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Making Miles: Week 33



Note: During my run 5 weeks ago, I broke my iPod Nano … again (See weeks 13 through 16). I decided not to fix it or purchase the iTouch. Instead, I’ll wait till this September for the latest generation of Apple iPod to be released until I can run with music again and log my exact time, pace, and mileage. Also, my data for my run this Monday is extra unreliable due to the untended technical glitches the treadmill machines on my gym experienced repeatedly. 



How to be more productive: First of all, I learned that you have to be honest with yourself about how you define the word productivity. For me, it’s not so much the quantity of results you end up with by the end of the day; it’s how much you’ve worked out your problem-solving throughout the day in order to work efficiently. While the idea of scheduling a whole day dedicated to work may seem attractive, numerous research shows that squeezing in just a little bit of physical activity can significantly increase work productivity. You reap what you sow, so throw some seeds for your mental and physical health as it is proven to conduce a more wholesome result.




– Image courtesy of Vain and Vapid via Tumblr

The secret to a smooth running cadence lies in your attention to your own breaths. Why you should practice rhythmic breathing: Now that I’ve ran for more than five years, I focus more on injury prevention rather than finding ways to get fitter or speedier (although those things are still attractive to me). According to Budd Coates, M. S., and Claire Kowalchik on their book, Running on Air: The Revolutionary Way to Run Better by Breathing Smarter, if your exhalation coincides with every time your foot hits the ground, you are impacting up to three times your body weight of running stress, causing energy inefficiency throughout the run and can possibly lead to injury. “This is because when you exhale, your diaphragm and the muscles associated with the diaphragm relax, creating less stability in your core. Less stability at the time of greatest impact makes a perfect storm for injury,” explains the authors. “Rhythmic breathing, on the other hand, coordinates footstrike with inhalation and exhalation in an odd/even pattern so that you will land alternately on your right and left foot at the beginning of every exhalation. This way, the impact stress of running will be shared equally across both sides of your body.”

For energy efficiency’s sake in your running and to maximize stress release after a long day at work, always opt for belly breathing – or what physiologists call diaphragmatic breathing – rather than chest breathing. When I just discovered belly breathing, I started to notice all around me so many people go about holding their breaths, looking as if they keep so much stuff on their chest that I fear they’ll suffocate once something bad in their lives happen. Hey, I used to be one of those stressed-out people too.

This simple breath work, also practiced in other areas of physical discipline such as yoga, meditation, and martial arts, gives you a sense of centeredness, connecting the mind, body, and spirit into one. The even rhythm allows you to put in steady effort (instead of going to the extremes) during long runs so you want exhaust yourself or die of boredom. It is recommended for you to practice belly breathing in your daily life, not just in running, for all-around wellbeing. Learn more about belly breathing on the book’s compact excerpt here, courtesy of Runner’s World.





Take a deep breath. Now remember: Focus on progress, not just the results. Keep yourself accountable in doing so. I may not have an iPod nano to know my pace as for now like I usually do, but I don’t want to pressure myself to buy a new one hastily just to get the complete data of my runs. Without pace, I still have times to count on (find out why distances on the treadmill is not reliable).




Feel free to view my mileage progress here and my PB (personal best) record here. Remind yourself everyday, every week, every month and every year how far you’ve come to where you are today.

Here’s to making your milestones:




Inhale, exhale. Cheers :)




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TGIF! {The 13th}



It’s Friday!! And it’s officially a good one :)


– Image credit source unknown






♡ At the Dharmawangsa Hotel on Wednesday, March 27, I got the chance to attend renowned publisher Mobiliari Group’s Global Luxury Conference, an event dedicated to discuss the industry’s exciting potential and growth in the Asian market.


Highlighting budding sectors such as private jets, super cars, high-end retailers and fine watches, the conference examined how Southeast Asia can boost its economic expansion with the rising “super rich” class and the accruing wealth among the middle-class populace. Acclaimed batik fashion designer Iwan Tirta was awarded as one of the pioneering force in pushing Indonesia’s luxury industry forward, bringing the household Indonesian textile to its present international recognition by preserving its culture.

One of the most memorable lessons I learned throughout the conference was something life coach and founder of Swaen Capital Cliff Go said during his speaking session: If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money cannot buy.

Initially I had a lot of urges to complain about my day that day. I got hit by a motorcycle on my way to work, I panicked all the way and couldn’t park at the office lot, plus I have a lot of coverage to do while juggling multiple deadlines, whereas other stuff in my personal life are bothering me. But, as Go said, “The quality of life is determined by the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably live with.” With a daily reminder from God that life is not going to get any easier, the way I see it, I’ve only got two choices:

1) Quit and die now. After all I’m just a pile of dust. Or …
2) Keep smiling, even though I really miss the day I’ll be in my Father’s arms

Just as it is written, He will never give us anything we cannot handle. I’m thankful I’m given so much and that all I need to do is trust.


♡ My mom is officially a businesswoman. She’s a shareholder of a new restaurant in town, and the soft opening will be held on her birthday this Sunday (her 49th!!!). I’m grateful that she had me when she was young. She’s still doing her yoga, line dancing, and has a lot of energy to walk and talk business.


♡ Lollipops … For free!




♡ Learning a lot and growing everyday. I’m more than grateful that generally, the lessons I learn in my occupation also applies to life. As the journalist, teacher, and author of If You Want To Write: A Book About Art, Independence, and Spirit Brenda Ueland once said, The only way to become a better writer is to become a better person. Noted.


♡ I have the most understanding boyfriend in the world. Face it: Your time is limited. Don’t we all long for the day when we can just let go of everything and take a breather? Truth is, we may not have days or hours to savor that luxury – but I’m pretty sure we all have seconds to do that, right?

I forced Stanley to watch the 2006 blockbuster Devil Wears Prada last week, the eponymous adaptation of the chick-lit roman a clef (which, by the way, has a sequel under way). The story centers around an aspiring journalist and her challenges as an editorial assistant to keep up with Miranda Priestly, a demanding fashion magazine editor believed to be inspired by American Vogue editor Anna Wintour.

It’s one of my favorite movies just because during that year, shortly after the movie was released, my best friend said that Andy Sachs reminds her of me. That’s how I became curious and watched the movie. At first I thought it was bleh, but I watched it again and again over the years, and now I really love it.

Stanley pointed at Adrian Grenier, who posed as Andy’s boyfriend Nate: “That’s not me.”

Thank God I’m a writer, which means I still have more private time to steal. At one point during my panicky Wednesday, Stanley said on the phone: “Calm down, dear, take a breather for 5 seconds.” He understands, he understood that I have to prioritize my time, energy, and effort to pay attention to many things other than him, even when I consider myself a workaholic. And hey, with all the deadlines I’m working to meet, with all the plans and arrangements I have to make, along with my perfectionistic tendencies, I’m still able to keep up with this blog. I still have time to run hard and run long, which is a major pleasure by the end of most of my weekdays. He understands that I capitalize on my brain health because my job requires, what I might say, 24/7 godly mindfulness.

You can’t buy that kind of boyfriend with money, or have that kind of optimism and positive attitude without banking on your health. I’m just taking actions to pay back that gratuity, because I’ve been blessed with so many great things money can’t buy.


♡ Got fed by a cute guy.

It's an orgasmic matcha green tea mochi with red bean filling, one of the many sweet souvenirs I brought back from Japan :)
It’s an orgasmic matcha green tea mochi with red bean filling, one of the many sweet souvenirs I brought back from Japan :)



Someone asked me earlier this week … how do I wake up and have so much semangat everyday? The Bahasa word ‘semangat’ is synonymous to the English words spirit, passion, vigor, and zeal. The thing is, I’m just like any other person who’s physically drained and mentally exhausted. I choose to not show that because I’m aware that we all have mirror neurons, the monkey-see-monkey-do neurotransmitters that can either foster empathy or breed violence. I chose the first.

To state it simply, I believe in the Word and gave up my life upon it. A simple smile, even when I don’t feel like lifting my heavy cheeks, is my go-to replacement to the usual frowns and shrugs.


There are many more ♡s to count that I can’t possibly fit in one post. I’m just glad that TGIF! is slowly transforming into a place where I can just count the innumerable things I’m blessed with every day, every second. On this special day, I urge you to be a blessing simply by smiling more :)




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Dear future self, honestly …



Dear 99-year-old-and-9-month self:


– Image courtesy of Living by via Tumblr

Let me give you a bargain: I will reduce my original 100-year-old lifespan down by 3 months. In return, please, endow me with your utmost patience for today, for this moment, for being alive and not merely existing in the heyday of this lifetime.

I no longer care for the yesteryears, but I do care to progress. I am always aware that the internal clock keeps ticking, and life is not getting any easier. But I am also aware that every morning when I wake, a new hope is given freely to me. Thank God’s mercy. I’m sure you remember them – the rays of sunshine smiling at you and all, don’t you? Yea, if that’s not the case, you won’t look so youthful with the natural facelifts you’re known for giving yourself (and especially for others).

How the heck did you have such patience? Is it from marathoning?





… or did you succumb yourself to being a lab rat for a lifetime?

I know for sure that both you and I have committed to the written word once in exchange for not committing suicide when we were 21 years old. For all I know that’s the only thing we have in common: Commitment.

But once again, please, bestow upon me just a dash of your measureless patience to not sweat the small stuff.

I was extremely pissed when I subconsciously reacted to my situation earlier. My gym had lousy electric service and, for some reason, they’ve been leaving this problem unfixed for quite some time. Many times throughout my 7-month membership at the club, without any sort of warning, the whole row of treadmill machines  (except for the last two at the far right corner) abruptly stops running as the powers completely went off. I usually give these glitches a go, because they usually do whatever technical work they needed to do and I have always been able to restart my runs without further problems.

Today, though, was a biggie. It went off 4 times in total … within just one night! Before I finish my 5-minute warmup, it stopped. Then in my head, I changed my 35-minute workout for the night and shortened it to a 33. The machine started again, and it stopped yet again for after about 3 minutes. The next one, I thought I’d change my perspective to look at it as a blessing. These things happen so that my heart rate increase slowly, gradually, and effortlessly. It’ll be a very steady warmup toward a longer run, where I will be saving the most amount of energy to give out my all at the 35-minute mark. Yet tonight, my longest-running record was only around a 30-minute continuous run with a distance of, as I recall, 3.30-something kilometers – yes, the machine stopped again. It’s frustrating that I can’t recall the exact data. I don’t blame my memory because in this case, it doesn’t mean I have a lousy memory. I also love running and spacing out so much that I don’t really lock my eyes constantly on the running time as I run.

So what happened?

During my drive home, I had an epiphany – what if I simply decide not to blame anyone? After all, I do have a choice to not blame anyone. I don’t have to blame myself or the gym, the workers at the club, the electric service, the lifeless treadmill machines, or anyone, anything else related to my mini disaster today.

It’s not even a disaster. By blaming others or myself, I will be the disaster.

My first reaction was, does this gym really hold the quality it promises on its advertisements? Will my readers believe that I actually made that 30-minute mark, even without me getting the chance to take a picture of it?

But hey, 99-year-old self, you know better than I do. You know that responding is 180-degree different from reacting to life’s beloved little problems.

Sorry for taking your time, but I promise to use my lifetime wisely … now that 3 months are gone from my centenarian life. For everything else other than patience, thank you for just the amount of care and attention you always take to look after me. It’s unbelievable that compared to me, your 23-year-old self, one can describe you holding the kind of perseverance an ultra-marathoner would need to wear, because these long-distancers abode to plod far and long through life’s vicissitudes – they are almost always ready to cross great lengths (and transform mere miles into feats) along their way.

Once again, 99-year-old self, thank you for your time. You are, by far, the best listener I’ve ever met.

Yours faithfully,
& with much love,

25 March 2013