Things to tell yourself when you see a hill

Few friends and I joined Vietnam Mountain Marathon over this weekend and it’s kind of special for me. Because there are many first about this event, first trail run event, first overseas sport event, first time to Hanoi and Sa Pa, first sport trip with friends and first half marathon distance for trail. So, it’s really memorable.

Although I (tried to) ran regularly preparing myself for this event, but it still wasn’t enough. As a result, when I poked myself at random place, most likely it’s a sore spot. #IDidNotSignUpForThis

You can check out the route in Vietnam Mountain Marathon website. To me, the highlight of the 21km is the first 7km stretch is a climb, second 7km is descend and last 7km is steep climb then (almost) flat to the finish line

So, during the climb I have plenty of time talking to myself (ha!)

1. What goes up, there will go down

And same thing goes, when goes down, will have time to go up. That’s the fun part than flat, right?

My motto, climb is okay, down is not okay. I stumped my toes, both left and right this time, so the down part is killing me. Uphill is tiring, but I kinda enjoy taking one step after another, and figuring out where to step and so on. I feel like I’m training to be a ninja. Just need to give me a shuriken to throw. #kidding

2. Just one more step

Sometimes I take my own sweet time to put one step. My butt is hurting, my legs are screaming, my heart is racing, but my brain and hands are having fun #weird

3. The only one you race with is yourself

Looking up and seeing people up there sometimes can be demoralizing, but it gives me a sense of relief too, that’s where I’ll go too. Don’t rush yourself. #OTOT = own time, own target.

Lastly, I’m so glad that I don’t do this alone. There are many times that having friends around gave you extra boost of energy. I think I’d give up halfway without them.

How about you? What do you tell yourself when you see a hill?

Bonus: here is the photo of the last hill (Mt. Silverstone) to the finish line

And to myself, next time, please practice more

The pain needed to grow

Back in 90s there is a TV show called “Growing Pains”, and I grew up watching it. I didn’t think much about the meaning of title back then.

Sometime ago, Ajahn Brahm also mentioned in one of his talks about growing pain.

Pain is usually associated with bad or negative energy, unpleasant feeling, and no one wants it. It’s not always about the physical pain like bruise, but it can be one too.

When you’re aiming to complete something but didn’t go smoothly.

For example, there are times at work when I was so caught up with the situation I’m in. I thought, why can’t we have a smooth work. There are many factors contributing to it, aren’t it?

Or when you’re trying to run a marathon, when you just want to finish it but your legs won’t just cooperate.

At first, those pains make me upset, disappointed or irritated. But I start to appreciate it as pit stop. When things just move smoothly, sometimes I tend to forget what happened around me.

Tired mind could be caused by ourselves, we think too much, or take the damage to ourselves. Muscle pain because we hardly exercise or we do it wrongly. So let’s embrace them.

As things are happened for a reason.

Do you have any growing pains moment lately?

The only competition I’m having is

While last week I was inspired by my sensei’s word,  but this week I get my inspiration through this talk in YouTube. The talk appears in the recommendation to watch list. I like it so much and I shared the video in my LinkedIn too.  Within Simon’s video and what sensei told us, there is a similar message.

Simon mentioned that there are 2 type of games or competitions, finite and infinite. Players in finite environment tend to have mindset to win it. On the other hand, in infinite environment, players are playing to keep the game going.

He used Apple as example. Apple doesn’t always get praises from their customers, however they are focusing on up-ing their own product than defeating the other players. There are days when you perform slightly below average, but that’s okay. Learned from it and be better.

These days, I’m practicing running and swimming quite a lot. However, I felt that I’m still no good for swimming although as in compared to before taking the class, I felt there are some improvement.

Few friends told me that they were bad at first too. Believe in yourself, keep practicing, and one day, you’ll get better.

So, my running time is not that great, but as in compared to me running 6km for the first time in 2010-2011 under the rain back then which took me almost 1 hour to finish it, now I can run 5-6km comfortably.

About swimming, when I’m thinking about it.. I only started to be able to swim breast stroke somewhere around 2005-2006 and I hardly swim (or exercise =_=!). Then, only lately learning free style again. So, in terms of mileage in the water, I’m still a baby.

There is still long way to go Kartika. Don’t lose sight of it and remember to keep improving your miles. In land and water.

And, participate in one race at a time, do your best to complete it then challenge it again.

Let’s challenge it (again)

One of my Japanese classmate passed her N1 recently. To me, it’s like the pinnacle of mastering the Japanese language because I’m still holding N3 since few years ago and haven’t done my N2 again since failed to pass it around 2 years ago.

I’m going to give it another go this year, but was distracted with other goals which also requires me to put sometime grinding experience, so hopefully next year I can take it. (No more excuses Kartika, okay?)

Sensei added, why don’t you still take it (N1) in 2 years time, so that you will be able to know how much you had grown. And to keep the motivation to learn going.

Why I didn’t think of that before?

So far, similar to my PMP, or certain license, they will ask you to do a refresher course to maintain the license or certification.

One of my running buddy has a mission to join running event for the same distance when she ran in that event for the first time. To find out what’s her timing like year by year.

For me, who only started to run regularly around four years ago, I started to find some favorite running events to join. But I didn’t think of making it as reevaluation about my running time.

How about you? Do you have any activities which you always do as rechallenge?

What I wish that I know when I was

J.K. Rowling said that in her Harvard commencement speech. She said that she was racking her head what should she share in a commencement speech. So she thought that what she wished to know when she was at the same age with the graduates.

Her words made me think, what are the think I want to tell my younger self? Or maybe what would my future self would tell the present me.

(I’m sure that Luffy wouldn’t want to hear it. Because it won’t be fun anymore.)

One thing I can think of now, if I can tell my younger self would be, write more. Whether it’s a scribble, a diary, or just a shoutout. Daily if possible.

My sensei usually will ask this question during lesson, anything interesting happened in the past few days? And as usual, most of us will just smile at her. She will make a comment that we are not paying attention to life, and as if, living it in auto-pilot mode which makes us easily forget what happened around us, during commute, at home, or at work. She said, write a diary, write about the weather, clothes we wear that day, food we eat and so son. The year after that, you can read what did you eat and eat the same food this year. (Interesting idea ne)

I like to write diary. I was writing my diary in English when I was in junior and high school time. As practice. These days, I’m writing it in Japanese with same purpose in mind. As practice. When I’m in my hometown and found my old diary, I had a good laugh by reading them.

Two years ago, I wrote a time capsule message to the 2020 myself. Honestly, I can’t recall at all what did I write that day. I’m looking forward to the day to open it. Then I’ll write another one to the 2025 myself.

Back to J.K. Rowling’s speech, there is one thing that I like the most. It’s about humility to know that life is difficult, complicated and can be out of control. Even an adult might still have the greatest question in life, what I want to do. So, take your time as life is not a race to complete a checklist.

As my sensei always advised us in the class, try to do things differently, and as you get different result, you will find life will give you more colour. Like greeting her “good morning” when our class is in the evening, or keeping a diamond in a watermelon.

Just have some fun~!

Random notes from last week

Don’t you feel amazed when you started to tidy up some of your stuffs and as you look through it, you started to think, why it seems I was wiser yesterday?

1. I took out some pages from my agenda, it’s been half a year in 2017 but I still kept all the planner pages from beginning. It makes my planner thinner now. In one of the page I wrote few lines which I heard from a Japanese movie, Honnoji Temple.

Dream is not about possible or not possible. Nor big or small. But whether you want to do it or not.

2. When your kebab gives a quote of the day

There is two rules for being successful. One is figuring out what you want to do. And two, doing it.

3. Running long distance wasn’t my cup of tea, but as I ran together with my friends, I feel I can run forever

Being considerate in public places

There are times when I miss to be in Japan because of their manner (besides the manga and anime culture).

First, the peace while riding a train.
Today the young chap in front of me listening to a music with his speaker phone and do a muted lip sync with occasion of air fist and patting his chest.
I ran this scenario inside my head:
A. Bro, can you play BIGBANG song?
B. Bro, can't you afford earphone?
C. What is the title of the song you're listening to?
I did look around in case this is a prank 😝

Secondly, is sense of guilt of creating inconvenience to others.
Yesterday I ran with my friend at McRitchie reservoir. If you have been there before, you notice that path can be quite narrow at some section.
So usually we will keep left because on our right there will be runners from other direction.
When running, I usually try to keep the pace constant, so taking over, if I can and the situation allows, is common.
But what happened to my friend and I yesterday was on the narrow path, group of students wearing one of the top university in Singapore running top were running side by side. Next to us could be a slope. Logically, if you're driving and about to take over but you see other car from other direction, you will move back behind the car you about to take over. Otherwise you'll crash to the car from opposite direction, right?

Well.. seems like those kids have no logic driving experience. My friend brushed shoulder to shoulder few times while I managed to do some ninja moves avoiding them.

Back to my train journey, I decided to take out my earphone, do it obvious enough in front of him and play my playlist.
I saw him lowering the volume and bringing up the phone to his ear after that, although he started to sing not just muted lip sync. *sigh

Thanks for reading my rant this week.

So in public places, can we be considerate to each other? For world peace ✌🏼

To be more confident, follow these

  1. Do few baby steps, and do it right. It will make you feel good and confident.
  2. Once you get it right, add the intensity or steps or do it for longer period.
  3. If it wasn't going well, stop and reflect.
  4. Then repeat the last one when you're succeed.

Those were my swimming coach advice to us this week.
She often asked us, how do we feel, did we do this or that, and so on. Because it's easier to correct it when we, the doer, aware about what and how we do it.
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