Saturday, July 24, 2010


Alrightey.. my first hospital admission!!
Diagnosis : Severe Bilateral Community Acquired Pneumonia.

Suffered for about a week, but thanks to very supportive friends (esp ST, Pris) and family, and the great bunch of doctors and nurses in SGH... I'm well again!!

Buuuut, I learnt a few things along the way that I hope if I go back to clinicals I'll remem to or not to do:
1) Never order a drip with KCl supplements - it hurts like hell, and i couldn't even sleep a wink
2) Always listen to the patients needs... even if it was a simple cup of water
3) Nasal prongs dries up the nose.. till can get cracks and nosebleeds.. good to moisturise the nasal passage once in awhile.
4) Just generally be nicer to patients... it sucks being sick..


Well, trudge on!!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Mud race.. lotsa mud

Last weekend was the Nomad X-Capade Race weekend, and it ended too soon. This time, I partnered with Shaff for this multidisciplinary race that involved MTB, road biking, abseiling, kayaking, rock climbing, and mud crawling/trekking. Venue: Batu Dam, Selangor. Time: flag-off at 8am. Fun level: Limitless.

Travelling down to KL itself was a big challenge. We cycled down to the pick-up venue early in the morning. Yayy!! Saw some of the SAC folks there as well. :) hehe.. Chad is partnering YK in this race, and well, they make the funniest couple ever!! Back to the bikes. As they did not have enough people to book a proper truck transport, we had to pack our bikes at the bottom carriage of the bus. There were 2 buses, and about close to 60 humans, which meant that the bikes need to be packed nicely into the carriage. To fit it all in, we removed the front wheel of the bikes. Took longer than expected and after all that, we were told that we have to change buses at the Malaysian customs!! NOOOOO!! Then why did we go through all that trouble for. Next, YK realised that he brought his niece's passport, not his!! haha.. so he called his wife to pick his up and bring it down. OK, so that's over, the passports are all checked, the bikes all packed, we finally set off.

Reached the SG customs.. no problem.. reach the Msia customs.. all hell breaks loose. We had to reassemble our bikes and wheel them over. And, it's Saturday morning, so the place was jostled with people trying to get across. Managed to get pass fast with the Msian passport, but the rest (non-Msians) took about an hour to get across. hehe.. twas funny to hear their accounts of how the elder folks would just cut queues to get in front of them. Well, we packed all the bikes onto the Msian bus and after everyone has settled, we set off again!!.. phew..

In the bus... on the way

Stopped for breakfast and lunch.. yummy.. good ole Malaysian food, and finally reached our destination at about 2pm. We were already late. We got all our stuff out, reassembled the bikes and head up to the race area where skills testing were performed.

Assembling the bikes at the start

Registration was ok, equipment check done, and first station was the abseiling station.

Shaff at the registration tent

I have not abseiled in a long long time, but with Shaff's and the testers help, got it done fast and easy. Next, at the kayaking station, I played arn as usual :) hehe. While waiting for the briefing to start, I met up with Raymond and Elaine, the ever energized bunny!! hehe..

Everyone being tested...

Called up Ivy, and managed to convince her to come down and pick us up (with Elaine's help - TQ Elaine!!) and well.. briefing started late, full of corny jokes, ended late, and finally, when Ivy picked us up, it was already quite late. Shaff and I initially planned to camp at Batu Dam for the night, but seeing that we can store our bikes at the race site, and that the place was.. hm.. we decided to bunk at Ivy's. :) (TQ IVY!!)

Ivy and Callie picked us up and brought us to a Peranakan restaurant. The food there was goooood!!!! mmm.. so in love with that fish now.. mmm.. But anyways, after dinner, headed back to Ivy's place, prepped for the next day and off we were to bed.

Proposing to Ivy... hehe

Woke up at 4+am, got ready, and off we were to the race site. We arrived early at about 6am, and the place was quiet. Got out our bikes, registered and got our bandannas.. yes... badannas.. and prepped up. Everyone started to fall in as well. Flag-off time fastly approaching, everyone started to line up at the start, the VIP gave a speech (I think.. I wasn't listening).. and as the clock hits 8... GO!!!

Pre race pics!

The start was a slow start as it was short road biking session before we double back, cycled a bit of an up-slope and hit the trails. At the trails, the racers start to spread out and the stronger ones were already far ahead. The trails were nice singletrack trails, buuuuut... the first part, or about 70% of it was up-slope.. and although some of the slopes were quite rideable, it was short lived with braches, tree trunks, rivers along the way that just stopped all the riders in their tracks. This continued on for a hour or so... till we finally hit the the downhill part!! yay!! the downhill was super fast and furious and FUN!! hahah.. unfortunately, I got a pinch flat at my back wheel.. and we stopped to changed it. First spare - valve broke, change again. Second spare, phew.. worked.. maaan.. talk about bad luck. Anyways, apparently, due to the difficulty of the trails, the organiser cut the full trail from 3 loops (killer, big and small) to only one big loop. That's saying something.. but then again, I do hope to come back here again and go try all the loops.. :) Finished the MTB part, and back we were to Batu Dam, and onwards to the jungle trekking (aka mud trekking after the rain) at Batu Caves.

Crossing a stream

The first part of the trek was to climb all the way up to the caves.. which was easy. Then a short bit of caving.. which was easy. Then jungle trekking all the way to all the chkpoints.. which was SUPPOSE to be EASY.. until it RAINED!! haha.. A heavy downpour came upon us and we were all drenched. The trails turned to mud and had ZERO traction. Most of the time, we were on all fours... trying to not slide of the hill. This makes Genting TB looks super easy. We got lost abit while gg from one CP to another, but recovered fast enough. After a looooong while, we got to CP8, where we split up for the abseiling bit. Shaff did the 100m abseil, and I went on to do the 50m cave abseil.

My big black butt!

All was well, the trek to the 50m abseil was easy and with more traction. The wait to abseil, however was wrought with cold winds. I was shivering itself.. and I really pitied all the abang-abang who was guarding that CP. okla... loooong wait... why? - on 3 ropes, the racers were stuck.. sigh.. so waited about half and hour just to get on the abseil. The abseil however was really nice.. after all, its a cave abseil... into the dark. Bumped my shin against the rocks while going down however... and towards the end, almost had forearm cramps cos twas hard to feed the rope throught the ATC. Finally, one more swoosh and I'm down. phew.. short and sweet.

Now comes the next harrowing part.. need to trek back to the rock climbing area, bypassing two other chkpoints.. sob sob.. more of the mud and slides... mudslides.. the parts I hated the most were the sideways traversing parts where there was no grip, nothing to hold on to, and well.. I just kept slipping downwards.

Reached the rock climbing area, Shaff was not there yet. Started to worry. He shouldn't need to take this long if nothing happened.. ok ok relax abit and went to clean up abit at the nearby shower. OK.. Shaff is not back yet.. hmm.. wait wait.. Talked a bit to Samuel and he said that Shaff got lost and did 3 loops around the same area looking for the 100m abseil CP. Oh maaan... I hope he's ok. Waited a while more, and he started to come down.. he looked tired. Finally, he made it!!.. We got onto the rock climbing part next where Shaff climbed barefooted... woots.. amazing..

After cleaning up abit and refilling the water station, we head on back to Batu Dam and on to the next part of the race, river trekking. When we got there, the organisers said no more river trekking in the river, but river trekking at the banks as the waters were too high after the rain. Alritey, so we slow jogged abit and trekked abit and finally reached the kayaking session in super fast time (trying to hit beat the cut-off time marr). Got into the kayak, and started kayaking. Here's the funny thing: we're suppose to find some passwords on some buoys and tell them to the CP guys at the end of the race to finish the race.. we hunted high and low for the first kayak.. can't find them, then just continued on towards the end... when.. lo and behold, the two buoys were there. If only we knew earlier. Anyways, Shaff did most of the kayaking.. I was already half dead... (TQ Shaff!!).

Reached the shore, got out, and hurray!! Ran towards the finishing line and we were done!!! YAYYY!! WE FINISHED!!! phew...

At the finishing line...

Life was just surreal then.. another race finished. I was just soo happy.. hungry and well tired :). We met up with the faster racers, congratulations flew here and there, and we got a small towel for the effort.. haha.. SMALL blue towel. Went to clean up the bikes, equipments and ourselves and headed down to EAT.. waaa.. haven't eaten the whole day. After the prize giving ceremony, we all got onto the bus, rested, had A&W for dinner, slept on the way back and... reached home with smiles..

The weekend was great.. but it just zipped by so fast.. I'm really starting to fall more in love with adventure races. I hope there are more to comes, but i do need to improve on my MTB skills and get a lighter bike if I wanna race more seriously. Well, see how it goes... and trudge on...

(Pictures courtesy of Shaff's camerea!)