Thursday, January 29, 2009

Long Runs and Blisters

Right......so I decided I would actually train for a full marathon for October regardless that I didn't quite register for any race yet. (it's currently Melbourne vs Kota Kinabalu depending how 'rich' I feel by July)

And I've decided that I'll increase my base mileage for the remaining of January and officially start training in February with an official training schedule!!!
(I've downloaded one from Runner's World website and I'm gonna get it print out and stick it onto my board at work....so it'll appear cooler!!! or at least official!)

Anyway, I just completed my long run for the week.....all 17km of it!!! (at least according to my Nike+ but with "internal" calibration and all, it's more like 14km)
Honestly, I think I just committed a faux pas by doing 2 long runs this week 3 days apart.
My first long run of 15km (after sort-of calibration, roughly about 12-13km) was on Monday which went pretty well. 
I then ran about 8km on Tuesday, 6km on Wednesday.
Was feeling pretty "normal" about it all.....
I mean, afterall......my usual daily runs were around 6-8km and when I feel really up to it I'll do a 10km run.
So I figured I didn't really need that much rest in between coz I didn't feel tired.....in fact I felt pretty perky and zestful! (then again that is my usual self)

So this morning, woke up earlier to fuel up and prep myself up for 17km...second long run for the week.
--> I reckon by now you guys would "self-calibrate" my distance by yourself, so I'll just state the distance as recorded by Nike+. 

I even prepared my mid-run isotonic drink (prepared 1:1 ratio of 100-plus and water) and placed it outside the gate to my house so that I can grab a quick drink mid-run!!!!
(I figured to cover enough distance, I'd turn back halfway through my run through 3 different neighbourhoods)

Anyway, the first half of the run went pretty smoothly. I kept a steady pace and my legs didn't feel heavy or tired. At around 10km into the run (where I should have turned back to grab my drink) I decided not to turn back home and continue running that stretch of road. 
I could feel the lethargy all over.....not just the legs and all I could think about was to quit this stupid run and hit the showers!
But I persevered.......and I could feel my form deteriorating.
Also I could feel blister forming at the base of the arch of my left foot!!!
I figured I could outrun it.....I mean I had run in more painful situations....how could a mere blister destroy me!?
(yes I know..... arrogance during running is becoming a recurring theme)

I completed 17km.....I survived......well, barely!
I could hardly walk without pain at the end of it!
When I took off my socks, I was kinda taken aback by the sheer size of the blister formed at the sole of my left foot!!!! (I thought it was gonna be teeny-weeny size)
I was so dehydrated that I chugged litres of water and isotonic drinks that I spend the next 2 hours running to the toilet!! (ok....more like limping to the toilet than running)

And now I'm wiped out!!! I feel so crap!!!! I feel like napping the whole day!!!!
I am humbled by the fact that my body cannot be willed just by the mind itself. Apparently the physical limitations are very limiting!!!!!

Hopefully I've learned my lesson (cannot push body too far too fast) and take tomorrow morning off.
Hopefully I wouldn't think that simply running in another pair of runners would help......
Hopefully I'd sleep really early today and eat really well tomorrow....

Why do I get a bad feeling that it is exactly the opposite of what I would do tomorrow morning! Sigh.

Will keep you posted on more stupidity that I could churn out!

Later!!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

I Have Decided To.....

Alrite......we now have officially ushered in the Chinese year of the Ox.
And according to the newspaper Chinese Astrology....this is a relatively good year for me, born in the year of the Rooster. But of course we all know how extremely accurate those kinda stuff are!! (so not exactly holding my breath)

Anyway I took another plunge in faith and bought myself the Nike+ Ipod device despite being emotionally traumatized by the Nike+ wristband incident.....ok maybe not traumatized but moderately irked!
Maybe I should really bring my wristband back to the shop despite not having the receipt and see what they can do about it......anyone remembers where I left my wristband?? Oh darn.

Yes....I bought the Nike+ Ipod device, and took it out for a run (3 consecutive runs) and I actually prefer this to the wristband! Why did I ever bother with the wristband in the first place?
When it comes to accuracy of the distance, it mimics the optimism and false encouragement shown in the wristband (subtract 1km for every 5km recorded) but other than that I really enjoyed the verbal feedback the iPod gives me.
"10km....9km.....8km..........500m.......250m......congratulations, you have completed your workout!"
"You are the CHAMPION!!!! You are a running goddess!!!! (so maybe that was a little exaggerated but Nike should seriously look into putting those lines into the program!)

And I LOVE that there are more options that I can choose and un-choose on the iPod. The wristband just has 2 buttons which up until now I haven't quite figured out which does what exactly!
Plus I also LOVE the orange colour background on the screen...(yes it is a superficial thing but who cares!?)

Also.....after long consideration and a bit of praying, I have decided that I shall train for my very first full marathon!!! (hooray!!)
I think I should have more than enough time to train well for one....not that I'm trying to achieve some fantastic finishing time....I just want to finish! (not having to crawl to the finish line would also be a good goal.....oh.....and not to be hospitalised post-race!)
Am aiming for it in October this year......and will review my finances (or lack of it) by July to see which race I shall be heading to.
I would LOVE to run Melbourne this October.....(hopefully the exchange rate stays low!)
If I'm a little tight to actually get Down Under, then Borneo International Marathon would be a good alternative.
Last year (2008) both races were held on the same day......possible the same will happen in 2009.

And if I chicken out......I can always run the half marathon and kick my own arse to beat my PB for the halfie distance!!!

So now I'm cranking out the mileage (and hoping my knees would be agreeable), trying to get more sleep and rest, planning my training timetable (which I will post up for accountability) and get proper nutrition!! (y'think pizza and brownies can be considered proper nutrition?)


* Can cupcake be considered "proper nutrition"???

I really hope I know what I'm doing (about the full marathon) coz my parents are extremely skeptical about me lasting the distance (they were also skeptical about me studying medicine, being a vegetarian, running a half marathon right after a severe AGE, surviving housemanship, doing my own laundry by hand, being able to cook....but I don't do much of it anymore, able to look after a pet....though the hamster story doesn't count, and the list goes on....)

Sigh....well, if I don't try I'd never know.....so here goes nothing!!!


Later!


Friday, January 23, 2009

Yay!!! I'm Back!!!!

Besides the fact that I'm back in KL/PJ (which I am excited about and extremely looking forward to CNY and potential $$$ from ang-pow).....I'm glad to announce that I've found my 'Good' run!!!!

Yes folks....it's back!!!! Heck...I'm BACK!!!!
Finally, the effect of the blood donation is gone!!! (not that I discourage anyone from donating blood....it's everyone's civic duty to do so)Italic

Gosh I'm so relieved......I really miss the euphoric feel from my 'Good' Italicruns.
And since I'm on hols, I don't need to wake up at such ungodly hours to run!!! 

Anyway, planning to get the Nike+ Ipod thingy......wondering if it's a good idea.
Actually I HAD the Nike+ wristband which decided to give up on me after several runs in the rain and now refuse to charge!
(I would actually go bring it back to the shop and complain.....except for the fact that I can't quite find the receipt! Yes I know I should be more organise and keep my proof of purchases from now onwards!)

Also been wondering whether it's a good idea to want to aim for a full marathon this year.
I dunno....the training seems so tedious and time consuming and this year....well, I kinda have other plans as well.
Sigh......I would really love to run my very first full one in Melbourne in October. And with AirAsia and it's relatively affordable airfare....it's within grasp!

Will ponder on it more.....in the meantime.....will keep training to run a fast 1ok (die die must run under 50 minutes.....I'm seriously not built for speed!) and improve my time for half-marathon distance.

Before I forget....HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR to everyone celebrating it out there!!!!!
And for goodness sake...don't overdo on the booze, gambling and mandarin oranges!!!

Later!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Shit Weather.......Run Early!!

Gosh I really miss the rainy season!!!
I miss running when it's drizzling lightly and every car that passes you gives you the "WTF" look.
I miss getting my shoes and socks soaked.......and sometimes the squishy feeling in my enclosed feet (just before the blister forms)
I miss how I can't differentiate raindrops from my sweat on my skin.
I miss how I try to quicken my pace as I see the dark clouds looming nearer.......(running in thunderstorm is NO joke....getting strike by lightning isn't either!)

Unfortunately it seems like the rainy season is now gone, giving way to the freakin sunny-all-the-time weather which makes the temperature soar like apocalypse is tomorrow!
Notice how shit one feels running in that sort of weather.....no amount of endorphin is worth the scorch!

So now I wake up a lot earlier than the majority of Ipoh population to get my run-in!

Yup.....I've officially joined the "Insomniac Club" and hits the Polo Ground running track at just before 6am!!!! (I literally drag myself out of bed when it's freakin dark outside, eyes half open, telling myself all sort of lies so that I would not cling onto the bed but go run instead!)
--> honestly.....no Malaysian/Ipoh-an/KL-lite wakes up this early for something their view as secondary unless their Valium ran out!

I give props to those aunties and uncles go get to the track by 5-ish!
(Of course my friends would give ME props for such determination as well.....that or they'd call me crazy, considering my line of work!)

Of course running this early and in such dark conditions does bring it draw-backs.......
Most prominent one would be me having to hit the sack a WHOLE lot earlier.....so excuse me while I go sleep now!

Later!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Playlist of the Moment!

yup.....I've finally come up with my latest inspirational tunes to keep myself  upbeat when I run.....and seeing that lately it has been really shitty (like...everything!!), I really need something to take my mind off stuff when I drag my lazy arse off the chair and hit the roads.

1. Love Story - Taylor Swift
2. Pictures of You - The Last Goodnight
3. Use Somebody - Kings Of Leon
4. Let It Rock - Kevin Rudolph
5. Alive - Natalie Bassingthwaight
6. Just Dance - Lady GaGa
7. Poker Face - lady GaGa
8. One of the Boys - Katy Perry
9. Animal Song - Savage Garden
10. Get Shaky - The Ian Carey Project
11. Gotta Be Somebody - Nickelback
12. Eleanor - Low Millions
13. Troublemaker - Weezer
14. Sugar We're Going Down - Fall Out Boy
15. Circus - Britney Spears
16. Affirmation - Savage Garden
17. She Wants To Move - NERD

Nope, the 'Good' run still seem so elusive at the moment.....
And everything has been shitty....like seriously.....lately.
I feel like a freakin bad luck magnet at the moment and praying bloody hard for things to change soon!!!!!
(heck, I've lost my temper at work so often that I've lost count!!!! That CANNOT be good!)

*think positive thoughts.....positive.....think about your next holiday!!!!! CNY holiday!!!!!

Yup....starting to feel slightly better already!

Later!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I HATE this part rite here.....

No....not the Pussycat Dolls.....although I do LOVE that song (but don't run to it...it gets a little de-motivating!)

Anyway I have not had a good run since last Saturday and it is annoying me to no end!!!!!

Maybe we should start by stating what a 'Good Run' means....
1. 'Good' running effort
2. 'Good' distance covered
3. 'Good' duration of running
4. 'Good' feel during and after the run

Technically, 2 out of 4 is pretty good for me!
Unfortunately....had been evading me for the past few days!!!!

SO ANNOYED!!!!!
This was what happened......or at least how I perceived it to be...(it's MY blog and if I perceive, then it IS!)

Saturday.....last day in Melbourne...had a great run in the morning, while in process of breaking into my new Asics 2130.
Sunday.....touch down in smoggy LCCT......had to drive back to Ipoh that same afternoon. Rest day! (fair enough...I think I deserve the rest!)
Monday.....decided to run in my Brooks Axiom (please do NOT ask me how many pairs of running shoes I own.....you just can't ask a girl that sort of question....it's RUDE!). Axiom made my left calve hurts!!!! Duration and distance was shortened. 'Good' feel during run.....severely diminished!
Tuesday.....kinda promised Michelle we'd play squash (yup...still suck at it!) but promised myself I'd run before heading off for the game. Due to time constraint, inadequate duration and distance covered which lead to no 'Good' post-run feel! (aiyah....I'm particular......as a member of the double-X chromosome society....it IS my God given right to be!!!)
Wednesday.....despite adequate duration and distance covered, I had no 'Good' effort and (unfortunately) no 'Good' during and post-run feel! 

Alright alright...maybe I'm being a little too harsh on myself....
I did perform my civic duty and donated blood this afternoon several hours before my run.
(I was hoping that the mind could overcome the body and it's limitation!!! But apparently I did not put physiology into the equation....)

Anyway......


Did I mention that I LOVE my Asics GT-2130???!!!!
I still think the colour is a little gay.....(no homosexual intonation here.....just a slang that my cousin Trish uses to describe something dodgy)
But besides that...it is an absolute dream to run in those shoes!!!!
(minus the first 2 days of hell trying to break into 'em)
It is categorized as a stability shoe.....(I think I slightly overpronate......I think therefore it IS!)
Wearing women's US size 8.5
Fits my feet like a glove.....forefoot just roomy enough for my toes to not get "numb" during the ending part of longer runs......not too roomy that my toes can do Cirque DeSoleil stunts in there.
Just about right with the cushioning.......(yea....Axioms were a bit flat.....)


OooHhhhhhh.....I almost forgot!!!!
I found out where to get  Brooks shoes!!!!!
(I've decided that my next crush would be a Brooks Defyance....it doesn't matter if it may not be the right shoe for me.....didn't anyone tell you crushes are irrational??!!!!)
Hehe.....I was aimlessly surfing the net and came across it.
Yup.....now I can't wait to get my feet to the Brooks sport store @ The Curve, Damansara!!!!!
(yes....I realised it may appear silly to be overly excited over such peculiar, ordinary and unimportant discovery......but seriously....WHO CARES!!!! this is MY blog!!!!! Hah!)


Here's hoping tomorrow's run will be 'Good'.

Later!!

p/s: Blood bank of Hospital Ipoh (can't quite remember the new name for the hospital) is running low on blood group -O blood products! It would be nice for each and everyone of us (especially those of actually work in that hospital!) to endure the minute discomfort of a needle pricking into your forearm, spending just half an hour of your time, to pop by the blood bank and give them some of your blood!!!
(No...you won't suddenly turn anaemic!!! This is a vegetarian blogging....remember!!!)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Goodbye Nike....Hello Asics

Dear Nike Air Pegasus 2007,

I have been meaning to have this talk with you for the past few days.
It has been difficult for me to put into words how I feel.....but I think that we no longer can continue the way we were anymore.




It is after all for the best interest for both of us......to part.

Yes I've realized that we've had good times together....and I shall never forget those times.
We've gone through thick and thin......good runs and bad runs......
We ran our first half marathon together......and it was the peak of our relationship.
Oh....such happy times.

Through grassy fields and muddy paths......through tar roads and asphalt sidewalks.....
Even through a sandy beach......you have stuck with me through it all!!!

And for that, I want to thank you......for your resilience......your cushioning.....and your "never-give-up" attitude......

Alas....all good things must come to an end.

I've lost that 'good-run' feeling when with you for the past 2 weeks.
I thought I could salvage it by ignoring the pain in my heels.....
I thought we could run through my shin-splints which I've never had before.....
The last straw was at the Portsea run.
When faced with the harsh truth....I just knew that our relationship has run it's course.

And......although I'm ashamed to admit, I've a crush on a new pair of shoe.

It's name is Asics GT-2130.



We met at DFO (direct factory outlet) at Spencer Street.......
It didn't have your "rugged-macho-Nike" look......
Heck.....Asics looked a wee bit feminine...and "gay".
But there was something about it.........

Maybe it was the 40% discount....who knows?

But we've been having secret runs together.....me and Asics......(Oh do forgive me for running behind your back!!!)
And that joyful feeling came back to my feet and my knees!
It was then I realized......Asics and I were meant for each other!!!!

And now it hurts me so to let you go.


But at least we can still at times reminisce about the 3 races we've had together.

And take comfort in the fact that I'd probably lose interest in Asics in a couple of months time!!!!!


Yours truly...without prejudice of any sort,

PUISAN

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Greetings from La Trobe University, Victoria!!!

greetings!!

Currently at the library at La Trobe Uni accessing to their really really fast internet connection (it was getting a tad bit slow back at my cousin's place coz they were downloading some korean drama about some family feud or something along those lines....) while Amanda completes her paperwork for 'Discontinuation of Enrolment' for Occupational Therapy course in this uni!

Well.....I think Amanda feels that working as a registered nurse (yes folks...my cousin is a RN in Australia...earning a lot more than me....slogging for the government back in Ulu Kinta!!!) is more rewarding than trying to attain her second degree in OT...

Understandable....I mean how long can one actually keep studying??

Anyway.....I was surprised to find that there are quite a fair bit of students roaming the uni for summer school...(what...how would I know....IMU did not have "Summer School"!!!)

Would love to post up pictures of the uni surroundings.....but I figured that will just bored my dear readers to death....
(aiyah....already got so little readers....why want to bore them to death??)

I'm already counting down the remaining days of my holiday.....(sob sob)

Will be flying back this Saturday night and back to Ipoh on Sunday.
Already anticipating a really packed clinic day on coming Monday AND Tuesday. (yes...still the ONLY idiot with 2 clinic days at work)

Not exactly good thoughts to think about...very depressing.

*must be strong.....cannot cry!!!!*


Later!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

"You guys know where Portsea is?"

Apparently no one (that I was in contact with) knew where Portsea is.

So why exactly did I want to get to Portsea?
On 3rd January 2009....there will be a trail run in Portsea, Mornington Peninsular, Victoria.
And I eagerly signed up (online) to run the 6.75km. (google up Portsea Twilight 2009 if ur free)

I figured I needed a headstart on my minimum of 10 races per year.
And I was in that state in Australia at that time of the year...so why not!?




So out came the trusty Melway.....my uncle and cousins (albeit very obliged) agreed to make the journey there with me.....uncle's gonna drive!



See that tip of the peninsular in the map above?
Yup.. that's Point Nepean in Portsea of Mornington Peninsular...
And that's where the run was gonna be!

It was gonna be a 2-3 hour car ride!!!!
"You guys ready for a road trip!?"



* My geography's sucky....so I may be wrong about a lot of things when it comes to where is where.....above is Melway showing Portsea and Point Nepean National Park.
I paid A$41 for the race (I am on holiday.....and I'm not converting to ringgit!) and it entitles me to free entry into the national park!



My cousins tried to entertain themselves on the loonnggggg car ride with their MP3 but after a while it can get a bit tedious.....
"sorry guys but thanks for coming along!!"



I am thankful that no one asked, "Are we THERE yet??"



"yup...I think we are on the right road....we should be there in no time!!"



Yay......we ARE there!!!!! We have arrived!!!!
We did not get lost!!!!
My "support team" were a bit surprised that I was not the ONLY idiot running this race!!



We have parked out car and now heading to get my bib number. It was a bit chilly for a January in Australia......(apparently last year's event...it is a yearly thing afterall.....it was 42 degrees!!! Thank God that it was in mid-20s this year!)



Got my bib number.....no. 48!!!!
(i'm gonna die being lucky! hehe)



My timing chip is just a flat plastic card. Very different from the ones in Singapore and Malaysia. But I love the colour!!!



See how it nudges into the tongue of my shoe?
I could feel it nudging into my leg for the whole 6.75km!!!




Prepped to go??



This is interesting.....this is before the official race starts!
They have "fun-run" called The Undies Run.....
Yes you have to strip to your "essentials" and boy oh boy....these Aussies are not shy about what God blessed them with!



And off they go!!!!
It's not a long sprint....just run to the official finish line, make a turn and run back!



See the "uncle" in the yellow and black boxers?
That was the champion from the year before....and current champion as well!!



My 'Support Team'.
"Guys...you forgot the 'GO PUI SAN, GO' sign in the car!!!"



We walked to the beach (which is 500m away from starting line) to have a look at the last stretch of the run which is right on this beach!!!!
(never run on beach before!)



"Aww....you guys look so cute....and cosy....and I'm freakin cold!!!"


The run was a killer...but the view was BEAUTIFUL!
AWESOME!!! BREATH-TAKING!!! FANTA-BULOUS!!!

You're actually running on a narrow road...and right off the road is a steep descend, right down to the crashing waves.

You are kept cool and dry by the lovely ocean breeze!

Nevermind that it's a steep hill climb all the way to the top....
Nevermind that it felt like you were running up Penang hill....
Nevermind that a 10 year old kid just whizz past you running up the hill....
Nevermind that some aunty old enough to be your great-grandmother just 'jogged' past you while you're struggling to get air into your lungs....
Nevermind that you're legs feel like heavy lead and you're mentally cursing your flat/dead Nikes....
YOU WILL NOT STOP TO WALK!!!!!
YOU WILL RUN LIKE IT'S YOUR LAST RUN EVER!!!!!
YOU WILL RUN LIKE YOUR LIFE DEPENDED ON IT!!!!!
YOU PAID A$41 FOR THIS RACE AND THEREFORE YOU WILL NOT STOP TO WALK!!!!!

Just look at the freakin view!!!!!
Smell the sea breeze.....the cool air.....the lovely sun ray!!!!

For a very short run, it was very well hydrated!
Water stations at almost every kilometer and every kilometer is marked!

The last 1-2km stretch of the race is at the beach....right next to the rolling waves.

I got quite a bit of sand into my shoes at the initial leg and was trying my darnest not to think about the discomfort and the potential blisters!

.....and then.....the finish line!!!!





....and in comes the lead.....



Man....those Aussies are fast as fast can get!




And I think they are exposed to the sporting culture since young. They bring their kids for the races...Nevermind that the kids still can't walk...

"Can't walk...nevermind...Mommy will push you in the stroller...."
"We will beat Daddy to the finish line!!!!"




And when they can run...push the kids to race!!!

"C'mon girl....you can do it....grand-dad's right behind you!!!!"
"You will kick-ass when you grow up!!!"



Heck....if stroller is too troublesome....Aussies will carry their kids on their back to cross the finish line!!!

"Yeah...Aussie Aussie Aussie....Oi Oi Oi!!!"



Yup...I survived the uphill run. I don't know why I always complain about running behind Lake garden in Kl (like in the Shape run and Mizuno wave) coz those routes are less uphill than this....and I survived this race anyway!!!

"Go Number 48, Go!!!"



Post race environment!



The event t-shirt was not included in the entry fee (like we're used to back home).....
It will cost you A$40 for a technical singlet with the event name printed on it.
I thought I could get a proper Nike one for less than that price especially since it's still Post-Boxing day sale!!




The goodie bags....which weren't very good, to be honest.
Nothing much in there.
They give you a bottle of distilled water....and some fruit juice.
They are also suppose to give you 2 copies of Runner's World Australia....but they will only send to you for Feb and March issue....
I gave them my cousin's address instead.....not that they will actually read it.
(On another note....the Aussie's Runner's World are actually reprints of the American one. It's like the Malaysian Cleo vs. Aussie Cleo....same story....different pictures and and with Malaysian-ised name and places)




* the Emma & Tom fruit juices that they gave out to all runners....haven't tried mine yet.
Does not look like it will taste good......but then again, not to judge a fruit juice by it's container!


Alrighty.....overall....I enjoyed this race and the road trip lots!!
My cousins had a blast snapping up photos.....(thanks for the above pics, guys!)
And my uncle......erm......"Thanks Ah-suk for sending us all the way to Portsea!!! I belanja makan ok?"

And also...it's good to have my first race of the year to early!
More time to make up the remaining 9 races...
1 down...at least 9 more to go!!!!

Later!!!

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Year's Eve Fireworks in Melbourne!!!

video

Finally!!!!

Was trying to upload this video since yesterday and FINALLY managed to upload it!!
Yay!!!! Victory to Pui San!!!!

Anyway, it's a pretty short clip and it was taken from the top of Hilton on the park, Melbourne.
Lovely!

Again...happy new year everyone and ENJOY!!!

Later!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Where did you go, 2008???

Today is the 1st January 2009.
Had a great celebratory "thing" last night in Melbourne...
Great fireworks....amazing masses of people on the streets....drunk people everywhere.
This morning was a little anti-climax.
It was chillier than usual outside....and I've decided to take a rest day from running today.
(had a fall while running yesterday and having abrasion wounds everywhere!!)
And I had a lot of time to stay indoors to do absolutely nothing!

And it dawned on me.....what the heck happened to 2008?!


What on earth did I achieve during the past 366 days!? (it was a leap year 2008 btw)


I scratched my head to think...really really hard. (thinking feels like quite a novelty since I'm on my 2 weeks break)



And I've got...................nothing much

Work is.....well.....interesting to say the least.
Was posted to a new hospital in January 2008 and now can proudly say that I work in a mental institution. I do miss the usual hospital ward work initially....I miss the people I used to work with, I miss my old houseman quarters, and I missed the extra moolah from the more frequent on-calls.
I do however, NOT miss the frequent on-calls (despite the monetary "benefit"), NOT miss the cramped and elusive parking, NOT miss working with certain colleagues, NOT miss having to deal with other departments up-close and perhaps a bit too personal, and NOT miss being bloody busy like a freakin idiot!!

I (more or less) like my current colleagues (some more than others...and YOU guys know who you are...thanks for covering!!).....I LOVE the extra time I have to catch up on all the books that I've been dying to read (and discovered the books of Paulo Coelho....LOVE THEM!).....I like having an extra place to train for my road races (my hospital has the BEST routes despite being very quiet and scary at times!).....I LOVE that I don't have the adrenaline rush I get the moment I step into work because another patient collapse (like it always happens in usual hospitals).....I like my current apartment that I'm sharing with Michelle (and I don't have to deal with people taking up my usual parking spot like in the hostels!).....I kinda like having more weekends off to go home (but then there's the love-hate relationship of going back...."No mom, I'm not talking about you!")......and I adore the fact that with the extra time, I have found my way back to God and trying to build a better relationship with Him (and going for RCIAs and being better acquanted with my bible).

What else??!!!

Also in 2008, I've learned something called 'driving within speed limit...especially in crap weather'.
Had my very first major MVA (motor vehicle accident) which I am still thankful I'm not hurt in any way.....(yes..I know driving fast with heavy rain and minimal visibility is BAD...now)
Was deeply humbled when I had to depend on others for transport while in Ipoh to get around and I have to say....Michelle (my housemate) has been absolutely fantastic about the whole thing!!!

Also.....in 2008, I've been a 'Mac computer convert' and I have to say.....once you go Mac, there's no turning back!!
(yes...I realised the price tag is a little hefty....but everyone should give it a go!)
Hmm....then again in 2008 I actually had to change my Macbook because of "rain"....(aiyah...very long and embarassing story on my part) and that wasn't such a good thing.
But at least I learnt that my room windows should be closed every morning during raining season!!!!



And then I had the running thing going.

I have collectively ran in 8 races since July 2008. (been a late bloomer, y'see)
There was the Ipoh 10k.....then the KOTR 10K......then the Shape 10k.....Nike Human Race 10k....the Mizuno Wave 10k (which I felt I performed the shittest!!!).....the IOI Community 6.7k....the Penang Bridge 25k.....and most recent, Singapore half marathon 21.1k.

Well....it IS quite an achievement considering I was sort of pestered into running a full 10km around Polo ground by running uncle Frank but once I got bitten by the running bug, there was NO turning back!!!!


Actually...come to think of it....2008 has been eventful enough for me.
I had experienced a lot of things during the past year and met a lot of nice (and interesting people), done a lot of 'spur of the moment' things, grown up slightly (most of the time I still feel mentally 12 years of age.....ok fine...so maybe this year I'll be 13!), and collectively I'm hoping I'm a much much better and wholesome person at the start of 2009 (but then I'm a really bad judge of self....).


Sigh...yea....2008 was interesting....
I'm hoping 2009 will be 'life-changing' (for the better, for goodness sake!).....
I sorta feel that I'm ready for the next phase in life but sorta waiting on God to give the go-ahead. (God....I still don't know what the next phase is la!!)

And yes....I am ready for commitment!!! (not the getting married and having kids sort of thing for crying out loud!!!)
Yes folks....I'm ready to train hard ('die-die-must-do-it' sort of training) to achieve a sub-2 hour half marathon!!!!!
I'm ready to prepare myself for the full distance of 42.2km!!!! For 2010......


So I say....YAY!!!! Bring on 2009!!!!! Bring on whatever you have in store!!!!!!
I'm READY for you!!!!!




Later!!