Monday, August 30, 2010


I dreamt about running just this morning. And it feels amazing. Dreamt that I put my shoes on, and went for a run around my neighborhood, and I picked up my pace faster, and the roads just became a blur, and I remember somewhere there's a red car. I could only see the view of my feet against the road though, but the red car was at the corner of my eyes. Is it calling me already? I do run better during Ramadhan, for unknown reasons. Maybe I sort of relate running to suffering, with all the dehydration and heat.

I miss working out. But I do enjoy all the time out.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Off Season

I can't bring myself to do anything. The best thing is to just allow it to happen.

Been trying to force myself into some sort of a routine - 4/week of cardio - but for some reason it's not working. Unlike last year's Ramadhan, this year I was fully happy to cooperate with my bed and books back home and cuddle. It's not the food or lifestyle, in fact this year I've only spent 3 nights breaking fast with my friends with the rest of the days by myself at home. I would like to think that it's because of my job. It takes a lot out of me in a good way that there's nothing I want to do back home but to lie down and chill out.

I remember when we were kids and during school holidays would go to my cousin's house deep in the Felda settlement. At nights we played Scrabble and all sorts of board games and I remember asking my dad to play as well and he refused, saying that he doesn't want to 'think' at all when he's on vacation. I didn't understand it then but now I know what he means. Even coughing out words for Scrabble is hard work when you're loaded in the office. Especially when we share the same profession. I'm so happy to be a brainless loner during Ramadhan.

I do, though, get pangs of missing the workouts. Like driving through familiar routes and seeing the hills, I get a rush of something I couldn't quite describe, and I knew I totally miss the feel of lactic acid in my thighs and the near explosion of my heart. But I know this rest is for the best, a lot of athletes do this and I know I would come back recharged and energized. I could only push myself to do odd runs during the weekday and it depends on how good I feel on that day. I can't complain too much because as much as I miss feeling the early morning wind on my face I do enjoy the lush moments of waking up super late and sleeping till I don't know when. Although I try not to be affected when I pick my boyfriend up after his 4/week training and games...

Hope you guys enjoy your workouts and all the best!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Super HOT

Ran under the hot sun.

Distance: 5.44km
Time: 35:10

The weather was super hot today, as always, the kind of weather I love. I was parched 10 minutes into running. Because I was in the mood, I did something different than the normal run I usually do for this route.

In high school for cross country training we did this routine where we ran 2x any distance of loop. Instead of doing the first loop as a warm up and the second loop harder, we did it in reverse. We called it the Reverse Bullshit. The idea is that after hitting the first round hard, we are training ourselves to continue pushing on when we thought we couldn't. And sure enough, we always did.

For the first loop, I ran faster than normal. The sun glared my eyes at some parts and I felt like an overheated engine. It was nice to cover the same distance in a faster speed, and by the time I started my second loop my legs were dying for a break. I took my own sweet time running this second lap. Didn't want to push it at all since I practically have to wait for one more hour before Iftar.

I ran wearing my favorite running tshirt. I got it in when I was 18 and usually wear it when I go out for a run. It's heavy cotton and sticks to your skin, but you all know I love sweaty soggy cotton than dri-fit fabric anytime. It has an illustration of lady running and it says Lady Cougar Track and Field. So cool! I always feel like a true professional runner when I run wearing this tshirt.

Off to Singapore until the end of the week. Sighs. Thank God I LOVE my work.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Old School

The best thing about a group workout? Like minded buddies.

I'm always a loner when it comes to doing my endurance stuff. I think I prefer the solitude and company of myself too much to share it with some other exercising buddies. And when it comes to group workouts - I stick by this motto: the less the better. Better conversation and concentration and more intense camaraderie. That being said, I'm not some hermit who despise large groups of people!

Had an awesome workout with an old friend of mine. We used to do our own Sunday cardio religiously until life and work took over. She was, essentially, my sifu. Introduced me to a lot of tricks and insights, and a powerhorse. Last night, what was supposed to be an 'easy' cardio turned out to be super HARD. It was a group of five and everyone is no newbie. I was thinking either a) they were just too fit or b) I am terribly unfit. I decided that the answer is both. I was breathing hard, so hard I thought my heart's going to jump out from my mouth. I felt like fainting. I thought I could hold it against them, but I ended up being last. The one left behind. But it was a good feeling because it means I have all the time in the world to get better!

I love being the last or the slowest or the most unfit due to hibernation. Most athletes hate this part, but I love the challenge of getting your stamina back to where it once was. I believe that if you've done it before, you will get there again. And sometimes you end up being way better. Plus, I like being able to push myself to the absolute limit and not overtake anyone without feeling like a showoff. The only person I love to gloat to is myself... and perhaps my dad.

I need to gain some bulk. Everybody's commenting how skinny I am and I feel like I'm too scrawny. I need to gain some mass and look, bigger. Urgh. My weight's totally healthy and normal (57 kg) but I look like an anorexic (a comment from a doctor!). I want to look like Gabrielle Reece. Growing up she was my role model. But instead I look like an out of job junkie... the real kind.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

3rd Ramadhan Run

A nice, normal run.

Distance: 5.44km
Time: 35 mins

I've been looking forward for my after work run. Haven't felt like this in a loong while. The need to jump out of the car NOW and start running. The urge to feel the sun on your face and the back of your neck. The breathless, pounding heartbeat.

It was hot and sunny when I stepped out. My favorite weather. Humidity was high, I sweated as soon and I started running. This was a great run, great in a sense where I didn't really think about anthing specific, but I thought about a lot of things. My strides were nice and constant, my knees quiet, Alhamdulillah. I saw 2 cats - one orange/white and another a mixture of colors. So cute. And they are obviously fit cats, unlike my own cat at home.

I thank God that running comes so easy to me like a bad habit you can't resist. Since my favorite sport is now 'off-season' I have to do something to maintain my fitness and running, my old flame, is one of the best cardio exercises ever. The best, I think, surpassing even my passion right now.

Ramadhan is a great month already.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Ramadhan Cardio

08/12: Karate 2hrs (great suicides that left me wanting to die... no pun intended)
08/13: Planned to do soemthing... but had to work late.
08/14: Crazy withdrawal had me running a 6k at 4pm. BAD choice. What's wrong with me?

Then I got work work work work until I'm too tired to do anything after work but sleep and eat. I'm hoping today would be different.


1) My knees for these past 4 weeks have not been making a sound. I'm more bewildered and perplexed than anything else. What could make it... better? I've been running a lot more than I dared to, doing a fun 5-6ks in between. I've been running fast, running speedy, slow, uphills... except downhills, I only shuffle downhill. Maybe that's why.
a) But I can't run in shoes. Tried it, did not like it and somehow I could 'feel' the pain in my knees... don't know if it's just mental, but the moment I went with my fingers it was ok!
b) I changed my postures a lot, more aware of where my weight land on my feet. I realized that when I fully distribute my weight on the middle of my feet, my running does not hurt and is a tad faster (which leaves me out of breath faster too... damn)
c) I take a LONG time stretching after my run. I stretch anywhere I feel like it even while not running.
d) I warm up to the point of being sweaty before running. I could walk for a full 2k before starting my run if I have to.
e) I've stopped taking supplements and anti inflammatory. but I do increase my milk intake...
f) Yoga + cupping + reflexlogy + massages + ACCUPUNTURE. I think this is the best part of being an 'athlete'. the self sponsored one sucks though.

Playing sports have made me so aware of my body parts. I practically know more muscle/bone/joint names than I did when I was taking university biology! The best thing is when I helped my boyfriend for his thesis and I know what he's talking about, sometimes I even read his books for fun. Damn, why didn't I take sports science?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

cardio lovers

I've been reading these 3 blogs obsessively for the past months, one of of them is married to another athlete and just gave birth to a baby. Her resentment and jealousy over her husband's availability to work out while she's stuck with a baby at her breast is both endearing and scary. Somehow, the situation makes me think of my boyfriend and I and how similar some of her blog posts are to us. Needless to say, we're not married and I definitely do not have a baby, but still.

Both of us play sports on a daily basis. My boyfriend does sport professionally and competitively and is a certified athlete whereas I only moonlight as one. Our perfect day is to wake up early in the morning, hike or cycle up the Shah Alam hills, eat a huge breakfast, and do another round of cardio in the evening, mostly some kickboxing or swimming. We are almost always in our flip flops and t-shirts, our hair wet from post-workout showers. Both of us have this deep tan from too many times of sun exposure. The last time we went for a typical 'Gen-Y' type of date: movie, mall, meal was eons ago. The last movie we went to was Alien Vs Monsters and it was free. Our workouts consumed us. Once, while running, we had an argument and in the midst of it my boyfriend even stopped to tell me to 'keep my breathing even.'

Between the both of us, I'm the more obsessive one when it comes to sports. I was not discovered to play sports; I discovered it. I have no one pushing me to train at a specific time, to give me a hard time when I miss a workout. The dedication to train and keep to a rigid schedule was mine all mine. Nobody is paying me money to work up a sweat day by day. I got no incentives, yet I still wake up most mornings to fit in at least an hour of something hard. My boyfriend on his off season, would definitely be happy to be a slug. On a couch with the TV remote in his hand.

Right now it's the Ramadhan month. My work now has totally taken over my life that I'm either too drained or too stiff to be starting any cardio. I travel about 2 times a week. The airport has become my good friend and I am collecting boarding passes like they're meal coupons. My boyfriend has eased off on his swimming out of loyalty to me (we do the 2 hour sessions together and he's NOT going to get to do pyramids when I don't!) but he still has his scheduled friendly matches 3 times a week. I'm exhausted most of the time from work and he bounds off from the after effect of a good track workout. It's not fair.

I do have a plan all lined up. I plan to run after work before Iftar just like last year, a simple 5k 2-3 times a week. At night, if my energy permits, I would spend some quality time with my karate since it'll be a good time to sharpen up some flexibility and strength. And I think that will be enough.

I feel like going out for a run RIGHT NOW.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Awesome Saturday Run

Went to the lake after nearly a year abandoning it. Wanted to see how I would do after putting up a solid base of endurance from a multitude of sports compared to last year, when all I did was just run. True enough, the so called hilly part of that lake is now reduced to just a mere flat with 2 inches of heels, now that I know the true meaning of inclines and hills. Ran 2 loops with shoes on, just to see if my feet missed wearing it. No luck. I felt shitty wearing it and chucked it off, replaced it with my fivefinger I stored conveniently in the car. Just like that, I felt my blood surging. Got competitive and started hunting. There was a guy in orange who was a novice runner but speedy, and I started chasing him down, taking my time, slowly pacing, until we reached the fart of a hill, and I ran my way up so fast, giggling inside like a banshee. And then I told myself, what the heck, since you hardly run anyway, why not make this the hardest tempo run in your life. Make it hard, make it uncomfortable make it the worst run in your life. So I ran harder, ran faster, heart in my mouth, ready to come out in puke if I allowed it. I picked up my legs fast, hard, ran as if I was Flo-jo, feeling strong, feeling like crap, feeling the wind in my ears and the heart burning burning burning...

What a nice goddamn 8k.

Friday, August 6, 2010

oh no

I might have smething up tomorrow but I'm unprepared mentally, logistically, financially, and physically. But isn't that how I also do things?

I ate fabulously today.

- poached egg with spinach on soft roll (SEDAP GEL)
- 2 chicken sausages
- scrambled eggs
- half grilled tomato (sedap jugak)
- one bowl cereal consist of :coco crunch for flavour, special K and bran
- bihun goreng
- fruits.

TASTY. I love hotel food.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Lion city

Somehow I was slow to realize the changes.

I am in Singapore right now, for work. I've been here for a few days, totally wiping out my chances of having my usual cardio. Instead I hang out in the hotel gym and pool, trying to make sense into running in one place facing yourself in the mirror and breathing in cold air. I could never see the romance in that, nor have I ever tried to. But at least I sweat some, and and least I get to go to bed satisfied. I once read a book about a guy who runs everyday, and because of that, he HAS to fit in some running daily. Even in the ungodly hour of 1 a.m in the morning, after a very all out drunken barbeque thrown by a hot new girl in town (the novel was a murder-mystery, which the dedicated runner ran into the corpse of the said girl...whatever). Anyway, like that guy, I have become someone who has to fit in something active. I packed my sports stuff first before anything else (which is the reason WHY I forgot to bring my blazer but not my running pants... figures).

My work has consumed almost 80% of my life. 5 months ago, this kind of statement would have made me balk and gag. I hate people who are married to their careers. To me, work is nothing but one slice from the pie we call life. I would never want to climb the corporate ladder, and be like my ex-boss, who was to busy to pick up her little girl's phonecall in a meeting and then her daughter died one the same day (hit by a car on the way back from school). What could she be thinking on the drive back from the hospital, after identifying her daughter? I told myself that I would never let work get in the way of my family.

But lately, I'm struggling with time management. I'm totally happy with my work. I love it so much that even after tough Sundays doing endurance sports that break you physically and mentally I still drag myself to work and lost track of time (and lunch!) doing the papers. The only thing I'm sacrificing right now are after work workouts. I get so tired that I want nothing more than to be on my bed reading a good book or hang out with my sister and friends. Forget karate on weekdays, or rollerblading Tuesdays and Mondays. I'm too lazy to even cheer on my boyfriend for his football games.

Ramadhan is coming near. I love Ramadhan. It reminds me of the time when I went running after work, and to be honest I PB in almost all the runs I did during the fasting month than any other days. I still plan to run and do sports in ramadhan just like normal, because it's just a tiny thing when you think about it. I might cut down the night workouts though.

I don't call myself a runner now when I address myself to other weekend warriors. My passion has changed to something else equally satisfying and testing, and I am having one fireball of fun with it. But the amazing thing is that running still comes easily to me like an old flame. There will be days where I'll pick up pace and think to myself, "Wow, this feels so awesome. I actually miss this... or it misses ME." I guess running is like my ex-lover. There's always something about your first love, they say.

Monday, August 2, 2010


A friend summed it up: the journey is hard but the reward is sweet.

Another awesome weekend topped with awesome companies. And this proves just how much I love what I do for the sake of doing it. No hard earned medal. But it was well worth slogging the hours for. The cramps were paralyzing. The aches and pain beyond tolerable. But mentally I was sound. The heat was an old friend; nothing could beat the scorching Nepal heat. The scenery was fantastic. At one point we passed through a majestic looking factory/industrial building that was covered in rust dust. LaFarge Cement, the signboard says. It loomed against the blue sky, and I literally went, "Wow," - all painful extremities forgotten.

Things I passed:
1) Cemeteries: One Chinese cemetery, Christian cemetery and Muslim cemetery.
2) Roadkills: 2 cats, 1 white/ginger kitten (sob!), and a fox.
3) Kids: Who high-passed me along the way.
4) Bridges: Awesome.

When you don't train, you're not fast. My speed is slow, but I was constant. I enjoyed the route. And the route enjoyed me.

Saturday was bodywork day. Went for a strengthening/stretching class after a long time of not going and ohmygod it was awesome. Awfully awesome. My arms were sore, my legs were straining against the load and when they were working on the abs I tried not to pass out. Another 2 runners were there and they were discussing about running in the Tokyo Marathon? I love seeing running comrades at the classes.

Then went for a reflexology and acupuncture session. Acupuncture was good; my knees really got a nice zapping. I think I slept throughout the session.

Okay gotta go to work.