Saturday, September 30, 2006

Swimmming, Rillette, Puncak Alam, Lunch

Hi folks, here's some recent news.

Went for my now weekly swim on Thursday night. I did the usual 1000m but didn't bother trying to improve on my almost complete inability to do front crawl. I beat last weeks time by almost a minute with a heart rate 1bpm less - good eh?!? One more session to go before my 750m open water swim next weekend.

MY training plans took a slight but pleasurable knock last night as I went out for dinner & drinks with Jim and James (colleagues). After a few beers we ended up in a nice French restaurant where I had "French" pizza (cream cheese replacing the tomato paste), rillette (I finally found somewhere in KL that has this lovely delicacy!) and then coq au vin. All very tasty, and washed down with red wine. At that point I was trying very hard to go home (10.15pm) and sleep well before my Saturday a.m. 23km bike ride to work, but my arm was severely twisted and I just had to go to another bar with J & J for a few JackDaniels & Ginger Ales.

I retired at 12.15am and failed to get up in time for my ride. Never mind - I'm cycling 70km to Puncak Alam on Sunday morning. I have some new "toys" for my bike. A small compressed air cylinder and adaptor to quickly inflate a tyre after a puncture, a compact multi-tool thingy (6 allen keys and flat/cross-head screwdrivers), a nice wee saddle bag to put them and a spare inner tube in, and a couple of new aluminium bottle cages, one of which will occupy the space vacated by the now redundant pump. Now I can go on a long bike ride with puncture repair kit and lots of water without needing anything (apart from a banana, car keys and cash) in my jersey pockets. It's also good planning for my triathlon where I need to jump on my bike quickly without having to load up my jersey with bits n pieces.

Was going out for a meal with Jackie tonight but we've had a change of plan - she's off out for dinner with her pal Nora, who is soon jetting back to her home in Sri Lanka. I'll relax and watch Bolton v Liverpool, and we'll go out for a nice Sunday lunch in a posh hotel - perhaps Dim Sum at the Shangri-La or a buffet at the Renaissance - sounds good eh?!?

Next post on Sunday night or perhaps Monday. Bye for now...

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Mega Supermodel Lucas!

Lucas was recently shortlisted to model for Dutch Lady milk. He did a test photo shoot last week at which the client was a bit surprised at his height and lack of chubbiness - so we thought "no chance"!

Surprisingly he was chosen and spent all today (9.30 to 6.30) in a studio being shot. He'll end up on milk tins and packets in Malaysia, Indonesia & Vietnam and will get paid about 4,000 quid!!

So now we've told him he doesn't need to get out of bed for less than 4 grand!

He was a bit uncooperative in the morning but an injection of caffeine and chemicals (1/2 a can of coke and a bit of chocolate) soon sorted that out!!


I got my medical results yesterday. Basically everything ok apart from slightly high "bad" cholesterol and slightly low "good" cholesterol. So I'll be trying a bit harder to avoid cholesterol in my diet. On a positive note, I have "Sinus bradycardia" - sounds bad - but means a low heart rate i.e. I am FIT!! Hooray! Normal ECG. Dual heart rhythm (good) with no murmurs. Marginally low red blood cell count.

I didn't see the cardiologist due to the unusual system operated in Malaysia whereby you can make an appointment if you want to but the Doc just see's whoever comes in - 1st come 1st served. Wierd!? I'll go again in a week or 2.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Great Bike Ride with Profile!

I had a most enjoyable bike ride around the Hulu Langat valley this morning, my first Sunday ride with the Pedalphiles. We covered 52km, including the 10km Genting Peres climb (rising about 1000 feet) and the short sharp Tekali climb, rising about 500 feet over a distance of 2.5km.

Here, for your viewing pleasure, is an image of the output from my wonderful Polar HRM that I so look forward to looking at after each exercise.

Blue is speed, red is HR, dark red is altitude (click image to load a big one). As you can see we had a roughly 15km flat-ish warm up followed by the main climb. This took 40minutes to go up, and 15 minutes to go down. The descent was fun as always but too winding to get any real speed up. The second climb went better than expected, although it was twice as steep as the first one. The descent was great and I managed to reach 69km/h!!

More to follow.

Saturday, September 23, 2006


I swam 1000m in about 27 minutes on Thursday night, followed by some lame attempts to do front crawl. I can do it fine without breathing!! Breathing to the right is ok, but to the left is a bit difficult - i suppose i'm a right-sided kinda guy.

That was an easy pace, HR only 142bpm. Next week I'll try a bit harder - 24 minutes target.

I cycled to work this a.m. averages 29.8kph/135bpm - quite good i think! Legs & HR ok, but chest a bit tight. This in addition to my suspicion yesterday that my throat was a wee bit swollen and feeling more tired that i should considering my sleeping hours, leads me to conclude that I might be coming in for a cold. If i'm right it's good as it'll be gone by the time my triathlon comes up, but bad as it'll mess up my last 2 weeks training. If i can keep it at bay for another 24hrs, do my hilly 50k ride on Sunday, perhaps my body will banish it!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Medicals & Toes

I had a medical on Tuesday morning and will get the results next Tuesday. All I know is that everything seemed ok and my lung function is 92%!! I did and ECG, blood & wee tests, chest X-ray too! On Tuesday I'll do an echo and stress test.

On Sunday night I had a mini medical emergency, stubbing my left small toe on our bed leg so hard that the nail got pulled of about 3/4 - no exaggeration!! It took what seemed like a second or two for the pain signals to reach my brain and when they did - my goodness!! - it was very painful!!! But it doesn't look too bad now and doesn't stop me cycling or swimming.

Off to the pool again tonight. Only 2 weeks until my Triathlon so I have to either improve my breaststroke/strengthen arm/leg muscles, or teach myself front crawl.

Bye for now!

More Genting Trailblazer Photos

Here's some more shots coutesy of fellow Bangsar Hasher Aileen, who was standing around marshalling as her partner pulled out at the last minute...

Here's me, Michael, Graham & wife Nina, and Joel before the start. (2 teams of 2).

Joel and I (looking rather cheerful) - again before the start.

...and finally a fantastic action shot of me actually running (that means it was either downhill, or in the first 10 inutes!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Mizuno Wave Run 2006

Here's Joel (little one) and me (big handsome one) after finishing this 10k run in 1h 14m.

For the first time on a run this length I felt quite good from the start and so thought a good time would be forthcoming. Sadly not as I came home over 4mins past my target. I am sure this run was over 10k, say 10.8k and I WILL cycle the route to try to prove this!!

Friday, September 15, 2006

My 2006 Event Results

This is partly me showing-off, but you might be interested too...

2006 Completed...

15/1 Siemens Run, 10k, Road, 1h19m32s, 162bpm
10/2 FTAAA Milo Power Merentas Desa, 8k, road/off-road, 1h12m00s, 159bpm
19/3 Power Run, 10k, Road, 1h19m14s, 158bpm
16/4 Polis Run, 10k, Road, 1h16m47s, 154bpm
23/4 Malakoff Sprint Duathlon 1, 5k/15k/3k, 1h30m37s, 162bpm, 49th/85 in 161% of winning time.
30/4 Interhash 2008 Bid, 1h45m55s, 157bpm
13/5 Petaling Hash, Pangsun, 11k*, off-road, 2h19m13s, 155bpm
21/5 NB Pacesetters Run, 15k, road, 1h49m47s, 159bpm, 436th/482 in 218% of winning time.
16/7 Seremban Run, 11k, road, 1h23m42s, 152bpm
30/7 Malakoff Sprint Duathlon 2, 5k/25k/3k, 2h13m20s, 163bpm, 36th/58 in 160% of winning time.
13/8 Bukit Gasing Green Challenge, 10k*, road/off-road, 2h01m30s @ 150bpm, 51st/74 in 195% of winning time.
03/9 Genting Trailblazer, 12k*, off road, 2h16m17s @ 155bpm
10/9 Putrajaya 10k, road, 1h9m44s @ 154bpm
17/9 Mizuno Wave Run, 10.1k, road, 1h14m07s @ 155bpm, 830th/1032 in 218% of winning time.
8/10 Pulai Sprint Triathlon, 750m/20k/5k, 1h42m05s, 27th/37 in 140% of winning time.
29/10 Chin Woo Biathlon, 800m/-/7k, 1:06:03. No HRM and don't know winning time!
5/11 Subang 10k, road, 1:05:23 @ 153bpm.
11/11 Malakoff Sprint Powerman, 4k/30k/4k, 2:02:11 @ 165bpm
12/11 IOI Community Run, 7.3k in 53:46 @ 138bpm
18/11 Wangsa Maju Setiawangsa Run, 8.4km in 54:11 @ 152bpm.

* = estimated distance

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Putrajaya 10k Photo

Once again thanks to KC (?) - the roving Pacesetters photographer, I've found another photo of me (almost of me!), this time at the start of the recent Putrajaya 10k run...,and ..quel surprise!!...I am checking my HRM, as I seem to be doing in many photos of me. Actually this is the start so I'm just checking that my stopwatch has started...I'm the one with the white headband (as usual)...

Monday, September 11, 2006

MotoGP 2006 - Rossi does his usual last lap 'take!

I took Lucas and his cheerful chum Meheer to the MotoGP yesterday. I was praying for a dry afternoon following Saturday's farce when I took a 1/2 day leave and made a 120km 3hr round trip only for the Qualifying to be cancelled for the first time in history due to ridiculously heavy and prolonged tropical rainfall!!!

First photo is of me and Lucas in the Pit Lane on the Saturday. I was hoping to see the riders but they'd gone. There was an autograph session planned - but cancelled due to the rain - bummer! I was really hoping Lucas could see his man - Loris Capirossi.

Here's the two wee rascals posing in front of a nice Aprilia racing bike. We watched the 250cc race - the two boys were quite excited by all the noise, helicopters, planes (KLIA is next door), thousands of bikes, the Safety Car whizzing around etc...

Their favourite hand signal is, as shown, palm out two-fingers, which is ok - but at one point Lucas began waving his middle finger (both hands at the same time) around!!! Had to stop that one!!
In case you didn't know, at MotoGP races it is obligatory to raise one's knees to one's face out of respect to the riders, as they whizz by - here's the boys doing just that! Oh what fun!

The main race was excellent - one of the closest battles of the season, between our man Loris (Ducati) against the amazing Valentino Rossi. Rossi lead ealry on, then Loris overtook but Rossi was on his tail all the way. They exchanged the lead on the last few laps, when Rossi did his usual trick - overtaking an the last lap to win by <1 second. We found some mini-motos on the way out and the boys did some more posing...

Putrajaya 10k

I did the 10km run in Putrajaya yesterday in a new PB of 1h 9m 44s! My previous best was 1h 16m 47s. As I feel a bit fitter than my last 10k I set a target of under 1h15m. At the 2km marker my watch was on under 14min (= 1h 10m pace) which was good. The next few km markers seemed to be wrong (e.g. 4km was timed at 23mins, which is way too fast!). I plodded along, eventually pulling away from a few old folks I'd been running with. I was beginning to think it was going to be a "short" 10k but the lasst few km stretched out and appeared to be the right distance. As I approached the finish I saw I could dip under 1h 10m so went for it a bit and ended up 16s inside - hooray!

At home I plugged in my HRM and compared the data to my first 10k in early 2006. I have now run 10 minutes faster with the same average HR (154bpm) as then. This suggests I am fitter but today was a flat course. Next Sunday I'll do the hilly 10k Mizuno Wave Run - that'll be a better judge. Photos to follow if I find any.


Thanks to the Pacesetters photographers, I have found a good photo of Joel and I about 7-8km around the 12km Trailblazer we did recently. I look surprisingly cheerful!! Here it is...........

Don't forget you can click on the images to load a full size version.

I wore gloves (as did many people) to avoid filling my palms and fingers with thorns and splinters!!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Lucas Supermodel Celebrity!!

Lucas is now a Internation al Supermodel!! This photo is from the website, and he's on a full-page photo in all the local daily papers (English ones at least).

By the way - his "Daddy" in the photo isn't me.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


In memory of a great man. Ronnie RIP.

This was originally shown on on BBC TV back in the seventies. Ronnie Barker could say all this without a snigger (though god knows how many takes).
Irony is that they received not one complaint. The speed of delivery must have been too much for the whining herds. Try getting through it without converting the spoonerisms [and not wetting your pants] as you read ...

This is the story of Rindercella and her sugly isters.

Rindercella and her sugly isters lived in a marge lansion. Rindercella worked very hard frubbing sloors, emptying poss pits, and shivelling shot.
At the end of the day, she was knucking fackered.

The sugly isters were right bugly astards. One was called Mary Hinge, and the other was called Betty Swallocks; they were really forrible huckers; they had fetty sweet and fetty swannies. The sugly isters had tickets to go to the ball, but the cotton runts would not let Rindercella go.

Suddenly there was a bucking fang, and her gairy fodmother appeared.
name was Shairy Hithole and she was a light rucking fesbian. She turned a pumpkin and six mite wice into a hucking cuge farriage with six dandy ronkeys who had buge hollocks and dig bicks

The gairy fodmother told Rindercella to be back by dimnlight otherwise, there would be a cucking falamity.

At the ball, Rindercella was dancing with the prandsome hince when suddenly the clock struck twelve. "Mist all chucking frighty!!!" said Rindercella, and she ran out tripping barse over ollocks, so dropping her slass glipper.

The very next day the prandsome hince knocked on Rindercella's door and the sugly isters let him in. Suddenly, Betty Swallocks lifted her leg and let off a fig bart. "Who's fust jarted??" asked the prandsome hince. "Blame that fugly ucker over there!!" said Mary Hinge. When the stinking brown cloud had lifted, he tried the slass glipper on both the sugly isters without success and their feet stucking funk.

Betty Swallocks was ducking fisgusted and gave the prandsome hince a knack in the kickers. This was not difficult as he had bucking fuge halls and a hig bard on.

He tried the slass glipper on Rindercella and it fitted pucking ferfectly.

Rindercella and the prandsome hince were married. The pransome hince lived his life in lucking fuxury, and Rindercella lived hers with a follen swanny.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Sore Legs and More

My leg muscles are into their second day of pain following the "Wild" Trailblazer on Sunday. If I site for 5mins or more I struggle to get up like an old man. This is putting a big dent in my hopes to go for my weekly Tuesday night "recovery" 24km bike ride. And with a 10k run (Putrajaya - Men's VETERAN category!!!) coming up on Sunday, I feel the need to exercise every other day. "See how lah" as they say in M'sia.

On the subject of hearts (I read Max's email today) I have bought a 1-yr overseas membership of the Cardiomyopathy Association, in the hope that I can obtain some information from them that will inform me how likely I am to drop down dead without warning. As a Engineer who tends to analyse things and look at things quantitatively, if I can get my hands on some juicy stats that show I am more likely to be killed by a stingray (like poor old Croc Hunter) than to die from the condition that I "probably" have, maybe I'll begin to spend less than 90% of my waking hours thinking about it.

I am going for my yearly Shimizu medical on the 19th, 2 days after yet another early Sunday morning 10k run. I hope to arrange a stress-test and echo at the same time. I have done more exercise this year than ever in my life I think, so I am hoping to see some weight and blood cholesterol reduction compared to last year. I have dropped to 88kg for the last few weeks, compared to the usual 90kg.

I love my HRM stats. Since I got it in early 2006 I've done 64hours of exercise and burned 40,000 calories. More to follow!!

I am now trying to find a decent public swimming pool in KL so I can do some swimming training for my triathlon in October.

October = Birthday!!!!!! Hooray!!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Genting Trailblazer 2006

Yesterday morning Joel & I took part in the 14km "Wild" category of the 2006 Genting Trailblazer. This involved running along trails cut through the forest/jungle of the Genting Highland near KL. It was actually about 12km. A lot of the route was on steep slopes with lots of rattan and bamboo. The organisers had cut steps into the slopes and layed ropes on steep sections to make life a bit easier. There were a couple of easy river corddings but at the end was a man-made obstacle course of water-filled pits, steep earth walls and 25m long pools (see image). We finished in 2h27m. I felt much better than I did 3 weeks ago on the Bukit Gasing Challenge - mainly due to having eaten a good high-carb meal the night before, and having done about 50km cycling per week since then. I hope to get some photos of us in action soon. Here's some of the obstacles we had to endure....