Saturday, June 29, 2013

Batu Dam - Found!

As mentioned in our previous posts (mine, Nick and Jamie's too!) we couldn't find our way to Batu Dam and it was certain that a second outing was required.

This time, it was just CY and I who went along with Superman Kew and (experienced camper) Piew for the walk picnic jog run.

It was still dark when we arrived at our destination, but the skies soon lightened as we prepared ourselves to ascend the first slope.

I had to insist they enjoy the view first before the first climb.

Upon careful perusal of the route map from our previous run, we knew where we had gone wrong that time and made sure that this time, we wouldn't repeat the same mistake again.

"That way!" CY pointed out the direction.

Except that what I thought would be 1.5KM in and towards that junction turned out to be just a mere 800m from where we started.

I suck at maps and estimating distances!

In my defence, I was never a Girl Scout. And I gave up on being a Girl Guide, too. :D

Fuzzy yam mushroom!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Curls and Circles

I went to my Korean hairdresser 3 weeks ago to get my roots coloured - when in actual fact, I asked her to colour my hair black. Communication with her tend to go awry most of the time so now, not only do I not have black hair, but also some kind of perm!

(I had to wait for the lift with a mirrored wall or I wouldn't be able to snap this pic. LOL!)

I was rushing for a last minute invitation for a birthday dinner in PJ and well, yeah, okay. I look pretty decent here.

What I didn't realise that I was wearing the same dress I wore to the birthday's boy party 8 years ago!

It is either a sad thing that I am keeping my old clothes or it's amazing that I can still squeeze into it. Haha!

Anyway, the reaction from friends were mixed. One bluntly blurted out, "Why did you do that?" and another laughed smirked shook his head with disbelief. Some said it wasn't that bad.

It makes me chuckle as I believe this hairstyle is best matched with K-pop superstar features and figures. Not someone who is trying her best to avoid looking middle-aged as possible. :P

Right after the hair makeover, I thought I'd be adventurous and go for a half body massage. The receptionist was mighty confused when I said I wanted the lower half.


Tuesday, June 25, 2013


When I was younger, I wasn't very good at dealing with rejection. I hated being forced to reveal such a readable expression of hurt on my face but that was me, so easy to read.

A best friend in high school once dumped me in the most unceremonious ways in public - she was extremely nice to another girl, gave up my seat next to her in English class for the girl, and snubbed me for an entire year. I was stupid enough to still want to be her best friend by stubbornly sitting beside her and pretending that all was well, even if she wasn't speaking to me.

Everyone felt sorry for me.

After a while, I gave up and sat with other friends instead. I disliked my replacement that I snubbed her in return, probably because I felt that it was her whom had stolen my best friend away from me.

(When I grew up, I realised it wasn't her fault.

I also realised that it's always better to be with friends who want your friendship than yearn those who don't want mine at all.)

My face has always been very transparent, and it's usually very easy to read the turmoil of emotions going through my head.

It was quite awkward for me the other day when a new girl joined the badminton session. Everyone was so gleeful about having found my replacement, they kept harping on it and were extremely excited with the prospect of playing with her.

I wanted to storm off like an errant child. I couldn't remain cool. I was angry and hurt, and behaved badly, but no one knew why. 

(I think they did, but more towards me being jealous, not hurt.)

I wished I could tell them how it was affecting me then and there, but how could I, when the new girl was there?

As the countdown to my departure begins, I am starting to feel the same replacement-rejection feeling all over again. Granted that I am the one who's leaving and forcing everyone to find someone to take my place. Granted that life goes on and activities continue without me.

I guess what I really want is to know that I was once important. Like how I valued your friendship, too. Sure we may not have been best buds or the closest of friends but geez, we were friends, right?

(Why do you think I'd rather not have farewell themed events at this moment because I don't want to be made important when I know I will no longer be important?)

Even if it's weeks before I pack up and leave, I am sorely tempted to troubleshoot the inevitable now, to prepare myself from going through the same notions again.

I want to be the one who dumps you, not the other way round. I want to leave the group now, not knowing what your future activities and laughter is all about. Let me be left out now, instead of later.

I know I sound childish but I can't help it. Slowly, I am being cut out or off from certain things and connections that arghhh, it's like a repeated stab in the heart with a blunt pencil.

Let's break up now.

P.s. Please don't tell me how it's a closing of a chapter and a beginning of another. I know that. But it still sucks, right?

I've always hated new chapters in life, the thought of the unknown misty future always scared me to death. I wanted to die before I left home for college because I was scared of being a failure but I think my mum's prayers were stronger than mine because I lived and was indeed a failure, too. Hah!

P.p.s. We're talking about rejection here! I think it's karma. I was quite mean to my friends before back in primary school (gawd, I was mean), breaking off the friendships and moving on with new friends, ignoring them. Sniff. 

P.p.p.s. OK, it's not karma. I'm just emotional and easily attached to people. And things.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Lazy Chicken Salsa Wrap

I'm not sure whether I grew up being interested in cooking. I was definitely interested in eating, that's for sure, but cooking? Nah.

Perhaps my interest in cooking stemmed from growing up and watching my grandma and mum fuss about in the kitchen, preparing ingredients for the dishes and the house was always filled with aromas which tickled your nose every now and then.

I watched my grandma make pancakes, bubur cha cha (not my fave), red or green bean soup, banana or durian or sweet potato fritters, ABC soup and some more, which I can't recall at this moment.

I watched my mum steam yam cake, kuih lapis, seri muka (not my fave), cook curry, assam fish, tau yew bak, peanut and chicken feet soup, just to name a few.

But they would always shoo me out of the kitchen as they preferred to do everything on their own. Unless they needed to run off to the loo or watch tv for a while, then I'd be asked to watch the fire and water level of the soup ("When it reaches this level, lower the fire," my mum's famous words).

So, with that, I suppose cooking yummy dishes and presenting them to family and friends is one of the ways to share your love. I'm sure the chefs and bakers may agree on this!



Friday, June 14, 2013

Training For Malaysia Women Marathon

This was a draft post which I had prepared long ago.

I know how difficult it can be to achieve that dream (of completing a marathon or any run in one good piece, or ANY dream for that matter) and instead of shoving training tips and ideas down your throat, beginners and aspiring runners should understand that the runners whom you envy for being sooooo fast and think they have it easy, never be too certain that their achievements too, come with blood, sweat and tears.

After the Malaysia Women Marathon, there was a surge of blog posts by awesome women who wrote about their marathon training and race. The sweat, tears and laughter were happily shared (and I enjoyed reading them), which I firmly believe suggests that anyone can do it, PROVIDED that you dedicate the time and commitment train for it.

(I am referring to Femes Bunny's friends who completed their 1st marathon ever. :))

There is NO shortcut to a less painful marathon:
1) Run more - 3 to 4 times a week is a must. If it's your first one, better run 5 times!)
2) For 12 to 18 weeks, equals 3 to 4 months of dedication.

And once you're in the midst of it, you WILL whine, moan, groan and gripe about it, but with a secret sense of achievement.

"Please! OMG! Marathon training sucks!"
"Sheeeeeeeeet! I don't think I can do this!"
"WHY did I sign up for the full marathon lah!!"
"I should have signed up for a half instead!"
"No, wait, I should have just signed up for the 10KM!"
"I hate running..."

Or something like that.

I beg you, I beseech you, do not ever sign up for a marathon just because everyone seems to be doing it. It is not a fad (even if you think so). Everyone has different capabilities and targets. And if you really do not have the bloody time to train (3 months at the least), then please, please, please don't!

I know some of you may think that I'm obsessed when I set a target or goal time for my races. But let me assure that it really depends on my objective for signing up for the race in the first place.

You can have a performance objective - to run faster, beat that fast runner you don't like, or improve your past performance (which basically is the same as 'run faster').

Or you may have the fun objective of losing weight, keeping friends company, cheaper than buying a branded dri-fit t-shirt, keeping up the momentum of improving your fitness.

I often select the performance objective to motivate myself to continue running / working out. Without that goal, I tend to slack and take it easy, and my fitness level would gradually slide.

Besides, I am still trying to lose weight and trust me, running this much and eating chocolates surely isn't helping!

Even if you don't have a blog to log down your training runs and race reports, keep some of those thoughts in mind and somewhere as they may serve useful to gauge your strategy for the next race.

These are some excerpts from my marathon training a few months ago.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Portobello Mushroom on Toast

I completely forgot about the portobello mushrooms I bought for 50% off over the weekend. Tsk tsk.

And there I was, pondering what on earth to cook for lunch...

A super quick check on the Internet gave me some ideas of what to do with them shrooms, see here and here. This Caponata dish looked interesting but I didn't have most of the ingredients anyway.

So, it was time to improvise and come up with something within my limitations.

2 pieces portobello mushrooms, sliced
1/4 yellow onion, diced
some cherry tomatoes, halved
cream cheese
pine nuts
dried basil
2 slices of bread, each cut into 4 squares.

1. Dry fry pine nuts for a while until slightly golden. Set aside.
2. Add one tablespoon of butter to the pan, chuck in the onion and 1.5 minutes later, stir in the mushrooms. Saute for a bit and then throw in the mushrooms. Add a dash of salt or two, and a sprinkle of dried basil. Set aside once mushroom is soft.
3. Spread butter thinly on both sides of bread and lay on the pan. Flip them over and press them down (just a little) for a while. Remove from pan once brown.
4. Spread some cream cheese on one side of the toast. Arrange some mushroom and tomato on top, with some pine nuts for a bit of crunch. Sprinkle some dried basil and they are ready to be eaten!


1. Will taste much better with garlic instead of onion, I suppose. But I didn't have any.
2. I thought this was only my appetiser but I was wrong. I was quite contented with just having this as my lunch. :)

Come up with your own version! :)

Saturday, June 8, 2013

GCAM13 -Team MY Group Runs Come To An End

Almost 6 months of running together at least twice a month and somehow (but not surprisingly) the bond just developed.

The regulars and non-regulars alike have been having so much fun together, both on the road and on the trails. Even bumping into each other at races was an exciting moment. :D

This morning was our final session together. An uncertainty hung in the air as Jamie announced to the group that it was the last session for the GCAM13 series.

What, must we part ways already??

Wasn't the fun just beginning, especially when it's 3 weeks to the Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2013 and a month to the Gold Coast Airport Marathon 2013?

Looking back at the photos, you will realise that everyone has come this far to see an improvement in their performance. And if you look carefully, you will also notice that some of us have lost some weight (looking fitter!) while I swear I must have gained some instead!
 Session #1 on 26th January 2013 - 7KM run.

Session #2 on 2nd February, 2013 - 7KM run and plyometric exercises. See blog post here.

Session #3 on 16th February, 2013 - a short run and some hill bounding exercises. I was absent for this session. Phew!

Session #4 on 23rd February, 2013. See blog post here - some of them contributed their thoughts to the benefits of group runs!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Laughing Off The Drama

Interestingly enough, just after my whiny post yesterday, the evening turned out to be quite amusing hilarious entertaining. Perhaps it was just what I needed to snap me out of my doom and gloom!

Thursdays training is always tough for me as tempo runs are on the schedule. Ugh. I'm crap at it so I had to plead call in the pacer for some support.

In order to do so, I had to drive myself into town and we'd run in KLCC park.

I invited one of my badminton mates to accompany me for my warm up, before the pacer arrived. I was late for this run date, you know, and I was extremely annoyed with the horrendous KL traffic after the rain and well, I should have left the house earlier, anyway.

Warming up with Mel was different, I suppose. I've never ran with him before but we'd talk about the events and running stuff in between our badminton games. We kept it at conversational pace as I was saving my breath for the tempo later.

He was not amused to run in the rain without a cap as the rain would get into his eyes. Earlier on he had asked me whether he needed a cap but I said no, as the rain had fizzled out. But I was wrong!

After 2 warm up laps and some stretching, the pacer arrived, looking shockingly bright in the rain. (Still a bean pole, by the way! :D) And off we went.

8KM and 45 minutes later, it was tough for me. Was it the rain, the slosh in my shoes, the teensy weensy little elevation, the boredom of running 5 laps, my weak stamina, my lack of willpower or what, I don't know.

I was informed that I wasn't to talk during our run, which was fine by me, but to let the pacer do all the talking. And all he did was tell me 1) we were on track, 2) I was going too fast, 3) keep going, 4) number of laps to go ... I may go nuts during my half marathon if he doesn't come up with interesting anecdotes to keep me going. 

I want stuff like, "Check out the chick in front. let's slowly whiz by her!" or "See that dude over there, is that butt sexy enough for you?"

OK OK, I'm not complaining. Must keep whatever support I have before he resigns.

Despite my pleading to the pacer to let me quit this sub-2 target (once again, it was brushed aside), I know that deep inside my heart of hearts, I can get there and I will get there but with help.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Where's My Running Mojo?

I have been feeling rather lost since ... hmmm.

I can't put my finger to it.

Nothing feels right anymore. Not even the shoes I used to love, my running attire (I think that's because I still haven't lost my holiday weight and more) and the humid weather doesn't make things any better at all.

The pain in my legs are very annoying and frustrates me even more and somehow I no longer have the stamina to run well. 

The constant battle with bad complexion and extra weight isn't helping with my self esteem, either.


Everything demotivates me.

I ran 1.5KM intervals on Tuesday and it was shites. I wanted to quit right then and there but the conscience said no freaking way and a, "Buck up, soldier!" ... which I found rather amusing.

If the husband was beside me, he would have given me a good talking down.

And possibly massage my legs, too.

It's very frustrating not to be able to describe this annoyance and frustration I have. I thought I could make things better with some retail therapy yesterday. A nice pink Mizuno dri-fit t-shirt and super hot Nike running skirt didn't do the trick, as what I wanted most was a new pair of running shoes to last me til the end of the year.

I just want to scream, to punch, to kick, to do something to get it off my chest and to rid the pain in my legs.

Forget the Standard Chartered KL Marathon on 30th June.
Forget the plan to run the half marathon in 2 hours.
In fact, forget about running at all.

I'm just going to lie here and be a couch potato again.
And get fatter.
And bake more muffins.

Eat chocolates.

Throw my running shoes away.

Go to sleep.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Awakening the Oven with Nutella Banana Muffins

There were some leftover bananas from the GCAM group run on Saturday and our trail run on Sunday. So as to not let them go to waste, I decided that it was time for the oven to snap out of its sabbatical leave and bake some muffins.

A quick check on the Internet led me to this recipe on Tastefully Julie's blog. I glanced through the list of ingredients and checked my kitchen to make sure I had the requisite ingredients before I started.

It was also time to put on my Cath Kidston apron (a gift from my sister) for the first time. I propped the adorable egg whisk into one of the pockets, also a recent gift from my sister as part of my belated birthday gift. :D

I must show you a picture of Grumpy Egg Whisk next time, it cracks me up!

 Uhm, I don't think I can act cute in self portrait photos. Sorry! :P

The recipe was very simple to follow and I implore you to try it out should you have bananas and Nutella in your kitchen.

My adaptation to the recipe:

1 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt

2 over-ripe bananas, mashed (I used 4 medium sized ones)
1/2 cup of white sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup of canola oil

10 teaspoons of Nutella

A dollop of Nutella into each muffin cup!

1. Preheat oven at 185'C. Grease muffin tray or line with muffin papers.
2. Mix the 1st section of the ingredients in a large bowl.
3. Mix the 2nd section of the ingredients in a smaller bowl. Pour mixture into the larger bowl containing the dry ingredients and mix until just moisten. (Don't over-mix or your muffins will turn out dry!)
4. Scoop batter into cups. Add a dollop of Nutella into each cup. Swirl together well.
5. Bake for 15 - 17 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the muffin comes out clean.

1. I was very generous with the Nutella. In fact, it looked like I dunked in 1 tablespoon! 
2. My muffins took 19 minutes to bake.
3. I made 11 muffins, but I think the batter was sufficient to make 12.

It looks like a cookie from the top!

Last night, I brought some over for my badminton mates to try and they gave these muffins a raving review. I was curious, as I only tasted half a muffin before rushing over for badminton.

To be sure they weren't mocking me, I ate the remaining half last night after badminton and gosh, they were right.

The muffins were yummy.

The top of the muffin was chewy, like soft baked cookies. The Nutella tasted more like chocolate with no hint of hazelnut whatsoever and the bottom was soft and fluffy, with hints of banana.

The bananas were definitely overwhelmed by the Nutella but nobody complained!

I mean, I'm not complaining.

Best accompanied with a cup of tea or coffee.

Now, what shall I bake next? The badminton mates are requesting red velvet but gosh, that sounds ... rich.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Batu Dam - The Failed Revisit

Not long ago, the hubby suggested I take my new trail addicts / runner friends to run the Batu Dam trail. With the breathtaking view of the Batu Dam, the trail run would be an invigorating one and would also take us away from the usual scene of FRIM.

My first and last visit was in March last year (see post here), so you can imagine how nervous I was about leading the fellas on a wild goose chase or getting lost.

Sunday, 2nd June 2013.
We met a few dead ends at the dam, the first being the main entrance closed to the public (not surprising), and the second one (where we first took last year) was locked.

The next best option was to do the reverse, starting from Riverstone Eco Resort and hoped for the best.

So we ran past the resort and what we thought was towards the dam.

There were a few men fishing.

It was a gentle climb at the beginning and they were already grumbling about WHY there was an incline. *facepalm*

I had to assure them that it would only be temporary. :D

We met a few dead ends and had to turn around to get onto a wider trail. I had my reservations as the trail wasn't familiar (but then again, nothing was familiar as it was in the reverse!) but *shrug* I have hopelessly bad memory (at times) so I was definitely not too sure about anything at this point. Haha!

(I was more worried that they were going to be fuming mad at me for a wasted trip!)

There were a few muddy spots and it was impossible to avoid. My poor shoes ... the thought of cleaning the mud off was a dismal one.

Mud and more mud. Yikes.