Monday, October 31, 2011

Running a half marathon isn't quite like ABC anymore.

I ran the PJ Half marathon yesterday morning, and I did it in 2 hours 5 minutes. That is about 10 minutes or more slower than my best half marathon time. So I've finally accepted that I am no longer that good a runner. No more excuses, no more "I didn't eat well the night before" bull sh*t. I'm just going to admit it. As a long distance runner of more than a decade of experience, I now kinda suck. Maybe at age 25, after running for 12 years, I've gone past the peak, and am now in the downhill phase. Stink.

The weather was extremely hot though, and even though I thought I could handle that sort of heat pretty well, I think my 3 years in Auckland has made me a bit less tolerant of the tropical rainforest climate, especially during physical exertion. Or maybe that's just another excuse. hahaha...I ran probably the first 12km with relative ease, and then the heat just got the better of me, so I kinda ran-walked the remaining 9kms - the walking became more frequent towards the last few kms. I was feeling extremely warm, and I was drying up like a prune. Even 12 hours post race, my face was still radiating heat. That was how baked I got.

But whatever I lacked in drive yesterday, I made up in style :D I ran the half marathon with my devil horns like I did last year in Auckland, because it's Halloween. And because I'm in typical Malaysia, I was the only person to dress up, and thus, got plenty of attention...which is always kinda nice, even if it is not for the reasons I hoped for. I even got my face in today's The Star! So not too bad la, I was quite happy about the race despite it being one of my worst times ever.

Hopefully I'll do a bit better for Powerman and Penang Bridge. =)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Anaerobic or aerobic power?

When I was a little kid in primary school, I never liked running. I never wanted to follow my mum and dad to the Subang lake to go jogging because I was afraid it was a place only for pros and I was conscious that people might laugh at me. I was always an active kid, but I took part in telematch sports more like running in the gunny sack, or 3 legged race. I was queen of the monkey bars in the playground, and I've always loved hula hoops. In Standard 4 (Age 10), I became a rhythmic gymnast after my mum saw the bigger girls dancing with pretty leotards in school. And when I first started, I was pretty good at it. =) Then as the choreographed routines got more complex and harder to remember, I didn't do so well any more...haha...but I still loved it. I still think rhythmic gymnastics is the most beautiful sport.

At age 13 I took part in a jogathon. It was 7 km and I had signed up with a bunch of my friends for fun. I came home with a prize. That was the beginning of my long distance running career. I guess I had the right genes for it because I never took it seriously enough to train hard for it, but I always manage to clinch some sort of prize. Also not many girls my age took part in runs so I had a very good chance. And as I grew older, the more I ran the better I got. From my running, I went into triathlons, and duathlons, and marathons. So that was cool. =) By the time I was in uni, I have already been in the long distance running scene for about a decade.

So aerobic power has been my forte for the past >10 years. No matter what happened in my life, I always had my cardio endurance. And then Work happened. Boot camp is all about sprints, drills, grunts. High intensity interval training with minimal rest periods in between. Training people who are less fit than me, I run at a much slower pace. And long working hours meant I am more often than not too lazy to train. To make sure I still work up a sweat every now and then, I resort to short 30 minute work outs at home, which, you can probably guess, consists of more high intensity interval training. proven by my dismal performance this morning (4.8 km run in 31 minutes), I think I am slowly turning from an aerobic to an anaerobic athlete! Now I understand why a lot of my fellow marathoners have now turned into Crossfitters and what not. Endurance training just takes too much effort sometimes. haha...

It's not a bad thing to be. Anaerobic power is an amazing trait, but I think I'm more comfortable being an endurance runner. So, I hope I don't lose it. I keep telling myself I need to train up, but I know it's gonna take a great deal of will power to get my game into high gear and start clocking in those miles. Oh, let there be faith!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Am I good enough?

So I've been writing quite a bit on work and work related stuff. It's been great, I couldn't have imagined it any better! Malaysians are more open to the health and fitness industry than we think. It's changing out there, more and more Malaysians are more aware and more educated about the importance of keeping a healthy lifestyle. Which is why I still think I am very blessed to come into the fitness world right when it's starting to bloom. I couldn't have picked a better time, and it's working out really well for me. And I have an amazing network of support, where my family and friends believe in me. And the people I've been lucky to work with? They have faith in me too. And the people I train, the people who train with me...they all believe in me, and pass on good words about me to other people so that people who are looking for trainers have this very good impression of me. Now the question is, do I believe in myself?

I feel greatly honoured when people approach me and ask me if I'd like to work for them. I really do. Especially when these people are fitness gurus themselves! I have very high regard for these people, and here they are asking me if I would like to work with them. I feel the excitement bubbling inside of me. It's just so surreal! But amidst the thrill and everything, I suddenly wondered, am I good enough?

Am I as good as they think I am? Will I fall short of their expectations? Do I really have what it takes to step up to the plate and be the person they think I am? I am surrounded by people with years of experience on their backs and a fierce passion for what they do, people who went through the whole food chain of the fitness industry, and rose at the top through sheer determination and hard work. Am I good enough to ever be anything like them?

I've only been working for less than 3 months, and already I feel like people have expectations of me. And I have expectations of myself. And I really want to be more than these expectations...I want to be the best person I can be, but what if I underachieve? What if I'm not good enough?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

What am I?

It's been amazing what I've been doing so far, job wise. I couldn't have pictured a better way to transition into working life than how I'm doing now. And it only gets better and better, because today, I received yet another phone call from a Personal Trainer cum fitness studio owner who wants to talk business with me.

I have to say, I'm loving the attention. All those sweat and tears to get my degree is really paying off because Malaysia, or Klang Valley at least, seem to be quite taken by my qualification., quite bangga lah. Education not wasted!

But because I juggle so many different jobs, I have a slightly harder time explaining what I do when people ask me what I do. I always start with "I'm a trainer." And they go "As Motivational?". And then I go "Hahaha, I'm a personal trainer." And they go "I can see that". (Good. At least I look the part. Haha, always feel like I need to do a whole lot more conditioning work to look fit enough to be a trainer.) And then I go on to explain the different things I dabble in and how my working hours vary from a day to day basis, and how I sometimes end up working 7 days a week, though for short periods only. For now it's still kinda fun elaborating because it gives me the opportunity to market myself and tell people who I really am, but I think after a while it'll stop being fun and start being annoying...haha...

So what am I? I'm a personal trainer/fitness instructor/phys ed teacher and self declared fitness missionary to my family and friends. I hope to inspire and motivate the people around me to get off their butts and lead a healthy lifestyle. I hope to impact lives and initiate change. I hope to create a fitter, healthier community. So, who's with me? :)

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Statement pictures.

Lately there has been a sudden influx of all these little statement pictures on Facebook. Like this one:

or this one:

or this one:

Honestly, I think they're kinda cool. Except for the fact that it's turning into a fad now. That makes it kinda not cool any more.

The thing is, the only quotes I can repost on my wall are the ones about running, and motivation, and inspiration to get off the couch and start training. Because I'm too self conscious to post something about love and relationships. If I post a bitter one about exes and break ups, then I sound, well, bitter. If I post something about finding the right one and joy and happiness, well, that's just denial. Or wishful thinking.

Truth is, the photo I really want to post is this:

I miss the joy, the happiness, the out of this world sensation you get when you are together with someone. I miss having a default person to call out for movies, for drinks, for holidays. I miss having a someone. And being someone's someone. Being single is only fun if you're the kind of person who rocks at being single. Me, I don't rock it that well. I have no intention to flirt, to date casuals, to figure out if I can date alternative types. I don't really want to. If I were 16, hell yeah. But I don't really want to right now. Right now, all I really want is to go home after a long tiring day, to talk on the phone with that special person while lying on the bed, making plans for the holidays or the weekend. I want to look forward to weekends like I used to. Nowadays the only thing I look forward to during weekends is 8 am sleep ins and Sunday morning boot camp with my mates.

That day better come.