Vampire VS Zombie Virtual Race

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Super? Scary? Super scary, or just plain silly? Whatever you do, don’t look back! Don’t stop! Run! Run! Run!

With Halloween creeping up on us, there are a few great ways to not only celebrate Halloween and keep your fitness, but also to have fun and stay healthy! A new way to trick or Treat!

Vampire VS Zombie Race…WOW, that 5K run was awesome! Really…….you had to be there! OK! OK! I didn’t really……

That’s the beauty of a fast-moving trend in running: the virtual race. Runners sign up for events, receive the usual swag, such as finisher medal or T-Shirt, then run the distance at any time and on any route that works for me. Avoiding the Porta-Potty Lines is a bonus.

While I was running this morning, my thoughts went to Cinderella. Why Cinderella?? Because she is one happy motivated runner. Snow White- not a runner, Cinderella is a runner, although not the most practical, glass slippers and all. She is happy and motivated. Sure, she had struggles. Sometimes it’s hard to get motivated for exercise. Cinderella started off with the same running issues anyone could have: a slave to housework, negative nagging family members, a bad job and heavy work demand. Then she tossed off the glass slippers and went out for a night run. The rest is history. The moral of the story: “Running brings you happiness” and perhaps a pumpkin carriage, a big castle and  prince charming…LOL

With that in mind, I have completed my Vampire VS Zombie Virtual 5KM Race…So what are you waiting for???

Sign up now http://beestorm.com.my/vampirevszombie

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Great Eastern Bubble Dash 2016 – Race Review

Last weekend, we packed up the kids and headed off for a family adventure! The Great Eastern Bubble Dash Run 2016. I didn’t think that it was impossible to have fun at a race because I’ve had fun at lots of races. I just didn’t think it was possible to run a race with the sole purpose of having fun without worrying about time and pace…..and so I challenged myself and I decided to run (Hmmm….walk) the Great Eastern Bubble Dash 5 KM Run…..for fun!

In order to prepare for the fun, I registered my three children to run with me! If I am really determined to have fun, trust me, that’s the way to do it! Run with your kids (oooohhhh…and it’s healthy fun too, bonus!)

The Great Eastern Bubble Dash Run had all sorts of deals on Facebook and it was one of those races that was the right price and looked like fun! We arrived about 45 minutes early and found ourselves a spot in line, at the front. As soon as we got near the stage, we could hear the music and feel the excitement. We instantly joined the crowd. The race started in waves and it took awhile for all the 11K participants to be flagged off.

If you are a serious runner, this probably isn’t the race for you. If you are up for fun and just want to take your time, this one is for you. We took our time, we walked, we ran, we jumped, we skipped, we danced almost all of it, it was to congested and crowded to run. I just let the kids enjoy every moment! We stopped at all the bubble stops to make sure that we got blasted with as much bubbles as possible! There were only 4 bubble stops in total. ( The emcee mentioned 7 bubble stops- many were out of order) the starting line, pink, green, blue & yellow. The amount of bubbles you encountered was up to you: walk on the outside and you’d get less of the bubbles or stay towards the middle and you could walk right under the bubble machines. However, for a crowd of 11K participants- the bubble stops were to small.

When we arrived at the finish line, we were dissapointed! The last bubble machine was not functioning- out of order! What a bummer! The children and I were hoping for a grand finale blast of bubbles…..only to be let down..(Burst our bubbles….)

After crossing the finish line..there were no volunteers to guide our directions – to get our goodies, Food and beverages and medals?? We ended up walking endlessly until we noticed a long, long, long, long queue. We were the first 2000K batch that arrived, therefore we were early. After standing in the queue for quite a while, we were given a banana, energy drink and our medals. (For the price that we paid-totally not worth it) The volunteers used scissors to cut our bibs (safety should be considered for the children)

OVERALL:-

  1. RPC venue was not a very good location/ not a strategic location. Traffic jam and no parking facilities.
  2. Medals- So flimsy/ medal with plain lanyard (Quality of medal) A medal means a lot to a participant, a runner, as an accomplishment and satisfaction to be a finisher)
  3. No finisher T- Shirt for 21 KM runners, it was hard to even differentiate the 12 KM and 21 KM runners.
  4. Medal collection – It was a horrendous experience for lots of participants. The 5 KM Bubble Dash Run participants were pushing, shoving, arguing etc- congestion at the medal collection tent.

It is all about mistakes and learning from them. I happen to believe that there is no such thing as a bad run or race, as long as we learn from it. Yes, we all will experience runs and races we’d define as terrible. Chin up, they happen! But if you learn something- be it the management, the organising, logistics, pacing, mental focus, what to wear, eat, whatever- those lessons prepare you for better runs and races in the future!

I think, we accomplished our goal for the day…….FUN RUN!

My sister’s story-With Love from Abu Dhabi

Dear runners,
My mind took me on an incredible journey back to the finish line of the HSN21KM-that’s how powerfully that feeling hit me!No matter what type of race you compete in, from a 5K to an Ultra-Marathon, there is nothing like the feeling of crossing the finish line and the wave of accomplishment that flows through your body. You could be knocking at death’s door when you cross, but you can always find enough energy to raise your hands and head up high (before you collapse…LOL)
Here’s an inspiring letter /story from Joanne Wong- my sister, who stays, works and lives in Abu Dhabi. She has never ran a race in her entire life…..But Impossible became Possible!
I was all excited at 4,30 yesterday evening and went to collect my race pack with Jhum. Jhum has been working with me for the last 5 years. I managed to convince him to cancel his dental appointment. I queued in line and picked up the race kit. I went through it and was like a little girl opening a Christmas present. I came home, and rushed for Zumba and then showered and started to get the things ready for today. If not for your advise, I would be running around trying to get the stuff together. I reached a 5am and it was amazing watching the sun come up and the people start trickling in. I made sure I tied my timing chip to my shoe lace and even had time to get coffee from Costa. We chatted with the runners and took photos and then got so excited when they started to flag off the 10K, after the track was cleared we got ready to Go..

I told Jhum not to wait for me and he went off, I took my time, running and walking. The smile on my face when  saw 1KM, and the 2KM, had some water from the aid station and even walked passed Healthpoint, our parking area and finally back to the route, 3KM, 4KM and run all the way to the finishing line. Jhum was waiting at the line and took my picture. The amazing feeling, the basking in my achievement. I was nervous but you prepared me mentally and I knew what to expect. Wow!!!

About 2.5 KM, I think my right side of my chest started to hurt, I strapped my phone and car keys too tight, so I released and I felt better.
I don’t know what to say except I know now what you feel and experience when you do what you do.

Thank you for sharing this with me and thank you for encouraging and inspiring me. It took me a long time but I finally did it for me.

Precious Ladies N Men Run 2016

Make your probabilities become possibilities!

Are you ready to lace up and put on your running shoes and run for a good cause?

I run because I can…and for as long as I can, I will…..Why? Well, I know it sounds a little crazy, but here’s my story and here’s my reason:-

20160916_194648.jpgFinding out my mum had breast cancer is a conversation I will never forget. I’m the sort of person who likes problem solving, but the feeling of helplessness I had knowing there was nothing I could do to fix this situation was very difficult. Mum was so strong during the whole process. There was not a day that went by that she wasn’t smiling. She is a complete inspiration and so incredibly brave.

Everyone knows that running is a great way to get in top shape..Running is incredibly effective at making you healtier in a number of ways. For women, running can actually help lower your risk of breast cancer. It also helps reduce the risk of having a stroke.

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Precious Ladies N Men Run 2016 will be held on the 12 December (Monday- Public holiday) @ Padang Merbok Car Park, Jalan Parlimen. This run is a special run to me and it is very close to my heart. Why? It is organised by CentriSoh Sales & Marketing and technical support by Pacemakers Malaysia. A charity Run for hope, inspiration and motivation to women. The objective of this run is to increase and raise public awareness about the importance of cancer through healthy lifesytle. Parts of the proceeds from this event will be channeled to the National Cancer Society Malaysia.

When I was given the opportunity to write,run and be part of this event “Precious Ladies N Men Run 2016”, I was truly honored. Together with my mum and many other cancer survivors out there…..You are not alone! Let’s share this fight together….

Sign up now for Precious Ladies N Men Run 2016 at http://www.checkpointspot.asia

HSN21KM 2016- I DID IT!

This was my first ever half marathon, So I want to be light on any firm conclusions. I learned a lot today-mostly about myself and pushing my limits, so without further ado, let’s dive into the recap.

So after dreaming that I kept missing the race and waking up in a panic, my alarm finally went off at 3.15am. Race day morning was incredibly nerve-wracking! I was up way earlier than I needed to be. I forced some peanut butter and bread and some coffee down, while my stomach felt like it was flipping over.

The race started sharp at 6am (however, it could have been better if it started earlier at 5am) I was so lucky and blessed to have my hubby running with me. (He is in the running for Husband of the Year Award) Lined up at the start with my hubby, looking around at all these rugged, athletic, accomplished runners, I thought I was going to throw up. We heard the official- counting down and we all started shuffling. “I can’t believe I’m about to run 21km- A half Marathon. This is insane,” were my last words before we took off running and I was soon running along with my hubby, trying to soak it all in!

The beginning of the race was pretty crowded. Started down a side road and turned onto busy main road. The route led us into the city. There were aid stations about every 4 km. Sponges, energy drinks and water and bananas were generously provided by the organisers. My only real complaint about the route is that, runners were running along side with the traffic. There were marshals, traffic police, volunteers on standby, however, the route was pretty busy streets in the city (Flag off at 5 am could have been better, lesser traffic, can avoid the hot sun too) We crossed numerous streets amd traffic police were there to stop traffic. Volunteers at the aid stations were great and cheered us on. Otherwise, there  really were no spectators or supporters!

I was enjoying the crowds and crusing along happily putting no thoughts into what lay ahead. All I thought about was how this was my day! I had done the hard work and deserved to be there and it was absolutely spendid. Then I see the big hill coming up and felt like I could take on anything the world through at me. The route literally went up that hill so I mean it was right in my path. It wasn’t that steep but it just kept going. I noticed a lot of runners had to stop and walk at this point. My hubby kept telling me…….”just clear the hill because it’s all downhill from here”. After that Everest level climb to base camp, we come to a water station.

When I started the race, I was ecstatic (thoughts included:- This is incredible, I feel great! and “Why don’t I do marathons all the time?”) But let me assure you, by 15 km or 16 km, those thoughts were long gone…replacement thoughts: “WOW- my freaking body freaking hurts!) LOL

My runner friend- Jenn Lai did advised and told me “Stay hydrated” and say your mantra- 5 km, 5 km, 5 km, 5 km and before you know it, you have already reached the finish line!” That is when I had to have the inner pep talk to keep it going. I stopped and walked a bit at every aid station. Mostly so I could drink. I tried to pretend that I was a professional and run through and drink at the first aid station and almost died due to drowning, so I accepted that I lack a certain coordination and just walked through the rest.

About 17 km my lower legs felt fatigued. My legs became heavy. It was then I understood the mental aspect of endurance running- I would have to dig deep within myself to reach the finish line. Then came 18 km, my toes threatened to cramp so I wiggled them before each foot hit the ground again. My hips tightened. My shoulders tensed. I had become hyper-aware of each and every body part, those parts that hurt as well as those parts that didn’t. I shrank into my head, slowed to walk, and tried to imagine a pain worse than what I was feeling during this 18 km. I couldn’t think of one.. Then, hubby’s voice alerted me..”Almost there…..we are almost there!!”

Our final KM and I will have a finished! The true moment where I realize no matter how bad I may hurt, no matter how tired I am, I will be crossing the finish line-and more awesome- side by side with my hubby. Just run! Just run! It’s a personal taste of freedom only a runner knows when you have crossed the hump and will know that you finished the race! Grinning like an idiot and just loving every second of it and yet letting every second go by in a blur. All I know at that point was just to keep running and have my time! My hubby kept saying, “We are almost there! You are almost there!” I was staring at the finish line maybe 100 metres away and I never had such an urge in my life to just stop and walk….BUT NO WAY IN HELL was I going to give up now! At this point, I was just hoping I didn’t trip there at the end. I crossed the line and for the first time in my life I felt truly victorious! I finished in 3:23. So I think I need to step up my game. Now excuse me while I go do the happy pappy dance!

OVERALL:-

Overall this was a great race. It started on time (however, it could have been even better if started earlier), was well organised, had a nice route (hopefully, the next time- a full road closure would be better). Water and energy drinks about every 4 km and awesome volunteers. I was particularly impressed with the amount of manpower/ traffic police invested to make sure there was help when needed. It was enjoyabable to run on the road that we drive on every day. You can’t run freely in Kuala Lumpur roads without running the risk of getting run over or arrested for insanity! LOL

I might have crossed the finish line of HSN21KM Half Marathon, but I accomplished so much more! I pushed my limits and got to know myself. I am gonna cherish my finisher’s medal as if it were an Olympic Gold Medal, wear my 21 km finisher’s T-shirt every where and be all around obnoxious about a week..Then, I will chill out and begin to think about what my next endeavor might be……

So dear runners, If I can do it! YOU CAN DO IT! JUST RUN!!!! 

Tick tock…tick tock…24 hours before HSN21KM

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We’ve all had that dream, right?? The one where you’ve overslept before the race, forgotten your running shoes, or showed up at the start line in your pyjamas…LOL

Well, I may not be able to eliminate all the pre-race nerves- or even want to. After all, a bit of nervous energy can provide a competitive boost when the gun goes off. But in the interest of keeping my nerves in check- and sleeping well tonight- Here are a few important steps I can and I will take to calm the butterflies and feel race-ready!

  1. TRUST THE TAPER :- At this point, the best thing I can do is trust the taper. This is the period of time that allows my muscles to recover and get ready for my race day effort. I’ve put in the hard work; the race is my reward- and a proper taper will help get me to the start line healthy. I will think of that antsy feeling as stored energy!
  2. GET INSPIRED :- Talk to my other half; or blah blah blah on blogs like this… Talking about my jitters can help ease them-and remind me that I am not alone!
  3. LAY OUT MY CLOTHES :- There’s nothing worse than running around on race morning searching for my bib or trying to find that left shoe,safety pin or hair tie. I am gonna set out everything I need, from attire to fuel to gear check bag tonight. I will feel prepared and I will get out the door more quickly too.
  4. SET TWO ALARMS :- I am worried about that early wake-up call! Hmmm…..I am gonna set two alarms to help me sleep easier tonight- and may just prevent a race-morning scramble. It will also give me time to digest that pre-race meal, and ensuring I am ready to go at the start line.
  5. ARRIVE EARLY :- Always………Always…. I planned to arrive early on race day tomorrow! and the closer to the time I can arrive, the better. I will feel calmer knowing I have plenty of time before the 6am start.

Remember my dear fellow runners, race day is your reward!

Just follow me…..take a few simple steps to ease those nerves and I am surely gonna make this journey- embarking my first ever half marathon at HSN21KM @ Dataran Merdeka as enjoyable and memorable as possible!

I will see you at the start!!!

It’s the final countdown – HSN21KM

Race day is almost here!

I can feel the butterflies in my tummy, my heart is already beating faster than usual, and I feel a little nervous thinking about how I am going to run the race set before me. I am feeling excited, nervous and a little apprehensive.

Well, whatever it is.. here are some things I am gonna do this week:-

  1. RELAX :- One of the best things I can do right now is chill. This week is about rest and short easy runs to stay loose.
  2. SLEEP :- I have found (anecdotally) that your most important night’s sleep could be 2-3 nights before the marathon/half marathon, so stockpile!
  3. EAT SMART :- I’m probably used to eating whatever I want during training. Hmmm…I will lay off that second dinner or late night snack this week, I will not gorge myself. I will avoid high fibre foods or anything fried. I will only eat predictable food that won’t upset my digestive system.
  4. I WILL CARRY A WATER BOTTLE :- I will be sipping water during the day and will monitor my pee to stay hydrated. Seriously! Urine too yellow? Drink more! Crystal clear? Back off! I’m looking for a lemonade shade….LOL
  5. GET OFF MY FEET :- Now isn’t the time to tackle that home project or explore a new hiking route. I am just going to do my normal routine, but will get off my feet whenever possible. I will also run according to my training plan and relax.
  6. TRY NOTHING NEW :- Race week isn’t the time to try new shoes, a new hydration strategy or a new racing shirt! If it hasn’t been tested (from gear to food), don’t try, don’t change.
  7. REFLECT :- Whatever my goals, whatever the outcome, I have worked hard to get here! I will do my best, I won’t quit and I will take pride knowing I am going to embark on this awesome journey!!