Friday, 21 December 2007
We had our annual secret santa exchanging of presents at the office. I got a leather key wallet... quite normal compared to the other more exciting presents that some got. Sex for dummies book, blow-up doll, a framed sock for someone who just happens to be a chatterbox (telling her to put a sock in it!). Yup, all in good fun. Our Partner-in-Charge was given a whole attire comprising of a cap, a t-shirt and big gold chain... all with dollar signs all over.
The annual Christmas party had its ups and downs. It was buffet lunch at Fraser's Kings Park. The food was good... but the trays got finished pretty quickly and the catering staff took quite a while to replenish the food. So, lots of impatient, hungry guests.
This year's grad skit was also pretty good... really funny. Although somewhat crossing the line that separates humour and indecency. We have really sporting partners who don't mind people taking the piss out of them... which was the main theme of the skit every year anyway, to make fun of the bosses. I'd still like to think that my grad year put on a better show though :P
It was also amusing to see fellow colleagues getting more and more inebriated by the minute.
Would be leaving on a jet plane in about 8.5 hours time. Can't wait to get home...
Saturday, 15 December 2007
So what have I been doing... HOUSE CLEANING!!
... also because we have a rental inspection this coming Monday.
I started off by clearing my room a bit... and stumbled upon some old pictures, cards and other memorabilia.
So after 5 years of staying in the same house... I FINALLY decided to beautify my room a bit.
Shocking eh? How one can change SO much just over a FEW years...
Less than a week to home!
Tuesday, 11 December 2007
Saturday dinner at Cafe Villa, Leederville...
Followed by dessert at Oriels, Subiaco...
Sunday morning trip to Rottnest Island...
Home of the quokkas...
We moved around the island on hired bikes...
Had an hour of historical gun tour...
Sun bathed at The Basin... touted to be the best Australian beach... I found the sand a bit hard...
And finally, dinner at Sandrino's, Fremantle... seafood pizza, yum!
Saturday, 8 December 2007
Specialized Speedzone Sport cycle computer... Look sis, it's WIRELESS!
Bike was on special... was AUD1,199 selling for AUD960. Including cycle computer and drink cage... total spent was AUD1,040.
Cycling shoes would have to wait. It's a lot cheaper back home... only 2 more weeks!
Sunday, 2 December 2007
It was selling for AUD120 from its original price of AUD160. There was also a pair of Gel Kayano old model which was originally priced at AUD240, but selling at AUD120 too. But the 1120 fitted me better, so I decided not to be kiasu and get myself a pair of shoes that fitted me well... rather than one that was originally more expensive.
I tested the shoes on Wednesday evening. Like the DS Trainer, they were pretty responsive. The springy effect could be due to them being new... see how they cope after a few runs. They were slightly heavier than the DS Trainer, but no doubt felt more supportive. Would serve me well as my training shoes, while the DS Trainer would be for my fast N' furious racing!
Saturday was Eric's housewarming at Balcatta. It was pot luck and there were PLENTY of food. The hosts dished out lemang and chicken rendang. Darling made salad and I bought turkish bread. Other mouth watering dishes include curry fish balls, sushi, char siew and KFC popcorn chicken courtesy of Marc. For desert, we had sago and tong yun. We also had a chocolate mudcake from Miss Maud for Brendan's upcoming birthday and champagne as a toast to the new BEAUTIFUL home of Eric and Renee.
Needless to say, I put on an extra kilo or two after that (the scales at the gym confirms this).
But that's not the end. Sunday evening, Li-Ann and I got another friendly invitation to Jasmine's for steamboat. Thanks, Jasmine... and for the take-away too!
Sunday, 25 November 2007
Li-Ann, her brother and myself went to watch Rent The Musical, starring Anthony Callea, Australian Idol 2004 runner up.
I found it a bit difficult to follow, as the cast were singing all the way, hence the plot was sort of disguised in their singing. The venue, Regal Theatre Subiaco was a bit dodgy. There were no announcements on when to enter the hall or how long the intermission was. In fact, as I was already so lost, I wasn't even sure whether IT ACTUALLY WAS an intermission!
But I suppose some credit should be given to the cast at a performance level. They sang quite well. I also noticed a lot of gay couples among the audience... hmmm...
Dinner in the KPMG board room with our partners for those who have completed the CA program. The food was good. Pretty but in small portions. We each had our names imprinted on the menu. I chose the steak over the salmon (as always... =P).
I arrived pretty late as I was held up at home with the tech support to setup my new broadband service with Dodo. Shouldn't have made the switch. The tech support people are all foreigners, probably outsourced. I couldn't understand their thick accent. Hope I won't have many problems, so I don't have to call them up often.
Here's our congratulatory gift... an Oroton wallet.
Great Bike Ride... 53km (one loop) around the Swan River. There was a 106km one (two loops) but I'm still too wuss to try that. I even drove to the race venue (about 7km away from my house) and parked in my office!
My friend, Brendan was supposed to come with me. Too bad he broke his wrist. Get well soon, mate!
But when I arrived at the office car park at 7am, I met some of colleagues who were doing it as well. Fernsy... Heggie... Ciaran, who smoked me at last year's Skilled Corporate Teams Triathlon and Craig who did the Matilda Bay triathlon and this year's Skilled Corporate Teams Triathlon. They all had clip pedals and nicer looking bikes. Hmm... I guess I'm still the greenhorn when it comes to cycling.
The 53km start was at 7.40am, in staggered waves. There were about 5,100 cyclists this year in total. My wave was meant to start at 7 minutes after the 1st wave. But as in last year, we just jumped in whenever. I did my stretches first, had my last pre-race leak after finishing a full 600ml of Powerade and Powerbar Cookies N' Cream.
The weather was good. Mainly cloudy, so it wasn't too hot. There were some strong winds but as there were so many people riding around me, and there were no drafting rules, the winds were easily blocked.
I noticed I was one of the very few ones with aerobars. Started pretty well... was looking at my watch timer and comparing to the distance on my bike monitor. Averaging way above my target of 30kph. But I knew the route was pretty challenging as there were some hills later on.
True enough, there was a HUGE hill at Mosman Park somewhere around the 15km mark, which just spoiled my momentum. There were several cyclists who dismounted and started pushing their bikes. I actually was going on high gears right before the foothill, so I had a bit of trouble switching to low gears as I was climbing up. Struggled to find my balance, I had to stop on a few occassions and push a bit till I found the right built-up.
Status check after the hill... I was behind my target pace by about 1 minute. Have to work hard! I stayed on aero position for the flats and the moderate downward slopes. I find this really relieving for the legs after the climbs.
The route was pretty scenic, as it was along the river. And we don't get the chance to ride like this on normal days as these roads would be open to traffic.
Somewhere around the 20km mark, after going through some down slopes, I was back into breaking the 30kph target. I knew I could pick up the pace once we hit the freeway. BUT I WAS WRONG... there were GUSTY headwinds at the freeway. But I was still keeping slightly above 30kph.
I looked at my watch... it just past 1.5 hours... and there were about 5kms to go. If I can maintain the pace, I might just be able to make it under 1:40!
Getting onto the causeway and turning into Riverside Drive... only a couple of kms more. There was a bit of headwind too. My watch showed 1:36 and counting... this is going to be close!
Reached the finish line at 1:39.54... about 9 minutes faster than last year!
Stats were 51.81km, average 31.0 kph, max 53.6 kph.
There was a complimentary massage service. I asked for my quads and neck to be massaged. Yeah, neck must be sore from all the aero. The masseur was quite rough. I tried hard not to scream as the bony elbows were rubbed against my thighs.
I met Fernsy but the others were must have finished much earlier. Fernsy clocked slightly under 2 hours. Yeah, the hills must have shocked him like they did to me last year.
And I met Chow Hoong too! He was one the volunteers. Was surprised to see him as I thought he would have gone back to Malaysia. He had an extension with Accenture here until March next year. Thanks for the picture! I had my camera left in the car, didn't want to risk losing it in the ride.
That's all for now. Now I have to remove those stickers from my bike. Can't seem to get them off. So ANNOYING!
Tuesday, 20 November 2007
Annual company function at Rottnest Island. The games this year were much better than last year. I think they are quite clever. Hats off the the organizing committee...
Saturday, 17 November 2007
Li-Ann and I left at 8.30am for our 2 day trip down south. We made our first stop at Miami Bakehouse at about 10am. We tried their famous pies and pastries.
We then made our way to Busselton. We arrived at 12.30pm.
I actually bumped into a Singaporean who took part in the Perth Marathon with me. We exchanged contact numbers. His name is David Tan. He's quite a talkative fellow... my Simmos ice cream was melting away.
First visit was the Busselton Jetty Underwater Observatory.
We were lucky to catch a BIG school of fish.
The train was not out of service, so we had to walk to and fro the 1.8km long jetty.
We then checked in to Amaroo Motel. Rested for a bit before heading to Meelup Beach.
Couldn't watch the sunset as it was a bit cloudy. We had fish and chips for dinner. We noticed ALL the shops had Swim Bike Run billboards put up for the upcoming Busselton Ironman. Had coffee and cake at a place called Samorva.
Sunday, 18 November 2007
Checked out at 8am. In fact, we could have checked out earlier as we were already up by 6.30am but the reception wasn't open yet.
We made our way towards Margaret River. Our first stop, Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse... but it wasn't open till 9.30am. That didn't stop us from taking pictures.
The next place, Canal Rocks was quite a wonder...
Followed by Ngilgi Cave.
Lunch was at Flutes Restaurant.
We made a visit to Howard Park Estates winery to see its unique architecture but did not do any wine tasting.
We ended our trip dropping by Candy Cow, Moon Haven and Margaret River Dairy Co just for samples but did not buy anything apart from AUD2 yoghurt which was on special offer.
And coming back, we saw this!
Sunday, 11 November 2007
This race brought back some mixed memories from last year. I was badly stung by some unknown sea creature (apparently, it is not a jellyfish)... had a scar on my neck that lasted almost half a year. But it was also my first race with a trisuit... was pretty happy with my time.
So naturally, one would aim to improve this year...
I didn't get quite a good sleep the night before. Went to bed at 9.15pm but only fell asleep around 11pm. The fact that my neighbours were having a party and blasting their radio did not help either. Even after I got to sleep, I still woke up a few times, checking the clock. Sigh... raced at numerous events and I STILL get excited the night before.
Left at 6am to pick Li-Ann up. Got to race venue at about 6.30am after making several attempts to try to find the turn-in junction. Checked in my bike, collected race bib, did some stretches, listened to briefing etc.
There were more people here than at the duathlon two weeks ago. Say, about 200 participants.
The swim course was one straight route along the beach. My event was the longest of all the events on that day. So we had to walk all the way down the end of the beach. Darling was there to keep me company... :)
I look like a Ninja Turtle
I positioned myself towards the front, closest to the beach. The water was slightly under 20 degrees... so wetsuits were allowed (it would give these non-swimmers an unfair advantage... bleeargh...)I swam behind someone's feet throughout (yes, my navigation is still quite poor). He was just the right pace. The water was cold in some parts... warm in other parts... don't ask me why! I felt some slight stinging around my left arm... but nothing major.
Out from the water... we had to run quite a bit on the sand. My body always feel slightly disoriented after the swim. Takes a while before it can get into run/bike mode. Fumbled a bit again with the race belt. Shoes are getting tight, took some time to slip them in. Good thing my new Asics Gel DS Trainer (which I haven't broken into yet) is one size bigger. So watch out for faster transitions, folks!
Don't know what my swim time was... as I don't like wearing a watch while I swim (paranoid that it might get spoiled... then, I can't time myself throughout the whole race!).
The bike course was 6 loops of 5km each. It was nice to have darling cheering at the end of each loop. There were some winds from certain direction but generally the route was flat. As usual, I get overtaken by HEAPS of cyclists on the bike.
I think that lady overtook me RIGHT after this pic was taken
Bike monitor showed 29.71km in 59.24... average 30.0kph (just right on target!)
Out on the run... 3 laps of 2km each... the weather was REALLY hot today... max of 36 degrees. I actually prefer hot weather... no runny nose, no numb toes.
Target was to do 27 minutes (4:30 per km)... but at the 1st turnaround point of my 1st lap, I clocked just under 5 minutes. I'd like to pick up the pace but was feeling a potential stitch on my left side... so I maintained the pace.
I think I'm overeating at these races. Nutrigrain in the morning... Powerbar Cookies N' Cream 40 minutes before race. Stomach felt a bit bloated... which AGAIN made me forgo having the Strawberry Banana Powergel. Maybe I should have some less creamy flavoured Powerbars next time... like Banana.
1st lap... came in at 9.41... I skipped the drinks station as 6km seemed like a short distance. And I wasn't feeling that thirsty... swallowed saliva at every 1km.
The turnaround at the 2nd lap showed 10 seconds faster than the 1st. I thought my running legs must be slowly kicking in... came in 9.32 at the end of the lap.
Last lap...wanted to make a dash... but felt some tightness developing around my left knee. So, decided to play it safe. The turnaround on the 3rd lap was the same time as my first. Made it home at 9.34 at the end of the lap... giving overall run time of 28:46. No finishing pictures, as my camera phone ran out of battery.
Prize giving... won't count my chances of any placings. But I did manage to win myself another lucky draw prize. Another grey Adidas water bottle.
Just got e-mailed the results... I clocked 1:43.52... about 8 seconds slower than last year. Haiya... should have sprinted the last few hundred metres. Positioned 7/12 in my age group category. For full results, go *here*.
So, by deduction... my swim time + transition is 15:42. I guess I can't complain... as these times are around my standard.
Saturday, 3 November 2007
I went to redeem the gift voucher I got from the Foxtel Lap and from my Amart Allsports birthday gift voucher my friends got me.
From the Foxtel Lap... 2XU Compression Leggings from Sports Fever.
And from Amart Allsports... something my lil' sis would be VERY jealous of...
A GREEN pair of Asics Gel DS Trainer 12...
Never mind lah, sis... we share share kay? After all... our feet about the same size :P
Oh, and the T-shirt is from the Sports Fever voucher too...
Sunday, 28 October 2007
Distance: 2km run, 30 km bike, 6km run.
The weather was a bit showery and windy. It didn't help that daylight savings started this morning either... so I actually lost an hour of my precious sleep.
6.25 am was the rego... 7.00 am was the start. Darling sacrificed her sleep too... hence, she helped me take some pictures... with my NEW tri-suit...
Ultraman Dua Tria
There were not many participants... I would say, about 50. Guess duathlons are not very popular here... remember the last one that was cancelled?
I started the run quite steadily... although I felt slightly bloated from the Cookies N' Cream Powerbar I had 30 minutes before the race. Maybe next time I should eat earlier.
There was a slight uphill at the end of the turnaround... my watch already showed 5:19. Hopefully I would pick up the pace at the downhill to meet my 9 minute target.
Run lap 1... 10.08... hmm... maybe it is longer than 2km... I'll just accept it at that.
I came in somewhere around the middle pack. Hmm... not as syiok at triathlon... where I'm normally in the front pack in the swim finishing.
Li-Ann caught a butt picture of me coming into transition...
Haiya... looks like got gain weight lah...
As usual, people started overtaking me like nobody's business. The juniors on the short course distance, who started 10 minutes later also smoked me in the very beginning... There were also some leisure cyclists who were riding the same route... and guess what? They overtook me TOO!
It was 6 laps of 5km... originally supposed to be 2 laps of 15km but some parts of the course were too wet and covered with tree branches... so had to be modified. I was happy to maintain at about 30kph average, despite the slight winds, occassional showers and the uphill at the end of each lap. I noted my timing was slightly under 10 minutes per lap... I worked at reducing the times at each lap.
Bike monitor showed 59.48 for 30.35km (average 30.4 kph)...
Li-Ann braved the rain to cheer me at each lap... she also got another picture of me coming into T2. Thanks so much, darling!
I fumbled a bit getting the helmet off. My fingers were slightly frost bitten.
Going out on the run... there were already several people finishing the race. Yup, triathlon really more syiok lah. I managed to overtake some people... but there were also quite a few who overtook me. I decided not to eat the Strawberry Banana Powergel since I was still feeling bloated.
1st lap was 10:33. Yup, the jelly legs did get to me a bit. And it got to me slightly more on the 2nd lap... 10:39. My race belt kept on shifting its position... *mental note to myself*- need to tighten it for next race.
Last lap, I picked up the pace a bit but after the turnaround point, I felt some tightness around my left knee. Slowed down slightly... made longer strides... finished in 10.28 to give overall time of 1:42.05 including transition.
Li-Ann got me a cup of hot chocolate for my finishing... she's a real gem, isn't she?
Prize presentation... guess what? I got second place in my age group category!
Well... there were only 3 participants... and the 3rd guy DNF... but hey, I'm still technically 2nd best in the state championship! Don't play play!
The medal ribbon is RED too!
Considering that there were about 50 participants and there were about 20 draw prizes... so the chances were quite high. I got myself an Adidas water bottle.
We went looking for a place to have breakfast around East Fremantle, as it was quite nice by the Canning River. But the restaurants didn't really seem too appealling. And we weren't in the mood for buffet either.
Ended up eating at BookCaffe, Swanbourne. It's a combined bookshop and caffe... how cool is that?
Li-Ann's smoked salmon bagel
My banana milkshake and big breakfast (which wasn't THAT big). Bring on Fast Eddy's!
Overall, quite happy. Good outing... good race and good pak-tor time too!