Nashata 5 km Fun Run At Malaysia Women Marathon 2014 (MWM14)

My friends and I had a fantastic time at the Nashata 5 km Fun Run at Malaysia Women Marathon (MWM) which was held last Sunday, 16 March 2014, in picturesque Shah Alam. This is MWM’s second year and, despite the sudden terrible hazy conditions, it was a blast! The organisers decided at the last minute to shorten the runs and, with the agreement of the participants, make it all non-competitive and donate the prize monies to charity instead.

Photo Credit: Running Malaysia Magazine

And that’s how I ended up running 3.64 km (they said it was 3.5 km but I choose to follow Garmin) instead of the original 5 km for the Nashata Fun Run. I was disappointed yet relieved at the same time — disappointed because I was so keen on running the entire 5 km at my target pace of 8:00 min/km; relieved because my plantar fasciitis (PF) has made a prolonged and extra-painful comeback that I found myself literally hobbling in pain right after the run.

As you can see from the timing graph (bottom right), I sprinted towards the end — even though my foot was screaming and throbbing in pain! — just to get it over and done with. And yes, I also forgot to turn off the timer for a good 1-2 minutes after reaching the finish line :P

Anyway, back to MWM14, it was absolutely well-organised and was so much fun. Malaysian women from all ages, races, and all walks of life were there — from YBs to artistes to common folk like me haha! — as well as many female runners from all over the world.

Here is a pic of the ladies at the starting line of the Nashata 5 km Fun Run. That’s YB Puan Dr. Daroyah binti Alwi on the right (wearing the grey scarf), Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Tetap Kesihatan, Pembangunan Usahawan, Sains, Teknologi & Inovasi.

Photo Credit: Kelvin Tan

In addition to the Nashata 5 km Fun Run, there was the 10 km run, the half marathon (HM – 21 km) and the full marathon (FM – 42 km).

Photo Credit: Running Malaysia Magazine

Photo Credit: Running Malaysia Magazine

Photo Credit: Running Malaysia Magazine

And because it was a marathon for women, the programmes, lucky draw prizes, goodie bags, vest colours and designs, freebies etc. were all geared for women. Only women could participate in the races and the only way for men to run was to become pacers for the ladies. Some men, in good fun, even wore their pacees’ finisher skirts (and other skirts/dresses)!

The haze was really bad that day that many runners actually ran wearing face masks, as you can see from the pic above.

Because I was more focused than running instead of taking pics, I have very few pics of the run itself. You can browse tonnes and tonnes of pictures here at Kelvin Tan’s site and Running Malaysia’s FB page.

I can’t wait for MWM15! I hope to run at least 10 km by then, pain-free, plantar fasciitis-free, and without my heart rate spiking up to 194 bpm (I am sooo unfit!). I also hope that the MWM organisers will move the run to a date where there is less likelihood of haze.

Special thanks to Nashata for sponsoring my first formal 5 km run! Watch out for my next post, where I will write about their range of activewear that both Muslim and non-Muslim women alike will fall in love with.

Categories: Malaysia, Running | 1 Comment

Missing Sydney

The past few days have been crazy busy. Work in the office has been such that I feel like I’m being sucked into a toxic pit of sticky icky tar. A mere two weeks into the new semester and we already had to start bi-monthly presentations. To cap it all of, the entire KL skyline has been shrouded by a gauzy layer of haze and God-knows-what-hazardous-particulates-there-may-be-hanging-in-the-air for the past few days, adding to the overall gloom.

So yeah. Suddenly I find myself wishing I was back on that ferry from Darling Harbour en route to Manly…with not a care in the world, relishing the spray of salty sea breeze on my face, the sun shining bright over skies so clear and blue, my eyes feasting on the glorious Sydney skyline…

(Click to view a slightly larger image)



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Taking Things A Day At A Time

Whew! I can’t believe I’ve gone through two semesters of post-graduate school already!  It seems like only yesterday that I’ve written that short post about how overwhelmed I felt with all the things I juggle on a daily basis — my job, my studies, my household, my husband, and my six kids.

In case you’re wondering how I managed to survive all this while, the key is in breaking things down into manageable chunks. I’d list down everything in Google calendar, which can all be viewed on my Android smartphone, my desktop calendar, and online every time I’d open my Google account. Then I’d tackle tasks day by day, week by week, month by month. And before realising it, one semester was over and done with…and now, two semesters. Whoa! I’m almost halfway there! :D

So, yeah. If you’re feeling overwhelmed like me, with too many things in your plate right now, don’t despair. Take it one day at a time. Give yourself a little break every once in a while (mind you, a healthy break, like a hike or a swim or a jog with the kids!). Before you know it, you’re done!

And as my First Grade teacher always said, all you have to do is “Do your best and God will do the rest.”


Categories: Rojak | 2 Comments

Pandora Black Friday 2013 Limited Edition Charm & Evolve NZ Diamond Ice Charm

Just to keep things short and sweet for now, I’d like to share with you some pics of the Pandora Black Friday 2013 Limited Edition ‘Snowflake’ charm side by side with a gorgeous Murano glass charm from Evolve New Zealand, the ‘Diamond Ice’ charm:

Click to see a larger image

I was so glad I managed to grab the Pandora Black Friday 2013 limited edition charm (thanks to my BFF, Z, in NY!). The design is so delicate and sparkly without being too overwhelming…so I can’t totally blame the “limited edition” angle for that purchase decision haha!

The colour of the ‘Diamond Ice’ Murano charm is so subtle, it only shows up in certain angles. And when it does, it mesmerizes…

Click to see a larger image

I love how it reminds me of the glacier in Chamonix (which I just realised I never managed to write about, other than eating some gelato in the freezing weather there).

Here’s how I styled my Pandora bracelet using these two fabulous charms and the other charms that I already have on hand:

Click to see a larger image

It’s a beautiful melange of original Pandora, Soufeel, Lovelinks, and Evolve charms. So yeah, I guess you could say my charm bracelet truly is one-of-a-kind ;)


Categories: Rojak | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Going Crazy Over Deuter Bags

If you’re anything like me, there’s a small collection of bags in your room, in your closet, in the storeroom, in the attic. A couple of bags for work. A big all-around bag for travel. A small clutch for dinner and more formal affairs. A small casual bag for short trips to the grocery store. A canvas tote for most everything. A laptop backpack. A more formal-looking laptop briefcase. And the list goes on and on. It’s kinda like a sickness. But what to do? The bag must match its intended use and venue.

But there is one bag that I sorely lack — a small lightweight pack to take to the beach, to river-side barbecues, or for short hikes such as to Bukit Tabur. I end up using an old tote bag (because it is waterproof and cavernous but whose thin straps I hate because they dig into my shoulders when my bag is heavy)…or one of those nonwoven bags that they give away these days for you to bring to the supermarkets…or my daughter’s faded Elle shoulder bag which gives me shoulder pains when the load is a bit too heavy. Sad, huh?

So when Ahmad of Original Discounted Deuter offered me a Deuter backpack at a special stock clearance price, I grabbed the opportunity. It’s an older model of the Deuter Race 10 Liter bag in turquoise and white.

The bag looked impossibly tiny that I had my doubts. But when I went to Penang last Monday for a day trip, I was surprised at the amount of stuff I could, well…stuff into it. Two phones, including the ginormous Samsung Galaxy Note 3. A foldable umbrella. A lunch box. A Pashmina shawl (knowing how freezing airports can be). Stationery items. A power bank. A calculator. A couple of pouches holding miscellaneous small items. Two water bottles in each of the side pockets. It felt like Doraemon’s magic pocket at some point — I just kept on adding more and more and more stuff and it all just went in ;)

The best part of the bag: no sweaty back!!! I have a beautiful (and pricey) Delsey laptop backpack but I dread using it because it makes my back sweat like crazy within 15 minutes of using it. But not the Deuter Race, thanks to its patented Airstripes design.

The mesh shoulder straps make the bag even lighter and more comfortable to wear for long periods of time.

Ever experienced the pain of backpack straps digging into your shoulders? You won’t have to endure it with Deuter. I hardly felt the bag on my back and shoulders! While going up a ramp at Penang International Airport, I put on the waistband and the load automatically shifted to my hips, removing the pressure from my shoulders! I can’t wait to give it a test run in Bukit Tabur next weekend!

The pockets are also all so nifty! There’s a small top pocket where I kept my Samsung Galaxy Note 3, BlackBerry Curve 9900, and a small wallet insert holding my driver’s licence, credit card, and some cash. The front pocket hides a key clip which was very handy for my car key (which I parked at Subang Airport). Inside the bag is a zipped mesh pocket which I used to keep small knick-knacks. The hydration bladder compartment (which is separated from the main compartment with a divider that holds the zipped mesh pocket) could fit an A4 transparent files for my ticket printouts.

And surprise, surprise! At the bottom of the bag, there is an integrated rain cover, to keep my pack (and the stuff inside) dry and safe should I ever get caught in the rain.

(Again, the bag was originally designed for bikers, hence, the fluorescent colour of the rain cover for increased visibility.)

Oh, and another small but handy feature: snaps for the zips of the main compartment so that your stuff won’t fall off when biking or hiking.

I did say compartment for a hydration bladder, right? I plan to buy one so that I won’t have to lug around a water bottle anymore. Maybe I can even use this bag for short runs! The Deuter Streamer 2L hydration bladder looks like this:

The main body fits into the rear portion of the bag and the hose comes out of a special outlet and can be attached to one of the shoulder pads with a special velcro strap. So you can imagine a biker/runner/hiker/lazy mother having a sip of water without having to stop.

All these details really reflect how advanced Germany is in terms of engineering and styling (think: Mercedes Benz!).

The Deuter Race 10L is originally meant for biking, so it is possible to buy a helmet mesh holder and hook it up to the strategically located loops in front of the bag. I doubt if I’ll be needing it but if I do tire of my bag, I might pass it on to MyEldest so he can use it for his horse-riding lessons and not have to handhold his helmet anymore. Here’s how the bag would look like with the helmet holder:

(The bag is a different model…but you get the idea.)

Now that I’ve experienced the joy of using a Deuter backpack, I would gladly pay full retail price for the Deuter Race 10L. But since I already got it at a special price, I’ll do the next best thing: invest in a bigger (and slightly pricier) backpack for trips that would require more stuff. I’ve got my eye on this beauty — the Deuter Futura 20 SL:

The 20-liter capacity backpack features such details as:

» hip pads and shoulder straps with soft, breathable Soft Air Mesh lining
» shoulder straps with load adjustment straps
» side compression straps for volume regulation
» practical front pocket
» stretch side pockets
» wet laundry compartment
» hiking pole loops
» reflective loop for safety light
» reflective attachment for drinking tube
» separate bottom compartment
» detachable rain cover
» hydration system compatible

NB: The ‘SL’ stands for ‘short length’ or models design for people with shorter backs, mostly women, but also men who have smaller frames.

Sadly, the Deuter Future 20 SL is not available yet in Malaysia (only in Germany as of this writing). It’s not even in Deuter’s main website yet. But it is already featured in their 2014 catalogue and should be out very, very soon.

So head on over to Ahmad’s website now to check out the range of original Deuter backpacks and accessories (including child hiking carriers) at very, very attractive discounted prices. For direct inquiries, you can also reach him via WhatsApp at +60123285772.

P.S. Here’s the child carrier in action, featuring Ahmad, himself, with his son, on their way up Mount Kinabalu!

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