Thursday, October 28, 2010

Swimming and climbing

umm...yea...printing error there...

SARS' usual chalets for R.Os

huff and puff descent..

warming up the bod... the water from the shower is pleasantly warm as opposed to the cold water from the pool braces.. ;)

freestylinng for 300m

underwater rescue

pictures courtesy of 9w6EDY

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Climbathon 2010

The swimming thingy was two weeks ago. Last weekend I was lucky enough to included in R.O(radio operator) duty during this international mountain climbing competition. The first day (saturday 23rd) was the women and veteran category). I wasn't able to come for this since I was involved in another program which I couldn't not come. If I were able to forgo this unavoidable program, surely I would already be in National Park at the SARS base by Friday night.
I drove up on Saturday around 5pm. The drive was easy and fine. After texting a friend who was already at N.Park to ask where he was, I got a call from another friend who minta tolong to buy some PallMall. Since I was already halway up I told him I'd stop by at Nabalu to buy some for him. It was already around 6.30 when I reached Nabalu but alack I could already see that most of the shops had already closed. I parked and went over to some shops to ask for some smokes. Too bad, none of them sold any! Oh well... On to N.Park. Stopped by some roadside stalls which sold some veges and bought some cabbages and beans. Bought rm10 worth of veges and the inan threw in a head of lettuce for free. Cool...

MBO (the friend who requested the smokes) was already waiting when I drove into the parking area at the usual chalet reserved for the R.Os. *giggle* I had some L.As and I handed them to him to 'quench' his thirst.

My was it cold that night. I could only imagine what the other R.Os who were up at Laban Rata. I had my Colombia jacket on and that helped quite a lot. It was also good seeing old friends, listening to their jokes and friendly banters.
I did not have any particular checkpoint and I mentioned to MBO that I was okay whichever checkpoint they put me..though I had a feeling that I was going to get Mempening. So it was quite a jolt to me when I was assigned to go up Mempening for the Sunday race. Hmm.. curious eh.
3.5km from Timpohon.. it would be snap if this was a flat land route. I got ready. took my new Deuter backpack and packed a change of clothes, my Mars bars, my gatorade, my handy and antenna, a pen and notebook, two face towels and my headlight. It was around 11pm when I hit the sack..only to be woken up at a few minutes past 2am by Uncle Gideon (head of SARS). He gently shook me awake and told me to wake up, have some meal and to get ready for the early walk. Ok. Got down from the top bunk and went out.
My partner was Matius. He was still snoring, enveloped in his sleeping back, lying in a row of sleeping R.Os in the living room.
Never mind. He knows what to do. So I had my nasi goreng, prepared by Uncle Didimus' wife and crew. Had my hot milo. Did my morning business, and got ready. Matius had already woken up and gotten ready also.
We drove to Timpohon with my car. We started the ascend at 3.3o am. Only when I saw Matius take out his gloves did I realize my folly. Dang..Shoulda bought the gloves which i had ALREADY fingered in Wawasan Plaza. So, I went up with none.
5oom, Kandis, Ubah, Lowii and finally Mempening. Gosh.. i started out feeling cold. As we progressed higher and higher, I could hear my heartbeat lub-dubbing inside my ears. It was not a fast paced climb. Matius was ever encouraging. Saying that we didn't have to race up and that we had a lot more time left. It was ok at first but as we neared the given checkpoint, I stopped more often to catch my breath and he'd be saying, sikiiiit lagi, sikiiit lagi..just enough to irritate me.
It was pitch dark when we started. The air cold but without the dreaded gusts of cold wind. The intermitent wooden supports helped the trip up the rocky path. And finally at 5.31 am.. we reached Mempening. Hurrah! Glad my partner was a patient feller.

My clothes were damp with sweat so I went into the toilet to change into dry clothes. I'm glad I brought along a change of bra too. sejuk gila!

So, over an hour wait before the race started at 7pm. It was cold, cold, cold! I had on long tights underneath my cargo pants. I had on a singlet, a t-shirt, my jacket. Matius had lent me half a pair of woollen glove and I wore it on my left hand. (the other half..gone.) It was still cold. I grumbled to myself for not bringing the extra sweater i had brought along for the trip and was left hanging by the bedpost in the chalet. Suddenly I remembered that I had folded in my windbreaker inside the backpack. I wore it over the jacket i had on and fortunately, it kept my warm!

6.15am. The mountain rangers arrived. So there was more company. Soon it was nearing 7am. We got pens and paper ready to jot down the tag numbers for participants. my fingers were numb from the cold and I had trouble telling my fingers to move. Matius kindly lent me his other glove to wear on my right hand while he tucked his naked hands into his jacket pocket. Yay...
We could hear the crack of the pistol over the radio, signalling the start of the race. And we could hear the progress of the runners as the favorites sprinted up the rocks like mountain goats. 001 from last year's winner was definitely the first to break away from the pack. I found that he was given the privilege to wear the number to indicate his position in the previous year's race. It took me 2 hours to reach Mempening. It took him only 28minutes!
On and on the participants came and passed our station. After more than 1 hour, 001 reached the peak. When he ran down our way, he was a mere blur of a shape, bounding expertly over the uneven steps, like the champion skyrunner he was.

Opps..will continue later on..

Bronzed not at all

I'm still wondering why it is dubbed Bronze Medal Lifesaving certificate. No silver? nor gold?
Two tiring swimming days. Let's see... among the tests were 300m swim under 9minutes(coudn't manage to sneak a peak at my timing and I forgot to time my swim myself), chin-towing a victim, chest-towing a victim, towing a victim with a length of rope, 25m across underwater swim with one breath( did it!), 50m dash swim (under 50sec), rescuing a victim underwater and bring to the side + breathing rescuscitation + drag victim onto land and place under recovery position, and a few more.

The pool was cold, cold, cold with the roofing. They should've made the roof using transparent materials. Then swimmers would be shielded from rain but still be warmed under sun.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Swarzenbach is me

Busy, busy, busy. Filling up that void with this, that and then some.
Finger still swollen and it's slightly crooked. Sigh. slight discomfort on the particular swollen digit when I try to to spread my fingers wide.

Went swimming a few times this week. I am trying to learn how to do the side stroke. With the help of my swim board, I managed to do the scissor kicks but when I let go of the board and coordinate the swim with the hand movements, down I went. Malu la mau tanya the lifeguards.. it's not as if they're there to lend a word of advice, eh?

Later this noon, I'm going to Pacific Sutra. Makan-makan there with family to celebrate Gareth's 15th birthday. It was Mum's suggestion to go and eat out..and for me to foot the bill. I don't mind. Can afford it juga. Ada itu credit card nestled snugly inside my purse. Mum has always been big on eating out on birthdays. I remember my younger days being treated to Hyatt food. I think she thinks that's one of THE finest way to celebrate anything.

Later lagi this afternoon, am going to Kem to register for the Lifesaving Course. So, tomorrow I'll be at the Likas Pool again. I don't know if I'll pass the tests that are going to be made but I'm sort of glad I was chosen for this course. I've even gone and bought a pair of pants and body swimming suit to wear over my normal swimsuit. Swarzenbach Tong's has only a few choices of color. I wanted the black colored suit with a splash of red but there were no sizes. So, I bought the black long pants with the matching long sleeve top. Why the need to buy these? Oh well, to be modest and to cover up the aurat (but it's for the sake of the other participants more like it). It's fine by me. Besides, the extra suit helps me conserve heat. The pool is daaaaammnn cold!

Monday, October 04, 2010

Solo Camp

Just came back from Solo Camp. Tired but it's ok. :)