Monday, February 18, 2013


My last blog entry on work related subject was in March 2012. It was not because that was my last date at work but it was because I was so busy building my empire that I didn't even have time to breathe, let alone blog. So busy that I was clocking 18 hour day, 7 days a week, travelled to 12 countries in 10 months, spent more time hearing foreign languages than my own mother tongue and slept in hotels more than in my own bed!

After endless pleas for more help which fell on deaf ears, I gave my notice to leave that shocked most people, including my husband because I loved everything that I was doing - the company, the nature of work and my team. My bosses grovelled for me to stay, my colleagues arranged for endless training during the transition period to make sure they cover all bases and my PA was too distraught to even do anything except to make sure I had a smooth exit. 

The only people who were happy I was leaving was the Client Shell. I thought it was because they felt I was not good enough for them. It turned out that they had been waiting for the moment so that they can offer me a position within their organisation. And as soon as I left the company, they did....

However, I had worked in Caltex (later known as Chevron), I know what it takes to survive there and I don't think I want to go to that same place again.

So, thanks for the offer but perhaps no thanks, for now. 


I finished first place in my age category in the recent Yoma Yangon International Marathon and I thought I would be overjoyed with the outcome, but I wasn't and since then, I kept questioning myself why.

Now that I am not working, I have a bit more time to reflect on my life, my goals, my achievements and my failures and upon reflection, I think I may have the answer to that nagging question. 

The trigger point was when a group of us started talking about competition. 

I think everyone who knows me well, would know I am a very competitive person. There is no doubt about that. It is in my genes and my dad made sure it stayed there by further instilling those qualities in our family members. So, the Kazim clan would compete for everything - to be the best badminton player in the family, the first in class, the prettiest, the toughest.... 

This trait has helped me succeed where others have failed but it does not always come with a happy ending. As I grew older, I realised that competing against others are just so tiring and most times it didn't really mean much because the people you compete with may not even be at the same level as you in the first place, may have better facilities at their disposal, may have different goals and priorities, may train and peak at different phases than you, may have god's gift of a genius brain and pretty face. How do you then compare?  

So, I learnt to compete, not against the world but against myself. I am the only person that matters.  My result is the only result that matters. So, when I came in first in this marathon, I was not overjoyed, because although I am better than everybody else in my age category, my timing was NO better than my previous races. So, as far as I am concerned, there was nothing to be overjoyed about because the only person I am really competing is ME and I did not win in this race....

Monday, February 4, 2013


The extent of my cycling less than a year ago! 

Bought my first race bike in April 2012. The choice of names boiled down to Rafael (Nadal) or Tiger (Woods) - my two sports idols. Since the bike is Italian (Mediterranean), I opted for Rafael. 

Carmen and Sam not only helped me with the purchase but they are also the force that brought me into the world of triathlon. You guys are truly my inspiration! 

My inaugural ride organised by KZ, Zafuan, Shuhaimi and Syariz in Tekala. I rode the hills in high gears that caused my quads to be on fire. Only after the ride, I learnt from Shuhaimi how to shift the gear for climbing! Da..... 

My first race that involved cycling was PD Triathlon 2012. In preparation for that I attended the pre-trial race organised by Tadonamo and clocked in 40km on the bike with a lot of hard work. My special thanks to Richard, Syerol and Azli for the encouragements when I was too nervous to plunge in the open sea or too tired to attack another hill or too numb to run after cycling. 

I raced my first race with my running shoes and only bought my first pair of cycling shoes long after that. I had so many "jatuh bodoh" that I felt like giving up on those shoes! Thanks to Chee Keong Loh and Leo for nursing my first cycling wound.

Despite the few triathlon events I participated, cycling remained a challenge for me. The turning point for me really was when I cycled with Rupert at the Powerman Trial where he shared with me some cycling tips. I followed his advice diligently and that finally seemed to help me make the sport not just bearable but enjoyable.

I knew I had to seriously clock in some mileage to build the rotary muscle but I also knew I didn't have much time for training, too slow to join most riders and too inexperience to ride sole. So, I started participating in cycling events where I do not have to ride alone, but still ride at my own pace.

My first race (also my first attempt at over 100km ride) was at Cyclosportif Race in Port Dickson which I was happy to finish without any jatuh bodoh or a puncture. 

Broga is known amongst the cyclists as the hills to conquer and I did that in one of the races. The timing was not great but at least I was seated on the paddle throughout the ride!

My first podium finish for cycling was at Grandfondo KL event in December 2012 where I came in 1st  place in my age category. Thanks to Nur for being there to ride with me and to pick up my winning prize. What a great way to end cycling in 2012!

May there be more great and fun rides to come.

Friday, February 1, 2013



Thursday, January 31, 2013


I ran my first full marathon in May 2011 and have not stopped since (although I have reduced the frequency drastically). Each has its own trial and tribulation, and it was such a great feeling to be able to overcome them and crossed the finishing line. within the targetted time. The charitable me then thought "hey, it would be even better if I could help others to complete their full marathon." And with that my journey as a full marathon pacer began.

It started in June 2012 when I volunteered to be the pacer for the most prestigious race in Malaysia, the Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur Marathon. 

I did not know what I was expected to do apart from running while carrying a big balloon. In the morning of the race, I met other 5:30 pacers and felt a surge of relief when I found out that I would be pacing with those who have done this a few times before. We started the run together but as the gap widened among the runners, KK and I led the 5:30 runners and Kelvin and Chooi Wan acted as sweepers at the back. We talked and laughed all the way and crossed the finishing line together at 5:29. It was one of the best things I did in my running life.

The great experience at SCKLM spurred the thought to pace again, so, I volunteered to pace at Penang Bridge International Marathon (PBIM) in 2012. But this time I decided to go for a bit of a challenge and signed up as a 5:00 hour pacer.

Challenge was exactly what I got at PBIM. It was a tough route with a few long climbs and the fact that the run started at some god forsaken hour didn't help either. 

I was tired even before we hit the 30km mark but I would hate to fail the runners who had put their hopes in me. So, I ran and pushed and finally, 4 hours and 55 minutes later, we made it to the finishing line! That was a real hard work and even though I only managed to bring only 3 guys to the end, it was indeed very satisfying. 

Note to self: I think I will stick to being a 5:30 pacer! 

Obviously I didn't take note of the Note to Self above as I again volunteered to become a 5:00 hour pacer at SCKLM in 2013.

However due to the injury sustained during a cycling incident a few weeks before the race, I contacted the organiser and they agreed for me to pace for 5:30. This time, I ran with Ilyana as the other pacer and a few friends who were running their first FM. I love this pace as it allowed me to relax and focused on the runners. Again, there was a lot of chit chatting and stretching along the way and most who followed us from the start made it to the finishing line well within time. Another great day's work for me. 

And now let's see what 2014 holds for me....

Yoma Yangon Marathon 2013

My 1st full marathon for 2013 but the 12th FM in my running life and I still managed to do everything wrong prior to this race:

THURSDAY 24/1/2013
Full of vigour, I did 10km of hill run, cycled on a trainer for an hour and swam 3km. It felt great on the day but in hindsight, they were the worst things I could ever do while tapering. 

FRIDAY 25/1/2013
Overexertion coupled with the lack of sleep, I felt a sore throat and cold coming. Despite that, I braved the 2:30 hour plane ride to Yangon and despite sleeping most of the day, my cold became worse. Worried that I was not going to be fit for the race, I took some drastic actions in the hope of getting drastic results - I started downing clarinase and paracetamol.

SATURDAY 26/1/2013

I really felt groggy from the meds and my thighs were still sore from the bike and the run on Thursday! Not a feeling you want to experience on pre-race day! The only thing I could muster myself to do was to walk across the hotel to pick up the race kit where I met the usual suspects. I wasn't in the mood to socialise so, said my hi and bye and went back to the hotel room to sleep. I was also suppose to carbo load but I had no appetite, my throat was still inflamed and my nose was bocked, so, I loaded myself with more meds instead. 

SUNDAY 27/1/2013

When I woke up on the race day, I was still not feeling 100% but being the adrenalin junkie that I am, I was immediately on a high as soon as I saw the starting line and some of the familiar happy faces. 

The event started with no drama and I ran oh so beautifully covering 20 km in 2 hours in the temperature of just over 20C. It was a great feeling. 

The great feeling was however shortlived with the rising of the sun. I started having runner's stitch and despite all the tricks in the book, I couldn't get rid of it, so, I reduced the pace and ran with my hand on my rib trying to ease the pain. 9km later, the pain disappeared, but the soreness in the thighs started to kick in and as it was getting hotter, my nose started to run again!

I was so glad to see the pagoda cause that marked the finishing line. Just before I turned into People's Park, I saw Franco running towards me. Tasha was also there and she accompanied me on the last 10m stretch! That was precious moment. 

On the other side of the chip mat, stood Aiman who finished over an hour before I arrived, with a big happy smile on his face. The same smile I would have, every time I see other runners cross the finishing line. It is one that is filled with pride and that day, I was proud. I was proud to run in the inaugural Marathon in Myanmar and be part of the history.