Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I forgot all about it.

But tomorrow I will go on a 16 day trip to Nepal scaling one of the Annapurna routes (ABC to be exact). I've bought a pair of awesome shoe that could double up as a trail running shoe (good investment). I have yet to buy a sleeping bag. I wish we'd bought the pee funnel because woo hoo it's going to get coldddddd in the middle of the night to wake up and pee.

My running routine will go out of the window I guess. Nevermind. I'll start again from scratch. Nothing like a good challenge.

Can't wait to see the awesome mountain views.

Be good fellow runners! Looking forward to read all about your progress :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I Miss Running!

The last time I ran, it was Saturday.

I'm nursing a slight fever+flu and basically just feeling lethargic all around so I've decided not to go for a run for a while. But I'm feeling the emotional withdrawal of running. It doesn't help that I read running blogs daily and their updates about how good this run felt, and how awesome the mental challenge was makes me feel like donning a pair of running shoes right now and run! I've felt this time and time again; running is such a curse you're stuck with sometimes. It's such a love hate thing. I mean, I can't go for more than 3 days of not running to start to feel either guilty, missing it badly, or eager to run. And to think before I picked up running seriously I couldn't care less whether I've put in any mileage or not!

Before I decided to take running seirously, I was already on a sports bender. I played squash on mondays, Badminton on thursdays, kickboxing wednesdays and I swim on saturdays. I was in a good shape. But after I picked up running I was obsessed with putting in mileage and getting faster or running longer as soon as possible. It got so bad that I always canceled kickboxing classes with my friend, and completely stopped badminton and squash altogether. Swimming is the only thing I keep because swimming is... sometimes a little bit better than running in my book. Heheheh. Plus it helps to keep my knees safe while providing a good cardio exercise. Oh now I miss swimming too! I could go for a fast 500m without getting winded... I bet I can't do 50m now.

Could somebody please tell me that it's normal to feel like this? I'm feeling a little guilty of not running for 4 days now. What's the longest time any of you didn't run? And does it get any worse to pick it up?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Worst Run

Last Saturday I dragged myself for a run.

It was my worst Ramadhan run yet, and it was all thanks to mental fatigue than anything else. I felt it even before I started running, and it caught up on me fully on my third kilometre. I considered stopping at 4km, but something in me refused to give up. I told myself this is good practice for when I run in a real race, all this running through exhaustion and mental fatigue. I got bad stomach cramps throughout and tried to focus on my breathing to lessen the pain. I focused on my flailing form too - I have bad form when I am tired; my body is hunched, my arms cris-crossing my body, my feet slapping the ground - when things get really rough. I broke down the run in parts - until the next tree, and the uncles stretching, the bench at the bottom of the hill... until it is 6.6km.

Done. So glad I pushed through it.

I went back home and got so exhausted that I could barely talk while waiting to break fast. My mom was furious, making me promise not to run in Ramadhan again. I downed 4 mugs of Soya Bean drink, barely eating my meal. I had another 2 mugs of Ribena again.

But I felt soooooo gooood.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Singapore Mishap AGAIN

This is an email I received from Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon:

 Hi Nadia, 

I will have to cancel your current registration and help you register again. If you do not mind, you can give me your personal details so that I can help you register again and send you the confirmation slip. 

Details required are your: 
1. NRIC No 
2. Credit Card Number 
3. Expiry Date of your card 
4. Card Holder Name 
5. Security Pin (3 numbers) 

I will email you again once I've registered for you. 

Best Regards
Sports Events

Does it look fishy to you? I called the customer service and they confirmed that such person exist. Anyway I gave them the information but I BCC'ed to my sisters as proof... of what I don't know.


I Spoke Too Soon

Supposed to go for a run today.

 BUT I just didn;t have it in my heart to do it. I felt drained of energy and it was just too hot outside plus my boyfriend's enticing invitation to go to Pasar Ramadhan beats out any last resort guilt I feel. I did though, have my colleague to tell me it's ok to not go for a run just to assuage my guilt. I just feel so bad. 

 But I'm trying to tell myself that it's ok. It's the fasting month, what do you expect? People are bound to slack off. At least I've been pretty diligent with my routine. 

 Maybe I would replace today's non run with another run. Maybe. Another M word to be careful of!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Squashed the M Bug

Yesterday was a funny story.

I had planned to run. Changed into my running attire after work, went through all the hoopla. Yet when I arrived at the KJ LRT station to my car I was overwhelmed by the laziest feeling in the world. The sky looked dark, it looked like it was about to pour heavily any second. I began making excuses for myself. I'm just too tired, I think. Plus, it's Ramadhan. Most runners don't even run. You won't lose your conditioning, I told myself. Hey, aren't you supposed to enjoy running? You need a mental rest from all these running. And so on.. all the way into LDP.

When I reached the Western Digital junction, I was praying to God for it to rain. I just neede an excuse not to run. It's just too dark to run, I thought miserably. RAIN now! I ordered to the sky from my tiny antique car.

When I got into the intersection to subang via SJMC, I looked to the right and saw only 2 lone figures at the lake, doing their laps. That's it, I'm not going, I told myself. But I know deep down inside I would NEVEr hear the end of it if I didn't. Laziness is common, I told myself sternly. YOU JUST HAVE TO DO IT.

So I did.

And it was a great run. Great, as in, I wasn't really tired, although very thirsty and somewhat achier than normal. I kept to my Ramadhan pace although I tried upping the speed a little bit, and fought with my wimpy self when I pushed a little bit harder during uphill. Great, I thought ironically, of all the time I wanted to push myself harder, I have to do it during Ramadhan.

The lake was surprisingly near empty. Maybe it was the looming dark sky that made people think a downpour's going to happen, but it did not start to drizzle until I was doing my post-run stretches. There were only 5 cars there including me. I saw the friendly Indian uncle as usual with his running buddies. I was enjoying my run. It's funny - most of my great runs happened in Ramadhan. I guess it was a combination of things = less people, slower pace, shady weather.

I'll definitely keep up to this. Next up, Thursday.

Tuesday ramadhan run = 6.6km, 50 minutes.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Longer or Faster?

I come to this question: which one is better for a newbie runner, running longer then faster, or faster, then longer?

I asked this because I was a total normal runner by default. I started to join races because I felt my running needed to be disciplined and what's better to discipline than to have a proper training goal? When I first join races, my target was simple: to complete the race running. But after getting my first qualifying medal I began to feel the teeny weeny competitiveness bug snaking its way on my shoulder and into my head. I ran the Adidas KOTR determined to get the qualifying medal.

It was then I realized the importance of speedwork and tempo runs. Those things didn't matter to me before - my 'training plan' consist of only running as long as I could so I know I would have the mental endurance to finish any race I enter. But the last leg of KOTR had me picking up speed like you wouldn't believe and my heart were pumping and I felt like dying and I remember thinking, "Oh OKAY, so this is why people do speedwork!"

I usually run about 5.5km. I bought myself a stopwatch and I was obsessed with my time. I felt sucky if I went any slower than 7 mins/km.

But during Ramadhan running fast is the last thing I could do. So I was telling myself, maybe I should concentrate on running at a longer distance... on a much slower pace. And after Ramadhan, I could concentrate on speed.

Does that make sense or is it counterintuitive?

Whatever it is, I'm doing longer, then harder.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


I think the combination of not eating sahur and running in the evening has turned me into a skinny person again. Well, it's not much of a statement since I've always been thin, but because of being thin my whole life no one ever comments on my weight - until recently. It is a problem when people comment that you are skinny - when you are already thin to begin with.

I do not plan to run today. I didn't have a proper sahur this morning, plus I was tired from a late night yesterday with my friends. But right now at the office reading my running blogs and websites my feet itch to go for a run today. I think I just might, although I have to do it around my neighbourhood, which I sometimes like and sometimes don't. I'm glad that I have become a little bit flexible with my running. Before, I could never run anywhere else but my running route. I'm a mental runner which means that I don't get bored with the same thing over and over again. Maybe that's because I've only been doing a short distance. But when you target to run for about 6km the same 1km route become a tad too boring. Neighbourhood runs works great because it gives you the freedom and options to go anywhere. Also because the routes always vary - hills and grass and more hills. The only downside to running in the neighbourhood is the whistling immature dudes in passing cars - worst when they are guys I know probably from school.

We'll just see how energized I am at the end of the day. There is a big difference when you run with fuel (sahur) and without fuel. I can vouch for it.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Teenage Angst

Yes I was an angsty teenager. I think there's still some sort of angst in here even at 25. To prove how emotional I was as a growing adult, here is an old entry I did on heartache and its relation to running. God I miss those moments when I run based on my heartache:

 Yesterday I ran twice. If in the morning the activity left me feeling physically drained, the evening it left me mentally relaxed for five minutes - and then I drained what was left of any motherfucking energy that I had.

I guess it's the thought of you that made me do such a crazy thing. I guess you always gave me the extra energy to burn. Whatever it is, while I was lacing up my sneakers the feeling did not feel normal, and while on any other days the miles seemed like an obstacle but yesterday it felt like I wasn't pushing myself enough. 

Heartache is not like any other emotions. Heartache is like a timebomb beside my spine that's waiting to explode. Every time. It's not so much of the explosion that you fear - it's the forever waiting you have to do until it explodes that just drives you on the edge. It's the pain that you knew are going to come and it's going to be so horrible that you always wish you'd never had the honour of placing your goddamned eyes on him. It makes you feel so awfully helpess in everything you wish you could just cry out and bang the shit out of any motherfucker you passed by. Heartache is always a silent killer, and while pondering about that I guess you are too, or I am, because I always feel like dying, as hopeless and as angsty as it sounds because everytime this happens to me I force myself to sleep and wish I didn't wake up six feet under.

I realized that then that the reason I didn't feel anything was because I was actually having my first ever mental run. My body was working itself very hard, but I didn't feel it because my mind was just getting warmed up. There were so many things that I want to run away from, most of all from your shadows, always lurking in my life from every possible corners and I was telling myself to leave you to run away to leave you trailing behind in misery but I guess my body wasn't prepared for it. And I was forced to stop and bend over and do the most normal thing anyone could ever do.

So I'm going to leave it like this now. That everytime this train of thought comes, everytime you come, I'm going to leave it just like that, and forget that I ever thought of you, or at least reduce it to one moment where I lace up my running shoes and run away from you harder and longer that I ever should.

Lake at Ramadhan

Finally after nearly a week of not running, I went for a nice run. In fact, I think I pushed myself to go longer than normal... and I couldn't even do that when I wasn't fasting!

 Last Wednesday I was all psyched to go for a run. Have not been running since Friday and my feet were itching. Plus all my ramadhan run so far was only 3km more or less. I'm a bit dissatisfied with the distance. I would like to think that I'm the kind of runner that runs longer rather than harder. Plus I would like to build up the mileage first and then concentrate on speed. 

 Anyway last Wednesday I knew I was sort of heading into a running disaster. I didn't have anything for sahur, only a glass of water, because I was too lazy to go down and prepare something. And during ramadhan we all leave work early - at 4pm. So that wednedsay found me at the lake at 515pm. Definitely early and definitely plenty of time for me to run slow.

 I told myself that I want to break the dreaded 5.5km curse that's been latching itself on my back for weeks now. I figured now's the time to do it since my only excuse for not being able to push it to 6.6km was because time wasnt on my side. Since I have about 2 hours to run all I can, there's no excuse to not complete it.

 The first 3 km was, as usual, hard and painful. I took it reallllly slow, I call it my Grandma speed, thanks to a grandma that I paced myself on the first time I went running 2 months back. I told myself to just concentrate on my breathing and form, and not be swayed to run faster when a runner rushes past. I tend to do that; follow a faster runner's pace when they run past me. It's a default setting in my feet or something.

 The last 1.1km felt like a congratulatory lap. I was patting myself on the back the whole way - I'd actually added one more lap to my stagnant mileage in ramadhan... and it was scorching hot! It was so hot that I could feel the sweat turning warm under my tshirt.

 My left ankle hurt during this run. 

 I didn't run on thursday.

 But I went running today, and for the first time ever I was actually happy to see the overcast sky. I've always loved running with the sun shining... I like it that I sweat more and my joints don't hurt as much when it is hot outside. But I was really suffering on my wednesday run - with the lack of fuel and dehydration afterwards - that I was actually grateful when the sun was hidden behind a thick cloud. And it wasn't the kind of grey that I dislike - it was just... not scorching hot. 

 I took it slow this time around too, telling myself to enjoy the run and not focus so much on the time, but on completing 6 laps. And it was such a great run; I didn't even feel tired or burned out even after 3km. I think the macaroni goreng I ate during sahur helped as well. It was only in the last lap when I ran faster that I started to feel my heart gasping for air. I love it when you get to feel a great run like this. My legs hurt all the time though... but I wasn't mentally down or huffing and puffing. In fact, I felt like I could do more. But I didn't.

 So this week, 12km total... or to be really accurate, 13.2 km. I'm happy with the distance...well, I would love to hit the 20km mark like the weeks before, but I'll take 13.2 km over 9 measly km/week... like last week.

 On a different note, yesterday watched my boyfriend on his futsal friendly against the malaysian team. The team came in an impressive contigent eventhough it was a friendly; with the coaches and the net of balls, and all the players decked out in malaysian jerseys. Their warm up was a crowd puller too - they were systematic and efficient, hardly any balls straying off the path or bouncing away from the team. Their goalies were good as well, as opposed to my boyfriend's team's goalie, who was still smoking at the goalpost. His team's warmup was haphazard too, one guy doing leg stretches and another bending his back and another jogging in place. You could see the comparison in experience and teamwork. I think any team, with proper discipline and teamwork would be a smashing success.

 But some of the players were not professional though. Of course our team lost - the malaysian players, aside from being efficient with the setting of goals and what not, were confident and brazen, buoyed by the fact that they are wearing the malaysian jersey. My boyfriend's team, on the other hand, were nervous and strung out, stressed and pressed to score or at least create a scare in the opponent's defense den and create an impression. 

 During the last few minutes of the second half, as my boyfriend were hassling the guy who was possessing the ball, he inadvertently elbowed my boyfriend on the mouth. It was a cheap blow - and it was as obvious to everyone who was watching. My boyfriend cried out in protest, and for a moment stared at the guy for a while. I could tell he was fighting the urge not to fight back, as most guys would. I mean, an elbow to the mouth - even I would be pissed, and no contact was made even. He wisely turned and stalked out of the game. Later when we came to him I found out that the right side of his face was swollen like a big fat wiener. His lips were busted... and there was a gash on the upper lip. His t-shirt were bloody and you could see his whole face puffing up.

 I thank God he was game enough to be civil when he shook hands with his attacker.