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Hill repeats: 30-minute incline treadmill workout



Disclaimer: The information below is for informational/educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional help. Before beginning a new exercise regimen or making any other changes in your lifestyle, always consult with your physician and/or a certified coach.


It’s been a while since I last shared my workouts, so here goes.

06177a53c50379c6dc0b3b0f24c7f487The day of the week when I give it my all in terms of fitness is mostly on Saturdays. That has been the pattern since I was still living in Frisco – my long runs (6-mile [9.7km] or more) mostly fall on Saturdays, and in terms of fitness, that hasn’t changed today, except for certain technicalities.

These days, my protocol actually consists of minimizing my weekly mileage while still maintaining the strength and stamina for long-distance runs. Why? Because I’ve learned to better prepare my runs and eliminate junk miles, and pardon my jargons from hereon.

In addition to getting more intentional with my runningthere is such a thing as too much of a good thing (ergo the importance of cross-training, i.e. doing other sports that are not running aren’t your primary sport), particularly when your run feels forced. In spite of all this, running has been my main mode of meditation for the last 6 years, and still, nothing else in the world feels better than to just sprint your way through the anxieties in your head and release all the stress you’ve built up throughout the week. Do that in a secluded area with fresh air, greens, and breeze – tension is gone.



More power, less effort

This morning, I just want to share this effective hill workout that will surely jazz you up by the end it (get your hill workout 101 here and here). It’s a straightforward way to simulate the perfect terrain indoors with the singular goal of improving your lung capacity.

Also, running uphill is actually easier for your joints, and for someone bruising easily around the knee area, it’s an ideal way to build strength without squeezing in too many sprints. I’ve been doing a lot of hill variations for the past few weeks, and they vary depending on my mood. They don’t necessarily make you become faster, but what you’ll get out of it is ultimately rewarding: You’ll breathe easier. This makes you run on a steadier cadence, and with that, you’ll be much more efficient with your energy on level grounds.


Should I try it?

Before I move on to the workout, I want to give a heads up again that this is just my personal routine. In general, it’s unsafe to do any hill workout before you’ve got a good base of long runs before you (and no, the ones where you stop doesn’t count). I shared this 40-minute workout that includes slight elevation a while ago that you can also refer to, but for the most part, please consult with your healthcare provider before attempting to do this.

Alrightey then, let’s get on with it. If you put your mind into it and give it time, and you can certainly do this.


Screen shot 2014-09-19 at 4.40.12 PM


You up for the challenge? Do come back and let me know how those big, sexy lungs are working out for you.


P.S. Yoga and Pilates are fantastic ways to practice breathing on days you’re not running. I’m not particularly disciplined on stretching *guilty*, but here’s 3 everyday ways to amp up your lung power. Have a great one ;)



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On the run: 3 simply powerful mantras to keep you going


Not everybody loves the dreadmills. They’re boring (no winds, no sun), they’re uninspiring, and they make you feel like you’re never going to get anywhere. All you’re really do is running in place.


But don’t get me wrong. Despite the tough relationship I’ve had with the ‘mill, we’ve been going strong together for some time now. What I learned is that if you’re smart about it, you’ll get a workout just as effective as you do outdoors (all depends on your goals). No matter how much I despise it, it’s been about 6 years that I’ve trained consistently on a treadmill, and I still come back to it whenever I need to run my heart out.

Things changed ever since I relocated to Jakarta – I’ve significantly reduced my outdoor routine. Here I’d have to drive to my route just to run, which is just ridiculous, whereas in Frisco I would just get out of the house and run. I didn’t have to think about my phone, my wallet, my car keys and whatnot. There aren’t many green locations around where I live in the Big Durian, at least those that have a more private setting, and it sucks because I know I could last longer on my feet when I’m running close to nature (True story: One time, I broke my PR 10-miler in the rain at the Presidio without rest. And yes, I was that frustrated at that time of my life, and the drizzle just felt super invigorating for my soul).

So what did I do? I developed a system that allows me to draw energy from inward. What do I mean by that? Well, perhaps you’ll get the picture if I say what I’m about to say now applies to everything from running to real life: At some point, external reality will run out of resources to extract for you keep going. So when those inopportune circumstances do happen, it doesn’t mean that the universe is trying keep you from moving forward. You simply can’t move to the next level if you conclude those circumstances as an excuse for you to get lazy and stay put. When you really think about it, they happen because you need to push harder and become stronger, and by stronger, I don’t necessarily mean breaking another PR, finishing a race 30 seconds faster, and/or building a higher mileage in the next 3 weeks.

A huge part of nurturing that internal locus of control, at least, in running and lasting through the treadmill blahs, is positive self-talk. I know this sounds a bit woo-woo, but deep down I believe you and me and the rest of the world already know that logic and reasoning cannot explain how everything works.

The words I choose as my personal mantras may not be the kind sunshine and rainbows you get in self-help books, but they work for me to keep my spirits up till the end of the line for 2 infallible reasons: 1) Each mantra explicitly contains 2 syllables to form a steady 2-stride beat that matches my cadence, and 2) They all help me forget about the self-conscious ‘hows’ and ‘how-tos’ of it all and remind me of why I run in the first place as well as why I must keep running. I can’t promise a faster finish, but I can promise that you won’t stop at that moment when you feel like quitting the most. So go ahead, try chanting these mantras in your heart when the going gets tough:


Be soft.


I have to admit, I stole these words from Kurt Vonnegut. But it’s only recently that I discovered his message makes perfect sense as you run. For instance, normally I’d be pushing myself to injury with self-punishing words bouncing off my head. But wait till you try to instill a much kinder mentality in yourself, such as Vonnegut’s, and you’d be surprised by how easy the miles ahead can get. As I lighten up the weight of my shoulders, I could almost feel every fiber in me dissolving into the fluidity of the run. It’s what running’s supposed to feel like: You’re gentle with yourself and with the world around you. You turn into the organic force of nature that you are, and nothing else feels more at home than that moment you become one with the universe – it’s smooth, it’s intimate, and it’s liberating.


Let go.


Sometimes when I’m running, instead of thinking less about the problems I’m having with my life, I’m thinking more into it. I start to see all the little things that I’ve done, the causes I’ve made, and everything else that’s wrong with me that’s led to those problems. So instead of coming out of the run feeling better, I feel even worse. Holding a grudge is a big burden on your otherwise healthy mentality, even if it’s a grudge you hold about yourself. So just let it go, because you’re not perfect and no human on earth will ever be.


(I can’t). God can.1 


Runners often use the ‘I can’ mantra to get pass their mid-race slog. But for some reason, it’s never worked for me. It may be because I’m too scared to take a chance to be slightly more confident than usual, for fear that if I fail to achieve the particular higher target, I’ll lose trust in myself significantly during the next mile. So here I am to admit: There are a lot of things I cannot do. There are many more things I cannot understand. However, I’m a believer of the God that sacrificed His only son’s life, just for someone as un-able as me. I wish I can do so many things to show passing observers and dedicated readers alike that inexhaustible grace – a great many ambitious things. But the fact that I can’t do it all a time doesn’t stop me from believing and surrendering myself to the Greater Good in the long run.


Run by my side;
Live in my heartbeat;
Give strength to my steps.
As the cold surrounds me,
As the wind pushes me,
I know you surround me.
As the sun warms me,
As the rain cleanses me,
I know you are touching me,
Challenging me,
Loving me.

And so I give you this run.
Thank you for matching my stride.


[Beyond Blessed: Runner’s Prayer]


As you can see, there’s a lot of work going on in the mind. Most would think long-distancers are physical extremists, when clearly, it’s 90% mental work. Given the right fuel and some restful sleep45 minutes on a treadmill would feel like a breeze, and with these mantras taken to heart, you’ll certainly be on your way to reaching your running goals during the next race.

Which one of these mantras are you looking to try? Let me know how it works out for you.


P.S. Learn why mantras are so effective from The Power of a Running Mantra by Doug Hay. It’s 100% FREE.



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  1.  For this mantra, you can change it to ‘love can’, because they practically mean the same thing. []
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Loving lately: A running playlist to keep your mojo flowing



I thought it’ll be a great idea to share the stuff I’m overplaying while on the treadmill.

They’re on heavy rotation on my playlist right now, and it’s not just because these jams amp me up on those moments my body’s telling me I can’t go on. I play them even when I’m not running, so you can imagine how persistent the melodies stay in my head as I go about my day.



I think I’ve played Tiësto’s “All of Me” birthday treatment on loop on average for about 10 times a day these days. And yes, these songs are bangin’ only if you’re a fan of EDM. Funny thing is, depending on my mood, I sometimes prefer super slow ballads to keep me going during long runs rather the usual power songs, which tends to go above 130bpm. In those cases I listen to tracks that contain meaningful lyrics just so I can get away from my surroundings and into a more meditative state (something like these girly songs).

Nonetheless, DJ Shah’s “Who Will Find Me” is one of those airy trance classics that I’ll never get bored with, even if it’s been sitting on my favorites list for 6 years. It’s just beautiful.

What songs are you obsessed with lately?



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Build your base: Nice, long, steady treadmill workout with fast finish

Build your base: Nice, long, steady workout with fast finish


Disclaimer: The information below is for informational/educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional help. Before beginning a new exercise regimen or making any other changes in your lifestyle, always consult with your physician and/or a certified coach.


HIIT is all the craze these days. The ACSM1 was right: You see Paleo devotees running around, sporting their sturdy physiques from all that sweat sesh from CrossFit and P90X.


Truth is, HIIT is nothing new. Experts have been advocating these time-saving workouts that anyone can squeeze in daily in their busy schedules.

While I have nothing against them (I do love a good quick-and-intense burn on most days), I still believe in building a solid foundation of long slow distance before getting myself to that fitness level.

As time goes by, I personally think it’s more important to minimize the chances of getting yourself injured than to get fitter and stronger. I may very well be a timid tortoise, but naturally, the hare that runs around with tremendous energy all day gets higher chances of losing balance, falling down, and breaking a leg.

Trust me, I’ve been there. Instead of reaping HIIT’s benefits, doing it more actually prevents me from building my pace in the long run (poor posture, blisters and bruises, IT band syndrome, anyone?). Matthew Basso, president of Iron Lotus Personal Training, breaks HIIT all down according to your personal goals: If you want to lose weight, build muscles, and gain strength, doing HIIT 1-4 a week is great. If you want to build endurance, it probably won’t help much.

So what exactly is HIIT?

Wikipedia defines high-intensity interval training as “an enhanced form of interval training, an exercise strategy alternating periods of short intense anaerobic exercise with less-intense recovery periods. HIIT is a form of cardiovascular exercise. Usual HIIT sessions may vary from 4–30 minutes. These short, intense workouts provide improved athletic capacity and condition, improved glucose metabolism, and improved fat burning.”

As much as I love intense exercises, I have a long-term soft spot for long slow distance. I think best during and after logging those miles; something about being still and breathing deep provides the clarity I need with all the stormy waters in my head2.

In that sense, these days I’m treating HIIT as a supplement to my miles instead of doing full-circuits of it (although I still do them whenever I feel sluggish), because squat jumps and burpees do get your heart rate up pretty quickly, which comes in handy when your mind tells you to quit the last mile toward the finishing line.

With that in mind, I want to share the standard long and steady workout (with a final sprint!) I do whenever I’m hopping on the treadmill:


Screen Shot 2014-04-24 at 4.06.48 PM
I included hill repeats because they build up your endurance over time. Plus, running on incline is easier on the joints (even though you’ll end up huffing and puffing more). Please feel free to adjust speeds according to your running level.


It’s more about conserving energy and holding yourself back in the first 30 minutes of getting your heart rate up, saving it all for the end, whereas HIIT is about spending it all right now.

I know the steady state can be boring for many, and not everyone has the luxury to spend as much time if their fitness goals are purely aesthetic. But for me, just the motivation you get to beat your last PR is enough to keep me moving on the ‘mill. Plus, it’s more of a mental work than you think.

Nonetheless, I guarantee you’ll come out stronger – in fitness and in life – by the end of this workout. I recommend bringing some good music to get you longer in the zone.



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  1. American College of Sports and Medicine []
  2. Hence the blog is called Stillwater, right? []
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50 ways to tell you’re a runner


Thank God for Internet. I stumbled upon this video a while ago, finding myself saying yeap, yeap, yeap and more yeaps as I watch the vid went on. Though some are just exaggerations of the nature, I bet you can call yourself a runner if you agree with more than 20 of these items:



1. You have chafing in strange, unimaginable places
2. All of your socks are either stained or torn
3. You use the phrase “10 mile” and “easy run” in the same breath
4. You can eat your weight in pasta
5. You spend more money on training clothes than school clothes
6. Your Saturday mornings for the rest of your life are RUINED
7. You often foam at the mouth
8. (If you’re a guy) You try to impress girls by saying you’re a faster finisher
9. You consider school/work a break between runs
10. You own spandex in more than one color
Continue reading 50 ways to tell you’re a runner

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Boring stuff you don’t want to know that I’m making a note about anyway



Another year has gone by. While I know I’m a bit late on this, I can’t help but invite you to ask yourself: How was 2013 for me? How can I make a better transition toward the year ahead?

WARNING: Really long post ahead.


I attempted to answer the same question last year as “logically” as I can. I didn’t consider the big why behind the hows and how-tos. I just jumped in to the laundry list of things I wanted to make happen.

The post ended up doing nothing of what it’s intended to do. It was supposed to make my life easier, but it only made a big mess for the blog and in my sense of self.


It’s easy to want a perfect, salad-eating life in which you do yoga and return home to cook a fancy dinner and enjoy fine wine after a ridiculously efficient workday. Resolving to do things like that automatically, though, can be sort of an easy way out. [Refinery29: A Different Perspective On 2014 Resolutions]


The big why

If you’re anything like me, you operate best with a daily to-do list, running your day and checking items off as you go. I figured making a list of things I’ve done, or a “done” list, would be a good reflection of how I’ll improve myself in the coming year – but it wasn’t.

Looking back at 2013, I didn’t feel as aligned as I thought I would be, and this can only mean one thing: That I haven’t been completely honest with myself at this time of last year.

Mostly I know it’s because some of the items on the list just seems cool in the public eye. Another part of the disconnect is that I didn’t start out blogging with any particular niche in mind, and that as a person, I have a wide variety of interests. It’s paralyzing to “categorize” these interests of mine for the blog (Yeap, I’m that crazy).

I thought a lot about how a blog’s “supposed to be”1 as I stumbled upon bloggers who have their unique selves and unique niches under control and managed so well. The idea of limiting my hobbies into one or two things, just for the sake of following the niche topic trend, was horrifying. Even when I try to accept myself and acknowledge the fact that I’m passionate about multiple subjects, there’s always hoards of critical voices in my head that points fingers at me so that I’ll worry. Please note that I’m not saying successful bloggers achieve their amount of success by having self-limiting beliefs. In fact it’s the major opposite – to me they’ve shown that they’ve got a healthy sense of self and handle their stuff well (and how those stuff relate to others), and no matter how much I try to emulate that state, it’s difficult to ignore the voices every time I create a new draft: “You sure you want to stick with this topic forever?” “Remember, you can’t un-like this thing” “Blogger A and B and C are far cooler/more interesting/more funny than you” “You are so hopeless” and so on. These voices became louder than my own that I really bought into the idea of limiting myself to any one subject … until the bubble bursts and I realized I’ve completely lost touch with my own authentic self.

The blog almost turned into some kind of a touchstone that made myself even more subjected to self-criticism2. Doesn’t look like it, but I’ve been putting the opinions of others on the pedestal since I can remember. The tunnel vision I had was that I should limit my real self according to the category of my life or the niche I want to stick to in the long run3, and that at the end of the day, I can will myself to come to a compromise with anyone as long as I work hard and give my all.

So I gradually lose myself. And the worst part of it all? It’s voluntary.

There’s less and less of my psyche and more and more of what other people think. Overthinking became a habit. It feels like a really deep and dark shithole because inside, even after all my efforts to think and act “logical”, my instincts keep fighting me back and tell me that I should be true to my heart instead.

There came a time last year when there was no room left for self-expression, and I looked at the wrap-up list again and asked myself: Do I really want all these? Or are these just things I think I need to do to win the approval of person A, B, and C?


Mirror, mirror

To cut the super long story short (i.e. stripped off its details), in 2013 I learned that no amount of reasoning can be done to change the true desires of the heart. When those desires are different from the priorities of others, it doesn’t mean that what you value are totally meaningless compared to what they do and who they are. You don’t have to compromise yourself and learn to like whatever’s in vogue when deep down you really don’t buy their idea. Some people are just more compatible with you than the others are, just as you’re more compatible with your S.O. than the rest. You simply can’t please every single person in the room – there’s just no other way around it.




I can’t trace back the exact date that I picked up this bad habit of people-pleasing, negative thinking, and depressing myself. But I’ve been pretty open about it on the blog, though really private about it when meeting people in person. There’s a major disconnect between my virtual and my real selves because of this, and it’s my awareness of the disconnect that made me realize it’s a thing I have to deal with ASAP.

The underlying problem

So yes, I did have a huge depression circa 2010-2011 and still have traces of it up to this day. I wasn’t officially diagnosed with it or anything, only considered seeing a psychiatrist recently, but all aspects of my life collapsed during that period. Some of the few I can mention are: Deliberately failing classes to quit college, almost didn’t have a place to stay, starve myself to save money so I don’t have to ask, isolating myself until I get things in order (which I never did), lost touch with everyone including my family and closest friends, giving up the idea of marriage life and future life in general, and constantly thought about suicide. I held by the singular idea that I shouldn’t be pestering others and loading anyone around me with burden. It grew from a place of timidity to a bitterness – the I-don’t-need-your-help, I-can-DIY-everything kind of bitter – and I decided I should take full responsibility of supporting myself – mentally, physically, spiritually, and financially – so that I can be the dependable one who helps others who need it. The result was the exact opposite, and it took me about three years later (now) to learn that the mere asking for help IS an act of helping itself, like helping the person you’re asking to feel needed or to feel that he or she has a sense of purpose – but I digress.

With that kind of self-limiting belief system contained within a psyche, the laundry list of to-do items was nothing but a massive weapon of self-destruction.


It’s not about you …

In his 1936 classic, How To Win Friends And Influence People, Dale Carnegie famously said that “when dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity.” While I always take his words to heart when it comes to dealing with others, I don’t do the same to myself.

It’s not about being selfish or egoistic or narcissistic, but after the amount of damage I’ve done to my own psyche and consequently to the people who matter to me, I finally got what they say when they say, you have to love yourself first before you love others.

I look into the mirror everyday and hear voices like “You’re not there yet” or “You aren’t awesome until you (fill in the blank)”. It looks back to the yesteryears with “You could’ve been a better daughter/granddaughter/friend/girlfriend”. It’s never happy and always a work-in-progress, and I know that it will always be a progress not just for me, but for every human being walking on this planet. But … how do you account for all those people who keep their chins up even when they know they could’ve done better? When you only see the zillion things you still have to be or do or say just to stay sane, you no longer have time to appreciate the here and now and accept your current state of being.

And by you, I mean me.


… so get yourself together.

Running away from negative feelings is my second nature, with the most recurring feelings being anger and envy. I pretend they’re not there and hope that they’ll quickly go, but when they do come back I punish myself even more, judge how lousy a person I am to feel those things, and turn angrier at myself for being judgmental. It’s maddening, the thoughts that go about in my head 24/7. I’m constantly jealous of people who can feel unapologetically joyful at any given time – the kind of person I used to be before the depression era.

While I know I can always bore you with my grumpiness and conclude that I have more “failures” in 2013 than my accomplishments, especially when it’s according to the laundry list, right now I just want to celebrate the brighter stuff that was instead, no matter how stupid they sound or how little they seem:

♥ Grown longer tresses now down to chest, grown from a bob since 2011. BUT still haven’t reached down to belly button (when I plan to finally layer them).

♥ Finally got baptized. BUT still not mature enough, grateful enough, accepting enough.

♥ Really did ran a half marathon. BUT didn’t make it under the 2-hour mark.

♥ Really did a book review and  a film review for the blog. BUT didn’t make it the 3 I committed to do for each.

♥ Created another special gift for 10. No BUTS.

♥ Made baby efforts to finally get started on my passion projects (confidential; but still want to mention it for the sake of listing). BUT didn’t take leaps of faith I could’ve taken.

The solution that heals

More than any other person I know, my mom wants the old me back, the one that’s joyful and carefree. Believe me, I’ve tried, but it always comes out fake. The whole self-punishment thing would follow and I’ll beat myself up again and again. So instead of running away and denying the existence of those feelings, she told me to throw out every negative thought with deliberation – even if it takes one piece of information at a time. There’s a lot more dumping-out-the-trash work than re-learning how to be happy, but gradually I can see the slow shift. The dumping work is literal whenever I go for a run – I release the negativity one step at a time. I also start to allow time for what I truly enjoy doing even if it sounds stupid (watching Friends re-runs, reading novels not on the NYTimes Bestsellers list, surfing the net for hours, taking selfies, to name a few).  It’s worked to the point where I don’t have to feel apologetic every time I feel good about myself, even in the presence of others and their possible thoughts about me.

Somewhere around October I started treating my private diary as a place where I can just get things off my chest and say things you’re not supposed to say in public (it’s been too long that I’ve kept it all inside, pretending I don’t have those thoughts, and don’t acknowledge that I’m human), and now recently, I learned that it’s even more important to keep your friends at arm’s length and really treasure their presence – you know, the ones with whom you share your hardships and personal battles with, people you know won’t judge you or criticize you or even if they do, they let you know what they think because they care. Eventually, I stop giving myself reasons to bottle up my feeling for fear I’ll only burden these people with negativity, or to compromise myself 100% for the sake of winning the approval of somebody I don’t really know or care. The true mates, as I see it, don’t feel the least burdened by your asking for help, even if it’s their ears and their time to be there and really listen.

Slowly but surely, it’s been better, and I can smile again now, even when I’m without a laundry list of goals I want to achieve in this fresh new year.


* * * * * * * * * *


Important notes-to-self

♥ It’s crucial to know your limits.

Any kind of relationship – be it a business partnership, a friendship or a kinship – takes both sides of the string to keep the bond tight. When you reach out your hand and initiate conversations, but the other person doesn’t reciprocate or even respond, remember to remain respectful. BUT don’t go complimenting things you don’t mean, compromise even more, or force yourself to like them just for the sake of winning their approval. It is ideal that you always try to spot the good things in every sticky situation, but let’s be honest: You’re human and you have your limits, and others are humans too.


♥ No matter what you do, always expect more out of yourself than others do.

(Prerequisite: true confidence)

Picked up tennis a couple of months ago and it has become a hobby. It’s not only fun, but I learned valuable lessons that applies to life out of it. 

The most important one is probably this: Balls are always going to be thrown at you, whether you like it or not. Whatever the ball may be, never expect it to be an easy hit. Refuse to give external forces the privilege to expect more out of you than you do yourself. Set challenges for yourself instead to improve at every kind of ball that comes your way – whether it’s just a drop shot or a 140km/h topspin.


♥ It’s perfectly okay to be a perfectionist (if that’s who you are).

As long as you keep in mind that perfection doesn’t exist, acknowledge your assets and use them to your advantage. Even if unicorns aren’t real, you can always draw a horse that shits rainbows.


♥ Don’t be ashamed of  the little things you love –
even if it’s something geeky or quirky or just plain ‘weird’ .

Whether it’s a Gladwell book or an Xbox game, embrace the stuff that make you you. I don’t know if it’s a girl thing, but sometimes it’s really tempting to be a carbon copy of somebody the world deemed perfection, and rightly so because each and every one of us look up to one another’s assets to amp up our own game. Just don’t lose yourself while doing so.


♥ Always do something about your intentions before externalizing them.

Lest you’ll just be what Singaporeans call NATO (No Action, Talk Only). This may not apply for extroverts. Again, doesn’t look like it as I tend to enjoy meeting new people and other situations where I know I won’t be judged or criticized, but generally I’m pretty private about stuff4 and prefer keeping quiet about my biggest life goals and dreams.

I made a huge mistake last year by thinking that sharing everything on the blog will somehow magically make me accomplish my goals. Before I know it, I’ve set up additional nonsense I claim to be my goals but really aren’t – just for the sake of living up to the popular expectations of the public eye. Big goals and small goals alike, I know that as long as I start to spill even the smallest beans about it to someone, I know I’ve tricked myself into the laziness of actually acting on the goal, and end up quitting even before I begin. I simply work harder, smarter, and longer when I’m solely fueled by internal motivation.


♥ One of the best things you can do is
being the #1 fan/supporter/cheerleader of your partner.


Shifting your focus away from yourself is more empowering than you think. Life provides more than enough reasons for us to get upset, bitter, and resentful, even in the most mundane days. One of the best ways to leave your negativity behind is to give for giving’s sake, as the best gifts often come without a price tag.

I firmly believe human beings are fundamentally the same, and I can’t count how many times I’ve said the word ‘human’ on this post alone or how many more existential questions I’ll inquire some more – bottom line, we humans need each other’s support. To that, doesn’t matter the kind of background you come from, sometimes all you need is the firm assurance that someone in your life believes in you. People have survived through a lifetime based on the hopes of others alone, so just remember that when you have decided to be someone for somebody, it’s time to leave your own pity party behind for good.


Cheers for 2014~~




  1. now I know what you already know, that there’s no such thing because fundamentally every one is different []
  2. Even my language speaks out playing victim. []
  3. part of the reason why I decided to stop journaling about my running []
  4. I’m an INFJ after all []
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You will tie your shoelaces after seeing these photos


I renamed this blog as Stillwater for one reason: To keep my spirits alive. I can’t keep still until I share my many interests with you (blatantly so). Just as I blog to be still and maintain my sanity, I move my feet to free myself from the walls we adults try to build everyday. I run to feel like a kid who’s having no doubts of herself and of others. Adults tend to forget what we once were, and what we were created to become.


More often than not we forget that in our Creator’s eyes, we will always be a kid. Age is just numbers, and if you give in to the forces that breaches your spirit, you begin to doubt. As we grow up into adults, we doubt even more because we give in to the things we see with our eyes, and little by little, we start to lose sight of what really matters.

Continue reading You will tie your shoelaces after seeing these photos

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Fitness Journal: Perfectionism is not part of the essential traits of a runner



Total mileage:  12.32 miles
Target mileage of the week:  12.7 miles



Power words through the week:
“Let it go.”




Wednesday, 7 November 2012

4.43 mi run in 30:31 min (pace: 9’17″ / mi)




Thursday, 8 November 2012

4.04 mi run in 39:18 min (pace: 9’44″ / mi)




Saturday, 10 November 2012

Argh! When I stepped on the treadmill to set my target distance and play my power songs, my nano won’t switch on – AT ALL! The Apple logo won’t even appear. That’s when I realized… it ran out of battery, and I’m already at the gym, and I cannot look back… but can only run. I wasn’t impressed with the idea of going home and skipping my workout this morning just because I was so forgetful about little things like these. #WhatMadeMyDay The miracle was that I could run for an hour on the treadmill – sans TV, sans music. Remember, people: Numbers on the treadmill are not to be trusted. Read on to find out why…




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A fun run, and the little things in life to be thankful for


October 2012


Here I am to update a bit on yesterday’s 5k run at the 2012 Jakarta RACE.

Well, it’s nothing like I expected it to be – it’s purely for charity, so that explains why there’s no chip timing systems or race results to look forward to after the run.

But it was fun. I’ve never seen downtown Jakarta this clear and empty. It’s usually a dense traffic.

During the 10k race last month, my Nano was pretty accurate on measuring my distance. For this run, however, the Nano read my total running distance as 6.25 km when it’s supposed to be just a 5 km distance.

1.25 km is quite a big number for inaccuracy. But I digress. I won’t complain. I had fun anyways.

I’ll just count it on my weekly progress as just that – 3.1 miles. A machine is a machine – I can’t expect it to be accurate all the time.

So for a 6.25 km distance, I ran it all in 34 minutes and 52 seconds, which translates to 11’15” / mi. Which  is awesome. The last time I did a 5k distance (check out my running page), I was at a pace of 11’02 / mi. It may be slower, but I know I can go faster. Lots of unexpected things happened while on the road. I even almost got hit by a bus!

Thanks to Ninit Yunita, the whole race was thoroughly documented in beautiful pictures. You can view them all, which were posted as an album on the Indo Runners Facebook fan page.



That’s my gray tank top and I along with friends.

From Ninit Yunita.




Great event – it’s a thrill to run just for the sake of running!

Also, I want to make a correction: On this post and this one, I mentioned I’m going to run two races, which will take place on November 4 and 29. Turns out the Standard Chartered run is going to be held on the same day as the Allianz run, which is on the 4th! So we’re choosing to run on the 4th instead, just because it’s nearer and that we won’t have to skimp on sleep and wake up so early.

Stanley’s mother just came back from Hawaii today. She knew I love dark chocolate and nuts and it’s a pleasure to receive these little gifts from her:





As a fellow tea-lover, she grabbed me some teabag sachets of various flavors …





… FYI, here’s how my current tea collection looks like …




I’m glad I have so much in common with her. She’s as crazy about tea just as I am!

As you may already know, I drink about a gallon of water a day. The way I do it is carrying around a water bottle that can fit 1 liter of water at each refill. I left the bottle in Stanley’s car some time ago, and since then it mysteriously disappeared! He asked his driver, his housemaids, his workers, and nobody saw it. At one occasion his sister did saw it left in the car, but then nobody really knew who took it out and where it is now.

Since it’s really, really, really difficult to find a 1 liter water bottle that won’t leak, in the meantime, Stanley made up for the loss with this pleasant surprise:





… Now I have two Stanleys to take care of!!! :p

#WhatMadeMyDay I can take my baby with me to the office from now on, sip a full glass of tea with him, and reduce my daily stress everyday.

Thanks baby!