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Tough Mudder Sydney 2016

Pre-Tough Mudder

Flashback to the start of the semester (March/April), Luke and I were talking about taking on the TOUGH MUDDER OCR. Well, it was more of a challenge for me than for Luke. It would have been my first obstacle race and his 3rd. We continued talking about it for a few weeks but then we left it, mostly because of the cost (plus it was close to exams. I do not want to be smashed before my exams).

Fast-forward 2 months out from the race and they had a flash sale! Always keen when there’s a sale (The Asian in me is STRONG)! Luke took the initiative by setting up a FLO team. After more talk/considerations etc, we finally managed to form a committed TEAM of CRAZIES FLOBIES– Adele, Chris, Luke, Ross and Taylor (and Hannah, ish)!

With the buzz of uni/classes/work/life, we managed to schedule 3 training sessions together (big achievement!). I was in charge of turning everyone (and myself) into OCR pros (having no experience whatsoever) in less than 2 months. From what I roughly know about the course, obstacles, the event and the terrain, I came up with a few drills and bootcamp style training sessions.


 

TM Training 1.0

Agility Drills + Partner Bootcamp Style Circuit Workouts:IMG_6095 IMG_6094Sunny day!

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetThis was where Hannah made her one and only special guest appearance! <3

TM Training 2.0

Agility Drills + Partner Name-Game Full Body Workout:

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TM Training 3.0

Full Body Circuit with Weights:

IMG_7770As you can see, I was having a lot of fun watching from the sidelines. IMG_7771GET BACK TO WORK, PHIL!

Phil was just there for a good workout.IMG_7791 Looking good. 🙂


THE REAL DEAL – TOUGH MUDDER 2016!

8:00am – The plan was to LEAVE at 8am sharp. Obviously, that didn’t happen. Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

8:20am – Left Flo! Not too shabby, just 20 mins behind our scheduled departure time. I had Amy’s Grains for breakfast before we left. FUEL!

8:25amCOFFEE STOP! A must! #Priorities Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

1.5 hours of travel and jamming our way into Glenworth Valley.

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetMaking good use of our time.

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10-ish am – Arrival. Registered. Loaded up on protein bars. Put our bibs on. Toilet break. Sorted out our gear. DCIM102GOPRO

GROUP PHOTO! DCIM102GOPROIT WAS DRIZZLING throughout!

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetPre-race – Nice and clean.

11:15am – Group warm up session by the TM team. It was fun with the music blasting and a lot of jumping! It prepared both our minds and our bodies. Our muscles were warmed up and ready to FIRE!

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Then, we had the motivational speech because they decided that we needed MORE motivation. We made a pledge to help one another AND not race ahead (this was when the guys turned to look at me. HAHAHAHHA! What?). But no, I was not there to race.DCIM102GOPRO

Heading towards the starting line.

11:30am – 2:30pm ish

We started off nice and chill with a slow jog.

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Obstacles:

QUAGMIRE

The first challenge. It wasn’t Tough MUDder for nothing. This obstacle required jumping into a pool of MUD and climbing up mud walls. Nothing too difficult, just VERY muddy, slippery and smelly. The challenge (for me) was to NOT get mud into my eyes or ears.

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BIRTH CANAL

One of my favourite obstacles! I guess this is how “being born” feels like. We basically had to crawl through “canals” filled with water that were just inches off the ground. You’d have to face plant the muddy ground and squeeze your way through the gravel to get to the other side.

14682125_1111328515589390_3357340880152960040_oThe canals were SO heavy.

SKIDMARKED

The challenge was getting over the wooden board.

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Ross went up first while Luke stayed behind to haul the rest of us up and over! TEAMWORK!

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Things started to slow down. People were building up and we spent quite a bit of time waiting and queuing up. I was starting to feel COLD. It was drizzling when we started and for most part of the race. To keep warm, I had to sprint between obstacles. Ross and Luke were with me; and Taylor with Chris. We were able to catch our breath at every obstacle, which was good. Super fun!

KISS OF MUD 2.0

Oh yes, MORE MUD! Crawling through mud and mini mud bumps under barbwire.

14712832_1111329535589288_1740244761406289025_oI had fun sliding over the mud on my belly.

DEVILS BEARD

This obstacle was pretty redundant. We had to maneuver under a huge heavy netting. All I had to do was walk through because all the guys were holding it up and I couldn’t even reach to touch the net. HAHAHHAAHAHAH! #shortpeopleproblems

BERLIN WALLS

The typical wall climbs you find at bootcamps.

14682064_1109637685758473_5325999636765279261_oI enjoyed running through the muddy trails!

CLIFFHANGER

Right before this challenge, Chris jinxed himself into a not-so-glam fall in front of a crowd. TOO FUNNY! He burst out laughing too.

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Cliffhanger was all about hiking and climbing up a steep terrain. What goes up must come down. Being able to run downhill after was the BEST PART!

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Mineshafted was fun and easy. We had to slide through a tube tunnel into a pool of muddy water, walk across and climb up on the other side.

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RIVER ROPES

RIVER CROSSING! We had to swim across the icy cold river. Swimming was not an issue. The problem was that I had contact lenses and I had to keep my head out of the water.

When I saw that 6 footers just had their heads popping out of the water, it only meant one thing – DEEP! I had to tread the whole way through which was quite exhausting. When I reached the end of it, there was a mini queue to get onto the wooden ladder, which meant MORE treading. GAH! But it was all good, managed to keep my head out!

After that, we had a choice of running on dry land or taking the road less travelledmud, mud and MORE MUD! Ross and I went all out, splashing through the mud. We decided that we didn’t come all the way to run on non muddy grounds.

There was a water + fuel station right before the next obstacle. We stopped while waiting for the rest. Luke went missing for a bit. We were deciding between waiting and pressing on, because we weren’t sure if he went ahead without us! Thankfully, we saw his signature sprint from afar. The team was complete once again! WHOOP!

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This was probably the most challenging obstacle! We had to build a human pyramid to reach the top.

We decided that Ross would form the base but he could not get a good grip as the ground was too muddy and slippery. He managed to push Luke all the way up, with the help of other people at the top. Taylor and I had a bit of trouble because we were not tall enough to reach the hands of the people at the top! Just then, a group was forming a pyramid beside us. We gracefully climbed all over them to the top (with permission)! I was stepping on this guy’s arm, shoulder and possibly his head!

I slipped on my first attempt. Crashing all the way down was not glam, IT HURT! Thankfully, I managed on my second attempt, once again stepping all over other people. THANK YOU!

We could not have made it up without the help of other people! We stayed back to help, before moving on.

MUD MILE

The mud mile was basically just that, A MILE OF MUD! More splashing, slipping and sliding our way through the mud.

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After getting all muddy in the mud mile, it was time to clean off at the BLOCKNESS MONSTER! Another favourite, probably the best of all!

Nothing but teamwork and a lil technique needed to get over the blocks. I failed so badly at my first attempt, not turning my body and crashing head first into the water! The first thing I did was CLOSE MY EYES (SAVE THE CONTACT LENSES!). The next thing that came to my mind was EWWW MUDDY WATER! I was doing a good job keeping my head out of the mud and dirty water, until this one!

Taylor and I just cruised over till the end while the boys stuck around to help out. They had a REALLY good time rolling the blocks.

EVEREST 2.014700899_1111330472255861_7817288046232965196_oAh, the famous ramp at most OCRs! It was SO FUN watching other people running up + crashing down. Quite entertaining! Luke and Ross went for the big run while we (Taylor, Chris and I) stuck with the ropes.

14711634_1111427488912826_6417431587161391283_oWe did not realize that Everest was our last challenge! We were pretty bummed when we found out we were running towards the finish line! I guess the adrenaline was still pumping! Oh well!

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IMG_9713We proceeded to enjoy our post race ICE COLD CIDERS! SO GOOD! We didn’t bother taking a shower because the queue was just massive. We hung around for a bit to dry off and to TAKE ALL THE PROTEIN BARS! SO SO SO GOOD!

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Processed with VSCO with f2 presetThanks to the crazy bunch, it was a FUN + SATISFYING + SUCCESSFUL + MUDDY + INJURY FREE OCR! Very memorable first overseas race and OCR. <3

*Taylor was the real champ. She had work that night AND the following morning.*

I’ll definitely come back for more. We are already planning for 2017! YESSSSSS!

IMG_9879 There’s the good and then there’s the UGLY! Sustained cuts and bruises.


Stats with the Garmin Fenix 3 HR

Honestly, I did not know how well the Garmin would perform in an OCR. Will it fall apart? Will the mud get into it? It was a risk I was willing to take. And it did not disappoint! It held up throughout the race. IMG_1197

This is what I love about it – being able to track where you’ve been on the map.

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ELEVATION!FullSizeRender_2

Heart rate zones. Ok, looks like I didn’t push hard enough.


*ALL TOUGH MUDDER COURSE PICS ARE FROM THEIR FACEBOOK PAGE!*

Useful links:

http://www.aeco.com.my/

https://www.facebook.com/GarminMalaysia/?fref=ts

http://www.reviews.com/fitness-tracker/

The Bitter Sweet Departure – Sweet Bit

In the midst of settling into postgrad uni life, moving from one place to another, getting my life together, God, family and running, I’ve been pressured by A FEW (you know who you are 😉 ) people (including my cousin!) to get this SWEET post out!


Basically, my SWEET post is about meeting up with all my loved ones! I managed to meet up/bump into most of them which brings peace and joy to my heart!

You know, life is short. Nobody knows what is going to happen next. You may never see someone again so even a short goodbye or a quick meet up is precious!

I’m just going to bombard this post with pictures! Because we’re all visually driven these days.

*Pictures are in no particular order in terms time/rank/priority :P*


Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetTres Amigas Buenas. Forever. 🙂

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She got the running mag! I know that I’ll always have full support from her. <3 Someone who keeps me grounded and reminds me that life does not have to be PERFECT and that I’ve got to learn to chill. You need someone like that in your life! Thanks for always having my back, always! And of course, I’ve got yours too. 😉

IMG_2027Track Tuesday buddies.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetBumped into this gym nut! The guy who is going to take care of my dental health. 😉 HAHA!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetMy ROCK in Monash! Wouldn’t have survived 3 years without this girl! She’s the most random, kiddy, crazy person… EVER! She works hard and plays hard too. Thanks for always kicking my butt and pushing me to finish my work and assignments. Oh, and we love stressing out together. FullSizeRender 11

No matter where we’re at in life, we’re always there for each other… 100% of the time! I don’t know what I’d do without you in my life! 🙂 So blessed to have someone like you around. She’s got a BIG heart for people and I’m constantly inspired by that. And of course, her new crib is my new hang out spot. 😉

 

FullSizeRenderMy ex-colleagues (and my soul sister). All the best with work drama. ;P We had A LOT of good times! I trust my life and my secrets with this one. We’ve got a really good connection and we somehow just CLICK! We go WAY back and our friendship has gone through blizzards to get to where it is now. It is scary how well we both understand each other. This is solid stuff. Can’t wait for our next gossip session. IMG_2063Zukeri has taught me everything I need to know/do during surgery. Super talented and knowledgeable! All the best kawan! 🙂

IMG_2079MCKL friends. Although we’ve been all over the place, we keep in touch and stay up to date with our personal lives. So blessed to have these bunch of God fearing mates. 🙂


My girls planned a super sweet farewell with BALLOONS! FullSizeRender_1A balloon with my initial. 😉

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IMG_2162The dessert at Thirdwave. Looks TOO GOOD TO EAT!

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The girls.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetOf course, we took polaroid shots!

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Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetMy Tuesday Running Group – The Mou Man Tai Runners! So thankful that they have found ME and have given me the opportunity to exercise/fine-tune my coaching skills and to be able to share and learn just about anything and EVERYTHING under the sun. These guys are SO fun and I’ve never felt more at home. I found my place with them. I’ll definitely miss you guys! Thank you for having me!IMG_5688

IMG_43485 seconds of fame.

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Thanks to Colin and Bruce from Tom, Dick and Harry for organising this mini BBQ farewell with LOADS of delish food! You guys know how to feed us!


IMG_4491Track Tuesday team. We’re missing the German Tank here – Karsten! This team was formed because we all happen to be at the track on Tuesday! Horrible speed sessions can be fun with these guys!

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Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetOur Ola Bola outing to support Coach Mark Williams. 😉 It is a really good Malaysian film filled with Malaysian slangs/languages and characters. It truly does represent Malaysia! If you haven’t seen it, well, YOU HAVE TO! Let’s just say some of us were a bit teary at the end (NOT ME!).


FullSizeRender 4Family time. Precious moments. We had YEE SANG almost everyday throughout Chinese New Year!IMG_5711


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The last time with Swan. We bumped into each other at BV2. Great minds really DO THINK ALIKE. 😉


Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetMy running twin! We’re both born on the SAME day – March 14 and we have a LOT in common. SO scary. We used to sit in the gym and talk for 3 hours after our swim sesh. GOOD TIMES! MISS YOU!

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Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetWe even wore the same shoes out.

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 Random Noms. I SHOULD be eating more Asian food but OH WELL! Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetMorning cuppa. Daily boost.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetInside scoop!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetHealthy food during CNY. It is all about BALANCE! Making space for big family dinners.

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I seem to be eating A LOT of eggs. IMG_5710And more eggs.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetAll time fav.


IMG_4855Churchy friends who are always there for me! 🙂

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetSomethings still remain the same. 😀 So blessed to have you in my life! Thank you. <3

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetStrange creatures.


Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetLast Tuesday session with the MMT runners! It was a super chill-sexy-pace run! SO much fun!

IMG_5012These guys are dedicated solid runners. I admire their hard work and determination! They’ve put in the work and reaped the benefits. More to come. Keep it up fellas!

FullSizeRender 6Cheeky butt cheek grabbing pose. 😉

For more of these, please join them every Tuesday 8pm at Tom, Dick and Harry, TTDI for a wicked run sesh! Sessions are now led by Sue Teoh and occasionally by Jessen and Agnes. Trust me, running will never be the same again.


IMG_5024Asian food with not so Asian friends. Thanks for the meal, Jeff! Glad to have met these 2 fine lads. They are first class when it comes to running and lame jokes. And they never let a moment slip by without teasing each other! There’s never a dull moment!


FullSizeRender 7Last session with the Puma Night Running Club members! So happy to see how big this group has grown! They are a bunch of dedicated runners that never fail to inspire, motivate, encourage, teach, experience, grow, laugh and have LOADS of fun together! We are a pretty tight group and I’m glad that I have made some lifelong friends!

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IMG_5078Number 1s!

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IMG_5080Obviously I wasn’t paying attention.

IMG_5084They made me give an impromtu speech! I might have messed it up but all I want to say is that: THIS group was where it all started for me. I was just a lone runner who knew nothing about running. They brought me in, groomed and helped me bloom to who I am today.

From running competitively, seriously and a little harder, I’ve come to love the sport. Thank you for sharing and spreading the passion for a healthy competitive lifestyle. I could not have done it without the support, love and care from these guys! Cheers!

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IMG_5088Forever faster! <3 Special thanks to Vic and Elaine for all their hardwork (a lot of background work involved). Truly the rock and pillar of the Puma Night Running Club!

IMG_5076Urgh. I still hate the hills. Last hill challenge with Angel! Congrats on becoming a Puma Pacer! I know that you’ll grow along with this group too. All the best and PLEASE take care of your KNEES!

FullSizeRender 9The Men of Puma!

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FullSizeRender 8Love you guys! Keep it up okay! Come to me if you need ANYTHING!FullSizeRender_1 3With the MESTI ADA GAYA guy. We’re always at the wrong place at the wrong time but glad that we managed to catch up that night. Thanks for all your help!


 IMG_5063Surprise farewell with the churchy friends! There’s nothing like support from your brothers and sisters in Christ.

IMG_5068Evil twinny.

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IMG_5071The evil friend!

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IMG_5073With this annoying guy. Knowledgeable, witty but with super thick and impenetrable face skin. I know Sylvia will agree on this one. 😉

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetJuicy gossip sesh with this uncle. Bumped into him at THE perfect place and time. TOO FUNNY! Take care of that shin!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetHad my last physio session with Jess the day before I boarded the plane. Managed to release all my tight muscles! Felt like tin man! THANKS JESS! It was good, as always!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetSo Mike decided to try Apple Physio. Hope everything goes well with your never-ending injuries! Cheers to stronger, pain-free and injury free running days ahead!

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IMG_5060MONASH Med Bio MATES!

IMG_5058Uni life would have been SUCH A BORE without them. We ALWAYS have something or SOMEONE to talk about. 😉 It never ends. Thanks for all the AWESOME MEMORIES.


That’s it! These were some of the BEST last weeks in Malaysia. Of course, there were many others that were not documented. If you didn’t appear, that DOES NOT mean that you were not significant.


These are the people with SUBSTANCE. People who look beyond the superficial aspects of you. People you can spend a lifetime with talking about your deepest darkest fears or your wildest dreams without fear of being judged. People who will support you with prayer, love, compassion and who will shake you up if you go astray. People who truly want to see you grow and succeed in life.QUOTE

REAL PEOPLE

I hope you have these people. And when you do find them, keep them close. Cling onto them, let them know how much they mean to you and never let them go.

If you don’t, I hope you will come to find these people!


I am not an expressive person. And you might think that I don’t care. But I do. Trust me.

I DO!

XOXO

Post-Race Report: Compressport Combo Challenge Trail Run 2016

First race of the year and it was NOT a road race! I wanted to go for the KL New Year Run on the 1st of Jan but as usual, I missed it. Haaaaaaaa!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetWent for a semi long run and met up with my running friends after.

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It was so good to see so many of them there on New Years’ Day and up on the podium!


Compressport Combo Challenge Trail Run 2016

Thanks to Gus for the bib, Sabrina for arranging my race kit collection on race day and Teck Wai for letting me know all the race details (I’m usually clueless) and that they had changed the venue from Putrajaya to Mardi Maeps! I would have probably driven all the way to Putrajaya to run my own race.

Jeff kindly offered a ride to the race site. Of course, I had to be polite by accepting his offer. 😉 Thanks Jeff!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetWe left for Mardi Maeps at 5:30am sharp along with Tom and Markiko (I hope I got the spelling right!). Traffic was smooth and although we made one wrong turn, we were there by 6:15am!

FullSizeRender_2Collected my race kit and was surprised to see so many road runners at this race! Likewise, they were surprised to see me too.

I actually LOVE off road running! Although I don’t do much training off road, I like the technical side of it with varying terrains. It is more… interesting.

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I’ve never been to Mardi Maeps but I’ve heard many horrible stories about the place. I was quite prepared for the worst!

Did a very light warm up before heading to the start line. Colleen was there too! She was sharing a bit about the route as she had been there many times before. I’m glad we spoke because she had that upbeat, hyper vibe that really calmed the tense pre-race environment.

And then I heard a familiar voice coming from behind – it was Coach Mark! As Mardi Maeps is his usual training ground, he was able to provide a detailed overall layout of the race route. He said that the first 8km would be nothing but hills and climbs after which would be downhill/flat till the end. Thanks for the tips! I was a little more mentally prepared.

Soon after, we were off! 200m in and we came face to face with our first climb…… and MANY climbs thereafter. Climb after climb after climb, and they were steep climbs! I tried to run up but for most of them, I had to slow to a walk nearing the top of the hill. We had to go up a long flight of STAIRS too! With the Forerunner 225, I could see my pace dropping at every climb. I gained back whatever time that was lost by running hard downhill (not a good idea!) and on the flat terrain.

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Thankfully, it was not so much of a trail run, more like dirt/off road running. The ground was soft and the path was wide. It was not as technical as I had imagined it to be. It was a good thing because I didn’t have trail shoes!

Running with the other men around me, I could see where my strengths and weaknesses were. It was a lot of fun pushing (not literally) and overtaking each other.

My legs were BURNING and I was dying for my GPS to beep at km8 because that would signify the end of the treacherous climbs, most of them at least. True enough, at km 8, we were out of the ‘jungle’ and onto dirt road through fields and farmland. I felt strong and decided to push the pace as soon as I hit the road.

IMG_1666The ending was tough when we merged with the 6km category + going through the park which had one final climb that really sucked the life out of my legs! I felt pretty much like the guy behind me!

FullSizeRender(1) IMG_1630 FullSizeRender_1(1)It was a good ending with cheers and support from friends and the people that were around!FullSizeRender_2(1)Look who I found at the finish line!

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Angel! Thanks for coming out to support us and for taking all the photos!

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DCIM102GOPRO FullSizeRender_3Second place for Colleen! She’s so young but already killing it at every race! Look out for this one! 😀

DCIM102GOPROBumped into Isabelle again! 🙂 We seem to be seeing each other very often at races!

DCIM102GOPROHe says I’m crazy but he’s insane! You can find him at every bootcamp/running clinic/training. Keep it up! But don’t get injured ;). Thanks Fahmie for looking after my stuff! 🙂

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All my road running friends! 😀IMG_1592 FullSizeRender

Jason Loh, fellow #garminbuddy !FullSizeRender_1Jess, my physiotherapist! I was surprised to see her there. Thanks for all the pain-free runs!

IMG_1604 IMG_1590Managed 1st place! Great start to the year 2016!

DCIM102GOPROGoPro on the way back! Everyone in Jeff’s car made it onto the podium that day! In Jeff’s words: The elite car. 😉

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetPost-race fuel!

Phew, what a day! I’ll definitely miss this route when I’m gone! It was a good day, catching up with friends and running!

Till next time!

xoxo

The Holiday Season: 3 Things to Do

1. Be Grateful

Whatever situation you’re in, however crappy your life is right now, BE GRATEFUL. You’re still alive, you’re still breathing, that heart of yours is beating every millisecond.

My younger self always craved for more. More money, more stuff (more like junk), more clothes, more food, more pleasure, more more MORE…… I guess that’s human nature. We are never satisfied with what we have.

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I am not saying that we should not have goals in life or that we should settle for what we have. But while we are chasing those goals/dreams/the ‘more” in life, appreciate and be thankful for what you NOW have. Someone else out there is dying to have what you have, someone else out there is fighting for their life.

If you have more, give back. Always give within your means. Whether it is 10 ringgit or 1000 ringgit, a gift is a gift. There is no gift that is too small or too insignificant. And no one should judge you for it. It may not even be monetary. It may be as simple as a helping hand, a listening ear or a warm hug. What matters is that it is a gift from the HEART.

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This is also a reminder to myself. I tend to “forget” what God has blessed me with and what He has done to wipe out my sins. Taking this time to STOP, DROP and just be GRATEFUL.

2. Eat to Your Heart’s Content  

The holiday season means LOADS of parties and FOOD. I’ve had a few people asking me how to curb cravings during this season. Well, my answer is just enjoy yourself.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetCalories do not count during this season. HAHA! Have a bit of everything but that does not mean that you should stuff yourself silly or feel sick after.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetFamily gatherings are always centered around food. Instead of worrying about what you’re eating, focus on having a good time with the people you love. Enjoy the time with your family/friends, eat whatever you want AND JUST HAVE A GOOD TIME!FullSizeRender_2

If you want that slice of cake/cookie/pie, JUST EAT IT! You should be more concerned about what you eat on a daily basis and NOT just during the holiday season.

3. Sneak in a Workout   

I know, everyone is busy preparing for the holiday season. Working out is usually the first to be cut out from the list of things to do. But don’t! In the midst of the hustle and bustle, take some time out for yourself. Get in a good workout or just MOVE. You may have decided to take a break from your usual routine (which is okay!) but that does not mean that you do ABSOLUTELY nothing. You might want to turn down the intensity or duration but don’t completely remove it.

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Opt for something light and easy and something that is also enjoyable. You can go for a family walk/jog, play some outdoor games, try a new sport/class, walk your dog etc.FullSizeRender

JUST GET MOVING. You may feel sluggish and tired from all the food at first, but I promise you once you get going, you’ll be fine. PLUS, you’ll feel super and more energized right after!

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Something to think about 😉

Happy Holidays!

xoxo