Sunday, 30 March 2008

A point to prove

*Edit* For pictures from official photo website

19th Annual Skilled Corporate Teams Triathlon... at Bather's Beach, Fremantle... Last year, when was I left out of the Corporate team (all 3 legs per person) and was asked to do the Tri-it team (one leg each) instead... I couldn't help feeling a bit sidelined.

So this year, I was pretty hard up to EITHER finish quickest from KPMG OR come in within a creditable time, which is my target of 38 minutes.

Race distance was 250m swim, 10km bike and 2.5km run. Daylight savings ended on Sunday morning... so I got an additional hour's sleep despite having to check in our bikes at 6.20am.

Darling was SO NICE to accompany me. My colleagues were a bit envious as they had to listen to the briefing in the cold 16 degrees, just clad in our KPMG tri suits... while I had my warm jumpers with me, so I can pass them to Li-Ann before the start.

Exchanged a few chats with Graeme (one of our division partners), Ben (Tax manager who borrowed my bike for this race), Glen (my toughest rival from Tax), Julie (from Corporate Finance who organized our teams, uniforms and post race brekkie. Thanks, Jules!) and many others.

Aiyak... I missed out on this picture... must have been in the toilet...

The water was cold but warmer in comparison to being on dry land. I positioned myself at the front to get a good start. But I reckoned I started too quickly as I found my legs tiring after that. There was a bit of drag in the KPMG suit as well. I saw Glen passed me just right after we started. His surf lifesaving skills gave him an advantage.

The run out of the water was about 500m. My legs were still a bit slow... couldn't run very fast. Swim time was 4.30 for 250m... 45 seconds off target. Must have slowed down while wading through the shallow waters.

Glen coming out of the water strong

Me struggling to run out from the water

Darling snapped this COOL pic of me coming in!

T1 was a bit of a nightmare. I had always practised pushing the bike on the left but somehow I ended up pushing it out on the right. Mounted the bike awkwardly. And the bike shoes somehow got strapped closed before I could slip my feet in. Took me almost 1.5 minutes before I started pedaling. Total T1 time was 2:44.

But the ride was good. There were 3 laps of 3.3kms, making 10kms in total. I saw Glen riding not too far away at the 1st turnaround point. Managed to catch him before the end of the 1st lap. Li-Ann was cheering me at the end of each lap.

Me potong sayur a guy on mountain bike

Darling's photography has improved... hehheh...

My adrenalines were running high... my apologies to those whom I YELLED at to keep left while I overtook them. It was much better this year, as I was in the first starting wave. Last year, I started later and the bike course was JUST TOO crowded.

Bike time 20:25 for 10.25km, average 29.8kph (haiya, under 30kph!)

T2 was less catastrophic. Was able to slip out of my bike shoes without much difficulty. But had some problems fitting into running shoes. My socks were not worn properly, so they were getting in the way. Yes, yes I know. ONLY 2.5km run, DON'T NEED to wear socks. Won't get blisters... But also don't want to dirty my race shoes mah...

I saw Glen coming in shortly after I did. I was a bit worried that he'd catch me in the run.

Jelly legs feeling after the bike were slight... but no tightening of quads. There was a part where we had to run through the gates at the old train tracks. THAT required a bit of ZIG-ZAG manoeuvering. I clocked slightly over 6 minutes at the turnaround point. But the lap coming back was more straightforward... hopefully I could still make it under 11 minutes.

Glen was coming to the turnaround point about 200m away from me. I should be able to finish before him. I then saw Graeme and shortly later, Ben.

There was a small part where we had to run on the sand. Didn't quite like that. A guy was in front of me right about 100m before the finish... I SPED through, OVERTOOK him and finished in 11:03... giving overall time of 38:42! Didn't quite meet my target of sub 38 minutes but was first from KPMG nonetheless. But I heard Glen had a knee surgery recently. Well, maybe an EVEN showdown next year...

Me trying to lift my arms up and stop my watch at the same time

We hung around and chatted a bit. Had muffins and fruit at the KPMG tent. Also waited for the Tri-it teams to finish as they started much later than us. Was pretty happy when everyone commented on how quick I went... felt like a SUPERSTAR... hehheh.

Li-Ann and myself waited for the prize presentations, to collect ANY prizes on KPMG's behalf. Everyone else had left. I had a good feeling that we could win a prize. The prizes were just wine glasses... that's why every year, KPMG doesn't bother waiting for them.

But it turned out that ONLY our Tri-it Veteran Males won a prize for 3rd place. Oh well... looks like Corporate teams are just too competitive.

Sole representative remaining from KPMG

Looking forward to a PB at next week's Point Walter Olympic Distance triathlon.

Thursday, 27 March 2008


Corporate Teams Triathlon this Sunday. LOOK! We've got uniform tri suits!

Eh... why I senget to one side ah?

The target is to be the quickest finisher from KPMG and/or to go under 38 minutes for 250m swim, 10km bike and 2.5km run (yeah, VERY short distances. What you expect... CORPORATE mah... all unfit!)

I supposed I should focus more on the second option as I cannot control how fast other people are going. Toughest rival would be Glenn from Tax, who came in 2nd overall in Perth for doing 80 laps in 30 minutes at last year's Foxtel Lap (I only did 68). His swimming is pretty good too as he does surf lifesaving. Looks like my WEAKEST link, cycling, has become my secret weapon against him.

Wish me luck...

Oh... this also happens to be my 100th post!

Monday, 24 March 2008

Easter crab

The FOUR day Easter weekend had ended. Back to work tomorrow.

Few highlights... on Friday, had a delicious pan mee lunch at Eric and Renee's. Oops... and also Brendan's now as he's their new housemate. I really love pan mee... it's one of the many things I can't find over here.

This was followed by a crabbing trip to Mandurah... about 50 minutes south from Perth. We had our dinner there and started crabbing at about 8.30pm. But the crabs only started coming out after 9pm. Started off a bit slow... but by 11pm, we caught about 20 crabs altogether! Thanks to Eric and Nicholas (Brendan's brother) good spotting.

Some PROUD camwhoring with our catch...

Eric and Renee

Nick and Brendan

Us, looking TIRED

It took about an hour for the crab to be boiled and cooked. So by the time it was ready to eat, it was past 1am. Thanks peeps for doing this... I was asleep throughout!

The reward... yummm...

Then on Monday morning, we attended Jasmine's baptism at Matilda Bay followed by a delicious brunch at Dome Cafe nearby.

Oh... and I did a sub 42 minute 10k for the first time ever this morning! 41:57.71! Yippee!

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Li-Ann's birthday

*Edit* For cake cutting photos courtesy of Brendan Foo

It was darling's 23rd birthday last Saturday.

Birthday dinner at Mead's Mosman Bay.

Nice ambience

Oysters with crab

Scallops and snapper

Rib eye steak

They really shouldn't use such BIG plates. Makes the portions look really small.

Verdict: The view and atmosphere was very classy. The food, some were good, some were pretty average. After-meal coffee was REALLY average. Price wise, pretty expensive. But for special occasion... never mind lah. :)

After dinner, we had a surprise cake cutting session with our dearest friends.

Custard Torte cake from Mozart Patisserie

The cake looks like it's on fire from all the sparklers

Sunday, 9 March 2008

B-R-I-C-K solo

My gym membership expired about more than a week ago. I decided not to renew it. Thought that I needed more REAL cycling practice (and not spinning on the gym bikes). Also, as body toning is not any of the three legs in triathlons, I guess I can give the weights a bit of rest. Besides, I can always use the gym at the swim pool for FREE after my swim session.

I realised that I'm still very prone to getting leg cramps during the run leg after the bike in races. Need to train up the legs to get used to running after a bike ride. So I thought... why not make my Sunday (which used to be my gym day) a B-R-I-C-K day!

The plan was to do an approximately 60km bike ride followed by a 6km run. And I'm glad to say that after doing it for about 4 occasions now, my times are dropping! Well... it also got to do with the fact that I'm getting more familiar with the route... so I get lost less (even until now, I still miss a turn or TWO!) Been able to clock from 24kph to 25kph and now, 27kph average for the bike (a bit slower than race pace lah because cycling on bike paths and also less motivation when cycling alone) and from 4:25 per km to 4:22 per km and now, 4:17 per km average for the run.

Also, lately my usual 10km runs are done under 43 minutes (4:17 per km average), WOOHOO! Yes, half ironman training is going swell... and I haven't scheduled in a weekly 20km run yet. That would have to wait after all the sprint and Olympic distance races. Wouldn't want to slow down on my speed, would I?

I tried following a bike shop group ride with TBE about 2 weeks ago. I was of the impression that they do about 30kph average for a 50km ride... so, a pace that I can keep up with. BUT, obviously the website hasn't been updated as 15km into the ride, these guys were clocking about 40kph and they didn't seem like they were slowing down! I was left behind alone and had to slowly find my way back. Plus, they didn't really seem like a friendly bunch... so I guess I'll stick to my solo rides. Sigh, the cultural barrier between the Australians and us, Asians is something I have yet to break through.


The results from yesterday's general elections back home are out! (And I don't get to vote because I'm overseas!)

Our ruling government party has only won a SHOCKING simple majority of just over 1/2 of the parliamentary seats and not 2/3 as how it has been for the past decades. Looks like the rakyat have voiced their dissatisfaction of the government and it is time to change!

But with losing key states to the opposition parties, including my own hometown, Selangor... I ponder if the opposition is actually ready to take on this task.

This is going to be interesting...

Saturday, 1 March 2008

Ironman high...

It's a long weekend. We have Monday off... Labour Day. Only for Western Australia... don't ask me why... our state always wants to be different from others.

Have the whole weekend planned out... clubbing tonight... beach tomorrow... and a delayed Chinese New Year dinner with SLBs on Monday.

Was meant to go to the beach last weekend but my swimwear got stolen... so no more mood already. In the end we just went to see the sunset.

I just left them in the car to come into the house to get something... barely 1 minute! Lost my new TYR swim trunks, my old pair of training goggles (I lost a newer pair at the waves when I was with my sister and her friends at Swanbourne beach... so now I only have my racing pair left!) and the Asics bag which was given to me as a prize for winning my age group during last year's Perth Marathon.

Well done to all those who did the Langkawi Ironman last weekend. Stupe, Azwar, Ray, Saiful, Abu, Major K, May Senn, Shazly, Ishsal, Bacin, Ariff, Simon, Chee, Edwin, Sofian, Meng, David, Iwata, Carmen, Fiona, Don, Ah Thiam, Mr Ngae... and many others. Sorry I cannot go on mentioning everybody, but you all know who you are. You may not know me, but I read your blogs regularly. Truly an inspiration...

Check out this video too...

Which is all fueling my motivation... really looking forward to the Busselton HALF Ironman in May (have to start out with half first lah...).

I got myself a 2nd hand Ironman Instinct wetsuit (the brand only Ironman... doesn't mean have to do FULL ironman) for AUD150. Got to know about it from the Triathlon WA forum. The lady actually started off with AUD170 on her post, but she then said, she accepted all offers. I didn't want to ask for too low lah... she was quite nice. Besides, brand new would have cost AUD299. So to get it 50% off is pretty good... and it was in good condition too.

I really need the wetsuit to brave the 19 degrees water of Busselton. But it's too warm to test it out now. If it's cold enough during the Point Walter OD Triathlon in April, I may try it out then.

Training has been pretty good, motivation levels are high. Hmm... maybe Langkawi 2009 (or 2010) is not so far fetched after all... but one thing at a time first lah ya... ;)