Thursday, 31 December 2009

Farewell 2009, hello 2010!

As I spend my last hour at work (okay, maybe not really working, but I'm still in the office), I would like to express a few things to be thankful for before the year comes to a close.

I'm very thankful to God for the good life he's given me. I'm not a church go-er but I do believe very strongly that there is higher being up there, taking care of all of us.

I started my new job as a CFO of St. Bartholomew's House, a homeless shelter, just before year 2008 came to an end. The experience has been interesting, where numbers and financials can only mean so much. And in the end of the day, we try to our best to serve the community. The staff and team of St. Bart's is a crazy bunch but a caring family, which I truly enjoy working with.

My loving family at home (well, plus one in New Zealand), it is with their upbringing that made me what I am today. Their dedication and support for my dreams and passion (obsession?), their guidance and teachings that bring me through the challenges in life.

My darling Li-Ann, it's been 3.5 years since we've been together! Thank you so much for being there for me, in everything that I do. It's not easy being an Ironman triathlete's girlfriend, and if anyone should win a prize for best supporting girlfriend, she should be you! We just moved in together recently, and though it will an interesting experience learning to cope with each other's daily habits and sharing out house chores, I'm sure we'll pull through fine! Love you lots!

My SLB friends here in Perth, for making life in this quiet place (I wouldn't call it boring, just quiet hehheh) a lot more liveable. And thank you so much for being so understanding, when many times, I leave early or come late to our gatherings due to my training commitments. Yes, I do realize that I would never give up you guys for race PBs.

THG and fellow triathlon crazy friends back home, and some whom I've acquainted via cyberspace by blogsurfing, you are the ones who kept me going in this insanely masochistic sport. And no doubt some healthy competition sure goes a long way. Keep on training hard and more importantly, enjoying what you do.

And of course, not forgetting old friends whom I've known since teens and even childhood. We don't meet as often since I've been to Perth. And I don't keep myself updated as much on Facebook - yes I'm guilty of checking out on triathlete friends more regularly (keeping an eye on competition hehheh). Having said that, I still cherish our friendship and always looking forward to catching up.

And last but not least, for this poor body of mine (speaking as though it is separate from myself) for enduring the hardship and going through the pain of my training regime. If bodies could speak, mine would have asked to be exchanged with another with a much less demanding hobby! 2009 had been a great year - I did my first Ironman triathlon by smashing my 12 hour target by 45 minutes, eclipsed the 5 hour barrier in my 2nd half Ironman and breaking my marathon personal best by almost 10 minutes. I don't usually make new year resolutions, but if I were to make one, it would be to take good care of my body, for longevity of the sport and for the sake of my loved ones.

Happy new year everyone! 2010, see you soon.

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Merry Christmas!

Whoops... looks like I'm a couple of days late. But I guess, better late than never, right? Hehheh.

This is my first Christmas spent in Perth. My previous workplace always shut down and we had forced annual leave then, so I've always made a trip back home then. My Christmas eve this year started with me delivering Christmas hampers to some of our clients near my area. It was a pretty interesting experience...

1. The first person was in hospital, her neighbour said she's been away for more than 10 days. Hence, I brought back the hamper to the office.
2. The second house, I knocked a few times but no reply. Since it was an enclosed gated unit, I left the hamper at the doorstep.
3. The third place, I knocked for quite a while and was about to leave, when an elderly lady, who appeared pretty sleepy opened the door. She seemed to be struggling to find the keys to open the gate, hence I left the hamper at her doorstep.

Christmas eve night was spent with SLB gang at Kiez's. Wonderful dinner followed by a hilarious game of taboo charades and monopoly.

I slept in a bit on Christmas morning as a result of the late night before. Started my bike ride at 9.20am. Good thing the clouds were blocking the sun a bit. The winds were pretty calm too. And it was a nice change to see the bike paths pretty empty. I completed the 120.8km distance in 4:08:40 - 29.1kph, my first time clocking above 29kph at training for this distance!

Then, Shirley cooked up a feast at her place. So it was all eat, eat, eat again! I didn't stay too late this time, as I was pretty tired. Thanks guys for the wonderful Christmas meals!

Boxing day morning, the plan was to do a 30km run. My physio recommended that I switch to a heel-toe landing to ease the pressure on my foot. Currently, my landing on my fore foot is acting as a brake. I actually find this new way of landing pretty bouncy, I tried it out in a couple of short runs before this. Still getting used to it though, yet to post any incredibly fast times.

Again, when it comes to a LSD, I'm in Ironman survival mode. And this was at it's worst. I felt some blisters developing around my toes. I walked some stretches of it (a whole 2.5km!). In the end, I called it quits after 21.6km.

As it was also Boxing day sales, the whole Perth was going mad at the shops. I too was keen to make use of the gift voucher my friends got for my birthday. Hence, my new pair of Asics GT 2140. I purposely chose the 4E width to fit my wide feet better, and hopefully, no more blisters.

And that was pretty much my boxing day shopping for this year. I tried out the shoes for a 13km run in the evening, and they felt pretty good.

Two days after Christmas, I'm almost at wits end at figuring out how to pass the time. I napped a lot though, maybe that's what my body needed - more rest. I did a 3.6km swim set - 10 x 100m swim on 1:35, 10 x 200m pull with pedals on 3:05, 12 x 50m swim on 50 seconds. Glad to say that I'm getting more rest time on the intervals - about 5 seconds, rather than my 1-2 seconds. I even threw in some backstroke in the 50s, mainly for vanity sake, to even out my tan!

Less than two days until darling returns... looking forward to it :)

Monday, 21 December 2009

Wills of iron

Surprisingly, with a sore foot, I was still able to run my new 13km route in 53:57 (average 4:09 per km). Must have been feeling really good that morning.

Saturday's 120km ride wasn't one without drama. My rear wheel got misaligned halfway, it was grazing against the frame. There has to be a way to make it stay aligned. Then, I suffered another puncture as I was unable to avoid some broken glass. But apart from that, I had a pretty good ride. 28.7kph average, another training PB :) Looks like Faith has finally started to reap in some rewards.

On Sunday morning, I did a 21.6km run - 5 rounds of 4.35km route in our new housing area. Somehow when it comes to a LSD, I automatically switch to Ironman survival mode and reduce to a slow jogging pace. My foot was hurting more too. Plus it was pretty hot. Completed the distance in 1:39.07 (average 4:35 per km).

Although it seems like I had it tough during the weekend, my wonderful girlfriend is the real hero. We invited our friends over for house warming for Sunday lunch and Li-Ann had been cooking and baking non stop since Saturday morning. She whipped up a feast of - stuffed turkey, paprika chicken drumsticks, prawn pasta, baked potatoes, pumpkin salad, cheesecake and a sticky date pudding for me to bring to my work colleagues.

I can't be any more grateful or luckier to have her! Love you, darling! And everyone who came enjoyed themselves, thanks for coming!

Though there is plenty of food left over, as Li-Ann would be in Malaysia for a week, she doesn't have to worry about me going hungry while she's away :P

Thursday, 17 December 2009


I have been experiencing some nagging soreness at the inner side of my left foot, for over a week now. It is more severe after a run session, and sometimes it causes me to limp for the rest of the day. The pain goes away after a while when I'm running though.

Decided to see a physio about it before it. Of course, the common sense thing to do is to rest and stop running completely. But we all know that I won't consider that as an option!

I tried a new physio this time at St John's of God Physio. Because a friend of mine, who is one of his clients, told me that he's raced at Kona this year, and I found out that he qualified again for Kona next year by coming in 2nd in his 50-54 age group in Busselton a couple of weeks ago.

He actually said he's seen me running along Mounts Bay Road a couple of times. And he thought I'm a middle distance runner since I took long strides. He reckons I'm overstriding, and that tends to put on additional pressure on my joints. In this particular case, my navicular.

He also feels that my current orthotics are not correcting my arch enough. So once again, I got my foot taped, asked to do a run and report back next week.

Today's session took about 45 minutes. Though the clinic was pretty busy and I had to wait quite a bit before my turn. The consultation fees were A$17 higher than the previous place, but it was more thorough and he seemed keen to give some training tips.

Sunday, 13 December 2009


Yes, as some of you may have known, I had a minor bike accident on Saturday morning. And it wasn't even 2km into my ride.

As I was cycling along Hackett Drive, near UWA, sticking to my bike lane. A car from the opposite direction turned in, cutting in front of me. I braked, but it was too late. My front wheel grazed the sides of the car... bike and myself fell to the ground.

The damage? Well, minimal... luckily.

A few scratches on the fork and front part of the frame. And some minor lacerations on my knuckles, elbows and tailbone. I shudder to think what might have happened if I was cycling a few seconds quicker.

And the idiot driver drove off! What a coward!

So yeah, don't worry. I wasn't referring to my bike or any bones in my body with the title post.

But I was referring to my training this week. I did continue cycling after that, but soon I had a flat tyre. Not sure whether it was due to the collision. And my spare tube wasn't working too well, so I had to cut my ride short.

On the plus side, I did another 120km bike ride on Sunday morning, which soon became a torture in the 38 degrees heat! But I was glad I conquered it, despite taking several breaks under the trees. Completed the distance in 4 hours 10 minutes, 28.6kph average - another training PB :)

Now, instead of having a rest day tomorrow, I'm doing my long run. All because of the idiot driver... BLUEK!

Monday, 7 December 2009


Here's one of the many pictures taken in Margaret River the weekend before.

Would post up more if I get the chance to get hold on more pictures. Li-Ann and I brought our camera down but didn't manage to use it.

On the Saturday just passed, we went for my workplace social club Christmas function. Wine tasting tour in Swan Valley. We had tastings at four wineries, one brewery, chocolate factory and lunch at Jane Brook Estates. Yes, we were pretty tipsy at the end of it. But it was great fun. And Li-Ann won herself a lucky draw prize - dessert wine from Sandalford!

Again, would post up some pictures if I get hold of them. Yeah, we didn't bring our camera again. This new camera of ours isn't getting used much!

After a boozy Saturday, I decided to do my first 120km bike ride for the season. Yes, it is about time that I started my Ironman training. Was pretty happy with the effort. Although I did go through some rough patches and was tempted to give up on several occassions. The sun was scorching (although not as bad as the day before, my hats off to those who competed in the heat in Ironman WA). I had to take a 5 minute break under the trees.

Finished the ride in 4 hours 14 minutes (average 28.45kph), my best ever training effort for that distance. I was averaging just above 28.5kph until the end and just missed it by about 1 minute.

At work, we just moved into the new office. Been packing most of last week. I'm working in an open space now. Less opportunities to blog surf and check out triathlon related sites, hehheh.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009


A quick sum up of past few days of happenings before they get stale.

Weekend was filled, both with activities and for my stomach. We drove down to Margaret River, stayed in a very nice lodge, Marmalade Lodge. There were 4 rooms with double and queen size beds, comfortable sofas in the living room with a fireplace, a fully functional kitchen. Fitted 10 of us comfortably.

We visited many wineries. Ate lots. Good thing I did my bike ride before the trip (under 2:45 for my 80km ride - a training PB!) and did a 72 minute run on one of the mornings. Wasn't sure of the distance. 80% of it were trail and sand.

We came back on Monday. On Tuesday night, I attended a triathlon night at Avanti Plus in Cannington, a new bike shop which opened on the weekend. Jason Shortis was there to give a talk. Funny fellow. His talk was inspiring with quite a bit of humour. He's competing in Ironman WA this weekend.

I also tested out the Shimano Dura Ace Di2 on road bike setup. The shifting is really smooth, but it feels a bit too mechanical for me, with wires and battery packs all sticking out. Maybe it wasn't done tidily for the demo.

Besides shifting and unpacking stuff for our new home, we're also moving offices next Monday. So looks like I still have some unpacking and moving to do.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Status unquo

It has already been 4 nights that I've spent sleeping in the new house in Balcatta. And I can't deny, that I'm still getting used to the change. After all, it has been almost 7 years that I've lived in the old place near UWA, my first and only place, been staying there since I was a student.

It takes slightly longer to get to work now. I now reach my office at about 9am. As I drop darling off at UWA, do my 10km run, shower and then drive to work. I haven't tried running in the new housing area.

As for my evening swims at UWA, which ends at 7.30pm, by the time I drive home and have a shower, it is already 8.15pm when I have my dinner. The day passes by a lot quicker with all the travelling.

But I'm confident that I'll adapt to the change and soon find myself very at home. Also, looking forward to sharing the same roof with Li-Ann :)

But before that, Li-Ann's family would be coming for a visit this weekend. We'll be staying two nights in Marmalade Lodge, Margaret River. I'll try to squeeze in a bike ride before we leave for the trip and probably a 19.5km run (yes, I've looked up a route there) in one of the mornings.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Hectic dramatic

The weekend was spent moving into the new house in Balcatta. I was glad that my workplace was kind enough to let me use their MASSIVE van, a 10 cubic meter Renault Master. We couldn't have done it without the van. The ute that we hired just wasn't enough.

Nevertheless, it wasn't totally free from drama. As I was dismantling my bed, I foolishly tried removing the screws with the van key as the screw drivers have been moved to the new place.

That caused the keys to be bent and couldn't start the ignition. Panic and frustration ensued. I later found a small screwdriver from the toolbox at the back of the van, but as I was carelessly dismantling the bed, the frame fell and ripped out 5cm of skin from my right shin. Painful? YOU BET!

Anyway, everything's settled now. I managed to get a spare key from my office and Li-Ann's brother made another trip to the new place to get proper screw drivers. Beds were dismantled and delivered to my buyers. All our belongings have been moved to the new place, now just left with a lot of unpacking to do. A lot, is probably an understatement.

Only uneasy feeling is... I missed out on my bike ride this weekend, which I planned to do but got shelved after the key/bed drama. Yes, I'm obsessed that way. But, this morning's 10km run in 42:13 put that to rest though :)

Wednesday, 18 November 2009


I took a day off yesterday, to get some packing done as we're moving house this weekend.

In the morning, I did a 20km run. First 10km was done in 43:56, at the end of it, I was close to quitting. But I told myself, that I'll just do the distance, no matter how long it takes me to do so. The 2nd km was done in 48:12. Totalling 1:32:08 for the 20km distance, a far cry from my sub 1:28 efforts during my training for the Perth Marathon.

I guess I have to get myself into the Ironman training mentality, where times don't matter as much and just be more concerned in getting the mileage in. Although, when I was finding it going tough yesterday, I thought if I should just focus more on 70.3 or shorter distances and only take on Ironman distances as I get older.

Anyway, I have committed to Langkawi Ironman next year. And I'm sure the demons in my head yesterday were just the adjustment to long, endurance training after been working on my speed for the past couple of months.

I did however, on impulse, went for a 1 hour massage session at Sports Massage in South Perth. I was feeling a bit of tightness in between my shoulders and my gluts have been sore for the past few days. The therapist said she could tell that I don't have massages regularly as my muscles were pretty tight, and she could spend an hour each just working on my upper body and lower body respectively.

The 1 hour session costs me $75, before claiming back any benefits from my private health cover. It was painful but soothing, I fell asleep towards the end. I hope this sets my body up for the massive training in weeks to come.

Monday, 16 November 2009

GO, GO, Power Rangers!

Following on from friends back home doing Powerman Lumut last weekend, over here I just took part in the Power Station triathlon (it's held near an old electric station) in North Cogee. I've raced this event religiously since 2006, which is the year I made a comeback to triathlon after 2005's layoff when I first started work and ballooned 12kgs heavier! Incidentally 2006 was also the year I met Li-Ann... coincidence? Maybe hehheh.

Darling and I had an early morning, waking up at 4.50am, arriving at the race venue at about 6.15am. We had a panic call from Eric, who's doing his first sprint triathlon, that he lost his way. But he eventually got back on track and arrived still way ahead before his wave start. We then proceeded with the usual business - race bib collection, bike racking, transition setup, stretches, semi-listening to the race briefing, last minute toilet visits. The race turnout seemed to have doubled (if not tripled) from last year!

Eric's wave started at 7.15am, 15 minutes before mine. So after seeing him off and wishing him good luck, darling and I walked further down the beach for my 1000m swim start. Somehow, I always looked so tiny among the Aussies.

It was a straight line swim along the shore. The water was pretty choppy but the currents were in our favour. I got some tiny sting spots on my right wrist, as opposed to Eric who was hit by massive ones on his abdomen and across his chest. I guess peeing in your race suit right before the swim start is the secret weapon to avoid stingers! It worked for me last year, it worked again this year!

I came out of the water in 14 minutes flat, the currents were definitely in our favour! Though I wonder why I've always stuck my tongue out in swim finish pictures :P

T1 was a bit of a disaster. The 25 minutes of fly bike mount practice the weekend before did NOT pay off at all! I guess my legs were still a bit wobbly from the choppy swim, I struggled to balance on one pedal and swinging the other leg across. After several failed attempts and potential collisions with the other competitors, I unclipped and put the shoes back on before cycling off. Total T1 time was 2:10 including the run up from the beach.

It was the same bike course as last year, with the many turns and tight corners. But at least this time the roads are all nicely tarred. Unlike last year, when is was still incomplete, we had to cycle on gravel. Oh, another blunder from T1 was the fastening of my helmet. In my hurry, both straps were in front my ears, rather than around my ears. No wonder my vision was partially blocked! Only managed to adjust them after the first loop.

I still need a lot of work on my turns. I'm turning so slowly whilst others are just whizzing past. Also, I still find myself being overtaken not only by the elite but by the average cyclists as well, like the guy below, who overtook me just after the shot was taken. Sigh... still a weak cyclist.

I finished the 30km bike course (30.8km according to my speedometer) in 1:00:39. Fly bike dismount was much smoother although a bit slow and cautious. Slipping into my run shoes wasn't as smooth as I wanted. My shoe laces got stuck in between the shoe tongue. T2 time was 1:06.

Historically, I'm pretty fatigued when it comes to the run of this race. But this time, I was feeling pretty strong, and was just eager to catch up with those who overtook me on the bike. I guess Ironman training helps with sprint races too!

Eric actually finished his race just before I started the run. He clocked 1:28:58, just slipped under his target of 1.5 hours! Well done, Eric and you're now a triathlete!

Back to my run, it was a 3 lap course - totalling 6km. Like the bike course, it was pretty windy. And there was headwind on the going out lap. But one thing I learned my long training sessions, is to keep composed and not overpush it, as for every headwind, there would be a tailwind. And yes, the tailwind on the coming back lap was such a relief! Also, the thunderous cheers from Eric and Li-Ann at the end of each lap kept me going strong!

From the pictures above, it seemed like I'm a heel striker. But I've always thought I'm a forefoot striker, hmm. Anyway, I finished the 6km run in 26:09, 50 seconds quicker than last year. Completed the race in 1:43:28, 3 minutes quicker than last year and 16 seconds quicker than my personal best when the bike course was slightly shorter!

I was 7th out of 22 in my age group and 46th out of 111 overall. We hung around for the prize giving, hoping to get some draw prizes. But we had no luck. I did get a lot of nice bike compliments on my Faith though, hehheh. We then adjourned to Toscanini's in Bicton to reward ourselves with a big breakfast.

And of course, we cannot forget our dedicated cheerleader/porter/photographer. Thanks, darling!

Ironman training to start this weekend!

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Can't wait!

It's only three sleeps away from this Saturday's Power Station Triathlon. I can't believe how excited I am!

The format is 1km swim, 30km bike, 6km run. Yes, sort of a sprint distance I know. And like Keat Seong said, I can do such a distance in my sleep! But I've never signed up in a race, which I don't intend to do well in. So I can't help feeling a bit of anxiety and some mild pressure.

This would be my 4th time taking part in this event. Past two years' race reports here and here. The first two years, I clocked 1:43. Then last year, they changed the bike course, resulting in a lot of u-turns, hence slowing down to a 1:46. I'll be happy with a sub 1:45 this year!

And oh, my friend Eric would be doing his first triathlon. He's doing the shorter course 400m swim, 20km bike, 4km run. Finally, I have someone to join me in my races here (but this is not to say, I don't appreciate Li-Ann's tireless efforts in supporting me without fail in all my races)!

I've washed my bike shoes squeaky clean. Next, is to polish my new bike. Hey, if I can't race fast, at least I can look good right? :P

Monday, 9 November 2009

Syiok... enjoy!

As you can see, I had a FANTASTIC weekend!

Saturday morning started off with a practice swim at Sorrento Beach with Eric to prepare him for his first sprint triathlon this weekend. We didn't venture too far and swam mostly laps of 20-25m. Swam about 12 minutes.

Then, we met up with the rest of our SLB gang for breakfast at Wild Fig. It was Natasha's treat, she graduating from her Chartered Accountants course, thanks and congrats Tasha! The menu was really interesting, the drinks as well. We were too full, otherwise would have tried the awesome looking desserts.

In the afternoon, I had a leisure 16km bike ride with Eric and his girlfriend, Renee. Renee bought a brand new bike that late morning - Amiata Modena, with Tiagra groupset. Hehheh the cult is spreading!

Then, I did a 10km jog with darling, pretty reasonable pace - finished in 66 minutes as darling started sprinting at the end when it began to drizzle.

Sunday morning, I did my usual 80km ride. Weather was pretty calm this time, managed to clock 29kph average in my training session with this bike for the first time! But I was too bugged to do a brick run after, hence I just practised some fly mounts/dismounts.

Darling and I then watched Mao's Last Dancer, about a peasant Chinese boy who was selected into the Beijing dance academy and later went to America as an exchange student. He then fell in love with an American girl and defected from China, and wasn't allowed to contact his family ever. Great dancing, pretty touching. Yours truly even teared in one of the scenes :P

Then, we had dinner at Santa Fe, Subiaco. It was also happy hour until 7pm - two Margaritas for the price of one.

And thanks to our Entertainment Book, we had one complimentary main meal too. We ordered the Grande Nachos and Cerdo Chimichanga. Both were superb, but JUST TOO MUCH!

Looks like I have some take-away nachos for my next few meals :)

Monday, 2 November 2009


Well, a few things happened over the weekend.

On Saturday, was meant to do an open water swim practice with Eric to prepare him for his first triathlon in two week's time. But the winds were gusty, so it turned out to be a chill at the beach, with friends, KFC and muffins :)

Li-Ann and I bought a new camera that morning too. Fujifilm A170 for A$100 including 2GB memory card, it was on special offer. Thought that it was high time that we got ourselves a decent camera, and not rely on my phone.

On Sunday morning, I was woken up by an SMS from my lil' sis who clocked 3:56:54 (net time) at the Auckland Marathon! Man, she improves 30 minutes at each marathon, and she doesn't train half as hard as I do! Unfair, I tell you!

Motivated by her outstanding performance, I was keen to head out for my brick session. But the winds were howling again, so I opted for shopping instead. My friends got me a sports voucher for my birthday, which I was intending to use for a pair of Asics GT 2140, but they didn't have my size. So maybe next time, the voucher lasts for 12 months anyway.

I did do my brick session that afternoon. It was still windy. So 80km in 2:48:32 (28.5kph average) and 6km run after in 26:04 (average 4:21 per km) wasn't too bad. Then, I had to attend to my furniture for sale, as I'm shifting house end of this month. Got into a bit of confrontation over the phone with the original buyer who paid a deposit, but the second buyer offered me a higher price. It's all sorted now.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009


Another thing that came out from the weekend's Long Distance Triathlon World Championships was that 2008 and 2009 Ironman World Champion, Craig Alexander a.k.a. Crowie was the ambassador of the event.

...and, last Saturday, he made an appearance at the local tri shop, Total Triathlon in Claremont!

It was a pretty informal Q&A session. No journalists or anything like that (although there was a photographer). There were only about 5 people there when he first came, but the crowd started to increase later on. He spoke mainly about Kona, his training, some of the other competitors (including how shy Norman Stadler is in person, and that Chrissie Wellington trains harder than all the guys put together!). Clearly a family person, always talking about his kids and his wonderful wife, who does all his ground arrangements for his various training bases and races.

All great triathletes - Beijing Olympics gold medalist Emma Snowsill, Crowie, former ITU World Champion Peter Robertson, and David Wrighton, proprietor of Total Triathlon

It was also nice to have finally met, John Cooke (Cookie) in person. John did his maiden Ironman in Austria in July, and he's training for Ironman Busselton in December. He's also considering signing up for Ironman China in March next year! Talk about getting hooked!

Hmm, he looks a lot smaller size in person than in the big screen. Very lean. More pictures here.

I should have brought something better for the autograph, and not my greased out water bottle. I had plenty of running caps and visers, but somehow that didn't come to mind. Good thing David gave everyone print outs of Crowie for him to sign.

Monday, 26 October 2009


Nah, I'm not having a high temperature or anything like that. I'm talking about the recent Long Distance Triathlon World Championships held in Perth. And the atmosphere building up to it... was pretty amazing.

During my rides to work, I see many elite triathletes practising the course in their flashy bikes, with high profile wheels and aero helmets. During my lunch breaks, I see quite a few of them in their national jerseys, looking for places to eat. It was a bit like tri Hollywood.

About a few months ago, Cookie from North Coast Tri Club, suggested that I sign up for this race through Triathlon Malaysia. I was apprehensive as the idea of competing with the world's best seemed somewhat intimidating.

Well, I'm kicking myself slightly now, for not taking up the challenge. There were plenty of spots available, and I might have found myself finishing somewhere in the middle, barring any upsets. Also, the course was favourable to me, with a longer swim (3km) and shorter bike distance (80km) than the usual half ironman. And, who knows when is the next time it will be held in Perth again?

Anyway, there was a representative from Malaysia, and he's no other than our Mr Nice Guy, Sofian. I had the pleasure of having dinner with him and his lovely wife the night before the race (which he treated myself and Li-Ann too! We owe you one, mate!) at Antico East Perth. Sofian finished in a gutsy 6 hours and 21 minutes, and believe me, it was a TOUGH race. The winds were blowing ferociously at 35kph, and just as it was time for the run, the wind stopped and sun rays were scorching.

Although I missed out on all the fun, I have no regrets as two of our friends, treated us to a wonderful cruise to Fremantle, followed by a delicious lunch at Char Char Bull and ending with chocolate overload at San Churro. And by taking part in the race, I would have missed out on this fun.

Yes, you bet dinner wasn't really quite on our mind that night! Thanks girls!

Wednesday, 21 October 2009


Thought I'd write something about non-triathlon stuff for a change.

I attended a luncheon cum seminar yesterday at KPMG, on invitation by my former divisional partner. It was very nice of him to invite me. Most of the people there were from large corporates, whereas I was the only one from a not-for-profit organization.

The food was really good. It was a three course meal - shark bay whiting for entree, lamb roulade with cous cous for main, and Belgian chocolates with tea/coffee for dessert.

Although I personally would suggest having the lunch separate from the seminar, rather than have it while the presenter was speaking. It was a bit hard concentrating on economic forecasts and business trends, when you're stuffing yourself with gourmet food!

I also met a former client of mine there. He was very friendly to me... although to be honest, the audit I did for him didn't quite end up on such friendly terms. Maybe he can't remember who I am.

Speaking of audits, our audit is pretty close to it's finalization. Our auditors are still asking for random bits of information. But the end is near!

P/S - A cyclist who passed by me, while I was cycling to work, noted that my rear wheel is a bit misaligned. I hope it isn't due to over compression from the indoor trainer. I have aligned the wheel now, it's just the brakes that needs a bit of adjustment.

PP/S - That last bit had to be included separately, as this was meant to be non-triathlon related post! :P

Saturday, 17 October 2009


I guess the hype from last week's Kona Ironman is beginning to fade out. I blitzed my Wednesday morning 10km run with a time of 42:24, but some strong winds on Friday morning saw me dropping the pace to 42:49.

Today's workout was no different. I completed 80.42km ride in 2:55.38 (average 27.6kph) compared to sub 2:50 on a good day. My 6km brick run after that was slowed down to a jog, with a target of merely completing the distance. I finished the run in 27:39 (average 4:36 per km), about 1.5 minutes slower than usual.

Blame the 30kph winds, blame the sudden rise in temperature, blame the scorching sun... but I guess these things happen sometimes. We can't be on top of our game for each and every session. So, I'm looking forward to a new week, after some recovery, to be back in attacking form again :)

Speaking of slow... here is an interesting article from the Everymantri website, which I have been frequenting lately since Kona. The key message I got was - men who cycle more than 186 miles (about 300km) a week, can risk being erm... slow swimmers. And I don't mean swimming slowly in the pool, hehheh.

I supposed, in a way, it's a good thing that I'm under trained in my bike mileage. Even during my peak training period in preparation for Ironman Langkawi, I barely exceeded 160km per week. BUT I know some guys who do VERY crazy cycling distances, so you guys better watch out!

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Oi, you dreaming ar?

Yes, with the recent conclusion of the Ford Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii, I cannot help but dream that I'll be there some day... racing on the same stage with the world's best Ironman triathletes. But that shall remain a dream... for now.

And regardless of whether the dream will be fulfilled someday, it is only from a dream, when it can become a reality. One must DARE TO DREAM.

This last quote, I got from my lil' sister Karen, whom I've always felt is living in a world of her dreams, and needs a reality check from time to time.

Karen will be running the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon this coming December... blindfolded. She'll be doing this to raise funds for the Kiwanis Down Syndrome Foundation, Malaysia.

Dreams begin from imagination. From seeing yourself in a cognitive visualisation. And for most of us, to begin dream, we have to close our eyes, block out the barriers, and let our minds go wild.

...because I'd like everyone to have the opportunity to have dreams...dreams that you and I were fortunate enough to be given the chance to pursue simply because we were born able and healthy.

In a way, we need more dreamers like Karen... to escape from the cold, harsh surroundings in our everyday lives, which have become very much a reality.

So for those of you with a bit spare change or would just like to find out more, please click here. Your support is most appreciated :)

Monday, 12 October 2009

Birthday dinner with SLB gang

Pizza feast at Lo Zucchero, Dalkeith (formerly known as Italian Kitchen, Pizza Palace).

I was bit apprehensive at first, as we just found out that the place is now under new management. The decor was jazzed up a bit, no longer your casual take away cafe. But the food was SUPERB! Everything we ordered tasted good - pizza, pasta, risotto, salad.

And darling baked a BEAUTIFUL honeycomb cheesecake. I'm so lucky :)

I went to bed with a very satisfied and stuffed stomach, hehheh. Thanks all for coming!

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Something for Julie

Although registration ends tomorrow, I guess it's never too late to do a bit of promotion. Here's a message I got from a fellow Ironman(lady) Julie. Definitely a worthwhile activity to encourage the kids to get into.

Dear all, the Young Endurance Athlete Triathlon will be held on the 17th and 18th October, 2009.

Venue, Precint 6 Public Pool, Putrajaya.

The event includes a triathlon clinic on the 17th and race on the 18th. Registration will be opened until 7th October. There will be 3 categories for this race. Distances will be according to the age group categories.

A. 7-9 y/o = swim 50m , bike = 500m (0.5km), run= 100m
B. 10-12 y/o = swim 100m, bike = 3000m (3km), run= 200m
C. 13-15 y/o = swim 300m, bike = 6000m (6km), run= 500m

Kids from age 7-15 years old are welcome to register. Registration fee for participants is RM50 and will be collected on registration day (17/10).

We're happy to announce that we're also recruiting volunteers to help out on both dates. For more info , please contact us:
Major Kalam at 0192712569
Amir Hashimi at 0122195552 (Facebook: Kalam Pie)
Juliana Ali at (Facebook : Juliana Ali)

*Click on the forms below to print*

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Early birthday celebration

My birthday gift from darling this year...

Impact... by Julius Marlow. As most of you know, I'm not one who spends a lot on my attire, apart from sports apparel. So it was nice to have to have a pair of working shoes, which have their own branded website. Thank you so much, darling!

We had lunch at Panorama Restaurant, Mullaloo Beach Hotel. About 40 minutes drive north of Perth.

I was being really greedy, by ordering two shanks of lamb, rather one.

Li-Ann made a classier and probably the wiser choice too, by having the salmon.

Fully stuffed with lunch, we took a stroll along Mullaloo Beach before taking a short drive to Hillarys Boat Harbour. Where we had ice cream from Bellisimo Gelato... which was also huge!

I think we'll have a late dinner tonight... hehheh.