Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Most Comfortable Footwear...

What's the most comfortable footwear you can slip your tired feet into???

For me, not any sneakers or running shoes (gawks!!)....

Not my well worn-in, ran in mud/puddle-of-water-repeatedly old pair of Nike Pegasus.

*my old beat up Nike......we had some really good times didn't we.....

Yup...not even my current favourite, Asics 2130.


Nope....not Crocs....(although I do have to say, they are the most comfortable work shoes I have....YES, I wear Crocs to work! What's ur problem?!)

Nope....not those fancy-schmancy fashionable heels from one of those popular shoe retail outlets (well....obviously!!!)

Nope....not those pricey Hush Puppies that mom loves or Clark's that dad usually favours....

Not even those pair of exclusive high-end designer brands that cost 1/3 of puny salary!!!!

What...no guesses at all??!!!!!

Sigh....you people are so unimaginative!!!

The most comfortable footwear EVER on this planet is....

HAVAIANAS flip flops!!!!!  WooHooooO!!!!!!!

*My lovely (albeit a little dirty) green Havaianas!!!

Like really!

Let me count the ways how this simple yet extremely lovable footwear can be my MOST ideal thing to put my aching feet in....

1. It is unpretentious!!! Most people don't even look twice at it. Yet it is such an essential part of my footwear rotation!

2. It is colourful! I LOVE colour! I have it in green, peach, bright pink, yellow...I have a pair of white ones that I have not worn yet and I've just thrown out an aquamarine one....(RIP....You have served these feet well!)

3. You can chill out in them....go shopping in them....go to an anniversary dinner in them (Love you guys, mom & dad!)...travel in them.....and heck, you can even run in them!!!!
Yes it is true! I've chased down many trams in my trusty Havaianas flip flops while in Melbourne on holiday! (good times!!!) Very light...just like lightweight racing flats!

4. They are the only thing my feet begs for post race!!! It lets my poor, worn out feet breathes and praise the heavens that they aren't still stuck in those smelly running shoes!

5. In my little world, it's always in fashion! (who cares what Vogue says!) Imagine how much I save on footwear.....which by the way, is necessary since I tend to spend quite a bit on running shoes!

So all hail Havaianas flip-flops!!!

Disclaimer: I'm actually not paid or rewarded in any way possible, to say such nice and fabulous things about this particular brand of flip-flop. This post was developed as my homage to such an "iconic" yet severely underrated footwear that has blessed my feet with many MANY good hours of walking/running/trudging etc.       (Feel free to gag!!!!)


Saturday, March 28, 2009

New Places to EAT!!!!

I LOVE to eat....!!!
Like....seriously, I LOVE to eat!!!
Even though I'm vegetarian and one would think my food options are slashed into half, I still love to eat and there are a lot of stuff that I can still eat!!!!

And I love eating in Ipoh!
This town is food haven!!!!
You don't know food until you've come to Ipoh....
Whatever type of food you want.....I bet you can find it in Ipoh!
And....the best part...it's still affordable!
There aren't that many high end restaurants with prices equalling to that of KL.
An awesome meal with some friends would not cost you more than rm20....sometimes less than rm10!!!!!

So now everyone....and I mean EVERYONE has to go to Dave's Diner in Greentown, Ipoh!
It's tagged as authentic american cuisine....(although that term sounded almost oxymoron-ish)
The food is decent....there's vegetarian option.....and it's affordable!

*Was so hungry that when the food came, I woofed it down before remembering to take a picture. Oops.

The burgers were SO worth it!
And they had vegie burger option which I love! (vegetarianism is going mainstream guys!! like it or not!)
Oh...and the side dishes were delicious! Everyone has got to try the garlic mash potatoes!

Recently, Mich and I noticed a new restaurant opened in Ipoh Garden South area called Josephine's Bistro and Cafe.
It looked really cool....modern, chic....expensive...(very unlike the other establishments around Ipoh)
We HAD to go try.......

And try we did....
The first thing that strike me as I walked into this place was....."heck, when did I get back to KL?"
Yea, I guess this place had that "aura".
Not to mention prices that matches those of KL eateries!

*please note that we eat our meals very early. We were the first customers there.

The place was cool.....
It was like an eatery right out of Jalan Telawi, Bangsar! (honestly, with those prices, I couldn't quite differentiate)

The food was....decent.
Mich had Nyonya noodles and claims her mummy does it better.

I had the vegie burger....which appears to be more of a vegie sandwich (for me, burger needs a pattie), and my mummy don't do sandwiches like this!

Maybe we needed to try the dessert. It looked tantalizing......but we didn't have the calorie deficit (it was my day off from running)....or frankly, the cash at hand, to try the delicious looking, salivating-on-cue cakes!
I am DYING to try the affrogato....(I LOVE ice cream....), and Tiramisu (I also LOVE tiramisu. I am always searching for the ultimate Tiramisu!)

I may not go back for the food....but I'm sure gonna go back for the desserts after one of my 'long-run days'......and maybe after I've scrimped a bit for a few days.

Anyway, expensive "posh-y" restaurants of western theme are few and far in between in this town...but by the looks of things, it may be changing.
Other places that matches in "posh-ness" in Ipoh are Indulgence (love their thick-chocolate milkshake, hate how light my wallet feels post-meal), Citrus (lacks vegetarian menu, but will willingly whip up something to my liking), ItaliaMia (I love pasta...and the best Tiramisu in town. Freakin expensive!!!!) and Maria's (don't bother going vegetarian there....but good desserts. Comparable Tiramisu).
I get this nagging feeling that I may be missing a restaurant or two in the above list....
But that's what I love about this town...
There's always gonna be a new eatery up and running every month or so! I may not have patronized every place yet!

Sigh....with all these yummi-licious food...how am I ever gonna lose weight to run better and beat my PB for my upcoming half marathon??!!!!!

Oh what the heck....life is short....
Let's EAT!!!


A Little Hiking On A Saturday

I've decided on Friday night that my Saturday would be strictly 'no running'.
I've already did my twice per day run on Friday.....6km before work, 8km after work (helps in upping my mileage without having to do a long stretch due to time constraint)

But I knew that going a day without exercise is torture....mentally at least.

So how else to spend a great Saturday than hiking up a local hill with the girls!??

Anyway, I've never been up Kledang hill before. I've been in Ipoh for over 2 years and never step foot on that hill......
I blame procrastination!

But finally...after many occasions of planning this hike with various groups of friends, I've finally done it.....well not the full length up but I've got a good reason why!!!!

So on this lovely Saturday, Me, Mich, Melisa and Kavetha braced ourselves for this unknown duration hike.
We started late....unfortunately....and by the time we reached the foot of the hill, the sun was already blazing it's merciless rays down on us.....not a good way to start but what the heck!

*LOVE the trees!!!

The hike was pleasant enough because it wasn't as steep as I thought it would be.
I mean, Penang Hill and Banang hill in Batu Pahat was a lot steeper....
Steep as in 'hang-in-there-or-you'll-roll-off-the-hill' steep!!!
This....was a mild gradient and very very doable!
(then again this is my opinion....I'm sure Melisa did not share my sentiment regarding my easy-peasy hill story)

*it was HOT!!!!!

It was shaded by the trees (Thank God for trees!) most of the initial path up....and the later part were unshaded....and it was HOT!!! Scorching HOT!!! (I have very low heat tolerance)

*half-way point....trying to escape from the sun and the heat (Melisa, kavetha, Mich)

*the view.....very industrial...but it's still something!!

We were almost to the top (I think....) when we overheard someone shouting irrelevently about wanting to kill somebody or hurt somebody/something or some sort, and that stopped us in our tracks.
We made a snap decision to turn around and walk back down....Melisa was overjoyed!
Ok ok...you may wonder why we didn't panic or alert someone but instead coolly turned around and return to base.

*walking back down

Well....the guy who was shouting sounded a lot like some of the longer stay patients in my hospital (aka mental institution) that defaulted their medication for too long. Nothing to be alarmed with.
Honestly, it was us 4 girls and if we did want to investigate the source of the shouting, I don't think we can calm and talk sense to a possible weapon in his hand, out of his freakin mind person eventhough there was 4 of us there....in this sort of situation there are no safety in numbers.
So I reckon we did the right thing.

The walk down was fun.....minus the annoying mosquitoes....probably carrying the dreaded dengue virus or other exotic yet-known-to-man mossie borne diseases.
Yes I was bitten...
Nope....not hoping to get a few days off from work because of Dengue!!!

We adjourned to Anadha Bavanh (screw the spelling) for lunch...we were starving by the time we got to the car!

I LOVE this place.....though I hate the fact that parking in that part of town is a nightmare....definitely not for the faint hearted in driving!
I honestly can't remember the last time I came to this place for lunch! 
Absolutely love their Manchurian Cauliflower dish with Chapati!!!! Yum!

*Food!!! Glorious Food!!!! Here's my chapati with dahl curry, Gobi Manchuria (cauliflower), Vegetarian mutton and spinach/beansprout with chopped cottage cheese....YUM!!!!

*the sweet stuff on display outside the restaurant....I never quite like those but they do look very pretty....(sorry about the reflection though)

So that was an absolutely great way to start a weekend!

Can't wait to actually go all the way up to the top of this hill!!!

Hope everyone else had a great weekend as well!


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Not Bored....yet

I'm annoyed that I'm having problems logging on into blogger.com to update this blog!
Darn technology at times!!!
Darn the crappy internet connection!!!
Darn having to keep refreshing the page until I give up!!!

Just Darn!!!

On a better note, I've enough races lined up in the upcoming months to ensure that I will always have something to look forward to...and most importantly, not get bored!

And....I manage to convince/con several people into running these races with me! For once...I'm not running any of these races alone!!! Yay!!!
I'm still trying my darnest to get more people at the starting line the races but these days, it's a little hard to convince people to get off their lazy arse!

My upcoming races:

1. 26th April 2009 - Bidor Half Marathon
It is amazing that I manage to convince three people to run this race with me! I'm actually amazed with my own persuasion skills.

2. 17th May 2009 - Pacesetters 15km in KL

3. 30th May 2009 - Sundown Singapore 10km
Would have love to run the full marathon but I'm trying to be realistic with my own capabilities....Looking forward to the flag off at 12 midnight!!

4. 7th June 2009 - Klang NB Half Marathon

5. 28th June 2009 - Standard Chartered KL Marathon....I'm running the half. Honestly don't think I'm ready for the full yet. I'm really excited about this race though. It's the unaugural StanChart KL Marathon which I initially thought wasn't gonna happen...but apparently I thought wrong!!!

I'm yet to sign up for the Penang Bridge Marathon (Halfie again) which I promised Jamie I'd run as well.

Hmm....maybe I'll take the plunge and run the full for the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon...(I'm scraping the Melbourne Marathon idea in anticipation of the added work load in Forensic psychiatric unit when the Masters student leave....tricky!)

Oh yea....speaking of work.....it ain't as bad as I thought it would be....or at least for now.
I'm getting a hang of how things work at this new department and I've established my approach to my "audiences" so things have been...more or less smooth sailing....so far.
Trying not to curse my own fate at work y'see.

Okies then...better go pop over to www.penangmarathon.gov.my to register for the Penang Bridge Half marathon....
Finally....after 3 months of 'drought', the racing season has started again!!!!

I SOOOOO deserve new pair of running shoes!!!!


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Why Do YOU Run??

I don't know about YOU.....

But for me.....

1. I like collecting medals......and granted being female and of moderate speed, you're very likely (almost guaranteed) to get a medal for whichever category you are in. And after I've collected them, I'll hang them all behind my bedroom door so that it makes this clanging sound whenever the door is being open or close! 

*Half the medals on one of the doors in my room

2. I like to race......Who cares if I never win my category? (I certainly don't!) I know for a fact that I'm not the fastest person out there....
I mean, I don't stop singing in the showers just because I don't have the vocal range of Whitney or Mariah or Celine. So why should I care that I'm not "fast enough" like say, Paula Radcliff, to keep racing? I just enjoy the fleeting euphoria that automatically comes after passing the finishing line.....of course the euphoria last longer for longer distance races.

* Paula Radcliff

3. I like traveling to these races. It gives me a reason to go travel! (although sometimes one does not really need a reason to take a holiday....but given a solid reason, like racing, the justification for the holiday seems more concrete!)

* Beachside at Batu Feringghi, Penang

4. I like buying running gears....may it be shoes (oh glorious new running shoes!!!) or new pair of shorts or technical T-shirts.....heck, even socks.....gives me such an unprecedented high!
Seriously, the only reason I need to go out for a run in a crappy-weather day is to break in my new pair of running shoes!!!!

* My old Nike Pegasus and my current Asics 2130

5. I like to eat! No, seriously...I LOVE to eat. Who cares about the fact that I'm vegetarian and thus can't order from 60% of the menu? (you care?? oh go @#&*!$!!!)
Food somehow taste so much better after a good, hard run. Food is more appreciated then! Did I also mention that food can be consume guilt free after a long run?? How cool is that!?

* Carrot walnut cake at Marmalade, Bangsar Shopping Centre. I LOVE Carrot Walnut Cake!!!

*Banana Crumbles at Swenson's

6. I LOVE feeling alive! Running is the best way to start a day.....running is also the best way to end a day. Running reminds me that I am very much alive and healthy....that I'm not stricken with some god-forsaken illness that confines me to the bed for prolong period of time. Running fast makes my heart beat so hard that it feels like it will pop out of my chest....and I LOVE that feeling.

7. I like fitting into my clothes. Hmm....being female, having an unsurpassed appetite and not being natural waif, running helps me NOT fall into the overweight/obese BMI category. Three cheers for running!

*A natural waif (which I'm not)...wonder if her cocaine has anything to do with her size!

8. I like muscly calves and thighs.....on myself!!!(so thank goodness I'm no waif!)
I also like looking at guys with muscly calves and thighs....hence also why I like going to races!!!!

* these aren't my legs....but they look nice!!!

9. I like feeling happy without the aid of antidepressants. It's really simple....
Running = Plenty of endorphins = Happy PuiSan!!!!

* A happy looking dog. No...not my dog. Still haven't come up with a top-notch persuasion for mom and dad. Any ideas??

10. I like blogging about my running.....
I complain about it, brag about my new distance or timing, or just plain trying to recruit people to go races with me, all via this blog! Thank goodness for technology!!!

SO these are some of the reasons why I run.....like I've said, I don't know about you guys....and I don't understand why some of you HATE running so much. Give it a try....join a 5k race or two. Maybe you'll start changing your views on running. Running may be your new partner in crime....running may be your new mode of escapism.....running may change your life!!!!!
Running may be your new LOVE!!!!

Oh yea...before I forget...another reminder about the Standard Chartered KL Marathon on 28th June 2009, flagging off from Dataran Merdeka Square, KL. 


Friday, March 13, 2009

Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2009


Drop whatever you guys were doing.

Like seriously......

Oh c'mon...it won't take that long....so just drop it!

Forget what you planned to do and listen up!!!!

The registration for the Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2009 is finally open!!!!!

I know....FINALLY!!!!

You guys should log on to www.kl-marathon.com this instant....I mean it!


Because in the wake of the slower economy, everyone should take opportunity of the early bird special.....(it's cheaper to register from 13th March until 18th April 2009)

This race is scheduled for 28th June 2009.

For more details on this race....like I've said....GO TO THE WEBSITE!

It's ALL there!

Why should you join this race??!!!

Oh c'mon.....isn't it obvious enough?

It is the inaugural Standard Chartered Marathon in KL....

In other words, we are (almost) on par with the international circuit such as Singapore and Hong Kong!

So it is a HUGE deal! That's why!!!

What? Not enough reasons to join?

Because you are my friends and friends don't let friends run alone! Period!

(What do you mean I'm using emotional blackmail? I would NEVER do that!)

Anyway the website is easy enough to navigate around, so surf over there this instant!

Kinda in a hurry myself.....see you guys at the starting line!!!!


Sunday, March 8, 2009

Definitely Progress.....Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2009!!!

I am SO freakin excited!!!!

Yes....nevermind the fact that I've actually found two other people loony enough to want to run the Bidor Half Marathon on 26th April 2009....(did I mention that I LOVE you guys!??)

But today....while checking in on my blog (I do it regularly.....helps my ego to know that someone out there cares enough to read my blog!!!), I noticed that there was actually ONE comment left for my previous blog posting.
Maybe for other blogs, there may be a hundred and one comments and it would probably be the normal amount but for THIS blog....ONE comment per blog posting is something worth celebrating!

But let us get back to the main point before I really go off tangent.

The comment was left by this nice lady (I'm sure she is nice!) who works for the PR agency (Weber-Shandwick) working for Octagon who is organizing the Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2009.
As most of my readers would know (I do love every one of my readers coz you guys are a rare species on cyberspace!), I was complaining about the lack of news and publicity for the Stan-Chart KL marathon thus far, considering it is scheduled for 28th June 2009.
And I was stating, for comparison sake, that the Stan-Chart Singapore Marathon would have a website up and already open for registration as early as 6 months before the actual race!

Anyway Alina (aka nice PR lady) says that registration for the KL Marathon would officially open by next week!!!!
(she said 7 days time from the 5th of March....I calculated and it should be the 12th!)
I mean...how exciting is that!?
I dunno about you guys but when I read that comment, it just made me so happy and exhilarated!!! Seriously.....it totally beat the feeling I got when I bought a really cool dress from Blook on sale for rm29!!
I've sent her my email address and am hoping for more good news soon.

I'm SO excited!!!! 

At one point, I actually thought this race was not gonna happen....(you know how shitty things can get in this country....)

Alrite....excitement aside, I've already been in Forensic Psychiatry for past whole week.
It is.....interesting to say the least.
But it is a lot more solitary than what I'm used to in my previous team.
And then suddenly I started missing my civil cases tremendously....sigh.
But on the better end of things, it wasn't as bad as I've anticipated. 
My transition was a lot better than I expected and I did receive a lot of guidance from fellow colleagues! (I love you guys too!!)
So now I'm hoping to "normalize" ASAP and not feel like the newbie anymore. I HATE feeling like the newbie!!
And praying non-stop for no cases charged under Sec. 302!!!!

Yup...this week definitely has PROGRESS!!!!! 


Sunday, March 1, 2009

Let's see....progress???

I'm not too sure if one can call it progress....

But I manage to convince 2 people into going to Bidor with me!!!! (please refer to previous blog-post)
No...they didn't exactly specify that the will run the half marathon with me....
One of the two already mentioned the key words which were "fun-run only".

I'm still "working" on the other person for the halfie........*glee*

Now let us not harp on my previous plea and focus on the here and now.
We have finally reached the month of March......and I'm extremely disappointed that I'm not gonna be running any races this whole month!!!!
I mean....there goes the "1 race per month" policy that I was hoping to implement at the start of 2009!!!! Argh!

It's not because there are too few feasible races locally.....it's just that I'm pretty tied up the whole of March with my "church-thing"........
In fact, every coming Sunday morning for the whole of March, I have my celebration of Rites of Initiation....(I'm kinda prepping up for my upcoming baptism! I figured that by being Catholic now I would be saved of the trouble later if I ever wanna consider a late career into nun-hood!)

*buck up, puisan.....it is the season of Lent, so for crying out loud, give up wanting to achieve your "1 race per month" shit for a while!*


I was on-leave for the past whole week and now my 'holiday glow' is starting to fade with the prospect of starting work tomorrow. 
Yup......I'm starting my Forensic posting tomorrow with no light at the end of the tunnel!!!! Literally!!!!
I've shared my sentiments regarding dealing with "criminals" with "possible psychiatric illness" (often doubtful)  in a previous blog posting and I know I'm being judgmental and bias before proper evaluation of individual cases....but honestly, I can't help it!!!!
I'm seriously hoping the transition from civil case mindset to forensic case mindset would not be too devastating to my mental health!!!
(of course if it is, I can always suddenly develop "conjunctivitis" which requires me to take a week off work!!!! alrite.....3 days tops!!!)

Anyway, am not gonna harp on things I cannot change and focus on things that I may tweak.....

During my week off......I happen to come across a book entitled, "The Power Of Now" by Eckhart Tolle.
Yes....I'm sure some of you may have heard of this book. It was a supposed "Bestseller's List" book. NO...I didn't buy it because if the Bestseller thing (also not because Oprah endorsed it!). 
I bought it because in my naive state of mind (I was on-leave...what d'ya expect?), I thought that reading self-help books might be somewhat enlightening!

I've read the first chapter so far.....and I have to say, trying to adjust my extremely cynical mindset around the concept of such "mumbo-jumbo-new age-whimsical" attempt of life changing experience was.....VERY difficult initially.
Then I realize that perhaps......perhaps the problem lies with me......being too cynical!
I have to say I've not been too optimistic or hopeful lately....regarding a lot of things. (gosh....don't I sound depress!)
And honestly, God has been very quiet on the prayer front......
Maybe what I really need is a new mindset onto which I project my current life and it's daily misgivings! 
Maybe God wants me to stop analyzing everything so critically....and most of all, stop being so overly-critical about things around me and above all, about myself.
(All I've been doing lately is complain......complain about lack of sleep....lack of training.....lack of energy.....lack of time.....you get the picture!)
Maybe I should just let things flow........maybe I should go with the flow!!!!
Give things time to happen.....not rush things.....they will happen eventually.....rite???

Wow....what d'ya know....I think I just got my answer from Big Man Himself while blogging!!!!
Who says technology and religion does not mix!

Anyway, y'guys.....give Bidor half marathon more thought ok?

In the meantime, I'll try not to be too hard on my self regarding the marathon training and this whole forensic thing!

To those who are actually fasting this 40 days.....happy fasting....and God be with you!
To those who don't give a shit about Lent.....don't eat too much junk! Cardiothoracic surgeries (for your eventual cardiac bypass) have the worst post-operative pain!
......you have been warned!