Sunday, 27 April 2008

Lest We Forget...

It was a three day weekend... Friday was Anzac Day.

The CURSE of a triathlete's mind... public holiday means having the luxury to rack up those MILES!

Did my furthest ride so far... 80.68kms in 2:54.43 (average 27.55kph). Yeah, didn't want to overdo it although the bike leg distance for next week's race is 90.1km. Had a 30 minute transition practice after that... somehow still not perfect, but what difference does a TWO MINUTE T1 make in a 5.5 HOUR race anyway?

Finally clocked under 89 minutes for my 20km run (average 4:27 per km). Yes, you can say I'm looking forward to a good show at Busselton this coming Saturday.

That's enough BASHING for me. The whole of next week would be easy training.

Here's another clip that would be inspiring me if I find it going tough towards the last few kms. I'm not one with a religious background... but I am definitely a believer in God... and I'm gracious for His gifts... as I believe I am VERY blessed by Him. This is a truly touching story... of Team Hoyt. Dick Hoyt who pushed, towed and carried his son, Rick, a cerebral palsy patient since birth... through the Ironman Triathlon World Championships in Hawaii.

On the pak tor side of things, Li-Ann and I watched a French movie, Paris at Cinema Paradiso, Northbridge... starring Juliette Binoche from the slightly more famous Chocolat.

The story was about a young man who found out he was going to die due to a heart failure and his observations of the people around him... his family, neighbours... their family and friends... and how their individual lives interconnect with one another. An interesting watch... but I somehow find these artsy shows a bit difficult to appreciate. And the colours that they use are so... DULL. I'll stick to Hollywood. Hehheh.

We then had a mediterranean dinner at Mez... which was ALSO interesting... a bit too HEARTY and MEATY. Li-Ann couldn't finish her portion... and I was too stuffed to help her out. Yes, it was THAT filling.

Yesterday, we watched another French movie... on the computer (download style!)... The Diving Bell and The Butterfly. This was A LOT better. A true story about Jean-Dominique Bauby, the editor of French magazine Elle who became completely paralyzed after suffering a stroke... and struggled to publish a book with the support of the medical staff and his family.

Although... my judgement could be somewhat biased by the fact that this movie had more attractive females than the first. :P

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Meet the parents...

Darling's parents were here last week for a visit as well as to attend her convocation. Naturally there were lots of MASSIVE luncheons and dinners to attend. Despite having such a hectic eating schedule, I was still able to fit in ALL my training sessions... not skipping a SINGLE one.

With the family

One with friends

Just us

Doesn't darling look JUST GORGEOUS in these pictures? I think I look a bit old though... hehheh... need more fats for a chubbier and younger look :P

Last week's regime has taken a slight toll on me this week. Slightly fatigued.

Busselton Half in another TWO weeks... I just signed up... costs me AUD230... NO TURNING BACK now...

Monday, 14 April 2008

Mommy dearest...

Here's to wishing my mum a VERY HAPPY 52nd BIRTHDAY!

Thank you, mum...

For your tender love...

For your gentle kindness...

For your guidance and wisdom...

Who's the charming lady in this picture? Not the Thai girl on the right...

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Yeah, I'll take that

Point Walter OD Triathlon... 1.5km swim (but 1.6km according to the event info), 40km bike (but only 37.7km according to my cyclometer) and 10km run (no arguments here). Having going into this race course for the second time, I was not anymore shocked by the hilly bike course as I was last year. So naturally, a PB is aimed for... to improve on last year's timing of 2:28.07, SPECIFICALLY targeting a sub 2:27.

Had a good carbo loading dinner at Dragon China Northbridge for Jer Kie's birthday. Thanks, Jer Kie!

Had slightly less than 6 hours of sleep no thanks to the organizers trying to RUSH the start as early as possible. They intended to start at 6.45am. It started to rain heavily right before the swim. No one was listening to the briefing. Poor darling had to endure the rain and be my CADDY while I scurried from registration through to the start. We started at 7am in the end.

I tried on the Ironman wetsuit. They allowed wetsuits as water temperature was clearly low enough. It felt a bit funny as it provided some floatation assistance. When I was waiting for the flag-off, I didn't need to tread water... JUST SAT THERE and I still didn't sink! And it is A LOT warmer. No more having to shiver before flag-off. The only complain I had was that it hinders me from lifting my neck a bit when I had to check my bearings (yes, my navigation is still very poor).

The first part of the swim was a bit crowded. Lots of clobbering. And it didn't help that I had a sore elbow from yesterday's swim session after my arms SMACKED right into a training mate's arm during a butterfly swim set. The swim route was a boxed shape course. Somehow I always swam off course each time we made a turn at the buoys (did I mention that I had poor navigation?) My goggles were a bit foggy too (yes, yes... blame the goggles...)

Came out of the water in 22:36. Slightly slower than last year's swim of 21:18. But they changed the swim course.... and it could have been really 1.6km. There was about a 300m UPHILL run into transition. Beeped the sensor at 23:59 right before the bike racks. Had a bit of trouble removing the wetsuit from the ankles. But was still pretty smooth. Had my race belt tucked under the wetsuit, so I saved some time having to put it on during T1.

Just added this pic from the photos website

Almost pushed my bike on the right side again as I did at least week's Corporate Team's Tri but I reminded myself to push it on the left before I headed out. So I had a FAIRLY CLEAN start for the bike. This was where I'm REALLY grateful for wearing the wetsuit. Last year, I was still FROSTBITTEN for the first part of the bike course. Total T1 time was 1:39 (not including run up from swim).

The rain had stopped after the swim. But my glasses were still blurry. Almost collided with an oncoming TRUCK from the opposite direction! As usual, better cyclists started overtaking me. Rain water from the road splattered at me as they did... YUCK! I somehow accidentally reset my cyclometer to MILES per hour rather than KMS per hour. Was getting worried at first at how slow I was going before I realised it. So, throughout the bike course I was making mental conversions (x 1.6) of targeted timings for the distances in KMs.

Was more familiar with the route now. Kind of expected the hills. Also, some parts of it is where I usually do my weekend rides anyway. Total bike time was 1:18.07. Bike stats according to cyclometer was 1:15.58 for 37.7km, average 29.6kph after conversion (haiya, still below 30kph!)

Li-Ann took this of me climbing up the hill to transition

Dismounting the bike wasn't as good as I wanted it to be. I had to STOP the bike before I dismounted as I was afraid that if I swung my leg off the seat while it came to a halt, I might FALL due to the slippery road. Also slipping my feet into the running shoes didn't go THAT smooth either. Need to pull up the upper tongue before I slip them in next time. T2 was 30 seconds after racking the bike. Total accumulated time was about 1 hour and 41 minutes.

Legs felt pretty good despite the hill climbs during the bike course. We had 4 laps to do. 1st lap was done in 10:15! And I was only aiming for a sub 44 run time (average 11 minute per lap).

But my quads started to tighten a bit. So I slowed down my pace. I didn't feel like taking the ANY of the two gels that I pinned to my race belt as I was feeling a bit bloated. Could be the Powerade I had during the bike course instead of water. But 2nd lap was done in 10:43 followed by a 10:46 for the 3rd lap. I was getting REALLY excited! If I could maintain just about 11 minutes for the last lap, I could actually do a sub 2:25 for my OD tri!

AND THEN IT HAPPENED... just less than 1km away from the finishing... my tight quads got the better of me. I had MASSIVE cramps on BOTH legs. I couldn't bend my legs... I couldn't even walk. I hobbled... both legs straightened out... for a few metres, but I felt like I was going NO WHERE. Then, I mustered my courage to endure the agony and tried squatting to loosen up the tightness...

HEY that worked! Should have done that MUCH earlier! I jogged the remaining distance... didn't want to suffer another cramp! Clocked 12:52 for the last lap, giving total run time of 44:36 and OVERALL race time of 2:26.42.

Well, it isn't a sub 2:25 but it is still a PB... a 1 MINUTE 25 SECONDS PB. And I DID achieve my target of sub 2:27. So I can't complain. But I would like to figure out the source of the cramps. I reckon its the Orca suit, which is pretty snug around the knees.

Just under 4 weeks to Busselton Half Ironman. Time to pile up the mileage!

Reward for both myself and Li-Ann at Toscanini's Bicton