Monday, October 30, 2006

Moto GP Season Finale

For those of you who don't know, Moto GP is miles more exciting than F1.

Mid-season: Consistent Hayden 51 points ahead of Rossi
Second-half: Hayden consistent but Rossi catching up.
Penultimate Race: Hayden's young team-mate Pedrosa crashes into him to give Hayden his first DNF of the season, and Rossi takes a narrow Championship lead.
Malaysia GP:Rossi and Capirossi play out a fantastic cat & mouse duel for almost the whole race (I was there!)
Final Race: Rossi makes a rare mistake and crashes on Lap 5. Hayden races a nervous 25 further laps to finish 3rd and take the title.

Lucas (5 years old today) & I really enjoyed the season and can't wait for 2007!

Chin Woo Biathlon 2006 Race Report

No stopwatch or HRM for this event as it is being serviced! According to the timekeeper at the finish I finished in 1:06:03, about 4 minutes inside my target. Considering that I verified the run distance as being exactly correct (7km) by driving the course the day before, and that I didn't seem to run particularly fast, I am a wee bit surprised that I managed to finish so far inside my 1:10:00 target. My time was actually calculated as 2:06:03 minus 1 hour according to the timekeeper. I guess this is because the competitors were spilt in to 3 groups with staggered starts, so they will have been recording cumulative times. I must have started exactly 1 hour after the first group.

Assuming a 22min swim and a 1min transition, I did 7km in 43 mins - that is 1:01:00 pace for 10km!

Subang 10km run on Sunday morning!

More to follow...

Friday, October 27, 2006


Here's a spreadsheet of the details of all the climbs I've done recently around KL. I'll update it now and again. If you like this sort of thing look at (mostly European climbs).

Film 2006

I have watched quite a few movies recently...

  • Derailed (Clive Owen & Jennifer 'Friends' Aniston) - Average acting, but interesting story with a twist. Worth watching.

  • Rabbit-proof Fence (Branagh) - Brits who think they know best splitting up half-caste Aussie families)

  • Lucky Number Slevin (Kinglsey,Freeman, Willis) - Surprisingly good. Tarantino-esque.

  • North Country (Theron, Harrelson) - interesting enough to keep watching but a bit predictable.

  • Snow White (White, Dwarfs, Queen, Prince) - the thing that amazed me about this 70 year old film is the absolutely spot-on animation of body and clothing movement when Snow White dances, without the help of computers.

  • M:I - 3 (Cruise) - typically good standard Hollywood action fare.

  • Fun With Dick And Jane (Carrey) - satisfyingly amusing.

  • ...very much looking forward to watching The Departed and Casino Royale soon.

    Deeparaya Rides

    I just had 5 days off work (combined Deepavali and Hari Raya break) so managed a couple of long-ish bike rides. On Monday I cycled up Old Gombak Road to Genting Sempah, then tried to climb further up towards Genting. Unfortunately I didn't get very far after Genting Sempah (about 2km) as the road becomes very steep. Here's the profile...

    If I had a smaller gear on my bike (current smallest is 42 x 23) and wasn't intent on limiting my HR max I could have gone further - I had the energy and strength.

    Sempah is the first peak, then downhill to the R&R stop, then back up another 200m climb to my highest point.

    Tuesday was a couch potato day, but on Wednesday I went cycling again, despite having to drive back home to collect my front wheel, which I had forgotten!!

    I cycled from the Mosque near Batu Caves, all the way North to Ulu Yam. I couldn't face retracing my steps as planned, so continued to Ulu Yam Lama and back to KL through Rawang. Here's the profile for that ride...

    The first small peak is the climb up and into the valley, next to the lake, followed by a gentle uphill ride about halfway to Ulu Yam. This is followed by a fantastic long and fast downhill on which I managed to reach 76.6km/h (47.6mp/h) with very little effort!

    The road back to Rawang is rolling, the final climb from 50 to 60km being south out of Rawang towards Selayang.

    As always when I ride North out of KL on the Ulu Yam road, my legs felt weak and my pace was very slow. However after a water stop in Ulu Yam at 30km I felt great. My theory is that this is due to my high-carb brekkie not reaching my muscles until 2-3hrs after eating it.

    I got absolutely soaked in a proper tropical rainstorm around Rawang. Apart from being a bit worried about hitting submerged potholes, it was quite good fun!!

    Friday, October 20, 2006

    Selamat Hari Raya & Happy Deepavali!

    Selamat Hari Raya & Happy Deepavali! to everyone who's celebrating!! Drive carefully.

    Latest Swimming News

    I went for another swim at Bukit Jalil last night, and tested out my flashy new swim gear. Despite seeming a bit slow and not concentrating properly on my stroke, I managed 750m in 18:44, a new PB. The 1000m came up in 24:53, also a PB. Here's my recent swim times, latest first...

  • 750m - 25:07 - 20:43 - 20:08 - 19:53 - 18:44
  • 800m - 20:02
  • 1000m - 28:11 - 27:04 - 26:47 - 24:53

  • I did put in a bit more effort with my arms this time. This and the improved hydrodynamics (big word!) from not wearing baggy beach shorts, improved my 750m timing by another 1:09.

    So, target time again... My target for the Chin Woo Biathlon is swim 800m in 20:00, transition 1:00, run 7km in 49:00...TOTAL = 1:10:00.

    Thursday, October 19, 2006

    Titiwangsa Lake Training Run

    As I drove home yesterday I was very very close to just going home and not going for a run. I really felt like I had an angel and a devil on my shoulders. The angel won and despite the haze and proximity of light rain, I managed 2 x 3km anticlockwise laps around Tasik Titiwangsa in record-beating time. I clocked 38:47 as opposed to a previous best of 49:06 on the same route, an amazing 20% improvement in time, at an average HR of 153bpm, only 2bpm or <2% higher than before.

    [In my last Duathlon 5km run in July (June?), it took me 39 mins to do only 5km, although admittedly I had barely recovered from illness then.]

    I really felt much better than before and knew that I was running much faster than earlier in the year. At that pace I would do 10k in 1:05:00. Next time I think I'll do 3 laps = 9km to see how I go, as I am hoping to beat the hour mark (for 10km) within 2006 or 2007. However I think my pace will have to be a bit slower as I'd want to keep my HR around 160bpm, whereas towards the end of yesterday's run it was rising up to 163-164bpm and that's only after 6km.

    Off swimming tonight, with my new 'Orca' swim briefs - lets see how much faster I can go without the drag of my usual Speedo beach shorts, which hardly count as performance swimwear.

    I am doing the 800m swim + 7km run Chin Woo biathlon in 10 days so should do some training. I'm doing an 8km Hash on Saturday afternoon, and might do another similar run on Sunday also.

    Next Mon - Wed will be a holiday, so I'd like to get at least one big bike ride in - I am actually thinking about seeing how far I can cycle up towards Genting Highlands (1500m? climb).

    Sunday, October 15, 2006

    PCC Ride - Genting Sempah to Bentong & Back

    Had another good ride with PCC this morning. There were about 12 of us to start with. Those that I can remember are James, Ivan, Annie, William, Dennis, Ronald, BK, Me and 4 others whose names I don't know. The day got off to a good start when Dennis showed me how to strap my fi'zi:k saddle bag to my saddle properly - thanks Dennis! As a reward here's a picture of his nice Wilier Triestina bike...

    Here's some of the gang getting ready at Genting Sempah R&R stop car-park...

    As you can see from this profile, courtesy of my wonderful Polar HRM, it was downhill all the way to Bentong, apart from a little blip at the end of the 35km outbound ride.

    'Twas a chilly start to the day, but warmed as we descended. There was very little traffic (good) but the road surface was a bit dodgy in places, so it was a leisurely descent. I only made it above 45kmh once.

    Once we got to the valley floor at about 17km I cruised along nicely behind 2 guys in front. Eventually they let me take over so I time-trialled a bit for a while until I'd had enough. Then I was joined by AD and Ronald. We stopped at the petrol station at 33km to regroup, at which point I got my camera out again...

    From L to R - William, Ivan, Annie, James, BK, Me!, ?, ? (sorry guys), AD.

    Another couple of km brought us to the famous Kedai Kopi Kow Po, for Ice Kacang, although I had Cendol. After 10 mins or so we were joined by the Bike Pro riders, some L2A riders including famous Malaysian triathlete and generally very fit girl - Kimberley Yap. I also bumped into Tony from Leighton's (big Aussie construction firm who I might want to employ me in the future!!).

    Here's the famous shop, with lots of bikes outside...

    On the return journey it was one big bunch of about 26 riders, led by the Bike Pro gang with Ronald and I clinging on at the back.

    We got sucked along at 30-35kph for about 17km until the gradient increased a little bit, at which point you can see my HR go up, and then down as I cracked and slowed down.

    It was only a matter of seconds before a few other also fell off the back of the group and before I knew it I was back in a bunch of 7 PCC riders - me + Annie, James, Ivan, William, BK, Ronald.

    As I messed about taking photos whilst cycling with no hands, the other 6 pulled away from me. After a while I caught and passed Ivan and could see BK and Ronald but the other 3 had gone off the front. I passed William as he waited to sweep up Ivan at the bottom of the climb, and slowly but surely caught Ronald and then BK.

    Here's the gang...

    The climb was quite shallow apart from a couple of short slightly steeper inclines. I was quite comfortable in 1st gear all the way up. Was pleased to note from my alititude reading that the seemingly flat bits were actually slightly uphill - thus explaining my slow speed.

    On this profile, red line is my HR, blue is speed and solid red is the terrain. The climb was about 400m (1200'). Note how speed drops dramatically after HR peaks at about km 18 - that's when I'd had enough of the Bike Pro pace!

    Friday, October 13, 2006

    Personal Targets

    Now we're coming towards the end of 2006 and I'm getting more and more involved in the sporting scene here, I've been forming a few personal targets in my mind, here they are...

    By the end of 2006:

  • Cycle to the top of Genting Highlands.
  • Cycle to the top of Fraser's Hill.
  • Learn how to swim front-crawl.

  • By the end of 2007:

  • Run 10k in under an hour. (Current PB is 1:09:47)
  • Complete a full-distance duathlon.
  • Complete a 20k run in under 2:20.
  • Complete a half marathon (21k) in under 2:30.
  • Buy a fantastic new road bike with Campag Record groupset, Mavic wheels & a posh frame!
  • Pulai Triathlon 2006 - Thumbnail Photos

    Here's some thumbnail photos I copied from the website. I'll probably buy all the photos from them and post them here soon. I really hope to get a photo of the start, or the swim, with me in it - showing off my cool green cap and blue goggles.

    BTW I'm not too impressed with the supposedly super-duper timing chip system. My official time was 1:42:05 but here I am clearly crossing the line no later than 1:42:02!

    Tuesday, October 10, 2006

    MMDS1 Photos

    I managed to find another couple of photos of me on some photo-sharing sites.

    These are from the Malakoff Sprint Duathlon held in KL in April.

    I'm the tall guy towards the top left - blue jersey/white chest/red lettering.

    In the second photo I'm near the right - you can see the green "M" on my jersey.

    Monday, October 09, 2006

    Latest Event Calendar

    Bold means I've actually signed up.


    18/11 - Wangsa Maju / Setiawangsa Run, 8.4k
    19/11 - Selayang 10k
    26/11 - Gunung Nuang Climbathon
    10/12 - KLIM 2007 Circuit Run 1, distance ?
    16/12 - Putrajaya Night Triathlon *NEW*
    17/12 - PDRM X-Country


    21 Jan - Pacesetters 20k, KL
    3 March - Singapore Duathlon
    March? - A'Famosa Triathlon, Malacca
    April? - Kenyir Lake Triathlon
    22 May - NB Pacesetters 15k, KL
    July? - PD Triathlon

    Chin Woo Biathlon 2006

    I have signed up for the Chin Woo Biathlon on 29th October. It's a 800m swim followed by a 7k run and will nicely help fill in the gap between the Triathlon I did yesterday and the Powerman Duathlon in Lumut on 11 November. It will also serve as incentive for me to continue to go swimming on a Thursday night. It's worth it as it's good exercise and I can still be home by 8pm. Without an event to train for I'd probably be at home watching TV!

    Pulai Triathlon 2006 - Race Report

    Race Day

    I arrived at the transition area quite early, about 7am. I then got my body 'numbered' and set up my gear (cycling shoes, helmet, sunglasses, jersey and race number belt) for the first transition. Ate a banana and drank a bit of water.

    Saw some fantastic looking bikes, including a good few Cervelo's. As I'd missed the race briefing I headed for the water to find out the route. We had to swim around the two furthest yellow buoys, which certainly didn't look 300+m away. After that I thought I'd test my new goggles anti-fog coating by going for a swim. The water was quite warm and I was delighted that my goggles didn't fog up at all. The water was calm, with perhaps only 1-2 feet of movement further out. That left about 10 mins until the start, so I hung around a bit, went for another dip.


    We got underway at 8am. I started from a wide position, as advised for the slow ones. After a few minutes I was quite surprised that the leaders were still only a short distance ahead and that there were others with me and behind me. As a breast-stroker I fully expected to be miles behind the bunch within seconds! As I continued it seemed that the buoys were indeed at the correct distance - they weren't as close as they looked! Had to stop for a second or two as a zig-zagging front-crawler swam across my path (at least breast-strokers go in a straight line!). I got to the first turn in about 8 minutes and was quite puzzled as I had expected it to take me about 13mins+.

    On the return leg I had the odd look ahead at the beach and couldn't see anyone running up it, so was even more surprised that I'd done 3/4 of the swim before the leader had finished. I kicked somebody behind me repeatedly for about a minute, but only once badly. My philisophy is that if you're behind, it's up to you to avoid those in front. I eventaully reached the beach in about 17minutes. The leader finished in just under 12mins.


    I jogged to the transition area and puyt my bike gear on. Was shocked to see my HRM reading 177bpm - the highest it's ever been. As swimming doesn't feel too strenous I think this reading might be an anomaly due to the change in environment from salt water to air (this affects the transmission of the signals). During the transition my left small toe caught the lining of my cycling shoe and after a few seconds of toe-wiggling to try to fix it didn't work, I resorted to removing and replacing the shoe - losing time in the process. This transition took me 1m33s. The fastest T1 time was 30s!!


    The first 500m was gently uphill and I was shocked to find myself struggling in 3rd gear. I was however fast enough to pass a couple on mountain bikes. My legs felt pretty weak, but after5/10mins they got used to the new motion. However I still felt quite slow and wasn't particularly enjoying the ride, especially as the haze made the atmosphere seem a bit depressing. I kept going and was pleased that I didn't see the leaders passing me in the opposite direction until I was almost at the u-turn point. I had 4-5 riders a few hundred metres in front of me but didn't manage to catch them. My heart rate was hovering just above 160bpm and I wanted to keep it there so I didn't push too hard. After the u-turn I slowed down a bit as I wanted to the start the run in the mid-150's bpm. I was passed by a couple of cyclists as my speed dropped, but morale was boosted by an official shouting "good climb" after the final hill, on which I think I caught up the guys in front. The final 500m downhill was easy and I even managed to get onto the big chainring! My ride time was 45m20s, inside my target of 48mins. The winners ride time was 35m36s.


    T2 is much easier. Shoes off, shoes on, helmet off, headband on, turn race number to front, run. I abandoned the idea of using lace clamps and tied my laces the normal way. This transition took me 1m17s, which is very slow. Next time I'll see how I can speed up lace tying!


    My least favourite disclipine and the first 5 minutes were awful! My body was telling me "you shouldn't be doing this!" however I plugged away at almost walking pace and felt gradually better as my legs got used to the second change in style. I seemed to be running very slowly, and was overtaken by a good few people. After 10 mins or so I realised that my stopwatch had stopped as it was in auto start/stop mode - very annoying, so I had to start it again manually! After the run u-turn I was pleased (for me anyway) that were at least a few people still behind me!! It was an almost flat course and I kept my HR at about 156bpm as I knew I'd speed up at the end and wanted to keep 10bpm in reserve. My no-sock running preparation earlier in the week worked a treat as the plaster on my big left toe prevented any blisters, although after 4k or so I could feel some other blisters but they weren't too painful. As we approached the end the organisers sneaked in a 200 or 3oo m loop past the point where we entered the course. I put a bit more effort and checked for anyone behind me, as I didn't want to be overtaken there so I ran along the final striaght to the finish. I don't normally feel inclined to raise my arms after a 10k run, say, but as this event had been quite tough and tiring, I did this time!


    According to the provisional results posted after the race finished, these were my times...

  • Swim - 17:42 (an amazing 35 people behind me!)
  • T1 - 1:33 (including footwear malfunction!)
  • Bike - 45:20 (32 people slower than me)
  • T2 - 1:17
  • Run - 36:08 (only 2 people slower than me!)
  • TOTAL - 1:42:05

    The individual winner finished in 1:12:55. My time was only 40% slower than the winner. In my recent duathlons I have finished 60% slower, and am normally around 100% slower (i.e. double the winning time) in runs. Does this mean I'm a bit fitter?? Hope so.

    For individual disclipines, my swim was the best (29th) next to ride (30th) and run (a lowly 43rd). My T1 and T2 times were 29th and an awful 47th respectively. There's no excuse for that as it's organisation and kit based, not fitness. However in my defence in T1 I had to replace a shoe and put on a cycling jersey with a broken zip. Next time I'll wear a top that I can swim with and be wary of shoe malfunctions! For T2 I'll sort out a faster way to tie my laces!

    Post Race

    I waited around for a while after i finished to cool down, drink some 100 Plus and water and watch the final finishers come in. I quite like the idea of a massage courtesy of the Pulai resort but there was a bit of a queue. I spotted Kristof Van Houdt and decided to introduce myself to him. He's a regular on the Malaysian running/duathlon/triathlon scene and finished 2nd in the long-distance event the previous day. We chatted for a few minutes and he seemed like a thoroughly nice bloke.

    Homeward Bound

    I had to head home then as I was planning to shop for a new printer for the PC with Jackie in the afternoon. I packed the car, changed, checked the results on the noticeboard and then headed off. I stopped at the nearby Petronas station and loaded up with petrol, water, Pepsi Max and a mars bar. I was feeling pretty tired on the way up the expressway to KL so stopped to buy a drink and Pringles to keep me awake! To avoid a repeat of yesterday;s episode when re the car engine wouldn't start after stopping whils quite hot, I decided to lock the car with the engine running, but keep the remote control so I could open it. Guess what - the remote wouldn't open the car. After much fiddling around with a long steel ruler, the Polis Bantuan (Help Police) came along and pryed open the drivers door and pushed the auto window button down with a long steel bar. They refused a "thank you" RM10. Another 30mins of my day wasted! I overcame this frustration by listening to some hip hop with extremely bad language in it.
  • Saturday, October 07, 2006

    Pulai Triathlon Tomorrow!!

    I'm off to Desaru this afternoon and am doing the 750m/20k/5k Sprint Triathlon in the morning. I'm not really sure how long the swim will take, as it is in open-water, but I'm guessing at 30mins. I like to set a target time for myself, so I reckon on swim 30mins, bike 48mins, run 35mins, 2 x transitions = 2mins, TOTAL = 1h 55mins.

    Thursday, October 05, 2006

    My Swimming Pool

    This is the Bukit Jalil pool where I've been training for the last four Thursdays. It's part of the National Sports complex built for the '98 Commonwealth Games. It's about 60p entry and a refundable 30p for a locker - bargain! Bukit means hill.

    Tuesday, October 03, 2006

    Climb Details

    Here's a list of climb locations, distances and average gradients. Being an Engineer and a cyclist , I love these stats!

  • Hulu Langat, Kg. Sg. Tekali (Westbound)
  • 161m in 2.5k @ 1:16
  • Hulu Langat,
  • Kg. Sg. Tekali (Eastbound) - tbc
  • Genting Peres (Eastbound)
  • 344m in 10.2k @ 1:30
  • Old Gombak Road from Highway Bridge to Genting Sempah
  • 502m in 16.6k @ 1:33
  • Bentong to Genting Sempah, 407m in 17.1km @
  • 1:42
  • SPRINT to Bkt. D'sara past Science Centre - 41m in 0.9k @ 1:22

  • Penchala Link Tunnel, TTDI to top - 100m in 1.9k @ 1:19

  • Puncak Alam loop hills - tbc
  • Monday, October 02, 2006

    Blog Target Market

    As I'm getting a bit more involved in the cycling/duathlon/triathlon/running scene here and have bumbed into a nice bunch of friendly bikers (Pedalphiles) I am going to add some more posts here that will be of interest to them (and me of course). So my blog will contain some family newsy items and also a few posts that will mean little to anyone except those swim/bike/run types in the Klang Valley (the valley in which KL lies). I've just got a new camera from Canon so I'll be able to take some snaps of my events/bike rides and post them here too.

    My current topic of interest is the next space...

    Sunday, October 01, 2006


    I have some good news regarding my slightly high "bad" (LDL) cholesterol level. According to my medical it should be <2.60 mmol/L (i think that is a volume ratio). I checked my last 3 years records - in 2004 it was 3.72, in 2005 it was 3.57. In my last medical it was 2.82. This is almost 30% lower than a year ago and only marginally high. This reduction also co-incides remarkably with a great increase in my exercising. My diet is no better than it was 2-3 years ago so it isn't diet related.

    Aiming for <2.60 next year!