Sunday, 30 November 2014

PRESS RELEASE : Men’s Health & Women’s Health Night Run 2015

(Kuala Lumpur, 28 November 2014)
The wait is finally over!

The much anticipated Men’s Health Night Run is returning—with a twist. Kicking off on 21 March 2015 (Saturday) at Presint 3, Dataran Putrajaya, we’ll be celebrating the launch issue of our sister magazine Women’s Health Malaysia on the same night. Limited to 7,000 entries registration begins online on on 1 December 2014 and closes on 21 February 2015 at midnight.

The very first Men’s Health & Women’s Health Night Run lets you work up a sweat while taking in the fantastic lights and sights of Putrajaya amidst friendly camaraderie. Here’s also your chance to take part in fun activities and walk away with awesome prizes.

The participation fee is RM55 for Non-Competitive Category—Fun Run 5km (18 years and above), and RM65 for all Competitive Categories—Men’s Open 12km (18 years and above), Men’s Veteran 12km (40 years and above), Women’s Open 12km (18 years and above) and Women’s Veteran (40 years and above).

An exciting goodie bag including a Karrimor high-performance running tee await each participant and fantastic prizes will be awarded to the top three category finishers in the Men’s and Women’s Competitive Categories. All participants will receive a runner’s kit and a certificate will be given to every race finisher upon completion of the run.

The event is proudly organised by Mongoose Publishing and co-organised by Twenty First Century Sports.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

One For The Family Album

Thanks to our friend with awesome photography skill... ^^
Taken at Heirinji Zen Temple in Niiza City which we visited yesterday before we went to Todai (University of Tokyo).
Lovely lovely autumn colours. 

We had fun. :)

Especially fun because this is not where foreign tourists get to go with their tour groups! Muahaha...

Friday, 28 November 2014

Train Station Stamps

We won't have a lot to collect this time around since we won't be travelling to many cities like we used to, when we vacationed in Japan.

But still, there are new stamps to collect this time from Asakusa-sen, Mita-sen, Shinjuku-sen and Oedo-sen. ^^

And we got some from JR stations that we have yet gotten previously. So all good. :-)

Thursday, 27 November 2014

A Bit Of Shopping In Japan

Well, I do need to update my wardrobe. I always do my clothes shopping in Japan. That is, before we stopped going to Japan after our 2011 trip.

Just a  little bit this time. I am not a fashion conscious person but I just like the stuff sold in Japan and what I bought are mostly cheap. Hahaha
 We went to Kanda first so that we can shop for running stuff.

I bought a CWX compression pants and a windbreaker. Both for around 10,000 yen and best thing, it's tax free if we shop more than 10,000 yen!
Then, later that night we went to ROX in Asakusa. This is a place I love buying my stuff.

Four blouses (I admit they look like almost the same design but how could I resist when they cost me only 980yen apiece), two skirts and a legging. 

I've just bought two more skirt at Marui. Both for just around 5,000yen.

Looking forward to shop a little bit more tomorrow, if time permits.

Ureshikatta! ^^

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

A Japanese Intimate Feast

We had a nice feast for dinner, thanks to Minoru-san and his wife on Tuesday.

Both of them were so generous in inviting us to join them for dinner. We had sashimi, plenty of pickles and some delicious home made food.

Raimie was so spoilt that night. Everything that were served was his favourite and he even had a plateful of sashimi all to himself!

We were served the best of everything and we were so overwhelmed by both Minoru and his wife's generosity.

Minoru-san even took us to the famous park near his home, the Rikugien Garden where we enjoyed the sight of autumn sight being illuminated after dark. The park remains open till 9.00pm during the fall season while it'll closes at 5.00pm on other dates.

That was fun albeit a wet outing.

Thank you Minoru and wife for such a lovely evening.

We're Here

Well, actually we're already here for the third day. ^^

Arrived in Nagoya on Monday evening without too much trouble. Flight departed on time and arrived a bit early.

We didn't reserve the airport limo to get to KLIA2 since didn't managed to call through their call centre.

However, Zaini used MyTaxi service and that was actually much better. Good car and very careful driver. It cost us less RM50.00 for the trip and the driver even reminded us about the discount of RM5.00 for being first time user of MyTaxi. I like.

Anyway, we're already in Tokyo, travelling using the Willer Express Midnight bus from Nagoya to Tokyo. That was another awesome experience.

More updates soon. Heading out again soon.

Matta ne!

Monday, 24 November 2014

Putrajaya 100 Miles - The Inaugural Edition

When the announcement of Putrajaya 100 Miles came out months earlier, I was quite excited to join it. Of course not doing the 100 Miles la, that would be crazy but I was seriously considering to do the 100K. My first 100K.
Later, despite the fact that I had registered for Fujisan Marathon and it'd be unwise to do any serious long distance running a week before the marathon, I still was "secretly" having hopes in doing it.

So to avoid "accidental" signing up, I registered myself and roped in hubby too, to become a volunteer for the event.

So, yeah... we didn't run in the Putrajaya 100 Miles but we still were involved somewhat in it and got to share the experience with those hardcore but fun loving runners who did this event.

Got home late night/early morning Saturday, as I attended my company's annual dinner on Friday. 5am was the reporting time and when we got there, a number of runners were already there. They will only flag-off at 7am!
Flag-off was in wave, with the 100miles category flagged-off first, followed by 100K, 78K and 52K.
There was a last minute route change, and it was briefed to the runners by the race director; Arman. The Formula e in Putrajaya had some affect on the route the runners were supposed to run when they cover the core island/Nusa Perdana.
When all the runners had already been flagged-off, we headed towards our check point (CP) that we'll be manning from Saturday morning till Sunday. ^^
There were two other volunteers helping us along with two medics.

We set up the area and arranged the drop bags that runners had left for CP4 according to their categories. Boy in white jadi "jaga". Hahaha

We heard news that the first runner had arrived CP3 a few hours later and after waiting for our stock of ice to arrive and expecting the runner to arrive in about 30minutes or so later; Zaini decided to head out to 7-11 to buy some ice knowing that ice would be important for these runners.

There was a bit of drama with the ice as there seemed to be a big issue of the logistics of ice; what with the traffic jam experienced around Putrajaya (not only because of Formula E but also the Upin Ipin thing at PICC). In the end, Zaini and the other volunteer made about 4 visits just to buy ice. I insisted on having enough ice for ALL the runners arriving to my CP. Yeah... "MY" CP. Hahaha

The first runner to arrive our CP. 
Runners started coming later and while they rested, they shared their experience running the first 39K.

There were issues with getting from CP1 to CP2 or CP3 and also a few runners mentioned that they got confused with a fork of road at the horse trail in Taman Rimba Alam just before they reached our CP where they ended up running an extra kilometre due to the confusion. An extra km with HILLS, I might add.

Around 12:40pm when our CP was quiet and no runners were seen coming, Zaini and I decided to jog into the horse trail to 1. check the confusing fork the runners mentioned and 2. check any more runners heading to our CP.

After putting a marking at the road (with dead wood and an empty oil bottle... HAHAHA), I went ahead running further into Taman Rimba Alam while Zaini waited.

Saw a female runner heading towards me after I did 1-2K, waved at her and immediately double back. Hong Lan, who was at our CP taking photos were waiting up the hill, at the fork of the road so I continued running to my CP.

There were more issues of runners getting lost elsewhere that we heard later, from those who arrived at out CP which are out of our control but at least we hope that other than the runners who arrived earlier, no other runners got lost at that confusing fork of road.
CP5, which was the check point after ours had more solid food for runners like rice... while ours had bread with nutella, kaya and something extra - maggi hot cup so runners weren't meant to stop for lunch at our CP. 

But most runners who arrived our CP; from 11am onwards were already hungry and were happily chowing down food and accepting the instant noodle.

We sure was glad we brought in our own rations and pretty soon our muruku, kuih cincin and mamee were all devoured by the runners too! Totally understandable and I was just glad we had something to offer them.

However, there was something I overlooked. While our CP (and all other CPs) had prayer mat, kain pelikat and even slippers for Muslim runners; I overlooked the fact that female Muslim runners may need to use the telekung too. While I and the other lady volunteer/medic had the convenience of heading to the next CP (or in may case, my sis' place if I want to); the runners don't have that luxury. I'll take note of that for future CP that I'll be manning.  
We were blessed with a really hot and sunny Saturday and I guess it took a toll on a lot of runners. Zaini and I actually were prepared to shoo runners out from our CP and get them to CP5 after a bit of rest but didn't have the heart to do it after all. 

After a tough route from CP3 to CP4, some were glad to find a shade and even took a nap. Anything, just as long as they can continue afterwards. 

I'm not that friendly with people so Zaini took charge with the PR side of our CP while I got "busy" with photo taking in between checking the runners that were resting at CP4 and the "anak bujang" was in charge of the timing of runners checking-in and out.
Pretty soon it got dark and we waited for the second wave of runners who are now running back to our CP to finish another 39K of the route to get to the finish line.
It rained in the evening, after a very very hot day earlier and made the night so much colder. 

Some runners opted to stay and took a rest while some, already equipped with rain gear/poncho and headlamps (compulsory item for this event); continued on.

Apart from runners coming into our CP, the runners' support crew (pacers and supporters) intermittently drop by and waited at our CP which made the CP much livelier, with talks and laughters all around.

There were stories about runners getting lost due to some confusion with road markers and perhaps... not studying the route map well earlier. But whatever the reason, it was indeed worrying when runners who had already checked-out from CP5 and was supposed to reach our CP somehow never did show up.

There was a bit of worry as a runner whose supporter waited for hours at our CP didn't arrive our CP despite being reported having left the previous CP ages ago and was confirmed seen leaving the previous CP by runners who checked-in to our CP.

Good thing he was finally contactable and turned out that he somehow couldn't find the entry toward Taman Rimba Alam from the Taman Canseri/Presint Diplomatik area. 

Nothing too major (I think and hope) happened at our CP. Runners, despite getting confused, got lost and even did extra mileage didn't throw any hissy fit towards us. I guess a certain dissatisfaction would arise this time for this inaugural event but none of them directed it towards us volunteers.

We are sorry we didn't have food to provide for runners who came by from midnight onwards although luckily some runners' friends generously passed what they had to us and we gladly offered it to runners who wanted something to eat. Thank you!

We closed our CP at around 8.00am on SUnday and left a few bottles of drinks for two runners who will be passing the CP later. 

We headed back to Taman Seri Empangan where the Start/Finish line was to cheer for other friends who were finishing. 
Congrats everybody!

Just the fact that you made it to the start line and endured the hot weather condition is already a feat!


Some photos of Putrajaya 100 miles, taken at the start line and the 1st check-in at CP4 can be seen here.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Japanese Food, At My Home

I used to cook Japanese fare at home. Nothing too fancy. Nothing too grand. I am no gourmand and certainly not a great cook.
When I said Japanese food, I don't mean sushi and sashimi though.
Japanese food is that, and more.
Anyways, I'm not a Japanese culinary expert so what I cook are usually simple and quick fares.
And most times, it's a fusion of Japanese ingredients and local ingredients too. Whatever works and the tummy agree. Hahaha
Ika bata-yaki served with hot rice. It's simply squid grilled with butter (the word "bata" is butter) and soy sauce.
It's yummy and simple to make.
Making onigiri which is rice ball.
Either with fillings or sometimes I just use pre-packaged some ready-made dry seasoning or furikake.
My simple and favourite onigiri happens to be with sardine fillings. Sautée onions, put sardine in. Add mayo and salt to taste then put some in the middle of the rice ball. Slap a nori.

To make my life simpler, I always use an onigiri mold. Not an expert to shape a rice ball yet.
I don't have the oden vat to cook them so I just use what I have. A pot. LOL
I'd describe it as Japanese version of yong tau foo. Hehehe 
My takenoko gohan.
Bamboo shoot rice with salmon served with stir fried asparagus and miso soup.
The servings style wasn't typical Japanese. I used the free bowls I got from buying washing powder only... 
Grilled sanma fish. And this one, served with local soy sauce with sliced shallots and vinegar. Melayu style. Hahaha
This one funnily enough, was sanma fish that I cooked assam style. Fusion like that. Bwahaha.
There are some curry rice, gyudon and oyakodon photos stashed somewhere. If I found them, I'll put it here. :P

Just thought of a little bit of Japanese inspired post since we'll be going to Nagoya on Monday after a break from our last visit in 2011.

Not travelling too far this time.

Anyway, we've already visited all four main islands of Japan and been travelling there every year since 2002 to 2011 so am not really looking to cram our itinerary with places to visit.

We'll go there, meet friends, hike a mountain (or two), shop a bit and then I run a marathon also. Simple itinerary this time around. No tour-groups recommended sites to visit either, because that's like soooooo first time touristy activity! *evil laugh*

Anyway, happy weekend everybody!

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Teppanyaki, For Two

Another makan post!!!

I posted beforehand that I usually order pan mee when we eat at Oasis Food Court, which is located on the 2nd floor in Mid Valley Megamall.

One evening, me & son decided to try something different (I wanted to eat some lightly cooked veges truthfully) but didn't want to spend a lot of money so we decided to try and headed to the teppanyai stall there.
 Beef teppanyaki for Mommy.

The beef cut was nice and tender. The crunchy garlic slices eaten with the beef was a joy.

Nice portion of the bean sprouts, which was what I wanted. Vege!
 Son had chicken teppanyaki.
Though I must say, the RM1.30 for a small bowl of miso soup that didn't really taste like miso soup was a bit of letdown.

All in all, a passable meal. Nicea and for RM18.00 for the two teppanyaki plus a miso soup; OK lah...

Monday, 17 November 2014

More On Plan B - Enjoying Family Moments

You know I have a soft spot for Plan b. especially for brunch and in particular, their outlet in Bangsar Village. ^^

I don't really like to post about the same place over and over but this time OK la... I don't do Plan b. posts all that much, right? Hihihi

They're not too expensive and the portion is good. Of course, can't afford to visit it every weekend (you think I'm rich kah? Hahaha) but we'd go there when/if Mommy wants to give a treat for her boys.

Just like when hubby and son spent their Saturday night accompanying me during MAKNA Night Run and then another run the morning after, at SJMC Run.

 A hearty brunch with the family, spending the morning together.
 What Mommy and Daddy usually order.  Nothing different this time. ^^
I always like to order their Big Breakfast as it comes not only with that scrumptious plate filled with two eggs cooked according to my favourite style, there are toasted ciabatta, turkey bacon, turkey ham, bratwurst, baked beans, sauteed mushrooms and cherry tomatoes and avocado but also with a glass of fresh orange juice and coffee.  Mocha is my favourite choice though I sometimes would order cappuccino too. 
Son wanted smoked salmon and salsa which is smoked salmon with ranch dressing served on toasted ciabatta served corn salsa and topped with poached egg. Looks so yummy and healthy, right?

Mommy would've ordered this too, but this dish doesn't come with any drinks and Mommy like value-for-money so that's why she stuck with the Big Breakfast instead. Hahaha

The other day, we went there for dinner instead because Mommy was craving for some raw veges. This, despite having salad (with a quarter black pepper chicken with it, I might add) for lunch for days! Hohoho

What Mommy and Son ordered.
Plan b. salad which has mesclun, cucumber, green apple, pear, onions; tossed in Japanese dressing and topped with nori and seven type of seeds.
And as always, when we were there for lunch or dinner; wild mushroon soup.

No garlic bread on the side, this time. ^^
 Nachos with cheese sauce for son.

Mommy and Daddy couldn't resist stealing a few bites. Delish!
And daddy had chargrilled burger. He later "donated" his salad to Mommy as he knows Mommy wants it. ^^

The dinner was also a treat for the boys as Mommy just earned a bit of money for some work that she did. Always good to share, right? :-)

Sunday, 16 November 2014

4 Hours Around Putrajaya, On Foot

I needed to do a long run. I wanted to run for four hours and had thought of doing it around my apartment but lucky me, hubby wanted to do some walking too so on Sunday, both of us went to Putrajaya.

It's been a loooong time since I last trained in Putrajaya.  Truth be told, I kinda miss running there by myself too. Yeah, for me, Putrajaya is one of those places where female runners can actually run alone without too much fear about safety. There are routes along housing area and parks where we can run without much worry. Well, at least for me lah.

Hubby and I didn't run together. I needed to do a final long run before my marathon which will be held on Nov 30th. Hubby on the other hand, has no races until next year. So, we decided to split up.
8.40am start time on a sunny Sunday. Normal. ^^
I started my run from Taman Seri Empangan at Presint 5 in Putrajaya, at the foot of the hill of where PICC is located. From here I ran along the lakeside towards Pullman Hotel and the Maritime Centre in Putrajaya.

Plenty of families having picnic or just having fun outdoors here. Plenty of cyclists along the lakeside route too.
After running 2km, did a pit stop at the toilet/changing room nearby the Maritime Centre. This gotta be the nicest public toilet in whole of Putrajaya!

The ones at Taman Seri Empangan is the complete opposite of this!

From Pullman I turned back and go up the hill towards PICC.
Saw a number of cars parked along the road here, with their car boots filled with flower bouquets for sale.

Graduation/convocation season, I suppose. ;-)
From PICC, I turned right at the junction and ran downhill and straight towards the road leading to Taman Cabaran and Presint 20 and enter Taman Selatan.

What to see in Taman Selatan?

Cemeteries. Hahaha 

A very green and tranquil place, I might add. When I passed this area, only a family was seen at the cemetery and no new burials. Just a few hundred metres past the cemetery area, at the open green field, there were groups of model aircraft hobbyist or something flying their planes and the noise the aircrafts broke the quietness of the area.
Up an incline and ready to exit Presint 20 to return to Presint 5.

An ERL just passed as I was running/walking/huffing up the incline. Pity. Would've been nice if I got a photo of an ERL zooming past but I wasn't keen on waiting for another one to come by.

Did another toilet pit stop at Taman Seri Empangan toilet to cool-off and pour water on my head before making my way up the Jambatan Seri Gemilang and run on the core island of Putrajaya next.

By this time, I had done 9km.
Stopped by Dataran Gemilang to snap photos of families enjoying wet fun at the pool there. It's free access for all. ^^

Then, I just ran in a straight route towards Palace of Justice.

The road toward the Palace of Justice, from the Jambatan Seri Gemilang all the way to Ministry of Finance building was busy with cars. There's this Mega Auto Show Carnival and largest car club and gathering. Busy busy road and noisy noisy road today. 
There was a hive of activity and construction work seen too. I suppose this is for the 2014 FIA Formula E Putrajaya ePrix?

It's next week, folks!
13km in the pocket, I later headed towards Putrajaya Holding and ran past another public kiddie pool. This one is located just beside the Putrajaya Holdings and nearby the Jambatan Seri Wawasan.
I continued on, and had this view later. This, a few hundred metres away from the pool. I intentionally chose this route as I wanted to run along the Sisiran Putrajaya which is a lakeside pavement on Core Island of Putrajaya. Sisiran Putrajaya covers Presint 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 10 and 13. Lovely lakeview, I might add.

Then it's time to do some hill training, after huffing up to PICC earlier.
Halfway up the hill at Taman Wawasan. From the foot of the hill, I could run all the way to Wisma Putra. One access road to the top of the hill is now closed off. 
After 2km done around Taman Wawasan, I continued on running alongside the lake area and arrived to Presint 18. 

Lovely, lovely house here. 
A little bit further down and I saw this skyline.

This mean I'm nearing my "finish" line and was running back towards Taman Seri Empangan.
And back to Jambatan Seri Gemilang.

Stairs? Yes.

The stairs on the opposite side of the lake will be the one where I, along with other runners participating in Watergate 16-hour will go up and down those stairs for dunno how many times while we do our 5K loops in 16 hours! Wahahaha...
Almost finish already. Up this bridge and then down...
And saw Hubby waiting patiently for me at Taman Seri Empangan.

I did this very very slowly so didn't manage to cover more areas. Anyways, I also stuck to a more familiar and what I deem safe route this time.

Maybe if I have more time or when I am much fitter, I can meander to Presint 11 or 8 or run towards Alamanda (did that before, by the way).

While I did this solo run, a number of friends are in Penang and ran in the Penang Bridge International Marathon.

Congrats to all of you!


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