Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Interstate 2007

Hotel reservations in Ipoh reconfirmed.

Bags are almost packed.

Bike is prepped.

Interstate 2007, here I come.

To all those going, ride safe and have fun. See you in Ipoh.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Burn

Haven't posted recently because I haven't done anything recently. Not since Desaru. Only one ride and one easy swim. That's it.

And I have no desire to do anything more. The other day I had a choice between a 15k run and watching Ratatouille. I chose the latter. (And of course after watching a movie about food, you just have to eat. I had popcorn during the movie, sambal nasi goreng, Lecka Lecka ice cream and three Big Apple donuts after.)

Maybe it's the beginning of burnout. Can't be. Haven't been training enough to be worthy of a burnout.

But then again, we've had a pretty hectic season with tris every month. In between, there have been runs and the odd duathlon to participate in. So really, the month of July and August has been non-stop.

Good thing there's this quiet lull before Powerman. If it was scheduled for September, I'll be burned out for sure. Ya ya, Interstate is coming up but it's not a race so I can pretty much do the 365k at a leisurely pace, hop into a support car if I have to.

After Interstate, total rest for the week. I'm not even going to do the Mizuno Wave Run. It'll be the last event before puasa but forget it, I need my rest. I might do the PCC ride if they have one though.

Then during the fasting month, if those cazy dudes at Light & Easy continue with their midnigh rides/runs to Genting and Fraser's, I'll definitely join them. That will make up my training regimen till Hari Raya.

That should give me enough rest to comeback after Raya with renewed enthusiasm. And then slowly build up to the big one: Ironman Langkawi 2008.

Monday, August 20, 2007

And so ends the 2007 triathlon season

... and what a season it has been.

Full of highs and also some lows.

Lots of mistakes made. Lots of lessons learned.

My season kicked off with a nightmare Ironman, and finished with a pretty decent half ironman.

Some things that stood out for me this season:
- got a new bike
- saw a friend's bike break to pieces
- learned a very painful (and expensive) lesson in giving up. Remember: Pain is temporary, quitting is forever
- all the races I did badly last year, I did well this year (PD and Desaru).
- the one race I did well last year (Kenyir), I did badly this year. (Since I did badly at Ironman this year, hopefully next year will be good)
- lost several toenails over the season
- I have a perpetual blister on my little toe on my left foot
- personal battle against Azmar: Me 2(A Famosa, Bukit Merah)- Azmar 3 (Kenyir, PD, Desaru)
- personal battle against Bacin: Me 2 (Bukit Merah, PD) - Bacin 3 (A Famosa, Kenyir, Desaru)
- my swim has improved slightly. The times are just slightly faster, but it takes less effort to achive them
- my bike is steadily improving
- my run still sucks
- discovered a miracle cure: Ice. It'll get you through any aches and pains during races
- started this blog
- got plenty of encouragement through this blog
- made a lot of new friends
- unfortunately, lost a friend too

Except for a couple of tragic incidents, I've had a good season.

Next up will be the PCC Interstate, a 330km ride from Ipoh to Penang over 3 days, then some well deserved rest until Hari Raya. Then training starts again for Powerman before going full-on for Ironman next year.

See you all on the road...

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Desaru (Now with even more pictures)

The race didn't start off too well. The conditions for the swim were horrible. With 3-foot swells, it was difficult to navigate and get into a good rhythm. And it seemed like it just went on forever. Finally got out of the water in 1h07m02s, only two minutes faster than last year. So I thought I was going to have the same tough time as I did last year.

But things got better after that. Had probably the fastes T1 ever and it was on to the bike. The bike leg was simply awesome. Rain started falling midway through the first loop and the crosswinds were killer. At times, I was nearly pushed off the road by the winds. The deep dish wheels I was using didn't help much. But by the end of the first loop, the rain had cleared up and conditions were much better. I finished the first loop in one hour flat, the second in 58 minutes and the final in 1h04m, for a total time of 3h02m02s, over an hour faster than last year's 4h05m51s. Of course the cooler conditions helped a lot this year. Last year it was so hot, my skin was bubbling from the heat.

Looking fast on the bike

Senn going aero

My T2 time was slow because my race belt decided to fall apart on me. As I was running out, I found my belt around my thighs. A quick look showed me that the buckle had come off. Spent two minutes trying to get it back together. Hastily put it back on and it was on to the run.

Race belt sorted, it's off for the run

It took me about 5km to get my running legs but and all the people I overtook on the bike were overtaking me again and just pulling away like I was standing still. But I kept on running the entire first loop. At this point, my initial target of sub-8 hours was modified to sub-7 hours. The second loop was a run/walk, mostly running. In the end, I came home with a run time of 2h33m47s for a total time of 6h48m16s. Much much better than last year's 8h35m35s.

Ice is a miracle cure for anything while running

The finish line: 6h48m16s

Senn crossed the line in under 8 hours. Well done!

The team with MC Lan and Uncle Chan

All in all, I had a good race. Some weren't so fortunate though. Please spare a thought for Bernard, who had a nasty crash on the second loop. Apparently the guy in front of him decided to stop to puke... in the middle of the road. Bernard couldn't avoid him, went smashing into the puker's rear wheel and endoed. End result:

a carbon frame broken in three places

Pictures courtesy of Ivie. Thanks!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

A-racing we will go, a-racing we will go...

... hi-ho the merry-o, a-racing we will go.

It's Desaru this weekend and I'll be participating (as opposed to racing?.

Target: anything faster than last year's dismal 8h30m.


Hopefully, if I don't get any backaches or stomach cramps like last year.

Wish me luck...

Monday, August 13, 2007

Weekend Workout


HOA - Genting Sempah - Bentong - Genting Sempah - HOA
Distance: 104km
Total ride time: 4h05m17s

First time riding with the CSC (Cycling Siamang Club) boys. Those guys are animals. I consider myself a fairly decent climber but was thoroughly humbled by these guys on Saturday.

On the way up to Genting Sempah, I was dropped within 5km.

Finally got to the peak in around 52 minutes, my best time so far. But these guys had already been there for at least 5 minutes, looking thoroughly relaxed as if they hadn't started riding.

The trip to Bentong was a lot of fun. Five of us, myself, Laif, Adzim, Azwar and Fairuz, started working together in a paceline, each pulling for about 30 seconds at 34-38km/h. But everytime Azwar took a pull, he would pull for around two minutes and bring the speed up to 40-42km/h! It was hard work just hanging on to the wheel in front! Maybe he got carried away abit, because he was texting while pulling us all along! (No wonder he felt it was a boring route. I am truly not worthy of riding with him.)

But the fun didn't last. As usual, I got dropped approaching Bentong, at exactly the spot I thought I would. Before long, Saiful, Abu and Bacin caught up with me and began pulling away. Luckily, we were already in Bentong so I didn't have to suffer the humiliation of geting dropped by them too.

After a quick ABC, it was back up to Genting Sempah again. In cycling, what goes down must naturally come up, so it was back to climbing again. The first 15km or so was quite pleasant, with the whole group sticking together in a nice paceline, led by Azwar and Adzim. But as soon as the road pointed upwards, all hell broke loose. The paceline just exploded. Adzim and Azwar dropped the hammer and immediately, I fell behind. It was a solo ride all the way to Genting Sempah, not being able to keep up with the front runners, yet slowly pulling away form those behind.

I finally got to the last kilometre before the rest area. For some reason, I can never understand this bit. It doesn't look steep, yet it's always a slow slog just to get through. Cranking away on 39-25 feels like a 53-12 here. To make things worse, the plan was to not stop at the rest area and continue up McDonald's hill to the T-junction to regroup. I normally stop here to rest and refuel, but because I didn't want those guys to wait long, I continued on. And my legs really felt the burn.

By the time I got to the regrouping point at the T-junction, the front runners (Adzim, Azwar, Bacin, Abu, Saiful and Yusran) had buggered off. Maybe I took too long to get there and they got bored of waiting.

Anyway, I stopped at the T-junction and waited for the rest. One by one they showed up, first Fairuz, then Adeline and Shazly, then Senn, then Laif. Patrick called and said he was eating at McDonald's so don't wait for him. Jaja and Fadzil also were stopping at the rest area to refuel, so we decided to go ahead to HOA. The 15km descent was heaven sent, a nice reward after all that climbing.


The plan was to go with PCC for a 108km ride to Batu Arang. But decided not to since my legs were still feeling the burn from the day before. So slept in and went for Nasi Lemak Mak Wan Jor in Kampung Baru. Yum.

Afternoon, took the boys for their swim lessons so decided to put some laps in myself. Did 1200m in around 26 minutes and also did some short sprints, playing catching with the boys. That's a fun way to get a sprint workout in.

So overall, a very good weekend. Let's hope it's enough for Desaru.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

adidas KOTR (Koyak On The Road)

Like the title says, today's run was a disaster. After the high of the past two weeks' races, this was a downer. It had to happen, really.

The day started well enough, there was the gathering of the usual triathlete gang: Senn, Adrian, Jaja, Fadzil, Adleine, Patrick (who didn't run but was there to support Jason), Jason, Bernard, Gunter and a few others. At 6:45am, we were off. My pace started off well for the first 10k, looking like i might actually go below my set target of 2h15m.

Then it happened.

Pain. On my left foot. At the arch.

It was like walking barefoot on those reflexology pebble thingies. Every step I took, was like landing on those pebbles on my arch. Ouch.

I tried to run through the pain, telling myself the pain didn't exist. But with 8km to go, I couldn't fool myself any longer. so it became a walk for a bit, then run for a lot less.

Finally, at 4km to go, I saw the ambulance. Asked if they had anything for swelling but they gave me the same ointment they give for muscle tightness. Didn't help. And by then my left foot was throbbing. So I took off my shoes and limped all the way back to the finish line. Barefoot (Makes me wonder how people like Ngae run barefoot).

At 1km to go, Bernard caught up with me. He had problems with his knee and kinda gave up at 7km. So the two of us walked the last km across the finish line. It was the first time in my life that I WALKED across a finish line.

Total time: 2h45m, half an hour after my target. No medal, no hoo ha. Just a quiet finish.

Now as I sit here typing this, my foot is elevated and I've got an icepack on it. No more running for the next couple of weeks, might not even do the Desaru run, just swim, bike and call it a day.

Speaking of swimming, I went in the evening and that salvaged my day for me. did a total of 2.1k with a time of 50m05s. At least the swim bit is looking good for Desaru

Thursday, August 2, 2007