Sunday, 22 February 2009

Counting eggs

In about 10 hours time, I would be boarding my plane home. With a 80km ride on Saturday, followed by a 20km run this morning, I can say that my Ironman preparation is complete... the physical part anyway.

An Ironman is 50% physical, while the remaining 50% is mental. Hence, one cannot overemphasize the importance of visualization - the power of the subconscious mind.

This is not a post of over confidence or counting my chicks before they hatch. It is about setting into stone, how I visualize my race day to be... as it should be, playing through my mind...


We all tread water nervously, eagerly waiting for the start horn in anticipation... HORN! And we scurried through the waters, stroke by stroke, into the start of the 3.8km swim. I positioned myself strategically amongst the front, as I don't want to be caught in the crowd and I wanted to post a good time. I kept close to the buoys, to ensure that I was on course. The water was reasonably calm, slight waves but not too severe as to throw us off course. At the turnaround point, my watch showed just under 30 minutes - according to target.

Swimming back to the finishing, I picked up my pace... but mainly strengthening my pull, saving my legs for the bike and the run. I climbed onto the jetty, posting a time of 59.55, and was delighted to hear that I was the first Malaysian out of the water! (I'm allowed to dream, aren't I?)

Into a smooth transition, dabbing my feet dry and fitting into my toe socks. Put on my glasses and helmet, grabbing my number belt and fastening it as I jogged briskly towards my bike.


Smoothly slipping into my bike shoes as I pedaled out of transition - to the start of the 180km bike ride. The first 28km was flat, and I rode comfortably... not hammering too hard, but not resting on my laurels either. I managed to complete the first out loop in an hour, just as I planned. Downed my first Powergel here.

Into the small loops, went through some rolling hills. Again, conservatively taking on the up slopes and resting slightly when zooming on the down slopes. The short, steep climb at Padang Gaong was challenging, but not disheartening. I took a Powergel after each 30km, drinking Endurance drink every 10km. The first three loops were completed in 1:20 each.

Onto the last loop, I mentally prepared myself to get into running mode. Started easing on the cycling legs. Unstrapped my bike shoes and in to transition, smoothly slipping off the bike and jogged into the transition tent. The 180km bike ride was completed in 6.5 hours.


Fitting nicely into my Saucony running shoes, put on my visor. Grabbing Powergels and fitting them into my pocket, while I downed a Performance bar and off for the marathon.

Legs felt okay, it was a long run so there wasn't any hurry to quickly come off the jelly legs. The first 1km out was done in 5.45. On to the 8km laps... mum, dad, Keith and Li-Ann were cheering me on... carrying me throughout the day.

I did each 8km lap in 45 minutes.


Coming into the final 1km back. Giving the spectators high fives as I could see the finishing chute just a few steps away. I could hear the announcer loud and clear. I could feel my family and Li-Ann's presence getting closer... and closer.

Breaking through the finishing tape, I embraced my family and Li-Ann, sheding tears of joy and unexplainable emotions. I looked at the huge timer, clocking a time of 11 hours and 50 minutes. I am an Ironman!

...this is how I would be playing the race in my mind. May my subconscious mind enable the actual race to reflect the above as much as possible, if not better!

My next post will most likely be my race report. In the meantime, check my race progress here. See you guys in Langkawi!

Friday, 20 February 2009


The CEO at my new workplace has a really unique character. She's about no taller than 5 feet and slightly over 60 years old. She sits on a fitball, rather than a chair in her office and walks around with no shoes. She cracks me up all the time with her funny storie. I especialy like the story of her dropping her shoe while boarding the bus and yelling to the driver to stop.

But don't be fooled. She is one capable lady! Being a nurse by profession, it is evident that she has compassion for the residents of St. Barts but her ability to manage our organization as a business is simply amazing. The way she takes certain factors into consideration when it comes to forecasting and how she coordinates our various programs (with the help of the program managers), as well as juggling her public relations while keeping cheerful always, is pretty commendable.

Naturally, as her finance manager, my job is to supply her with any financial information she needs, including costing and forecasting. Yesterday, during our finance committee meeting with the directors, she gave a word of praise for my efforts... which I didn't quite expect.

Her words went something like that... I just wanted to say that each time I come up with a WEIRD question, Kevin is always able to produce these spreadsheets and graphs, and explains them to me in a straight manner. And you all know how weird my questions can be... Seeing that he can give straight answers to my weird questions, I believe this requires a mention at this meeting...

That simply made my day! I guess I have the training at KPMG to thank for giving me these analytical skills. Now to work more on my people management skills...

Monday, 16 February 2009

Valentine's Day

Buffet lunch at Cafe Hyatt. After being together for nearly 3 years, this was actually our first time celebrating Valentine's Day together on Valentine's Day itself. Had always been seas apart on February 14th.

No, we didn't JUST have dessert. But dessert was the only course that we could arrange nicely on our plates. The cold salads and seafood, the hot meats, were piled up on our plates rather messily... kiasu mah.

We ate until our stomachs were filled to the brim. I've been to this place several times already for client lunches, it was nice to finally bring darling along. When I made the booking, I was delighted when the reception told me there was no special event, and we would be charged the normal buffet price... sweet...

Plus, having my Entertainment Book card gave us an additional 25% discount ;)

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Mr Invincible

Today, my dad celebrates his 54th birthday. 54 in Cantonese sounds like Invincible. So here's to wishing my beloved dad a very happy 54th birthday!

All the best to making an INVINCIBLE comeback to a full marathon this year, since your first successful attempt at the KL International Marathon, about 15 years ago!

You will always be our number one

Sunday, 8 February 2009

This week's weekend warrior efforts

Gee, it's less than 20 days away from Ironman Langkawi. I knew it was close, but didn't realise it was THAT CLOSE!


120.6km bike ride... yes I've started tapering! Did it in 4:17.46 - average 28.04kph. Was about 40 seconds slower than the last 120km bike ride I did in December. I can't remember the conditions during that ride, but there were some strong headwinds during this ride and I had to stop quite a bit for traffic.

After that, myself and Li-Ann had a delicious dim-sum brunch with our SLB group at Dragon Palace, Northbridge. A lot more classy from our usual dim-sum places, but more pricey as well!

Then at night, Jer Kie played host - a home-cooked dinner (thanks to Jer Kie's mum) followed by some drinking games! We left pretty early though, going to bed at 11pm.


Was supposed to taper down to a 20km run, but after last week's failed 30km attempt (I did only 20km, of which I walked about 4km), I was keen to pull off one more last 30km. But with previous night's alcohol banter, I wasn't hoping for much.

Surprisingly, I clocked a cool 2:21.52 (average 4.44 per km) with negative splits every 10km - 48.01, 47.11, 46.40! Looks like a light breakfast pre-workout does make a HUGE difference!

This week's training is a REAL confidence booster. BRING ON THE IRONMAN!

*Edit* Sorry to hear about your crash, Mich. Glad that there wasn't any serious injury, and only minimal disruption to your training. Keep a positive mind. Would be praying for your speedy recovery, both mentally and physically.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Darling's return to Perth...

Italian dinner at Julio's West Perth

Camembert Fritto for entree

Darling and her lamb ribs

Me and my scallopini

Great tasting food. Nice interior. A bit pricey but having the Entertainment Book helps :P