Monday, 27 May 2013


That's the number on the scales as I weighed myself after the swim today. If you are from this part of the world, that's 127.8 pounds.

It's the lightest I've been for a while. The inner aneroxic triathlete (let's face it, most triathletes have body image issues!) was pretty proud with that number. But at the same time, I wonder if I'm losing any strength or power. I don't use a power meter so I can't measure my watts, but I don't feel any weaker during my sessions, so I guess I'm alright. The low number could also be attributed to the sweat loss from the long run in the morning prior to the swim.

Anyway, I do notice I'm getting leaner since I've started this training program. It's quite normal actually when the body is still adapting to a new regime. With two weeks of over 17 hours of training logged each week, it's difficult to pile up the pounds. I think I went down to 57kgs when I first started on my first coached program under Bill two years ago.

I don't feel unusually tired - just normal tired from the long workouts, so I don't think I'm overtraining. I'm getting 7.5 to 8 hours sleep each night and I have plenty of free time to myself during the weekend to nap and rest once the big workouts are done.

My wife however, is pretty worried. She has been getting me to eat more. Baking more frequently than usual, so I can have lots of cake and breakfast bars to snack on in between meals. Not that I'm complaining.

Well, we'll see how it goes. When it comes to climbing the big hills in Ironman Whistler, it helps to maximize my power to weight ratio. So I hope this works well to my favour!

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Racking it up

Today is Victoria Day public holiday in Canada - celebrated in honour of Queen Victoria's birthday. As if London is not quiet enough already, the long weekend made it even more of a sleepy town. But I quite like it this way. As I did my 2.5 hour run this morning, up until 10am there were still barely any cars on the roads.

The training miles have indeed taken up a notch, bringing total hours for the week to just over 17 hours - and that's after having one less run session than I normally do! On the weekend, Sheri organized what she calls a Megaday training at her parents' place in Grimsby, which is about 1 hour 45 minutes drive from London. There were two groups riding that day - one doing a 3 to 3.5 hour ride, while I joined the 4.5 hour one. There aren't many hills in London, so this was a good opportunity to do some hill training. There were others in the group who came from Hamilton, about 30 minutes drive from Grimsby.

I had a few close calls that day. The first one actually happened as I was driving on the way to the place! I exited on Casablanca Blvd intersection from the highway and it was one of those moments where I forgot which direction to look before I merged into the intersection. A car zoomed past from the left and I jammed the brakes from moving forward. Thankfully nothing happened!

During the ride, I had a soft fall on a slight descend, I was avoiding the holes in the middle of the road and kept moving right and got onto some gravel. Luckily I braked and just toppled to my side. I wasn't hurt and the bike had some minor marks. These things happen and sometimes some scuff marks are unavoidable. The bike is after all, a machine rather than a work of art.

At the end of the ride, one of the guys actually had another 30 minutes to ride in his program. I was up for it, so we went up Wolverton, a 12% slope - pretty decent climb that one. As we descended down the same road, although I was tapping my brakes and being cautious, my wheel must have hit a small bump - I was airborne for a split second and landed back on two wheels. Luckily I didn't fall over as I would have definitely lost some skin and my bike would have needed a new paint job.

There was a feast at Sheri's parents' house before the drive back to London. Li-Ann baked some nice brownies which everyone were raving about. It was nice meeting new people and they were really friendly and welcoming. Looking forward to training more often with these guys in the summer.

It's not all training over here... well mostly is but we try to get out and about too. Li-Ann and I tried a new place called Tuscanos as I have been yearning for some Italian food. I ordered the panzerotti, which actually looks like a giant curry puff! I ordered the one with ham, bacon and Italian sausage. So basically like a covered up pizza.

It was a bit too salty for my liking unfortunately. Li-Ann was a bit disappointed with her pasta too, it lacked something... The staff were really friendly though and the restaurant had a nice set up. Aah... maybe we should just stick to our nearby diner, Maxwell McCoys...

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Busy bee

So I've just finished 3 weeks of my 18 week structured Ironman training. I can't deny that it's pretty hard work. The volume is more or less the same as I'm used to, but there are a few long runs which are scheduled midweek which knocks me out at the end of the day. Thankfully, we live close to work, so we spend less time commuting and I have more time to myself.

My former colleagues - Derek and Mark, from KPMG came to visit on Wednesday night. They attended the Warren Buffet AGM in Omaha and did a US trip before dropping by. They would visit Niagara Falls next and probably the other side of US again before returning to Australia. Thanks boys for dinner and drinks, and coming all the way to visit, it was good to catch up!

The warm weather took a turn this weekend. Unlike last Saturday, I had a nice group ride in the 20 degrees warmth with a couple of guys from the London Triathlon Club. We rode to Lakeside and did two loops before heading back. All in, it was a 120km ride. There were plenty of cycling groups out that morning too. This weekend however, I was the only idiot out there. The temperature was about 8 degrees, but with winds blowing at abouve 25kph and a bit of mist in the air, it felt like sub zero degrees. I called off my ride after 2 hours, I was shivering so badly I could barely steer. Li-Ann came to rescue me, it was her first time driving here, so I was a bit worried about her too. Thankfully, there weren't many cars that morning.

I did make up for the remainder of the ride on the trainer that afternoon. It was after a run review session with coach Sheri. The session was really helpful and pointed out many of my imperfections that I never thought about. The next day I did a swim review and Sheri picked up quite a few things I should be working on to make me a more efficient swimmer. Like an old dog learning new tricks, many of these things are long term habits and would take a while for me to un-learn them.

That evening, I did a 2 hour run covering 25.6km. I nearly got blown off the road by the wind! It may seem a bit earlier to be doing 2 hour runs - in a week's time, I'll be doing 2:15 and soon, 2:30. But I've disciplined myself to start off slower and paying attention to the tempo work in the middle of the runs, and finishing strong. Previously, I used to just hold onto a constant average which may seem cruisy at first, but find myself struggling at a later stage.

I've started a small online coaching service for triathletes in Malaysia. I've had my first client signed up this weekend, so I'm pretty excited! I'll be keeping the numbers small so that I can manage the personal approach to each client. If any of you are keen and would want more information, feel free to drop me an email at kevinsiah (at) gmail (dot) com

Thursday, 9 May 2013


Here's to wishing the my two favourite May born babies very happy birthdays!

My lil' brother is now 19 years old! We used to call him Keith boy until his 8th birthday, when he gathered everyone together and made a very important announcement for us to drop the boy, when addressing him. From then on, we just call him Keith. I think now we can start calling him Keith man. He's showing a lot of maturity now. With the recent Malaysian general elections, he has quite a bit to comment himself. The world is your oyster, young man!


My lil' sister will be turning XX this Saturday. Yes, I guess after the 21st birthday, she stopped counting her age haha. She has taken the fitness industry by storm in these couple of years. And if I ever want to venture into this industry, I see no better person to seek pointers from other than her. Also, she's no longer the tree climbing tomboy I used to dob in to my parents for her every mischief. Okay, maybe she still climbs trees but she's turning into a fine lady herself. Maybe with the extra help from her boyfriend buying her nice gifts to make her more feminine :)

Enjoy your birthday celebrations you two! Missing you both from here in Canada.

Monday, 6 May 2013

New hope?

Malaysia's general elections just concluded over the weekend. The ruling government retained it's simple majority vote. There were alleged irregularities and fraudulent practices in the electoral process. Anger, frustration, uproar, outcry... are just some of the many reactions of the people. I too, felt sick and defeated in the first instance. The odds were against the opposition, I didn't expect them to win but to know that the ruling party will resort to such blatant dirty tactics was beyond comprehension.

My first thoughts at a personal level was... do I see a future for myself and my family in Malaysia? A place I've always called home. Yes, I am one of the lucky few who was given the opportunity to venture overseas, to seek a better live for myself. But I yearn for the day to be back home, the place I was born, the place I grew up in, to be close my family and loved ones. I do not want my children to be alienated from their grandparents.

I would not dwell into the analysis and post mortem of the election results, as I am no expert. But I did learn a lot more about my country's political environment. The motto of the opposition was Jom Ubah - Let's make a change!

I do feel that there was indeed a change. 80% of the registered voters came out to vote, that is a record by itself. There were many seats lost to the opposition. The ruling government cannot ignore this. They know the dissatisfaction of the people and hopefully, will start taking actions to progress forward. Likewise with the opposition, with the new seats won, they have now earned the trust of the people. So my wish is that they use this power responsibly.

In many counts, it is a victory, not a defeat. We mourn, but we have to pick ourselves up and move forward. Changes do not happen overnight. Just like in an Ironman race. It's a long day. But by placing one foot in front of the other... we can only move forward.

Here's to a future for myself and my family in Malaysia - negaraku, tanah tumpahnya darahku!

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Do you feel safe?

About 2 days ago, my parents' home in Subang Jaya, Malaysia was robbed. There wasn't anyone at home, so thankfully no one was hurt. Every room was ransacked. Some of the valuables that were taken were the flat screen TV, laptops, printer, costume jewellery and a handbag. I haven't spoken to my family. I haven't confirmed if my sister's bike or my disc wheel were taken, for those of you who would like to know.

When I received the whatsapp message on Tuesday morning (Tuesday evening Malaysia time), I was in shock. I did not know how to react. I felt helpless, being so far away. Not knowing how my parents and siblings were coping.

Material losses can be replaced. In fact, it also provided an opporunity to my family to clear lots of old stuff accummulated over the years, many that I am guilty of hoarding myself - sorry for not being there to help out! Physical scars (again, thankfully there were none!) will heal. But emotional and pscychological scars may be long lasting, sometimes even permanent.

My parents and siblings seem to be alright. I hope things would return to normal soon for them. We've always taken for granted that these things would not happen to us. I've always shrugged off the incidents of petty crimes in the news as isolated cases and stood by my stance that Malaysia will still be the place I'd like to return to eventually as it is after all... my home.

Now, I don't know what to believe. Would it change? Would Malaysia be a safer place? I sure do hope so. Will a change in a government guarantee that? I don't know. To put a stop to petty crime takes more than just a change in government. More than politics. To be honest, I'm one of those who find myself a bit annoyed with the political updates on Facebook, seem to be flooding my news feed - making it difficult to see the real news, like what's going on in the lives of those who are close to me. Being overseas for the past 10 or so years, shields me from the politicial ongoings of my home country.

Come this Sunday May 5, I would be one of those Malaysians who would NOT be exercising their right to vote. My lame excuse of finding the registration for postal vote to cumbersome and not taking the time to understand the process. The nearest Malaysian embassy will be in Ottawa, 8+ hours drive away. But I may be wrong. I need not even to drive there to exercise my right to vote.

Dear Malaysians. On this Sunday May 5, as I'm not exercising my right to vote. Please, on my behalf, do the right thing and vote wisely, not with your emotions.

Ini kali lah!