Sunday, May 30, 2004

Purple Rain & Jumble Sale

Marianne at the used toys section Posted by Hello

I was awake very early this morning. Yes - it's a Sunday today. A habit I guess. There was no run this morning. Turned on the VCD player and watched Purple Rain (a 1984 musical starring Prince during the peak of his career). Bought the VCD yesterday at R.M 7.90 at Speedy. It was a passable watch, especially for the music but was somewhat disturbed by the visions of shoulder pads, bad make-ups and frizzy big hair (thank god now that we have the rebonding technique!).

Arrived at the SPCA (Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animal) at about 10:08 am. The Jumble Sale already started. Many bargain hunters and junk collectors were seen rummaging through the donated items for sales - stuffed toys, used household items, books, magazines, decorative items, clothing and accessories. Met up with my good friend, animal lover, Marianne who worked at SPCA to show my support to this event. I have been going for this annual Jumble Sale every year without fail, doing my bit for my little furry friends.

Headed straight to the book section where I found some very good buys. Bought 7 books for only RM20, among others- a hard cover of John Irving's The Fourth Hand , Nicholas Sparks a Walk To Remember (now a movie stars Mandy Moore) and Lance Armstrong's Performance Program (7 weeks to perfect ride) - a bicycling book. I do not own a bicycle but at RM2.50 apiece, the book was a good buy and should come in handy in case I want to venture into the world of cycling (dualthon/ triathlon) in the future. Hmm…. Am I daydreaming again? :)

The proceed of the sales will go to the abandoned dogs and cats. SPCA managed to collect about RM11, 800 in the 3 hours sale. Not bad at all.

Finally got my paws on a copy of Runner's World (June Issue) from an Indian sundry shop near SPCA. Been looking high and low in MPHs and around town for it since few weeks ago. Highlight on how to run a perfect 10-K. I will put this regime to test for my next 10-K run. See if it works. Amused by an article - the most important accessory for Boonsom Hartman's 100th marathon was her tube of lipstick. Women! (Insert eye-rolling ceremony here) : )

Finished reading it in on sitting while commuting in the LRT from Ampang to PJ. Went to gym for my yoga class and had a good stretch. I love Sundays.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Runaway Horses

Nike15K Posted by Hello

The Nike Pacesetters 15km Run (May 23, 2004) was organized by Pacesetters Athletic Club Malaysia, sponsored by NIKE. It made its debut last year and received overwhelming response from serious and fun runners alike.

At exactly approximately 7:05am, a group of runners in their elegant crazysexycool Nike vests (blue-yellow for male and white-pastel baby blue for female) charged like a bunch of runaway horses from the horse stable up the "little slope" in Lake Garden. It was wild. I was among those horses, galloping away.

The route was dubbed affectionately (or fearfully) as Double Hills amongst the runners. I always resorted to baby jog up and down the hill and sometimes I had to walk. For this year Nike Run, I had to walk up the hill. My horsepower seemed to have diminished once I reached the slopes. Lack of practice, I guess. Done most of my training on flat grounds - Subang Lake. Ought to kick myself for not preparing for it. I was exhausted by the time I reached Sri Carcosa Negara but I had to flog myself to complete the race. Reached the finishing and got myself a finisher medal.

Zoomed straight to the Milo van for two cups of icy cool drink. Food aplenty – taufu fah (yummy with brown palm sugar), rojak (soggy), chicken porridge (never tasted so good after a run), maggi instant noodle (out of stock), canned 100plus (out of stock) and fruit (banana and watermelon).

One boo-boo that need to be corrected. The ribbons given at the starting point and checkpoints should be waterproof and should not run upon contact with sweat. I felt pity for those runners whose elegant Nike vests were stained by horrific red marks when they wore their ribbons around their necks (quick someone, bring out the crosses and garlic). Lucky for me, I wrapped my ribbons around my wrist. I ended up looking like I had slashed my wrist.

It was a well-organized run. Well, it HAD to be since it was organized by RUNNERS for RUNNERS. I definitely will be back next year to run like horses.

Saw some KL Municipal horses around the Lake Garden area while walking back to the car. Took some pictures with those muscular beings while they were grazing away. Is the secret of running like horses is to eat like horses? A question to ponder.

Went to 1-Utama. Bought a DVD at Movie Magic – The Color Purple, got myself a FREE DVD – The Best Show (about a dog show). Want to watch Shrek 2 but watched “You Got Served” instead at GSC Midvalley. Wasted RM10 on it. It sucked.

Friday, May 21, 2004

10 Things I Learnt from my First Bowling Experience.

Had my first bowling experience last Wednesday among the national players and Famemas group at Sunway Pyramid. I found out bowling can be a very fun game but it can be nerve wrecking at the same time, especially when I watched helplessly the ball rolled into the gutter one after another. I had two strikes (yey!) and numerous longkang (gutter) balls. My points add up to 160 for two games and won a special prize for being the technically challenged team of the night. Here are 10 Things I learnt from my first Bowling experience. 1) They will take one of your shoes as hostage before they give you your bowling pair. 2) Selecting the right ball can be mind-boggling. You have ball number 6 to 16 to choose from. 3) Three level of finger insertion - full, semi and finger-tips. Always go for full unless you are a pro. 4) If your fingers are oily, a little baby powder will smoothen things out. 5) Angle of entry is important to ensure you knock all the pins. 6) Always aim at the pocket. What the heck is pocket? Area between 1-2 pins for leftie and 1-3 for right-hander. 7) X is a symbol for strike. You do nothing wrong here. The more X’s, the better it is. 8) Bedpost is a 7-10 spilt. Not a very good split. 9) Blowout is downing all the pins but one. 10) Bowling is like Boomerang. Your ball will always comeback to you. : )

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Asam Boi Flavoured 100Plus

Today, I discovered how to add some "zing" into the plain isotonic drink. Drop an asam boi (preserved plum) into your bubbly concoction and add some ice. Works with 100Plus and Excel...

Monday, May 17, 2004

On Your Mark, Get Set, BREATHE!

The World Asthma Day Jogathon in Kuala Lumpur is organised by the Malaysian Thoracic Society in partnership with pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline. It is aptly themed On Your Mark, Get Set, Breathe!

Went clubbing on Saturday night. Man just finished his exam and wanted a night out. The jam along Jalan Sultan Ismail was horrific. Got home around 4am. Decided not to sleep and worked on my virtual tourist web site. Amelia gave me a wake-up call at 5:30am. Got ready. Ate a pack of Maggi mini instant noodle and waited for her to arrive.

We were given free T-shirt upon registration. Huge black XL T-shirt with purple sleeves. Mandated to wear the T-shirt in order to participate. Didn't like the design at all. It would end up in my pile of T-shirts for Salvation Army.

Noticed Datuk Sharifah Aini under the tent chatting with the organisers. In the field, hundreds of people swaying like cows on drugs, warming up to some cheesy techno tunes. I have nothing against that uncle but why can't they invite some body pump babes with exposed mid riff to lead the aerobic session? But then again, this event would be featured on national TV. Sigh…

Regretted taking the instant noodle. Big mistake to "carbo-load" on Maggi. My throat felt like Gobi Desert half way through the run. Completed my run in 30 min.

There were no Milo and 100Plus vans in sight. I was given a pack of Ribena (my favourite childhood drink), a can of Horlick and a McChicken.

Didn't bother to wait for the lucky draw. Left Padang Merbok to collect Nike Pacesetter running vest at Bukit Aman. The event is next weekend - 23 May 2004. Very happy with the vest. Good quality vest, a far cry from last year's vest that looked like a white plastic bag. Signed up for 1/2 marathon in the Ipoh Run (4 July) too.

Went to Mid Valley for lunch with BW. Bought the movie tix for TROY. Instead watching TROY, TROY watched me. Dozed of during the show. Woke up during the pivotal battle scene between the Greek & Troy. Very surreal. Bigger and better than the battle scenes in Lord of the Ring. Lesson leant: Watch this movie only when you have had enough sleep. The first half of the movie is plain boring. Heheh!

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Bird Shit, Dirty Sponges and Chicken Rice Balls

Wake up call @ 4:30am. Still groggy. Amelia enthusiastically prepared fried noodles (specially bought from Tengkera Night Market the night before) and boiled potatoes for breakfast.

Had breakfast with the golden girls. They were as chirpy as mynahs in the morning. Around 5:20am we went out to the roadside (Jalan Tengkera) to wait for the marathoners to pass by. Cheered for the marathoners. Why was I in such a cheerful mood in the morning? Aunties’ enthusiasm was indeed infectious. Suddenly, it poured. We ran helter skelter back to the house.

The starting point was at Tun Fatimah Stadium. The air was fresh after a splash of morning rain. The half-marathon started of sharp at 7:30am. The route led us to the bridge across Melaka River.

Was quite a challenge to run up the bridge. I felt something warm splattered on my left hand when I was passing an overhead signage. It was white and runny. Slightly warm. Yucks! Bird shit! I guess I was lucky as this happen a few meter from the refreshment station – got some water to wash the shit off.

The Melaka River as viewed from the Bridge

The highlight of the run was Jonker Street where all the old distinctive straits buildings were. Very Chinese feel. Auspicious red lanterns. Celestial Dragons. I slowed down my pace to enjoy the charm of the buildings. Passed by some shops selling antique, knick-knack, clothes, kopi tiam/café, temples here. I was busy clicking away. I acted more like a tourist than a runner.

Road leading to Jonker Street. Notice there is a church back there.

Jonker Walk looks deserted in the morning

Monkey God on the lookout for Marathon runners

Raise the red lanterns

Notice the Stadhuys (Red Building) in the background

The Orang Utan Shop - eye-catching. One of the many souvenir shops not to be missed when you are in Melaka.

More Chinese temple

Jonker Walk

An Chetty Indian Temple

A Mosque. Notice the Chinese influence on the facade.

An old Chinese temple

I spotted this cute antique buggy along the route. The owner must be a very patriotic man.

The remaining of the run was not interesting. Quite boring actually. We ran through the city, passed by heavy traffics and some residential area. The sun was not forgiving. I began to walk after passing by the 15km mark. Felt my calves’ muscles pulling. Had to walk.

Drinking water - See the label - it's specially bottled for the Melaka Municiple.

The last couple of sponging stations were appalling. The sponges were dipped into muddy water. I suspect they recycled the used sponges and placed them back into the bin. Yucks!

My timing was not my best; nonetheless I qualified for a medal (Top 200). Should be better I had not climb Mount Kinabalu on 3-4 May. Overall, it was a memorable run. No luck on the lucky draw. All 5 mountain bikes for the draw were swept away by the school children. Next time, I have to remember to bring my compass along and sit face my auspicious direction. Hope my luck will change for better.

Went for the famous Chicken Rice Balls at Jonker Street for lunch before heading back to Kuala Lumpur. Hmm…Tasted just like chicken rice anywhere else in KL. But it was heavenly to cure the tummy of hunger after the Melaka Historic City Marathon 2004.