Tag Archives: keep running

5 Ways to Get BACK into the Game

You’ve got a solid training plan, you’ve successfully incorporated “health and fitness” time into your busy schedule, you’re on a roll, you’re seeing results, you’re at your peak…… and BAM!

125806194609612954500101197_Life_PRETRAILERSource: www.discovery.com

Life gets in the way – family, work, injury, sickness. Keeping up with your fitness regime is the last thing on your list. You’re forced to take a few days off or maybe even weeks (or months!). Your fitness level is not the only thing that you lose. Your motivation will probably go along with it. Getting your butt out the door is ALWAYS the HARDEST part. No more excuses! Time to kick start your engine.

Side note: Taking time off is good especially if your body is craving for a time out.


 

  1. Don’t Beat Yourself Up

You’re probably feeling guilty. And you decide to punish yourself by going all out, doing as much as you can. This is a recipe for disaster. You simply cannot pick up where you left off (depends on how long you’ve been out. But I’m assuming it is long enough for you to lose some fitness gains). Not only are you setting yourself up for potential injury, your confidence level might suffer a huge blow. Setting high expectations which you know you cannot reach is only going to leave you demotivated.

Let’s face the facts: You’re not going to be as fit. You need to drill that into your head.

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Take it easy, be silly and have fun!

I should be the last person to say this because I can be very hard on myself. And it was and still is very hard for me. I know that I am not at the peak of my fitness just yet. So, I have to remind myself to do what I can with what I can.

What to do:

Take it slow. Step by step. You’ve got to learn how to walk before you start running again! Whatever the reason for your time off, your muscles mass and fitness level would have deteriorated. Your body will need time to adapt and adopt a “new” routine.

If you ran every day of the week, you might want to start off with running 3-4 days a week. If weights were your thing, you can opt to reduce the weight, reps and sets. By doing that, you are gradually building your body up, regaining strength and endurance. Try not to overdo it by trying to hit your previous PB. Do more when you feel more confident with your ability.

Set REALISTIC goals. Goals that are high but achievable at the present moment. Remember that your fitness and health is a lifelong journey, not a destination. Get excited to be embarking on a new journey with new goals!

  1. Seek Fun and Joy

For your first session, ditch your gadgets! We’re not going to get into the nitty gritty details of your training. No time, no pace, no distance. Just GET OUT THERE and be grateful that you can be back on your feet. Whether it’s in the gym or out on the road, just aim to get a good sweat sesh!

What to do:

IMG_4962Remember why you started running/working out. Remember how it felt after every session. Get those happy hormones flowing!

  1. Try Something New

To keep things fresh and exciting, try something new!

Not only will this prevent you from hitting a plateau, it might also boost your performance! Remember that your body adapts to your style of training. After some time, it gets bored and your body stops reacting to the stimulus of change.

What to do:

If you’re a runner or an athlete, switch up your training plan! Try a new route for your long run, add in a day where you run by how you feel, change the menu of your speed workouts. For example, you can take a scenic route for your long run and for your speed workouts, you can change the volume and intensity (there is a lot that you can play around with).

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If you’re a fitness enthusiast, join a dance class, bootcamp session, group running, go rock climbing or hiking.

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The most important thing is to find what you LOVE to do. If you love what you do, it makes it more sustainable! You should not be dreading every session/class/workout.

IMG_4971Try group running!

  1. Get Organised

Once you have found your ultimate sport/training plan, it is time to pen down when/how you are going to execute them. Being mentally and physically prepared means you are that much closer to achieving your goals!

What to do:

I like to have a physical planner and calendar. I like to WRITE DOWN (not type) my plans and goals. Not everything has to be digital. There’s something about picking up a pen and physically mapping it out on a big sheet of A3 cardboard.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetThis is exactly what I do! I like making my own calendars.

Plan your days and set a time. That way, you are more likely to follow through with your plan. With a set time, you can plan your meals around it too. This ensures that you are properly fuelled both before and after your workout. It will also help you to avoid unnecessary clashes with meetings, work, family time or dinner dates with your friends!

  1. Find Your “WHY”

You need to look for the “why”. If you cannot think of why you want to do this, chances are you’re going to either give up DURING your workout or you’re not even going to begin your workout.

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If you can’t justify the sweat and the pain, you won’t do it! Come on, why do we want to put ourselves through torture, right?!

What to do:

Write down a few “WHYs” starting from the most important one.

Why are you doing this? What do you want to achieve? What are your goals? Maybe you know of a family member who is battling with a health related condition or maybe you’ve signed up for your first run.

Those answers are going to help you stay committed to your plan. When you have a clear goal and a focused mind, you will be motivated to achieve it!


 General Advice:

If you haven’t been active for quite some time, your muscles may have become weak, imbalanced or stiff.

For your first few sessions, work on your stability and mobility, cardiovascular fitness and flexibility. Stretching, power walking, pilates, jogging or light body weight exercises are all great choices to kick start your routine. These will help get your heart pumping and increase blood circulation to your muscles and cells.

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Always begin with a proper warm up sesh and end with a cool down and some light stretching. Foam roll every now and then. This avoids any unnecessary pain/injury.

Remember to always listen to your body. You know how you feel and nobody else knows your body better than YOU! If you need an extra rest day, TAKE IT! You don’t want to burn out before you even begin!FullSizeRender

I hope this helps! Before you convince your body, remember to convince your mind! Your mind is a powerful tool. If you think you can do it, you can! Set your mind straight, be confident and I’m sure you’ll bounce back to where you were before!

Don’t give up!

 

Getting Back on Track

Hello!

Sorry for the lack of updates here on my blog. If you didn’t already know, I was down with dengue fever for the last 2 weeks. I spent the first half of the week at home, puking my guts out and suffering from head spasms, one whole week lying on the hospital bed and the next half of the week trying to regain my strength. Those were really tough phases.

I have never been this sick in my life (thank God for good health!) and I have never been admitted to the hospital before. It was a whole “new experience” and I had to adapt to my immediate environment whilst being sick.

IMG_5873The little printed man is so cute.

Being in the hospital was depressing. I had the IV drip on the back of my hand and I had to lug the whole machine wherever I went! It is a very common thing to have on you when you’re admitted to the hospital. But can you imagine people who have long-term sickness/disease, who constantly go in and out of the hospital, those who have multiple wires and machines attached to them, it is almost impossible to move without feeling like it is a chore!

I resisted drinking a lot of water because whenever I had to go to the toilet, I had to drag the machine that had unoiled wheels and I had to fiddle with the tube on top of having this unexplained fear at the idea of having a needle sticking out from the back of your hand. It was too much for me to handle (haaaaaa!).

IMG_5845We (my dad and I) were both down with dengue! URGH! My dad had it worse. He underwent platelet transfusion.

I realised how much I took “convenience” for granted. You should be grateful that you can just stand up and walk from point to point. We do it so often that we forget that we should be thankful to be able to do just THAT!FullSizeRender(2)

It was a horrible experience. I couldn’t sleep at night, I was tired from just 10 minutes of walking, I had the worst episodes of headaches……and the list goes on. The ONLY good thing was probably having unscheduled REST and most of my time was spent watching movies. Sounds like the perfect holiday (HAH!)! I couldn’t read because my head hurt and I couldn’t focus.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetThe best breakfast in hospital – PANCAKES! OM NOM NOM!

On My Fitness Level

Being immobilised in the hospital has definitely taken its toll on my fitness level. It was not as if I took 2 weeks off from running and still being active with life.

It was 2 weeks of sickness and being bed ridden! 2 weeks of immobility! 2 weeks of doing absolutely NOTHING!IMG_9461

It was depressing. The idea of losing everything that you have built up over the months in a matter of a few weeks. In fact, the day I had my first sign of high fever was the day I started proper training. I did a quality workout that evening and had fever by 2am. I initially thought it was because I had over trained (HAH!). That quality workout came to nothing (boooo!)!

A Season for Everything

Instead of feeling sorry for myself, depress, sad and unmotivated, I took a step back and looked at the bigger picture. There is a time and place for everything. A time for happiness, joy, sickness, birth, diseases, downtime, accidents, peak performance……

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Life gets in the way and that’s just the way it is. You cannot expect life to be smooth sailing all the way. What matters is what you do with your circumstances.

How are you going to face it? How are you going to pull yourself up? How are you going to get back on your feet?FullSizeRender_3

For me, it is a test of perseverance and strength. It is not easy to start ALL over again. I can’t say I haven’t thought of giving up. That is the easiest way out. But what’s life if you always take the easy way out?FullSizeRender(1)

First 10KM

I did my first 10KM the other day. My first steps in 2 weeks! I am not exaggerating when I say it felt like the first time I laced up for a run. Breathing was all over the place, my legs felt like lead, my back was so stiff – I felt like TIN MAN!

I need to dig deep to find that motivation, discipline and determination. WHERE ARE YOU! Hats off to those who have just started/halfway through!Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

10KM felt like a marathon.

What can you learn from this?

Wherever you are in your fitness journey (or life), KEEP GOING! DO NOT (for whatever reason) GIVE UP! It is easy to give up but it is SO HARD to get going again.FullSizeRender_1(1)

Trust me, you do not want this.

HEALTH is WEALTH!

Whatever you do, make sure your health is in check. Wealth is nothing compared to health. If I was the richest person on earth lying on that hospital bed, so what? The money will only go to my hospital fee.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetStarbucks at the hospital. This was heaven. SEE! Something so simple tasted SO GOOD!

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This was after I got out from the hospital. CRAVED for waffles (for some weird reason)! We waited ONE HOUR FOR THIS!

IMG_6002Had to satisfy my green tea cravings too.

God and My Family = EVERYTHING (to me)!      

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Appreciate the simple things in life that money cannot buy. STOP WANTING MORE! You have enough!

IMG_5999The sister came back to visit the dengue patients. WHOOP!

IMG_6001Calvin and Hobbes!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetMy mom pampered me with beef ball noodles!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetAnd pork noodles! SO SO GOOD!IMG_6050

Of course, MOOCOW! IMG_6029

Pretty flowers from Swan <3!

IMG_5906Grapes from Swan and the rest from Joanne Lee. So loved! Thank you to everyone who visited and those who wanted to visit (but I told them not to)! It is the thought that counts! LOVE ya’ll!

I am hoping to bounce back soon! Let’s see how this goes! FullSizeRender_2

Once again, thank you for all your prayers, love and care! GOD IS AMAZING!

 

Post-Race Report: Mount Stong International Climbathon

Pre-race

Remember how my foot was hurting before the Kiara Trail Run? It got worse after that. But that was due to stupidity on my end. I had mixed symptoms of an ankle injury and plantar fasciitis. Every runner’s worst nightmare!

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the connective tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot. The cause of it can be a combination of foot mechanics, overtraining (sudden increases in mileage or speed work), overpronation, running on hard surfaces and wearing worn out shoes.

I’ve heard about the much dreaded plantar fasciitis, but I didn’t think that I’d be suffering from one! It came along after I did a mixture of hard sessions and introducing new strength based training (currently working on a little project!). I pushed it a bit further by taking part in the Kiara Trail Run. I felt ok after the trail run so I didn’t think that it was serious. What caused it to go over the hill was not enough rest coupled with continued running.

Keyword: REST!

By Tuesday evening, I was hobbling around. I couldn’t take a step without feeling a stabbing sensation under my foot. I could only survive 1KM with the Puma Running Club on Wednesday. In view of my Stong Climbathon coming up on Saturday, I stopped running for 3 days. I crossed train with swimming and some upper body strength work.

By Thursday, I wasn’t feeling any better. I thought of giving the race a miss because Kelantan is not exactly very near. I was disappointed in myself because there was a huge possibility that I would not make it for my FIRST CLIMBATHON. I prayed hard that I’d be ok by Friday.

The Day Before Race Day – Friday

By Friday, my foot was feeling a lot better! THANK GOD! I finally decided that I should go for it! Super excited to be attempting my FIRST CLIMBATHON! I’ve always enjoyed climbing (rock climbing). It was what I did before I started running.

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After finishing some work, Kevin and I set off on our journey to Gunung Stong at about 4pm. We took it slow because the roads were narrow and dark. We also made a few stops along the way.

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There were parts where we drove through total darkness with fog in the atmosphere. It was like a scene from a horror movie!

IMG_5157RACE DAY FUEL!

We finally arrived at the Gunung Stong base camp at 11pm! I had a bit of supper and went straight to bed! We “camped” out in the car because it was too late to book a place. The camp site was free but it was raining so Kevin failed to set up his hammock! The rain certainly cooled the air but that would mean muddy trails the next day!

Race Day

Got up at 6am and took an icy cold shower! Refreshing! I had my breakfast of bread, eggs and banana. The good stuff!

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God answered my prayers! My foot had no sign of pain and my legs were feeling pretty fresh! The crowd was small but competitive! I saw a few familiar faces. Most of them had either done a climbathon before or had a lot of trail running experience. And there I was, the city road running girl, standing in the midst of the pros. I felt so out of place!

5, 4, 3, 2, 1……IMG_5389

We were off at 7.50am. There was only about 50 meters of road before we entered the never ending upward climb nightmare. The first grass climb was so challenging! I was out of breath by the first 150 meters! It got worse after that, of course.

I was in 4th place at that time, running closely behind Hani. I stayed as close as possible. I lost her at a point when I was struggling to haul myself up. My shoes, Puma Mobium, were NOT meant for the muddy trails. I kept moving my feet but my body was going nowhere. I slipped many times and the uncle behind me had to catch me with his knees! THANK YOU! There were many parts where I had to pull myself up using only my arms because I was wasting too much energy trying to gain traction.

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By then, I could not see any of the girls in front of me. I didn’t have it in mind to chase any of them. I just continued to climb UP, UP and UP!

The route was challenging. It was harder than climbing up Mount Kinabalu! I kid you not! I didn’t have to use my hands for Kinabalu but for Stong, I had to get my hands dirty! We had to jump over huge logs (that were too big for my physique), cross rivers and climb up rocky terrain.

After 1 hour and 40 minutes, I made my way to 3rd place (finally)! Thinking that it was “only” 14.5-15KM, I didn’t think of taking my gel. Instead, I had my Kopi candy. It worked! I had my caffeine and sugar kick! After a few more climbs, I saw the girl in 2nd place! She was shocked to see me and she went a little faster.

Before reaching the peak, I managed to climb my way to 2nd place. As I was heading towards the peak, Liana (the girl in first place) ran pass me. She was just under a minute away from me!

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I got the last coloured band and started my journey back down.

Sliding My Way Down

Going down was SO MUCH harder than going up! I didn’t want to slip or hurt my foot/ankle any further so I went REALLY slow! I had a huge lead because I bought a lot of time on my way up. After about 10 minutes, the girl in 3rd place appeared RIGHT BEHIND ME! I was shocked! So, I changed from my slow careful hike down to a running/jumping pace. I still had a lot of energy in my legs but I just didn’t know how to hike down the tricky terrain. Wearing the wrong shoes made it WORSE!

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To make things worse, my shoelaces came undone and I had to stop to tie it. And as I did, the girl overtook me. I stayed really close behind her. I could see that she was slowing down. The funny thing was that she had to tie her shoelaces too! So I took the opportunity and made my way back to 2nd place! This time, I went as fast as I could. Whenever there was a straight flat trail, I ran.

Things got uglier after that. The second part down was mainly mud. The first part was more of rocks and branches which were easier to go through. I was falling and sliding my way down. I suffered several blows to both my knees and the palms of my hands (from trying to break the fall). I was counting how many times I fell but I lost count.

IMG_5381The cut on my right knee took 2 days to dry up!

Both my knees were bleeding by the time I made it to the river crossing. The bomba men stationed there kept asking if I wanted to stop. NO WAY was I going to give up! I said that I was ok and pressed on.

Meeting The Kind Soul

During my falling saga, a guy caught up with me. He told me that the 3rd girl was very close behind. True enough, Hani zoomed passed me. She literally flew/hopped her way down! Crazy fast! Looking at the terrain, I wasn’t going to risk injury by catching up with her. It was not worth it.

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He saw how much pain I was in and he was kind enough to stay with me for the rest of the way down. Thank God he was there because I don’t think I could have made it without him! He supported me all the way and helped me up whenever I fell. THANK YOU!

IMG_5387The Kind Soul! 😀

The Final Blow

The last fall really pushed me over my limits. I fell (for the thousandth time) and my right thigh jabbed and scraped the side of a rock. It was a huge blow to both my leg and my mind.

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Everything came crashing down. The pain from previous falls, fatigue, jelly legs, the frustration from having enough energy to run but just couldn’t and the thought of losing a huge lead, it was an explosion of emotions. Everything that I was holding in from the journey just hit me and I burst into tears. I really wanted to give up. It was both a physical and a mental test.

I wasn’t prepared to give up and I knew if I continued, I could still secure my position. But it was so hard. During the last downhill part of the trail, a lady in another category caught up with me. She was at least 10 minutes behind me when we were going up!

By then, my hands and feet were getting numb. It was about 3 hours in and I haven’t had anything to eat except for the Kopi candy! I kept that lady behind me and started running as soon as we hit the flat bamboo trail. It was an open area and we were running under the scorching sun. It was there that I had my second Kopi candy.

Just When I Thought That I Could Cruise To The Finish Line……

Before crossing the last river back to the road, I looked back. To my horror, I saw another lady in MY CATEGORY! I was thinking to myself, THIS IS UNREAL! Adele, you suck!

Thankfully, that was the end of the trail so I started running. When we turned up to the road, we were greeted with a STEEP hill. I walked the first part up and jogged the middle part before continuing to walk up the last part. I turned around and she was still within my sight! I harnessed whatever energy I had left and started running. The road was long, VERY LONG! It seemed like the longest stretch of road in my life!IMG_5401

You can see how much I slowed down during the downward phase of the race!

I ran for a bit and stopped to walk. And then started running again. This went on until the last 200 meters of the way. I lost sight of her, phew!

At the junction, there was nobody behind or in front and I thought I went the wrong way! I stopped to ask the police men who were having their morning cuppa at a pondok. They said that I had 100 meters left! So, I RAN! But it was NOT 100 meters. I stopped to walk again. When I looked back, she was back within my sight. I hobbled my way through until I lost sight of her. I was just 50 meters away from the finishing line. But I had exhausted everything I had. Plus, it was ANOTHER HILL!

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So, for the first time ever, I walked straight up to the stage to the finishing line.

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FINALLY, THE END!

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I went straight for the medic tent and they gave me a big bag of ice. I was in so much pain but at the same time, I was so relieved! The ATM (Angkatan Tentera Malaysia) guys came over to keep me company. Everyone was so nice! We all had a good catch up sesh.

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Kevin came in after that and he managed to place 30th! He went home with a prize too! WIN!

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I must say that it was VERY well organised! Despite the tricky terrain, marshals/bomba men were stationed at all the major checkpoints. There were more than enough water stations too!

Plus point to the MC of the day who spoke perfect Bahasa and English AND SHE PRONOUNCED MY NAME CORRECTLY! WHOOP! She was a lot better than many of the MCs in other races.

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The Minister spoke to me in Hokkien! This was me laughing because I don’t speak Hokkien (HAHA!)!

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Congratulations to all the winners of Mount Stong International Climbathon 2015!

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1, 2, 3, 4 !


Thoughts About The Climbathon

Mount Stong certainly lived up to standards! I chose to do this particular event because I thought that 14.5KM sounded like a reasonable distance for my first climbathon. I was wrong on so many levels.

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14.5KM with an elevation of 1443m is not an easy feat! It was a lot tougher that I had imagined it to be. It was NEXT LEVEL! It blew me away and clearly, I was not well prepared (in terms of pre-race and in-race fuelling and proper attire). I only had 2 Kopi candies throughout the whole journey! I didn’t know that this route would take me 3:19 hours (according to my Mio Alpha 2). It was almost as if I ran a full marathon!

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Definitely an experience to remember!

And I learned a few things too:

1. Never underestimate a CLIMBATHON

2. Get proper trail shoes

3. Carbo-load!

4. Get a waste belt with drink bottle. I was holding either 1 or 2 bottles all the way.

5. Never settle/cruise/take it easy EVEN when you have a big lead (applies to anything in life too!)

6. The body is capable, you just have to convince your mind!

Some things cannot be read or seen, it has to be FELT WITH THE BODY AND THE HEART (and blood, sweat, tears. Hah!)!


 

Up For A Challenge?

This route definitely challenged my physical and mental capacity. It was tough. But I am glad that I can finally add Climbathon (and everything else that happened) to my experience bucket!

Sometimes, you learn a lot about yourself when you are pushed beyond your limits. It is a true test of perseverance, endurance and strength. This applies to anything that you encounter in life.IMG_9612

When was the last time you tried something new? Something that would make you feel uncomfortable, scared, awkward, excited or nervous? Stay within your comfort zone and you risk not realising your full potential.

Have fun with life and let the experience shape you!

Keep Running!

... And let us run with perseverance

the race marked out for us,

fixing our eyes on Jesus…

Hebrews 12:1-2

Post-Race Report: Kiara Trail Run 2015

Pre-Race

Took a break from racing for the last 2 weeks before the Kiara Trail run.

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Spent one of the weekends at Penang with my girls. It was one of the most fulfilling trips with loads of good food, deep and meaningful conversations, time-out from the world and just pure relaxation.

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I love how I can be my crazy self whenever I am with them.

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Raw. Straight up. No judgements.

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Although it was an awesome weekend, there was a twist to what was supposed to be a happy ending. 3 hours after arriving home from Penang, I suffered a sharp pain to my stomach.

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I thought it was just the case of indigestion because we had a lot of food throughout our trip. I had diarrhoea and vomited a few times. I went to bed thinking I could sleep it off. It was 12 am at that time. I was wrong. The pain did not go away. I spent the next 3 hours rolling on the bed and enduring every random wave of stabbing pain. I finally gave in to pain and had to call my dad on his phone because I could not walk.

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I was wheeled into the emergency room, curled up into a ball, shivering and shaking. I had a very high fever and the doctors were concerned that it was more than just food poisoning. I remember having my blood tested, a few jabs and 2 packs of IV drip. Thank God the pain went away and it was nothing more than severe food poisoning!

I took a few days off from running to fully recover. I had a lot of rest (adding up the rest days in Penang and when I fell sick)! The first day back on the road was tough. It felt like I was running for the first time! It was mentally tough too. Everything was BLAH and it just felt like I could not do it anymore, it was a real stab to my confidence level.

I took it slow. Did a bit more of strength training and stretching to work on my flexibility. I was feeling tight all over!


Race Day

The Kiara park was closed a few days before the race because apparently 6 armed men ran off into the trails. Michelle and I wondered if the race would go on. Thankfully, the park reopened just 2 days before race day. But we were still concerned over the thought of 6 armed men being somewhere in there.

I woke up that morning feeling like I had been hit by a truck. I was feeling very tired and sore all over. That was because I was doing all sorts of running and strength training throughout the week. My left foot was hurting too. It had been hurting since last Wednesday. It hurt whenever I walked but seemed ok when I ran.

The race flag off was at 8am, so I had a bit more time to sleep. Dragged my 2 feet to the race venue.

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Source: ET Tey

It seemed as though Coach Mark photobomed a rather decent picture of us.

Put in a mini warm up before heading to the start line.The flag off was odd! We had 3 different “flag offs” because the runners didn’t know if they should start running! It was a mess! We were finally off after the 3rd sound of the horn.

I was told that the entrance to the trail was very narrow. Coach Mark said that we had about 700m of road before heading into the trails. To avoid being jammed up at the start of the trail, it was important to get a good lead during the first 700m.

I was following Michelle and Danielle during the first part of the race. We were just behind the lead pack and we entered the trail head with ease. After about 1KM, the crowd started to space out and there were only a few guys behind and in front of me.

IMG_5032Source: ET Tey

The guys were really supportive! They let me pass whenever I came near, cheered me on whenever I slowed down and asked if I was ok whenever I slipped. THANK YOU! I slipped and tripped quite a bit but thank God I did not fall or twist/break anything! My foot was already feeling a bit weak and the last thing I wanted was to twist it!

IMG_5066Source: EnAikAY

The body is able but the mind says no. Strengthen the mind and harness your will to succeed. Running sucks, giving up sucks too. PICK ONE!

I love trail running because it is both very challenging and technical. The techniques you use to steer your way through, up, down, shuffle from side to side, crawl, avoiding the mud and jumping over branches/rocks are all very different and not what you would encounter during road running. This was a pretty tough course with a good mix of uphill and downhill. The regular strength sessions and drills that I do certainly helped a lot!

Trail running is a lot harder to navigate because the route is not always clear. We got lost twice. Danielle was ahead of me and at one point a group of them were on the road shouting for the right way to go. Luckily the marshal saw us and pointed us in the right direction. I waited for her to come back up from the road and back onto the trail.

I saw all the route markers – 6, 8, 10 and 11. It felt like I had completed 10KM when I saw the 6KM marker. My legs were dead! There was definitely some crawling involved. I slowed down to a jog quite a bit and surged up the hills whenever I had regained my strength.

IMG_5071Source: ET Tey

The second half of the route had white picture markers all over the trail so I knew I was headed in the right direction.

There was another major turning where there were no marshals and I caught up with Danielle again (because she was lost). I think many people got lost here. During the first part of the race, Jessica was running quite closely behind me. I lost her somewhere after the 6/7KM marker. She appeared in front of me during the last stretch of the race. I was shocked and she was shocked too. She had the courtesy to let me pass :). It was not her fault if she took a wrong turn because it was not clearly marked! She was looking really good and strong at that point. Whoop!

After the end of the trail, there were a few meters of road to the finish line! Thankfully, that was the end of it and nothing more because my limbs were jelly-fied. I waited for Jessica at the finish line. We gave each other a pat on the back for surviving this race!

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Michelle conquered her first full-fledged trail run! Happy for you, twinny! But I think she won’t be joining another trail run anytime soon. She probably cursed her way through!

IMG_5078Source: Tan Tai Nyee

Managed to catch up with a few other runners. Bumped into some of the people from OBC too!

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Yes, Michelle carried pepper spray throughout the run to errrr, spray the 6 armed men in the eyes? Right…… (bahhaha!)

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After the adrenaline rush, my whole body felt like it was about to crash. Michelle and I just wanted to lie flat on the ground! Thank God the prizes were given out soon after. Overall, it was a good run. Relatively well organised and I enjoyed the tough route!

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BURN!

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Time for a good stretch and foam rolling sesh! AND SLEEP!

Hope you guys had fun at the trails! If you haven’t tried it before, GO!

Keep Running!

Be Your Own Champion

Competition is inevitable, everything is about competition. Herbert Spencer explains Darwin’s mechanism of natural selection in 4 words – survival of the fittest. Those who can adapt to the current environment will survive. In other words, if you want to thrive, you’ve got to be the smartest, most successful, strongest, fastest and all the other –est words that you can find in the dictionary.IMG_1618

 

No competition there 😉

We are all fighting for something – our jobs, our families, our lives. If competition didn’t exist, there wouldn’t be the need to fight for anything and we’d all be mediocre people.

We are always striving to do better than others. It is good and healthy to have a little friendly competition. After all, that is what pushes us to be our best, right?

Unhealthy Competition

Competition becomes unhealthy when it is channeled away and skewed towards negativity against yourself (or others). Thinking that you are not good enough or sinking into depression or the fear that seeps in are all huge setbacks towards working on a better version of yourself.

Sometimes, we need to take a step back, reflect and realise that we are all different. We are born with unique characteristics, traits, personalities, talents, capabilities, strengths and even weaknesses. To a certain extent, we are restrained by our genetic make-up. Other people’s capabilities may not be your capabilities and vice versa.

IMG_2328Be as silly as you can be!

If you spend your entire life trying to be someone else, you are wasting the very person that you already are.

Be a Better Version of YOURSELF

Stop looking at everyone else.

Look in the mirror.

Invest in yourself. Learn to expand what YOU can do, within YOUR capabilities. Instead of hating on the world and yourself, channel that energy into becoming a better YOU.

IMG_2927PUSH to where you want to be.

Hard Work + Perseverance = Success

Even if you cut out competition, you cannot come up with an excuse to cut out hard work. There is no “easy” way out.

When I graduated as the Best Graduate in my faculty in Monash, I was asked: “What is your secret?” You want to know the secret?

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I just read a little more, took a little more notes, stayed up a little later than everyone else and used the extra free time in between classes to prepare for the next class. When you think about it, there is no secret. We all KNOW what it takes to achieve something. The question is: Are we willing to do what it takes?

I was never academically good in high school. I was just average. But I made a choice. I decided that I wanted to be the best version of myself. I had nothing to lose, even if I failed. At least, I can tell myself that I did my best. If it didn’t work out, I could always do something else and whatever that was done can be added to the “experience” bucket. The goal was not to be the “Best Graduate”. I didn’t even know that title existed until AFTER I completed my degree. I made sure I pushed through the hard times. Perseverance!

It is good to have certain goals in life but the goal should always be: To Be The BEST VERSION OF YOURSELF.

Consistency, Persistence FullSizeRender_2

I was never a sportsman or a runner back in school. I was active in all sports but I never stood out. Whenever I was short listed to be trained, I would run away and come up with excuses to skip the “hard work”. I never fully explored my potential. I held back. I wasn’t prepared to put in the “hard work” that was required.

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I didn’t run to compete. I ran because I wanted to stay in shape and to get fit and healthy (HAHA!). It took a lot of hard work, determination and consistency to do just that. Life has funny ways to applaud you. When I realised that I could place within the top 20 when I ran my first race, I couldn’t help but think of the “what if”. What if I ran a little harder? What if I pushed a little more?

I couldn’t just stop there. 

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My running achievements are nothing to shout about. The reason I get to be up on the podium is because the best in the field are not around. If they were, I’d float away in the sea of mediocrity. Having said that, those achievements are MY personal achievements. It is my journey and I know that I have come a long way.

Celebrate Who You Are

Learn to celebrate the little achievements/milestones instead of always beating yourself up. But then again, be careful to not let your victories go to your head or your failures go to your heart.FullSizeRender(1)

With each running related post that I upload or write about on social media, I am hoping that I am able to motivate and inspire other people. I am NOT an EXPERT. I am still very much on this learning journey and it will continue till the day my heart stops beating.

I just want to show other people that with a little hard work, determination, persistence, time, effort and a speck of craziness, even the most normal person like me is able to achieve something. I am grateful for everyone who has contributed in helping me get to where I am and where I want to be.FullSizeRender

If you are stuck in a rut or going nowhere in life, ask yourself: “Am I giving it my best? Is this where I should be? Am I using my gifts and talents to the best of my capabilities?” Chances are, the answer is no.

So, what are you waiting for? Get out there, discover your potential, PUSH and learn to BE YOUR OWN CHAMPION.

I thank GOD for everything that he has done and blessed me with.

Nothing is possible without HIM.