SCKLM’s 10TH ANNIVERSARY SET TO SIZZLE!

Top Malaysian Runner’s Gather Pace Before The Big Event

KUALA LUMPUR, March 2018: The 10th Anniversary of the Standard Chartered KL Marathon (SCKLM) is expected to be a hotly contested event in several categories. The Malaysian Men’s Full Marathon category in particular will see intense competition amongst several Malaysians who have been posting increasingly fast times in the lead up to Malaysia’s premier running event. The Full Marathon Open category and the Malaysian Women’s Full Marathon category are also expected to be hard fought affairs. We at Nashata supports female runners to woman up. It is a tough battle to even run, what more to win. But there is #NOEXCUSE not to try harder and push the boundaries.

SCKLM2018’s Malaysian Men’s Full Marathon category will see an intriguing battle between a few runners in particular, namely Muhaizar Mohamad, Leo Tan, Nik Fakaruddin and Ow Yong Jin Kuang. Muhaizar, Leo and Nik recently competed in the Tokyo Marathon and finished spectacularly by breaking their own personal bests. Leo Tan, who is an engineer based in Taiwan, was the first to finish and beat his previous personal best of 2:28:19, also posted in Tokyo last year, by recording a blistering 2:25:28, which is unofficially the new national record.

  • Leo Tan ran his heart out in the recent Tokyo Marathon 2018.

Muhaizar, in his first attempt at an overseas marathon also performed admirably despite not being able to travel early to Tokyo to acclimatise and having to run in close to freezing temperatures for the first time in his life. The Armed Forces personnel also bettered his own previous best of 2:31:52 which was posted at the KL S.E.A. Games 2017 and which earned him Malaysia’s first medal in the Marathon for over 44 years. Muhaizar finished the Tokyo Marathon in 2:27:21, which was also faster than the previous national record.

  • Muhaizar Mohamad did his best in Tokyo Marathon 2018.

Nik Fakaruddin, Muhaizar’s colleague in the Armed Forces and training partner, also smashed his previous personal best by almost 10 minutes to post 2:31:01 in his first attempt at an overseas marathon. Ow, who finished in third place behind Muhaizar and Leo at SCKLM2017, could also spring a surprise as his preparation for SCKLM2018 would have been unhindered as compared to the other three runners who ran in the Tokyo Marathon just a few weeks ago. All four runners are in with a shout of claiming victory at SCKLM2018 and the running community will be eagerly waiting to see who emerges as the 2018 Malaysian Men’s Full Marathon champion.

  • Tokyo Marathon 2018. Nik Fakaruddin (in blue in the middle).

“In fact, all top 10 finishers of the Malaysian Men’s Full Marathon category at SCKLM2017 will be back this year” said Rainer Biemans, Director of Dirigo Events and Project Director of SCKLM 2018. “I’m really happy that the fastest marathon runners in Malaysia all look to participate and perform well in SCKLM to see who is the best in Malaysia. The level of quality that we have locally is showing signs of advancement with Muhaizar and Leo’s rivalry in particular creating great interest and encouragement among local runners,” he added.

A couple of other categories at SCKLM2018 will also be generating a lot of interest come Race Day. The Men’s Full Marathon Open category is also expected to see stiff competition between five-time consecutive SCKLM champion Kennedy Kiproo Lilan and the person who upstaged him last year to win, Cosmas Matolo Muteti. Both will be back this year and Kennedy will be eager to reclaim his title from Cosmas.

  • SCKLM2017 FM Men's Open

The Malaysian Women’s Full Marathon category will also see a challenger to perennial champion and national record holder Yuan Yufang. Annie Yee, another Malaysian who performed well at the Tokyo Marathon by posting a personal best of 3:15:00 is expected to give multiple winner Yufang a run for her money this time around and a new champion might yet be crowned this year. Loh Chooi Fern, who finished second behind Yufang in 2017 will also be running this year and hoping to do one better at SCKLM2018. And finally, all eyes will be on the Malaysian Women’s Half Marathon category, where Sheela Samivellu, two-time SCKLM winner and national record holder, will be gunning to see if she can better her own mark of 1:24:44, previously set at SCKLM2016.

  • SCKLM 2017 (Sheela Samivellu smiling with pride in the centre)

“We’re expecting a really competitive SCKLM2018 with a few categories expected to see strong competition between the top contenders, which bodes well for the continued success and relevance of SCKLM,” said Rainer. “It is heartening to note that these runners want to take part in SCKLM because they want to compete against the best, and on a fully certified course. On our part, we will do our best to create the best conditions possible for such contests to take place,” he continued.

Many runners are intrigued to join this huge event and Nashata founder, Eliza Noordin is no exception to that. “I am a slow runner but there’s no excuse for me to not be a part of this exciting run.” Eliza and other women runners like Intan Suraya and Nahsuhah are helping other runners by sharing their tips about running, food, health and routes on Standard Chartered Malaysia Instagram page. These women help to empower women to give their best in spite of their gender. The Standard Chartered KL Marathon has grown to become the premier running event in Malaysia that draws thousands of local and international runners to the country whilst firmly establishing Malaysia in the global running calendar. The 2018 10th Anniversary edition will be the largest yet with more than 38,000 runners taking part, and will once again see sponsorship from Title Sponsor Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia, along with Brooks, Lucozade, Seiko and Pacific Regency.

For more information and updates on SCKLM, please visit:

Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/SCKLmarathon
Twitter : www.twitter.com/SCKLmarathon
Instagram : https://instagram.com/SCKLmarathon
Website : www.kl-marathon.com

How Janda Baik Ultra has helped to overcome my fear of trail running again

I used to be able to do long distance run and I used to be an avid trail runner. However, for the past few months I only managed to run a few 10km-15km on the road. After running TMBT and not being able to complete it, I was scared about going off-road again. I could not face running in the dark, the muddy routes, the self-doubts…in short, I was traumatized.

Soon enough I realized that I could not allow my fears to overcome me. It could not suppress my need to be off-grid once in a while, spending hours totally to myself, and seeking new routes and adventures. I had to face my fears about trail running again. It’s time to show who is the boss here. I decided to go ahead with Janda Baik Ultra and use it as a ‘therapy’ to gain my confidence about long distance running and trail running. I went for the shortest distance available: 30km, with elevation of over 1,200m

Here are 5 points on how I used Janda Baik Ultra to overcome my fear of trail running again:

  1. Acknowledge that I have to face my fears

30km? I prefer to look at it as 5km runs, done over 6 rounds. Now, that distance sounds a lot more manageable compared to 30km

  • Denying your fears will not help to resolve it
  • It is ok to admit that you are nervous. Vent, tell to someone who is willing to listen, then let go.
  • Realize that if you can overcome this, you can overcome bigger challenges in life
  • If your fear is too big, break it up into smaller milestones. I set smaller goals by ensuring that I reach the aid stations first, so there were 5 milestones for me to reach my end goal of 30km. Now, 30km seems a whole lot bearable.
  1. Set a realistic expectation

  • The easiest goal would be aiming to finish within the cut off time. But where’s the fun, if there is nothing challenging about it? So strike a balance between being challenging and being realistic.
  • For example: Don’t try to aim for a sub 6 hour for a 30km trail run when your best timing for 30km road race is 4 hours 30 mins
  1. Be over-prepared, physically

Most of the things that I packed in that hydration bag were not mandatory items, but it bought great comfort and helped me to complete the run, such as my hat

  • Train for it! There is no short cut to building your endurance, except to condition your body to get used to it. Strengthen your glutes and quads for the elevation with weight training.
  • Double check your mandatory items. You don’t want to be denied getting into the race pen just because you forgot a whistle or water bottle. In addition to the mandatory items, think about anything you might need based on the weather condition and route. I bought poles, waterproof jacket, and a hat even though it was not mandatory.
  • Study the route. Be aware of the distances between water stations and the elevation profile to make sure you pack enough water. Check the weather forecast too.
  1. Be over-prepared, mentally

Keep calm and run tomorrow

  • Get enough sleep for a peace of mind
  • Talk yourself through it – Plant and visualize in your mind that you MUST FINISH IT. You’ve trained hard for this!
  • Find ways to keep yourself positive and uplifted. I have a few phrases that I say to myself when it gets tough, and a playlist of songs on my phone.
  1. Focus on the bright side of the challenge

The most rewarding part of a trail run is the view. No medals can replace that feeling

 

  • Enjoy the view. You can never get to see the vast open greenery if you are running on the road
  • Take in the fresh air. No traffic, no cars, and almost no pollution.
  • Have fun during the “runcation”. After all, you are on a holiday!

    More runcations, please!

    I hope my tips will help you to overcome your fears to be able to live life to the fullest. Fear should not get in the way to enjoy the things you love, and it will slowly become easy if you try.

    Share with us a scary experience, and how did you overcome it?

Jeri Villareal: The Hijabi Iron Woman

Jeri Villareal is a modest and committed triathlete from St. Louis, Missouri. Working in the Information Technology Service Lead, this incredible 41 year-old mother is also an urban farmer. Her races usually include three continuous and sequential endurance disciplines which are swimming, cycling and running or better known as triathlon.

Nashata team regularly received Jeri’s pictures on Instagram account, @nashatadotcom wearing Hooda Sports Hijab while competing in her triathlon events. After following her account @modestlytri.ing for some time we knew that she is one of the amazing sportswomen that could inspire people to live with passion. Let’s follow our interview to learn more about Jeri’s incredible journey.

N: Nashata
J: Jeri

“I hadn’t ridden a bike in over 20 years.”

N: Do you remember your first triathlon? Tell us how you became a triathlete.
J: My very first triathlon was a small local race. It consisted of a 300 yard pool swim, 20 mile bike and 4 mile run. My swim was somewhat slow but steady but I got on my bike and was able to pass a couple of people. Unfortunately, I missed the turn off and ended riding an additional 4 miles. I was so upset but ended up continuing on to the run and finish last. I learned to always review the course before the race. There is nothing worse than getting lost during a competition.

N: What inspires you to become a triathlete?
J: I first started running. Running was something that I never thought I would be any good at. However, I used it as a way to ward off depression that developed for me in the short days of the winter months. Running outside made me happy and in the cool months, my hijab was comfortable. It was a great fit. I found that the more I ran, the better I became and I progressed from running in my neighbourhood, to running a 5K then 10K and half marathons. One day a friend of my family asked me if I had ever considered triathlon. I told her I hadn’t ridden a bike in over 20 years. However she told me that if she could compete at age 60, surely I could compete. I took up the challenge and learned to ride a bike and worked on my swim stroke. 7 months later, I competed in my first triathlon.

N: Where do you usually train?
J: I train at my local gym and also I created a workout room in my basement so there is no excuse for missing my training. I have a treadmill, a bike trainer, rowing machine, resistance bands and weights.

N: Did you have a coach when you first participate in your first triathlon event?
J: At the time of my first event. I did not have a coach. However, I did get a coach soon afterwards.

N: How different is it to train by yourself and with a coach for the event?
J: It is so helpful to train with a coach because they can see the small things that you do that could cause injury or they can make changes to your form so that you are more effective. Also they can give you specific exercises or workout to help improve your particular limitation to help your reach your personal goals quickly.

N: Which is the hardest part of triathlon?
J: For me, it’s open water swim. Especially in a lake. It make me a bit anxious when all I see is darkness in the water. I learned to overcome that fear by swimming in the pool with my eyes closed and only open my eyes when taking a breath. That exercise helps me relax once I get into the murky waters of a lake.

N: How do you tackled getting out of a wetsuit quickly? Is it an issue for a hijabis triathlete?
J: While many triathlons have “wetsuit strippers”, kind volunteers that will assist you in getting out of your wetsuit quickly. I avoid their help with the wetsuit. Their good intentions could result in uncovering more than of your body than you would want. I use a two-piece wetsuit consisting of pants with bibs and then a wetsuit top that goes over that. When I was exiting the water, I can unzip and remove the top without concern of revealing anything and I take the bib straps off of my shoulders. By the time I get to transition, I just have to roll down the pants and slip them over my feet. To me, the two-piece wetsuit is not only easy to get in and out of, it also is less constricting over your chest which can be helpful for those that feel chest constriction with traditional wetsuits.

“The hijab that has truly given me so much freedom in my life.”

N: As a Muslim triathlete who wears a hijab, have you ever experienced bitter moments where people would be prejudice about your religion? Do share your story with us.
J: The triathlon community is a very kind one in general. However I think a very well-meaning woman made a comment that she has seen me at several triathlons and she always “felt sorry for me” because I seems so uncomfortable. I didn’t even know how to respond. The last thing I expected was anyone to pity me for the chose that I made as a Muslim woman to wear hijab. The hijab that has truly given me so much freedom in my life. The comment sat with me for a long time and it really did affect me. I feel sorry for her that she didn’t understand the beauty of hijab.

“A quick conversation upfront can keep you from having a frustrating conversation with race officials on race day.”

N: What is your advice to the other Muslim women who are participating in triathlon event?
J: Speak to the race director to ensure that they are aware that will be competing fully covered. There are sometimes rules about how much of your body you can cover. A quick conversation upfront can keep you from having a frustrating conversation with race officials on race day. You do not need to ask “permission” to practice your religion. This conversation is simply to educate those that may not understand why they can’t write your race number on your leg or your arm. Or why you must cover your legs and arms during the swim when wetsuits are not allowed.

N: When is your upcoming event?
A: I just finished Ironman Cartagena 70.3 on December 3rd. That was my last event of the year. In 2018, I look forward to the local St. Louis Triathlon Olympic distance occurring in May. Later in the summer there is Ironman Steelhead 70.3 and Ironman Brazil 70.3

N: How is your diet like today? Was it different with what you usually have before being a triathlete?
J: Today I follow a fairly paleo diet. I enjoy eating lots of vegetables, some low-sugar fruits, meats and healthy fats but only consume ancient and sprouted grains sparingly me. Sweets are my weakness and I avoid sugar while training for a race. I usually tighten my diet 8 weeks from race day. Before becoming a triathlete I ate so much sugar. It was in everything and I didn’t even realize it. I was always a lover of green leafy vegetables though.

N: Describe the training process for a triathlon. How did you prepare–both mentally and physically?
J: Training for a triathlon means training for 3 sports. Additionally, as an athlete over 40 years old, it is vital to incorporate recovery into my schedule. I have 2-3 weekly swim workouts, 2-3 run workouts and 2-3 bike workouts. One of the workout will be either a speed or strength building workout like hill training or interval speed work. Also one of the workout will be endurance-based like a long run (5+ miles), a long bike (20+ miles) or a straight swim (2,000+ yards). I also do yoga twice per week for recovery and weight training twice per week.
During a heavy training load, 10 hours or more a week, I tend to get deep tissue massages. I also have tried alternative recovery techniques to combat inflammation such as cryotherapy and relaxing in an infrared sauna.

“I wear my Nashata Hooda Sports hijab while biking and running. It is thin and lightweight while keeping me dry.”

N: What do you wear for your triathlon event? Do you prepare specific sports gear for each of the activities?
J: I wear what is called a triathlon kit, which is a one-piece outfit with short-sleeves and shorts. The bottom of this kit includes a thin, waterproof pad for additional comfort on the bike. Under the kit, I have leg coolers and Nashata arm coolers. Each piece is designed for air-flow and a cooling effect. These extra pieces also provide coverage for modesty as well. Outside of the water, I put on a skirt for additional modesty while biking and running.
In the water, I wear polarized, prescription goggles. My vision is poor and these goggles are a lifesaver. While they come in clear and smoke lenses, the smoke lenses are my choice because they keep the sun and glare out my eyes when swimming.
I have bike shoes that have cleats on the bottom to connect my feet to my special bicycle pedals. This allows me to apply for force at a faster rate without fear that my feet will fly off of the pedals. My bike helmet is an extremely lightweight, aerodynamic helmet which is designed for speed and performance.
I wear my Nashata Hooda Sports hijab while biking and running. It is thin and lightweight while keeping me dry. The airflow is perfect for me on the bike because I am usually still wet from the swim.

N: We’ve seen you wearing Hooda Sports Hijab in your Instagram posts. Tell us your favourite Nashata wear.
A: Just one? Honestly, I love all of the options that Nashata provides! However I think Hooda is my favorite because of its practicality. It is also lightweight, quick-drying and provides wonderful airflow. These are all things that are vital to making a triathlete comfortable.

“In Arizona, Colorado, and North Carolina, you can practice bike skills such as climbing and descending on the bike.”

N: Where would you suggest new triathletes to go for a practice in The United States? Tell us the nicest spots you’ve ever been to.
A: There are so many options for practicing and building your skills in many areas of the United States. In Arizona, Colorado, and North Carolina, you can practice bike skills such as climbing and descending on the bike. This is usually a skill that is built with a lot of practice. The locations have long inclines for triathletes to build their climbing endurance. In Florida, there is an immersive swimming technique class for triathletes that can get them ready for open water swim by practicing certain techniques in the pool. Areas like southern Texas, Florida and California are great locations for triathletes in the rest of the country to practice in the very late or early season due to their mild winters. When it’s snowing in December in Missouri, I can swim outdoors in Orlando, Florida.

“I tried to leave every Colombian I met with a good impression of Muslims, Islam and Muslim women in sports.”

N: Have you ever participated a triathlon in a different country? What was it like?
A: December 3rd, I travelled to Cartagena, Colombia to compete in a Half Ironman. The experience was absolutely amazing. Arriving in the country I immediately noticed that people were very curious about me. They took photos of me and requested that I be in photos with them. The children that watched the race were very fascinated with me and called out to me specifically to cheer me on and told me that they loved me and referred to me as “Aunty”. As a Muslim woman competing in hijab in a foreign and predominantly Christian country, I know I am an ambassador for all Muslims whether I want to be or not. It is an honour that I take very seriously and I tried to leave every Colombian I met with a good impression of Muslims, Islam and Muslim women in sports.

N: What do you find to be the most rewarding thing about triathlon?
J: The challenge of triathlon is so great. I enjoy that fact that there are so many facets to the race. You can have an excellent swim and a difficult bike and turn everything around while running. There are people that are good at all three sports or some that find they excel in one particular sport over the other two. Regardless of your level of skill you will never participate in a triathlon and not hear a perfect stranger cheer for you and say encouraging words. When triathletes see someone struggling, that is they cheer for them the loudest. This sport is kind.

N: What is your advice to the new triathletes?
J: Remember that you don’t have to be better than anyone on the course, just be the best version of yourself. Be better than yesterday and keep moving forward.

N: What do you wish for in the future?
J: I would like to work on improving my swim and run times and work on my climbing skills. I believe I can be a better version of myself and look forward to seeing her very soon.

N: We wish you the best of luck in life! Thank you so much for agreeing to do the interview with us. We gained a lot of information from your wonderful experiences.
J: Thank you so much!

Sometimes we are too busy competing with other people that we overlook what’s truly important, to be the best version of ourselves. Be better than yesterday and keep moving forward. Thank you Jeri for the wonderful reminder!

Andin: A Real-Life Wonder Woman from Bandung

In 2014, Dr. Fauzia Adrini, better known as Andin, decided to join a marathon after seeing her friends posting their running results on Facebook. She started with brisk-walking, and now she runs marathon in various places. She was inspired to try out long distance running to challenge herself and also to improve healthcare. At the beginning it was tough and difficult for her because her body and mind needed time to get used to the precipitous training routine. Slowly she prepared herself to take on a full marathon. Nevertheless, she persevered. Now, at 44, she had undertaken a 44km marathon and has inspired many young doctors to participate in marathon. Apart from that Andin also grasped other sport skills from brisk walking to trail running, yoga, swimming, and triathlon.

Andin is a doctor/lecturer and a mother raising a family with three beautiful children, one daughter and two sons. Living in Bandung, Indonesia, Andin, may sound like an ordinary person busy living her life. However, self-driven by her own voice and passion, the risk and challenges she had went through is what separate her from her ordinary self.

This is a story that we all need to read to motivate ourselves to come out from our comfort zone. She taught us that one can simply become anything if we have the courage to pursue them. A few days ago, Nashata team had the privilege to interview the real-life hero. We received nothing but warmth and positive vibes from her sharing her story.
N: Nashata
A: Andin

“It felt so hard in the beginning.”

N. When and how did you start running?
A: In 2014, I saw many of my facebook’s friends posted their running result on their Facebook wall, and I thought it seems interesting to do that. Besides, when I was in high school, I love to do jungle-trekking and hiking with my friends. I want to continue to do sports as my routine activity like I used to and of course, I want to be healthy.
So, I started with brisk-walking with my husband. It felt so hard in the beginning. Gradually combined walk-jog and finally, within 2 months I can run 30 minutes without stop. I felt so great! From that moment, I do running as my morning activity, with my husband and sometimes with my friends. And also, I started to join many running events after that.

N: How often do you train?
A: 4-5 days a week to do running workout, 2 times a week doing yoga, 1 day a week doing cycling and core training everyday.

“I join yoga class for women, swimming at public swimming pool and doing core workout at home.”

N: Wow. That sounds intense. Where do you usually train?
A: On the road, at the jogging track. Sometimes go out of town to do trail running with friends. For cycling, I usually go cycling around the town with my husband and my friends. I join yoga class for women, swimming at public swimming pool and doing core workout at home.

Side note: Core strengthening is the ability to use core muscles such as torso, hips, lower back, abs, shoulders in all three planes of motion with force. The core is primarily responsible for maintaining dynamic balance of the body centre gravity.

N. What inspires you to run despite a tight schedule as a doctor?
A: To be healthy. Also I want to inspire my students at medical school, my patients, and Moslem women to do healthy life style.

N. Are you a part of a running group? If you are, what is the name of the group?
A: Yes. We have a running group called KedoDoRun (Kedokteran Doyan Run means medical personels who love to do running). That’s the running group consist of doctors, dentists and medical / dentistry students in Indonesia. Besides running, we often share information or do sports meetings.
KedoDoRun Running Group Indonesia

N. Do you cross train or perform other sports?
A : Swimming sometimes,but I do cycling more often. I do yoga two times a week. Yoga is very good for runners for strengthening and flexibility training because it’s useful to reduce injury and recovery after doing long run. I also perform core strengthening at home.

N. When is your upcoming event?
A: Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon on Dec, 3rd 2017. I will join Full Marathon (FM) Category. This is my second event on FM category. Hopefully I can reach my personal best on this event.
On 2018, I will try triathlon event also because it will be interesting and my husband, also a triathlete, encourage me to do so.

N. How is your diet like?
A: I eat oatmeals with milk and fruits for my breakfast. I have lunch with usual meal but try not to have dinner after 6 pm. But, when I was in holiday, I often “cheat”. Hahaha I love to try local culinary so sometimes I give myself a chance to forget about my diet rule on holidays.

N. Describe the training process for a marathon. How did you prepare–both mentally and physically?
A: If you choose to join Full Marathon Category on an event, it means that you have to train 3-4 months before, 4-5 days a week. Not only running workout (interval, tempo, easy, and long run), also you have to do strengthening exercise (core workout) and flexibility (like yoga). So, you must make time to do all of them despite your daily activity as a mother, doctor and lecturer.
Sometimes, I have to skip some of my training due to my tight schedule in my office. So, I have to communicate with my coach in order to modified the schedule on that week.

N. What do you wear for your marathon run?
A: Marathon run is an extreme sports. So I have to choose comfortable and also syar’i outfit to cover my aurah. I’ve tried some of hijab brands, and the most comfy one is Hooda hijab. Other outfit which I wear is sports shirt (actually our running group shirt) and modified skirt (pants which look like long skirt.) Hopefully Nashata will produce modified skirt too for Moslem women who choose to wear a long ‘skirt’ for their sport activity. And finally, of course I will wear visor and comfy running shoes.

“I will choose Sibaha and Azza Toplectic for my upcoming triathlon event on 2018.”

N. Insya Allah, soon, we will produce long running skirts. What is your favourite Nashata wear so far?
A: My favourite product is Hooda Sports Hijab, I have some different colours of that hijab. And I will choose Sibaha and Azza Toplectic for my upcoming triathlon event on 2018.

N: Where would you suggest runners to go for a run in Indonesia? Tell us the nicest spots you’ve ever been to.
A: So many beautiful places in Indonesia. You have to try running at Belitung beach, doing trail run at Pulau Padar Labuan Bajo Flores.
For runners who like to join the running event, I highly recommend May Bank Bali Marathon.

“I have joined Penang Bridge International Marathon 2014, 2XU Singapore Marathon, Vienna City Marathon Austria 2016, Borneo International Marathon, Kota Kinabalu 2017.”

N: Have you ever participated a marathon in a different country? What was it like?
A: I have joined Penang Bridge International Marathon 2014, 2XU Singapore Marathon, Vienna City Marathon Austria 2016, Borneo International Marathon, Kota Kinabalu 2017. At Vienna, it was memorable because we were running along the beautiful Vienna city although it was soooo freezing. At Kinabalu, amazing city but felt so hard especially in between 30km – 38 km because I had to run at high inclination route.
Vienna City Marathon Austria Runners

N. What do you find to be the most rewarding thing about running?
A: I feel fresh and healthier everyday. In an event, the time that you reach the finishing line is such an amazing feeling. Suddenly you just forget every pain and exhaustion that you felt during the race.
“Never do something too much, too soon or too long.”

N. What is your advice to other novice runners?
A: Do running gradually. Never do something “too much, too soon or too long”. It’s imposible that you can run 10km within 1 week if you have never run before. Running is a kind of extreme sport so you have to do it with preparation like (4-5 days a week, 30 minutes minimum), never skip the warm ups before workout and stretching down afterward. It is important so we can minimize injury risk.

N. What do you wish for in the future?
A: I hope more people would realize that being healthy by doing healthy life style is such a way to be grateful to Allah blessings.

N: Thank you so much for agreeing to do the interview with us. We gained a lot of information from your wonderful experiences.
A: Alhamdulillah. Thank you.

We have to start somewhere and keep training. Never stop training and let’s keep improving for fitness reasons like Dr.  Fauzia Andrini!

An event that protected and cared my underarms

I was delighted when I was invited to participate in Nivea Care Run 2017 as one of the media and bloggers. Nivea was one of the brands that is close to my heart – I have been using Nivea for years, I am sure at one point in our life we had used a bottle of Nivea deodorant.

Proof that taking care of your underams can be fun too!

However, this newly launched Protect & Care deodorant is definitely different and special. Not only must we be concerned about the cleanliness of our underarms, we must protect and care about the skin too. Just because our underarms are covered most of the time, it does not mean that we should pay less attention to it or neglect it. Thanks to the special Nivea Creme ingredient in this deodorant, my skin felt smoother and appeared lighter too.

I’m sure I was the only one who wished these giant deodorants weren’t just replicas!

In conclusion, it was a fun and informative run. I get to learn a lot of tips on taking care of my underarms, along with the generous goodie bag. Many thanks to Janet and Nivea for the slot!

Read up on the official press release below:

NIVEA PROTECT & CARE BRINGS MALAYSIANS TOGETHER TO CARE FOR THEMSELVES AND THOSE IN NEED

Putrajaya, 29 October 2017 – Almost 2,500 Malaysians gathered at Putrajaya for the NIVEA Care Run, hosted by NIVEA Protect & Care, a gentle yet long-lasting deodorant designed to care for the underarm skin. Expanding on its theme, ‘Protects What You Care’ to include care to the community, a contribution of RM20,000 from the run was also donated to Yayasan Budi Penyayang Malaysia (Penyayang), an established charity organisation that supports Malaysians in need.

 

Pic 1: NIVEA Care Run flag-off (from far left): Celebrity guest Siti Saleha; Ms Shirley Toh, Sales Director of Beiersdorf Malaysia; Mr Ng Hock Guan, Country Manager of Beiersdorf Malaysia & Singapore and Mr Cheong Wai Lun, Head of Marketing of Beiersdorf Malaysia.

Pic 2: About 2,500 NIVEA Care Run participants start their run after the flag-off by the NIVEA management team and celebrity guest Siti Saleha

NIVEA Protect & Care deodorant uses an alcohol-free formula that is tough on sweat, offering up to 48 hours of protection, while its skin-friendly ingredients leave underarms skin softer and smoother.  Enriched with the essence of NIVEA Crème, it nourishes and cares for the underarms with its distinctive ingredients and delicate scent.

 

“NIVEA Protect & Care is privileged to collaborate with PENYAYANG in their efforts to support Malaysians in need,” said Ng Hock Guan, Country Manager for Beiersdorf Malaysia & Singapore. “Today’s run is closely aligned with our brand proposition for NIVEA Protect & Care deodorant, where protection and care come hand in hand. Hence, we are also very grateful to all our partners and sponsors for working together with us to support this cause. We are also very proud that so many Malaysians have come forth to support the NIVEA Care Run. Each participant has played a role in today’s success.”

 

To raise further awareness about underarm care, participants of the NIVEA Care Run were presented with plenty of skin facts such as the extent of skin damage caused by shaving and tweezing and how debris removed during shaving may contain up to 36% of skin*, shown via a skin test demonstration.

Pic 3: A contribution of RM20,000 from NIVEA Care Run was presented to Yayasan Budi Penyayang Malaysia (PENYAYANG) to support Malaysians in need.
[From L-R] Mr Ng Hock Guan, Country Manager for Beiersdorf Malaysia & Singapore, Mr Cheong Wai Lun, Head of Marketing of Beiersdorf Malaysia, Dato’ Leela Mohd Ali, Chief Executive Officer of Yayasan Budi Penyayang and En. Ariff Farhan, General Manager of Yayasan Budi Penyayang.

Other activities at the run included a “Protect & Care” pledge wall where participants could leave messages to express their care for loved ones, a PENYAYANG booth, lucky draws and photo booths, with the presence of local celebrities Siti Saleha, Nadia Heng and Fiqrie.

Pic 4: Participants pledge messages of “protect & care” for their loved ones at NIVEA Care Run.

With great support from runners, sponsors and partners, the NIVEA Care Run was a resounding success, achieving its objective to raise awareness about underarm care while raising funds to help protect and care for others.

Pic 5: Siti Saleha shares her underarm care tips with NIVEA Care Run participants

NIVEA Protect & Care deodorant is available in 50ml roll-on bottles at RM11.30 and 150ml sprays at RM17.50 (West & East Malaysia) at all leading stores and pharmacies nationwide.

 

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/mynivea to find out more about NIVEA products.

What to expect from the Mandiri Jakarta Marathon

Pleasant surprises would be my super short answer. Read on for a longer version.

1. Registration

I signed up for the half marathon at the Jakarta Marathon a couple of months ago and the process was not all that straight forward for foreigners. The way the organiser manage the registration was not like my ordinary experiences, nevertheless, it was all good. Basically, you just need to go through the not-so-ordinary process and you will be fine. They will help you get your registration through. I registered via their website and completed payment via email.

2. Racekit Collection

Racekit collection at the Kuningan City mall was well organised, no queue with plenty of space.

Race kit Collection Jakarta Marathon 2017

3 days Race kit collection for Jakarta Marathon 2017 at Kuningan City Mall

The running shirts are in 3 colors – green, blue and purple. They have female and male versions, both sleeveless. So, they assigned your shirt color based on size. I got a blue, due to the size I chose. So, do bring tops, sports hijabs and running pants that go well with all colors to be safe! I only knew the color of my running tee when I collected my racekit. Turned out majority wore their own running shirts!

You can easily check the routes for all categories at the collection center as buntings of the routes were displayed around the area.

What’s in the Race Kit Mandiri Jakarta Marathon 2017

3. The Race, People & Route

This year, the Jakarta Marathon marked its 5th time being organised with about 10,000 participants running the 5km, 10km, 21km and 42km categories. The most popular category was the half marathon with about 3,000 of the runners. The run was held on the 29th October, at the Monumen Nasional like the previous years. The first flag off was at 5am for the full marathon and half marathon runners. It was a bit confusing at first as there was no demarcation for these two categories, and runners from 10km were already flooding the flag off area. I passed the start line 1.59 mins after the flag off time.

At Start Line Jakarta Marathon 2017

Everyone was in a jovial mood. The roads along the first 15km were flat and paved smoothly mainly on Jalan Gajah Mada towards Museum Bank Indonesia, Bank Mandiri Museum and Kota Lama Area. The runners were fast and I caught up with their pace under 7km/min, 2nd km onward. The sun rose pretty early, however both the sun and clouds were super kind to me – it was an overcast morning. In fact, it drizzled 11th km onward and stopped about ten minutes after.  There were water stations, serving Pocari Sweat and water at almost every 2.5km. From 12th km, I passed by the Cathedral Church and Istiqal Mosque on flat roads.

At the point when we turned back onto Jalan Gajah Mada

At the point when we turned back onto Jalan Gajah Mada

It was nice to see major landmarks and to get to know the city on foot. The last 5km was ‘meriah’ – runners had to pave through a street carnival. Thousands of people and hundreds of street hawkers and performers were on the street at Bundaran H1. It was quite challenging to pace your way among ‘macet’ pedestrian and buses. I was running behind a bus at a very slow pace for a few minutes as I couldn’t get pass through human traffic and the bus.

Street Festival from 17-20th km around Bundaran H1

Street Festival from 17-20th km around Bundaran H1

There were many supporters along the last 3 km, offering drinks and all sorts of food. A policeman by the road saw me pacing through pedestrian gave me a good nudge – “Ayoh Bu, Semangat Bu Semangat!”. After that I kept reminding myself to keep my strides strong.

I reached the finish line feeling very grateful. They gave me a banana and a bottle of Pocari Sweat (I like this better than the 100 Plus – not sweet). The finisher tee was only for the full marathon runner. I was happy to walk back to the hotel. Oh ya, it was convenient to put up at a hotel close to the race area. We were only about 700 meters away from the Monumen.

I enjoyed the run and did my personal best.

jakarta mandiri marathon 2017 results

4. The Medal

Mandiri Jakarta Marathon 2017

Mandiri Jakarta Marathon 2017 featuring the Tanjidor and Gigi Balang

It was surely a good way to check out the city of Jakarta on foot with least vehicle around you. It is a beautiful city with friendly people. The locals are courteous and helpful. We made a couple of new friends ; Adni who walked with us from the hotel to the Monumen and Jeffry who took our pictures.

A picture with the Monumen Nasional to complete the race!

A picture with the Monumen Nasional to complete the race! Picture by Jeffry

5. The weather

I was running in the Hooda Racerback Sports Hijab, Heather Galaxy Pink and Dual Tone Leggings by Nashata. I was still in #pinkoctober breast cancer campaign mood. There were good for both hot and rainy weather – only 3 layers of clothing. I had a viser on throughout the run although it was not much of a use. But I was told it was scorching hot previous years. Guess I was lucky.

PickOctober Breastcancer Awareness Mood

Glad I joined the run. It was totally worth it and I hope to run happy in races like the Jakarta Marathon again soon!

What I learnt when I did not finish a race

I’ve been delaying this entry for more than a week since I came back from “The Most Beautiful Thing” (TMBT) Ultra Trail held in Sabah. If you have been following me on my social media channels, you would have already known that I did not finish the race. I did not put this entry off because I was ashamed there is a glaring “DID NOT FINISH” in the results list, but because I have been thinking really hard about what I learnt when I did not finish a race.

So here are 3 lessons that I learnt when I did not finish TMBT 2017:

  • There is no shame is not being able to finish a 50km race.

When I signed up for the 50km category, I knew that I had embarked on an adventure that I could not possibly forget. It requires physical training and mental preparation. I built up the mileage needed, consistently did LSD (Long Slow Distance) runs every weekend, and trained for the elevation. In fact, I was mentally worn out from doing the same thing every week.

I can hardly recognize my own feet at 48km.

  • No two trails are the same

I am not a stranger to the world of ultra running. This is my 3rd ultra marathon, and I have ran in several long distance trail events. Yet, I was naive enough to think that since I have completed Cameron Trail Ultramarathon 50km last year, I could pull off TMBT, when in fact, TMBT was a totally different game. Mother Nature is unpredictable. TMBT was the race that I have experienced various types of weather: scalding hot and shivering cold temperatures, bright sunny hours and torrential downpours, all in 16 hours. The only thing missing was probably snow and ice. And weather conditions affects the trail – it can be muddy, dusty, slippery, etc

TMBT – The Most Beautiful Thing or The Most Brutal Trail? I choose to believe in both

Hanging bridges like these seemed to be a permanent part of the route. I have never experienced anything quite like this in other trail runs

  • Never underestimate the mandatory items

I utilized everything listed in the mandatory items, except for the emergency blanket. I was especially grateful for the waterproof jacket, headlamp, and blinkers.

Also, never skimp on anything that you think might become useful in a race. Think thoroughly while packing. Personally, an item that I underestimated its usefulness were tissues (wet and regular tissues) and money. Why?

Tissues – You might never know when you need to go. Decent toilets were available at every checkpoint, but for your own comfort and hygiene purposes you will be glad that you carry a tissue. It is also handy when you need to wipe your muddy hands to eat and drink in the trail.

A typical water station checkpoint. At least there were flushable toilets in mini halls like this.

Taking shelter from the heavy rain in one of the checkpoints. Although there were no designated praying areas, at least halls like this was convenient enough for us to pray.

Money – These villagers were really entrepreneurial! Along the route there were villagers ready with cartons of drinks in ice boxes. There were also food too (eat this at your own risk!). Although I packed enough isotonic drink mix and water, but after a long and hard climb a bottle of cold Coke was very tempting, even if it costs more than RM3.00.

How everyone refuels. Only mineral water was provided, because along the way villagers will set up ‘booths’ selling soft drinks.

 

TMBT will be one of the races that I will never forget. I was happy that I was able to participate in it, even though I did not finish it. If you are up for the challenge and a big fan of trial runs, this route is a must.

 

Running a Family Affair at the Fire Fighter Cyberjaya Night Half Marathon

It was my first family run and glad it happened at our ‘kampung’ in Cyberjaya.  My  husband, brother and I went for the 21km, while the kids joined the 5km fun run.

It was the first race for my 12 year old Naqib, and he was all excited about it. The kids were all geared with headlamps and blinkers provided by my brother. Seriously, blinking shades and blinker props are cool safety and mood setters for night fun runs.

A family running affair

A family running affair

We reached the race area a few minutes before 21km flagged off. There were more than 800 runners in orange – all pumped up to run. The run started at 8:02pm, and I kept up with a good pace – running on roads I have never been on and passed by new apartments I was not aware of before.

Fortunately, the road lights along the empty roads were lighted up and there were trucks by the roads torching dark streets. Road marshals and traffic policemen were on their toes and strict throughout the run – keeping runners safe. They pulled aside a couple of non-abiding cars to the side, so drivers – do adhere to them or you may be delayed or fined if unlucky. All in all – it was a quiet run with ample water stations, mobile toilets, paramedic and race signage for a smooth race. It would be nice if the community comes out to cheer the runners by the roads.

I finished within 2hr 35 mins, my new personal best. My heart raced too fast the last 3 km and had to slow down. Out of 877 registered 21km runners only a quarter (25%)  222 were female, and 10% women veteran. There were more female runners at the 10km run, half of the 10km runners were female!

Read my other post on high heart rates while running.

Half Marathon Runners waiting for 8pm Flag Off

The organiser provided ice popsicles, Mighty White mini loaf, nice hot soup, can’t remember if it was pumpkin or carrot as I was just hungry – slurping away. Indocafe coffee truck and MC D booth were next to each other providing drinks. My husband had a cramp upon arrival and was cared well by the paramedics. The doctor gave good advise about eating tips at night to avoid cardiac arrest.

We were honored to give away 20 prizes to winners at the end of the run.

Nuha thought ther 5km run was easy and Naqib wanted to try 10km after this. I am happy the kids left the grounds with new positive goals. Till the family run together again, soon I hope!

Winners at Fire Fighter Cyberjaya Night Marathon 2017

The running sisters

Finally, the medal &  finisher tee

Know your Heart ❤ when you Run your Heart ❤ Out

Running uses the highest muscle group, and your heart gets to work a lot. Running does change your heart as the heart is a muscular organ. As you exercise, your heart gets stronger – supposedly, but how do you ensure that what you do is not too much for your heart?

Off late, as a leisure runner, I check my  heart rates religiously while running. I would like to run faster, do not want to under-train, do not want to over-train either. Over-training can cause body injuries, and the heart is one of them.

I ran the half marathon at the Fire Fighter Cyberjaya Night Half Marathon 2017 and learned more about my heart. The first 11km run was good –  I managed to maintain a good speed and the heart rate was under 7mins/km and 150bpm respectively, but after the 12km, my speed slowly dropped and went downhill 19km onwards. I had to take it slow as my heart rate was high – above 170bpm at 19km. Although there are many articles brushing off the Heart Rate Training, I don’t think running in high heart rate is good either.

My Heart Rate Information for 21km . It went high after 19 km and I had to slow down

I finished at 2:34:58 net time, my new personal best, 12th for my category and 32nd overall women 21km. I was happy to finish with no injuries but the high heart rate was a concern to me.

1. So, that brings me to the question on what is a good heart rate while running?

  • First, know your Resting Heart Rate(RHR). The best time to measure is after you get of bed in the morning. The average RHR for an adult is within 60-100 beats per min (bpm). It is said the RHR is lower for athletes ranging from 40-60. bpm. Higher reading just means your heart works harder to circulate blood in your body. So, lower RHR indicates a better health.
  • Second, know your Max Heart Rate (MHR) which is 220 – age. Try not to work out your heart too hard so avoid running beyond your MHR.
  • Third, know the heart rate range for different types of run
    • Easy or Recovery Running – 55%-65% of MHR
    • Aerobic Running (marathon race pace)  – when your body has sufficient oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide and water : 75%-80% of MHR
    • Anaerobic  Running – when your run without enough oxygen. This is when your body produces not only carbon dioxide and water, but also lactate : 80%-87% of MHR
    • There are VO2 Max and Red Zone – I would not cover this as a leisure runner. Dive into this when you want to improve speed or want to be the elite runner or an athlete.
      More info at http://www.meet-your-running-goals.com/heart-rate-training-zone.html

2. What is a good heart rate to run?

Other than the above guidelines based on types of run, you can follow the guideline by heart.org – by age, as copied below :

Age Target HR Zone 50-85% Average Maximum Heart Rate, 100%
20 years 100-170 beats per minute 200 beats per minute
30 years 95-162 beats per minute 190 beats per minute
35 years 93-157 beats per minute 185 beats per minute
40 years 90-153 beats per minute 180 beats per minute
45 years 88-149 beats per minute 175 beats per minute
50 years 85-145 beats per minute 170 beats per minute
55 years 83-140 beats per minute 165 beats per minute
60 years 80-136 beats per minute 160 beats per minute
65 years 78-132 beats per minute 155 beats per minute
70 years 75-128 beats per minute 150 beats per minute

3. What can affect your heart rate while running?

  • lack of sleep
  • stress and fatigue
  • dehyration

Make sure you get enough sleep, rest and hydrate well days before you run.

4. Warning signs you must not ignore while and after a run that can relate to your heart

  • chest pain
  • dizziness

If you experience any of the above, see a doctor. Although there are not many casualties pertaining to heart diseases or heart attacks at running events, but little things that have small effects on the heart like scaring tissue can hurt your heart in long run.

I use the Garmin Forerunner 235 to track my heart rate while running

You can measure your heart rate the conventional way – by counting your pulse on your wrist within 30 secs and multiply by two. Or you can invest and use tools or apps that help you track your heart rate when you run. It can help you improve performance.

There are many mixed opinion about Heart Rate Training and the risks involved, so it is hard to know what is right for yourself. Therefore, listen to your heart when you run.

Run your heart ❤ out but do make your heart ❤ happy! Cheers.

Run Your Heart Out

DPulze Malaysia Day Fun Run 2017

On the 16th Sept is the Malaysia Day (the date when East Malaysia and West Malaysia joined together to form what Malaysia is today), and this year, my husband and I got the opportunity to run the 10km DPulze Malaysia Day Fun Run in Cyberjaya. It was too close to home and the route was new to us, so we thought it would be a good leisure run.

Dpulze Malaysia Day Fun Run

I picked Nashata orange heather ultra top and hot pink hooda racerback to stay visible for a dusk run.

It was the 2nd Malaysia Day fun run organised at DPulze. All in all, it was a good run; well organised, the volunteers, RELA and traffic policemen did a good job managing the traffic and kept runners well informed and safe. It was a bit too hot for me running at 630pm compared to my usual early morning cool runs. There weren’t many runners, so we had the road to ourselves until we reached MDeC. We took a left turn at the junction, running on the bicycle lane towards Lim Kok Wing University, and continued running along the dusty road (due to the MRT construction). We made a U turn at the traffic light by the university and ran towards FTMS College. At 7.5 km, I was running alongside Raja Haji Fisabilillah Mosque and I could hear the call to Maghrib prayers. There were more runners from the 5km group from there onward until the finish line.

Waiting for 10km Fun Run to start

I relied on my Forerunner 235 Garmin watch for distance and timing as there was no timing chip. My watch recorded 1:03:35 for 9.32km. The timing was similar to the displayed clock at the finish line. Quite pleased with the pace 6:50 min/km.

Never realised that the distance from Dpulze Mall to MDeC junction is less than 1km

On the 31th August – Malaysia’s Merdeka (Independence) Day, Malaysia won 145 gold medal at the SEA Games 2017. I promised to run 145km, that being 1km for every gold medal won by the Malaysian team. I was happy that I have ran 111km since the SEA Games KL 2017 (19 August), leaving 34km more to go to complete my pledge.

Till we race again next weekend, again in Cyberjaya.