Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Ride with Dad: 60km

Last weekend I rode with my dad.

We had a plan: ride to my cousin's house for breakfast and ride back. They live in Bandar Baru Bangi, and we will start from dad's house at Nilai Impian. I've never rode the route before but dad has - alone, I might add - and he says it's pretty cool.

The first part of the ride took us through Kg Batang Benar. It is my favorite part of the ride. It was shady, veryyy scenic and peaceful. No cars passed by, only motorcycles. No dogs. It was cool and shady, even though we started late (750 am). It was a mostly flat route, no major climbs. In fact, there were no major uphill along the whole route, only 2-3 little rollers that might make your heart beat race a little bit. Nothing major. It was really cool riding with dad. This is my 6th time I think with him and he has improved sooo much. He used to be a really bad roadie. Utter disregard for traffic and cars, not even bother to look back at me and see if I was safe - his own daughter! Even then I still had to remind him to keep to the shoulder of the road as he tended to veer towards the middle of the road.

My dad is an improved cyclist. When we first started he was slow and only fast on flats. That too, would be only for a while. Forget about hills. It was almost shameful to watch him hustle and bustle. I've been too used over him gloating that this old man can beat his own daughter that seeing him choking on my dust seemed... barbaric. But he cycles continuously, during the weekdays he would do a 'sprint repeat' or intervals, just riding at full speed until he tires. He attacks hilly routes sometimes. But those helped. He is now a better cyclist than me - who rides once in a while now. I am proud of him. He's what - 60 years old and still well, roughly fit.

The ride to Bandar Baru Bangi was hot and dusty. Traffic wasn't all bad, none of the cars paid any attention to us. We arrived at my cousin's house more or less on the time we had estimated. She has prepared a sumptuous feast of Nasi Lemak and chicken fritters and iced drinks. What awesomeness.

The way back was even better. It was really hot, and I was dying. We went the shorter way via Bukit Mahkota and there was this one long stretch of an uphill. My dad climbed smoothly while I was too drained to 'fight'. I could see my dad slowly gloating over the fact that he beat his own daughter.

We arrived at 1130 am. And then slept.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Semangat Lari Balik... and I talk about yoga.

Actually, I have always been semangat.

 Actually, tak.

To be honest, ever since I discovered ashtanga yoga, I am lazy to do anything that involves me to go out of the house wearing clothes... erk, not that I practice naked. Cuma less baju to wash. Dengan tudung nyer lagi etc etc.

Why do I like ashtanga so much? Because it is a good replacement. It physically, mentally and emotionally challenges me just the same. The practice usually takes me about 90 minutes or 120 minutes to complete, depending, and it requires you to focus.

When I came to yoga it was because the doctors said, "Kau lari lagi kau kayuh lagi aku patahkan lutut hang!" (Badan lembik perasan baguih) Ntah2 dier tambah dalam hati. So I went. I came to yoga entirely for a physical practice.

Then somehow it changed. Ashtanga is hard. Period. It has about 5? series - one series have probably about 30 or so poses - and they keep getting harder. Most people will only do first series, maybe two. A few get to do third and beyond. I have been doing first - or primary - series for literally a year now.

The major difference about ashtanga and my 'tri' training is the spiritual aspect of it. Whereas multisport os a world where you need to kinda exude confidence, ashtanga needs you to be really humble. If your balance is off that day - check, did you unintentionally hurt someone? It's a grounding practice, one that goes with my faith.

But let's talk about the physical aspect. Here are a few of my favorite primary poses:

This is called bhujapidasana. The full pose requires you to lower your head slightly to the floor, and lifting back up. This develops your arm strength tremendously. My swimming has never felt better. One of my favorites.

Lolasana. I have not yet gained that strength in the hip flexors to lift my feet up.

Kukutasana - Christy Turlington, a dedicated yogi, nailing it. I love this one too.

Here are the poses in second series:

Pincha Mayurasana - I totally love this pose. Took me a while to develop that upper body strength to kick up. Can only do it supported, with my toes against a wall.

I could share more but here's one that I am currently practicing:

Eka Pada Koundiyasana - I could only get to balance for a split second before my arm strength failed me. Love the work I am putting for this, a third series pose.

Anyway, the stronger I get with my practice the more I yearn to start a regular running practice back. I do run, usually once a week, or twice on a good week, and cycle once a week, but it's not satisfying enough. Now that the first series is getting a tad easier, I feel like I want to incorporate running as a cross training... how funny is that? Would be good for my legs to develop some strength that could help me with some hard balancing poses!

 Onto my running practice... twice a week, first. Baby steps!