Journey of becoming a Duathlete

It always seems impossible until it is done, until you are crossing the finish line. 

I was so nervous when the day of Powerman Duathlon race is approaching. After i finished my first Aquathlon race in Singapore last week, i caught a flu, a heavy one, left me so helpless and weak. Can’t sleep for most of the nights as i suffered from endlessly cough, i ended up to pay those lack of sleep by sleeping early and waking up late. So, no trainings. Until the D-day. 

My last training of running was about two weeks ago, while it was three weeks ago for the cycling as Jakarta was filled with heavy rain in the morning. So yeah, lack of trainings of moments before the Duathlon event. I was so worried i couldn’t be strong enough to finish the course because my weakness was the bike. 

Anyway, i joined this Duathlon race because it is a part of training plan before my first 70.3 event in April. I chose long distance course because i need to know how my body would react after certain distance.

Every long distance races is not merely a physical game. It is a mental game. 

I ran my first 10k at my own usual pace. I knew it would be too fast at the beginning, but i couldn’t keep my feet slower. I guess i had so much energy inside of me during the one week resting of recovering from the flu. 

I will normally put earphones during long distance courses, to keep me distracted from the bored that will attack me. As i got an announcement that no earphones during the race, i left myself off of them, making me more nervous because i was afraid that i would get bored and slowing down. 

But it turned out that i enjoy my first 2 laps of 5k running. My big brother told me what will he do during his Full Marathon races if he gets boring: take out your list of prayers, and start praying for them. I did that (while i was thinking, what will i do during the bike and the last run). 

I started to pray about him, who came into my life with some reasons. I explored myself, what i feel about him. I asked God if i don’t understand what i found, what’s the meaning of it. I confessed to God what i felt about him if i understand the kind of feelings i feel for him. No denying, i just tried to be honest with God, and myself. So i remember of my (other) brother told me: at the end of the day, it is the story between you and God, and you and you, not you and him. He is right. I told God, if this meant to happen, if me and him meant to happen, it will happen eventually. But not forgetting the boundaries: take care of my heart so i don’t step in into the area i shouldn’t touch before You give me the green light – love. Then i was lighten up, how the journey between me and him is giving me the chance to talk to God often. Maybe this is the meaning of what my brother once told me.

I kept telling God the feeling i found out during the first running, while i told myself: don’t be influenced by other people’s pace, embrace your pace, your own speed.

You define yourself not by what other people are saying or put the perspective into.

As i approached the transition area in few hundred meters, my heart was pounding really fast, how i was worried for doing a 60k bike (with no earphones as well). It was raining heavily. I was soaked, my shoes were too. And another worry came, running with wet shoes. 

I wasn’t fast, but i managed to maintain my speed. I did not know that BSD would be that beautiful. So i just enjoyed the scenery while fighting with the wind. The course was flat. It made a little bit harder to do recovery from the free-wheeling. We must keep pedalling to stay on the speed. 

The bike leg was my very moment to seek what was within me, about life, about dream, about wishes, about everything. Even though every 10k i kept looking at my watch, wishing the bike session will be finishing soon. Then i was thinking about process. Even process takes time, could be long, could be short. Embrace time, because it is the place where changes could occur, or even a miracle. Don’t rush anything. 

I dismounted my bike at the entrance of transition area, and found myself barely could stand. I walked slowly towards the bike rack. Did a little stretching before i do my last run laps. I thank God i had regular few brick sessions for two months, so i managed to get my legs muscles switch easily: from bike to run (but never tried doing brick from run to bike). Now i know the important thing about brick training. Your legs get easily used to do multiple sports in one time. 

When i was out from the transition area to running laps, i met my friend. He screamed from afar: go Irene, keep going!. I replied to him: finally it’s one more!. I think my injured calf was going to have cramps.

I still had my energy inside of me to run with my first running pace. But i chose to slowing down because, yes, i can feel the cramps attacked my injured right calf, going up to the right knee. But i managed to keep going without taking a walk. “Go slow, Irene, your own pace, embrace your pace”. I looked down to the pavement so i won’t get dragged with the faster runner. I embraced my own steps. 
That was when i was thinking about the post i wrote last night: about how love needs time and space. I wondered (and still now) why he is different from the others i had known before. And so many questions right in my mind. But i kept telling myself to give him time and space. Because love may grow between those phase. Give him a time to think, and a space to process. And let God process him too. I teach myself to be patience, because love is (patience). 

It was 200 meters away to the finish line, i can see my friends were waiting for me. As i entered the finish line, they opened their arms widely to welcome me, and hugged me tightly, with so much warm and congratulations in order. Among them, i was the only female taking long distance course. I say this not to be proud, but to proof myself that i am capable of something bigger than i thought. Most of the times it was fears that brought my confidence down. I should’ve trusted myself better than the others. 

You define yourself, not by other people. 

I finished within 4 hours 39 minutes 45 seconds. 

And almost could not believe myself that God had given me the opportunity to win the prize as a second winner in my age category: 18-29 years old. It was God’s favor, to win a prize for a long distance course such this. I couldn’t thank God enough for the blessing He gave upon me.

God had granted us the cloudy (and rainy) day for the race, so all of us won’t suffer the heat as most of us finish between 9.30 am-11.30 am range of time. Can’t imagine how hard this will be if it was sunny. 

I thought that i wont’t survive the race. But i was wrong, i finished and i survived, i am a survivor, a hero to myself. It’s not about the prize. Prize was just a reward. It’s about the process i had gone through along the way. They made me stronger. 

This race was not about me and my physical ability. But through that 4:39:45 hours, was my best moment with God.

Love is .. time and space

Cinta itu sabar

Cinta itu penuh pengertian

Cinta itu tidak memaksakan kehendak

Cinta itu mendukung sepenuhnya

Cinta itu selalu berada di sisi nya

Cinta itu memberi perhatian yang dia butuhkan

Cinta itu menjadikan hal-hal sederhana berharga dan indah

Cinta itu selalu ingin belajar tentangnya

Cinta itu selalu merasa cukup

Cinta itu tidak pernah menuntut balik

Cinta itu selalu memberi yang terbaik

Cinta itu penuh kehangatan 

Cinta itu lemah lembut

Cinta itu memberi ruang 

Cinta itu memberi waktu


Cinta memberi ruang dan waktu

Untuk menjalani sebuah proses

Untuk mengerti sebuah arti

Untuk merenung

Untuk mempertimbangkan

Untuk memberi keputusan

Untuk bertumbuh

Agar dia tumbuh tanpa dipaksakan

Melainkan kebutuhan untuk bersama

Agar rinduku atau rindumu tidak pernah pudar

Melainkan menjadi bara api akan pertemuan kita di lain waktu


18 things i learned during the 18k hill

Saturday morning well spent with fellow runners at my office #iRunners. Went to Sentul,¬†we planned to hike one of the hills there. Spent almost the whole day, brought the stiffness and felt the tiredness, but we all enjoying the moments when we were conquering the route. It was always memorable when we gather and spend the moments together. Not just as friends, but one big family ūüôā

Hope to do it again with you all one day soon..

18 things i learned from my experience going for a 18k (fun) trail run:

1. No. I won’t gor a trail run race. Ever. Hike would do me just fine.

2. But i love the air. It rejuvenated me.

3. And enjoy the climb as well.

4. And i love moments when i don’t hear anything but the wind blowing the leaves. So quiet and calming.

5. But if you can hike, why do you must run? What is the fun in that? (He gave up running on this hill)

6. Short breath happens when you hike no matter how long or how often you run in a week.

7. Poor knees. You worked so hard when i went down from the summit.

8. You know now which muscles in your body needs to be trained if you want to hike. They burn like hell.

9. I am a nature lover. I stopped few times to take a picture.

10. Excitingly amazed by the beauty of the view from the above. “Beautiful! Beautiful! Beautiful!”, i kept repeating on myself. (No filter, no edit)

11. The right moment for a quality bonding time when you climb with someone close to you. Lots of things to talk about. #BrotherMine

12. The perfect moment to ponder on yourself. Why i do this, why i do that, what did i do, what am i feeling, how am i feeling, how will i be ifs-, what plans do you have in mind, how do you achieve your dreams, what do you want to do, and on and on and on..

13. The villagers are very kind. And polite. Even more than any kind people i’ve ever met in the city.

14. I learned several medication plants while i stopped for a rest at one of the villager’s house (as he saw my injured knee).

15. I can’t move on.

16. You can’t feel sad when you blend with the nature even though you are feeling sad.

17. I wish to be back one day soon!

18. But to hike…

And every time i step, i can’t thank God enough for the blessings He has given me. Sometimes when everything seems like one big question, His done is a blessing in disguise. What is happening may not be seen today, but it will be make sense some time in the future. So i just want to take a moment to give thanks to Him:¬†Thank you God for all the blessings..

PS: Still pounding with joy ūüėÄ ūüėÄ ūüėÄ #thankyouMotherNature


One thing about losing someone: you never forget about them.

I was walking around the mall at KoKas after the third service at my church. Planned to buy few personal things, I went here and there to find the stores (though I ended up to went back home empty handed). I enjoyed it, actually. Before I realized that everybody was walking with someone or their friends. And somehow I got jealousy attack. I wondered how does it feel to be with someone. I kinda forgot about it :p

Well, maybe I was just feeling lonely.

Went back home to have a rest and early goodnight sleep. But I kept thinking of the thoughts I think during the day: the longings of sharing things and thoughts with someone.

I brought that thoughts to my sleep, went to bed at 7.30pm.

The worse thing of you to think about what bothers your mind before you are going to sleep is you’re gonna dream about it. And I happened to often experience it. Nightmares.

I dreamed about my past. It was when love were blossomed like spring season. We were madly in love for years. But it did not meant to last forever. We both met different persons in the mid-way. You stick with her, while I stick with myself after I lost him after two years. Until today. I still remember the moment when you were decided to went away, living another journey without me. I still remember our tears were falling down the cheeks as we say goodbye. We said goodbyes for thousands times, but we always find each other back. But that day, it was the last goodbye.

The dream was recalling the moments when you turn away your face of me, when your holding hand towards mine were apart, when your eyes looking forward leaving¬†with the lost dreams to be with you, when I saw you for the very last time. “Tell me, love, tell me.. Am I not enough for you?”, as I crawling¬†on the floors, begging you not to leave me.

As the alarm sounded, I found myself in tears. Just like I was in my dream.

Few hours later, as the City is surrounded by clouds, they also visit my heart. I found myself in a mellow-state of feeling. On Monday.

The most thing I scared of most is when people¬†leave me. I understand that I am a highly-sensitive person, but that doesn’t always mean that I’ll get hurt easily. “The Sensitive” feeling inside of me would give me the ability to be able to understand and read all situations. And I would often withdraw from people because I am protecting myself from getting hurt or absorbing any kind of feelings from the surroundings. It might overwhelmed me.

When people make some space with me, I would know it, and it hurt me by thinking: “what do I do wrong?”. I realize that I have so many kind¬†friends around me. But most of the time, I am too afraid of getting hurt, and would leave me to withdraw or avoiding them because I am protecting myself. Because I would feel so many emotions inside of me that I cannot bear, I cannot handle. That’s why, bonding with someone scares me to the hell.

As I have known variety kind of people, some would understand, and some others would judge because they don’t understand to be able to feel this way. That’s why most of the time I would prefer to be alone, but at the same time I would feel loneliness.

Like a curse and a blessing come together in one form.

I took a moment to wake up from the dream, and having a thought about it. Well, maybe dream is really a reflection of what we were thinking about before we go to sleep. And sometimes it also reveals our deepest, darkest feelings and secrets. Just about when I think about the things that make me afraid beside the dark, nor ghosts, nor spiritual things, nor people, just loneliness by being left by the people I treasured the most.

bahagia dalam kesendirian

Hari itu aku berpikir keras. Mengenai arti bahagia yang sesungguhnya. Yang kata orang bahagia adalah sebuah keputusan, sebuah pilihan. Yang menurut orang menjadi kaya akan materi adalah cara untuk menikmati hidup. Yang pandangan orang dengan dikenal dan dikerumuni banyak orang adalah tanda bahwa kita merupakan orang yang berbahagia. Itu kata dunia, dan kita berusaha sekeras mungkin untuk menjadi serupa dengan apa kata dunia. Mencari kebahagiaan.

Pertempuran sesungguhnya bukan ada di luar sana, mengenai apa kata orang di sisi kiri, dan apa kata orang di sisi kanan. Pertempuran sesungguhnya ada di dalam sini, ketika kita berhadapan dengan cermin dan kita menatap diri kita sendiri, seraya bertanya: “mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the happiest person in the world?”. Dan dia menjawabmu: “bukan kamu”. Bukan saya.

Jadi aku dipusingkan untuk mencari cara keluar dari peperangan batin. Mencari cara untuk menang. Namun tidak ada jawaban dibalik sebuah pertanyaan: “aku harus apa agar aku bahagia?”.

Suatu malam ketika aku sendiri di kamarku, aku merenungkan keputusanku. Bahwa dunia kita masa kini sebenarnya ada pada batas genggaman tangan. Dan melaluinya manusia mudah diperdaya, mudah dipengaruhi. Perkenalan menjadi pertemanan, dan pertemanan menjadi persabatan oleh karena si mungil berlayar biru yang kita selalu ada di sisi kita. Selalu di sisi kita. Dari kita bangun tidur, beraktifitas, dan hingga kita terlelap kembali dalam dekapan gelapnya malam. Sedangkan kehidupan nyata yang sebenarnya sedang berlangsung ada di depan cermin sejauh kita dapat berdiri dan menyentuhnya.

Aku tahu bahwa aku sedang sendirian. Hari demi hari. Malam demi malam. Tidak ada persahabatan lain yang aku miliki selain dari pada apa yang melalui genggamanku itu. Aku merasa terisolasi dan sangat sendiri. Dan aku begitu terfokusnya pada kehidupan fana sehingga perlahan-lahan dia merusak dan mempengaruhi fokusku pada kehidupanku. Pada hatiku. Pada pikiranku. Aku akan selalu hidup menyesali diri dan merasa diri tidak berarti atau tidak berharga jika aku memutuskan bahwa kehidupanku di dasari dari apa kata orang lain.

Manusia akan selalu memandang sebuah pencapaian bukan sebuah pencapaian akhir, karena manusia tidak pernah merasa puas.

Hari Sabtu lalu aku terlibat dalam salah satu event besar di gerejaku yang menampilkan pertunjukan drama musikal tahunan. Aku hadir sebagai salah satu yang bernyanyi bersama dengan teman-teman choir ku. Begitu sibuknya aku sehingga aku tidak lagi memikirkan hal lain selain berlatih dan menampilkan yang terbaik untuk acara tersebut. Tanpa niatan tersembunyi, aku hanya ingin bernyanyi yang terbaik because musical drama is my greatest passion, and God has granted me my wish: to be able to sing in a musical drama in 2016! (dreams do come true, God hears prayers :))

Long story short, aku pulang dengan tubuh yang lelah karena kondisi kesehatanku sedang menurun, disertai batuk dengan rasa pengap di dada (asthma-ku kambuh ketika batuk). Tapi hatiku bahagia. Sangat berbahagia. Aku merasa hidup. Detik itu aku kembali menyadari bahwa memang selama aku hidup kebahagiaanku bersumber pada bernyanyi. Sedari dulu aku menekuni musik, memang ketika bernyanyilah sebenarnya aku menemukan kebahagiaanku.

Sepanjang akhir pekan aku merenungkan arti kebahagiaan yang aku rasakan seusai pertunjukan drama musikal tersebut. Ada hikmah yang dapat aku ambil dengan sakit seperti ini: aku belajar berdiam diri dan mendengarkan suara hatiku lebih lagi.

Ma pernah berkata padaku: gunakan kesempatan kamu yang menyendiri ini untuk mendengarkan suara Tuhan lebih lagi. Suara Tuhan yang bergema menjadi suara hatiku.

Adalah suatu berkat untuk aku bahwa aku tumbuh menjadi pribadi yang overly sensitive, karena melaluinya aku dapat benar-benar mendengarkan suara Tuhan di tengah kesibukan dan hiruk pikuk keramaian sekitarku.

Setiap kali aku merasa kesepian, aku merenungkan kata-kata Ma untuk menghirup nafas sedalam-dalamnya dan berkata: “Tuhan, apa yang mau Kau aku dengarkan ketika kondisi emosionalku sedang menurun? Berbicaralah, aku siap mendengarkan.”

Dan aku menemukan kedamaian satu demi satu dari begitu banyaknya pikiran dan benang kusut dalam batinku.

Ketika kedamaian menyelimuti batinku, aku dapat merasakan arti bahagia yang sempat hilang selama beberapa bulan terakhir. Senyum dan candaan bukanlah arti kebahagiaan seseorang. Kebahagiaan sesungguhnya ada dan dapat di rasakan dari dalam hati, dan bukan pada apa yang terlihat.

Aku mendapatkan arti sendirian: nonton sendirian, doing groceries sendirian, jalan-jalan sendirian, makan atau ngafe sendirian; menjadi satu waktu dan kesempatan dimana setiap dari kita embrace ourselves. Banyak orang masa kini yang hingga setengah abad usia dijalani tidak mengetahui apa tujuan hidupnya. Tidak tahu apa arti hidup yang sebenarnya. “Ya dijalani saja, yang penting gue hidup untuk hari ini”, yes that’s true. Tapi apa sebenarnya tujuan kamu ada di dunia ini? Apa tujuan kamu diciptakan dan ditempatkan di tempat kamu berada detik ini? And many wouldn’t have answers for that. Neither have I. Tapi seperempat (lebih dikit :p) abad hidupku kini, dan aku tidak mau hidup dikenal hanya sebagai seorang “Irin”. Aku mau hidup jadi inspirasi untuk orang lain.Walau aku ada di dunia ini sebagai seseorang yang “tersembunyi”, kebaikanku dan segala pencapaianku bukanlah untuk dipertontonkan, namun untuk dirasakan dan dialami mereka-mereka yang specifically need those kind of supports.

Mungkin ketika beberapa orang membaca post ini, beberapa dari kalian akan berpikir: “bagaimana dengan kesempatan untuk mencari atau mendapatkan pasangan jika kamu terlalu banyak menghabiskan waktu sendirian, terutama jika kamu sudah terlalu nyaman dan bahagia di dalam kesendirianmu?”. I do think of that as well. But again, when I release my worries about how am I going to meet my mate, God gave me peace and talk through my heart, bahwa Tuhan yang akan tunjuk jalannya kemana aku akan bertemu dengan siapa pun dia. I guess I just need to stick to that kind of faith, bahwa Tuhan saja mendengar doa sederhanaku setahun yang lalu ketika aku berkata dari kursi penonton: “Tuhan, tahun depan aku mau ikut terlibat, bernyanyi, dalam drama musikal JPCC”. Dia kabulkan doa yang hanya sekali saja aku lantunkan sepanjang tahun. Apalagi ketika aku memohon berkali-kali pasangan hidup yang terbaik dariNya.

But most of all, before I build a peaceful relationship with someone else, I have to make peace with myself first.

Lately, aku sedang mempelajari “the introvert” inside of me by reading Quiet and watching to few TED talks about The Introverts. Yang hanya segelintir orang mengerti aku yang sebenarnya: bagaimana secara emosionalku bagaikan rollercoaster yang naik turun dengan cepat, bagaimana aku bereaksi terhadap beberapa kejadian, bagaimana pola pikiranku, bagaimana karakter aku ketika aku sedang dalam beberapa stages of life. Dan seringkali aku berpikir bahwa aku dilupakan orang. Seringkali aku berpikir bahwa aku tidak dianggap oleh orang. Ada masa dimana aku merasa begitu terpuruk, kelelahan mencoba memanggil mereka untuk memandangku. Tapi aku sadar, the introvert inside of me will always feel exhausted, karena itu bukan siapa aku.

Seharusnya aku merasa cukup dengan apa yang aku kerjakan dalam kegelapan, dan menyadari bahwa jika hanya Tuhan yang melihatnya, seharusnya sudah lebih cukup. Karena di situ lah aku merasakan kedamaian, kebahagiaan: ketika aku sendiri.

Aku mendengarkan kebutuhanku (bukan apa mauku) ketika aku sendiri, duduk terdiam dan biarkan the little girl inside of me talking to her Father in heaven. Ada satu, dan dua, dan tiga, dan lebih banyak lagi hal-hal luar biasa yang tidak pernah ada sebelumnya, ada, ketika aku belajar berdiam diri. Dan hal-hal baru tersebut membuat hatiku berbahagia. Membuat hatiku menjadi tenang.

The Introverts make success when they are alone – inti sari dari satu/dua bagian pada buku Quiet – karena disana mereka menemukan ideas that are never exist in the first place. Introverts make success when they accept who they are, and embrace themselves in silence.



Bila hujan turun untuk aku mengenangmu,

biarlah sentuhannya membasahi duniaku,

agar aku tak pernah lupa denganmu,

langkah panjang dan senyum terbaik yang pernah menjadi bagian dari hidupku,

aku percaya pada cinta yang tak kunjung padam,

yang akan selalu terpelihara dengan hangatnya mentari pagi,

bila tajamnya mata pedang terasa hingga ke lubuk hati,

tanda bahwa namamu telah tertoreh di dinding hati nuraniku,

hingga malam menjelang,

kegelapan menyelimuti dunia orang hidup,

namun kasih ini akan selalu menjadi terang untuk perjalanan kita bila kita tersesat.

Jangan lupakan aku.

Karena aku tidak pernah melupakanmu.

Hujan telah menjadi bagian dari duniaku.

Dan bila hujan turun,

aku akan selalu mengenangmu..

every girl’s first love

Each time i sit beside him, i never feel home. Home is the place where the purest love exists, where you can learn what you cannot learn, where you can receive what you cannot receive, where you can tell everything what you cannot tell to the outside world. Home is the place where the fundamental of life is built with trust and honesty.

But he is not a home to me.

I recalled myself few years ago, when i decided to fix the broken relationship with him, i came back from my runaway. Gain each other’s trust. Start from the beginning when we met after he was gone in those critical years of my life. Because i believed that people could change. I went back from the desert, broken and confuse. I need to fix something. And i chose to fix our relationships. The broken me thought that being near to him would heal me. I could learn to be much stronger, and things would turn to be better.

I lost a love. But i need to love. And be loved. Channeling that love to him would do me any better, i assumed. I could replace the love i lost by loving him. I believed he is changed. I believed he will love me like he was never be before. I believe he will redeem his absence in my life throughout the years. I started to believe everything about his life. 

I was welcomed with a surprise that he was someone i never knew before. I guess people really do change, worse. The little girl inside of me felt insecurity. Tried to get along with him, but there’s a wall standing between us, and it gets higher by days. We are so close, so near to each other, but yet we are so far apart. When we fought, we turned to be the worst part each of us could be. Evil. Our words became swords that hurt each other’s hearts so deeply. We let darkness fill us and have power on us. He let himself.

And he meant every words. No appologize would be coming out from his heart, no matter how hard i tried to appologize, he will always be .. that .. cold.

I turned bitter.

The reason we fought was that i needed to tell him the truth, things i felt, i feel. Be honest to each other.

But he taught me how to be liars. He is not someone where he can be my home anymore. I never see love coming out from him. Especially for me. 

For some time in each month i would spend some of my days with him. Seeing him with few people that should not be here, should not be in my life, in our lives Those days will never be my best days. But i was, and am willing to sacrifice hours and days of my freedom to be with him. Before i meet with him, there will always be hours or days needed for me to recharge the emotional energies to be absorbed by the negativity he always throw at me.

But he seems happy. And i guess that’s all that matter. And i guess i am stucked with God’s command to respect and love him no matter who he is become. The more i am trying to hate him, the more i am hurting myself. And i am also stucked with the gift God me to be so sensitive in loving someone. 

Tell me, God. What do you want from me for him?