Tag Archives: perserverance

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!

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

Weekend Update: From Feeling On Top Of The World To Hitting Rock Bottom

Weekend update! Another back to back race weekend, or so it was supposed to be.

Here goes:

Saturday:

Took part in the Larian Hari Malaysia – Maksak 2014. Always thankful for races on Saturdays because that would mean that I can attend church on Sundays!

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This was my first time eating a Powerbar before a race. I know I shouldn’t try anything new on race day but oh well!

This stuff is awesome! Vanilla crisp tastes exactly like my favourite Kellogg’s rice crispies! Why didn’t I discover this earlier! Going to have it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, supper…… okay let’s not get carried away.

Arrived rather early. Met up with the running sister and we did a mini warm up session together. I was feeling pretty nervous, the usual pre-race jitters. Bumped into our coach and he gave us a lil pep talk before the race. He also realised that he had signed up for the wrong category. Too funny.

We were off at 7.30am. This time, I didn’t start out too strong. I kept to my pace and followed the pack. It was a tough one with many competitors. But that’s the best part about racing! I tailed behind the 6th female runner all the way to the end. I managed to sprint my heart out for the final 100m and I was just 2 seconds behind her. In terms of nett time, I was 1 second ahead of her. I came in 7th place by gun time but I hit a new PB! WHOOP! It didn’t feel like it so I was pretty surprised.

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Met up with Michelle too! The 3 Puma girls.

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Pro Veteran runners!

After the prize giving ceremony, Chooi Fern and I made our way to KL for the Standard Chartered KL Marathon Media Route Tour. Team Dirigo was given a spot on the bus!

10407423_10152678685155798_9118000045645758234_nPhoto courtesy of Kin K Yum

When the rest of the crew finally arrived, we set off on our journey around KL.

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We drove along the Marathon route, escorted by police outriders. We managed to escape the Saturday afternoon jam. Many other drivers were poking their heads out, wondering who these bunch of jokers were hogging up the road! We felt like royalty with our 1 hour of fame.

10433068_10152678685670798_8745284133006635559_nPhoto courtesy of Kin K Yum

The little minions.

10531420_10152678662970798_1497674498397423630_oPhoto courtesy of Kin K Yum

Coach Mark led the session.

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Driving on the opposite side!

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We went up for some fresh air! Sylvia was there too.

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When the Media Tour finally came to an end, we walked to Chinatown for some grub. We hadn’t eaten anything since the race!

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FOOD!

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Tea time snacks courtesy of the sister! So much love! Marble and poppy seed, my favourite!

Sunday:

My colleague was kind enough to register the BHP run for me. Sadly, I couldn’t wake up and I missed it. GAH! It took me a day and a half to get over it.

I had doubts about showing up for the race the night before. But knowing me, I wouldn’t just give up on a race. I set my alarm. But I guess my body was too exhausted to function. I slept till 11am! Nearly 12 hours of sleep!

When i woke up, I was partially in shock and everything felt like a dream. I was feeling so depressed and disappointed at myself.

I woke up this morning, still feeling as empty as ever. I hadn’t gotten over the fact that I had missed yesterday’s race.

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I thank God for the friends that He placed in my life. It took my non-runner bestie to “wake” me up and to remind me of why I love running. It was a real slap in the face. And I love her for that. Thanks for being there for me, through the good and the bad. You can read me inside out and say all the right words.

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Yep, nobody is perfect. There is always failure and sadness. You wish things hadn’t happen but they did. Look on the bright side. There is always hope. Everyone fails once in a while. It is how you pull yourself out of it that matters. What is done is done. Accept it, learn from it and make the best of it. Those are the best kinds of mistakes.

2When you’re grateful for what you’ve got, you won’t complain for what you don’t have.

Today, I channeled all that negative energy into putting in one of my best LSDs ever! My confidence is through the roof right now. I’m celebrating the little things and the mini milestones that I’ve achieved.

Goals are important but it is also important with being okay with where you’re at. Right now, I am okay. Enjoying every bit of the process.

When I reflect on all that has happened, I am grateful that I came this far. All the pain, experiences, training, knowledge…… SO worth it.

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The little sister who is always on the lookout for me. Thanks for pushing me through all the tough training sessions. Couldn’t have done them without you.

image1Yep. Let God. I trust that He has a plan for me. I just have to keep believing!

Happy Running!

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

Post-race Report: Larian Muzium 2014

How I got myself into this race is a story for another day. I’ll sum it up in two words: Surprised and Unprepared.

It was only 4 days after the Run 4 Peace race on Sunday. My right calf muscle and glutes were still screaming in pain. I gave my muscles a good stretch on Monday by doing 20 minutes of yoga.

On Tuesday, I put in a recovery run which turned out to be the worst recovery run ever. My muscles were so tight and so sore I could barely move. And because I was desperate to get my muscles up and running by Thursday (Larian Muzium), I applied the deep heat that I was allergic to (yes, I was THAT desperate) that afternoon and it BURNED my skin throughout the run.

My butt was still aching, it hurt to even sit. It was really the worst “easy recovery” run.

10309176_10152444799246388_239258535791479993_nBURN BURN BURN! Came home rolling on the floor in pain.

The Puma Running Club was cancelled at the very last minute on Wednesday. Just as well, another rest day!

The night before, I was so exhausted and tired (from work) that I fell asleep the minute my head hit the pillow. It didn’t feel like I had to race the next day. No sleepless night and no pre-race jitters.

I slept so well, I nearly missed my alarm when it rang at 5am. I was feeling lethargic and my head was so heavy, all I wanted to do was to go back to sleep. I had no mood to run at all. I was even tempted to take 2 pain killers before leaving the house. The plus side was that my muscles were feeling strong and ready to run! All I needed was a huge dose of adrenaline.

My dad agreed to drive me all the way to Shah Alam even though it was his birthday! Best Dad in the world. We arrived at about 5.45am and I went to collect my race kit. Spotted a familiar face, Shu Wei (Fellow Puma Pacer)! Had a pretty meaningful conversation over our “free” time (we had nearly 2 hours to kill) and did a mini (probably only 3 minutes) pre-race warm up run. He also pointed out who my competitors were. Sometimes, ignorance is bliss. Haaaaa! I wasn’t sure if I wanted to know who I was up against. It was an open category which meant that I had to compete with the veterans too.

The race was supposed to start at 7am, but obviously it didn’t. I was feeling tired and hungry (I had breakfast!) and very impatient. The reality of being there probably hadn’t kicked in yet. At 7.25am, we gathered at the starting line. I told myself: “It is now or never. Nothing in between”.

When the starting gun sound was heard, the crowd was off. It was 7.31am. I think I started off a bit too adventurous. I was the first girl for the first 500m before the 3 elites overtook me with ease. I had my eye on Shu Wei but totally lost sight of him after 3/4KM (Haaaaaaaa!). Around the 5th KM, a phantom runner matched my pace and ran beside me. He looked at me and said that I was going too fast and that we should take it easy. I gave him a polite smile but I was thinking “Don’t mess with my pace, no way I’m slowing down!”. He was really friendly and I’m sure that he was just looking out for me (I hope).

After 6/7KM, another woman ran pass. You know, THAT feeling, I was pretty demotivated. I had to keep my mind together to press on for the last few KMs. I was so relieved when the finishing line was finally in sight. I saw my dad standing at the side, holding up his camera! I came in 5th. My watch – 8.16am. According to Shu Wei’s GPS, the total distance was about 9.7KM. 45 minutes, probably another personal best!

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There was a whole box of one of my favourite cereal in the goodie bag. And, there was a MILO truck!

10322765_622225481195838_3640471588727080755_nSource: 2009tonton.blogspot.com

I guess my watch was pretty accurate!

I hung around the area and had my post-run snacks while waiting to collect my prize. Many seasoned runners came up to shake my hand to congratulate me and we exchanged a few words. It was pretty awkward because I didn’t know what to say. Managed to socialise quite a bit, something I don’t normally do.

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Trusty ol’ Puma Faas 300V2. Pretty satisfied with it. No blisters, no cuts.

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Post-run noms! Gotta’ eat what you’ve lost.

When I came home, I did 20 minutes of stretching to minimize/prevent post-race aches. Managed to put in a recovery run (a very good one) and a core session the next day. Post-race stretching really does wonders for you body!

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We all have to take good care of our muscles. Active prevention is always better than treatment. Make sure that you refuel, stretch and rest after a hard workout/race. Protein is essential for repairing those worn out muscles. Drink or eat them, just get some protein in you!

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Ahhhhhhhhhh! I didn’t know KT tape gives off heat! Has anybody else experienced this? My muscles felt so relaxed and oh so good! Oh, thanks to Zi-Shen (Fellow Puma Pacer and PARX teammate) for the KT tape! My muscles are loving it.

Well, it was definitely the best way to kick start Labour Day, doing what I love!

Every breath, every stride, all the pain and every moment you refuse to give up, you finish strong.

 

For the LOVE of Running!

Today was one of the best running days, as far as I can remember! Not because I ran my fastest or the furthest, but because I had FUN, lots of it. I made it a point to enjoy it and I told myself that I would.

I ditched my watch. Some runners depend solely on their gadgets to tell them their distance, time, speed etc. They tend to pay less attention to themselves and over time, they lose their sense of pace. At least once a week, leave your watch at home and FEEL your run. Although I don’t usually time myself down to the very second, I left my watch behind. I didn’t want a sense of time, I didn’t want to know how long I was running for. It was simply just me, some tunes and the road.

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Faas 300 V2! I love these.

The weather was almost perfect. Not too sunny (definitely not hazy) with a cool breeze brushing against my face as I zoomed by. As soon as I eased into that relaxed, flying rhythm, I remembered why I started running. It felt like the first time I set out on my first run. You know, when you get into that soft flow, it really does feel like your legs can go on for days.

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Throughout my run, I greeted all my neighbours and played with their four legged friends. I was running around with a huge smile plastered on my face, tapping along to the music that I was listening to. Sounds more like a lunatic on the loose eh?

I also managed to do some reflection, thanking God for the life that I have right now. It was one of the most productive “me-times” ever! I ran until exhaustion started to set in and when the night sky finally took over.

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Snoopy was trying to get into the picture.

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Such a poser. I meant Snoopy.

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Sometimes, we set too many running goals for ourselves that we lose sight of the whole point of running in the first place.

LOVE RUNNING

Amidst the grueling hours of training, sweat, pain, tears, exhaustion…… you must find that joy, that love for running. That’s the only way to keep going. You must love what you’re doing.

Take some time off your training and truly enjoy your run. After all, isn’t that what running is all about?

Happy Feet! *Tap Tap*