Bike R Us

Bike R Us… hahahaha…..

Ok, after that ridiculous title, I’d better explain a little.  You guys know how much I love my bicycles right, so a couple of months back I got crazy on the notion that I would like to try out some other cycling experience other than just riding around on my road bike, (which actually always makes me feel pressured to ride faster)… so I kind of considered my other options… mountain bike, folding bike?  Or even perhaps a hybrid?

Sure why not?  Just walk into a shop and get one of these.  but, then again, it was just too easy.  Thanks to Mr Brain up here, I got injected with the idea that if I wanted to ride it, I should build it… what a joke right?!Smile with tongue out

Well, but along with that idea, I suddenly received “instructions” in my head, again thanks to my silly brain, about how I could do it all… Go to a bike mechanic, have a custom bike frame welded together, look for the parts in the second hand collection, actually more like a junkyard with hidden gems, then put it together and make sure we end up with a bike that doesn’t fall apart…

So, thoughts were put into action and I got into it… Smile with tongue out

Yup, I’d title the whole idea a hobby rather than being about the final bike.  Cause that’s how it all became.  Suddenly I had all these ideas about customising, building bikes, having a bike cafe where you can sit while watching in humour, me putting your bike together while praying at the same time… lol.  Strike off that last thought, the whole idea is already weird enough.

Oh well, so it really did happen, to have a bike custom made and put together…from

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to this!!!

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Go read about it at my other blog at Spokes ‘n Brew. Smile

I’ll tell you all about my adventures on this bike when I put some mileage into it… if it doesn’t break apart on my first! Smile with tongue out

CYCLE SAFE!

Enough is enough!

Doesn’t it fear you when you see something spiralling out of your control and will end up being very, very bad if you don’t do something about it?!  Goodness… frustrations and woes.  Yup, my fitness isn’t looking too good and the digital number on my digital scale finds it a real laugh when I stand on top of it everyday changing my expressions from looks of surprise, to shock to HORRORS!

Damn it… for a guy to be worried about weight gain, that’s pathetic isn’t it?!

But, then again, although weight is at the top of my list to physically change, it should really be on the last of the list of what I should be concerned about.  Yeah, without dwelling in the dumps on the thoughts of weight gaining, I realise the best is to focus on being able to do more, get fitter and eventually stand in front of the mirror in full nudity. looking and feeling GREAT!

So, I say here and now, enough is enough!  I know I’ve done this before and I was so happy then, I’m getting happy back and this time, I’ll keep it in my back pocket and maybe on my face where I’ll willingly smile like a fool and frown like a fat idiot…

Enough is enough!!!

64607_478353570398_1136620_a Yup, horrors… (luckily this was a picture from way, way back…)
but it motivated me the last round, it should do again for this round.
Smile with tongue out

Finding the Time to Exercise

Corbis-42-29579460The title says it all, doesn’t it.  Finding the time to balance everything is already a challenge.  Balancing work, family and time for yourself is usually a full time affair, with one ending up not really getting the right balance most of the time.  It isn’t hard to see that work takes up most of the time.  The interesting thing is,my friends and acquaintances often ask me how I have so much time to spare to the activities I am currently enjoying, running, cycling and moving around.  Little do they know, that what they see, which are usually the posts that I put up on my Facebook is a small part of my day.  It’s a small part which I dedicate to these activities.  Personally, I find it motivating to share as well as to receive comments and advice on what you could do better. 

Anyway, that’s how it is.  Finding the right time, making a commitment and then developing a habit… lol. “developing a habit”…. simply just sounds so CLICHED doesn’t it?  Believe you me, habits is what I have hanging on to, to keep me doing what I’m doing.

It’s about setting a routine.  And for a while, I found my routine.  Sleeping early then getting up early in the morning to get out of the house… That was the best time really.  Finding the right time can be tough.  Some find it good to de-stress at the gym after work and release their pent up frustrations or work worries into their punches, pushes and all other forms of energy expenditure.  Well, I find myself tired at the end of the day and nothing I want more than just to rest up and “hit the hay”.  I do best in the mornings!…

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Yeah… mornings.  Kids and wife are asleep, no clients would dare to call me that early, mind usually clearer then… and then there’s the environment, cool, fresh, calming, not much cars.  It’s really all so much more beautiful at the time. 

So, yeah… you might have noticed that I wrote in the past tense above when I talked about this routine I used to do… well, I’ve just been through one of those time where all form of this sort of routines went out the window.  But, in writing this little blog to share, I’m kind of reminding myself of how much I enjoyed it and how I’d be looking back at getting into it.

For anyone who find exercising daunting, well take it as a routine that’ll wake you up in the morning alongside brushing your teeth, taking a shower and the all important breakfast.  And out of all of these, exercising will be just the thing that’ll give you that feel-good feeling throughout!

MAKE IT A HABIT, PEEPS!Winking smile

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Quick Thoughts

Thoughts don’t have to be long and relayed in a complicated string of words. Sometimes a momentary of clarity, a single point left undirected can lead to many exciting interpretations. So make it short and beautiful.

(my excuse and solutions to keep my blog updated… :P….)

Been a while… Good Bye 2011 Hello 2012

This trend since to come and go…. writing a blog.

Well, I hope it’s staying for good this time.  Not that I’m here to particularly add more aimless banter to cyberspace (… do people still use that word) but rather to remind myself WHAT AM I DOING?

Ok, I just got my MAC.  Yes, and it’s a comp.  How’s that relevant?  Well, I had to look for a new application to upload my blog. And this it’s called FLOCK. 

What the FLOCK?!!!
FLOCK you.
I love to FLOCK.
FLOCK off…

Yup, let’s see how this goes with my first FLOCKing update since the long hiatus from my last post.

🙂 Bye peeps.

Blogged with the Flock Browser

The Day I Ran My Very First Full Marathon

On Sunday, I accomplished a goal which I set for myself a year ago.  I finished the very first Full 42km Marathon of my life.  Yes, I did it!!! I was elated, overjoyed, extremely happy, undeniably overwhelmed and at one point just overcame with such emotional elation…

…this journey began a year ago…

It all began on my birthday last year when I finally decided to make a commitment towards one of the biggest change in my life.  To be a new person, to be a new ME.  This new path that I took started in May last year.  Exercise, weight loss, diet and training became new vocabularies in my day to day life.  I started doing extensive workouts in the gym and slowly regained some of my fitness level…  And then I had the opportunity to begin setting goals.  Real life goals.  To run in a marathon. 

For me at the time, it was the SCKLM 2010 (Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2010), I enrolled in the 10km run and even in doing that, I had concerns about my level of fitness to be able to complete the run successfully.  Light teasing and quirky comments from friends and colleagues who wondered if I could finish it strived me on to try and prove it to them. 

So, I ran it and complete it!  I have never ran so long for so far in my life before.  Honestly, it was the first 10k of my life and I was overjoyed.

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I made a promise to myself on that day… that I would continue this journey and finish my very first ever 42k marathon the following year at the very same race… the SCKLM 2011!

My journey was an eventful one with more races, with one more 10k and another 12k run in 2010.  I took up cycling in September and this became another passion which I indulged in and cycled my very first official 100km cycling ride in November…  The cycling helped with cross-training and a healthy sight-seeing indulgement which I allow myself to do.

I made it a point to enrol myself in 21k, Half-Marathon races in 2011.  And it began with my first 21k in March 2011 (Bareno Run). 

When registration opened for SCKLM 2011 Full Marathon, I was one of the first to join up. 42k.  I didn’t want to think too much into it and just registered and paid. I knew then that I had started a chain of commitments towards finishing the race.  I committed myself further via many new friends whom I have met since I started this journey, stating my intent and getting to know wonderful support groups like the Full Marathon Virgins (FMV) and a really wonderful bunch of very good friends of the Dutamas Runners. 

I realised my mental journey of keeping myself committed, the motivations of fellow runners and the inspiration of those who have done this and continue to do it, spurred me on.  But, I was worried about my physical capabilities.  I was still heavy and I was mentally beating myself up over not having progressed more physically.

For my training, I mixed a lot of cycling into my running.  I was worried about not being able to train hard enough or clock in the mileage required as part of the build up to the race.  I was worried about injuring myself.  It was ups and downs.  At times, training felt great and at times, old ankle injuries and knee tightness came and haunted me.  But, I had committed and it had to be done.

I trained rigorously about 3 months prior to the race, but at times I found it challenging to keep at it, to be disciplined.  My head was filled with so much information, so much concerns and so much worries. LSDs, pacing, timing, hydration, energy intake, energy spent, etc… these were all new to me..

3 weeks before the race, I had decided to look for motivations from my friends, those who were kind enough to teach me to stay calm and reassuringly tells me that I can finish it and not to worry about how fast or how good I should run…. it was a collective message of, "Just finish it"… "You can do it".. I needed that.

A week before the run, my mind was in a total calm state.  I tried to block out the feelings of doubts and nervousness.. I needed to.  Otherwise, I would have flipped or worse, not turn up for the race!

The RACE DAY

I woke up fresh.  Surprisingly I had enough sleep the night before and was not even stirred by excitement or worries.  I had packed the night before and placed all the things I needed, all lined up for me to change into and to bring.

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As I neared the race grounds… I turned the music I was listening to Kandi and Neumann’s, Let’s Go, a truly inspirational piece of music which inspired me at the start of my 2010 journey.. Yes, it was the same music that I listened to before I ran my first 10k.  When the music came on, I suddenly felt a surge of emotion… butterflies filled my stomach and the thought that "I AM FINALLY DOING IT"… just surged through my thoughts, including all those times I spent training and worrying over this race.

I said to myself "Today is another challenge which I will overcome, I need to overcome… before I go on to my next level!

My friends were there, the same people I talked to about running and finishing this.. I had to do it.

Getting ready, going to the start line was a surreal experience.  Having ran a few races, I still can’t get over the rush of excitement you get just before a run.  When the race started, I just ran.

I was told not to push too hard… and I didn’t want to run too slow, so I kept a balance.  I felt good through the first 10km.  I passed some runners but more still ran pass me, but I kept focus.  I listened to my heart, my breathing, I felt my feet on the ground, my arms swinging where they were suppose to and my eyes, kept looking in front for the many steps I had yet to complete.

After 10km, the sky started brightening up… it was going to be a beautiful day.  Between 10k and 20k, I never felt so good before… I was excited and I was seeing so many faces of people on the run which I would otherwise have never seen if I hadn’t made this decision and I said to myself… "I’m one of them now"… 🙂

After 20km, I had to talk to myself… to tell myself that I’m halfway there, and that from now on, I would be counting down instead of up… counting down to finish it.  We were running through the streets of KL and I mentally tried to name all the roads to keep myself occupied with enjoying the sights on foot…

At this point, at every sponging station I had been sponging down to keep cool and to keep fresh (I wiped my face at every point)… I needed to feel strong and alert.

After 30km, the wonderful sun had risen quite a bit over the horizon and we ran through the early morning sun.. I was not uncomfortable but neither could I say it was easy.. After 30km, my body started telling me to slow down.. and I did, but I didn’t stop, I couldn’t because my mind would not have allowed it. 

At 32k onwards, I was at my slowest throughout the race..  The phrase "Just Another 10k", did not mean anything to me at the time… I was hard! I was spent.. I found myself running 1/3 of the time and walking 2/3 and soon I tried speed walking and kept with a number of runners..

At 35k, my feet began to have blisters.  I prepared for everything, hydration, energy, electrolyte pills, painkiller, plasters, sunblock, anti-chaffing stick… but I could not have prepared to have unbroken blisters right on the forefront of my feet. I decided against stopping and taking off my shoes, as I was afraid about trying to put my shoes back on again.

At 36k with the help of June Malik, founder of the FMV Group, I was refreshed with drinks and food, but although the stop was brief and the encouragement from June helped with both my mental and physical self.

It was uphill up Bukit Tungku, I had to do it.  I was struggling with soreness, but I had to do it.

My emotional point of the race came at the 38km mark… I teared up.. at that point I was so washed over with emotions. I couldn’t believe that I was really going to finished it and every step to took from that point on was taken spurred on by my desire to overcome this life challenge and motivate myself further on!

That day, Sunday, 26th June 2011, I accomplished and finished the hardest physical (and mental) challenge of my life.  I finished my marathon… I "ran for life" and I did it.

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I did it.

I proved to myself that you can always figure out a way to make it happen if you want it hard enough… Be inspired and inspire others.  I really needed to thank all my wonderful new friends whom I met through running and this new journey, for without them, I could not have done this… and as I how I have been graciously given so much help by wonderful people, I’d like to share this opportunity to my friends who aspire to set goals in their lives and get them done in a BIG way!

Thank you for reading and keep moving!

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Just Feeling Good

I realised I overslept this morning… Woke up late. But the interesting thing is, if everything just falls into place from the get-go, it’s gonna be just alright.  Having woke up late, the next thing to do was just to put everything together, freshen up and get ready to head out.  Just as if it was meant to be, I had my "Feel-Good" songs album all set up in the car… and I was singing to Lionel Richie’s "Dancing on the Ceiling… 🙂

Today was just a little different.  Seems like the start of a "Feel-Good" day. :) 

Calorie Counting…. again. :)

Ok… visited http://nutrition.about.com

And just to reconfirm my fitness efforts… I did the Calorie Count thingy.

This is to go from 220lbs (100kg) to 175lbs (80kg)… 🙂

But the consumption figures look like on the high side.  NVM, I’ll do a couple more calculations on other sites. 🙂

calorie

These calorie calculator results will help you understand how many calories you need to maintain your current weight, and the number of calories needed per day to achieve your goal weight in a healthy, steady manner.

You need 2870.5 calories per day to maintain your current weight without exercise.

You need 2545.1 calories per day to reach your goal weight slowly and maintain that weight without exercise.

If you reduce your current caloric intake to 2370.5 calories per day you will lose one pound per week without exercise.

If you increase your current caloric intake to 3370.5 calories per day, you will gain one pound per week.

Exercise and Calorie Needs

If you exercise for 30 minutes each day, you may increase your caloric intake to 3148 calories per day and still maintain your current weight.

If you exercise for 60 minutes each day, you may increase your caloric intake to 3501.3 calories per day to maintain your current weight.

If you exercise for 30 minutes each day, you will be able to reach your goal weight with 2786.8 calories per day.

If you exercise for 60 minutes each day, you will be able to reach your goal weight with 3094.5 calories per day.

Macronutrients

The United States Department of Agriculture suggests that approximately 50 percent of your calories come from carbohydrates, about 30 percent from fats, and approximately 20 percent from protein sources. One gram of protein has about four calories, one gram of fat has about nine calories, and one gram of carbohydrate has about four calories.

You need 358.8 grams of carbohydrates, 94.7 grams of fat, and 143.5 grams of protein per day for 2870.5 calories to maintain your weight of 220 pounds.

You need 318.1 grams of carbohydrates, 84 grams of fat, and 127.3 grams of protein per day for 2545.1 calories to maintain your goal weight of 175 pounds. I’m sorry, but our Nutrition Guide requires that you have javascript turned on in your browser.

Please remember that these calorie counts are based on the average of the population, you may need to adjust your calorie needs up or down slightly to get the results you want. These results are calculated to help you understand how many calories you need to maintain your current weight, or the number of calories you need to lose weight slowly.

If you would like more detailed information about the number of calories you need, join Calorie Count. Membership is free and you will have access to online tools to create your perfect diet.

GPS on IPhone not working

Unfortunately for the last few weeks, the GPS on my IPhone 3G isn’t working.  Can’t track my runs and cycling.  Although I do know how much I’ve been working out, but it’ll be good to keep a record as well as look back at my tracking.  All because I wanted to improve the phone by upgrading to the latest firmware (using jailbreak) which in turn cause the baseband to be upgraded as well… (IPhone mumbo-jumbo…).

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Anyway, it sucks but I’ll still keep on tracking my workouts. Right now, I’m using Buckeye Outdoor Training Site. Pretty good.  Basic but it gives you a good template to record your total workouts.

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My First Official Group Cycling Event – LeTua 100

Since I started my fitness regime last May, I have sought after little mini achievements just to see where I am in my quest to be totally fit and healthy.  Having run my first 10k Marathon in June 2010, I was elated and just this weekend, was another first. 🙂

I participated in the LE TUA 100 – Over The Hills and Far Away Ride (I should have read more into the tagline, cause it only really dawned on me during the ride… yes, through much huffing, puffing and sweat pouring)

IMG00062-20110115-1431This was my very first official group ride event.  Since cycling in August 2010 when I started cycling a lot, most of my rides were solos and lately with a couple of cycling enthusiast groups namely PCC (Pedalholics Cycling Club) the crazy bunch of speedsters and climbers on weekend through Taman Tun & Bukit Damansara; and Team IR (Independent Racers) on some of their long training rides on weekends. :)  So, despite that, entering into an official cycling event was new to me!

Thanks to a new cycling friend, Poh Seng from Team IR I got my registration in place a month before the event.  After that, I kept the thoughts about the event at the back of my head, away while I busied myself with work and family.  It only became a bit surreal for me as we got closer to the date and the fact that I was actually going to be doing it!  Thanks to much discussion and sharing with Fazli, we just went as prepared as we could ever be for a couple of group riding novices and decided to just enjoy the whole experience.

IMG00066-20110116-0802I was worried that I was not going to be able to sleep the night before, but thanks to a couple shots of tequila with, coincidently a couple of cycling mates as well, I dozed off as soon as my head hit the pillow.  The next day, fresh and raring to go, I was out the doors to join the carpool towards the event in Shah Alam.

We were told to expect 700 riders at the event and the numbers did not dissappoint.  For me, it was my first experience and definately the biggest event of "men-in-tights-with-padding-on crotch" that I have ever attended.  I myself was with my new cycling jersey covering my none too ideal physique (soon… soon I will get to were I want to be).

IMG00067-20110116-0803Oh ya, they wanted to keep reminding us that this was "NOT A RACE", to ensure the heroes and gung-hos among us do not go speed-crazy. Not like that message was gonna faze me in anyway whatsoever (I’d just feel great finishing without the help of the support car).  Well, I was also kind of glad that this was so, as my first ride should be.

Anyway, meeting a couple more friends there was very pleasant and comforting.  It didn’t feel so foreign and having everyone at such ease, I myself found my own comfort zone… Ride for FUN.

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IMG00071-20110116-0805The ride (not race), started at 8:15am and everyone went nice and calm, jokes, laughter and all.  We had a pace vehicle keeping us company at the start of the route for almost about 20km (I guess, cause I was never fast enough to have ridden in front).

The route took us from Shah Alam towards the direction of Kuala Selangor and the Sime Darby plantations.  The start of the route was very much big roads and highways, which gradually became smaller routes through kampungs on the Bukit Jelutong route.

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My favourite section of the ride was a gradual accent up the first KOM (King of Mountain) stretch with a scenic view of the palm oil plantations as we climbed. As we twisted and turned uphill, we could just see riders ahead of us riding up the incline and as I got to that point, I in turn, saw riders below.  Those were great moments where you catch a brief experience of what seasoned riders go through.  Absolutely breathtaking.

162599_501600997056_697637056_6524258_138473_nThe start of the ride through the kampungs didn’t require a lot of effort, so I did most of my overtaking manoeuvres here, err… perhaps they were more like practices (but was overtaken later at the climbs… I admit, I not on par yet… :P…) Also, applied some drafting, which was interesting to try out as well.

Did I mention that I was not really aware of the extent of the number of climbs we had to endure at the start of the race?  Well, some of the climbs were very, very steep, but fortunately they were as short as they were steep, so I held it there and climbed without getting off the bike.

I especially enjoyed one point where we were riding up and over Bukit Jelutong’s rolling hills and we could see the wavy roads from a distance!  Intimidating to the sight, I guess this is what they meant by breaking the "phsychological barrier".  Interestingly enough, as soon as we hit the incline, it wasn’t that bad.  With momentum, I realised I could hit the middle of the climb before I had to really depend on pure leg power!

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Anyway, about 30km away from the end, I starting feeling low on fuel.  Popped my first Power Gel at that point and did another 15km before I realised I needed another one cause all the climbs had me spent!  Though the hunger pangs didn’t go away, I had the energy for the rest of the route.

Towards the end of the ride, I was just cruising to the end, not even thinking if I had a good time or I didn’t.  All I knew is that I pushed as much as I had and I rode proud till the finishing line.  Elated and happy to have done my first official group riding event.

I was given a medal which showed I was in 375 placing, not too shabby considering there were about 700++ riders that day! :)  Well, I shall be looking forward to more events like this, and at least now I have an event to benchmark with (if I ever have to ask how hard the ride would be)… 😀

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IMG00075-20110116-1301My trusty bike… Delilah :D