Life’s not a sprint; It’s a marathon

This week, I’ve been thinking a lot about how much my mind affects my running. And how the heck I will survive my first half marathon for HSN21km on the 8 October, 2016. The way I feel on race day can have a huge impact on how I do overall!

Marathon signs, they are everywhere at races. Before you start, at the porta porties, aid stations, finish line and after party! So, for today, I am taking a break from normal training talk for just a little bit of fun!

Do you pay attention to signs while running?

Then, I thought to myself……..Don’t be worried lah, if I see a lot of people passing me by…I will just have to remember, the story about the tortoise and the hare…LOL

Hmmmm…you know, life is toooooo short to be afraid to do things!  I don’t want regrets. One day, I won’t be able to run. But today I can…..and I will!!

Am I brave? Brave enough to tackle a race? Any distance? Strong enough not to bail at the starting line? It takes courage to line up to run a race…….

So, When I decided that I wanted to run a half marathon, I thought I was crazy…Insane……What the heck was I thinking? Just because I’ve run half dozen or so races, I all of a sudden think I’m qualified to run a half marathon? Absolutely not!! Does it scare me??? YES!!! But I’m going to do it anyway! See you at HSN21km on the 8 October, 2016 at Dataran Merdeka.

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F.E.A.R = Forget Everything And Run

Needless to say, my emotions are kicking into overdrive at this point. I woke up this morning and started crying….Yeah, as if my pet cat died or something…..but I do not even have a pet cat……Hmmmm…. Yeah, crying for NO REASON AT ALL! I can’t stop picturing the race. I am completely distracted 100% of the time because I am in Half Marathon Mode!! Ohhhhhhh…my inner crazies and voices in my head are having lots of conversations lately…..Here’s some of it:-

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  • I am feeling ANXIOUS :- 8 October, 2016 is just two weeks away, which at times feels like it’s right around the conner and other times feels like it’s still a far- off date. Part of me wants another full month to train but another, bigger part of me wants to run this thing tomorrow!
  • I am feeling NERVOUS :- Ohhhhhhh..yeahhh…Obviously, I think this is the strongest emotion I am feeling right now. I’m nervous my stomach won’t be strong shape on race day. I’m nervous I won’t sleep the night before the race. I’m nervous I’ll forget something. I’m nervous I won’t be able to stick with my goal pace. I’m nervous about the course. I’m nervous about the hills. I’m nervous I am not going to make everyone proud. Hmmmm…Yeah….I’m kind of nervous.
  • I am feeling DISTRACTED :- It’s amazing I am able to get work done during the day. All I really want to be doing is going out for a run/ training or I want to talk to anyone who will listen about training.
  • I am feeling PREPARED :- Most of my marathoner friends keep saying ‘trust your training, Chrisy!’ I know I have it in me to bang out 21 km.
  • I am feeling EXCITED :- Obviously, right?? I’m going to run HSN21km- Half marathon for the first time!
  • I am feeling HUMBLE :- Being HSN21km’s official blogger. It’s mind blowing to be able to embark my first ever half marathon for Hari Sukan Malaysia, 8 October 2016 at Dataran Merdeka.
  • I am feeling PROUD :- regardless of what happens on race day, I am proud to be part of HSN21KM. I am proud of the effort I’ve put forth and I’m proud of my unwavering dedication to my cause and to my training.

The next few days are going to be a little crazy, I predict. I will probably cry a lot in anticipation, because I am a basket case..So for now, Hubby and I decided to take our parents and children for a short getaway this weekend to Penang Island to chill out with my BFF and her family..just to get things out from my mind for a while…

 

AXA Hearts in Action Run 2016 – Race Review

The mind of a runner is a wonderful but at the same time terrifying thing! Don’t believe me? Well, here is my story:-

My favourite part about racing is shockingly, not the running part but the habits I form before and after the races that makes me feel like I’m part of a tribe of sorts. A tribe of crazy people who wake up at 3 a.m to run as fast as I can for a certain distance, all to receive a medal. There’s also the really cool part of donating to charity and running for a cause, just like AXA Hearts in Action!

Anyways, the rituals- it’s having enough sleep the night before, the drinking of lot of water, the carb-heavy meal and the coffee in the morning. It’s the encouraging text message, and the scrambling to find parking and use of pinning of the bibs that keep me coming back, race after race.

However, this definitely wasn’t the race I was hoping for and not the recap I really wanted to write, but sometimes races don’t go the way we’d hoped.

img-20160925-wa0024.jpgI woke up with a rumbly stomach but managed to eat and chalked it up to race day jitters. My hubby and Amisha-my 2nd daughter, aged 11 and I ran the AXA Hearts in Action @ Cyberjaya. Mia and my hubby ran the 6 km, while I ran 12 km. It was indeed awesome to see father and daughter running together- it helped each other push a little bit harder.

The event started with a warm up Zumba session by Celebrity Fitness-which mostly none of the participants could follow their moves and techniques. However, it was fun, shaking, bouncing, wiggling around with over 5000 participants. At 6.45 am, the 12 km runners were all ready at the starting line- we were briefed by the Emcee and the race director. However, the briefing was unclear and blurry. To what I have observed, this race had many first timers/ beginners. Let me also give you a picture of the course….downhill…..downhill……….wind at your back……..slight uphills…turn around, Go into the tunnel…..U- Turn and run back up those damn hills…

The food trucks and tents were located right next to the start/finish all awaiting the finishers. Downside- the porta potties. Not that there’s much of a chance for them to the upside, but the lines were long and they were far from clean and sanitary- flip side:- desperate times calls for desperate measures.

The Atmosphere:- One of the best feelings is standing at the start line. You can feel the energy pulse through the crowd. It’s positive. It’s upbeat. It’s anxious. And it’s awesome!

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Race:- I am not being dramatic when I say this, but I was so impressed by those running around (and past) me. It was hot, humid and hilly, but even though it was evidence we were all struggling , everyone pushed on.At 3 km, it appeared that some runners for the 6 km run somewhere along the route, someone took a wrong turn and all the other 6 km runners followed! A police traffic had to come to the rescue to re-direct the 6 km runners back to their original route. My poor little girl and hubby had to run an extra 1 km due to this technical error. Runners were running practically everywhere-left side of the road, right side of the road, in the middle of the road…ah yo yo yo yo….To make matters worst, cars, buses, motorcycles were zooming by ourside too….

Water station:- There were 3 water stations for the 12 km route. However sad to say that it was badly manned. Volunteers did not know what to do, how to handle the crowd. The paper cups were just stacked up and runners had to pour their own water into the cups- imagine a scene from a cartoon where lots of kites flying up above the sky..well, instead of kites- it was paper cups flying all around….I skipped two water stations due to the chaos – afraid of wasting time, precious minutes……

Then my thoughts started to ponder and wonder……RUN……FOREST……RUN!!! And you know what happened next? My endomondo stopped and said…..You have reached your destination and goal- 12 km but when I looked ahead, I noticed a sign that said 1 km to go (the one and only sign)…..I was just tiny bit delirious.(overall total distance 12.7 km)

What perhaps wasn’t so positive (but ultimately maybe is in the hands of the organisers- lack of proper signages/ marker course/ directions/ marshalls) or should I say, they were extremely non-existance!

Now, its not like I was the only runner out there suffering. Everyone I passed or passed me was working so incredibly hard. There were no smiles, laughter or jokes. It was all hard work.

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We’ve all had them. They are inevitable. A part of life. Sometimes for no reason at all. Nothing to point to. Or everything to point to! THE BAD RUN! We hate it but it’s bound to happen from time to time. Try to remember you are not alone.Sometimes focus on the end game. Be present. The bad runs build our true strength. As in life, when you have tough days, tough experiences, learn how to see the big picture. Bottom line? Learn from the run (Organisers as well as runners) Embrace the suck! and kick your next run in the teeth!

Stay healthy, and there will be future races and for every bad race, there will surely be some great ones!

HSN21km – The journey continues

fb_img_1472186323757.jpgI have been a runner for some time now, and well….I love it! My weekly milage has been steadily increasing and I feel great! My next challenge…or should I say, next on my bucket list- to sign up and run my first half marathon and well in the moment of excitement- I DID IT! HSN21km 2016

I spent a day or two flying high with the anticipation of gliding across the finish line and wearing a medal around my neck, while excited fans hand me roses…well, at least that was my fantasy….LOL

Then, a couple days later, fear and negativity has taken hold of me. A half marathon is 13.1 miles or 21 km. Then, I started wondering what was I thinking when I typed in those credit card numbers, selected my shirt size and hit send. I was even comtemplating to work out a good excuse to send the race director an email…hmmm

Orait! Orait! Stop right there!

Race jitters are common, so I have heard, especially among the first-time distance runners. Here are my top 5 biggest fears that I must conquer before my race. Here’s what I am scared of:-

  1. It’s so long :- 13.1 miles or 21 km is far! Then when you get to mile 6 and you realised that you aren’t even halfway done and you think to yourself…”Ohhh Nooooooooo!
  2. Hills :- The hills are alive. Running a race up and down through hills is a scary thought….But remember, what goes up, must come down..soooo I shall look forward for the downhills….and shout all the way down…..gravity…gravity….
  3. Going out fast and dying :- I tend to get excited when I’m about to run a race, and then I go out super fast. In a 5 km I can kind of get away with it; but I’m betting if I go out like a speed racer on HSN21km I’ll have serious regrets at mile 9 when I feel  like my legs are made of jelly and I’m asking people for piggy back rides.
  4. The time :- The race starts at 6 a.m, which means I’m gonna have to get up at 3 a.m or some ungodly early time…How am I supposed to race if I fall asleep two miles in?
  5. I’m completely out of my league :- What if all of these people have been training better than me? What if I have no idea what I’m doing? What if I just want to lie down at mile eight? What if I can’t even finish? AHhhhHHHhhhHHhh…

Dear runners,

Of course, I wouldn’t be doing this if I wasn’t excited..Here’s what’s going to be awesome during HSN21KM on the 8th October 2016:-

#1 The course/route :- Running my first half marathon in the heart of Kuala Lumpur City Center. At least I’ll have lovely tall iconic buildings and scenery to distract me.

#2 Family:– I will have my hubby a.k.a my sole mate, running and embarking this journey with me.

#3 Racing:- I love running race. It’s so much fun, the anticipation, the adrenaline, runner’s high at times, hitting the wall sometimes and even pushing myself.

#4 Finishing:- Duhhhh…..the best feeling….I’m already looking forward to crossing that finish line, accomplishing my first half marathon, getting home, showering, feeling awesome, and eating lots of food to refuel…(Keeping my fingers…ehem as well as my toes crossed…Lol)

I’ll let you know how I do it! Just a few days and counting……See you at Dataran Merdeka on the 8th October, 2016 for HSN21KM

Compressport Run September 18- Race Review

The alarm clock ( I have a Justin Beiber song for my wake up “race” alarm, not normal for a mother of 3) went off at 3.48 a.m (lucky number maa…) on Sunday morning. I did the normal discussion in my head, “WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS….My bed is so comfortable and I am so sleepy and tired!” That happens each time I get up crazy early for a race. I usually continue this discussion all the way until we get to the starting line. Then once the excitement builds, I see all of the other runners, I wake up a bit and remember why I do it!

There were 2,000 runners but it never felt too crowded. Sure the start is always packed, but there were plenty of times during the race that I felt like I had all the room in the world.

Sharp 6 a.m.- 21.1 km were flagged off! A few minutes later, finally after a bit of milling around when I thought I was going to be sick with nerves, the air horn goes off and the 10km were off! There was some jostling for position at the front and I was glad I was in the middle with the “fun” runners. As I suspected the excitement had me setting off a bit quicker than I would usually and I was glad that my muscles were already warmed up. For the first 2km the group I was running in stayed more or less together. A few people passed me. I passed a few people. We were all finding our own race to run.

At about 5km, my group started to separate, with some falling behind and others pulling ahead. There was a water station at this point with a few runners gulping down a quick drink (There were two other stations on course at 2.5km and one at the 8km)

By 7km we’d thinned out until I was run/walking with a couple and their toddler in a stroller and with the same 3 or 4 people I stayed with for the rest of the race. I knew that because I was run walking and the volunteers would encourage and smile and cheer at me to keep running-there’s a lot of camaraderie!

img-20160919-wa0008.jpgMost of the route was flat and I haven’t run around Cyberjaya much before so it was nice to see a new area. The KM points were well placed and I was feeling quite good watching each km go past. Seeing the 21.1km runners-front runners fly by was incredible-It amazes me that pretty much they were running twice the speed that I was running-including my hubby…..fuh yoooooo!

Each 2 km of the race was flagged with a sign, so I knew when I was entering the very last section. I finished my race with a smile on my face, not because it’s over but because I worked through my emotions and ran a solid run.

To me, race day is a funny thing. It can be the source of your greatest triumph or the cause of your deepest sorrows. It can make you love yourself and hate yourself at the same time. So my fellow runners out there, run the race because you love to run, NOT because you want to achieve something!

In terms of the race itself- I would give this race a massive thumbs up as from my perspective it was quite well organised. I have nothing but amazing things to say about Compressport Run 2016. The course was excellent, the support from friends and spectators was awesome! The staff and volunteers were beyond amazing. I will absolutely be back next year!

DPulze 5KM Fun Run- Race Review

Life is not just meant to be lived- it’s meant to be experienced.

Sure, anyone can go jogging, but the experience in a fun run lies in running together towards a common goal of reaching the finish line.

Thank you Dpulze for making our first 5 KM family fun run absolutely spectacular! Friday evening- Malaysia Day, 16 September was a gorgeous day….We couldn’t have asked for better weather. And all who participated, whether it was by running, walking, volunteering, cheering, fundraising, made the event a success and a ton of fun!

We had over 300 participants in the 5 KM Fun Run. However, it could have been more awesome if before the flag off- our National Anthem could have been sung (since it was Malaysia Day)

Race kit pick up was a breeze. Met the organisers, walked right up, grabbed our T-shirts, bib and buff. Sharp 6p.m, we bagan our warm up session by the Celebrity Fitness-crazy creative. I loved it!

The race was a loop around Cyberjaya. Lots of rolling hills which my quads did not love! But I loved how different it was….running with my mum, dad, hubby and my 3 children.

We finished the race strong. This race was strictly a “fun” race so no clocks, chips or stop watches were involved. As always, it’s nice to run by feel and solely for FUN!

(AFTERMATH)

My hubby, Amisha (the birthday girl-born on Malaysia Day) and Avinash, my son reached pretty much earlier than all of us at 40 minutes….impressive! I arrived 5 minutes later, grabbed water and watched everyone else come in. The positive vibes radiating from the crowds were unbelievable! It was so cool to see so many people of different demographics coming together to run and support each other in a totally non-competitive environment.

It was so nice to care more about our quality time, family bonding time instead of keeping pace throughout the race. We made so many awesome memories, laughed until our sides ached and got some really great pictures!

A great race doesn’t come from a PR or new attained distance, but more from the memories and lessons you take away from them. As always, I was reminded of how much I love this sport and how special it is to share it with my favourite people ever-Mum, Dad, Hubby and my 3 children- Anjali, Amisha and Avinash.

It was a fun little event, too bad that more people didn’t show up but I am hoping that if Dpulze do it again, the word will get out! The route was nice, even though, the roads were not fully closed however, the organisers ensured all safety measures for all the participants, there were a lot of “RELA” on duty, the traffic police were everywhere and they were on duty until all runners arrived and the race ended, water stations were well organised…..Great little course,fun volunteers, nice little running community- what more could you ask and want in a running event!

Well done, Dpulze 5KM Fun Run- Malaysia Day 2016!

Don’t run from difficulty- Run into it!

Running is one of the most natural things a human can do, even though a lot of the time it feels like quite the opposite! With that being said, the time has come for me to embark on the journey of running my first half marathon -HSN21Km on the 8 October 2016.

Many runners told me that it can be a life-changing event. At present I am both excited and nervous about it but I have been training so hopefully that will stand to me come race day.

With that mindset locked and loaded- Hmmmmm….life is short and we only get to live it once! I want to look back and say I did crazy things!

Sooooooooooooo, sign up now to HSN21KM before it closes tonight- midnight!  www.hsn21km.com