Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Broken Door!

Got to the gym at 6.05am. There was a sign on the side entrance of BVII which said “please Use Other Door”. It pointed to the back of the building, but when I walked to the back, the door looked like it was shut. So I went back to the side entrance and saw the door slightly ajar. I pulled open the door and whoa! The whole door came out. I was so embarrassed, I think the security officer saw me. I know the door was probably broken already, but I practically yanked it out of the hinge. I’d like to say that working out in the gym has made me so strong that I managed to yank the door out but actually , the door was broken…:P

Did an incline walk on the treadmill, then 30 minutes on the stairclimber and 20 minutes on the elliptical machine

It’s lower body day today:

Adductor machine

Abductor machine

Dumbell squats

Alternate lunges

Dumbell split squats

Leg curl

Abs curl

I’m gonna suffer tomorrow’s outdoor running.

By the way a friend of mine sent me this article….just as well I am not running the Penang Bridge! That’s what you call sour grapes! :P

How A Marathon Affects The Body

Monday, April 23, 2007

More RPM

I love Mondays. I always feel refreshed over the weekend and ready for a good workout to start the week. Not to mention also to burn all that extra calories loaded during the weekend…

Got to the gym at 6am. Unfortunately Aunty already beat me to it. The gym seemed rather quiet this morning, and the crowd only started trickling in after 7am. Oh yes, and it’s RPM day too! Here’s what I did today:

30 min run on treadmill

20 min on stairclimber

Lat pulldown

Front pulldown

Upright row

Assisted chin up

Sit ups

Did my 2nd RPM class today. Quite a number of participants in class today, but really, these people should learn some gym etiquette. About 75% of the class came in late and the instructor spent the first 2 tracks helping them to adjust their seats. Really annoying. Anyway, as usual I was admiring his rippling deltoids. Gosh, I’d kill to have delts like that OR have a man with delts like that! Drool! Heh even my girlfriend thought he was cute. He was telling us how he cycled 160km yesterday for 8 hours. Wow. Wish I could cycle outdoors. My last attempt was in university when I rode into 3 different trees. I’ve only ever cycled in Australia, as there are no proper places to cycle in Malaysia. Well, I’ve just only ever cycled with training wheels here..

Oh yes, and there was special guest appearance at the gym today. You know who you are ;)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

More body image obsession stories

Got to the gym at 6.05am today.Had quite a good night’s sleep, so I felt recharged for today’s workout. Here’s what I did:


30 min walk on treadmill

30 min on stairclimber

20 min on elliptical machine

Weights: back

Low row


Lat pulldown

Upright row

Fitball crunches with medicine ball

I had a really good workout on the stairclimber, so much so that when I increased intensity, the whole machine started whirring and vibrating, sounding like it was very exhausted! Oh well, somebody needs to test the equipment to the maximum right? Brought my heart rate up to about 165, which is beyond the 80% heart training zone of a 20 year old… Someone had spilled water on the floor at the free weights section, and when my friend saw the puddle he asked me,”That’s not your sweat right?” Very funny…

Anyway yesterday’s NST Life & Times featured an article on Body Image Obsession, something which I can very much relate to. Evon Lim, a fitness instructor was interviewed and here’s what she said:

You can’t deny that some really fit and energetic people in the gym or the park are disciplined as they feel like they have to measure up to something good. But when they go home and nobody’s around, they binge because they lose the control they feel when being watched by everyone else and seek comfort in food.

Some of them don’t eat much during the day because the feel elated form the exercise or the attention of others and it’s a nasty cycle when they binge and workout hard to get rid of the calories and guilt the next day. This is not only binge eating but excessive exercising to make up for it and it affects both sexes

Well, that is SO true for me. Even though I’ve been a fitness instructor in the past, and I know all the do’s and don’ts, and that fitness is really more important than body shape, I myself have become a slave to this body image obsession. And it’s true what she said, the more you exercise or considered an athlete, the greater your obsession becomes. This is because of the idea that people think, how come you work out so much but you’re not thin? I get that question a lot from others. I try and explain that different bodies have different shapes and muscle composition, some are just more muscular, some are more predisposed to fat and so on. But some people just don’t understand that. I have this particular friend who asks me really rude questions like, “How come you’re still so fat” or if I am wearing something which makes me look a bit rounded she bluntly asks me “you haven’t been running is it?”

Although I know that I am fit and healthy, I can’t help but get sucked in to what she says. I still believe I am fat. This may sound insensitive to some of you, but really, it’s not funny and it’s hard to just erase 17 years of insecurities about your body shape. All these also stemmed from the fact that I used to be told I am fat even when I was just merely chubby and not excessively fat.

Believe it or not, I am also a victim of binge eating disorder, As what Evon says, most times I am seen not eating a lot, but there are times I go really extreme and binge, like I would be able to finish a whole can of Pringles at one go, or a whole bar of chocolate. Then after that I go to the extreme of cutting back a lot.

I can though, say that even though I have these insecurities, I am SLOWLY beginning to let it go..this has something to do with allowing God into your life and transforming you. I wish I could just shake off my insecurities just like that but hey, like I said, you can’t just erase these thoughts overnight. Although, I do wish I could overcome it quicker so I don’t’ have to punish muyself physically and mentally. But I guess it will have to be in His perfect timing.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Goodbye, Penang Bridge Marathon

I think I’ll have to say goodbye to my dreams of doing Penang Bridge this year. First of all, the massage I did last week did me more harm than good. The area above my left ankle became very tender, that when I put on a new pair of socks, I could feel the gutter pressing on the tender injured area. That’s BAD, when you hurt from just wearing socks. Had to give the 20km another rmiss last Saturday.. Strangely, I did not feel the pain when I had the massage done. My theory is that I had it done right after a run, therefore my endorphins were still pumping and therefore I could not feel the pain. Moral of the story is, never have a massage right after a run. Sigh, my injury seems to be shifting from one area to another area..

Also, I woke up feeling totally exhausted today. Had an incredibly long day yesterday, I seem to be having church meetings every weekend, save for last weekend, but I worked last weekend anyway so in a nutshell, I haven’t had enough rest. I can still muster the energy to wake up for an exercise (I am one of those that feels MORE tired if I don’t exercise – strange but true) but it really bothers me that I don’t get Sundays completely off to myself. And the horrible part is, I can’t say no to these meetings because of my commitment and involvement. I have yet YET another meeting this weekend, and the following weekend I have a bridal shower for good friend ( which in this case I am looking forward to). Well anyway enough of my grouses. Just feeling a bit demotivated and discouraged at this point because I had my sights set upon doing the full marathon in Penang which I have to give up now. I guess I’ll just need to take a break and perhaps try Singapore again.

Anyway, as I’ve said, as tired as I am, I’d still get a bit of exercise done, just a light one; if not I’d be even more lethargic and get more depressed. Got to the gym at 6am (OK, I know you’re all thinking, this girl is nuts…getting to the gym at 6am – you call that taking it easy?) Felt quite lousy, and only felt like doing 1 hour’s worth of cardio instead of the usual 80 minutes.


30m min walk on treadmill

30 min on elliptical machine


Leg extension

Seated leg curl

Calf extension

Adductor machine

Abductor machine

Was planning to go upstairs to do some squats, then Jenny popped over and said that RPM class was on. Had not planned to do it actually, but since Jenny was going and I had company, plus it’s the only early RPM class they’ll ever have, I decided to join….with the intention of not pushing myself. The instructor was this really athletic guy, he looked every bit a cyclist or runner. He was very muscular, had really nice deltoids, but I found the rest of him too skinny…you know, that sinewy kind of look. I much prefer a bit of flesh like Lee Hom : ) Anyway, there were a few other who were new to RPM so he taught a very basic class..which was good for me since I had no intention of pushing myself. What made it particularly enjoying was the tracks he played, there was an R n B version of “Sweet Home Alabama” and a Donna Summer hit (it’s an Italian title – cant’ remember it but it’s actually an opera song made upbeat) He has my approval, because I’m particular about instructors – they have to do it correctly. He gave some safety tips plus he was quite observant with the participants’ posture. I still remember there was a Brazilian instructor who could not teach RPM for nuts, he gave no instructions whatever besides increasing and decreasing intensity, without any safety tips. However his classes were always flooded with people JUST BECAUSE he had the looks. Nope. It has to be a properly trained instructor for me.

As exhausted as I was, I felt somewhat perked up after RPM, it really got my heart rate up. On other normal days I would have pushed myself even harder.Right after the exercise it was extremely difficult for me to walk up the stair, any my thighs felt like an anvil…then I remembered..i had done weights on legs before that! No wonder! Looks like I have to change legs day to Wednesday.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Cardio & fitball

Arrived at the gym at 6.15am today. The attendant at the counter said, “you’re early today” and I told her, “No, actually I am late..”

It’s purely cardio day today since I did weights yesterday. For some reason, Astro wasn’t in working order today..I wonder if Celebrity hasn’t paid the bill? Well it definitely wasn’t raining this morning.So far I’ve been choosing cardio machines according to which program I fancy watching. My usual picks are MTV (for brainless days – love it when they play 80s videos), ESPN (English Premier League) , Animal Planet and National Geographic. I’ve had enough of Discovery Travel & Living, that was the resident channel at Lifestyle before. CNN – only when I want to get news updates. IN any case, the music is always blasting so it’s always easier to watch something which doesn’t require thinking.


30 min walk on treadmill

30 min on stairclimber (ok, I am going to suffer trememdously running uphill tomorrow..)

20 min on elliptical machine

Did some fitball exercises as well….gosh how I miss teaching fitball. Fitball used to be my favourite class to teach because it was low impact and I didn’t need to jump around like a monkey, unlike Hi-Lo and Step in those days. I miss my fitball. I need to get a pump and use my new fitball..hope the rubber hasn’t disintegrated. I punctured my favourite fitball about 3 Christmases ago..I was wrapping presents and left the tape dispenser on the floor…Then one fine day when I was using the fitball (usually use it when I am at the computer – it’s great for the back) I accidently pushed the ball back then I heard a piercing sound..didn’t know what it was then but only realized it when I felt the ball getting flatter!

Gosh I think my legs are still sore from the massage!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

A nice massage

Today feels like a lovely breezy summer day. It's blazing out there but there's a nice warmth to it. I could do with a nice chilled orange juice! Since I started work later today, I did the tai tai thing this morning. Went for a 5km outdoor run this morning (ok perhaps this isn't so tai tai la..). Didn't want to push it so I went really slow. My muscles were still tight, so I had made an appointment for a full body massage at 11am. After the run I had a nice cuppa at Starbucks. Finished Starbucks about 9.15am, so since I had a bit of time left I decided to go to gym to workout (some more). Went on the elliptical machine for 30 minutes, burned about 21o calories I think....Then I saw the RPM instructor. Oh good! Finally. THe instructor never showed up on Mon and Wed mornings this week. But alas! The class was only at 10am, which meant that I could not go for it since my massage was at 11am.

So I'd decided to do weights instead, so that I can rest and stretch tomorrow to prepare for the run on Saturday.

It's upper body (chest) day today:
Push ups
Dumbell bench press
Barbell clean n press
Assisted tricep dips
Tricep kickback machine
Reverse crunches

After my shower I popped over for my massage. Boy, my calves were extremely stiff! The lady did a good job with my calves and feet. My left plantar fascia was hurting, and she gave it a good knuckle.It was so relaxing that I almost fell asleep despite the fact that I could feel the pressure of her hands, But for some strange reason my upper body felt really ticklish, as if I had a funny bone all over.

My muscles feel all relaxed and all ready for Saturday!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

30 min walk on treadmill (incline)
30 min on elliptical machine
20 min on stairclimber

Front pulldown
Lat pulldown
Bent over fly
UPright row
Assisted chin up

Fitball double crunch

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

My Visual DNA

Finally got to it...

On Target!

Look what Adrian and Chor Hon did to my Halong picture! Quite well done I must say!

Heart of the Matter

Last night I went to visit my friend in the hospital – he was hospitalized for a clogged artery. In his peak he used to run half marathons, infact he was one of the pioneers in my gym group to do half marathons. He was also the one to spur the rest of us to complete a full marathon, but he has not achieved one himself. He had always been active but for the last 3 years, with heavier responsibilities at work, we began to see less of him at the gym, and he had also developed a huge paunch.

He was alright when I saw him, he had just had an angiogram done. What they did was to put a stent in his artery, to open up the passage. He should be discharged by today.

Today I ran 5km outdoor, it’s my first run in 10 days. I think it was psychological, but since last night after I visited my friend, I felt like I had a tight chest. While running I also felt like I had a clogged artery..i felt as though I had the same symptoms as my friend did before he was hospitalized. He said after walking a few hundred metres he just felt like he had done a 10km run…not out of breath but a heavy kind of feeling. He said it was hard to describe but he knew something was wrong. That was what I felt this morning…I wasn’t particularly out of breath but I felt somewhat heavy…anyway I think it’s psychological. I did feel good after the run though, gosh I missed running so much. I didn’t get any aches or pain in my knee, I reckon my muscles are very tight and require a lot more stretching.

Also, I feel a bit spiritually high as well. And now that I am physically improving I feel a bit more motivated. I always am at my peak when I am spiritually AND physically healthy!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Heart rate and some other disgusting stuff

Broke another record. Was at the gym at 6am, I was the first one there. It’s been 10 days since I layed off from running. My right lateral kneecap doesn’t hurt anymore but the area around the right inner knee feels a bit tight.

Here’s what I did:

30 min slow jog on treadmill (185 calories)

25 min on elliptical machine (285 calories)

Jenny came and told me that they were starting RPM classes at 7.30am so I decided to do weights after my cardio so that I’d have time to do RPM.


Glutes machine

Adductor machine

Abductor machine

Calf extension

Dumbell squats


While waiting for RPM to start I decided to use the elliptical machine for a while. After waiting for a bit the instructor never showed up, and the gym attendants also could not locate him. SO I continued on the machine. I noticed that this particular model of elliptical machine never picks up my heart rate no matter how hard I work. My 2 friends beside me were happily working out with their heart rates displayed on the panel but mine still didn’t pick up anything. I later asked one of the Rapid Results Coach (Brian) why, and he said either I wasn’t holding the sensor properly or I’m sweating too much. I’ve tried holding it in different angles and it still didn’t I guess it was the latter.

Did another:

30 min on elliptical machine (210 calories) so a total of 610 calories

Today there was a Caucasian man, and he was wearing a singlet with 3 quarter tights. It was a bit disgusting because his breasts were spilling from the side of the singlet and he had bigger ones than most women. Disgusting. Ew. One should also dress appropriately for gym. Speaking of dressing, last Saturday there was this girl who wore a white tube with a flimsy white blouse with flared sleeves. And what was she wearing on her feet? Sandals with butterfly designs. Please girl, you’ve come to the wrong place. I think since I’m rattling on about things which disgust me, I might as well tell you about my friend who is so tiny and she tells me she is fat and wants to look like Jessica Alba. All I can do is roll my eyes and say, get real, get a life.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Running Out of Time

It’s a lazy day today. Got to the gym at 7.30am, only did a minimal workout:

35 min walk on treadmill

10 min on elliptical machine

After that did my usual singleton thing, sat at my favourite haunt, Starbucks in BV1 and had a nice cuppa and read Runners World.

Although I’ve been kind of demotivated with my injury, I was somewhat inspired after reading an article about getting back in shape after a long layoff. So I’ll have to change tactic. In the past month, I’ve been doing the following regime weekly:

  • 3 short runs a week
  • 1 interval training
  • 3 x weight training
  • 1 long distance run

Now I’ll have to change to the following:

  • 2 short runs a week
  • 3 x weight training
  • 1 long distance run

(Another thing which inspired me was watching Lee Hom’s “Ai Cuo: video where he was seen training for kickboxing, and he was doing his crunches hanging upside down – check out those abs man…DROOL..)

Anyway,….I guess more importantly, I’ll have to go for my next race with lowered expectations. This has been a bad running year for me and I really really want to get back in the swing of it. I am running out of time for my Penang Bridge training so it’s best to take is slow.

According to Robert Fitts, PhD, an exercise physiologist and chairman of biological sciences department at the Marquette University in Milwaukee,

  1. Once you’re in shape, you can work out less and still maintain your fitness level and performance (hurrah!)
  2. If you “detrain” but have been training for years, you”detrain” slower and come back faster (yayyy!)
  3. Ignore weekly mileage total and ease up on your pace (yes, that’s what I need to do!)
  4. Resist temptation to go out hard on race day (another thing which I need to do)

Lastly, Tony Ruiz, a coach in a New York track club said, “Consider the race as a stepping stone to future personal bests, not a climactic event in itself”

Sounds hopeful.

Thursday, April 05, 2007


Gosh, just realised I am more butch than the male instructors in my gym!

S T R E T C H E D!

Decided not to do outdoor today since I wasn't going to run. Arrived at the gym at 6.20am. I realised I've been having withdrawal symptoms from not running. I have been grouchy and highly irritable the last few days. Anyway, am still resting for the rest of this week. Active rest, that is. I can't imagine not exercising at all..

Today's workout:
40 min on elliptical machine
10 min on bicycle
10 min walk on treadmill

And then

Ah the body felt good after doing all those stretches. Guess my muscles were really stiff from all that running. Still remember the good ol' days where I used to be able to do a pancake and do a split on my back...

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Better today!

Got to the gym at 6.20am. Felt a little bit more motivated today, as some of the soreness had subsided. Yesterday my lower half of the body was awfully sore, one of those where your bones also ache (“fong sap”). By yesterday night however, I felt slightly first I thought it was the painkillers which I took in the morning for my headache, but it could not have lasted the whole day.

It could have also been the alkaline water which I have been consuming, thanks to Jenny, but then again probably not. I think it’s only a placebo. It’s really ironic, on one hand I’m gulping something like 2 litres of alkaline water daily, but on the other hand I’m still drinking coffee, which probably offsets any alkalinity in my body.

All in all, I think it’s really the rest from running. Feeling a bit stronger now…I’ll just have to rest few more days and then hopefully I’ll be back on my feet again.

Today’s exercise:

35 min walk on treadmill (150 calories)

40 min on elliptical machine (285 calories) TOTAL: 435 calories

Back day!

Assisted chin ups

Pulley row

Upright row

Bent over fly

Front row

Double crunch with medicine ball

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

A Wannabe's Denial

Yes I am a wannabe runner. I have been in denial and still am in denial. My denial is 2 fold, the first is that, I was not made to be a runner, and the second, is that I’m ageing but I just refuse to accept it.

I’m suffering from chrondomalacia and iliotibial inflammation right now. It’s an old and recurring injury which I suffered from previously due to my flat feet and wide Q angle. I was relieved from these injuries ever since I got my orthotics but they came back to haunt me due to overuse. In a nutshell, I just wasn’t made to be a runner. I was made to bear children, obvious from my child bearing hips. But since bearing children is not a viable option right now (ie some element is missing from the whole procreation process, ahem..) I have no choice but to stick to running. Oh but not for now I guess.

The other problem is also that my whole body is ageing and deteriorating while my mind doesn’t think so. I still remember the time when I used to workout 2x a day, 7x a week without any problems. Well that was a good 10 years ago. Obviously, my body takes a longer time to recover now, and while I have a strong will to push myself harder, my body usually gives up on me first. This is a strong reminder again that this life is temporal..and I’m just waiting for the day that my body will be renewed without all these aches and pains. Speaking of which, I wonder if I’ll do any running in heaven? Will it be necessary? Or will I be like Bionic Woman, where I can run all day without feeling tired?

My friend asked me a question this morning, “Why do you want to run when you keep getting all these problems?” And she’s an ex-marathoner too, now retired from running due to injuries. She’s into yoga these days. I looked at her and said, “well, you know the high you get from running right? And you know the feeling after a marathon right?” I thought about it. Why DO I want to run? Well, firstly that’s that feeling of euphoria after a run, and secondly, I think it’s a weight issue that drives me to run. As I mentioned earlier, I suffer from body dysmorphic disorder, and for as long as I live, I think I’ll always feel like there’s a need to lose weight. And running is such a great way to lose weight. But I am “out of order” now.

Although it feels a little miserable, I have to say that in the past I would get tremendously depressed about it.Now? I guess I just have to be thankful and grateful to the Lord that I’m even fit enough to walk.

I often wonder, what if I had to amputate my leg? Although I still love running,I guess there is more to life than just running.

Today’s exercise:

4.4km outdoor walk

Monday, April 02, 2007

Broken Wings

Got to the gym at 6.15am. Not so chirpy this morning as knees still a bit sore.

40 min walk on treadmill
30 min on elliptical machine
Glutes machine
Adductor machine
Abductor machine
Leg extension
Seated leg curl
Alternate lunges
Lower back exercises
FItball crunches


I need to S T R E T C H a lot..I feel like a bird with broken wings.

Sunday, April 01, 2007


How miserable it is. Missed my LSD last weekend as my knees were still sore. I haven't started my Penang Bridge Marathon training and I am already out of action. I think I pushed myself too hard last Tuesday, I was already tired and still continued to run.

Sigh..looks like I have to rest from running for a while.

It's a miserable feeling.