Tuesday, 30 September 2014

A Quick Trip To Cameron Highlands

We enjoyed a 2D1N trip to Cameron Highlands last week, as you probably had known; if you read my race recap post on the inaugural BOH Highlands Run (if you haven't, I encourage you to read here hihihi).
 
We started our journey from KL at around 9.00am and used the Simpang Pulai route instead of Tapah to avoid the jam in Tanah Rata and headed directly to the hotel we were staying in, at Copthorne Hotel. Made it around 2.30pm. Checking-in was fast as they had my room card ready. Keypoh-keypoh at the Coffee House and made reservation for dinner then off we went to our room.
It's not that cold lah... 18 degrees celcius only... HAHAHA
Ate a light lunch then we ditched the kiddo who was pretty content staying cooped-up in the hotel room (he wanted to enjoy the hotel, not the scenery. What la...) and walked down to the nearby KEA Market.
 Look see, look see only. Didn't buy anything just yet...
 Then went to the nearby EQ Strawberry farm to look see look see some more.
 As we didn't really want to face the horrendous Cameron Highlands traffic jam, we just walked around. First to KEA Market then we checked out the nice scenery around Copthorne Hotel.

Syiok also, I tell you. ^^
No kiddo tagging along so can paktor lor. Hehehe

Saw a friend who also did the BOH Highlands Run ran past us in the evening around 4.00pm while we strolling around the hotel. He and his wife went out for a run and ran all the way to BOH Sg Palas Centre. Cool!

Really nice la in Cameron Highlands. Can run at 4.00pm no problem because it's not hot.
Anyways, I also couldn't resist putting on my new Samsung GearFit and calculate my steps. Actually, the trip to Cameron Highlands was the first time I wore the GearFit and calculate my steps throughout the day. Fun, you know!

Anyways, that 3,325 steps was the number of steps from our hotel room on Level 13 to KEA Market and back to the hotel lobby.

I dunno why but putting it on made me kinda more motivated to walk around and get that goal of 10,000 steps daily. Kakaka

It was too cold at around 6.00pm to walk around, what with rain pouring down so we headed back to our room, enjoy a nice hot shower and then head for dinner at 7.00pm.

Although I had a run on Sunday morning, we didn't sleep early. Enjoyed lepaking in the room until midnight and woke up at 4.30am on Sunday!


Monday, 29 September 2014

An Invigorating Run With A Cuppa Of BOH Tea After.

Let's see.. it's been like 4 years since our last trip to Cameron Highlands. Funny because my siblings make trips to the highlands like every other month, since there's a direct road from our hometown in Raub to Cameron Highlands.
 
Anyways, this time around we did something special in Cameron Highlands - we (hubby and me) got to run around with 498 other runners around BOH Sg Palas plantation, in the inaugural BOH Highlands Run. A 5K trail around the tea plantation that is usually off limits to visitors. How cool is that?
A cool Sunday morning last weekend and it started to drizzle soon after I took this "BOHfie". The drizzle didn't dampen the spirits of us runners and most of us were excited to go out running. Rain or no rain.
 
Mr Wan Yew Long, the race director for this run even encouraged parents to let the kids have fun in the rain. Just like what we used to do when we were kids, he said. True, that! Don't be scared to main hujan lah! Hahaha
Met familiar faces in the running scene, even here in Cameron Highlands!
At the start/finish line. See? Drizzle not affecting the runners one bit.
I even managed to get a photo together with the VIPs! The lovely Ms Caroline Russell, CEO of BOH Plantations in a nice harem headwear. She was sporting enough to not only be at the run venue before the start of the run, she stayed on until the end. Even the other Russell family members were seen gracing this lovely charity fun run.
Since this is a fun run, I ditched my Timex GPS watch and opted to wear the GearFit instead. Choose the exercise mode, then running, set my goal distance and PRESS START. Easy peasy. ^^
As it rained not only that morning but the day before too, the trail was wet and muddy but I tell you, it was so awesome to be out running! It took a bit of adjusting at first, running in this cold weather but after a few minutes running, all was well.
 
We decided to take it easy. Run, walk (when there was slow traffic), selfie (or in this run it's called BOHfie. hahaha) and joked around with the chirpy volunteers who stood in the rain so that we can have a great run that Sunday.
The volunteers! Thank you for a great time! You were all wonderful!
After the run, and after collecting our snack pack; we were encouraged to walk up to the BOH Centre and enjoy some hot tea.
 
BOH Tea was very generous in providing free flow of Teh O and Teh Tarik for all runners. Just queue up and order.
 
You might notice that I was wearing a different hat to run this time, right? Also other runners were sporting wackier ones. There's a reason for that.
The theme for the BOH Highlands Run was "Mad Hatter Tea Party". Very apt for a tea plantation yeah?

And true enough, Mad Hatter and Alice graced our run that Sunday. They even enjoyed their tea at the nicely set-up table after the rain had subsided.

Sufficed to say, the duo was very popular that morning. Even I couldn't resist asking for photos with them! LOL

There was a little girl too, dressed as Alice who was equally popular with the runners. I didn't manage to get a photo with her but she obliged taking photos with a WHOLE lot of runners. (I think she's a Russell).
We lingered around after the run to see the prize presentation.

There were prizes for fastest runners, runners with wackiest hats, BOHfie winners (those who take selfies and posted it in BOH Tea FB page) and even a prize for the most appreciative runner - which was given to the last runner to finish as he/she enjoyed the scenery while doing the run.
 
Cool, right?
Lucky me and actually I was quite surprised to win a BOH hamper that morning. Very syiok lah! Who wants to have a cuppa with me?
The BOH Highlands Run which is a charity run aims at creating awareness on the importance of environmental conservation, especially in Cameron Highlands. The proceeds from the registration fees which amounted to RM25,000.00 were channelled to the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) for an environmental education project to be implemented in all 27 schools in Cameron Highlands.
 
Great. I get to have fun and be a part of a good project. I like that. ^^
 
I hope that BOH Highlands Run will be held again next year. This is a really nice run for us to join in.
 
Toyota even sent a team to run in the BOH Highlands Run to prepare for an ekiden in Nagoya in November!
 
I'd love to run there again and if there's a longer distance offered, much better which; BOH may want or may not want to consider.
 
I tell you... those who wants to know how it feels running in a cold country can try running in this run next year! Cheaper. Can support local tourism some more. LOL
 
I'll upload more photos in my FB page later. Stay tuned, if you're my FB friend. :)

Saturday, 27 September 2014

A Stylish Fitness Coupling Of Samsung Galaxy S5 and Gear Fit

Cool gadget eh?

I have in my hands now a Samsung Galaxy S5 and Gear Fit and am loving the chance to play with it.

A smartphone (duh) which is the Samsung Galaxy S5 and a wearable band - a fitness smartphone companion, which is what a Gear Fit is. The Gear Fit doesn't take or make calls but with Bluetooth, it is connected with the Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone that I have. 

I like to stash my handphone in the back pocket of my running tights and sometimes I'd missed calls because I didn't notice it ringing/vibrating while I'm running or while I'm in a big, noisy crowd so with the Gear Fit, at least I can see any calls/messages coming in easily.

Helps too that Gear Fit is gorgeous to look at with its curved Super AMOLED screen AND with changeable wristbands so I can look stylish and sporty and the same time. Hehehe
psstt... I like my red band. It matches my red and orange running shoes. 

While Gear Fit is not as sophisticated as Gear 2 or other Gear watches but for anyone looking just for a fitness band that complements their S5 (or other Samsung compatible devices), nothing too fancy but provides enough to kickstart their fitness journey - this combo of a Samsung Galaxy S5 and Gear Fit may be a start.

When I first got my hands on it, it reminded me of my old Nike Sportsband and also Polar Loop but both are standalone units while Gear Fit connects to a smartphone. 

So what did I do first when I got my hands on both Samsung Galaxy S5 and Gear Fit?

Downloading the Gear Fit Manager, of course! This is to connect the smartphone to Gear Fit, via Bluetooth. Whaddya expect from me, after all? It was the first thing I tinkered when I got the phone. LOL
 Pretty easy and painless steps.
Choosing whether to wear it on my left or right wrist?

Oh yeah, I changed the view afterwards from landscape to portrait so I can view it much easily during my workout. Pretty much own's preference, really.
Done!

Now all I need to do is go out and have fun with it.

Viewing is by just a mere swipe of a finger on the Gear Fit screen. Easy. Fast. Simple.

Oh yeah, I think like Polar Loop, Gear Fit can also track my sleep. It also is able to take my heart rate reading (well, the Samsung Galaxy S5 can too, just by placing a finger at scanner located at the back of the smartphone) - which maybe is helpful for those who loath wearing a heart rate monitor strapped to their chest, with their running watches.

I'll take both out the smartphone and Gear Fit for a spin maybe tomorrow morning and when I join the BOH Highlands Run in Cameron Highlands on Sunday.

I have to say, I can't wait to try the 16MP camera too. So far, it sure look awesome!

Let's take lotsa photos in Cameron Highlands with the new smartphone, yeah? Of course plenty of selfies too! LOL

I think I'll have a few more posts to document my Gear Fit "adventures" be it walking, running... maybe not cycling yet. Hehehe

A definite plus of Samsung Galaxy S5 : it's dust and water resistant. I hope it can withstand ALL my sweat!

Friday, 26 September 2014

Shopping Around, Patiently

The Boy is rather funny sometimes. In a good way.
 
He loves Lego.
 
A few friends had kindly enough gave me links to purchase Lego at better prices than retail and I, the ever obliging Mom had informed him.
 
He'd go through the links, checks whatever comes out online...
Then he'd ask us to accompany him to the store to check it out.

The first photo is Him checking out his list and prices and comparing it to the shops'.

I find it rather cute that he is doing that now. Just a 12-year old.

Must be because any purchase comes from his pocket money. Not ours. He has to earn it to enjoy it.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

When Looks Can Be Deceiving

Wow... serious title, yeah?
 
And yet, the post is just about this rather yummy looking chicken chop. HAHAHA
Looks good, yeah. had a few people drooling when I posted it on FB.
 
Taste?
Blergh... for one : too darn salty!
 

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

September Treats

We promised Son we'll let him buy a new laptop to replace his three year old one after UPSR.
 
UPSR is not over yet, what with those paper leaks and having to re-sit not only Science and English papers but now Maths too (I think might as well let the students re-sit the whole darn thing), but we bought him one last week.
 
After all, he had done all the studying needed. And he's not too stressed out over the fact that he'll be sitting for UPSR AGAIN.
School is still on as does the UPSR papers that will be sat again so no total freedom in using them yet. Only after his homework is done and before bedtime.
 
It'll be heaven for him during the school holiday though! ;-)
 Then, we decided to have dinner at Pasta Zanmai. Actually wanted to go Tony Roma's and redeem my free birthday voucher but long queue lah... I guess I need to make reservation if wanna go there for dinner.

Anyways, decided to order their September special - Omuraisu with beef risotto (top photo) and Kaisen paella.

The omuraisu was OK but I was slightly disappointed with the paella. It's such a small portion for the price of RM20.00!  Just a bit of shrimp, one piece of lala, maybe bits of hotate with cheese and olive and that's it.
Son in the meantime chose the usual set meal and this time, he ordered chicken katsu curry. Never fail.
Son had another treat of sorts last week, with Mommy when he accompanied Mommy to Standard Chartered KL Marathon's Countdown To Race Day brunch (click here for more info). He got to meet influential runners, bloggers and Mommy's friends too. With a whole lot of makan from the buffet at Pacific Regency to boot! ^^

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Wacky Fun At Boh Highlands Run

Anyone registered and will be running in the Boh Highlands Run which will be held on Sep 28, 2014?
 I posted about it here and will be running around the tea plantation this Sunday! Yeay!

I guess most KLites who registered had arranged for their run pack collection last week at Fitness First in Avenue K.

But for those who didn't, worry not. We can still collect our run pack the day before the run at BOH Sg Palas Centre.

1st Run Pack Collection Day: Fitness First Centre @ Avenue K
Date      : 20th September 2014, Saturday
Time      : 11 am - 6 pm
Venue  : Fitness First, Level 2, Avenue K, Kuala Lumpur
OR 
2nd Run Pack Collection Day: BOH Tea Centre @ BOH Plantations, Sungei Palas
Date      : 27th September 2014, Saturday
Time      : 10 am - 4 pm
Venue  : BOH Sungei Palas Tea Centre, Jalan Gunung Brinchang, Cameron Highlands 

Just like the first run pack collection, just bring  bring along your IC and your run confirmation slip when you head to BOH Sg Palas on Saturday.

If you are collecting the run pack(s) on behalf of others, you would need to present a photocopy IC of the participant(s) and their run confirmation slip for identification purposes. For those with minors, please bring along the signed consent form, which is part of the confirmation slip. 

Parking is limited at the BOH Sungei Palas Centre so, instead of the headache of driving to the start line and finding parking, I plan to take the shuttle bus provided by the run's partner hotel, from The Copthorne Hotel or Hotel Titiwangsa. Much easier that way. ^^

For those who are joining this fun run, see you in Cameron Highlands! :-)

Don't forget your wacky hats!

Monday, 22 September 2014

Birthday Treats

I actually had seriously contemplated in doing this, this year as a birthday treat for myself. But... gotta save money for a very important trip in November so had to shelve the idea of running beyond 42K. (I sure ain't planning on just doing 43K there!)
Instead, me, hubby and my new Adidas Trail shoes (Adidas Kanadia TR 6) went for a hike to Gunung Nuang. Fun day, bad weather notwithstanding. (We hiked while it rained because well, we need to train for all kind of weather anyway).

I had wanted to hike up to the peak and make it a 21K on 21 September but doing it the day before was fine too. The 21K up to the peak didn't happen because it rained that day. To top it up, I didn't sleep at all the night before so even the 16K that we did was good for me.

Anyways, the hike was planned for Sunday, on my birthday but we moved it up to Saturday because my younger sister had arranged for a birthday party on Sunday. No, not for me specifically. For her family. I just tumpang-tumpang celebrate only.

Ain't it cool that her husband's is a day earlier than mine and their two kids ( a daughter and a son) shares the same birthday as mine? Then, on Tuesday is my hubby's birthday. ^^
We had it at Taman Saujana Hijau in Presint 11, Putrajaya.

Picnic style and all the siblings made it. Such a special birthday celebrations. :-)

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Looking Back At Three Awesomely Sweaty Years

Oh my. How time flies.

It’s been three years since I made the commitment to lace up my shoes, run outdoors (instead of running on a treadmill at a measly 5km/h speed for 15minutes and thinking it was already sooooo awesome and being completely smug about it HAHAHA) and signing up for a race.

It’s been three years since I ran for 20minutes, got absolutely spent after each run and excited to do it again the day after.

It’s been three years since adding 5 more minutes to my run each week felt like a huge accomplishment. It was and still is, by the way.

It’s been three years since running a “mere” 8km (a 5-miler) was such an achievement for me. Never in my wildest dream I’d imagine of doing a full marathon or even going beyond that 42.195km.

It’s been three years since my apartment’s security guards and my neighbours first saw me doing loops around the carpark. From the initial one loop of 20minutes until it became a 4-hours looping. Though my normal runs are 1.5-2hours only lah on weekends and an hour on weekday. ^^!

It’s been three years from the initial elation of receiving my first 10K road race medal (with my placing engraved on it too) to finishing a 62K slow run that lasted 12-hours & not really too fussed about getting either a medal or a trophy and oh yes, a few mid distance races in between that.
First race and first 10K – 3 days before my 36th birthday at KLIUC Unity Run.

First half-marathon – 3 months before my 37th birthday at Standard Chartered KL Marathon.
First relay. Done during the fasting month some more at Pacemakers Anniversary Run 8.
First full-marathon – 5 months before my 38th birthday at Malaysia Women Marathon.

First family run – relay doing the Pisang Relay.
First 16 hour run at Watergate 16 hour.
First 12hour run – 3 months before my 39th birthday at Back 2 Endurance.
First official crewing for a run, at Titi 50/100 Ultra.

It’s been three years of meeting new people who love to run and sharing their joy in running. Three years from knowing absolutely no one at a race to going to race and looking forward to meeting up friends there now.

It’s been three years of dragging my patient, patient family along to ALL the races that I joined. 

Three years of them being absolutely accommodating and understanding of my need to make time to train.

Three years and now they are the one who “threw” me out of the house when I’m too lazy to move from the sofa to go out for a run.

Three years, 47 races. Yup, I haven’t done all that many races but I don’t mind.

To everybody including myself, thank you for an awesomely fun not to mention sweaty three years.

You have all changed me to be a better person through running.

Here’s to more fun in future!

And oh yeah... Happy birthday ME!

Friday, 19 September 2014

Stamping Challenge

One of the activities hubby loves while on a vacation in Japan is collecting stamps (or what we here call "chops").
It's fun and it's free.
click on photo for slightly bigger image
I wonder if JR has any promotion (or challenge) like this, this year?

This was taken in 2009.

We weren't crazy enough to go hunt for all 77 stamps at 77 JR stations during that year's 2-week holiday but we did manage to get a significant number, thanks to the flexibility of travelling by trains with the use of JR Pass. ^^

Footnote : we have a collection of stamps from train stations from Yufuin down in Kyushu all the way up to Hakodate, and collection that start in 2002. *just a bit of bragging there* HAHAHA

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

PRESS RELEASE : STANDARD CHARTERED KL MARATHON RECORDS 35,200 RUNNERS!

  • Marathon garners high response, surpassing target of 35,000 runners

Kuala Lumpur, 17 September 2014 – The Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2014 has marked yet another milestone upon surpassing its target of 35,000 runners. With 35,200 runners achieved, all categories of the Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2014 are officially closed for registration.

The Marathon is increasingly recognised as a premier flagship running event with its prize pot of USD 116,740 (RM377, 397). An international running event, Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2014 is expected to draw 2,479 foreign nationalities from 83 countries.

Rainer Biemans, Director of Dirigo Events, which is the owner and organiser of the Standard Chartered KL Marathon said:

The Marathon is increasingly recognised as a premier flagship running event with its prize pot of USD 116,740 (RM377, 397). An international running event, Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2014 is expected to draw 2,479 foreign nationalities from 83 countries.

Rainer Biemans, Director of Dirigo Events, which is the owner and organiser of the Standard Chartered KL Marathon said:

“The constant growth in participation is very encouraging and we wish to thank everyone for their strong support.”

He continued, “This year, we have an increase of over 800 Full Marathon runners and an increase of 1,400 Half Marathon runners. This proves that the calibre of runners is on the uptrend and more people are taking up the challenge of distance running.”

Standard Chartered Bank Managing Director and CEO, Osman Morad said the Marathon is an important platform for the bank to engage its stakeholders.

“Witnessing growth every year, the Standard Chartered KL Marathon truly epitomises a nation-building engagement. It reaches out to all walks of life to encourage running as a healthy lifestyle,” he said.

Participants’ breakdown for Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2014

Breakdown of the participants per category are as follow:
  • Full Marathon –5,315 runners
  • Honda Half Marathon – 8,259 runners
  • MSIG 10KM –16,060 runners
  • 5KM Fun Run –5,055 runners
  • Kids Dash - 511 runners

Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2014 Registration Breakdown (As of 20 August 2014

You can still be a part of Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2014!

While registration for all categories is closed, with exception of the Full Marathon, your support and participation does not end here. You can be part of the Marathon by:
  • Supporting your friends and others in their Run for a Reason – Pick a charity that you would like to support and encourage our “Run for a Reason” runners who have pledged their support to raise funds for their charity recipient of choice; charity partners for this year are: Standard Chartered Foundation, The National Autism Society of Malaysia (NASOM), Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) and Hospis Malaysia
  • Being a volunteer – More than 3,000 people are required to help out on the big race day and you can be one of them to be part of this exciting event!
  • Being a supporter – Join us at Dataran Merdeka on 12th October to cheer and support your friends and families during their race!
The Standard Chartered KL Marathon is made possible by title sponsor Standard Chartered Bank in partnership with the Marathon owner and organiser Dirigo Events Sdn Bhd, co-organiser DBKL and the Ministry of Youth and Sports Malaysia.

Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2014 Sponsors & Partners
Mayor of Kuala Lumpur, Y. Bhg. Datuk Seri Hj. Ahmad Phesal receiving token of appreciation from Rainer Biemans, Director of Dirigo Events, organiser of Standard Chartered KL Marathon at the Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2014 Countdown To Race Day Brunch

During the Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2014 Countdown To Race Day Brunch, guests were able to meet Mr Monty, a fictional character in a children's book by Gail Featherson who will be running for Hospis Malaysia in the 5KM category.
Mr Monty. Check out more about what Mr Monty will do at SCKLM here.
Guests were also entertained with short performances :
A lovely performance by the NASOM choir
and very muhibbah performances by Standard Chartered Bank.
For more information on the Standard Chartered KL Marathon, please visit www.kl-marathon.com or call +603 7886 1717.

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