Monday 31 December 2012

Reflecting 2012 & HELLO there 2013.

Well, it's the time of year again. The last day of the year. New Year's Eve. Time for reflection on things that come to pass and things of yet to come.

So apparently the Apocalypse did not happen and we are still in one piece. We live another day. Hooray~!

So let's see what has been up this past year (or in my case past 2 years).
The many photos I've collected the past 2 years; taken by many hardworking photographers at many countless events.
I didn't really had a pause during my last year's transition; so everything just kinda went on continuously. I'm not very good at expressing myself through personal reflections but I will try my best. So here are some highlights.

RUN (How is the progress of pounding the road for 2 years?) :
I've never would had thought that running would be a great part of my life. It was really unimaginable. Many years ago I would cringe and call the activity silly; despite my mom and uncle's efforts to encourage me. So it was a pleasant surprise that I picked it up seriously close to 3 years ago. What started out as something to try on has turned into healthy lifestyle choice. It was probably the best decision I've ever made.

Nonetheless I had a fair share of critical feedbacks along the way about my new found passion. Sometimes when you want to achieve something better in life; some individuals find pleasure in criticizing in what you do. It's very disconcerting but I try to learn something positive from all of it. I can only assume and deduce that it is probably down to jealousy and hatred. But I've learned not to let negative energy effect me and I continued on with my head held up high.

When I picked up the sport seriously, I was in for a ride. What started as a few km has churned out into a crave for more mileages. In a good way, of course. I've never rushed into doing a HM or FM when I began racing; opting to play around nothing more than 12km races in the first year. I think it was a wise decision as I wanted to get the feel and understanding of the sport; rather than rush into it hastily.

I remembered the first time I've ever broken a Sub-60 for a 10km. I was so happy that I was on cloud nine (LITERALLY). The endless amount of training to achieve the goal and I was very proud of it. From then onwards, it has always been less than 60 minutes for 10km. At times, I still couldn't believe it myself. From 01:30:00 to 54:00. The intensive training and hard work paid off.

The look of a person who for the first time breaking a SUB-60 for 10KM (Taiping Heritage Run 2011).
Photo Courtesy of Tey.
As time and stamina progresses, I've slowly ventured into the 21km and 42km playing field. ENR 2011 was my first HM event but I really counted SCKLM 2011 HM as my real Half Marathon instead since there was a distance shortage in the former.
That time, it was the longest distance I was about to venture to.  ENR 2011.
First official HM event. SCKLM 2011. Cried in pain at the finishing. 
My transition to HM & FM was quite an adventure in itself. I had loads of doubts and fears about the distance at that time and it got the best out of me. At SCKLM 2011, fear and pain got the best of me as I had to limp for dear life for the last 3km. For some of you who remembered my awful sobbing face at the finishing line (which I will not post), it was terrifying. But I learned to respect the distance and vowed to train more. I've since done a number of HM events without any difficulties and once done a coveted Sub-2 at PJ Half 2011. Another one of those personal achievement moments.

I've only done 2 FM in my life, Sundown SG and SCKLM (both 2012) between a gap of less than 30 days.  It was a crazy decision on my part as I was on my own uncharted territory and I had this constant internal nagging and pressure to do so. But I've never regretted the decision.

First Virgin FM. Sundown Marathon 2012.
Lousy timing but finished happily. 
Sundown Marathon came to me as a preparation for SCKLM and it came with it's own "blessings of rain". The first 25km were as per normal until a thunderstorm that lasted for almost 4 hours change it all. Cold, shivering and cramped so badly that I couldn't even walk straight. The last 16km was agonizing and brought me to the verge of breaking down. Despite finishing at a lousy time of over 6 hours, I was still happy and proud cause more importantly I didn't give up. It was a challenge to finish it but it was invaluable experience to prep me for my next FM.

Needless to say, my next FM at SCKLM was indeed a great one. Despite a few of my own hiccups along the way, I think I finished strong and shaving off more than an hour from my previous time is a feat. AND at least my finishing photo was a good one.

I shouted and pounded for joy at the finishing of SCKLM 2012. 
Running so far to me has been a journey of discovering many new things. I made loads of new friends and along the way learned a lot. Albeit I would say that my running activities this year has been reduced quite a bit compared to the last, I felt that perhaps the "quality" of the run counts more than the quantity. I may have set many PBs before (this year abit lesser), I look forward to be doing more the coming year but I'll be more selective.

CYCLING (Back on wheels?) :
I've just got my pair of wheels this year. The last bicycle I owned was in high school. Still learning many things and learning to take care of the bike. Not much to say about it at the moment but cycling has brought me to places and trying new things I've been longing to try. City cycling + random food joints has been the best activity so far. Although I'm still encouraged to put in a little more effort so that I consider some triathlon events. Well, it's part of the plan and it will take it's course.... soon. :)

BLOGGING (I just yap and yap):
I think it's pretty good since I've returned into the blogging scene since my absence a few years ago. And I couldn't had returned at a better time. Inspired to write and share my thoughts about running (and other random stuffs as well), the blog sorta gain a momentum. Slow but at least steady from the power of FB networking. I may not be the best blogger around. Sometimes I talk long and aimlessly but I've gained an insight and understanding of blogging from other fellow bloggers. It has been fruitful so far as I've got 3rd placing from the "Blog with Brooks" program held recently. To be honest, I'm still quite surprised.

Winning 3rd prize for Blog with Brooks.
Photo courtesy of Piffles Inc. 
But from all this "rambling blog post of mine", I told myself it's alright if nobody reads it but if I could touch one reader's soul to change his life to be a healthier one; I'll be very happy.

And it happened....

I received a note from a fellow reader that I've inspired him to start running and he wanted to make a change in his life for a healthier one. With that he started training and signed up for his first run.

I had tears in my eyes when I read the note. I've never thought I could had made such an impact and I felt blessed by his sincerity and words.

Like I said before, small gestures of love without the expectancy of any return is the biggest reward one could have.

PERSONAL LIFE (In general) :
Like you and me, we all have ups and downs. I'm not going to say "YES, it was an all good year for me". I also had my personal battles and moments.

"I'm only human, born to make mistakes..." - Micheal Jackson (Human)

But as I get older especially now I'm at this point in my life (the 3 decade moment), I've learned to stay calm and be mindful of things. Negativity is always around no matter how much you try to sweep them away. Take it in stride and learn to overcome. And with God's love and will, I always look forward to another better day. :)

And for those of you who keeps bugging me about my love life, I say it again, "When it comes; it comes."
Shan't elaborate more. ;)

In a kulit kacang (Nutshell) :
Yes, it has been great so far. It really was.

As the year ends, I wish to thanks to all my readers, family and friends for their wonderful support and I wish everyone the best for next year. Have a quiet moment to reflect upon the happenings this year and make it better for the next.

With HIS blessings, I'm also hoping for greater things to happen for myself next year as well.

Till then, HAPPY NEW YEAR to all~! :)

Tuesday 25 December 2012

The smartphone thing-a-jing-ga-ling

An old collection of my previous old phones. 
Random thoughts of the day.
Is technology making our life better or for the worse : The smartphone thing-a-jing-ga-ling or the smartphone debate.

Pretty much a technology question asked in recent years about the hype and existence of smartphones.
Bare in mind, what I say is pretty much a personal point of view and in no regards slandering any brands or users. To a few certain individuals who glorifies a certain fruit brand, please do not  hammer me.

In recent years, the smartphone scene has significantly changed the face of humankind. I for one, has fallen into that category of smartphone user 3 years ago; during the increasing hype of the Android platform. Before then, I can only stare in awe at a few friend's Iphones. My first experience with the first generation Iphone was so mind blowing that I could only gawk with mouth wide open. But alas the price of such gadgets are too far to reach.

Now this was 5 years ago.

At a glance today, we are blast with countless, endless advertisements of the latest (or the best) smartphone available. Technology is moving SO fast that it's so hard to catch up.

Price factor value? Almost anyone can afford one. In fact I saw one piece that cost less than RM400.

So this has got everyone chasing after the latest smartphone available; whether is it even necessary or not.

But I've seen the worse of people when it comes to this.

Here is something that happened recently.

My aunt recently told my mom that my youngest cousin is "behaving" again cause he demands the latest Iphone. In my thoughts, "Why the heck does a 12 year old wants an Iphone for?" Let me repeat, he didn't asked for it BUT he demanded for it. The excuse given was unreasonable; claiming that all his friends have one, hence he "deserves" one too.

WANT and DESERVE is two words too strong to be used in this context. I've heard of the strawberry generation but never have I thought it will hit so close to home. Alas, young cousin finally gave in to a "copy clone" of an Iphone after much persuasion with the intent of telling the world "I have one too".

I know this doesn't make any sense but back in my days, the most a 12 year old brags about is his Sega Gamedrive, Gameboy and comic books.

I've once asked little cousin "why?". And his reply was "Why not me when Papa, kor kor and che che all have one too." I see; so he was following by example? He also commented that I have one too; albeit mine was an Android device. I calmly and logically told him with sense that because I'm working and I earned the money to get it. I don't ask my parents for one. His next reply was a mean one. "I don't understand why you got such a lousy phone when Iphone is so much better". Partially shocked by his reply (and not really cause I know he is a brat) , my only reply to that was "Wait till you start earning then we have this talk again."

Although it sounds very shocking and crude but that's the way it is. Sometimes technology does change the way we are.

Another ongoing debacle is between friends about the IOS and Android or popularly known as Apple VS Samsung (or whatever other brand that uses Andriod's OS). I find this extremely amusing when I see such scenarios; almost too popcorn worthy. The debates can be so entertaining and some points pointed are incredibly hilarious.

To make a person say such things are like :

"IP better to hold than GNote"

"Tab better to write than Ipad"

"It's few grams heavier, so no good"

"Cause Steve Jobs says so" (this is one of the best unlogical reason I've heard)

"Screen colour too warm, so no colour accuracy" (what has this gotta do with making calls?)

"Neither too big, neither too small. What is the point?" (referring to screen)

"It's a great invention; that's why people queue for it" (I say you are stupid, cause you are queuing to "give" people money).

and etc....

I'm saying this as a joke, so don't get offended by it. My point being that there is a time we really need to draw a line when something is born of necessity or want.

Once my Sunday school teacher lamented, "Next time you see something, ask yourself this. Do you NEED it or WANT it? When you want something, the WANT is born out of the feeling of immediate gratification. A feeling to satisfy yourself momentarily but not be contempt with it for a long period of time. But when  you NEED something out of necessity, the justification is answerable."

Sounds like a cliche but every word said is true. But don't abuse the word NEED. You don't NEED everything.

Yes, I've been criticized for still using an old HTC phone but then so what? It still serves me well and working fine. I'm not a celebrity wannabe trying to prove something.

So don't be a generation where our faces are stuck looking down to a small screen even when we are out socializing. Look up and see the bigger picture. ;)

And to my cousin who might be reading this. The phone is just an object. Don't let it control you cause you own your life and not the other way round. Who cares what people say, you don't owe them anything. To prove ones worth is his good deeds and not to be measured by physical wealth.

Monday 17 December 2012

Hello Club "Three-to-the-O"

My Obi-Wan holds the banner for me.
Blink! Blink! Has it been 3 decades already? How time really flies.

Well, it's the time I have to officially say good bye to my 20's and say Hi to the 30's club.
Though I'm still not abandoning my "young at heart" spirit yet. ;)
Like a friend just recently told me, "The 30's is the new 20's". We had a good silly laugh when I asked if my previous 20's the 10's instead then?

First and foremost, I would love to thank to all my family and friends for all the well wishes I've been getting the entire week (and it's still coming). It's unbelievable how overwhelming it was and most have very kind words to share. I really appreciate it and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I had some heartfelt wishes and also some comical ones.

I've personally replied to each and everyone of you and here are some comical ones I've picked out from our "conversations" with a few guys & gals. It was either through Facebook or if we had a chat face to face.

"Yes, the cake has been digested. Already 2 days."

"It's not my time to get hitch yet; cause habuk pun tarak" (referring to a friend who recently announced her engagement)

"Welcome to the club! But, you still the youngest"

"30 is new 20"

"Only 30? young. Still can play around."

"Surprise! Ngek Ngek Ngek....." (Quote, unquote from an inception of an inception of a surprise birthday party)

"It's your birthday, you want ketchup bottle or tobasco sauce?" says the TGIF waiter asking me to make a speech.

All these are pretty much silly gibberish comments and there were many more. But at least it drew some laughter and smiles along the way. :)

The Dutamas Runners gang.
Thank you so much for the Dutamas Runners gang for the "surprise" birthday gathering (which happened earlier than my actual birthday). Especially to Kenny who skillfully had this whole inception plan planned out. And the others were very skillfully blind siding me the whole day since morning. Brilliant work guys and I tip my hat to you all.

Thanks to also friends who kept wishing me at Malakoff; even along the route where we were running. Really kamsiah. :)

And so, now this is it...

What lies ahead of me I do not know but I'm ready for the adventure.
With God's will and blessings, just hoping for a better tomorrow.

To quote what the late Yasmin Ahmad once often times said, "I'm just a tiny drop of water in this vast ocean."
I may be small but I can always learn and continue to learn more in the vast sea of knowledge.  :)

Monday 10 December 2012

I got pick-pocketed. What I learned from it.

There has been a certain quietness in my blog lately. Sorry bout that as I've been busy with stuff lately that requires my attention. No worries as I have a few blog post on standby; just that it's sitting in the draft folder waiting for me to refine the posts a bit more. 

But for this special post, I'm giving it an extra push due to concerns of safety.

As some of you know, I got pick-pocketed last Sunday inside the KTM train. I didn't elaborate much previously as I was pretty much in a state of shock and disbelieve. 

So here is what happened :

Kenny and I were out on our spontaneous weekend adventure and made plans to go to PC Fair on Sunday. We decided that morning that we should take the train instead of driving there just for the adventure. Besides, I really wasn't into parking at KLCC (for it's unbelievably expensive weekend rates). 

We had to make 2 train transitions. KTM to Putra LRT and vice versa (via KL Sentral) when we come back. We had a great day and was really enjoying our day out.

By early evening, we headed back home and was waiting for the KTM train at Central. KTM trains are notoriously famous for being delayed and you have to wait for at least 30 minutes for a train to come. The train platform is slowly filling up with passengers and we expected it's gonna be a "packed" ride.

When the train did finally arrive, the "Malaysia Boleh" spirit of our people is to rush into the train even before the other passengers inside can exit. Me and Kenny can just stand at the sides and shake our heads. It took quite sometime for us to get in but we managed. But at the same time, we somehow saw this one very suspicious looking chap who was forcefully pushing himself in and he refused to move when clearly there are some more space to maneuver around. Kenny sternly but politely asked him to move but he ignored. We just slowly made our way to any clearing possible and the coach was almost pack. 

And just when the doors were about to close, I naturally reached into my pocket to take out my phone. It was gone.....!

I quickly poked my head out of the door and the floor just to see if it fell off. Nothing.

The doors closed and I can only looked at Kenny stunned. I tried not to panic as I slowly search my other pockets and bags if it was misplaced. Nothing too.

I was mad and I couldn't believe my phone was just gone like that. Albeit it's a long outdated 3 year old HTC phone, but it has been serving me well all this years. I came close to telling Kenny that I would probably need to stop at the next station and return back to see if the phone is lying around the previous station. My suspicion was probably it fell onto the tracks. 

Then suddenly something flashed before me eyes. I looked at Kenny and immediately asked "Where is that guy?". Yes, that guy that was forcefully pushing around. We scanned around but he was no where to be seen. I slowly calm myself down as my heart was really pumping fast now. Fortunately I had my office mobile phone  (spare phone) with me and it was still in my pocket. I quickly made a quick dial and it was ringing!

I tried to slowly scan if my phone was ringing nearby. Luckily I was using a ringtone that has a very distinguish tone that seldom people use. It makes a certain thumping sound.

I could hear it nearby! My initial thought was I really did dropped it on the floor but the ringtone got significantly softer. I started moving towards the faint sound through the crowd and finally saw THAT guy suspiciously trying to back towards another coach. 

But luck would have it, he was stuck. As if the crowd knew what was happening, the crowd behind him blocked his way. I was about to call him out when he suddenly turned around and threw the phone back at me and shouted "Ada orang kasi aku punya!". 

I was shocked and fuming mad. I felt like punching him right in the face. What a bunch of bollocks excuses he was giving. If he said that someone gave him the phone, why did he threw the phone back to me if he already knew earlier it was mine?

At this time, I really got everyone's attention as I firmly and almost too loudly asked him "Kenapa kamu ada pegang telefon saya dan macam mahu larikan diri?". I PUT him on the spot. 

From his eyes, I knew he is in deep shit as everyone was watching. He quickly said some gibberish that I couldn't make out and forced his way again away from me. By this time, we almost just reached and stop at another station and he quickly got off! Lucky sod!

I slowly walked back to Kenny and I was shaking. What the heck just happened?
I had this adrenaline rush but I was very grateful that I recovered my phone. 

So what I've learned from it?:

Take extra care of your belongings and be extra aware of your surroundings. I was actually very alert and cautious throughout the period. I also have this OCD problem that made me constantly check my phone where ever I am. Even that, my phone was easily slipped off from my tight pocket without me realizing it.

I know many of you had mentioned that I should had punched him right in the face. That would had been my first reaction but you never know if they work in groups and in some way harm you later. 

My only regret was that I did not immediately snap a picture of the culprit. The whole thing happened too fast. I know I should have but I had loads of eye witnesses staring at him at that moment. I hope someone did. 

So my advise to everyone is again, be careful of your belongings when out in public areas. Like be really "paranoid" careful. 

I had my phone back and the experience (although shocking) is something to learn from. 

Monday 3 December 2012

Have you thanked anyone lately?

Have you complimented or thanked anyone lately? I mean, like really meant it from deep within your heart.

I came across this heart-warming video and I have to say it really brought tears to my eyes.

Sometimes it's just hard to say a kind word like a simple "Thank you" and yet we easily trash verbal abuses to others. Sometimes we need to put our egos aside and see it's so much better than carrying a negative burden.

The over said quote of "Life is too short to be pissed all the time" is very true. If we spend all our life just being pissed, we do not have another chance in life to be happy.

So start by just saying, THANK YOU!

So to you, mom : I just wanted to say THANK YOU and I love you. I know you know that. Sometimes we disagree a lot about things but we always come into terms. I've never said this to you but you have always been my biggest rock whether I needed you or not. You silently lend your support when I get disgruntled so that I wouldn't loose face. You lend me your shoulders to cry on when I was in my deepest saddest period. And I know you always give me the support and encouragement even when I don't acknowledge it. So again, Thank You and a million more loves to go with it. :)

Happy December everyone! :)

Saturday 1 December 2012

Brooks Malaysia Year End Sales Update

The Brooks Malaysia Year End Sales are back! Go grab a new pair of trainers to prep for the coming new year runs.

Here are some quick info :

Discounts up to 70%. While stocks last!

Venue: Forum 19, Lot 1, Jalan 19/1B, Petaling Jaya
Date: 1st Dec 2012 to 9th December 2012
Time: 10.00am to 9.00pm
For enquiries, please call Mr. Cheah @ +6016 229 9561

Concurrently, the Brooks Boutique shops are having a 50% off on a wide range of selected Brooks Shoes. But hurry as sizes are limited. So far I can confirm that Brooks The Curve and Brooks Sunway Pyramid are having this promotion.

For further info, do contact Peter (Brooks The Curve - 03-7725 8775) or Manson (Brooks Sunway Pyramid - 03-5631 7831)

There is a wide range from the Pure Project Series and the usual "go-to" shoes available. Selected Trail shoes are also available. 

So hurry! :)
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