Saturday, 30 March 2013

Almost Ready To Roll!

In a week's time, I'll be heading out to i-City Shah Alam to embark on my first full marathon adventure there.

I am ready as I'll ever be for this. Jitters has set in. Cold feet. The feeling of not enough training. Scared shitless of the distance. The list of excuses for not wanting to do this is loooooong. The list of the reason I want to do this is equally as long too. Huhuhu

Piffles Inc has a great post up to handle the days leading to race day. Go over and read it. Trust me (and her). After all, she's a speed demon and a podium finisher to boot! :-)
Preparation for this marathon started early for me. Training, of course. Months beforehand.

I started taking supplements when I started training for my half-marathon last year. My GP was the one recommending me to take the glucosamine supplement as I was having problems with my knee before.

I've read about the benefits of taking glucosamine (& chondroitin) for runners beforehand but it was only after my GP (the one who will be running at SCKLM this year) actually said yes to me did I take it. It was the standard panel clinic ration at first but I didn't like the taste so I just get it at the pharmacy instead. 

(I actually like Blackmores better than the one I'm taking right now. But... the Biolife promoter was so convincing that day) Bwahaha

Fish oil - well, fish oil has anti-inflammatory benefit. It's like a natural painkiller for sore, overworked muscles.

I have problem remembering to eat supplements (multi-vitamins, EPOs, all that stuff you know), even medicines but for these two; I take almost religiously. Anything for running, eh? ^^
Tampon and pads, your choice. What's it got to do with running? It's got a lot to do with running if'you're lucky enough to get your period on race day like me! Three times!

Had my period the night before SCKLM 2012 so I was running at the heaviest time at the race. First day (had it the morning of the race) at Taiping International Marathon 2012 and third time was at Putrajaya Night Marathon 2012. Lucky, lucky, lucky me. 

Again, Piffles Inc has an excellent post on how to handle period while running/racing. Justiffa has a good post on that too plus some other stuff or us lady runners to take note of, too. :)
Wearing a sanitary pad may cause serious chafing, I tell you. So be prepared. Be prepared for chafing at other places too. Along the sports bra line, panty line, running tights line... I had a number of scars from chafing and it made me look like some torture victim! @.@

So don't skimp on those Vaseline. Or Body Glide, if you have those. Chafed skin + shower = PAIN!

Plus, if you have the tendency to blister, either have it Vaselined (is there such a word? o.O) or taped. And oh yeah, must not forget sunblock too!
Fuel and hydration planning - I'll get a simple PB&J breakfast and maybe a handful of nuts on race morning. Or maybe those choc & banana spread. Or both. ^^

I'm thinking of carrying a bottle of isotonic during the race, just in case. And a whole lot of gels (well, just two and a pack of energy chews).

I don't really take gels or energy chews during my run. I usually force maybe one of those Hammer solids and usually do OK with drinking water and a bottle of isotonic during my LSD but this is a 42km we're talking about. Better be safe than sorry!

I experimented with just drinking plain water during one of my LSD (21km two weeks ago) and I suffered after the run! Muscle soreness lingered for three days!

On the other hand, I fared fine after my 30km run last week. I scheduled taking a "solids" at 10km, isotonic at 15km, a gel at 20km and drinking plain water in between and no soreness afterwards. Just a bit "mental" for doing 20km around my apartment's carpark before finally heading out to run the hilly route to and fro Mines! 

I actually like Hammer gels the best because they tasted just like real (mashed) fruit and aren't as sweet as other brands but can't find them so I'll just settle for the ones shown in the photo above.

Talking about fuelling, carbo-loading is something I joked about and never really do properly or seriously before any of my half-marathons but things are different when someone is doing a full, aren't it?
So carbo-loading we must. I'm starting way early so I should be prepared for weight gain by next week! All the carbs and weight gain due to that "time of the month" also. Verrrrry niceeeeee.... Uhukhukhuk

My plan for next week's marathon is one Solids, a glass of water with ORS before the race. Water for up to 10km. Maybe a gel at 15km. Isotonic. Then, energy chews. We'll see. This will be a kind of experiment too, as I've never done more than a 30km before. I'm open to advise.
 
Gear.

Still undecided on which shoes to wear.  Uhuhu

Bunny ears & tail may get left behind this time. But I'll put on a pink vest, I think. Pink cap, of course.
And I need to find somewhere to stash this at the route. I just need one chilled can, so the rest can be drunk by others. Zaini said he doesn't mind stationing himself somewhere towards the 36km. ^^

So am I ready or am I ready?

Just go and run lah, I suppose.

Anyway, this post is just me preparing for my first full marathon. It is not an advice post or anything. I'm very much a noob in this running thingy. What do I know about running anyway?

Friday, 29 March 2013

A Boy And His Stuffed Tiger

Love this comic strip, I do. Ever since I was in secondary school and still do.
Son.

With his stuffed tiger, which we got for him when he was three. I think. 

He's going to kill me when he see this post but hey! That's what Mommies are for. To embarass their children at times! LOL

Thursday, 28 March 2013

More Of School Holiday

Raimie has a few projects on for this short school holiday. We got him this for him to "excavate", pretend to be an archaeologist and assemble it too.

This boy used to love dinosaurs and stuff and we've got lots of books on them since he was one! All sorts of pre-historic animals for him to learn about. He's got lots of interests now, other than dinosaurs. Luckily, girls is not one of them yet. wakaka
He also wanted to buy the Young Samurai books, but Mommy and Daddy made a deal with him. Finish this book over the weekend (trust Mommy to thrust one of Enid Blyton's book to him. heh heh), summarise it and we'll talk about buying those books. 

One book now cost RM19.90! When Mommy was his age,a Secret Seven book only cost RM6.90! huk huk huk. Those Young Samurai books that Raimie wanted, they cost RM35.00! Mommy is so gonna be bankrupt. Muahaha
We had a picnic at Lake Garden on Thursday, after Mommy's run. Mommy needed to do some hill repeats so she suggested everyone to brave the jam to get there. 

Daddy is all gung-ho and supportive about eating healthier (and Mommy needs to carbo-load for her marathon next week) so we had a picnic at the park.

Notice that we used not Tupperware or disposables for our picnic? Now, that's what I call picnicking in style. Using Corningware and hotel grade Royal Porcelain. wakaka
Healthy dinner of pasta cooked with lots of veges and a dash of lemon, served with grilled chicken and blanched broccoli on the side.

Daddy said he's cooking beef stew tomorrow! Yeay!
and not so healthy dinner, the night before but in line with Mommy's carbo-loading needs : dry pan mee. Plus air mata kucing to quench the thirst.

Friday is the last weekday of this school holiday week. My... time sure flies. 

Raimie wants to visit KL Tower to meet up with Gempak Starz people and buy one of their comics that is not in market yet... we'll see how that goes, yeah.

Anyway, he'll tag along when Mommy goes over for her Saturday run at Padang Merbok this weekend. So, who knows? We might end up going to KL Tower.

By the way, do you know that there is a "brisk walk" event with the KL Mayor this Saturday at Lake Garden. Who wanna join? ;p

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Right At Our Backyard

Well, sort off.

There used to be a nice patch of green on a hill just behind the apartment we live in. The area has now been halved, after another development (a gated housing area) was built.

There are still lots of joggers/walkers/exercisers going up daily either early in the morning or in the evening. The road leading to the hill is quite crowded and we'd have to be careful of the traffic, plus neighbours from my apartment blocks parked by the roadside making it a squeeze for both pedestrians and vehicles to share the road.

Zaini went up the hill a few times, and I haven't, in a loooooong while. Raimie went up with his Daddy earlier and played around the trail. He was excited and wanted Mommy to come to and we went together this evening.

It's rather nice, but I guess since I am only able to run at night on weekdays and commit to doing long runs elsewhere, I kinda neglected this area right under my nose. But, that's always the case, right? We take for granted what is right in front of us.
Right outside the guardhouse, and we go up this incline. I did 3 sets up this incline (plus another 200m below) this morning.
Then, to get to the top of the hill and the trail part, more uphill walk/run (if you can run lah. I used to pant walking up this incline but now, OK already. ^^ Next time, must really try do my hill repeats all the way up too)
but walking up hill here also can be a workout, I tell you. Just ask these people. ;)
At the end of the tarred road, we get to see this view. Some people exercise and breathe fresh air. Some people ride bikes up here and smoke. :(
To get to the wooded part, must take this stair. Work those legs, baby! kakaka
Nice clear trails to walk/run. Thank you to all the people who maintained this place. I am ashamed to say, despite this place being right behind my home, I haven't been using it or helping out taking care of it.

Zaini had covered the trails a couple of times. It's not that far, even if we start from the bottom to the top, about 1.5+km but it's still nice.
There are ropes everywhere so visitors can walk up/down the trail safely. Again, pretty much community effort. Great bunch of people who exercise and maintain this park. There's even a reflexology path up on the hill.
A couple of years ago, this place look like this. And at the top of the hill, you'd see beer bottles and cans everywhere. It's cleaner and much nicer now.

Mommy had a morning run, a visit to Mines then a walk up the hill with Son and Hubby. Nice, right? ^^
Donuts and Old Town white coffee for some sugar fix at Mines. mmmm mmmmm RM10 for two cups coffee. I might as well buy their 3in1 pack and mix the coffee myself. Huahuahua
and bought a  raincoat for Raimie at Daiso. One of the items he needs to bring for his Boy Scout camping trip next week. He'll be away from Tuesday to Thursday. 3days 2nights without him around!
and now, Son is drawing something while following a youtube instruction doing it. He doesn't go to art classes. Whatever arts & crafts he wants to do, he managed by finding ways to do online. He can be rather resourceful when he wants to. At other times, just whine to Mommy and Daddy for help! LOL

Second day of school holiday and I have to say, it's been rather productive. He'll spend the night at his Granddad's house tomorrow. :-)

Monday, 25 March 2013

First School Holiday Of 2013

A week off (the first break for the year, discounting the Chinese New Year break). After a week of tests. The first test for 2013. Two weeks ago, Raimie sat for the 1st Monthly Test for his Sekolah Kebangsaan and last week it was a week of tests at his Sekolah Agama. A total of 8 papers for the Sekolah Agama and 14 papers for Sekolah Kebangsaan. *wipe sweat* Not that the boy looked anything stressed though.

He was allowed to have a free weekend last week, which means that he didn't do any revisions at home so he was spared from this scenario
for a while, at least.

After all, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy...

So this boy had fun too.
He's into chess now. We got him a dinky chess set some months ago, and the boy is still happy playing with them. He is so easily satisfed, unlike his Mommy. heh heh
Trust his Mommy and Daddy to make him enjoy some fresh air and get moving too. He needs to go for a jog too. ;)

He went walking in KL with Daddy today.

Mommy is on leave tomorrow and she is open to suggestions from him as where to go.

p.s. Enjoy the school holiday, to both school kids and their parents too! :)

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Reducing Cost

I am not our esteemed PM who can somehow stretch a budget of RM500 for a year's worth of groceries (you know he mentioned that a research was done that a household can survive with RM41.60 per month).

My household earns more than RM3,000 than the ones our esteemed PM is talking about but I am still finding ways to cut cost. Though any savings would probably just go towards my running gears like the ASICS shoes I bought. *cough cough* Talk about getting my priorities straight. HAHAHA
Anyway, I rarely buy bananas at retail price now. I eat them daily, more so on weekends before and after a long run and I always try to get these "reduce to clear" ones. As you can see, the bananas are still good.

By the way, do eat bananas with dark patches on them. There is nothing wrong with them, and according to research, a full ripe banana with dark patches on yellow skin produces a substance called TNF (tumor necrosis factor) which has the ability to combat abnormal cells. The riper the bananas are, the better its anti-cancer properties are.

I get to buy bananas I want (without waiting for them to ripe at home) and at a good bargain too! WIN WIN! ^^
The three tubs of G Series thing is actually powder form Gatorade, Ah Hua. ^^ It's expiring in a month's or a couple of month's time so to me, they are still good. 

It's good that there are retailers that clear away their expiring items before it is expired and not dump expired items on unsuspecting customers.

That said, we received some items in the Chinese New Year hampers in February that were already expired! Not a month or two! But almost 6 months! Terrible! :(

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Too Much Trash

Come to think of it, we do create too much trash among us.

This is just a few week's worth and it's just some empty bottles and empty cartons. What about other trash?

We just sent almost a car boot full of bottles and newspaper to the recycling center before this stash started to accumulate.

We should try to reduce this. For a start, I've stopped buying bottled isotonics and use the ones that I mix on my own now. Using my own bottle instead of relying on bottled water.

Packed lunch to be put in my own container instead of the styrofoam pack.

My family still have a lot of changes to do but little things and effort for a start can go a long way.

We can do it!

Oh, by the way...

Saturday, 8.30pm


Unite to protect our planet. ^^

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Chunky Legs

of mine.

hewhewhew

Just a few weeks ago, while walking behind me up on a slope, Zaini remarked to me that he can see my calf muscles bulging.

I like muscles. But lean muscles la... 
like this femes leng chai la... (illegally nicked the photo from his FB page like a stalker. kekeke Photo credit to Chan WK) pssttt... you can stalk him if you come to Padang Merbok on Mar 30th. He'll be there for GCAM Group Run. I think he doesn't mind signing autographs too! HAHAHA

I kept telling hubby that I like runners' physique and he keeps on telling me he doesn't. But... he's running regularly now (not as anal about the distance as I am but still running) and losing weight to boot. HAPPY ^^

My calves and thighs are distinctly two-toned colour after last Sunday's run under the scorchingly hot sun. If you were at the Purple Walk thingy in Putrajaya last Sunday and saw one crazy woman wearing a "backpack with a water hose" running around 10am-11am, that would be me. Hahaha

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Meaty Saturday

Simply grilled lamb steak with homemade lemony BBQ sauce and some green with balsamic dressing and sinful fruit salad with mayo for last Saturday's dinner. Mbbbbkkkk mbbbkkkkk LOL
Beef for this Saturday. Another simple dinner with just some blanched broccoli for the sides. Don't want the main event (itu beef steak lah) to be upstaged! Furthermore, the sauce was heavy. There's Kewpie mayonaisse in that sauce! ;p Mooo mooo

Sunday will see us cooking/eating chicken briyani. I have this really pungent briyani spice I need to use ASAP. For the special occassion, we splurged on those Moghul Basmathi Rice instead of using cheapo Cap Rambutan rice. kekeke

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Preparing For The Run Of My Life


Oooo so dramatic. Sound so “life or death” one. Wakaka

Anyhoo, it’s nothing serious lah. Drama only. Just that in three weeks’ time, I’ll be doing my FIRST EVER 42.195km (a FULL marathon, folks!). Hopefully I’ll finish in one piece and within the cut-off time of 7 hours and still able to walk straight the next day. Miahaha

By the way, a marathon IS a distance of 42.195km. Half of it is called a half-marathon. A 3km run is not a marathon. A 10K run is not either.

I have to say that I’m having a panic attack now. Panic attacks means panicky training. In a bout of panic, I took a day off yesterday just so I could do a semblance of a hilly tempo run at Lake Garden. I call it a semblance because I did an 8:00min+ pace (when I was supposed to do a 7:20) for a “mere” 14km run! I’m seriously thinking of taking another day off at the end of March to slot in a bit more hill trainings.

3 loops around the lake and up the deer park on Wednesday and I was ready to throw in the towel. That was just at 10km! Zaini took pity on me and asked me to run together with him to Dataran Merdeka to get more distance. It was a sorry sight, me shuffling along slowly from Bank Rakyat back to Lake Garden.

You know you’re in deep shit when you can’t even handle the bump along Padang Merbok. T____T
Deep shit or otherwise, must look nice if take photo. At Dataran Merdeka. 10.45am. Wednesday. Just 1km+ left to complete my 14km run that day.
Despite being in Week 15 of an 18 weeks training program, I am now second-guessing myself. Am I doing OK? Is this enough? How will I fare? Should I review my training? I am so far from ready. The questions, self-doubt and anxiety aren’t helping me one bit.

I went into the training program feeling positive and almost gung-ho about it, but recently I am having doubts about myself. I attribute it to my less-than-strong mental strength mostly. That and simply put, pure laziness.

I mean, during the first half into the program – I’d push myself and managed to get on target pace or almost at target pace for my training runs. Heck! I managed to kinda near-achieve my target pace doing 25K at Newton too!

But now… have I burnt out? Feeling stale? I’m not getting any faster. Actually, I know I am getting slower. Waaaaay slower. I feel I’m not getting stronger either. Endurance? What endurance? At Brooks Half Marathon, I walked up all those hills! Lazy bum!

I also can’t help feeling envious at fellow runners who seems to be relishing their full marathon training. They all have progressed so far ahead of me. And I’m still stuck in a rut.

There probably isn’t much that I can do now, with a mere three weeks to the Malaysia Women Marathon. Other than try and inject a sense of false bravado and trundle ahead.

Ah well… good luck me.

Note to self : die-die must finish that 32km run that I have yet done, this Sunday. Plus, must run all the way up the hill of Taman Wawasan! Stop being a wuss!

Another note to self : despite all the worrying over this marathon, I can’t help but marvel at how far I’ve gone. From my first race in Sep 2011 to my first half-marathon in June 2012 to my first full marathon in Apr 2013! How going for a 20+km run is now done very matter-of-fact’ly. Slow or otherwise, I’ve finished 7 half-marathons from June last year to March this year! ^^

All thanks to the staunch support from Zaini and Raimie. Without their understanding and patience, a full marathon would not be reachable for me. *muaks*

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Mom!

Mommy! I'm busy! Stop taking my photos and leave me in peace! Heh heh

But seriously, as annoyed as he might seems, this boy usually will just indulge his Mommy taking his photos incessantly. Can you blame his Mommy, though? :P

But son, no games playing while eating. OK? None while walking about too.  Definitely only play when either Mommy or Daddy says yes.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

The Disclosure

OK... since you guys all so kay-poh want to know what I received from Rurousha...

Here it is:
 A really, really cute card with whales, seals, seagull (just one), penguin (one too) and a whole lot of whale watchers. 

In the parcel was a t-shirt, a tiger-eye bracelet, a pack of Roobois tea that I absolutely love and chocolates from Japan! 

Jealous already? heh heh

Then, I also received another mail from Japan. This time from Minoru-san.
A set of picture postcards from Hokkaido and a set of ukiyo-e prints. Love them! :)

Sorry for not commenting much lately. I will. I will and will do it with a vengeance, PROMISE! :)

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Something From The South And East

Two packets in the mailbox. Well, technically one mail and one letter from the post office asking me to collect a parcel from them.

What's inside?

A really lovely and cute card of the Southern Right Whale sent on Valentine's day in one and in the other, a whole lot of totally nice pressies from South Africa and Japan! Baie dankie Rurousha!

Monday, 4 March 2013

Couple Shot

Nothing much.

Just want to share a favourite photo of mine, taken by Calvin Toh.
A very rare shot of both of us running together. Love, love it! 

p.s. Zaini wasn't running officially in the race. He ran and paced me at the last 6K, bugging me to keep on running instead of wimping out and took lots of photos while doing so too.

Love that guy, I do. ^^

Sunday, 3 March 2013

So Much For A Sub 2:30

What that means is running within or faster than 2 hours 30 minutes for a 21km distance.

I realised what a folly that was this week. Maybe I can try a sub 2:30 at SCKLM 2013 but definitely not at Brooks Half Marathon which was littered with crazy inclines.

Anyhoo, totally feeling unfit this week. I only had one other run prior to Brooks Half Marathon and that was on Friday! Cycled a bit on the other days as I was resting my legs (shin splint strikes again! *sob sob*) but not really helping. *wuuuuwuuuuwuuu* 
Prepping for the run. Tape, tape, tape everywhere. Somehow the KT Tape didn't hold up and one rolled down barely into KM10. 
Saw Neoh just before flagged off. He asked my plan for the run, and I happily told him that I had none. I decided to ditch that sub2:30 plan and just do a whatever run. I didn't want to push it as I've been experiencing a rather tight chest these past two days. @.@ (Zaini said it's my excuse to do a slow run. Yes, he is totally right).
5 minutes after flag-off, and off I go. Took 5 minutes for the starting line to be clear. Absolutely a massive half marathon crowd today. So massive that for a straggler like me, it was hard to run on a clear path. So I was like, oh whatever... when I can't run and overtake people, I just walk (especially on inclines). 

I didn't feel safe running this race either. Way too many honking and irate drivers abound. Man, Bukit Jalil people are sure one IMPATIENT lot. And at certain strecthes, they just zoom past us runners with nary a concern about running over somebody! @.@

OK, so some runners do seem not to care about their safety too, they way they ran outside the "coned" area. I mean, why on earth are you so impatient for? Want to podium, izit? Want to podium, don't run at my pace lah.... :(

Then there are those dark strecthes too. I am absolutely terrified running in dark places and the thought of accidentally stumbled on something and fall.

Cons aside, I must say I had fun today. 

At around KM10.50, Bett said hi to me. Then lost her. Sorry, didn't managed to take photos with you, Bett!

Zaini was waiting for me at around KM12(?) and I almost didn't notice him taking photos there.
Side view
Front view
Absolutely horrible rear view
Some random inclines photos I took. Took quite a number of photos before the sun rises but they all suck. I cannot take photos when there is no sun la! huhuhu
 
Saw this guy again with 6km to go. He paced me all to the finish line, taking lots of photos while running too plus be annoying by urging me to run faster. I DO NOT WANT TO! LOL

We probably annoyed a lot of runners as we took photos of each other! Bwahaha
At around KM15, saw Rashid. Poor fella. He wasn't feeling well today. As a matter of fact, he threw up 4(!) times during the run. Had a bad case of food poisoning but he was still gamely running for a half-marathon. He told me he'll see the doctor after this. I hope you're feeling much better now, Rashid!
Still running together and pretty much at chit-chat pace. Yup, we chit-chatted. A LOT!
Also can take lots of photos too. ^^
Saw KZ, a runner I got to know through Gaited Community and ran with her for a bit. She had a cramp and asked me to go ahead. Cramp also, she finished strong! SALUTE!
Made it to the finish line at 2:59. Gun time at 3:04. Slow run so got lotsa energy to pose for silly photos. LOL
Happy getting food after the run. Got Massimo bread, got watermelons, got red bean porridge (bubur kacang merah la...), got taufoofa, got wheatgrass drink also. Kenyang, I tell you! Took a number of mineral water too. 
Itsy-bitsy teeny weeny little gold troph. Oh yeah, got a rather fugly finisher t-shirt too.
Then, photo time!
and I also got a photo with Auntie Teresa. You know, the 71year old lady marathoner that was featured in Astro ad? She just ran Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon last week.

The race organization, the route and the impatient drivers at the area may left a lot to be desired for but I have to say, I am happy running Brooks Half Marathon.

I guess my quest for a 2:30 timing will have to wait. I'll try and do it at SCKLM. 

Now, more hill trainings to help me cope with inclines littered along a race course. I am such a wuss when it comes to hills. Next - Malaysia Women Marathon. Apr 7th!

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