Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Mizuno Ekiden Relay 2015


Two months back, I participated in Mizuno Ekiden Relay 2015 which marks my second relay after Bloomberg Square Mile.

Mizuno Ekiden 2015 is the first full-fledged Ekiden relay race in Singapore, consisting of two categories - full marathon 42.195km or a half-marathon 21.1km. The inaugural event will feature teams of four runners competing in a relay race over the same race course before finishing at a Matsuri race village.

I love team relays as they are usually more fun than solo races - cheering your team mates on while waiting for your turn and the distances are usually shorter too! Sometimes, it's not just about attaining a personal best but having fun and enjoying the race with ur friends!

What makes this race so special was that it's my third race running with Baby S (apart from Tokyo Marathon & Run 350). I was almost 6 months pregnant back then and not sure how the short 5.2km run (per team member) will pan out that day.



Pre-race

By 7am, my team mates and I were at the race site at Gardens By The Bay. We were surrounded with runners clad in blue and plenty of photo-worthy spots before the race.

Pre-race picture - I think we all looked pretty fresh despite the early wake-up call!


And my purple friend who is always towering over me, even when I am in my previous 6" heels!


With dearest Kat in our lulus!



The lovely couple was the first two runners to go and did a great job in clocking a decent timing for our #candowhat team. I was the third runner and after retrieving the sash from Kat, my legs were raring to move.

Despite the short 5.2km distance, the run felt like a 10km effort clocked pre-pregnancy. At 6 months, I realised that my fitness level and pace were very much different so every km was a feat to me especially in the hot weather. The volunteers were really sweet to give me extra drinks and to cheer me on while I alternated between a jog and brisk walk to press on.




Spotted 4km outside MBS which means I' m down to my final 25% of the distance! By then, it was all about disregarding the timing and getting back to the finishing line in one piece to pass my teammate the sash for the final dash.

And yay, I completed my leg!!




Post-race


We did it!


Thanks to my awesome team mates for a great job well done and running their best to make up for my weakest link timing! :)

Another highlight of this Japanese relay was the special Matsuri race village for the participants to fill their tummies.





Being a Japanese food lover, I just had to get my Nana Green Tea Float and a red bean fish pancake after purchasing the coupons at the information booth. It was the best reward after a run on that hot morning!

And then it was more photos taken with the team mates and my running family!








With Abby whom is handling the PR for the relay this time round!


With the RD girls!



And my RD family.



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Many thanks to Mizuno Ekiden Sg for the race slots, apparels and feature in Run Magazine. 

It was a pleasure working with you guys and I'm indeed flattered for this opportunity! My team had loads of fun during the relay and I hope the race will be back next year again.










Many have asked "How does it feel like to be exercising with a baby now?".

Very, very different definitely. I've been living in this body since forever and overnight it has now turned into this unfamiliar zone that is transforming day by day.

Exercising when pregnant takes more effort than before but knowing that I'm exercising for two helps to keep it going. I'm still amazed by its ability to grow a human inside (!!!!!) and yet trying to get familiar with it again by embracing it. Be it the imperfections, bulges or heavy butt. It's still my body after all and I love it no matter what!

I've forgotten how my body feels or looks like pre-pregnancy as it's all focusing on the present. Skin feels stretched like a rubber band, core is loaded with additional weights with extra pressure on my leg joints.

Exercising with this body is a completely difference experience now - more sluggish feeling with a constant need to hydrate but I listen to it more than ever. The benefits are amazing as well - you feel more refreshed and every session is a bonus gift to ur body!

My first trimester was the hardest to work-out even though my bump was relatively tiny. My morning sickness was very bad which affected my mood completely. Nothing I do seems to make it any better except working out which makes me forget a little about the gagging feeling! On tired moments or bad days, I just rest and listen to my body. When I meet feel good days where my body says "yes", I would proceed for my workout and feel even more awesome after that. Lucky for me the latter happens more frequently during the second and third trimesters.

Over the last 8 months, I've realised that it's not so much about the duration or the intensity. Any form of exercise is enough as long you try to keep yourself active. Every little step counts, even a longer route back home just to do more walking. 

Going slow, listening to your body all the time, staying positive and getting extra motivation from the baby helps to keep it going! Most importantly, listen to your body as no two bodies are the same.

I would say I'm reaping the benefits so far - no tiredness so far, no back aches,no swollen legs or arms yet.. so hopefully I can continue to exercise till I pop (which is very soon)!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Sponsored Post - Are you really happy? #changedestiny



Are you really happy?

Staying happy daily IS a choice.

Even if you aren’t living a life you envisioned, the best part about life is that you have the power to change it.

Here's a story from Priscilla Shunmugam, the driving force behind label Ong Shunmugam, who has stepped forward to share her #changedestiny story. Offering a rare insight to her emotional journey, Priscilla hopes to encourage her fellow Singaporeans walking down the untrodden road.


From young, I like being in control of all aspects in my life and making a decisive change if certain aspects do not make me happy. Like making that last-minute switch in my major during the university days from Economics to Psychology even if the former seems like a more popular choice. And getting out of a relationship that didn't seems to make me as happy as before. If it doesn't make you happy, don't do it. Don't be pressurized by ANYONE to do something you don't like.

However over the years, I've learnt that that persistence of staying in control could be a weakness as letting go at times and letting nature take its course can also be liberating, which is another form of happiness.

Happiness is an active choice and never passive. Throughout the last few months, it has been somewhat like a roller-coaster journey getting used to my body and emotional changes all by myself before the new chapter begins. As much as I confide in my loved ones to keep me going, I choose to stay happy by indulging in the things that I love - exercise, dressing up, family time, pampering sessions and good food.


How do you ensure that you stay happy?





 

It's never too late to take control. 

#changedestiny #areyoureallyhappy