Saturday, 31 July 2010

More PDIT pics

Thanks to Mr Tey, Shazly Khan and my mum.

Hmm... don't know whether it's only my eyes, but it seems from the pictures that I have gained a bit of flesh (weight?). Effects of the strength training perhaps?

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Rush, rush...

...hurry, hurry lover, come to me...

Hahhah, for those who could remember, this is part of the chorus of one of Paula Abdul's chart topping hits in the 90s. But I'm actually relating to my 4 day trip back home and the quick race that took place in Port Dickson.

After arriving in KL on Friday morning, I spent most of the day assembling my bike, getting a hair cut, buying some supplies and trying to fit in a nap or two. Our family then left for Port Dickson at about 4.30pm and arrived just before 6pm.

My two siblings, Karen and Keith were doing the sprint distance the next day. It was Keith's first triathlon and he was feeling the nerves. We checked out the registration list and it looked like there had been additional participants since the published list on the website.

After registration, we checked into our accommodation, PD Perdana Condo, which was pretty old. Luckily we booked the following night's stay at PD Golf Resort, much to my relief as I would like to have a comfortable sleep before my own race. Dinner was much appreciated as it has been ages since I had Malaysian seafood.

Woke up the next morning at 6.30am in preparation for my siblings' sprint event. Keith did some practice rides around the condominium. I decided to swim and run with them as part of my warm up for the next day.

Unfortunately, Keith's first tri (try) wasn't such a pleasant experience. He fell as about to take a cornering and had the chains dropped off. He contacted us with a phone from the traffic police and we rushed to his rescue. He lost about 20 minutes there, but still finished strongly and eager to make amends next year (right Keith?). Karen being her usual carefree self, enjoyed her race truly and finished with a respectable time, despite hardly any swim training.

Karen's flight back to Auckland (via Singapore) was in the afternoon. We exchanged farewell hugs and her boyfriend came to fetch her to the airport. After that, we went for the carbo loading dinner. It was good to meet up with friends and like minded people. Mr Chan's race briefing was hilarious, as usual.

A good night's sleep, and I woke up fresh at 6.20am in the morning. Did my routine stretches, toilet visit and cycled to the race venue. Met a few more friends at the transition area and at the beach start area. I did a short 5 minute warm up swim and soon, it was time for me to start.

It was a staggered start with my age group starting first. I lined up at front and could see most of them at the front line are wearing their ITU tri suits. Let's see if I could keep up with them.

Bang! Went the gun, and we scurried into the water. I'm used to the washing machine scuffle at the start of the swim now and slowly moved away from it. But I swam too far away and that's where I've lost the momentum to keep up with the other guys. And it happened a few times, I kept on going off course and found myself swimming back to be close to the floating buoys. It might be because the water is a lot murkier than what I'm used to in Perth or the buoys are a lot smaller but I guess I have no one to blame but myself.

Anyway, I exited the water and clocked in at the first timing mat at 25:48. Not too bad considering I could have swum up to between 100m to 200m extra but I have lost too much ground to keep up with the front guys. After the long run into transition, I fumbled a bit by almost putting on my run shoes. I wasn't sure how far I had to push my bike but marshal and former top triathlete Eugene Chan gestured me to the right direction.

I cycled alone most of the way - I'm glad I brought my 80mm clinchers and aero helmet. It was somewhere between 5km and 10km where the navy guys came in a train and swept past me. My endurance cycling legs were in no condition to match their speed, so I kept to my own.

The ride continued to be uneventful (which was good as I heard there were cows crossing for the later starts, and some of the participants had to be stopped on both sides!). It was only towards the last 10km where I took turns with Andy Foo (who started 5 minutes later but caught up with me half way) and another person to lead. That's also where I lost my water bottle. It slipped out of my sweaty hands! Luckily I only had 5km to go.

I came into transition with a bike split of 1:11.33, just shy of my 70 minute target which was a bit ambitious anyway. My left shoe got stuck to my foot as I dismounted and I had to remove it by hand. Several others started the run about the same time as myself including Simon Cross, despite starting 10 minutes later. But Simon quickly overtook me and the sight of his back became smaller and smaller as he moved further and further away.

I overtook Andy at around 2km into the run (although he beat me by 2 minutes overall) and eventually found my rhythm. There was an overcast which protected us from the sun. The weather was really kind actually, the water was calm during the swim and there were minimal winds on the bike.

I reached the turnaround point just under 20 minutes and immediately I knew it was slightly under distanced, but it made up for the long run from the beach and the bike was slightly longer too. I managed to overtake some of the guys who overtook me on the bike. Closing towards the finishing, Keat Seong (who's taking a break from triathlons FOR NOW) was cheering me on. Entering into the finishing mat, I sprinted and could feel my left thigh twitching but I held on.

Crossed the finish line with a run split of 40:50 and total time of 2:19.24. A 7 minute improvement on my personal best, 25th in my age group out of 144 and 51st male overall out of 532. I guess I can't complain after all.

Some special mention:

- my family for being so supportive and making the trip a whole lot easier with food, lodging and transport all taken care of. I love you all!

- Nik and Paul Lee for coming early in the morning the day before their race to cheer those doing the sprint. Such a selfless act and such nice guys!

- Sofian, just wanted to say you look good with your new weight and well done in your 9th placing! See you in Perth soon!

- Jennifer and Frank for cheering me on the race course. Not sure if I reciprocated but it was much appreciated!

- Tomato Ray, Mich, Lee, Yap and Debbie for giving the laughs at the carbo loading dinner.

- Yip, once again for providing such stiff competition. Saw you on the other side after the run turnaround and I was running with anxiety after that. The fact that you started 5 minutes after me made it harder to estimate our time distance.

- Uncle Peter Lau for drilling the importance of speed training, which helped me a lot for this race.

- Isaiah Kee for letting my brother use your bike during the sprint, and giving him the opportunity to do his first ever triathlon.

- and of course, my darling Li-Ann who although was in Perth throughout the trip, was with me in spirit and gave me strength when I struggled. Love you...

Back in Perth now. Ironman training starts soon. Bring it on!

*Photos courtesy of my mum, Shazly Khan and Mr Tey.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Good things

We had a nice weekend. On Saturday night, we watched Toy Story 3, which was a great movie. It was really funny and action packed. Without giving too much away, I like the Spanish Buzz Lightyear best! Although paying extra for the 3D version wasn't quite worth it, as the effects weren't that spectacular

For dinner, we made a last minute booking at Al Fornetto in Scarborough. And we weren't disappointed. The service was quick and friendly. The food was good and it was value for money.

We went for a pasta pizza combo by ordering the gnocchi and pizza quattro formaggi.

Training wise, for my Saturday 82km ride, I tried on the 80mm clinchers. The weather was fine, pretty sunny and winds were pretty calm. I forgotten to transfer the sensor across, so I was riding against my stop watch and estimating the distances for every 10km. I averaged just above 30kph.

I then did about 15 minutes of transition practice. I have to admit, that speedy transitions aren't my forte and I still fumble a bit. After that, I did a 6km brick run, which I finished in 25:33 (average 4:16 per km), a new brick PB for me. Might have been the loosened leg muscles from the transition practice.

Sunday morning, I felt a bit stiff in the neck and lower back. But I thought I better not delay my run and to get in the bag. And I'm glad I did! The weather was fine and calm with a bit of overcast. My legs felt strong, despite a bit of tightness in my upper right thigh. I completed the 13km distance in 53:47 (average 4:08 per km), another new PB!

Feeling in pretty good shape at the moment. One week away from Port Dickson triathlon, will take it easy for the rest of next week before I fly off on early Friday morning.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010


I have to say, that as a triathlete, I can be quite pampered. I favour training in nice weather, with no rain or strong winds. I'm not one who likes to suffer.

And one thing which I enjoy so much about training on my own, is being able to sleep in and train only after sun rise. Most of the triathlon squads here start their morning sessions no later than 6am, some even starting at 5am! I am really grateful for having flexible work hours - on days when I do my running, I start work at 9.30am but I start work earlier on other days to compensate for this.

So yes, you get the idea. I HIGHLY value my sleep! If I don't get enough sleep, I feel tired and I don't feel like training. I guess that is also mainly because I put pressure on myself to nail every session.

The Ironman WA race schedule is out. And it seems like the start time for the age grouper race is 5.45am, one hour earlier than last year, TWO HOURS earlier than Ironman Langkawi!

I usually take an hour to get ready before leaving for the race site and I normally aim to be there at least 30 minutes before start time. This means I would need to be up latest by 4.15am! And to give myself my usual 8 hours night's sleep, this means I need to be in bed by 8.15pm! Pretty unlikely!

Looks like I need to nap a lot during the day before to ensure I have enough rest.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Kevin dislikes rain

Yes, it has been raining heaps since Thursday night. Intermittent heavy showers with a slight occurrence of hail on Friday. I heard it is pretty wet back home in Malaysia as well.

I don't mind the cold weather in winter. It's the rain that really bugs me. It affects my training and my laundry. The rain in Perth tends to pour heavily for 5 to 10 minutes and have some breaks in between.

Anyway, I shouldn't complain as we need the rain, it is a very important source of water, which is a shortage over here.


We attended our friend's surprise birthday party at the Bellhouse Cafe in South Perth on Saturday morning. Li-Ann baked a red velvet cake for the occasion.

The weather cleared up a bit in the afternoon and I was able to do my bike ride. It was a bit windy though, blowing above 20kph. I was able to average my 82km ride in 30kph. Planned to do a 6km brick run after that, but the skies looked pretty dark, so I called it off.

The next day, the weather was playing with me again. It was raining most of the day, and then it cleared and the sun came out. It stayed there for about 30 minutes, so I thought it was safe to take out the laundry. But just as finished hanging them on the clothes line, it started pouring again.

Likewise, in the afternoon, it seemed clear for me to do my run. But just after I got ready, it showered. So I hopped onto my bike trainer and started spinning. Then, 10 minutes into the spinning, the sun came up again. Frustrating!

Anyway, I did 30 minutes of spinning and it looked like the weather was holding up, so I went out for a quick 8.7km run. And quick it was! It was still pretty windy, blowing at about 35kph. But somehow I felt good and blitzed the distance in 35:23 (average 4:03 per km)!

I'm all pumped up now. Hmm... wonder whether I should watch the World Cup final tonight. It would be my first match :P

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Delayed telecast

The 2010 World Cup has been going on for 3 weeks now, and nearing the closing stages. Though the fever has been hitting most people I know, I unfortunately, am not a big football fan. I haven't watched a live match since!

But I have been keeping up to date with the scores and delayed news. Quite a surprising outcome these last few matches. Traditionally, I used to support Brazil but it looks like it could be Germany's cup this year.

Speaking of being delayed, Saturday's cold morning had me put off my 82km bike ride for a couple of hours. As I opened my garage door, I felt some frost in the air. It must have been below 2 degrees that morning. So we thought it would have been a better idea to go to the markets first, which we usually do after my ride.

So I started my ride at 9.30am. It was still pretty cold but as the sun came up, it started to warm up a bit. My gloved hands began to sweat a little. The winds were pretty calm and hence, I was able to clock an average of 30.1kph. I then did a 6km brick run which I finished in 26:25, would have loved to go a bit faster but the headwinds on the return loop made that a bit difficult.

Sunday morning, again I put off my 13km run. Not because it was too cold, but we spent the night watching a movie on DVD (on hindsight we should have watched the Germany v Argentina match! I'm sure that was a lot more exciting that Men Who Stared at Goats!). But I managed to get some chores done, including installing a curtain rail. I'm such a lousy handyman, it was pretty shoddy looking!

I managed to run in the afternoon after having a bit of a rest. And what a delightful surprise it was! I felt good and legs felt strong, I had negative splits each 4.35km loop - 18:17, 18:09 and 17:42 - finishing the 13km run in 54:09, my second best ever if I'm not mistaken.

My fast last lap, I have the naughty kids in the neighbourhood to thank, who were chasing me on the scooters. Can't wait for PD triathlon in 3 weeks time.