Chicago Marathon 2019 : Braving the Cold

The Chicago Marathon was my second Abbott World Marathon Majors after my first in Berlin last year. Chicago is known as the windy city and indeed it was windy and cold on the race day – 13 October. Coming from a country that is hot and humid throughout the year, running in Chicago in fall certainly gave a whole new sweet experience.

Upon completing the Chicago Marathon -good route & fun crowd in a beautiful city #happyrunner

I arrived Chicago, 3 days before the race. It gave me an ample time to acclimatize to the weather and time difference.

I spent my first day walking along Michigan Avenue, window shopping.

Festive decoration and the  sponsor bus in front of Nike Store.

2 Days Before the Race (1st Day of the Expo)

It was a cold and wet throughout the day and I went out for a 5 km run along the Riverwalk with a group at 6:45am and got back just in time to go to the Expo.

The Expo was where you pick up your bib and other items required for the run. The organiser arranged shuttles from several places to the Expo and I took the shuttle from a hotel closeby to the expo.  It was a rainy day and our group headed out early at 8:15 am and waited for 45 minutes. The queue got longer and longer and the runners were delighted to see two yellow buses arrive to pick us up.

The school bus that took us to the Expo

The long queue for the shuttle. Photo credit : David Tay

Asian Runners and Supporters at the Expo. Photo credit : David Tay

 

There was no wait there-on – as the expo was well organised. I picked up my bib that was packed in an A4 size envelope and then to the race tee area to pick up event bag and the race shirt. It took me less than 10 minutes to get them and I spent the rest of my time at the expo checking out the booths. The main sponsors booth drew a lot of attention with the Bank of America giving out blue cow bells for cheering and cards for supporters to write on and Nike booth floor pumped up with loud music and flooded with runners and supporters shopping.  I particularly liked the merchandises at the  Under Armour booth because of their design and price. I took the opportunity to try out the On shoes. My feet felt good in them, but the size didn not suit my Asian feet. The grip on my ankle was a bit too loose. I took the bus back to hotel and arrived before noon.

One of the main Sponsors

The DJ  keeping the Nike booth pumped up!

Practically no wait to get the bib

 

The 16 Malaysians who have completed all 6 Abbot World Marathon Majors as of 2019

The prize for finishing all 6

 

1 Day Before the Race (2nd Day of Expo)

The weather forecast for race day was good, sunny but windy and cold at 2 degrees. The weather was cold and wet when I was in Chicago and I was not accustomed to running in thick clothing and gloves. So, that morning, I went out for another short run with the gloves and other clothing on. Indeed, layering was the only way to survive a run at the windy city. Running by the water in Chicago was different from running by the water in Malaysia. It was super chilly and cold running by the emerald green river, and it got warmer as I ran by Du Sable Harbour of Lake Michigan, then towards the city through the Millennium Park.

Morning run by Du Sable Harbour

The famous Cloud Gate of Chicago, also known as the Bean

Fellow  female Malaysian runners & supporter @ the Chicago Marathon

There was a 5 km friendship run in the morning that I missed. It required upfront registration and I completely forgot about it. While I was running at the race area, I saw hundreds of runners in Chicago-themed beanies and medals around their neck walking back to the city. Try not to miss the friendship run that usually happens a day before the race.

Those who arrive the city late would go to the expo to pick up race items.

The Race Day

The organiser released runners at 7:30 am in 3 waves starting with the elite runners. Every runner received designated gate and wave numbers and the last wave started running at 8:45 am. There were more 45,000 runners braving through the morning cold. Runners had to be there earlier and stand within designated area – cold. Some had blankets over, bath robes, raincoats, makeshift garbage bags and sweaters, and some, under-dressed shivering in the crowd.

A wait to the start line

Many runners let go the outer layers as they reach the start line. Do bring outer layers you wish to let go when you race in cold weather. Many left them by the roadsides as they warmed up.  I didn’t. I had my gloves and outer layer on throughout the marathon. I tried taking them off, but I couldn’t stand the wind. Despite sunny and the clear blue skies, the temperature on that day ranged from 2 – 6 degrees.

With Suzana, from Indonesia

Runners on the Bataan-Corregidor Memorial Bridge. Photo credit : David Tay

All in all, the run was well organised. I enjoyed the crowd cheering throughout the 42 km route. Many families, children, students and volunteers stood along the way to support runners. I particularly love seeing kids putting their hands out for high-fives. I did not miss returning a five! Unlike the Berlin Marathon, the bib at the Chicago Marathon does not display your name, so you don’t get supporters calling out your name. I find it quite motivating when someone call out your name for encouragement.

I couldn’t feel my toes when I reached the finish line. My thighs were sore and tight. I was in bearable pain. To my surprise, I recovered fast from the soreness and tightness. It could be the cold weather. I walked and run as usual a day after the race, alhamdulillah.

Goodies after the run

Goodies at the Expo

Race Day + 1

I did a 5 km recovery run under 7 bridges along the Riverwalk the day after.  It was Columbus Day and there were parades and celebration on the streets. So much festivity after the race.

A run by the Riverwalk Chicago

Columbus Day Parade a day after the race

I was told you could engrave the finisher medal at the Nike Store. So, I got mine engraved after a long wait. It was totally worth it. It was nice to walk along the Michigan Avenue to see runners wearing their medals around their neck a day after the run with much pride.

Every runner did because the medal was the ticket to get free engrave, free event sublimation on apparel at the Under Armour store and many more. So, don’t get onto the plane home too fast after the run, because you can enjoy many perks as a finisher of the Chicago Marathon!

Engraved Medal – A service provided by Nike Store in Chicago

The gorgeous view of the city and emerald river of Chicago when you run by the Riverwalk is priceless. I spent three days running in the cold along the Riverwalk and don’t mind doing it again.

The RIverwalk, Chicago

The Trump Hotel & Tower

Kenapa Ramai Kembali Berlari di Pink Ultra

Heiiii ! Saya lari lagi di Pink Ultra edisi ke 4

Larian Ala Trail di Paya Indah Wetland, Dengkil

Tahun ni merupakan edisi ke 4 Pink Ultra dan merupakan kali ke 3 saya menyertai.  Edisi pertama (2015) dan ke-2 (2016) diadakan di Taman Saujana Hijau, Putrajaya. Edisi ke 3 (2017) di Taman Tasik Cyberjaya dan edisi ke 4 (2018) di Paya Indah Wetland, Dengkil.  Semua acara Pink Ultra adalah larian looping, berjarak 50km.

Pink Ultra dianjurkan oleh Team Pacat dan ia adalah untuk wanita saja. Tapi  peserta lelaki boleh jugak sertai dalam kategori duo; iaitu larian bersama peserta wanita dari awal sampai lah tamat larian. Selain itu ada kategori solo dan kategori relay.  Peserta diberi masa selama 10 jam untuk berlari dan perlu  dapatkan 50km untuk dapat medal dan finisher t. Tak habis lari tak dapat hokay !

Acara kali ini diadakan pada 4 Nov lepas. Saya menyertai kategori duo bersama Noi.  Kami di lepaskan pada jam 7.10 pagi.  Laluan kali ini lain dari edisi yang sebelum ini, kali ni 95% larian adalah trail. Kami kena berlari 1.5km ke check point dan pusing semula ke starting line melalui jalan yang sama.  Bermakna 1 loop adalah 3km.  Peserta duo dan solo diwajibkan untuk menghabiskan sebanyak 17 loops (51km) dalam masa 10 jam. Pemandangan di Paya Indah Wetland sangat cantik, dikiri dan kanan ada tasik dan katanya ada buaya juga.  (nasib baik masa hari tu tak ada buaya 😊  Kami tak akan rasa sunyi masa berlari sebab akan bertembung dengan runner lain berlainan arah. Tambahan pula, marshall juga selalu ulang alik untuk menjaga keselamatan peserta.

Noi dan Intan Berlari Kategori Duo di Pink Ultra 2018

Part ni memang best, makanan dan minuman yang banyak dan sedap. Ada nasi lemak, bubur ayam, mee hoon sup, buah-buahan, kek..dan bannyyaaaaakkkk lagi dan pelbagai air yang sentiasa sejuk berais.  Di Pink Ultra jurugambar mengambil gambar peserta-perserta yang kelihatan cantik-cantik belaka, hokay ! Marshall dan sukarelawan pula sangatlah peramah, banyak membantu dan sangat baik. Ini sememangnya tradisi Pink Ultra!

Bagi saya Pink Ultra memberi saya ruang untuk mencuba keupayaan saya berlari jarak jauh dan ianya ibarat training saya untuk acara larian lain yang akan datang.  Pengalaman berlari ditengah panas, mental diuji sebab route looping, sakit cramp, blister sana sini, penat, letih, rasa nak pitam, semua jadi satu kepuasan untuk saya.  Ramai yang memberi kata-kata semangat bersorak bersama, jumpa kawan baru.  Yes, bonding and more time together!

Larian Loop 50 km dalam masa 10 jam

Bagi saya Pink Ultra adalah acara yang sangat bagus untuk wanita yang ingin cuba berlari dengan jarak lebih dari marathon. Sebab semua rasa ada,  manis, masam, pahit dan pedas semua ada disini. Sedapkan? 😊 eh jom lah sertai Pink Ultra tahun depan!

The Strong Brunei Runners @ the Nashata Charity Run

Assalamualaikum my dear friends,

February has passed with 711 km collective mileage by four wonderful runners from Brunei (Moniri, NurAin, Nana and Feeda) and two Nashata runners (Nahsuhah & I). Our target was 500 km and we clearly overshot by 42%.  Brunei was the first country that embarked into NashataRun4Charity and we were truly blessed to have found committed runners who selflessly volunteered to run for an Autism Center called SMARTER Brunei.

Nurain pulled together her friends to run virtually with us, and alhamdullillah, she collected the most mileage – 205km by climbing up and down the stairs and running. That was simply remarkable – running on average 7.3km/day throughout the month! But she did it anyways, raising her bar, one week after another, from 50km to 100km  to 150km to 200km. She lost 3 kg in a healthy way and raised funds for a cause of her choice. I am so happy for her.

Virtual Run

Highest Mileage for Nashata Charity Run Brunei by Nurain

nashata run for charity brunei

Moniri enjoys her weekend runs & challenges

Nana in Support of Autism

Nana in Support of Autism

As for me, I was happy to have run 112km in February. Never have I thought I would run so much in a month. Somehow, throughout Feb, running in the morning became something I had to do, and alhamdulillah I managed to improve my pace. I tried to run fast, as I couldn’t afford to spend too much time running. Towards the end of the month, I was reminded by a friend to slow down to prevent injury. I took it easy the last few days and decided to smell the grass and roses as I ran. I lost only a bit of weight as my appetite increased. The good thing about running is that you tend to take care of your food intake and drink a lot of water.

nashata run for charity

A picture after each run. My Garmin watch kept me on my toes and my Hubby kept me company 🙂

Other than running to my fullest potential, these are some of my other key learning I get from the running girls.

1. Ain’s Achievable Goal Setting Motto : “Desire + Determination + Action = Achievement. We need to set our target, locked it and do it. even if we fall or fail, don’t give up, just get back up and continue.”

2. Running tips to improve timing and prevent injury by Nahsuhah

  • Listen to your body
  • If you plan to run everyday, 5km – 7 km would be enough
  • Eat accordingly,..don’t starve
  • Plan your pace wisely
    For example if you run everyday, pace 6.30 – 7 min/km would be nice
    If you plan to run twice a week, 5.30 – 6 min/km is ok

We raised decently for SMARTER Brunei and we hope to come back to Brunei for the same or other cause soon. I truly hope the funds, although small will help the center to progress. My heartiest gratitude and thanks to the runners and contributors who funded us to run.

Meanwhile, the Nashata runners are running with 4 other runners from South Africa in March. I won’t be running for the March run, but will be supporting the team for sure. There will be more updates by Nahsuhah soon, InsyaAllah.

The Un-flippable + Zipper Pocket Sports Hijab For ?? Runners & ??Cyclists

Nashata Hooda Sports Hijab was designed to help ladies in hijab to keep their chest and hair covered at all times when they yoga, jump, back-bend, run and cycle.  Released in March 2016, the Hooda Sports Hijab would stay secure when the wind blows, when you bend forward or backwards or perform any movement in the gym.

Now, we have the Hooda Racerback, specially designed for runners and cyclists. It is simplified – to give you more freedom and boost your fitness potential. It also has a hidden small pocket in the front. Watch the video to find out.

Here are the 4 reasons why the Hooda Racerback is THE sports hijab for runners & cyclists.

1. Trimmed Shoulder
The hooda racerback is more neat on the shoulder, making it ideal and simplified for runners and cyclists who are looking for performance sports hijab.

Hooda Racerback Grey

Hooda Racerback Grey

2. Racerback Simplified Design
The design uses lesser fabric on the back. It is lighter and allows more breath-ability on the back.

Nashata Hooda Racerback for the Malaysia Women Marathon 2017

Nashata Hooda Racerback Grey and Limited Edition for the Malaysia Women Marathon 2017

3. Hidden Pocket with a Zip 
You can keep small items like your locker or car key in this pocket securely. It is nicely hidden in the front of the hijab so that you can easily access your items. Watch the video for more info

Zipper Pocket hidden in the inside part of the Sports Hijab

Hidden Zipper Pocket in the inside part of the Sports Hijab

What does a hijabi Marathon runner say about the Hooda Racerback?

What does a hijabi Marathon runner say about the Hooda Racerback?

4. More Size, More Options, Fits All Body Types
We have all sizes to suit ladies who are short, tall, petite and large. The hooda racerback suits all body types and the largest size available is 3XL.

Nashata Hooda Racerback Sizechart

Nashata Hooda Racerback Sizechart

With more freedom and lesser weight, you’d just go faster and further. Here’s how it looks like when you run in the Hooda Racerback.

More colors coming soon as the Hooda Racerback moves so fast that we are almost out of the first color in less than a month.

Oh ya, it is only RM89/SG30/USD25 and shipping is free within Malaysia and RM35/SG11 within South East Asia. We ship worldwide for reasonable flat rates.

So enjoy your run and cycle!

#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! ?

 

Raise RM1 for every 1KM @ #VRUNforCharity

Assalamualaikum & may your fitness be at its best,

We are calling for running sisters in Brunei to #vrun4charity with Nahsuhah. #virtualrunning. Open to max 4 runners (excluding Nahsuhah) from Brunei only. Running on track, treadmill and outdoor are counted. Get your friends to join

Virtual Run for Charity

Virtual Run for Charity

This is a good opportunity for you to :
1. Get a new virtual running buddy
2. Run for a cause of your choice
3. Raise RM1 for every 1KM you run with Nahsuhah for the month of February. Nahsuhah is committed to raise at least RM100/month. Your mileage is an add on.
4. Get someone who will nudge you to run frequently cause Nahsuhah runs everyday

The money you raise with Nahsuhah for the month of February will be channeled to a charity of your choice in your country by Nashata.

If interested, comment this post, whatsapp +6012-3112489, email contactus@nashata.com or share this with your running sisters. We will contact you for further discussion.

Thanks for supporting #vrun4charity !

#virtualrun #runforacause #runinfebruary #runningsisters #nashata
#beinspired #befit #nashatarunner #runhappy #runningbuddy #brunei #sportswomen


 

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.

IMG_4141

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! ?