Monday, March 12, 2012

Brooks Half Marathon 2012

On March 11th I participated in my first half-marathon. I’ve been active since returning to Malaysia by playing squash, ice hockey, futsal, and jogging. However, during the Christmas holidays in Indonesia I decided I wanted to get more serious about running. Although I definitely have been running more since Christmas, I can’t say that I was adequately prepared for a half-marathon. The only other time I participated in an organized run as an adult was the beer run posted below.
Although I wasn’t well prepared, I finished the half-marathon (21k) without stopping once in a time of 2:29. My finish time is an estimate since the official times won’t come out for another week or two. I think the key reason I was able to finish without stopping is that three of my other co-workers were also participating. All of us finished the race and it was a first for everyone. My wife Lyna did the 10k with almost no training and she said it was too easy. She wants to target a half-marathon soon. Hopefully she’ll train for that.
The whole experience was great. My new target is a full marathon in Hat Yai, Thailand near the end of May. Ouch!

Race started just after 5:30 am. We woke up at 3:00 am Sunday morning. We didn't have any drinks the night before and got five hours sleep. We actually felt great!

This picture is simply epic. I only wish I was the focal point rather than the background. This is during the last kilometer. At least the people around me are in good shape. The staggered teh starts of the 21k, 10k and 5k so everyone finished around the same time. I found that kind of lame because so many people were walking in the last kilometer.

I really look like I'm weeping in this picture and that's because I probably am.

The sun blazing in my eyes and the euphoric endorphin rush setting in

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tom Dick & Harry Mou Man Tai Run

           I participated in my first organized run since public school this past Sunday. It was the Tom Dick & Harry Mou Man Tai Run. It was a 5k run with free flow of beer afterwards. There were over 600 participants and it was a really awesome event. For RM 30 you get a dry fit t-shirt, 5k run and free flow beer after the run. I stayed for about 2 ½ hours after. Whether you’re a runner or not, you should come out next year. Wait, don’t come out! More beer for me!

      You gotta support the organizers of such a great event. I arrived about an hour early, so I bought a pitcher of Carlsberg before the race. Drinking beer before a run is something you should never do.

The ladies during warm-ups.

      The race begins. I got off to a slow start, but I picked it up. I'm pretty happy with how well I placed considering I was feeling like hell the whole time due to the pre-race brewskis.

      The best part of the race. Sharing war stories over unlimited Carlsbergs. Being the only large group of foreigners in the race, the photographers and video crewed loved us. I suspect we'll be in some TDH promotions this coming year. That's the price you gotta pay for having such a great time I guess. I'll be there next year, but no pre-race beers.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Recent Happenings

Geno on his first visit to the park across the the street from our house.

Geno running at full blast. He is eight weeks old and I imagine most of those eight weeks were spent in the cage we saw him in when we bought him. He seems so excited and wants to investigate everything.

He lives life to the fullest. There is a funny video that goes with this photo, but it's kind of hard to upload videos. After too much excitement Geno passes out and nothing can wake him up.

This is a short clip taken on February 1st. It's a huge monitor lizard right outside our kitchen window. I've seen a few while golfing, but this is a monster right in my own back yard. Got to be careful about letting Geno out alone. I'm sure he'd be a quick meal for this beast.

I've been running and exercising a lot lately. Over the Chinese New Year I discovered a great running track that goes around a lake near my school. Actually, I knew about it because some of my friends run there but I just recently visited for the first time. It's a really nice 1.1 km track that is a nice change from jogging on the sidewalkless/deadly streets of Subang Jaya.

I think I just finished a 10K run here. I am planning on running in the Brooks KL Half-Marathon in March. I'l keep you posted. In this photo I'm sporting the uniform of Malaysia's national football team. Malaysia Boleh!

Finally, my turtles must have been feeling a little neglected lately so I guess they built this turtle structure to get my attention.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Geno St.Germain (GSG)

We’ve been planning on getting a dog since we got to Malaysia. After a very boring Chinese New Year where we did nothing but stay home, we decided the time was right for a new member of the family. His name is Geno. We drove all the way across KL in terrible rain for 2 ½ hours to find him. Lyna put him in her purse on the way home and he seemed to enjoy the crazy motorcycle ride. I think Lyna already has some terrible plans to pamper him, but I plan on training him for dog fighting.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Bukit Lawang Part Two

On one of our last days in Sumatra we paid a guide to take us on a three hour trek in the jungle. After about two hours we finally got to see a wild adult male orangutan. Apparently it's rare to spot a wild male in the jungle this time of year. It's especially rare on a three hour trek as the guides usually like selling people on the more expensive multiple day tours.

First sighting!

To be honest, I got nervous any time he moved even slightly.

I won't make a rambling post as to how amazing this guy is, but if you ever get a chance to do something like this I highly recommend you go for it.

Four days and still not a single beer in Malaysia!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

New Year and Bukit Lawang

Since our hotel in Lake Toba evicted us a few days prior to the New Year, we had to spend New Year’s Eve in Medan. I’m no fan of Medan, but they did put together a good New Year party. Our hotel was right beside the center of the action.

My New Year’s resolution this year is to not drink a single beer on Malaysian soil for the entire year. If I’m outside of Malaysia for a holiday, then it doesn’t count.

 Photos taken on Lyna's phone which has a 12mp camera. We just don't know how to use it to its full potential.

At the tail end of our holiday we were bored out of our skulls in Medan, so we decided to go to Bukit Lawang. It’s the place to go to see orangutans in the wild. I was kind reluctant to go because I don’t really like jungle trekking, but it ended up being one of the best things I’ve done in a long time.

Things to do in Bukit Lawang:

1. Trek
2. Tube down a pretty strong river.
3. Drink

Warning: Don’t let your wife or girlfriend go to Bukit Lawang alone as the tour guides are quite aggressive and lots of women fall in love with them.

Killing a few beers at the restaurant at our guest house. Our room cost a whopping $5 per night. It was ok for the price.

Our first trek was to the relatively nearby Bat Cave.

It was only a 20 minute walk to the cave, but the whole experience felt like a good workout to me. 


 The Bat Cave is kind of a side trip people make when not looking for orangutans, but it's actually really cool. 

This is the moment where I decided I would not drink a beer on Malaysian soil in 2012. It was kind of a life changer.

Here I am deep in the Bat Cave pretending to be a Wizard of some sort. Believe it or not, there are actualy bats sleeping in the Bat Cave. Once I saw them, I kind of freaked out. I didn't know if they would bite me if I disturbed them. When one made a squeaky noise, I totally freaked out and ran back. Once I stopped, I had to search deep inside myself to overcome my fear and go to the end of the cave. It probably took a good ten minutes for me to summon the courage to go to the end of the cave. Interestingly, Lyna wasn't nearly as afraid as me.

Once we conquered the cave, we were psyched on going to see the orangutans the next day. Most pictures in this pst are of me because the pictures I take with the phone camera mostly suck. 

Later that night we encountered the biggest rainstorm either of us had ever experienced in our lives. It was a four hour torrential downpour. 

Monday, December 26, 2011

Lake Toba

We decided to fly to Medan, Indonesia for our Christmas holiday this year. The main factor in our decision was that the return tickets were less than $30 each. If you’re reading this blog to learn something about travel, then let me warn you that there is absolutely no reason to stay in Medan for more than a day or night. Lyna seriously hates the place and I knew I had to get us out of there quick before she exploded on me. We decided to haul ass to Lake Toba.

Lake Toba is the most chill place I’ve been to in a long time. It’s definitely a good place regardless of your age or gender. It’s kind of like being in cottage country in Ontario.  There really isn’t much to do here, but I’m definitely not going to complain about that. I’m really enjoying having time to decompress from a hectic semester teaching and learning.

The pictures posted below are from my iPad because one of us forgot to bring the charger for our Canon camera. 

A picture of Lyna on the lake. This is taken at the restaurant we ate our Christmas dinner at. 

Enjoying an afternoon beer on Christmas day. I earned it. I ran about 5k in the early afternoon and then walked the same route with Lyna to do a bar crawl. 

Yes, you can openly buy magic mushrooms here. Upon check-in at my hotel, the manager promptly offered me shrooms for about $8. Thanks, but no thanks!