Thursday, December 16, 2010

Dec11 - Sitra's Wedding (my 1st indian wedding)

My first Indian wedding. Was really excited about it. Mainly the attire since I got the invitation a week before Deepavali. My indian colleagues were glad to take me around saree shopping.

Invitation Card to a Wedding Luncheon

Sari Fabric is the traditional dress of women in India. It is an outer garment worn by a woman consisting of a single length of cotton or silk, 5 to 7 yards long, most often with one end wrapped around the waist to form a skirt, the other draped over the shoulder, or head.It is worn over a short, tight top (called Choli or Blouse) with short arms and a thin underskirt of plain cotton (Petticoat). -

Choli / Blouse

We went to Brickfields (newly launched India street) for fabric shopping. I went for black chiffon with pink sequins costing RM110. Silk would have been great but the price was greater. No wonder ppl prefer to get their supplies from India since it was much cheaper there compared to the hike up price in Malaysia. If a shop that sells each set of punjabi suit for >RM120, imagine how much that whole shop cost. Anyway, negotiation skills is required. Bought an underskirt as well since chiffon is transparent.

Petticoat / underskirt

Next up was tying the saree. Since there's no way I'm able to tie it all by myself, my colleagues recommended me a tailor to ready-make my saree & at the same time sew my blouse. The price varies. There's a shop nearby FAM stadium, PJ that would sew my saree for RM60 & blouse for RM75 *ouch*.

Ready-made saree

We were able to locate a tailor at the State, Old Town PJ (above the market) who can sew my saree for RM48 & blouse for RM45. That's what I call a deal. She took my measurements & I adviced her on my blouse design.

Wanted it to be more stylish but that requires more cost

A week later, my saree was ready. Fitting & alterations took an hour. Went to Sungai Way, PJ to get my accessories. Phew!! Sure spend alot just to accessorize eg. bangles, necklace, earrings & bindi.

A bindi (from Sanskrit bindu, meaning "a drop, small particle, dot") is a forehead decoration worn in South Asia (particularly India, Bangladesh)[1] and Southeast Asia. Traditionally it is a dot of red colour applied in the center of the forehead close to the eyebrows, but it can also consist of a sign or piece of jewelry worn at this location. -

 All ready to go

Day of event
All dressed up (needed my maid's help with the back buckel & pinning of the train to my shoulder). My colleague picked me to & we were on our way to venue.

The invitation card states prayers from 11.05am - 12.55pm. We arrived at 1230pm, in the midst of prayers. Good thing we didn't arrive earlier coz it's freaking long. I'm not good with traditions but I think they have to walk around the alter then exhange their form of wedding rings better known as thaali.

A Mangalsutra (mangala sutra, mangalasutra or thaali) is a symbol of Hindu marriage union in India. It is a sacred thread of love and goodwill worn by women as a symbol of their marriage. Every Indian woman considers the mangalsutra the most revered token of love and respect offered to her during the marriage ceremony. -

Bride & Groom

After that the dome on our table open to food eg. fish, chicken, vegetable, prawns, dal served with fried rice. Usually in chinese weddings, the bride & groom would walk from table to table to greet their guest with "yamsing" & phototaking. In the indian wedding, the bride & groom will be seated on stage while the guest would go up & have their picture taken with them.

It was a short session for my saree but a good experience. I wonder when will I wear my saree again. hmmm....
Once again, a heartful congratulations to Sitra & hubby 
& wish them many happy years ahead.

Dec10 - Herbaline in Sea Park

If you are reading this off, you'll get alot of non-sports related entries as well.
So please ignore if not interested.

As I was driving pass the main road between Sea Park & SS2, I noticed a long billboard stating RM38. After that only I say that one of the big bungalows had converted to a spa place. The RM38 is actually their first trial price for facial.
Lucky I didn't get into an accident looking at this

Herbaline (not Herbalife)  actually sells beauty products for your face eg. sunscreen, moisturiser, face wash & scrub etc. So I was really happy when I read "No Sign Course". I kinda hate it when the sales person keeps bugging you to sign a 10times package deal. I never liked parting my money that huge amount when I haven't even used it yet. I think I read before in the papers that a beauty parlor closed down leaving a number of angry customers behind.

Anyway, after months of no facials (suppose to go once a month), I made my appointment with them. Parked my car at their designated parking area & was greeted by a gentlemen who lead me to their entrance. Well, at least I knew my car will be safe.

Short briefing with their customer service then I was lead to wash my feet. Oh, I wasn't allowed to take pictures =(. Anyway, if you had went to any Thai massage centres like Thai Odyssey, they usually wash your feet for u. Well, here, you wash it yourself. Put ur feet into their nice looking basin, there's a scrub plus cloth for ur usage. After that, I was lead to a Lavender boiling pot & asked to take 3 deep breathes. Inhale thru ur nose then exhale thru the mouth.

The main event at last, is the facial. They use all their products so I was pretty worried as I have not use them before. My skin is pretty sensitive as I've gotten an "outburst" when I was young by using Oil of Ulan (sample packaging from magazines). The facial area is a rectangular room with at least 8 facial area surrounding it with a big bacin in the middle. The facial room is pretty small, just to accommodate the bed & some walking space. I was pretty comfortable except for the noise around the basin area with ppl talking & tapwater running.
Facial Room

After an hour, I was lead back to another boiling pot of Lemongrass for my circulation. I've always loved lemongrass. Then back to the reception area for a final analyst by the beautician. She explained to me what sort of product my skin requires but she did not push me to buy it. She even wrote down all the pricing for their products on their catalogue.
Warranty Card & Catalogue

Last but not least, I was lead to their fish therapy. I've never done this before as it's quite expensive outside eg. RM25 for 30mins. It was ticklish at first. A cloth was once again placed next to me to wipe my feet when I was done. Took a walk towards their garden for some relaxing moment. You wouldn't even feel that we were located in the center of Petaling Jaya.
Fish Therapy


Outside, it was already dark & the same gentlemen walked me to my car. As we were located on the main road, he helped to stop traffic for my car to get out.


It was a comfortable 1.5hrs. Oh, one more thing. They actually gave me a 3days warranty card in case my skin reacts to their product. First time for everything. Normal price for a facial is RM79. Much better than being stuck in a shopping mall salon & pay >RM120.

A little token from Herbaline

Friday, December 10, 2010

Dec5 - Singapore Marathon 2010

My 1st Singapore Marathon. I was here in 2008 to run the 10km. We stayed at the same hotel, Peninsula Excelsior Hotel, which was one of the closest to the finishing line, Padang.

Marina Sands
(actually if you have been to Pulau Weh, one of the places which got hit by Tsunami Dec2004
They have got big boats/ships located at various places. It is left there in case *touch wood* tsunami hits again & the boats are there for rescue. Look at the top of the hotel, don't you think this looks like it? =p)

We took the First Coach leaving from Bandar Utama to Novena Sq. Around 5hr trip with one pee-stop. Had lunch at the food court then start to The Float to pickup our race pack. Very organised though alot of walking, with our luggages.

 Overseas bib collection
This guard asked us where we're from, when we answered "Malaysia", he said "Welcome to Singapore"
That's wat I call hospitality
Cool, no queue.
Though the volunteers/kids are kinda blur.
I had to ask for the stuffs which is missing in my race pack
Bib colours were differentiated with your race time eg. sub4.5, sub5hrs etc
As well as category : 42km, 21km, 10km etc
Japanese runners has a special booth with a different Asics jersey *envy*
So call expo for the overseas runners *sniff sniff*

Rested abit then to Funan (located behind our hotel) for dinner then to bed at 10pm.

Race starts at 5am but the darn Starting Line is at Orchard Road (CK Tangs building). Advance booking of taxi came at 4am. The guys was bragging away coz it was a Bentley. No, I didn't specifically ask for a luxurious car. All I felt was spacious & leather seating.

The starting line was pen/cage from sub5hrs & faster and sub5 & slower.

Alot of running thru the city streets at the start. Just went with the flow. It was still dark. Next thing I know, I was running down a familiar road (Ford Road) coz I got lost here before during Aviva 70.3 in March. We were heading towards the ECP (East Coast Park). 
Christmas Deco at Orchard Road

Still early, not many supporters to cheer us on. Water station was great. I made sure I kept drinking to stay hydrated. 21.5km was the U-Turn point. I felt fatique during the return. Walked alot & I was afraid I might need the loo coz I wasn't sweating much.

42km starting area

After the ECP was worst, we were directed to a construction site on the left, & golf course on the right. I had a bad experience running past golf courses (North Face 50km 2009). The hot sun was up & burning down on us at the 32km mark. I was counting down from here.
Thanks Weng for the pic
There came a point where all the 10km & 21km runners were joined. This was total mental as as ppl start to walk, you'll follow on. I had to block my mind & just asked my legs to run, even jog.
I feel warm just looking at him

Saw the Sands Casino & Hotel, then we were running back towards the city. Passed The Float then there was only 3km more to go. Starting to pick up speed as I knew where we were. Ran passed the "durian" building. The sound of cheering was heard. Another 30secs to sub5. Chase! Chase!! Chase!!
Crossed the finish line at 4:59:22
The only thing in my mind after I crossed the arch was "Get me out of this sun!"
Isotonic drinks for all runners
A painful & burnt race
42km marathon finishers

Poong, Yvonne, me, KS, Frank & Bee
*Yvonne ran+walk her first 21km after running her first 10km at Penang Marathon 2weeks ago

Met up with the others when I collected my shirt & medal. Walked back to the hotel for a shower then lunch. Took the bus back to KL at 3pm.

Finisher Shirt
Everyone has the same medal except for the small embossment on the Eye of Singapore stating Marathon 42.195km

Ohhh, totally Malaysia Boleh. The immigration at Singapore Tuas like effiant as usual, but the one at Johor Bahru. Tisk tisk tisk!! It's so small where you'll have to push your way to the front. One counter has got 3 lines, no aircon (I was wearing my compression top to keep warm on the bus). That made us waste nearly 1.5hrs & we haven't even started our journey. Sigh....

Monday, December 6, 2010

Nov21 - Penang Bridge Marathon 2010

2 weeks after Taroko Gorge Marathon and our Taipei holiday, no rest is allowed. Penang Marathon is around the corner, 21 November.

The cheaper accommodation, Kristal Suite was fully booked a few days after the organisers announced the race date. After much contemplation, we decided to pay a little extra & stay at Eastin Hotel, Penang which was located right next to Queensbay mall (starting point).

We flew to Penang via Air Asia arriving before noon. Dropped off our luggage at the hotel then to the expo to "pat"/8/busybody/check things out.

Oh, we had actually requested the organisers to courier our race pack to us (with extra cost), which only arrived 3days before our departure. The amount of stress we went thru. The Roo is able to live another year.
*Kangaroo = courier service

No queue
Might have saved our effort & collected here rather than pay for slow courier service

New Balance

Dark clouds

Queensbay Mall


Later that evening, we met up with the others eg. Bee, carmen, Kris, Frank, Chin Chin & Li Wei for early dinner (6pm).

I didn't mention before, the 42km marathon starts at 2am. Crazy isn't it?!! So we were in bed like around 8pm, I believe a few others didn't even bother. Somehow it makes us feel even crappier.

By 1am, we made our way towards the starting point for last minute toilet break, luggage tent & stretching. Our friend, Yvonne was doing her first 10km run (just bought her shoes a week before & apparel 2days ago *shake head*).

 Pui San & Wendy
Supporter :Lydia
                                  Poh Seng                                                              Yvonne

The route was pretty straight forward with no traffic (its bloody 2am). Some of us joked to enjoy the scenary. haahha... The last time i was here, I did the 10km run in 2008. I remember zigzagging thru the school kids. But in the full marathon, there aren't many willing to go thru the pain.

As I got onto the Penang Bridge, street lights lit up the whole day where u can see other end. Some was demoralised as they realised that it's freaking long but I felt good in the start. It was a very humid day. I know that compression apparel is meant to be cooling but I was practically hyperventilating underneath my 2xu compression top & singlet. I hid behind an ambulance & stripped myself (don't worry, I've my sports bra to hide my modesty). Once the restriction was gone, I was able to breathe again.

Not sure where i got this pic from
Sunrise on Penang Bridge

The KM marker was terrible, or in truth, the lack of it. I see 16km before the U-turn then 20km after the u-turn. Huh?! Did I just do a 4km in like 10mins?

With the distance marker gone, my intake of gels too went down the drain (I use to take at every 10km). At a distance, I could see thunder & lightning. It had been raining in Penang the last few days in the morning, so I think we'll be expecting the same thing. It's such a dissappointment that First Aiders don't carry petroleum jelly/vaseline during a race. I guess it's more of a triathlete requirement as we are used to running in wet shoes.

Petroleum jelly creates a coverage against friction between cloth & skin. vaseline is a cheaper version comparitively to Body Glide.

Once I got back to middle of the bridge, where we collide with the 21km, the heaven's open up on us. There's no shelter to run to. I stopped for the 2nd time to put my compression top back on. My first ever time I played the strip tease, on a bridge, out in public. hahahha

KS, me, Carol, Karen, Lawrence, Jamie, Frank, Poong

After around 20-30mins, "she" was satisfied. we joined back to the Jelutong highway, where the 21kms u-turn to make their way back to the finished line while I had another err...I think 18km to go. The distance where I usually hit the wall, which I did. I was taking it easy already. I yawned from time to time. Frank caught up to me & we kept each other company from there on. On the way back, I had cramps at my calves & shin.

KS, me, Yee Hua, Chin Chin, Li Wei, Frank, Poong

 KS & his students : Chin Chin & Poong

 The student that just wouldn't listen to his training advice =p

Trying to act cute; the "Yee Hua"'s way

Once we got back to the Queensbay Mall area, the sun was nearly up. Cheers were heard. We had already passed the sub5hr mark. 

Once we met up with everyone & picture taking, we walked back to the hotel & cold & drench. Cleaned up then breakfast. I couldn't take in any solid as I was too...everything. Too tired, too sore, too cold etc. Swallowed hot porridge & hot tea then back to my room to a well deserved sleep before our departure back home at 2pm.

Total time : 5:05:35 (as per my watch)
Can't tell split time coz no proper distance marker.