Saturday, December 31, 2011

Highlights of 2011: #5 My 'Babies'

Another year of 'running away' - accomplished ;)

A year filled with PBs, awesome running friends and memories that'll last forever :)

Looking forward to what's store for twenty.twelve! :)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Highlights (and Lowlight) of 2011: #4 Friends

This year, the Gs have become closer... Like a family :)

And my running friends' circle has expanded as well...

The awesome peeps that I've met this year :) 

Also, not to forget my penyeris, oprah ladies and the solos for their unconditional support and love throughout the year...

Thank you guys and girlies for making this year oh-so-much-fun for me! :)

This year also, I would have never thought that I will be losing a very dear friend of mine, Allahyarham Kharis...

From left to right: Back in April at Village Park and After the Men's Health/Shape Night Run in July

We knew each other through Dailymile and we finally met in person at last year's Newton 25km Challenge Run... And became close friends up until his last day here on earth... Even though our friendship lasted for only about 2 years or so, it felt as though we both have known each other for a very long time, with our daily BB conversations and occasional meet-ups or drinks to talk about life, relationships, running and just about everything... Yeap, he was a confidant, but also a genuine-cum-true friend...

And for that, I will always be forever grateful to have known such a beautiful person... Will always remember you cunning advises on life :) Hope you're doing well on the other side of the world, my friend... 

The Gs and I still talk about you... We miss you... Al-Fatihah...   

Here's to making new friends and treasuring every moment with all of my superfriends from all walks of life in 2012! :) 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Highlights of 2011 - #3 Traveling

When you have so much time to yourself, you might as well make full use of it right? *wink*

And that's what I did this year :)

City of Love, Paris :)
From left to right: In the bus passing through the famous The Louvre 
At the 2nd level of the Eiffel Tower with my partner in crime + our finisher medals ;)
Having the best hot chocolate at Angelina

Land Down Under ;)
From left to right: Quality time with my big brother... Do we lookalike? ;)
With Surfers Paradise as the background 
With one of my besties in Melbie :) 

Top left: With Senorita and Captain at Huey's 24/7 Diner near our hotel in NYC
Top right: With Captain at Portland, Maine
Bottom left: Inside the famous cupcake store in Washington DC 
Bottom right: With the supposedly Apollo 18 as the background at NASA Johnson Space Centre, Houston 
You can click at the pictures above to view them properly :)

Of course I did not forget to travel back here di Negaraku :) You can click here to read about my getaway at one of the most beautiful islands here :)

Blessed and grateful for being able to travel and 'cuti-cuti' to a number of places this year :D

Can't wait for my trip(s) next year, insyaAllah!

And one with my beloved parents too :) 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Highlights of 2011 - #2 Three Continents

Yeah I know that I kind of overdid myself this year :P

But I guess if you have the opportunity to do so & super supportive parents to back you up, why not right? :)

Carrying my Malaysian flag proudly before crossing the finish line in Paris, Gold Coast and New York City respectively :) 

Alhamdulillah, for this year I've been blessed and given the opportunity to travel and complete these marathons:
1) Birthday marathon (Paris de Marathon)
2) A post-surgery marathon (Gold Coast Airport Marathon)
3) First World Marathon Majors (ING New York City Marathon)

And managed to PB at all of the marathons... Alhamdulillah for that too! :) 
(KA, if you're reading this, I am still waiting for you to wash my car from my Gold Coast achievement! :P)

I don't think I'll be able to 'runaway' like this again, but then again you'll never know ;) Nevertheless, I had so much fun running and traveling at the same time this year, since it was my first time to both Paris and New York City... Such beautiful cities and priceless experiences :)

Definitely a running year to remember :)

Looking forward to what's in store for me in 2012 too! 

And yeah yeah... I'll try and complete one marathon here in KL soon ok? 
(The keyword is 'try') :P

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Shit Girls Say #2

The second episode is here!!!

My fave lines were:

1) "I'm just like (followed by a long sigh)............" :P

2) "I can't believe I ate all that!"

Reminded me so much of Apprentice G :P

Happy Wednesday everyone! :) 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Highlights of 2011 - #1 The Gs

We had such a BLAST dressing up for races this year...

Not only that, our friendships with each other have blossomed and I'm so blessed  and grateful to have you (running) girls in my life... Thank you all for the laughs and the smiles... ♥

From Runaway Schoolgirls - Tribute to King Of Pop - Military Queens - Polka Dotties - Devils - Pirates = LOTS OF FUN!!! :D

Definitely one of the highlights for this year in my books :)

What's in store for us in twenty-twelve?

More awesome costumes!!! :D

The Gs 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Ahoy Mates @ Malakoff Run KL ;)

This race was pretty much a finale for most of my running friends (myself included)... And of course, the Gs and I dressed for the occasion since we wanted to complete our running year respectively with a bang ;)

I slept for only 2 hours on Saturday night due to the fact that my tummy was feeling uneasy and my eyes just didn't want to shut! So, I knew that I was going to suffer at this run with its superhilly route... Blimey!

Since it was my last race of the year, I decided to take it easy and paced with my fellow Apprentice G throughout the run... And we bumped into a couple of our running friends during the run, especially during the times when we brisk-walked at the torturous hill at the Beringin (Damansara Heights) loop... Nevertheless, it was a perfect weather yesterday morning for us runners that braved through the hills :) 

We both completed the 12km run as per our targeted time - 1 hr 15 mins!!! And we're in the top 50 for our category! Mighty Arrr!!! ;) 

Didn't run with the eye-patch of course - if not, I'll probably cause a chaos at the route ;P

And yeah, we did cause a stir at the event, especially AFTER the run... Trust the Gs to inject fun and colour ;)

With Santa's helpers and Christmas Trees ;)  

With Pacesetters Club's Mr President...
Thank you for the awesome race! :)

Senorita and I... 
From futsal mates to pirate mates ;) 

Someone from the media was interested in us ;)
Pic credits to Aiman

With me hearties...
Where's our Jack Sparrows? Hehe
Pic credits to Idola 

It was definitely the perfect ending for the Gs... We had so much FUN FUN FUN up dressing up for races this year! :D 

Can't wait for what's in store for all of us in twenty.twelve... With more awesome costumes ;) 

Just wait and see  :) 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Life Lessons #7

Taken from imgfave on Tumblr

Trying different things in life, a definite yes...

But always, always stay true to yourself...

And if you change, change for the better... :) 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Shit Girls Say #1

I was laughing so hard when I watched the clip below!!!

I can't wait for the upcoming episodes for this! It's friggin' hilarious and brilliant!!!

And I am pretty sure that all of us ladies can relate to all of the lines and the facial impressions... Don't even try to deny it! ;P

Hope everyone had a good Tuesday! :)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Tribute #2

Life's a yard of green grass

Life is good. Really? I’m probably going through what feels like the longest marathon run of my life for the past few months. I’m in no hurry to get to the finish line though. I know I’m built for endurance and perseverance. I try to act cool when it calls for me to flip in normal circumstances. I seem to think I have enough options to choose from when in reality, they’re all quite vague. Ok, can I be more vague than this? I’ll try to be specific but not detailed. Whatever that means.
I was intrigued by a friend’s blog post recently. She wrote on the subject of which side of grass is greener. A profound write-up that was gathered by her own experiences and perhaps others whom she know. Honest and real. So let’s put it into perspective then. We all have our own yards, with ‘green grass’ and separated by fences. We then seem to think ‘the grass is always greener on the other side’? So we put in more effort to work our own yards to make the grass greener. Does it work? Of course not! Because the ‘grass is always greener on the other side!’. Precisely my point. Grass is green. There is no two way about it. It’s how you look after it that counts.
On my side of the yard, at least. There seem to be a lot of people who comes to visit. Some of them got invited. Most of them invited themselves. Some thread their steps gently. While some will trample all over the grass. All this contributes to the extra effort to maintain the yard. Sometimes we are willing and duly share the chore to take care of the grass so it always looks nice. Although sometimes we have our idle days and put off the work to another day. It’s still green though. Just not too nice to look at. Sometimes we procrastinate too long which makes tidying up a pain in the ass. There are so many things piling up on top of each other in the yard that it makes it difficult to even see the green grass. In extreme cases, we just don’t want to bother anymore and hope that the mess will clear by itself or move to other yards which we think are greener.
It’s your yard. You either have it for your own or you share it. The mess that was created may come from you and from others but you still have to take care of it. Your yard will become what you shape it to be. You decide how you water and mow the grass. You determine who you invite to come into your yard. You select who stays and who leaves. It’s difficult to see beneath the mess sometimes if you don’t choose to look for it. Sometimes you get invited to the other side of the fence. A short visit into someone else’s yard and you find it better. It looked a lot similar to what you had before. You look back at your own yard from the other side and think how did it get to that condition? You ask yourself, do you still want to work on it? It’s hard work. It’ll be easier to work on the new yard. For now. As it eventually will grow and taking care of it will take more effort. The answer lies within you.
I believe that we all need to take peeks into the other side of the fence every now and then. There’s no competition really. Just a reality check. Your yard needs you as much as you need it. I never left my yard, I think. It may have come across my mind a few times. Thinking what I may have missed or missed on the other side of the fence. It’s actually neither of that. Infact, I have made lovely friends from my short excursions. I would like to thank them for inviting me in so that I’m reminded of my own yard.
My yard needs to be taken care of right now and I’m taking it each day at a time. This could be trying times indeed. I have been through this season but it feels a bit more challenging at the moment. It’s just not me alone in the yard now. It’s about the ones whom I truly love and care for. I’m built for this, definitely. I just need to clear the path to see the finish route. It believe it will come soon. I choose to do so.
So tell me. Do you still think the grass is greener on this side?
A beautifully written post on life and getting a reality check... 

One of my faves by arwah... 
You're in our thoughts everyday, my dear friend... :)

Have a good weekend everyone :)  

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Beautiful Mess

Such a beautiful track this is...

My fave by Jason Mraz... 

Can't help but feeling that life is a beautiful mess at this moment... 

A mixed bag of emotions, all jumbled up...

Not quite sure what to make out of it... 

Oh well, it's probably just a phase :)  

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Devilicious Gs @ Nike We Run KL 10km

Who needs Batman when you can have four devilicious Gs? ;)
Pic credits to Idola

It was my first race upon returning from the States and this event was my third 10km race...

This was Nike's second running event... The first one was held last year on the day that I proudly called myself a marathoner in Melbourne, 10/10/10... 

And because I've heard rave reviews from the last year's race, I decided to join in and be part of the massive 'red' runners this year ;) 

It was also my first race running with a new pacer this time around, Deo ;) 

I was chasing for the sub-1 hour finish and am stoked to have crossed the line just below the 1 hour mark!!! :D :D :D 

I'd say that this event is so far the best organised 10km race that I've ever participated in... From the reasonably priced fees, to the adequate water stations with volunteers and organised race village on the day itself...

Oh, and I loved the exceptionally rolling route!!! Kudos to the organisers and Nike for throwing us the runners a big fun party on Sunday! :) 

I shall let the pictures speak for this post ;)

Another round of making this a fun run for the Gs...
Yeap we were the red devils (not Man U yeah :P) ;)
Pic credits to Missy

Dashing towards the finish line...
Pic credits to Aiman

Thanks to my pacer, 59 mins and accomplished my mission! 
Could've done better but I'll take that time for now ;)
Yayyyy!!! Thanks again Deo for putting up with me especially at the last 2km of the race :)

With Idola... 
He's so photogenic kan ;)
Pic credits to Idola

Skirts galore with Herr G!
Pic credits to Missy

Trying to notty-fy our Mr Reindeer ;P

The Gs interrogating Deo to see if he wants to be a part of the crew ;P
Pic credits to Idola

It was supposed to be his next race with us...
Arwah signed up for the race at my place a day before the adidas KOTR's race with Missy...
My very good friend, Mizi ran on behalf of arwah...
You did him proud, G... 
We still miss you... Al-Fatihah

One more race to go and then I am d-o-n-e for the year! :)

Captain G's NYC Marathon Experience

My partner-in-crime and travelling buddy when I was in the States, Captain G aka Shanaz is featured as a guest blogger in Idola G's blog, penning down on her recent marathon experience in New York City but of course :)

Click on the links below to read about her awesome journey:

Part 1 - The Decision and Training:

Part 2 - Being in New York:

Part 3 - NYC Marathon (my fave!):

You did a great job at blogging, Captain! :)

And congratulations again on your sub-4:15!!! Looking forward to our 'next' adventure in 2012 :D

Mucho love xx

(Idola, I'm giving free publicity to your blog, you should consider doing the same thing.. Hahahaha :P)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Day after the Marathon and Reflections

Apparently, it was a tradition for all of the marathon finishers to proudly wear, walk, and parade the medal on the streets of New York City...

And that's exactly what we did on the next day :) Even with our 'busted' legs :P

My pretty necklace of the day :)
Breakfast at one of our fave places, Le Pain Quotidien 

On the way to Top of the Rock...

With the gorgeous Central Park as the backdrop :)

Because we had to celebrate the American style ;)

Dinner time ;)

And to end our NYC trip, of course we had to make an epic one... And so we did :D

One of the best concerts I've ever gone to!!!

I think our medals had a blast too on that day... Hehe ;)

It was a perfect post-marathon day for us... Strangers on the street came up to us and congratulated us for completing the marathon... Bumped into runners that did the same thing, we exchanged smiles at each other on the street with an unspoken understanding that we braved through the 5 boros the day before and the medal's probably one of if not the best thing that has happened for this year :)

I think if we were to do this in KL, people would think that there's seriously something wrong with us :P

Now, I don't normally do this... But I thought a self-reflection about the whole marathon experience would probably do me good whenever I look back later on... And of course I wouldn't mind sharing it here with all of you :) So here goes...

What went right:
The training... I completely agree that you need sufficient training in order to achieve your desired time goal in a marathon... As I was saying, I've never trained properly for a marathon except for this one... And it helps to have a training buddy who shares the same passion as you too :)

The speedwork did wonders to my legs... And when I was running the first 30km, I felt like I could go on and on with the unexpected pace that I was running at...

Oh, and before I started training for the marathon, I used to loathe running through the hills... Whenever I see one from afar, I'll start to get demotivated and immediately switched to brisk walking mode to go through them... But thanks to my training, I can proudly say, bring the hills on because the legs are loving it! :)

And as per my previous post, the combination of feeling happy and the amazing atmosphere were definitely the two factors that helped me PB-ed this awesome marathon on that day :)

What went wrong:
I think looking back, there was a pinch of regret as I felt that I didn't push myself during my last 10km of the marathon... After I crossed the finish line, I thought to myself that I could've gotten a slightly better timing have I not been walking too much... But a PB is indeed a PB... And there's always a next marathon to smash a PB right? ;)

Also, the fact that my Garmin went hay-wired during the race... I became too worried and kept on checking on my watch and the mile markers to see whether I was on target with my time goal... But either than that, I am super grateful that my legs were fine (except for my cramped left leg between 35 - 40km of the route) throughout the race... Alhamdulillah for that :)

What could've been improved:
I think more speedwork and strength sessions for the legs would've helped during my training period...

Also, I should've ran outside more instead of on the happymill... I think my dailymile friends can conclude that happymill was my superbestie during the training period... Hehe... Time was always a factor for me when it comes to running during weekdays... Maybe next time, I'll try to go out more and run at parks instead :)

And it wouldn't hurt to have a man by your side, supporting you throughout your journey ;P

So there you have it, my NYC Marathon journey, jotted down in words (and in 3 parts! hehe) and written straight from the heart with no regrets :)

Follow your dreams, have faith and believe in each one of them, and they will come true eventually...

I know that one of mine did :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

iRan New York City :)

I came to win, to fight, to conquer, to thrive, 
I came to win, to survive, to prosper, to rise,
To fly :)
(From the song Fly by Nicky Minaj feat. Rihanna) 

When I found out that Captain and Señorita was going to join me for the trip, I was really ecstatic because I'd have two awesome running buddies to share my amazing experience with... And the fact that Captain and I made plans to travel together in the States for three weeks (New York - Boston - Washington - Houston), I knew that this trip was going to be definitely fun and unforgettable :)

As per my previous post, we flew in a week before the marathon itself to get ourselves adjusted to the time (13 hours difference from KL!), to acclimate and to have a few final runs in NYC... Buses were already decorated with Asics' motivational messages for the marathon, posters in cafes were up inviting runners to dine at their place, and posters were scattered around the city... When we had our first run in Central Park, it was already 'decorated' with banners and posters, and that the organisers were working on the finish gantry area... And that runners from all over the world have started swarming the park throughout the week... Yeap, the marathon vibes were in the air already :)

One of the tour buses...
Pic credits to Señorita

We carboloaded here the night before the marathon ;)

At one of the metro stations' entrance...

Central Park...

I was really anxious for the entire week, and especially the day before the marathon itself... With friends and family posting messages on Facebook, Twitter or BB to achieve a new PB, how can you not right?! Haha! All of the possible 'what-ifs' popped into my mind... Thank God Captain understood what I was going through because she felt the same way too... Come to think of it, it was just plain silly to put such pressure on myself... I kept telling myself that even if I didn't get my PB, I'll be okay but I guess I was just trying to be in denial about it :P But one thing is for sure, I was pretty proud of myself to see how I've improved mentally and physically from the training :)

In Lululemon Athletica store, Woodbury Common... 

The marathon day finally came and it was a testament to myself to see whether what I've been training for the past 3 months were good enough for me or not to finish strong within my desired time goal :)

With the recent passing of my beloved friend, TSB, I dedicated this marathon to him as he was eagerly excited when I told him that I got in back in April and gave me encouragements throughout my training til the day that he left us.... So this one was for you and you were in my thoughts throughout the marathon :')

Tribute sticker was pasted at the back of my running top 
Pic credits to Captain

We woke up at 5am to get ready at the hotel... Captain was running for Autism Speaks so she had to leave early to catch a bus with the other runners from the group... An hour later, I left the hotel with Señorita (who was running for Shoe4Africa) in a cab to the Staten Island Ferry Terminal and catch our ferry...

Nervous already!!!

Once we got to the island, we took the bus that was provided for the runners to the starting point of the race - the Verazzano-Narrows bridge... The three of us were flagged off at 1040am... Mind you, it was still a very cold and chilly morning... So, camwhoring was a must for the three of us before we separated into our respective coral and wave no ;)

The G girls posing proudly with our Malaysian flag :)

I donated my sweater just before entering the starting point... They blasted out New York New York by the legendary Frank Sinatra for us after we were flagged off... So, we danced and sang before we started running and entered the bridge since we were going to run NYC 'right through the very heart of it'... A good way to ignite our running spirits eh? ;)

There were 5 boros that we had to go through - Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx and finally Manhattan... All of which we had to pass their insanely elevated bridges respectively from one boro to another... Here's the beautiful but torturing course map ;P

You can checkout the map clearer by clicking here

The legs had a good workout alright from the elevations ;P
You can click here for a larger view 

The first 2 miles were quite challenging for me as I had to run my way through the massive sea of runners and kept up with my pace... And the fact that my Garmin went hay-wired because I was running at the lower deck of the bridge... Hence, from the beginning of the race, I had to rely on the mile markers and my time on my Garmin to gauge whether I was on the right track for a sub-4:30 or not... And I was praying hard that I wouldn't get any more 'surprises' or mishaps during the race...

When I entered Brooklyn, I was overwhelmed with the supports from the crowds.... It was a huge street party, with the all kinds of music blasting from the stereos, performances by bands and percussionists, and the super loud cheers from the supporters, I smiled widely while running in this boro... Definitely the best boro to run in! :)

One happy runner I am ;)

Halfway to go!
Spot me ;)
I made sure that I posed for the cameras whenever I see them... Hehe

I ran past Queens and it was also filled with supporters that were mostly looking for their spouse, husband, wife, family members or friend respectively... I somehow wished that I did have at least one supporter to cheer me on at that point... Hehe... 

The toughest bridge for me was definitely Queensboro Bridge... It seemed never-ending for us and I laughed at the end of the bridge to see a couple of banners that said, "If you think the last 10 miles are easier, then welcome to easier"... 16 remaining clicks were definitely not easier in my books! ;p

First Avenue, Manhattan was filled with thousands of supporters on both sides of the street and I felt like a rockstar here as this was the area where my name was called by a no of supporters/volunteers and it felt awesome to be high-fiving them :)

The Bronx was definitely a favourite for me too - with hip hop and soul music and performances by the musicians, a sign from the crowd that says 'You're the shit', what's not to love about the Bronx? ;) Definitely my kind of hood... Hehe... I pretty much danced my way through this awesome boro :)

I was pretty consistent with my pace, which was between 5:45 to 6 min/km until I reached the 35th km... I was grateful that I didn't feel the wall, but my left leg started to cramp up at the last bridge that we had to go through... So, I stopped by the side of the bridge to quickly stretch my legs here... Also, my big toe nails were still suffering from TNF, and I was praying hard that they would still remain intact as they were 'throbbing' as well... *Drama* :P

Hence, the last leg of the race at Fifth Avenue before entering Central Park (the finish line) in Manhattan was challenging for me, as I switched to run-walk-run mode for the next 5km... Plus, I had a few mins to kill knowing the fact that I was well on track with my timing... Lazy :P

Except for this one...
Caught by the camera :P

The encouraging words and posters from the supporters really did help me get through the last 3km of the race... So when I finally entered Central Park, I gave my all and ran my heart out to the finish line with my Malaysian flag :)

Felt euphoric to be crossing the line :)

And Alhamdulillah, all of the training, sacrifices and investments were paid off on that glorious day as I completed the biggest marathon in the world with a whopping PB of 4 hrs 23 mins 39 secs!!! My first attempt and I nailed it!!! :D :D :D

I was overwhelmed that I almost cried after crossing the line, but at the same time I felt like puking because I sprinted like a crazy girl before that... So much that a few of the volunteers asked me if I needed medical attention... So crying did not take place :p

And these were my splits from the awesome marathon :)

I got 'lazy' between 30 -40km... Hehe

I felt completely overjoyed when I was running the marathon... With the amazing atmospheres from all of the 5 boros, it was a day of celebration for us the runners... The city came to life on that day and the people really know how to throw big parties for us :) There were many things that came through my mind when I was running too... I had my moments of reflection in life too (so deep right :P)

And to achieve what I've set out to achieve from the beginning, nothing beats personal glory and gratification :) I can't wait to share this amazing story one day with my kids, insyaAllah :)

Sub-4:30 marathoners - Check!!! :D :D :D

To Captain, I had a blast training with you for the past 3 months or so... We've strengthened our friendship through what we've shared and learned from each other, and that wasn't just through running... And you've proved that with perseverance and practice (oh, and no social life :P), magic can happen and a sub-4:15 is doable ;) Hehe... You did super awesome... I'm so happy for you and that I'm proud to be part of your journey :)

With our roses respectively from a guy called Pakwe (not mine!)...
The deal was that if three of us PB-ed, we would get one rose each..
And so we did :) 
Pic credits to Captain 

To Señorita, you finally did it! A sub-5 in your belt now and you smashed your PB by friggin' 42 mins! Fantastic! An awesome way to celebrate your birthday in advance right? :) You did me proud girlfriend (ala Bronx accent)! ;)

(My Oscar speech again :P) To all of my friends that have been endlessly supportive and for not wanting to strangle me every time I mention about NYC previously, you can all breathe a sigh of relief now :p Though I might be talking about it back at home for the next one month as I'll be carrying my medal in my bag too... Haha :P But thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of your kind, inspiring and positive words, be it via face-to-face, this blog, Facebook, BB or Twitter... Words cannot describe how thankful I am to have such amazing friends :)

I also would like to give a special shout-out to my fellow Gs, Idola and Apprentice, for staying up so late back at home, tracked our progresses and updated them on our Facebook pages while we were running the streets of New York until the three of us crossed the finish line respectively... So grateful to have you both as our Gs *hugs* :)

Would I run New York again? Heck yeah!!! Well, one day and if money permits again insyaAllah :) I highly recommend all of my running friends to run NYC... Definitely an experience of a lifetime :)

So, 1 marathon major down... What's next? *wink*

Maybe having a man in my life should be my next target... LOL!!! Just sayin' ;p

Next: The Day After the Marathon ;)

(Note: I am still waiting for my pictures from Brigthroom, the official photography for the marathon... The ones I've shared were taken from the website... Will upload once I've them)