Monday, 27 September 2010

What a weekend!

We have a three day weekend, with Queen's Birthday public holiday on Monday. WA is the only state in Australia to have it now, and not in the middle of June with the rest of the country, as it coincides with WA Foundation Day. Also, it was the AFL Grand Final weekend, which resulted in a historic draw, only to have a rematch the following week.

I started the weekend with a plan to do a 160km ride on Saturday. There were moderate winds, and it was pretty sunny that day. I averaged 30kph for most of the ride. Took a pit-stop at about 113km, triple cheesburger stunner meal for only $6.95 at Hungry Jacks!

I helped myself with the unlimited refills of soft drink. Probably wasn't a good idea, as I felt a bit bloated after that. I continued my ride, the winds had picked up a bit and the sun was getting hot. My eyes kept on tearing from the glare. I had to stop a few times to wash my face. When I got near UWA, I decided to call it quits and skipped the small loop near Dalkeith. I clocked 152.7km, averaging 29.7kph. I noted to myself to put on my sunnies for my next long ride.

Sunday, I did no training but did some weeding near the small patch of green at our driveway. Li-Ann did quite a bit of uni assignments marking. We did get out of the house eventually. In the afternoon, we had a stroll at Trigg Beach, about 10 minutes drive away. The winds were howling, I was glad I wasn't out cycling that day.

I decided to ride again on Monday morning, as I'm still avoiding running for my shin to recover. The plan was to ride 100km, making the weekend's mileage of 250km. This time I had my sunnies on. The wind was much stronger, along with slightly tired legs, I aimed for an average of 29kph.

Here's where it happened. After cycling for about 1.5 hours, at the infamous slopes of Point Walter, I was tailing an SUV attached with a boat trailer behind, where I hit a road bump. My bike handling is pretty average but I'm normally able to control this bend. My sweaty hands must have slipped off the bars. Down I tumbled and bike skidded along.

I suffered lacerations on my left shoulder, left hip, right knee and both my palms.

My poor bike, suffered scratches on the left gear shift and left brake lever.

I called Li-Ann for rescue. I was feeling really frustrated and seriously contemplated withdrawing from Ironman WA. But as we drove home, and I calmed down, I decided that this was a minor setback. In fact, it would have minimal impact on my training, nothing's broken. Thank God for helmets! Although I was screaming like a baby when I was taking my shower after that.

Looking forward to better week's ahead.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Not ideal

The shin soreness from Sunday's run has taken for the worse and now there is a sizable swell on the lower part of my right shin, just above my inner ankle. It hurts each time my foot lands with impact i.e. walking down steps. So running is definitely out of the question.

To say I'm frustrated, is quite an understatement. I don't know what went wrong. I managed my left foot injury pretty well, I believe. I eased into running. Only running once a week. Progressing from 6.7km to 9.7km to 13km. I haven't even ran more than an hour in one session!

The sub 11 hour target at Ironman WA this December seems a bit shaky at the moment. And if you know me well, there is no race I would compete in without giving my best. I even had a look at the withdrawal policy and sad to say, only $350 (about 50%) would be refunded for withdrawals prior to 1 October.

So on monetary grounds, me being an accountant and all, I would still continue with the race. It doesn't hurt when I cycle or swim (it does slightly if I kick off the wall in a wrong angle, but there are no walls in the open water, right?). And I'm still feeling pretty fit, cardiovascular wise.

I took a day off yesterday and made some appointments. I first saw an occupational therapist in Health Central, Mount Hawthorn, courtesy of a complimentary session from a text message. Fortunately, it was confirmed that I do not have a stress fracture. And the swell is likely to have resulted from overstressing on my right leg since I was recovering from the injury on my left foot. I was prescribed a tube of Traumeel anti inflammatory gel and a bottle of magnesium for muscle recovery.

Then, I paid a visit to UWA Podiatry Clinic. It was quite an interesting experience actually, the young student podiatrist fiddled with my feet and went away to refer to his lecturer every now and then. I spent about 1.5 hour there but was given needling treatment to loosen the muscles around my shin.

I'll avoid running for a couple of weeks. Despite this setback, I'm still feeling a bit optimistic (maybe deluded?) that I can still pull off a sub 4 hour marathon split on race day and achieve that sub 11 hour target after all. Even with a 3 week running layoff, I still have 7-8 weeks to get my running legs back into action. After all, isn't the marathon leg of the Ironman mainly shuffling anyway?

Sunday, 19 September 2010


After having auditors in the office for the past two weeks, the weekend was very much welcomed.

On Saturday, I did another 120km ride. The winds were pretty strong, just above 20kph. Fortunately though, it was blowing in my favour towards the last 10kms. There were quite a few tri bikes on the course, one of which I kept on meeting. He (or she? I couldn't tell as the cyclist was all covered up with winter gear) was riding a red Felt B2, the new 2010 version.

I completed the ride with an average of 29.4kph. Pretty satisfied, considering the strong winds. I have became comfortable with the distance, so I thought next week I should up the ante and start riding 160kms.

Sunday morning, I did my second run for the week. I did 13km, the first time in 5 weeks. Held it pretty well, finishing in 54:50 (average 4:13 per km). Not my best, but still happy with the decent effort. My left foot is much better now. Although, other problems seem to be manifesting elsewhere - my right shin is feeling a bit sore. So I'll probably take it easy before logging in the long runs.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Raya Weekend

Selamat Hari Raya to all my Muslim friends, and happy holidays to all those back home. I admit I'm a tad bit envious of not getting the public holidays and the festive atmosphere here.

Darling's parents were here to visit for 5 days. I'm happy to say that I did not compromise much on my training plans (although I did make some adjustments). Which is good, because we tend to overeat when we have visitors hahhah.

We took a drive to Wave Rock on Saturday morning. It was about 4.5 hours drive each way, making that about 720km in that one day. Some might say it's not worth the long drive to see a huge rock. But it was indeed a fun experience. The drive there is a lot more pleasant than driving down south to Margaret River, in my opinion. There was more scenery, and you pass by a town every 100km, making the drive less taxing on the mind.

I postponed my 120km ride to Sunday morning. But the weather wasn't looking too good. It poured a bit, so I did some groceries while waiting for the rain to stop. It did, but the winds didn't. They were blowing at about 25kph. I completed the ride in a relatively slow pace of 28.7kph average.

This morning, I did a 9.75km run, finishing in 40:53 (average 4:12 per km). Still a bit far off from my sub 4:10 average, which I was consistently clocking about 1.5 months ago. But pretty happy with the progress since the foot injury.

Would try a 13km run sometime this week, and progressively build my mileage for my Ironman WA preparations. There is still time...

Sunday, 5 September 2010


Spring is officially here. Gee, where has the year gone? Having said that, there's a bit of winter still lingering around, with forecasted showers for the next few days.

I've finally got the green light from my physiotherapist to start running, along with some recommended daily exercises with stretch bands for my foot.

On Saturday morning, I did another 120km ride. It was pretty humid with big clouds, and some slight drizzle. The winds were slightly stronger than last week, but still pretty calm. I managed an average of 30.2kph, a new training PB for this distance.

Sunday morning, I did my first run in three weeks. The plan was to do 13km but would be flexible as to how I felt, with the option to cut it short if I needed to.

And I did just that. After running 6.7km, the peds my physio gave me to be stuck on my orthotics, were causing some abrasion on my right foot. My left foot, which is the injured one, was feeling pretty okay. Although there were some soreness after the run.

Was slightly disappointed that I couldn't do my usual distance, but I was asked to start off with a short run anyway. Quite satisfied with my pace though, average 4:15 per km.

I might do another short one for my next run session. And slowly build up the distance. Ironman WA is exactly 90 days away. As much as I want to quickly get back into logging the miles, I don't want to risk aggravating this injury and be floored for another few weeks.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010


Yesterday, Malaysia celebrated it's 53rd anniversary of independence, or Merdeka Day, as affectionately known to us, Malaysians. This would be my 8th year of missing out on Merdeka Day (and hence, the public holiday as well).

I wouldn't call myself a very patriotic person. As a kid, Merdeka Day was nothing more than watching the parades on television and playing with flags. In my teens, Merdeka Day meant going to countdown parties and watching the fireworks.

My usual blog readings and friends' Facebook updates were mostly filled with concerns on the backward progression of our country and urges to the government make it better. I, being here, am unable to make an informed comment. And honestly, I feel it is something beyond my control.

But what I'd like to say is, Malaysia is still, and will always be my home. Yes, I'm one of the many brain drain statistic. Yes, I am living a lot more comfortably here. But Perth is not my home.

I still read the Star newspapers online everyday (although many would argue that the news are mostly one sided) as compared to picking up the West Australian, only to find myself reading the front headlines and going straight to the sports section, which are usually mainly about Aussie Footie, that I totally cannot relate to.

As with friends, I have a handful of close friends here, most of them are Malaysians. I guess our cultural similarities make it a lot easier to understand each other. Likewise, with race events here, they lack the friendly atmosphere as they do back home.

I do intend to return to Malaysia eventually. Our children will be enrolled in SKs or SJKs, instead of Something Something College or Something Something Grammar School. And they will eat char kuey teow by the roadside, not in some fancy Chinese restaurant that serves red wine with your noodles. They would visit their grandparents at least once a month, as opposed to only on Christmas, Easter or Chinese New Year.

But having said that, it's not that I'm unhappy here. Perth is great, I have work life balance, the environment is very conducive for my triathlon training and most importantly, I met the love of my life here (yes, darling, I mean you!).

It's just that there can be only one home. And it's not Perth.

Happy Merdeka Day, Malaysia!