Saturday, 30 October 2010

Last hard weekend

For the bike anyway. But before I get to that, an update on my running.

I have been doing aqua running for two weekends and avoiding running on dry land for nearly three weeks. The swollen area on my right shin still hurts if applied any pressure, but the pain is virtually non existent as I walk briskly or even quick stepping down the stairs. So, I decided to give it a go on Friday morning. My usual 13km route, 3 x 4.35 loop. I started off at a reasonably conservative pace. Was pretty happy with the first loop, 18:47. But the moment I started the second loop, the right leg felt really tight, so I slowed it down, 19:34. As it eased off, I picked up the pace a bit and finished the last loop in 18:57, giving total time of 57:14, averaging 4:24 per km.

There was no pain during the run, but the swell might have gotten more inflamed. Perhaps I should slow down the pace. After all, I'm intending to run at a 5 minute per km pace (with 1 minute of walking after every 2km) during the marathon leg at Ironman Western Australia anyway. I'll reassess the right shin throughout this week, if it's still not ready, I might go back to aqua running.

Now, on to the bike. With Li-Ann away, I planned a 200km ride on Saturday, one that I could do with as many breaks I needed to take, with no worries of speed, and not having to feel guilty of spending too long a time away from darling. I've been wanting to do this for quite while, but never had the confidence or the patience.

Fortunately (or unfortunately) for me, I had to choose this day when the winds were blowing above 20kph. I started my ride at 7.30am (I like my sleep haha). Despite not having any target pace in mind, it was nice to be able to keep an average of 28.5kph, but only until my first pit-stop in Hungry Jack's South Perth, at the 124km mark. The winds toned down after that but somehow there was no clear direction as to where it was blowing from. So there seemed to be a tussle whichever way I was riding. I became tired and decided to take a short rest under the trees at the 162km mark. By then, the pace had dropped to 28.1kph.

15km after that, I dropped by the IGA Supermarket to get myself some refills. The cheapest option was a 3L bottle of apple juice, which I drank some of it and ate a Powerbar Performance bar. Even after filling up my water bottle, there was still plenty left. It took me a while to finish it, as I didn't want it to go to waste. I probably drank enough apple juice to last me for the rest of my ride, as I didn't drink anything probably until the last 10km. And I probably had enough sugar in my system to keep my head spinning for the rest of the day. But luckily I was on the bike, so my legs did the spinning haha.

Managed to do a short sprint towards the end, despite riding straight into headwinds. Finally got to my car at 3.30pm, 8 hours from when I started. Total ride time was 7:07:18 for 200.4km, an average of 28.1kph.

This probably sounds cliche, but throughout my ride, there were so many times I wanted to cut it short. But having Li-Ann in my thoughts and mind, kept me going. Ironically though, when she's around, there are times when my rides are cut short so that I could see her earlier haha. Can't wait for her to be back tomorrow!

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Old and new

I had quite an eventful weekend. Li-Ann's away in Shanghai for holiday trip with her family. But I had the company of my cousin, her 6 month old daughter and her in-laws, who are here for their first visit to Perth.

I attended a farewell dinner for my former divisional partner at KPMG. He was leaving after having worked at KPMG since he was a grad. It was nice catching up with everyone again. Most of them at the dinner have already left KPMG. Those who are still with KPMG claimed that we all look a lot happier, hahhah.

Saturday's bike ride was pretty dramatic. First, my cycle computer bounced out less than 10kms into the ride. Then, it showed signs of dying, with the battery indicator flashing, despite having replaced the battery only 3 months ago. About a couple of hours later, it froze and that was the end of it. It didn't help that I modified my route slightly, but I estimated it was still 160km and I took about 5 hour 40 minutes, which is just above 28kph average.

I bought a new battery from the watch repair shop in Subiaco markets. But I noticed the plastic sensor attached to my bike fork is starting to give way too. Maybe it's time to get a new cyclecomputer. This time, one with cadence sensor. I like my current Specialized one because it gives a triple display (elapsed time, current speed and trip distance) in one screen. Any recommendations of one that does the same?

Sunday morning, I did another session of aqua running. Covered 2km in 1 hour. This time a lot less awkward and there was less chaffing on the feet. Feeling pretty confident on the recovery of my sore right shin, and should be able to start running on land in a week's time.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Aqua running it is...

The run I did on Monday left some tightness around my shins and caused the swell on the right shin to hurt a bit more. So I decided to be really cautious and did some aqua running instead at Terry Tyzack Aquatic Centre on Saturday morning. I swapped my bike ride to Sunday as it was forecasted to have winds blowing in the mid 20s kph. Yes, despite having done two Ironmans, I can be quite a wuss. As Keat Seong puts it, IRON PUSSY!

Aqua running was quite an experience. It really tested my patience. There were so many times I was just tempted to swim, but I kept to the plan. One side of the pool was actually too deep, the water was reaching my chin. Maybe I should have just done it at the shallow end. I did sets of 100m in intervals of 3 minutes, but I barely had any rest in between, it was that slow! I did 2kms in about 1 hour. Partway through, I had to change lanes because the senior citizens water aerobics class was on, hahhah.

Usually after my long rides on Saturdays, I'm pretty much spent for the rest of the weekend. So for a change, Li-Ann and I went out for lunch at Betty's Cafe, Innaloo. It was pretty quiet that day, apart from the kids party behind us, I'm guessing they are about 8 years old, were quite entertaining.

Famous for their milkshakes

The small wedges was huge!

The Big Betty. Their burgers were alright, though I must say Grill'D is better.

Sunday morning, I did my 160km ride in conditions which were forecasted to have winds between 6kph and 11kph. I can assure you, that DID not happen! Though it was calmer from last week, but it picked up at noon and the flags on Mounts Bay Road were being blown at a full horizontal.

Throughout the ride, there seemed to be plenty of fruit flies, hitting my arms and face, some even got into my mouth! But no major dramas. I averaged the ride in 29.1kph average. Wished it could have been faster, but at least that's another 5+ hour ride above 29kph.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

My weapon for Ironman Western Australia

Saucony Fastwitch 4 in new Vizi Pro colour. They look like Tigger from Winnie the Pooh, hahhah. My current Fastwitch 3 has been seving me well in all my races, so I decided to stick to what works well for me so far.

As Wiggle (which is one of my favourite websites now) gave free shipping for baskets above A$83 (which means the shoes cost less than that), I added in a pair of Speedo swimming paddles as my current pair has broken.

The rubber straps were too long, so I had to make several additional loops.

All at Li-Ann's expense as my birthday gifts. Thanks, darling! Love you!

Monday, 11 October 2010

Things are starting to look up

My wounds from the fall have all dried up, so I've been back in the swimming pool. It felt a bit awkward initially, and I've lost the natural feel of the water. But after a few sets, I was able to get back into the strokes quite comfortably.

On Saturday morning, I did another 160km ride. The winds were still pretty strong, but not as bad as last week. Though it was pretty sunny, and temperatures were at 31 degrees at it's highest. I completed the ride with an average of 29.0kph, pretty satisfied with that effort.

Sunday morning, I watched the last few nail biting hours of the live streaming of Kona Ironman Championships. I was a bit disappointed that Craig Alexander a.k.a. Crowie failed to defend his title. Sorry, but I'm not a huge fan of Chris McCormack a.k.a. Macca. But he deserves full credit for winning, given his stellar performance and how he skillfully outwitted Andreas Raelart towards the finishing.

For the women's race, I couldn't be any happier for Mirinda Carfrae for winning and pulling off a record fast marathon split. If only Chrissie Wellington was in the mix, it would have been a great showdown, and if Mirinda beat Chrissie, it would have been a whole lot sweeter!

I was pretty pumped up after watching the pro race of the Championships, but the windy and occasionally wet weather kept me indoors instead of going out for a run. So I made it a recovery day.

Monday morning, I did my first run in 3 weeks. I started off conservatively, as my right shin is still slightly swollen. Completed 13km in 56:45, an average of 4:22 per km. Way off from what I used to be clocking, but pretty happy that I was able to run a decent pace without much pain.

I'm going to stick to one run per week plan now for the remaining weeks leading up to Ironman Western Australia, to allow adequate recovery time from the damage caused by each run session. Hope this plan works.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

27 tomorrow

Early celebration over the weekend at Beethoven's. Massive portions of meat. Ordered the pork shank and lamb rack. And not the forget the half pint of German beer.

Sunday, 3 October 2010


I was wrong when I said that Monday's fall would not affect my training. The laceration wounds were pretty exposed and I skipped all swim sessions for the week to avoid them getting infected. Also, it hurts each time they got in contact with the fabric of my clothes. And at the end of each day, I find them sticking to the fabric - not a pretty sight!

I did spinning each day and strength exercises on alternate days. After training indoors for the whole week, I was itching to do some real training outside. Also, I was getting more and more cranky each day!

Saturday morning came, and the winds were fierce. Great, not exactly the type of conditions to be starting my recovery ride. But it was pretty cloudy, without much sun, so that helped a bit.

It was quite an eventful ride, with honey bees flying pass on Burke Drive, towards Point Walter, on BOTH journeys. One actually landed on my thigh, I quickly flicked it away. Luckily, I wasn't stung. Then on one of bike paths near the Canning River in Applecross, I had to stop for a family of crossing ducks.

It didn't end here. On the way to my pit-stop, I came across a traffic light at the T-junction. It was a red light, and I was going straight. Given that I was cycling on the bike path at the side of the road, and I wasn't obstructing any traffic, I kept on going.

Just my luck, the car that stopped at the front of the traffic light was a police car. He pulled me over soon after that and took down my details, but let me off with a warning. Phew. He was really nice about it though. He said he understands that we often get into the zone while training, but that doesn't preclude us from abiding traffic rules.

Having gone through all these, I'm glad I survived the 160km ride. Though at a pretty slow pace of 28.4kph average. But taking into account that I almost felt like giving up after riding only 30km, I guess I should give myself a pat on the back.

The wounds are healing, albeit slowly. Hope to get some swimming done next week.