Friday, January 13, 2012

K-Swiss K-Ruuz 1.5...

By Frank

A reincarnation of the K-Swiss K-Ruuz which happens to be my favourite racing flat (period), the all new K-Swiss K-Ruuz 1.5 is one fast shoe. Beside giving a total cosmetic overhaul, the shoe's specification remains true to its predecessor, light and fast, and maybe made it even better.

The K-Swiss K-Ruuz 1.5...

Lateral view of the K-Ruuz 1.5...

Medial view of the K-Ruuz 1.5...

Co-developed by Mirinda Carfrae and Andreas Raelert, the K-Ruuz 1.5 weights in at a mere 155 grams for a men size US9.0. Ridiculously light, the build of the shoe is entirely the same as its predecessor. Coming in an all new colour ways, fiery red/yellow for the men and yellow/blue for the women, the biggest and probably the only difference will be the upper of the shoe where the traditional mesh overlays now has been replaced with an entirely new mesh system that allows a seamless construction hence you can wear them without socks! Gone is also the Flow Cool System to prevent water from entering the shoes. Reason for this is explained next.

SeamFree Tech for a seamless construction...

The upper mesh is now treated with P2i's Ion-Mask, found earlier in the K-Swiss Kwicky Blade-Light and California shoes, a water resistant nano-tech system to keep the shoe dry, light and comfy. It works for sure, but I did feel a little dampness when water drop on to the top surface at the recent 25KM run I did on new year's day. It did work in preventing water from sipping into the shoe but I felt my Kwicky worked better in this department probably because it uses welded mesh rather than the open mesh found on the K-Ruuz 1.5.

P2i Ion-Mask treatment for awesome water resistance...

Open mesh for ventilation...

For those who knows the K-Ruuz, nothing much to mention about the outsole. Measured at about a 9mm variance from heel to toe, it's certainly not a minimalist shoe. It's a traditional racing flat. Built entirely the same but as a flashback, it's built on the k-EVA and Superfoam outsole for comfort, and Duraplush rubber outsole coupled with Aosta rubber compound for durability on high wear and tear area. There is also a TPU midfoot support shank for added support but I would prefer it to be removed for better overall fit and flexibility. Oh and yes, the drainage ports on the outsole still remains and will help with draining any moisture out of the shoe. With the same built, also comes the bad news. This shoe wears out extremely fast. I already could see the outsole's wear and tear starting to show after completing my 25KM run.

Outsole and the drainage ports...

The overall fitting of the shoe is the same as the predecessor, meaning you will have to get half a size, or even up to an entire size smaller. This shoe is made long, and with the lack of padding and memory foams around, the shoe will probably fly out of your feet should you be wearing your usual size.

The predecessor and the successor...

And there you have it. An upgrade to my favourite racing plat, and not a major one. Why overhaul it when the shoe is already a great one? I'm sure many who fell in love with the original K-Ruuz will appreciate the addition of the new features to the K-Ruuz 1.5.

The K-Swiss K-Ruuz 1.5 will retail at a recommended selling price of RM399.00 and is available now at Running Lab, Tropicana City Mall.

* A very special thank to Stephen Locke from K-Swiss and Karen Chua from Outdoor Venture Pte Ltd for the K-Swiss K-Ruuz 1.5.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My Comrades Diet...

By Frank

It's 145 days till Comrades Marathon 2012. And it's time I start watching my diet. Diet has always play an important role when it comes to tackling an event, especially those which I really want something out of it. Back in 2009 when training for Macau Marathon, my diet stayed "clean" for about 4 months staying away from unhealthy food.

The Comrades Marathon 2012 will be my toughest run to date. The 89KM is a distance which I have ran before but to complete it within 12 hours on a descending route is something I do not favour. It will be tough on my legs and my respiratory system. A clean diet will help with these and I certainly swear by it.

Clean diet means staying away from fast, oily and process food, at least in my own dictionary. However, as I live in Malaysia, it will be pretty tough so I do what I can. The easiest way for me back in 2009 was beside home cook food, I relied on Subway sandwiches. But Subway sandwiches won't be healthy if we don't choose the toppings and sauces correctly. Therefore, my only sandwich from them will be the all vegetables range and also the roast beef and teriyaki chicken, both meat which aren't process. Even I choose the sauces correctly. I use to pick mustard as the sauce of choice coupled with olive oil and vinegar, but they recently added honey and mayonnaise to it which the latter isn't too healthy.

Goodbye tasty food...

Why not process meat? We do not know which part from the animal that those meat originated from? And it certainly contain some addictive or other chemical to it. Myself being a migraine sufferer is best to stay away from them.

Beside the normal food, I do rely on supplements too. From the usual multi-vitamins to the overall goodness of Omega 3 fatty acids, supplements do help not only in my training but also my day to day being. I recently restarted back my probiotics supplement hoping to improve my already weak tummy and digestive system. But the new thing which I'm trying now will be Coenzyme Q10. After reading so much about it on how it helps migraine sufferers like me, it also helps to improve energy levels. I'm not sure if it works for me yet, but so far it has shown positive results. The only down side will be its selling price and its heatiness. I will need to drink plenty of water with it.

And finally, my trustworthy sports supplement from GU Energy Labs, the only one brand that works best with my tummy. I rely on each product within the brand from fuelling, buffering and recovery. I fuel myself with GU Energy Gels, Chomps and Brew Electrolytes, buffer off my lactic acid build-up with Roctane and recover with Brew Recovery. It's all in the family!

Only the best from GU...

I've started on my new diet a little since entering the new year, but not on full scale yet. Reason being is that Chinese New Year is just around the corner and I will like to enjoy myself a little first. While eating cleaner than usual, I still do spoil myself a little. Life must be live to the fullest, so why torture ourselves? A cheat meal can be rewarding at times. However, 1 February 2012 will be the official date that I will go clean. And this will last till race day. Goodbye tasty food!

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Volunteering And Supervising...

By Frank

This morning, I took up a volunteer's role of a running event for the first time. The inaugural Multi Purpose Insurance Berhad Run 2012 (MPI Run), is also Runners Malaysia first event organised under their belt. Good friends with Jamie and Wan, I decided to lend a hand in which ever role they put me into although I have exactly no experience with anything. And to my suprise, Wan not only gave me the food distribution role, but he also made me the supervisor! I kind of freak out a little when I read his e-mail but decided to give it a go as I was paired up with Lyne, a very experienced volunteer herself.

Due to my working hours, I couldn't attend any of the pre-race day preparation and briefings, hence I can only bring myself to the race site which was at Padang Merbuk early in the morning of race day to pick up my gear and to go through again and what shall be done. And early I was at 4am that none of the race director were there yet. However by 4.30am, both arrive and soon followed by the other volunteers and this is where our work starts. Some familiar faces like Chris, Uncle Sunny, Aunt Jenny, Amelia, Raymond and Tony were present.

Firstly is to pack up breakfast packs for volunteers before dividing the remaining into their respective role. In the food distribution department, there were 15 of us but 5 were "loaned" out to the timing department. Once all duties were divided, we then started moving the food pack into it respective places.

There were 2 categories, the 6KM and 12KM ad we set up 2 separate lanes as the content of the pack was slightly different. Once runner completes their run, they will then proceed a little further down to collect their medals, before turning up to collect their food pack. Sounds easy eh... But when the main onslaught came, it was like a war zone. We were working ourselves off trying to distribute the food pack as fast as possible hoping to clear the area of any congestion. I was moving everywhere lifting heavy boxes of drinks. Talk about weight training. Juliana after completing her run was kind enough to offer her assistance. Even Jamie came into action himself. Team work at its best.

After about 2 hours or so, things came to a close and the show is finally over. Cleaning up and chilling out is on the next agenda before collecting our "salary" from Wan. I did not want to accept but Wan mentioned that his accounts will be all mess up if I don't and therefore I accepted it only to donate it fully to my cancer research foundation. Thank you Wan.

Overall, the event was a success. Managing about 3,700 number of runners, and though there were some hiccups, it was a tremendous first time effort by Runners Malaysia and co. What I saw was a tremendous amount of team effort being put in. And it was indeed an experience to see the race perspective from a volunteer's angle. It was certainly not an easy task, and that is why, volunteers are always regarded the unsung silent heroes of an event. Kudos to all!

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Newton New Year Challenge 2012...

Event: Newton New Year Challenge 2012
Venue: Bandar Kinrara, Puchong
Date: 1 January 2012
Time: 5.30am
Distance: 25KM (24.53KM by Polar RCX5 G5 GPS)
Shoe: K-Swiss K-Ruuz 1.5
By Frank

It's the first day of 2012! HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone! Hope most of you had wonderful year 2011 and had a blast ushering the new year. For me, I woke up at the stroke of midnight on the new year's day with fireworks bombarding the sky send the neighbourhood dogs crazy and scared. Only 2 hours of sleep for me. But that wasn't exactly the bad thing. I had a bad end to year 2011 when I suffered 4 purging yesterday, followed by 2 more before leaving the house to the race site this morning. Legs were a little jellified but the worst was... Ahh... Never mind. I shall not go into too much details.

The plan was to run a 17KM pre race run first starting at 3.20am which I did back in 2010 where we run to the 4.5KM junction before returning to race site, and we have to do it twice. I arrived late as I was stopped by traffic police at a road block set up near Damansara Perdana. Probably my race apparel that I was wearing is too red and he thought that I must have been partying through the night. I showed him my race bib and told him that I was going for run and off I went. The pre run this time was joined by Jeff, Roy and Bernard and we set out at a pretty fast pace hoping to make up some time. Yim already started before us. Probably on a secret training himself. Hehehe... Just before arriving back at the race site on our first loop, we spotted Jamie, Loke and Wind and decided to cut short our return trip as we are running out of time. Pace was still good and my tummy is not showing any issues yet, probably because I'm not putting anything in.

Completed our run which was shortened to 15KM with 15 minutes to spare till race time. Took some liquid and quickly change my shoes giving my new K-Swiss K-Ruuz 1.5 its debut. And during the changing process, there was this man driving a Hyundai Matrix bearing plate number WLN 8172 asking me to move my car a little so that he can squeeze into the parking lot next to my car. I was reluctant to do so cause the lot was just too small but to prevent any argument on new year's day, I move my vehicle. And I regretted my decision later!

Met up with lots of friends and wished everyone a Happy New Year before the race was officiated at 5.30am sharp. Off I went after finding a clear route to run. It won't do justice if I don't run first in my new shoes. I felt like flying and I better do it before fatigue takes over me. I took in some GU Chomps and it started triggering my already problematic tummy some at near 7KM mark. I decided to ditch the remaining hoping no further damage is done hence I started giving out my GU Roctane and GU Chomps to other runners who may need them.

My tummy felt like a washing machine doing its spin. I felt really bloated. I started to slow down and I felt bad. At 11KM, I started walking but quickly resume when Kannan joined me. We had a hearty chat before I lost it again and he zoomed off. I just kept moving and slowly chip away the distance.

At about 15KM near Lestari Perdana, while making my return, I spotted Jeff, Roy and Bernard at the opposite side. They are suffering as well. And just ahead, Terence called out to me and we had some "friendly argument". I was slowly ascending while he descending. He told me that hill was created for us to walk up and not run. I replied to him saying that he registered the race to run and not walk. Hahaha... That was some amusement and hope we didn't wake up the neighbourhood.

With Pui San and Carrie (photo courtesy of Dannie)...

At about 17KM, I was joined by Pui San, Gary and Daryl. We ran together for a while before I went ahead a little before regrouping with Pui San again. With about 4.5KM more to go, Dannie and Carrie joined in and we ran together till with about 2.5KM to go before I went for it. I was just glad to see the finish line after spending almost 5 hours on the road on my legs. I completed the race in 03:07:11 and my total new year run with a distance of 40KM in a time of 04:44:44. What a time eh!

Back at the car after lingering with friends, knowing something will go wrong, I quickly check on the passengers door. And quickly enough, I spotted a vertical scratch which is pretty deep and immediately I know who is the culprit. "THANK YOU" Hyundai Matrix WLN 8172 owner. A very "HAPPY NEW YEAR" to you! For those who knows me on how much I take care of my car, this is something I'm really PISS at!

My finisher's medal and "New Year gift" on my car...

Overall, though I enjoyed the run as part of my Comrades training and was glad that nothing unfortunate due to my tummy happened, I found that the event was not up to par. In fact, the quality deteriorate from 2010's edition. Lack of man power at refreshment station and I had wait and pour my own. Traffic control wasn't that great too. The only positive thing will be a few volunteers and road marshals was all with smiles especially those giving out the medals. They tried their very best to congratulate each finishers' with a smile, something simple which will make his or her's day.

So yeah, a 40KM on new year's day. Could been better but I'm overall satisfied. Oh and yes. There were a lot calling out to me whom I don't know. My apologies but I just won't know who you are until you introduce yourself. Perhaps the next time when we meet. And finally of course, my favourite racing flat has been "reincarnated" as the K-Swiss K-Ruuz 1.5 and I'm absolutely loving it. A review will come soon...

Predecessor (white/red/blue) and successor (red/yellow)...