Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wild Wednesday

Hey guy... I guess I will put the vlog idea aside for the moment. I do not have the good moment to do it, and only my work laptop has a webcam. I don't want to do vlog at the office, though I could. Just being respectable to the company's property LOL.

So let's us continue :-)
What happened last weekend? Heheheh... Well this happened!

Yes! Yes! I did it... I am a 20km Finisher!!!!!

For someone who doesn't like to run and had a bad running experience at school, I am happy that I have crossed this line and prove to myself that I can do it. You see, I am not at all a runner. Main reason is that at school, it had always been a sport that I hated. There are kids who are faster and when I did the race, I had the impression that I am moving backward and not forward!
Then, I hate it when I run and my vision is troubled by the motion.

However, I don't know where this desire comes from.... I guess, it's because my colleague did it and I had followed some people from the gym training for last year's 20km.

I have never seen the run before. Although I live near to the route, but in 2009, I think I was in France for the weekend, 2010, is the same. In addition, my physical condition was not as I am now. Then, 2011 where I had family commitment. So I am determined to make 2012 is the year I participate in the 20km!!

What I did to prepare myself? I had to push myself to 'learn' to love running. People said, you should do it because you love doing it, and not because you HAVE to do it. There's a lot of truth it in.
I started with doing a lot of readings on the Internet. I get the information like how to run, tips for half-marathon/marathon, run for beginner, preparing for half-marathon plan etc. So it came down to 2 plans which I found quite similar. I opted for 10-week training plan. In addition, the weather was not that encouraging. I only started run outside in mid-March. I do not have a specific running clothes for the cold and rainy weather, but as I went along, I picked up a 'breathable' running jacket and a mighty expensive GPS chrono watch.
It keeps me motivated and also I think with a bit of investment, the running became easier.

So I cut my gym time to still do my Body Step and add the running. I put in my calendar with alarm the number of km that I have to run. This helps as it keeps you alert of what you have to do and not to decide: to run or not to run.

The furthest I've trained is +/-15 km.
Referring to the map below, I trained only on route 1km-7km, twice. I have never been to the route after the 8th km.

From my experience, getting to know your route makes it easier. I guess it applies to everything, right? Otherwise, you will be like me, where I had to constantly remind myself on the kilometers left to run. It worked, but it would be easier if I knew where I was going to.

The D-Day:
Despite of my trainings in the cold and rainy days, it's only a week before the race that we were blessed with warm and sunny days! That's Belgian weather for those who do not know :-)
I had my breakfast sandwich at home, and off I went by public transportation. It took me about 30 minutes to reach there. So there was the stress, the pressure, the excitement, AND the heat!
In the morning, I think it was already 22 degrees Celcius and it's expected be get warmer when reach noon! I walked around and keep drinking my water that I brought from home. Keep hydrate is very important. Just an hour before the start, I ate a multifruit powerbar. I don't know why but perhaps the stress that makes me want to eat LOL.
We get a small mineral water bottle before the race, so I ditched my big water bottle I brought from home and keep the small bottle.
Usually I am not a fan of carrying things in my hand during running. But that day I listened to my gut, and I am happy about it!
So I have on my left hand the water bottle, and on my right hand I have the multi-purpose cloth that I got from my last year's 10km. It's a cloth that you could use as bandana, or as scarf or as wrist cloth. So I have it wrapped on my right hand, so that I keep my hand relax (when running, your hand should be relaxed as if you are holding an egg-not crushing the egg).
I kept the water, and when I'm reaching the water booth, I quickly finish off the water, and I throw the old one, once I got my hand on the new bottle.
Sometimes, they uncapped the bottle for you, so I keep the cap of the previous bottle and reused on the new bottle. 
Once, I had a lady who asked me for a little bit of water. Made me feel good for helping someone. I hope she did well in the race!
At one point, I wet the hand cloth and it serves as a wet towel/sponge. 
In the news, they said that there were about 650 cases during the race, mostly due to hyperthermia.
I'm very happy that all went well for me, and I finished at 2h16mins! I wish for 2hrs, though. Perhaps, next year :-)  

Al in all, it a very good experience, and I am happy that I did it. One 2012 resolution that I can cross out!!!!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Maybe Monday

How media changes for the past years and now I am sitting here while thinking my blog is technologically obselete. I'm talking about how people do blog nowadays and pass the information from one person to the world.

Somehow some smartasses have a phone which can take videos and internet connection at the sametime and put 2 and 2 together, and there you go.. Now you have vlog.
I start to think, who read blogs nowadays. If it's not for some serious article or recipes, no one wants to read 'stories' or information. It's much better you have 'story tellers' or some one who read articles for you.

The disadvantages of blog is that you have to type. Blogger needs to have time to sit and type what's going on in their head. However, I find it's frustrating, because no matter how long your blogpost is, you still could not reach to your readers emotionally.
The good thing about vlog is that there is a kind of rule, it should not be more than 5 minutes. 10 minutes if the story is really interesting. But that's the max and you can only do it occasionally. Then, you can convey your message using your face expression and body language. While in the blog, everything is black & white. No emotion >.<   <-- See here, what do you think my face express? hahahahaha
My point is, vlog reaches out to people in a different level.

Talking about level, you can reach different kind of people. With blog you need to watch what you typed. If you have your own wording or spelling-kind of way (like the texting acronyms) you can only reach certain categories of people. But with vlog, unless you talk gibberish, you do not have to pay much attention on spelling. As long as the words came out right, you get the message passed on to basically anyone.

When I think of it, up until 1998, I have kept journals, diaries.. whatever you call it. I remember that I always write something before go to bed at night. And when I did the International student US trip, I wrote in my travel journal. Hmm.. I don't know where I kept those books now.

Before that, I remember when I was teenager, do you remember Dougie Howser M.D? Yeah he is now Barney Stinson.. Hahaha.. But he wrote his journal on his computer/e-diary. Wow.. and look at me now.. almost 20 years after that, I am like Dougie Howser (NOT) LOL
I tried it once, and save it of a floppy disk. But it doesn't really work that well because floppy is very rare at the house so if it's missing one, one of my family members will notice hahahaha

Then, as a teenager, I have a radio in my room which I could record. Eureka!! So I did it for sometime. Then, my mom would come into my room while I record and asking who am I talking to or was I talking alone. In the 90s, hearing someone talking alone in a room where there is no one else, is like close to that person is a psycho HAHAHAHA So the tape thing didn't work out.

As I mature *cough* I forgot about keeping up journal. But I have a lot of things to talk about. And I find that it's therapeutic to bring out what's in my head >.<

I'm thinking about vlog as it is THE trend now on Youtube. But also pictures are much better than this black and white writeup. However, I do not have phone with video capability yet. So this whole thing have to wait... I guess..

So what will it be? Blog or Vlog?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Fit Friday

Hey guys! What's up?
Nothing much going on this week other than maximised my workout routine. I've been thinking if I should ditch today's Body Step. I'm still thinking to do some Body Step video though. I love doing that, it's just that I have no time to go to gym on Saturday anymore. I can't tomorrow because I've planned to do so much thing tomorrow around town. I gotta pick up something at the post office, and I would like to get a running cap for my 20km. That would take me the whole morning. Then at 4pm I have hairdresser appointment. Gaahh!!!

Anyway, I think I have finalise my running playlist. Of course, there are lots of NKOTB and BSB songs LOL

I still can't get over those guys yet, especially NKOTB. Huhuhu Soon they will be off from this continent, and that's it! Then, have to wait for another what... 3 to 4 years till I met them again. Oh gosh! It's sux!

I felt powerful on my running. It's great. The first 3km is always hard. But I picked up the tempo after that. I'm so looking forward for this!

Other than that, next week will be a 3-day working day. Woohoo!! I will go to Paris. Didn't plan anything special though. But I'm looking forward to just enjoy the long weekend :D

Friday, May 4, 2012

Forever Friday

Last Friday I checked in with the story of NKOTB VIP in Dublin. So today is time for BSB VIP! Oh yeah.... I won't passed up this opportunity. As I said last time I was at their concert, the next one will be with VIP. So NKOTB is done, not it's BSB in Antwerp.

Pysch? Oh so much!! Well, as usual, we didn't know what to expect. Especially the content of the package is different from the one of NKOTB's. We got the BSB Silver VIP package which entitles us for admission to the soundcheck, Q&A session and group photo. Unlike NKOTB VIP, there is no refreshment, goodie bags. Also, there is no email sent by the organizer indicating what time that we have to be there. Looking at the forum, there is info saying we should be there at 3PM/3:30PM.

Anyway, as usual, we had to pickup our vip badge. Then we were told that we could go inside the arena. There we took place at the seating in front of the stage. Then the guys came out. So the guys made some jokes, yada yada yada.. It was entertaining. They sang 2 or 3 songs I suppose. Then, the Q&A session. This 1 girl got the opportunity and came up with a stupid question to Howie D. Something about being in a dream and biscuits.. Whatever... Then a guy asked about the barricade for the photo. FYI, in some VIP photos, the guys are behind the barricade. B Rok tried to answer but of course it's a security thing.. again yada yada yada..

You didn't notice that the time passed by, and then it's time for the photo op. So actually, you get to see the guys up on the stage, joking around, and get to 3 questions.

Then the photo time. We were already in group of 4. We thought that it's just gonna be us 4. But then the security guy 'pushed' us to group with some other girls. Whatever. Then the guys are allowed to shake your hands. I asked for hug from Brian and the security guy jumped on me and said 'No hugging'. Yeah.. whatever... But Nick said 'I like you hair' ***Swooooooonnn**
But then we do not have time to put down our jacket or bags. I was holding my big jacket and bag. As much as I'm dreading to see this photo, I am still excited. I don't think that it will be as good as the NKOTB ones. But then, there is always some other time, right? :D

Oh yeah, from now on, I'm going VIP all the way Baby! LOL I guess once you're in VIP, you are forever stuck in VIP :D

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Tips Thursday

Recently I've read this article on the Internet about tricks to avoid stress.
The link is here.

I would like to break it down based on my experience.

1. Enjoy the little moment
Do not wait for a big moment or grand gesture arrives in your life. Start to enjoy the simple thing that you posses NOW. Just by thinking that you are able to breathe and walk and even read, is something worth to enjoy and cherish. If it's raining, touch the raindrop and, smell the smell of the rain. Don't wait. Enjoy now.

2. Hang with Upbeat people
Be extra careful on people who can bring your mood down. In this part, you need to be selfish. Say no to people who you think always bring you to the edge or nervous breakdown. Be the nice guy but not a doormat. On the other hand, there are abundant of resources where you can reach out to highly motivated people such as on the Youtube or Facebook or LinkedIn. You do not need to know this person face to face. The energy can be disseminated via social media network easily. So use the new technology wisely.

3. Smile, even if it's hard
Recently I'm on my training for 20km Brussels. I find that when the hardest part or when I get tired, I cracked up a smile :D Smiling is like an exercise. When you smile at the hardest point in your day or workout, the easier it becomes when you are in the normal situation. I won't go to the Botox treatment like the article mentioned. But smile should come naturally :-) So, today SMILE.

4. Get your Karaoke on
Singing your worry out! Hahaha I like this... Making up your own song could release whatever clouding your mind. Although I would prefer to sing on karaoke, but sometimes it helps when you just invent the wordings and put it into the tune of some songs. This will take your mind off a bit while you try to hit the keys.

5. Work it out
There is no secret that exercise can release your stress. I owe it to my previous job that I need to release stress, that I just need to go to Body Combat class! With the need to punch and pull someone, I workout more and sweat more! The most important is, make sure that you leave the stress (well battered stress) in the class, and step out as a new stronger person.

6. Put a Warm, Fuzzy Memory on Repeat
This is my favorite one. I think that I've learnt this from The Secret. Each time I am in a moment or event or having the feeling that is so overwhelm and happy, I would mentally push on the record button. I would register the sound, the smell and most important is that tingly feeling or goosebumps. When I am in doubt, down or stress (obviously), I would conjure this memory and project it as a bright light into this cloud that hovering above me. If you follow Harry Potter, I suppose this is the same as the Patronus spell against the Death Eaters.

All these items are part of your habit. You need to exercise doing it, before it all before natural and you can see that they work!