Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Exam Blue

I did my CQE trial exam on the morning of 17 November, which was before the Penang Bridge International Marathon 2012. I was suffering during the 5 hours inside the examination hall or I would say it was a meeting room, to answer the 160 questions. That's crazy.

Time flies. Here I am, 3 days away from the final exam, which is the real exam. The final score that would determine that whether I have wasted the company money to attend this course, although I had absent for multiple time, for..... running events. No regrets about that but rather I am patching the holes now.

Attempting all the sample questions and exercises, I am overwhelmed. I am not sure whether I could pass this examination with flying colours, but at least I need to have certain confidence, see.... now I'm talking statistic :P

I have 3 days more to prep myself for this examination, after the freaking crazy 5 hours, then I would be free. I would play futsal, I would be running again, I would be watching movie marathon again, I would be driving here and there shopping for running shoes again, I would have good appetite for all the great food again.

Meantime, suffer for another 3 days.

++++ luck ++++

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Race Report - Penang Bridge International Marathon 2012

Date: 18 November 2012
Location: Queensbay Mall, Penang
Distance: 42.195 km (42.60 km)
Bib No.: A 00093
Registration Fee: RM60 (early bird)
Gears: Asics DS-Trainer, Garmin Forerunner 405
Starting Time: 2.00am (2:00am) - Very ZHUN!!!!!
Running Time: 04:07:08
Pace: 5:48 min/km

This was the race of the year.... home ground.... familiar place which is the Penang Bridge that I cross every day to earn my living for 5 years +. I thought it was manageable, or not that difficult, but many had told me that PBIM route is not easy at all. I was not going to let anybody rock my confidence in breaking the barrier, but I was surrounded by much, much annoying things during the most critical week of the race.

In the race week, I had some bad experience. Batu Kawan runners were running the last easy run at Mengkuang Dam. I was late because of oversleeping. I joined the group at 6:15am and as soon as I started to run at slow pace after some static stretching, my ankle was giving me some signal, it was aching but I thought it was temporary and finished the ~9k run over some hills with pace as high as 5:00min pace.

The next day, it was still aching. I began to consider my race shoes, I was planning Pure Connect which could give me fast pace and good response, but it shall be very taxing on the ankles. I tried not to think about it and stop all running but doing bicycle riding to keep the muscles working. At the same time, the bloody hell CQE trial exam was in the morning of 17-Nov. I was mentally tortured reading and studying all those dry subjects.

I tried to apply analgesic cream on my ankle and do the warm water rinsing. It was working for me. Then, I tried on the alternative shoes, which is the red Asics DS-Trainer that never hit the pavement more than 10km in any training session. I ran 1km on it and I made up my mind to give myself a peace mind to study.

In Saturday morning, I settled the CQE exam in 5 hours, 160 questions. I hate it and the real exam would be on 1-December. Then, I went home to sleep from 3 something to 6pm, then I got myself prepared to attend friend's wedding dinner. Then, went home, checked my things and crossed the bridge to race site at 11:30pm. Bridge was scheduled to close at 1am.

I was early, parked my car at the road side, intention was not to pay any parking fee. I was told that the open parking lot was RM5 per entrance and the multilevel car park is charged at RM1 per hour. I paid nothing. I started to apply the Sloan analgesic cream all over the legs, the popular spots (for myself) like ankles, calves and tights. Then, searched for portal pottie to settle small business and went back to put on my shoes.

Car park slots were filing up fast. It was around 1:15am and I met Qamarrul and Ling Teoh on the way to Queensbay Mall. Then, met Dr.Tham who was chasing the sub-4 target as well. He did well in PBIM 2011 with 4:06 O.o' His wife helped us to take a photo together and I off to see the Batu Kawan gang which is around the area in front of Coffee Bean outlet. Again we took a few photos together then I decided to sit down, not to waste too much energy standing.

WJ who is aiming to be WJ* was wearing her timing band aimed for 4:30, which means I needed to run <3:30 a="a" beat="beat" better="better" concentrate="concentrate" for="for" is="is" it="it" much.="much." my="my" on="on" own="own" rather="rather" run="run" so="so" task="task" than="than" thinking="thinking" to="to" too="too" tough="tough" was="was" wj="wj">

1:54am, almost there. I locked in the satellite signal on my Garmin Forerunner 405 and went to the starting line, I could be at the front 10 rows but I walked back. I still like to build confidence and ramp slowly rather than being pushed from the back running as the front-liners since I am not that fast. I did not want to be left too behind as well, because it could be difficult to clear the human traffic in the first 1km, so I was right at the center of all the runner queue.

 At 2:00am, gun off. I just went off and it was quite difficult to move because some people were moving quite slow in pace of 7:00 or 8:00 and I had to ran zig-zag to set my own pace at 6:00 min/km. Luckily I was be able to do so and hit the target pace at 6:01 min/km. We were running towards Seagate, my previous company. Along the way, I was trying to get into rhythm, relax and focus on form, I told myself I will tuned into 5:30 from 3rd km onwards then until 10th km.

At km-2, I'm already running at the first 10k planned pace, it came one km earlier. Personally I am not sure whether this is costly enough for the remaining distance but I keep telling myself to relax, focus and keep the fuel for something more challenging. At the U-turn point at Seagate then going past Queensbay Mall again, I keep re-hydrating myself with my Nathan Trek bottle, although I skipped the first water station which is very crowded. I was feeling the thirst would strike anytime, so my plan is prevention rather than too late. I almost finished 85% of the 660ml with 2 packets of hydration salt inside.

Then, I took the first gel at the 2nd water station which is at km-7 or so, I know that the elevation was not far ahead, replenishment at this station was spot-on as I would not want my precious energy tank to be emptied before finishing mainland bound route. The flyover was steep and I could see clearly the elevation leading up to the highest point of the bridge. Clearly, I could see 2 4:00 pacers in front and my target was to tackle them.

I managed to went past 2 pacers before reaching the highest point. As soon as I went past 10th km, I increased the pace as planned to at least 5:20. I prefer not to push going up the elevation because that was the first out of so many to come. Checked my form, ensure that I'm not putting any stress on the body, smaller cadence and more arm swing, then I was like flying :P It was good to reach the highest point - midspan of the bridge around 13km, water station, took a gel to tackle the coming elevation. Then, it was show time.

I unknowingly ran a sub-5 minute pace going down the elevation but with controlled rhythm and avoiding using extra energy but rather utilizing the gravity force to glide the next 1km. Then I could see another 2 sub-4 pacers in front of me, maybe 500m away. The downward run did set a good momentum and I continued to run at pace around 5:20 until 20km.

Making the U-turn at the end of the bridge, momentum lost a bit and pace dropped. I could feel that it was harder to run, I wonder why, I checked my HR at the first time and I was shocked to see 18x bpm. Anyway, I was feeling OK so I ignore it, my heart was not jumping out from where it supposed to be yet.

Then, I could see KFC 500m after the U-turn with his si-mou following at his back, I was feeling OK, so I said hi and keep moving forward. The km-21 to 24 was the worst part, I had to pay back whatever I got from the previous good moment I had. It was a little difficult to run up to the midspan, but I did not want to overdo it. Let the pace drop and run naturally.

Then, I could see a bunch of 21k-ers coming out making U-turn, I had to run at the right side and often avoiding those walking runners. Haih... why they cannot be more understanding? but anyhow, they pay for it too.... it was the organizer's fault. I had a bad time filling up my bottle with hydration salt too, simply had to bite the packet to tear it off. I was not be able to increase the pace that I wanted. Pace from km-25 until 28 was around 5:30.

km-28, the multiple of 7, that's the point to take another gel. I simply had to increase the pace, that's the point when I was running in front of e-Gate. That's where the multiple hills hunting ground, eating the marathon runners alive. I found it quite difficult to run, checked the HR again for the second time, 18x again.... not a good sign. Tight was giving me some sensation that I did not like. Organizer was giving out PowerGel at km-30 and took it without a second thought, that's where the disaster started.

I felt good and could see one sub-4 pacer struggling going up the elevation, I took my sweet time and managed to overtake him. It was very difficult, back to back hills, then finally the U-turn point at km-33. Plenty of water, I took 2 cups and 1 banana.... cannot finish one in 1 30 seconds, started running and makan it section by section.

I checked the time straight after 33km, I should be able to make a sub-4 with consistent 6:00 pace if it is 42km.I took it conservatively and wanted to take advantage of the downhill towards the water sprinkle. I was running on thin ice (going to cramp anytime) from km-33 onwards. I saw the sprinkles, I loved the water but I did not see the pipe, I kicked it and I stumbled.... a perfect somersault. Cramped immediately. The police officer offered help, I said "I'm OK", I lengthened my leg and continued to run as if nothing happened. That was at km-35.

Is was the beginning of the hell like experience again, all momentum lost. I was getting slower and slower until I could not tahan the pain from the cramp, then I walked. Seeing many 21k-ers again doing their U-turn, had to find a comfortable way to run/walk. It was miserable, even the last gel taken at 35k did not help at all. I could only see FM runners overtook me, one by one.... surprisingly, I could recognize FM runners from their back.

Finishing the last 5-7km was like forever. Ran and walked, ran and walked, I was hoping to hear some motivating music playing from the race site but there was nothing, I guess the organizer wanted to be more considerable to those who were sleeping.

After turning into the Bayan Mutiara, I started to run again. I saw Su Hong and I stopped to let him take a photograph of me. Then, I continued running towards the finishing line. KFC's si mou or Bee Hong overtook me, I did not bother at all because there was no much juice and I did not want to injure myself, since the muscles are already being stressed to max. There is always another race for me to perform, to achieve my sub-4.

 I crossed the finishing line with 4 + 4 fingers, indicating the eighth full marathon, at 4:07. Straight walked to the claim my medal and finisher T then registered for a sport massage. St. John first aid team was cleaning my wound when I was waiting in the queue. No pain.... no pain... but no gain as well.

Race Summary:
  • Did not hit my goal of getting a sub-4 at the final Penang Bridge Run (the current bridge).
  • Completed my 8th full marathon in 2 years time. Not bad...
  • I took the positive from this attempt, I gave it all that I had, given that the external factors were not on my side.
Race Review:

  • Challenging route with multiple hills which will kill your quads if you are not well trained.
  • Started on time.
  • A simple full marathon finisher T. Nice.
  • All roads are closed so no traffic issues.
  • Plenty of water but still giving out water bottles, no environmental friendly and wasteful.
  • Space between water station are not well-designed for full marathon, 3.5km every water station is not sufficient. There should be one water station every 2km after 30km.
  • Category clash or human traffic again. Shorter category runner shall be advised to run on certain side to give way to FM runners.
  • No atmosphere of a marathon event.


Saturday, November 3, 2012

108自在語 - 聖嚴法師

Source: ~【 聖嚴法師 】-- 108自在語 網路文章分享


1. 需要的不多,想要的太多。
2. 知恩報恩為先,利人便是利己。
3. 盡心盡力第一,不爭你我多少。
4. 慈悲沒有敵人,智慧不起煩惱。
5. 忙人時間最多,勤勞健康最好。
6. 布施的人有福,行善的人快樂。
7. 心量要大,自我要小。
8. 要能放下,才能提起。提放自如,是自在人。
9. 識人識己識進退,時時身心平安;知福惜福多培福,處處廣結善緣。
10. 提得起放得下,年年吉祥如意;用智慧種福田,日日都是好日。
11. 身心常放鬆,逢人面帶笑;放鬆能使我們身心健康,帶笑容易增進彼此友誼。
12. 話到口邊想一想,講話之前慢半拍。不是不說,而是要惜言慎語。
13. 在生活中,不妨養成「能有,很好;沒有,也沒關係」的想法,便能轉苦為樂,便會比較自在了。
14. 四安:安心、安身、安家、安業。
15. 四要:需要、想要、能要、該要。
16. 四感:感恩、感謝、感化、感動。
17. 四它:面對它、接受它、處理它、放下它。
18. 四福:知福、惜福、培福、種福。
19. 能要、該要的才要;不能要、不該要的絕對不要。
20. 感恩能使我們成長,報恩能助我們成就。
21. 感謝給我們機會,順境、逆境皆是恩人。
22. 遇到好事,要隨喜、讚歎、鼓勵,並且虛心學習。
23. 少批評、多讚美,是避免造口業的好方法。
24. 平常心就是最自在、最愉快的心。
25. 踏實地走一步路,勝過說一百句空洞的漂亮語。
26. 知道自己的缺點愈多,成長的速度愈快,對自己的信心也就愈堅定。
27. 多聽多看少說話,快手快腳慢用錢。
28. 唯有體驗了艱苦的境遇,才會有精進奮發的心。
29. 踏踏實實做人,心胸要廣大;穩穩當當做事,著眼宜深遠。


30. 忙而不亂,累而不疲。
31. 忙得快樂,累得歡喜。
32. 「忙」沒關係,不「煩」就好。
33. 工作要趕不要急,身心要鬆不要緊。
34. 應該忙中有序的趕工作,不要緊張兮兮的搶時間。
35. 不要以富貴貧賤論成敗得失,只要能盡心盡力來自利利人。
36. 任勞者必堪任怨,任事者必遭批評。怨言之下有慈忍,批評之中藏金玉。
37. 隨遇而安,隨緣奉獻。
38. 成功的三部曲是:隨順因緣、把握因緣、創造因緣。
39. 見有機緣宜把握,沒有機緣要營造,機緣未熟不強求。
40. 人生的起起落落,都是成長的經驗。
41. 用智慧處理事,以慈悲關懷人。
42. 以智慧時時修正偏差,以慈悲處處給人方便。
43. 慈悲心愈重,智慧愈高,煩惱也就愈少。
44. 面對許多的情況,只管用智慧處理事,以慈悲對待人,而不擔心自己的利害得失,就不會有煩惱了。
45. 心隨境轉是凡夫;境隨心轉是聖賢。
46. 大鴨游出大路,小鴨游出小路,不游就沒有路。
47. 山不轉路轉,路不轉人轉,人不轉心轉。
48. 「精進」不等於拼命,而是努力不懈。
49. 船過水無痕,鳥飛不留影,成敗得失都不會引起心情的波動,那就是自在解脫的大智慧。
50. 給人方便等於給自己方便。
51. 甘願吃明虧,是仁者;受辱吃暗虧,是愚蠢。
52. 壓力通常來自對身外事物過於在意,同時也過於在意他人的評斷。
53. 用感恩的心、用報恩的心,來做服務的工作,便不會感到倦怠與疲累。
54. 隨時隨地心存感激,以財力、體力、智慧、心力、來做一切的奉獻。


55. 生命的意義是為了服務,生活的價值是為了奉獻。
56. 人生的目標,是來受報、還願、發願的。
57. 人的價值,不在壽命的長短,而在貢獻的大小。
58. 過去已成虛幻,未來尚是夢想,把握現在最重要。
59. 不用牽掛過去,不必擔心未來,踏實於現在,就與過去和未來同在。
60. 智慧,不是知識、不是經驗、不是思辯,而是超越自我中心的態度。
61. 積極人生,謙虛滿分;自我愈大,不安愈多。
62. 上等人安心於道,中等人安心於事,下等人安心於名利物欲。
63. 你是有哪些身分的人,就應該做那些身分的事。
64. 在安定和諧中,把握精彩的今天,走出新鮮的明天。
65. 擔心,是多餘的折磨;用心,是安全的動力。
66. 財富如流水,布施如挖井。井愈深,水愈多;布施的愈多,財富則愈大。
67. 面對生活,要有「最好的準備,最壞的打算」。
68. 只要還有一口呼吸在,就有無限的希望,就是最大的財富。
69. 救苦救難的是菩薩,受苦受難的是大菩薩。
70. 超越生老病苦三原則:活得快樂、病得健康、老得有希望。
71. 超越死亡三原則:不要尋死、不要怕死、不要等死。
72. 死亡不是喜事,也不是喪事,而是一件莊嚴的佛事。
73. 每一個孩子,都是幫助父母成長的小菩薩。
74. 對青少年,要關心不要擔心,要誘導不要控制,用商量不用權威。
75. 愛你的孩子,與其擔心,不如祝福吧!
76. 夫妻是倫理的關係,不是「論理」的關係。
77. 能不亂丟垃圾,隨時清撿垃圾,都是做的功德。
78. 眼光,是你的智慧;運氣,是你的福德。
79. 喜愛的就想佔有,討厭的就會排斥,患得患失,煩惱就來了。
80. 經常少欲知足的人,才是無虞匱乏的富人。
81. 心不平安是真正的苦,身體的病痛不一定是苦。
82. 明知心不平安是苦事,就趕快以持念「南無觀世音菩薩」來安心吧!
83. 現在擁有的,就是最好的。擁有再多也無法滿足,就等於是窮人。
84. 不要用壓抑來控制情緒,最好用觀想、用佛號、用祈禱,來化解情緒。


85. 好話大家說,好事大家做,好運大家轉。
86. 大家說好話,大家做好事,大家轉好運。
87. 每人每天多說一句好話,多做一件好事,所有小小的好,就會成為一個大大的好。
88. 急須要做,正要人做的事,我來吧!
89. 我和人和,心和口和,歡歡喜喜有幸福。
90. 內和外和,因和緣和,平平安安真自在。
91. 自求心安就有平安,關懷他人就有幸福。
92. 人品等於財富,奉獻等於積蓄。
93. 奉獻即是修行,安心即是成就。
94. 擁有的多,不一定讓人滿足;擁有的少,不一定讓人貧乏。
95. 現在所得的,是過去所造的;未來所得的,是現在所做的。
96. 好人不寂寞,善人最快樂,時時處處助人利己,時時處處你最幸福。
97. 若希望人際關係相處得好,就要把心量放大,多接納人,多包容人。
98. 只要自己的心態改變,環境也會跟著改變,世界上沒有絕對的好與壞。
99. 人與人之間的相處之道,需要溝通,溝通不成則妥協,妥協不成時,你就原諒和容忍他吧。
100. 大的要包容小的,小的要諒解大的。
101. 以全心全力關懷家庭,用整體生命投入事業。
102. 戒貪最好的方法,就是多布施、多奉獻、多與人分享。
103. 包容別人時,雙方的問題就解決了。
104. 學佛的人,有兩大任務:莊嚴國土,成熟眾生。
105. 要做無底的垃圾桶,要學無塵的反射鏡。
106. 煩惱消歸自心就有智慧,利益分享他人便是慈悲。
107. 用慚愧心看自己,用感恩心看世界。
108. 淨化人心,少欲知足,淨化社會,關懷他人。

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Resting Heart Rate (2012-08 to 2012-10)

Resting heart rate trend chart.... seems like no improvement. Since many things happened in this period of time, could be due to myocarditis, overtraining, nightmare or many unknown factors.

What conclusion I can draw from here?