Monday, 27 June 2011

Two great coaches

As some of you might have already guessed, when I mentioned previously that I started a new training program, it is actually a coached program, under a great mentor, Bill Scanlan. Bill did a top notch race performance at Ironman France over the weekend, finishing 10th overall! He gained 38 places after the swim. I feel really proud to have him as a coach, and I'm already feeling the improvement after doing his program for about 4 weeks now.

The other person I want to mention is my dad, who I would say, is like my life coach. Until today, although I've already been working for 6 years and achieved my own financial independence, whenever I have difficulties making decisions, no matter how major or how petty, dad always point me to the right direction. Fathers Day was celebrated all over the world (except Perth) two weekends ago, here's a happy belated father's day, dad!

Dad ran the full marathon distance at the Standard Chartered KL Marathon yesterday. Despite stomach aches in the early stages of the run (including a portaloo visit), and cramps towards the last 10kms of the run, forcing him to resort to run-walk those last few kms, he finished just 6 minutes off his personal best. Cramps had always been a problem to dad in the full marathon, but that doesn't stop him. Instead, it fuels him even more to improve the following year!

Well done and congrats to both!

*picture courtesy of Mr Tey*

Thursday, 23 June 2011

5 years anniversary

A last minute gift for my darling fiance

We ate at Boulevard Restaurant, Hillarys Boat Harbour but were somehow disappointed with the food quality

Hence, the dessert pizza at Little Caesar's... never fail to satisfy

One of the last few anniversaries before we become a married couple!

Love you, darling...

Sunday, 19 June 2011

More pictures from Perth Marathon

Courtesy of Tom Kroyer from the Break Your Limits Facebook page.

Nat coming to the changeover

As fast as my legs can take me

Paul finishing the run for us

A good Sunday

Perth Marathon Relay

Perth Marathon, organized by the WA Marathon Club, in it's 33rd year of running this year. I did the full distance for 2007 (my first marathon) up to 2009 (marathon PB), skipping it in 2010. Now I'm back at this familiar event, doing the relay instead. Our team was Break Your Limits Foursome with myself, Nat, Dave and Paul. And our race number was 69! I wanted to crack a joke about it this morning, but it was probably a bit too early for that hehe.

The weather was pretty clear and still, which was great, as it was nothing like that for most of the week. It was also nice to meet Dennis Tan of North Coast Tri Club in person, after corresponding for a while via Facebook. Dennis wasn't running that morning, but he came with a portable radio to cheer the runners, what a nice guy! Thanks Dennis for the picture tag!

I was to run the third leg, a distance of 14.4km. I was targeting anything under an hour, a pace of 4:10 per km. I had quite a hard week of training, including 1.5 hour run during the week and a 3 hour bike ride yesterday in some pretty wet and windy conditions. Plus, we had quite a late night, with our friend, Shirley's birthday dinner, treating us to a delicious feast of Korean BBQ. Lots of meat for protein, but hopefully won't give me any problems with digestion for the run.

I brought Li-Ann along as I needed her for my transport, being my start and finish points were at different locations. I anticipated that my relay changeover will occur about 1 hour 45 minutes after the race start, which started at 8am. Hence, we had plenty of time. We had our second breakfast at Prinz of Vienna, an almond croissant and a cinnamon scroll of massive portions! Add these to a thick and super sweet, tall glass of hot chocolate... I hope my stomach holds up!

Fortunately, I managed to visit the toilet again before I start, so it was all good. A handful of relay teams went passed as I was waiting for Nat for the changeover. Nat too did a PB for her 12.5km run, awesome! The first few km markers were probably under distance, as I was clocking under 4 minutes for them.

But I soon get settled in, overtaking some more of the relay runners. One runner overtook me just before we got into halfway of the distance, but I kept him in sight, about less than 100m away. I was averaging between 4-4:10 most of the way, reminiscing this familiar course but with a lot more in the tank and with much less pain! Also, there was slight tailwind, which was very handy!

I didn't catch up to that runner in front, but I finished in 58:44 as I passed the wristband to Paul. A pace of 4:05 per km, very happy with that!

Paul beat our car back to the finish. There was a lot of congestion at the Burswood complex as the Dalai Lama was having an event there. We met up with the other Break Your Limits people before dropping Paul back at his car and then, heading home.

I have an easy week of training on the program next week, which is most welcomed!

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Lake Monger 10km Run

The last time I did a 10km race was probably more than 5 years ago, when I ran about 44 minutes. It was the Asics Bridges run. I did continue running the distance in my training, and if my memory doesn't fail me, my best time was just under 42 minutes. But even then, the last time I did a 10km training run was also nearly two years ago.

Hence, coming into this race, I did not have any set expectations. I had quite a full session this week, with a 3 hour ride in the hills the day before, and I would have logged nearly 48kms in running mileage after the race. The last time I ran more than 40km was nearly 1.5 years ago, as I did not clock in the long miles during my preparation for last year's Ironman Western Australia due to injury.

Having said that, I was feeling pretty good. And judging by my current fitness, I was targeting for any time under 41 minutes. I felt relaxed at the start of the race. The good thing of having done much longer races before, a short one like this may feel like a walk in the park (but the pain I felt later while actually running is VERY different!)

It was organized by the WA Marathon Club, a small local race, three loops around Lake Monger. The turnout was probably just over 100 people. The course is flat, but it was pretty windy. Luckily, we were sheltered by trees most of the time. I probably started a bit too quickly, and I struggled a bit with my breathing. I was surprised when my watch showed 3:54 at the first km marker, but it later showed 4:17 for my 2nd km split. Hence, I knew the markers will be slightly inconsistent.

Finally got into the groove after the first lap. There was a guy who was like, 3 times my size, Ipod in one hand, wearing cotton T-shirt, bermudas and gym trainers and he was running alongside with me up until the second lap. My ego was yelling at me, "No Way I'm losing to this guy!" So just after we got into the 3rd lap, I turned up the pace and he dropped off.

Redlined for the last 2km and sprinted home to a new 10km PB of 40:26. Pretty stoked with that! There wasn't any fanfare at the finish. There weren't enough water cups even after 45 minutes. I wasn't sure if there were prizes, but I didn't care. I did a good run and I'm happy with my time.

Now to get something to eat...

Monday, 6 June 2011

Something different

Many of you would know, that I am someone who is very resistant to change,and lead a structured, regimented life. Especially when it comes to my triathlon training. I ride and run the same routes, I do the same workouts from week to week.

So it was good to have a bit of a mix this week, as I started on a new training program, in preparation for Ironman Western Australia in about 6 months time.

Monday morning, we all met for the BYL group ride, but as it was raining cats and dogs, we decided to skip the ride, and head straight for coffee. It was also Bill's last day before he flew to France. So it was nice just taking our time, having a chat.

Tuesday morning, it was still very wet. I joined the BYL group run, we did an interval session at the park near Mount Hospital. We did 2x 2km, 2x 1km and 1x 2km with 90 seconds rest in between the 2kms and 30 seconds rest in between the 1kms. I'm not used to running intervals at all, I started off okay and got a bit quicker in middle sets but I started losing steam towards the end. My splits were 8:27, 8:17, 4:07, 4:16 and 8:46.

In the afternoon, I did a 50 minute swim session. Started with 10 x 100m warm up, then did 100m, 200m, 300m, 400m, 300m, 200m, 100m with pull buoy and paddles on 1:35/100m cycles. Finished up with 8 x 50m alternating butterfly and backstroke.

Wednesday morning, I'm glad I had an indoor wind trainer session while it poured again outside. Did 20 x 1 minute on the big gear with cadence about 65rpm, 1 minute rest in between each. All in, a 65 minute session including warm up and cool down. My fingers hurt just as much as my legs from switching gears every minute.

I did an easy 40 minute run after work. It was getting dark as I started about 5.10pm, ran on the shared path along Graham Farmer Freeway from East Perth until the Great Eastern Highway and turned back. The skies opened in the last 10 minutes and I was drenched! Even took me a while get clear visibility before I started driving home. Did about 8km, nice relaxing pace.

A longish 70 minute run was on the program on Thursday morning. Still feeling a bit sore from the hard Tuesday interval run and the 40 minute run the evening before. I don't usually run one day after another, let along 3 days in a row! Managed 16.25km at a steady 4:18 per km pace. In the afternoon, I did a recovery 50 swim session, did some kicking and light pull buoy sets.

Friday morning, another 50 minute swim session. The usual warm up, then I did 8 x 200m with pull buoy and paddles on 3:10 intervals. Again, finishing with 8 x 50m alternating butterfly and backstroke. It was relieving to know that I've only single session training days for the rest of the week.

Saturday, myself and Sam joined the Cycles Bespoke for a ride into the hills. Sam and I looked a bit out of place with our tri bikes. It was very cold that morning, about 7 degrees. We rode into Darlington, coming to a very steep climb, I was averaging about 9kph. We then regrouped at John Forest National Park and were told that the worst was over.

It was, but from then on, the roads were a bit rough and my whole bike frame was shaking. But it was a nice, peaceful feeling riding in the woods, a kangaroo crossed right in front of us at one point. Descending the hills was a bit scary, I tapped on the brakes slightly, my maximum speed was only 58kph. The whole ride was about 55km, Sam and I decided to do another 45km around the South Perth foreshore.

Sunday morning, another ride was on the cards, this time for 2.5 hours. I tried keeping close to 30kph but with the fatigued legs and the moderately strong winds, I finished with an average of exactly 29.0kph.

So that wraps up my first week under a training program. Total training hours of 12.5, may not seem much to many. But considering I'm only used to 8-9 hours before this, and only hit 13-14 hours once or twice during my peak Ironman training, I'm pretty satisfied. Helps me sleep better at night too...