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Run : My 2nd Half Marathon with Minimal Training

September 27, 2017

Last weekend I ran my second half marathon and Af ran his first half marathon ! (read my last year's first half marathon here) :D

We hardly run these days - because honestly I'm a bit bored of running. I can't run when the sun is up because I always get headache afterwards, so I had to run at night and usually at night I want to do my works + watch my series after a long day of working :F

If you aren't familiar with running, a half-marathon is a 21km run (half from the full marathon, 42km - the length of the town of Marathon to Athens). 


Is it possible to run a half marathon with a minimal training ? :
I actually started my training just less than 2 months before our run. I did yoga stretches, strength training and weight lifting at home. We only managed to run a 5km training for 7 times before our half marathon. So we didn't trained for a long endurance run and the last 15km relay run we did was in April. With our training, it looked like we were training for a 10km run instead of 21km :F

So I was worried sick, I even wanted to call it off (because I started to go to the toilet 3 times that day - and wanted to use that as an excuse). But Af wanted to try his first 21km, and I was going to be there to support "his firsts", so we did.

To answer my question, yes, almost anyone can finish a half marathon (it is possible of course) but whether you'll get to run the whole way, or probably walk half of the run, it all depends on you and your body. If you are curious to whether you can run a half marathon and want to try it, well you should - especially if you already tried 5km, 10km and 15km. I urge you to try a 21km run :D

Preparation :
We each brought 2 sachet of fruity energy gel to eat during our run and we shared 1 sachet (half-half), 1/2 hour before our run. We also ate lunch 6 hours before our run and didn't eat anything for dinner. Didn't go for carbo-load, just ate rice as we do everyday. 

Weather :
It was a calm night, not so windy in Cyberjaya compared to Putrajaya at night (because we've been running every night for that same week).  

The route :
Less hills compared to Putrajaya. I think, it was quite an easy-ride for me because there wasn't as much hills than my first half marathon. First timers should run in Cyberjaya ! But the environment is a bit boring, just darkness or random buildings or construction sites. Here's the map :

The run :
KM 1-10 : It was a slow paced run (I always run slowly : pace 8-9), nothing to prove here. I've always been a slow runner. I stopped at every water station and shared the water with Af so that I won't be drinking too much and feeling bloated. Af left me so many times, but I managed to chase him afterwards.

KM 10 - 18 : I started my 20-20 counts, count to 20 for running, count to 20 for fast walking (this works for people who don't train much :D so you don't stop and walk). I ate my energy gel every 1/2 hour after hour 1 1/2. We got a banana at one of the station, but I just hold on to it (I didn't want to go to the toilet while running). 

KM 18 - 21 : I left Af, I still use my 20-20 counts. My body was still fine, my feet was aching. The whole run felt like a super-long walk in the park (maybe because I didn't really pushed to run fast). Af arrived around 10 minutes after me :D He was a bit moody and pukey and gloomy - just like me when I did my first half marathon. I ate my free ice-cream and pumpkin soup. And I felt good.


Result : 
Inofficial Time : 3 hours 18 minutes

Things I learned from my 2nd half marathon :
  • It is possible to run a half marathon with minimal training :p
  • Eating an energy gel 1/2 hour before the run kinda help a bit, but it left me feeling suuuuuper hungry during the whole run. My stomach was growling. 
  • I hated the portable toilet, so I try my best to avoid going to the toilet :F (girls, you would understand). But I stopped at every water station and I drank the water, thank God I still didn't feel like I have to use the toilet for those 3 1/2 hours. 
  • The aftermath happened on the 2nd day after the run. 
Aftermath :
The worst day is usually the 2nd day after any run. I walked to the pasar that day like a pregnant lady. On the 3rd day, I still can't run (I tried jogging in the house and it didn't felt good), so I just did minimal weight lifting. On the 4th day, you can start running again :) Oh, and I even got my period 3 days early after the run (I usually have a problem with getting my period on time) but not this time.

The running & finisher's shirt :
The running shirt is bright orange with an ugly looking HUGE semi fire-fighter + man at work's illustration at the back of the shirt. We both agree to donate the shirt after this. But the finisher's shirt is a decent one (thank God) :

The running shoe :
Oh. I'm still using my black + white POWER running shoes that I've been using for running since last year after the Bromo run. If you are worried you don't have super-expensive running shoes to run for a half-marathon, no worries guys, I survived with my running shoes by Power (the price was less than RM 80). You can definitely run with anything you have. Imagine Pheidippides running from Marathon to Athens - he definitely didn't wear a running shoes :)

Am I going to do this again ?
Yes, of course.  

Movie - Old Childhood Horror Movies

September 17, 2017

Last weekend, we watched the latest famous horror movie that used to haunt us when we were small, IT (1990). Before we headed for Af's shooting for a contest that afternoon, we watched it together at Alamanda (AF + my whole siblings sans my brother). It's been ages since we watched any movies together, and knowing this movie is related to our childhood, I thought asking them all out was a nice plan. 

The 'old' IT (1990) :

I remember when I first saw it, we were still living in the Mardi quarters. That night after we watched the movie, it was almost midnight and Ma said it was already too late (because we got school the next day). I was probably 7-8 during that time. My older sister and I had to brush our teeth (and we were terrified - remember the toilet scenes?). She rushed to brush her teeth as fast as she could and I tried to keep up with her. I was smaller, so everything I did was a bit slower. She ran, pushed me so she'll be ahead of me, and left me in the bathroom. Leaving me alone, crying, because I was scared =.= (or that's how I remember). I was scared for quite some time afterwards, it is all because of the movie.

When we grew up, I bought the VCD to re-watch the famous childhood horror movie and we did watched it together (and it was super bad). The scenes were funny, the effect was bad and the ending was frustrating (if you haven't watch the 1990's IT, don't be surprised when IT finally turned into a giant spider). I might be biased, because I'm not afraid of spiders so the thought of something horrifying/ghost-like finally turned into a giant spider, well it was not exactly as scary as the odd-looking clown.


The 'new' IT (2017) :
There is something about the arch of his eyebrows and his awful unnatural smile that makes him a bit uncomfortable to look at. Also how the eyes go sideways when it shows its sharp teeth was amazingly horrifying as well. This was a nicer version of the old horrifying clown :

Anyway, I hardly watch the jump-scare parts so I was safe. The movie showed a lot of scary faces so it wasn't as scary as horror movies that hardly show 'the ghost' (just the present and unseen entity) - which I think gives better effect in using our imagination than trying to capture the things that we are scared about on screen.

The idea was a bit old-fashioned, maybe because it was written in the 1986 (and I did read the book - I didn't like it as well). So clown and giant spiders aren't exactly as scary as other current horror movies in the market.

One of the main way to fight this evil-entity is by not being afraid of IT or what IT shows because most of the time, it is not real. Maybe the message here is just trust your guts and fight-off the scary things that lives inside of you instead of shoving it up to IT and let IT feeds on your fear.

All in all, yes, the movie got a lot of jump-scares and it didn't even ends there (because there will be the second part in the future). It was nicely done as well, but I just didn't really like the idea. It was a good entertainment to keep up with the latest version of the old 1990's movie, IT. If I let kids watch this movie, I'm pretty sure they will be scarred for quite some time like we all did when we were small :D


Gremlins (1984)

I also watched Gremlins on Netflix last week :D
Gremlins is the bad version of a cute furry looking animal called Mogwai. There are several rules regarding these Mogwai (looked like those 90's Furby) :

  1. No bright lights
  2. No water
  3. Do not feed Mogwai after 12 am
Look at those human nails ! Ewwh.
Here's a thing about re-watching your childhood horror movies : it is ridiculous and funny (because of the bad effects). These Mogwais look like hand-puppets in some of the scenes and those bad multiplying and morphing scenes ! I cringed so many times. How on earth did I gave myself permission to be afraid of Gremlins under the bed when I was small :F

Other worthy mentions : Child's Play (1988), Tremors (1990), Evil Dead (1981)

Note : As we grow older, we learned that monsters, zombies, aliens and evil creatures aren't real. What we are really afraid of are unseen things, those sounds in your living room, those feelings when you know something isn't right, those corners your cat stares at, and of course, evil human beings, deep dark lake and cancer :F

Little Things 239 : The Book Challenge, Flash Version

September 14, 2017
I hardly read books since I worked at home, freelancing. So I decided to finish as many books as I can to catch up on my 2017 Reading Challenge (6/30 books - in August). Especially all the books that I've been hoarding. I cheated a bit, because most of these books are motivational/self-help books (so it is way easier to grab than fictions) and I reread books that are easy + I liked.

Here is the book list (since August):
  1. H+ (Plus) A New Religion? : How to Live Your Life Positively Through Happiness, Humour, Help, Hope, Health by Edward de Bono
  2. O's Little Book of Happiness by Oprah's Magazine (Contributors)
  3. Damn Good Advice by George Lois
  4. Blanket by Craig Thompson
  5. How to be Happy by Eleanor Davis
  6. The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami
Current Read (Books completed : 12/30) :
  1. After the Quake by Haruki Murakami
  2. The Longest Honeymoon (travelogue) by Izni Zahidi
It's hard for me to read other fictions since I read Haruki Murakami's books (so I decided to reread all his books, and buy his latest 2 books soon) and thankfully, other than him, I'm still reading Orhan Pamuk & Elif Shafak's works. 

I now hardly buy other fictions, but several days ago I listened to Yann Martel's interview on Spotify (Monocle 24 : Meet the Writer) and he talked about how he finds it odd for an adult to claim that he/she no longer reads a fiction, especially those powerful people/leaders. Here's an excerpt I took from his interview while talking about powerful people who don't read fiction : 
He's the man who doesn't read. I think he's a kind of man, who stopped reading probably in his 20s. He's obviously a bright man but he came into the conclusion that fiction is not real, therefore the truth must be relative. Therefore stopped reading fiction and probably just started reading non-fiction, history, biographies, and there is nothing wrong about it, of course. But, in defence of fiction, fiction goes further than non-fiction can go. We go with our empathetic imagination where you can't go with the facts & histories, even with the most insightful interpretation. Nothing can do it like fiction can do. So if you failed to read or you never read fiction or poetry or plays, it's impossible to know human condition. There are only 2 ways to knowing who we are : either by reading or by traveling. To me these are two very equivalent activities. Travel to Turkey is like reading a book. How can you know the human condition if you don't read especially if you are a leader. If you are a leader of a nation and you've never read and you've never travel, how can you rule? How can you know what our dreams are, where we must go, if you don't have dreams yourself? I'm just suspicious of powerful leaders who don't read. - Yann Martel.
Points taken.
Although I've been reading fiction for more than 20 years and I can't deny the fact that I'm bored of all the repetitive man-made stories. I will try to find more fictions by underrated writers.  


How to read when you are busy 24/7 ?
  1. Put your current book next to you, every time you take a short rest, read several pages. 
  2. Read at least 1 chapter before you go to sleep, after you ate lunch and dinner, after your zohor and asar prayer.
  3. Start on 2 books at each time, so you can take turns whenever you feel bored. (Easy if it is motivational books than fictions. But just imagine it like you are watching several series on Netflix, and you take turns based on your mood).
  4. Plan your next book, so you can start right-away. I'm guessing you have lots and lots of books you haven't finish yet, if you are an avid reader/hoarder 😛
There are 3 more months & 18 more books to go.
Good luck !

Little Things 238 : Fictional Series, my Daily Entertainment

September 11, 2017

It's September guys! 
Shondaland strikes back, soon season 14 of Grey's Anatomy and the final season of Scandal is coming back after a long hiatus. And because I support everything that Shonda produces, I just started to watch How to Get Away with Murder

Plus, the new season of Walking Dead is also just around the corner :F

I've been watching a lot of series from iFlix & Netflix (the amount is ridiculous) because I can watch these series while packing parcels, cutting stickers, sewing stuff, or inking my travelogue (even though my Macbook screen is only 13 inches small). I never really sit around doing nothing and just focus on watching series/movies because I'm the kind of person who can't just sit around quietly and I'm a multi-tasker!

Let me summarize and mention all things worth mentioning throughout the year. 
These are all the series that I've watched until the latest series/the end of the series :

The funny & drama :
  • The Office (9 seasons) - I think by far, this series is the most fun & entertaining one to watch with other people. In my case, especially during our daily dinner time. We don't really binge-watch series in one shot, so usually, we will take some time to finish off each series. So we watched 'The Office' for several months and we really love it. It was fun and hilarious and annoying and we love each character (my fav are Micheal vs Toby and Jim vs Dwight ). You can definitely watch this with your family & friends (and there won't be any awkward moments). ⭑⭑⭑⭑
  • Gilmore Girls (7 seasons) - In celebrating the 17th year anniversary, I rewatched the whole seasons of Gilmore Girls + A Year in a Life. Even after all those years, I still love the long witty dialogues and unique relationships among the characters. What changed was: I first watched it when I was 15 and I felt connected to Rory and now when I watched it as I turned 31, I felt more relatable with Lorelai. Things that I used to think that I'll choose (for example Jess or Logan) changed with my experiences in life. Things that used to annoy me (like Lorelai's lack of commitment) now seem understandable. I noticed I grew up a lot since I last watch the series. (and it is sad because I'm getting old, and calming because I'd found my peace). ⭑⭑⭑
  • Grey's Anatomy (13 seasons) - I've been watching Grey's since my school days. I can't remember how many times I did my reruns because every time I finished watching until the latest season, I probably almost forgot the earliest season (because the series is so long and still ongoing after 13 years). I still love it, despite having to watch the original team reduced the size and just leave only Meredith & Alex. So many people are dead, so many people left, and so many changes and I can see them grow old on screen. It is still the best drama for me. ⭑⭑⭑
  • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (2 seasons) - I watched it because I didn't know what to watch when I cut my stickers for events. I needed something light and funny and simple. I love the unique character Titus Andromedon and it is quite entertaining to watch. 
  • 2 Broke Girls (5 seasons) - About 2 broke girls trying to open a cupcake store. Nothing heavy, just normal daily problems, silly stupid jokes, and a friendship. 
  • Fresh off the Boats (2 seasons) - About an Asian family in the 90s living in the US. 
  • Unreal (2 seasons) - About a young TV producer in charge of reality TV dramas. I learned that all reality shows are mostly about rating and manipulating contestants into producing the biggest drama that will make people want to watch. What's sell and what's boring. I am not into reality series, so I can't give a full opinion on this. 
  • Younger (2 seasons) - About a 40-year-old single mom trying to get into the working industry after a long hiatus. After failed interviews, she decided to turn herself 'younger', cheated about her age, and got herself into the industry she was going for.  
  • Guidance (2 seasons) - School life drama from the school counselor's point of view. 

The mystery, crime & thriller :
  • Breaking Bad (5 seasons) - I started this series last year and I just finished the final season last month. There is a big gap because I was a bit bored. I didn't like how all characters changed by the end of the series, I didn't like the ending, and I didn't like everything because it was not a happy story. It was depressing, heart-pumping, and sad to watch. I'm just glad it is over :(
  • 13 Reasons Why (1 season) - Depressing yet we just can't stop watching because we wanted to know why. Can't wait for the 2nd season. Read more here. ⭑⭑⭑
  • Fargo (3 seasons) - We LOVE the series. If you love mystery and fucked up stories, please please watch the series, it is the best one so far. ⭑⭑⭑⭑
  • Scandal (6 seasons) - I think by far, I only love the first 4 seasons of the series (because politic + crime is a new genre for me). I never really have any exposure to political tactics and possibilities - I hit the moment of adulthood and I'm no longer innocent :F I could never understand why some people crave power & money, so I never really thought about most of the current political issues. Watching this opens my eyes to real issues out there (aside from all the scandal & drama lah). 
  • Walking Dead (7 seasons) - This is all Af's doing. I watched the series because Af watched it so now I'm hooked. It is the era of a zombie apocalypse and the zombies are dying because there are more zombies than humans. Humans are trying to survive from dying hungry zombies and mean sociopathic Negan + his huge clan :F About people trying to find meaning in the midst of all the chaos. 
  • The OA (1 season) - I can't really explain this series. Everything is very vague and confusing. You'll get a hint of The Life of Pi (where you are not sure whether what's been told is true or not) and there are more questions than answers. About the issues of near-death experiences, where they'd go when they flatlined, etc. ⭑⭑⭑
Fantasy :
  • Game of Thrones (7 seasons) - Oh my God, are you cikeding me? If you haven't watched it, well you should. I was a late bloomer because I watched the series last year after having to watch it together with Af. So AF did a rerun and watched it together starting from the first season and since then I became emotionally invested. The latest series ended just a couple of weeks ago and we already can't wait for next year :F The anticipation is just too much. But it is not a family series (you can't watch it without having to see nudes everywhere for all of the early seasons). ⭑⭑⭑⭑

Other than all the series that I've watched, here are my current ongoing series for daily dinner :
  • How to Get Away with Murder
  • Orange is the New Black - also a huge amount of nudity & same-sex relationships.


What I learned from watching all these series? :
  • It's amazing how people can get emotionally attached and fully invested in fiction. 
  • I love how open people (producers/directors) are these days, how they try to change something and send a message to the public. I noticed several Muslim characters in the latest Grey's Anatomy season - when there were none in the past 12 seasons. I noticed a lot of races in the current series compared to the older says, not just white people. There are a lot of African Americans as lead characters in series or all strong female characters as lead characters (Shondaland dramas). Geek and nerds are not portrayed like they are used to (refer to Glee & 13 Reasons Why). Gay people are actually everywhere as how it is in real life. 
  • I learned about political dramas (or those possibilities) & the power-craving world we are living in, and I'm not as innocent as before. I educate myself about crime & awful stuff that could happen in this world.
  • I laughed a lot. Some of the fictional characters even became a part of our family, some sort of random discussion and inside jokes in our lives. 
  • I don't really watch sci-fi or superhero series (still not so interested).
  • I'm trying to open myself to real hard stuff/issues: crime, mental problems, politic, moral values, and historical events. So I'll try another genre in the future.
If I can read while I do work, I'll probably read as much as I watch series :F

Random : Question question

September 09, 2017
Good morning guys, I have a great news ! 

The inking and colouring process of my second travel diary is almost finished (current : 45 pages !) . There will be more additional pages of short comic to connect the story, so I think the book will probably reach 50 - 60 pages. For now, most of the pages are just list of things that happened and illustrated visuals. I am sooooo happy and excited :F 

The main question here : 
  1. Do I want people to use it as a guide & use it as an activity book while they are in Japan, or just read it as a story? Because this decides how the book should go. 
  2. What will the possible title be? 
  3. What should I draw on the cover page? 
Tell me what you think !
You can also answer in my Patreon here.

All your input will be taken into consideration ❤ ❤

Random : Holiday Season + Findings

September 05, 2017
Last Thursday during Merdeka holiday, we went back to Raub for Eid-Adha celebration. 
Happy things that happened during the holiday :
  • Learned another new dishes from Af's mom : Chicken rendang + Sardine Curry + Curry Mee with crab. My cooking skill extended vastly since I got married 2 years ago because every time we go back to Raub, there must be something new to learn
  • Special birthday party to Af's little sister, we have a very nice relationship despite huge age difference. We clicked since we first met, and she's only 10. We gave her a book, DIY felt set and loom bands accessories. 
That's the traffic when we went back to KL on Sunday and our surprise birthday partay 
    • A company in CA, US contacted me regarding stocking my enamel pins + patches to their online shop. Definitely will consider !
    • Af's mom passed all raw crystal stones to us (belonged to Arwah Ayah) and I can't wait to do a research. I wear black shungite pendant from Russia (kinda mentioned it before in this post) and keep a moonstone from India on my desk. My dad and brother are also crystal collector =.= but I don't want to be a collector, I am more interested in the crystal properties itself instead of their physical beauty. Note : The reason I wear a shungite pendant with a black thread is because I looove how it looked on me instead of gold and silver and all the lovely things most women love. I don't really wear girly jewelries so I've been searching for something more suitable to wear. And I found this mineraloid for my 30th birthday. Flat black stone kinda represent my rebel and sarcastic nature :
    Image taken from their website, thus the dried flower & old parchment
    • I also received my parcel consisted of 2 new enamel pin stocks and I am not waiting for the backing card specially designed for these 2 new pins. Pre-order now (until 6th Sept).
    • Ptptn loan balance updated and currently only RM 6.5k left to be paid ! Look how far I've crawled.

    Interesting Findings :