Thursday, 26 June 2008


I missed out on my swim session tonight. As if I haven't been getting enough training already... not running as the knee hurt pretty badly after the half marathon two Sundays ago.

But the reason I missed out was, we were rushing for the 30th June lodgements for the super funds... and I was in in-house technical training for the past two days, so I could only catch up with the partner and my manager after hours. This training could not have come at a better time!

And the girl who got assigned to the job I'm managing as a transition between assistant manager to manager, just submitted her resignation. So my job was her last assignment! I was tied up with the in-house training, couldn't review the team's progress... a half completed file was delivered to my desk by the end of today. She's still inexperienced, give her the benefit of the doubt... and she was pinched by more senior managers to help out with their tasks. Their jobs more important mah... Yes, corporate politics at its best!

I'm going to have to miss out on our end of year divisional function tomorrow. Not to say I'm keen to play tennis anyway, but it would be a pity to miss out from socializing.

Looking forward to my one week in Cairns next week with darling...

Sunday, 22 June 2008

A couple of years...

... as a couple.

It was our 2nd anniversary...

We went to Swan Valley, about 40 minutes drive away...

Had lunch at Stewart's at Brookleigh...

Their specialty baked bread was really yummy... crispy and fragrant oil...

I had venison rump... nice and juicy...

Darling had the grilled barramundi with polenta...

Took a few pictures of the pretty estate...

Not a bad place to have a meal if you are up for the drive.

We then had ice cream at Oggie's Ice Cream Cafe...
And ended our trip with some wine tasting at Lancaster and chocolate samples at Margaret River Chocolate Company.

Happy 2 years anniversary, darling! Love you lots... *MUAKS*

Sunday, 15 June 2008


*Edit* For official results and race pic - taken from here

As I didn't want to aggravate the knee pains that have been nagging me for the past few weeks, I did NO RUNNING in the week up to this Perth Half Marathon... been just swimming everyday, clocking about 3000m to 3500m in each 1 hour session.

I also decided to wear the 2XU compression leggings so that not to leave my knee exposed. It was probably a good decision too, as the weather conditions on race day was just HORRENDOUS! Showers came and went, with some pretty strong winds.

I arrived at WA Marathon Clubrooms in Burswood at 7.30am for 8am start. Gobbled down a Powerbar Performance bar with a bottle of Powerade. I did some warm up runs around the compound for about 12 minutes, couldn't run outside as it was already pouring. I met a guy who I used to see running around my area and gave him a smile (from hereon, shall be called Smiley Guy).

5 minutes to 8am, the crowd were slowly inching towards the start, but not many wanted to leave the shade. I wanted to move as close to the start because from memory, the electronic timing doesn't take into account the time you take from the line up to the starting point (yes, I am an accuracy-freak... even seconds count!).

Gun-off... and I find myself dashing along with the front runners. It wasn't long until I realised that I have forgotten something... yes, I left my Powergel belt in my bag! Oh well, another thing to experiment... as it was a cool, wet weather, I supposed I won't be needing much electrolytes.

Reached the 1st km marker at 4:10! But from memory, I recall the first two markers were slightly shorter. I kept the same pace as it was fairly comfortable. Reached the 2nd one at 4:15. The course route was covered with puddles of water. We had to do a bit of manoeuvering. We were mainly running on bike paths too, so they were a bit slippery.

I maintained about a 4:20-4:25 per km pace. It was somewhere around the 5th km where I felt some slight soreness around my left toes. Might be the wet socks. I tried to ignore it but it did affect my pace a bit. And it didn't help that we had to do a bit of uphill when we crossed the Narrows Bridge. I slowed down to a 4:30 per km pace.

After we crossed the bridge, we were practically just next to Mounts Bay road, with the Swan River on our left. The cars passing by us weren't very courteous. They splashed water at us as they zoomed past. Managed to see two dolphins swimming in the river though.

Running up to the turnaround point at Hackett Drive, UWA... the top runners were making their way back. I would say I was about 4kms away from them. Smiley Guy was not too far from the front pack. I didn't know he could run so fast!

Reached the turnaround point, they were giving out Carboshotz gel. Well, this was an experimental race all the way, so I just grabbed one in case I needed it. As it was a wet day, I didn't feel the need to stop at any of the water stations. I don't normally drink during my usual 20km run anyway.

The soreness from my left toes were going away, I managed to bring my pace back to 4:20-4:25 per km again. Passing halfway points are great... you know that you are less than half way from the finishing, so you pick up the pace! I was sitting behind a guy and a girl running together. I overtook them but wasn't fast enough, so they overtook me back. The girl actually chided me for not picking up the pace after overtaking... sorry!

But having them as my barricade against the strong wind for a while, I found the strength to overtake them once more and picked up the pace... no looking back! At the 16km mark, I was just under 1:10. I did some rough calculations... if I could do the next 5.1km in 22 minutes, I would actually finish in sub 1:32 (originally targeted 1:33.30)!

But the last few kms went through some strong headwinds. I hovered around the 4:25 pace. I was still holding onto the Carboshotz gel. Was contemplating downing it but I don't think there were any more water stations on the way, for me to wash it down. So I decided against it.

Sighting the 20km mark was like almost heaven... reaching the 21km WAS HEAVEN! Only 100m left to go, sprinted with whatever strength I had left... reached the finishing at 1:32.12 (average 4:22 per km)... so close to a sub 1:32... but it is an improvement of 4 minutes from last year's race, so I am pretty happy!

Here are my splits and lap times.

5km 0:21.37 21.37
10km 0:43.36 21.59
15km 1:05.30 21.54
20km 1:27.24 21.54
21.1km 1:32.12

Positioned 79 out of 647 runners. For full results, see here.

I was all drenched. Slip-slopping around in my wet shoes. I didn't see a photographer at the finishing chute like last year... I guessed he/she didn't want to be in the rain either.

While waiting for the prize presentation, I did my stretches and got changed into my tracksuit. I soon caught up with Smiley Guy to have a chat. His name is Gavin and he does intervals training with the WA Marathon Club once a week. On other days, he runs on his own.

There was a 5km event also. Apparently, the overall winner broke the course record... 15:04! Maybe this sort of weather is pretty conducive after all.

The overall winner for the half marathon is a top athlete but he actually competes in 5-10km runs. So this is actually his first 21.1km... and he did it in 1:12!

Didn't win any lucky draws this time... some of the prizes were Suunto heart rate monitors, Ryders eyewear and Brooks running shoes. Well, maybe next time.

I drove home after that in the pouring rain... looking forward to the Perth Marathon in 3 weeks time.

I think it is time I pay my entry fee for Ironman Langkawi :)

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Impulse buying

TBE end of financial year sale... 20% to 50% off on ALL items!

Specialized drink cage for AUD20 after 20% discount. I bought TWO of these. Wanted one to match my current one for the Ironman, but they were all sold out. Should have bought this in the first place.

Dry lubricant for the chains for AUD14 after 20% discount. My previous one was a wet one, bought in November last year. I'm pretty generous with chain oil, so it is finishing quickly.

Netti Inferno jersey for AUD35 after 50% discount and Sportful Ronde knicks for AUD42 after 30% discount.


This is what happens when Li-Ann does groceries with her brother and I do my own shopping...

Pre-race carbo loading at Osteria Dei Sapori nearby...

Food was good, really authentic Italian. Really pampering service, price was reasonable. Highly recommended.

Weather forecast for tomorrow's Perth Half Marathon seems a bit sucky... showers with fresh, gusty winds. Sigh... hoping for the best, preparing for the worst.

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Am I ready?

This blog post from another Ironman crazy friend of mine kind of freaked me out.

Picture taken from

See my name over there? That's the list of potential participants for Ironman Langkawi 2009. I have created an account but yet to pay the registration fee. And it has been recently confirmed that early bird entries for Malaysians are Rm500 up to end of June, instead of the USD280 as published on the website.

Dad has been very nice to find out for me how to submit the payment. Thanks, dad!

I came down with some slight knee pains last weekend following my 20km run. The pain has subsided now. In fact, I was able to clock a PB for my 20km run this morning... 1:27.54 (average 4:24 per km)! :)

I have also managed to record above 27kph average for my 80km ride yesterday... the first since the half ironman in early May.

Perth Half Marathon is next Sunday. Aim to do under 1:33.30 (average 4:25 per km). Why not 1:33 or 1:34? I thought the former is a bit too quick and the latter is a bit too fast. Yes, I am an accountant after all. So everything is calculated out precisely!

The plan now is just to take care and make sure I do not aggravate the knee pain. I have received my race bib already.

Somehow don't really like the number. Sounds like lok chat in Cantonese but I won't be superstitious...

And then 3 weeks after, there is the Perth Marathon which I have signed up for.

Am I ready for the Ironman? I've asked dad to wait for the outcome of the Perth Half Marathon first. Then I'll see how...

Monday, 2 June 2008

Artsy, fartsy, buttsy

Last Friday, Marc had his birthday celebration at MINQ Bar, Burswood. Really classy place. Thanks, Marc for the invite! Darling and I had a try of the Don Esquale' cocktail... interesting taste... a bit strong though.

This weekend is a long weekend, with Monday off... Foundation Day.

We attended another birthday dinner... Soo May's (my uni course mate... one of my first few friends in Perth) at the newly opened Tony Roma's. Li-Ann and myself ordered the Family Feast.

Really had our stomachs filled. Although... on hindsight, we should have ordered something with more pork ribs and less BBQ chicken.

Saturday night... I went for my VERY FIRST ballet performance! The Taming of the Shrew... at His Majesty's Theatre... thanks to my Entertainment Book voucher of getting two tickets for the price of one.

For the unfamiliar, the 90s hit teen movie, 10 Things I Hate About You was based on this story.

I actually didn't know that a ballet performance had no dialogue. Good thing I asked for the program booklet which gave a brief description of each scene. I found it a bit awkward at first as it was so quiet and the music wasn't very loud, so you could hear their feet landing and sliding across the stage. But I was pretty entertained. It is a comedy and the performers managed to throw in some slapstick humour together with their pirouettes and fouttes. Not an easy combination.

Li-Ann felt the dancing wasn't as beautiful as Swan Lake... but it is a comedy, so the movements were more comical rather than elegant. I, on the other hand, thought that if it weren't for their funny antics, I would have fallen asleep... as I can't really appreciate the intricacies of their dance.

One thing though... the sight of men dancing in cream coloured tights... snugly wrapped around their thighs and buttocks... VERY disturbing. Dark coloured running tights, I can handle. This... would give me some nightmares...