge, as it was a 1km steady incline then downhill heading towards Jalan Parlimen. By this stage most of them were already walking up the hill. I was thinking to myself, "Oh my god, can I hold up this hill?". I promised myself that I wouldn't walk, and so I didn't, I slowly thread the incline (my heart rate was somewhere 92% of max). Let's just say I was thinking a lot about the Olympics Men's Marathon, seeing the likes of Stefano Baldini, and Vanderlei De Lima threading the uphills. If anything, it's really inspiring. When the hill passed, and the downhill road towards leading to Jalan Parlimen lay ahead, I felt relieved. I maintained a slower pace to regain my breath from the hill, and once I felt comfortable, I increased my pace.

Thru out the race, I was pacing with this lady from the Women's Open category no. B0096. She looks like a marathoner with skinny upper body, long legs. She was also holding up pretty well, and she sort of increased my inspiration to keep on running. Thanks, lady...

Now it was all the way to Jalan Parlimen, past Lake Gardens and then to the finish line at Dataran Merdeka. I could remember that at the slightly steep incline at the Jalan Parlimen flyover, I felt my pace slowing down a bit. Decided to run slightly easier again, and this time the sun was already up quite high. Regretted not bringing my shades. Over here, I could see the numerous kids and some runners from the 7km and 5km category. You could just tell (they were wearing the Adidas race shirts in the race.. and most serious runners I know, don't.. ahaha). I somehow think, that a lot of people who got into running later in age are really proud to be runners, and running past the younger kids and still feeling strong, gives us a sense of... pride (like..HAH! I'm older but still faster and stronger than you all.. muahahahha... LOSERSSS!!).. eh hem.. if you know what I mean.

Around the last km, I increased my pace quite a bit as some of the other runners did as well. And the last couple of hundred metres, I caught up with Kenneth's wife (Kenneth back-tracked and looked for her), and decided to sprint my life out from there, after Kenneth places a realization to me: It's almost near the 80 minutes finisher time for 10K. Passing the clock tower, I saw Jamie, Bernice, Andrew, Azwar and a few others sitting there chilling waiting for us (wah, these people are super-fast). Here's a shot Andrew took of me running towards the finish.

At the finish line, I managed to clock 1:19:23... 5 minutes faster from MPAJ time! WOOHOO!!! The exhiliration of the finishing sprint! Another race done.. YES! And beat my previous PR too! Yay!!

The photo session at the clock tower.. met up with rest of the group plus Mei Jyn, livetorun (Justin), Cheong Shih Heng, Haris (from Penang, I think), and some others:

Adidas KOTR post-race pic 1
Posted by Hello

Adidas KOTR post-race pic 2
Posted by Hello

Man, it's amazing.. running, like jazz music, can bring different people together and create a kind of camaraderie like no other, even though we don't know each other that well. But we are connected to each other thru a singular love for running (and jazz music for me!)!

Anyway, had a good big breakfast (one roti telur, one thosai, and two half boiled eggs) with my teacher Greg and wife (found out later Greg's wife was taken ill - stomach flu I think, so they couldn't make the race), and went home and slept kau kau..

What a day.. woo hoo!

The Biophonics in full gear... day 2 (4th Sept)

Ahhh, woke up when it was afternoon. I know.. I know... sleeping in so much, but coming back from a late mamak session after last night's gig.. biasa la. Anyway, I decided to chill out the whole day today, get as much rest as possible before Adidas KOTR the next morning. Went online for a while, watch a bit of tv, then slept on the couch until evening. Makan here and there also. Got up, practiced an hour or so, got ready, makan-ed dinner and headed to Alexis for the second night of the Biophonics gig.

Started around 10:30pm again. This time around, there was a bigger crowd compared to Friday night, yeah.. man. Some friends who came on Friday came again today! Woo hoo... thanks for the support!

The first set, like Friday, started out somewhat apprehensive (at least from what we noticed from the crowd). Me and Greg were talking about it, and it seemed to us that somehow during the first set, the audience seemed to be wondering what we were doing. But when the second set takes place, most of them just went with it and just enjoyed the music and the energy from the band. Personally, I think all of us were just having a ball playing, we (myself in particular) were just having fun on stage, dancing and singing and all. For those who do come to some of the shows that I get to do, you'll know that singing wasn't much of a thing for us.. but in this band, we were singing backup vocals and all that with full force. But whether we sang nice or not.. hahahaa... I dunno la.. TEMBAK only la.. hahaha..

But like last night, the funk was fat and the groove was heavy.. and the music just rocked the house.. or FUNKED up the house, if you must have it! And that was all that mattered. But sh*t.. believe it or not.. we got encores for BOTH NIGHTS!!! I've played and seen several bands played in Alexis the last couple of months, and not a lot of the bands that played could command an encore. Yeah, man.. kick-butt!!! The audience was great... really great!

Greg Lyons and The Biophonics in full gear! Posted by Hello

We ended the encore just before 1am... wah liao.. so late already. We immediately packed after we finished, talked a bit to a few friends, and left Alexis. Gotta sleep earlier la... prepping for KOTR!

At home, I pinned my bibs, and packed my running bag with stuff I needed for the race: Change of shirt, towels, water, my Nike Hydration Pack, New Balance 765s, Nike Dri-Fit socks (they're awesome!), my second pair of Asics running gear (YELLOW!) and bibs, camera, wallet, 3/4 PowerBar Protein Bar (man, these stuff are hard to eat!), PowerGel Choc flavour.. that's about it.

Ok.. time to tidur!

Next up: Adidas King Of The Road 10K!

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Adidas Bibs and Tees...The Biophonics - day 1 (3 Sep)

I went to the FTAAA at the Olympic Council M'sia building to collect the Adidas KOTR bibs and T-shirts. But on the way there, it started raining bulls and cows! Yeah, you heard me right.. BULLS and COWS! Not cats and dogs. It was like a typhoon or a twister, man... so heavy that drivers had to drive slow because they could hardly see anything in front of them except rain! Talk about a scary experience... imagine being blown away whilst inside your car? Anyone seen Twister?

By the time I got to FTAAA, it completely stopped.. of course the aftermath effect could be seen like trees tumbling (there was on big branch that fell over the road just before the OCM building) and all. Anyway, I got the Adidas tees and bibs and sorted the additional stuff out, like discount vouchers and bibs, for each of the 7 people I registered for. By the way, I have to say, I think this is the only race (at least the ones I know) that makes the best race t-shirts.

I then made my way to Alexis Ampang for the soundcheck with the band. Md. Noor, from Singapore had only just arrived in KL, and we got started on getting him familiar with the songs. Not bad for a last minute rehearsal, I tell ya. That's what I like about musicians like that (and I try to learn by example), of how they could come on the same day as the gig, rehearse and try to nail most of the parts down, if not all. I can't help but wonder if the dynamics for the gig later tonight could come close to some of our previous shows, as a lot of shows we did were really kick-a**!!

Done with that, some of us went to Desa Pandan to makan an early dinner. And then I hung around KLCC doing a little window shopping. Got the latest issue of Running Times and Downbeat (a jazz mag).

Made it back to Alexis to change shirts and gel hair (must look good mahhh!!), and cologne.. eh hem.

As the show started, it took about a song or two before everyone got their footing together (especially Md. Noor, since it was only in the afternoon that we ran thru the songs with him). Then the whole band started to cook real good. The funk was nice and fat, and the grooves were starting to get butt-shakin'. Fromthen on, we pretty much enjoyed ourselves.

Oh yeah, during the break I met up with Bernice Chee (or Becholi) and Andrew (Ketam Batu), runner friends whom, until today, I have not met except thru a tagboard. They were running the Adidas KOTR as well, and I passed the T-shirts and bibs. Nice meeting and chatting up with you guys, yeah..!!

Played our second set, our trombonist, Chow Ming came over with his horn to jam the second set with us. Due to budget problems, we couldn't put in a full horn section to play for the Alexis gig. We usually got Chow Ming to play. But he came anyway, and jammed with us, for the fun of it! Real cool cat..

Greg Lyons and The Biophonics Posted by Hello

After our gig, we ended the night with a nice (but due to ordering LOTS of food.. expensive) supper at Suzy's Corner just down the road. Bill came up to RM89! That's my record for the most expensive mamak session I've ever had.. hehehe...

Next up: The Biophonics at Alexis.. day 2

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Rehearsals.. run.. and Prefontaine - 1 Sept


I'll be playing a show led by my saxophone teacher,
Greg Lyons, this weekend, Friday and Saturday, at Alexis Bistro, Great Eastern Mall, Jln Ampang. The band is called Biophonics, and it's a funk, acid-jazz band (originally 11-piece band, but reduced to 7-piece for this gig) formed by Greg in 2002. Our debut show was at No Black Tie, and subsequently played in several Heineken Green Room Sessions, and also the Chijmes Jazz Festival in Singapore. Greg Lyons' Biophonics will be performing repertoire ranging from Tower Of Power, Groove Collective, to the Brecker Brothers.

The Biophonics are Greg Lyons (sax), Jamie Wilson (guitar and vocals), Liew (bass), Julian Chan (sax), Eddie Wen (trumpet), Justin Lim (keyboards), and Md. Noor (drums).

Anyway, to say anything more will do no justice, so let the music speak for itself.

Greg Lyons and the Biophonics Live at Alexis Bistro, Great Eastern Mall, Ampang.
Friday and Saturday (3 and 4 September), Music starts 10:30pm.
Admission is free.

For more details and reservations, call 03-4260 2288 or email
Venue: Alexis Wine Bar and Bistro
Great Eastern Mall, Ground Flr, Lot no. 10, 303 Jalan Ampang.

Back to my daily recounts...

We had our first and only rehearsal for this weekend's gig. Everyone was there.. except the drummer. Then Greg tells us that the drummer originally called for the gig was not available, and this was also because it was due to some phone miscommunication. Ouch.. tough luck. So I think an hour was spent looking for a drummer in town. But for the rehearsal, my drummer Charles helped to sub in. Unfortunately, he wasn't free on both nights, so he couldn't play for us. Anyway, I think Greg managed to get hold of a Singaporean drummer/percussionist Md. Noor, who so happens is coming up to KL. So we probably will rehearse the 12 songs on our soundcheck on Friday.. oops. Ahaha.. but this guy, Md. Noor is good.. I've seen him play. For those who don't know, Md. Noor toured and played percussion with Jacky Cheung for his tour last year. Anyway, it feels good to play for this band again. Our last gig was last September, for the Sunrise Jazz Festival. That's like a whole year, that we didn't play together... wow! Can't wait for this weekend's gig. And then got the Adidas race.. wahhh..

Went to KLCC afterward to run. Met up with Kenneth (pm20), and I did about 3 rounds around with him (he ran 6 or 7 rounds I think). Then I ran another 4 rounds. Met up with Ronnie (pm1) and Newton (pm18) as well. Okay, my results today, 7 rounds around KLCC park, is approximately 9.1km, at 1:10:56.

After I came back, I managed to catch "Without Limits" on 8TV (thanks Jamie for the info!). It's about the late Steve Prefontaine, or "Pre", a prolific Olympic runner, but died at the young age of 24 in a car accident.. drunk, I think. So.. don't drink and drive! Very inspiring for us runners. He believed that running was not only about winning, but also the importance of the WAY one wins. To quote Pre, "Running is a work of art". Wow... nothing like an early inspiration to run the Adidas race this weekend.. wish me luck!