Sunday, 29 January 2012

This weekend

It was forecasted to be a real scorcher. So much so that my wife asked me to skip the ride in the hills on Saturday or at least have it swapped, in fear of potential bush fire risk. I was disobedient, but I woke up at 4am to have an early start. The heat turned out to be not that bad and there was even a slight drizzle.

Because of the ride, I missed the TV coverage of Ironman WA 2011, it was at 6am. The repeats are all at inconvenient times - Friday 10.30am, Thursday 9am when I'm at work and Sunday 3am! I know that Ironman isn't exactly mainstream sport but some of these times are ridiculous! Good thing Dennis offered to have it taped and to give me a copy. Thanks Dennis!

I did re-watch the coverage of Kona though. I've watched it a couple of times already and still, I get goosebumps watching the finishers crossing the finish line.

Sunday was a really windy day. There were times when I was nearly blown off my bike with the aerobars. The City of Perth tri was on, and it must have been tough for those competing especially with the strong easterly winds on Mounts Bay road. A special mention to Steve and Adele from Team BYL who won their age groups respectively - congratulations! What a power couple!

Four weeks into the year 2012... four weeks into my training program for Challenge Cairns!

Thursday, 26 January 2012

A few days of fun

The week started with a social ride with Sal and Nat on Monday morning. Then in the evening, I received an invite from Kiez - she had a mini Chinese New Year open house. Lots of great home cooked food - felt like I was in Malaysia again! After dinner, we played a few rounds of black jack... you can't celebrate Chinese New Year without gambling right? But the stakes were pretty small starting with 50c and I ended up with a loss of A$1 haha. Thanks Kiez and family for the invite!

Tuesday morning, instead of the usual BYL interval runs, I did the ATTA Time Trial in King's Park. The distance was 17km - 5 laps up and down Lovekin Drive, so it was a rolling hills course. I'm getting used to using the big crank while going at high speed now. I was aiming for 34 minutes (average 30kph) but I pleasantly surprised myself with a 31:33 (average 32.1kph) I guess I prefer a hillier course than a flat, open course exposed to the winds. Although I still have to improve on my bike handling skills around the U-turns.

Wednesday I joined a group for a ride led by Jason, a fellow team BYL member. It was like going into the unknown - the moment the ride started, these guns were clocking above 45kph! I got dropped less than 15 minutes into the ride, luckily one of them stayed back with me for the rest of the ride. Thanks mate and sorry for holding you back!

Thursday is Australia Day, and what do triathletes get up to on a public holiday? Extra training! It wasn't on my program, but I decided to join in a fun and unofficial triathlon of 750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run at Sorrento Beach organized by my good friend and IMWA cycling buddy, Dennis. It was not meant to be a race too, but as usual, sometimes the competitive side takes over. I kept to my pace though, without getting to the red line and paced the run with a guy named Ray, who was doing his first triathlon that day. Thanks Dennis for organizing, we all had a fun day out!

*Pictures from Dennis' Facebook page*

The mercury has risen to an average of 40 degrees maximum for the past few days and looks like it will stay that way for at least until mid next week. Staying hydrated and avoiding overheating will be key for my rides this weekend.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Enter the Dragon

No, not the Bruce Lee movie... but tomorrow marks the first day of the Chinese New Year... and it would be the year of the Dragon.

I've lost count as to how many times I've spent Chinese New Year away from home. So much so, that I tend to forget how it actually felt celebrating it at home. Li-Ann's gone back home too... but my good friend here in Perth, Eric together with his brother and sister in law did a splendid job organizing an open house today, to usher in the year of the Dragon.

Photo courtesy of Eric. This massive yee sang tasted proportionately good to it's size!

Thanks for the invite, guys! With the big feast, I've been given a taste of home - not just the food and feeling of together-ness, which is what Chinese New Year is all about.

Here's to wishing all my family, friends and their families a very happy Chinese New Year! May the year of the Dragon bring you good health, good luck and prosperity! Kiong hee huat zhai!

Monday, 16 January 2012

Hot stuff

Li-Ann and I watched Sherlock Holmes - A Game of Shadows last night. We met friends of hers in the cinema, who coincidentally were seated next to us. It was the first time I was introduced as Li-Ann’s husband. Something to get used to, but I’m sure soon it would not feel so awkward anymore. The movie itself was entertaining, though I find the first one more mysterious. We also felt that they overdid the slow-mo action sequences. But still a fun movie to watch, no regrets!

The past week was a bit of a scorcher. Temperatures were around the mid 30s, not the hottest Perth has seen but hot enough to make you sweat buckets. I haven’t had any afternoon sessions under the sun during the week but I was out there for riding on both Saturday and Sunday. Coach Bill has up the ante for my cycling in this training program. I’m riding 4-5 times a week and my bike now sleeps in the car. Sunday’s ride incorporated some mini sets with the big crank. I’ve always been a spinner on the bike due to low power output and my small built, but I’m glad to have a feel of riding with the heavy gear. I think I can get used to pushing the big gears from time to time and hopefully, it will translate to quicker bike splits in races to come.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Week 1

*Newton Run photo credit - Rozmi Yunus*

So it's been a week since I got back to Perth. It didn't take long to get into the routine of things - work, training, house chores etc. I've started my first week of training from Bill, I have exactly 22 weeks including this one, to Cairns.

This first week was... okay. I swam with the UWA masters squad twice, they had a new coach and her program was rather interesting. Lots of walking in the pool in between sets as active recovery. I felt good for the 90 minute ride in King's Park on Friday. But come Saturday, I didn't have much strength to fight the westerly winds on Mounts Bay road towards the end stages of my 2.5 hour ride.

Sunday morning's 60 hour run started off well at about 4:20 per km pace. But that only lasted until halfway and I dropped to 4:30, averaging 4:25 overall. I guess I haven't fully recovered yet, both from the Ironman and Newton run last weekend. However, despite not being able to give my 100% in terms of speed for this week's training, I'm pretty happy with how I pulled up. Looking forward to the weeks to come.

Sunday, 1 January 2012


Newton 25km run with my dad and sis. I'm glad to have survived the hills and to finish strongly in 21st position overall with a time of 1:53:46 - not my fastest but a great start to get back into full training mode. It was nice to catch up with fellow like minded people in the local running/tri community. A special mention to Chan Jun Shen for a blazing fast time of 1:45, truly a champ in the making.

With the year 2011 just gone and my holidays coming to an end (I'm flying back to Perth tonight), I want to wish everyone a very happy new year! I am very grateful for the support of my loving family, wonderful wife (yes, it hasn't really sunk in yet - that she's now my wife!), friends I can count on, a decent job and good health that allows me to do what I enjoy doing (no prizes for guessing what it is haha)

I don't usually make new year resolutions but each year I aim to strike a balance between devoting time and passion to this sport, and ensuring that I do not allow things which are far more important in my life, dear ones - my friends and family, to take a backseat.

That... I have to admit is an ongoing process.

Here's to 2012!