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Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year 2011

It is the end of 2010 and we are going to 2011 very soon.This year has been a very hectic year for me and also a good year for me and my family.



My 2010 resolution was to study(as mention in my previous posting one year ago)and I can said I partially achieved it.My diploma programme is coming to the end soon in March 2011 after a final examination on 27th March 2011.I am confident I can pass though this course.What is next after this examination?It will be the difficult post graduate examination for Family Medicine by Royal Australia College of General Practitioners which enable those who pass to practice in Australia.Am I going for this examination?At this moment the answer is NO!For the past 2 years I found out it was not easy to divide my time for my personal interest like
marathon,works,family and studying.Currently there aren't any major push for me to migrate
or to work overseas.Life is comfortable here....at least for now.



What is my running resolution for 2011?Probably not much on running for next year.I already committed to run Hong Kong Marathon in February 2011 and I have no further plan for any other marathon in 2011.Maybe I will take part in some shorter distance run like a 21km run which doesn't require me to train so much.Overall it will be running for fun and to keep myself fit for the rest of 2011.Nothing on achieving a personal best but more on running as a way of socialising with the rest of my Seremban 2 running mates.Hopefully the running desire can be sustained until 2012 as I have plan to run the Sundown Ultramarathon then.



What is in store for 2011?I foresee 2011 will be a year busy with travelling.I was too kiasu enough to book too many oversea trips because of the dirt cheap Airasia price.It will be a family trip during every school holidays next year to Shanghai,Seoul and New Zealand.



2011 will also be a year which I hope I will be able to learn to swim the proper way.Currently my children are learning swimming under supervision from a coach but I am too shy to enroll for the swimming lesson because there isn't any adult in the class.Knowing how to swim is an important
and useful skill to learn in everyone life.I don't have the privilege to learn it during my younger days and I hope it is not too late to acquire the skill now.The main obstacle is to get rid of my shyness and inferior complex feeling when I am in the pool with a group of kids and young adults.



2010 is a good year.I am blessed with a good health,a good family life and also a good return in investments throughout 2010.I must thank God for all the blessing.I hope the blessing will continue on for the coming 2011.



To all my friends and readers of my blog,I wish you...



A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR 2011



May you be blessed with good health and a peaceful year ahead.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Celebration @SIB Seremban

SIB Seremban combined Christmas Celebration on 25th December 2010 involving the English,Bahasa Malaysia and the Chinese congregations.







Christmas is the celebration to commemorate the birth of Jesus .



Who is Jesus Christ?



His Birth Was Different

Luke 2:10-14

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,"Glory to God in the highest,and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!"




This child Jesus was more than an ordinary child.He was the one sent from God to be the Saviour of the people.

John 3:16


For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.




His Life On Earth Was Different



He showed us the example how to find joy and a real purpose for living.


John 10:10

I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full

He wrote no book.He accumulated no possessions but after almost 2000 years He is still the one central character of history!His life was different because He did not sin!


1 John 3:5

You know that he appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin


But in contrast to Jesus,we humans have all sinned


Romans 3 :23

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God


Romans 6:23

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.






After His cruel crucifixion on the Cross,his lifeless body was sealed in a tomb but three days later his followers found the tomb empty.They thought the body had been stolen but the angels appeared and said to them :


Luke 24:5-7


"Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise."








You Can Have Eternal Life



When Lazarus,a friend of Jesus died,his sister Martha was very upset but Jesus comforted her with the words:

John 11:25

"I am the resurrection and the life.Whoever believes in me, though he dies,will live,
and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?"


A Way To Life


Proverbs 14:12

There is a way that seems right to a man,

John 14:6

"I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.


Jesus Is The Answer.


HE IS THE ONLY WAY,TRUTH AND LIFE!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Giving Up Sundown Ultramarathon Dream.

It has been 12 days since Singapore Marathon and I have not been doing any running.I feel more relax knowing that I have more time for my personal works instead of running.Currently I spent more time completing my assignments,doing research works for my coming holidays in 2011-to Shanghai,Seoul and New Zealand.I can wake up late everyday!Yahoo...




After 2 years of running and having done few marathons,I am planning to run future marathons without much training.Is this possible?I don't have any ambitious target to achieve like doing a sub 4h finishing time.I only wish to complete a marathon without injuries within 5 hours and I don't want to spend so much time training.Lazy...right?



Time is a major factor.Lack of time and too much of other commitments preventing me from going beyond running marathons.



I always have the desire to do an ultra marathon since last year.However the fear,lack of peers participation,discouragement from my family and lack of time preventing me from doing it.

To join or not to join the Sundown Ultra marathon?This has being bothering me since the registration starts until 2 weeks ago.I have been weighing the pros and cons of taking part.Finally I have make up my mind -Not To Join!

Training for ultra is very time consuming.One needs to do about 90km/week at the highest mileage week.I don't think I can find the time to do that.My usual 20-30km/week mileage is already taking too much of my daily time.




I was very excited when Sundown Ultra marathon opened for registration.I almost paid up the registration fee but my computer gave me problems when the software blocked the registration site because it was perceived as a dangerous site.I called my sister in Singapore to register for me but she wasn't helpful.Instead she gave me advices why I shouldn't go for it.



Now I have come to my sense and I have decided to give up on my ultra marathon ambition for next year.If everything goes well then I may consider taking up ultra marathon in 2012.



To those "virgin ultra marathoners to be" I salute you guys for being brave enough to take up the Sundown 100km challenge especially to YS who has done only one marathon so far in his life.



Sorry YS..for not able to accompany you to stroll down the parks in Singapore from sundown to sun rise next year.Ha..ha..ha....Wish you luck in your maiden ultra marathon.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Gathering of classmates

Event:Gathering for former classmates
Place:Allson Klana Hotel,Seremban.
Date:11th December 2010





The power and influence of Facebook brought us together after so many years.We were studying in the same school-The Anglo Chinese School (ACS) in Seremban more than 20 years ago.After so many years,many of us have changed in term of appearance.I could not recognised many of them.Many have put on lots of weight with their prominent pot belly and few have lost their hair!This is part of ageing.




Although we are getting older now but we are still young at heart.We still think we are young and capable to do many things.However we feel "annoyed" when someone call us uncle or aunty.
It was fun getting together with old friends,talking about the good old days when we were in school and life 26 years ago.
It was also sad to know few of us are suffering from chronic medical illness like hypertension,diabetes ,stroke and one of us was suffering from renal failure which needed dialysis.One died from cancer.Another died from heart attack.

Hopefully we can have another bigger gathering in the future.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2010

The Grand Finale

Place:Singapore,
Starting Point:Orchard Road
Ending Point:The Padang
Time:5.00AM
Date:5/12/2010


This year my family and I took Jetstar flight to Singapore instead of Airasia as the price was cheaper.Francis,Steve and Lau were on the same flight too.The weather was cloudy on Saturday morning.There were many other runners on the same flight.One can easily spots them from their running shoes and many wore their previous finisher T-Shirt.






The flight was slightly delayed and because of the bad weather on arrival in Singapore the pilot had to abort landing.We spent another 20 minutes in the air before the pilot successfully landed the plane.We were finally safe on ground at 10.30am.



We took the cabs to our hotel near City Hall-The Grand Park City Hall Hotel which is opposite the Peninsular Hotel.This is a better hotel compared to Peninsular which I stayed during the past two visits.I was lucky to get an interconnecting rooms for my family.The breakfast wasn't that good though.

After checking in..Francis,Steve and Lau went off to collect their race packs while my family and I went off for lunch.The lunch was at Maxwell Food Center which was frequently mentioned in tourist website.However I found the place to be crowded,dirty and not up to my standard.



The rest of the afternoon was spent in Vivo City,the largest shopping center in Singapore.The kids bought some toys and books.



At night,carbo loading time in Orchard road and spending time enjoying the Christmas light up and street performances along Orchard Road.There were many beautifully decorated Christmas trees everywhere.I was in front of ION Orchard but I can't see any posters or banners indicating the starting point for our marathon.



Then it was time to go back to the hotel to get some rest and sleep.



From L-R:Eric,Francis,Lau,myself,Yee,KG and Steve.
I only managed to get 3.5 hours of interrupted sleep.I usually can't sleep well before a race.Woke up at 2.00 am and took my own sweet time to get ready while my family was sound asleep.Should have stayed near to the starting point so we could get some extra sleep.At 3.30 am, the rest of the gang were ready waiting at the hotel lobby.



Then another problem cropped up at the last minute.One of the taxi which we pre booked earlier did not turn up.So only 4 persons were allowed to board the 1st taxi.Since there were 7 of us....some sacrifices has to be made.Yee and Eric, both were on their "big and final mission for 2010" wanted to go first.I wasn't sure if to go first or wait for another taxi.Steve,Lau and KG voluntered to wait for another taxi.So I boarded the taxi with Yee,Eric and Francis.
  1. Later I found out that the remaining three persons walked to Orchard Road from our hotel which was few kilometres away!!What a sacrifice.I must thank Steve,Lau and KG for that.
When I told my sister about the "missing taxi",she asked me to lodge a complaint and for sure the authority will take some action against the irresponsible taxi.
  1. I was with Eric at the sub -5h pen chit chatting while waiting for the race to start.At 5.00am we were sent off.Soon I lost sight of the rest of my friends.There were too many runners.
I was running a bit too fast for my usual pace.I started to feel some discomfort on my left hamstring at 8km mark.At 10km mark,I noticed it was 61 minutes into the race.Too fast..I need to slow down or else risking cramps or "hitting the wall" later in the run.However everyone was running quite fast and subconciously my legs followed too.
  1. At 20km I noticed that I was still too fast.I was going at about 6.2min/km which was not my normal pace.I began to worry if I would developed cramps later on.I consciously slowed down to my usual running pace...6.5min/km to 7.0min/km
Then it was the usual route through East Coast Park and back.The sky started to brighten up and the I could feel the morning heat by the time I exited the ECP.The next portion of the route was the worst.We were running through some construction sites and were totally exposed to the bright burning morning sun.Luckily I have the cap and the sunglass which Francis loan to me.It was very useful that morning.For this I have to thank Francis.
  1. Initially I wasn't sure if I needed these as I believed the weather forecast would be right.The forecast was rain at 2.00am before the race starts and cloudly weather throughout the morning.What a perfect setting for runners especially to those with big mission to accomplish.But to our disappointment,there wasn't any rain during the race but extreme hot and dry weather.


Then the worst nightmare came.....exactly like what happened during Penang Marathon 2 weeks ago where full marathoners joined up with the rest of runners heading towards the finishing line.It was a massive human jam at the bridge and I saw a runner down at the side of the road.The ambulance was having a difficult time reaching to the injured runner.I had to squeeze and pushed myself through the walkers,some holding hands strolling through the bridge.
  1. After crossing the bridge I was confident that I can achieved a 4:30h finishing time but I keep reminding myself not to be over excited but to continue running at the current pace.I was afraid my legs would developed cramps if I increase my pace since my quadriceps were aching.


Finally,the happiest moment was crossing the finishing line with a time of 4h 31m 27s which is my personal best time.I did not aim to get a personal best time in Singapore.I was just hoping to better my last year time of 4h 53m.What I achieved was a bonus to me since I was not feeling well few days before the race and the hot weather on the race day.
  1. After collected the medal and finisher T shirt,I went around the race site looking for the rest of the Seremban group but can't see any of them.In the mean time,my kids were having fun at the kids zone.This year,there were less games and activities for the kids but my kids still managed to collect some souvenirs after completing some games.
I walked back to the hotel at 11.00am while my kids were at the kids zone until 12.30pm.



The results from our group:
1)Francis 3h 43m 12s
2)Eric 4h 0m 33s
3)Myself 4h 31m 27s
4)Yee 4h 32m 29s
5)Lau 4h 53m 39s
6)Steve 7h 09 m 43s
7)KG 7h 55m 09s

Below are the good and bad points of SCSM based on my personal encounters and opinions:

  1. The good points of SCSM:
1)Helpful volunteers and supporters-one gave me a bananas on my way out of ECP.Also got sweets from another lady.
2)Nice medal
3)Nice finisher T-Shirt
4)Fast results on line.When I reached home from Singapore the next evening,the results were already online.
5)Detailed results with split time and ranking.
  1. The bad points of SCSM:
1)The massive crowd at the bridge.
2)The lack of carnival atmosphere at East Coaast Park.
3)No gel?Can't locate where volunteers gave out gel to runners.
4)No fun running through construction sites.
5)Not much games in the kid zones.
6)Bag zone too far away from finishing point.
7)Lack of toilets at the starting points.Many male runners were seen "fertilising"plants around Orchard Road.
8)No sponging stations.So I have to use drinking mineral water to cool my body.



That night after my marathon,my family and I went to Singapore Night Safari.Personally I don't find this place interesting.It was grossly over rated.I was told Night Safari is the 2nd or 3rd commonest visited place by tourists.
1)The show wasn't fun.
2)The lightning too dim...well it supposed to be night safari right?But the elderly like my 78 years old father find it difficult to walk around.
3)Things are expensive..from entrance fees to foods and souvenirs.
4)Must have good camera which able to snap nice pictures at night without using flash.Flash will frighten the animals.
5)Must be able to walk in order to explore the night safari on foot.My children were too tired due to too much walking in the shopping malls and my father's vision wasn't so good for us to explore the park at night.


Then next day,we went to Under Water World Singapore in Sentosa Island.Again I found out this place is not big as expected.Not many fish tanks.I have visited better and bigger aquarium oversea.
The entrance ticket also enable us to watch the dolphins show.Again...nothing special.




Then it was time for us to go home...back to our home sweet home.Although I find Singapore is a nice place to visit,I wouldn't want to stay there for a long period.There are many complaints about life in Singapore when you talk to Singaporeans.Everyone thinks grass is always greener over the other side.




There are always some interesting performances and activities in Singapore.In Changi Airport,live Christmas performances (above).


Conclusion:
SCSM is a good race to take part in.However I will not be returning to Singapore next year for the 2011 edition.Maybe it is time to venture out to other race venue instead of Singapore.