Friday, July 29, 2011

Running Off The Frustrations

I’m not a good badminton player – I’m not good enough to play with the men and have them smash here and there, but I also do not have the patience to play with the girls who don’t have the strength to hit far. Can I say that I’m merely an average player?

This is the 2nd time I’ve played for my company’s inter department games. I played women’s doubles last year, and my partner was pretty good as she was strong. Before that, I was supposed to play mixed doubles, but they realized I would be better off playing women’s double. We won then.

This year, I was paired with WYC for mixed doubles and we won our first game 2 weeks ago. I have a pretty simple job, I must say, by just staying in front of the net and he covers the rest of the court. Poor guy, right??

Last night was our 2nd game and we lost in the rubber set. We could have won! But he was all jitters, and the support for the opponent was just rowdy (they acted like they were in a football stadium and refused to pipe down despite our support people telling them to do so. The umpire should have said something!!! Wait, did I just spell umpire correctly? You’re not supposed to cheer until your team scores a point, no?)

WYC is a great partner. For every mistake we made, we’d laugh it off and smile, and tell each other to take it easy, let’s not be so nervous. After the game, I just wanted to give him a big hug (but we semi-hugged, anyway!) because whatever it is, it was a good game and we had fun together.

When 9pm came, a few of us Dutamas Runners' did an easy speed interval training. I think that helped a bit, but it was not enough.

I was supposed to keep a pace of 5:20 – 5:30 but ended up doing a 4:46 and 4:49. Argh. The guys were supposed to do 5:00 or 5:40 as well but all of us ended up doing a sub 5min pace. The Captain said, hmmmm, perhaps we are not doing our best during our 10km events then. Uh-oh. I don't think I can even keep a 5min pace for 10km!

But it was a good laugh.

It’s been a tiring week and I can’t wait to catch up on some rest this weekend. We've got an event this Sunday which I hope I will do well. Fingers crossed.

p.s. I AM however, itching for a run this Saturday, but I'll save it for Sunday evening's LSD instead. *fidgets*

p.p.s. So, you know ... since I did really well for BHP Orange Run (11km), does it mean I have achieved my new year's resolution for a sub-60 for 10km? Does it count? Can I strike it off my list already? Help, anyone?

Monday, July 25, 2011

BHP Orange Run 2011

After spending Saturday evening watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in 3D, I didn't get into bed until 1230pm. Now that got me worried, because if you don't sleep well the night before a run, you could just ruin your race, you know?

We were early and bumped into some of the DR gang before the start of the race. The women started at 7am while the men started 10 minutes later. Well, I thought I was early, but I only warmed up for 10 minutes!

The first km is always a challenge, fighting for a spot ahead of someone whose pace is slower than yours. I had to maneuver my way out of the crowd and monitored my pace all the way.

The Kenyan male runners began to run past us when I was at 3.3km. Fuh. Crazy shite.

Met up with Joline at about 4km and made some small talk before I headed off. I didn't remember that running within Mutiara Damansara ("MD") itself would take that long! By the time we came out from MD to the main road leading us from The Curve to Sunway Damansara / Kota Damansara, we were in our 5th km.

I said hi to Jason when he ran past me.

The slopes began at 5.5km and well, they didn't feel *that* bad, although I must say that my pace began to dwindle a bit. We're talking about the road (Jalan PJU 3/22) from Sunway Damansara junction heading towards Sony at Bandar Utama. Blech.

I was gradually passing by some runners and honestly, I was unsure about overtaking them when we were running uphill. Unsure because it would be silly if I ended up stopping at the top of the slope, gasping for air and they'd run pass me with a smirk on their face. I'm just saying!

To cut a long story short, come 8.5km, Melvin passed me by and said something. Come the 9th km, I was hesitant - do I start to speed up NOW or at the 10th km? I was seriously unsure, because I was starting to feel a little bit tired. I wanted to stop and walk a little but I had to trudge on. (Checked my Garmin and yep, I was slowing down just a little between the 9 and 10km.)

Jamie passed me by at 10km (somewhere near the junction leading towards 1Utama's new wing parking) and I knew I had to buck up immediately. He said something, but I can't remember - I know I told him to save some 100plus for me once he reached the finish line.

That's when I knew I had to speed up and forced me tired legs to continue on. Screw shitty candid photos of me (if any) because I had to race against time and hit my target!!

No sub 1 but was so close!
If I had, like, sped up at 9km and wasn't tired, perhaps?

Never mind.
(Yah, I secretly mind!)

A picture series with Jamie. You can read his BHP Orange Run report here.

With Jamie and Jessica. Jessica's a colleague whom I've never had a photo taken together before. Adam and the other guy in orange are colleagues, too!

Chilling out with the Dutamas Runners. First time had a photo with Chin Ann and Andrew. Haven't seen Yin Yin for ages, too! And Sze was desperately keen for breakfast immediately! =D

The obligatory couple pic, though this is at first for the year! YB wasn't feeling too good but you know me, always the slave master - I told him that he'd better keep to his last year's time at the very least! =P

The incomplete group photo, but looking good. =)

The ciplak bib on my back. =P

We then headed towards Damansara Perdana for breakfast and a chill out session.

And then we proceeded to Desa Park City for lunch at noon. Food's the only way to keep everyone happy and together!

Next Sunday, the gang will be at the Segambut Welfare Run held at Desa Park City. See you there!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Baking Frenzy Doesn't Make Me A Good Baker!

Like I said, baking gives you instant satisfaction. You prepare the ingredients and mix mix mix, and an hour later, you get your finished product. Voila~

I desperately wanted to try to make basic butter cake and succeed.

I say succeed because somehow, I think my baking skills are bordering hopeless. keh keh keh.

Too sweet or too dry.

I used the wrong tray. I should have used something smaller! I added some chopped almonds on the top, which provided a nice crunch to it.

HOWEVER, these recipes need to reduce the amount of sugar they use. I need to reduce them either by 1/3 cup or 1/2 cup. Phhhhbt. So yes, this one turned out a bit too sweet.

I've been baking almost every weekend. The oven is clearly being used very well, Lynn. *sniggers*

But I must start looking out for dinner recipes instead of sweets. After I lamented to my colleague that YB and I are puzzled with our difficulty in shedding off a bit of weight, she remarked that my baking is probably the reason why YB and I aren't losing weight.

"I bring most of them to work!" I stuttered defensively.

ANYWAY, I'll probably stick to improving my banana walnut bread.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Banana Walnut Loaf 2

Attempted it the first time here, and I found that it wasn't moist enough. But the hubby liked it, anyway so he requested me to make it again, but please can we make it a bit more moist?

I contemplated trying another recipe but in the end I used the same one, but added 1/4 cup of milk.

I really MUST use the loaf pan the next time. Tsk tsk.

This time I was brave enough to serve some people with it, without fear of killing them with dry bread. Phew.

I'll probably try with 1/2 cup of milk the next time.

Oh no, sorry. I told myself I shall stop baking the sweet stuff and concentrate on the healthy instead.

But I have so many ingredients waiting for meeeeeee ...

Saturday, July 16, 2011


I'm parking myself in Starbucks while my car is undergoing service. *checks watch* Another two hours to go ...

I'm bored with Facebook (it's usually pretty quiet on Saturday, did you notice? and I'm not sure what other recipes I should look for (I honestly MUST stop find recipes one after another when I can't do them all at once) and therefore, what else can I do online?

I miss the guys in Australia, I really do. I haven't heard from them since my wedding. Everyone is busy getting on with their lives, taking care of their adorable kiddies and basking in the park somewhere. Sniff. I wish I could play the role of Aunty Von with them!!

Hmmm, everyone who enters the cafe is shooting me dirty looks because I'm hogging the armchair(s) section. TOO BAD, GIRLS! I was here first!

Hey, no fair. They got a drink on the house! *narrow eyes*

YB is off playing in the company's badminton tourney and I hope he beats them the pulp! He's playing singles - I wish I was there to watch but I've delayed my car service for a while now, so there was no way I could get delay any further. AND they're playing all the way in Puchong, which is ridiculously far, if you ask me.

I just got off the phone with my sister. (I'm hopeless, you know. I hardly call home, my bad. But the reception where I stay is reeeeeeallllly bad.) We were talking about pregnancy and delivery issues. She doesn't know the sex of the little bun yet. I'm going to be an aunt, a real one! *excited*

I also spoke to my mum just now and she told me to stop my acne medication so I can focus on family planning. Er ... thanks for the advice, mum, but we're not ready yet. Honestly.

And then she goes on about investment and shit, which puts me on the edge so I had to change to topic by asking her how do I make good Lo Mai Fan (glutinous rice) and curry from scratch.


Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I'm playing badminton for my 'department' too. Although they say it's an inter-department tournament, it's actually a mixture of sorts. My department and another forms a team, probably because we're both small, and there is another team which is a combination of two departments.

Basically there are four different teams and 5 games namely badminton, bowling, futsal, carrom and table tennis.

Last Thursday, we won the badminton against another team with 3-2, the points were scored by one men's double, one women's double and the mixed double. Yay! I'm in the mixed double team, by the way, and my partner is 52 years old. Shocked? I was. Wait til you see a picture of him and you would NOT believe he's 52!!!!

And he played table tennis yesterday but probably lost. I think our team lost because the other team was really good. Really.

ANYWAY, I'm not sure whether I should be flattered and terrified that a lot of colleagues know my name. I walked into the badminton hall on Thursday night, and several people greeted me by name.

And I don't even know theirs! I've seen them around but I don't think I've ever spoken to them before.

I suspect it was because of our Sports Day last year when I played badminton for the team as well. Perhaps.

Then I walked into the lounge yesterday evening where the table tennis matches were held and again, people greeted me by name.

This is BAD. I need to make an effort to know these people and remember their names. But isn't it too late or too rude to now ask them, "Eh, what's your name, by the way? I forgot."

Or maybe my badminton skills are too fab. Keh keh keh. *perasan*

But it's not, to be honest. YB ALWAYS shakes his head while playing with me. He said the other day, "I gotta train you up, you know. You have several weaknesses."


Oh wow, see, this is what happens when I have time to myself and I start rambling on and not knowing whether my thoughts are even worth your penny. Apologies, you know. I don't have anyone to talk to right now, so I have to blog. =D

You know what?
I'm just going to stop here right now and take my yarn out so I can crochet. I miss crocheting too, you know.

But I can understand why people enjoy baking - it's gratifying to see results after an hour or so!

C'mon, this crocheting takes FOREVER. I've got tons of unfinished projects lying about (oh, YB HATES to see my stuff lying bout the house, by the way. I detest seeing HIS stuff lying about too - we're both very messy people, to be honest. But shhhh, I don't think I was supposed to tell any of you this.) and then I start a new one.

And they say 'Yvonne' means she is finishes the job she started. *Wahahahaha*

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Running Revolution

I was nodding off when I uploaded the photos to this post, and well, if you came by last night, you would have seen that this post was published twice - one with a title and one without. I WAS that sleepy!

I still am.

Last Saturday saw a small group of us doing an easy 7km run. (You must remember the date, it was 9th July - the Bersih rally day!) YB and I were supposed to do one round earlier before joining the rest, but we only managed 5km.

If you know Solaris Dutamas well enough, you will know where the photos were taken.

Mucking about while waiting for Captain to do his extra loop and for Geoff and I to arrive.

Checking out the new kid on the block.

The new kid was dragged in.

The group picture.

We had to interrupt a runner's run so he could help us take the group photo. We couldn't help laughing to ourselves after that because the guy must have been annoyed with the interruption!

I remember my first experience with bagel years ago wasn't very enjoyable. It was tough and hard to chew.

But after reading some blogs where some of them could have a bagel thin with anything (savoury or sweet) almost everyday, I was tempted to try them again.

So I decided to buy one packet to try. Cold Storage is selling these for RM11.99 but I found them cheaper at Village Grocer by RM2. I'm not sure if these prices are up to date, because recently there seems to be a price revision at these places!

I didn't realise the spelling error until I took this picture!

There are 4 bagels sliced into half in each bag. Imported from New York, apparently!

It was really yummy.

It was still a bit chewy but it wasn't hard or tough.

YB and I had half a bagel each, toasted and covered with roasted vegetables and nuts, and mustard mayo sauce.

It was very nice.
I think the nuts did it.

And the mustard mayo.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies

I've been meaning to try making cookies, well, with rolled oats, I mean.

Since it looked pretty hazy outside today, I thought I might as well do some baking. (Gosh, I honestly sound so domesticated these days. =P)

I decided to use this recipe.

And pictures of cookies in the making have always looked so enticing.

They look alright.
OK, I lied. This is the first batch, which I overcooked them a bit. The subsequent batches were watched properly and turned out much better.

I must have done something wrong because I ended up with 104 bite sized pieces. Ooops. =D

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Falafel Patties with Tahini Sauce

I never knew what falafel was until I searched the Internet for chick pea recipes. Yeah, I'm pretty hopeless, you know. It did cross my mind to make hummus but I thought falafel sounded much more interesting.

And to be honest, ever since I bought that one can of chick peas, I've been wondering what to do with it!

Mash it up.
Mix the onions and spices in.

Instead of balls, I thought I'd make patties instead.

Most recipes call for tahini sauce to go with falafel. Again I had to find out what on earth was 'tahini sauce'.

Sesame paste and olive oil.
But first, I had to make the sesame paste.

From paste to sauce.

Add in the olive oil.

The recipe called for parsley flakes but I had none. So I substituted it with mixed spices. =P

Baked falafels!

Looks authentic enough, don't you think? ;)

Well, I didn't have pita bread so I made very thin omelette wraps instead.

I can't wait to make some more!

But this time, I have dry chickpeas instead, which will require soaking. =S

Recipes I followed:

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

When We're Not Comparing Injured Toes

Or running, we'd be busy stuffing our face with food because er, we view eating as a very serious matter.

Last Sunday was supposed to be a brunch gathering to celebrate our 3 FMV's (Full Marathon Virgin) success in crossing the finish line after a grueling 42.195km run and welcome a new beginner runner to the running scene.

Somehow or rather, we could only talk about running and more running, which must have bored our partners to tears, YB excluded. =D

You know like how soldiers braved and survived the war together and it brings them closer? It feels like that, too, for us with our 3 friends who completed their first ever marathon. OK ok, I know we can't take credit for it but hey, we trained with them, so we can imagine how tough it would be, both physically and mentally. *cringe*

We're also making sure that our new running friend, GY, will continue to keep fit and keep on running!

We had brunch at Oriental Cravings, One Utama. We were there as early as 10am but their kitchen wasn't ready for our orders. They only took our orders at 1030am and well, the laksa took 20 minutes to arrive.

I think some of the waiters didn't like serving us because we were too busy yakking away to realise that they were standing behind some of us, wanting to put food down on the table. I noticed one waiter with a glass of chinese tea and warm water standing behind Kenny for a while and because no one acknowledged his presence, he walked back to the drinks counter and plonked the glasses on the counter in a huff.

Surely he could have said something to catch our attention? Tsk tsk.

And this is tagged under 'Cheery Stuff' because hanging out with friends IS a happy thing! =)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Banana Walnut Loaf

I think I'm hopeless when it comes to baking.

I'm terrified by the amount of sugar used, that I'd swap half a cup of white sugar with brown, so it reduces the sweetness. I'm fine with that. So is YB.

Since I had bananas and walnuts at home, I thought I'd try my luck with baking a banana walnut loaf with this recipe. Yeah, I happily added a cup of chopped walnuts to it. =P

Well, it was not moist enough. Did I overcook it? Not enough butter? Not enough banana?


It's OK, it's still edible. Phew!
But I wouldn't serve this to my pro-baking friends, that's for sure!

p.s. I should stop buying baking equipments until I improve my baking skills!

Sid's Pub, Damansara Heights

The website of Sid's Pub requires you to register first as a member before you can browse its site.

I had to rely on blog reviews of the place for recommendations.

I think I went there for lunch on my own sometime in February or March this year.

I tried the mushroom soup, which was pretty OK.

One of the reviews raved about their mushroom in emmenthal cheese (or is it blue cheese, i can't remember). The aroma was so intoxicating.

It was so rich that I couldn't finish it. Clearly it was a dish for sharing!

Too early for alcohol? Well, I recall it was a pretty frustrating morning for me, having to entertain several phone calls and I couldn't get much work done. I was so frustrated that I thought, "Fek it! I need a drink!"

And so I did.

On my own.

And forgetting that lunch hour does not equate to happy hour, I had to pay premium price for my pint.

My total bill came up to RM45. *ack*

But I hope to go back there to try out some other dishes.

The Yat (One) and Only Journey ...


The Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur Marathon 2011 caused a massive jam in KL last Sunday.

We left for town pretty late at 520am and most of the roads were already closed with a lot of junctions blocked. Since we couldn’t even turn into Jalan Parlimen from Jalan Kuching, we ended up going as far as past Jalan Loke Yew (Cheras) to make a u-turn!

At the last minute, we parked our car on the curb near the mosque and ran through the tunnel to the starting line. We only had 10-15 minutes to stretch and warm up.

Our half marathon started at 615am. It took us 2 minutes to shuffle past the start line before we could saunter into a jog for the first 1 – 2 km. Consider the first 5km a warm up, I keep telling myself, although my pace was +/- 2.5 minutes slower. Hmmfh.

Leisurely walk towards the finish line.

They had a water station at every 2km after the first 4km, which was good. I skipped just one water station, I think, at the 8km. The thing I didn’t really fancy was that the marker was in 0.5km, e.g. 6.5km, 7.5km, 8.5km because then I had to re-estimate the accuracy of my pace.

I think by the time I hit 13km, the same question that pops into my head during events returned, “Why do I run? Why am I running?”

Still able to smile for the cameras!

The route was remarkably comfortable, and I was pleased that there were no steep slopes to conquer.

Negativity hit me at 18km when I just felt like slowing down, “Oh never mind if I’m not going to hit my target. Whatever.” But when the pace band showed me that I was just 1 – 2 minutes slower than my supposed pace, I had to shake myself out of it and push on.

Thumbs up to YOU for completing your marathon!

No, I didn’t achieve my new year resolution of 2 hours for a half marathon but I knew this already beforehand because I haven’t been training enough. So making it pass the finish line more or less on my target yesterday should keep me happy … for the time being!
KKYum with his funky zebra pants.

*secretly sore and angry with self*

(Ok, I’m trying to pep talk myself out of this, but I just can’t help being annoyed with myself. *bummed*)

*angry with self*

Anyway, we waited for our Dutamas Runners’ virgin full marathoners to complete their run yesterday. We waited until we were starving, to be honest. And it was so hot!

Lionel with his blue balloon.

But it was great to know that everyone was so supportive to wait for the 3 fellas to complete their FM. I can’t imagine the pain and mental anguish you went through to keep on going.

Almost everyone made a personal best

So we say, “Well done, guys!”
We’re proud of you!

Congrats, crazy Lynn!