Friday, May 30, 2008

Low High

Except for a couple of weight training, i have not done much in the last five days. No cardio, no aerobic, no HIIT and no anaerobic exercise - unless pulling out dumbells is considered as part of anaerobic training.

Low in activity but major resting time.

I was told resting should be also part of any training regime and we must devote as much time to resting in the midst of the many training sessions. My body has recovered completely and ready to go again.

Tomoro, we will be doing approx 80km of cycling around Langat area. Some say, an introduction to the Broga loop but we will not be attempting the evil Broga fearing that it will scare away the newbies (like me..!!) in the future. Genting Peres will be on the menu and i have never climb it before. i must get my legs fresh for her.

Adrenalin is high and i cant wait till tomoro comes.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Khan Junior Jr

The test result showed this.

Just like Henry Jones Junior found his Henry Jones Junior Jr in the latest Indiana Jones sequel, God's willing, next year, i will have my Khan Junior Jr too.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Resting and thinking

I had a full day rest of Monday recovering from the run the day before. Legs were still wobbly and muscle aching everywhere but thank god, there's no sign of injury pain. I guess the body was still in shock and working itself adapting to the new intense activity. Recovery went well. I ate fresh and mostly, food with high liquid content. Added a few carbo based meal for cell recovery.
Slowly but surely im recovering better than before. I find my recovery rate has improved quite considerably lately. Maybe the brain is responding to the many beatings the body has taken the last few weeks.

Wifey will be on an outstation assigment for two weeks and i'm thinking hard how am i suppose to structure my training during the period.

I have no maid. So, i will have my hands full doing chores while having a rare wonderful father-and-son time together messing the house. We are preparing ourselves for a nagging session with mommy when she's back next week. Haha...

Many had suggested to put my son at my mom's house and i go doing my training but the house has turned into a mini nursery during the school holidays. I know i need just about an hour a day to keep the regime going but looks like finding the hour is difficult within these constraints.
Oh well, maybe i stick to strength training using the dumb bells and body weight type exercises and less cardio work.

Friends are going to a new route for cycling this Saturday and my endorphin is flowing already but i cant help thinking i will not be able to join them. Urrghhh...

fatherhood dilemma.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Long runs

When i started exercising 10 months ago, 1km was already seemed like a long run. Whenever i completed it, i would be satisfied for the whole day and the pain that came with it will last for the next 24 hours.

Then, a 1km long run became 3km. Then, 5km. Then 7km. The distance kept getting further and further. Recently, i have been busybody with a couple of 10km runs. Each time i finished a 10km run - i would take a full day rest the day after just to recover.

The longest time i'd spent on runnning was 1hr27mins which i'd done in A'famosa and speculation, it was less than 10km.

Naturally, i hate running. I hated it since i was a kid. You cant blame me for hating it as it came from someone who'd the excess baggages everywhere around his body in his entire life. No matter how slow i am, running has never been easy for me.

However, today i broke another mental barrier. It was a test of courage. A test of how much i want to keep this journey of mine alive.

I took a challenge to run the Bkt Aman-Hartamas-Bkt Aman route. Never done this before. Never even dare to imagine it. Today, i'd decided to give it a try. Chief Kutu and IM Stupe said it is a 20km route, 10km one way. Gulpppp...

Aini said, to break the run into two. Think 10km x 2, rest half-way for refuelling.

Abu said, to keep it going eventhough if i'd to run-walk-walk to finish.

I followed both.

1st 10km = 1hr22mins.
2nd 10km = 1hr18mins
Total time = 2hrs40mins
Max bpm = 173 (92%)
Avg bpm = 147 (78%)
Total calorie burned = 5455kcal

I did it.

Separuh mati.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Ever since the A'famosa funfare, i'd received numerous questions about myself ranging from who i am? what do i do? how did i loose 44kg? what do i eat? how do i look like before? does it hurt being teased upon?..... and macam2 lagi. Some were nasty but others were plain sincere and curious questions.

Nak jawab semua soalan mmg tak sempat and sometime letih gak nak jawab soalan yg sama. It is not that i'm complaining but not answering these questions would not do any justice to people who are in the same dilemma/frustration/sufferings as i was before.

If my stories would inspire others to realise their dream, desire and hope for a brighter future, thus, i dont mind sharing it.

However, please do not take my self-exposure as a mean for me to say out loud of what i'd achieved or myself, seeking cheap publicity....but instead please use it as a motivation pill for you to achieve the unthinkable and daring to challenge yourself to the brink of one's limit. At this point of time last year, it was unthinkable for me.

In short, without going into details, below are my pix which should sum up a bit of everything :


July 07

Feb 08

I still have a long way to go and i am no where near the expected BMI of any normal person.

I hope this move does not backfire nor attract any unnecessary attention and i pledge your continuous support in this journey of my own.

4 hours

The A'famosa results :

Category (35-39 year olds)

Podium finish... 3rd from the back....


Glorious Red Devils

There can be only one winner in the 1st all-English Champion League final... 2008.

His 42nd goal of the season that lit up the night.

Lampy equalised at the stroke of half-time.

The save that decided the match winner.
Penalty shoot-out MU 6 Chelsea 5.

Dejected. Rainy tears.


I am gonna sleep in the office today. I am a happy lad.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


On Monday/Wesak day, Chomel and me had a spin in Langat. He gave me a few good tips on cycling techniques.

Hippos cranking up the pedal.

Chomel doing the Alpe D'Huez pose.

All pix courtesy from OP Jim Manan.

Chilling out

On Sunday, my bro and I having an easy ride in Langat. It was his maiden ride and he said it's good for his futsal fitness training. He felt his thighs were bulging out after that. Hahaha.... great fun.

Cam whoring

He's in pain.

... and he did it. (Helmet pon dah senget).

Bro, caya lu.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Long weekend

After a few consecutive weekends of training prior to A'famosa and many hours away from home, i had decided to spend the extended holiday with family, parents and in-laws. A couple of important family commitments had restricted me from grinding in training, thus, i missed the Malakoff Charity Ride (interstate KL-KT) and NB15km.

I had no qualms at all. Being a family man, I must always put family first before myself. No matter how hard I try, it's still hard to find the right balance between the two and most of the time, i put myself second.

However, I managed to squeeze some light training in the myriad of commitments.

On Saturday, I managed to squeeze two-hours of tennis training and a 30-min run around Damansara Perdana. That's all.

On Sunday, instead of cycling with buddies, i went spinning with my lil' bro, the youngest child of the family. Well, not that lil' per se as he's already in the mid-twenties and much much taller than me... a six footer, he is. However, being a big brother, in my mind - he will always be my little brother.

He'd been asking about cycling a few times already and when I suggested to cycle on that Sunday morning, he'd jump on it and agreed to go cycling. I was elated. Before this, i'd exercised with my younger sis (read here)and now with my lil' bro. What more can i ask, spending time with siblings doing things we like together gether. I wouldnt have traded these two moments with anything else in my life.

Anyway, we cycled from Pekan BT 18 to the T-junction and back. Approx, 22km only. I wouldnt want to take him further as it was suppose to be an introduction ride for him. I remembered my maiden ride (around Bukit Damansara) and i'd bonked after 20km with blister around my thighs. It had killed my motivation totally. Later, I'd avoided cycling for months before i have the courage to mount the sadle again. Well, those were the painful days.

Learning from that experience i tried to 'nurse' the ride and we completed the ride comfortably. I will post the pix in the next posting.

After cycling, we went straight the badminton court for our family's weekly 2-hour badminton session. I booked the court/s on a monthly basis and it is the time when the family members and relatives come and exercise together. My dad, brothers, sister, in-laws, cousin sis, cousin bro, the many grandchildren - three generations converging at one place exercising together. It doesnt get any better than that. Believe me on this.

Later that night, i went for another round of tennis training session. I played four sets or 2-hour solid training concentrating on doubles partnership and tactical play. I have registered to participate in the National Age-group (35-40 yo) tennis competition next week at the National Tennis Center, Jalan Duta. Thus, this preparation is vital and fine tuning my play is a must.

So, five-hours of exercising while burning approx 5,000 calories. Not bad at all.

On Monday/Wesay Day, i went cycling with Chomel in Langat again. A few had cancelled last minute and it was down to just the two of us. Chomel is very knowledgeable in cycling, so, i took the opportunity to learn a few tricks from him. He gave me a few tips on spinning, seat and thighs positioning, gear changing, hill climb techniques and a few others. Kinda personal coaching. I liked it.

On the way back, from the T-junction to pekan Bt18, i'd put some of what i'd learned earlier into practice and cranking up to 38km/h with an averaging speed of around 30-32km/h. My heart rate was consistently hovering around 80% as i was struggling to maintain speed. I certainly need more coaching and practising on cycling techniques. Only though more trainings i will be able to improve further. Anyone got cycling tips for me?

Spent the other half of the day with family and played with my kid. Yeah, total rest. Bessstttt....

Saturday, May 17, 2008


Ever since A'famosa, my training had suffered a bit due to work and family commitments. Most of the training revolved around recovery and picking the pace again. Light training, mostly involving cardio work. No strength nor intense activity.

I was supposed to join the 3-day interstate Malakoff Charity Ride from KL to Kuala Terengganu (460km) but had to abort the plan due to family commitments.

Anyway, many had asked me how's my daily diet like. What do i eat, what do i drink etc etc. It's hard for me to provide detail account of what i eat but basically, i eat 6 times a day. 6 controlled portion meals combining the essentials needed for a wholesome diet. In short,
  • i avoid 100% of any kind boxed or canned food i.e. processed food.
  • i try very very hard to avoid starch, man made sugar in food & drinks. 0% intake of white bread, nasi lemak, roti canai, teh tarik and as such.
  • i try hard to avoid oily and fried stuff especially deep fried food (i must admit this is difficult task especially when dealing with the many delicious local fares. However, once in a while i'l just close an eye and grab the chicken wings).
  • I eat nuts or fruits for in-between-snack meal. Mostly, roasted nuts. If roasted is not available, i take less salty nuts. I love steamed/boiled chick peas.
  • I drink a glass of low-fat milk as my last meal of the day. If low-fat milk is not available, i just take water.
  • I take loads and loads of water. More than the usual 3 litres a day normal requirement for a person. Whenever, i have hunger pangs and i dont have either nuts or fruits near me, i just take water to kill the pangs. If it comes back, i take more water - sometimes until i feel bloated but it's okay. The body is intelligent enough to dispose it through your urinary tract and of course, extra trips to the restroom.
  • I am trying to include wholefoods in my diet but i find it's difficult to maintain the regime due to the price of the food. Generally, wholefoods in Malaysia are still very expensive and not many people can afford to lead such a life. It is also not easy to find the food in the supermarkets, normally they'l provide a small section only for wholefoods. However, if you want to see results, wholefoods is one of the best options. Cook it according to you liking and not only it helps in weight loss but it's good for your health.

Well, well.... so much for the ramblings - yesterday, a couple of friends and i closed an eye and went for a good kari kepala ikan. IM Shazly needed companion for his carbo-leading session, so i obliged immediately. He's preparing for the Malakoff Charity Ride, thus, no harm for him to eat a lil bit more.

We had two of these, red snapper head - hot from the pot. Major protein intake. No rice for me.
IM Shazly and cyclist Chomel had these spicy, heaven on earth deep fried chicken. I had to pass this even though i was salivating over it.

We come here at least once a month for our protein lunch. Haha...

Friday, May 16, 2008


A few people called up and asked how did i manage my nutrition intake during the Afamosa Tri.

Well, here's it what i did :

0545hrs - 1 cup of coffee (no sugar) followed by 'sitting down' session.
0600hrs - 1 bun (no cream/filling)
0615hrs - 1 cup of coffee (no sugar) followed by 'sitting down' session.
0620hrs - Cereal with low fat milk and 2 sliced bananas
0630hrs - 1 Powerbar

During Race
3km into the cycling course - 1 Powergel
1km into the running course - 1 Powergel
3km before the finishing line - 1 Powergel (thanks IM Azmar..!!)

Water station
I took at least one cup of whateva drinks they served at every station. Yes, including diluted 100Plus for the slow coaches.

I felt a bit bloated during the run (too much water i guess) but it subsided after while.

Note : Never leave your 100Plus/Gatorade-filled water bottle in the freezer for that extra minutes of freezing effect bcos in the midst of the excitement, you may forget about it. Take it out and keep it near your bike on the morning of the race.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


After two days of lazing around resting, I went for the recovery run yesterday.

Kampung Pandan Sports Complex.

I was running slowly, lap after lap, when suddenly an elderly chap passed me and said, "Keep going. Dont give-up. You have good stamina."

I was surprised, he must be watching me for awhile.

5km run. Total kcal = 1456. Time = 33mins 22 sec.

Later, went to play a good 2-hours of tennis.

Recovering well.

A'famosa International Triathlon 2008

On 7/5/2008, i did the unexpected. Unexpected 1.

I'd registered for A'famosa International Triathlon 2008. Thru the website. Sprint event (500m swim, 15km cycle and 3km run), Male 17-39 year old category.

I told myself, "What have I just done? Is this for real? Am i doing this because i was influenced by friends or am i kidding myself?". People say the Sprint event are for kids but look at the distance! even an adult could suffer anytime. However, it turned out to be one of the most significant move i've taken in recent memory.

On Saturday, 10/5/2008, the trip to A'famosa was marred by a nasty traffic jam which'd started somewhere after Nilai interchange until 2km before Seremban exit. It was a horrendous 2-hour journey for a short stretch and the crawl was at least 20km long. Darn..!! I cursed the bad luck. Certainly, it was not a good sign at all as the Sprint Event registration was supposed to close at 2pm and the event kick-off time was as 430pm. A very stressful and tired journey.

To make matters worse, i got lost in A'famosa. Another cursing session in the car. Spent a good 30mins just to find the club house which was located right in front of the main entrance..!! How the h**l did i missed it? Must be the anxiety of reaching there late and knowing that the Sprint event is starting in about 2 hours time..

I checked my registration number on the board, looked down at the list and yes, found my name. Sprint event. I went to the official table and suddenly.....Out of nowhere, i'd asked the girl if i can switch and do Olympic Distance (1.5km swim, 40km bike, 10km run) instead. And she said, yes. Unexpected 2. Honestly, the split decision was taken because of me feeling slightly exhausted from the journey coupled with mental stress. But could be because i felt kinda jittery over the whole event?. Maybe too.

Friends and supporters were surprised as i was not at the starting line for the Sprint event.

Lotsa questions followed later,

Those who knew im here to compete asked, "How come you havent dressed up yet? They are starting already."

Those who'd heard im doing A'famosa tri, "You are not doing Sprint, meh? Are you sure? or you'd chickened out last minute?"

Those whom i just got to know at the registration table, "You came to support your mates, huh?You came just to witness the event?"

Aiyaaa, byk betul larr soklan.

Anyway, the Sprint event went on as planned and i watched the competitors going through the sequence of swimming, biking and running. I took the opportunity to observe, learn and take note of the critical points of a tri race. Remember, ive never done the sport neither ive been training specifically to compete for the sport and it was only three days ago that i decided i would give it a try. Thus, it was a very good exposure to watch the Sprint event in action. I spent a lot of time at the transition area observing the proceedings. An eye opener of what to expect the next day.

Later the same nite, we had the official Carbo-Loading Dinner. I tell you, massive dinner plate for me. It has been a long time since i had pasta, mashed potato, lemon chicken, fish nuggets and all in one plate. Makan kaw2 bang.... i also brought back a bunch of bananas for breakfast.

After dinner, went back to the room and prepared my essentials for tomorrow's race.

I told myself, "Everything's ready, mate." while clutching my hands, quietly.

Then, i went to bed at around 11pm.

I did the ritual visualisation of the race by imagining the route and the atmosphere of the event. My so-called final mental preparation. However, it turned out to be a disaster. Unexpected 3.

The visuals just refused to leave me in peace on the nite. It kept coming back every few minutes. I was tossing and turning but still it wont left me alone. I think race anxiety got over me already. My eyes wouldnt close at all. I was still awake at around 345am and we're supposed to wake-up around 530am for breakfast and final preparation. Disaster... disaster... not enough rest and sleep are a big 'No-No' before a race.

On Sunday, 11/5/2008, I woke-up at 530am. After the dawn prayer and a couple of toilets sessions - I had bananas, bun and cereal for an early breakfast. By 630am, i was out of the room and went straight to the transition area. Prep my bike and went for body marking. I had my body marked, "292". Yeah, that's my race number.

The transition area. bikes were all stacked and athletes going round saying 'hi' to friends and pals. I guess race-day is like a get together session for these athletes who'd been competing in the tri series for years.

At 8am, we're at the starting line. The swimming course. We had to complete a two-loop of the island in the middle of the lake. Look at me, nervous like hell. I was the 'biggest' and 'largest' of the lot. I had many eyes on me with curious and suspicious look.

Deep inside me, i said "Say whateva you wanna say. I am doing this for my own good. Im racing against myself and im only competing against the my biggest enemy, me. I will defeat me." My hands were trembling.

The gun went off and i started breaststroking slowly. The better swimmers must be annoyed having this dugong swimming among them and blocking their way. Swimmers were shoving and kicking each other... haha... i felt a sense of anger at one point as i got kicked and slapped many times. One after another, they overtook me with ease.

Then, after a while i was breaststroking alone. Practically, alone. I am with my enemy, now.

I had never swam 1.5km at one go ever in my life and one could imagine the negative thinking i had in my mind at that time. The strategy was to keep going and survive the course in one piece. DNF is not an option. I kept telling myself that i wanted to come out from the water and see my son. (see the previous post where i'd my son's photo on my handle bar).

...and he did brought me out of the water.

By the time i reached T1, there were less than 10 bicycles left. Look at the empty rack above. Well, at least im not the last one to come out from the water. I was elated. haha. Go Upiq, Go..!

Here, we go again. Exiting T1. Huffing and puffing before mounting the bike.

For the bike course, 40km, the strategy was try to catch-up with those in front. Wishful thinking, of course. The first part of the course was rolling hills which drained my energy out quite considerably. Mid-way through, i reached for my drinks only to find out that i'd left them behind in the freezer in our room!! Big time mistake. Struggling. Struggling.

Final hill climb. Nasty climb. I saw a rider had dismounted and walked up the uphill.

I kept telling myself to keep it going. I fired myself up by remembering those nasty comments, teasing, unpleasant memories about me being the guy with extra all the extra baggage around his huge belly. By end of today, these people will eat their own words.

I was determined to prove my critics wrong.

By the time i reached T2, there were almost no one around. Even the 100 plus served at the water station were diluted already. Oh shit.

It's almost 11 o'clock now and my legs were wobbly like jello coming out from the transition area. It was almost a kilometre later than i felt my legs were up and running.

The strategy was to 'hop' from one water station to the other. Walk on an uphill, run on a downhill and slow jog on flat areas. 10km run.

Physically, I was drained already. Luckily, no sign of cramping or injury. I took 1 Powerbar and 1 Powergel.

5km in. My body was beaten. Im walking more than running now. It was really tough running alone. You and the tarmac. There's no one in front or at the back.

What kept me going were the thought of loved ones, the thought of those who constantly making me a laughing stock, the thought of all the time i spent training alone and the sufferings i went through, the thought of me breaking my self-belief etc.

3km to go. I saw my mates from far. They were on the bikes. They must have finished the race but now, tracking and searching back for me. I felt a sense of gratefulness. These are the ones who'd tirelessly rendering countless support, encouragement, time and energy all this while. Suddenly, i felt renewed. Step by step my legs were running again. My friends cheered me on and pushed me from the back.

By now, my determination is bigger than me. My mind is stronger than my body. My eyes saw want I wanted. My heart screaming for victory. I wanted to complete the race so badly. Never once i felt like quitting and the real challenge is actually to see whether I will quit.

100 metres to go. My mates, IM Shazly (thanks mate, for believing i me), IM ariff, IM azmar, Chief Kutu (roomate) and Yip (ultramarathoner) escorting me to the finishing line. I felt honoured and a sense of brotherhood having them together pushing me to my limit.

YES...!! I did it..!!!

It was an emotional finish. I burst into tears. Tears of joy. I just couldnt describe the feeling in words. I wished i can and share it with everyone.

No 292. You're not a quitter. You have defeated your No 1 enemy, yourself.

Cooling down.

My watch showed i'd completed the race in slightly less than 4 hours including transition timing.

If there anything i've learned from the race were.... to belief in yourself and never quit.

The A'famosa Triathlon maybe a race to many but for me, it was race of my life.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A'famosa International Triathlon 2008 - Race kit

My race kit.




Race number.

I had also got my son's photo laminated and stuck it to my handle bar for inspiration. Boy, he did brought me back home in one piece.