Chasing a faster me

Sunday, 20 May 2018

[RACE REPORT] The Route 68 Challenge (28 - 29 April 2018)

To be honest, this event had superseded my own perception on road ultra that it doesn't suit my 'snail-pace' in many ways possible as compared to the trail ultra. People always mentioned that road ultra are different in its approach (plus the preparation) since commonly it is a known fact that the overall cut-off (COT) time is much faster than the trail ultra. As a quick comparison, my last 50km BBTC's COT was set at 12hours and this R68 challenge for the 84km COT was 16hrs. So, a whooping 34km that need to be completed within 4hrs. Perhaps it's not that difficult for the elites but for me as the 'marhaen' of runner, doing a double road FM at one go was pretty challenging though quite enticing since it's something of uncharted territory for myself.

My preparation for this challenge was largely depended on the weekly long run (including the LSD in the SCKLM2018) plus the trail workout that i started to include few weeks prior to the event. So, there's not so much varieties in the routines although i did add up some strength training at home here and there within the weekdays. The rest was all routine including my weight and my meal intake 😜

When i first arrived at the flag-off area that Saturday afternoon (i've already done my REPC a week before at IKEA Cheras..thanks Mayi!), surprise surprise, my cousins were there as well joining the same 84km category! Alhamdulillah! At least now i've got somebody to teman and buddy2 throughout the night until morning along that creepy and pitch black old Gombak - Bentong road (and it's not funny ok if you are alone especially after you've heard many 'stories' from the previous years race).

Before flag-off. Me and me cuzzies.
All set-up and ready

After few preps (including a leak at the loo) plus many poses in front of the camera, we were then being flagged-off sharp at 5pm for the race. I myself had already wore the head-lamp since the weather looks a bit cloudy and who knows, it might dark earlier than the usual 7pm timing.

Off me go side by side with Pokcik Api aka Bro Alman (my left)

For the first 5 - 10km, i could see many runners were a bit conservative in their pace which for me was quite understandable since we all knew for the first 15 - 16km, we would traverse a subtle inclination until we reach the famous Genting Sempah checkpoint at 16.5km mark. Me myself also set the same with only at the fastest of 6:50min/km when running at some of the flat area within this first half. The rest was controlled within 7:00 till 7:45min/km of pace.

Happily traversing the elevation

But it all changed quickly after we moved away from that Genting Sempah CP (A3) at around 7pm-ish. The reason was quite straight forward. It was all downhill for the next 15 - 20k or so. And with our fuel still on a high, me and my cousin just let go off ourselves from thereon, CP by CP until we got to A7, the Hotspring at 35km mark (at one time, i just looked at my watch and it's read, 5:45min/km - gila). In between, we did stopped for the prayer and fuel up with the usual stuffs served at each of the WS, the fruits, Coke, ice water etc.

Slowly and focused


As we reached A7, me and Hafidz were still feel ok though as the road becoming flatter and there were less runner in front and at the back (plus the dark), our legs start to tire a bit. Well, siapa suruh turun bukit lari macam tak ingat? 😖. So, we just slowly continue with a 3mins of run and 1mins of walk combo until we reached the U-turn mark at KM 42, the Waterway Villa (A8). And it did feel good as well, since we realized there were not many who had made that U-turn run. Only a handful of runners (including the 100miles) which in my estimation would be less than 30 runners until we finally arrived A8 within 5:30 - 5:40hrs. Not bad at all!

Gelap bak hang~

From the outside, A8 CP looks lively with all those lightings and sound from people karaoke-ing. Well, what can you expect? A resort in the middle of nowhere and you think people would just come to sleep and then go ah? Of course, the patrons need to do something fun (although it kinda made me think, why in the first place they decided to spend their off-time here?). But whatever it is, for me, the most important thing when reaching this CP, was to freshen up, eat, drink and do the toilet visit.

I spent my time quite long here in A8. If i could properly recall, it was close to 30mins (I had 3 hours buffer). So I ate the mihun goreng they served there although only managed to finish half since it was a bit dry (was expecting to have hot Maggi Cup but there were none), replenished myself with ORS and did a lil bit of restocking to my bag. Felt a bit refreshed and ready to go, Hafidz then waved at me to run ahead as he needed more time to fix his leg/foot. And so i continued...

Returning to the starting point, it was all the same and routine except that now i passed by many of the 84k runners on the opposite side of the road trying to reach A8 before the COT at 1am. While it did motivated me a little to see many of them passes by, but knowing that MANY of them still running towards A8, at that point of time i already knew that i'll be running most of my time back to Gombak, alone in that dark and quiet night...damn it!Hahaha..

Luckily for me, as i got to KM50 where the route started to turn uphill again, i could clearly see few blinkers coming from the runners in front, walking up the incline in numbers. And without hesitation, i pushed myself a little bit just so that i'll be in their close vicinity...hopefully until the end.

Within that long and hilly 50k until 68k mark, it was all about counting the road markers. And in a very disciplined manner as well 😋. For every 2-3 markers (which separates about 30-40m each), i slowly move myself with that walk and jog combo again. The legs were already worn-out but not the sort of pains or injury where it totally stops you from moving. Plus, mentally, i was a bit on a high knowing that i've passed that 60k mark and what i needed to do next was just to reach the Genting Sempah CP and then, it'll be all downhill again until the finishing line.

And so i did around 2.30am plusses and with many of the crews marshalling the CP already napping under the blanket. Oh bestnya!

But i didn't stay long there to join the napping party. Instead, after fueling myself with the 3rd sachet of the ORS and swallowed some of the watermelon slices there, i continued walking up the last incline until i got to the over-pass where i then saw the road changing its elevation again...only this time, the long awaited downhill road..and for the next 14 - 15km or so too....fuuuhhhhh...

For many runners, a downhill route before the finishing line seems like 'sap sap sui' or 'win-win situation' or even better, a god-given gift after all those elevations. But for those in better experiences, the kill-joy of this after you have gone thru a 60 - 70km worth of 'damage' and tiredness, was that you probably will either running down happily and steadily till the end or even worse, you'll run down with even more pain as the knees and feet struggled to contain the heavier 'breaking' and pounding onto the road. So, depending on your physical condition, you have to carefully choose on how you gonna approach that final long and winding downhill. Or otherwise, you'll just injure yourself easily.

Owh..there's also one more problem..funnily enough, as i reached that earlier over-pass section, the runners i ran together from KM50 were already gone ahead..and again, i'm left alone. Haih..

The next 2-3km or so, was all the same to me i.e. run and walk except that now i'm being more and more accompanied by the 'intriguing' forest/bushes sounds as well as weird stench smells in some of the sections along the road. And it did get to me at some point, where suddenly, there's this sudden loud and continuous approaching steps at my back and it keep coming closer until i could totally feel there's somebody or something just next to me (and i'm pretty sure there were nobody else at the back and there were no indication of other headlamp light either 😟). But of course, why would i want to stop and look back right? It's a no brainer. The only 'given' way forward for that kind of situation was to just run as fast as possible (even if your feet were in pain/sore) until you are back with other runners in front. And Alhamdulillah, i managed to catch up with some of the runners, 400 - 500m in front of me..😅😅

But that very situation didn't just end there unfortunately...

The last 'test' 😥 came out when i was within the last 5k (after the last CP) till the finishing line at around 4.30 - 5.00am. Although this time i was already with few of the runners, side by side walking but still, it came-out out of nowhere really.

We were jogging slowly passing a corner until we reached a waste dumping area on the right side of the road. It was totally dark in front of us until our head-lights caught up with some kind of white entity in the middle of that dump area. At first it was pretty vague but as we were approaching nearer, then it becoming clearer that the white thingy looks like a half-bodied guy and without a face. Our heart almost stopped but of course our legs didn't. Hahaha...But as we looked closely, we only then realized it was a guy mannequin that were thrown out by somebody or maybe someone thought it was funny to put it there and scared the hell out of everybody that was using the road at night. Haiyo...talak otak ini olang~

Arriving at the FL with bro Suhaimi

That candid moment...

And that's about it really. After that few incidents, it was all about keeping it steady until the finishing line and in the end, Alhamdulillah, i managed to finish the race under 13hrs (and with silver medal also - top 50!) and when it's just about to Subuh prayer 😇😎. Hooray!


So, how was it in overall? From my most sincere and the bottom-heart kind of feedback, i would say the event was spot on in every points although there's only one that could possibly bring down the attraction of R68 in the future which is the parking spaces for which i believe can be mitigated if the organizer made in compulsory for all runners to use the bus from NU Sentral (both outstation and local runners) if participation keep growing in the coming years (unless the numbers in each categories is being limited). The rest was fantastic from start till the end.

The volunteers were very friendly and they even setup a proper place for Muslims to stop and pray in some of the strategic CPs. The foods and the drinks were all sufficiently served though maybe at the A8 CP, it would be much more appetizing if hot soup or Maggi cup were being served for the runners. Other than that, the road marshals were also helpful and diligently did the checks along the route and i've no complain at all (am i being too nice here?..hehe)..And owh, the distance between CPs were kind of lavish in honesty. The furthest distance was only 7km and that was between the A7 and A8. The rest was all either within 4 to 5km in between. In a way, it was a bit 'finisher-friendly' kinda setup to all the runners. Unless, they want to change it next year yer...:P

So, will i come back again next year? Probably, since the organizer have decided to make a 100km category instead of 84km. And by the experiences that i've got here, i would totally recommend this Route 68 challenge to you guys out there who wants a 'moderately-challenged' road ultra (as compared to TITI Ultra) in Malaysia's ultra event line up...

And last but not the least, keep training for better fitness and push for further distance guys!

And keep smiling also...



Friday, 6 April 2018

[RACE REPORT] Brunei Beach Bunch Trail Challenge 2018

At last!

After many weeks of busy-ness and all-around travelings, i'm now able to spend some quiet time to reflect all the happenings especially the last 26th of March event (Sunday) in Brunei i.e the Beach Bunch Trail Challenge 2018 #bbtc2018 😎

But before i dive deep into the details of #bbtc2018, let me summarize the preps done prior to the event.



Total mileages accumulated from 7th until 24th of March was 110.2km which include all kind of workouts such as the fartlek, tempo run, LSD (both trail and road) as well as the hill. And all of these were actually following the existing schedule that i have for my Penang Eco which already more or less into its 6th week of training. So it was all good i would say.

And as far as my weight (plus diet) is concerned, there's not so much changes in between since it always hover between 73-74kg. The most that it went down was to 72.8kg and this was after spending 4hours looping in and out the Tumbina trail during the weekend of 17th March. But after that, obviously it went up again after some post run re-fueling. This trend did maintained until the final week except for a few days leading up to the race where i'm pretty sure it skyrocketed a bit due to some 'uncontrolled carbo-loading' and run-cation feasting with my family 😜😜

Other than that, i would say the preps went quite smooth all the way until the flag-off day where i'm all injury-free, but with few more kilos in weight obviously..syukur Alhamdulillah..

The 'REPC':

On my arrival day to Brunei, i was a little bit surprised as there's not so much 'hoo-ha's happening around the REPC venue i.e. the Jerudong Primary School. The preparations were very minimal to be honest with only few 'tear-drop' banners laying down on field (where the flag-off would be) and there were no other outdoor banners or bunting that promotes the race or whatsoever. Even the directional signages were not stationed anywhere along that Jerudong road although i did safely arrived thanks to Mr. Google Map and my prior knowledge of driving around Brunei.

And with this year's registered participants only close to 400++ for all categories in total (35 from Malaysia), perhaps this is something the organizers can do better in the future in promoting the race since this is the one and only major ultra-trail race in Brunei (as far as me and my running buddies are aware of) and it even got the Asia Trail Master qualification points stamp all around it! So rugi oii!

But stepping into the school hall for the REPC, the environment was somehow different. Yeay! That previous mojo feeling of me going into an ultra event (this was my third) got into me again. Even my wife was super-excited (this was her first ultra REPC and her first experience with that mandatory items checking thingy..haha) and she was literally running around with her GoPro, snapping pictures and videos.

And then, there's that wall of fame at the end of the hall...woah!

The wall showing previous Champions in all categories and Tahira won it twice from 2016-2017. Terbaik!
50km vs. 10km (my sister in law)

The registrations process was a thumbs up from me since RaceYaya were the provider for the tracking platform. It was smooth and convenient although i believe this was helped by the not-so-many participants as well as me 'REPC-ing' nearing the closing time where there were less than 10 runners during that same period.

After all were done in the hall, me and the gals went for our late lunch before checking in into Parkview Hotel, just 800m from the flag-off venue.


Whenever i registered any running event especially those that are more than 42k, one of my usual outlook would always be the flag-off timing. And knowing that Brunei is a very 'Syariah' friendly country, i was kinda expected when i saw the flag-off time was at 0600hrs albeit this was for all other categories except for the 100k. The reason is simple, to suit to the timing for Subuh prayer and i really applaud the organizers for this setup. 

The Sikrit Team before the flag-off

So, arriving at the starting line, there were already hundreds of other runners warming up here and there including my Sikrit buddies i.e. Firdaus Mansor (Aboi), Sudir Nazri (Suday) and Iswayudi (Syud). And not to forget, my sister in law who did her first trail in the 10km category. The setting was quite calm initially until the MC/announcers started the groove by welcoming all runners and reminding us on the safety side of the race i.e. mandatory items, running next to the highway etc.

With 'Aboi'
Few minutes before the flag-off, many of us were still chatting and didn't even realize that it's almost 6am or close to the time to start the race...until the MC started the countdown 😵😵

Picture perfect 😵😍😍
And then it just happens...

All runners went out like 'hantu' flying out from a haunted house. So fast ya ampun! They dashed and even zig-zagging along the Jerudong road and the Tutong-Muara highway until the Shahbandar Recreational entrance where finally, the 10/30k runners got separated from the 50k runners. Fuuh...

The Shahbandar hills route was just what we were told it would be. The dreaded '14 hills' loop where the COT up until the 10k mark was set at 3hrs and 30mins! Even at its entry point, the runners had already being 'welcomed' by a long and steep stairs (45 - 50 degrees incline) up until its peak. And from there on, it was just like going into a 'dragon-back' course with an added fun that the 'dragon' bones were all 'patah' and you could only run at certain spots or single trails route before you continue to hike up and down until you went out at the other end.

There's also one or two small streams that required you to do that minor 'challenge' of crossing a small log while holding to a side-rope tight between the trees.

That 'small stream' challenge

Climbing up that 2nd last hill.

At the end of it, me, Suday and Syud managed to come out after 2hrs spending time 'cursing' and annoying our fellow 'Bruneian' runners on the same 'Bila nak habis loop bukit nih?' questions until we reached CP1. 😜 So next time if you guys see in any event the organizers put a very 'generous' COT in between checkpoints, trust me, there's ALWAYS A REASON why it is set as such. Hehe..

After this first loop, all of us then went into the McFarm trails where the route was a little bit 'forgiving' with several rolling hills (short and sweet) and some dirt paths. And this was where we crossed-path with some of the 100k runners who were coming back for their final loop into the Shahbandar hills (i saluted you guys for having the power and courage to do this!).

We even had the chance to 'stop' Jessica Lintanga and took a quick picture with her before she continued her way back to Berakas beach! Sorry Jess!

With Jess - 2nd runner up in the 100k categories

I remember also that along this path at around kilometer 13 or 14, Suday suddenly popped out with a 'I hate doing trails!' remark (Selingan)..kah3..

That moment after the CP2 at 21k mark
Arriving at CP2 before going of into the Agro Park, we had our first mandatory items checking by the on duty marshals. Though was a little bit stunned, but it was ok since we had being reminded during the REPC that there will be several inspections before you can get that designated CP 'wrist-bands' and continue with the race. Altogether, there were three (3) that need to be collected (hence, three inspections) before you are entitled to get that finisher tee and the medal (of course, if you finish within the COT as well).

In the Agro park path, it was a combination of road and single trails route up until the Empire trail entrance. And this was where all three of us started to put in some 'kick' into our strides (especially Suday since the road is like his second home) and it was all downhill (slight decline). Woohoo...

Running downhill within Agro Park was pretty fun to say the least since the condition throughout was very ‘runner-friendly’ especially the weather. It was cloudy and cool as drizzle came in intermittently right after I passed a small lake before went into some ‘abandoned’ road (with two lanes on either side) that took about 2-3km to complete. Though that ‘short’ in distance, somehow it felt ages before I finally reached the end of the route and lastly the roundabout just before the entrance of Empire hotel. And then, a slight ‘drama’ happened…

As I continued running until the hotel guard house, my mind somehow slipped and I just went straight towards the parking area without even realizing that I supposed to turn right and enter the Muara - Tutong highway. But luckily before I went further, one of the security guards stopped me and told me that I’ve went a wrong way. &%@%#..

And so I made a u-turn and ran back into the highway for almost a kilometer extra in total. But one thing good about this ‘supposed’ mishap was that I then met Syud again just when he about to enter the highway himself. But prior to this small ‘reunion, I then realized there weren’t any signage or markings that direct runners to make a right turn and go into the highway. Again &%$@3 and some improvement needed by the organizers within this area.

Once on the highway and after some small talk between me and Syud, we were then caught by surprised by one of the leading 50k runners (a mat Salleh) that was already running back towards the FL. And the first words that came out from his mouth was ‘Where is the next direction yea?’..Me and Syud looked at each other and we knew this is definitely another marking/signage error by the organizer. But fortunately for this particular guy, we managed to direct him to run back into the previous route but once he reached the earlier roundabout, he just need to go along it until he finds Jerudong highway at the other end. And from there on, he should already knew where he’s should be heading to. (Selingan: After the event finished, that guy was actually the 2nd runner up winner in the 50k category. Oi…you should thank us for this you know..hahaha).

Anyhow, once the guy continued his winning run, both me and Syud just pace ourselves slowly until CP3 at the entry of Pantai Tunku before moving on to Berakas Forest. And whatever we saw in front of us from there on, was all sand, sand and more ‘annoying’ sand until CP4, the 35km marker accompanied by our lovely friend, the sun. Hot, humid and again, the annoying sand. 

Panas oi!

Woot lady please take picture please!

Arriving CP4

Keep on moving...

That 'wind' when i saw CP4 nearing..

So what CP4 have in store?

This was the place that i stayed long ( i remembered close to 15-20mins) just to 'recuperate' and do whatever needed to re-fuel the body before re-turning back to CP5 (plus the 2nd mandatory items check + 2nd wrist band). And so i ate the instant noodle (was damn hungry since i only managed to eat 2 Belvita before the flag-off), 2 ice-cream and drank 500ml of tailwind cocktail. Haha (if i couldn't continue after getting all those in, then something was wrong with me stomach then...). The crews here were so much friendlier as compared to the previous CPs. They cleaned my Milo-filled soft flasks and helped to filled them up with the Tailwinds'. They even ushered me if i want to freshen up at the shower facilities just next to the tent (and i did and it felt sooooo good!).

Owh, before i missed out, i actually arrived here first before Syud since he took a break halfway along the Pantai Tunku for a quick refueling with an energy bar. And when he did arrived, i've already prepared myself to return to the race. And so the 'fun' continued..

The CP4 trademark logo

The 'return' journey to the finishing line was rather a straight forward one. What we need to do was to run back the same route that we did from the Empire trail and return to the Jerudong highway (of course passing thru the CP5 - Pantai Tunku entrance for our last mandatory items check and the last of the wrist-bands). Once we got there, it was all road for 2km until we were back at the Jerudong Primary school for our photo finish (but mine, a video ...hehe).

The finisher medal with Nasi Goreng Belutak Penyet 😋
Fuhhh...out of 91 (overall), 78 (gender)

Overall Event:

All in all, it was a very organized ultra event though a lil bit subdued due to a very small numbers in participants. The REPC  was smooth and met my expectation in all of its departments i.e. entitlement kits/designs, the information boards, the sales booths, tracking facilities/tech. The designated route were terrific plus challenging. And, it's definitely not for those who just expect a 'walk in a park' kind of ultra since you really need to put in some 'homework' upfront especially those in the 50k and the 100k categories.

The check-points were all 'super-sufficient' to cater the basic needs such as the isotonic/hydrolites drinks, fruits, noodles, coke, sponge, ice-creams, ice cubes, showers and the long list of it. You can name it all. It's all being provided. Even the marshals were all friendly and helpful eventhough they had to stay there for more than 30hrs, from starts till finish. 

My only suggestion for improvement is the markings in some of the routes/path especially at the trail transitions between the Empire and the Muara-Tutong highway. Other than that, it's being clearly marked and stationed wherever needed. 

And so last but not the least, will i be joining this event again in the future? The answer is YES! but depending on the fees since it's in BND. So, the future conversion rate will be the decisive factor in this for sure. Haha... 

Till we meet again folks...and thank you for reading this!...Ciao


Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Breaking that Three (3) Digits Barrier - 100km

As i'm writing this, i'm just 9-10 weeks away from my 1st ever 100km distance event. And to tell you the truth, there's not so much excitement going on within myself and to my buddies other than we just continue doing our stuffs, scrapping the weekly mileage here and there including some random solo mode back-to-back LSD during the weekend.

The thing is probably, we already have all the 'supposed' training going on for quite some time without us realizing it i.e. the weekly mileage >50km week in and week out, although the challenge now is to pick-up the pace/intensity to ensure we are truly ready (physically and especially mentally) when we stand at the starting line-up later in May.

Can we? 😣😣

Nonetheless, I've committed myself to complete one of the training plan that i found on the net after scouring thru the lists for which one that are really 'easier' to do (yup, can you imagine...for 100k) for the next 10 weeks. And so i found this plan below (the original one was for 16 weeks period and it was tailor-made to those who've been consistently running at about 30 - 50km on a weekly basis).
100km SOLO Mode Training Plan
As you can see, the plan basically covers a whole sorts of training elements day by day i.e. fartlek, hills repeat, intervals, tempo and obviously, the long runs during the weekend. And what so interesting about its weekend long runs is that it does not specify any distances and only focuses on the hours (time) we spend pounding the dirt/road. It's a unique approach and it kinda suits me (in a way) since i usually get a bit overwhelmed when i see those 'big' back to back numbers that you need to complete week in and week out until the actual race day. It's a mental thingy..yup (patik hanyalah insan yang lemah tapi gatal nak buat ultra dan itu adalah sangat tidak jive)

Anyhow, the followings are some of the details designated to each of the training sets within the plan:
  • Tempo 1/2/3: Different timeline to complete the combination of easy run + tempo run (Tempo 1 - 30mins easy + 30mins tempo, Tempo 2 - 60mins easy + 60mins tempo, and so on).
  • Hills repeat: Run up a reasonable 400m steep hill/incline and jog down (hard) to build up that quad power. The total time should be around 2-3mins per set.
  • Fartlek: Starts with a 15min warm-up and followed by a 4min ON/OFF, 2x 3mins ON/OFF combo, 2x 2mins ON/OFF and 4x 1min ON/OFF combo. The session ends with another 15mins warm-down.
  • Intervals: 4 - 8 number of intervals with running at moderate - hard intensity for 2 - 5mins. Recovery should be sufficient, enough to complete all sets at without significant fatigue.    
Apart from the plan, the daily diet (though not that military-kind of regime) need to be considered as well since it involves running mostly 5 days in a week. But like my previous 2 ultras, the only things that i really focus on are the amount of carbs that i take pre-runs and proteins post runs. The idea is basically to sufficiently sustain the body's ability to be ready before any runs and expedite the recovery. But whatever it is (this is for me ONLY K 😁), food is the least concern for me since i'd get to eat whatever that i want especially during the race itself. I mean, who'd really care right? It's the biggest perk for us as an ultra-marathoner!!

Anyhow, with all plans already in place, my biggest hope is for me to start and finish the race (insyaAllah) injury free and with an aplomb.(hopefully...hahah).

The rest, i'll just leave it to Him, the Almighty.

RUNNING SUMMARY (26/2 - 8/3/2018)

26/2 : Rest Day

27/2 : The starts of the training plan.! 1hrs Tempo Run in Dewan Suarah Bintulu (30min easy + 30mins tempo 9.02km 01:00:09)

28/2: Rest Day due to travelling to KL (Couldn't do the Hill repeat)

1/3: 90mins KLCC park running (afterwork) (12.68km - 01:30:02)

2/3: Rest Day

3/3: Saturday AM Time-based LSD (32km - 04:01:09)

4 - 6/3: A self-imposed rest + 'coffee-fasting' due to extreme-exhaustion/dehydration (as the doc said) 😭. Probably due the many traveling within that week..

7/3: Hope to recover and continue the progress..



Monday, 26 February 2018

'Kurus' Itu Satu Perjalanan

Dalam tengah2 kehidupan yang tenang di bandar Bintulu nih, tergerak rasa hati nak share some of my own experiences in losing all those heavy2 thingy dan juga bendealah tebal/berketul2 yang selamanya terabadi di tubuh yang halus mulus ini i.e. fat/lemak.

So kat mana nak start?

The first step of any hard and long winded journey must always start with your niat (end purpose). Tak kisahlah whether you want to lose weight or run an ultra-marathon or even get a degree, the most important thing is that you must set your niat/end purpose of why you want to achieve all those targets first.

And why it is so important and key?

Sebab dengan niat ni lah, you'll set your discipline and maintain your motivation daripada mula sampailah ke akhir. Otherwise, kita semua just suka2 ikut orang lain buat bender2 yang kita terasa fun and beneficial but in the end, kita tak dapat nak continue or cope with the stresses/nafsus' 👿 and stop halfway. Contoh yang paling senang adalah bila munculnya tarikh keramat 1 Januari when the most common resolution would be to lose weight and be healthier. Memang ramai yang nak lose weight tapi matlamat awal and jalannya tak diset properly. So alih2, everybody just start doing the same thing because of the thoughts that it looks/feels cool but in the end, kaput di tengah jalan. Sounds familiar kan?

For myself, to lose weight is much more than to look cool in front of the mirror and able to wear all those 'M & S' sizes (although aderlah sekelumit and ciput2 dalam hati 😋). And it's actually more of getting myself  'lighter' so that i can do things faster/easier and manage all those huffing/puffing especially when doing my favorite thing i.e. running. As a runner, any extra weights will definitely make your efforts feel much harder. And in dropping a few pounds, the differences it made are quite significant and you can really feel the 'lightness' in your foot as well as your breathing. Macam sifu2 running selalu cakap, the easier it feels, the longer and the faster you can run.

So what's next?

There are 5 key rules to lose weight faster and healthier (as referred to one of the fitness trainer that i know - Azmir Zed) on which i happily apply to myself 😎:
  1. Always drink enough of plain water daily. The more your weight is, then the more you need to drink. For a simple formulae (as told by my wife), drink 1liter of water per 25kg of your weight i.e. if your weight is 75kg, so your drink at least 3 liter of water daily. 
  2. Cut back sugar intake. If you cannot manage to 'totally' cut your sugar intake, start by doing them gradually. Like how i did initially, i started out by cutting out all of those kuih-muih, cakes, dessert and ultimately, the sugary drinks. And now, (for drinks to the least), my daily norm now is just plain water in all my meals and the morning black coffee/cappuccino (if not, hentam sekali terus time lunch and dinner 😛). Macam Kevin Zahri cakap, if you can cutback your sugar totally (and he really means TOTALLY!), without doing exercise, in a year you can lose almost 26kg! Boleh cuba kalau berani....hehe
  3. Cut back salt intake. This is more or less similar to the 'sugar approach' on which for me, i manage them by having my meals prepped at home (breakfast/lunch/dinner) since it would be quite difficult to manage them outside. Plus, you can save money and spend more time with your family (applicable to Bintulu only and not for KL folks k 😝).
  4. Always be in calorie deficit. What it means here might be confusing to some but it's just simply means, ensuring that your body burns more than your calorie intake. How to do this? For me, there are 2 methods that i usually do. One, is by eating smaller portions in each of your meals. Like before, maybe your rice is satu cup, but now you cut them by half. And eat more green vegies as well as protein (smaller portion though) since they are the one that helps reduce your hunger (making you feel full) and boost metabolism. The 2nd would be, to spend your time more in exercising i.e. spend at least 30mins/daily with moderate workouts. But of course, it's better to jaga makan also lah sebab otherwise you exercise2 tapi mentekedarahnya dah macam kebulur seminggu everytime lepas abis workout. Memang confirmlah tak berhasil! But in any case, the end intent is always, to burn more calories than what you are actually intake. 
  5. Lastly, invest your time in exercising! This is basically the same with point 4 (2nd one) i.e. exercise regularly. Like they always say, at least 3 times in a week (30mins minimum). If for myself, it is running that i always do and i usually allocate my weekend (or depending on free time after work) to do my long run which can take at least 2-3hrs and they burn more than 1500kcal at the very minimum! In any case, the objective is to burn and burn extra calories/fat, take out all those body 'waste' via sweat, work your digestion system better and last but not the least, to make you healthier/fitter. 
So, why wait guys?!

Me during my college years (96 - 98kg)
To date (73 - 74kg)

As for running, my total mileage for the past one week was at 48.6km which was way lower than my weekly target i.e. 50km. Although the excuse this time is basically due to my outstations travellings tapi walaubagaimanapun, untuk minggu2 yang mendatang, insyaAllah akan diusahakanlah larian2 petang ataupun before breakfast/after kerja demi sesuap mileage untuk event2 yang berbaris 2-3 bulan nih. 🙏🙏

SUMMARY (18 - 25/2/2018)

18/2 : KLCC Park running (11.24km - 01:11:03). This is supposed to be a 'recovery run' post trail run on Saturday but somehow, the pace was a bit 'dirasuk', thus terjadilah hasil yang sedikit laju dari yang sepatutnya

19/2 : Rest Day

20/2 : Again KLCC park running in the evening (afterwork). (12.35km - 01:18:55)

21/2 : One last day for KLCC park running (afterwork) and before flying back to Bintulu the next day (10.01km - 01:02:50 + 1km walk 00:14:32)

22 - 23/2 : Rest days

24/2 : Saturday morning walk with the wifey in Tg Batu (picture kelesss gitu) (5.2km - 01:17:53)

Amik peluang berdating sebab si Snowball sekolah ganti

25/2 : A two sessions run i.e. long run in the AM with 14km distance (01:32:13) and an evening 6km recovery run (00:43:01)

All in all, keep on moving people!


Saturday, 17 February 2018

A New Me in 2018!

With the year 2018 already into its 2nd month, I’ve made quite significant steps in getting myself ready for many plans and ‘new’ experiences in this near future. The first step was obviously to get back to my blogging mood where the last entry was in the year 2016 OMG! So pemalas oi. I guess as the world is getting more and more high tech and easily connected with each other, the more ‘real-time and faster’ we want to share our experience to others. And thus, Twitter, Instagram (especially Insta-story) and sometimes FB are the preferred mediums in getting these stories relayed across.

But not for me (well, I did sometimes shared them thru the mentioned platforms but somehow I felt something amiss…somewhere…)

For me, blogging will always make me feel more private and ‘exclusive’ to the subjects that I want to talk about. And more so, the correspondent readers will at the very least need to put an extra effort in searching (in the net) the intended topics and once they found it, they’ll easily get connected to the other same subject because of the circles will always and definitely be within that same community. You don’t believe me? Try looking at runners’ blog (including me J) and see their links to the other bloggers. You will not be disappointed I tell you..hehe.

So, what’s new for me after all these years in isolation (though more to the laziness…)?

Unleash the pictures shall we?!

Sikrit Running Family

Aug 2016 - 'New Family'
Night Run - BDA Hill
Weekly run (Tues and Thurs)
Nyabau Hill Workout
Well, the 1st picture was the significant day 1 of me being part of the Sikrit Running Club family which consist of, mostly the MLNG colleagues as well as other passionate runners coming from different backgrounds, ages and abilities in Bintulu. They always stay true to their simple objective which is everybody can run, although I do personally know for some that running is no longer a simple workout but also a competitive feat for them to continue improving and occasionally made others ‘sumpah – seranah’ everytime they hit that 3rd or 4th gear (at pace 4 – 5min/km) either intentionally or non-intentionally.

But whatever it is, i'll be forever thankful because if not for these guys, I would still be in the 'old me', comfortable to whatever that i'm doing as far as running is concerned.  😝

I lose weight....and fat!

SCKLM16 - SCKLM17. Spot the difference? 😋
The above pictures were taken in my last two (2) FM in the SCKLM (2016 - 2017) on which the latter was me after losing almost 20kg in weight.

But how did it happened?

Only 3 WORDS – Sugar, salt and runs (and many of them!) – This will specifically be shared in future post with the latest picture of me in it J Tungguuuuu~

They call me 'Ultra - man' 

TITI Ultra 2017 - 50km FL
TMMT 2017 - 70km FL
And lastly, the most special of all, pictures of me completing my maiden ultra-marathons in both road and trail categories. The first of the two was me in TITI Ultra 2017 (50km) while the other, clocking close to 12hrs for a 70km distance at the The Magnificent Merapoh Trail (TMMT) 2017 which in the end and ultimately, officiated me as part of the ultra-runners community in Malaysia…wooohoooo 😂 !

More of the stories in the coming posts. Stay tune peeps!



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