Friday, 29 June 2012

It Wasn't As Romantic As I Would Have Imagined

Chanced upon a garden wedding one weekend and I guess we were kay-poh enough to stay and see the whole proceeding, while lounging at the hotel pool.

While it looked picture perfect when the ceremony was ongoing, the fact that hotel staff started to clean-up the area while the wedding guests were still busy taking photos with the bride and groom kinda spoil the dreamy image.

That and the fact that half of the guests actually turned up late and arrived AFTER the wedding march! 

Anyways... after last week's very posh & high-end stay at Le Meridien, we are now at a less posh (and unfortunately lesser level of service - I got glared by the front office staff for daring to check-in with her) but hopefully all will be good after this. The manager-in-charge whom I e-mailed my reservation to, had given us an upgrade, a special internet fee (no free internet here, unfortunately) + free breakfast; with us paying a room-only rate. That should be enough to make me happy, right?

Zaini will get to enjoy his cigars tonight. (Not that I'm condoning this behaviour publicly but every man has a sin. ^^!)
Raimie will join us later this evening, after finishing his Sekolah Agama. No cutting class!

Have a great weekend ahead peeps! TGIF! WooT! WooT!

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

I Like Photos

My narcissistic self absolutely adore looking through all these running events photos and will be quite chuffed upon chancing any photo of me running; ugly or otherwise.
Credit to Lau Eng Kiat for the photo. Taken nearby Maharajalela Monorail Station, at around 6.45-6.55am.
Credit to Tey Eng Tiong for these photos. I chuckled every time I looked at these. I was trying to worm my way between the guy in blue official vest on my left and the guy wearing the orange Nike Run shirt on my right and overtake them, hence the grimace. Notice how serene that fellow lady half-marathoner on my right looked?

Notice my bulgy looking skirt? Skirt pockets were laden with... get this:
1. wads of tissue paper, neatly stuffed into a plastic case so that it won't absorb all my sweat
2. 2 energy gels (that I didn't even use)
3. One banana
4. Handphone
5. 1 tube of coffee flavoured energy tablet (caffeine overload! Woo!)
6. IC
7. Cash

Anyways, I made the same impatient grimace almost at the finish line because two guys blocked my way and made me slow down. People are chasing their PB, you know! Ugly photos be damned! heh heh
By the way, the official results are out. Runners - checked your ranking yet? If you haven't go check it ouy at SCKLM website. Me, ranked 266. Not to shabby for first foray into 21K distance. ^^ Plus, judging from the lady who ranked 255, with bib no. 10675; there should be at least 675 Women Open runners that day. Boleh la... update : for those who cares to know, there were 1,290 runners in Women Open category. ;p

p.s. for those who are bored to tears reading about this SCKLM 2012 race... rejoice. This should be my last post on it... well, last unless I find other stuff to repeat over and over again here. It's hard to stop yapping about something you enjoy, you know. heh heh

Thank you for reading. <3 <3 <3

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

It's Nice To Be Posh Sometimes...

I've been whining to Zaini for the past few weeks that I missed the experience of having a leisurely breakfast at some nice hotel. Not just any buffet breakfast, sharing space with hordes of tourist groups, screaming children or groups attending seminars, mind you. I wanted the quiet elegance 5-star hotels' club level or executive level floors offer.

I've been trying to get Zaini to say yes to me booking a room in some hotel for my SCKLM 2012 run (and me paying for it) but up till Saturday, 23rd he was still adamant that he'd send me to the race site on Sunday morning. Plus, he refused to stay at any 3 star and less hotel in KL! Sheesh!

I actually booked a room on the day we were checking-in because at 9.00am'ish, Zaini read my runners' guide booklet and noticed that shuttle buses were provided from certain points to ferry runners to the race site. That meant I can go to the race site by taking the bus myself.
Nice room at Level 30 for us.
and it comes with a view. Can see Lake Garden, Tugu Negara, Parlimen, etc from our room. Very nice... Absolutely love the bathroom with a view.

The room was so nice, I was hugely tempted to DNS SCKLM and stay snuggled up in my bed instead!

I can see Jalan Travers from my room and while getting ready to head out for my run on Sunday, I got to see the full marathoners in action, running along the road.
Raimie in his "rich boy" mode. LOL
Dinner and breakfast at the Club Level lounge were absolutely divine. Quiet. Understated. Attentive and friendly staff. No snootiness here. I really do miss this. But of course to enjoy this, fork out money lor.... hahaha

I actually stank up the breakfast area on Sunday (sorry fellow guests!) because seeing that I still had time to enjoy breakfast, we headed straight to eat breakfast - but not before stinking up the LRT first as we took the LRT back to our hotel; and me in my running gear (bib and all intact!) @.@ I had a lovely breakfast while Zaini had two lovely breakfasts. He had earlier eaten breakfast with Raimie there, before heading off to Dataran Merdeka to wait for me.

Equally nice was the friendly staff at the hotel. If I'm to fault them (actually, I'd blame the management), it's the total ignorance of the staff about the KL Marathon that was happening on that Sunday. After all, I wasn't the only guest at the hotel running the SCKLM 2012. Three Japanese diners at a table next to us were running in it too. Two of them overtook me at KM10, and were talking about having a drink later! ;)

A few guests asked me about the marathon, seeing that I wore a bib and all and were very interested about the event. A hotel staff later told me that she actually had to google up about the marathon as a lot of the guests who were having breakfast (and saw the swarm of 10K runners whizzing by) asked about it. It's rather a pity that big hotels (and other establishment in and around KL) don't really support and being made aware of this event.

Awesome stay and awesome run. What more could I ask for a weekend?

I told the staff when we were checking-out that we'll see them again next year. Yup, I'll join SCKLM again next year. Which category? Do I dare say it'll be a Full? ;p

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Running Around KL

Well, not as much as those doing the full marathon (42.1K) but me and a few thousand other runners did get a chance to see KL on foot! (Not to mention accidentally stepping on a roadkill or two! I so need to focus where I put my feet. ahaha)

I woke up at 4am and while I was getting ready, I took the opportunity to watch the full marathoners in action from my hotel room. The first 10 runners (all Kenyans?) had a pretty big lead against the other runners.

It started to drizzle when the last few batches of full marathoners passed the hotel we stayed in, along the stretch of Jalan Travers.  It was just a short drizzle though.

Zaini accompanied me to the shuttle bus stop at 5.15am, which was almost right beside the hotel and waved goodbye. As I was running a half-marathon this time, I went to the race site alone. No point of making Zaini wait for me for three hours, right?

Taking the shuttle bus made it so convenient for me to get to the race site alone. The shuttle bus driver not only picked us up at KL Sentral, he'd stop every time we passed by runners walking towards Dataran Merdeka and let them board the bus. Good gesture by the driver.

While I was puffing along the roads on KL City Centre, Zaini and Raimie had a leisurely continental breakfast at the hotel club lounge! My breakfast? Kit-kat bought from 7-Eleven. Chocolates is good energy food, you know! ^^ Anyway, Zaini and Raimie did go to Dataran Merdeka afterwards at around 8.00am.

I had a game plan for this race but on the morning of the race, I kinda had to ditch it and run as comfortably as I can. The reason? The time of the month came, along with tummy cramps and grumpiness! I did however try to match my plan, and the first 5K warm-up trot was on pace. Anyways, even if I want to run faster, I can't. There were so many runners in front of me (as always, I started at the back) that it would have been a waste of energy for me to weave in and out trying to overtake runners.

I didn't stop at any of the water stations for the first 10K because I unintentionally ran holding a bottle of mineral water. I brought it along to sip before the race and had wanted to throw the half full bottle but couldn't find a trash can so I kinda brought it along the race. Then, at KM10.5 I added another item along the race. One whole banana. It was heavy that it made my running skirt droop. Full & half-marathoners were served with bananas (and of course drinks) there and I took one thinking I would be hungry before I finish the run. Turned out, the banana "ran" with me all to the finish line.

Along KM11, somebody said hi to me. It was Massy! Thanks for saying hi to me and pacing with me. You made me picked up my pace running alongside you. Plus it was nice to chit-chat with you. Kinda lost her at the next water station. I tried to push a bit, to see if I can make that 2hr 30min HM, but every time I picked up pace, tummy cramps made itself known and I was soooo afraid that I might accidentally "eject" something from my behind! If that happens, it would be sooooo GROSS! @.@

Not much of crowd support other than the nice volunteers along the route and I made sure I smiled back at them. Crowd support along Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Ampang (almost at the final stretch) came in form of being honked by irate drivers caught in a jam. A few runners happily wave at them! I like! Hahaha
Upon reaching Sogo the crowd got bigger there as the 10K runners also joined the route. There was a couple minutes left to make it for the 2hr 30min HM so I decided I might as well try and have a go at it. "Pia"ed like crazy towards the finish line.
Push! Push! Push! Just a little bit more. Suffer now and glory later! Hahaha See that guy in green in front of me? He and another guy blocked my way for a few seconds but I overtook him. Sweet!
The finishers' zone was a mess with runners not making their way out and I amost missed the Yoogood bar that were handed out. Sesaklah! Got a bottle of mineral water, called Zaini to ask his whereabouts and then made my way to collect my goodie bag. Nothing much inside, just my medal (most important stuff one need to put in a goodie bag!), a can of 100-Plus and a banana.
Then, time to smile for the camera!
Front and back view of my first ever Half-marathon medal.
Along with the medal, I got this too to bring back home. Nope, they are not painful. The ones that are painful are the chafing I got at a couple of unmentionable places. LOL
 How did I do? The unofficial results from SCKLM tracker. 1min 29sec behind target.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

If We Were In Japan, Mommy...

You should hear Raimie muttering that over and over while we were queuing for tickets (tokens, actually) at the hot, stuffy and packed Masjid Jamek LRT station yesterday evening.

If we were in Japan, Mommy
"We wouldn't need to queue so long"
"The queue won't be so slow"
"That machine was out-of-order. It wouldn't be in Japan"
"It won't be so hot"
yada yada yada
and I kept having to shush him. You'd think my Son had lived for years in Japan, not a mere two-weeks vacation there each year, the way he compared our LRT with the train stations in Tokyo! That boy! Ahahaha... Malu only. *paiseh*

Anyways... we were in Masjid Jamek and used the public transportation because Mommy needed to go to Dataran Merdeka to collect her (and Raimie's too) race kit yesterday, after work.
 Raimie, in front of the kids' dash counter.
Virtually no queue there yesterday evening so we were spared from long queues or waiting ages for our stuff.
 
 
We were done by 7pm and Daddy was still busy at work so Daddy told us to come over to KLCC and have dinner there. Dinner was at Miss Kwan. Miss Kwan ka, Madam Kwan ka... our choice will be Nasi Bojari! The very sour prawns, the soft beef rendang and the crispy, must try fried chicken. Yummy!!! Raimie had Chicken Rice and he managed to clean up everything on his plate. Good boy. ^^
 
Then, some browsing time at Kinokuniya. A place where Daddy would spend a lot of his lunch hour, browsing Japanese travel magazine. 
Isetan food mart was next but what did we get there? This! Because it's super cheap. This 1.2kg kimchi pack is sold at RM38.50 at other supermarkets, but this (old stock) tub is only RM27.90 at Isetan. My family can finish this tub in less than a month. Now, better replenish my stock of gochujang and doenjang too.
In Brickfields. One of the temples there. We took the LRT back from KLCC to Sentral (which is in Brickfields, if you don't know. ^^) before heading home.
Almost ready for tomorrow!

Friday, 22 June 2012

Road To Standard Chartered KL Marathon : Almost There!

It's Friday!!!

In a few days's time, hordes of people will be in KL as early as a couple of hours' after midnight and run around the city centre, be it for 42.2K, 21.1K, 10K or 5K and with little kids doing 2.5K and a 700m dash!

I have yet collected my race entry pack collection (REPC) at Dataran Merdeka. I think I'll do it this evening after work.

Other than that, all that's left for me to do now is being prepared to hit the race site early, know where the parking spots are and be aware of road closures too. Check out the SCKLM website for more details, folks! Don't blame 28,000 runners for making your car caught in a jam on Sunday morning, OK?

With the event being so near, nothing much to do in terms of training.

Anyways, I just couldn't resist sharing this with you...
I guess I've been covering rather a nice mileage for the last 30 days, eh? ^^ "Otai" runners, now don't scoff. Let me be proud of this a bit. Us newbies should be proud of whatever little achievements we've managed so far, right? And brag about it a little too! hihihi

For those running in the SCKLM regardless the distance - good luck and don't forget to have fun! I'll try my best to have fun, while running and finishing in good time doing the half; in time to support Raimie who will be doing his 700m dash at 8.55am.

Good luck, us! Good luck you! ;)

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Got Milk?

A new nightly routine because Raimie asked for it ever so nicely. Warming up milk for him to drink before bed time instead of the usual cold milk straight out of the fridge.

A quiet time reading and a warm milk before bed for a goodnight's sleep. Nice, right? ^^


Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Autum Leaves And Falling Snow

Another post to make Yvonne green with envy. I'm so "baik" kan, Yvonne? Kakaka

In 2008 we combined a trip to see cherry blossoms and played with a bit of snow in the month of March. Last year, we combined vieweing the beauty of autumn leaves (koyo) and experiencing falling snow. But it was rather a crazy endeavour as we travelled from Kyushu to Shikoku, from one end of Honshu to its tip and then to the island of Hokkaido for a bit of both! Oh! Don't forget the rain too!

Torrential rain is to be expected when one is in between seasons. Right, Rurousha?

Autumn leaves, plenty of it too...
Kyushu Island representative : Yufuin. At Lake Kinrinko to be exact. Beware! There's a sleeping dragon in the lake!
Shikoku Island. At Ritsurin Koen, one of the most beautiful park in Japan located in Takamatsu.
Honshu Island representative. In Nara.
Another Honshu Island representative.This burst of colours we found in Tokyo. At a cemetery.

Now, snowing time... where else? In Hokkaido. Actually, we've only been to Hakodate.
Can you see the white dots of the snowflakes in the first photo? Zaini tried hard to capture it with our el-cheapo camera. xD
 
Getting way too excited with small clumps of snow. While the people of Hakodate nowhere to be seen (with good reason since it was snowing and it was windy too), three tourists from Malaysia went crazy and decided to run around the streets of Hakodate. LOL
This though, doesn't look all that fun. It's just bleak and COLD! 

Oh yes... and then there's rain. We need rain here. NOW! Selangor is experiencing water shortage now. My area is having low water pressure issue. I crossing my fingers that there'll be no water cuts! o.O
That's a photo of a cold woman with a swollen gum in front of the Daibutsu in Kamakura. I had a painfully swollen gum for three days when we were in Japan! So not fun!

This post somewhat made me feel cooler. I think I need to do more cool season posts here to cool-off myself! Muahaha!!!

Monday, 18 June 2012

Can We Go To Somewhere Expensive, Please?

That's exactly what Raimie asked us a few days ago. He wanted to go for a meal at a place nice and shall we say, classy? Good thing though our standard of expensive is not high and what Raimie had in mind was either Tony Roma's and Pizza San Francisco. To San Francisco it was for us on Saturday. Raimie got his wish and the lunch was an early Father's Day celebration for the Dad too. ^^
Raimie and Daddy were boring so they had 7-Up and Coke. Mommy drank kedondong (ambra) juice with sour plum. Yummy!
 
Daddy had chilli mussel and margherita pizza. Of course Raimie just had to ask for a "tiny" bite of what Daddy ordered!
Raimie didn't ask for Mommy's because Mommy had the same as his. Salmon steak for both of us. But Mommy enjoyed her bowl of seafood soup too. Just the soup. The seafood in the soup was eaten by Raimie and his Daddy.

We didn't do anything special for Father's Day last week. Well, nothing special unless you count this lunch and the fact that Mommy "allowed" the Daddy to sleep in for both Saturday and Sunday. Instead of doing a long run in Putrajaya, Mommy let Daddy sleep and Mommy ran around the carpark instead. All the 15K of it on Saturday! Do you know how many loops I had to do that day? kekeke

Anyway, a belated Father's Day getaway is in order but it got to wait till Mommy is done with her SCKLM run. We'll go for a mini break on June 29th!

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