Wednesday, April 28, 2010


I woke up without the aide of my alarm at 5.20am. It was just like that. One moment I was weaving dreams, the next, my eyes fluttered open and I was wide awake.
 Strangely I felt creep-ed out. Like something was wrong but I couldn't pin point what. So I decided, it was either because of a dream or the fact that it was awfully quiet outside. On other nights, it would sound like the crickets and frogs are having a party out there.

I stepped out of our bedroom. Hub was already out of the house for his daily 5 miler. Kids were sound asleep. I had to do this run before they stir. But that weird feeling lingered.

I grabbed my Ipod and climbed on the dreadmill. Blared Matchbox Twenty as loud as I could handle to muffle out any strange noises that I secretly anticipated, and started running. It didn’t help one bit. With all that music, I felt more insecure. I felt like if somebody or something wanted to pounce on me from behind, I wouldn’t be ready. It was ridiculous. I was in my own home, secured by the locked doors and bright pendafluor lights but I still felt the heebie jeebies.

As I finished the 4th tempo round, I thought I heard a door creak. I glanced behind to see if any one of my children are awake, but there was nobody in the hallway. Okay, that was just a figment of your imagination, you stupid scaredey cat.

I started the machine again. As it cranked up to accelerate, suddenly I felt I was in slow-mo. Like in a dream, when you’re making motions to move fast, but you’re feet are actually walking. And then it got weirder. I felt my whole body elevating, not airborne, just freakishly getting further and further from the floor.

How I badly wanted my kids to wake up and save me then. How I wanted my life partner to burst through the door and sell me one of his theories at that instant. He always has a scientific explanation to everything. I prayed this wasn’t anything paranormal.

And as I was about to go into a panic attack, I suddenly realized that instead of pressing the speed button of the dreadmill on the right, in my foolish anxiety, I pressed the incline button on the left.Hence, the elevation.


And due to that idiotic incident and the fact that I almost made my heart jump out of my chest, I wheezed through the rest of the run. By the time hub was back from his run and my kids were awake demanding breakfast and Jim Jam and Sunny on the tube, I was so pooped out, I was practically slumped on the chair for support.
“ What 's up?” he asked.
“ Foolishness,” I managed to croak.

He went to shower shaking his head and mumbling about it being a woman thing.

p/s OMG! Just as I thought Ipoh International Run will be the last race in Perak this year, I found out there will be a race in Taiping in July! Yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!Kihkihkih! Hihihihi! Kuhkuhukuh!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Bidor Adventure ( and kuih semperit)

We arrived at Bidor at 6.15 am and to our dismay, most of the parking spots were already taken. We had to park behind these shop lots and before we knew it, they were announcing for runners to be at the starting point. Hubs forgot to put his vaseline on so he rushed back to the car and left me walking behind. I was stopped midway by these two dogs who looked like they came straight from Nightmare on Elm Street, and avoided them, trying not to freak out or make eye contact. I quietly prayed I wouldn't be chased by stray dogs through the race.

While waiting for gun off, we met our friend Bakri from ENR. Now let me tell ya, this guy is really something. He lets his long hair down, literally throughout the race and runs with a ski cap on. I don't know how he can stand all that hair flailing while he runs ( it would drive me out of my wits), but he's one fast son of a gun. He did FM in ENR in 4 hour-ish and by the pace he went through Bidor just now, I betcha he finished sub 2.
 We also met fellow bloggers Ijam and said hi to Yim. Thank goodness the group photo we took was pre race, Ijam. Post race would see me a shade darker! And Yim wasn't hard to pick out from the crowd. He's tall and fair with a mustache and you could spot him a mile away. Haha.

So the race started at about 7 am. There was no digital clock near the starting point but rather an everyday household clock hanged at the gantry. Old school, kot. The first few kms, I was struggling a bit as my left calf suddenly felt stiff. We met our first incline while running up a bridge, but it was all good as it was only a few minutes after starting.After 4k, my legs felt normal again and everything was pretty easy up till the first 10K.
After that, we were all introduced to THE BIDOR HILLS. It went up and up and up and up and well, you know me with hills ; I went slower and slower and slower and hating every minute of it. I was so jealous of those leading runners who were on their way back at the opposite side of the road, and were going downhill all the way. As I was going slower, hub who was running in front slowed down and proposed that we ran at my pace. I shooed him back to the front to be my pacer on the hills. I visualized a line between me and him, and him pulling me up those stupid hills with the imaginary line. It helped a bit.
By the time we got to the 2nd turning point, we were met with this small dirt road scattered with pebbles and mud puddles. It was like trail running for like 500 m and I was left running and tippy toeing trying not to fall flat on my face.
Turning points are good as it means that we were about to run all the way back to the finishing line. Hubs called out  that we had like 3 miles to go and I called out , " I hate these frigging hills!". By that time, the sun was scorching on our heads and I felt a bit overheated in my running gear. And the stinking smell along the running route didn't help either. I saw a cow dung in a perfect shape of a kuih semperit at the side of the road.
Saje je nak bagitau.

 Along the way back was slight torture. We still had to go trough some incline though. Although it wasn't as bad as before but with all that heat going on, it was really a struggle. I had to talk my way into not walking.
Don't walk, I'd tell myself. Or you'll suffer longer in the heat. Don't walk, I'd tell myself. You forgot to put on sunblock this morning, remember?  So with that in mind, I wogged on.

The last 1K, we went into a housing estate and although the route to the finishing line was all the way downhill, I seriously couldn't muster enough strength to hasten my pace like I did in ENR. Hubs was calling out from the front, " Give it all you got, only 0.1 miles to go!" ( he uses miles instead of Kms like the rest of us), and I pumped my arms macam apantah. The finishing line was a surprise cause one minute it was downhill and after a turn, there it was smack in front of you.
So I finished my 2nd HM with a new PB! And I  was pretty happy with the timing as I'm pretty much sure I couldn't have done better. Not in that race. Not with those hills.

2: 24 19 secs. Timing on my 10 ringgit watch. I was handed a 34th placing card in my category.

All in all, Bidor Half Marathon was a good race.  I love the freebies and they gave away plenty of food ( nasi lemak, bread, watermelon and a bunch of weird looking kuihs). And they had Vico. Sweet, thick, cold Vico. Heaven.
Had a nice chat with Yim at the end of the race. We all agreed the hills wasn't expected in Bidor. But he did it with excellent timing. I presume Ijam did great too as he was already making his way back when we weren't even at the 2nd turning point yet. Congrats, guys.
                                        One of the nicest medals in my collection. They even wrapped each one.

I'm a bit tired now and not to mention hungry ( still ) so I can't decide whether I'll go ahead with my next race in Kuala Kangsar in 2 weeks time. The starting time will be at 8 am which is pretty late and unless I can finish the 12k race in 1 hour ( which I seriously doubt), I'll be baking in the sun again. Argh. Tak sanggup.
Ye, saya memang manje.

And yang, I know you could have finished faster, but until I take my brief break from racing in the next half of this year, you're stuck being my pacer.

Oh and p/s : Nasi Ayam theory worked! a way.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Cluck cluck

I remember on the night of ENR, post run, me and hub were quietly talking and resting on a curb behind our car when a guy struck up a conversation with us.
He was a boy of maybe early twenties and spoke with much enthusiasm. He was also a virgin marathoner and told us the whole race drained so much of him that he's done with full marathons after this. He talked about his struggles in the race and a funny story about his friend ( who is a marathoner)who made him eat two plates of nasi ayam that afternoon before the race for carboloading. It worked, he claimed. He wasn't hungry at all during the race.
Before we parted, I mustered the guts to ask him his timing ( praying that he wouldn't ask mine).
" 4:45, kak"

So today, for carboloading pre Bidor, I've cooked Nasi Ayam for the family. Forget pastas and spaghettis.
 This is an ode for the Nasi Ayam Boy.

We didn't even get his name.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Mama, wonderpets ada lagi, ma.

*masa aku tulis ni, Chiam ngan Adik tengah tengok TV*

Hi adik-adik, JJ kembali lagi dengan entri versi cintailah bahasa kita.
Hari ni cerita ceriti dalam bukan bahasa orang puteh la. Saje nak tukar mood. Nak tulis dalam Bahasa Melayu pior takbleh jugak sebab aku bukannya terer pun. Spm pun BM dapat 2 je..hehe.

Hari ni macam biasa la buat LSD lagi. Cadang nak buat dalam 16K tapi bapak aku kata balikla awal sebab bapak aku kena keluar hari ni, pastu mak aku dok sorang-sorang ngan budak-budak tu kat rumah. Kami pun ok je la. Aku cakap kat bapak aku dalam pukul 7.30 pagi gitu kami balik. Yo la tu.

Minggu lepas aku tak makan dulu sebelum lari, pastu separuh jalan jadi penat nya Ya Rabbi. So minggu ni, aku makan la dua ketul bahulu sebelum lari, minum air secawan. Sebelum kuar rumah, rasa cam sakit perut tapi tak cukup aura so aku pikir, lari je la dulu. Kalau dah cukup aura nanti aku berenti pi tandas kat rumah aku. Tak pun pit stop je la kat masjid mana-mana tengah jalan.

Wah! Wah! Penangan bahulu tu, aku rasa syok je lari dalam 10k pertama. Cam crusing je. Kaki pun ala-ala lagu " Automatic' nyanyian kumpulan Jerman yang penyanyi dia lelaki tapi muka cam pompuan cantik tu ( apantah nama, aku dah lupa). Tapi tu la, aku selalu lupa nak makan lepas 1 jam lari. Dulu masa mula-mula berkecimpung dalam larian jarak jauh ni ( eceh), aku rajin je replenish tenaga dalam larian. Skarang ni, mula ngengada malas nak bawak makanan dalam poket. Konon kuat la. Puii.
Alih-alih lepas 10K, tetiba rasa tenaga merudum dengan signifikannya. Perut pulak yang tadi rasa tak sedap, mula nak meragam. Pastu sepanjang jalan secara tiba-tiba je ada bau nasik lemak la, ikan keringla, kuih la ( dari gerai tepi jalan) yang lagi merangsang perut aku memulas-mulas. Larian yang tadi agak smooth, dah jadik kucar kacir. Laki aku tanya, nak berenti ke bila sampai rumah makbapak aku ( kami ada satu loop lagi lepas tu). Aku taknak sebab kalau aku berenti, sure-sure tak sambung lari balik punya la. So tahan je la.

Masa nak abiskan larian lagi 4K, aku pikir nak abiskan secepat mungkin. So pace yang mulanya bertambah pelan , aku cuba nak samakan ngan pace mula-mula lari tadi. Bila naik bukit, laki aku leading. Bila turun bukit, aku pulak ke depan dan kayuh sekuat hati. Semua ok, tapi tiba-tiba ada satu keta kuning ni, konon macam keta drift la ,pecut laju gila potong motor depan dia, pastu hampir-hampir je nak langgar keta yang bertentangan. Kami dah siap dah nak terjun tepi jalan kalau eksiden. Yela, kang kalau keta tu terpelanting kat kami, kami jugak yang KO. Sep baik keta satu lagi tu dapat mengelak. Aku punya la nak marah. Masuk ni dah 4 dah keta cam tu. Taim kami lari tepi jalan, taim tu la dia elok-elok nak potong kenderaan depan dia ( kami lari berlawanan arus). Konon sangat terer la tu. Konon nak tunjuk ko boleh pegi lebih laju dari kami ni yang menapak. Konon keta ko Evo la tu. Pakai keta koman perasan cam keta sport. Boh la tanda Mitsubishi bagai. Spoiler tinggi macam nak sidai kain. Boh sticker sini sana. Ekzos besar sampai boleh muat kepala budak. Bunyi mengaum tapi bila orang tengok keta, alahai.,keta Hail Amir je. Eh, orang pakai Evo betul pun tak sampai hati nak hias keta macam tu ok. Sangat the very tacky ok.

Sori, emo sket.

So, akhirnya berjaya jugak buat LSD aku yang tak seberapa LSDnya. Mula-mula janji kat bapak aku dalam 7.30 pagi balik kan? Haha. Penangan sakit perut ngan tak cukup kudrat sebab tak makan tengah jalan, kami abis dalam 7.45 pagi. Baru abis tau. Lepas tu, minum sket, mandi sket, sembang sket, last-last sampai rumah makbapak aku 8.20pg. Betuah betul. Sep baik anak-anak aku tak banyak hal pagi ni.

Cuma, aku sampai je, kena lap muntah susu dekat tangga ruang tamu.
Aku tanya sapa muntah, dua-dua tak ngaku.

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Week's Worth

Hey guys,

I’ve been laying low this past week. The usual stuff. Swarmed with work.
Went through last week with 3 days, full of meetings and courses in Ipoh. Which resulted in me going to work at 6.45 am and returning home at 8 pm. I work in a kampung. This is not supposed to happen.

This week, I have three out patient days in a row in three different clinics. Each clinic averages 40-55 patients per out patient day. Do the math.

What do we do on an outpatient day in a dental clinic? Well, 90% are extraction cases, the rest are fillings, prosthodontics and scaling requests which we do if time permits or reappointed to appointment days, if we’re too jammed up. On bad days, difficult extraction cases will turn to surgical cases and on nightmarish and all–hell-break-loose days, in the middle of it all, there will be referred emergency cases with badly cut up faces and mouths and broken teeth and broken jaws.

But that hardly happens. Knock on wood.

Anyway, the good to all this is, I can consider all those extractions as my cross training. So I get 3 cross training days and extra lunch break time to run. And my boss announced in last week’s meeting that us U44s will be bumped up a notch to U48 by the end of this year. A little later than our medical friends but better late than never. If this sounds French to you, well basically it means I’ll be promoted again. I won’t be as high flying as you guys in the private sector but hey, it’ll get me by the remainder of my contract. Alhamdulillah..

And talking about kampung ( I was, just a bit a while then), due to the recent boom in the Arowana business here, there’s a sudden increase of old men driving those flashy sports cars on the road. You see all those sporty edition of Mazdas, Mercedes, BMWs and what have yous ( with leather interiors), Red! Yellow! Black!, roaring down the road just to stop at kedai runcit Ah Yong or the local roti canai stall. I bet, no other kampung has this much sports car crazed old men. Even the pembantu farmasi here drives the new model of Honda Accord and he’s only a minor share holder ( okay, that’s not a sports car but still..) And just the other day I saw one old geezer riding a convertible. Really? Seriously?In a kampung? Is it worth inhaling all those insects while you drive?

It’s ridiculous.

Me? No way I’m gambling my life savings in a bunch of fishies. And the fish ponds are ruining our scenic paddy fields. You look left and right and it’s one project after the other. I’m so glad I heard the local authorities are putting a stop in new Arowana Projects. It’s about time I guess. I’m sick and tired of looking at another one in progress.
Bak kata orang utara : Cemuih.

‘Running for Fun” a.k.a training in search of a better half marathon has been commencing well. We do our weekend LSD after Subuh ( instead of starting the run before), if you can call it an LSD. Last week’s ‘long run’ was a puny 11K. Heh heh heh ( I’m grinning as I write this and I can see you snickering too) but no matter, the mileage will increase from time to time.

And we’ve successfully converted ourselves into vegetarians 3 days a week. I was skeptical with hub’s plan a few months back but surprisingly vegetarian meals aren’t that hard to prepare. No thawing required! And I’m not talking about raw salad, microbiotic grains and all that yucky stuff. I’m taking about Asian vegetarian dishes eg sambal-ed aubergines, stir fry kangkung, sweet and sour bean curd,fu chuk and suhun, dalcha curry with papadom naming a few. And the kids are accepting it well. But we don’t like those vege meats. They taste weird and chemical-ly and chewy and personally I think it beats the purpose of vegetarianism is you want chicken or beef flavored soy products. At least, that’s what I think.

Well, that’s all I have for today.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Pressing the Restart Button

When I read this, I can totally relate. That’s what I’m feeling right now. But I’m semi-burned out.

I’ve been training for my first marathon since December. Day in day out, I had this repetitive mantra in my head.

“ Must train, must train, must train.”

My good days came and went. My blah days came and went. Some days I was so jazzed up to run, you can throw me the heaviest rain, the nastiest carcass on the road, the brightest morning sun, and I’d still be up to do my LSD. Some days I was so not into it, I had to peel myself off the bed, drag my heavy feet, put on my running gear, and even when everything was in optimal conditions, I would still stall and wince and bitch through my long runs.

But I still went through it. Got through it.

Which I guess explains why I am so glad I got my first marathon over with. I’m so done with getting up at 4.30 am for that 19 miler. I’m so done with doing that 80 minute tempo run on the dreadmill. I’m so done with that 12 x 400 m at such such speed.

I can now say : I did that. Done. Fin.

And now I can start over.
Got you there.
Thought I’d quit didn’t you?

Naw, I’m back to running for fun. I’m back to the start of another training program for half marathon. Which means, shorter distance coverage for LSD, shorter tempo runs and shorter speed work. Okay, so maybe the plan is now at a faster pace, but the key word is SHORTER.

For now.

Why fret what’s coming in the future ? I’ll enjoy with what I have now.

I’ve pressed that restart button. I’m done being idle for a week. I'm drinking in all the encouragements and brushing off all negativity from anyone, if any. I have big dreams I plan to follow.

Sure, I’ll still be green with envy when I read about your next marathon plan. No, I’m not over that. Roll your eyes all you want and say, “ Get over it, woman”, but I’ll still have a pang of jealousy because you have the guts to do it but I don’t have the will.

But it’s not over. I’ll be back o’ FM, with a vengeance.

And to future virgin marathoners, please don’t be discouraged with my words. My experiences only apply to me. I’m just sharing with what I’ve felt. What I feel. Maybe, in a way I’m giving you a heads up.

It might be different for you. It may be smooth sailing all the way for you. Or it may not be. But bear in mind, your journey is only about to begin. And you have a battle to win. There will be good days, as there will be bad. But I know, you will face all those days with determination. Maybe on some days you will feel like you want to give it up altogether. It’s okay to rest. To do something else. But I know, you’ll be back. The calling will beckon you back.

Don’t let anybody tell you it’s not worth doing. Don’t be afraid of letting the world know your ambition. Shout it out. Call it out loud. It’s okay to have dreams. It's not cockiness talking, but it's your confidence screaming.

Don’t be afraid of people’s negativity. They can say what they say but honestly, do they matter? You will not be defeated by words. Nor of such low self esteem.

And finally, don’t be afraid if you can’t achieve your goals. Who cares with what people say? It’s the effort that matters. At least you tried.

You will achieve your marathon goals. Whatever they are.

Quoting Wally Lamb, " This much, at least, I've figured out. I know this much is true."