Thursday, 30 April 2015

A Dental Appointment, Finally

Let's see... it's been ages since my last dental appointment. A year, if I'm not wrong.
 
I'm not scared of the dentists (as a matter of fact, I once harbour the ambition to become a dentist but since I wasn't smart enough...) but just lazy to make an appointment and head to the dental clinic.
 
So, as we were nearing the date of our Taiping trip last week; I made an appointment with a runner friend of mine at her dental clinic. In Taiping.
 
Well, it's like killing two birds in one stone. We get to make a trip to Taiping, I get to run in King of Bukit Larut AND also see a dentist!
 
The clinic was recently opened and manned by a husband and wife team. Both dentists and pretty good runners too. And oh, the doc is a blogger too.
Meet Dr Julinda of Klinik Pergigian Seni Senyum. ^^
The good doctor in action.
 
While I was in the patient chair getting my teeth all nice, cleaned and polished; hubby waited at the reception/waiting area. And what a nice area it is. Spacious, comfy AND you get to look at the doctor's trophies too. Don't play play! Hah Hah
 
It was certainly nice to meet her that day. I tried to poison her into running in the King of Bukit Larut but she was busy that Sunday. Pity. Otherwise, she'd probably sapu the top spot there. ^^
 
If you are in Taiping and in need of a dental appointment, why not visit the clinic?
 
Here's the details :
Klinik Pergigian Seni Senyum
No. 7-1, Lorong Jaya 1
Taman Aor Jaya
34000 Taiping
(same row as Hotel Liner and across the main road from Toyota Showroom).
Tel : 05 847 7890
FB Senisenyum
Twitter @senisenyum
 
Oh by the way, I didn't tell the doc I'm writing this post. Yeah, I'm bad like that... Always hantam do stuff as I like.
 
Hope she doesn't mind this post. Doc Julin, kalau mau edit or anything, beritahu.
 
The clinic and the doctor, of course is highly recommended. Serious.
 
 
 

Monday, 27 April 2015

King Of Bukit Larut, The Second Edition

We went to Taiping last weekend for a 3D2N trip.

I had registered for the King of Bukit Larut road race and Zaini had committed to volunteer for the event which was held on Sunday, Apr 26th 2015.

I’ll probably blog about the other activities we did while in Taiping but first, a race recap of King of Bukit Larut 2015.

I entered and did the inaugural King of Bukit Larut in 2014. Last year, the organiser only had one category and that was for 21K, Men and Women Open.

This year, the race saw three distances being offered for Men and Women Open; 10K, 20K and 26K.

As I already did the 21K last year and had lots of fun doing it, I thought it would be a good idea to do a 26K this year. Verrrrrrrry good idea. Hah hah. *sarcasm*

And how does the 26K route looks like?
Like this.

A total of 1,400+m above sea level.

You just go up and up and when you’re tired, you go up some more, until you reached the 13K u-turn mark (where you can’t proceed any further anyway) and then, and only then you get to experience the downhill.
The flag off for King of Bukit Larut was 7.30am for 26K category, 7.45am for 20K and 8.00am for 10K. The weather was nice and since we are going up a hill; cooling. Perfect weather, just like in 2014.
But I was already wide awake at 3.00am and was at the race site at 4.00am to keypoh-keypoh simply because Zaini was a volunteer at the race and had to report for duty at 4.30am. Well, I might as well see what I can do there also that time, right? (Although admittedly, I was not really helping at all. Hahaha)
Had a light breakfast at one of the stall at the foot of the hill that opened early at around 6.30am.
A cup of Milo and some toast. Pretty soon, runners started pouring in, into the race venue and the atmosphere got more cheerful (and loud).
While I was keypohing and taking runners’ photos, Yannie called me. She said she noticed me from afar already. ^^
Terer one this lady. Her first 10K road race and she bagged third place! Congrats Yannie! And thank you for the delicious Taiping biscuits.
At around 7.15am, we were briefed by the race director and after singing Negaraku, the 26K were flagged off.
As always, I chose to start last, and pretty much stayed last till I reached the u-turn mark at KM13.
21K flag-off, 15minutes later.
The first water station was at around KM3 and we were served 100-plus and mineral water here.
At around KM5, two 20K runners caught up with me and what an interesting duo they were.

Mom and Son team.
I decided to latch myself to the kid for company. He’s 8 years old and this was his first “this high” run. He said he never ran so “high” before. Both his Mom and Dad are runners so he must’ve gotten a lot of training sessions with them.
 
The boy received plenty of encouragement from other runners and he took them in in his stride. As I just kept myself just a bit behind him (not that he needed a chaperone or anything), I saw how well he handled himself going up the hill.

His Mom just maintained a reasonable lead and would occasionally call him up so that he’d keep up.

His Mom and I talked a bit and she said that kids have boundless energy to tackle this kind of distance. Even the previous week’s Kemensah Trail run saw plenty of kids, she said.
2nd water station at KM7 mark.

I wanted to stop here to check on my legs but somehow didn’t.

I had a cramp early on, and by KM3 both my foot were feeling numb especially the right one. It was so numb, I can’t feel the ground anymore. I didn’t really want to stop and waste time, so all I did was wiggle my toes while I walked, in the hope that blood would flow.

So on I trudge uphill while being passed-by, by other runners. I clapped as the lead runners ran downhill past me and a few were gracious enough to smile and say thank you. Didn’t expect it, but to receive it was so inspiring.
Yeay! 9K already!
If I was doing the 20K, it’s only another 1K before I can make a u-turn and run downhill but nope, I chose to suffer more so my u-turn was about 4K away. 4K more of hills!
1036m above sea level. Took me more than two hours to trudge up here! Pathetic! Bwahaha.
3rd water station. Very very cheerful people here.
I decided to linger a bit and waited for the 8 year old to reach the u-turn point with his Mom. He was tired and his face certainly showed it but his Mom wasn’t too worried. I’ve seen that kind of “monyok” face on my son too, when we drag him for a particularly tiring hike. Hahaha

All is good for the duo as they both finished their 20K race. Congrats to both!

Then I continued on with the balance of the uphill run and by now saw more 26K runners coming down and I received plenty of encouragement from them to keep going.
Took a few shots of them running past me, and a selfie too, with a friend. ^^
Reached the 4th water station after marvelling at how much uphill more I had to go. But alas, the 4th water station wasn’t the u-turn point. I still had to go up a bit more. About 2K more?

Kena “lied” to by a lot of runners while getting there. A mix of just “100m”, “800m”, “1K” more to go by a whole lot of them. I’ve since learnt by experience to never trust a runner who tells you it’s “just a bit more”. Like really. Hahaha
I really couldn’t stand the pain on my calves so finally, yes finally, I asked for a spray from the JPAM officers stationed at the water station.
They told me to sit down and one proceeded to spray my legs. Another, with a bag of ice in hand, proceeded to rub my calves afterwards and told me that the cramp was worse on my right calf and continued to ice massage it for a few minutes.

Thank you guys!

I reached the KM13 u-turn point after walking up for 3 hours, collected my ribbon and finally changed my walk to a run. The spray and ice massage earlier helped tremendously.

Gotta be careful running downhill though. Not only was it tough on the knees, the road was steep and slippery from the moss that grow on the road too.
For the downhill run, I made sure I stop at each water station to not only drink but also get some spray for my legs.

Managed to catch up with a few other runners who were also already going down but I didn’t stop this time. The aim for me for the downhill route was to make up for the slow uphill walk.
 
It was during the downhill run that I passed a group of students. I think they thought that it was fun to do a manic sprint downhill, on a particularly steep section to boot, so I stepped aside and waited for every single one of them to run down past me. I had no desire to get tangled by any one of them if or when they stumble or stopped.

I had to admit I was quite cross with them, as when one of them dropped a bottle of mineral water, realised she dropped it but didn’t bother to pick it up, I yelled at her to stop and pick the damn bottle.
My words to her was “you go hiking, you learn to pick your trash”.

It was a relief when they stopped at the water station, which was 7K away from the finish line as I do not have to keep a watch on both sides of the road for sudden sprinters who might trip me.

A one and a half hour 13K downhill run later, and finish line was in sight!
 A little bit more to go. Yeay! 
A bonus for stragglers like me, I got the finish line ALL to myself. Bwahaha
Saw these fellas going up while I was going down. The rabbit ear runners were the official sweeper. Their task was to ensure the last runner was (were) safe and sound as all runners need to be accounted for.
I stayed behind for the prize giving ceremony for best costume runners (missed the podium prize giving ceremony since I was darn slow) and also for the volunteer team photos.

All in all, the King of Bukit Larut is a good training for me to handle hills.

I didn’t do as well as I had wanted as my uphill section exceeded my target by 30 minutes but I was happy that my downhill run went well and even faster than my initial target. Plus my knees didn’t suffer at all. I really have to work on my uphill and get more awesome running downhill.

I crossed the finish line with hubby and son waiting for me. Got my medal and goodie bag and then immediately hobbled to the first aid room. The downhill running section made my ankle a bit painful so I wanted to treat it first.

I had a few rounds of good “makan” in Taiping, met friends, visited a friend’s old school, ran and got some mileage. And oh yes, even went for a dental appointment, at a clinic of one of my running friends.

This year's race wasn't a makan race for me. I was too slow to get the cendol after I finished and somehow I lost my appetite to enjoy their nasi lemak too. Pity lah. But all in all, a very good weekend for me.

The question now, will we see Bukit Larut again in 2016? ^^

Tentative date for the next edition of King of Bukit Larut is on Apr 17th, 2016. Mark your calendar.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Weekend Treat - Hot & Cold

The curry place behind TMC doesn't open on Saturdays now, and I am hankering for a good curry meal so what's the next best option for us?
Banana leaf rice at Nirwana Maju instead. Pricier but at least it's convenient.

I have to admit though, I still want to go eat the fish head curry at that "Bawah Pokok" behind TMC. Anuar Kari issit? Cheap and delicious!

Maybe we can go there this Friday after we picked up Son after school and before we head to Taiping for the weekend. Either that or go makan Nasi Vanggey in Ipoh. Hahaha
After the banana leaf rice dinner, it was ice cream treat, redeeming my Maybank Treats Points. Yummsss...

Tummies were all happy. 

Friday, 17 April 2015

Friday At Friday's

TGIF!
 
It's Friday! Yeay!
 
Anyways, I had lunch with my colleagues at Friday's and truthfully, I didn't have any intention of blogging about it (after all, this was work lunch) but I was so impressed with the supervisor on duty, I decided to do so... In order to compliment him.
 
Always give credit when credit is due, I say... And happily pay service charge when service is good. Heh.
 
First thing first. The lunch was actually yesterday and not today but I like to put the title that way. Hah hah.
 
There were 30 of us who went to TGIF Gardens Mall yesterday. We pre-ordered our food and sent our order about 20 minutes before our arrival.
 
Serving can be notoriously slow for big groups at American restaurant around the Mid Valley and Gardens Mall even with pre-ordering (I should know, I work and eat lunches here...) so I was impressed that all of us got our food within 30 minutes. ALL that we ordered, except the dessertslah....
 
The supervisor was friendly and chirpy and made sure he was stationed at our area to ensure everyone got their food correctly. Plus, he somehow managed to identify those who has a tendency to be fussy in our group and be extra nice to them.
 
Tony Roma's and Chilli's staff (and managers) should learn a thing or two from this guy. 
 
I sat with three other colleagues and we decided to share our orders.
 
First, we chose their Meal for Two promotion where we get one appetiser and two mains at RM45.90++ and the choice to add a sundae at RM10.00 and bottomless drinks at RM9.90.
 Our appetisers - Chicken Fajitas Nachos. Yummy! I love this!
Our mains : Chicken Caesar Salad and Chili & Garlic Shrimp.

The Chili & Garlic Shrimp was rich but has a certain kick to it fro the fresh capers. Yummm...

Beware though, even shared with 4 pax, we got full eating this pasta. Hahaha
 Our add up sundae. Really humungous! Worth the RM10.00 we paid for it.

As we're sharing among 4 pax, we also ordered their Mushroom Chicken Burger at RM28.90.
Nice but I wasn't a fan of the caramelised onion served on the fried chicken patty.

We also ordered the Grilled Lamb at RM39.90.
Wish I din't have to share this. LOL
Remember the sundae I mentioned earlier?

Lucky we're sharing this among 4 of us. It would be difficult to finish this if there was only two of us. LOL

I probably would return again to TGIF Gardens Mall. With my family.

At the moment, service here sure trumps service at Tony Roma's Garden.

All in all, a very good meal at TGIF Gardens Mall. Thumbs up for yesterday. ^^

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Bargain Gatorade!

Once in a while, there's this cheap promo priced Gatorade on sale and with the "Best Before" date still months away... No harm hoarding them, yes?

I bought a carton. A few running friends bought 2-3 cartons. And this stash of ours should last until October. ^^

I do bring a bottle or two of isotonic for my long runs (3-hours upwards), apart from mineral water but sometimes nothing beats a local drink.
Like a cold bottle of cincau drink! Chrysanthemum drinks are quite nice also. Bliss for a hot sunny day, that's one thing for sure. :-)


Friday, 10 April 2015

Something To Look Forward To

So, hubby and I didn't make it to Sabah Adventure Challenge last week because his father passed away a few days before the start of the race. No regrets though. Family always comes first.
 
Anyways, there are always other races to look forward to, and train for... ^^
 


In two weeks' time, we'll be heading to Taiping as I've registered for the first of three "King Series". I'll be doing 26K at King of Bukit Larut (KOBL) this year.
 
In 2014, me and my friends had lots of fun doing the 21K at King of Bukit Larut. ^^
 
I'll be doing a solo run this time though, as Hubby will be volunteering at the race instead of running.
Two weeks after KOBL, hubby and I will be heading to Gombak for a 50K run in Route 68 Challenge.

I'll be using this race and another one in June to gauge my ability and make my decision to run in a 60K race later in the 2nd half of the year.

Will be looking forward to this one as quite a number of friends are joining this too. Should be fun running along the road which we occasionally use when we're heading back to my hometown. ^^
The second of the King Series is the King of Kemensah Trail (KOKT). Hubby and I will not be joining this race but hopefully (we'll do our best!) to go there to support and kaypoh-kaypoh or volunteering for friends. Hahaha
A week after KOKT, I'll be doing something short for a change. Ehem. Hahaha

Truthfully, I registered mainly for the shirt. And I needed to fit in a 12K run that weekend so this fits the bill. Hehehe
For June, I have only one race slotted and it's a special one. A few days before Ramadhan month starts.

I did 62K last year at Back 2 Endurance and I am hoping to go for more in 12-hours this year!

Looking forward to be at the starting line (and the finish line) and run plus meet my running friends. Can't wait!

Monday, 6 April 2015

A Late Summer Ultra Marathon In Kyoto : Tango Ultra Marathon

Truthfully, ever since my completion of Fujisan Marathon in 2014, I’ve set my mind to do the race again in 2015. But for past few months, there is this one race that caught my eyes; for the race itself, for the scenery along the race route and for the fact that it falls a day before my 40th birthday!

I figured, what a great way to celebrate my 40th birthday than to finish an ultra marathon in such a scenic route!
The International Friendship Tango 100KM Ultra Marathon, an ultra-marathon in the northern part of Kyoto and will be held on Sep 20th, 2015 this year for the 15th time. (Click here for the Japanese link)

It has two categories.

100KM with a 14-hours cut-off and littered with killer inclines. The clincher is the hill section towards the final section of the course. 18,000yen registration fee.

60KM with a 9-hours and 30 minutes cut-off and much kinder (i.e. flatter route) compared to the 10OK category and with 13,000yen registration fee.
Photo credit : Tango Ultra Marathon 2014 website.
The International Friendship Tango 100km Ultra earned the silver label recognition from the International Association of Ultra Runners (IAU) in 2014 and aims to invite runners from overseas, as there are no borders in running.

Registration for the ultra marathon has already been open since Mar 20th to Jul 24th and will close when the capacity is full. The number of participants are capped at 4,000 runners; with 2,600 runners for 100km category and 1,400 runners for 60km category.

Information on registration can be found at their English page. Click here.
 Course and elevation map.
 Cut off time and CPs
Area map
Access Information. Click for bigger image.
 
For anyone interested in joining, do get your accommodation sorted early because I find plenty of hotels around the area have been fully booked. 
 
I do hope I can join this. We'll see. ^^

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