Sunday, 28 December 2008


Family trip to Langkawi
Secret Santa Christmas gathering at uncle's house in Ara Damansara
Team Hyper Gila Christmas dinner at Italiannies The Curve
Jason and Soo May's wedding dinner at Holiday Villa Subang Jaya
Ah Kong's birthday dinner in Raub
Good thing I have my Ironman training to keep me in shape ;)

Sunday, 21 December 2008

I... need... rest...

I had a late night on Friday catching up with old friends from high school...

...followed by a Saturday long bike ride with Dr Ray, Tomato Ray, Mich and friends. 130++km of climbing the hills of Broga and Kuala Klawang from Ulu Langat is no joke! At one point I was cycling at 8-9kph, that's like jogging pace!

Then another late night on Saturday with the family and darling at my brother's Stingray Swimming Club Annual Dinner at Dynasty hotel. Karen was the emcee while Keith performed a dance. Dad was sitting at the VIP table as treasurer of the club. Mum, Li-Ann and myself just sat back, relaxed and enjoyed the show.

Hence, the 52 minute target (average 4:20 per km) for this mornings Malakoff 12km run seemed a bit ambitious with my jelly legs and strained body.

For my Christmas presents this year, I got myself a pair of Saucony Fastwitch 3 and Injinji toe socks from Uncle Choi.

I tried out the shoes for this run. It was indeed very light - 7oz! I found the outer sole a bit thin, because I'm used to wearing cushioning shoes. But they feel great and comfy as they're well ventilated and the inner materials are very soft.

Another thing I tried out for this run is my newly purchased Timex Ironman 100 laps Flix watch. It feels a lot lighter than it looks, so another light racing gear!

The run was held at Taman Rimba Kiara, 2 loops of 6km. There were two slopes on the route, we went through them twice. I couldn't push myself hard with the minimal energy I had. I saw Tomato Ray ahead at the first turnaround point, followed by fellow Team Hyper Gila cycling training buddy, Jason Thiang. I managed to overtake Jason just after the first turnaround, my time was 13 minutes plus then.

Coming back to the end of the first loop, I met Mich, Eugene, Bobby, Abu and Saiful on the way, along with Team Tri Hard members - Emma, Carmen, Simon, Siok Bee and Meng. Uncle Choi was there taking pictures. My timing at the end of the first loop was 24:34, I thought hey, I could do sub 50 minutes!

I managed to overtake Tomato Ray just slightly after the first loop but after the turnaround point, he caught up with me and we were pacing towards the finish line. Just about 500m more to go, he turned up his turbo engine and left me behind! I finished in 49:27, hmmm... somehow the distance seemed shorter than 12km...

I met up with Bobby, Keat Seong, Mich, Meng and Dr Ray after that. Dad came in soon too with a gun time of 67 minutes, well done!

That's it guys. I'm off the Langkawi for a family trip and a well deserved rest. Full Ironman training will resume on Tuesday! Merry Christmas!

Monday, 15 December 2008

So many!

I had never had so many of my pictures taken at a race, and considering this Chin Woo Biathlon distance would only take about 45 minutes, I'm really delighted with the picture coverage! Thanks, Mr Tey for the wonderful photos!

Barely 10 hours after I arrived in KL International Airport, my family and I were already at the Chin Woo Stadium... with myself, brother, sister and dad taking part. Mum was our faithful caddy cum cheerleader!

I skipped quite a few of my pre race rituals as I opted to give myself more sleep instead. However on hindsight, I could have done them after all, as there were many waves before mine with the younger children and veterans doing their swim first.

I did a rookie's error by bringing the wrong set of goggles, good thing dad was able to lend him mine. My wave started about 8.45am, 75 minutes past the first wave's start time. The Powerbar Performance bar I ate at 7am would most likely not give me any more power for the race!

I was in lane 6, sharing with Kevin Chan, brother of national triathlete Eugene Chan. My main rival for this event is our representative to the recent SEA Games, Ah Wei. He was in lane 18, so I couldn't see much of him from my end.

I managed to overtake Kevin Chan by a full lap in the 800m swim. Transition was pretty smooth, the secret is to not tie your shoelaces too tight! But mum was yelling that Ah Wei had just left the transition. My total swim time including transition was 12 minutes.

After climbing the steps out from the swim pool, I headed out for the 3 loop 7km run, and saw Ah Wei just about 50-100 metres ahead of me. The run route was around the Chin Woo Stadium. I'm so not used to running near vehicle traffic, inhaling exhaust fumes and risk getting knocked down at the same time.

Towards the end of the first loop, I met Doc Ray, Tomato Ray, and Ultra Yip manning the drinks and ribbon stations.

Fatigue got the better of me on the second and third loop, I gave up chasing Ah Wei and he got further and further. I was worried that someone would catch me from behind. But I was lucky, I reached the final hill and ran to my 2nd place position with a run time of 30.12 and total finishing time of 42.13, about 40 seconds after Ah Wei.

Kevin Chan just pipped Andy for third placing. While Sue, Andy's wife had a tussle with Eugene for the finishing. Sue came in first for the women category.

We stayed for the prize presentations and lucky draws, which finished at 11.15am. It was a good outing. Finally meeting the people whose blogs I have been stalking! And sharing this racing experience with my family. My brother won his category and also gave the boys in the older age category, who competed at ITU events, a run for their money. His average time per lap was also quicker than mine... the lil' rascal!

While my sister who never swam so far before in a swim pool, managed to come in 2nd in her category despite coming out 3rd last from the water.

See you all at the Malakoff 12km run this Sunday!

Sunday, 7 December 2008


Okay, maybe my tan mark isn't as obvious as I thought it was.

My last weekend warrior effort in Perth before the year ends...

Saturday - 120.6km ride, 4:17.09, 28.1kph average. Was really happy with this. I was only aiming for 27kph average as I did a measly 26.5kph the weekend before. The secret is to start slow and hammer at the end :)

Sunday - 19.88km run, 1:31.36, average 4:36 per km. Was hoping for 1.5 hours (4:30 per km average) but maybe I went too fast in the first 10km - 44:29, and was slower by 2.5 minutes in the second 10km. Oh well... any training is still good training.

See you guys at the Chin Woo Biathlon next Sunday!

Monday, 1 December 2008

No longer KPMG... least for another year.

Ironically two weeks ago, I made a post on how much I LOVE KPMG. But last Tuesday, my partner in-charge told me about a one year a secondment opportunity as a Finance Manager at St Bartholomew's House, a non-for-profit organization, with aged care/mental health/homeless support services. I've been wanting a commercial experience for quite a while now, so I couldn't resist. And that job started today!

My first day at St Bart's was a bit of an information overload, with induction and all. But the people seemed nice and it is very different from working at KPMG. Smaller team now and more operationally inclined. The current Finance Manager was kind enough to show me around, introducing me to the staff and briefing me on my roles and responsibilities (hence, the information overload!). My roles include monthly management reporting to the board, yearly budgeting, handling auditors (being on the other side now), grant acquittals for various programs and many more.

Nervous? Yes, I am. But also looking forward to the challenge!

I'm very lucky that the CEO had no problems with my pre-booked holiday plans for Christmas as well as for the Langkawi Ironman.

...which reminds me, it's less than 90 days to go! And the past weekend's training of 20km run and 115km bike (I initially planned to do 120km, but was so fatigued in the last few kms) have gotten me really knacked! Hope for a better form next week.