Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Running Diary – Countdown to Malakoff 2011

Fave Running Playlist:
Marry You by Glee Cast
Superman by Super Junior
Dog Days Are Over by Florence and the Machine
Blow by Ke$ha
Who’s Next by 4Minute (feat. BEAST)

21 Nov 2011
Location : Gym
Distance : 5.62 km
Oh god. Not yet 2 km, and I am already panting. My last run was Standard Chartered, and that was about six months ago. This first day after such a long break is such a torrrturreeeeee… Only 15 minutes had passed, but it felt like forever. I want to quit. Oh hoh. Mommy. C’mon, you can do this. Hit 5 km, or 40 minutes, whichever comes first, then you can stop.

22 Nov 2011
Location : KLCC Park loop
Distance : 5.72 km

I always ran clock-wise on the loop. Why, you ask? Because everyone else’s run counter-clockwise, following the 0 – 1300 m direction. But when everyone run in such a way, all you see is other people’s behind. I ran clock-wise, in the opposite direction of others, so I can see every single faces that pass me by. This is important as there are a lot of cute runners, with sexy legs, on this track. Am I clever or what?

29 Nov 2011
Location : KLCC – home, along an undisclosed route
Distance : 11.69 km

Decided to run home today from the office because a friend, who I am competing against in a Nike+ Challenge, spilled that she was about to add in another 17 km with two upcoming races. There and then I decided that there’s no way I should allow her to have such a huge lead and I know I am not motivated to run far when I’m on a treadmill, so after office, sneakers on, and off to home!

(Stopped by a stall for a char kuey teow dinner and durian at Seri Rampai area before completed the last leg home. Aishhh, macam mana nak kurus kalau tengah berlari boleh makan kuey teow?!)

30 Nov 2011
Location: KLCC – home
Distance : 10.5 km

Decided to run home from the office again. I followed the same route as yesterday. I think this will also be a perfect route if I ever decided to cycle to work one day – flat, and it has good pedestrian pathway for most part. But there’s no one else running along this route – I felt so lonely...

2 Dec 2011
Location: KLCC – home
Distance : 4.21 km
Argh, something is wrong with the chip. It only recorded half the distance covered. Penat je lari jauh-jauh hari ni, haishh…

8 Dec 2011
Location: KLCC Park loop
Distance : 4.75 km
Today’s run is to recalibrate the chip.

9 Dec 2011
Location: Gym
Distance : 4.48 km
Hmmphh, no eye-candy in sight.

13 Dec 2011
Location: Gym
Distance : 3.15 km
Aaahh, after a 40 minute run, I checked my iPod, and it only clocked in 0.1 km. Apa kes, 100 m jerrr? Helloooooooooooo? Only than I realized that, earlier, I changed the playlist as I started to run, but forgot to switch it back to Nike+, thus explaining the lack of recording. Ahh, penat je lari. But if I didn’t clock in anything today, then I can’t keep up with my friend on the challenge (who looks like she has been running everyday now. Ughhh, crazy horse).

So back on the treadmill. For another 3 km. Buhooo, I could have gotten 7 km today.

14 Dec 2011
Location: Gym
Distance : 4.33 km
Today is such a good run. I wish I could have run longer, but I was in a rush for a dinner meeting. I don’t know why, but today’s breathing is perfect, the pace is consistent, my legs are cooperating and I do not feel lazy or tired at all. Perhaps because I was flanked by two very handsome fella on the treadmill next to me? Awesome motivation!

15 Dec 2011
Location: Gym
Distance: 10.19 km
Ah, rain, rain, rain. The gym again, looks like it. I aimed to complete 8 km.

But I pushed my self and went for 10 km instead!

Tomorrow will be the last run, insha Allah, then Saturday a rest day, and then Sunday - hello Malakoff! Hello 12 km, over a torturous and hilly Bukit Kiara!

Friday, December 9, 2011

From The Kitchen: Vietnamese Fresh Spring Roll

Besides the beef soup and the drip coffee, this spring roll is my favorite Vietnamese dish. It is so refreshing, light and healthy. But with the lack of Vietnamese restaurant around town and since the only place I could find them is at KLCC (read: it is just so expensive to eat frequently), I decided to make them. Oh goodness. Awesomely delightful. 3-4 rolls are enough for a light dinner, and it is really delicious that you don't feel deprived of good-tasting food if you are in the midst of a diet. You can of course substitute whatever ingredients you want, and make you own unique rolls.

Ingredients for the roll:

Rice paper - Cold Storage @ KLCC sell this. Look at the shelf where they keep the sugar and instant ketupat etc.
Prawn - Shell off and deveined. Then poached, or lightly boiled. I put two pieces of prawns in each roll.
Salad leaves - just because. I have some in the fridge. Tear them into smaller piece.
Mango - thinly sliced
Fresh basil and mint leaves - these are the secret ingredients. The 'freshness' taste of the roll comes from these two fellas.
Bihun - depends on how much you want to put in the roll. I usually overestimated and had plenty of leftover. Isk. Soak in hot water and toss. Drain the water off as much as possible, because if it is too soggy, then your rolls will be too soggy too. I find that if I prepare and toss the bihun the earliest before I start preparing the other ingredients, it will be just ready when it is time to assemble the roll.

1. Prep all the ingredients so they are nicely ready for the assembly: sliced mango, poached prawns, salad leaves and fresh herbs, and bihun.
2. Soak the rice paper in warm water, one at a time (don't soak in multiples, or they might get stuck). It is quickly soften too, so don't just leave the rice paper in the water to soak and go to do something else. Gently hold it with your fingers in the water until it is soft.
3. Spread it on a clean tea towel to get rid of the excess water. I usually skip this, because I don't have clean tea towel. So I just try to give the rice paper a little shake here, a little shake there, hoping that enough water will fall off.
4. Assembly time! The first time will always be messy. You might put too much or too little. Don't worry, have fun! It will still taste as good. The rice paper is also transparent, so you can experiment with how you lay down the ingredient. I love putting the basil and mint leaves first, so that they will be 'displayed' nicely once rolled.

Ingredients for the dip:

Fish sauce
Warm wate
r - 1/4 cup
Peanuts - crushed them into little, little pieces. I just put them inside a zip-lock bag and smacked them with a wooden ladle
Chopped garlic
Bird eye chilli - optional. I just like the dip slightly hot. 2-3 pieces of this, chopped, should be fine.
Lime juice - a quarter of a lime is suffice

Okay, the dip is definitely a try-and-taste thing. The first time I did it, I put in too much fish sauce and vinegar. Uggh, nasty, even though I'd followed the recipe to the T. So the second time around I tried to adjust it bit by bit until it taste almost like how the restaurant usually prepare it. Start by mixing in 2-3 tablespoon of sugar in 1/4 cup of warm water. Then mix in one teaspoon of vinegar and a few dash of fish sauce. Taste and adjust. You might want to add some more water, sugar, or vinegar, or fish sauce - up to you. Once you get this part to your liking, add in the rest of the ingredients - lime juice, chilli, peanuts and garlic.

Dip in and enjoy!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Travelogue Cambodia (July 2011): Zooming Through

One of the most enjoyable things that I did in Cambodia was the ATV ride tour. Unfortunately though, since I did not have a driving license, I have to be the passenger. The seat was so wide that my short legs were just hanging at the side. I got leg cramps by the time we ended, boohoo. That was the only bad thing about the tour, for the view was breathtaking and tranquil. Of course, it looked quite similar to any kampung in Malaysia, but somehow the sky is bluer and the grasses greener. The rice field stretched as far as the eyes can see. What I love most was getting a peek at how the locales live, which is always a highlight wherever I traveled as I find it more interesting than actually being at a tourist attraction. The kids that we saw along the way – either shying away or running towards our roaring machines and giving us a wave; the wooden huts along the river that looked like it may crumble anytime soon, yet still function as a barbershop or a sundry shop; a group of dark, sweaty teenagers playing volleyball at a dusty, humble field – what an interesting glance at life.