Sunday, 30 May 2010

Soaking up the sun

After the past weekend being wet and windy, with cloudy days to follow... I'm glad the sun's up again this weekend. I feel a bit like Captain Planet but I somehow feel more energetic when the sun is up shining brightly and not when it is dark and gloomy.

Saturday's bike ride had some moderately strong winds blowing at 17kph. I completed the 82.17km distance in 2:43:25 (average 30.1kph). My rear brakes were making some noise, but at least it is responding now.

Sunday's 13km run, I encountered the usual tightness in my left hamstring on the 2nd loop. But after slowing down a while, I was able to get back into pace for the 3rd loop. Finished the run in 55:39 (average 4:17 per km) my second fastest since the Ironman.

By now, the courageous few who took part in the Sundown Marathon would be resting after completing such an arduous race. I haven't actually given this race much thought as one to do in the future. But you never know.

Will start doing brick runs next weekend. In preparation for PD Triathlon.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Mind over matter

Over the weekend, we played host to my uncle, who came for a quick business trip. Mum said he had always been very ambitious since young. And that cannot be any more true.

My uncle maximised his time here in Perth. He had a full schedule and met many people. I hope he managed to uncover potential business and investment opportunities from this trip.

Despite his busy agenda, we were able to share two wonderful dinners with him. One at Ruby's Restaurant at The Roundhouse Tavern and La Vela in Scarborough. Both were very satisfying meals and it was a pity I didn't take any pictures.

One of the interesting discussions we had was the various training courses my uncle attended, including one by Anthony Robbins.

Anthony Robbins with Jack Black in the movie Shallow Hal

My uncle described how Anthony Robbins can change people's state of mind and help them improve their lives. His courses are very much in demand and had to be booked almost a year in advance. My uncle had the opportunity to be part of his crew actually.

Relating this back to my triathlon training, I wondered if attending one of his courses could help improve my racing performance. After all, we spend hours training our bodies but not devoting enough time to train our minds.

And then I found out that his courses are priced about US$20,000...

Hmm... I think I'll just stick to self visualisation for now...

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Reminiscing PD Triathlon

Part of my racing plan for this year was do a triathlon race middle of the year. A half Ironman distance would be ideal, but it seems that Putrajaya 70.3 would not be happening and Cobra 70.3 in Phillipines was a bit too pricey and inconvenient (I would have to fly from Perth to KL, KL to Manila, Manila to Naga). I could have gone for Capricorn Half Ironman in Queensland but for the same price in flights, I might as well fly home and race with familiar faces.

So there you go. I'm flying home for a weekend trip to take part in Port Dickson Triathlon. I booked my flights with MAS this time. It wasn't that cheap but Air Asia was selling at about the same price, so I'd thought I pamper myself a bit this time.

PD Triathlon had always brought back memories. It was my first Olympic Distance triathlon, did it back in 2004.

Being a novice, I did the swim leg in my swimming trunks and fumbled my way through to put on bike pants and running vest in the transition. I remembered the bike and run portions of the race took forever. My bike at that time was my faithful Giant OCR3. I completed the race in 2 hour 39 minutes. Dad and sis did the run legs for Uncle Peter's P2K relay teams.

Going back to the same race 6 years later is indeed pretty special. No doubt the race course will be slightly different. But I hope to improve quite a bit. Better start working on my fast twitch muscles!

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Weekend outings

It's been a while since darling and I went out to pak tor. So last Saturday, we decided to eat out at a place called Fratelli in Sorrento. Also as our Entertainment Book expires in June, we have been actively looking for opportunities to use up our vouchers.

It was a cosy restaurant, a family type atmosphere. I had the steak with prawns, while Li-Ann had the seafood risotto. Seemed like very similar orders to what we had at Lago Di Como previously, but I supposed we know what we like.

We were both very satisfied with our meals. Although Li-Ann found her risotto too rich to finish, so I helped her without complaints! The service was very quick and friendly too.

On Sunday midday, we joined our SLB gang for dim sum. We tried out this place called Wong Ting in Northbridge. Not bad, but it would have been better if the fried stuff were slightly warmer.

Then in the afternoon, Li-Ann and I watched the Ironman 2 movie. Without giving too much away, personally I was a bit disappointed. I found the script a bit messy with no proper flow. I was only entertained in the first and last 15 minutes of the movie.

Maybe better luck with Robin Hood or Prince of Persia?

Monday, 17 May 2010

Training

It has been a while since I've updated my blog on my training regime. Well, things have been ticking steadily. Triathletes are creatures of habit and I am no different. In fact, I have stuck to the same training plan and even the same routes for the last 3 years! (although the run route was changed after we moved house last November)

Since the Tuesday and Thursday 1 hour swim sessions now start at 7pm (instead of 6.30pm), I usually have my dinner prior to the swim. I guess I'm getting used to swimming with a full stomach now. And I'm glad that my fast twitch muscles are coming back into play, as I'm beginning to enjoy the sprint sets. The weather is getting cold, but luckily the heating in the pool has increased, which makes the swim pretty comfortable.

Wednesday 13km runs have been causing a bit of trouble lately. I find myself going okay in the first 4.35km loop, but tightening up after that and have to jog slowly for the remaining two loops. Maybe due to the lactic acid buildup from the swim session the night before.

Friday - thank God it's Friday! Friday is the only day (apart from Monday rest day) which I don't do any cardio workout. Strength training is important for triathletes to focus on isolated muscles for injury prevention as well as to maintain good form.

Saturday's 80km bike ride was done in VERY cold conditions. It must have been 5 degrees that morning. My fingers and toes were freezing and only warmed up towards the end of the ride. I clocked an average of 30.1kph. It was pretty calm that morning, but I supposed the cold weather prevented me from going too fast. My rear brakes had been pretty unresponsive lately. I brought the bike to Phil at Runners World and he replaced the whole cable free of charge, and at such short notice too, what a nice guy!

Sunday's run was much better. I clocked 18:54 for the first two loops and sprinted the last loop in 18:11. Completed the whole 13km in 55:58, my first run under 56 minutes since Ironman Langkawi. My modified orthotics are working well too, with minimal post run soreness on my left foot. Things are definitely progressing positively, although a bit inconsistent in the run.

Patience is key.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Farewell...

I heard the shocking and very sad news from Victor yesterday. An icon in the Malaysian triathlon scene passed away. And then I read the many tributes in the blog postings and Facebook status updates. It is obvious what an inspiration he is to all and how his passing has very much affected us.

Picture taken from Uncle Ngae's Facebook profile

Uncle Ngae, I do not know you or have spoken to you personally. But your cheerful smile, your pre-race (and sometimes during race as well!) sarong outfit and your barefoot running will be greatly missed.

May you rest in peace.

Monday, 10 May 2010

4 days apart

Yeap that's the gap between my siblings' birthdays (not taking into account the years of course, hehheh).

Here's to wishing my lil' sis a very happy 24th (yes, just one year before you hit a quarter century!) birthday!

May you keep on dreaming big, but don't forget to open your eyes once in a while to catch a glimpse of the real world.

Friday, 7 May 2010

Whatcha lookin' at?

My little brother... not so little anymore... he's 1cm taller than I now!

He had his sweet... okay, maybe not sweet, but SEXAY SIXTEENTH birthday today.

Happy birthday Keith! Enjoy yourself and be a good kid, hehheh.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Flight frenzy

It was just by chance when I saw my friend's Facebook status update, saying that Jetstar was having a 2 for 1 sale. I checked the dates and flights for Singapore in March next year were going at A$400 for two people!

Hence, I jumped at the opportunity and booked tickets for darling and myself, with the intention of competing at Aviva 70.3 Ironman next year. And the race registration hasn't even opened yet!

I had been dabbling with the idea but I guess there's no turning back now. Then again, a weekend holiday in Singapore wouldn't hurt. As the last time I've been there was probably nearly 10 years ago!

I also helped my parents booked their flights to Auckland to visit my sis at the end of this year, flying from Gold Coast. So they probably need to get Air Asia flights from KL to Gold Coast.

For this morning's run, I ran the first 4.35km pretty well but hobbled the next loop and decided to call off the third loop. My left calf was pretty tight. Maybe all this flight excitement was getting to me! But my orthotics are currently being modified as well, hopefully it will help ease the tension on my left leg when I run.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Butt butt

This post actually came from the insistence of Li-Ann, who has been observing my habitual exercises lately. I have been doing these exercises regularly for the past 1.5 years or so, on advice by my physiotherapist and podiatrist.

Apart from my flat feet, another contributing factor to the risk of me getting injured is the weak muscles in my... erm, posterior. Gluteus. Buttock. Backside. Call it what you like. I supposed it's obvious from my (very) flat rear. And sadly, after doing these exercises for so long, I don't think I have gained any mass in that area. But I would do anything to prevent injury, hence, I try my best to do this every other day, if not everyday.

So how would having stronger butt muscles help prevent injury, you'd ask? Well, as endurance athletes, we tend to neglect certain muscles and overuse other muscles and joints to compensate for these weak muscles. Prolonged overcompensation will strain these muscles and joints, increasing the risk of injury.

I'm no sports scientist, but it made sense to me. And I believe this exercise does help. Here's one of the exercises that helps strengthen the butt muscles. I am sure there are many more, and you can easily Google search them. Enjoy!

video