Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2012

This was to be my first official 10KM run in 10 years.

When I was 16, I trained for many cross-country runs and represented school. After I left SMKDJ prematurely for a ‘one heck of a ride in my lifetime’, I trained less and less and gradually stopped running altogether.

It was only a month and a half ago that I started training for the run again, after so long. Although my gym training focuses on building muscles, I still ran a casual 5KM twice about a week up until Race Day.

Waking up real early in the morning (as early 3:30 AM), driving to Dataran Merdeka and waiting at the starting line until the gun shoots at 6:30 sharp – they sure bring memories. I joined quite a number of notable runs like PJ Subang Half Marathon and Penang Bridge run back then, and I regret not taking any photos to savor those moments.

This time it’s 10.6 KM – I joined the Open Men Speed Category. And I finished in 1 hour 11 minutes. Not bad for a come back! Also considering that I took a toilet break at the 4KM mark – lost about 3 minutes there. I reserved my energy for the run and overestimated the distance, having not run for so long.

Even though I’ve trained and gotten back to my prime again now, I realized a big difference between now and myself a decade ago: I felt bulky when I run. I’ve put on 8.1 KG since 10 years ago (55 kilos when I was 16; now I am at 63.1 kilos) so when I run I felt my movement was bulky.

There’s good and bad to that – that is why I am settling to gain up until 65 kilos and then I’ll maintain from here on. Any more than that and not only will it be expensive to maintain in terms of food consumption and training time, it won’t do good to my speed and agility.

With some more training, I should be able to reduce the time to a clean 1 hour on the next run. ­čÖé

On another note…

Cascadian Lake Headquarters: Upcoming!

March. Crazy-ass month. Between building my newly joint online business with Khai Ng and preparing for an extreme sports tournament over the weekends, I spent the weekdays to scout for the next place to move to. And this time, make it my permanent home.

Ever since I moved back to PJ in 2007, I have been hopping room from room, apartment to apartment. I had no fixed plan and with a business I can operate from virtually anywhere, it was really ‘anything goes’ for me.

Five years later and I am deeply rooted here again. Moving places was fun at first but after several house shiftings later, now just the thought of moving again – even for the last time in a long – is revolting.

Property prices are shooting up like nobody’s business in the Klang Valley and even though my friends who are in the real estate business predict there will be a bust and price drop, there is no certainty as to how much and when. Assuming it does happen, it won’t be anytime so soon; it can take a few years. And the general opinion I got is that the overall housing prices will not dip much. Probably 20% or so.

Not gonna wait man. I make my move right NOW.

Way I see it, saving 10% to 20% but trading away a few years of my life waiting is unacceptable. I will be in my early 30’s by then. And that is ASSUMING the overall prices of properties in the Klang Valley DO drop, and usually the market forces have a way of giving rude surprises to everyone.

So I hit up the Property.com.my website, and started my search from there. I spent one whole week checking out properties and ultimately I decided on the Cascadian Lake House in Puchong. It’s a new area and when I visited, the townhouses were nearing completion.

Nice and beautiful surroundings. Convenient as well – variety of food stalls and restaurants within walking distance and Carrefour is 5 minutes drive away.

The big downside is that I will be staying further from most of my friends in PJ and Puchong is notorious for terrible jams. I drove back and forth at different times throughout the week to get an idea on the traffic congestion. Fortunately I work from home most of the time and I seldom leave the house to meet anyone; might as well be at night when the traffic is smooth. Besides, the traffic congestion in PJ is becoming no better now.

The sheer amount of paperwork and loan application were a HUGE put off though. And the frustration does not even begin to describe it.

I started off getting screwed by a former Alliance Banker – the same guy who helped with the loan application for my first property in Johor. After he failed to follow through with my application and didn’t have the balls to pick up my phone call since, I had wasted three weeks. At the risk of losing the deal to another interested buyer, I hustled my own lawyer to extend the deal and finally was able to secure it for my own.

I successfully secured my loan with Public Bank for this house but man, the amount of papers to sign was sickening to a fault! I cannot help wonder if the complicated process was deliberately designed to wear out and fool uninitiated buyers, in the name of ‘giving full protection and covering legal loopholes’. I spent a lot of time quizzing my real estate agent, lawyers and the mortgage specialist on every clause my mind did not compute – I normally don’t ask a lot of questions, but this was no time to be fucking stupid.

A recurring remark I heard: this was their first time dealing with someone as young as my age buying a property on their own. I was flatterred, but could that be the same reason I wasn’t taken seriously at first? No, blame my casual attire consisting of geek t-shirt, 3 quarter pants and sandals.

I regret not following my mother to at least witness the full procedures when she bought the house in Johor a couple of years back. Would have had made things somewhat easier and less surprises too. I entertained the thought of buying properties for investment reasons but after all the paperwork fiesta… having second thoughts there now.

Now I am glad that most of the boring paperwork had been done and dealt with, I am timing my move to the new place. Since the property is new and built from scratch, I need to hire an electrician and get some renovation done as well.

To me, this is going to be more than just a home. It is to be my latest accolade in career achievement, doubling as my home office, private armory for my favorite extreme sports and bachelor’s crib goes without saying.

6 to 8 months countdown starts now… in the mean time, I am gonna hang tight, make lots of moolah and stay alive.