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.