Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Weekend Getaway and Monday Happenings

I’m back peeps! I got back yesterday afternoon – BTW, Air Asia is outdoing themselves these days! Yup, they’re getting my bonus points (if that counts!). Both flights arrived super early; e.g. we got in 35 minutes ahead of schedule – definitely zero time if you planned on having a meal or at least have to get through it quick since the flight is just under an hour.

I managed to meet Michael for a session yesterday evening – it was a back-and-chest combo although given the amount of rest and zzz I had on Sunday coupled with the massage, I was good to go for legs too. Ahh he’s saving that for Wednesday…since he planned on “killing” me with the free standing pull-ups and dips.

Supersets of:

a) Smith machine bench press (it was a 10 degree angle and I thought it was the incline press…until Michael put me on the same machine at the 45 degree bench for the “real” incline! Dang!)

b) LF cable close grip lat pull down

Supersets of:

c) Smith machine incline chest press

d) Plate weight bend over row

Supersets of:

e) DB chest fly

f) LF cable upper back pull back with iron bar

Supersets of:

g) Free standing pull-ups

h) Free standing dips

Single sets of:

i) Leg raises

Oh right…you wanna hear about the weekend. Here goes (bullet style) or you can skip it and head straight to the pics.

• I headed out to Lake Gardens for a short, nice and easy recovery run at 7 am. Uurgh, my quads were on fire from Friday’s workout; hence the shake the Gremlins run. There was no pressure and no Garmin and I went at a “smell the flower” pace, so imagine my surprise when the final average pace was 5:20 min/km – 4.6km in 24:32 minutes. Odd eh? This pace would have been a breathless and “dying” pace a year ago. So much has changed in the past year, in fact since the start of the year when I started training with Kenny. I feel so much stronger now and am less antsy or stressed when Ronnie suggests we do the 4 laps for Wednesday’s group runs. Naturally, it didn’t happened overnight and the buildup started last year during runs with Kei Ming and Aron.

• It was a quick shower and breakfast before Jeff came to pick me up. Check-in (already did a web check in a week prior) and immigration was a breeze. Then came the bad news – news flash of S&P’s downgrade of the US sovereign rating. The equity markets had already taken a beating on Friday and with this news on Saturday morning, it was a bloodbath yesterday.

• The flight was full – comprising mainly runners for the Hat Yai Nature Run 2011; so it was a sort of mini gathering of the KL running community and the banter flew about easily. It was a short flight (55 minutes) and I had to practically gobble my lunch (black sesame seed puff) when the announcement for the landing came. Same thing for the return journey and on both sectors, the pilots went super fast. Score!

• Hat Yai is really what Bidor, Kuala Kangsar or any one of the smaller towns is – probably about 4 main streets. Since it’s a border town and with lots of cross border traffic, most people spoke Hokkien or Mandarin. I had a walkabout town on Sunday afternoon and probably covered the 3 shopping complex in an hour. LOL! Lots of stalls along the tourist belt; the only thing I missed was the floating market (afternoon nap after the run was clearly a priority!!!) – KK snagged a few clay utensils for under RM2.

• KK’s friends (Suki and Tee, also Bukit Jalil Running Club prez) had arranged for the airport transfer and our hotel. New Season is a relatively new hotel, 3-star, it was a basic accommodation and I wasn’t expecting much. The 2 things that annoyed me during my stay were the random ants and the sort of musty smell at the entrance. They also don’t have coffee/tea making facilities a.k.a. a kettle but this is easily solved by requesting for one.

• I just had to book a massage session on Sunday. Absolutely. No Doubt About That. Hey, I was in pain or rather sore from Friday’s session (yes, it was still sore when I lined up at the run on Sunday morning) and it was cheap. Like really cheap. Like THB240 for a 1.45 hours of Thai massage; that’s RM24!!! Unfortunately, the therapist tried some hard selling at the beginning of the session – like KK says, you just have to be firm and say no. It also helps if you don’t speak Hokkien or Mandarin and answer in English. Yeah, I’m that so-not-Chinese. Then again, a 2-hour oil massage was only RM35. But I do not like oil massages in Thailand – or maybe I haven’t found good therapist or maybe I’m comparing everyone to Diane. The next unfortunate thing? I was in “pain” with every pressure point she applied, especially the legs and shoulders. This is what happens when you’re sore and have too much muscle (in proportion to fat)!!! I was wobbly when I left – the calves felt like caving 6 feet under! Naturally I did the next best thing – quick bite for lunch before a siesta! And followed that up with an 8-hour zzz that night.

• Eats during the weekend was nothing memorable. Saturday was about eating “clean” in prep for the run the following morning; the boo-boo was dinner took more than an hour to arrive and they served the dishes first and said TPC and my single serve rice and noodles would only come out after ALL the non-vegan dishes. We left after an hour of waiting and grabbed some buns at 7-11 on the way back. Sunday was slightly better – breakfast at the race site (dough fritter or yau char kuay), quick bite of buns for lunch (since siesta was waiting!) and Japanese cold soba and ABC for dinner. The ABC was a huge let down; I should have gone for the mango sticky rice at the adjacent stall.

The non-vegan dinner on Saturday

And here's what KK and Geannie had on that night! Talk about the power of Guiness and Singha!

My Japanese cold noodles and failed ABC

Final meal at the airport before we left - well, at least for KK and TPC

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