Saturday, November 26, 2011

Salam Maal Hijrah

1433H.. semoga ia tahun yang membawa berkat & rahmat yang berterusan.

Lord have mercy on us, forgive us our sins and bless us with your love & guidance, amin.

Selamat Menyambut Maal Hijrah 1433H.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Closure.. and onwards we go!

A lil outdated perhaps but i just needed to put it up for closure ;)

My 1st half mara certificate, PJ half marathon 30th October 2011.  maybe a trivial matter for some but a BIG deal for me.

Okey, moving on now.

To better things ahead, insyallah :D

Thursday, November 3, 2011

PJ Half Marathon - my first 21km

I keep telling myself i need to write this, if not for anything else, for my own reference bcos my brains turn to mush so easily these days lol.

So before i completely forget all the details (sadly there are blanks already huhu) heres sharing my first half marathon experience. but a word of caution though, this report is based mostly on my feelings rather than technical info which till now, i barely understand nor quite make much sense of lol.

A race actually starts way before the flag off, even before the race day itself and for me, 3 days earlier.  why the non runner might ask? bcos the body needs to be prepped for the beating it was going to be put through, especially a well-used (luckily-not-abused) old body like mine lol. once you make the decision to run a race you have to accept the responsibility of minimising the damage... otherwise be ready to suffer the consequences.

So there i was hydrating myself with fluids and downing the necessary ORS till i got pretty pissed off with having to piss so often hahaha.  and 3 days of such an activity seem like a looong time until i remind myself suffering cramps on race day would be even worse! oh and then there was also carbo-loading time. i tell ya, having to eat bcos u hafta kinda takes away the joy from eating. but i slogged on regardless.. bcos truth be told, i was pretty damn scared of running that first 21km.

Yes i've been putting in the miles and i've been consistent in pounding that tarmac but, my limit was plus minus 15km.  and during all this time, my weekly lsd has been, eerrrr dont laugh now, 8km which was 2 laps round the tasik.  only this year have i upgraded myself to doing 3 laps, which equals 12km. so i'm sure you can understand my concern and in as much as i respect the distance, i also need to respect the age. i'm no spring chicken y'all lol.

I made sure i had a good nites sleep 2 days before the race bcos i knew for a fact i'd be a restless, hyper mess eve of it.  but would you believe i dozed off around 3am and didnt wake up until 5.15am bcos my alarm didnt go off as it should, which was an hour earlier!!! hah, turns out i didnt turn it on properly, careless me.  we had to rush and i was so thankful that golfman, the dear dear man, had actually agreed to be with me.  for the first time ever, he'd be there from start to finish. yeah it was a day of firsts lol.

Surprisingly the road to stadium PJ wasnt all that jammed and he dropped me off with plenty of time to spare.  there was a sea of runners everywhere i turned but i couldnt recognise a single familiar face, and feeling panicky bcos my D-tag was still inside its plastic and i sure as hell didnt know how to put it on (by this time the explanation didnt make any sense at all lol).  the moment my eyes hit a friendly face, i quickly approached the guy (who was innocently doing his stretches by the way) to help me out.  mr.  kar tat, thank you for being such a gentleman.

Thank god by gun time i was already with friends, my anr kids jey & zyra and my buddy azza. yup, i was ready, as ready as i ever will be lol.  and with the shot ringing clearly in the morning air, we were off.

In a sea of people way at the back

Just before starting, i had downed one packet of power gel, strawberry/banana flavour 1x caffein strength and although my comrade-in-arms, juney the anakmami, had earlier reminded me (again & again - thx babe) to set my watch i still forgot to and only remembered about 10mins into the run. so there goes the actual timing hua2 but 10 was an easy enough figure to add on so i wasnt too worried lol. anyway i was also using the allocated water & sponge stations to gauge my run.

It was an interesting feeling to be running along the federal highway.  we were deviated to the motorcyclist lane and there was this underground tunnel that was rather dark, i feared tripping over stones & potholes bcos of my weak ankles.  my knees have not let me down yet but my ankles, thats another story.  the first 15mins is always the toughest for me bcos thats the time i take to warm up but by then i was starting to feel pretty good about everything.  it was a beautiful sunday morning and there i was sharing it with others of the same passion.

I gave the first water station @ km 4 a skip. they were serving 100plus and it was only about 30mins into the run.. i didnt need water bouncing about in my tummy as yet.  at some point we had to merge into the highway itself and once we hit the flyover, some runners were beginning to slow down.  thankfully, my coach taught me not to fear hills and my hillwork certainly paid off.  at this point i kept reminding myself not to push it bcos this was going to be a much longer run than usual. i had to pace myself.

I looked forward to the 2nd water station @ km 8 and thankfully they had mineral water.  i didnt quite need the 100plus bcos i was planning on taking more power gels.  after the 1st hour, i downed my second, this time tangerine, 2x caffein strength.  once we hit the old subang airport road (dunno what they call it now), i was just cruising along, sometimes passing other runners while other runners passed me lol.  i saw friends along the way.. there was aini, ruby, lily & others and seeing their familiar faces somehow made the run more real & meaningful.

The sponge stations were a godsend bcos by then the day was heating up.  the sun was shining oh so brightly and it was also sapping away at my strength.  nothing hits me worse than heat and we sure had a whole lot of that during the pj half mara.  i dont drink all that much when i'm running but this time i made it a point to stop at each water station even if for a sip or two.

By the time we were nearing the u-turn, i was seeing a lot of other runners on the other side and catching sight of jey bounding away like a wildhorse really gave me a boost.. my feet felt that much lighter lol. he later told me he actually went thru bouts of walking bcos of cramps but thankfully i didnt catch him that way lol. it would've somehow brought me down bcos jey was a strong runner and i looked up to him for inspiration.  i was also focussing a lot on what my body was telling me since i didnt know how it would take on the extra pounding but so far so good, the knees were holding up and the muscles were fine.

Sometime after making the u-turn i caught sight of jaja, a friend who was also doing her first half and we had our little game of 'potong memotong' until she went along her way and left me with a rather beautiful view of her, eerrr, derriere  (jangan marah ja) lol.  oh and another friend azza, who was on turbo boost that day, zoomed merrily along passing us never to be seen again, until after the race (way to go babe).

The sun was merciless.  when we hit the last flyover i was dragging my feet, my energy draining away slowly but surely. earlier, i wasnt sure about a third gel but i'm thankful i brought a spare anyway and downed it without hesitation, still another tangerine.  i'm thinking that its probably what gave me the strength to finish the run strong.

When we turned the corner and hit the last stretch, i was feeling much better and when the stadium started coming into view my feet was beginning to have a life of its own lol. surprisingly i picked up the pace and the fatigue was just a memory.  catching sight of golfman when i neared the stadium made my day and the shout out by ray added to the boost.

Once inside the stadium, i felt like i was tearing down the track but of course i'm just a macik struggling to finish the race lol.  by then my running family was there to run along with me and it was a wonderful feeling indeed, thanks guys for being there and being part of it.

My ANR 'boys' at the home stretch

My PJ HM results

The medal

PJ Half Marathon - 21km 
Timing - 2:20:00.54 chip time, 2:20:38.40 guntime.

And that was my first half marathon. i feel that it was a race well run bcos i felt strong at the finish and i didnt suffer any pain or injury, no cramps, not even chaffing or blistering and just muscle ache & soreness post run.  of course there is much room for improvement but thankfully it was a race i enjoyed.

Now on to the next half lol ;)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The road to my 1st half mara (1)

I finally popped my hm cherry. i really really did. at long last its over and done with.

I completed my 21k woohoo!!

Yup, fi-nal-ly.

I love to run, we've long established that. but i'm also very very wary of hurting or injuring myself . yeah maybe i'm a pansy but i also didnt need an "i told you so" to break my almost non-existent self-confidence.  so by the usual standards, i have really taken my own sweet time to be where i am right now.

My 1st 10k run in 2005... and my 1st half marathon in 2011. thats quite a big gap considering the fact that i have been running consistently between all that time.  why didnt i try it sooner you might ask? since i loved running so much, wasnt i interested in ever running a marathon?

Larian Shah Alam 10k - 2005

Larian Shah Alam 10k - 2006

Larian Shah Alam 10k - 2007

Larian Rakyat ICity - 2009

KOTR Shah Alam - 2009

Of course i am.. i dream of becoming a marathoner. i want to become a marathoner.  but its a pretty big endeavor and to someone who has been pounding the miles mostly on her own, slogging away blindly with only her passion for motion pushing her on, its almost monumental.

I started late. although we like to say better late than never, it does have its drawbacks.  my body worked against me most of the time and finding like minded people my age wasnt easy, in fact i didnt find anyone in my neck of the woods.  and back then i was just too embarrassed to join in with the younger crowd. i felt out of place, pretty much a sore thumb. i felt i had no business being with them & dragging everyone down to my level of 'un-fitness'.

So i went about it on my own. since my family & friends werent into running, i turned to the net for the latest dos & donts. oh what would i do without mr google lol and i also did a whole lot of stalking -  runner's blogs, forums, the likes. and slowly i got to know some pretty awesome people who later became my friends, my mentors. peeps, you know who you are, thank you.

And earlier this year i finally summoned enough courage to join a running group, one which of course consisted mainly of young 'uns but it didnt really matter anymore bcos the time had come for me to improve & be serious about my running.  if i really wanted to be a marathoner, i had to do something about it.

My first outing with ANR Shah Alam

Running tips by coach Edan Shah

Hill work



.. and more drills.

I now know that i had made the right decision. adination of runners shah alam.. they took this macik in and made her feel welcomed.  it didnt matter that i was probably the oldest member and in the likes of their moms, they accepted me as part of the team and with the support of my running family, i have indeed improved in leaps & bounds.

Seremban HM 10k - my 1st ever cash prize

KLIUC run - my 2nd cash prize

Running is still a spiritual experience for me, i feel closest to my maker when i'm out there pounding the tarmac mile after mile.. but it has also become a time spent with friends, rejoicing the very tenacity & resilience of the human spirit, of conquering the fears & inadequacy within ourselves, and of setting our spirits free.

Yes, with my 1st half marathon done, i hope it marks the beginning of better things ahead. like they say, its not just about the destination, its also about the journey.  and i'm pretty sure it will be a journey of great discovery.. about myself, others & life itself.

Lets hit the road

Race report coming up next ;)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pre race jitters

I know i've been away for awhile but lets just jump right into it shall we?

Nothing better than the 'now' right hehehe ;)

I'm feeling more than a little anxious this morning.  its a beautiful, bright sun shiny day, dont get me wrong... its just that tomorrow, tomorrow i'll be running a race and when it comes to races i tend to lose whatever cool i have and become this jittery moron.

Resah. seriau. cuak. langsung tak boleh rileks.

It'll be my 1st half marathon.  i'll be running 21km on sunday morning with others who like me, are equally addicted to pounding the tarmac.  although my running has only taken me as far as 16km but i know i'm good for it. insyallah finishing it will not be a problem, acing it at a respectable time is of course another matter altogether haha.  but i'm just aiming to finish it on my feet, still up... and running :)

So, the jitters & anxiety arent really warranted.  i shouldnt be feeling this way mainly bcos 1. i have been running for some time now (since 2005) and i have been quite consistent at it, give and take a few short breaks. 2. i'm not competitive and am not trying to prove anything or make any kind of statement. sooo it shouldnt matter and i should just look at it as just another run right?

My 1st race in 2005 - Shah Alam 10k Run

Heh, i wish!!

Well at least i had a good nites sleep bcos for sure i wont be getting any winks tonite huahua.

For better for worse, PJ Half Marathon, here i come ;p

Hopefully, i'll be up & about to write about it hehehe.. wish me well peeps :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Time flies

OMG its been ages.


And almost forgetting my password drove the fact home even further.

I gotta start writing even tho i dont actually know where to begin, so much has happened.

But top on the list is... I'VE HIT 50 woot woot!!

Yup 50.. wish me well peeps, i'll be needing it ;p

Friday, June 10, 2011

28 years

Aku bersyukur segala nikmat Mu ya Rabb.

After 28 years, you're still the one for me and whatever the future may bring, we'll always be able to look back & remember there was never a shortage of love.

Happy anniversary.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Dream on

Yup i'm still alive & kicking, up & running hehehe.  the hard days & long nites havent gotten to me yet.. and its gonna take more than that to bring this soldier's daughter down LOL.

Right now i find myself focusing more on my running. probably wearing my kneecaps off in the process but i'm happy. and i'm feeling really good about myself.  i'll be hitting 50 in a couple of months but oddly, i've never felt better and more in control of my body (which is more than i can say for my restless, wayward soul but we cant have everything now can we lol).

1973 - Rumah Hijau, ABS Mentakab

Becoming a member of a running group was probably one of the smartest decisions i'd made in a long while.  theres nothing more gratifying then being with like minded people who share the same crazy passion as you do.  things like voluntarily running up and down a steep hill to the verge of puking while others are chilling out watching their fav drama on tv. and running round and round and round the field close to becoming mental just so u can clock up an hour of running on grass while all around you the rest of humanity's goofing about having fun.

2011 - ANR Shah Alam

And what keeps me coming back for more? theres nothing that can quite compare with the satisfaction of using ur body to the max. and apart from the x word lol,  running is the thing for me.  maybe i'm just addicted to the endorphine rush but its what makes me feel good and feeling good, when you've already put in half a century of living, is definately on top of my list.

I'm still not really that interested in running races but now i'm slowly working my way towards making my dream come true.. to have the strength & courage to finish at least one marathon in my lifetime.

Maybe not now, maybe not ever but as long as i am still running, the hope is there and the dream is still alive :)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Hard days, long nites

There are days when all the juice is sucked outta you and you find yourself with not much left to go on.   you dig deep, to the very depths of your innermost soul for that tiny little spark to light the furnace up again.

Its hard going but persevere you must bcos the only other option is to succumb to the cold.. the barren, empty landscape of a lost cause.

"Our Lord, let not our hearts deviate (from the truth) after You have guided us and grant us mercy.  Truly, You are the Bestower" - (Al Quran V 3:8)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

His day

He was born 53 years ago in a place called temangan lama.

I was told by my mom we had a cat named temangan once, back in those early days when my dad was posted in pengkalan chepa. i was around 5.

Random or another one of life's coincidences?

Whatever it may be, HAPPY BIRTHDAY Golfman, may the years ahead be blessedly happy & healthy ones <3

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Lets work it

I'm not an athlete, nor am i athletic but i've always had these weird dreams of running. you know how it is that sometimes you dream of endlessly falling, falling, falling from some great height and suddenly waking up midfall?  its the same except this time its running, running, running into the great horizon, sometimes fast sometimes in slow mo but always in constant motion. and i can still taste that lingering feeling of power & freedom when i wake up.

So maybe its just my subconcious telling me to break free of all that binds me. maybe i'm just being fanciful. but whatever it is, instead of speeding off into the sunset in a sleek powerful ferrari or cruising the super highways on a rumbling harley, its being in control of my own body that excites me enough to keep dreaming about.

Theres nothing more beautiful than rippling muscles set in motion. you see it in the lions & tigers while they're chasing their prey or the wild horses when they're galloping the fields. and even men when they're either bent on out running each other or out chasing their own demons lol.

I admit, i'll always take that extra second to check out the runner that i'm passing while i drive down that road.  its a subconcious reaction, a feeling of connection. heck i cant explain it well enough for it to come off other than being fanciful. but i think other people who seem to like pounding god's earth would understand lol.

In a world of uncertainty and chaos, its liberating to feel that at least we can be in control of our body.  its god's gift and its up to us to use it in the best possible way.

For me its running.. but theres walking, climbing, swimming, diving, dancing, whatever moves you.  just get out there and work it ;p

Have a good week ahead peeps!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Another first

Only last week i was raving about my first nite run. i'd always wanted to run through the streets of shah alam with its pretty blinking lights and never ending flow of people.  the students of UiTM and MSU play a big part in making sure that the place is kept alive.   but sadly with no one in the family actually sharing my predilection to running, my wish had to stay buried.  although not of faint heart, i wasnt about to venture out alone at nite, no sirreee lol.

Yup running at nite turned out to be exactly as i pictured it.. absolutely smashing hehehe.  it gets progressively cooler as the nite moves along unike the day when it gets hotter & hotter. heat has never worked for me...  in fact its my mortal enemy.

Last wednesday not only did i complete another nite run, i also did my first 14k!!

 14k Route - From Sek 13 to Bkt Bandaraya & back.

 I may have been running consistently for well past 6 years but truth of the matter is, i only average 4 - 5km per run, my longest distance being 12km.  so i was understandably, a teeny weeny bit worried to be running with the group.. they're mostly a bunch of hyperactive young 'uns with their age going for them lol.  me, i'm the makcik who could suddenly, out of the blue run out of steam and subsequently hold everyone back!!  gawd i didnt want to be the oddball who should've known better and just stayed home baking cookies hehehe.

 The ladies just before the run.

The men in action 

The me huffin' & puffin' lol

Completion of first half - another 7k to go.

Thankfully i made it.  oh there were a couple of wicked hills alright but it turned out ok. and by breaking the run up into 2 parts with a short break in between, our coachie also managed to turn it into an enjoyable experience for all of us.  with members of varied capabilities,  such a move kept the team spirit up & the members cohesive from start to finish.

Mission accomplished!!

aNR shah alam rawks... come join us peeps ;p

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Beyond the beaten path

For the past 6 years i have generally stuck to the 3.8k loop of the shah alam lake gardens.  that route would take me past the 'popular' spots (mainly the 3 taichi areas and the playgrounds) as well as the lonely stretches.

Theres also the reflexology hut that not only offers a mini path for use but also serves as a meeting place for most of the taichi practitioners. its a popular place and sometimes its quite difficult to find a spot of your own.

Many tend to forget or overlook the fact that there actually is another reflexology path at the extreme end of the tasik (the one beside kedai kopi dua).  its bigger and actually better bcos it consists of 3 separate paths, one of which is specifically catered for the senior citizen.


Its where i spend my mornings whenever i'm on a running break.

After about half an hour of walking through the path, its feeding the turtles & fishes then on to my favourite spot for a little stretching and practising my asanas or yoga poses.

A great way to start any day believe me ;D

Monday, April 11, 2011

Taking down a pop-up

Late last year AH managed to coerce her daddy into buying her a sugar glider.  she wanted a pet when she was away at casa.  and of course i couldnt, wouldnt let her take nicolei. he was undoubtedly the darling of the family.

Milo has long since grown from a timid little fury ball into a good size horny male pining for a mate. the poor sod is already showing signs of balding, an indication that he's more than ready to start a family.  the plan that AH had cooked up with her friend was actually pretty sound... they were both getting sugar gliders of different gender to be paired off when the time was right. unfortunately, up till now her friend has failed to deliver his side of the bargain leaving poor milo high & dry.

In an attempt to make milo a little happier (and bcos AH & me actually like 'main pondok2' lol), i bought a pop-up tent from tesco so that we could play with milo to our hearts content in a controlled environment outside of his cage.

The first day the tent was up guess who claimed it as his own?

Well, mr nicolei, king of the heap of course lol.

He made himself comfortable and slept in there throughout the day... and nite hehehe. and was delirious when AH decided to join him with her pillows & blankets.  looks like milo will have to make do with his cage after all. and truth be told, i was actually a little worried about him peeing all over the tent, rendering everything soiled & smelly.

But after a week i was pretty tired of the tent occupying almost half of my bedroom.  i wanted my space back and it just had to come down.  i can always pop it back up again in a couple of weeks for the fun to start all over again.

What i didnt bargain for was my inability to fold it back down to its storage size... and the instructions that came with it didnt help in any way at all!!!

I twisted it this way and that but it still refused to cooperate and was more than willing to pop right back up again.


Even the kiddoes couldnt figure it out and after hours of not getting anywhere, we decided to abandon the whole thing and leave it for another day.  i even deliberated about going back to tesco for assistance. but i then got caught up with more pressing matters and the stubborn tent became nico's sanctuary.

But as the days rolled by it was getting more and more on my nerves.. until one morning i decided right then & there i was going to get it down even if it killed me (cewah,,dramatic la skit kan hehehe). and in that instant that i reached for the steel frames, i suddenly realised this was the one thing that i'd forgotten to google!!!!  hehehe, me the self professed google slut maniac forgot all about googling?

So, to cut the story short, i found out i wasnt the only one having major problems with the pop-ups and that there're more than a dozen vidoes on utube giving step by step guide on how to tackle the stubborn tents lol.

Thank God, i have my room back :)