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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Shape Men's Health Run 2011 Race Review

First of all, a very big congratulations to wifey for completing the Shape Men's Health 12.3K run which was also her one year anniversary run in one of her personal best times :D And looking through her Nike race data later also showed some pretty fast splits. That girl can run pretty fast la these days :D

It was exactly one year ago when she picked up the running bug and this race was her first so it held special meaning for her. After running the fun run last year, she was eagerly waiting all year for this event to try the 12.3K and I can tell you it's well worth the wait for her cos she was smiling all night long ... LOL!

The race for me was a pretty great race. As with most races, I thoroughly enjoyed myself though there are few peeves which I will list at the end of this post. We got to the race location in Putrajaya a little early. I was anxious to get and ended up leaving the house a wee bit early. We had nearly two hours to spare before race start so we sat in the car for an hour before putting on our race gear and heading to the start line.

After the usual warm up show routines by the organizers, it was time for race start. I managed to meet Neoh before the race start :D It was nice meeting you finally :D Both wifey and me managed to squeeze our way in right to the front to avoid the mad rush of runners when the gun goes off. The gun went off on time and the race for me began.

Before the race I had psyched my mind to do a constant easy pace throughout and then whacked it (as Jamie would say) at the final stretch toward the finish. That went to hell in the first kilometer when my Garmin buzzed me on the 1K mark telling me I was doing a 4.54" lap! Immediately slowed my pace cos I didn't think I would be able to sustain that pace all through the 12.3K run.

I also decided from that point to run by 'feel' and not look at the Garmin 1K auto splits that I programmed the watch to display. I just wanted to enjoy the run and not make it too technical a race for me. The race route was pretty flat with the exception of the area behind PICC that had an incline. I was prepared for it and sprinted my way up the hill and rested on the downhill stretch. The first water station was at this point.

The legs gave a little problem after this section with a tightness behind the left calf which went away after a kilometer or so and from that point on it was blissful running with both the legs and lungs working in perfect unison :D It probably was one of the better and more enjoyable runs I did in quite a while. I wasn't pushing myself like I normally do and even managed to enjoy the night sights of Putrajaya which apart from the lighted bridges were really nothing much to shout about la ... LOL!

To avoid boredom, I decided to play a game with myself and see how many shoes of the other runners that I could recognize which was pretty hopeless cos I couldn't tell one model from the next ... hahaha! But it kept me busy and before I knew it, it was the final two kilometer stretch and I picked up my pace a little towards the finish line.

I crossed the line in 1 hour 5 minutes and 33 seconds in 38th 36th (after viewing the official online race results, I was ecstatic to know I was two places earlier) position for the Men's Junior Veteran category. I was a little surprised when an official stuffed the position number in my hands and told me to go collect my finisher medal. 'Medal? You mean, I got a medal?' was running through my thoughts. The medals with limited to a certain number of finishers so I was ecstatic to even get one :D

This was the second time I had on my Green Silence and I must say I'm falling in love with the shoe more and more :D I do my training runs in my heavier Ghost 3 or Mizuno Wave and using the Green Silence on race days is like just running in my socks. Yes, the shoe is that light! I only have to watch out when I'm running downhill stretches and not stomp my feet too hard cos I could feel the impact all through my legs. The cushioning of that shoe isn't all that great but it wasn't the shoes fault, it was my own for stomping down the hills. After I corrected that issue, the shoes were simply superb!

As usual, after the race I went to get the goodie bags and drinks and then wait for wifey to come in. Overall, the race was pretty good and I'm looking forward to next years addition already :D

Ok, now comes the peeves:

Peeve number one - Please for gods sake, if you want to spit during a run, look and make sure no other runner is near you before you spit. I nearly had three runners spit right into my path and I even told one of them off. There are others running along with you and taking a look on your left (or right) before spitting can't hurt, can it?

Peeve number two - The same as peeve number one. Look before you throw that cup full of water away. There are other people running. I had a nice half full cup of water thrown right at my shoe soaking the heel and made me feel like smacking the idiot on his head. Have some race etiquette la people.

Peeve number three - How can a title sponsor the likes of Gatorade make people buy the drinks with the silliest of excuses like they ran out of sampling products. This really is not the first time you guys sponsored a run, you know. I managed to get my free Gatorade cos I came in early but wifey had to buy hers when she came in. I really don't know which part of the word 'sponsors' they didn't fathom. I made a complaint to the race organizers who were equally pissed at the Gatorade people. I hope they managed to sort the issue out cos there were still loads of thirsty runners coming in.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sniff, Sniff ...

I'm suffering from a case of the sniffles right now and it doesn't bode too well for the Shape Men's Health Night run this Saturday. I hate falling sick cos I take like forever to recover. I got this passed on from my older boy who just like any kid that didn't want to lose his coolness by having to use a raincoat, decided to walk home in the rain last Friday and ended up falling sick.

As much as I tried to stay far away from him, I guess them silly germs just decided to find me and latch on to me ... arrgghhh, damn you germs! It's been progressively getting worse since this morning and now my nose leaks worse than a drippy faucet ... siggghhh ... The rain today, though very welcomed didn't entirely help matters for me.

This thing better go away by this weekend cos the last time I ran with the flu was during the Nike City 10K run and let me tell you that running with the flu is like asking for trouble. The 10K felt like it took forever to complete with me cursing myself all the way for trying to be macho and thinking I can run even while sick.

The thing is, I don't want to miss the run this weekend cos it's wifey's anniversary run. This was the run that got her hooked on running a year ago and I wouldn't miss running it with her for the world. Last year, she took her first steps into running by joining the fun run and this year she's taking part in the 12K run with me and I'm excited for her :D

So, flu or not, rain or shine, earthquake or tsunami, I'll be there so I'd better get well real quick!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

BHP Orange Run 2011 Race Review

It feels good to be running again, especially in a race. I've been on a one week break due to injury and was back pounding the roads this morning in this year's installment of the BHP Orange run and I must say that I had a great time. The injuries didn't materialize one bit and the entire run was a good one for me.

Wifey and me arrived at the race location rather early, around 5.45am cos we wanted to make sure we got decent parking which we did. We parked at e@Curve which was right next to the start/finish and then walked around for some warm up and stretches. The women ran 10 minutes before the men so I wished wifey good luck and headed out to wander the start area and bumped into Jamie. Chatted for a bit and then it was time to start.

Now, I was a bit apprehensive before the race cos I was actually wearing my new Green Silence without ever trying it out for a run prior to this. I've never run in an unbroken shoe and this would be my first. I also had on the 2XU compression calf guards, which was also a first time for me. To my relief, they both came through better than I expected and needn't have worried about it too much.

The shoes performed beautifully and was so light that I hardly felt it. It was like running in my socks ... LOL! The legs held up nicely with hardly any leg fatigue and was I even able to perform better in the final few kilometers. That's the way I would love all my races to turn out :D

The route was something I've never run before so it was basically running blind and not knowing what kind of terrain and elevation was waiting ahead though I knew there would be an incline or two along the route. Caught up with wifey somewhere around KM2 or 3, I can't remember. I kept to an easy pace for the first half of the race, conserving energy for the second half of the route which I generally knew to be pretty flat.

Overall, it was a nice route except for having to pass a stretch that was under construction and was littered with sand and whatnots. The first water station was a little far off at somewhere around KM5 and on an incline some more. Since I was still well within my pace limits, I stopped, took two cups of Gatorade, stretched the legs a little and was off in under 40 seconds. I was seriously expecting the water station much sooner than that. There was another station at the 8KM mark, at least I think it was 8KM la.

Crossed the finish line in 57 minutes and was feeling really good :D Went through the usual collecting of free goodies and drinks and then proceeded to wait for wifey to come in. Caught up with Jamie and Frank for a bit and also managed to meet Suren Haris there. Good to finally meet you, Suren :D

Before I sign off, I have one bit of complaint to make in regards to this idiot who queue jumped in front of patiently waiting runners to collect their goodies. All of us were tired but yet everyone queued patiently. This idiot who is a staff from BHP with the tag number 'J5' just cuts in and doesn't even bother that there were people lining up, just to get his free goodies. BHP, if you happen to read this, you should really teach your personnel proper queuing etiquette and some manners!

With that said and done, I'm looking forward to the Shape Men's Health Putrajaya Night run next Saturday :D

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Squash Queen

A short deviation from my usual posts about running to offer a big congratulatory message to Nicol David, our squash queen, and as far as I'm concerned a real true Malaysian athlete for her win today in the CIMB Malaysian Open Championships against Jenny Duncalf at the Curve.

Warming up before her match against Kawy ...
Wifey and I managed to catch her live in action for her semi-final match against Omneya Abdel Kawy from Egypt yesterday, our first time actually seeing the world champ in action and we were simply thrilled. We didn't realize that the championship was held there and only discovered it after buying my shoes from the Brooks outlet there.

Photograph and interview sessions with Nicol ...
The timing was just right for her semi-final match and we stuck around to watch. A little disappointed with the coverage though cos not many people were there to watch, just a few people in the temporary stands and just the shoppers who were there. She is the world champion playing on home soil and it would have be good to see more people cheer her on. But it was nice to finally get to see her play in person.

Jenny Duncalf after her semi-final victory with the fans ...
Kudos to Nicol David on her victory which I had no doubts that she would win and here's wishing her all the best in her next event.

Nicol in action in her semi-final match ...

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Sound Of Silence

I took the day off today and decided to go shoe hunting. I know, I know, I already have three pairs of shoes but heck, that's considered a miniscule number compared to the many more pairs some of you have!

It's actually about time I get a new pair cos the three that I have are already showing signs of wear. Between the three of them, they've put in some pretty heavy mileage already and served me well, in fact they're still serving me well but I guess having a fourth shoe can't hurt can it :D

I was also on the lookout for a much lighter pair of shoes. The ones I have are well cushioned to protect my fragile legs but are also a little on the heavy side. They're pretty cool for short distance races or training but they fatigue my legs for the longer distance runs.

The thoughts of getting a minimalist shoes instantly cropped to mind. But I've always been afraid of minimalist shoes simply because they don't provide the added cushioning my feet needs. After some research and a few (more like two ... LOL!) message exchanges with Jamie, which I mentioned interest in the Brooks Green Silence which was a light weight race shoes, he advised me not to rush headlong into getting it and check out the Brooks ST5 racer since I was a Brooks fan.

But sorry Jamie, I went and rushed headlong and got the Green Silence cos it felt so darn good on my feet in those few minutes I tested it out at the shop. Besides I really wanted to get the ST5's but they were out of stock. I honestly don't know how it'll work for me once I take it outside for a real trial run but heck, if I come back and blog about the shoes not being for me, you're totally welcomed to say, 'see, I told you so!' ... LOL!

On a more serious note, the shoe felt really nice, for want of a better word, on me. I've never ran in a race flats before so this will be a new experience for me. I've been with the more cushioned trainers all my life and it's like switching from a Station wagon to a two door sports coupe.

I've yet to see how this is going to change my gait or the way I run. I currently run midfoot to toe and this shoe is probably going to make that more pronounced but we'll see after a few runs in it. I haven't decided whether I'll be using it for the BHP Orange run this weekend cos I haven't even broken it in yet. I'll decided on race day whether to use this or my Mizuno Wave Precision 10 which is a much lighter shoe than my favourite Ghost 3.

The Green Silence isn't really a new shoe. It's been out since early this year, if I'm not mistaken. I wanted to wait for the Brooks Pure series to be launched here but it looks like they're only getting it over here in October and that's way to long for me to wait. The Brooks Pure series is Brooks answer to the minimalist craze.

Anyway, even though the shoe is called the Green Silence I bought mine in the cyan and lime green version. Heck, I love lime green so much that everything I own must have a dash of lime green somewhere ... hahaha!

I thought the colour was a little too 'bright' but I didn't really like the black and green model they had there. The shoe is really very light weight compared to all my three current shoes. The shoe has an usual tongue or rather lack of a tongue. The upper half overlaps from one side to the other and wraps the top of your foot like a socks. It's a comfortable fit though. The lacing is also slightly weird by being a little off centre making it a little tricky to lace. It's going to be trial and error until I get the right lacing tightness.

The material looks very breathable though I can't verify that until I take it for a run and see if my feet will heat up. My Ghost 3 can get a little bit discomforting during a long run on a hot day. I'm eager to see if the Green Silence will be a much more cooler (pun intended) shoe.

Another thing about this shoe that I like is that it uses eco-friendly technology and material, hence the words 'green' in its name. It uses something called BioMoGo for the midsole which is the first-ever bio-degrable midsole in running shoes. There's a lot more explanation on it's eco-friendliness which you can check out on the Brooks website.

Overall, I am pretty satisfied with it though I'm a little disappointed that the ST5 racer was out of stock. I was keen to try that out and feel the difference. I'm so damn tempted to put on the shoes and take it for a test run right this very minute but I'm a little too tired from all that walking wifey and me did today. Guess the breaking in will have to wait at least till this Sunday cos I'm not running tomorrow ... siggghhh ...

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Putrajaya Night Marathon 2011

Another race added to my list for races for the year. I just signed up for the Putrajaya Night Marathon 2011 albeit the 21K category this morning.

Just before I headed to work, wifey informed me that they've opened the registration for the event and since it was organized by Twenty First Century Sports Sdn. Bhd., a organization not too far away from my house, I decided to head there immediately to sign up.

To my surprise, I was the first person to actually sign up for the event and came away with a free t-shirt for being the first :D It was a pleasant surprise and many thanks goes out to them, especially Nithi, their director, whom I personally know for the free gift :D You can bet your bottom dollar I'll be using that free tee for my evening training session today.

The race is slated for 15th October and starts at 8.20pm (for the 21K category) and I'm really looking forward to it. Wifey signed up too and is quite excited by it cos she loves night races. I was contemplating the full marathon but thought better of it and will save my first ever full marathon run for a later date, when I'm totally ready for it.

This will be my third night race for the year. The first was that horrendously organized Energizer Night Race, the second will be the Shape Men's Health Run next Saturday and followed by this one. This makes my list of races up till October a total of 5 including this weekends BHP run.

There are 4 distance categories for the Putrajaya Night Marathon which is the 42K full marathon, the 21K half marathon, the 10K and the 5K fun run. They're allocating a maximum 10,000 runners for the event, though not as much as the SCKLM, it's still quite a huge number. But knowing Nithi and gang at Twenty First Century, it'll be a well organized event, hopefully :P

For more information, do head over to the official page and check it out in more detail. In fact, don't just check it out, sign up for it already :D

Monday, July 18, 2011

Have You Seen My Mojo?

I've lost my running mojo! The past two weeks has been hell for me, running wise. I've been struggling in practically all my run sessions and its taken three and sometimes maybe even four times more effort to do my usual runs.

I'm disheartened and disappointed. I hate this feeling. Putting on my running shoes and having to struggle just to run a distance that I was comfortable with just two weeks ago is painful. It's heart wrenching. And speaking of painful, the pain in my right leg doesn't help with this slump in form.

Just today, I planned to do a minimum of 10K, a distance that shouldn't be all that difficult for me but I ended up hitting the wall at 6K! Everything in me refused to move. The legs were so heavy that it felt like I had concrete poured down my trainers. My lungs felt like it had used up all the oxygen on this planet and the onset of a sudden pounding headache hit me like a sledgehammer!

Something is really wrong with my form the past two weeks. That constant pain in my right leg is seriously affecting my concentration. I know I'm capable of better than what I'm doing right now. Right this very minute, especially today, when I was struggling my way along the roads, I was not a happy runner. I haven't felt unhappy about running in a long time.

To be fair, it's been a tiring work day and I'm putting it all down to work stress and that nagging leg pain, which I aim to go get it x-rayed soon. Personally I think it's all down to that injury I'm suffering from right now that is making running so unpleasant. The faster I fix it, the happier I'll be on the roads again.

I also may have to re-think my route. The fumes from the traffic stalled cars are so bloody hazardous for running. I could practically feel the fumes being inhaled in my oxygen starved lungs (which was probably the cause of that sudden headache attack). Why isn't this country running friendly? I could run in the parks somewhere but parks are boring and I hate having to do loop after loop.

Maybe I should start running in the mornings again, the air is so much fresher and there's so much lesser exhaust fumes floating around. But then, I've never been a morning person. But for the sake of my health and putting back that 'bounce' into my running, I just might have to sacrifice my sleep.

Until then, I need to find my running mojo again and I hope it hasn't outrun me!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Peroneal Tendonitis?

One thing about being enthusiastic and addicted to running is the amount of injuries you sustain if you're not careful, especially when you're no longer the wee young lad you once were.

I've always been fond of running and was quite active with it though up until a year or so ago, I gave up running for years on end and sat idly by contented with just being a couch potato with an expanding waistline and a totally unhealthy outlook on life.

But now that I've rediscovered my passion for running and have been at it with a gusto I've never felt before, the issue of injuries crop up pretty much. This can be annoying and disruptive for my running.

My goal in life (when it comes to running) is to run for as long as I'm able too. If l live to be a 100 (which is what I'm aiming for anyway ... LOL!), I still want to be able to run if I can. Like I said in one of my previous postings, I simply love running and anything associated with it. I'm also glad that I have a wife who adores running as much as I do.

But right now, I'm a little dismayed with running cos of the injuries I'm facing. I have this on/off pain an inch or so from my right ankle that sends a sharp, shooting pain along the back of my calf to just below the knee after my runs sessions. Sometimes it's not that bad, other times it's just painful to even apply pressure on it when I walk.

The strange thing is, the pain goes away after a kilometer or so during my runs and only appears after the run. It's been affecting me for a little while now that it's changed from an annoyance to simply worrisome. I've suffered through shin splints for both legs and knee issues and have managed to overcome them but this ankle pain is simply the most persistent.

I've done some research to diagnose the pain and have narrowed it down to two or three things. But the closest match to my problem seems to be a peroneal tendonitis injury. It displays all the classic symptoms I'm going through right now. Wifey has already told me to go get it checked out soon if the pain becomes worse and I most definitely will.

But for now, I'm going to tone down my running. I've been going at it too hard and trying to go faster and faster that it really is not good for me. I MUST learn to do things gradually, one step at a time. I've been pushing myself and going too fast for a guy my age and it's a recipe for disaster. I have after all the rest of my life to run and I want to run it as pain free as possible. 

It's going to be lots of R.I.C.E sessions for me in the next week to halt this injury and hopefully I'll be fit in time for the BHP Orange run and the Shape Men's Health Night Run in the coming two weeks. Keeping my fingers crossed. At present the pain is being controlled with a prescription of Ibuprofen. Tonight it'll be icing and massaging time and some rest from running until the weekend.

Why is it that when I've found something I'm totally passionate about, there must be something that comes along and spoils it? Siggghhh ...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

My Forerunner And Me

I've been like a kid just given a new toy since this afternoon. I couldn't wait to get home today cos I got myself a new Garmin Forerunner 610 and was eager to mess around with it. Though I'm going to be eating the grass off my backyard for the rest of the month, I'm totally delighted with my new toy :D

I've been running with a Nike+ Sports band for quite a while and though it served me pretty well, it can dish out some atrocious distance readings when a race route has some serious hills in them. I was actually waiting for the Nike+ GPS sports watch to reach our shores but they're taking a heck of a long time and after some inquiries with Nike Malaysia and finding out that it's tentatively going to be released here somewhere in October, I decided that I can't wait any longer.

I went out and did some research and came across the Forerunner 210 and the 610. I did some serious research for both the models and was set to buy the 210 cos that came complete with the foot pod but wifey thought otherwise and told me why not get the 610 since it was way newer.

But it doesn't have a foot pod, I said and it's a 100 ringgit more expensive. What do you even need a foot pod, was her reply. Urmmm, what if I run in a tunnel and loose GPS connection, I said. Hey idiot, how many times are you going to run in a tunnel, was her reply. And she does have a point :D

So, it was the Forerunner 610 that comes complete with the heart rate monitor that won out. Even then, the bloody entire country was out of stock. A check with Frank Chong and he gave me the Garmin official distributors contact and after making a call to them only to confirm that they really don't have stock and would take two weeks for it to arrive. With no choice, I made a pre-order with them and was pleasantly surprised to receive an email from them today that the stock has arrived, a whole week earlier ... woohoo!

So, after an early morning appointment, I was off to collect my Forerunner 610 and came home a heck of a lot poorer, hence the grass eating for the rest of the month ... LOL!

Well, this is my first Garmin so I don't know much about it except that it was pretty awesome. Almost my entire 10K run today I kept looking at it and messing around with the touch screen every half kilometer or so that I'm surprised I didn't fall into some manhole or get run over by a car ... hahaha ... I'm still tweaking it to make it more attuned to my preference and it should stop being a novelty for me in a week or so.

In the short span of time I used it, it worked pretty well. The unit picked up the satellite on its first try in about 20 seconds (the people at Garmin said that it would take 5 minutes for the first time) so I was good to run almost immediately. I did have some issues about setting up the wireless data transfer which almost had me pulling out what little hair I had left. After some cussing and swearing, I finally got it to 'talk' to each other.

Then I had more problems getting it to upload my run data onto Garmin Connect. Apparently my Firefox is too high a version and it didn't want to install the plugin. A change of browser to Chrome fixed that but I'm a Firefox user so having to use Chrome to upload the data can be pretty annoying but what to do, until they have an upgrade or something, it'll just have to be Chrome when it comes to Garmin.

With all that said and done, I'm pretty happy with it, though it took some getting use to running with the heart rate monitor strapped around my chest. I just might ditch that if it becomes a bother. I'll come back with a little better review of the unit once I put it through its paces a little more. Ok, now let me go back to admiring my new toy ... LOL!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

BHP Orange Run 2011

Wifey and me managed to just barely get ourselves signed up for the BHP Orange run today. We weren't intending to take part in this event and waited till the very last minute to go sign up. We were a little short of races this month cos two events have been postponed to a later date and this 11K race looked like a good bet :D

While it's only an 11K race and I practically do 10K's or more during my training runs, nothing beats the atmosphere of a race day, be it a 5K, a 10K or even a 21K. Race days are always different. I cannot describe the feeling I get when I run along thousands of other individuals who share the same passion I have. It is nothing at all like a training run.

Besides, all that training I do is meant to be put to action in whatever race I can find out there, right :D With that said and done, I'm looking forward to the race. I basically know the route and it looks good for some fast running. So, are you going?

P.S. If you buy 'empat nombor ekor' with those numbers and win, please share, ok? LOL!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Sony Malaysia, The Totally Unprofessional Establishment!

This blog is basically about running and I don't normally bitch about stuff over here. I have my other personal blog for that but there's always the exception to the norm. Besides, this bitch post involves a product I use for running anyway.

I know some people are against listening to music while they run but I do listen to music when I run sometimes. It can sometimes get pretty boring on those long runs, especially on days when you're struggling just to move one foot forward and having some music accompanying you can make all the difference.

Anyways, whether you like listening to music while you run or not, we'll put that debate for another day. I first bought myself a Philips GoGear MP3 player to accompany me on my runs at times and while it was decent, I hated having the wires for the ear phones.

Wifey runs with a Sony Wireless MP3 player and I got myself the same one too after a while and relegated the Philips to gather dust. It was a pretty good decision cos I welcomed not having wires distracting me on my runs and after a few minutes you hardly felt the Sony's in your ears. It was like having music blaring outdoors.

Then Wifey's unit gave out. The start lever decided to stop functioning. Since it was under warranty, we took it back to the shop we got it from. We got her unit at Best Denki in Summit and when we brought it there, they accepted the set without any fuss and sent it back for repairs and in a week or so, they called us to pick up a completely new set.

That was pretty good of Sony for replacing instead of repairing the set. Things were fine for a few months and the set broke down again. Same problem with the start lever. We took it back and they sent it for repairs again and called us in a week or so with another new set. Obviously this problems cannot be repaired.

Never mind, it was still under warranty so no need to pay. Now comes the problem with my unit. I bought my directly from Sony Centre in KLCC. The same problem happened to my unit. Sony, please take note that your lever design is atrocious and something needs to be done about it.

Anyways, since my unit was also still under warranty and there was a Sony Centre in Taipan USJ, near where I live, I thought I'd just send it there. I was shocked when they refused to take my set for repairs saying I had to send it to the main service centre in Sentral, KL and if I wanted them to send it there for repairs they will have to charge me a service fee. I wasn't about to buy that as my unit was still under warranty.

So I decided to just walk out in anger and decided that I might as well just send it to the KLCC Sony Centre since I bought it there. So, there I was in the KLCC Sony Centre today and guess what, they asked me to send it to their main service centre myself and that I would have to pat for service charge if they sent it for me!

I was fuming! Come on, I bought it at this branch, it's still under warranty and I have the receipt as proof and yet, you refuse to take my unit for repairs? Just what the heck kind of service do you provide?

How come wifey bought her unit from Best Denki, an electrical store and yet they took her unit and sent it for repairs with nary a question asked, twice even and without having to pay a single sen. Yet, Sony Centre which sells the product that is made by them refuses to take it in and ask me to go all the way to the main service centre. I am not amused.

If it wasn't under warranty, I wouldn't make such a fuss and would understandably pay the service charge and whatever repair costs but it's still under warranty la! I'm totally disappointed with Sony Malaysia's customer service standards. Is it so hard to accept the product and send it for repairs? The darn thing wasn't some RM20.00 device, it cost me an arm and two fingers and yet they're just so freaking lazy to entertain me!

I'm not through with Sony though. I just felt the need to bitch here before I write a nice long and nasty letter to Sony Malaysia themselves. One thing I cannot stand these days is bad customer service. If I were to treat all my customers like that, I'd be out of business in no time!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Marathon And Some Rest

I'm on another self-imposed running break. It's been three days since I've last run. It's not something I enjoy doing but I have no choice. I've been suffering from a sharp pulling pain at the back of my knee and also some ankle soreness and it's gotten to a point that either I rest the leg or it becomes worse and I have to stop running altogether and that would be disastrous.

The pain started way before the SCKLM and though it was bearable during that run, it got a little uncomfortable and worrisome of late. So, with much prompting (and also warnings of serious bodily harm ... LOL!) from wifey, I decided that I'd take the week off and let the legs heal. The good news is, the legs are healing just fine and the pain has almost completely gone off :D

But I'm still not taking any chances and have decided to take a few more days off to make sure there isn't an ounce of pain when I hit the roads again. Wifey has been supportive of my rest by also taking a break from running. She knows that if she puts on her shoes to run, I'm bound to put mine on and follow her too (I can be such a stubborn person at times).

But seriously though, I've discarded my ego and stopped denying to myself that I am injured and really need to rest. There was a time when I was in this state of self denial and ran with injuries making it even worse and even then I still wouldn't admit that I need a  break.

I love running, I'm addicted to it, I can't go a day without reading or mentioning something about running. I want to be able to run a long way into my old age (not that I am all that young, mind you) and by 'lying' to myself that I have no injuries, I don't think that would happen. Sometimes, to be a better runner, you've got to know your limits. When you're injured, you rest and recuperate! No two ways about that.

I'm glad for the rest at the moment. The legs are feeling great and I'm itching to start running again at the end of the week. I've got my mind set on trying (the key word here is trying) to run my first ever full marathon but in the near future.

Running a full marathon is great and all that and as much as I would like to just jump right into one, I don't want to run a marathon just for the sake of running it. I want to run a marathon because I am capable of running one. I want to run a marathon and be comfortable running it. I want to run a marathon and then crave for more.

I realize it's not going to be an overnight thing. While I can run half marathons comfortably these days, I'm not ready to add an extra 21km just like that. It's going to take time and loads of training and commitment to come anyway near that level. It's going to take a lot of discipline before I even am 10% ready to attempt my first ever FM. But I know I can do it. It helps when wifey is also supportive of my goal.

I've been reading up loads and loads about full marathon preparations and training and it looks kinda daunting. I know I can't rush into it and will have to slowly but steadily work and train towards my goal. I've already started drawing up a training plan (more like just downloading one from Runners World online ... LOL!) and modifying it to suit me. There's this excitement building up inside in anticipation of completing my first ever FM though I know it's a long ways off for now but hey, it doesn't hurt to dream does it :D

For now, I'll take things one step at a time and that is to recover from my injuries that I've sustained. Have a great rest of the day :D

Sunday, July 3, 2011

NTV7 Feel Good Run Race Review

The NTV7 Feel Good Run managed to live up to its feel good slogan cos I think everyone had good run and felt good after that :D I know I did.

Wifey and me got to the race location an hour before race start and managed to find a parking space right opposite the start/finish line just a short two minute walk away. The place was already filled with people lingering around in the brilliant white event tee. We lingered around checking out the messages on everyone's bibs.

During the race kit collection, the number bibs came empty and NTV7 wanted us to write our own message on the bibs. I thought it was a cool idea. It was a fun run and the numbers were really irrelevant so the message on the bib idea was a fun idea. Kudos to whomever thought that up :D I didn't know what to write on mine so I came up with this bit of nonsense ... LOL!

We checked the place out  a little more and then headed to the starting line to wait for the start which was still a ways off. Got in our warm ups and stretches while waiting for the start. The weather was looking to be a beautiful Sunday morning. I was a little worried of my right leg cos I'm actually suffering from a little pain behind my knee. I have no idea what the cause is but it has been bugging me on my runs. After the stretches, the pain subsided and disappeared once the run proper started.

The start was a little packed and it took me quite a while to break away from the crowd. I was even walking at one point just after the start line cos there really wasn't space for proper running. This is something that I hate about race starts but can't be helped cos of the number of participants involved.

Jogged briskly for the first half a kilometer until the One Utama stretch when there were some holes for me to weave through all those enthusiastic runners and managed to build up some speed. I was initially planning to run at a slower pace cos of my leg but the pain had gone by then and since the route was a flat one, I decided to try for a speedier run.

Since we were running through the residential area in Bandar Utama, the crowd of runners were still pretty close together with the roads not being too wide. It was a chore swerving in and out trying to pick up speed and the road finally cleared up for some faster running after the 3.5K mark, which was already the halfway point.

From that point on, I really started to enjoy the race and got into a steady 5 minute or so pace. The one and only water station was at KM4 or so which I decided to give it a miss seeing as how the weather was cool and it was only 3KM to the finish line.

Met up with the 3K runners at the last 700 meters or so and ran along with some costumed runners dressed as various characters. I think I ran along with a 'doctor' and a 'silat master' and crossed the finish with a smile which sums up the fun time I had with the race :D

Picked up my finisher medal and cert and then headed for the drink section and collected my goodie bad, found a nice quiet corner to warm down and wait for wifey who came along not too long later with a smile on her face and in another of her personal best times :D Congrats honey, you're getting better by the day, soon you'll be wanting to run a full marathon ... LOL!

Overall, the race was well organized and kudos go out to the race organizers though I have one rant and a suggestion to share. Rant - If you're going to run a race which advocates healthy living but you insist on lighting up your stupid cancer stick after the race, please do it as far away as possible from me cos I don't want to be inhaling your silly filth from your lungs while I'm trying to cool down and rest.

I just ran a race for gods sake and my lungs are all nice and clean and inhaling your smoke is the last thing I want to do. I'm not saying you can't smoke and kill yourself earlier but please do it somewhere else, not in the middle of everyone who just had a nice run! Be considerate, but then smokers are a selfish bunch and consideration is the last thing on their minds!

My suggestion (to the organizers) - why not give out the goodie bags along with the medals and certs at the finish line instead of making the runners walk all the way to the back and into a small enclosure just to get the goodie bags? I was lucky cos I came in when the place was not that packed and the goodie bag booth was practically deserted but wifey had to skip getting her goodie bag cos it was so choked with runners that she decided it wasn't worth the effort.

Since you guys were already giving out the medals and the certs at the finish line, why not together with the goodie bags and save an entire process of having to set up another booth just to give away the bags? Might even free you guys up with one less logistic to worry about? Consider this next year?

But overall, congrats to the organizers and all the volunteers, you guys did a great job :D And to all who took part, well done :D By the time we left, the rains came but managed to catch Ray running along to his car with his kids in a stroller. Too bad we didn't get to chat, maybe next time Ray :D