Wednesday, August 23, 2006

England Holiday June-July 2006

Here's a few nice snaps from our holiday.... the
first one is Lucas on the plane on the way over.

The next one is Lucas and Sam in Bedford. Lucas is jumping up and down on some pads that made different pitched sounds.

More to to work now!

August 2006 Kids Hash

We'd not taken Lucas hashing since Christmas, and on this Sunday it happened to fit in with our schedule. Here's a photo of Lucas, Fiona, Megan and Leo (hidden) before the run, and another photo of the hashing gang playing by the river afterwards.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Bukit Gasing Green Challenge 2006

I just found the results from this "race" on the web. I was 50th out of 70 in my category, in 2h1m30s - about double the time of the winner!!

If you look very closely you can see me below the "S" in start, with a white headband.

A Lazy Sunday For a Change!

I finished off watching the film "Munich" last week. It was quite good, but a bit long. Eric Bana was good. I've now moved on to Brokeback Mountain and am about halfway through. I cycled to work as usual on Saturday morning, taking in a longer route than usual, through a bit of the very posh Kenny Hills or Bukit Tunku (Kings Hill) area. 'Twas an easy ride and as usual my HRM went crazy as I cycled alongside the railway tracks, so I won't go that way again. From now on I'll try to leave the house at 6.30am which gives me an hour to do about 25km on nicer roads. The final 30mins before 8 gives me time to stop sweating profusely and have a shower.

That night we went to a surprise birthday party for Sasha held by one of her mates. Sasha was blindfolded on the way. It was quite a good party - I talked to Marco, Jackie's Cuban salsa teacher and all-round entertainer, an exchange student from Ghana, a Philippino architect, a German exchange student....quite a mixed bunch. Unfortunately after I started drinking gin & tonic, someone must have offered me a cigar in the wee hours, which hasn't done my health any good. Anyway I'll make up for it tonight when I go out for another crazy 25km night bike ride with the Pedalphiles.

Consequently I felt awful on Sunday and didn't rise 'till 11am+. I dragged myself and Lucas out to see the Mens Elite race of the KL Mountain Bike Carnival (photos coming soon).

In the evening I watched the Czech MotoGP with Lucas, then a bit of the Man U match, then to bed. The next MotoGP is in 3 weeks and it is in.....Malaysia.....hooray!!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Tour De Puchong

Having felt too lazy to go out cycling on Tuesday night and not too interested in doing the Harriettes run on Wednesday, I decided to join the "Puchong-Putrajaya Express" Thursday night 50km bike ride. I arrived early but couldn't see any bikers but found them with 5mins to spare. I got ready just in time and met one guy and chatted for about 2 mins before the 30 or so riders all whizzed off, 3 minutes late - which is early for Malaysians!! I joined the heavy 5 lane traffic and caught up the bunch in a couple of mins. We averaged 35kmh for a few km so I asked someone "is this the fast bit or the slow bit" - he said "slow" - I was dropped after 7km and gave up - it was like the Tour De France, but on a humid, dark, 4 lane highway with lots of crazy drivers around!! I still managed 21km at a respectable average of 28kmh. That's the last time I do that ride - I'll stick to 25km Tuesday night "recovery rides" from now on!

Monday, August 14, 2006

A Busy Sunday

I woke up at 5.45am yesterday to get up and run 10km around one of the few remaining green belts in KL - Bukit Gasing (Gasing Hill) with Joel. This was the Bukit Gasing Green Challenge 2006 - a charity event. It took us 2 hours, up and down some fairly steep slopes. I was feeling very tired (physically) which I attribute to not eating the night before (due to a massive Saturday lunch) and not having much brekkie.

I got home at 10.30am and relaxed for a while, ate a bit, played indoor badminton with Lucas, and at 12.30 a pest-control guy came round to see what he can do about our termites!!

At 1.30 I drove to a nearby town called Semenyih to take Lucas on the KL Junior Hash. He had great fun, as always, walking about 1.5-2km around a rubber tree plantation, with Fiona and Megan, playing with the accompanying dogs, shouting "On On" all the time. The 3 of them were first home! After that they spent about an hour playing with sand and water by the riverside.

Home at 7pm, then back out at 9.30 to watch the Community Shield. Liverpool won 2-1 and thank God there was no extra time as I had to sleep, and did - like a baby - but only until 6.20am. HOORAY - my weekend was over in a flash and now back to work!!

MMDS2 - New Photo!

Here's another photo of me checking my HRM on the 25km bike leg of the last Duathlon. Once I've bought it I can get rid of the watermark!

Thursday, August 10, 2006


I've started adding some links (see right) to some websites of either activities that I am involved in or favourite websites like (all you ever wanted to find out about music releases) and (movies database). I must add, which I think is a great site.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Model Boy

Lucas did some modelling recently...this is a good excuse to post a nice photo of him from Paul & Sam's wedding. By some clever trickery I managed to copy this photo from the photographers website even thought the right mouse-click options are disabled to stop people doing that! Adrian 1-0 Photographer!!

Lucas spent half a day in a house with a school uniform on having his photo taken with his "Dad" who was tying his tie. So we should see Lucas in some local print ads for CIMB Bank (new bank formed by a recent merger) at the end of August. We'll send you some copies if we see them. He got paid almost 300 quid for that!

He's also been shortlisted for another ad campaign for winter clothes and will be trying the clothes for size tomorrow. All the earnings is going into his savings.

He's on holiday from school now - another week off I think, and then he'll be in Primary 1 - already!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Old Gombak Road Hill Climb

I was unable to get up at 6.30am as planned due to my dining expploits the night before, but managed to get out of the house at about 10am to cycle up the Old Gombak road as I had been planning to do all week. If I didn't do it I'd be in a bad mood with myself all day, which isn't so nice for anyone.

I set off from a Kampong (village) a few km downhill from where I normally start and decided to go all the way to the top without stopping. The ride up this road is very nice. As you leave the kampong there is very little traffic, and all you can hear is the sound of the birds and insects in the trees. The road is quite narrow and winding all the way with steep ravines and small streams on either side. About halfway up the monkeys begin to show themselves. This time none of them chased me! I was passed by many cyclists enjoying the downhill run, but didn't see anyone going up - I was the last I suppose. Some guy on a motorbike stopped to photograph me cycle past him.

Despite an uncomfortable bum, soothed by standing up now and again, I plodded on up to the top, without stopping, in 1st gear. After a couple of minutes break I began my descent (this is the 25minute reward for 1 and a half hours of climbing! I descended in 24minutes, at an average speed of about 40kmh - pretty fast for a winding road - but didn't quite ever manage to achieve 60kmh.

Next time I'll start/finish from home (another 25km on top of the 41km i did today). Next bike ride will be with the Pedalphiles (dodgy name!) on Tuesday night. That'll be my second ride with them.

Cuban Saturday

Went out for a meal with Jackie last Saturday night to a fairly posh restaurant (not sure if it was called The Loft or Mezza Note) on "Asian Heritage Row". We met the cheerful and rather round Cuban chef, who looked like Santa Claus, and had a tiny Caribbean Salad, followed by a nice Aberdeen Angus steak (me) and a nice bit of fish (Jackie). I was feeling a bit flush so I splashed out on a shot of Sambuca to wash it down - lovely!

Towards the end of the meal the Cuban band (actually from Cuba) came on (the same band we had seen a few weeks ago in the Nikko Hotel). They are the best band of that kind I've seen, and this has nothing to do with the fact that one of the rather shapely female singer/dancers spent almost the entire performance strutting towards Jackie and I and deliberately flicking her skirt up to expose most and sometime almost all of her naked bum as she spun round! Later on I was the first to be "volunteered" to join a "locomotion" style dance around the restaruant. Many others including Jackie joined in behind me to share the limelight.

We bumbed into a couple of relatives who were dining with a large group that included some Malay chap who I was sure is a Government Minister or some corporate big-wig or something like that. As we left we made our way past a host of Ferrari's, Porsche's and Subaru Impreza's and jumped into our humble Proton Wira and went off to pick up Daryl on the way home.


I finished watching "V For Vendetta" last night. All I knew about it was that it was a low-key cinema release here a few months ago, Natalie Portman had her hair shaved off, and the guy in the mask was from an 80's comic. It was surprisingly good - recommended viewing. Reminded me of 1984 by Orwell. Miss Portman is very good at crying, just like in Leon when she was about 9 years old. Next DVD's to watch are Munich and Brokeback Mountain - all from BB Plaza for about gbp1.50 each - bargain! I also watched Crash recently - that was pretty good too.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Back In Fitness Mode

Now that I've recovered from my recent ill-health and had a good workout last weekend at the MMDS2, I'm fully back in mood for exercising. So I cycled to work this morning (Saturday) in relatively slow 35:33 along the normal route. I really didn't put much effort in and my average heart rate was 128bpm. I finally sussed out that the reason my HR monitor goes crazy towards the end of the ride is that I pass over electrified railway tracks and under electiricity pylons. That explains the 110kmh speed and 234bpm heart rate! My plan is to cycle up the Old Gombak Road tomorrow morning. It's an old winding two-lane road leading North out of KL up towards the Genting Highlands. I normally ride up to the Genting Sempah tunnel and back. The road rises about 500m (according to my HRM) over about 15km - so not a very long ride but it is uphill all the way. Very popular with cyclists.

Friday, August 04, 2006

MMDS2 2006 - Putrajaya

By the time I arrived in Putrajaya at about 6.30am, after getting a bit lost, I realised that my nose was still not quite right, but anyway I didn't have a headache and I didn't feel physically tired, so on we go!

I registered, had "502" drawn on my upper arms in permanent ink markers, and parked my bike. I realised that I had no tyre levers so I decided to ditch all bike/tyre repair kit and hope for the best. I did some stretching and a bit of very light jogging to warm up. Was pleased to observe an almost completely flat run-course. One thing that really struck me was the vast number of incredibly-expensive looking bikes on view. I really thought that if the quality of the bikes was reflected in the class of the competition then I'd be last for sure, apart from the two under-10's on BMX's! As it turned out later on, rider speed and bike cost are totally unrelated, as I managed to pass and overtake about 19 fellow Sprint Duathletes, many of whom were on bikes that wouldn't look out of place in the Tour De France peloton.

You can see me in the second photo, just above 578's head. Already at the back before we even start!

We set off at 7.50am sharp and I wasted no time in being 2nd last. I remained 2nd last for about 1k until I was overtaken by a cheerful Farah Merican, pushing me into last place. I vowed to catch her on the bike section. However my slow start experience tells me that I will always start to catch those who start too quickly, and indeed I did. After 3k I had overtaken 3 people. Still about 4th last though!! I was running noticeably slower thatn I'd normally do 5k and finished in a little under 40 mins, some 5-7mins more than usual for that distance.

Happy that my least favoutire section was over, I got on my bike and settled down at a reasonable pace. I felt pretty good on the bike and was going up the hills about the same speed as most others. I caught Farah after about 15minutes. I was pretty pleased to progressively overtake more and more Sprinters, but needed until most of the way round to catch up some young lad on a BMX! I really enjoyed the downhill bits, crouching into an aero position and freewheeling, yet managing to overtake those who were sitting up and pedalling - really shows you how important aerodynamics is.

I ran out of water just as I got to the water station - good timing! I had driven up the final climb whilst lost earlier in the morning - and it looked pretty tough - but wasn't too bad in the end. I swept back down towards the main Boulevard and thought that was it, although I should've known better as I'd only been cycling for 50mins or so. I kept plugging away for the final 3-4k and finished the 25k in a respectable (considering illness and lack of training) 1h 8mins.

Here I am (crouching next to my bike - no. 502, the one that's 6" higher than everyone elses) putting my runners on for the final 3k, closely followed by a kid half may age!!

The final 3k run was a bit slow and I really just wanted to get it over with. About 1k in I noticed Farah on the other side of the course, about 5 mins behind me. I got caught by one guy in the final 0.5k but as I had just watched another Sprinter run off into the distance after missing the u-turn, my overall placing was unaffected.

I finished in 2:14:26, outside my target of 2:00:00, but never mind, I did well to get out of bed! On the way home, after drooling over some nice Cinelli frames that were on-show, I cheered on Patsy Yap as she embarked on her final 5k run in the full-distance race.

Now looking forward to the Lumut Duathlon in November, that has an even longer 30k bike ride - hooray!

The Lazy Period - June to July 2006

Having proven to myself that I am a supremely fit super-athlete, by finishing the MMDS1 Duathlon in April, and the New Balance Pacesetters 15k run in May (in 1:51:27, well inside my target of 2:00:00 - not bad considering I have never run that far before), I took a bit of a break from running/cycling/hashing 2-3 times a week. My body didn't like this sudden inactivity and repaid me with a dose of the flu in mid-June. A few fags at Paul's wedding in England on 30th June followed by a Hamlet cigar whilst watching Italy beat Germany in the World Cup semi didn't help much either.

As finishing a Sprint Duathlon was not such a big deal anymore, my desire to re-commence training didn't surface until mid/late July. I planned to start training by going to the KL Harriettes Hash in TTDI Park in KL on the evening of the 19th. I then planned to cycle 20k or so to work on the Saturday morning and do the Klang 10k run on the Sunday morning. My plans were crippled by a viral infection and a 40 degree fever that appeared suddenly on the 19th. This basically wiped me out and I couldn't face any kind of activity until the 25th when I managed to do about 18k on my bike in the evening. Later in the week my flu re-appeared in the form of an infected left sinus, which brought along a thumping headache with it. I was seriously doubting that I could do the Duathlon, which I had really be looking forward to for months, particularly as this one had a longer (25k) bike ride - which suits me better.

I thought that a comination of early-nights and prayers would do the trick. By Saturday night (Duathlon-eve) I needed a small overnight miracle. Miraculously, I felt good when I woke at 0515hrs on the Sunday morning despite Lucas lying next to me and sniffing all night (he had caught my cold), so off I went to Putrajaya, with the sole aim of finishing, in whatever time it takes.

My First Duathlon!

As part of my quest to get fit and stay fit from 2006 I have started taking part in several sporting events in and around KL. It all started with the Siemens 10k run, Merentas Desa 8k cross-country and the Power 10k run early in the year. I then signed up for my first Duathlon (run-bike-run). As I much prefer cycling to running, this kind of event suits me much better. I was a bit unsure of how I would cope with a combined 5k run-15km ride-3k run as my usual training involved a slow 5-6k evening jog and the occassional 15km cycle to work on a Saturday morning. As you can see from this first photo, I got off to a fairly slow start (I'm the tall one nearly in last place, with a blue cycling jersey, above the furthest right cone), but I always do that as I like to keep at the same pace for the whole event.

If I remember rightly I felt ok on the first 5k run and finished in about 33mins. I was way behind my fellow 10k run aquaintances Lee and Bhupinder but planned to catch them up on the bike ride - my strongest discipline. The 15k bike ride was great fun - it is so nice to cycle without traffic. I managed to cruise up Jalan Kuching at a fair pace, overtaking a few Sprinters and Long-distance competitors, and even got up the hill at Jalan Duta without much difficulty. The rest of the ride was uneventful, which was unfortunate as I had planned to catch-up and overtake Lee & Bhupi. The final run started off ok (as I started I caught a glimpse of Jackie, Lucas, Daryl and Sri who had come to cheer me on) but as soon as I hit the slight incline up past the JKR building I started to struggle quite badly. I ended up walking on 2 or 3 occassions for a few minutes at a time, so I reckon I lost 5-10mins on this run.

I finished in 1:32:15. I caught Lee and Bhupi by around 5 minutes on the bike ride but not enough to make up what I lost in the first 5k run. Never mind - I had a great time and signed up for the next round (MMDS2 - Putrajaya - 30 July 2006) within a few days.

As I left the course to cycle up to Lake Gardens to the car, some officials and a policeman got a bit concerned as they thought I was lost. They asked me to remove my race numbers. The policeman must have seen this as early-morning inspiration for a flutter on the 4D lottery, so he asked me to add a favourite digit to my race number - to help him choose his. So hopefully 5037 came up that day and earned him some extra cash.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Welcome to my Blog

Hello to anyone who reads this!

I have decided to jump on the blog bandwagon - seems like a good way to publish some info about me online that my family and friends around the World can catch up with what I've been up to. It'll also serve as a diary to reduce the load on my deteriorating memory. So this is the first post. More to follow tomorrow maybe. Might even get some images too.