Tuesday, June 29, 2010

So....I have a bike now....



Monday workout: NIL....but does it surprise you?! It's one day post-42!!!

Tuesday workout: 7km run @ 6pm

Plagued with tummy aches and fatigued legs.....I've had the worst timing for a 7km run...EVER!!!!
But I'm not in a mood to moan and groan over a crap run.
One crap run post-marathon is allowed.
Period.

But the good news that I want to share with you peeps is that....
I'VE FINALLY GOTTEN THE BIKE!!!!

I know.....I've been talking about it for quite some time (although lately during the weeks leading up to the ultra and up until now, the bike issue has been lying low).

After months of rumination, to or not to.....in the end....I've decided to take the plunge.

Yes folks...I've reached an age where I feel that I'm ready to commit......to buy a road bike.

You'd think that someone who impulsively signed up for the Sundown Ultra would have no trouble committing herself to buying a bike!!!!

* Me and my new "boyfriend" (I really have to start looking for an actual boyfriend before I go absolutely nuts!).....I'm naming him Tobias!!!! Just don't question why. I said DON'T!!!!


* Not too shabby looking, right?! A big THANK YOU to Wendy for bike-shopping with me.

* Amazingly, it fitted into the back of my car.....I'm not that pro yet to have those clip on bars on top of my car.

* I've found the picture (or rather Tey found the picture) of Winnie and I running with the Jalur Gemilang towards the finish line.

* And this Sunday, 4th July 2010 at 4.30am, will be attempting another marathon.....aptly named the Interstate Marathon 2010. In a nutshell...it's an impromptu race dreamt up by Mr. James Wong (themarathonshop dude), and it's an unofficial 42km (more or less) race. I am keen. I'd just bring a phone incase I suddenly find myself being the last slow idiot on the "race course", so that I can call dad to pick me up wherever I am.

I'm so tempted to count this as another marathon to my MM qualifier!!!

Anyway...I'm just a tad bit disappointed that my crush ain't running this "race".

I'll start training for my sprint tri...erm....next week!!!!


Later!!!!

Monday, June 28, 2010

KL marathon......4 down, 4 more to go!!!



I'm typing this in my sunburnt self....peeling the dry, dead epithelial cells off my body while trying to re-call the joy in completing the 4th marathon this year in my ultimate 2010 aim of achieving 8 marathons (full, for goodness sake!) in 2010....all in the name of qualifying for Silver Level Marathon Maniacs.

I completed the KL marathon 2010 in 5:24:55....(sigh)
If I can't take credit for being fast....I can at least take props for being super determined in achieving the Marathon Maniac goal for this year.

I don't actually have that many pictures (taken by me) thus I've leeched quite a number of pics from other people's camera via Facebook.
I mean....afterall, ain't sharing = caring?!

Anyway....

Here's the lowdown on my race last Sunday.

I woke up at 3am, just in time to wash up, pick KD up from Old Klang Road....and head to Padang Merbok to secure a parking lot within walking distance to the starting line.
When we got there, around 4.10am, it was drizzling slightly.
Deposited my bag and bumped into some running friends (the KL variety) whom I've met during the ultra and some other indistinct races around the region....(ie I can't remember where or when!)
I have deposited my camera along with my other belongings so depended on other people (mostly KD, Wendy and Winnie's daughter) for pictures.
In fact most of the pictures that you'll be seeing in this blog post aren't mine.
I'm rather frank about plagiarism...I support it as long as no money or credibility is involved.
(which by the way, Mo-maniac.....please send me some photos of me as well!!!)

I met a lot of other runners running the full category with me.
It's like a freakin high school reunion!!!!

About 15 minutes to flag off, the drizzle picked up and progressed into a light shower.
Perhaps my prayers were answers.
I asked for a drizzle during the run....in hope that it will not be too hot as to get BBQed during the last 10-15km....(coz y'know...I ain't a fast runner)
I was however, worried about the survival chance of my iPod nano...since I've already killed one shuffle this year and expecting an impending death of another shuffle.

My shoes were soaked through the socks before I reached the 5th kilometer.
But I like running in the rain.
It's a pretty fair trade off.

I initially started the race with Terrence and Gary.....Mo-maniac was behind all the way, trying to convince more people that sound travels faster than light with his whistle blowing.

Then Terrence and Gary pulled away and I found myself running side by side with Winnie.

In fact, I'm glad I ran with Winnie.....we were at each other's pace and she was very encouraging.

We cross the 21km mark at 2:33.....
Well...there goes the sub-5 dream.
Oh nevermind.....perhaps we can still aim to duplicate the Energizer Marathon result of 5:08!

The sun started to rise.
So did the temperature.
Gosh...I really HATE running in the heat and in the sun.
I knew at that moment that I'd be sunburnt and thus increasing my skin cancer risk exponentially by the time I cross the finish line!!!

By the 30km mark....we were running a lot slower.
I glanced at my watch and mentally kissed the chance of 5:08 goodbye as well.
Alright then.....sub 5:30!!!!

I think we really only started walk-running at around 30km. Before that we were consistently trying to run....with hydration stops for walking so that we'd not confuse our gag reflex and be the first people in history to drown during a marathon in a tropical country.

At 36km mark, running/blogging enthusiast, Kooky Kash had her own "FMV-support" set up and giving out food and drinks plus all the encouragement you can handle to all runners.
(FMV= Full Marathon Virgins)

By the time we reach the 40km mark....we were ecstatic!!!!
2 more kilometers to go!!!!!
Hell with the pain and the exhaustion......we only have 2km more to trudge!!!!

When we could finally SEE the end......I turned to Winnie.....she was holding a neatly folded Malaysian flag.
I suddenly had image of Mo-maniac with his Singaporean flag at each finish line and I had to laugh.
Winnie didn't want to lose out to Mo on the flag issue.
We each held an end of the flag and we ran.
Cheers and encouragements echoed all around us.
"Malaysia Boleh!"

And we cross the finish line....together!!!
5:24:55 (self-timed)...I can live with that.

Photo-log:


* Me and KD at HER race kit collection.


* Early morning arrival.....with the KL runners.


* People that I ran the Ultra with!


* The very inspiring Singapore Blade Runner.


* KD and I......15 years of friendship, solidified on the racecourse.


* Hazel and I.....still competing for the 6 tins of Milo!!!


* Proud FMV!! (Full Marathon Virgin).....Irwan!!!


* Another FMV.....my Ipoh running buddy...Wendy.


* Mo-maniac and ME!!! I'm dying to wear the MM vest that Mo got me...but I wanna qualify first (although already qualified at the Bronze Level!)


* Irwan...Me....Shanaz, the consistent sub-5 runner.


* Winnie and I....somewhere along Jalan Ipoh.....thanks again, Jason for the pic!


* WIth Selly from Dailymile....and now FB! Thanks for reading the blog.


* The 'famous' Malaysian flag that Winnie pulled out. Here with Alexis (ultra-girl) and Maybel!


* With Zul....my FB friend!


* Lydia took time off her strenuous ballet schedule.


* CY finally redeemed herself from the horror timing at Sundown.


* With Gee.....another marathon we go!


* Skirt wearing running buddies. Choi....do we get royalties for advertising?


* With the Subang gang for post-race brunch!


* No more power-gels for me. I'm chewy sweets all the way from now onwards! A lot cheaper as well!!!


* Wearing our finisher's T proudly!!! Congrats Wendy!!!


GOOD BITS ABOUT RACE:
1. Sufficient hydration
2. Tech-finisher's shirt
3. Someone to pace....ie Winnie
4. Did not hit wall thanks to gummy sweets
5. Met crush at race (don't want to talk about it....I blush too easily!)
6. Met a lot of runner friends along the way

BAD BITS ABOUT RACE:
1. Someone died in the 10km category
2. Lack of cheering team/support team
3. Goodie bag sucks.....but at least the vest/finisher's T better than last year
4. Bad traffic control. I'm thankful I survived to blog today!!!
5. Sunburnt....but that is my fault for forgoing the sunscreen
6. Did not get to speak to crush as he ran too fast


Alrighty.....
4 down.....4 more to go.....


Next race....Ipoh International Run (half marathon category).
Someone remind me to sign up!!!!


Later!!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

TGIF!!!!




Thursday workout: NIL

Friday workout: 5km @ 6pm

I took the day off from work.
One of those perks of working in a mental institution is the extra 14 days of "hazard" leave.
Yes.....this job is extremely hazardous to my mental well being.
EXTREMELY!!
Which is why I often take a day or 2 out of the extra 14s to chill.
And to collect race kit. And to go swimming in an empty olympic size pool in Kelana Jaya.
That sorta thing.

Anyway I PLANNED to swim today. But the weather borderlined on being rainy so scrap the swim plan.
Decided to run a bit in the evening to try and induce some sort of movements of my bowels.
The last thing I need during this Sunday's race is the sudden urge to look for a porta-potty while running.

CS and Vern decided to take the race kits today and I'd decided to tag along.
YYY and Nard went on Thursday and spent a good chunk of their previous moments in life queueing up.
Over an hour!!!
I figured if I were to be stuck in a line, I'd like to have someone to talk to....thus the tagging along!

We got to Titiwangsa Stadium at 11.30am.
It was announced that the race kit collection would start from 12pm until 8pm Thursday and Friday.
It was also announced that parking spaces were limited and to carpool.
Also...it was announced that apparently, the reason why they changed the race kit collection from last year's venue to this stadium was the ABUNDANCE of parking spaces and accessibility to the public.

Let me get this clear.....it was not accessible via public transport (that, or I'm way too spoilt to use public transport in KL) and there wasn't ABUNDANCE in parking spaces.
We got there early and we still parked at a very illegal spot.

Anyhoo......the place was up and functioning.
We were the first few people there and we got our race kits pretty quickly.
As far as I was concerned, it went without a hitch.
Unfortunately this wasn't the case for Nard who went yesterday for collection.
They did not assign a bib number to his name although paid via credit card way WAY in advance.
Now they are making him wait until the excess bib numbers come in.....which apparently would be TOMORROW.

It is me...or is the race bag getting a tad smaller with each subsequent year?!
Must be the budget cut......or Polyester material must have suddenly had a spike in prices for organizers to reduce the amount needed to produce EACH bag.

The only difference between this year and the last....was that this year around, the race is being sponsored by New Balance.
So we got a pretty good looking NB running vest.
I'm so hoping the finisher's shirt is of NB as well....like the SCSM 2009's finisher's shirt!!!
Now THAT would be cool!!!!
Oh...and I got a bloody towel that my half-marathoning friends didn't get.

Anyway...I know I have to carbo-load....but I don't really want to cause any GI disturbances that I'm so prone on getting with carbo-loading sessions.
Why does something so simple as gorging on large amount of carbohydrate-rich food pre-race be so complex and difficult!!???

Photo-log:


* It was rather empty at the stadium at 11.30am. Just started, I guess. I was the only person collecting at the FULL MARATHON site. It was funny though....only 2 booths for FULL, about 5-6 for HALF....and almost 10 for TEN KM!!!!
Tells you that many Malaysians don't like running full.....


* Fellow runners Vern (no Facebook, guys) and CS. All running half. These jokers say that they will only run one FULL MARATHON a year...and they are saving it for the SCSM. What happen to loyalty to your own freakin country?


* Very empty line at the FULL MARATHON.


* I guess they'd fix some of the glitches as collection today went without a hitch. That, or we're REALLY early!!! Met John and Uncle Sonny in the volunteer group. Way to go guys!!!


* All hands on deck?


* I'm gonna get dad to buy 4-D and hope that I'm lucky!!!


* Trying to fix Nard's bib problem.


* I'm NOT crazy to want to run a full marathon. Neither am I crazy to want to run 8 of them this year. Neither am I crazy to plan to run next year's Ultra again. I'm just a little eccentric!


* Free Powerbar. Wish they'd give free gel instead. I'm gonna give the gels a go and will try gummi bears this race.


* Supposedly trying to carbo-load for lunch. I ended up finishing the veg and the meat, and left the bulk of the rice to go to waste. Somewhere in PJ Oldtown.


* This is SO more my sorta carbo-loading. Cendol in a cup.


* Dinner at Lameeya @ Empire, Subang.


* Loads of choices.....


* But I didn't quite enjoy it. Maybe I should have ordered something else instead!!!


Aiming to sleep by 9pm tomorrow night.


Later!!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

4 days and counting....


Monday workout: 7km after work

Tuesday workout: NIL....I was tired and looking for every reason under the sun to NOT run. Of course the best reason being...I'M TAPERING!!!!

Wednesday workout: If running around the hospital can be considered, driving myself crazy with anxiety because I'm on-call again TODAY...then YES...I'm getting one hell of a workout. If not...then again NIL!!!

I needed to run on Monday after another heart wrenching death on Sunday.....and a super busy day on Monday (I NEVER liked Mondays at work)....I was tired, I was annoyed, I was depress, I was angry.....and I NEEDED to run.

That run was actually rather good...surprisingly.

I felt fast.
At least perceived intensity anyway.
I still didn't have my watch.
The run felt good.
My legs felt good.
My head was in a happy place.
Probably in the same happy place as Haile Gebreselasie's head was when he broke some world record.

But that's what I like about running.
Always gets me out of the shitty mood that work always seems to push me into.
I know....I gotta get outta here!!!
I will by next year if everything goes as plan and I'll be back in the big polluted city that I was born and raised in.
Yes folks....I'm hoping to get into postgraduate training for Sports Medicine next June.
I'm praying that that'll work out.
Or else I'm upping my antidepressant dose!!!

And guess what....
It's FOUR DAYS MORE TO GO UNTIL SCKLM!!!!!
I know......
So freakin exciting!!!
It's as exciting as counting down to the new year!!!
As exciting as Forever21 and MNG having 70% off EVERYTHING!!!
As exciting as celebrating my birthday for the whole 31 days of January!!!
(I'm that "special" I have a whole freakin month)
I KNOW!!!! It is THIS exciting!!!!

I can't wait to run another marathon.
It felt like its been quite a while!!!!
I miss the adrenaline....I miss hitting the wall....I miss the exhaustion.....I miss the pain!!
In a nutshell....I miss being at my masochistic best!
(oh hang on......wasn't Sundown like 30 days ago?)

Anyway...I don't plan to slot in anymore runs until race day.
Frankly I don't have the time, and TAPER is such a great excuse!

Anyhoo.....photo-log:



* Do you guys see the freakin cows across the road? I swear....sometimes this hospital feels like a bloody petting zoo! (if you don't spot the cows...the excuse the iPhone camera's shortcomings)



* Today.....I'm entertaining myself with this book that Mo-maniac gave me during Sundown. I SO wanna be Dr. Ben Tan!!


To all the runners gearing up mentally for SCKLM....best of luck!!!
To all the marathon virgins at SCKLM.....I'm so EXCITED for you!!!
To my 'Subang Lake Runners' gang.....please hang around after your halfie to take my finishing picture!!!
To Wendy (a marathon virgin herself).....please let me draft you!!!
To my legs....run well and we'll go for reflexology everyday for a week!!!

Now back to work....sigh


Later!!!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Another one bites the dust....

4th time I've cried for a patient in my whole entire working life.

I didn't think it would be so soon after the third one.

Sigh.

He was different from the previous one that went back to the Maker.

He was 83 year old.
Family didn't want him.
I can't blame them.
His offense back then wasn't something anyone...even family, can easily forgive.
But he has been stable....mentally anyway.

He was plagued with thyroid cancer that had metastasized to the lungs, the lymphatic system and worse of all...to the brain.
He was just buying time.
Indeed....he bought quite a bit of time!
We were surprised that he even survived so long.
Because of his chronic medical illness, I saw him more often than not.

But I like this old chap.
He was nice to talk to.....despite being irrelevant most of the time.

The shit part about the whole thing was......I saw him this morning.
He looked fine.
He ate well....gave me his usual right hand salute whenever he sees me.....and....he....was FINE!

Then at 5.30pm......the nurse called.
He wasn't responding.
I got to him as fast as I could.
He was unresponsive. There was no pulse....no blood pressure.
He was cold.

I didn't even want to resuscitate him.

What for.
He has been suffering from his psychiatric and medical illness for SO long.
Even though he never expressed it, I knew he was in pain.
Brain mets are NEVER not painful.
It was better for him to go back to God.

Y'see.....I know this.
I know it was better for him to leave this world.
I know his sufferings are now gone.
I know that no matter what I could have done, nothing would have changed.
But why do I feel so SHIT?!

I saw my nurse teared up.
She was fond of this old man.....just as I was.
I told myself I was not going to cry.

I left the ward quickly.

I hopped into my car. Locked the door. Turned up the AC. Blast the radio.
And I wept.

I cried...not because I failed to save him like I did the previous patient.
Not because there are other things that I could have done.
Not because he never got to go home.

I cried....because I'd miss him.

I hate being on-call today.

Despite being on-call....



Sunday workout: 15km (1:45-ish) @ 5.30am

Last long run before SCKLM.
I'm not feeling this long run.
I'm feeling tired and sleepy.

I had a wedding dinner to attend the night before and am on call today (right now, actually) and in between the former and the latter, I fitted in today's 'dress rehearsal' last LSD.

Yes...SCKLM is officially 1 week away.
Hooray!!!

And after that I'll focus on training for my sprint triathlon....that is when I get the bike.
Erm...we'll talk about the bike/tri-training story...or lack of bike/training story......like, after the marathon. I can't plan my training that far into the future at current moment.

Anyway, I've picked what I'm gonna wear for the race (big issue in trying to find the balance between non-chafing/being cute/most comfortable/least to draw attention race day outfit).

I've picked the shoe I'm gonna run in....hands down winner, my super-reliable Brooks Ghost.

I've picked the songs I'm gonna play the entire 42km that I'm running.....although now I've got a new problem that is my shuffle had drowned after the wet race at Setia Eco Halfie. But back-up plan was to confiscate and use MOM's shuffle instead!

I've tried the Nathan effervescence salt tabs that I got from Choi and although Nuun tasted better, it'll do and I'm comfortable with it for race day.

I've also decided to take this coming Friday off to head home and collect race pack, chill, swim in an olympic size swimming pool for a change on Friday morning....and just be lazy!

This coming week...I SHALL TAPER!!!
I SHALL CARBO-LOAD!!!
I SHALL SLEEP MORE!!!
I SHALL NOT LOSE MY TEMPER BECAUSE I'M TAPERING!!!
I SHALL TRY NOT TO WORRY TOO MUCH ABOUT GAINING WEIGHT BECAUSE I'M TAPERING!!!
I SHALL NOT BE TOO NEUROTIC ABOUT EVERYTHING!!!

Yeah.....easier said than done.

Photo-log:


* Post LSD.....have to rush through shower to head to work at 8am. Luckily I pre-empt this situation (since I know I ain't a fast runner) and pre-packed my breakfast and stash it with my other on-call stuff. I HATE being on-call on a weekend. But somebody's gotta take care of these 1800 people on hospital property....although I kinda hate it when that somebody turned out to be ME!!


* Dorset Cereals with NUTS!!!! I'm just NUTS about it....mind the pun.




* I'm currently slowed down to a book per week. I would prefer if I could devour 2 books in a week. Perhaps if I stop stalking people on Facebook, I'd be able to read more....(kidding).
So many books....so little time!!



* Congrats to Lee and Pam!!! It was a beautiful wedding!!!


* Unfortunately for both of us...we're again each others' date.


* My favourite dish!!!!


* Pam....was just wondering.....where on earth do you get the time to stick these stickers on the back of each Hershey's?!


Alrighty.

Better get back to my book before the wards call again.....
And see you guys at the race this Sunday!!!


Later!!!!