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!

Nashata at the The Dubai Women’s Run 2017

The Dubai Women’s Run held on 17.11.17 was a very special run for me in more ways than one.   

Firstly, It marked the launch of Nashata in the UAE, a project which I had envisioned   with the founder, Eliza, exactly one year ago.

Alhamdulillah, it came to fruition with a lot of support and encouragement from family and friends, despite the many bumps and hurdles along the way.

Secondly, the event proved to be a huge learning experience for me.  Running is truly a metaphor for life – so many life lessons reinforced through my period of training and of course race day.

 

The importance of setting goals –big or small. 

I am not a runner.  Far from it in fact. I had been telling myself that I will run a 5K “some day” for quite some time – until I decided that I needed to set myself a target date.  So I signed up for the run,and followed an 8 week training program on a running app.

As a mother venturing into a new business, keeping up with the app’s schedule was not always easy – but I tried to maintain some form of discipline and prioritized my time for training as my time for calm and focus.  Race day was challenging but I managed to shave a good minute from my previous time.

The best part –  the adrenaline rush lasts for a good 48 hours 😊

Compete with yourself, not others, and that will always bring out a better version of you 

At the end of the day, running is all about effort.  You will get uncomfortable.  You will want to stop.  You will ask yourself many times, “How am I going to make it to the finish line?”  You just have to keep moving!

Finishing the race becomes so much more about your mindset than your physical ability.  I slowed down at several points during the race, but as the time raced towards the 40 minute mark (my previous time), I sprinted to the finish line to finish at 39.06 mins.  Yes,  every second counts.  

 

There will always be records to beat – aim for your personal best!

Celebrating our own identities

The run was a beautiful confluence of so many women from different backgrounds, fitness levels with different goals.  There were mothers running with their daughters, women dressed in Indian saris, hijabs and abayas, all participating at the same event.  It challenged me to see beyond my own presumptions.  We can carry and celebrate our identities anywhere and everywhere.

So here’s to being proactive, setting goals, making no more gccexcuses and constantly striving to bring out the better version of ourselves each day, in sha Allah!

So…who’s up for a 10K?

Shop at gcc,nashata.com.  

Follow us on instagram @nashata.me

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!

Turn Your Athleisure Into A Leisure #OOTD

OOTD Athleisure Nashata

Athleisure style is ubiquitous nowadays. Either wearing a pair of leggings, sweatpants, Sports hijab, we are seeing many of these sportsgear worn everywhere apart from the gym. Leggings are no longer consider as “the ultimate gymwear” because you see so much of them worn leisurely and it’s perfectly acceptable. This fashion has become a trend. People are wearing them all day and no one’s complaining. Women today want to wear comfortable clothes yet still look stylish. Thank God we have ditched the corset era. Phew!

In the women’s business, there is no performance without style.

According to our customers’ reviews, Nashata is highly known for its performance and high quality material that lasts for years. Many of them claimed that they love the designs as well. However, not many realized that the designs are evergreen. In other words, if you wear Nashata you can never go out-of-style. wink* In the women’s business, there is no performance without style. From various range of our products such as Azza toplectics, the lovely Jasmine pants, and Hoodie cardigans and of course, the ever versatile Raaz glove – this is the perfect leisure wear for women who place a lot of importance in being comfortable. So get your old Heather top out, because you’re going to need them.

Check out these fab wearable #OOTD on the run!

  • Catching up with your mates are the best thing in the world! There's so much to dish about when both are busy with lives and have less time to hang out with each other. Make time with your best mates and slap on something casual-fun to wear for a catch-up! Hijabs: Athleijab, EZ Tunes in melange grey Tops: Riada Hoodie in teal, Heather top Galaxy series Bottom: Riada pants, Dual stir-up leggings
  • Out for an evening walk? Nothing is looks more casual than a pair of black harem pants and a cool grey Jazri top to go with it! Hijab: EZ Tazz Top: Jazri Bottom: Harem pants
  • Feeling like curling up with a book and longing for some fresh air at the same time? How bout an outdoor reading by the lake for a self-therapy session. Hijab: EZ Tunes Top: Jazri in womanly purple Bottom: Brown speckled harem pants
  • Who said you can't look like a 24K magic in this casual Riada Hoodie? Cool hoodie + black leggings = FAB! Hijab: Raaz Glove Top: Riada Hoodie Bottom: Stirrup leggings
  • Be in your own world with this Harry Potter-inspired robe in dark maroon and just go Wingardium Leviosa! Hijab: EZ Tunes Top: Jazri, Sports Hooded Cardigan Bottom: Speckled Harem pants
  • Are you sick of the mall? Go out for a picnic with your peers for a change! Hijab: EZ Tazz Top: Heather top Gemstone Bottom: Speckled Harem pants
  • Sometimes all you need is a jump and just be YOU! Hijab: Raaz glove Top: Smokey striped Hoodie Bottom: Hattha pants

But the most important thing of all, SMILE. Because just like Annie said, You’re Never Fully Dressed without a Smile. 🙂

Kickboxing: The New Fitness Workout

Self-defense awareness has been widely spread globally. This is specified on women whom men look at as a very easy victim of their wrong doings. In the previous blog post, we’ve already talked on self-defense majoring in Taekwondo. Since I’ve been joining Kickboxing Class for a month, I’ll share with you my experience joining this stand-up combat sports class.

WHAT IS KICKBOXING?

Kickboxing is a type of martial arts that is based on kicking and punching. Kickboxing focuses on everything from cardio conditioning to self-defense and martial arts. Anyone who wants a perfect total body workout would enjoy this type of sports as it requires the whole body movement.

WHY KICKBOXING?

Initially, the only intention why I joined kickboxing was to just fill in my free time, meet new people, plus it’s located within walking distance from my office. The training place is called HammerFist Fight Club, Cyberjaya. As I started to watch the kickboxing lessons, I was friendly-asked by the trainer, Benny, to join the class as a free trial class. I wasn’t ready but on second thought, it’s now or never. So, I decided to join and for the first time in my life I’ve never felt like drenching in my own sweat.

With the coaches, Benny (left) and Ravshan (right)

Gearing up

Outfit wise, it’s better to wear comfortable clothing which is not to tight (so it won’t block your blood circulation) and not too loose to allow full movement in the arms and legs during training.

My fav outfit for kickboxing – Hooda Ellipse Sports, Ultra Top and Riada Active Pants

These are the gears I used when training:

Hand wrap bandage for extra protection

Bandages – Hand wraps are generally worn underneath the gloves to help support the wrist, fist and knuckles when training. It serves as an extra protection inside.

A Pro Training Glove of 16 oz

Gloves – The most essential gear during training. It protects the hands and provide some protection to the opponent against your hit force.

Shin guards – Shin guards are usually only used for training purposes. They are compulsory for amateur kickboxing bouts, but not always during professional play. I’m an amateur so I’ll be needing it.

 

Warming Up

Before we start the core lesson, 15 minutes warm up session is a must to loosen up the joints, increase blood circulations by increasing the heart rates and that’ll make you less prone to injury and will make your muscle easier to stretch whenever you’re striking or training. Basically, we start from head to toe; turn heads side to side and up and down, shoulder rotation, body stretching, and jogging and sprinting in circle.

Here are few clips of getting-fit workouts I’ve managed to share:

Cardio Workout – Legs toning

Battle Rope Workout – For arms, shoulder and abs toning

The Core Training

After the warm up, the best part begins; The Core Training. Here, I learn the basics of Kickboxing movement: Jab, Cross, Hook, Uppercut, Front Kick, Side Kick and more to go.

Here are some clips of training I did:

Jab and Cross Training

Jab, Cross and Side Kick Training

WHAT I GET FROM KICKBOXING

  • A lot of things gained from this training which I only thought it’s all about self-defense. I used to have a very low self-esteem which always keeps me holding back from what I want to do in life. Not anymore, kickboxing class has changed me a lot. During training, endorphins, a natural booster are released which boost up my self-esteem. Along the training, it helps me to stand tall and improves my self-confidence.
  • The ability to use different parts of the body together really improves my focus and coordination which I needed the most (especially at work).
  • It’s also a fun and faster way to burn fat. At least I get to prevent those monotonous routine of gym boredom. Kickboxing has the added benefit of including an exciting and unusual cross-training element to your normal workouts.

     

    “It’s an incredibly efficient workout. Kickboxing alone burns about 750 calories in an hour,” says Sammie Kennedy, CEO and creator of Femme Fitale, Ontario’s newest women’s-only kickboxing and mixed martial arts program (MMA). “Add in jump rope and conditioning drills, and you could burn anywhere from 750 to 900 calories in an hour.”

     

  • The good thing about this training is because it’s one of the ways of releasing stress by releasing those pent up frustrations with a high-energy routine. As my concentration levels improves, it also enables me to focus on stressing less.

Not much of things to share as I am just a newbie. I hope you guys get the idea of what kickboxing is. Maybe you guys should try it too. Better try than just wondering, it could be the best sports you’ve ever engaged in. Thanks for reading! 🙂

Credits:

http://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-you/fitness/benefits-of-kickboxing-for-women/

 

 

#NashataRun4Charity for Brunei SMARTER Autism Centre

Assalamualaikum & may your fitness be at its best! 🙂

lari2

Virtual Run for charity 😉

Alhamdullilah, our intent to run for charity as shared on our previous blog → https://blog.nashata.com/?p=7253 kicks start this month as planned. Four runners from Brunei and I will be running to raise funds for Brunei SMARTER Autism Centre. 

1.What is Brunei SMARTER Autism Centre ?

A non- government organization, run by parents and family members of the individual exclusively for Autism Spectrum Disorder in Brunei. It was established 15 years ago as a support system for families of Individuals with autism. Autism Spectrum Disorder is a complex developmental issues with signs typically appear during early childhood and  affect a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others.This centre will ensure that individuals with Autism will receive guidance and appropriate programs in order to expand their full potential. (info as shared on SMARTER Brunei website)

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Pic- Credit to SMARTER Brunei official website

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Pic – Credit to SMARTER Brunei official website

2. Why did we choose Brunei SMARTER Autism Centre ?

As promised, the money we raise for the month of February will be channeled to the charity of choice of the runners. Ain, one of the participating runners suggested SMARTER Autism and we support her cause. Ain is a working mother of 3, with an autistic child. According to her, this centre needs more support to sustain and keep activities alive for autistic children and adults.

3. Who will run?

There are 4 running sisters from Brunei; Ain, Feeda, Nana and Moniri, while I am running on behalf of Nashata. Nashata pays RM1 for every 1KM we run for the month of February. Eliza Noordin, the founder of Nashata will also run to top up the group mileage. The group target mileage is 500 km for this month. We will clock the mileage and post it via Instagram and Facebook everyday after each run. So do look out for our progress and please support us. These are the hashtags we use for the run. Please feel free to check them out. #nashatarun4charity #nashatarun4charityBruneiFeb2017 #vrun4charity #nashatarunner

Brunei runner – Ain, running mother of three excited to join this charity run.

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Brunei runners – Feeda and her running partner, Nana are more than happy to collect mileage for this charity. Thanks guys!

4. How can you help us?

You can help fund these ladies to run. You can contribute at least RM10 to these fabulous running ladies here -> http://bit.ly/NashataRun4CharityBrunei. Your support and sharing of our small effort means a lot to us.

InsyaALLAH, may Allah ease our intent and accept our deeds. Thanks for supporting #NashataRun4Charity!

Till then, will keep you posted on our progress, keep running and be inspired! ?

 

No motivation ?? Here are 5 tips to motivate you to run ?

Find motivation to run

Stop giving excuses

Have you ever felt so lazy that you couldn’t put on your running attire,  lace up your sport shoes, to get off your lazy ass or to go for your routine run?

And you start to blame the weather,..“it is too hot today and I might get sunburn”, or “since it is windy, i better take a nap” …and you start thinking of thousand reasons to escape your run..

Actually, There’s nothing wrong with you, except…YOU’VE LOST YOUR MOTIVATION.

So, here are 5 tips to motivate you to keep running 😉

1. Set your goal. 

Plan your mileage target for every month wisely. Write them BIG and paste it at an area you can easily see. This will motivate you and get you to be more responsible towards your goal.

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2. Register for a race.

Once you click the ‘register’ button, you definitely feel like,..“Soon, I will run for this event, and yes, I should start run today”. You will start to find time to train and become consistent as the ‘race day’ comes nearer.

At the REPC..I'm very excited to run soon!

3. Remember, it’s for your health.

Do not run because your friends are running too, and that if you’re not running with them,..you’d be left behind and have no friends. Do not run because you wanna have the slimmest figure among your fat colleagues, do not run because it is a trend. Run because you feel good and fresh after accomplish your goal. Run because it is definitely the best stress reliever. And yes, remember that after you run, you can eat like a MONSTER!

An apple a day keeps the doctor away

4. Find running buddies. 

Running alone will sometime make you feel demotivated. You will feel bored, lonely and distracted. Get a running buddy, set up your goal together, plan and train. It will be even more fun if you guys sign up for a race and compete together. Your performance will be improve if you guys aim and train hard.

They are doing well today ;) Congrats guys!

Running sisters

5. Put your best attire on

Introduce variety into your running wardrobe so that you will be more excited to run everyday. Everybody wants look good and nice in whatever they’re wearing, so do you when you run. And yes, your running selfie definitely would be gorgeous too. Make sure you are comfortable and confident in your attires.

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Till then, we’ll meet again, keep fit and be inspired! ?

Pacer duty done…..with less drama!

It’s a wrap! Alhamdullilah, I was given a great opportunity to be one of the pacers for all the series in Men’s Health Women’s Health 21km Night Run which held in Penang, Putrajaya and the last one in Puteri Harbour, Johor Bahru last week. And it was pretty awesome!

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Team Pacers 😉

I was the pacer for 2 hours 30 minutes for Penang edition, 2 hours 20 minutes for Putrajaya edition and last one at Puteri Harbour last week, it was 2 hours and 10 minutes. Do read about my previous experience being pacer here → https://blog.nashata.com/?p=6389.

Since this was my third time become a pacer, alhamdullilah everything went well and of course gain more confident and less drama..hehe..

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For slimming effect, cross your legs when people taking your pic..hehehe 🙂

Oh ya, this is my first time running in Johor and of course I’m the one who’s running with widest smile. And the Nashata sisters ran too. Yayy!

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Nashata sisters finished modestly after running and of course still look beautiful as always! heeee

Alhamdullilah, we ‘re given the opportunity to be interviewed by NTV 7 before the event started.

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Overall, the water stations and traffic were well organised, we maintained our pace around 6.00 to 6.15 min/km to finish in 2 hours and 10 minutes. If you always train yourself to run sub 6.00min/km, you can go for sub 2 hours for half marathon 😉

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My favourite moment that night,is when my all- time- favourite running idol, best known as Malaysian’s Fastest Marathoner 2016, paced me for 500m before reached finishing line! Yes, Edan paced me towards finishing line!  And it feel like I’m running on the red carpet with flowers showering my way towards the dais..heee..And after that we accidentally met back at the nearby shop,..and here is our photo together 😉 Yayy, thanks Edan! Hope to meet you again in the future, insyaALLAH.

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Edan is very inspiring and determined. I wish one day I could be like him too, aminnn.

How do I trained?

It has been a while, since last December 2016, I had a break from any events due to busy schedule with classes and exams. But, I never miss my usual training every evening to maintain my stamina and momentum. I run at least 10 km with average pace 5.45min /km ,4 times in a week, and other 3 days I run at my easy pace,..and do daily planks as my daily routine.

The secret is,..set your goal, aim..and train for it! Get rid of any excuses that will disrupt your goal, be confidence and persistent to what you want to achieve. The utmost important is..always believe that you can do it. When your mind believed it, your body will achieve it. InsyaALLAH.

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“Believe you can and you’re halfway there”

How do I eat? 

I do eat like other people but the different is I know what i am eating and I care about it. I never miss my meals. I eat carbs for lunch and dinner. I always take bananas and half boiled eggs every morning and after running for energy and muscle recovery. Don’t skip your meal and don’t overeat.

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And yes! I had char kueh teow for my post running treat..and it’s yummeh!

Till then, we’ll meet again, keep fit and be inspired! ?

Healthy isn’t a goal, it’s a way of living ;)

 

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To be healthy, you don’t need to run full marathon, you don’t need to starve yourself. All you need is.. be active and eat well…

So here, I want to share some of my diet routine that I’ve been practising since high school. I’ve been inspired a lot by my supermum 😉

Drink Plenty of Plain Water

I drink lots of plain water everyday. I drink 3 to 4L per day. Reduce or better cut off your high sugar drinks such as soft drinks, carbonated drinks, etc because it will increase your calories intake.

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Consume Oats

I take oats once per day, either for my breakfast or for my dinner. Oats are high in fibers, which is very good for your digestion, and you will feel full faster and last long.

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Large Portion of Vegetables

I take a large portion of vegetables in my meal. For those who plan to reduce their weight, reduce your carb portion and replace it with veggies.

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Milk

I have a glass of milk for my breakfast and before going for sleep. My favourite one is Anlene chocolate as it is high in calcium and…yummeh! You can have any brand of milk that you like, and if you are lactose intolerance, you can have soy milk. My favourite one is V-soy…you can try it guys!

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No Junk Food

I don’t take junk food as it is high in salt and seasoning. I like fast food too but I don’t take it regularly.

Be active

I spend at least 30 minutes per day for a run. I walk to hospital and class every day. For those who are very busy, you can walk to your office from the carpark (park your car far away from your office then). And use stairs instead of lift, you will burn more calories.  IMG_0341[1]

Smile the brightest!

Be happy, have confidence and give your biggest smile to everyone. Spread the positive vibes and be a happy you!14581342_10208611588820541_2851726595590193638_n

Last but not least, don’t take heavy meal 4 hours before sleep. Because our gastrointestinal system starts to slow down to digest food when we are going to sleep. You may develop reflux or delay gastric emptying if you take late meal. This will lead you to have poor metabolic rate, thus it’s easier to gain weight faster.

That’s all for now,  so let’s eat well and live healthily 😉

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The Kuching Marathon when I no longer run with my legs

Yesterday, I ran the Kuching Marathon for the second time. It is one of my favourite homeground running events that I never miss.

At the REPC..I'm very excited to run soon!

At the REPC..Looking very excited to run!

What’s exciting about the run was that I did a back to back full marathon (FM). A week before, I ran a full marathon (42.195km) at the Standard Charted Kuala Lumpur Marathon better known as SCKLM.  My goal was to  finish BOTH marathons without injury and I did it! Hoyeahh!

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Hoyeahh! I finished strong after back to back FM.


After coming back from SCKLM, I was very busy attending classes and lectures. Honestly, a week before the Kuching Marathon I didn’t run much, only carbo-loading and hydrating myself well. I believed that all I needed was a good rest and to continue loading myself with carbs since there was only a week gap before the Kuching Marathon.

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I couldn’t wait to arrive at the finish line,..but before that let’s take a pic first!

I was glad that the number of participants at the Kuching Marathon increased this year. Yayy! Here’s the breakdown:

  • 5km – 2200
  • 10km – 1897
  • 21km – 2343
  • 42km – 1658
    (info from KPD Kuching)

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It was almost time to flag off,..and everybody was soo excited!

The full marathon flagged off at 2am. I liked it early because first  – no sunburn and second – the weather would not be not that hot. I was hoping to finish the run before 8 am.

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Yayy! Aina was back hometown for this event! Run Aina run!

The route was almost flat with some not-so-hilly, and long, never ending road. I started my first 10 km with paces ranging from 5.30 to 6.30 min per km and the timing for first 10 km was 59 min. For the next 11 km, my average pace dropped to 7 to 8.30 min per km, hence my timing was 2 hr 21 min for the first 21 km. Oh ya, I did spend 6-8 minutes for toilet stop at the Shell petrol station nearby. Hmm, how I wished that I didn’t stop.

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Running with energy for a selfie ;P The Nashata hoodie top keeps my head dry from morning dew

It was cold and humid, and was sure most of the runners performed best at their first 21 km. I then continued running until km 32. It was already 5.50 am and I stopped at the Petronas Petrol Station nearby for about 7-8 min to perform Fajr prayer.

By the time I started running back, it was already 6 am. If I really wanted go for sub 5, I only had about one hour left for my last 10 km. However, sub 1 for my last 10 km was probably impossible. I remained positive and changed my target to sub 5 hr 15 min, 1 min earlier from my timing at SCKLM – 5hr 16min.

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I like this pic very much! I look like an Olympians..teehee 😛 photo credit to DNA Sport 🙂

I kept telling myself, “just keep running, this suffering is almost at its end”

My last 5 km was really tough, as I was fighting with myself to complete within my target. I no longer ran with my legs, I ran with heart. I kept running, no matter how slow it was, at least I kept moving. I kept my pace within 9 to 10.30 km/min, and at that time, I could no longer feel my leg. All I could feel was my socks soaking in sweat, my big toes felt like being pressed, this and that…my only wish was that I could just walk.

Towards the finish line, there were a few cheering squats who kept entertaining the runners. I ran even faster towards my last 500 m., and yet that 500 m felt like 500 km. Arghh!

Finally, I finished my 10th Full Marathon strong at the Kuching Marathon in 5 hours 9 min.*drum rolls*.. Yayy, mission sub 5hr 15min accomplished and 7 minutes earlier from FM SCKLM. Alhamdullilah.

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My first time running in Amin Sports Hijab and I love it. I love the look and the feel. Yeahh! I made it! Forget the mile, and just remember the glory 😉

Overall, the traffic was well controlled and organised. However, the water stations had limited supply of  plain water and isotonic drink. Runners had to queue up and share cups to drink, to our inconvenience. My take home message is to bring small bottle at my next run. Should the organiser fail to provide enough water throughout the run, at least I have my own.

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Thank you guys for support 😉 and not to forget, Fatin finished her first run, a 10km within cut off time..congrats! *claps

Before I went back, I managed to meet up with some friends who flew in from Peninsular just to race. Ermm, not entirely, they flew in for Kek Lapis and Mee kolok too 😛

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Congrats Khairul (in black shirt) for doing his personal best for his HM. And others, congrats guys for finishing strong.

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This superman did a back to back too,..with an awesome timing ,..sub 4.30..congrats Mambo!

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My medical lecturer (in blue hijab) also ran this morning,..she’s did 5km but overmileage with 3km add on! Congrats Dr! Next time she should upgrade to 10km 😉

When someone tells you, ‘You can’t’, turn around and say, ‘Watch me!’ ….And the bragging continues ….. 😛

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We continued bragging,..because the suffer is astounding!

Before the moment ended, we celebrated our victory with…..tadaaa!

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Mee Kolok with FM finisher medal add-on!

Till then, we shall meet again in next post 🙂

Keep running and be inspired!