Monday, November 30, 2009

Help/ Opinion Needed.

So I'm planning to do the Pacesetters30K. (planning baru, daftar tak pun lagi). I have no qualms about doing the race except that itsy bitsy part about praying.
What I love about PBIM so much is that it starts way early in the morning and you still have time to do your subuh prayers by the time you're done racing. But I understand that this Pacesetters30K will start at 5.30 in the morning which means that I'll have to do my subuh on the road. Which will be the first for me.
I know that some Muslim runners opt to qadha their subuh but I really hate to think that I have to run for 4 hours in guilt.
What if there's no surau/ masjid along the way?
So how does it get done then? Especially for female runners?Hidden in the bushes ( is it safe?)?Open  under a street lamp ( is that too open?)?
Do you bring a telekung or just pray in your running attire?
I'm so caught up by this that sometimes I just feel macam malas je nak participate.
But that's just an excuse, right? Sampai bila nak elak, kan?
So how la how?

Oh yes, after my first half marathon, last week's running regime was just pitiful. I only accumulated 8Ks and one sorry 20 minutes session of lower leg exercises.
This week is predicted to be sadder ( running-wise). It's Zoom Malaysia time and we've declared it as cheat week ( if there is such a thing). Horreyyyy!!!
Nak buat Pacesetters30K kunun..heh.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

His side of the story

As there are a handful or runners writing about the 'lively' atmosphere of PBIM, Hub's version is more of his experience finishing the race in pain.
Finally after months of neglecting his blog, I can declare " IT'S ALIVE!" again.
Heheh. No offence, darl.

On another note, I heard someone said , " Once you're into running, your whole universe gets sucked right in too"
Here's a mild example :

Chiam's in a Dress-up Pageant at school
I know it's so cliche, but we couldn't resist  

Monday, November 23, 2009

The longest report yet..heh.

Ok..let's get the facts straightened out. It's 2:36 and not 2:35. Ha! I knew I
shouldn't really count on my cheap-o watch.

Anyhow, let's get started on the report shall we?

We arrived at Queensbay open parking lot at 1-ish am, I think. Mind you, before
that, we didn't get any snooze much. We tried sleeping on Saturday afternoon but
with little kids, it was lucky to get away with an hour and a half worth of
sleep. Then, at my parent's house, again we tried to catch some zzs after Isya'
but my kids were overexcited that my siblings were home for the weekend and it
was impossible to get them to sleep. So we figured, with all the adrenaline
pumping and not to mention the caffeine laden powergels we were about to
consume, we'll get away running without feeling overly tired.

A lot of participants arrived early due to the fact that the bridge was to be
closed at 2 am. Even the quarter marathon kids were already there. As usual,
pre-race, toilet time! -though Hub thinks I seriously should not make this a
habit ( like I can control it). It was my first time in a port-a-potty and it
was surprisingly clean and harummmmm. Haha. Made 2 other stops there later that
day and it was still clean. A big thumbs up to the organizers for that.

the race pack

Anywho, I sent Hub off to his marathon starting line at 2.30 am. Hub was
standing in front of this person who had 4 water bottles orbited around his
waist and I said to Hub," How come you not equipped like that?". There was also
this uncle wearing a sarong but I didn't have a chance to snap his picture, darn

While waiting for my starting moment, I decided to go back to the car to get
some light sleep. But all I managed was getting the car alarm screaming 3 times
due to my tossing and turning. So much for that.

When it was 3.15, I went to the starting point. As I wasn't much of a fast
pacer, I decided not to risk myself getting trampled on, so I stood in the middle
of the pack. Tried to scan for anyone familiar but failed, mostly I guess to
my poor ability to recognize faces in the semi-darkness.

The women's category started before 3.45 am because when the gun went off, I
thought, " What? Already?". And due to the MC's instructions to step on the mat
at the starting line to activate our time chips, everybody was practically
stomping on the mat like they were putting out a fire. It was hilarious!

Then, everyone started running. Some girls who planned to run together with
their men had them waiting at the side of the road with the ' Mana
awek/bini aku ni?' look. I don't know the relevance of that in this report but I
just think that's so sweet of the boys.

The weather was superb. No rain, just breezy and cool. But the first km for me
was weird because I had this unusual discomfort at my left ankle and foot. It
felt stiff and I couldn't imagine running the remainder of the race like that.
Then, somehow my left shoelace came undone so as I tried to the ends together
(double-knot) at a kerb, I did a bit of stretching and it felt a lot better.
After that, the discomfortness went away altogether. Rejoice!

Running the bridge was fun. Some people complained that the race route was
monotonous but I guess thanks to our usual training route, we were used to
monotony so I didn't get what the fuss was all about. It was okay, whaaat? You
can marvel upon the lights at the bridge's middle span, you can gape at the
black sea water, you can people-watch, you can awe yourself at the Penang's
skyline. Macam-macam ada.

At about a quarter way into the bridge, us girls caught up with half of the guys
which I guess sparked some of their egos.It was ridiculous to see some guys
getting intimidated when a girl passes them and they get themselves winded just
to overtake the girl back ( when  a minute after that the girl would just
pass them again) . But it was the same too for some girls when they felt a bit
overly competitive when they see another girl passing. It's a bit annoying. I
say, run at your own pace and don't overexert that early into the race.

The water stations and volunteers were efficient enough. Sometimes at some
stations, human traffic jams formed, especially when our half marathon group
merged with some of the full marathoners, but I guess that's unavoidable. At the
beginning of the race, I contemplated whether 2 powergels were more than enough
for the whole of the 21ks. Phew, I was so glad I didn't bail on the idea because
I surely did need 2. And I am sure glad I brought my own tiny water bottle in my
pocket to wash the gels down at my own convenient time rather than wait to
consume them at the water station.

At the 10km marker, my cheap-o watch showed 1:08 so I thought, maybe I could
finish in 2:20 or so. Perasan betul, haha! Because after the 15th km, muscle
fatigue was setting in. I slowed down a bit but kept on running while most
people around me were already walking. Going uphill was a drag but I smoked the
downhill part. It was as if my legs were automatic ( cue lagu Tokio hotel in the
background). Best betul.

After the bridge part was over, the plodding phase set in. Only 5 km left and
I was just plodding along. It was like that with every step, plod, plod, plod.
My muscles were getting tired and somehow my neck felt a bit stiff (posture kot)
Almost 2 km to the finishing line or so ( I heard someone asked the St John
member at the side of the road), the Azan was recited at a nearby mosque and it
was the best moment of the race. I was so psyched up about it, I guess it made
me move faster to finish the race.

At 6.20-ish I finally saw the finishing line. As there were a lot of us there,
there was a line to get the finishing medal. When I was handed the medal, I felt
so welled up. My first half marathon, I did it! A year ago, I wouldn't have
imagined this moment.

Mahal ooo benda ni

But it wasn't over yet. Hub wasn't finished. I decided not to mingle and wait
for him at the finishing gate with my camera. I stood for an extra 2 hours for
him, waiting and waiting and waiting. But it was worth the wait, because when he
finished, I was so proud of him. Even though he busted his right knee in the
process, he smiled at me and said ," So, are you up to run with me in the next

Bring it on!

Next year, we'll finish together like this sweet couple

I'm a bit peeved that marathon finishers who exceeded the cut off time a bit weren't given any medals although there are many left after the cutoff time. At least give them a bit of credit for their efforts finishing. I mean, what were the officials going to do with the baki of medals? Melt them into spoons? 


Tabik this uncle who finished his 21 k, okay.

This guy's haircut was only a bit cooler than my daughter's hari raya haircut.. hehe

Sunday, November 22, 2009


I can now declare : Half Marathon 21 K - been there, done that.

I just feel like singing " We did it! We did it!" ( lagu Dora the Explorer- my daughter loves the show) over and over again.
The race was great, my run was great and I finished it in 2 hours 35 mins- slow but still, I FINISHED IT!
Race report later, guys.
I'm now busy doing the next best thing after finishing a race,
as orang Kedah will say it - mentekedarah!
(look it up)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

4 more days

“ So how far is he running?”

“ A marathon”

“ Good. One of his job description is to be physically fit”


“ So how far are you running?”

“ Half marathon”

“ How far is that?”

“ More than 10 Ks or so. I dunno. I forgot”

And before you can say liar, liar, pants on fire, I was out the door.
I don’t mean to lie to my dad. It just that, no matter how old I am, or no matter how healthy I seem, I am etched in his mind as that asthmatic little girl who lands herself in the ER at least 4 times a year for Oxygen treatment. Even though I haven’t had any attack in say what? Ages.

If I told him before going, the actual mileage, it’s not like he’ll forbid me from going, it’s more like he’ll voice out his disapproval and I’m left with the guilty feeling of going, nevertheless. Oh you know that feeling with parents.

But I’m not hiding it all together. I’ll tell him after I’ve completed the race. My father has always been the ‘you-do-it-first-and-if-all-comes-out-good-in-the-end-then-it’s-okay” type of father (there’s a mouthful). It’s like the time I went to my first rock concert. If I’d told him beforehand, he would pitch a fit. But following my older sister’s advice, I was like “ By the way, Dad, I went to a concert last Friday” and all he said was “ Best ke?”.

But I know he is proud of me. After I finished my first road race, which was only 6K, he was all smiles and praises. I guess he would never have guessed his mandom little kid would turn out to be a runner. It’s like a cosmic joke.

So, I’m dedicating this half marathon to my Dad, and Mom whether I can finish it or not.

Hey, at least I’m willing to try.

Monday, November 9, 2009

A quiet prayer for the solitary walker

Every morning for two weeks now, on my way to send off my son to pre-school, I’ll see a woman / girl ( it’s hard to tell from inside a moving car) walking on the side of the road. A lot overweight, a little wobbly, she dons a shabby shirt underneath a windbreaker and walks along the road - everyday. I see her sometimes too, late in the evening when it’s close to twilight, walking and walking and sometimes, wiping the sweat from her forehead. Sometimes, she is clutching a water bottle, one time I spot her munching on a kuih she bought from one of the stalls along the road ( but hey-she’s trying). Sometimes, she’s taking it slow, sometimes she’s brisk-walking. All those times, I stifle the urge to give her a little honk and show a thumbs up sign. I suspect she was enlightened by some episode in her life and is now trying to improve herself. At least she is trying.

And I’m in the car, reciting a quiet prayer for her. I hope she does well; I hope she perseveres; I hope she will not take every negative remark to heart. I hope she understands what she’s doing right now will be one of her greatest decisions ever made.

Most of all, I hope I still see her tomorrow.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

LSD of our league..heee

We did our weekly LSD today. Started it at 6.45 am and our venue today was this Rakan Muda Park which has a loop of 1 km. It was intimidating to think at first that we were about to go 16 rounds but we planned to go slow running with the heart rate monitor and practice the 'relax-relax dulu' strategy.

Funny that we were one of the first to arrive and the last to leave. Dari takde orang, ke ramai orang ke takde orang balik. There was this one guy wearing a mizuno wave run vest who ran for one loop and then disappeared. We suspected he went of to do the remainder of his long run at the taman perumahan nearby. It was scorching hot by 8.30 am and the heart rate monitor would chirp every half km in the hot sun so upon finishing the last kms, we were forced to go a bit slower.

Once the 16 rounds were over- which was done at the slowest pace, thanks to the heart monitor, I can concur that 21k in 3 and a half hour ( or less) for me is doable. I just have to remind myself no to go too fast at the beginning and not let my kiasu -ess ( or what's left of it) get the best of me.
Oh and on our 10th K, we stopped for a few mins to get a drink of water and try out those energy gels. Huh, tak sedap. Mine was banana strawberry- tak sedap. Had a taste of Hub's chocolate flavored - tak sedap jugak. And we had to wash the sweetness down with a lot of water.

If only they could liquefy a snickers bar..puh.

sedakkk eeee

weekly mileage accumulation : 29k

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Finally some time to write mid-week!

This is Michelle Aguilar. She’s my favourite Biggest Loser. Yes, for those who are following the latest Biggest Loser on Hallmark right now, I’m going straight to be a party pooper and tell you that she’s the winner. Oh, stop whining. You knew she’d win.

I love TBL. I watched every season there is on Malaysian TV. I love the exercise regime. I love the transformation. Yeah, sure Jillian gives me the creeps looking like she could take your head off with one blow of her manly fist, but Bob is a hottie even though he seems a little bit gay sometimes.

Yes, I still watch TBL as a reminder never to lose myself again. Almost 10 years ago, I was a blob. Bordering overweight , sedentary, teh /milo ais three times a day for a week. I’d like to blame it on the stress of early Univ days but I guess that’s just an excuse. I wasn’t really stressed out, just couldn’t accept the fact that I didn’t have my adolescent metabolism anymore. That I couldn’t eat all I want and not gain a thing.

It was sort of embarrassing. I was a moving blob but my BF was active. He was rugby-ing, running, kayaking and all, and I was just, well..again a blob. I was like that for 3 years. Sure I got a lot of comments from friends about my shape but I pushed them aside to the back of my head. It took me one rude remark from an ex-high school mate that flipped the switch.

And it wasn’t all that easy. At that time, I was staying in a condo rented by the campus and the gym was off limits for the students. I had to do little exercises in my room.

When I moved back into main campus the following year, I was on track. Did my exercise VCDs religiously and cut back on my calorie intake. I discovered running through my BF. He sort of encouraged-forced me into it. There was this well known taman tasik right in front of our campus. I couldn’t believe how I could ignore it all this time when others would come from across the city to run here ( I still can’t believe it now). Running initially was painful. I was wheezing, limping and bitching all the way. But after learning how to breathe correctly, how to pace properly it was getting addictive. And I like they way it has shaped my body and weight without even trying.

Fast forward almost a decade, thankfully I’m still running. And due to my recent love in endurance running, I feel that I’m in better shape than I have been in years.
Back to talking about the show, I guess it motivates me to do more. Sometimes, when my dumbbells feel heavier on my blah days, I think of all those people on TBL and how they can do it. Sometimes when it feels lousy to just even walk, I think of Michelle Aguilar’s determination and try to emote it. Sometimes when I feel like calling it quits, I hear Jillian scream ,” Unless you faint,puke or die,KEEP MOVING!” And I get my butt moving.

And who would have thought the executive producer is JD Roth. Remember Fun House guys? That game show we tuned to every week when we were kids. The one with the red head host and cheerleader twins? JD Roth was the host. Remember?

Who would have thought?

But Jillian still gives me the creeps.

Monday, November 2, 2009

running in baju melayu ( not me)

Larian Merdeka 6.5K at Esplanade Penang 1.11.2009

So far, I can declare this as my ditziest race. Dunno why I was such an airhead from the beginning to the end.

Ditzy moment no 1

On the day we collected our race kits, I started talking about how people run in costumes in some short races for fun. Then,out of the blue, he decided to run in this race sporting a baju melayu + sampin just for kicks.
Me and my big fat mouth.
At the night before the race, I kept asking him " Are you sure ? Are you sure?" like a parrot over and over again. But he was adamant about it so I figured, the least I could do is support him.
But I warned him, If he was going to pull a stunt like this, he should carry it off with grace. Jangan buat malu-malu pulak.
And so he did.


 that baju melayu didn't see it coming

It's safe to say he made a lot of people smile that morning.

Ditzy moment no 2

When we arrived on race day, it was 6.30am and I had a bit of tummy ache. As soon as the car was parked, I jumped off to find the nearest toilet. It took me 15 minutes around the whole Esplanade area to find one, and unfortunately it was locked.
By that time, I didn't feel like going anymore. 15 minutes before the start of the race, I suddenly felt the urge again. My little bro who was our shutterbug for the day said ," There's one over there," and pointed to a tandas awam across the field from where we were standing.
And to think I lost all that time before searching when it was just right there.

Ditzy moment no 3

We were coming to 1km of the race when I realized that I forgot to set my watch. But I pressed start anyway, thinking that I'll recalculate later. You know, plus minus 5 minutes or so. But then only after I got my medal, mingled, rest and ate my complimentary bun did I remembered to press stop.

Ditzy moment no 4

While we were running, I saw a lot of runners wearing shirts with the same company name on the back.And I thought it must be great for their employers to rally off that many staff to run for the company. But when I saw some kids wearing the same shirts, I got confused. They hire kids too?
Only towards the end of the run that I realized they were wearing the run's official shirt with the name of the main sponsor emblazoned at the back. Ayaakkk..ini bahana tak belek tshirt lepas dapat.

can you really blame me?err yup, you probably can.

Ditzy moment no 5

Upon finishing the race, one of the race officials flagged me to my category's finishing lane. I ran to the right but he kept saying " More to the right, more to the right." Well, there was a Vico truck on the far right side of the road, and I thought maybe finishers are supposed to grab a drink first before crossing the line. So I ran towards the truck ( as silly as it may be- but hey, it was my ditzy day).
Nasib baik this other race official at the end of the line ( which was next to the truck) waved at me like crazy to finish at the correct lane.

Ditzy moment no 6

While cooling off, I decided to be like the orangputehs and selamba je duduk atas padang. Nearby was this kid with her oh-so-cute little doggy. The dog wasn't on a leash and he freely roamed anywhere he liked. I noticed it limped a bit and said, " Poor little doggy is tempang ."
Hub snorted, " Tempang mende, he wants to take a piss." And like on cue, he went all over the lawn. Hah, patutla takde sape duduk atas lawn. So much for orangputeh-ness. I forgot orangputehs don't have to samak..

Ditzy tak ditzy, I managed to finish off and add another medal to my minuscule collection despite my stuffy nose which has been bugging me for a week now
And this time, nobody paid attention to me, Mrs tudung clad lady amongst the shorts. This time, I was only the person running beside Mr Popularity in baju melayu and all.
Know anywhere that rents a Barney outfit?