Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Day 2 KK (23/03/06)




Woke up, had tuna sandwiches and Uncle Toby Sports Plus bar for breakfast.


Walked up to the Kinabalu Park reception to get our climbing permit and meet our guide. We were told during last night’s briefing that there are some shelters along the trail, and there are toilets and water tanks at every shelter. However the ranger advised us against drinking the water as it is untreated and may cause diarrhoea if our body cannot take it. So kiasu me did not want to take any chances (after my mega tummy upset post Hanoi)_and decided to lug about 5 litres (5 kg) of water. Of course, we were going to hire a porter to carry all this for us to Laban Rata.

It was quite a task carrying the water plus my other belongings up that little slope to the reception. I later got my bag weighed and found out that the whole bag weighed about 14kg!


Finally met our guide. There were no porters available so Nazri was kind enough to carry our load for us. He had 3 bags to carry – mine, Ellen’s and his own. These people are really fit!

Took a van to Timpohon gate, the starting point.


Arrived at Timpohon gate. We were the first to enter the gate! As we walked further down we were greeted by Carson’s Fall.

Carson's Fall


Arrived at Pondok Kandis (1,981m), first stop.


Arrived at Pondok Ubah (2,095m), second stop. By this time Ellen was beginning to experience some dizziness and fatigue. We took it slower from this point onwards.


Arrived at Pondok Lowii (2,286m), third stop. Ellen was complaining that I was walking too fast, so we took a longer break here. She managed to recover and felt much better after this stop. At this point it was already slightly more than 2km. The scenery was really beautiful…I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of my walk. Although I didn’t do any train training prior to the trip, I was really glad I did a lot of alternate lunges. That really helped in ascending all those steep steps.


Another 35 minutes, and we arrived at our 4th stop, Pondok Mempening (2,518m). I was wondering whether this is the point that makes us pening. Then I found out that Mempening is actually the name of a tree.


We reached 3.5km mark! I checked my phone and amazingly there was still reception!Being the city girl that I am, I decided to send a couple of sms’es….


Arrived at Layang-layang Hut (2,621m), 5th stop where the staff HQ is. We were supposed to stop here for lunch but we did not pack any lunch. Anyway it was a wee bit too early to have lunch but we refueled with some energy bars and chocolates anyway.

It was after this point that Ellen began to experience more severe altitude sickess and nausea. We had to slow down tremendously.

The road ahead


Arrived at Pondok Villosa. Vegetation here begins to become more stunted. 6th stop. Had to slow down even more after this..every 10-20m Ellen had to take a break as she was experiencing very bad headache.

Just before Pondok Villosa. Japanese uncle resting behind me.

Rocky Road


Arrived at Pondok Paka(3,000m), last shelter. The terrain becomes more rocky. We were at snail pace by then. I felt more tired every time we stopped as I lost momentum and had to start again each time. But Ellen was already very weak by then. She threw up about 100m before we reached Laban Rata.


Finally arrived at Laban Rata(3,292m)!

Immediately took Ellen to the room. We were booked into Buttercup 2, one of the 2 rooms in Laban Rata which has attached bathroom and heaters. Showered.

Outside Laban Rata resthouse


Finally had lunch. The fried rice was the blandest I’d ever tasted, but it tasted so good at that point in time because I was dead hungry. Mucked around, snapped some photos and rested.


Went outside for a stroll. Bumped into this really cutie-pie guide who asked me if I knew Tony. I said, “Yes”.

Then he said “I’m supposed to be your guide”

“You mean you’re Nazri?” I asked.

“Yes” he replied.

Omigosh!!!! My guide wasn’t Nazri at all!!! And all this time he kept answering to the name Nazri!

Sat outside at the verandah to appreciate nature.

View from the verandah

Above the clouds

Laban Rata

The sun doesn't only shine on TV


Went to the cafeteria again for dinner. Had mee hoon soup this time , it was a lot better than the fried rice. After that, Ellen finally woke up and walked around for a bit. She was still feeling dizzy and weak.


Tried to get some sleep but was woken up several times because some nincompoop kept banging the door asking for Bernice and I had to wake up to yell “wrong room!”.

Ellen threw up another 2 more times. Her body could not retain any food and was going through some kind of shock. At this point she was still adamant to climb to the summit but I told her she was in no shape to go as she had not eaten much and had no energy.

At this point I was also wondering if I should proceed with the summit climb…what if something happened to her in the room while I was away?


Finally dozed off.

Day 1 KK (22/03/06)

Liwagu Suite

View from Kinabalu Park




Our ride to the airport (taxi limo) arrived. There’s just 2 of us on this trip – Ellen and I.


Arrived at the airport and checked in. This was my first time on an Air Asia flight.


Had a heavy breakfast of Burger King. Burger and fries so earl in the morning!


We left KL!


Arrived in Kota Kinabalu. What a long queue!


Transferred to Kinabalu Park. The ride there from the airport is approximately 1 ½ hours – 2 hours,


Arrived at Kinabalu Park (base camp), 1,563m. What a beautiful sight! It was cold and there were many people around. We walked down to the shops to buy some water. It was a steep walk back up to Kinabalu Park and it made us wonder if we’d make it to the peak! We felt so tired just walking that 100m up!

Settled our guide fees. Tony earlier had recommended a guide by the name of Nazri to us. We pre-arranged it with Nazri before we left KL.


Walked down to Liwagu Suite where we were to spend 1 night. Psychologically, I felt like my knees had started to ache already!


Finally got into our room! It is a cosy room, with a split level. The hall and bathroom was downstairs while the bedroom and toilet was at the mezzanine floor.

12.30pm – 6.00pm

Since we were starting our climb on the next day, we decided to take it easy. Otherwise I would have gone for walks around the place and perhaps one of the small trails. Honestly I did not know what to expect of the summit trail as I have heard horror stories from some people. Decided to play it safe and not do anything.

Had an Astro movie marathon. I’ve never watched so much TV in my life! I hardly get to watch TV back in KL so this was the first time in a long time that I was a couch potato. Managed to catch Bring It On Again, Million Dollar Baby and some Billy Crystal movie.

Showered and rested


Went for a briefing on the climb. The park ranger gave us a summary of the trail, what to expect and what to bring. Thanks to Jenny, I had most of the things except a ski mask. I remembered Jenny said that a ski mask was not required and just a cap would do. We got ourselves walking sticks to assist our walk. It comes in handy especially going down.

The ranger mentioned that it took her 7 hours for her first climb. We estimated that we would probably take about 6 hours up to Laban Rata.


Went back to our room. Had some dinner. Ellen brought lots of food…the only thing she didn’t bring was the kitchen sink.

Rested and watched TV (again).


After watching Alias, we called it a day.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Journey to the Summit

Here's a map of the journey from Laban Rata to the summit. (Please mind the spelling error on Ugly embarrassing for our country, this was taken from a postcard!) I reckon the nicest looking peak is St John's exudes a sense of grandeur. I ended up taking more pics of St John's instead of Low's!

Today's exercise:
4.4km walk only

Monday, March 27, 2006

As usual

Back to my usual routine. Started the day with some workout. Boy, I sure miss the gym! Could only manage really light exercises as my inner, outer thighs and upper calves were still a bit stiff. Had a nice steam bath to relax my muscles and did quite a bit of stretching. Had tons and tons of laundry to do.

Weighed myself this morning. Have gained 1kg during the trip as I ensured I ate properly at every meal. I didn't want to be out of energy during the trip. Strangely, I don't feel like I have gained weight but the weighing scale never lies. Well, a lot of hard work to lose weight again.

Today's exercise:
20 min walk on treadmill (slow, slow walk)
25 min on elliptical machine
push ups
upright row
cable pullover
stretch, stretch and stretch

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Ayam Back!!

Sunglasses: Rudy Project
Orange fleece: BUM Equipment
Windbreaker: Antioni (Courtesy of Cheah May Yoke)
Pants: Reebok
Socks: Adidas
Shoes: Hi-tec

It's great to be back! I miss the familiar dogs, my usual shampoo, my usual moisturiser, my room..... oh and my Starbucks coffee!! I truly enjoyed the Mt KK climb...something I would and MUST do again! But there's nothing like home sweet home...I miss mom's cooking, I miss my friends too!And I can't wait to go to the gym again! Just 2 days of climbing (and the rest sedentary) and my calf muscles have already hardened.

More stories later....

Friday, March 17, 2006

Today's exercise:
3.5km run on treadmill (only 265 calories)
20 min on stepper (only 170 calories)
Push up
Bench press
Cable pullover
Assisted chin ups
Abdominal crunch

Must go through my list of medication to bring for my trip. Gosh, I'm really busy at work really and my trip is at quite a bad timing, oh well but this was planned 6 months ago. Feeling kind of 50-50 about the trip, looking forward to it but not sure what to expect. I won't push myself because I want to enjoy the trip, and enjoy the journey upwards too. Play it cool.

I'm going to watch M! The Opera on 29th March. Hurrah!
Today's exercise:
3.5km run on treadmill (only 265 calories)
20 min on stepper (only 170 calories)
Push up
Bench press
Cable pullover
Assisted chin ups
Abdominal crunch

Must go through my list of medication to bring for my trip. Gosh, I'm really busy at work really and my trip is at quite a bad timing, oh well but this was planned 6 months ago. Feeling kind of 50-50 about the trip, looking forward to it but not sure what to expect. I won't push myself because I want to enjoy the trip, and enjoy the journey upwards too. Play it cool.

I'm going to watch M! The Opera on 29th March. Hurrah!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Renu solution withdrawn

I think some of my friends are still not aware that the Renu contact lens solution has been withdrawn from the Malaysian market. While the product has already been withdrawn from the Singaporean market some 3 weeks ago, it has of course (as usual) taken the Malaysian government a longer time to react.

It was reported that there was a high correlation between the usage of Renu solution and contact lens wearers contracting fungal eye infections. However, it is still inconclusive as to whether Renu really causes the infections as there could be other factors involved like unhygienic practices by the contact lens wearers.

Click here for more information.

Nu Shooz

Here's what my new shoes look like. I wore them on Wednesday for the first time. I have Jenny to thank for reminding me to break in to my shoes, or else I would have just completely forgotten about it. When I first bought them I thought they were too chunky but they looked quite nice when worn. I'm rather pleased with them! Oh they are a pair of Hi-Tec's, by the way. Thanks C-Cube for the reccommendation!

I skipped gym today as I was really knackered from the workout on Wednesday. Wednesday's workout:
25 min walk on treadmill
25 min on stepper
Barbell lunges on stepboard
Barbell side lunges on stepboard
Barbell sumo squat
Barbell full squats and half squats
Abdominal crunches

My buns feel great!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


Ah! Finally got a haircut. I feel liberated! Not to mention lost a couple of pounds from all that hair... It was getting a bit too heavy, especially when I run. It was also beginning to look like a sou par (broom). Took my nephew for a haircut as well. Went to one of those auntie hairdressers in Lucky Garden. They layered my hair, blew my hair and gave me big curls - the "tai tai" look. It was rather nice actually, but I wouldn't be able to maintain this kind of hairstyle with my active lifestyle.

Ran 4.4km. I can't believe how knackered I was after the second round of Terasek. Oh well, guess I have to take it slow.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Monday's workout:

Did a 4km run on the treadmill. Indulged in some chocolate over the weekend (again) . This has got to stop! Must not buy McD's anymore, especially their large Value meals because you get a free bar of Kit Kat. My favourite chocolate!

I must keep a healthy diet because my trip to KK is already next week. I haven't even gone through the list of things to buy etc. Thank goodness for Jenny - she lent me her backpack, sleeping bag, gloves and raincoat. That settles some of the things. I HAVE to be disciplined and go through the list tomorrow. Also need to break in my new Hitec shoes.

Must set myself some targets for this year. Will attempt perhaps wither Putrajaya or Singapore Marathon. Gosh!! I need DISCIPLINE!!

Other than that, I've completed Adrian Mole : The Wilderness Years and started on The Cappucino Years.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Today's workout

Did outdoor run of 6.6km today.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Dana Reeve (1961-2006)

The wife of Christopher Reeve, who passed on just last October 2004 has gone to be with him. I didn't even know she was battling lung cancer. And she was a non smoker. Life is fragile.


Buns of steel

Not much time left before my KK trip, but I'll do whatever I can....

Today's exercise:
10 min on elliptical machine
30 min on stepper ( I find it realy boring)
12 minute continuous alternate lunges (without weights)
Forward lunge on stepboard (with barbell)
Back Lunge from stepboard (with barbell)

I now feel like I have buns of steel!!! (Whether they are or not is a separate issue).

Going to watch Casanova tonight!

Fat Girl

Photo of me in my late teens...

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Still running

Thank goodness I had Julia to run with today. The rest are still recovering from Sunday. Some are sore from muscular stiffness and one is sore from chafing. Good thing I didn't have much of chafing thanks to Vaseline. My upper body is sore today, especially my latissimus dorsi. Did a slow 6.6km run today around Terasek.

Here's a pic of me after the KLIM (in my favourite orange Nike shirt and Rudy Project Rydon sunglasses), courtesy of KC.

Monday's exercise

Legs all sore today. My exercise today:

Cycle - 25 mins
Elliptical machine - 15 mins
Bench press (15 reps x 2)
Cross cable pulley (15 reps x 2)
Lat pulldown (15 reps x 2)
Cable pullover (12 reps x 2)
Crunch on fitball (20 reps x 2)

What have they done to my school???

Since I was in town yesterday, I decided to drive through Bukit Nanas to catch a glimpse of my good old school where I had plenty of good fun with my friends. Memories flooded as I drove pass Bangunan Ming on my left and on my right, what used to be Fatima kindergarten. Just right after Bangunan Ming, St John's Primary school was on my left, where I used to go for badmintion practice after school. As I drove further down, St John's secondary school was on my right, well maintained (from the exterior) and looked exactly the same. Finally, at the end of the road there stood Convent Bukit Nanas..I was aghast at what they had done to my former school. What used to be a pristine white building(ok, not exactly white white, it had green moss in the crevices) is now beige with ugly brown columns and arches. It looked plasticky, even worse than a Lego model.

Have they forgotten the original symbolism of white in a convent school? Well I guess purity is absent these days and the horrible colour also symbolises that.

Monday, March 06, 2006



Detected a faint sign of pigmentation spot under my left eye. So much for using skin whitening products!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

KLIM 2006

Woke up at 4.30am to have a Power bar (Cookies and Cream - delicious!). I suppose most full marathoners would have been at Dataran Merdeka by this time already. Half marathon flag off was only at 6.30pm, so I could afford to wake up later. We car pooled, the 5 of us - Jin, Hsiung, Ragu, Harlina and myself.

It seemed to be a very quiet event this year, as there was not much publicity and there were fewer participants compared to last year. I was told that there were more half than full marathoners this year. Well, the organisers should learn a thing or two from the Singapore Marathon organisers - they are so much more professional and well organised. This is my 3rd time joining the KLIM - the first was in 2004 which I did 10km only, the second was last year which I did a half marathon. So this is my second KLIM half marathon.

Gun went off at 6.30am. By the time I reached the starting line where my chip was recorded, it was at least 1.5 mins already. At the start I didn't feel too good already, as I felt quite tired and was not sure if I was able to sustain the entire race, considering that I was down with a runny nose and sore throat just last Sunday. In addition, I haven't hit 10km since the Great Eastern run in mid January.Nevertheless I was determined to complete the run no matter what. The first 5km was quite alright. I bumped in to an ex colleague and we ran together for a short while before we parted after the first water station. Somewhere at the 7th km, this old uncle started making conversation with me and wanted to keep pace with me. I guess it helped me to push myself. I reached the 10km mark in about 1:04 and can you believe it, there was no water left....Talk about BAD organising. They should also learn from the Pacesetters, who organise runs really well. Anyway, this uncle ran with me from about 7th-13th km before I left him behind.

The other thing the organisers should learn is when to serve water and when to serve isotonic drinks. They served water most of the time, and isotonic drinks were not served until the 15th km. (Well at least I didn't see any until then) Aiyo by that time we would have been stripped of all our minerals and it would have been too late. The body would have lost efficiency of performance already. They had another isotonic drink stall, towards the end of the run, like probably in the 20.5 km. I think between the 20th and 21st km, there were 2 water stations. What on earth for???????? They should have spread out the water stations and provided more during half mark instead of saving all to the end. I know they seem to have catered more for the full marathoners, but it doesn't matter whether it's full, half, or just 10km - the point is, they should organise it properly.

I completed the race in 2:24 (net time) - 1 minute slower from last year. Not too bad considering I was ill just last week. I had a full day ahead of me, and I am surprised I lasted the whole day without feeling tired..infact still perky now. Must be the adrenaline.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Canine Treats

Found this recipe. Will try it one of these days:

2 c. wheat flour
1/2 c. wheat germ
1/2 c. powdered milk
1/2 tsp. salt
6 tbsp. oil
1 egg
1 tbsp. brown sugar or honey
1/2 c. water
Mix together and roll out. Use dog biscuit (bone) cookie cutter, or any other shape your dog "likes". Bake at low heat until dry and hard.

Day before KLIM

Slept in today. It's nice to wake up late once in a while. I'm giving myself the excuse that I need to rest for the run tomorrow. Honestly, i felt quite zonked out this morning, but after treating myself to some homemade bread and Milo i felt much better. I haven't done much carbo loading in the last few days, as the weather has been scorching and it makes one lose his/her appetite. I hope the weather will be much kinder tomorrow, I don't want to get dehydrated even before I start the race. To my horror I could not find any more Power bars in my box.( I purchased a whole box a while ago.). Need to check my fridge. Failing which, I truly hope Nature's Farm still has some left in stock. I've only got 2 more sachets of Power gel, either the chocolate or lemon lime. Lemon lime is much more palatable so I'll go with that.

Tonight I am going to have pasta and mom's making some pan mee for lunch. Pan mee texture is somewhat like pasta too. I thought of steaming some potatoes but this heat makes me avoid doing much.

I'm even too lazy to lace my chip in! Will do it tonight when it's cooler. For now I'll just continue flipping the pages of Adrian Mole...

Friday, March 03, 2006

Received my shirt for the KLIM run. It's extremely ugly, a dull shade of blue with Ambank's red and yellow logo. So shy, if you want to compare it with the Singapore Marathon. I have to figure out how to lace the chip on my shoe. It has been a year since I last did something like this.

Did a 40 min walk on the treadmill. Watched Ian Wright in Ireland (again). It's so boring watching reruns of Globe Trekker. Aunties in the gym have requested the attendants to turn on travelogue programs because they can't take the loud din from MTV. How unmotivating. And half the time these aunties don't even watch the show. How selfish.

Other exercises I did today:
Clean and press (2 sets of 15 reps)
Upright row (3 sets of 15)
Lateral raises (3 sets of 15)

Bought Yukon Blend coffee beans from Starbucks. Starbucks has increased their prices again. It's unfair how prices keep increasing and it's the same for my business too some customers expect to pay pasar malam prices. I', sure even pasar malam prices have gone up for that matter.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Flashback of Hanoi...

No show from the other runners today, so it was a solo performance. My last run before the KL International Marathon (which I am only doing half). This is the first time I've been so unprepared for a 21km run, even worse than my preparation for the Great Eastern Run a month and a half ago. I think I haven't achieved 10km since. And I've just recovered from a runny nose and sore throat. Did the usual 6.6 km today.

This morning the skyline was beautiful. That inspired me to run even though I initially felt tired. At least I didn't feel like dying today. Hope I can pull through on Sunday.

The gym gang celebrated my brother's birthday at this fine Vietnamese restaurant in One Bangsar called "Cung Dinh". It's pricey of course but the food's brilliant. I think I haven't had enough of Vietnamese food since my Hanoi trip. Hsiung asked why I didn't wear my ao dai. I didn't want to be mistaken for a waitress. What I enjoyed most was the deep fried snake fish. It's an ugly creature, it really looks like a snake. The restaurant also serves very good caramel custard. And can you believe it, at the end of the meal, they served us the ginger which I had in Hanoi which gave me diarrhoea....

Deja Vu....

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Adrian Mole

Today's exercise diary:
30 min on elliptical machine
15 min on stepper
push ups (til fatigue)
Dumbell press (til fatigue)
Bent over row (2 sets of 20 reps)
Bent over lateral raises (2 sets of 15)
V crunch

Have started reading "Adrian Mole: The Wilderness Years".I grew up on Adrian Mole a lot. I had my first copy of an Adrian Mole book when I was 14. In this book Adrian Mole has grown into a young adult (24 years old) and is (still) pining for the "love of his life" (Pandora). He's gone extrenely crude but his innocence and typical male ignorance of hints dropped by women are quite a good laugh.

Still halfway through the book. My memory is so bad I can't remember what's in the beginning!Just realised I have the entire Adrian Mole series:

1. The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13 3/4
2. The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole
3. True Confessions of Adrian Albert Mole
4. The Wilderness Years
5. The Cappucino Years
6. Adrian Mole and the weapons of mass destruction.