Shape Run 2017

I’m penning this down because it means a fair bit to me.

I completed a 10km with Shape Run this morning and I felt so good after that. The legs and heart were strong at the finishing line and I was choked with emotions. It’s been so long since I ran a 10km. Before the kids came along, running a 10km happened almost every Saturday. In a week, I would at least clock in 25km. Since having kids, it has been tough getting out to work those muscles. So when I was able to do that today, together with so many awesome ladies, I was filled with pure joy.

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It has been a struggle to exercise, to run, when the kids were young. We do not have a helper and if I really need to take time off for a ME time or exercise, I would need to make arrangement. Running is thus possible only during the weekends, when the hubs is around to watch over the kids. We are blessed with a jogging stroller and it has been really helpful but it just feels different running on your own as compared to running with children. ;p

I am thankful for the folks at Active Hive who keep encouraging me to work on the machines whenever I can. It has really prepared me for the 10km run today because the longest distance that I have run on normal days was 7km. I believe my body and heart would complain a lot if I haven’t been doing resistance training at Active Hive.

I’m thankful for the opportunity to run this race and I’m reminded to continue to lead a healthy lifestyle so that I am well enough to take care of the family. And this extends to the food I take in too. I’m not getting any younger and I do find that my metabolism drops recently. Quality food is needed and I am in the midst of changing my diet to a more wholesome one. Less sugar, more greens and superfoods is the way to go!

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Incorporating quinoa into my diet. Oh yes, Active Hive is having a 30% off (till 31 August) for their chia seeds and quinoa. If you are interested, hop over to their online shop!

10km is a good distance to run and I’m already thinking of participating in the next 10km race! I’m really hoping that I could have more opportunity to run outdoors, to clock in the mileage, just like pre-kids’ days.

Would it be possible?

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Completion of our first Safari Zoo Run 2017

Over the weekend, our family participated in our very first Safari Zoo Run and it was indeed an enjoyable morning spent! We chose the 2.5km family dash because the girl was just 4 years old and we wouldn’t want to drag an exhausted girl all the way to the finish line. Moreover, we brought Daniel along. 5km run can wait.

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Our run was the last category to commence at 9.30am which is a comfortable time for young kids! However, that would mean that parking could be an issue. We made our way and reached an hour before the starting time but had a slight problem looking for a carpark lot. Thankfully, there was valet available.

img_7251Reached finally and all eager to start!

We were among the last few families to assemble at the start pen and were at the last wave to be flagged off. We had to wait for another 15 more minutes but it was all necessary due to safety reasons. This being the ninth year for the Safari Zoo Run, we could definitely count on the expertise of the organisers in making the run a smooth and safe one. Just imagine the bottlenecks if all of us started off at the same time.

Thankfully, the weather was superb that day.

Flag off! It was a pleasant start to the run because the participants were all gracious and friendly and looked out for one another. It was really a joy to see so many parents participating with their kids. Faith was all excited and started running in the beginning but slowed down soon after. We were expecting complaints and whines but thankfully, the animals distracted her!

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She got all excited along the way as she could view the various creatures. “Mama, come and see! Look!” So our family dash was interrupted by the need to gaze at the animals and you could just sense the kids’ wonder and amazement. Daniel who was in the running stroller truly enjoyed the sights.There’s wasn’t much fuss from him. It is, after all, his first time to the zoo! 

Doesn’t look like a run at all! Families were stopping along the way to snap pictures!

Waterpoints that weren’t crowded

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I must remember to pack in snacks when we participate in a similar type of run the next time round because the kids cried for food after just 1km of activity.

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The family dash was truly an enjoyable experience for us. We met the lions, white tiger, kangaroos, monkeys, polar bear and many more which made our run a tad longer than expected. After we reached the finish line, the girl still wanted to see more of the animals which was totally possible since participants were entitled to free admission to the zoo and River Safari on that day. The Safari Zoo Run provided us with not just great family bonding opportunities but the chance to share with the girl about wildlife conservation.

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Did you know….

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And with that, we completed our first run for the year as a family! We had an awesome experience throughout. The collection of the race entry pack at Marina Square was smooth and fast and the race itself was fun and totally enjoyable. Well-organised. Thumbs up!

Oh yes, we even got to visit the Zoo-Rassic Park where the girl had been asking to visit. We certainly are looking forward to participate again! 

Disclaimer: HiVelocity Events has kindly sponsored our family with the Safari Zoo Run Race Slots so that we could experience the race for ourselves and share it with our readers. No monetary compensation is involved and all opinions are my own.

 

Safari Zoo Run is back!

2016 is coming to an end soon and I am looking forward to the new year and a whole new adventure with the family. And I am so excited that we will be participating in the Safari Zoo Run for the very first time next year.

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Safari Zoo Run was conceived to commemorate Singapore Zoo’s famous matriarch and one of Singapore’s most loved animal personalities – Ah Meng the Sumatran orangutan, who died of old age in February 2008. Through this run, the zoo hopes to encourage family bonding and raise awareness on wildlife conservation.

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The theme for Safari Zoo Run 2017 is “Run for Wildlife” which focuses on raising awareness for wildlife conservation. Four animal icons will be featured – Ah Meng the Orangutan, Chawang the Asian Elephant, Canola the Manatee and Sunny the Hornbill. Each animal icon team supports an endangered wildlife species for which the zoo would like to raise awareness. We can do our part for wildlife by choosing an animal team to support and help raise awareness for them!

Date: 18 February 2017 (Saturday)
Time: 6am
Venue: Singapore Zoo, 80 Mandai Lake Road S729826

More information can be found on their website or facebook page.

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Credits: Safari Zoo Run 2016

Of the various categories, our family would be signing up for the 2.5km Safari Zoo Family Dash in the hope of encouraging our 4YO girl to take up jogging as a form of exercise. When I told the hubs about this race, he was rather concerned. How could a 4YO run 2.5km? There would be much complaints for sure!

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Well, she may not be able to run all the way, might probably whine a little but we will be there to support and run alongside her, with her brother in tow.

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So, from now till the race day, 18 February 2017, we will be carving out time to run as a family, and at the same time, educating the little ones on wildlife conservation.Won’t you join us?

Do take advantage of the early bird sign up rates which is from now till 30 November 2016.

As a reader, you can further enjoy a 10% discount off the current rates when you register using the code SZR2017BGPRFAITH10. This unique code is valid from now till 15 January 2017 via www.safarizoo.run.

So, what are you waiting for? 😉

Disclaimer: HiVelocity Events has kindly sponsored our family with the Safari Zoo Run Race Slots so that we could experience the race for ourselves and share it with the readers. No monetary compensation is involved and all opinions are my own. 

My maiden Salomon X-trail run

Over the weekend, I went for my first Salmon X-trail run and came back with aching knees.;)  I’ve been running on flat grounds all these while and I thought I could challenge myself with trail running, except that I didn’t give myself enough time to run on such terrains prior to that actual day.

I arrived at Punggol Parade with little expectation; I didn’t even check out the route. I would just run, I thought to myself, and enjoy the journey. It was a hot afternoon and I was thankful that the folks from Salomon were giving out drinks. Hydrate! Hydrate! Many of the runners seemed to know one another and with about 800 participants, this made the run a cozy affair.

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We were flagged off at 4pm after a zumba session as warm-up. There was a bottleneck at the initial phase which was expected and then a minute into the run, we were greeted with muddy tracks.

The brave and experienced ones ran through it while the rest of us did so gingerly. I think many of us didn’t expect the muddy tracks but it was a good experience. I mean, how often would we run in such a condition? My only concern was whether my shoes would be all right and the cleaning up, of course. ;p

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After a few more sections of muddy ground, the run was more enjoyable. We had to steer clear of the normal running tracks for the public though so that we could experience the trail that was ‘designed’ by the organiser.

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But I must be honest. It’s really not easy running on these different grounds. Coupled with the fact that it was a hot day which sapped the energy from me, I find that I needed more effort to run in this race. There were about three waterpoints which served isotonic drinks but I thought plain water could be given as well. 😉

We passed through Coney Island and this was my first time there! I know, I know this is terrible so I was thankful to be running through it. After that stretch of trail, there were some parts which were rather dangerous (at the breakwater and forested area) yet fun and we found ourselves slowing down and walked in single file.

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1 hr 18min later, the finish line was within sight and I was glad that I made it. It wasn’t an excellent timing but I was thankful for the experience of running in various terrains. I think it would have been an easier job for the organiser to hold the race at MacRitchie Reservoir, for example, but they took the effort to plan this route. No thanks to the muddy tracks though but I guess it’s all part of the fun of trail running, no?

I must thank Salomon & World of Sports for giving me a spot for this run and to experience what trail running entails; I have a new-found respect for trail runners now. Thankfully, my Mizuno running shoes supported me throughout the race and I think it will continue to serve me in the days to come. I wasn’t able to train outdoors much prior to the run but relied mostly on the Minus Calories workout at Active Hive and I believe it had helped me in completing this run. All in all, it has been a wonderful experience!

So, which run should I sign up for next?

Back to running

October marched in very swiftly. Within the first two days, we have celebrated Daniel’s birthday with our respective families. This month signals the end of the dreaded (in my opinion) first year and promises fun, and pain, for the years to come. It could be fun because I no longer have to breastfeed and feeding the boy is more convenient now. I’m definitely looking forward to more ‘exercises’ with him since he is more mobile now.

Speaking of exercise, ads, especially running ones, set my heart into flutters. Over the weekend, the hubs and I went to collect our race pack for the Salomon X-trail run and while in the queue, what was screened on the TV drew my attention.

I went back and googled the videos that I have watched.

Inspired.

I need to go back to running regularly. When Dan was younger, I gave the excuse that he needed to be breastfed and thus running outdoors with him could be a chore (how to breastfeed him if he suddenly decided to drink?). I love running. I love the scenery that greets my eyes. I love the wind that brushes against my face. I love the moments that I could think and talk to God.

While I know that things would not be the same as before, I can surely adjust my expectations and pace. I’m all for the family to join me in this journey and hopefully pass the love for running to my preschool-going girl.

It’s time.

Let’s get my running gear out and start moving!

Nudge me, won’t you?

Salomon X-Trail Run – An invitation

I think it’s time to challenge myself. After having participated in a few 5km runs this year, it’s time to progress to the next level – 10km. Thus far, I have been satisfied with my fitness level but there is always this hope that I could return to my pre-pregnancy state. I even toy with the possibility of running a half-marathon this year end but let’s just take a step at a time.

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This will be my first time participating in the annual Salomon X-Trail Run which incorporates hills, slopes and gravel at Punggol. To be honest, such a terrain is not my cup of tea but I can certainly challenge myself, can’t I? Perhaps, I could find it more fun than merely running on the tracks? This time round, I’ll also be inviting the hubs to participate in this run with me because the timing is perfect for us – 4pm. This means we could get someone to look after the kids while we have couple time. 😉 If the run is set in the early morning, it would be highly difficult for both of us to run together so we must grab this chance! Join us?

Just a little background about the brand. Salomon was founded in 1947 in the heart of the French Alps. Since then, the brand has been creating innovative products to enhance the performance of athletes. Salomon supports trail-running worldwide, from elite-level races to grassroots events. The first Salomon Branded Store in Singapore opened at Velocity @ Novena Square and displays an array of high performance attire and footwear, specifically catered for trail running. So if any one of you are into trail running, you might want to check out its products.

 

The details of the Salmon X-Trail Run, a 10km run, is as follows:
Date: 8 October 2016  (Saturday)
Venue: 50 Punggol East, Parade Square, Singapore 828826
Flag off : 4pm

 

Registration can be done via this link and ends on 28 September 2016.

All participants are entitled to a finisher’s medal, an event t-shirt and a Salomon shoe bag. The race fee is priced at $60 per person, $55 for World of Sports members.

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Race pack collection will be on 1 Oct 2016, Saturday, at Salomon (#01-53), Kallang Wave Mall from 11am-9pm.

It’ll be about 3 more weeks before the race. Hopefully we will be able to throw in some good mileage before the run. No stress really. What’s more important is that we enjoy the training process and get our fitness back through this.

Disclaimer: I was sponsored with a complimentary fee for the Salomon X-Trail Run in exchange for social media posts on the event. The hubs has to pay for his own fee for the race. Images and information pertaining to the run are provided by Salomon and VGO Corporation Limited. No monetary compensation was received and all opinions are as usual, my own.

DNC : SpongeBob run

DNC means Did Not Compete & Complete in this case. I was looking forward to have a good family run at Sentosa but it didn’t turn out the way I envisioned it to be.


I assure you that we set off for the race with much anticipation. We were all smiles especially Faith. Alas….

For those of you who have signed up and completed the race, I could only envy. But the fact is the walk to the starting point from the carpark was a tad long and by the time we reached the carnival, the girl was complaining of tiredness. To add to that, she did not like to walk on sand and was whining the whole time, thus exasperating me.


It was overcast as well and half the time, the hubs and I were contemplating if we should head back lest it poured. We didn’t want the kids to fall sick as a result of being caught in the rain and in the end, decided that we should just head back.


It was really crowded at the actual scene. I think if I was to come with friends, I would have enjoyed it, never mind the sand which is a terrain I’m not keen to run on. There were so many opportunities for good pictures to be captured but we only managed these two.



I think I’m too ambitious. Faith is not ready for a long distance run (what was I thinking???) and the most she could do is perhaps those ‘quick dash’ or 800m run. I must also make sure that it’s concrete road that she will be running the next time I sign her up.


In the end, we went for Bak Kut Teh. Sigh! No output but input. Oh well…

Shape Run 2016

I returned to do the Shape Run after a 3-year hiatus. The last one was a stroller run with Faith and it feels good to be back participating in this all-women run. I wasn’t ambitious and thought a 5km run would suit me just fine. I have to be realistic and kind to my knees. Until and unless I have sufficient time to chalk up some mileage, I wouldn’t dare to run a longer distance.

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Race day. The sky was overcast and I thought it would rain. The 5km category was the second last to be flagged off and man, were there a lot of ‘green’! But I love the location – Bayfront – since it’s just right ahead of the MRT station.

Note to self: Park at Dakota/ Mountbatten/ Stadium and take a train ride.

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My buddy and I. I wanted to run with a fellow mom so that we can encourage each other. to be honest, it’s really very tough to meet up to train together. So far, we have only met once! But still, it’s better than nothing!

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Go, go, go!

I love this run because the weather was perfect (not too hot) and the scenery, beautiful. And I absolutely adore women’s run because the runners were so polite and encouraging to one another. No shoving, no show-offs. But if you eavesdropped along the way, you would realise that there were a lot of mothers who were chatting about their kids. haha..

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Being a popular run, there was quite a fair bit of bottleneck in the beginning which slowed down the pace. The lane was narrow to be honest so it took a bit of effort to meander in and out of runners. Because I didn’t ‘chiong’ all the way, I was able to run strong and really sprinted towards the end.

35 min 13s later, I was back. Would love to come in sub 30 but it’s okay.

My running buddy completed her run well too. I’m so proud of her considering the fact that we didn’t train much and only depended on the minus calories for our training. The weather for the past few weeks had been erratic and thankfully, we could throw in a bit of indoor training using the machine.

img_4210That’s me, doing a last-minute training before the race day.

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Along the way, we saw this sole. Running in a good pair of shoes is important, especially if you are running a long distance one. I have incurred an injury before because I have chosen a wrong pair to run in and I have learnt my lesson since then.

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These are our choice – Hoka One One for my friend and Mizuno for yours truly.

I think I’m ready for a longer distance now. 😉

Spongebob Run Singapore

Following the previous run, I’m looking forward to yet another one. This time round, I hope to be participating with da man and the kids.

Enter Nickelodeon’s first ever SpongeBob Run in Asia which will flag off in Singapore on 6 August 2016 at Siloso Beach Walk, Sentosa. Join SpongeBob SquarePants in search of his missing best friend Patrick Star via this fun run which will see participants cover a five kilometre route showcasing iconic landmarks from the underwater city of Bikini Bottom, including the Krusty Krab, and the houses that SpongeBob, Patrick and Squidward Tentacles live in.

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I thought this fun run could encourage families to get out and run together, especially in the lead-up to National Day, no?

The race course is lined with many trigger-happy opportunities for participants to snap a #wefie with SpongeBob and his friends in life-size cutout boards, such as Sandy Cheeks in her pressurized suit and SpongeBob’s pet sea snail Gary. Fun, isn’t it?

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There are two categories of race entitlement packs:

:: For BASIC (S$49.50 per pax), participants will receive an official event t-shirt, an event medal and a runner’s license.

:: For NORMAL (S$59.50 per pax), in addition to receiving an official event t-shirt, an event medal and a runner’s license, participants will go home with an exclusive SpongeBob Run Singapore plush and drawstring bag.

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On that day, a carnival filled with nautical-themed activities, food and beverages, awaits SpongeBob fans and their families. At the end of the race, fans can enjoy a screening of three episodes of SpongeBob SquarePants with their loved ones. The first 30 participants who finish the race will get the opportunity to meet SpongeBob and Patrick.

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Sounds interesting? If you are ready for an evening of fun for your family, do register for the race at the SpongeBob Run Singapore 2016 website.

Oh, wait a minute! Before you do that, you could use this promo code SBXLYNN to get $5 off for any of the 2 categories. But do hurry as this promotion is valid only till 4 August 2016. 

We will be taking part as a family and I need to start training the girl already! Two more months to go! For your information, only strollers are allowed in the event and free admission is granted for children below 0.9m in height provided they are accompanied by an adult taking part in the race (Terms and Conditions applies). However, they would not receive any race entitlements.

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See you there?

SpongeBob Run Singapore
Saturday, Aug 6, 2016, 04:00 pm 08:00 pm
Siloso Beach Sentosa Singapore, Singapore

Disclaimer: We were invited by X-Change Republic on behalf of Nickelodeon and sponsored with a pair of complimentary tickets for SpongeBob Run Singapore. Images and information pertaining to the run are provided by them. No monetary compensation was received and all opinions are as usual, my own.

 

 

 

[Motivational Monday] First run of the year

Last Wednesday, I attempted my first race of the year. It was a 5km race and while many of you may think that it’s just a small thing, I treat it as a milestone.

I ran rather regularly before the kids came along. Since having children, running has become a low priority. I mean, we only have 24 hours per day but it seems like there’re a million and one things to attempt. Something has to give.

But I’m glad to be back. I try to squeeze in at least one 4km run and 2 sessions of Minus Calories 30 min workout per week.

My secondary school friend had asked me if I wanted to run this 5km race with her. Since I’m all ready to have a buddy to push me towards my goal, I agreed. We did our own ‘training’ and met up to run!

So these two mothers did our best to complete the race.

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I love this race route. It was very scenic and since this was not a major race and was held on a weekday, there were not a lot of runners. The result was a smooth and pleasant race.

I did my best for the run because I wanted to know how my stamina was after all those workout.

I took 32 min 24s to complete 5km. Way to go, considering the fact that I didn’t train much in terms of running! I’ll aim for a sub 30 timing for the next few runs!

Till the next race!

Shape Run 2013 with Capella’s ConyTM (S230T-13)

IMG_8525Faith and I participated in the Shape Run’s Stroller Fun Run and I must say this is perhaps the most ill-prepared run that I have had. Though it was a short distance, running with a fussy baby in a stroller could prove challenging.

The stroller fun run was postponed by 30 minutes which was a good move by the organiser since young children need their beauty sleep. Mabel, Cherie and I reached the site at around 7.15am from Crawford Street, skipped the security check (oops! loophole!) and waited for the rest of our ‘team’. The other categories had already commenced and we waited for ours to start. I was really praying that Faith would not be cranky as she didn’t have a good rest yesterday. Other than that, it was a great day for running though we were hoping that the weather could be cooler!

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Our group of mummies has been training for this run with the Capella ConyTM (S230T-13) strollers and finally this day has arrived! A group picture first before we start our engines! 😉

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Faith was crying her heart out during the photography session and refused to sit in the stroller. I had to resort to something which I don’t normally do – give her biscuits to pacify her. Oh well, perhaps she really was hungry and warm! It’s a hot day after all.

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The thoughtful organiser gave us colourful balloons to the mummies in a bid to distract the babies when we were running. Oh, I think we really need them! I’m not sure about the other kids but Faith sure looked happy with those balloons! And with that, we started the 2.4km fun run!

There wasn’t a lot of participants for this category and thus the space was wide enough for us which is good. For me, the only aimIMG_8557 was to quickly finish the run so that Faith won’t fuss in the stroller. From experience, Faith couldn’t last more than 2km in the stroller and would want to be carried after that. So, I tried to run jog as fast as my legs could carry me. Midway through, I felt incredibly thirsty and then I realised I didn’t bring water along and there’s no waterpoint for this category! Gosh! All the more, I need to get this run over and be done with.

Thankfully, Faith didn’t fuss! During the run, she turned her head and looked at me with a smile and the tired mom had to force a ‘hi!’ in return. The other mummies were encouraging and cheered one another on. That’s the spirit! The road was smooth and this made the run really enjoyable. The stroller was easy to manoeuvre and survived the run. Hurray!

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The run was over in about 15 minutes and I was exhausted! Must have been the heat. Overall, this was a pleasant experience and I really enjoyed running with the other mummies.

After the run, guess what we did?

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Guess what we are going to do?

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Taking selfie!

Taken by the selfie expert, Mabel!

Taken by the selfie expert, Mabel!

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Having loads of photography time

And Faith was visibly tired

And Faith was visibly tired

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We made it, baby!

With this, I completed another item on my to-do list! Check!

Till the next race!

Till the next race!

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From the first day I received the Capella ConyTM (S230T-13) stroller to the race day, the stroller has served us well. It has gone through rough handling (I’m not that dainty, you see) and a few hard knocks, travelled well on undulating terrains and granted us a few good training sessions. Though it is not a jogging stroller, it still provides a stable, secure and protected ride for Faith especially when we go jogging. A good all-rounded stroller, I must say.

Find out more information about Capella’s strollers via their facebook page.

Disclosure: I was gifted with one set of the Capella ConyTM S230T-13 Smart Travel System for the purposes of test and review. Registration fee  and transportation allowance for the Shape Run were provided for. No other compensation was received and all opinions are mine.

Photo credits: Amazingly Still & Capella Strollers Singapore

Friday in pics

My sis and her family went back after more than a week of visit. *sobs* I’ll sure miss them! But thankfully, it won’t be long before we meet again! Yay!

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Buh-bye! See you in December, my adorable little frequent flyers!

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Since da man is on leave today, we took the opportunity to roam T3 and had our brunch. I love local food like these anytime!

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Da man and I went for a slow, slow jog at East Coast Park, my favourite playground while Dad looked after her. At long last, a jog! Make it more often, please!

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Faith got her first taste of egg today. I wanted to see if she reacts well to it before her next visit to the PD. Hopefully, she is ok with it!

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That’s it. TGIF! It is passing all too soon!

Nike She Runs 5K 2013

This is the first run that I have participated since coming back to Singapore due to the pregnancy. I’m thankful that the Nike She Runs gave me wonderful memories. I like races and love those that are well-organised.

The starting time was 6pm but I reckoned it would take some time to get to the race village since the place is not really accessible. Thankfully, the organiser arranged for shuttle bus and I met up with my race buddy at 4.30pm at the pick-up point.

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At the train station, one would see a beeline of ladies decked in orange dri-fit t-shirt. Many heads turned as they wondered what these ladies were up to.

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Look at how orderly our ladies were. No ugly scene but happy faces. The shuttle buses came every 5 to 10 minutes according to the race guide but my buddy and I didn’t wait long before we boarded the bus.

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Security was rather tight for this race. Bags were checked before you could get into the race village. I have not been to a race like this before, based on my memory. But in any case, it sets our minds at ease especially after the horrific incident during the recent Boston Marathon.

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Look, even the baggage deposit system is in alphabetical order. This makes for easy deposit and retrieval of bags. Excellent. As you can see from the picture, this race village became a gathering site for the ladies. Everyone was at ease, enjoying the cool (but humid) weather.

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Of course, nothing is perfect. There were some glitches but they were forgivable. Prior to the first wave (6pm), the ladies were already waiting at the start pen which opened at 5.30pm. Imagine thousands of us waiting in the tight and crowded space. Enthusiasm soon waned as we stood for more than 30 minutes. The race started late and we were getting real thirsty.

When the race started, there were bottlenecks. If you intend to do a personal best, this race is probably not suitable unless you are among the first few in the start line. I find myself having to come to a halt or just jog since there were so many others blocking my path. There is no point in spending the energy weaving in and out of every tiny space available so I decided to take in real slow and enjoy the scenic skyline with my buddy.

Overall, the Nike She Runs left a good impression on me. Here’s why:

1) It was well organised, judging by how fast I collected my race pack prior to the actual day and how smooth the transportation arrangement was.

2) The ladies actually threw the cups into the dustbins provided during the race!!! Obviously, we were not out to be the top few and we took the time to jog with our friends and to care for our environment! 🙂

3) I saw how friends encouraged their buddies to continue running. Some waited for their buddies, others motivated theirs to carry on. During the race, when you got pushed by some runners, you got an apology. That’s manners, my friends. 🙂

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4) It was conducted in the evening. Splendid. If it was conducted in the early morning, I think many mothers wouldn’t be able to make it. Think about the logistics involved in settling the kids!

5) After the finish point, the collection of the finisher’s tee (yes, we have finisher’s tee, even for a 5K run!) was smooth. Each line was marked by the shirt sizes that the runners wear. In other runs, I almost never get the size that I want and instead got an oversized t-shirt which I could not wear and have to pass it on to my hubs. This time round, I got the right size!

IMG_37566) After the run, every runner was given a banana, hotdog, a can of isotonic drink and a bottle of mineral water. If you don’t mind queuing, you could get ice-cream and massage done! How awesome is that! Or you can spend time chatting up with your friends while enjoying the gig by 53A, my favourite local band.

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The folks at Nike certainly know what women want and this race is a success, in my opinion. For $40, I received two dri-fit Nike T-shirts, a water bottle, a recycling bag and a good experience. Totally worth it.

So Nike, maybe you might want to consider organising a marathon/half-marathon for ladies, just like the one you organise in San Francisco? We certainly would love to have the Tiffany’s necklace as our finisher’s medal. Consider please? Please?

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I had fun jogging with my friend of almost 20 years.

Tata

Time to say goodbye. You have served me well over these past two years. I depended on you for my full and half marathons and you have not given me any problem. You are good. I love you.

Now, rest in peace.

Boston Half Marathon 2011

It will be our last race in Boston.

The weather’s great, not too cold, the shuttling to the race site was smooth and the runners encouraging.

Ken and I ran at a good pace for the first half of the distance until his muscles started to tighten and eventually cramped up. He has hit the wall. It got so bad that he couldn’t run well anymore.

It was frustrating. In the beginning, the run was great. I really thought with that pace, we could make it back in good timing. However, when you hit the wall and couldn’t get rid of the lactic acid, that’s basically it. It’s even worse that that there was no deep heat or anyone who could do some massage at the medical post.

I believe Ken was equally frustrated since he’s the one experiencing it.

* So I tried looking for any tube of deep heat that have been discarded by runners. With my eyes fixed on the ground, I saw a familiar bottle. Ah! That’s hope to ease the cramp! So I scooped out whatever was left in the bottle and applied it on Ken’s thighs and massaging them at the same time. I really thought it was deep heat ( apparently, I was thinking right). It was after the race that I realised the bottle which I have mistaken for deep heat was actually Vaseline lubricant! My goodness! What was I thinking??!! 

But we crossed the finish line still, as a couple and that’s more important. His legs got so cramped up that in the end, he had to be wheeled into the medical area. Whoah!

All was well in the end! Yay!

A burrito to replenish all that’s lost. =)

Boston Marathon 2011

What a privilege to participate in Boston Marathon, no matter whether we are the spectators, runners or the volunteers. To be part of the world-famous marathon is really an honour!

The day is perfect for a run. The sun is smiling brightly, just that the wind can be strong at times ( most of the time). We met up with Joy and made our way to Heartbreak Hill. We were early enough to catch the Wheelchair race. I must say it was really tough to ascend those upslope after such a long distance. Some of the participants (wheelchair category) were having such a hard time and the spectators knew what was best – to cheer and run alongside them till they reached the apex of the slope. One of them made it seem so easy and she is the winner for the Women’s category – Wakako Tsuchida. She’s way ahead her competitors and it’s really a no-wonder that she won.

I was on the lookout for Kara Goucher and Ryan Hall in this race. I have loved Kara a few years after I got serious into running. She and her husband are a great team, training together and now, being a mother (she gave birth rather recently), she continues to earn my admiration for her passion for running. I got to know Ryan Hall through the Runner’s World magazine and the write-up about him is so inspiring. And I managed to catch them today! Sadly though, both did not make it to the top 3. Kara was placed 5th while Ryan was placed 4th, just 0.05s behind the 3rd runner. What a bummer!!!!

 

I must say the crowd was amazing. We were near the Boston College area and the atmosphere was just so hyped-up! I supposed the other areas were just as exciting!

These few days of events have prompted me to be serious in my running again. I want to aim for a half marathon in September and October and hopefully achieve a PR. But before that, Eclairs anyone?

B.A.A. 5K run

Finally, an official run in Boston! When we first signed up, it was because some of our members wanted to run this race and it would be wonderful to have more company in a race.

The night before, it was raining cats and dogs. The wind was strong and I was wondering if the race would happen in the end. So there I was tossing in the bed and hoping that the sky would clear by the time the race starts.

In the morning, slight drizzle greeted us. As we made our way to Hynes Convention Centre to meet up with the gang, there were already some folks who were doing their warm-ups. Man, they are so hard-core. 

The race started and it was a pretty nice run, with a few gentle uphill and downslope. I started off wanting to do a leisure run. 4o mins is all I need, I told myself. That way, I could run with our friends. But a few minutes into the warm-up, I started to pick up my pace. I think it is hard to run leisurely in a race. In the end, you just want to do your best and that’s one of the reasons why people want to pay to run in a race – to achieve your personal best timing.

A PB I did not have. But what I have experienced is so much better than a timing. I crossed the finish line with the hubs with our hands joined as we faced the official camera (I hope they captured us!). That, is most precious!

In the evening, we had dinner at this Moroccan restaurant, Tangierino,  where there’s belly dancing and smoking of  Shisha. The food is good but we couldn’t capture any nice photo because of the dimly-lit area. Don’t really like restaurant in this aspect. I can’t even see the appearance of the food. All we can is to taste it. Sigh.

Burp…Had a bit too much of food today!

Marathon Fever!

We are having marathon fever here! The famed Boston Marathon is going to be held this Monday on Patriots Day and suddenly the streets are filled with fit-looking people.

Ken and I obviously couldn’t make the mark to enter the Marathon – there is qualifying time – but could however be contented with the 5K run on Sunday. So, we made our way to Hynes Convention Centre the hour they start the collection of the race pack. From experience, if you wait till the last day, all the smaller T-shirts sizes would be snapped up and you would be left with sizes fit for giants.

We thought we were among the few who would turn up so early but to my surprise, there was already a long, snaky, organised queue! Whoah! Somehow, looking at the marathoners made me feel for them. They must be feeling nervous but yet anticipating the race. Imagine the months of training and sacrifice! It has better be worth it!

It’s an unexplainable feeling to run in a marathon. It’s crazy on hind sight. And yes, there are nuts, many of them on this planet earth =p.

We are so looking forward to the marathon and will be situating ourselves near Boston College, the hubs’ school, where the notorious Heartbreak Hill is. The runners would need plenty of encouragement to go through that wretched hill. Those cheers, those crazy screams, would get the runners to the finish line.

Oh yes, that reminds me. I need to prepare honey water.

Comfort Meatballs

A plate of pasta with meatballs is the solution to a hungry stomach after a run and swim. We have planned to run with the Kahs along Charles River and it was an absolutely wonderful day at 13 deg C. The Kahs are good pacers but the Queks were too tired to run a longer distance and we stopped at 1/2 of what they ran.

This recipe is taken from Drummond’s Pioneer Woman Cooks. As she has mentioned, these meatballs are not quite the same as those of the regular Italian ones which have more of a breadcrumb/parsley/Parmesan flair. These ones are more in the comfort food/meatloaf category. The taste is definitely different and I’m surprised by the addition of distilled white vinegar in the sauce.

Well, the meatballs satisfied our ravenous appetite and my friends wanted the recipe. So, I guess this is one dish that I would keep!

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I <3 Fridays!

I have been waking up at 6am punctually ever since last Sunday’s daylight saving, which in a way has cost me 1 hour of sleep. My body is still adjusting but in a weird way; I should be waking up later!

But I’m already looking forward to Friday. Springing up from the bed, I proceeded to the fridge to take out the dough that I’ve prepared last night to make breakfast today. To complement that was a cup of intense chocolate milk and I promise myself that I would not have one of this in the very near future.

Green bagel from BS class.

After QT, I’m all ready to prepare Irish Beef Stew (my version) in celebration of St Patrick’s Day (belated). I didn’t have the chance to buy Guinness and in the end, added wine only.

After cleaning of the heavy skillet and sink which I consider as upper body workout, the weather was just so tempting (Spring is approaching real fast!) that we went out to have a relatively long run – 6km. We decided to stop upon reaching Hynes Convention Centre because anything more than that and we risk knee injury. It’s better to be prudent and patient when it comes to running.

And the afternoon was spent reading books and reading of blogs. Nice…I’ve learnt about some new programmes which help me in organising certain thoughts and files. Superb!

And now, I need to think about what to cook for next week….

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Strawberry Shortcakes

The temperature rose to 18C (crazy weather) and it’s a wonderful day to run. Not sure why but I kept visiting the toilet. It’s about 1.5 more weeks to the marathon and I’m scared. Tried to run long distance again but the legs were tired already. It’s not been smooth training for this marathon but I’ve resolved to leave it to the Almighty and enjoy the run and the sightseeing through the 6 boroughs. People on the other side of the world or many countries are living in fear each day… from civil strife, corruption, tsunami, volcanic eruption, etc and here I am worrying about a marathon? There is certainly more to life than worrying!

Having said that, let’s say a prayer for those in Indonesia. I hope my sis and family will continue to be safe too.

Trivial stuff. It’s my first time having bubble tea in US! A reward for running to the supermarket!

And strawberry shortcakes for dinner and this marked the end of lessons on quickbread. On to cakes for the next topic! Just a summary. Quick breads refer to most types of loaf and pan breads, muffins, biscuits, scones or baked oven “pancakes” that are not yeasted. While yeast breads get their lift from yeast, quick breads rely on baking powder and/or baking soda for leavening. Many quick breads, in fact, are more like cake than they are like bread.

The ARGH of running in the cold

Weather for today. Cloudy. 52 F (11 C) and 41 F (5 C) for realfeel temperature.

Brrr…it was cold. Before the run, I was almost tempted to stay in. Seeing that the hubs was up for the challenge (long run), I decided to run as planned.

A dear friend of ours has told us that one of the things to do in Boston is to run along the Charles River and we did that today! It was a beautiful sight but the weather was not cooperative; the sky was overcast. The pictures didn’t turn out well but we had fun running in the cold. Each time the strong wind blew, we went, “Ooooo…ahhhhhhh…..ARGH!”

Dear friend, we hope the pics would cheer you up. It’s really fortunate that you had visited this place long before us. It’s beautiful. =)

 

The rewards of running is FOOD! @ Panera Bread

 

‎”The marathon is not really about the marathon, it’s about the shared struggle. And it’s not only the marathon, but the training.” – Bill Buffum

Oh, by the way, the hubs also went to buy the same running top as me. It was a good purchase. Able to shield me from the cold (of course, it won’t shield completely) and it’s so comfortable to run in.

Preparation for marathon = Spaghetti?

I’m running out of ideas for meals until I came across Giada’s cookbook. Italian. Hmm… For a long while, I have tried to avoid this cuisine because it uses herbs and varied types of cheese which I’m not familiar with. Then I chanced upon this simple dish – Whole wheat spaghetti with lemon, basil and salmon and thought I should give it a try. After all, I need to carbo-load soon in preparation for the marathon and spaghetti can do a good job!

I like it. It is a simple healthy pasta dish and offered variety to what I had cooked for the past 2 months. And we had salmon today, something different from the red meat which I so often cooked. I think I would be trying out more pasta dishes in these next few weeks. Meanwhile, give me ideas for meals too!

 

And to countdown for the marathon, I bought a 2 running tops today, the most expensive I have purchased in all my years of running. I know it is rather late to try out new clothing for a race but I was hoping this will keep me comfortable in the cold weather which I would be running in; I really hope it won’t fall below 10C on that day. I’m not optimistic, btw.

I bought the hubs and I running gloves too! Mine matches my top. After this marathon, I believe I would be attempting more half-marathons in future. 26 miles is too much for my body which has given me signals recently that it is not getting any stronger. Of course, I am bearing much hope that the hubs would run half-marathons with me; it’s really lonely doing things by oneself. Let’s aim for some races in US next year! Continue reading

Need. Inspiration.

Today was a beautiful day again. Thank God. And a terrific day to run. Thought I could do at last a 10-km run but could not because I met with abdominal cramps again into the 2nd kilometre.

I should be at my peak performance now if I had followed closely to the training schedule. I am worried of course but decided that this is such a small thing in life and probably not worth my losing sleep over it.

In the next few weeks, I should be running in my race-day kit and I hope I would be able to attempt my last half-marathon before the actual day. It’s in these moments that I thought about my training buddies back in STB, the three of us training under the hot sun at Evans Road’s running track. Though I do not have the complete group – the trio- I do have one of them with me.

I do need inspiration. And thankfully, I could find it online. For those training for the Singapore marathon in Dec, you might want to view them or read the stories. And for those running for leisure, may you find motivation through them too.

 

OK. I need to be having lunch now; the hubs just came back with FOOD! And I need to look into my diet for the marathon. Carbs!

Simple pleasures in life = running

It’s not raining today!! Yipee! Taking no chances, I urged the hubs to go for a run and he willingly obliged. Yay! Part of today’s mission was to recce the school that I will be volunteering in. I’ll let the pictures tell you the story. =)

Yay! we can run...finally!

 

But it’s so cold..brr…

 

Oh look! Nice fallen leaves!

Outside the school which I'll be volunteering

The reward - Dunkin Donuts' Iced coffee

Thank you for running the miles with me despite the cold. =) And we have enough quarters to do our laundry now, thanks to Dunkin Donuts!

Nooooooo!

It’s 38 days more to Marathon and I’m falling sick. I have not been running for a week already and this is freaking me out. I can’t fall sick at this time. NOOOOOOoooo!

Who’s the boss?

I finally ran my first half-marathon for the year and I’m embarrassed to say this. I mean, after all, I have an upcoming marathon and am way behind my own training schedule. Of course, I could give excuses such as the move to Boston, the settling and blah blah. But, well, I’m not so kind to myself; I’m just plain lazy.

So, knowing that AHM is round the corner back home, I thought it would serve as a motivation for me to run a half-marathon as well. Anyway, I really OUGHT TO. So, the hubs accompanied me to run the first 6km and then I was on my own.

I chose a new route which provided me lots of shops to look at as I ran past them. This made running the long distance A LOT better since you could admire the displays and along the way, stopped for a while to look for some particular stuff. Oh, the joy of window shopping!

It was a smooth run until the 13km which I turned into the oh-so-familiar slopes. I have a love-hate relationship with slopes/hills. While I know it is extremely tiring to run or even cycle on slopes, they do our legs good. It was during the run on the slopes that I finally panted. Otherwise, it was all right.

Of course, into the 17km, the legs were tired and your mind as well. But it is during this time that you need to press on and tell your legs who’s the boss here. They will listen IF you do not listen to their complaints. And listen they did and I managed to sustain the last few kilometres.

I run without ipod. I used to. But as I run more, I realised I need to listen to the rhythm of my own breathing and the kind of sounds my strides make. They give you indication of how you are performing there and then and you have to inform your mind of the necessary actions to take.

It is ALWAYS interesting to listen to what fellow runners are talking when they are in a race. Some of them are inspirational while others just darn funny. Instead of listening to some dance music that could motivate you to run (no doubt), try listening to your body, your fellow runners and get the motivation to run faster when others encourage you to go on or even better, if you surpass some of them.

I’m anticipating this moment again in November when thousands run through the 5 boroughs of New York and I’m waiting to hear the cheers the supporters give and of course, the ever-encouraging remark from fellow sufferers in their breathless, weary tone: Press on! Don’t give up! You are almost there.

New York Marathon. I’ll see you on 7 November. =)

Blessed Sunday!

Blessed is the one who picked up furniture during a run and had a cupcake after that.
I was due for my 12-15km run today (which is running late for my marathon training but what the heck) and it was a fruitful run indeed!


beautiful scenery along the way

Into my 11km, I ran into the nearby neighbourhood and guess what I saw? A trash bin and a coffee table which I knew the hubs would need. We have been scouting for a table from the thriftstore but could not find anything suitable and there before my eyes was the table. So I ran back to our apartment and got him to go back to the exact location again, half crossing my fingers that no one would be there before us.
And so, we had our bin and table and they saved us a bit. Sorry that I sound very auntie-ish but we are very much conscious of the fact that we would not be staying here forever and thus we shouldn’t buy unnecessarily. A colleague who had been here before us had told us that she had done so and such incidents had saved her heaps.

So you see, running is good for health and for your pockets, if you do not mind second-hand stuff!

We are blessed by such provision. Indeed the Lord is good!

Minced meat congee for lunch

Park Street Church

Proverbs 3:5-6

The weather changed without warning and since Sunday, it has been raining with frequent strong wind. I was in lament and Ken reminded me, “It’s just rain. We have rain in Singapore and the temperature drops too!” Erm, yes but still, it’s cold! Honestly, I don’t know what to expect in winter. I dread it.
It has since been almost a week in Boston and I must say we have quite an adventure. We missed the conveniences in Singapore mostly and where most terms are so evident and clear to us. Over here, things are less explicit and because we are aliens here, it makes things more frustrating for us. Honestly, if I were to come here alone and study, I would have broken down. Thankfully we have each other and we can only say that we need to take things one step at a time and not be too vexed over those issues. It is indeed a learning process.
My greatest worry as of now is perhaps New York Marathon. Not too much about the distance really but more the weather. You see, the cut-off time is 6.30pm (start time is 10.30am) and I reckon I won’t use up 8 hours no matter how much pain I would encounter during the race. Having experienced marathon before helps a lot but the situation is different now. I have NEVER run in cold conditions until very recently. By November, temperature in NY would drop to below 10 C. How on earth would I be able to withstand that??? As of now, I don’t even know how I should be clad in. I thought of cancelling the race which would give me direct entry into next year’s race. However, the fee is non-refundable and to fork out another $300 for the race is too much. I have to press on.
Yesterday, we visited Park Street Church and I was reminded that I should not be focusing on my weakness and circumstances but to allow God to work in and through me. Was thankful really. I need that sort of encouragement. It is truly in my weakness that His glory is magnified. Ken and I decided that we continue to worship in this church since we are okay with the doctrine and that it is a very Word-based and evangelical church. Hopefully, we would be able to find a CG soon.
And today, the wind was even stronger. I decided to test out my wind-breaker to see how well it could protect me from the cold. Our stock was also running low and decided to go for The Upper Crust Pizzeria for lunch and also to stop by the Goodwill store nearby. Basically this store stocks up donated goods and the proceeds help fund Goodwill’s education, training and job placement programmes for people with disabilities and other barriers. We really found good buys there and really, we should have visited this store right from the beginning; we could have saved a lot! This time round, we spent mainly on bakeware. They amounted to US$9 for a set of baking trays which otherwise I would have to fork out US$49.99 for the same things. Among them was a Wilton square tin and it cost US$2.99! Whoah!They are not new definitely and with some dirt but with cleaning, they are okay to be used again! I helped save a fair bit; I’m elated! And I got a pair of leather loafers for US$6.49. How’s that? It’s quite ironical that in Singapore I donated a lot of my stuff to people and now I have to buy donated items. Hah! I learnt to appreciate what I have now. Definitely a good thing for me!
We are going off to New York tomorrow to recee the marathon route and to familiarise ourselves with the transport for race day. No rain pls!
 
And you know, at the end of the day, after all these experiences, we have to always bear in mind Proverbs 3:5-6.

Running

Since we got here, we have stepped up on our running. Back home, we were either settling some stuff for the move or too tired to run.

We’ve got a nice reservoir near our apartment and of course the irritating sandflies which like to bump into you, causing you to lose sight momentarily. Sometimes they like to hide inside your nostril for some comfort..(ok, I’m not sure why I go into such details).

So today, reminded by the hubs about my coming marathon, we decided to do a 10km run. My goodness, it was tiring. We started on the opp direction from the reservoir and slopes met us. They whipped us and humiliated us. Our legs became jelly after that.

But I must say, the weather here allows for better running in terms of my breathing. I could run faster without panting and what’s better was that there were fewer cars around the area (or was it because we started real early in the morn?).

There are many who run in this part of the country. And why not? It was home to the most famed marathon in the world, the only one which requires participants to meet their qualifying time. I definitely can’t make it and thus New York would be a great option.

And of course, it was good to come home and be able to prepare brekky. Good morning, people!

his & hers