Saturday, February 19, 2011


I always think: if it weren't for my knees, I would be smoking everybody.

On days when I could not go on because of them, I get moments where I think, "why?" And then I realized that this is such a small thing. I think the reason behind this is that maybe God is telling me something. If I didn't have bad knees or shoulders or what not, I would be such a conceited ass. In high school I was a smug athlete. I got annoyed at slower runners. My purpose when running is dropping others behind. I knew I was good, and I think I let it go over my head.

Now my knees and shoulders keep me in check. They allow me to do sports without letting my ego gets the best of me. At anytime I started to excel and thus, smugness sinks in, they get to work. Too many times I had to pull out of runs, rides, tournaments because of my knees.

It sounded like a curse. But I chose to see it as a blessing.

This week was one good example. I did another long distance event this week, and although not the first, or the fastest lady there, I was strong. I kept a nice pace (I think all the years in cross country taught me well in pacing myself), I handled my nutrition well, and I kept it together through all the crazy hills. People commented how good and how strong I was despite poor mileage and lack of training. They mentioned it several times.

I started to get a big head.

The next day, another long distance event. I was all prepped, thinking of all the praises heaped on me when I finally finished it. The pictures they will take, showing me in action, people going, wow nadia is so strong!

My knees acted up. And I had to say no. Because although ego is a big thing, I think experience and the smartness of saying no is better. I've learned my mistakes when I ruined them because of running. Now I exercise caution.

Anyway, I think I will always be a long distance girl. I never cared about the time or speed, although to be honest I would want to have BOTH speed and endurance. But if I had to choose, I'd choose the ability to go long, and enjoy long. This was one of the sweetest long distance thing I had to endure, because it was just me, my thoughts, and wanting to finish. I always want to finish. And I always will.

To having the ability and capability to go long and enjoy long, thank you God, for this gift.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

a change would do you good

2 days ago I walked to the shop because it was a lovely day. In the midst of walking I suddenly felt this huge urge to RUN. it was a beautiful day, with no wind, humid to the core, the sun shining and I was like, "why the hell not?"

So I ran. With no sports bra on (I had a bra on ok... just not a sports bra). And cut off jeans. And slippers. After a while I took of my slippers and ran... barefoot.

I looked like a thief. But i felt like a superstar.

I read about people talking how marathons and all the multisports 'changed' their lives. Truth to be told... I have no idea how, and in what way.

Completing a marathon felt just like it - completing a marathon. I mostly felt relieved, and then proud that I have not given up. When I did my first triathlon I felt proud. The same thing happened when I did my first century. Relieved that I made it, and proud that I held on.

But doing them does not change my life. I still give up easily outside of sports. I am neither happier or sadder. I am grateful. Maybe I have a high pedestal on how 'life-changing' these sports achievements should be. I was sort of imagining that i dont know... maybe I became a different person, and my social life just picked up, etc. But I am still the same ol same old person doing paperwork in the office.

I do though, gained friendships. That is a good plus. Certain things you discussed about during the long trip towards the race venue, certain things you've witnessed or have people witnessing, certain things you accidentally did without control... these people stick by you through thick and thin.

One thing I DO know, is that being active makes me feel grateful. Of being able to. Of having the choice instead of given none. Of putting the trust God give me on my body and not wasting it away. Playing sports makes me become aware of who I am, what I am, and how I should be. I complete century distance rides almost monthly and I am grateful for that. That I am still able to run, and enjoy running, is a gift that keeps on giving.

Nothing in this world is permanent. Which is why, sometimes, with the wind on my face and the road hard and hot under my feet, I wonder if somehow, the most insignificant changes in life would be the most significant.

Friday, February 11, 2011

great week

i worked out everyday except for Monday. this on a heavy fever week. why do i only get and give good workouts to myself during uncalled for times? i run better - faster, longer - during ramadhan with all the dehydration. And this week, heavy with fever and stuffy nose and fatigue, I had awesome sessions.

Well, awesome sessions, but my body felt weak. Nevertheless, they recover fast.

Tuesday, I in-line skated. Watching youtube videos of the Longboard Girls with their sick skills spurned me on. I let my hair down, and pretended I'm one of them, blasting up and down the hills, feeling the quads, working. I imagined them quads looking cute, toned and firm and wasn't that a great motivation to push up harder.
What I learned: you can enjoy the exertion if you think about how this will benefit you in the long run.

Wednesday, strength. Didn't break too much of a sweat, but my heart pumped somewhat crazy. I loved this sessions and wished I had more time after work.
What I learned: it is up to you to push yourself. You can always add one more rep and then the next.

Thursday, finally my boyfriend decided to join me for a spin. And that dude wowed me as usual. My turf, my playground, and he whooped my ass climbing up the hills like the bike and him were one and the same. I loved the view of his calves when I was exerting myself along the ride. The night was balmy and humid, and it was the best because I was with the person who mattered most.
What I learned: The same route helps to gauge your fitness, and how each exercise changes according to the day weather, mental state, etc.

Friday, still feeling weak, but strength class still had to go on. This time, I wanted to focus on my upper body strength. And dear lovely instructor, she made us pant and sweat and our arms and upper back shake like a Polaroid picture. great stretching sessions afterwards.
What I learned: Focus and breathing are keys to your knowing your RPE.

Saturday, a dip in the pool. Woke up from a goood recovery sleep, and decided what the hell, let's just get yourself worked out for a while.
What I learned: You can lose yourself in the moment, and the next thing you know, you've exceeded your expectations.

balik kampung jumpa ibu, ayah, kucing!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


No workout for 6 days. But I compensated those days with family, food and friends. It was worth it.

Reorganizing my sports closet, I realised that I have more running shoes than my work shoes... or any other normal ordinary shoes. I have only 1 pair that I wear to work everyday. 1 heels to wear for wedding functions. 1 strappy one for casual events. The rest I wear Havaiainas flip flops. I have always been a flip flop girl. Must took it from my beachy, surfing watersports days.

But I have one trail running shoe (a good investment for my Nepal trip), 3 running shoes that I alternate (1 for events, 1 for regular training, and 1 for cross training) and 2 vibrams. I hardly use the 3 running shoes now with the vibrams so they've been downgraded to badminton shoes, etc.

I have about 20? unworn running singlets from race events. I have only used 4 of them for yoga classes but now since I do them at home there's no reason for me to wear a proper attire. I have always been a cotton tshirts kind of girl. I love how they stick to your skin.

I am happy where I am today. I think I have 'crossed' off the list of things to do when you're a weekend warrior; everybody goes through this phase - a 10k event, then a 21k, then a 42k and then if you're still searching for something you might try a triathlon and who knows if you're still obsessed an Ironman.

There are some people who got stuck with only running and I envy people like them. They don't follow the natural progression, but finding their passion real early and holding on to it instead. I was one of 'those' who felt that I needed to do more things in order to feed that burning drive. We are all guilty of it.

But I have found my calling. And I love it.

I am still going to stick to my guns and running for penang bridge marathon :) and maybe siemens 10k... and malakoff... and mizuno... those are the good runs. short, simple, with milo at the end.

My dad has retired from running. I asked him if he wanted to run for energizer and he said no, he has no interest anymore to run events. Like me, he too, has come full circle. The rush is gone, but it was good while it lasted. Damn good.

Today was a good workout. Good intervals that got my legs burning and myself gasping for air. I think of my cousin, whom if given the chance to be alive and healthy, would have enjoyed this run with me. I miss you ngangah, all the time, everyday :(