Monday, April 29, 2013

Run The Rock @ Woodend, Victoria

Date: 27th April 2013 - Saturday.
Venue: Hanging Rock, Woodend, Victoria.
Flag Off: 9.15am
Distance: 19KM

Before I booked my flight for Melbourne, I scoured the Internet for possible races to sign up for. Sad as it sounds, I thought it would be better to fit a 'race' into my brief holiday just to make sure I maintained my fitness level.

Mmm, okay, that's utter rubbish, actually. I just thought it would be nice to take part in a race with the hubby, since the last time we ran together was ... Chinese New Year. :D

I arrived in Melbourne on Friday night, and there was concern whether I would be too tired for the run.

Just a wee bit!

Reaching Woodend in a bit.

We woke up to a beautiful morning and I did think it was silly to get out of the warm bed, and make the long drive out of Melbourne to Woodend.

We arrived at Hanging Rock around 840am and the parking lots were slowly filling up.

Besides the 19KM category, there was also the 10KM, 5KM and 2KM for kids. 

Hanging Rock in the background.

 Hanging Rock is located in the Macedon ranges and has a race course where Run The Rock started and ended on.

The wind was too cold for me. Brrrr!

The winds were chilly that morning, and I was torn between taking off my jacket or keeping it on. The sun looked like it was coming out soon!

The starting line. Flag off for 19KM runners was at 9.15am.

Decided to keep it on during the run although once halfway into the run, I got a bit warm and took it off.

Looks like we have an unregistered runner stealing the limelight.

With chilly winds (for me), it was hard to get warmed up. It called for some dynamic stretching and running on the spot. That was the best I could do! *grumble*

Cutie pies checking out the roo.

Before the start of the race, I didn't know what to expect. With the route was mostly flat on bitumen (tarmac), dirt ground and grass (on the race course), the plan was to hit 10KM in 55minutes and the remaining 9KM to be completed 53minutes.

There was a water station at every 3-4KM, which should be sufficient hydration.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Over- What?

I've never visited a podiatrist nor a physiotherapist before.

In all honesty, I don't know whom do I see for a general check up when it comes to sports related stuff. 

What about an orthopedic surgeon? *bimbotic blur*

My legs haven't been themselves since MWM on 7th April 2013. I gave myself 3 days of rest before jumping back onto the bandwagon, only to wince in pain as my feet landed onto the ground.

The pain would shoot up my thighs, making me think that I could have pulled a fibre or something in the ITB, I don't know! *flail arms in the air*

Walking would also cause me to wince or grimace, and it was hard to refrain from doing so. I caught myself doing so plenty of times and I knew, tsk tsk, that something could seriously be wrong.

A week after the marathon, I was back at the GCAM run group on Saturday for a 15KM run. The next day, a 14KM trail run in FRIM with a few of them.


Yeah, you guys didn't know I was grimacing every now and then, did you?
Why did you think I took a lot of walking breaks!

Anyway, enough is enough. It could be something serious, or it may not, but I finally went to see a podiatrist on Monday.

First thing they did was to have me walk and run on the treadmill, with and without shoes. Video recording was done for a gait analysis of some sort.

Gait analysis assesses the way we walk or run to identify any biomechanical abnormalities, from hip extensions to trunk flexion and foot-floor landing. People with these abnormalities sometimes suffer from pain in the back, knee, hip and foot and may need to be corrected. A brief explanation can be found here.

Upon observing the playback of the video and with the podiatrist's observations, we found out that:

1) My right foot pronates more than the left which was surprisingly very obvious and gawd, not a very pretty sight.

2) From walking and running barefoot, my toes to metatarsals would splay open as if I had web feet. 

To be honest, I did notice this web feet-like feeling last year when I gradually made the transition to minimalist shoes. Yikes. I never used to have that problem, you know.

3) My feet tend to roll inwards first, perhaps due to the bunions but there is no cause for concern. In the long run, I may want to consider insoles to prevent any potential injuries caused by the bunions.

After doing the necessary tests of this and that, it seemed like I'm a-OK and have no abnormalities. Phew!

I was afraid he would tell me that my hips were lopsided (from running with a painful knee and thereby affecting my pelvic alignment) and I'd need to trim a centimetre or two off one of my legs to make them even!

The conclusion was that my left ITB was just very tight and I needed to stretch it to loosen it as much as possible. The tightness was due to ... 

Wow, I didn't think I'd reach this stage, but yeah, take a wild guess!

No, it wasn't due to badminton, contrary to what some people say.

It was due to over-training.

Apparently whilst training for the marathon, I may have over-trained instead.

What rubbish! *with indignation*

Alright, if you have seen my mileage log, you may be entitled to come to that conclusion (that I did over-train)...

Right now, I think my legs are much much better now and I just pray that they will have the need for speed this Saturday.

I will be at Run The Rock, supporting Cancer Council Victoria and I just hope that the weather won't be so chilly because I won't have anything decent to wear for a chilly run!

Have a great weekend, everyone.
And have a good race wherever you are, be it at Bidor Half Marathon or World Kidney Day Run!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Gangnam 88, Solaris Mont Kiara

Address: No 1-1, Jalan Solaris 3, Solaris Mont Kiara (above Coffee Bean)
Telephone: 03-6206 5888

Follow them on Facebook.

I didn't know that I didn't have a separate post on Gangnam 88!

I have been there about 3 times, I think, and all with Moving on AC, who apparently has a VIP card due to his regular visits.

I first had the bibimbap set (see Good Coffee and Food post) in January and with such a generous serving, the place required another visit. :)

We went again on 23rd February (that's how long I store food pictures in my phone!) and we noted a change in their pricing. Previously the barbeque set option of meat (beef/pork belly/pork fillet) was RM30 but it was now RM33. This time, the set included a bowl of rice to go with the meat. Prior to this, you could only enjoy the meat with green leafy wraps.

Side dishes with free refills!

The pork belly set, with steamed egg for my set.


Kimchi fried rice.

This time, I opted for the kimchi fried rice set (RM20) which comes with steamed egg and a bowl of soup. The fried rice was decent, not too bad, and paired with a sunny side up, is just great. ;)

And with the additional bowl of steamed egg, gosh, you'd be stuffed if you were eating on your own!

(But the size of the bowl for the steamed egg has shrunk, so I'm sure you'll do fine.)


Korean ice kacang.

Choice of dessert was ice kacang or coffee. It's part of the set!

The ambiance at the bistro is cosy in a rowdy kind of way. I say rowdy, is when the Korean MTV is blasted loud above the general din of patrons chatting in Korean or English. The noise level is generally decent.

Communication may sometimes be a problem with our Korean waitress/waiter so be sure to speak slowly and carefully, and well, just point to what exactly you want.

Related post:
Good Coffee and Food

Other reviews:
Venoth's Culinary Adventures
We Live For Food, I Eat For Life

p.s. I'm not partial to Korean food so this post is the best I can do.  And yes, this place is worth visiting again! :)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Burger Junkyard, Kota Damansara

Address: No. 16-G, Jalan PJU 5/20D, The Strand, Kota Damansara
Opening Hours: Mondays - Saturdays, 12-3pm, 6-10pm. Closed on Sundays

I've heard so much about this place and FINALLY, now that MWM is a wrap, I had the chance to drop by to check out the place last Thursday.

Seasonal burgers change from time to time!

I took a chance with the Mystery Burger, and opted for the half size. I couldn't be too sure what was in the burger, but I heard 'smoked salmon' so I thought hey, surely they can't go wrong with that.

I was actually eyeing the Formage et Fungi.

But before that, I did contemplate the Fromage et Fungi because I generally love mushrooms. :)
The crowd at 9pm on a Thursday night.

The graffiti decoration screamed loud and young and funky at the same time. I've always admired fantastic graffiti and this one was just crazy fun.

Look at the earlier picture and you'll know where I was seated. ;)

My Mystery Burger came and I wasn't too sure what was in it besides smoked salmon, but the grilled chicken was great! It reminded me of satay.

There were garlic croutons inside as well, which I couldn't care less for.

My burger was awesome that I secretly wished I had gone for the regular size instead @ RM19.90. Drinks not included.

Hsu Ann chose the Mango Whatzapp-bi which I thought tasted a bit strange. Perhaps I wasn't used to the strange sweetness of the dressing.

But but but, the gourmet chicken sausage was lovely.

So that's what my Mystery Burger was - The Caesar!

The place is run by a few boys in their 20s and gosh, you can see them hard at work! They are a bunch of fun-loving, happy and jovial boys and you must be nice to them, ok!

In fact, we found out that one of them also took part in the MWM's half marathon as a pacer. :)

Follow them on Facebook here.

More mouth-watering pictures can be found in the blogs stated below.

Other raving reviews:
Catra a Planet Created by Cindy Tong
Eat Drink KL
Careless Little Hamster
Eunice's Euphoria

Sunday, April 14, 2013

MWM Race Report Part 2

My earlier post did not include the route and elevation maps for your studying as I didn't want to sound soooooo long-winded. You may scroll down to the relevant section of this post if you want to avoid the non-running related photos. :)

Saturday, 6th April 2013 - The day before Race Day

I arrived pretty late to pick up my race pack, but it didn't matter as I was still in time for the pasta party AND the opportunity to chat with our Very Important People. 

The pasta served was from Ben's: Sun-dried tomato spaghetti and Wild mushroom spaghetti. There were also fruit kebabs (on a satay stick and iced lemon tea.

It was a warm evening but the crowd had fun with the brief entertainment from Joanne Kam.

I only had 3 small servings of pasta as I didn't feel like eating although I was pretty hungry!

Had a cupcake too, while I was at it. But as I was chatting with Sue (of Couple On The Run and Partnerunning), I delayed gobbling up my cupcake for fear of having black bits stuck between my teeth. Didn't want her to stare at them as I yakked away. :D

Top photo: With Sue O'Brien / Bottom photo: With Kathrine Switzer.

With some crazy fast runners who were our volunteers on Race Day.

For convenience, I checked in at a nearby hotel to avoid the traveling to and from KL to Shah Alam in the wee hours of the morning.

The Tree Boutique Hotel was just less than a 5 minute drive away from I-city. I took, but it was still a bit more spacious than one of the rooms in Value Hotel I had previously stayed in Singapore.

Check out the canvas print of a tree on the wall!

I never switched on the TV during the whole time I was there!

Decent size. At least there was hot water!

I bumped into two Taiwanese girls who were checking in that night. The recognised my MWM race pack whereas I recognised their Taiwanese race bag (see the maroon bag 3 photos up). I asked them whether they were here for MWM and one of them eagerly nodded her head.

Well, I did my best to converse properly in Mandarin, but I hesitated a lot as I'm not very confident speaking Mandarin with people who speak 'proper' proper Mandarin. So I would speak English for a bit, then swapped back to Mandarin. I was quite terrified they'd laugh at my poor pronunciation!

Anyway, both Bobo and Jo came all the way to run the MWM half marathon. Jo had come across the MWM event on Facebook/Internet and they decided to fly over to participate. Bobo is the friendly one and it was very easy to warm up to her immediately. We chatted about the Fubon Taipei Marathon where they have participated before (I can't recall which category). 

Oh and then she requested me to bang on their door to wake them before I left for my marathon.


They did balk when I said I'd leave at about 3am and so I'd wake them then. :D

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Nestle Fitnesse Malaysia Women Marathon - Race Report

Three months of sticking to a training plan was a very tough assignment. I don't like routine and I don't like being bogged down, but I stuck to it as much as possible, which surprisingly (but not really) turned out to be 90% of it.

Three months to train for just ONE marathon.

One week before Race Day
Taper week (a week before Race Day) proved to be the hardest for me. Sleep was messed up - I kept waking up in the wee hours therefore didn't have quality sleep or sufficient hours of daily rest.

The period was due but I was hoping very very hard that it would arrive earlier so I could avoid a run as bad as PNM 2012. But no, I was bloated as a angry puffer fish and to carboload during the week just made me more pudgy than usual when in fact, I had lost some weight two weeks ago. Fek it.

My left knee would sometimes hurt like a bitch that I feared if I continued ignore it and completed the marathon regardless, there would be permanent repercussions to my gait and already bad posture. It had been hurting on and off for the past one month or more but I stubbornly refused to get it checked, just because I didn't want the doctor to tell me to quit running. After all the training I have been putting in, I could not not put it through the test. Stubborn, I know.

Two days before Race Day
Then, last Friday evening, my eyes felt heavy, a sign of  fluey symptoms. The period hadn't arrived yet but I'm already fat and bloated and I was feeling fluey?? Things could not get any worse. I was so upset (with the things I couldn't control) that ...

It started with a tear drop. Then two. Then a trickle. A sob. Then two. Then a full blown howl, one after another.

As I buried my face into the sheets, I bawled and wailed like a banshee going through painful childbirth. I howled my eyes out. I howled my lungs and heart out as I contemplated the unfairness of the situation. It felt like my chest was being ripped open and my heart was breaking into a million pieces. I howled some more that I thought my eyes were going to pop out and fizzled into nothingness. I howled and howled and thought how ridiculous I sounded - pity the poor neighbours.

It was Self-Pity at its best.

But I felt much better after that. Once I released the dam of frustration which had threatened to burst throughout the entire week (I told you it's hormones!) I felt more calm.

Everything laid out the night before.

Sunday, 7th April 2013 - Race Day
I arrived at I-city before 3:30am and the place was rather quiet. I supposed because it wasn't a full blown international event, there wasn't the usual fanfare and excited chatter to greet you that morning. I said hi to a few friends and walked around. Warmed up a bit (refused to join the young hunks who were leading the warm up session) and had a brief chat with an old school friend, Judy Liew (who completed the run in 4:10). She gave me a tip before the race started and that was what made me change my strategy then.

Had a bit of a panic when I thought my earphones weren't working. I stared at Seng Chor, mortified that I'd have to run 5 hours with no music.

But apparently my iPod was on pause. Heh.

~ KM0 to KM5.0 (32:21)
As we ran off into the sleepy streets of Shah Alam, I started off with Seng Chor, Pey Lee and later on, Gus. This was the first km or mile, I think. There was a lot of banter and laughing but I honestly don't recall what exactly transpired. I recall teasing some friends (Lawrence Law!) with a "Wah, why so fast one??" as they ran past me and that's about it.

I remember saying to Gus that it reminded me so much of The River Jungle Marathon where we were the only ones on the quiet streets. It was so serene and peaceful that I wished a band would pop up and give us a tune or two.

Then I got bored. Of the pace, not company. It was 6:36 min/km for the first km and thoughts started cramming into my head:  

"Hey hey, good stuff! We're definitely going to hit 4:45 at this rate!"
"Seriously? Just 4:45?"
"Aren't you going to try for 4:30? You've trained for it!"
"But I may not make it... it's a HILLY ROUTE!"
"Let's try and we'll slow down if we can't stick to the pace, ok?"

With that, I took a deep breath, dug in my heels and increased the pace a bit. I knew full well that once I hit the slopes, I would slow down anyway and suffer.

Cleared the slope at KM4.xx and reached KM5 in one piece.
Not bad.

Friday, April 5, 2013

I Swear It's Just Hormones

I was just about 10 steps away from the lift and the guy who was there first, got in.

He saw me from the corner of his eye.

I reached the lift just as its doors closed.

In a singsong voice, I yelled to the guy in the lift, "You a$$hole! A$$HOLLE!!!!"

I'm sure he could hear me as the lift was just about to go up.

Hormones are killing me.
I am so easily emotional over the slightest things. Like, if you come and tell me that you think I'm an awesome friend or something (*choke* which is rubbish, I know) I'd probably tear up. Even watching a sappy scene on a sitcom could bring a tear or two!

I was also about to cry during an earlier scene in Olympus Has Fallen where the President wife dies. Sniff. I'm glad my friend who sat next to me didn't see this or she would have laughed at me. (She always laugh at everything I do, which annoys me to bits. But I can't tell her that because then she'll say I'm snappy because of hormones.)

I haven't been sleeping well for the past week, and it's pretty swell timing. The time I need quality sleep the most, it fails me. I've been waking up in the wee hours of the morning, tossing and turning, and it just annoys me to bits.

If I listed every thing that has bugged me to bits for the past entire week, it could be a long one. Unfortunately, I don't have a category for 'Rants' for this blog so I must curb my incessant ranting. The idea was to coax me towards happier thoughts instead of ... er ... non-happy thoughts?

Anyway, what's up, peeps? How ya doing?

It has been a week since last weekend (wow, this is lame) and it has been exhausting! I'm sure the lethargy and lack of sleep doesn't help matters but sigh, I did try. 

For my last 2 training runs, I was opting for a slower speed interval training and a slow 8KM run. When the day came, I decided to stick to the speed intervals and take it slow the next day.

But when a friend comes and cajoles you into running with him for his run, and no matter how hard you try to say no, if you are a doormat like me and also secretly enjoys a bit of challenge, you know you're in deep shit  trouble.

I ended up running 4 laps of Lake Gardens with him, and I felt great but guilty. Guilty, guilty, guilty!

I was supposed to taper, not stick to a sub-6 min pace, mind you. *pulls hair*

My quads were (and still are) furious.

"First, the speed intervals and then longer intervals? What's with you??" Right Quad and Left Quad growled. 
"Taper, woman, you're supposed to T-A-P-E-R," Right Quad gave a involuntary twitch.
"You're stoopid." Left Quad huffed.
"I'm hurt, remember? I'm supposed to rest!" Left Knee mourned pitifully.

I am stoopid. =(

To happier thoughts.

I've got a weekend trip coming up in 2 weeks and I'm excited!

I will be going to Chieng Mai with a group of colleagues. It's known as the Champions trip, a gift from the company for the sports representatives who won first place in events. As I was part of the winning team for the Mixed Category for The KL Rat Race 2012, I am lucky enough to be part of this trip. =D

How much money do I need for a 3 day weekend in Chieng Mai? Is RM300 enough? I'm sure I won't be shopping much!

And I'm glad I will be back in KL by Sunday afternoon because, er, I've got to do a long run. Heh.

And then I'll be off on another holiday the following weekend.
April is sure a short month for me!


Back to gloomy thoughts.

1. I can't find one side of calf compression guards. It's so bloody annoying when you're in a rush!
2. My muscles are feeling so sore that I swear the bloody timing of *it* all is going to be just ... fantastic.
3. Just 6 hours daily of interrupted sleep this whole week does not help matters.
4. I'm worried that my left knee has put my entire body off-balance. I should see a physiotherapist soon before it gets worse, right? Right.
5. I am very very very afraid that MWM will be as bad as PNR 2012. It will be a tough mental challenge to make sure that it is not a repeat of it.
6. They say never to give up when you haven't even begun the race. But I am tired. *whine* I don't feel like it!
7. My birthday is next month and please don't give me chocolates.

Yeah, I threw in the last one just to give you a heads up. Hah!

Anyway, anyway.
I'll be seeing some of you this Sunday at the Nestle Fitnesse Malaysia Women Marathon @ I-city ya? I'll be that frowning aunty in a blue running dress and black/pink cap but do say hi so you can distract me from my pain and worries! I generally look very unapproachable because my features are llike that I don't smile to myself very often. So when I'm not smiling, yeah, people just stay away from me.

But SERIOUSLY, wouldn't you think I'm crazy if you saw me walking around with a smile plastered on my face, smiling at no one in particular?

Monday, April 1, 2013

Food Filler Post

I really want to talk about running but I know you don't want to hear about the same thing all over again and again (about my worries and woes, etc) so I'm throwing in pictures of food which were taken recently!

As in, the month of March.

Looking at the collection of pictures in this post, I'd be horrified if these were my meals for an entire week. So ... fattening. *horrific gasp*

Silver Spoon, Publika

After all these years of having their only outlet in Bandar Menjalara (known as Silver Spoon Trattoria), they finally opened one in Publika, Solaris Dutamas.

Both Hsu Ann and I wanted to carbo load for our Kenyir Tri and opted for some pasta.

She had the duck confit angel hair spaghetti and the verdict was just so-so. 

I opted for ... something fettucine which I don't recall the menu mentioning a poached egg nestled on top.

I don't remember much but I don't think we enjoyed our pasta.

The tiramisu had a strong hint of alcohol, which I enjoyed. But I was too stuffed to finish up my half and requested Hsu Ann to finish it up.

Our bill came up to RM70+ with just glasses of water accompanying our meal. :D