Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Inconsiderate idiots!

My morning started out well, as most of my mornings do. Had a good cuddle with my kids and a good stretch to warm up the muscles before the mad dash in the day. Then I had to get some groceries from the supermarket. I love Tesco Ampang, I've said that before. However, some people seem to leave their brain at home when they're out shopping. How else to explain stopping suddenly in the middle of the aisle and leaving the shopping trolley in the middle of the way, blocking anyone else from moving ahead with their trolley? And when you need to push your shopping to your car, it feels like you're going through an obstacle course as people leave their trolleys in the middle of the walkways. Worse, they load their groceries in to the car and push the trolley onto the parking bay! Hello!!!??! People need to park and there are trolley return bays all over the parking lot!

Someone highlighted this blog post to me which I want to share with everyone. The face of this inconsiderate idiot should be made known! Kudos to YK for snapping the photo of the culprit and his car! Something I've wanted to do whenever I'm faced with situations like this.

After the supermarket, I drove home to my condo to be faced with another idiot. A lady resident was cleaning her car and she chose to throw a plastic bag over the fence to a common land next to our condo. I passed by her as I was driving up to park my car and made a gesture to say "Why did you throw the rubbish?". She just gave me a blank look as if she didn't realize what she did was wrong. That got me mad! My 8-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son asked why the lady threw rubbish over the fence. I parked my car and told my children I was going to tell the lady off. My daughter said, "Uh oh, I'm staying in the car". She knows her mom is someone who will not tolerate nonsense like that. I asked the lady why she threw the rubbish over the fence when this is our home. She lives here too ma... Her reply made me more mad! She said that there were already rubbish over the fence. (Yes, we have other inconsiderate idiots living here) After all, it was her first time. She was getting angry with me too! WTF!!

I didn't want to talk to an idiot anymore. Sorry for insulting other idiots around. GRRRR!!!

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

A new me!

Two months ago, pumped up with enthusiasm and as a self kick in the butt, I signed up for a 10km run. I figured 2 months should be enough to train up for the run. Since 20 months ago, I've been going to the gym, taking pole lessons and jogging/walking a bit but no way was I fit enough for a 10km run. Two months flashed by and I have not been training even though I have been exercising regularly! Before I knew it, the Mizuno Wave 10km Run day was almost here!

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With some apprehension, I turned up at Padang Merbok on Saturday, 18 Oct to collect my running vest, number and instructions. The Pacesetters Athletic Club has so much experience organizing runs like this, picking up the race pack was a cinch. I didn't tell anyone about the run, half thinking I may just skip this. However, in the race pack was a timing chip to be attached to my running shoe for the run. The chip will record the timing of the individual runner. I am too proud to turn in a chip that doesn't show any running time!

I didn't sleep well the night before. Partly due to nervousness and also my kids were
recovering from flu. They were still coughing a bit in the middle of the night. When the alarm rang this morning, I was battling with myself whether to go ahead with the run. Again, pride took over. I have brisk walked/jog 9km before. What's another 1km? I decided not to put any pressure on myself and just concentrate on enjoying the atmosphere and the run. Treat it as a Sunday morning jog around the park.
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Here I am looking like I could do with more sleep.

Arrived at Padang Merbok bright and early. I found a place to park further up from the Lake Club. That was where I parked when I joined the Kiwanis Fun Run which was attached to the Pacesetters New Balance 5km Run last year. I followed some other runners who were heading the same way. Most people were there as groups or they were seasoned runners who knew people there. I felt pretty lonely. The atmosphere at Padang Merbok was fabulous! Party at 6.30am! Woo hoo! Some runners were doing stretches, some jogged around to warm up. I remember not warming up before the 5km Fun Run and paid a hefty price for it. I was sore for 3 days after! This time around, I stretched a bit and jogged around just to loosen my sleepy joints. I was pumped and ready to go!

I walked past this ambulance and thought "I hope I won't be needing this!"
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My body was trying to convince my brain I should go home. My brain was telling my body, "I can do it! No pressure. Walk when you can't run. Just finish the 10km within the qualifying time" I had entered in the Women Veteran category (aged 35-45), qualifying time 1 hour 50 minutes.

Two aims - complete the race and finish under the qualifying time.
Easy.... right? Man, talk about self doubt!

At 7.15am, all runners gathered at the starting line. I looked around and saw some lean and mean looking runners. They look like seasoned runners. Some had running vests implying they're marathon runners or triathlete. There were all sorts of little gadgets like belt that holds little bottles to keep the body hydrated, canggih-looking running watches, sun visors which I've seen in running magazines. I was also reassured that I was not the only one who were not quite prepared when I saw (I assume) occasional gym-goers who thought it was a good idea to join the race at the time and some teenage boys who were convinced to sign up by parents of one of the friends. I overheard their conversation...

At 7.30am sharp, the horn sounded and we were off! There were 3,100 runners so starting was a little slow. I had placed myself somewhere in the middle. I didn't want to hold back those who are there for the medals, nor do I want to risk starting in the back. Do not want to be the last to cross the finishing line!

I had thought of a strategy. Slow jog the first couple of km. Walk when the road goes uphill and run when downhill. No pressure no hurry. Enjoy the atmosphere and the scenery. The route is quite scenic. I had my Walkman phone on and Harry Connick Jr was cheering me on. Note to self, pick some songs suitable for events like this. HCJ's "Yes We Can Can" was great for cheering myself on. How to go wrong with lyrics like:

I know we can make it
I know darn well can can work it out
Oh yes we can, I know we can can
Yes we can can, why can’t we?
If we wanna get together we can work it out

Must remember not to have "Workin In A Coal Mine" in the playlist!

Five o’clock in the mornin’
I’m already up and gone
Lord, I’m so tired’
How long can this go on

Not with 8km more to go! Just as I was having self doubts again, a barefoot auntie ran past me! She did look like a seasoned runner. Now if someone who is about 10 years older, running barefoot can do it, so can I!

My strategy worked. Walk uphill, run downhill. Just as I was feeling tired, I reached the 5km point. Water station! Hydrated, I continued running again. I kept telling myself, we've made it halfway only 5km more to go. Less than 2 times around the Ampang Hilir hill. No problem! That was also when I knew if I trained regularly, I can run the entire 5km race. Time to look out for the next 5km run.

The next 5km was tough but manageable. Brisk walk uphill, run downhill. The entire time I made sure there were still a big group of people behind me. A few teenage boys who had started the run next to me were still in sight, running/walking at about the same pace. I noticed that whenever I ran, they ran too. They probably thought "If this auntie can run still, so can I!"

We turned a few corners and I could tell we were not far from the finishing line. Sure enough, a volunteer from Pacesetters was at one of the turning points to informg runners another 2.3km to go. Woo hoo! My legs were tired by now but I knew there was still some running juice in them. I will jog my way to the finish line! I tried jogging from the 2km marker. Couldn't run the whole way, so I brisk walked and ran whenever I could. The teenage boys were still at par with me, running whenever I ran. They were tired too. Then I spotted the FINISH LINE! Yay! I finished my 1st 10km run in 1 hour 30 minutes!

After the run, I went looking for something to drink and perhaps a light breakfast. There were lots of fruits available, isotonic drinks as well as tau foo fah. The Milo van was there too and just like back in school, there was a long queue snaking towards the van! Host unlimited photos at for FREE!

A few things I learned from this experience:

* I need to train. Joining Pacesetters' organized training on Sunday mornings will help a lot! I can get to know more runners too, so I won't have to go to these events alone.
* I can do anything if I put my mind to it
* Join runs organized by Pacesetters Athletic Club any time! Always well organized.
* Do not plan anything strenuous after the event or the day after. My legs are sore!