Saturday, 28 April 2007

Tri hi

I just blitzed my 17k run this morning! 1:16.49, average of 4:31 per km! And waking up from only 6 hours sleep from a late night too... I'm just stoked! I shouldn't be going so fast if these were my preparations for Perth marathon. But if I can improve on my times, things should be looking good, right?

Just came across this year's Langkawi Ironman videos on SwimBikeRunMalaysia. Can't help feeling inspired. I never actually thought I would do an Ironman. I plan to do a half Ironman next year, either in Perth around May or if timing is right, head home and do the one in Desaru in around August/September. Target at the moment is 6 hours (30 minutes swim, 3.5 hours bike, 2 hours run).

But these things tend to be addictive (for me anyway) and make me crave more. Langkawi Ironman 2009.... doesn't seem like a dream anymore... I intend to make it a reality!

Hmm... I supposed I should take one thing at a time. First, survive this July's Perth marathon. Then the half Ironman next year. And it would also mean I have to do a lot more cycling (yuck!). Or would I be able to cheat my way through with my 45 minute sessions of spinning in the gym? We'll see...

On another note, Li-Ann's parents are here for visit. We had Chinese dinner yesterday at Northbridge and ice cream later at South Perth. I hope I made a good impression. Although this isn't the first time I have met them, I can't help feeling nervous.

Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Housekeeping and DVD players

Over the past weekend and today (because it's a public holiday, ANZAC Day - something like our Hari Pahlawan) we have been cleaning our house, getting it ready for our bimonthly rental inspection, which is tomorrow. Current flatmate is a lot better than the previous one. He did the kitchen, the bathroom and also the windows in the lounge. Now everything is sparkling clean. When he saw me mopping the floors, him being so pai seh offered to do the carpets too. But I insisted on doing it lah... I only spent about 20 minutes mopping!

On another note, I collected my accolade from work yesterday... a Sony DVP NC66k DVD player. Yeah, a lot of people had been getting accolades lately but not myself, I just thought I wasn't making enough of an impact. Anyway, I had a few to choose from... Nokia 6070 mobile phone, LG home theatre system, Ipod speakers, BBQ set, outdoor heater, spa treatment, 24 months magazine subscription and one night's hotel stay.

I didn't need a new phone and I reckon my Sony Ericsson K800i beats the Nokia hands down anyway. My TV is too small to fit a home theatre system. I hardly listen to my Ipod (sorry guys, I'm just not comfortable having it while I run, and I sleep in my bus rides to work anyway. I'll keep it for long journeys like my planned trip to Melbourne in July). I hardly have social functions at my house, so getting the BBQ set and outdoor heater would be pointless. The spa treatment would be more useful if it was more related to sports recovery. The magazine subscription catered mostly for women's fashion and business news. The hotel stay was in Perth city which is where I work most of the time... didn't really appeal to me.

So I chose the DVD player... but heard that expensive players like Sony might not play 'cheap' DVDs (yes, unfortunately I'm one of the many contributors to the 'unconventional movie distribution' industry). And this one is worth AUD199 (it's actually the cheapest among the above options). It can load up to 5 discs and comes with karaoke functions.

Anyway, just tested it.... and it plays! Li-Ann's collection of VCDs and DVDs won't go to waste after all...

My small TV with make-shift TV shelf and new DVD player

Sunday, 22 April 2007

KPMG Ball 2007

*Edit* Additional photo taken by company hired photographer. Had my mask on nicelyy. It snapped right before I posed for this picture, which was taken when we made our entrance into the lounge area. The theme was The Phantom of the Opera. The venue was King Majesty's Theatre. We were literally dining on the theatre stage.

In the car... we're gonna be late!

Pre-dinner performance

Work colleagues...

My lady boss... she's still single... any takers?

What's a formal dinner without my beef...
I just realised I have been holding my mask a lot...
rather than actually wearing it.

There you go...

A memorable night...

Today also marks 10 months Li-Ann and I have been together. Happy 10 months to us!

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Running woes

Having severely flat feet (and I mean REALLY flat), fellow runners can tell that I am VERY prone to injuries. Here's my 'injury history' (well... as far as I can remember, anyway...)

2004 Knee injury. Sharp pain when start running but goes off after running a while. Soon took a toll on me when I couldn't bear the pain anymore. Was put out of action for almost a month.

2005 Foot injury. Coupled with my difficulty of adapting my training schedule to work (just started work this year) . I stopped running COMPLETELY. Gained 10kgs. Good thing had a few 'motivation runs' with sis during holidays and was able to get back into action the following year.

2006 Ankle injury. Was in superb form (still unable to get back to this form) but tripped and sprained ankle. Floored for about 3 weeks. Luckily, spirits were still motivated (and Li-Ann helped a lot too!). Kept going after that.

THIS year... I have been suffering the same knee pains similar to those 3 years ago, but at least I don't limp when I walk. But for the past few days, I have been plagued by fatigue and exhaustion. Could be due to my over ambitious plans of doing long 17k runs 3 times in four days during the weekend before (Easter break mah, must use the opportunity!).

My first 2 long runs were good (too fast for my belief, actually). 1:19.43 (average 4:41 per km) and 1:18.37 (average 4:37 per km). 3rd one was unplanned... wanted to do usual fast 8.5k but legs were too tight... so went for slow long run. 1:21.20 (average 4:47 per km).

My recent long run last Sunday was a torture. I clocked 41:11.01 for the first 8.5k. Thought I would be able to pick up the pace for the 2nd 8.5k. But exhaustion and head wind got the better of me. I really slowed down to a jogging pace. I also suffered stitches towards the last 5 kms.2nd 8.5k was 45:34, total time 1:26.35, average 5:06 per km. After the run, I just felt like lying down to sleep. Self motivations was a bit shaken but my target pace for the marathon is about 5 to 5:30 per km... so still within range.

Monday's run... intended to be a quick 8.5k run, I clocked 40:44.92, average 4:48 per km. I normally do about 37 minutes. It was at this point, where I was questioning my direction and my motivation was deeply threatened.

It wasn't that I was feeling any severe leg pains (although the slight knee pains are still present) or muscle tightness. I was just feeling... TIRED.

Li-Ann persuaded me to rest the following day. I intended to do some spinning in the gym. Hats off to her... because skipping training due to reasons apart from illness or injury... just doesn't happen for me. I have this compulsion of not being able to swallow my meals if I did not do any training that day. I also check the weighing scales after every workout to see how much weight I lost. So no training... means NOTHING lost!

Anyway, I'm glad I took a day off training. This morning's run, 8.5k, 37:03.73, average 4:22 per km. Maybe I just shouldn't worry too much. Running about 4 times a week... I'm bound to have some ups and downs. And IT IS OKAY TO REST when one is tired.

Perth Marathon... be ready to be completed in sub 4 hours!

Saturday, 14 April 2007


"Aiyo, so thin already..."

"Don't over train lah..."

"Don't be so stingy, buy yourself more rice to eat..."

"SMS me when you reach home, okay?"

Sounds familiar? My swimming coach once said after I dropped him off at his place after a night session that I should return home quickly, so that my mother would not worry. I said that I'm such a big boy already. He replied saying that no matter how grown up I am, my mother would still worry...

It's mum's 51st birthday tomorrow. Here's to wishing my mum a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Unlike many other teachers' children in my school (lil' sis included, hehheh), I'm very glad that mum was with me in my school. I never viewed it as having a watchful pair of hawk eyes over my every single doing. In fact, I was still able to get into some mischief unbeknownst to mum.

There are a lot of mothers who don't even have time for their children to let alone know what's going on with their children in school. I'm glad that mum was always there. I definitely owe a large part of who I am today to mum being with me in school from 7am to 1pm and being at home with me from 1pm onwards.

Guess I can say I'm a MAMA's BOY. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MUM!

Friday, 6 April 2007

Long holiday... long run...

Today is the first day of our 4 day weekend for Easter (nyeh nyeh nyeh, you people in Malaysia hahhah). But would most likely spend it studying for the last unit of my CA module. It's 140 pages long (the earlier ones averaged about 100 pages) and the solutions to the activities are 87 pages (earlier ones were about 50). Haih... there goes my weekend. But would try to go out. Li-Ann actually suggested watching a movie... chances like this don't come often. She's not a big fan of movies.

Today is also the first day of my marathon training. Wednesday run didn't count because I did my usual 8.5km. And I wanted to slow down my pace but ended up clocking 37:13.97, which is about a sub 4:23 average.

Anyway, the plan was to do the 8.5km distance... TWICE. I started running at about 6.30am. Should have started earlier. The sun is already up at this time here. I still feel the slight poking sensation around my knees during my first 200m of warm up from my doorstep to my starting point. Picked up the pace a bit... the pain slowly went away. First lap (2.0km) was 9:30.32, way slower than my usual of 8:30s... but I want to get into marathon pace, so this is actually quite fast. 2nd lap (2.25km) had a bit of tail wind, clocked 10:47.00.

Coming back... had to face head wind... 10:58.39 for 2.25km. Legs feeling okay, but starting to feel bored. Don't know if I can keep this up every week. As I intend to do my usual 8.5km 3 times a week during weekday mornings and try to slot in the double distance on weekend evening... yeah I'm still contemplating whether to skip my usual weekend morning swim and gym sessions and get the run out of the way in the morning. But the thought of having already paid the fees makes me decide not to skip.

Last lap of round 1 (2.0km) was 9:17.74. Round 1 total was 40:33.45. I think after that, started becoming impatient. Because went faster and faster. The hot sun not helping either. Also could be I'm always challenging myself, wanted to do the whole thing under 1 hours and 21 minutes.

Round 2 - 9:07.50 (2.0km), 10:32.00 (2.25km), 10:38.99 (2.25km) and 8:51.28 (2.0km). Total time for 2 rounds 1:19.43... 17km, that's 4:41 per km! That's even faster than my race pace when I did my last half marathon (1:40.45, 4:47 per km).

Hmm... I think I still need to slow down... maybe the Ipod my friends got me for my birthday last October would come in handy now. But somehow the thought of having it all covered with sweat freaks me out....

Not a big fan of Paula Radcliffe but look at the way she runs! Both feet are airborne!

Tuesday, 3 April 2007

I can't believe it... a PB!

Yup, that's right... after waiting patiently for last Sunday's Pt Walter OD Tri results... and almost certainly wanting to write off achieving my sub 2:30 target.... not only did I achieve my target, I did a 4 second PB! Hahhah, so lucky... 2:28.07, placed 133 out of 268 competitors. Rio did 2:21.17, 78th position. Yup, the guy's in a different class than I am.

For full results, click *here*

Sunday, 1 April 2007


That's one word to describe the Point Walter OD Triathlon.

Woke up at 5am as rego starts at 6am and we are only given race numbers on race day. And I haven't been to the place before so I didn't want to risk getting lost. Had about 7 1/2 hours sleep. I normally give myself full 8 hours pre race, but the swimming championships on tv ended at about 9.30pm.

The place is actually quite nice, by the Swan River... the drive along the way was through some nice big houses.

I just realised that I wasn't given a swim cap with my race number. Hmm.... I normally bring my own swim cap just in case, but not this time. Well, have to swim without cap then, that's what I do at training anyway.

Checked in my bike, did my usual stretches, eat Powerbar.

The swim start were at 3 different points for 3 different races, FUN, SPRINT and OLYMPIC. I couldn't hear the briefing, so I wasn't sure where was my start. Anyway, that got sorted soon enough. It was a wetsuit swim... meaning the water is COLD! Yours truly doesn't have a wetsuit. Good thing I found my swim start soon enough and was able to do some warm ups. But I got cold again while waiting to be flagged off. The organizer was trying to describe the swim route right before the start. Swim straight... 1st left turn... then left again, then right, another right... WHAT? I'm just used to swimming out and back. Why must it be so confusing?

7.15am swim start... good thing there were a lot of people swimming around my pace. I could see a few jellyfish, tried my best to avoid... but accidentally touched some of them too... turns out these ones don't sting.

Swim was pretty good... not sure what time I posted though.

Now did I mentioned the transition was on a hill above the foreshore? Yes, not only it was an uphill run, it was far from the water too. I was still freezing from the cold water... I fumbled with putting on socks... should have placed my shoes facing me, rather than facing my bike. Oh well... I also took about 3 attempts clicking on the race belt. Yeah, BAD transition...

Out on the 2 lap bike ride... still cold from the swim... when the wind blew, I struggled a bit handling the bike. The route was nice and scenic, along the foreshore... for a leisure ride, NOT for a race. There were some steep hills, which I hammered my knees and quads pedalling off my seat. I decided to write off my target of doing sub 2:30 overall. The bike route was even more confusing than the swim. There were several roundabouts we had to go through. There were marshalls but they were controlling car traffic, so they can't exactly direct us the way. Good thing there were people in front of me again. There were some instances that there were cars stopping at the roundabouts and we had to circle around them. 1st lap back, I was surprised that I posted under 40 minutes. I later realised that it's slightly shorter than 20km. Slightly disappointed that it wasn't the true distance but with there were hills and LONG transition. So give and take lah. Second lap was easier as I was more familiar with the route. Posted 1:19.05 for 38.66km, 29.3 kph.

Out on the 4 lap run... I'm happy to say that jelly legs are slowly becoming less of a problem for me. As usual, there were a lot of people in front of me. They always overtake me at my poor cycling. But I turn the tables on them with the run. It was quite shady too, so the heat from Perth sun didn't really get to us. I skipped the first few drink stations. I saw Rio running on the way back... well he's obviously a much better triathlete than I am. The time I beat him at City of Perth must be when he suffered bad cramps.

1st lap 10:53.19. Sub 11! I couldn't believe it... with this pace I can actually a sub 44 minute 10k run. I'm starting to think that it's shorter than the actual distance too... can't help feeling a bit disappointed.

2nd lap 10:41.18. Confidence level building up... but soon enough, knees start getting tight. Must be due the hill climbs during the bike. Slowed down my pace... as much as I want to finish quick, I want to complete the race even more. 3rd lap 11:02.20. I still have the allowance from the first two laps to do sub 44. Drank water from the last few drink stations. I noticed that the tightness around my knees went away temporarily after each time I take water.

Last lap... they HAD to add in another hill right before the finish. Lap time 11:35.47. Total run time 44:12.04. Well, at least now I'm more convinced that the run distance is 10km.

Guess what? My lucky stars got myself another spot prize... there were goggles, T-shirts, towels, bike pants. I chose an Ironman cap. Don't know why. I don't wear caps when I run. And I ain't no Ironman... I didn't choose the goggles because I use prescription goggles. Now thinking back, my sister could actually use a pair of goggles... fancy an Ironman cap, sis?

Now still waiting for results. Clinging on to hope of doing sub 2:30. Even bigger hopes of doing a PB. The girl who used to swim with us, now doing Triathlon posted 2:31. She did 2:29 in City of Perth when I did 2:28. Does this mean I would do 2:30?

Knees and quads hurt like hell now. Just downed a bottle of Powerbar Endurance sports drink, thanks to sis.

That's my last triathlon for the season. Rest one day tomorrow, swimming the day after. Marathon training starts on Wednesday... IF legs recover soon.