Tag Archives: passion

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#AdeleWFOTW – Loh Voon Ying

#AdeleWFOTWWomen Feature Of The Week!

Anybody remember that hashtag? Yeah, I totally killed it. But I intend to bring it back! YAY!

I think I should change it to #AdeleWFOTMWomen Feature Of The Month!


So anyway, this month we have Loh Voon Ying! I actually engaged her a LOOOOONGGGG time ago, the first few on my list!

But, I totally messed it up and that was why I didn’t manage to publish it. But it is NEVER too late to feature this special girl.

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Voon Ying is a very humble, low key runner. But she’s no stranger in the running community.

When I first started running competitively, her name kept popping up everywhere. Everyone was just talking about her! To be honest, I was afraid of her because we hadn’t met before. We didn’t manage to cross paths until a few months later. I

was star struck when I finally got to meet her. She’s soft spoken, kind and super down to earth!

Read on to find out more about her:

1. How long have you been running?

12 years since 2005.

2. How did you get into running?

I started running to stay fit.

I decided to lace up my shoes and step out of the door during my teenage years, the time when a girl starts to care about her physical appearance. Girls are usually always worried about being fat even if they’re actually skinny.

It was hard at first. But fortunately, I had my brother and uncles (all of them experienced in running) as my coaches when I was new, so it became easier over time. I walked/ran, kept the distance short, took it slow and didn’t overdo it in the early days. I learnt a lot of running tips and got a lot of fitness guide from them. They play an important role in my running journey.

Running started as a way for me to stay fit, but now I run because I want to, it’s turned to a habit. Sometimes, I just enjoy feeling alone, feeling the wind, and feeling the heart beating, the panting and sweating! That’s what’s so incredible about running.

3. Do you join any running groups? If yes, which running group?

I joined Cari Runners in 2012, and officially Pacemakers on the 1st of August 2014 after being invited by Captain Ronnie. He has been a very helpful figure in my running journey.

19238672_1614652988546132_1367626231_oPAR 13 – I missed this race last year due to injury. Special thanks to Teck Wai for arranging everything!

4. Your profession:

Photoshop editor and admin staff.

5. How do you juggle work and running?

I’ll try to get on the road 3 days a week. If I plan to jog but unfortunately have to work overtime, I will surf Facebook less the night before and set early morning alarms the next day to get up and run.

6. Do you have a training schedule? What is it like?

I don’t have a running schedule. Usually plans that I’ve made for running don’t work out, either because of external factors or my weak determination (lol). So instead, I’ve just let it be flexible and try to run whenever I can with at least one tempo run per week.

7. Who do you usually train/run with?

Train with my bro but mostly solo.

8. Which was the most memorable race event and why!

Memorable race would be Larian Gegar Half Marathon 2015 where I injured myself. ☹

Lesson: Always pay full attention during a race, even if the race venue is very familiar to you. Never be careless!

And Twincity Marathon 2014 too, my very 1st sub 4 marathon. The thrill of crossing the finish line. You will learn that you are tougher than you ever give yourself credit for. I found out that I could go further than I once thought.

19389572_1614654168546014_1026890805_nMy Healthy Run – Finally managed to run 5 min/km (post injury)!

9.Favourite distance:

Half Marathon!

10. Who is your inspiration?

My brother Loh Voon Leong! He made me the runner I am today. You are the beginning of my running journey. 一切由你开始。19340080_1614624911882273_1221442525_oThe Loh siblings winning at the Raub Village Run – 13th May 2017!

11. Fav running quote:

“Everyone is an athlete. But some of us are training, and some of us are not.” -Dr. George Sheehan


Thanks Voon Ying!

I LOVE that last quote! Well said!

Running is for EVERYONE!

If you’ve been thinking of running, here’s the cue to get started!

My top tip is to GET A GROUP! FIND a bunch of CRAZY runners and ENJOY THE JOURNEY!

xxxx

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MAYHEM – First few weeks in Sydney!

Exactly how I would describe my first few weeks back in Sydney.Processed with VSCO with f2 preset


Week 1 & 2

I arrived on Sunday morning (29th January) after travelling through the night for 8 hours. Safe to say that I did not get much shut-eye. My aunt came to pick me up from the airport and we were off to an extended family CNY lunch.

Rushed back to my aunt’s place to repack my bag to move to my friend’s place (Ming). THANK GOD she was staying just 10 minutes away from my 1st placement site. That takes away the transport-planning stress.

God’s timing is PERFECT! They just got the place a week before I arrived. I moved in BEFORE she did. I guess I “warmed” up her room for her.

IMG_1427So GRATEFUL to have this gem in my life. :) Always looking out for me and worrying about me not having a BED/TABLE/CHAIR etc. I thank God for YOU! I would have been homeless and lost for the first 2 weeks in Sydney! Thanks for your awesome room! LOVE YOU!

IMG_4594Also, Woolies was right next to us (THANK GOD!). I went to grab food to survive the week. Came back, made some food, set aside my clothes for the next day and it was time for bed. I WAS COMPLETELY SMASHED by the end of the day.

FullSizeRenderWoke up extra early the next day to test the transport system (CANNOT BE LATE ON THE FIRST DAY!). It was all good, taking only 10 mins by bus.

First week of placement went really well! Everyone is SO NICE. I have 3 very lovely supervisors. Very excited for the upcoming weeks!IMG_4669The Nutrition and Dietetics department sure knows how to throw a party!


 

It was a lot for me to swallow in just one week. Leaving home on the first day of Chinese new year + Packing and moving + New suburb + New place + First day of placement + Getting used to regular working hours + Stress from placement + Transport system + Exploring my surroundings + Shopping and cooking + Cleaning + Working out… and just trying to get back to a normal routine and life. I am a person that lives on a routine. I like to have it all in my head (at least). It has been a challenging week of just trying to adjust to what I have.

At the same time, I was frantically looking for a place to stay! I spent HOURS and 3 out of 6 precious Gbs of data that I had just looking/msg-ing/email-ing practically every place I could find.

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Hannah Banana! <3 Much needed catch up sesh! Again, so thankful to have her in my life. We spent the day walking, shopping, eating and pouring our hearts out! Just what we needed. :)

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetRunning the stress away!


Background story:

I have 5 placement sites this semester. They are all over the place. To me, TIME is very precious. I’d rather move 5 times than to spend my days in the bus/train travelling for a total of 3 hours. And so, the house hunt quest continues!


FINALLY, at the end of week 1, I found a new temporary home for placement sites 1 and 2. There’s a twist to the story. Minutes after we had settled and arranged everything, the landlord had to cut my stay short by 2 weeks (due to something he claimed was a “long story”). I was at the mall and tears literally rolled down my face. I was just TOO STRESSED OUT! GAH!

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetMoved out of Ming’s place after 2 weeks and into my new home for the next 4 weeks!

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetAs of today, I still have no idea where I’m staying for those 2 weeks. That’s a worry for another day. HAAAAA! Currently living out of my suitcase.

Snapshots of my life:

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetTake time out for yourself, clear your mind, focus, pray and just CHILL. #doyou

IMG_5776This is dinner… most of the time. Along with some veges, meat and fruit.

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetCheers to 1 dollar pineapples!

IMG_5510And 2.50 mangoes! SUMMER FRUITS! YUMMMMM!

IMG_4601Lunch.

IMG_5795OD-ed on sushi rolls. I’ve been having this every single day! SO GOOD!

IMG_5540Conducted a small group education session for the Drug and Alcohol group on FIBRE AND HEALTHY POO!

IMG_5515Got them to make all the different types of poo from play dough! SO FUN!

IMG_5541They were very cooperative when it came to making the poo and the reading of food labels. Phew!

IMG_5666Our nutrition booth for Australia’s Healthy Weight Week! It was such a good time getting ppl to play the “guess how many tsp of sugar is in this drink” game, filling out quizzes and giving simple education on healthy eating and exercise! #wellbeing #healthylife #lifestyle


3 weeks down! I cannot THANK GOD enough for seeing me through this time. Indeed, I am NOTHING without Him. Feeling very blessed and realized how much I have taken “convenience” for granted. Just grateful to live another day!

Everyone goes through tough times. Social media can be deceiving. Ppl seem to think I have it easy but you don’t know what goes on BTS.

The next time you face a tough period, don’t ask God “WHY ME”, instead ask “Show me YOUR will and YOUR power”.

 

Side note: I’ve been in the gastro/oncology wards and it has made me realize that HEALTH is WEALTH. Appreciate what you have and the body that you are living in. CHEERS!

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New Year, New You?

HAPPY 2017!

First week of 2017 done and dusted. What have you been up to?IMG_2718


And yes, it is that time of the year again! That time where we tend to set unrealistic goals for ourselves. I am guilty of that (Haaaaaaaa!).

While we are still feeding off the new-year-new-you spark to keep the flame going, here are some things to think about to set the tone for the year ahead!

1. Think SMALL

The word “small” tends to get more negative vibes. We like BIG things. BIG car, BIG house, dream BIG, do BIG things, BIG changes…… There is nothing wrong with doing BIG things or thinking BIG. But before the BIG, there is the humble SMALL.

SMALL, SIMPLE and effective steps are needed to achieve BIG things. Do one small thing each day that will get you to your BIG goal.IMG_6350

Example 1:

BIG GOAL: 5 serves of vege and 2 fruits a day

SMALL steps:

-Opt for vege snacks in the morning

-More vege in your lunch/dinner

-Add a piece of fruit to curb the sweet arvo cravings

Example 2:

BIG GOAL: FIT and HEALTHY

SMALL step: 10 minutes of exercise every day

When you set SMALL goals, they are more achievable. Your brain will tell you that it is “easy” to achieve. We tend to DO it when our brain perceives it as an “easy” task. We all know we procrastinate when it comes to doing “hard work”.FullSizeRender_2

Those SMALL easy tasks will soon become habits. And once it becomes a habit, you can build on them. Ie: Going from 10 minutes of exercise to 30 minutes and beyond.

2. PRIORITY

Everyone is “BUSY”. But there are only a handful who are REALLY BUSY. And even for those who are REALLY BUSY, they still manage to find time to do the things they need/want/love.

The key thing is to PRIORITISE. I’m sure you have a hundred things going on on your to-do list right now.

Start by making that SMALL list. PRIORITISE which you would like to achieve or are important to you. It can be anything from family, friends, work, life, fitness, health, nutrition etc.FullSizeRender_1

I used to prioritise work over family. Oh how I’ve changed! I guess as you get older, you realise that your family is getting (even) older! Time flies and before you know it, precious time spent with them will slip through your fingers. I am spending so much time with my family now and they are my no.1 (after God that is). PLUS, I still get to do the things that I want to do! 😀

*MAKE THAT LIST!*

3. Discipline

Motivation comes and goes. DISCIPLINE is going to keep you going. WORK that like a muscle. FEED it, GROW it, TRAIN it!MOTIVATION

This applies to all areas of life. Family, work, responsibilities, health, fitness, nutrition…

If you have to do it or if you want it, then just DO IT.

After making that small list and prioritising each item, be discipline enough to follow through! Tell yourself that you have to do it.

Discipline is doing what you are supposed to do WHEN YOU DON’T WANT TO DO IT!

4. BE Grateful

No matter where you’re at in life, be grateful.FullSizeRender_3

The world does not owe you anything. Be grateful for what you have, for where you’re at while working towards what you want. Never be greedy. These days, we are all too fixated on living “the life” (whatever that means to you) that we lose sight of what we have. Being able to LIVE and BREATHE is already something that we should be grateful of. Focus on what REALLY MATTERS in life.

To me, only GOD can fill that empty void. That empty, lonely, deep void can only be filled with the LOVE of GOD. In HIM, I have everything. I am FULL.


This year was a little different for me. I did not “feel” it. I did not have that gush of passion, energy, dreams and resolutions pumping through me. I guess I have come to realise that you can change, set goals and achieve whatever you want, whenever you want!

You don’t need a new year, a new day, a new week or a new month to make a change. Change is always happening.

Life is a LOOOOONNNNNGGGG journey. It is what you do every other day that matters. :) Step by step. It all adds up and it all counts!FullSizeRender

If you had a bad first week of 2017, so what? There’s another one coming right up!

Hope this helps!

xoxo

How to Prepare for a Marathon – Training Part 1

Disclaimer: This is going to be about how I prepared (in terms of Training) for the Marathon. Please note that I’ve only ever ran a Marathon once in my life. So, follow at your own risk.

For my first marathon experience, I was fortunate enough to be training under Coach Mark with Team Dirigo. You can say that we had it easy. Everything was laid out for us. Basically, all we had to do was execute (which was actually the hardest part).

Before I continue, I won’t be revealing anything from our training program in respect to Coach Mark. Sorry to burst your bubble but if you were expecting a detailed A-Z training plan for a marathon, you’re going to be a little disappointed. However, I will share a bit on what you can do, what qualities you should possess and what to expect during your training period (over several blog posts).

I don’t think our training plan is any (or very) different from those that you can get online (for free). Sometimes, it is just the case of getting it done. It is not about what we don’t know (we all know what it takes to run a marathon!). Just like how we know fried chicken is bad for health but we eat it anyway. We KNOW, we just need to DO IT (or not do it).10849889_10152967847101388_7325605152711666392_nI can tell you what these training programs require: HARD WORK. We live in a society that craves instant solutions and results. We crave for the quickest, shortest and most efficient way. Sometimes, we wish to achieve the impossible without putting in any effort. While you’re still sitting there looking for the fastest way out with instant results, someone else is out there doing all the hard work.nothing-worth-having-comes-easy-soar-like-an-eagle-by-david-fishNothing worth having comes easy – TRUTH.

Typical training process

Running, running, running and more running! Our training program was over 14 weeks. But these days, you can get training programs over 6-8weeks (of course, it depends on your current fitness level)! There are all sorts that you can find on the internet. 10846438_10152967854706388_3417336763464331437_nThink of the training program as a piece of cake. The cake (Long runs), layers of cream cheese filling (Tempo runs) with caramel swirls (Interval runs). Slice a piece off as the weeks go by. That’s the gist of it. Training intensity and volume would depend on your specific race goals.

Before you start any training program, you have to:

Set some realistic goals

Sub 4? Sub 4.30? You decide. Nobody knows you best but you. Always remember to set the bar high. Make the most of your current potential and triple that. A good tactic for you to make sure that you stick to your goal is to get into a buddy system or better yet, announce your race goal to the world. That way, you are accountable for what you said you would do.10308717_10152918953086388_9103945441158821353_nTo run a marathon, you need a strong mind and the right mindset. These are your must-haves:

Self-discipline

Once you’ve set a goal, be discipline to follow through. Dedicate yourself to it and stick to it. There will be days when you don’t feel like running, PUSH THROUGH THEM. Get the mileage in. This is going to be the determining factor that will set you apart from the rest. People usually give in when they don’t feel like running, DON’T!10734172_10152918952236388_1765638990880207031_nIt was hard for me too. There were days where I hoped for rain as an excuse, days where I laid in bed battling with my inner self, days where I craved for fatty foods and sugar (not advisable during marathon training)……

Determination

Keep your eyes on your goal. Remind yourself of it. How bad do you want this? You’ve got to want this enough to get you through your training. Find your motivation, write it down somewhere. Stick it on your mirror, on your notebook, set it as your mobile phone wallpaper…… anywhere, as long as you can see them.

10469867_10152918952396388_1723076991407226270_nFocus on the “now”. Live in the present moment and make the most of it.

Stay Focus

It is very important to stay focus during your training runs. When you’re training (alone especially), it can be very tempting to deviate from your set pace. Your long runs can easily turn into recovery runs if you don’t stay focus. Don’t defeat the purpose of your runs. Make them count, turn them into quality runs. Also, you’ve got to FEEL your runs. Identify all your aches and pains (side stitches, cramps etc.). Feel them, correct them or adapt to them if you have to. That way on race day, these wouldn’t come as a surprise to you.

I had side stitches after about 10KM into the marathon. I remained calm and knew what to do about it because I had them during my training runs.

Perseverance

It is going to be hard. Nobody said that it would be a walk in the park. If it were easy, everyone would have done it. I have this bad habit (or a fear) of not wanting to push myself to the maximum. I hate it. I hate that feeling. I like to remain in my comfort zone. If you want change, you’ve got to do something different. 1601253_10152918952631388_4647049890723274925_nThanks to Coach Mark for pushing me through each training session. It was crazy. There were times where I felt like stepping off the track to give up. But I knew that I had to hold it for just a little while more. Every session left me with jelly legs and a few stars dancing around my head.

I always hit a point in training where I hated running to the core and found myself asking: “What am I doing? Why am I even running? Is it worth it?” But yet, I love it enough to do it all over again.images

I love that feeling after a tough workout. But first, you gotta’ go through it!

Trust me, you’re going to have a lot of self-doubt. You’re going to want to give up. Don’t.

Sit down. Breathe. Think. Evaluate your goals. Talk to a friend. Get motivated. Trust your training and progress. And then jump right back! All the best!

Half Marathon Debut – 2XU Compression Run 2014

I was supposed to run my first half marathon at SCKLM (Standard Chartered KL Marathon). Registering for the half for the 2XU Compression Run was something I did on an impulse. I regretted my decision soon after. Just about a week ago I requested to change to the Women Open 10KM category. They wanted to charge a RM30 processing fee, which I thought was totally not worth it. RM65 + RM30 to run 10KM? Nah. So I left it at that and decided to take this race as part of my training.

Yes, I honestly didn’t plan to compete. I was planning to follow the 2 hour pacer and even told Kevin that I will only be back after 2 hours. As i didn’t have it in mind to compete, I wasn’t race ready. I didn’t rest enough the day before (I only had 2-3 hours of sleep and I was out the whole day) and didn’t pay any special attention to what I ate. Actually, the thought of not competing eliminated unwanted stress/pressure and I was calm.

I had no clue on how to prepare for my first half marathon. Everything was by trial and error. I woke up at 3am (2 hours before the flag off) to get ready and have my breakfast. I usually eat 1 hour before a 10KM race. Since I was planning to eat a little more, I allocated 2 hours for my food to digest. I had toast, bananas and a powerbar.

We arrived at Lake Gardens 45 minutes before 5am. I was feeling rather fresh and energized. The weather was perfect. It had rained the night before so it was wet and cool.

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I casually strolled to the starting line and I was right up front!

About 5 minutes past 5am, we were off. As usual, I darted out. I have this bad habit of going out too fast at the beginning. I had to keep reminding myself that it was 21.1KM and that I had a long way to go!

200 meters in and we were greeted with the first incline. I heard a lot about this route before the race, about how it was very hilly and challenging. The rumors were TRUE! It was insane.

Studying race routes before races is not my thing. I don’t fancy knowing what I’m up against. I like “discovering” the route on race day. I was glad I did the same for this race. If I had known how crazy this route was, I would have been demotivated at the starting line.

Running is not all about your physical ability; it is about your mental ability as well. In fact, it is more mental than it is physical. It’s all in your head! As cliché as it may sound, you have to believe in yourself. Believe that you can do it. That is the first step. *hint hint*1524934_10152773735676388_3113678794514105039_nIn terms of pace, I was just as clueless. My goal was to either maintain the pace or speed up. I told myself that if I felt good then go for it. I didn’t reserve any energy for anything because I didn’t know what was ahead of me. Every hill came as a surprise and kilometre after kilometre, I gave my best.

There were many U-turns throughout this route. It was pretty scary as I could see how far or how near my opponents were. The only good thing about these U-turns is that you are able to cheer for the other runners.

1896803_10152776567801388_5539403941500996667_nI felt a surge of energy every time my friends /other runners cheered for me. It made a lot of difference! THANK YOU!

I was constantly monitoring how I felt throughout the race. I usually ignore water stations but this time, I made it a point to drink at every station even if it was just a sip. In terms of fuel, I ripped my gel pack after passing the 10KM mark. I was actually planning to take my gel after 1 hour but I didn’t want to wait until my body was crying for it. I didn’t want to wait until I felt tired or cold before fuelling up. The only mistake I made was taking the gel without water which threw me into a mini coughing fit. Thankfully the water station was up ahead!

We ran the whole course in the dark. I could barely see the road beneath my feet. Thankfully there were road marshals at every major turn. After inching my way up the last hill which felt like death, the race was finally coming to an end. I could smell the finish line!

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A wave of energy coursed through my veins at the thought that I had 4KM left. Again, it is all in your head! Your body is capable of it, you just have to convince your mind.

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Crossing the finish line was the best feeling ever. My first half marathon, done and dusted in 1:43:22. Kevin made it just in time to catch a glimpse of me running through the last stretch. He wasn’t expecting me until after 2 hours (because I said that I wasn’t planning on competing). He was contemplating on a nap but he had a hunch to be there earlier (Yay! So much love!).

Camera roll:

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With Voon Ying who also finished strong! Thumbs up!

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The sister. 5KM Champ!

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Yvonne, my colleague, took part in the 10KM category.

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Zi Shen who didn’t wait for me. We crossed paths 3 times throughout the race! Grrr! He also said he was going to “take it easy”. Lies, all lies! Lucas, on my left, did really well too!

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Goh Shu Wei.

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ParX team mate, Goh Jing Jing.

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Doon! She has improved so much! So proud of her. The only goal I gave her was to keep running. Every time she felt like stopping she could imagine my nagging voice in her head. Haaaaa! I guess that’s a good thing! Well done girl!

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Daniel hit his PB but he ended up on a drip at the emergency tent. Got a shock when I heard that he fainted. Thank God he was okay!

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3 monkeys?

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3rd place.

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Team Dirigo – 1, 2, 3!

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With the Champs!

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Stuff from the race.

This route was perfect for my half marathon debut, challenging with many unexpected twists and turns. No regrets. I truly enjoyed every moment of it. Zooming down the hills and climbing up others in the dark was pretty exhilarating.

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Yep, this race was totally RAD! Very happy with my first half marathon! Looking forward to all the other races in the future! Bring it!

Keep Running!

Word text images from various sources: Tumblr, Instagram, Google