Monday, July 30, 2007

UM Duathlon

What do you do when you've had a good race?

You go out and try and do another good race.

Fresh from my personal best in PD, I went to do the first ever Universiti Malaya Duathlon, a 5-20-5km race.

Weather was good (the rain before the race made conditions nice and cool), but the course was treacherous (a 1.5km long, steady climb on every lap, followed by a steep descent into a sharp left-hand corner. We were to run and bike the same loop, run once, bike four times then run once again. So we had to do that long climb twice on foot and four times on the bike. After seeing the course on the Saturday during the briefing, our confidence went down a bit and our timing targets were revised to something a bit more conservative. I had a target of 2h05m.

In the end, I came in at 1h44m36s.
R- 27m
B- 47m
R- 29m

That's when I was told that they were giving placings up to 20th place. Made no difference to me since I didn't think I'd be placing anyway. So it came as a big shock to me when they announced 20th place and called out my name.

Finally got placing! Top 20 bay-beh!!!

Abu did well too in 19th place, while Stupe was in 13th and was in the money. Abu was just 5 minutes ahead of me so now he's the target for the next race. Watch out Abu!

On the downside, I've been having this pain in my left foot since after PD. Everytime I step on that foot, there's a stabbing pain in my arches. This pain intensified during the last km of the duathlon and still hasn't gone away yet. Looks like adidas KOTR this Sunday is doubtful.

p/s:- pics from this race and PD will be up soon. Haven't dowloaded them from my camera yet. Just like my racing, doing this also very slow...

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Tour de France - WTF???!!!

Last night we witnessed and epic battle between Rasmussen and Contador. The Disco boys totally double teamed the Chicken. First, Contador attacks, Chicken reels him in, then Levi attacks. Brilliiant strategy but Chicken was just too strong for the Disco boys. He won the stage and held on to yellow.

Fast forward to this morning.I was awoken by an sms from edwin. Rasmussen kicked out of le Tour because he lied about his whereabouts during a few missed dope tests. Contador now in yellow.


I want Contador to win le Tour but not this way. He needed to take the yellow jersey from Rasmussen, not have it handed to him like this.

This is dumb. Don't these pro cyclists ever learn? After last year's fiasco, you would have thought these guys would know better. First Vino, now Rasmussen. Dumb fuckers.

While we will never achieve speeds like the pros (they were hitting 90km/h on the descents yesterday!), we can take comfort in the fact that we cycle clean. Who needs to go fast if you're going to be all doped up?

But then again, does anyone know if they sell EPO at Guardian?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

What a Difference a Year Makes - The PD Race Report

It was a crazy weekend. Full of highs and lows. Elation at achieving my personal best was brought crashing to the ground by the tragedy that occurred. Here's the story:

Cousin Megat's first tri. And boy, was he ever nervous. The relentless rain didn't help either. He kept pacing up and down and asking me if the race was going to be postponed. Told him to relax, it's all for fun, after all.

The airhorn sounded and off we went. It wasn't long before we were spit out the back of the pack. But with full determination, he went on.

Rounded the first bouy, and he was in trouble. Goggles fogging up and he couldn't see jack. We stopped for a while, took his goggles off and cleaned it a bit with sea water. Then we continued.

Finally, got out of the water in about 33 minutes. Looked behind us and there was still someone in the water. A-ha! We weren't last out of the water!

Ran to the bikes, geared up and off we go. By this time, several of the competitiors were already coming back from the bike leg and onto the run leg. Turns out the bike course was cut short by 10km.

Then it was on the the run. By now, the rain was falling heavily. Because he cycled with his running shoes, Megat's T2 time was extremely quick. I was still putting my shoes when the dude ran out of transition. I had to play catch-up.

Unfortunately, that was the only burst of speed he had. We continued the rest of the run leg with a run/walk. Finally we crossed the line at just under two hours. He was happy, but tired. And he wants to do it again.

Woke up excited but didn't have high hopes for the race. Last year was a 3h25m and I had a very very bad swim. This year, anything quicker than that would be a good target. Under 3h10m would be a bonus.

Started the swim at the back. Saw the pros do a pseudo-butterfly stroke at shallow water, so i tried to do that to. Felt weird and I dunno if i was doing it right but what the hell, just do it lah. Had a nice rhythm going throughout the swim and felt good. I was thinking i'd end up with maybe a 40min swim. Got to the beach and looked at my watch: 33m28s! Whoa! Personal best swim! Things were looking good.

Ran to the bike and almost took off without putting on my helmet. A bit kancheong at that point in time! Helmet on, sunglasses on, race belt on and off we go. After the roundabout, a dude on a blue cannondale with zipp wheels and aerobars overtook me, along with a relay rider. Immediately, I hopped on. I sucked their wheels for all its worth before I got dropped at the traffic lights. From there, the next 10km or so was a quiet and lonely ride.

Then, it happened. This big train rumbled past me, led by a guy wearing a Tour de France yellow jersey. It must have had at least 10 riders in it. Ever the opportunist, I hopped on and followed them to the turnaround. I was supposed to take a powergel at the u-turn but i didn't want to lose the train. So forget the powergel and let's go. My plan at this point was to try and stick to the train for at least 5k before getting dropped. But somehow or other, I managed to hang on all the way to the traffic lights. At that point, feeling good, I actually attacked that group.

But it was short-lived. They pulled me back in and I got dropped. And it was a lonely 5km ride back to T2. Nonetheless, it was fun riding in a pack like that, made me feel like I was in Le Tour de France for a while!

Got back to T2 and looked at my time. I clocked a 1h12m33s for the 40k with an average speed of 33km/h. Whoa! That was the fastest I've ever been on a bike. What a difference a pack makes.

But here i had a spot of bother. I couldn't get my socks on properly. Wasted a minute or so trying to get my socks and shoes on. It started raining during the run, which made it a lot easier. I think I could have pushed a bit more during the run, but doing some mental math at the time, i was on target to finish under 3 hours. So I took it a bit easy during the run, not wanting to get my usual knee pain.

In the end, I crossed the line below 3 hours. A 2h49m48s according to my watch (I'm hoping it's a bit more accurate this time, unlike at Kenyir), a good 35 minutes faster than last year and a personal best!

The breakdown:
s: 33m28s
t1: 1m44s
b: 1h12m33s
r: 59m21s

Senn, too, had her best race to date, finishing under 3h30m for the first time.

Race-wise, we all had a great weekend. Unfortunately, the tragedy that struck later left us all feeling empty inside.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Desaru Long Distance Tri - A Tribute to the Late Zubir

We are very proud of Zubir for starting his first triathlon race yesterday. It is unfortunate that we were unable to celebrate his first finish with him.

A small group of us would like to make our next triathlon (Desaru) a tribute to Zubir. We are proposing a minute silence AFTER flag-off in his memory.

This is how we'll do it:
1. gather at the back of swimmers at race start
2. when the gun goes off remain on shore in a minute silence while others start the race
3. we start our race in tribute to Zubir after 1 min
4. (optional) when we cross the line we can say in our hearts/own way.. "this one's for you Zubir"

Please join us/spread the word to all that you think would be interested to join our tribute. You are most welcome to copy and paste this entry on your personal blogs to help widen coverage.

We are also open to other ideas of how to pay tribute to him during desaru


A classy cyclist. A budding triathlete. An all-around nice guy, always ready with a joke.

The triathlon community, the cycling community and the world lost someone pretty special yesterday.

I went through my files last night and found this picture. It was taken during a party at BikePro sometime last year.

This is how we should remember him: Always happy, always smiling, always ready to have a good time.

Good-bye Zubir, you will be missed.

Friday, July 20, 2007

This Weekend

Port Dickson International Triathlon
I'll be participating (not racing) in the sprint on Saturday (to accomapany Megat) and the Oly on Sunday.

Am I ready? HELL no!

Will I have fun? I hope so.

Launch of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Will be going to the bookshop early to pick up my pre-ordered copy before leaving for PD.

CR-V's first long distance drive
Just picked up my new car this week and will be taking it to PD this weekend. Love that new car smell.

Sounds like the making of a good weekend.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

RIP Gotham

In 2002, I brought a young, black, male, long-haired persian kitten home and named him Gotham. When I picked him up from the pet shop in Taipan, no one wanted him because his right front paw was injured. But so taken was I with him, that I saw beyond the injury and took him home anyway.

Last year, I moved to a new condo that didn't allow pets. So i was faced with the painful task of having to give him away. And gave him away I did, to a colleague's brother who loved cats. Every week, my colleague would fill me in on Gotham's progress at his new home. According to her, he was very happy. And why wouldn't he be? He had large open spaces to play in, compared to being cooped up in the apartment like before. And, he had female companionship as well. So, a happy camper he was.

Since then, I've left that company and I no longer get weekly reports from my colleague. Until tonight. I bumped into her at Centrepoint and naturally, I asked her how Gotham is. She told me he passed away a week ago. Apparently, he had been sick for a while and had to be taken to the vet almost everyday. So shocked was I that I didn't even ask what was wrong with him.

Anyway, he's gone now and I'm left wondering what would have happened had I kept him instead. Oh well, c'est la vie, at least he's not suffering anymore.

Goodbye, Gotham. You'll always be remembered...

Monday, July 16, 2007


Very little training this past week. Only a 10k run on Friday and a 50k bike on Sunday. Guess you could call it tapering off for PD. Tapering my ass! More like laziness!

It's funny how once you get off a regular routine, it's so difficult to get back on it. Tuesday night last week, I had to miss the weekly ride because i was shooting a TV commercial. I've done many shoots before, some ending in the wee hours of the morning. But somehow, this one was different. Maybe it's because I haven't been on shoot in a looooong time. Or maybe, I'm just getting older and my body can't take late nights anymore. But I just couldn't pick myself up after that. We wrapped filming at 3am, I got home and slept till 12pm before heading back to work.

But i just felt so fatigued the whole day. I couldn't concentrate at work. I was so tired that I cancelled swimming that night. The next day (Thursday) was the same. So I cancelled running that night. By then my routine was way out of whack.

I finally ran on Friday, but even that was after a huge debate with myself. Part of me wanted to run, the other said, "Let's just chill out and watch TV with the boys." Eventually, I did go.

But even that run took its toll. My planned 20k the next morning didn't happen because I was too knackered. I think the 10k run actually made things worse. I was getting to the point where i was actually dreading going out for a bike ride or run.

There is light at the end of the tunnel though. As much as i dreaded getting out of bed for yesterday's ride (I woke up thinking, "why am i waking up so early for only 50k? what's the point?"), I actually enjoyed it. Maybe it was a good idea to start a period of inactivity with something short rather than going long. It was an enjoyable pace, with some good company, so hopefully this will help kickstart my training again.

And if it doesn't, I'll just say I'm tapering...

Monday, July 9, 2007

PD Tri Clinic

Took Megat to the PD tri clinic yesterday. I'll admit now that I haven't spent enough time training him for the race, only taking him out 3, sometimes 2 times a week, once for each discipline. His swimming has improved but his cycling is still so-so and his run pretty much doesn't exist.

Anyway, I took him to PD so that he can put all three disciplines together and see first-hand what a tri feels like. From there he would decide whether or not he wanted to go through with the actual race. It was to be a tough day for the young lad.

First off, he didn't get much sleep the night before. In fact, he didn't get any sleep at all. Then, we had to get up and meet Edwin at 5.15am. So it was a very early start following a very late night. So the trip down to PD was spent catching up on sleep.

When we got to PD, we went through the usual routine of setting up. You could see hew was a bit nervous. Can't blame him, really. It's his first open water swim. Luckily, the sea was calm, unlike the first PD tri clinic.

The whistle went off and we were off. I swam with Megat all the way. It wasn't long before we were dropped off the main pack. But Megat was a picture of determination. He soldiered on. At the first bouy, I asked him to hang on to the bouy to rest but he said, "No, let's keep going." So we went on. Midway through to the second bouy, he had to stop, so he was hanging on the ropes that formed the swim lane.

At the second bouy, we turned around, along with a few others. As we approached the beach, I asked him how he felt. So far so good, he said.

On to the bike. Now, here's something I'll need to work with him some more: his bike handling skills. He's still not very steady on the bike, weaving left and right on the road. At one point, he managed to weave all the way to the opposite lane! Not good. And he needs to learn to pedal a steady cadence. He would pedal furiously, then coast to rest. Pedal furiously, then coast.

We had a couple of wipeouts during the bike leg. As we turned the corner onto the kampung roads, there was a slippery patch, where a garbage truck had left some slime on the road. First victim was Randy, who immediately got up to warn the others of the slippery patch. Affter that, someone else took a slide and senn, who was right behind him, took avoiding action and went down on the slime.

In panic, I pulled up besde her and asked her if she was ok. Her reply, "The bike's ok!" I asked her again, "Are you ok?" Her reply: "The bike's ok." Finally, I said, "I don't care about the bike! Are YOU ok?" Finally he said, "Err... oh... Yeah, I'm ok!" Typical cyclist, more concerned about the bike than themselves!

Anyway, we went on cycling. I caught up with Megat again at about 7km and asked how he was doing. The lad was suffering. His balls had gone numb! Gotta do some more tweaks to his position, methinks. Or maybe get him to do the race in bike shorts.

As we got back to the marina, he had a little spill on the bike. His foot slipped off the pedal and he bike went down. Luckily, he managed to land on his feet, so no damage there, then.

He was so tired after the bike that he didn't want to run. I forced him to do it. How else was he going to see what race conditions would be like! So off we went. Before even the first km, he was already walking, complaining of pain in the shins. Now I know what this feels like, having gone through the same pain during the first clinic. I also know that if you brave through the pain, it'll go away. So we went through the next 4kms doing a run/walk. We would run the length of 3 lapmposts and then walk one.

We finally made it back, even doing a sprint to the "line". He was tired but he had gone through the whole thing, albeit with long transition times. And to top it off, he even won a prize during the lucky draw: free entry fee to the race!

Later on, I asked him if he was going to do the actual race. His reply: I already won the entry fee, it would be a waste not to go.

So, could we soon be seeing the making of a new triathlete? I hope so.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

eye workout

tuesday night. 8pm. ride starts in half an hour and i was still stuck in a pre-production meeting at the office. I could try to rush home, get my kit on and catch up with the group but i would have just felt so rushed and not enjoy it. and anyway, the meeting finally ended at around 8.35pm. no point trying to rush home now. it would be the first time missing a tuesday night ride because of work since i started this job. oh well, c'est la vie.

so instead of working out my legs, i decided to give my eyes a workout: senn and i went to go watch:


and whoa! it was a total visual feast, a great workout for the eyes.

the way the autobots and decepticons transformed, the action sequences will have your eyes darting back and forth, not wanting to miss any of it. of course, sitting 5 rows from the screen meant that eyes had to dart even more given the close proximity to the screen!

if you haven't already watched it, go. don't wait for the dvd. you have to watch it on the big screen. that is the only way to appreciate the special effects, the animation, the sound design. you won't get to see the full details if you watch it on dvd.

apart from the visual feast, the plot itself was pretty good. i was surprised to see that it had its light-hearted, comic moments as well. complements the action very well.

in the end, it was a movie well worth skipping a ride for. yes, it is that good. and watching in the company of a loved one, made it a perfect evening.