Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Follow up on the Bidor-Half...

Okies....
The pain and ache has subsided.

Unfortunately for reasons unknown, I'm stuck with early satiety and mild nausea post-meals since Monday.....but I'm sure that too will subside eventually! (and in the mean time, I'm on "forced diet". Maybe can lose some weight, thus run faster!)
OH!!! I DID get pictures!!! Thanks to Mohan a.k.a. Mr. Marathon-Maniac!
*at the starting line. They only announced for the "A" category which was Men's Open for Half Marathon to the starting line. But apparently all Half-Marathon category starts together!

*Just started the run...still optimistic!
*Mr. Marathon-Maniac!
Thanks a bunch to Mohan a.k.a. Mr. Marathon-Maniac for all the pictures....and I think I also forgot to thank you for the impromtu "cheerleading" when I needed it up those hills and on the last bit to the finish line.


*Me and CS at the post-race area. Yup....only us. Lynette and Jamie couldn't make it last minute


Oh yea....apparently my blog DOES have readers!!!
I got a call today while at work from a Mr. Ling from Bidor Running club......I was like, huh?
Luckily I was stuck doing medical reports and had the time to chat.
Apparently, he read my blog (probably googled "Bidor Half Marathon") and found out about my makeshift bib (please refer to previous post) and my supposed displeasure (I did find the whole bib thing amusing!) about it....and called to apologize and explain.
How nice!!!
All race directors should do this....
Penang Bridge Marathon race director should call me and apologize for intentionally trying to dehydrate me while I ran my very first half marathon!!! So what if it happened 5 months ago? Maybe he hasn't seived through all the blogs yet to get to mine.....(yea...RIGHT!!)
But yes....THANK YOU Mr. Ling for the phone call (did I get the name right? It was a bit noisy at the hospital)
I'm happy with the explaination....
I did enjoy myself at the run eventhough the hills were "displeasing" to my glutes.
I WILL run again this race next year if I have the chance to......and I WILL force..ahem, persuade more people to run with me!!!
Today at 5.45am (I got up late!!!!), I managed a 10km run without any problems!
Yup, no more pain....back to the usual training business then!!!!
Next race.....Pacesetters 15km on 17th may 2009.
Later!!!!



Sunday, April 26, 2009

Bidor Half Marathon

I did NOT go to the race alone for this one!
(It's already an achievement itself)

Yup...manage to convince SOMEBODY to run with me!
(Actually I manage to somewhat convince 3 other people but in the end due to various reasons only one turned up.....yay CS!!!)

Anyway....CS came up to Ipoh on Saturday and since I kinda promise a tour of some sort, I decided I'll take him to Bidor to collect the race kit and perhaps get a first glance of the race route.
I also took along Kavetha for the mini-roadtrip!

Before collecting our race kits (I was also collecting for Lynette and Jamie even though they both can't make it...I mean, they already paid for it!!), we went for brunch at Pun Chun Restaurant which were supposedly famous for it's Duck Noodles and Wantan Noodles.
I also rang up my Bidor born and bred friend Alex to join us...which he did and promptly informed us "tourists" that not many locals eat at that particular restaurant...just tourists!

Which was kinda apparent coz everyone there looked like out-of-towners!!
(us included)

Alex couldn't quite grasp the fact that we PAID to RUN......
Did try my best to explain but judging by the looks he gave us...don't think he quite got it.

Anyway, after eating (the noodles were so-so.....but the egg tarts from next door was a hit!), we walked over to the race kit collection centre (which was at a tailor shop...go figure) and they had a really tough time finding my race bib.
Apparently C109 was no where to be found.
After half an hour of searching....they decided to just sew a new race bib for me..right there and then!!! (it is SO unfair....Lynette and Jamie have their proper race bibs and they AREN'T even running, while I get stuck with the makeshift bib)


*The uncle at the tailor shop sewed the "C" on for me. I've checked and it was originally from the "A" category.

Alex was nice (bored) enough to take us on a short tour of the race route.
It was.....not as flat as I would like it to be.

Frankly it was a lot hillier once I started running it than cruising along in the car!
(who would have known....)

We also went to the only waterfall in Bidor.....it's nothing to shout about but it was....quaint (I'm not even sure if one can describe a waterfall as quiant!)
My passengers seemed very keen to play in the water.....



*Kavetha and CS at the waterfall

Anyway.....I'm breaking this race down to GOOD bits...and BAD bits.

GOOD bits..

1. I came in 2 hours 20 minutes. Technically, it was faster than my last half which was 2:30. But I felt I kinda disappointed myself because I had to walked at certain parts of the hilly route. I was also the 32nd person iBoldn my category (but keep in mind my category, Women's Open Half Marathon had the LEAST runners!)

2. Met my highschool friend PG....who told me that she will be running the Sundown FULL marathon next month....after being inspired by Kenny Sia! (that's the same one Lynette and I are doing...but we're doing the 10km)

3. Met some funny runners along the way.....especially one who kept taking pictures of EVERYTHING and EVERYONE along the way....and informed me that he has done like, a gazillion of full marathons and several ultras and will be running the ultramarathon at Sundown Singapore!!!
Bold
4. I did not go for a race alone! Yay!!! Thanks to CS! Ur the man! and congrats on the PB!

5. It wasn't a hydration disaster like the Penang Bridge run last year. Phew! And I found out that I could run a halfie without the need of a power-gel!

BAD bits...

1. I HATE hills....or maybe I should take this like constructive criticism and start doing more hills during my training! ( I WILL do more hills during training)

2. My bib was a makeshift bib....I know, I know it is like such a minute minor matter but it's not fair!!!

3. The ladies' washroom had no water!!! (This is a BIG deal)

4. I have no pics from the race.....I didn't bring my phone along. SOMEONE PLEASE SEND ME SOME PICTURES!!!!

5. My lower half hurts and I wanna run 10km tomorrow morning....oh hang on, the bad bits are about the race rite? Ooops....my bad!



*My medal and cert.

Okies...I'm ready for my next half in Klang!!!!!


Later!!!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

OMG it's already Thursday!!!!

Yeah.....

It doesn't seem like Thursday.....OMG....already??
Oh well....that is what happens when Monday is a public holiday (for the state of Perak) and Tuesday is the "Save-My-Sanity" day and took the day off from work...
You come back to work on Wednesday thinking it was Monday and is pleasantly shock on a Thursday when you realize that Friday is less than 24 hours away!!

Anyway....I also just realized that it's TIaRT again....and this week's topic is...

Boston and Marathon Madness!!

Since I ain't American and was only sort-of following Boston Marathon on Runner's World (how NOT to follow....there was a big hoo-hah about Ryan Hall and Kara Goucher hoping to win Boston right out!), I'm kinda out of this discussion.
But I guess Hall and Goucher's 3rd place performance was pretty good.
I still don't get her teary finish though.....

Anyway as expected (by me, anyway) a Kenyan and an Ethiopian won! (for both male and female categories respectively)
Congratulations!!!!

Well....back to this particular niche on this planet, Bidor Half Marathon is 3 days away!!
I still don't feel that I've logged enough miles to actually run this race "comfortably".
Last week I've considered a disaster.
This week was kinda a catch-up but not quite there.....

I'm also a little excited.
I just took a glance at my racing schedule and I just realize that I'm gonna run at least a race per month (some months two)!!!
Finally....after the initial racing drought during the first two months of the year, we are up and running again!
Fair enough, the month of March had a 10km race every week or so in the KL area but I was busy with baptism and work....so can't complain there!

I'm aiming to up my mileage after the Bidor Halfie is over. 
Still wanting my 60km per week and hopefully 70km before next month is over.
The problem is, I always feel so freakin tired when I over 15km per day.
My feet starts hurting, I feel so sleep deprived and having day time somnolence, I lose my temper at work......the horrors!!!
Maybe I should really take a look at my eating (out of control!) and start going to bed at 9pm (what...not early enough?), hopefully things will get better then.

So yea....nutrition and rest.....NEED more focusing on!!!!


Ok....here's the list of races I've already signed up for (and if I've signed up, die die I'm running it even if it means crawling to the finishing line!!!)

1. Bidor Half Marathon - 26th April 2009
2. New Balance Pacesetters 15km - 17th May 2009
3. Sundown 10km (not woman enough to run the full marathon) - 30th May 2009
4. Klang Half Marathon - 7th June 2009
5. Standard Chartered KL Half Marathon (still not ready for full) - 28th June 2009
6. Penang Bridge Half Marathon (you'd think I'd be ready for full then!) - 22nd November 2009

I don't know about you, but suddenly I feel so pumped up to run!!!

At this rate, I'm so gonna achieve the 10 races per year resolution I made late last year!!! (YAY!!!)

I WILL run a full by the end of the year.
I WILL run a full in Singapore.....

I WILL.....I WILL.....I WILL.....

Anyway.....
I figured I'd take it easy from today onwards or I'll be at the starting line in Bidor this Sunday a little worn down for words.
I didn't actually plan to run this morning but I was already up at 5-ish and despite my darnest efforts to sleep, my mind has decided that the body will buck up and go run!
(yea...the mind has put THIS much emphasis on REST!)



Oh before I forget, I have been reading '50/50 - Secrets I learned Running 50 Marathons in 50 Days' by Dean Karnazes......I bought it to make myself feel better when I was doing my EOD on-calls (being at work on a Saturday can really be depressing)
Since I've yet to do my very first 42.2km (26.2miles), I can't quite imagine someone running that much every single day for 50 days straight!!!
But I have to say....it is very inspiring although I DO NOT plan to duplicate his efforts anytime within this lifetime!
(but then again should never say never....)

Anyway...I'm gonna leave you guys with one of my favourite excerpts from the book:

".....if everything you knew about life came from TV, your goal would be to live the easiest, most comfortable and unchallenging life you possibly could. You would believe that the only good feelings are sensual pleasures such as the taste of a good soft drink and the fun of driving an expensive car and lying on the beach. 
     But it's just not true. Challenging and testing your mind and body, even to the point of exhaustion, failure and breakdown can feel as wonderful as anything else life has to offer. I suppose the enjoyment of hard work is more of an acquired taste than the taste for pleasure and fun, but once you've acquired it, you're blessed with more ways to feel good, and life is better. Harder and better."




Later!!!!

p/s: not gonna even tag this to runner's lounge this week for TIaRT. I think I've crapped too much this time around!!!




Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Getting Re-acquainted With My Bike....

I know I don't mention much about my bike.....but I DO have one! (not some imaginary 2-wheeled vehicle)

Yup....I got it back when I was still in med school and not into running yet.
I figured I needed SOMETHING to get me motivated to exercise.
At that point in time, I was still searching for myself....."physical-activity"-wise!!!
(But of course now I fall back on running so technically, I've FOUND myself....)

And in usual "puisan"-style, I was using it for a few months every other day and then got bored with it and for a while it was stuck in our store-room competing for precious storage space with mom's shoeboxes! 
Then after Sammie (R.I.P.) went to doggie-heaven, mom decided to place my bike in the corner of the living room where Sammie use to lie down and sulk when no one pays attention to her.
Mom said the bike "needed to be aired"....(I dunno, do you guys air your bike??)
I think she wanted more space for more shoeboxes....(I'm actually not too sure if those shoeboxes contain ANY shoes!!!)

So my bike was happily becoming cobweb central when I got posted out of home state and started working in Ipoh.

But THIS long weekend (it was Perak's Sultan's birthday and we got Monday off, and decidedly I took Tuesday off coz I was getting a wee bit peeved with my patients at work), I decided (FINALLY) that it was time to dust off the cobwebs, pump up the air in those tires and make full use of the rm200 spent those years ago! (it was a rather affordable bike...basic and no frills)

Yea......

Before I start getting nostalgic about things, I have to let you guys know that due to neglect/wear&tear/couldn't-give-a-damn-to-care-for-a-bike-attitude, the front brakes of my bike was actually broken (can't quite remember since when) and for a while I've been relying on the behind brakes.
So before I took the bike out for a spin around my hilly neighbourhood, I told dear Jesus that I didn't want to be the next flattened road kill and for Him to protect me (and others around me) with His merciful hands...(that's how I always envision it anyway)

Did I mention I don't have a helmut???
Yea....definitely inviting a traumatic head injury considering how people actually drive in these parts of town! (of course I AM the exception to all those bad drivers!!!)
Maybe that's another reason why the prayer took so long.....

The trip around the neighbourhood went well enough.
There was one or two near misses with an on-coming car and I manage to not position myself within "get-knocked-down" distance....y'know, just before my life flashbacks started!
I am terribly happy that the back brakes worked.....Praise God!!!

....and that my gears were all working!!! (they have a tendency to get jammed while changing gears)

Due to the hilly route, my knees now hurt.....and with the bumpy road surface, my tushy hurts as well...
But at least I'm alive and my brain intact within my skull to blog about this!!!
So all in all....I figured it was a good re-biking experience!!!

I'd definitely do it more often....when I get home the next time around!!!

I'll go fix my swimming part and I'm all set to try for a triathlon!!!

Too ambitious???


Later...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Working on a Saturday!!!

Yes....one more day of this on-call business and I'm DONE for the month!!!

If there's anything I hate more than going on-call is to be on-call on a freakin weekend!!!
Not that I mind that I don't get to sleep in....(I usually wake up early to run anyway)
But I mind being the only doctor within the 5km radius and I'm taking sole responsibility of nearly 2 thousand mentally unwell people!

Anyway...it has been rather busy so far!
Finally got to take a breather from the craziness around here......(starting to get a little contagious, perhaps airborne?)

FINALLY got to sit down to do what I would like to do when I'm doing a weekend/public holiday call......

1. Go online and rant about being unfortunate enough to be at work.......
2. Read my books and magazines pretending that I'm not actually at work......
3. PRAY fervently for absolute silence throughout the whole hospital from now until 8am tomorrow!!!!!!

Oh....and pray for sleep! (most important, mind you)

Anyway I'm regretting not running my 10km before work this morning.
I was LAZY!
I got up at 5am....rolled around in bed contemplating divorcing my arse from beneath the blanket......mentally argued against running at such an ungodly hour before a shit day of a Saturday to be spending at work......finally gave up trying to persuade myself that I wanted to run.......then re-set the alarm for 7am!

12 hours later.....regretting earlier actions.

I always do this! Been doing so this whole week.
I'm so ashame to say how much I've run this week.
So ashamed that I'd rather walk out naked than to reveal how much I've run so far...(well, not really)

Alright....FINE!

I only ran a total of 25km thus far!
And it's gonna be Sunday soon! The week is almost over and I've only run 35km!!!!

How did I get from 63km per week so a measly 25km???

I can't be THAT lazy!

I'm contemplating NOT running tomorrow to get to church at 8am.
But that depends on how my prayers for continuous, undisturbed sleep tonight turns out.
(Dear God, I pray for sleep!!!!)
If prayers answered, I'd run 12km at work and attend the 10am mass (37km week sounds pretty respectable!)
If prayers goes wonky, will head straight for 8am mass (and live with my 35km week)
(see how I'm pushing the running responsibility to God?? If I can't run tomorrow, it's God's WILL!!!!)



Anyway in between the crazy moments of running to see psychotic individuals, I've been reading Haruki Murakami's 'What I Talk About When I Talk About Running'.
I actually bought this book yesterday as my post-call/pre-call treat!
Besides that I also bought a French phrasebook for the heck of it. So far I can only remember the phrase, Je ne comprends pas!!  (which translates as, "I don't understand")

I got to pg. 71 before last being interrupted but so far, I SO can relate to the author's revelations about running!
I too, treat running as my personal retreat from the "outside" world.
I too, feel that it is so unfair how fat is easily gain and difficult to lose while muscle is difficult to gain but easily lost.
I too, have gave up telling people that "running is great and everybody should try it". That statement gets me more jeers than cheers!
Anyway am hoping to be free enough to finish this book before I finish work.

I'm also hoping that I'd be so freakin free with absolutely nothing to do so I can sit back, kick off my ked's and flip through Runner's World (it's the only magazine I have with me right now!)


*I'm still with the April issue.....we're a bit late with the latest issue in Ipoh!

To ensure that I will be free after this....I'm gonna get back to my prayer!!!!



Later!!!!!


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Running Blog.....

OMG I'm on-call.....and I'm blogging.
Feels kinda odd to be doing something this "personal" while actually being the "to-call" person for the referrals to this mental institution...but what the heck!
I'm gonna be stuck here the whole day and the whole day tomorrow so I mgiht as well start it off with something fun...like blogging!

Yup....it's that time of the week again!!
It's TIaRT again....(didn't it feel like I just put up another post on last week's topic?)

Today's topic is 'Running Blogs-How&Why'.


HOW?

Not that difficult really....I think a couple of years back several of my friends casually dropped into the conversation we were having that they had a blog and being the competitive person I naturally am, I decided that I TOO will have a blog.
And it was really convenient that it was free...(who doesn't love free stuff?!)
It was left vacant in between my nonsensical ramblings for almost half a year before I decided that I would post my runnings and my misadventures on the blog. I figured I'd just direct all my friends to the blog so I won't need to be repeating myself each time someone ask, "How was your race? Did you like...die?!" (obviously NOT!)
And that is how my RUNNING blog was born!
(mind the title of the blog....it's just the initials on my name being spelt out)

And once I started dedicating this blog towards my running and racing, I also checked out many running blogs on the world wide web (and there are so MANY!!!) and started reading them and now even following some of 'em.


WHY?

This is easy. IT IS FUN!
Seriously....it's like your own personal "10-minutes-of-fame" on the internet where I can write all about me, ME and more ME!!! Who doesn't like that?
But honestly....it's a good way to update my friends on my progress in training, my pitfalls that I'm facing, my upcoming races that I'm hoping to run well and of course to rant when life takes a shiteous turn for the worst!

Also...when you make your running/training/racing public, you have to buck up!
You can't chicken out on a certain race because you didn't train for it well enough. I mean...you have previously told the entire virtual population that you're running it (if someone actually read that particular posting) and it would be such a blow to the ego....sometimes, pride is a good thing when it comes to training!!!

Well...hope this had helped someone to be inspired to start up the next "it" running blog!


And now....I will continue to pray for peace, calm and somnolence for every single psychiatric patient all over the state of Perak whom I DO NOT want to see today when I'm the on-call doctor! (can you sense my work dedication??)


Later!!!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Hoping for another 60km week

Yes....I manage to pull a 60km week last week!

Yes....very proud of myself!

Good jobs legs.....you did me and the rest of the body proud!!

You feet....you guys are rockstars!!!! Told ya we could overcome the pain....!

Brain....stop telling the legs that they hurt!!!  No they don't need to know the truth!!
They can't handle the truth!!!!

Honestly, I wasn't expecting to be increasing my mileage to 70km this week.....nah....that would be extremely ambitious even for my grandiose, delusional standards!

I humbly ask for another 60km week...that's all I want.

Unfortunately the week so far has churned out less than impressive runs of "respected" distance....or even run at all!

Monday I was SO beat up. Was still trying to catch up on my sleep deprivation and my left 2nd toe was still hurting (so were both my feet but I decided to pay more attention to my left 2nd toe...the neglected child!)

Tuesday i.e. TODAY.....started out fair enough.
I planned to run 10km before work which I manage to but it was such a drag. I felt tired but kept telling myself that I'd be such a wimp to not run the whole 10km coz I was such a slacker yesterday.
And work today was less than "satisfactory".

Gosh I dunno.....this must probably be the "relapse week". I've already had 2 patients with severe relapses, one requiring ECT (electroconvulsive therapy). And not to mention that I've lost my temper more than 3 times in past 2 days......
Shit I feel so freakin manipulated by my patients!!!! Argh!!!!

Anyway I felt very drained after work but I needed to run.....I THINK I needed to run. I needed to make up for the lack of mileage!

Ok....I'm being a little harsh on myself.
But since I've reach 60km per week target, I refuse to go back to running 40-50km week!
REFUSE REFUSE REFUSE!!! NEVER!!!!
(I know...pride is such a pain in my arse)

Also....I NEED to log in at least 40km before Thursday.
(Absolutely HAVE TO!)
You see.....I am scheduled to be on-call Thursday and then again on Saturday which leaves 2 days out of the running equation.

You'd think that working in a mental institution where medical officers generally get 1-2 calls per month (HEAVEN!!) I would not be doing EODs ("every-other-day" on-calls) but apparently thanks to some somewhat "healthy" young male who had his "osteoporotic" left wrist fractured and HAD to take 6 weeks leave to properly "heal" his broken arm (Colles Fracture....c'mon...it's an old lady's fracture!!!! Don't give those old ladies a bad name for goodness sake!), I AM GOING ON EOD!!!!!

I'm sorry...maybe I'm just being a little (very) bitter about not being able to run as much as I want, facing my physiological/physical limitations which I hate to admit having etc etc......
Sigh...I just want my 60km week.......
Is that too much to ask for??

OMG....I can't believe I'm whining about this!!!!

Something needs to be tweaked!


Anyway.....the 10-miler last Sunday did help build my confidence for the half marathon in Bidor on 26th April 2009.
I'm now really looking forward to it.

Ok...I'm just gonna focus on that...and try not to think about the problems at work or the problems with the running/training........

Chill......*breathe in....breathe out*

Alright....feeling better already after having ventilated it on the blog.
I'm sorry you guys have to read this.



Later!!!


Sunday, April 12, 2009

I did it....I DID IT!!!!!

Happy Easter guys!!!
I'm just thankful Lent is over...and now I can eat indulge in eating without any hint of guilt!!!
I am also very thankful to Michelle and her parents for being there yesterday during my Baptism, and also thankful that I am now able to partake in the Eucharist! (happy day indeed)

Anyway.....

Remember I was telling you guys about the 10-miler that my running club was organizing....y'know...the running club which I was the "phantom" member?!
You'd be proud to know that I did eventually make contact with them (thank you Mr. Simon for replying my sms) and I DID run the 10-miler today!!
Infact, last night's baptism during Easter midnight vigil ended pretty late....
I only got myself into bed at around 1.50am and I had to get up by 5.30am if I wanna make it to Clearwater Sanctuary in Batu Gajah which is about 20-30 minutes from Ipoh where I live....(depending on how "optimistic" a driver you are!)

Anyhoo.....I rolled myself out of bed at 5.30am on official Easter Sunday....give myself a few slaps in the face to wake myself up....jump into a cold shower for 5 minutes coz the slapping weren't working.....said a short prayer (Lord...please oh PLEASE make me wake up!!!!), took my Herbalife protein + oats shake, another few more rounds of slaps on the face and off I go!

I swear at some points on the road, I felt that I was having an out of body experience....this is what happens when you have worked in a mental institution for so long that you forget how it is like to have shiteous 36-hour on-calls without a wink of shut eye! (not that I'm complaining ...I really do like sleep!)

I finally got there and found myself amongst all those running uncles....some that I see at Polo Ground on a regular basis but never quite say hi (again...I have inferiority issues) and was lucky enough to find myself a decent parking.


*car park which was 1 mile away from starting line...good warm up getting to the start.

Everyone seems to know everyone else!!!
I am NOT joking about the above statement!
They really do know each other......I can hear them go on and on a bout how fast their last marathon/half-marathon/any distance races, was and that how they should plan their next long run to make sure it would be longER......that sort of thing.

Yes....really did felt alone...(another reason why I had to drag my friends to go races with me these days!)

Anyway these people were really friendly and soon enough was talking to a few people. See, I can DON'T be a hermit when I do make an effort!!!
(note to self....will smile more at all those running uncles next time around in Polo Ground)

The parking lot which we were directed to was actually almost a mile from the starting line.
The walk to the start was what really awakened me. Should have known this....could have saved myself from the self-induced injury of slapping myself!

After registering myself (very glad to find out that I wasn't the only procrastinator who was signing up to run on the day itself) and the potty stop (mandatory), I was ready!!! YEAH!!!! I AM READY TO RUN!!!!

It was a small affair race...no bib numbers (coz apparently everyone knows EVERYONE else....I was of course asked if I was new to the club!!!!) and no gun to sound off the start....just a countdown that resembled a really crappy New Year's Eve party that you hope to never be invited to again next year....
And off we go......!!!!

I am very glad that the whole route was flat......(flat-ish anyway)
I don't think I was up for hills today.
Started off feeling a bit quesy inside but eased up as I got into the rhythm.
Was trying to find someone to pace me coz I was really lazy to want to pace myself....I really wanted to just go on auto-pilot until the last few miles.

Honestly, I was thankful to be in the middle of the pack (oh c'mon.....it would take years more to be in the front of the pack....and decades more before I slink off to the back of the pack).

We actually ran in mostly "kampung" area on the trunk roads in Batu Gajah (a district in Perak, famous of the shiteous case referrals from Hospital Batu Gajah) and at one point was running along side a river (which name remains unknown to me) that looked like it was so polluted, and if you fall in, you might start mutating by sprouting another arm from your abdomen.
And the whole road was littered with cow-dung.
Guys....seriously.....there's no greater scent that you can take in during a run than the scent of cow-dung!!! (I really felt like I was at the zoo)

At the end of the river path, we make a U-turn and run all the way back to the starting point.

"My left 2nd toe hurt in my Asics."

"There are tiny stones inside my right shoe."

"My tummy hurts."

"Darn....the sun is up!!!"

"My tummy still hurts......"

"Now my left foot hurts."

"Should have pop a painkiller this morning."

"Brain...just SHUT UP!!!!"

Let's just say that I'm thankful my iPod was with me and it was working like how it should be because I really needed music to block out all those negative thoughts in my head. I also needed to block out the pain.

I manage to complete my run in 1 hour 49 minutes and 55 seconds.
Not bad considering I was shit tired and only had 3 hours the night before....cheeks still hurting from all those slapping earlier....and my left 2nd toe still hurts.

And guess what....I knew I wasn't gonna be getting any medal (the race only cost rm10 and it was a small affair) but I got a really cool technical running vest by Brooks!!!


*front of vest....


*back of vest....

Beats getting a medal!

I got something to drink.....introduced myself to a few more people (see, I'm trying to be an extrovert for a change) and walked/jogged back to my car.

So in total...I ran 10 miles and walked 2 miles (to and fro from carpark to starting line).

Not bad for Easter Sunday.

Now excuse me.....I need to get some sleep!!!!


* I am SO sleepy!!!



Later!

p/s: not many pics from this run because I did not bring my phone along during the run. I thought the extra weight was gonna slow me down....when you're sleep deprived, you have strange thoughts...

p/p/s: ....and I manage to log in 63km this week!!!! Next week...65-70km week.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

My iPod Problem!

It's almost the end of the week again!
Everyone is thankful for Fridays...but Thursday are pretty good as well.

So being Thursday again.....it's TIaRT time (Runner's Lounge) once more!
This week's discussion is "Running Technology Tips".
And although I would LOVE to gush about my fantastic new Garmin watch that is tracking my every mile logged at a lightning speed pace thus confirming my self-deluded believes of what great a runner I am.....I have to really break the bubble (pop goes my own self-containing bubble)....because I'm still waiting for a birthday where someone (ANYONE) to present to me a Garmin and make me the happiest runner there is within the immediate 10km radius!

Instead I'm gonna talk about my very essential running buddy that occasionally and most recently pissed the #$&@! out of me!

Guys...meet my iPod!



I've been having this love-hate thing going with this iPod for the past 2 years.

It is one of those things that you can't live with but neither can you live without it....or rather RUN without.....especially those really annoying days where every inch of my lower half hurts and my feet feels dead and I don't want to run but know I'd feel better if I do.

I've actually composed a playlist for every major long-er distance race (15km and above) that I've run in.
Therefore sometimes different playlist brings back all those blister-filled memories of different races in different part of the country!!!!

And since I'm such a sucker for numbers, figures and data......I had to, HAD TO get my hands on the Nike+ system eventhough most of the time I don't actually run in Nikes.....
I've tried both the wristband and the iPod system......(I HAD to get both!)

iPod system wins hands down!!!

The wristband system is kinda flawed in my opinion. Mine died on me less than 6 months of buying it! (I'm not gonna elaborate...it will bring back all the trauma!)
Now I'm Nike+ iPod all the way!

Since I like running in the rain.....my iPod has suffered considerably, alternating it's external conditions between wet/damp/sweat-covered and warm/stuffed-up/somewhere between my running clothes in my bag or tucked in between the car-seat cushion.
Yes....I'm ashame to say that I don't take care of my iPod like I should.
Maybe that's why it is acting up past few days!

Here's what happened.....
I'd put it to charge via my macbook and upon disconnecting it, I discovered that all the songs in there were missing!
Where on earth could 7 Gigabyte of songs disappeared to?
I couldn't seem to re-sync the songs to the iPod no matter how many times I've tried.

In final exasperation, I reverted the iPod back to factory settings, re-format my iPod to Mac (it was previously Windows) and lost all my playlists (coz I suck at backing up my computer stuff!).

I am now starting all playlists for different occasions and different sort of runs....from scratch!

So heed my warning.....care for your iPod, unlike how I "cared" for mine.
Hopefully it doesn't @#&$ you up when you really need it's motivating power to push you through a shitty run!

Tomorrow, I'm hoping to wake up early to run 10km (I manage to do so this morning!).
I'm also off tomorrow for Good Friday but still gotta roll out of bed early for my run.

Hoping tomorrow is a "good" day for me and my iPod!


Later!!!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Can't run....go fishing instead! (at least watch others do so)

I know I said I'd do another 20km today!
I know I said I'd wake up at 5am and log in 10km before work and another 10km after.
I know I said a lot of things.....the optimistic promises I made to myself yesterday night.

Oh well...screw all that!

I couldn't drag myself out of bed this morning at 5am.
The lingering fatigue is bloody annoying!!!

And it was scorching hot this evening!!!

Only manage to pull in a really really REALLY slow 4km run.
I'm not making excuses ok.....
I'm tired and it was hot!
(I need to focus the blame on something...and weather is always the scapegoat! Plus my menstrual cycle is gonna start back at Day 1 again...so putting the fatigue blame on that!!)



Anyway...before my run this evening, a couple of my colleagues told me that they were gonna have an after-work-chill-out session by fishing at the ponds in our hospital.
(We may be a mental institution, but we have 8 fish ponds open to public and an amateur-ish golf course....also open to public. I like to run across the golf course! Nope...not hit my a golf ball yet)


*great view huh? That's why I LOVE running on hospital grounds!



SOoo....I decided since I was almost melting (like the wicked witch of the West...) from running, I'd run by the fish pond and see if the boys were any good at this fishing business!

To be honest, on a personal stand, I don't agree with fishing....I feel that it's cruel and a little inhumane....but something tells me these guys ain't gonna be going home with any fish today!!!

* Thanks for getting me my isotonic drink, guys!!!

From what I observed, I think they were offering the fish free food for dinner than actually trying to bait them!!!!

*chilling or fishing? 


*Only in a mental institution can you be happy to NOT catch any fish!


*keep trying guys!!!! maybe the fish are stuffed already...I mean, you guys keep feeding them ur baits!!!!


*one for the camera....."oh my gosh, we caught something big!"


*4km into my really pathetic and tiring run in the scorching heat!!!


*my Asics 2130 are starting to feel flat.....sigh

On a more positive note, I DID contact my running club and informed them that I may show up at the 10-miler at Clearwater Sanctuary this Sunday....if I can wake up after my Baptism midnight mass on Saturday night!

At least I DID something!!!!


......stop making me feel guilty already!




Later!!!!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Updates....

I did say I wanted to achieve a 55km week for this whole week...

But I decided a 60km week would be a much better target...(and stupidly may be inviting injuries!)

Started on Monday by dragging myself out of bed at 5am to get my 10km run before heading to work.
Then pull in another 10km after work....(honestly that evening 10km was very much needed because Mondays are shit days for me at work! And I always wanted to strangle a few people today!)

I was exhilarated....I've actually run 20km on Monday!!!!
WOwwww!!!!!!!
I've never run this much in a day...minus the half marathon races, obviously.

Of course learning from last week....I had a feeling today (Tuesday) would be rather shitty....
I would feel like shit.....my legs would feel like cement.....I'd be yawning non-stop....

And YES, I did feel like shit....and my legs really became cement-like....and I almost nodded off during lunch time slump!

I was overambitious earlier today by thinking I could pull in another 10km after work....
Did I mention that my legs were like cement!??!!

The weather was perfect though....
It was drizzling and the wind was blowing and the grass was muddy....(no, seriously sarcasm aside....I LOVE this sort of running conditions!)
I couldn't run.....I just couldn't!!
I only manage to drag on for 4km.
I also had to make a "emergency" toilet stop for GI disturbances after started for 2km.

Sigh....

Do you think 8pm is too early to go to bed?

I'm gonna try and complete 10km before work again.
Will hope to log a minimum of 15km in total tomorrow!!!

Yea...suddenly everything is hopeful and wonderful again in this world!!!


Later...need my ZZzzzzz!!!!

p/s: .......I will try and remember to make contact with the running club....soon!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Good Week In Retrospect

I've recently joined Daily Mile to keep track of how much I've been running.
I am actually aiming to increase my mileage slowly....hoping to reach 70km per week (which will roughly equates to 43 miles per week) by 4th quarter of this year.
I calculated (trying to get technical with my running and complicate things!) my previous mileage per week and I was running roughly about 40km per week (25 miles/week). 
It was....respectable, but I needed to run more.....partly to attain the goal of being able to complete a full marathon before 2010 (more on that later) and also to lose some much unneeded weight without having to cut down on what I eat (very important to be able to eat!)

Therefore, I am glad to say that this past week, I've run 51km/week!!! (31.8 miles/week)
It's definitely an improvement!!! (big nod!!!!)
Exactly 11km overall to be specific......

I'm hoping to increase to at least 55km/week for the coming week.

Since I'm time crunched for my long runs, I'm currently running twice per day half the week, once per day the remaining, and take ONE day off in between...whenever I feel like it!
Sounds pretty decent training plan don't you think?
(it does to me anyway!)

I'm currently running in two pair of shoes...one for the morning runs and another stash in my car for my after-work runs!

I did realize that with my twice daily runs, I've been feeling a lot hungrier earlier in the day.
I am now dying for food by 10am!! (but then again I'm known to be hungry 24 hours straight!)
Also, with my current running schedule, I feel so tired at the end of the day and need to hop into bed by 10pm! (I feel like such a baby these days!)
On the up side, my craving for meat has gone down tremendously.
Now I crave for french fries!!!
Don't ask me if I think my new craving is healthier! It's just what I feel like stuffing into my stomach!!!

Regarding my first full marathon, I was planning to run in Melbourne in October but sensing my bank balance's need to fully recuperate from the last trip, I've decided to cancel on that one (unless mom & dad are willing to sponsor the trip AND the race.....I love you guys!!!!) and instead aim for the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon on 6th December 2009!
It's nearer, it's cheaper considering the conversion rate (compared to that of Australia) and it's still overseas....well fine, it's over a freakin strait which takes about 15-20 minutes to walk across the bridge to the other side!!!

Which is why I also sense the urgency to up my mileage starting from now!
(I've been procrastinating this extra running for far too long!)

Tomorrow, I'll be testing out the Brooks Defyance 2......right out of the box, mind you!



I so do love the new running shoe smell!!
Will run in it for at least 2 weeks and get back to you guys about the shoe!!!

Alrighty then. Time for me to get some much needed sleep.
Need to wake up real early to get in 7km before work...(I run slow y'see)
Here's hoping for the 55km week.....(and optimistically really hoping for a 60km week!!!!)

Please God...don't let me get injured!!!!

p/s: I've yet to make contact with my running club regarding the 10-miler this Sunday at Clearwater Sanctuary.....yes I know...I'm pathetic!!! Sigh.....


Later!!!


Friday, April 3, 2009

Ipoh Roadrunners.....Yes I'm Actually A Member

After weeks of staying put in Ipoh, I'm finally back home!
It's so nice to be back....
My old room....and my bathroom all to myself.....my "home" set of clothings.....my old computer....my "home" set of handbags and Havaianas......mom's cooking (coz I don't really do cooking that much...or well, for that matter)......my "home" set of running clothes and running shoes......and LETTERS!!!!

I still put my home address as my postal address (that, or it's my hospital address but considering it's a well known mental institution that I work in, it can get a bit....weird)!!!

So when I got back, I was surprised to find so many letters awaiting my return!!
There's the confirmation for my Bidor Half marathon on 26th April 2009 and the Klang Half marathon on 7th June 2009.
Then there's the letter from my running club - Ipoh Roadrunners!

Yes....I actually am a member of a running club....
Nope....not many people know that I'm a member....
Nope....don't think other members of the club know I'm a member......
Heck...I don't even think that they know who I am or if I even exist!!
(ok...maybe that is exaggerating slightly....2 of the running uncles know who I am!!!)

Frankly, I still feel that I was coerced into joining the club!
(the member card spelt my name wrongly...what a great way to make me feel included right from the get-go!)

Anyway, since I was not home for quite a while.....I only got to read this letter NOW after almost a month late.
Letter states that the club is organizing their first annual run of the year.....
The Annual 10-mile Road Race at Clearwater Sanctuary Wetlands (Batu Gajah.....15 minutes drive from Ipoh) on the 12th April 2009...and it's members' only.
I was told of this event last year which I missed....I think I was on-call then (24 hour work shift)
and I also missed another of their annual runs in December 2008 (on-call again!)

And considering that my membership is expiring this year (don't think will be renewing it), it may be my last chance to actually participate in a race organized by the club....hey I am still a member after all!

Honestly, I think a 10-miler would be great prep for my half marathon later this month in Bidor. The last half marathon I ran was the Standard Chartered Singapore in December 2008 and I'm not very confident in finishing strong now.
I figured one last long run 2 weeks before the half marathon would be FANTASTIC!
Also, I really want to add this race to my "minimum-10-races-per-year" list!!!

Unfortunately it's on Easter Sunday, right after my Baptism (midnight mass at St. Michael's Ipoh).
Not quite sure if the lack of proper rest the night before will screw it for me...(most likely)

Besides that....I'm not even sure if registration is still open!!!! I mean the run is next Sunday!

Sigh....maybe I'll make contact the 'in-charge' guy for the race...(yes, I am finally making contact!)
Or maybe I'll just drop by Polo Ground next week and hope to bump into one of the members that are always doing their tempo runs....(y'see, I know who are members of the club but they don't know who I am....gosh I feel like such a stalker!!!!)

Honestly do you guys think I'm being a little judgemental and aloof regarding this whole running club thing??
Maybe it's one of those inferiority complex-thing that I'm suffering from.
Oh I dunno...(huge shrug)
Maybe I'm just a little introvert......I need my space!


I have issues.....



Later!!!!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Ode To My Running Shoes

It's Runner's Lounge "Take It And Run Thursday" (TIaRT) and today's theme is 'Ode To My Running Shoe'.

Before I begin going off tangent about my running shoes, I'd like to point out that it is very true that not many people understand the obsession with getting it "just right" with the shoes....especially those "many people"  who are non-runners!
(suddenly I get this flash of Pearl Izumi's Runners Vs. Joggers ad....LOVE those ads!)



I am in LOVE with my Asics 2130!

They are the best shoes ever!
Wide enough in the forefoot that you don't get blisters after the 5km mark, but hugs my heels snugly.

In fact, my very first "real" running shoes were Asics 2110 (I really love that version of this shoe) and although I missed the 2120, I manage to snag myself a pair of the 2130. 
And I was not disappointed!
These shoes do really well for long distance runs.
Sufficient cushioning in the heel as well as in the forefoot.
Really nice ride. 

I got mine on sale when the 2140s came out.
And now I'm waiting anxiously for the 2150s to be in stores so I can get the 2140 for cheaper!!!

By the way, to stretch the "shelf-life" of my Asics 2130, I alternate mine with my Brooks Axiom which were decent. And recently just bought a new pair of Brooks Defyance 2 to replace the Axiom. I might just be running in my next new favourite pair!!!


Later!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Where is My Good Run???!!!!

Happy April's Fool day!!!!

Unfortunately what I'm gonna blog about today ain't funny!!!!
Infact all I'm gonna be doing rite now is complain, complain and then complain somemore!!!!

1. My legs feel dead.....No "good" run!!!
I hate it when this happens. Every inch of my leg hurts. My toes hurt. My feet hurts. My heels hurt. My knees hurt. So far, my hips are the only thing not hurting.....yet!
Honestly I don't know what happened.
Maybe it's just another bad week for me.
Actually it's Wednesday today so we're halfway into the week.....and it already sucks!!!

Ok...maybe not entirely......I had a good run on Monday. I manage to log in 7km before rushing to work and another 8km after work. It was one of those good weathered days.....(usually good weather means cloudy, windy, on the brink of raining and possibly drizzling!)
And then maybe it was my fault for not taking Tuesday easy....coz I got up super early to want to log another 7km before work. But man.....my legs were protesting!
Frankly I don't think it has stopped protesting as of yet!
I only manage to bring in 5km on Tuesday morning. And as brilliant as I am, I figured I can make up for the crappy mileage in the morning by wanting to run in the evening....
Luckily (for my legs) it was so freakin hot (scorching!!!) after work that I decided to scrap that plan and head home to work on the weights and core.

So I figured Wednesday (today) would be a mighty fine day to want to catch up on my running.
And because I was SO tired on Tuesday, I had difficulties trying to get out of bed Wednesday morning, thus was late and time crunched. Only manage 6km before work.

Was getting a little desperate.......have to, HAVE TO run after work.
Of course the weather wasn't gonna coorperate with me on this.....it was again scorching (but not of the microwave level as yesterday) and I could only manage 4km before almost passing out from heat stroke!!!!

Well...serve me rite.

2. I HATE the weather!!!
I am praying for the rain to come back!
Will take running in the rain over running in a convection cooker anyday!!!
But for the past 2 days (and I predict, next few weeks) it was hot, hot.....BURNING hot!
No amount of Dri-fit/cap/sunnies/sunblock/sweat glands was helping!!!
Dear God....please let it RAIN!!!!! 

3. My body CANNOT retain water!!!
My housemate, Michelle has this body scan that tells the percentage of different tissues in the body.
(you know....fat vs. lean tissue vs. whatever)
Apparently I have really low water content! I don't even reach the 50% mark...and even 50% is low!!!
Where is all the water I've been chugging??!!!
I can't exactly sweat out 4-5 Litres of water.....and frankly my bladder ain't that huge to be storing all those extra fluid!!!
So where the heck is it??!!!

I have no idea....
She reckons that I lack muscle mass thus lack water......(you don't want to know my fat percentage....I'm ASHAMED to call myself a runner.....where's that diet book?!)

Anyhoo....I came across an article on Runner's World website about "salty sweaters".
Apparently certain people just seems to sweat out more sodium than the rest of the general population (reason? God only knows!)
So maybe I'm having trouble retaining all those water I've been drinking!!!!
I'm a freakin Salty Sweater! (OMG.....lightbulb moment)
No wonder I always crave french fries! 
I'm not a glutton after all!
I just lack salt!!! It's physiological! And here I thought it was all in my head! I'm not crazy afterall! (phew)

Please click here if you wanna read about the salty sweater issue!

Anyway, I'm now adding Oral Rehydration Salts in my water bottle and I'm chugging it down pre-run, post-run and up to 2 hours after that!
I swear.....I tried this and I feel like I'm running to the toilet less....(trust me, when u down 4-5L per day, running to the toilet is like warm up to your training runs! Get use to it!!!)

4. My diet is a wreck!
I don't know what my protein to carbs ratio is! 
I feel like I should know all this but I don't.
Nutrition is something that I don't really want to care about.
It takes the joy out of eating......
But because I feel like I can't sustain my longer runs as well as I used to (then again it's not like it's THAT long a run).....so I decided to make a point to do something "drastic" about nutrition in relation to my running.

I've started refueling within 15 minutes of ending a run.
Always something rich in carbohydrate....and some protein thrown in for good measure.
Oohhhhh....it SO helped!!!!

Sometimes I'm starting to think that I don't get enough protein from being a vegetarian.
And honestly....as someone who has been a vegetarian for 10 years...I should be a whole lot wiser about this "vegetarian-protein" issue...
But apparently another year added to my age did  not bring much wisdom in that aspect!
Sigh.....
Yes...somethings don't change....(shrugs)

5. My iPod is acting up!
I don't know why....when my spirits are falling from the lack of good runs....my iPod decided NOW would be a great time to give me problems!
I'm having problem with the Nike+ system.....and I'm having some problem with certain playlist.
So now I'm confined to the older playlists only......coz they're the only ones which can function normally and not give me added stress!!!!
Reckon it's time to visit the friendly neighbourhood Mac shop!


Oh well....tomorrow is another day.
I'm suddenly all optimistic about what tomorrow may bring!
Maybe my legs will be good...and the weather will coorperate.

And then I'll log that 15km that I've been promising myself I'd run!



Later!!!!