Sunday, April 13, 2014

Semi Marathon de Paris 2014

My super special birthday this year. Not only I received blessing to enjoy myself with my friends in Paris, but I got to buy just the thing I once thought impossible.. still thought that I was dreaming.
Anyway, let's not keep you bore with my yada yada.. and go straight to my story of the above mentioned right?

As told by moi in my other blog; Enjoy!

We were all excited to join Paris Half Marathon which coincidently fell on my birthday. We've registered several months before, wayyy before our first half marathon in Chiang Mai. Determine to make a trip of the year.. with 7 of us, running towards the finish line together (in spirit at least). But like wise man says, we can only plan, but HE is the one who'll decide in the end. No matter how hard or consistent we've trained, no matter how firmed our booking is, at the end of the day.. only 2 of us made it to Paris HM. Hence the title.

It was funnily enough that each one of us suddenly caught with some obstacles. Started with H, she got pregnant (not that it could have slowed her.. she ran her first HM in Dubai while being pregnant too). But due to doctor's advise.. it is better not to join any race.. jogging on its own is ok, but not a race, as she might have push herself too hard, plus she is in her 5th months of pregnancy (I know right? WHAT?! 5months and not showing at all? :)

Then it's L's turn.. she just started working at a new company. In her interview, she already mentioned her plan for HM Paris and her boss is ok. But nearing the time, her boss did not fulfilled her promise. She didn't provide her full support and back L's plan to go on with her planned holiday when COO rejected her leave request . So she had to cancel and withdraw from our trip. :(

Then,  more and more of us faced obstacles. I was hesitated too. I do not have anyone looking after my kids from 5th to 7th. My new housemaid are schedule to arrive on the 2nd.. and I do not know her capabilities. Will she be good with kids? But since my husband insist that I continue with my plan, I carried on.. And so the drama begins.. few weeks to the actual travel date, more and more drama arised.
One with housemaid issue, one with a sick mother-in-law, one with a sick father, all had to withdrawn from the plan, although all paid for the registration. And the last was A, 1 day before the race, she just can't get into any flight.. all flight were fully loaded. So that's that.

Off the 4 of us go:- yeah.. luckily there's 2 more friends still joining for the trip but not for HM; 2 with a pure shopping mission and 2 with half-hearted HM mission AND a little bit of shopping mission (yes, it did started small- honest to God! :D). We took Pegasus airline, it was dead cheap when we booked it, QR1400 to-fro with a day stop over in Istanbul on the returning route. The flight was smooth, just a small delay due to some 'technical' problem - whatever it was. Our 3 hours transit in Istanbul was fun, even it was just around the airport. Few hours later, we arrived Paris- Orly airport. Took a brilliant pre-booked shuttle to pick us up and drove straight to our hotel in de Porte de Vincennes. Click here for the shuttle website. 

First stop after check in: Race Bib pickup! And there goes our touristy story. Been here, done that.. yada yada.. now let's go straight to the race shall we?

2nd of March 2014,  waking up a year older. I was not that excited to run. Maybe because half of me, still can't adapt the fact that I'm now running on my own without my husband-my mentor, my motivator AND most of my running buddies - which are my reason to stay strong. I was a bit scared, but not as scared as I was when I did my first HM. This time, my mindset is already thinking - do not push your limit.. run as you please as long as you finished. I know.. not the kind of motivation that one should share in the story of running. But to tell you the truth, I could not feel the same eagerness that I had when I did my first HM anymore. Maybe it was Paris - too beautiful and so much to do that we somehow 'unintentionally' diverted our intention. yes.. we were lack of discipline indeed.

We did however enjoy the ambience. It surely was different. It started as early from our journey from our hotel- waiting for our lift down, few of other runners are also there- ready to run. From top, they completely looked normal in their winter jacket, but when we look down, only we realised- they are in the same mission - in their running shoes. All the way to metro station, we'll find more and more runners. Our trip via metro was a bit of a challenge too, we didn't get to ride it until the 4th train came by. All others were packed with runners. It was awesome. Me and N felt so tiny compare to all mat and minah saleh's runners.

Our journey to the start point was challenging enough- it almost felt like my Hajj experience, with thousand of people pushing their way on the opposite. Due to some miss-communication when dropping our bag, me and N got separated. I felt lost. Darn it.. Calling/ Whatssaping didn't help- all line were too busy. After 15 minutes, I decided to wait for N in our curfew area- Alhamdulillah, I saw her. The joy, was like a kid who got lost and found by the parents! We briefly hugged. It was an emotional moment, we needed each other at the start point. At least with each other, we'll forget all those obstacles and could enjoy our little run.

10 am..but... we were kept waiting.. and waiting. and exactly 1 hour after the supposedly start time of the race, we, the idiots who were honest enough to chose our target time to be more than 2hour were being 'released'. Yes, we were divided into 4 categories: Smart, dumb, dumber and dumbest. We were obviously the dumbest. (Lesson learnt: NEVER EVER take the last categories, lie and just take the fastest target time, you'll know why if you keep reading my story).

I ran alongside N, just so we'll motivate each other, at least for the first 3km, after which, we got separated. Sorry N! I honestly wanted to run with you until the finish line- but that darn coQ health made me go a little faster although not as fast and as determined like I was in ChiangMai. But as I admit before, my target was made lower.

But the good side of this HM, along the way from start to finish, I think not even 100 meter apart, there's always people cheering or people entertaining the runners; band, singers, you name it. They were all high spirited, and the song that they sang or the drum that they pounded were amazing. These was something new for both of us. It keeps us energized. Felt like an on-going parade.. and we were really celebrated.

5km- the first water station; I was ready to replenish myself, but what do you know? No water anymore.. demmit.  This is when the 'dumbest-group' story begins. Remember we were released 1 hour after the race started? So, this is expected. Of course there not gonna be anymore water for us losers. We were just the idiots who thought we could participate in such a big event to get some sort of accomplishment for ourselves. We were the idiots who thought 'doesn't matter how slow you go, as long as you finished' when the race organizer didn't even consider us loser, let alone our need to keep going by hydrating ourself. Yes, we were that stupid.  I saw people going through the garbage tank for water. It was sad and humiliating. Although I started to feel thirsty, I couldn't bring myself to do the same. I try my luck by asking other runners who I saw have a little spare of water, (which come to think of it, might have got their water from that pile of garbage too haha whatever). N said, she took her water from leftover bottle she found lying 'near' the garbage tank. Pitty her.

8km, the route is getting harder- it was a steep road all the way- I kept my slow-jog mode until a lady past me by walking. Demmit! I was too slow! Might as well walk.. so I did. (mistake no 2)

10km- I  thought my luck will get better- but now, same story for water. Nada. So I had to beg from other runners again. Putting aside any shame.

15km - now at least there's some energy drinks, not much.. but there was, and some oranges too. Finally some sense of decency.

19km- After the up and down route, I was no longer in the mood of constant running, yes..I walked most of my way up a hill and run the rest of the other 'flat' route. The most challenging was that last few kms .., I was de-motivated, or what us runner call it 'the wall'.. I was past by other motivated runners, one by one. I can even see a very old man in front of me- my guess he was pushing his limit- poor him. Did he got any water  along the way, I wonder? Suddenly I swear, I heard my husband's voice 'You.. sikit lagi you..' , I broke to tears. Oh my god.. it felt so real.. as if he was running besides me. It motivates me to run a little bit faster.
Not long after, I ran past the old man, and kept running to the finish line. Arrived after 2hours and 44minutes to be exact.
At least there's still people there, and there's a host with his microphone- trying to cheer all the finisher, interviewing them.  I runner who arrived shortly after me broke to tears. She must have push herself so much to be that emotional. Yes, running was emotional, when you cross that finish line, with the sought-after medal awaiting for you, you will feel all your efforts are paid off.

But I can't see any medal. No one was waiting for us with medal at the finish line.

I felt strange, where is my medal?

Maybe I have to walk to some desk to get it? So I thought, fine I'll wait for N to finish, and go and get it together. Approximately 17 minutes later, N arrived.

We walked and walked but nobody is around, we found some guys who looks 'official' and ask about our medal, but sadly he responded 'Sorry, all finished'. 'WHAT THE ??!'. That's it, the medal, which supposed to be, my 'birthday present' and the symbol of our small victory.. is no longer available. I seriously didn't get it. How can they not understand the feeling of being let down like this? I can accept if we were told upfront that the first xx runners will get medals, and none for the rest. But, how can you assume that everyone who ran this HM don't mind the medal part? We've flown thousands of kms to be here, just to be let down?. How simple and easy for them to do that and claim as one of the best event in the world. Did you purposely prepared medals lower that the numbers of confirmed registration? :( How aweful.. I felt cheated.
We left empty-handed and heart broken. We no longer have any mood for any other activities- let alone for any picture. We went straight to hotel to rest.

That concluded our Drama to Semi Marathon de Paris 2014. Not only the drama started from before the trip, but it somehow cursed us until our return. Somebody is in need of 'mandi bunga' for sure.
xxxxxxx
Dissapointed,
BIB 50502, Semi de Marathon Paris 2014.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Chiang Mai aku datang!

Almost a week ago, me and hubby went to Chiang Mai, Thailand. A place that we have never considered in our to-go list. But because we are now into joining marathon and have our aim and training schedule and all, even when we are back to spend a month holiday in Malaysia, we opt to join any marathon race just so we are on the right track. Especially for my husband, who has less than a month to do his full marathon run in Dubai.
So, in December, since no half marathon run is scheduled locally, he started looking for races near Malaysia. And the only race available is happening in Chiang Mai, the neighbouring country. So, what the heck. We can just go, so we can do race and at the same time, enjoy some tourist activity. Besides, Chiang Mai seems nice. Click here to read all about our first half marathon experience.
As expected, we loved Chiang Mai.. it is far different than Hatyai. Yes.. that's the only place we ever been to in Thailand. People are friendly, weather is cool and calm. Not so big and not so small of a town. Plenty of halal food around, especially near Night bazaar street. You can simply ride tuk-tuk to go anywhere. Tuk-tuk is a local 3 wheeler ride. It is inexpensive, and best to get around. Just make sure to agree on rates before riding anywhere. But then again, Chiang Mai people are generally honest and kind. So don't worry too much.. just explore and enjoy!
Since our main objective in Chiang Mai is for the half-marathon event, we didn't quite go to many of the must-go-and-do. We waited until after the event to enjoy the city tour. But considering the hurting legs post the running, we opt for Segway city tour. Which is super fun fun fun! Tuns out, Segway is a sensituve machine that works only by detecting our body moves, there's no pedal or break to control. All you need to do is sway! Such a joyful experience!
Chiang Mai is also generally cheap. From accommodation to food, and right to services. The best is their massage and spas. They are cheap and great! We went to 3 types of massages in the three days we were there. Yup.. we massage and massage until our hurting feet recovers!
So, if we ever have an option to come back, will we ever take it? Absolutely YES!
Chiang Mai.. I'm in love.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Superheroes Birthday party at the park

It's winter in Qatar (yup for those that tot how is it possible that a desert country which seldom imaged as being hot hot hot can ever have winter.. it's true.. that's the beauty of Allah's creation). The same country that can have summer temperature of 40-50 Celsius now drop to cool temperature of 10-18 Celsius.. which is jusssttt nice for a picnic and lots of outdoor activities, including Superheroes Birthday party! Yay!
We've been putting off their birthday party for months.. was about to do it in October/November, but then had to cancelled it on the last minute for an unexpected misfortune. Which i will blog about someday.. InsyaaAllah.. just for the sake of sharing the experience, adui.. lame sangat tak update blog..sampai dah lupe ape bende! yikes

Anyway, I update back about this party almost a year later.. haha.. it is officially 26th of Sept 2013 when I continue writing this entry..when it happened somewhere in Nov last year! oh my god.. I seriously need to sharpen back my blogging skills!

wonder woman cake
So, with door gifts,

bumblebees-transformer cake
self-paint trophies for best dressed heroes



home-self-made cakes,

and many super costumes later 5 ironmens to be exact.. we've got ourself a cool party in the park! Which I'm pretty sure everybody enjoyed.. not just the kids.. their parents too. :)


Myra is dressed as Wonder woman, same like me! Maqeel as Captain America, daddy as Batman and lil Mishel as cute lil Ultrababy! hahaha..


Bat Auntie with batgirl & wonder girl


Guests

More happy guests

The after party- town of toys!


Certainly a party to remember! Thanks Barzan park!





Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Sayu..

Today I received a sad news from a friend.. her mom suddenly passed away, and she is hundreds km away I don't know how many kilometers are we from Malaysia. They are flying back tonite.. that's is one bad thing about living abroad.. you'll have to be prepared for sudden news like this. I am still Alhamdulillah haven't received anything similar.
In my WA group with my gal friends, we starts talking about out mother.. and one point that touched me and reminded me of my blog is when a friend mentioned about her late mother's diary that she inherits. How sweet to have something to remember your mom by.. a written journey of her life.

I do not keep a diary of my life.. I tried once, but when I found out somebody's reading it.. I stopped. Where's the privacy in it? Then I started to blog, which I also have stopped doing frequently.. after finding out few friends or friend of a friend in Qatar are actually reading my stories.. yes.. I am that shy!  truth is, I never shared my blog link to anyone.. I just created it to express my feelings, and use it a my medium of collecting sweet memories.

But after that discussion with the WA gangs, I tot to myself, I should keep updating this blog, as a remembrance of our life, especially when we are abroad.. building up family of our own.. so when my kids are all big, they could have look back at this and have some ideas, how it was.. yes kids.. Mommy is writing this for you.. so I have left something for you to remember me by :)

I love my Mom.. although we don't connect as others do. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Our family umrah trip by road

Journey from Qatar to Riyadh to Madinah then Mekah and back to Qatar by road.


 It has been long since we ever made a long trip journey other than to Malaysia since we had Mishel. We thought to give any trip a rest, until the kids got slightly bigger. But at the end of March, somehow we were invited to go to Mekah to perform Umrah. Alhamdulillah.. not everyone are invited, it is the most privileges invitation a muslim can have. Be it you have all the money in this world, if HE didn’t invite you, then you will not be allowed to go.. and if HE decided to invite you.. a short notice invitation is all it takes for HE is the best planner of the universe. AllahuAkbar.

I just started a new job with a completely new field in an oil and gas industry. I was always TV/Media kind of person. Have always been in operation and now, migrated, in hope to achieve a better mindset and a better family-oriented kind-of job. Yes.. I am thankful, now I am working 7-3.. just nice for school hours.. yes, although Maqeel and Mishel are currently at home, but soon they’ll join the nursery too.. so this is by far, the best job option Allah had granted me with. Alhamdulillah.. another Arafah prayer has been answered.

I started my new work officially on 12th of March, luckily enough, my boss allow me to go for a short break from 26th until 30th March for this short-notice umrah trip, and back to work the following Sunday.. blissed.. and I tought I’m going to feel tired and restless.. but I was wrong.
Thanks to Mr.Ai’s brilliant plan, we manage to complete our Umrah and Ziarah mission in 5 days, without feeling restless, nor tired. Here we share our itinerary to Umrah by road in hope that many more people could benefit from this and get their chance of invitation too.

25th March 2013

1400hrs we pushed off to border and completed the whole yada yada process in approximately 2 hours. Made our way to Riyadh and reached our hotel around 2230hrs.

26th March 2013
0900hrs we pushed off to Medina Al Eiman Taibah (N 024 48.969, E 46 37.947). Reached there just nice for Asr prayer. Parked our car, checked in.. then rushed to Masjid Ad-Nabawi. The hotel is not too far from the masjid.. a 5 minutes walking distance, which is acceptable. That night, after Isyak, I went to Raudah with my P.A.. Yup.. our main point of going to umrah must be because of her.. she is quite warak and never have left Dhuha prayer.. and Alhamdulillah.. our journey has been made easy, and I believe it is partly because of her too. Allah have given her this rezk by inviting the whole family. My experience in Raudah also was easy this time. I could just walk straight to the very last point where they stopped you to wait for your group turn just before the Raudah..but still, it took about an hour of patience to be allow an entrance.. finally.. I manage to enter and perform my solat there.. praying.. hoping that all that I have asked for came true. InsyaaAllah.

27th March 2013
0800hrs we pushed for Masjid Quba’ (N 24 26’17.6” E 39 37’03.5” ). He who take wuduk from home then perform 2 solat sunat in Quba’ will be granted the same amount of rewards as if performing Umrah. InsyaaAllah..

After prayer, we visited masjid Qiblatain (N 24 29 02.2”, E 039 34” 43.4”), Madinah Quran factory (N 24 30’55.6”, E 39 32’ 19.9”) then straight to Miqot Bir Ali (N 24 24’ 53.8” E 39 32’ 34.1”)..before continuing to Mekah.
Note: If you thought about putting wakaf copies of Quran in Masjid Nabawi or Masjidil-Haram, please be sure to put the version printed from Madinah Quran factory. If they see any other version, it will eventually be removed and put into other masjid. So be sure to get the original copy from the factory shop itself, not from stalls selling Quran outside of the masjid area. The Medina Quran factory opening hours is from 0730am till 12pm. And only men are allowed to go in for visit. Women can only enter the shop. Visitors to the factory will be granted a free copy of Al-Quran.

We reached Miqot Bir Ali at around 10am, we changed to ihram and set our umrah niyah. LabaikAllah.. humalabbaik.. 5 hours later, we reached the Kuday free parking area (N 21 23’54.6”, E 39 49’39.5”), pared there and then took taxi to our hotel in Mekah Al-Mukarammah (N 021 25.17”, E 39 49.607”). Alhamdulillah.. just in time for Asr prayer. After Asr, we performed our Umrah.
One of the experience that I felt was meant to happened to teach me a lesson was, when I got separated from my family. I was carrying Mishel in my arm, while performing tawaf.. she cried most of the time due to the heat.. I then opened up her clothes and pray that she’ll get better and sleep. Thankfully, after the 5th round, she fell asleep. I finished my tawaf, and still hoping to find my family again.. but I couldn’t. Then it was almost time for Maghrib, so I took sleeping Mishel into the women’s praying area. Still praying and hope that my family will find me. But they didn’t.
 It was somehow meant to be, I didn’t have any money or my phone with me.. it was hanged on the wheelchair that carries Myra and Maqeel.. . After Maghrib Mishel was hungry.. thankfully somebody gave us 2 pieces of Tamar, more than enough for us to gain some extra energy to perform Sai’e. I went to Safar, hoping that I’ll see them.. but still.. no sign of them at all. Luckily, I got to borrow one of the nice men phone to send a text msg. I then perform Sai’e with Mishel in my arm.. feeling just like Siti Hajar.. running back and forth looking for water and food for her child. I could hardly bare her in my arm anymore.  After Isyak, we settled, we went back to our hotel, I was barefooted. Luckily enough, the bell boy remembers me, as Maqeel’s Ummi. He hand me another copy of the hotel card, so I manage to go in to rest.
Alhamdulillah.. even in the worst, Allah still provide helps, one after another.. and if I hadn’t been separated, I wouldn’t have appreciate it more than I am today.
It was an experience to remember.
That night, I took Shaklee Collagen and 4 tabs of Shaklee Ostematrix. My arm was numbed .. ached all over from shoulder down to my back. But I woke up feeling fresh and re-charged.. ready for more.. Alhamdulillah. Click here if you need more info of the product. Highly recommended as they are very very good.

28th March 2013
We stayed 2 night in Mekah.. and Alhamdulillah.. Allah has answered my prayer.. finally, I got to kiss Hajar’ul Aswad.. something that I have not considered from my last 2 visit to Mekah before.

29th March 2013
After performing tawaf Widaa’, we stop by the Zam-zam distribution center in Kuday, then pushed off to Riyadh.. the most long and tiring journey.. 9 hours to be exact.

30th March 2013
After a nice and relaxing time, we made our way back to Doha. Reached Saudi border at 1430pm and finished by 1450pm. Yup.. going out is fairly easy and fast. We reached Qatar border at 1515pm, performed our jamak prayer and safely entered Qatar at 1523pm, stopping at Hyatt Plaza for a nice family meal.. before heading home to Gharrafa.

It was amazingly smooth and everything was somehow made very easy for us. Alhamdulillah.. may we be invited again someday.








Wednesday, January 9, 2013

My Shaklee e-store

Hi all (if I still have any follower that is :)

Check out my other blog, mostly talk about our personal experience with Shaklee health product. We are satisfied-customer turn distributor. Drop by to see latest update and promotion from time to time.

TQ!

Saya sukavitamin.com

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12.12.12

Dear Maqeel,

It's your 2nd birthday today. I could still remember the day I went to the hospital.. thinking that you'd be out in a jiff.. how i was wrong.. but Alhamdulillah.. all good now. May Allah protect you all the time.. so you grow to be a good Muslim, a true khalifa of the world, a dear son, continue to be a loving brother that you're already is and loved by many. Stay humble and true to yourself..

Love you always,
Mommy