Saturday, 31 December 2011

I Don't Need Flowers

nor do I need diamonds or lavish gifts from my husband.

because despite those, I know that he is always there for me. 

He'll be patiently cycling with me, accompanying me when I schedule my weekend long runs - and made feel stronger during my runs, not to mention safe too. 

Keeping me company always. Supporting me with whatever hare-brained scheme I hatched up and never failing to ensure that I don't do anything that would be detrimental to me. He's not afraid to whack my head (figuratively) if I start doing something that's foolish too.

For that, I wouldn't trade him for anything in the world! True, sometimes he annoys me to no end as do I him but yes, I do just swell with him by my side.

And with that, my wish for 2012 is that he'll still accompany me and support me as I will for him. <3 <3 <3

By the way Hubby, I know you said that you wouldn't wait for me if I do a 4-hour race next year, but deep down I know you'll be there cheering me on. *^-^*


Wednesday, 28 December 2011

When In Haste....

I really am bad with shopping, both at physical shops and online. And sometimes, when excitement takes over and I made a hasty decision on a certain purchase thinking it was a good deal, I made the wrong purchase and buy something that doesn't really suit me.

So, I received an e-mail about a Timex promotion, I jumped at it because my Nike+ Sportband is acting up on me and can't be recharged. I had been mulling over getting a new running watch for sometime now so when I got that e-mail I was pretty excited. Too excited perhaps that I didn't read and do proper research on the watches being offered.

Got my new watch delivered to me 4 days after ordering and after twiddling at it, I realised this watch has no distance calculation. It has pretty nifty features such as target time pacer that I like but without knowing how far I've run it would be difficult for me to gauge my distance. Oh dear.

I call up the shop over at Menara Keck Seng and asked whether I can pay the difference for a more expensive model that would suit me better  (i.e. with pedometer and stuff) and unfortunately they said I can't. Boohoo. There goes my RM268.00. I know it's not much to you guys with a GPS-enabled running watches out there but I can't afford such watches just yet!

Moral of the story - it's bad for me to shop online. It's just so easy to click on the wrong stuff while not making an informed decision about it and spend money.

The watch itself isn't all bad though, that I have to say. It's just that it's a bummer that I may need to buy another running watch or get myself a gadget to calculate my running distance.

Now, if I have an iPhone I wouldn't have this issue right? Since iPhone have Runmeter apps. heh heh

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Wait! Let Me Take Photos First!

Long suffering family members, friends and colleagues have at some point or other heard this whenever they go out for a meal with me, regardless the place. Especially if it's the my first time visiting that particular eatery be it at a posh restaurant or a mobile seller selling rojak. 

Had a Christmas lunch & secret Santa/gift exchange with my "makan kaki" (or eating gang, if you may) on the Friday before Christmas and I literally stopped people from eating just because I wanted to take photos! No camera? No problem. Low quality handphone camera would do just fine. I'm a nutcase, I'm told. Heh heh
We had our lunch at Pastis, which is located just beside the building I work in. Can you believe it? I walk past this place every s.i.n.g.l.e working day and had never eaten a meal there.

Set lunch for less than RM20.00 and we got a main dish, a drink and a choice of cut fruit or a scoop of ice-cream. OK, but we were still peckish after the lunch so one of the main "kaki" bought an whole ice-cream from Baskin Robbins for us to enjoy. I was so full after two big slices of ice-cream cake!

Sunday, 25 December 2011

The Season Of Giving

to those who celebrate the holiday! I'm just stoked that it means an extra day off and that means an extra day to do long runs. Wooohooo!

Since I'm very much sharing the holiday mood, not gonna ramble much but instead I'm just posting some random Xmas illumination/decoration photos (they are not too good, but well...) we took during our vacation. Didn't have time to go around town in KL to check the Xmas decorations at malls this year. ^^
Happy holidays! And a happy new year too!

Friday, 23 December 2011

The Year-End

and just a week or two till the new year begins. It's gonna be a new year soon and time for us to do some last-minute school shopping for Raimie!

Needed to buy a purple colour school shirt instead of the white ones for next year. And oh, a few pairs of black shoes too.
For his Sekolah Agama (SRA/Religious School), we need to buy a purple sampin for his Baju Melayu (another purple?). Raimie can't use the usual red one next year.

Then there's his school bags, stationeries, socks, extra workbooks (to study at home since he doesn't go to tuition) and other miscellaneous stuff that needed buying. School is sure not cheap!

I wonder how my parents cope with 7 of us going to school last time? @.@

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

I Need To Finish This

It is not my habit to let a book left unfinished for too long but here I am only 3/4 through the book I  bought earlier and had mentioned I'd finish on our flight over to Japan. Didn't manage to finish or concentrate reading because Raimie was happily chattering and I can't just ignore him! ^^

I did read a few pages while traveling in the numerous train rides we took all over Japan but more often than not, I'd rather look out and enjoy the scenery than read a book that I can read anywhere.

Remember my post about being invited over for dinner at a Japanese blogger acquaintance, Minoru?
So apart from the book, Born To Run; which by the way, I enjoyed immensely reading but just doesn't have the time to finish reading it yet - I have another book to read. Minoru had not only treated us dinner, he also gave us a book titled Botchan. I can't wait to start reading it. Soon I hope. ^^

Monday, 19 December 2011

Recycle And Run!

Just a few days after returning home from our two-weeks vacation, we joined a race in Putrajaya. The entry fees weren't in cash term but we sent in recyclable items as our entry fees so it's almost a free race.

Raimie wanted to enter a running race and be like Mommy and this particular race had children category with a not-too-intimidating route. The Desa Park City Run would've been great as his first entry to a race but hey, can't bang my head if we were too late to enter it. Just get on with our lives and find other races to join.
So this is a special event for us. Raimie's first running race outside of school. Yeay Raimie! I registered the whole family because well, it's a free race. Zaini however decided to accompany Raimie doing his run and so didn't run the 7K. Everyone has matching t-shirts that we can wear now though. hehehe

It was a rather havoc run for me. Runners were still registering and collecting t-shirts & bib numbers when the race was flagged off. I had just came out from the loo that time so I started way back at the end. And not being totally ready, I ran with a parched throat. Thirsty! With all the "huru-hara" (definitely not good to collect bib numbers on race day for me); I forgot to drink before starting my race.

Thank goodness there was a water station at KM2.5 but that was the only water station! I should've brought along my own bottle. My itchy and swollen throat condition wasn't helping either.
I was wearing the same get-up I wore while running in Japan. Bright idea. NOT! Got completely overheated halfway through the race. To make matter worse, my tummy was rumbling. I was running on an almost empty stomach. Seeing a lot of runners nonchalantly cutting short their route (those who are in E & F category : Men & Women 19-40 years old. You guys were wearing the shirts too, for goodness sake!) choosing to make their route a 3K instead of the full 7K was so dampening for me. Any thoughts of getting the limited medal was quickly brushed aside so I just ran and walked my way to the finish line. It turned to be a "couldn't be arsed" run for me, yesterday.
Raimie however did good. He ran and walked the whole 3K and made it through the finish line. Good for him! I am so proud of my boy.

Despite the havoc and "huru-hara" of the race, I have to commend the people manning the registration, collection & t-shirt distribution counter. They were efficient and did things fast so we didn't have to queue long. And they were quite nice people too. :)

They even distributed goodie bags after the race. Plenty of mineral water handed out freely too. No Milo van though. huhuhu

Pretty festive atmosphere at the run, with lots of events slotted. Saw plenty of buses with "rombongan" coming in too, and they came complete with picnic baskets. What a nice way to spend the Sunday morning. 

But I hope race organisers, if they are doing this again next year (I sincerely hope they do!), to ensure proper starting of the race. 7K runners were supposed to start first followed by the 3K participants but from the starting line, I saw few runners in the boys category running too. That gave them like a 15 minutes advantage from the boys/girls runners that waited properly for their category to be flagged off.

Also, I do sincerely hope that we runners not "cheat" our way through the run. The joy of running is to run the distance and make it to the finish line. Not by doing your own shorter route. What is the value of your medal when you know that you didn't do it properly?

But then again, I suppose most of the participants running were doing it for fun, so why am I being so righteous about it, eh? xD
Anyway, happy to say that the limited medal of the Larian Jom! Kitar Semula is added to my collection. ^^

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Head Not Screwed Right, Last Run (On Vacation, I mean)

My last run during the vacation was by the Sumida River. Since we are in no rush to go anywhere, I had the luxury of starting my run a bit later, at 7.00am and return by 8.30am. The sun was already up and sunny at that time so it was great to run under the clear blue sky. With the crisp cold air, it was really nice to have a run in the cold season in Tokyo.
Along the river, golden leaves lay scattered on the pavements. I tried out my new Asics compression tights on this run and made a zooming (well, zooming for me at least) run that day.
Nice view all through the run, watching boats cruised by, cars and lorries crossing the many bridges across the river, salarymen and office ladies off to work, students off to school. Nobody tried to run over anybody and even when I got on the pavement heading back to our hotel room, I could just run and have a secure feeling that vehicles do stop at pedestrian crossing instead of the other way round. Of course, I make sure to stop at red lights and run when it's green when there are traffic lights!

I am gonna miss running in Japan where you can run in crowded area and not risk stumbling/crashing into somebody or some vehicle.

In total, I had 5 runs in Japan. A lot less than what I set out to do. But I cannot control the weather (cold rainy mornings are definitely not an ideal condition to run) and I skip them when I'm in need of more rest. But overall, I had fun. I experienced running in Kyushu (Yufuin), in Shikoku (Takamatsu) and Honshu (Sumida River, Tokyo) and the experience was priceless! Running should be fun.
And those runs I had sure were fun! Run happy, folks despite any setbacks we encountered like that cute little blister I had. :)

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Head Not Screwed Right, Part III

Day 5 was in Takamatsu which is on the island of Shikoku. The first day we were there; I took the opportunity to enjoy the seaside view and had a run alongside the port area.
Running while watching the sun rises over the sea was absolutely an awesome experience. I just can't help it to stop occasionally to enjoy the view and also to snap some photos.
Started while it was still dark and I ended my run when the day is already bright and lively.

After running by the port area the day before; I decided that it was too cold to do any running at the same place on Day 6 of our vacation.
So instead, I chose to run by a castle park - the Tamamo-Koen park nearby. At first I had the intention of doing a longer run so I woke up earlier and hit the pavement at 6.00am but after a bit of running, the blister on my left heel started to bother me. Started out with a plan to do a 10K run but only managed to do 6K. huhuhu
Can you see a couple running way in front of me? I wasn't the only crazy one to do this, you know. LOL
Since the blister bothered me a bit, I had to do this while travelling in trains, to relieve both leg fatigue (from continuous walking not so much the running) and to avoid the blister being compressed. My feet doesn't smell, I promise!

Monday, 12 December 2011

Generous People

During this vacation of ours, we have had a lot of invitation to meet up, but because of the little time we have and conflicting schedule with most of them; we were only able to meet up with a couple of them.

Firstly, thank you to Hanny in Kitakyushu, who had been kind enough to accomodate us coming to meet despite the last minute arrangement not to mention late night meet-up. We were finally able to meet with her two lovely sons. ^^

In Tokyo, a blogging friend; Minoru had kindly invited us over to his home for dinner and Raimie had a ball of time there.
Raimie learning to play ping-pong. Then, it was time for Daddy to have a friendly game with Minoru.
 After a bit of exercise; then it was time to do some "brain exercise", playing Othello board game.
and learning to make paper cranes with Minoru's lovely wife. Afterwards, Raimie spent till midnight trying to make paper cranes on his own in our hotel room.

It was a lovely evening and before we knew it; it was time to head back to our hotel room. To both Hanny and Minoru & wife, thank you very much for your kind hospitality.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

New Toys

Raimie has been a pretty happy boy this vacation. This is the one time he's allowed to use the money allocated to him to buy anything that he wants, provided that it doesn't exceed the set limit. It's not free money though, it's his own savings for the year that we allow him to use once a year to splurge on toys and games. And what did he get so far? A Nintendo 3DS and a few games to go with it. By the way, it cost 15,000yen in Japan; which is about RM600.00 and if bought in Malaysia, we need to pay RM1,139.00 for the same game! Good savings, eh?

Having the games allows him to not get too bored when we take a long train journey while zipping through the length and breadth of Japan. And most probably would help to pass time on the Air Asia flight back home in a few days too.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Head Not Screwed Right, Part II

This time, I went out for a run at a more sensible hour; at 9.00am. Despite the good intention to wake up at 5.00am, I overslept till 7.00am. Had nice hot spring bath to warm up my cold muscles and then both me and hubby went out for a walk at the nearby lake, marveling at the beautiful autumn colours.
After an hour of walking around, Zaini headed back to our hotel to have more soaking in the hot spring while I spent about half an hour running along the river that leads towards the Lake Kirinko.
That's my game plan (or rather running plan) during this vacation. Stick to a run near a river or by the seaside; to ensure I don't get lost and don't know my way back to the hotel. 

If you've watched Japanese movie/drame/anime, you'd notice that there are plenty of walkway by the river in Japan. Right? ^^

Monday, 5 December 2011

His 9th Birthday

was on Dec 2nd. My oh my... Time sure flies. One moment he was a baby cradled in my arm and then now, he's already such a big boy already!
 A low key celebration with just the three of us and a small cake on the big day.
and the day after, we went to get/give him his birthday present. A visit to Huis Ten Bosch in Nagasaki Prefecture and having fun with One Piece attraction. That's him in front of a life-size "Thousand Sunny" ship before getting onboard it and sailed off for a while.

It was a great day. He even got to eat a cake made by Auntie Hanny later in the evening and meeting up with her sons.


Saturday, 3 December 2011

Head Not Screwed Right, Part I

OK, this is gonna be some updates on my running endeavours while on vacation. If someone willing to get up at some odd hours and instead of enjoying some leisurely time, she/he instead choose to get up and huff & puff running around at some unfamiliar places, her/his head must not be screwed on properly, right? LOL
Woke up at 5.00am and hubby accompanied me to a nearby park & stadium a few hundred metres away from our hotel. Since I'm already up and about, despite the drizzle and freezing cold; I went ahead and did a couple of loops there. Zaini on the other hand, after deciding the place was safe to leave me alone to run, decided to head back to the comfort of our warm hotel room.

Running in the cold weather is such a different sensation for me. It was really nice and without the feeling of overheating much.

As I only allocated 30 minutes for my run, I only managed to do a 5K run but it's a run with lots of stops to take photos. Who cares about pace, mileage or timing when running on vacation. I just want to enjoy myself and enjoy myself I sure did!

By the way, for tohose running races this weekend, all the best and have fun! *^-^*

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Will You Stop Looking At The New Arrivals?

That's what my poor long, suffering hubby would say everytime we hit the sports store and I go, look and touch a new pair of shoes on display. It's automatic. I don't know whether it's the way the shoes are displayed but even if the shoes aren't on my eye-level, my attention would go to the newest,  most striking and mostly most expensive pair of shoes there.

I was looking a pair of trail shoes and of course the ones I like are the ones with the most "blinding" colour - think bright purple with dash of lime green or pink; and it's equally "blinding" price tag too. LOL

Anyway, after trawling more than a dozen sports stores, and the fact that I might not need the trail shoes that bad yet, I got myself this pair of Nike running shoes instead. It is imperative for me to have one pair of running shoes that isn't so obviously "running shoes" i.e. white. That said, I was enthralled with a pair of Newton shoes that I tried at Key Sports. But at RM599, I'll take a rain check. ^^!
It's a marked-down priced shoes (horror! kakaka) and for the time being I'll use it mainly as a walking shoe during my vacation. Though I hope to throw in a couple of runs in the next two weeks too. ^^

And for Raimie; who told me after the IOI Community Run that he wishes to join running races too, we got him this pair of shoes.
I wish I had registered both of us to the Desa Park City Run. The next race that allows children participation which Raimie can enter will be the Larian Jom Kitar Semula 2011 on Dec 18th, a few days we come back from our vacation. I wanted to enter, but Zaini's been keeping quiet about it so I don't know whether he agrees for Raimie to join the Run too. Fingers (and toes) crossed! xD

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Food "Loading"

People talk about carbo-loading before a marathon and here I am, loading myself with Malaysian food before our vacation.

Had Nasi Lemak for breakfast five days in a row in place of my usual muesli (and managed to gain 1kg because of it) huh!

Dinners for the week had been either tomyum, curry or masak lemak. Lots of curries. I love my curries but I can't indulge in them much, especially if I plan to do an evening run that day.
We had Pan Mee last night. Raimie and I had the dry ones and Zaini had the soup ones. It had been so long since we last ate pan mee and it taste sooooooo good especially with the sauce. Oh gosh! I'm making myself hungry again! LOL

I may be eating a lot of non-Malaysian fare while I'm in Malaysia but you know, I'll start having a hankering for sambal belacan once I'm out of this country! *^-^*

Saturday, 26 November 2011

I'm Always Hungry!

Lately, I'm always hungry and if I'm not careful; despite the mileage I put on each week with my running shoes, I'll end up  being heavier than before I started running.
I used to be have problem finishing this burger and nowadays, I finish them off without any help from my hubby. 

So to keep the hunger pangs at bay, I'm choosing (or trying to choose) healthier food and not just any random, fat-bursting, cheap food options.

No more nasi lemak for breakfasts (except maybe once or twice a month) and the same goes for roti canai too. More muesli, oats and fruits.

For lunch, I choose more vegetables too. Been taking a lot of tempe for my protein intake too lately.

Dinners meant something lighter but I am guilty of not being able to stay away from my usual Mamak curry. Hey! I just run more after those curry indulgence (and suffer heartburn doing it) LOL
and this... some random photo of a pasta dish I cooked after my IOI Community Run last week. Pasta with tomato sauce and canned sardines.  I devoured this within minutes. HUNGRY!!!! 

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Reduce To Clear

The scrooge in me simply love digging through the "reduce to clear" pile at Cold Storage and get stuff for less price than it originally cost. Yes, the fruits are slightly bruised but most of them are perfectly fine to eat. Same goes for the vegetables too.

But I find that the clearance pile at other supermarkets do not have the same "quality" as the ones at Cold Storage. I mean, if the produce sold at 50% are already decomposing, they shouldn't be selling them at all, right? They should just throw them away. Or sell them at a more reasonable price in the first place so that people can actually afford to buy them.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Books For A Treat

I've been guilty of not buying or reading any books lately. It seems like I had too much on my plate that I can't sit still and enjoy a good book. :(

Anyhoo, as a treat for Raimie's good results at school, he asked for me to buy him some books and of course, I happily obliged. ^^

One book was about drawing (which by the way, he loves to do) and the other was a Malay book. If you read my earlier post, you'd know that he needs to be better in his Malay language!

And I can't resist picking up a book for myself too. I haven't started reading it proper yet, just a few pages. I'm pacing myself (heh!) because I plan to read it all while we are flying for 6-7 hours to Tokyo! *^-^*

Sunday, 20 November 2011

It's Not PBIM But I'll Live...

* PBIM - Penang Bridge International Marathon

There'll sure be a deluge of race reports posted for those who participated in the PBIM and I'll have loads of fun reading them soon, I bet! :) And congrats to all those running and finishing PBIM! You guys did great!!!!

For me, no PBIM yet. Instead, on the same day the PBIM, I joined the IOI Community Run and did 7.7K. My last race for the year. I would love to join some of the races scheduled in December but we'll be away and I value my vacation more than running a race! xD

The day prior to the Run was ominous for me.

On Saturday, we endured traffic jam from Seri Kembangan all the way to IOI Mall in Puchong, because I needed to pick up my race kit. Arriving there, and going in the mall, I realised that I somehow lost the parking ticket that Zaini passed to me moments earlier. After searching for it in futile, I told the now already pissed-off Zaini to let it go because I'll just pay for the lost ticket. What for frowning and fretting over split milk, right? Especially if it's me who had done the spilling! xD

I woke up at 4.00am on race day to get ready (which includes a whole load of stretching) and at 5.30ish, the rain decided to pour. Zaini already *complained* about the ungodly hours I wanted us to be at Bandar Puteri (6.30am, by the way) and the jam, the lost parking ticket and now the rain, I was ready to DNS (did not show) the race! But of course, Zaini drove me there without much prodding despite me telling him that it's OK if I don't run today. Ah, all the drama!  Kakaka
Arriving the race venue, the first order of business was making a pit-stop. I had my first toilet break at the market nearby, the Puteri Mart. Of course plenty of other runners making a stop there too. *^-^*
The stage area. The warm-up session and kickboxing session were held here later, by Fitness First Instructors.
My own warm-up session. Raimie sportingly accompanied me while I was warming up. There sure were plenty of runners putting on their game face, doing their warm-up sessions. Hmmm... I thought all hardcore runners had gone to Penang.

Then another pit-stop at the portable toilet. Loooong queues there.
and then, the warm-up session by Fitness First. Can't really see the stage area and didn't really understand the lady who were giving instruction. I thought she said "break" when she meant "breathe". Adoila... make sure your pronunciation correct or people like me cannot understand what you were saying. huhuhu
At the start of the Run. Can't really run any faster since the human traffic was bad. xD It took an effort to swerve amongst the runners and it sure didn't help when after 150-200m from the starting line, there was already an incline runners had to face. Plenty of runners decided to stop and walk. I know I'm not fast but in my mind, I was like - "Keep to the left, keep to the left folks" to the walkers just to avoid colliding into them especially those who sprinted as suddenly as they stop in the middle of the lane. ;p

I was running blind in this race, that is to say; I have no idea how the route was beforehand. And for some reason, my Nike+ started to register my mileage in miles instead of KM and I really don't know how to translate my pace in miles! @.@

I decided to run at a conservative pace and checking on how far I ran only occasionally because I had to mentally convert the miles I clocked in back to KM. Maths so early in the morning! Ugh, my head hurts! Kakaka

Three inclines later, I arrived at the water station. I was hoping for a Gatorade drink (after all, Gatorade supported this Run) but only gotten lukewarm plain water. I should've brought my own bottle. :(

As with my trainings, I realised that I am now becoming quite lazy in pushing myself. I mean, you won't see me running at a  pace that made me wanna puke anymore these days. Also, I only can pick up my pace later in the run, usually in KM3-4 despite doing all the warm ups earlier. I wonder how I can rectify this and yet not make me hit the wall way before  the finish line?
One of the early arrivals, puking. I think Zaini told me that he was in top 5 or something.
A few more metres towards the finish line! Wooohooo!
Barely managed to get one of the limited medals given out. 200 medals for Men Open and just 100 medals for Women Open. Raimie told me that I am great and that's all I need! ^^
I think I only saw two group of runners in costumes. One guy (whom I think I saw at PNM too), running in a white work shirt and holding an Astro boy figure and this family here. Cute, aren't they?
There were clowns at the Run
and few carnival games too. The Oligo stand had a looooong queue so I skipped that, queued for my goodie bag instead (another looooooong queue) while Zaini went and pick up a few cups of  lukewarm Gatorade for me.

There were plenty of traffic drama during the race. In between the route and at intersections, we could hear vehicles honking and drivers complaining to traffic police about the hold-up. I heard one traffic police saying "Keep on honking" to those irate drivers. LOL

Then, at the start/finish line where all the runners are now milling around, a car decided that it had to pass  through that road and were honking aggressively. Even if all these runners gave way to him, he definitely couldn't pass through because of the medal and certificates table were blocking/closing the road. And runners were still arriving to the finish line! The driver was booed loudly but I think that he felt that we runners somehow did him wrong because he actually stepped out from his car to pick a fight. Like, for real? What makes him and his one, single car so special against 4,000 runners, anyway? We runners pay our road tax for our vehicles too, you know. Unless of course, he owned the road lah...
We didn't wait for the lucky draw and decided to head back early and had our breakfast at Bandar Puchong's McD. Breakfast for me was hotcakes because I needed my sugar boost!

Raimie was stoked and had actually said that he wanted to enter a race in future. OK, so now Mommy just needs to find a fun run to run with her son! :)


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