Week 3/15

This morning I have woken up to yet another damn early morning trying my best not to stir my wife and kids as I made my way down. Uneventfully, I had laid the shorts and drift shirt along the stairs the night before, and fumbled in between light switches. From outside, it must have been seen like a fucking fireworks display! 
Mornings like these past weeks was a revelation of how much I missed my old home when I simply dissipated without much noise. With alarm disarming, 10 million keys and hundreds of light switches trying to locate my gears, I most times would awaken Fuzzy the Cat, which would insist that I let her out before I could sit for my breakfast. 

It's the end of Week 3/15, and I am honestly knackered. The BeyondTheUltimate 16-weeks training program catapulted the mileage stresses abruptly from a leisure 3K/days to a hammering 10K Tuesday to kickstart the week. The last time I did a 10K before work was even before Hendra started the Mount Rinjani Ultra race. A lot of trails were still not claimed to be (re)discovered by many. And we had world peace.

Up on the table was a full 4-hours run/walk/TOF at FRIM. But really the target was to check the early morning crowd, and other logistical issues and plotting the trails for weeks to come.
I am not surprised to find the road loop is filled by fresh smell of soap bars and cheap deodorant as many walkers trot along, but I started a wee bit too late to find out if the same was in the trails, of which I’d have to be extra careful not to mistaken the smell with something more mystical.
And for 4 hours minimum, one round of road from Café to Peras Camp and back, a trip to TheHelipad, double SteroidHill, and double BukitFRIM with a kick at BukitHantu enroute to the PylonPeak is bare minimum. I see in the program where trail LSD peaks at 9-hours run/walk/TOF that ruled FRIM out completely if I were to bore myself to watch (mostly) mindless cyclists zooming past.

Deserted trail intersection sans the cyclists in the festive season. Saves me from looking down in shame when running down SteroidHill as the reflection of their expensive bikes pierced my eyes.
I know, I know - such is an old image that needs no introduction. Not a stranger is this step towards the Pokok Rambutans at TheHeliPad. It sure is getting harder to run up these roots. But it simplifies the 'almost the end' moment when The HeliPad is within reach, and going through the Hornet's Farm just 300m ahead.
Come here when the rambutans are in season (and come early) and you'll be rewarded with the sweet fruit. I'd like to stay here for some time to ponder what have I done for the past 2 hours and put a perplexed face to the oncoming cyclists. Not a visual foreign to FRIM enthusiasts, The HeliPad has since been renamed to Pinus Peak, or something dodgy like that.
The view down the SteroidHill never dissapoint. It is also a perfect spot to excuse myself to stop running and walking down. Since the trail has been changed to solid earth fitting more to 4WDs roving up rather than for runners and cyclists, it can at most times be a bitch to run those compacted red earth.
After Round 1, I realised it is completely revitalising to refuel with a hot sugary drinks. I also realised how distasteful it is to place your drink next to a stinking shoes. Regardless, Adizero XT looks stellar!
View from the PylonPeak with Batu Caves at the centre. The butt-crippling climb to here from the BukitFRIM can be unforgiving but for a chance to openly pee to a view like this is not something you'd get to do. So far the highest free toilet in FRIM!
On the other hand, in the next 12-weeks or so, I hope to carve out my new reputation as ‘The Running Dad’, as I dropped my daughter at school nonchalantly with my lycra three-quarter, and headed off into the streets of Melawati these days.

The back of the Titiwangsa ridge at the backdrop - if only someony would do the bushwacking of all the greens below the ridge. The view in itself is just temporarily splendid, but a better alternative nonetheless. I think this is the infamous Tabur East.
As the week progresses into higher mileage demands, the past weeks were also spent to map out potential water stations, and see my time management in getting home on time to cook (my) breakfast, getting the guys ready, mix a concoction of insanely experimental smoothies. At this rate, I’d be back in my Superman form when changing into my run gears/work attires is done in record time. As long as I remember to keep the underpants on the inside of my trousers, my industry will approve of the chosen dress code.

But I need to learn to run again, and inch my way up the ranks. A lot has since happened since 2012 it now feels almost alien turning up at Bukit Aman. For one, the absence of the old open parking lot which witnessed tones of breakfast runs and potlucks are gone with runners are divided between Lake Garden and Padang Merbuk does not give back the charm and sentiments I used to look forward to. The oversized multi-storey parking is like most things in KL – insensitive, impersonal and reduced the romantic values of the city. I certainly miss seeing with envy of the fast runners coming back from Hartamas with the remaining 2K heading down the road so fast in full view of their super calves. As far as the rank is concerned, the 100K/weeks mileage is now miniscule in comparison to the hardcores running well above 200K/weeks! That ought to put things in perspectives if you are taking that route.

Sharing the trails with ATVs along the Bamboo Trail in Kemensah. Seen in the picture is Azrul, Catman and Azhar. Not a solitary trail and very doable, this is a possible extension to Lubuk Tedung which we'll try to figure out in the next weeks. But being at the later stage of the run/recce, some slid food is recommended. Volunteers serving icy Coke along the way is highly appreciated.
At the end of the Bamboo Trail - the purposeful respite. Experience at this location is not memorable, but in case when you did not put enough hydration in your bladder - a good place to refill with ice cold water. Depending on your personal gut health, take precautionary measures.
We miscalculated our route having too much fun downhills and arrived at the Klang Gate lake. The picture is intentionally tilted to reflect my delusional self after the descend. If you have been to Kemensah trails, you'll know the insanity of those speed running down switchbacks.
Bux arriving at Pengasih. He was responsible in busting my cold lungs at the early stage climbing up Nuang with his fastpaced climbs. I had never seen my foggy breath that laboured since I did Genting Trailblazers 4 years ago! At this point, it was drizzling and he acclimitized mildly for his Lantau adventures.
Despite all the hype, this was just my 2nd time up to the peak. I could see Trailblazerz's sticker on it too. Kudos to Hatta for sprucing up the trail running hype in Malaysia! This was taken before 10a.m. and the peak was still deserted. Not the same I could say when we made it back from the other side.
Always a welcomed respite to see Superstars on the trails. I mean - would you look at that zero-fat quads? Don't let those friendly smiles fool you - these guys will smoke you! And I am thankful no visible white hair on my part made my day typing this.
The crystal clear water of Chemperoh with darting fishes. I wonder if such view in salmon season in Alaska.
After 4-hours run/walk, you'll be rewarded with this tantalising aperture. Yes, you can go skinny-dipping in its pool but no guarantee in shrinking your balls in the process. If I was a 12-year old boy doing my Arts homework, this would be highly inspirational. Now I am more content to check on my blisters and eat my Mars bars. Better still, chicken currypuffs.
Last known picture of NB. After its stint in TMBT and long hiatus, the pair was shred beyond repair under the Nuang trails. They have since been discarded after safely sent me back to the carpark. Under close scrutiny is the seedless mint plums and Power Root liquid sugar to see if they qualify as travel companion. Status still not confirmed.
I had to see it myself this sign of 'forward-thinking' as the main trailhead up to Lolo Camp is progressively being replaced by concrete access. Welcome the Mat Rempits, and runners/hikers will have to extra cautious this 'progress' brings.

3 weeks in the bag, I am bugged that the scale is not tipping downward yet. Although the long weekend did not help, the weekdays have been a pretty clean diet. Force-feeding quinoa salad is not an adorable sight, and when it’s an everyday thing it is hard to swallow. I look around the gym junkies in the office with the after lunch protein shakes, creatine and other magical spells with roasted chicken, hard-boiled eggs and greens to find inner strength and inspiration. It is an uphill battle with little or no carbs – if anything, I am not eating, o wait, fuelling enough for the long runs.
While throughout 2013 and 2014 when training/running for TMBT and MRU involved little to none fuelling plan and diet with absent structured training plan, it was no surprise why my weight has ballooned up. Another year like these, I’d have to donate my entire wardrobe and start new! Which is exactly why 2015 has to be none of whateverthats. If anyone knows of a 100K trail running training & weightloss plan for persons beyond 40-years old – please PM me immediately.
This little guy already smoking me to the waterfall at the foot of Canopy Walk. Look at that stride! Even when we descended to the creeks and pools below, he was 'in his element'. He deserves his first trail shoes...
Anyway, let’s not get overboard with this first blog entry in 3 years – the focus is now to find a new balance (not the shoe company) with all the things in universe.

With the trails are done this week, it’s back to the RPM classes and road running again. And with the long weekend and festivity done, it is back to annoying conglomerates and hypocrisy. Hopefully I get a fruitful Week 4 without much wrestling. 


Anonymous said…
welcome back Datuk! we shall repeat TransNuang. need to train harder, else you will need to wait for me again :P

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