Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Monday, June 28, 2010

A little too ambitious

I think I should never make targets. I always seem to screw up whenever I try to achieve a target.

Yesterday I ran the Standard Chartered KL Marathon with my dad, Isaiah, Ralph and the many other marathon enthusiasts. I had targeted a sub 4 hour time and I had this aim sitting in my mind since I registered for the race a few months back..

One thing about me, I should stop blabbering. I need to learn to keep my ideals to myself. Maybe if I hadn't told so many people about my target time I wouldn't feel the pressure caving in on me. *shrug*

Excuses aside. The race was a blessing for one thing. It rained at the start, which made it cool and a lot more bearable for my jetlagged unacclimatised body. I am not a fan of the wet squishy shoes, but hey, you win some you lose some.

We started off at a comfortable pace, I thought. I was happily chatting and singing even with my 2 peeps, Ralph and Isaiah. But then I asked Isaiah what pace we were doing, he checked his little pacer thingy and said we were running at a 9km/h pace. Now, that to me is an offense. 9km/h? I was thinking, that's really really slow. What are we doing? We need to speed up!

So I did. And I think I kinda overdid it. I was trying my hardest to find the 4:00 balloon. When I saw a yellow balloon up ahead, I would speed up, give chase, until I finally catch up on it, and realised to my dismay, that it was only the 4:30 balloon. I think I went a little crazy, because I carried on "sprinting", I think probably running a 5 min/km pace.

As expected, my fuel tanks ran low pretty quickly. At about 25km I was feeling a little nauseous, feeling like throwing up. I had to stop to see if I was going to. Ralph asked me to slow down. Which I did, but then I keep wanting to go faster and faster.

So the last 5 km or so was a run-walk event. I know, I am truly disappointed in myself. But when an uncle told me sub 4 hours was a little bit hard to reach then, I kinda lost hope. And gave up. When Keat Seong came up from behind to get me to go on, I could only keep up for a bit. I don't know why I was so low on determination yesterday, because I swear I could've done it. It was within reach. I had 5 km to go and a 27 minute allowance to make it under 4 hours. But nope, I had to throw my hands up in despair and stop.

To be honest, I was gasping for breath. My feet were burning. But these are all signs I am all too familiar with. Yet I fail to harness the energy to pummel through. Why? Don't know...I guess I just got mad when I realised I wouldn't have been able to make it.

Anyway, I finished in 4:06:36. which I guess wasn't too bad considering the amount of time I stopped to walk. And we all have off days, don't we? =) I'm a little bummed out I didn't give it all I've got, but I think it's not too bad a time also la. So, I guess I should count my blessings.

Daddy had a half an hour improvement when he finished in 5:14. His last marathon took him 5:45, so well done Daddy!

I've managed to hurt my ankle though. I think I stepped in a pot hole and twisted it ever so slightly. So I've got my ankle wrapped up in a bandage now.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

And it's hometime.

I'm coming home, baby.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I hate the way you talk to me, and the way you cut your hair.
I hate the way you drive my car, I hate it when you stare.
I hate your big, dumb combat boots and the way you read my mind.
I hate you so much it makes me sick — It even makes me rhyme.
I hate the way you're always right. I hate it when you lie.
I hate it when you make me laugh — Even worse when you make me cry.
I hate it when you're not around. And the fact that you didn't call.
But mostly I hate the way I don't hate you — Not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all

-Kat Stratford, 10 Things I Hate About You


Throughout the course of my stay here I have learned one thing. Anticipation sucks.

Anticipating something that is going to be SO GREAT, that is going to be AMAZING...is often enough to render me restless and edgy and impatient. And trust me, I think while I am here in Auckland, I live in constant anticipation of my return to Malaysia.

I know why I'm here. But I don't know WHY I'm here. If life is about pursuing happiness than my happiness is back in Subang Jaya, where my family and friends are, where my favourite foods are, where my favourite races are, and where I left my heart with a certain someone.

I know the journey is not far now. I have one last year to go.

Anyway, with less than 48 hours before I arrive in tanah tumpah darahku, I sit in a room amidst boxes, small and large, holding the little things that is my life here in Auckland, and a big red suitcase, holding the little things that would be added to my life back in Subang.

I'm moving. Again. For the 4th time. I should be a pro at this now. The only thing is I keep buying more stuff, so I gain more and more things as I progress. But I'm looking forward to living in this new place. With new furniture, new pots and pans, new fridge, new washing machine. =)

I keep eating. Study periods are really bad in that sense. I have chomped down 5 little squares of cadbury chocolate, about 8 rice crackers, a cup of Milo and a tuna bun. Not because I was hungry. Well, I was in the beginning. But then it just became "something better to do" than to study.

I really am not a studious person, apparently. Bleh.

I can't wait to see the homies. =)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


I decided to watch the All Whites play Slovakia last night, for some reason. I hardly ever watch football, but just a few hours before while I was at work, I spoke to my clients about the World Cup and so felt compelled to be "in the know" of things. So I stayed up, cocooned myself up in my sleeping bag, armed with my laptop and a hot cuppa (milo actually), and watched the enthusiastic Kiwis play their first World Cup match since 1982.

It started off with a huge attack, Kiwis charging at every Slovakian they can get as if it was rugby. But then their spirit kinda fizzled out after the first quarter and they seem to be chasing the Slovakians more than being chased, because they never quite got the ball. To me anyway. But the domination statistics showed otherwise. At 50 minutes Slovakia scored one goal and I kinda laughed. I guess like everyone was saying, the Kiwis were just happy to be there. They really are the underdogs this year.

At 70 minutes I was dying to go back into the room and crawl underneath my duvet. It was freezing in Auckland last night, it still is freezing today. But I figured I could stay for another 20 minutes, since I got no where to be tomorrow morning.

I am so glad I did. Because right after 90 minutes, during the injury time, Winston Reid (pic) scored their first ever World Cup goal! I had to refrain from jumping up and shouting! It was amazing! I am so proud of them! They stuck their head in the game and fought on to the very last minute!

So it shows it never is too late to change things. Nike said, write your future. They didn't say when to give up. The answer I guess, is never.

Monday, June 14, 2010

the midway point

2 papers down. 2 more to go. 9 days to home.

The feeling of being able to say "I'm going home next week" is awesome. I really am stoked. I'm wondering why I put myself through the agony of staying away for 9 months last year. I know people have stayed away from home for much longer. So I'm a big homesick baby. Sue me.

I've had a tough first paper. All I can do now is pray that I pass so I don't have to retake a whole semester. Gosh, why couldn't I be born with a more scientific inclination. Sometimes I wish I was born with that win-or-die attitude. I'm a little too easy-going for my own good. bleh.

The KL marathon is next weekend! eeps! What have I been doing? I haven't done any major runs since the Xterra trail race i did about a month ago. Apart from the 10k runs I'm doing for Run Auckland, I really only run about 2-3 times a week, 8.4 km each time. Goodness, what a slacker! I hope I can do another sub 4 hours. Counting on my 2 race buddies to keep me in pace!

Looking forward to all the food I'll be having! This time around I'm just gonna pig out and not bother about my weight! I vow to never say no to more late night burgers. haha! If I have a problem with it, I shall run! =)

Ah...now I really can't wait to be home!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

daily quote

Never idealize others. They will never live up to your expectations. Don't over-analyse your relationships. Stop playing games. A growing relationship can only be nurtured by genuineness.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

The ice.

I came back yesterday from possibly the best road trip I've ever had here in NZ. I think if there ever was ONE reason so love NZ, it would be the mountains.On Saturday, I followed Zhi and his friends to do the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. It was a trip that was planned about 4 months in advance, and basically the one thing I had to look forward to in this semester to keep me going other than flying home. Zhi and his friends even had about 6 training tramps (which means hiking or trekking) to prepare themselves for this. I would've joined in if it weren't for my Saturday shifts. I didn't have any ice gear, and I wasn't too fond of the idea of my toes feeling frozen at any point during the hike, so I went and bought myself a pair of hiking boots for $20. They were waterproof and built for the extreme terrain. Sweet.

So the plan was to depart Auckland on Saturday, do the crossing on Sunday, then return to Auckland today. But on Thursday, we got a call from the mountain guide saying that weather was going to be absolutely crappy on Sunday, how about doing it on Saturday instead? So began the hurry-hurry-rush-rush to depart on Friday evening. We made it to National Park just before 1 am.

At 6 am, still dark, we woke up and got ourselves ready for the big hike. Because there was so many of us, and the logistics for the trip was quite a handful, by the time we were all set to go it was about 9 am.

The hike began great. I was in absolutely awe of the landscapes of Tongariro and Mount Doom (which is its fictional LOTR name. I know it's actual name, though I can't, for the life of my, pronounce it. Mount Ngauruhoe?). The scenery was really breathtaking and I am still in disbelief that I saw it with my very own eyes.

We didn't do the entire 18.5 km track. We hiked from Mangatepopo to the Red Crater, then to the summit of Mt Tongariro, and then straight back down to the car park. I think we covered about 13-15 km in total, I'm not sure. Anyway, I was having a lot of fun at the start. My boots were kinda digging into the sides of my shins but I didn't think much of it at first.

However, about 3 hours into the hike, my boots were really starting to annoy me. The high rigid cuffs completely limited my movements. I couldn't planterflex, dorsiflex, pronate or supinate in any way. In other words it felt like I was wearing ski boots. I couldn't move my ankles. And I think because I have bowlegs, that made it worse. See my cross sectional schematic representation below. So every time my foot strikes a hard rock or an uneven terrain I had to bite my lips in pain as the top of the boots pressed painfully against my legs. I had this vision of my tibia experiencing shear force and I started to worry if they would fracture anytime.I guess what annoyed me most wasn't really the limited movement itself. If you know me well, you'd know that the fact that brought tears to my eyes with every painful step I took was having to walk slowly, letting everyone overtake me and being at the very back of the pack with the sweeper. It was killing my ego more than anything. It wasn't particularly challenging, to be honest. It was steep at the top, but I would say anyone who does any amount of physical activity would be able to make it to the top easily. And that was why I hated my boots with such a passion that day, because I hated being patronised as weak or unfit, even though people were just being nice to me. I got pissed when people asked me if I was ok, or when people offered deep heat cream, or to carry my bag for me. I wasn't tired! I wasn't even bloody panting. I am just in pain! I kept imagining if I had on more comfortable shoes I'd be leading the pact, jumping up and down, taking a million photos. Boo!

But, despite that tiny setback, I thoroughly enjoyed the climb. It was really amazing. I wanted to stay there a bit longer just to soak in the views. It was like tearing a page off a travel magazine or a postcard. I didn't regret going one bit. Now that that's over, I have to come back down to earth. My first paper is on Saturday and I am dreading studying for it. I hate this part of a student's life. I really do. I need to knuckle down and get through this. In 18 days I will be home. =)