Tuesday, 30 December 2014


Some pictures from my one week holiday in Malaysia...

Christmas lunch with the entire family followed by Secret Santa

The latest addition to our family... my cousin's son on Boxing Day

Fun ride with our new team jersey. Photo credit - Gary Fong

Family fun run at Bukit Damansara. From lil' sis' instagram.

I'm about 12 hours from boarding my flight back to Brisbane, touching down just a few hours before ushering in the new year. It has been a fun week. It has been a great year. Looking forward to more excitement in 2015. Happy new year everyone!

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Turning the page...

We're about 10 days until the year 2014 ends... how time flies!

I can't help it but the first thing I reflect on was how my triathlon year went. For the first time in 6 years, I went through the year without completing an Ironman. Not that I planned for it to happen that way, but I have put that behind me now. I do have many positives to look back on. I did get personal bests in the half iron and Olympic distances this year. Marginal improvements, but improvements nonetheless.

My small time coaching business took off with a storm this year. Never would I have thought that I would coach 9 athletes into achieving their Ironman dreams. I think I pretty much have my hands full, with another 3 more new sign-ups before the year ends for next year's goals. Knowing that I had somewhat contributed to each individuals growth put things into perspective, that this sport is more than just myself now.

This year also brought on a couple supporters to help me through this journey as a non professional but competitive athlete. My heartfelt appreciation to Compressport Malaysia and Hee Hong Cycle, official distributor of Boardman bikes in Malaysia, and many thanks to everyone involved in the linking arrangements. Again, reinforcing the fact that triathlon is more than just training hard and racing harder. I am truly humbled and will give my best as an ambassador to my supporters and to the sport as a whole.

The Boardman Air 9.8 at Moreton Bay this morning
Our two year adventure in Canada came to an end in 2014 and on to a new one in Brisbane. Although there are many similarities, as we have after all, returned to Australia. There are many things that are quite different to Perth - our home for over 10 years before moving to Canada. Not good or bad, just different and needed some getting used to. But I am looking forward to making this place home for least the foreseeable future.

My new job is offering me some growth in my career. Which is great, but it comes with challenges. But that's okay, it's been a while since I've been taken out of my comfort zone at work. It builds character and will make me a stronger person. Perhaps this would transfer itself onto the race course, making me a better athlete as well.

I'll be on board a flight home to Malaysia in about 3 days time. I know, it seemed that I have been making a lot of trips home lately. But it's the holiday period and the office would be shutting down anyway. Li-Ann is already home and we both look forward to sharing some laughter with our family and friends during this silly season.

Last but definitely not least, wishing all my blog readers a very Merry Christmas and a fantastic New Year! Thank you all for following my thoughts and writings. May 2015 bring you many great opportunities and offerings!

Saturday, 6 December 2014

27 days later...

So it has been almost 4 weeks since I've arrived in Brisbane. I'm loving it so far! I'm getting used to the sunlight coming through my window blinds at about 4.30am. Most of the days, I'm in bed by 9pm so I'm still getting plenty of sleep. It's nice and sunny on most days with a humidity of around 75%. Not quite as humid as Malaysia but enough to have you sweating buckets after a 30 minute workout. Not a bad place to be to be preparing for races in the tropics.

I've had 3 weeks of work + training routine now. Actually, now I really welcome the early morning sessions. Gives me ample time to get to work on time. My office is located about 20kms south from where I currently stay. The journey is pretty smooth as I go against main traffic during peak hours. At work, I'm still getting my head around things and I'm learning something new each day. Slowly but surely.

One thing that isn't going slow are the club training sessions. The distance covered in the swim sessions are shorter than what I normally swim but with plenty of speedwork. Also, swimming with others does give extra motivation, forcing me to work harder. Something I've not done for the past couple of years and I think I've gotten complacent with my swimming, resulting in slower swim times lately.

Where I'm at every Tuesday 5.30am. And there's an earlier session at 4.30am! But I'd like the extra sleep!
The Tuesday track sessions are great and so are the Thursday tempo run sessions. Both involved running in laps, something which I found mentally challenging at first but now I welcome it as a good check of my progress each lap. We did a 5km time trial at the track this week. My Garmin measured each 400m lap to be slightly longer, by about 20m or so. So I knew I had to work a bit harder to meet my target for the official results.

Just met my minimum target of sub 20 minutes. Not great but good enough for now.
We did a cycling time trial too for 20km around the Murrarie bike tracks. No, not the velodrome type - much to my relief! But on concrete road, made specially for bikes, how cool is that! It was about 1.4km long, so we had to go through it 14 times. I'm not that great at corners, so that slowed me down a bit. Speaking of corners, I got told off a few times today when riding with the faster group (I've been joining the slower group the last 2 Saturdays). I get really edgy each time we come to a roundabout at high speed and tend to cross over my pace line. Something I need to learn and there is no short cut, just keep on practising.

It's been raining these few days, and today too in the late morning. I was at the back of the ride group when I had a flat. I yelled out but the group didn't hear. No matter, I took my time to fix it but I pinched the spare tube and used up all my CO2 canisters. The culprit was a sharp twig which I later pulled out. Luckily, a cyclist passing by gave me his spare tube and canister. I can't be any more grateful, otherwise it would have been an expensive ride home in the taxi! The rain came in the remaining 20kms home and I took a few shelter stops when it got too heavy and managed to get home safely with the help of Google maps!

Li-Ann arrives tomorrow and I can't wait to see her! It's been about 5 weeks since we've been apart. I better do a bit of tidying up before she arrives...