Monday, 22 February 2010

I've done all I could

It's only three more sleeps away before I leave for Langkawi, and another two more before I'm at the Kuah Jetty starting line for the biggest race of my life.

The one week of Chinese New Year festivities has added nearly 2kgs to my weight, but I'm relieved that it hasn't quite affected my times. I did two 11.3km runs in under 49:30, whereas last year I struggled to do them under 50 minutes.

Swimming wise, I was humbled by my little brother (not so little anymore) who joined me for a one hour session. I did 3.6km, he did 200m more because he lapped me twice! We did a pyramid set of 100m, 200m, 300m, 400m, 400m, 300m, 200m, 100m. Partway through the set, he suggested that we each did our own pace. He went on to do the remaining on 1:25 cycles for each 100m, and he was able to hold them on 1:20!

Keith is now recovering in Serdang Hospital, from a sinus surgery, performed by our very own Dr Hisyam. I wish Keith a speedy recovery!

I was finally able to test out my new wheels. I joined Yip and Tomato Ray for a 93km ride from Bukit Jalil to Putrajaya and back via MEX highway. I'm glad that the 80mm profile wheels weren't too difficult to control. We finished the ride with an average of 30.3kph. My first training ride above 30kph, thanks guys!

That night, we had a lou sang dinner with the THG members, also to send off those of us taking part in Langkawi Ironman this year. Great company, thanks Jennifer for organizing!

The next morning, I joined Peter Lau of P2K for a 1500m swim time trial. We swam at the Putrajaya pool near the 70.3 race venue. It overlooked the lake and the Pullman hotel, which were really beautiful. Shahrom did the 1500m distance with me, whereas Barry and the other national juniors did the 750m distance. I'm really glad I did the time trial. It was indeed a confidence booster. I clocked 21:56, a personal best by about 30 seconds. And my pace was quicker than the boys who did the 750m too :)

I plan to do one more swim session and one more 11.3km run before I leave for Langkawi. For those at home and if you're interested, do check our progress here.

See you there and all the best to those who are competing!

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

It's good to be home...

Belated dinner celebration for dad's birthday

Raub, my dad's hometown

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Gentle reminder

Just something to bring back the memories and perhaps spur a bit of motivation in our final weeks of preparation, and also while we are on the race course. I admit, I did spend quite a bit of time on this. I'm no techie, hence it takes me longer. I'd also like to thank (and apologize too) for the many stolen pictures of others I used in this slideshow, without your permission.

Come Saturday, 27th February 2010... I hope to cross the finish line before the clock strikes 6.45pm.

I'll see to it that I do.

Home in 5 days

After 5 years of spending Chinese New Year away from home, I'm really looking forward to this trip. Can't wait to dig into delicacies like bak kua, lou sang and pineapple tarts, soaking up the festive atmosphere in Raub, my dad's hometown and just catching up with closed ones.

My last weekend of training here in Perth before Ironman Langkawi could not be any better. For my Saturday bike ride, the clouds were shading me from the sun and it was cool at mid 20 degrees. The winds were mild in the morning, but it soon picked up as midday came. I completed the 120.2km in 4:05:16 (average 29.4kph), my fastest training effort ever for that distance.

After the ride, I dropped my bike off at Runner's World, Northbridge for a service. I've also got myself some valve extensions for my new wheels. Phil is very nice to give me a discount each time I purchase something from the shop.

This was followed by a dim sum lunch with the SLB gang at Dragon Palace. One final meet-up before some of us head home for Chinese New Year.

Sunday morning, darling joined me for the first loop of my 21.7km run. We jogged the first 4.35km loop in just under 31 minutes. I ran the remaining four loops in negative splits - 20:00, 19:38, 19:24, 18:18 (sprinted the last loop). Completed the 21.7km in 1:48:16.

Over the week, I've received news that I was unsuccessful in getting into Powerbar Team Elite for 2010/2011. I was a bit disappointed as I thought I was pretty close to getting it. But I won't let this put me off. If anything, it would inspire me to work harder to not only excel at the sport, but to also contribute by raising awareness about it to my fellow peers. I would continue to use Powerbar products, but would probably have to limit them to my own expenses.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Another hole in the pocket

Having already spent quite a lot on my new tri bike about 6 months ago, I told myself that's it. I won't be spending anymore. It was a complete package. Carbon frame, integrated aero bars, SRAM Red groupset, medium profile wheels.

And then 6 months later, the itch came again. So here are the new additions to my bike Faith, which would see some action at Ironman Langkawi in 3.5 weeks time. I told myself, eventually I would be getting new wheels anyway. So might as well get them for this race.

Detec 80mm carbon clincer wheelsets... got them from Casie Chin of Pink Bike Trading in Penang. Casie quoted me a price including delivery which I cannot refuse.

Am I naive to try an unknown brand from Taiwan? One thing for sure, being less than half the price of Zipps, my wallet will thank me for that. The wheels are probably travelling interstate now from Penang to my home in Subang Jaya. Can't wait until I come home to test them out.

There has been a lot of discussion about how deep rim wheels would only benefit those who can maintain above an average speed of 40kph. I definitely do not fall in that category. Hopefully, with these wheels, I would... eventually reach that stage. If not, I think they are pretty looking wheels. At least they satisfy the superficial side of me :P