Friday, April 18, 2014

Five Things Friday

Looks like the blog has taken a backseat but I’m “super determined” to check in here more often (fingers and toes doubly crossed!). It’s been a busy week starting with the PACM dinner on Saturday night followed by an awesome weekend getaway before crashing back into reality on Tuesday (aka work). 

PACM Dinner







Some desserts were inhaled over the weekend




This week’s humdrum of activities:

  1. Hot Yoga at BYCH in the morning followed by a delightful breakfast at Tiong Bahru Bakery. Good thing I chose the Cardio class instead of Classic – don’t think my hips would have survived the onslaught of berbanyak-banyak hip openers! I didn’t enjoyed the class as much as I did previously – while the instructor did help point out some of my “flawed” alignment, I felt he was just parroting through the class. You’re supposed to do 2 sets of each pose and his instructions on the second set is EXACTLY the same as the first and again on the other side (left/right), down to the pauses. Sure I get it that it’s basically the same thing but I felt I was listening to a tape recorder. I might give the Classic class a try the next time. Now…does anyone know where I can schmooze hot yoga in KL? Brekkie of scone with apricot jam 

  2. Short run in Seputeh – covered the usual out-and-back but extended it a wee bit by including the mini loop at the playground near the train station. Felt good to have the legs back.
  3. Another short run around the neighbourhood before meeting up with Michael for a Back & Lats workout. Unfortunately I got caught in the rain at km2 and cut the run short. And can someone please check if I’m ok?!?!?! Coz I went for yoga after work2 classes in a week????!!!! I like Susan’s classes and that evening, we did the seated Ashtanga Vinyasa series – lots of alignment and holding the poses a tad longer. Susan is a good teacher especially her understanding of physiology.
  4. It was a cool morning as I set out prancing in Bangsar (hey, I needed a change!) only to discover to my “horror” that it was 2km of pure uphill along Jalan Cenderai-Jalan Ara! Why didn’t someone tell me that it was such a long road????!!!! Guess what I did after work yesterday? Yeah, yoga – I’m getting the hang of this, eh? I think gentle, easy, alignment/supported yoga classes should be mandatory for the 9-5ers. Manoj is an excellent teacher and we covered a lot of backbends and chest openers. Looks like only Manoj and Susan’s classes are for me – their knowledge of the skeletalmuscular and physiology system allowed them to plan and outline the various poses (with modifications for some of the less flexible ones); instructions were clear and they take the time to explain why a certain pose is done in a particular way or how it affects the body etc. Lily’s class on Saturday  just doesn’t cut it for me. I tried! Gave it 2 goes but it’s no-go.
  5. Took the day off running and focused on Chest & Pecs. No, I’ll probably not head for yoga after work and will break the streak. But never say never, right?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Back!

Back! Just struck me that I’ve not been posting for a week. Work, workouts etc caught up. Yeah, life happens. Short session with Michael this morning, short as in 30 minutes and we managed to put this in:
Supersets of:
a)    Technogym cable dual handle pulldown
b)    DB bendover row
c)     Reverse pull on TRX

Supersets of:
d)    Technogym cable single arm row
e)    Technogym cable upper back row (low-to-high)
f)     Pushups on medicine ball


Right, bring me up to date on what’s happening on your end.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Oh Wow!

Oh wow…look at me…walking like a crab!

Oh wow…look at me…doing a full rack of leg press! [it’s been a while]

Oh wow…look at me…cursing that it’s Legs’ day!

Supersets of:
a)        EPIC hack squat (to tell the truth, this wasn’t too bad (read: heav-but-felt-so-manageable) even with the high reps and combo with the squat press)
b)        Cybex weight plate loaded leg squat press (nightmare came a-calling)

Supersets of:
c)        KB walking lunges (does anyone feel that the first workout in a superset = wolf in sheep clothing???!!!!)
d)        Raised static single lunges (nightmare number 2 came a-calling)

Supersets of:
e)        Technogym leg extension
f)        Nautilus leg press (the one comment that made my day: you’re so strong; now tell me that you can’t push a full rack after hearing that. Well, at least while commentator was around. Well, at least for the first set. LOL!)

Single sets of:
g)        Cybex prone leg curl
h)        Cybex eagle abdominal

Mostly supersets and all 4 sets for each workout.

Oh wow!

Unrelated but significantly more important than any other rant, blog post etc. Got these done over the weekend.



Oh wow!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Nissan X-Gear Launch


Hmmm…off tangent from previous posts but WTH.

So this came in from the client earlier this week. Intriguing but nothing out of the ordinary – remember this?


Made my way to 1U after lunch yesterday and got lucky with parking. Hey, this is 1U we are talking about; add to that this week being the school holidays.




Really appreciative of the door gift and like Susanah and LKK pointed out, for once, a very useful gift.



The event started with a moment of silence for the MH370 tragedy before the Tan Chong guys took everyone through the specs of the X-Gear. Rest of world – take a cue from Tan Chong, keep it short and simple and let the gear do the talking. Unveiling the car was the mini helicopter buzzing above us – something unique, distinctive; unfortunately I didn’t capture this; hoping to lift the video off YLW at some point (will post it then!).








The deep red/margenta, black and white models have similar specs but check out the silver model – it comes with Impul stuff. Looks good, eh? Tempted? I know I’m and might be bugging the client for a discount soon. Let me know if anyone is interested and I can hook you up with the team.



Friday, March 21, 2014

Five Things Friday

Catch up time. Here’s this week’s workout and run recaps. Yes, it’s been a long and stressful week.

1.        Monday: Back & Lats. Surprisingly, I didn’t need that much help with the pull-ups and chin-ups. Maybe I’m speaking too soon? Let’s see how it pans out the next time. Make up run around the neighbourhood before strength training > on account of this.

2.        Tuesday: {Super early} run date with Kenny; out-and-back to the train station. Felt good.

3.        Wednesday: Double workout day. Chest & Pecs in the morning and a short run in DPC after work. It was good to see lots of peeps in MWM’s vest including the lovely and awesome race director.

4.        Thursday: Another {early} run date with Kenny; same route. A bit tired and lethargic towards the end. Spent a lovely evening Whatsapp-ing with the sharman (yes, you read that read right).

5.        Friday: we were undecided if we could go ahead with a Legs workout as I woke up in the middle of the night with a severe painful cramps on my right calf. Initial plan – combo of legs and shoulders with {non-negotiable} option to go all out on Legs come Monday. Result – heavyduty Legs workout. IOMS time!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Malaysia Women Marathon 2014

Date: 16 March 2014
Venue: Dataran Kemerdekaan, Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia
Distance: DNS
Timing: DNS
Pace: DNS
Result: DNS
Website: www.mwm.my and FB page here

Had some serious misgivings about the race given the weather patterns in the last 2 weeks but everyone was still hoping for clear skies come Sunday. You know…we almost nailed it because all Saturday, it was glorious – gorgeous blue skies and clear air; heck, it even rained in the evening for added measure! Ok, was glad to be proven wrong and it was all systems go for Sunday when the API reading came in clear.

This was the second edition of the event and after last year’s successful race, there were more sign-ups this year and everyone was looking forward to another fantastic Sunday with the gals. This was a loop course flagging off at Dataran Kemerdekaan with 4 categories on offer (something for everyone): 42km, 21km, 10km and 5km.

Unfortunately disaster struck on Sunday morning – woke up to the stench of smoke  and this was in the house and the smog only got thicker as I drove along Federal Highway towards Shah Alam. Had texted Elvin to get an update of the situation and he mentioned it was smokey (he was playing chaperone to Catherine Ndereba) in the hotel. Ok, let’s not jump into conclusions after all the hotel is not the race site! It’s doesn’t portend to be good news when you see the Rela guys and road volunteers in face masks.

The air was heavy and even walking the 200m from the car to the race site was difficult. Not gonna risk it and decided to help Phyllis and Foong Nee with the distribution of the goodie bags for the HM instead. There will always be another day to run; no point stressing your muscular and respiratory systems through that.

About 15-20min before the flag off for the FM, the race director made a call to cancel the race and hence it became a non-competitive ala training run if you do decide to go ahead. The prize money was to be donated to charity. Guess what…surprisingly, a lot of gals (and their “galpals” Pacers) ran! Gathered that the run was cut short midway when the air quality worsened. I respect your decision to run but it’s not something I wanted to do.

Notwithstanding that, it was still great to be out there (relatively!) helping out. Some observations...

Pros:

a)        Overall, a well organized event. Even though I didn’t run, everything from the registration, website, FB page, race expo and race set up was remarkable.

b)        Race expo and pre-events – one of the very few that had so much to offer.








c)        Extraordinary and inspiring platform to get women and young girls to lead a more active lifestyle.

d)        Giving the option to runners to decide if they want to toe the line but in any event, everyone still receives their finishing skirts (FM – both runner and pacer), bracelet or pendant and goodie bag (only HM).

e)        Lovely design, insignia, logo. Now tell me you don’t find this charming or inspiring. And a view of the pendant or bracelet (you get the option to choose when registering).





f)        Cheerful and merry atmosphere at the race site even when the event was called off. Most continued to be positive and were in good spirits.

Cons:

a)        I didn’t agree with the decision to wait until the very last minute to determine if a run was to be had but if that’s the decision the race director made, so be it. Of course, I’m sure everyone was praying fervently (yup, only divine intervention can help with weather patterns! LOL!) and probably doing the flying carpet and coconut dance in the days leading up to Sunday. The weather conditions in the last 2 weeks were just too unpredictable.

b)        Cutting short the race midway must have been a logistical nightmare! Sundown went through this 2-3 years back when they sent out sms-es to runners and radioed the various hydration stations along the route – it’s not the best means but what other alternatives are there? I don’t think there were messages relayed to runners at MWM; maybe to the stations coz some of them starting shutting down and race marshals were informed to stand down. Race marshals were to redirect runners. Now amidst of this, there are bound to be confusions etc and maybe some runners are hardheaded enough to run…and then return to point fingers at organizers for lack of marshals or hydration along the route.

c)        Quality of race vest could do with some major improvements. The logo and wordings stuck to the plastic bag in came in; it’s didn’t spell good news. HTN told me later that the colour came off on their first washing and suggested that it’ll probably take a few more washes (separately!) before the colour stop staining.

       
Photo log:
(Credits to Gan, Unc Wah Sing, Kelvin)

At the flag-off with Catherine Ndereba


Barefoot team


With the ever sweet Yuki


Race expo



Swag


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Why I Disagree

MWM posted this on their FB page yesterday. It’s a difficult decision to make for sure because either of the following options
OptionReaction
a)        Go aheadSome will WHINE
b)        PostponeSome will WHINE
c)        CancelSome will WHINE

Doesn’t matter which way you turn, the end result is similar.

My take on this and it’s purely my OWN opinion and I’m open to hear your views.

a)        AQI of 110
Question 1 – why 110? Isn’t the standard measure 100? If the health authorities use 100 as the cutoff, why are they using 110? Perhaps if they could have clarified or supported this with some sort of evidence or study that deems 110 as “safe to proceed with outdoor activities”. Arbitrary number? Probably not and I’m inclined to agree with SW: they’re setting it high enough so they don’t have to cancel the event.

I understand and truly sympathize with the fallouts from calling off the event: monetary, sponsorships, publicity, effort poured in so far, GROUSES from runners etc, which is why I cannot fathom being in the race directors shoes. But using 110 opens up another can of worms.

b)        AQI of 109
Ok, if we all agree that 110 is the standard measure for this event, can you imagine running for 4-5 hours in an environment where the AQI is 109? If you’re good and lucky, 4 hours but I think most of us expect to do more than that. I cannot imagine the toll a 109 for 6 hours would have on my body. Sure you can drop out any time if you’re unwell or if the haze gets to you but what if most runners have the same thoughts or are ill? The emergency response team will be stretched unless of course the organizers are putting in extra teams to cope in anticipation of this.

c)        Leaving things to the last minute
The world watches the AQI in anticipation on Saturday evening. That’s kind of leaving it to the very last minute, eh? Oh but Brooks went further – they will monitor the AQI on the morning of the run and decide. Which means that overseas or outstation runners will still need to make their way to KL and if the run is postponed and they do really want to participate at the future date, re-book and make travel and hotel arrangements again. I like what SCKLM did last year – decide firmly on Wednesday or Thursday if the run was to go ahead and stick by that decision come hell high water. Yes, it was bright and clear skies on the original run date but a decision has been made and no flipping flapping.

d)        Going ahead
Now if the AQI was below that magic 110 at 6pm on Saturday and if it was decided that the run will go ahead… and the AQI breaches 110 on Sunday morning or along the way? The run proceeds? It’ll probably be more costly and operationally difficult to blast out a message to runners if the event is to be called off midway though Sundown attempted this 2 years ago (SMS to runners along the way when Category 3(?) was declared).

The current weather or rather haze pattern is too frenzied to predict any kind of certainty and like how Yim puts it, “Chipsmore” (now you see it, now you don’t). Bright and sunny today and you think we’re on the path to recovery and wham, it hits you like a ton of bricks tomorrow.

So if you’re going to counter the points above with “listen to your own body”,
Now tell me this…how many times has this advice been peddled and you actually followed it to the “T”? Tell me you haven’t seen posts or heard comments like “yes, I’m nursing a bit of a [insert illness eg flu, fever, ache] but I went ran anyway and I finished in ***” and “wow…ill/injury and can still come back in ***” etc. You know what…runners are like that and I’ve ran through some ailment.

You can probably construe where I stand on this and assume I won’t be toeing the line on Sunday. I may not agree with some of the decisions made or how they came about but a decision has been made by the organizers albeit a difficult one. Let’s just hope for the best.