Monday, August 29, 2011

A Splash Of Sunshine

Things are much better now. We just have to focus on recovery and make sure the diet is under control.

I am back to the grindstone but I hope that with the Raya holidays, I will finally get some rest.

The weather in KK was extremely hot and as of yesterday, it was very humid and hazy. Thank goodness my flight back was not turbulent, unlike my flight to KK where I hung on to my seat very dearly.

The little girl who comes with her mum every morning spends her time playing with her toys at the back of ourhouse. Each time she saw me, she would ask where YB was. I'm sure she was just trying to make conversation to engage me. =) I don't think she really wanted to see YB, because as my sister and mum explained it, she just wanted to use the word "Mana" ("Where is") in her sentence/question.

This trip back, I didn't have enough time to sit and play with her.

Many people have expressed surprise or intrigue that I can crochet. You can imagine them raising their eyebrow in their minds when they coo,"Oh, you're so clever! You can knit!"

Many a times I had to correct them that I was not knitting. ;)

Like knitting (I presume), crochet is something I find therapeutic. My hands can move in rhythm and automatically in rows while my mind is free to wander until I reach the end of each row. Then it starts all over again.

Generally, I have never been a fan of bright red or orange colours but this time, I found myself in secret delight to see the splashes of colours in my work. Don't you just adore the colours? (Yes, I know I'm sounding like an aunty, but I can't help it!)

I'll need to buy more of these coloured yarns as I'm running low on the brightly coloured ones!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Dutamas Runners : Seng Chor

Seng Chor is an IT Security Professional, where part of his job includes doing analysis on security requirements of critical systems, processes, products and services in order to maintain the most cost effective way to ensure information security. In his words, he is "the security guard".

1 How long have you been a regular Dutamas Runner?
One day some time in the beginning of the year (2011), Yin invited me to run with her and her mum. It was then that I was introduced to Dutamas Runner's Captain Khoo Yit Kiat. Since then, I join Dutamas Runner whenever I can. Not sure if I can be considered a regular in Dutamas Runner.

2 Have you been running for long? Do you enjoy running?
I used to run on a daily basis many donkey years ago. Somehow I stopped for no apparent reason some time in 1997, probably something else more interesting came along. I started running again in last year Rat Race after my long time friend (from school days) invited me to join the company training. Since then, I have been running regularly and joining races. I definitely enjoy running, still wondering why I stopped years ago. I enjoy meeting fun people like the Dutamas Runner's gang and of course not forgetting the food I get to enjoy after each of the running session.

At this year's Standard Chartered KL Marathon.

3 This year alone, you have completed two (2) full marathons. Congrats, by the way! I don’t think I am as brave as you are. How did you feel after each marathon?
I always wanted to run in a marathon as I believe that is the one thing (many others) I need to do before I die. I was quite surprise myself that I actually ran 2 full marathons within a month. I don't think I am as brave also, just that I have this crazy attitude, the Nike attitude ("Just Do It"). How did I feel after each marathon? Well, I felt that I have finally accomplished one of my dreams after so many years. I was just happy and felt liberated after I finished my first marathon. In my mind, just knew that another dream finally achieved.

4 Was that your happy running moment? =D
If you are referring to the 2 marathons, I must say it is not the happiest running moment. I feel that my happiest running moment was the Men's Health and Shape Run as I did not expect to get the medal due to the limited number. I was so happy at the finished line when I was given the medal.

5 Can you sum up the best and worst things about running?
Best things - Able to connect back to some of the old friends and of course knowing all the nice new friends. Ahh, not forgetting the food, wondering why all runners have the same thought. :-)
Worst things - Can't think of any, don't think I have any bad experience from running.

6 Do you have any ongoing running objectives?
I do, I have set a goal for myself to finish in 10 half marathons and 10 full marathons races within 3 years.

(YT: Impressive. But why 10 Full Marathons and 10 Half Marathons? And how many more to go?
Seng Chor: Ahh, just wanna to collect 10 FM and 10 HM medals within a certain time frame. I set the goal this year. So far, I have 2 FM and 2 HM in the bag already. Will be doing another 2 FM and 2 HM by end of the year.)

7 What is your favourite pre-race carbo loading food?
I like spaghetti, potatoes salad and.... I actually eat anything that is nice.

BHP Orange Run 2011

8 Your next running event would be ...
Salomon Trail Run and River Jungle Marathon. Yes, another full marathon coming up. I told you so, I have this crazy attitude.

In case you didn't know, Seng Chor is also an avid scuba diver!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Give Me Strength

At the Sabah Medical Centre.

A few years back when I was visiting YB in London, I fell really ill. I thought I was just battling a normal flu bug, with fever, hot and cold sweat and at times I would be shivering like crazy.

When I think about The Lion King musical, I remember dressed up in my jacket and shivering in my seat. The guy seated on my other side must have been really puzzled. Then halfway through the show, when I stopped shivering, I got warm and took off my jacket.

It wasn't until that night that despite being bundled up in sweaters and a jacket and 2 pairs of socks, that YB decided that he had to bring me to the nearest emergency ward in Kingston Hospital.

With an extremely high temperature, they warded me and stripped me into just a gown. They said they had to bring my temperature down and the layers of clothing wasn't helping at all. A fan was put by my side, constantly blowing at me, and I was refused a blanket despite my request for it.

That was probably our saddest New Year countdown. YB wasn't allowed to spend the night by my side, so he had to go home. I was pretty much half blind as I had forgotten my glasses for this UK trip and I couldn't even watch TV properly.

They took my blood sample for a culture in order to determine what was wrong with me.

Two days later, I insisted on a self-discharge because I needed to get on my flight back to KL. I had to sign a disclaimer and indemnity form as I was discharging against the doctor's wishes. The doctor was very kind to give me a copy of his notes so I could hand it to my doctor.

I was pretty thankful that during my flight back, I had the entire row of seats with me. I shivered occasionally but it was bearable.

When I got back, I couldn't report to work, and I went straight to my doctor, who said that by the looks of it, I should be admitted straight into the hospital.

I'm not sure whether at that juncture, YB had already informed me that the results of the culture came back, and I had e.coli.

I had WC accompany me for my admission to Pantai Medical Centre and well, I didn't like it but I had to call to tell my mum what was going on. She flew in that evening, I think.

My mum was by my side most of the time. She had my aunts and uncles and cousins for company, so that was good. I just felt hopeless, lying in bed, attached to drip.

Only a colleague came to visit, and my then boss visited the day I was discharged from the hospital.

Hospitals. The smell of disinfectant occasionally jolts me into that time I was in Kingston Hospital.

Prayers. If you could float through the hospital rooms and listen carefully to the minds and heartbeats of the people, you'd hear their silent prayers.

Strength. Through the years, I have only prayed and asked for God to give me strength to deal with anything and everything that comes my way. I don't ask for miracles or cures, is that silly of me? I do give thanks first, however, before beginning my prayers. *shrug* I don't have a long list of requests, that's for sure.

Everyone is secretly terrified right now, but I have told them that all of us would need to stay strong. There is no point in being hysterical, because that could open the floodgates of tears and well, we need to focus on positive thinking and energy.

The road to recovery will be hard, but we will get through it.

The Day After Circuit Training

Last Thursday, I had a tough time waddling around in a tight skirt and high heels at work. My muscles were sore or tired from circuit training the night before.

Oh gawd.

It's no wonder I don't fancy floor exercises at all because I don't have the discipline. But throw me into a room full of people, I'd have to follow suit. That's probably the reason why I prefer joining aerobic classes than work out in the gym on my own.

Everybody warming up before the torture began.

There were 10 of us working out like madmen at our condo car park that night. It was a shame it had rained earlier or we would have used the tennis court instead.

We were given 30 seconds for each workout, and there were 10 workouts to complete for each round. We only did 2 reps but it was enough to see the relief on everyone's faces at the end of the session!

One of the workouts included 'burpees'. My first encounter with burpees was during my Original Boot Camp trial about a year or two ago. Bleurgh.

I still don't fancy burpees, but I have no qualms in believing that it could make me a stronger runner. =P

Anyway, it was tiring for me to walk around at work on Thursday and Friday. Oh my.

I clearly have very weak muscles. =D

Be that as it may, I am trying (not) hard (enough) to be more disciplined (think about the abs, Von!!) with floor exercises just so I'll achieve my 2011 target half marathon target before the year ends!

Gotta work it!
There is no shortcut!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Baked Eggplant Patties

Since I had some aubergine or eggplant at home, I decided to search for some baked eggplant recipes. I was intrigued by this recipe since the photos looked sooooo good.

I used what ingredients I had:
1 long eggplant, sliced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
3/4 cup of canned chickpeas (drained)
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon of pine nuts
1 1/2 tablespoon of dried parsley
1 teaspoon of cumin powder
1/2 or 1 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of breadcrumbs*
2 tablespoon of olive oil
Since I didn't have breadcrumbs, I used the next best thing: cornflakes! Just put it into the blender and voila, you will get your breadcrumbs.

Once the eggplant is roasted, mixed the ingredients together.

Throw it into the blender.

Use your hands to make the patties.

And then bake.

Greens are good for you, so be sure to have a side of greens. =D

My own version of open sandwiches.

Instead of tahini sauce for accompaniment, I thought I'd make my own honey mustard mayo. I used this recipe, because it only required 3 ingredients as per name: honey, mustard and mayo.

Easy, right?

But the brand of mustard I bought wasn't strong enough to my liking. I can't wait to finish it up so I can buy another brand!

So much work and preparation, and only 4 patties between YB and I.

Paired with white wine, of course! =D

Spicy Eggplant Hummus.

Since I had half a loaf of bread, a medium eggplant and some chickpeas left, I thought I'd make some hummus the next day.

Just add the eggplant. And chilli!

Well, that's what I gathered from the recipes on the Internet. It sounded terribly easy.

Come on, you have to admit that it's a good idea for date night at home, right?

It was awesome.
I loved it!
YB loved it!
In fact, he had some for breakfast the following morning too.

Except that I'll need to use less a clove of garlic the next time - I couldn't stand the smell of my own breath. =D

Monday, August 15, 2011

Random Blah Blah

It's Monday again.

Does time fly by so quickly now that we're older or what?
It just feels that way, you know.

I don't remember having to decide what ONE thing I can do in the evenings after work. I distinctively recall that I could do THREE different things, like go for drinks, do a bit of work, watch some TV or do some ironing, reading, watch a dvd...

Or is it with running/exercise in the routine, there's nothing much you can do?

I know that despite wanting to do a lot of things in the evenings after work, come midnight after my run on weeknights, I'd have to crawl into bed immediately because my body would slowly shut down, my eyelids would refuse to keep open and I'll have to drag myself out of bed the next morning.

It's so frustrating!

Anyway, I'm clearing up my phone picture gallery. =D

These bars of Reese's Sweet & Salty were given to me by the BFF, whom I coincidentally dreamt of last Thursday night. She found these during her trip to Shanghai.

I haven't seen these around the shores of Malaysia. In fact, I think the chocolate selection in Malaysia is just OK. Even if they had a wide variety, I doubt that most people would be able to afford the price of imported chocolates.

My favourite aisle in supermarkets and departmental stores are always the chocolate and biscuit aisles. I can spend hours, just studying the choices and deciding which one would be best to part my money with.

Even if it was just a bar of chocolate that cost 39p in London. =P

Click to view the larger pic.

This was written on a huge grandfather's clock sitting in the top floor of my office building, still in working condition. Check out the date, 1973. It's older than I am, and still looking mighty grand.

On the rare occasion when YB and I *must* order dessert, we opted for the erm... something parfait from Sushi Zanmai. You know which one I'm talking about, right? The one with macha ice cream, whipped cream, cornflakes ...

On the way back from Bukit Jalil station after picking up the SCKLM 11 race packs. If only all our public transportation looked this pristine all the time.

The other day my bosses and colleagues took the same train down to Salak South for lunch. Not sure why I am mentioning this but I get pretty uncomfortable trying to make small talk with bosses while traveling because the conversation will usually be about work or food. But mostly work!

Starbucks' banana chocolate chip muffin. Have you tried it? It's our absolute fave. It now costs RM5.90 for this huge baby.

I was studying it and eating it so slowly, trying to remember every single taste and detail, hoping that maybe one day I can make these. While searching for the best banana chocolate chip muffin recipe online, I noted that some people commented that the traditional size of muffins are the best, "not like the oversized Starbucks' ones!"


I didn't make anything last weekend.
I was too busy. =P

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Dutamas Runners : Melvin Lim

I’m sure you’ve seen Melvin Lim on the road and at most of the major events. When he isn’t running, he is a vocational training consultant as well as a wonderful & cute baby products supplier by day.

1. How long have you been running?
Started my 1st Field & Track run - Form 6@1993 (400m only) but no prior run at all in my life except 1-2 Malay Mail Big Walk!

Then my room mate @ UPM, Patrick Choo Yong Chek invited me to run with him around the Uni and it was really fun because UPM is surrounded by lots of greenery (those days). It was actually addictive and I ran or played squash almost every day if there was no exam looming or I was not going back home in Segambut on weekends. I was absorbed into the college's (University residence) team relay as a reserve on my 2nd year of studies and I got a 1st runner-up medal, without a single sweat. :-) My only individual podium achievement was coming in 6th for 5km field & track.

Just right before & after graduation, I raced in 2 road races, the Larian Merdeka & PJ Half (21km) but I told myself never to run such a long distance again as it was damn painful & suffering after the run (whole body ache, bruised toes). I also had a taste of running up the 60++ Floors Empire Tower (next to Plaza Yow Chuan) & KL Towerthon, all in 1999.

Thereafter, it was a total break from running for the next 11 years till I participated in a CNY 2010 Tiger Beer Run, invited by Eugene Chan June Yew. I was actually attracted by the prizes, RM8,888 cash + air ticket or something else !!! Too bad both Eugene & the "not so feeling well but still great" Captain KYK spoilt my day, or else I may have a chance to taste the $$ (if I'm not mistaken, haha perasan kan?).

[YT: *cough cough cough* Be careful, Captain!]

Seriously speaking, if I was as fit as I'm now, I was probably 1st runner up. :-) Anyway, it has been destined not to be mine but for Captain to enjoy his trip to Berlin and he was and is still a faster runner (even when he's not so fit!). Since then, I was very motivated to pick up running again, preparing for the next cash winning chances... am I dreaming???

I can't remember how I got to know about Adination (Adidas Running Community) but the next next person that I need to thank is Ronnie See for his inspiration & motivation at KLCC park every Thursday evening. He's really passionate and hardworking about his training, and till today I still can't follow but his hard trainings has made me a better runner. Then only I joined DR group upon Captain's invitation and he's another person that I'm looking at in catching up though I know the day may never come till he retires or injured. :-)

Think got to stop here, too long already right?

[YT: Hehehe. ;)]

Photo credit to Steve Yap.

2. You recently completed your first full marathon at the SCKLM 2011. Was it a very happy moment for you? Did you celebrate with the family?
Yes, I was damn happy and it was my dream & #1 of my life's goal since 2000 after a goal setting session. Celebration with family? Not really coz my wife not very enthusiastic with my involvement in running but to me, as long as no objections, that's good enough. :-)

Hope some DR ladies can encourage her do more physical exercise...

[YT: So who's going to babysit the kiddies while she comes out and run? ;)]

3. How long did you prepare for your full marathon?
Not enough according to the season runners. :-(

I only managed two (2) 30km runs and a max of 70km/week in the 3rd last week prior to the run. Only picked up my mileage after mid May due to hectic work commitment since beginning mid April.

Diet wise, I really planned my carbo loading properly (Tues-Fri of the SCKLM week), i.e. about 6g of complex carbohydrate/day for every kg of my weight and I think it worked coz don't think I cramped during the run (initially I thought it was cramp). It was due to low mileage & perhaps ran too fast earlier part of my race that my muscles/ligament/tendon (whatever you call it) around the knee could not take it and I felt intense pain from 25km onwards. Nevertheless, after some running, walking & limping for bout 7km and with lots of massage oils on my knees, I just persevered to finish the race from 33km onwards without much stopping.

4. What is the best and worst thing about running?
Best - Knowing new friends & being exposed to new makan places by running friends. :-)

Worst - Injuries (it kept me out for a full 3 over months after my SCKLM 10' half marathon ("HM") - I actually asked for it coz my ankle injury from squash did not heal completely even after 2 months & I went ahead with running a HM without enough mileage also)

5. What is your next running objective?
Podium in a relay & individual again (have not tasted that since my Uni years) and a sub 4 in FM!

Photo credit to Yum Kim Kok.

6. Any major events coming up before the year ends?
Nothing firm yet in my calendar as there are quite a number of events that actually clash with my weekend work, either seminars or parenthood/baby expos.

Personal important event - PAR 7 (coz this could possibly be my 1st taste of podium again after such a long dry spell!)

7. Why do you keep on running?
Get to meet new friends, try new food & improve my timing!

8. If you are not running, what other sports/exercise do you do?
Personally I do not have any other hobbies except playing sports and right now running is my one and only sports. I will go back to playing squash after PAR 7 coz my close school mates complained about abandoning them after my injury last year! I can also play badminton, table-tennis, basketball, volleyball, fencing, swimming but only so so in all these sports. Guess I have better record at running after all. :-)

Thanks for sharing with us so much about your running background. I'm sure the Captain will now have to be on his toes, in case you come catching up from behind!

See you at the Pacemakers' 7th Anniversary Run on August 14th, 2011 at the Kepong Metropolitan Park!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Indian Okra

My second Indian dish was cooked the day after I tried making Bhaingan Bharta.

I can't remember the website for the recipe I followed, but this recipe involved tomatoes, onions, okra, paprika, coriander powder ... i forgot the rest. (The printed recipe is on the fridge door at this moment.)

Yes, I've been distracted with baking cakes. =D

Don't you just love the colours?

A small bowl of roasted vegetable to feed YB while I prepared and cooked Indian Okra. A good way to eat your vege, as you can taste the sweetness. ;D

Hey hey. It looks like this one here!

And I really like this dish alhough I haven't cooked it again. Nice and spicy!

p.s. Looking back at my Cooking Experiments posts, I realise I haven't seen my bottle of basil powder lately. Crap! Where has it gone??

Monday, August 8, 2011

Destressing With Baking

No, I don't mean to say that I was (am) stressed out but haha, I hate *cooking* up good blog post titles, ok! (was that a pun i just made?? no? maybe not then.)

My batches of cookie didn't turn out great, although I really liked the ones with M & M pieces in them (note the colourful ones) as well as the one with chunks of bittersweet chocolate and nuts (top right).

So, anyway, why is baking so therapeutic to some? Is it the process of making something from scratch to seeing something being created with just heat, and the end result of something aromatic and edible? =D

Two weeks ago, before the Segambut Charity Run, I decided to try out a Pumpkin Carrot Cake recipe. It looked pretty simple, and it was.

I liked what I tasted at the first bite. And that got me worried.

Because when I tasted my Banana Walnut bread this time round, I was torn. I liked them both equally!

For the Pumpkin Carrot Cake, I reduced the eggs to just 3.
For the Banana Walnut Cake, I used yoghurt instead of milk.

Yin Yin kindly posed with my cakes at the Segambut Charity Run. =D

I took some for my colleagues to try and they enjoyed the Pumpkin Carrot one as well. The taste of pumpkin is so subtle, you wouldn't even know that it's there.

YB, as usual, prefers the Banana Walnut.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Segambut Charity Run 2011

Some of the Dutamas Runners attended the event which was held at Desa Park City last Sunday. As the organizers informed the crowd that the flag off was postponed to 8am. Lynn and I did a 2km warm up to kill some time before the start of the race. One of the VIPs was late.

Photo credit goes to Tey Eng Tiong.
Not really sure why in the second pic we looked like we were doing a choreographed dance.

We were probably the rowdiest group there, to the amusement and horror to the crowd. We took SO many photos (because we had too many photographers around), laughed so loud and we didn’t know how else to kill time besides being clowns.

Come 8am and it was race time.

The route was pretty easy with a flat terrain. I was worried about starting too fast, and tried to slow down by keeping Paul withinin sight. I think he was keeping a 5min pace whereas I wanted to maintain a 5:10 - 5:15 min pace.

As I was running towards the first checkpoint for a ribbon, I saw Melvin, the Captain, Jeff and Sue pretty much leading the pack when they made a u-turn back. When I was going up, I saw Yin Yin, her mum, Lynn and Geoff making their way down.

We were giving each other the thumbs up sign to encourage each other to keep going.

With 3km into the race, I think I did pretty well in keeping my pace consistent but it was time to speed up. I ran past so many photographers and tried to smile but to be honest, I didn’t want to slow down to pose because, er, I’ve got a time to beat. So yeah, I always end up looking like crap in candid running photos.

Photo credit to Andrew Choa.

Nearing the start line, I saw Melvin gesturing madly at me, and I tried my bestt o understand what he was saying. I saw the finish line ahead on the left and I gestured to him whether I had to go straight ahead first before turning back to the finish line. He kept pointing to the finish line furiously and it dawned to me that the race was at its end!

I sped up like mad, probably sprinting my way through whoever else was ahead of me. Thankfully, no little kiddies were harmed in the process. =)

Upon crossing the finish line, they gave me a card for the number 1 position for my category. Gosh!



I was too stunned for words as I was only aiming for the top 10 position. None of the elite runners where there, I suppose, or I wouldn’t have had a chance in hell. ;)

Photo credit to Tey Eng Tiong.
Finisher medals and goody bags for all!

The Captain was 1st runner up for his category, Lynn came in behind me 3 minutes later. Yin Yin was 6th for the women’s veteran category and as expected, Sue was 1st.

Photo credit to Tey Eng Tiong.
We did a lot of jumping photos, but I just nicked these two. They are too hilarious for words!

And you know what? According to our Garmin, we only ran 3.7km and not the 5.5km as informed.

All of us were horrified, as we were pacing for a 5km run. Had we known, we would have paced properly! Ack! We were really frustrated.

Photo credit to Andrew.
The full group photo, with our photographers for the day, Seng Chor and Andrew.

“What? Why is it 3.7km?”
“I could have ran faster!”

I know all of us didn’t do our homework and that was our biggest mistake. But were we really supposed to be so concerned for a 5.5km race when it was supposed to be an easy run anyway? Should we have bothered? Wasn’t it enough that I told myself that I was going to run a 5 min pace, at my fastest?

Photo credits to Andrew.
The girls at the prize giving ceremony.

In keeping up with the spirits, we cheered all our members who got on stage for their medals and prizes. The crowd must have hated us, or something, because we were seriously rowdy!

Photo credits to Tey Eng Tiong and Andrew.
Captain and I were "interviewed" in Mandarin by Bernama.

Halfway through the prize giving ceremony, one of the VIPs had to leave. Come to the Women's Veteran category, they were reading only the bib numbers of the winners without announcing their names. Boo!

Photo credits to Andrew. And maybe Kenny.

Photo credit to Tey Eng Tiong.
Enough with the photo taking! Embarrassed to the max.

Breakfast was dim sum at Bandar Menjalara.

We waited for Yin Yin, mum and Gilbert to join us as they had to rush off to pick up Gilbert's birthday cake. The cake, we all agree, was awesome. Macadamia Salter Caramel Tart, I think.

See the paparazzi at work!

We waited quite a while for one of the waiters to bring us a knife to cut the cake. 20 minutes later, he actually came with a chopping knife and a cutting knife and asked Captain which one he wanted.

We all laughed.

Since it was supposed to be a LSD weekend, Paul and I went for a 11.5km run in the evening to make up for the morning’s run. It was a pretty slow run, as there were times during the run that I felt pretty lazy and I had to force my heavy legs to move.

It was a tiring weekend indeed.

I almost skipped my run on Monday but I preservered at the gym. Almost got into a fight with a foreign couple who wanted the aircon in full blast, but they chose the treadmills far from the aircon and since I was stuck with the treadmill directly underneath the treadmill, I lowered the fan and increased the temperature by just a bit. (I wanted to switch it off, honestly!)

Another event coming up next weekend, so I can’t really slack off training. *big sigh*

Such is life of an aspiring runner, no?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Dutamas Runners : Chin Ann

Chin Ann
of recently completed the Sundown Ultra Marathon 2011 (100km) in Singapore on 25th June this year.

When I first met him, I found him shy and quiet but follow him on Twitter, and you will see his chatty side!

I thought I'd ask him a few questions so that we could get to know him a little bit better.

1. How long have you been running?
I started my running in August 2008 when I brought my 1st pair of running shoe Saucony Triumph 5. It's coming to 3 years in August.

2. Why do you run?
I started to run as I know running is the easiest way to achieve a healthy lifestyle and importantly to slim down :)

3. Since you're still running regularly, I guess that means you really enjoy it, right? Or do you consider it as something you "must" do?
Yes, I'm still enjoy running. It's have become part of my life. Saturday and Sunday morning, my mind and body will auto wake up for running!

4. What is the best and worst thing about running?
Best thing was just happened recently that I completed 100km without any muscles cramps problems! I even can sprint in the last 2km from 98th km mark!

Worst thing - cramp in the marathon race. I have few times cramp in the races and i wish i can end my race immediately and go back home rest.

5. Name a happy running moment/event and why.
The happy running event was my Virgin 42KM Marathon in Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 2009. As that was my first 42KM marathon, I really follow my Sifu Terrence advice. I still can remember clearly how I achieved my sub-5 timing. With Sifu advise and encouragement during race, I remember Sifu Terrence asked me to speed up at 30KM point else, I would not able to hit sub-5. Eventually at last I managed to complete my 1st ever personal best timing which was 4 hours 57 minutes, which is now still my 42KM personal best timing. haha Since then, for the rest of my marathons timing from second until 10th, my timing was over 5 hours. I wonder how I did it back then. :)

Ultra Buddies Group Photo before the start of Sundown Ultra 100KM

6. Can you tell us how you felt while running the Sundown Ultra Marathon 100km?
Run...Run...Run... and keep running... the word was running up and down in my mind. I'm lucky I have many different companions to run with during my 1st 50KM. After 50KM, I only had 3 companions to run with. It was really a fight against body not to fall asleep. We brought Coke from petrol station to keep us awake. It feel good when you have someone to pace with. It keeps my motivation going and to keep running at 3AM.

7. Would you recommend the 100km to anyone? If yes, what would your advice be?
Go run a few 42KM marathons then only consider 100KM. Part of the quality you need to sign up 100KM is "insanity" and guts too!

(YT: Yep. I don't think I'll ever sign up for it!)

I would only advise you to join 100KM when you have a big bunch of "ultra buddies" training together and supporting each other during training. We had our most wonderful lunch ( it was just plain rice and an egg) in one of our 9 hours training.

8. What is your next running objective?
To achieve sub-5 marathon target in 2012 and to run Ultra marathons. Other than that, I'm always out to improve my condition to run injury free !

9. I forgot to ask, what do you do for a living? =D
I'm working as a Finance Executive at one of the Government Linked companies.

At the recent BHP Orange Run 2011 on 17th July 2011

10. What is your next event?
My next races are The River Jungle Marathon on Sept 25 and Putrajaya Night Marathon on 15 Oct, but these are just part of my training for my major race in November which is Malaysia 1st Ultra "The Most Beautiful Thing" : Sabah Adventure Challenge 100KM Trail Ultra Marathon.

(YT: That sounds scary yet awesome... yikes!)

All the best, Chin Ann, and keep on running!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Glutinous Rice With Chicken

See, my mum makes fabulous glutinous rice ("lo mai fan") and we enjoy it so much that I thought I'd try making it, too.

Instead of asking her for the recipe, I thought I'd be clever and do my own research online instead.

2 cups of glutinous rice - soaked for 8 hours
chinese mushroom - soaked in hot water for 30 minutes
garlic, shallots, 2 chicken thighs - chopped
1 chinese sausage - sliced
1 tbsp of light soya sauce
1 tbsp of dark soya sauce
2 tbsp of oyster sauce
pepper and salt to taste

for garnish:
fried shallots
chopped spring onion
1 red chilli, sliced

cooking time: 45mins - 1 hour

It was missing something, and I couldn't put my finger to it. Dried shrimps? Dried cuttlefish? Perhaps caramel sauce?

Nevertheless, it went well with some chilli sauce to make up for the lost 'oomph'. =S

Oh, I'll definitely cook it again the next time. YB has requested perhaps I cook this dish for his parents the next time they come to visit. Hmm.

Maybe once I've perfected it.

UPDATE as at 19-8-2014 for a smaller portion and without chicken:
Serves 2.

300gm glutinous rice, soaked for at least 7 hours, drain water thereafter
(equivalent to 2 rice cups - you know, the cup that comes with your rice cooker.)
1 1/2 Chinese sausage (optional), sliced thinly
5 Chinese mushrooms, soaked in hot water, sliced thin
3 shallots, sliced finely
20g of dried shrimps, soaked and roughly chopped (equivalent to 1/3 cup)
1 TBSP sesame oil
1 TBSP Chinese cooking wine (optional)
1 TBSP dark soya sauce
1 TBSP light soya sauce
2 TBSP oyster sauce

1. Heat some oil in frying pan. Fry shallots until brown, not burnt. Set aside and leave oil in pan.
2. Add more oil, if need be. Fry dried shrimps for 3 mins, add mushroom and Chinese sausage and fry for a few minutes.
3. Add glutinous rice to pan and seasoning sauces as mentioned above. Add 2 pinches of salt and 3 dashes of white pepper.
4. Add shallots and mix well for a few more minutes. Taste the rice on your tongue, and spit it out - since it's not cooked, you shouldn't eat it!
5. Transfer to a dish.
6. Add water, about 3/4 cup. Sprinkle some water on top.
7. Steam for 45mins - 1 hour, checking every 15-20 mins or so, to sprinkle some water.

Note: the dried shrimps bring the dish together. if you scrimp on it, the rice isn't tasty enough. I speak from experience - 3 weeks ago I tried and the taste fell just a wee bit short. :D