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.