Monday, December 31, 2007

Test Day

I dusted off Planet X and went for a whizz along the new KL-Putrajaya Highway this morning.

The entrance at Kg. Pandan roundabout is a perfect 20-min warmup away from my front door so once I hit the new tarmac I started my planned 3 x 15min intervals at max. effort. This is a (lactate) threshold test supposed to be done on a turbo trainer for accuracy.

Interval 1 - 35.23kph. Ave HR=152
Interval 2 - 32.40kph. Ave HR=155
Interval 3 - 32.75kph. Ave HR=151 (could have pushed a bit harder)

I cycled at a speed where I could just feel the lactic acid welling up in my legs. So it looks like my lactate threshold HR is about 153bpm (83% HRmax).

I was expecting a flat elevated highway but it turned out to be a bit of a rollercoaster ride...

Start = Kg. Pandan ramp, End = Plaza Tol Putrajaya, approx. 30.5km

Night Of The Living...

In about 1991, a friend lent me a generic music cassette with "Mundo Musique" handwritten on the label. It contained a number of wonderful early techno/acid tracks - a genre of music completely unfamiliar to me at the time. I was hooked and have been a big fan of techno ever since (amongst many other styles).

The tape is long gone, and I had no idea of any of the artists or titles. The handwritten title gave me a clue that led me to discover one track a few years ago...

but another favourite track remained elusive - a complete mystery - until yesterday!!! With a little help from the internet - YouTube (which I only "discovered" this year) - and some educated guesswork - I managed to find this little minimalistic gem from 1991.

Embedding is disabled, so you have to click here to sample the wonderful "Night Of The Living E-Heads" by The Hypnotist.

I must finish by saying that I am quite embarrassed that I love a track with a title like that!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

New Years Training

Hooray - I've got 3 days off from Sunday! My plans are...

Sunday 30th @ 6-6.30am: 20km run, Bukit Aman-Hartamas
Monday 31st - not sure, but probably a morning ride, and a swim squeezed in somewhere
Tuesday 1st @6.30am: 100km-10km brick, Masjid Putrajaya

anyone care to join me?


I've been unusually quiet on the blog front this week, so here's a quick review of my week...

Worked on Monday, but without much motivation as the Xmas spirit grew. Didn't go to church.

On Xmas Day I was out early for a few laps around the KLCC track, with 9 x 100m sprints for good measure. Then back home to help Lucas open his pressies. I collected our extremely expensive turkey and then - whizzing between the kitchen and the recipes on the computer - produced what I must say were a rather fine set of roast potatoes to go with our Xmas lunch (photo coming!). I started cracking open the beers mid-afternoon and we had about 20 or so friends and neighbours round for a party in the evening, where we opened all pressies. I got a nice pair of pewter cufflinks from Jackie. Lucas' favourite pressie was Connect 4. Despite the party I managed to get to bed reasonably early and didn't drink much.

On Boxing Day.....can't remember!...oh yes...lie-in.......went for a quick afternoon 67km spin up to Genting Sempah.

27th - worked. cycled home then off to cousin Leslie's Xmas get-together. Again I left early as I had to leave home at 6am the next day.

28th - ran 14km to work. worked. Took both my steeds to the Joo Ngan Bicycle hospital. Planet X was an outpatient and is now ok, but Shogun is in a bad way - suffering from head (set) and bottom (bracket) problems. So it looks like Planet X will be coming out to play in Putrajaya on Tuesday morning.

29th - work again. Pressed the wrong button on my alarm and so slept in until it was too late for my planned speed sesh on the Planet X on the NPE. Never mind - I'm 7 hours "up" in terms of bike training and I'll go for a swim later.

If you've no idea what on earth the title of this post is - click here.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Yet another Sunday filled to the brim with activity - making the most of my 24hr escape from my company's work-every-hour-God-sends culture.


I started a 20km run at 6.05am and appeared to be one of the first runners off, but as I approached Sri Hartamas I saw that there were a few early-risers ahead of me, including Shazly (with Stupe?), both of whom I didn't recognise at first in the dawn light.

On the way back I passed a procession of buddies still on their outward journey - Ray HKK, Ong Siok Bee, Shahrom, Jaja, Abu & Saiful, Ronnie pm1, Randy T, Simon X, Carmen. My HR was low (80% HR max) and I came home in 2:04:58 (33:01 - 33:10 - 26:41 - 32:07)....

- a whopping 11mins faster than 5 weeks ago - (35:17 - 34:45 - 30:24 - 36:06 = 2:16:32), with little difference in perceived effort...

My 3h20m target for 30km in January is looking more realistic now.

Aesops Fables

I chained Jackie to the kitchen, to ensure she'd get
everything ready for our Xmas party on time, and Lucas & I headed off to The Actors Studio in Bangsar to catch the penultimate Aesops Fables puppet show by Jim West.

We also had the obligatory Scalextric races, one of which Lucas won by merit (my car was defective of course - otherwise I would surely have prevailed!)

After a trip home to pick up some wedding pressies I left behind in my mad dash to the puppet show, we headed back out, to Puchong, to attend...

Laily's wedding

My former secretary's big day was upon us. We had some makan and then attended the bersanding.

Big - Faizal, Laily n Me
Small - Lucas n Sarah

Back at home I went for a swim with the little fella and then settled down to watch Man U v Everton. I have a funny feeling that sly old veteran Giggs knew EXACTLY what he was doing with his little run inside the box with a few minutes left. What looked like a dead-end turned into a penalty which earned the old Devil 3-points.

And so to bed.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Why Oh Why Oh Why... people buy squeaking shoes for toddlers?

Shoes like that surely must be way up there in the list of incredibly pointless and annoying things in life!!

Is it some kind of tracking device?


I love the way that some people put small emblems on their car number plates (with a bit of gold of course) as if to say "I've got wads of money and influential friends so think twice before you flag me down Mr Polis". Of course the cars should be black (it's a very official colour - don't you think so?)

On close inspection, some of these emblems say something wonderfully impressive such as Ahli Majlis (MP) or the Bar Council, but some just mention the State of origin.

I feel like making a line of pure gold emblems that look particularly intricate and impressive, but on closer observation have an embossed picture of a black-and-white mouse and the title "Kelab Mickey Mouse" or something like that!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

2007 Swim Times

My 2007 swim times...

(0:00) = current PB


0:54 (26 Apr)
0:53 (12 May)
0:50 (16 May)
0:47 (14 Nov)


2:45 (13 Apr)
2:18 (21 Apr)
2:15 (16 May)
2:05 (6 Jun)
1:49 (27 Jun)
1:41 (19 Dec)


5:55 (5 Apr)
5:02 (21 Apr)
4:56 (16 May)
4:04 (22 Aug)
3:54 (19 Dec)


6:27 (22 Aug)
6:06 (28 Nov)
6:05 (19 Dec)


11:36 (13 Apr)
10:17 (16 May)
8:40 (22 Aug)
8:08 (28 Nov)


10:24 (14 Nov)
10:20 (28 Nov)


28:50 (16 May)
23:45 (25 Jun)

Coach Peh reckons that Azwar and Simon had better watch out! I'm getting faster!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Swim Lesson #20

Bukit Jalil, 19/12/07
Coach Peh, Jasmine, Michelle, Christopher n me

9 x 100m warm -up [varied 1:54 with effort, to 2:01 easy] = 900m

2 x 100m 12KOS/rotate drills (alternate 25m drill 25m normal) = 200m

3 x 100m (25m drill-75m normal) -100m normal -100m normal, = 900m

100m-200m-200m-300m [6:05=PB by 1sec] = 800m

1 x 100m cool-down.

TOTAL 2,900m

This session included a 100m in 1:41 - a PB by 8 seconds at less than 100% and a 200m in 3:54, a new PB by over 6 secs.

NOTE: 12KOS/rotate drill = on side with arms by side, use kick to rotate body every 12 kicks for 25m, then 25 normal...repeat until 100m reached. Try to rotate using one full kick.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


I just noticed that KC (the 2nd Penguin) has posted the photo of me, Eugene and Chen on his blog with the caption "Three of the fast participants"!

"fast" - !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

KC - I am truly honoured!

TdL Route Announced

The Tour De Langkawi route has been announced (see my last post). The good news for me and most other road cycling fans near KL is that for two Sundays in a row the race will be heading up big climbs nearby.

The riders will be heading up to Genting (from Ulu Yam I reckon) on 10th Feb, and then up Bukit Tangga and Genting Peres (in that order) the following Sunday.

I will not be training for Langkawi the following weekend so it looks like my Sunday rides have been planned for me for those 2 weeks.

10 Feb: KL-Ulu Yam-Genting. watch the race. then home via Jln Gombak.
17 Feb: Broga loop perhaps? or a ride to Klawang or Titi and back?

Revamped route for Tour de Langkawi

By Shane Stokes

The 1,381.5 kilometre event begins in the north of the mainland on February 9. The opening stage takes the riders along mainly flat roads from Alor Star to Kulim, venue for the second stage finish in 2007.

A bunch finish is the most likely outcome but if a sprinter holds the first yellow jersey of the race, he will know that his time at the top of the leaderboard is limited. Stage two is the shortest of the 2.HC ranked tour but arguably the hardest; the 125.4 kilometre stage begins near the guava orchards of Tapah and passes the World War II battlefield at Slim River before heading for the high mountains.

The Hors Categorie climb of Genting Highlands will be on view from a long way out and once onto the steep ramps near the bottom, the peloton will fragment into many pieces as the lightweight climbers do their thing. Time gaps at the top will be considerable, upending the general classification and ruling many out of contention for the final victory.

A number of stages then follow which seem destined for sprint finishes or, perhaps, a small breakaway. Day three is the longest, taking the riders 195 kilometres from Lanchang to Cukai and passing over some undulating terrain en route to the finish.

Stage four is the second-shortest at 128 kilometres and skirts the coastal roads in the east en route to the finish at Kuala Rompin. The roads are mainly flat and a bunch gallop is once again the most likely outcome. Day five extends further along the coast, the 185.7 kilometre route from Kuala Rompin to Bandar Penawar being the first of three located in the province of Johor, and passing tropical forest reserves en route to the finish near Singapore.

The 183.2 kilometre sixth stage starts in Bandar Penawar, home to one of Malaysia's elite sports schools, and later crosses a Category Four climb just before Ulu Tiram. The mixture of flat and hilly terrain will take the riders towards a finish in Johor Baru, which last appeared in the race in 2004.

The same city is also the venue for the start of stage seven, a 128 kilometre leg to Batu Pahat. This features just one category four climb but the short distance is likely to result in some very fast racing en route to the finish.

A transfer then follows to Melaka, the start venue for the penultimate stage of the race. The route crosses a second category climb during the 150 kilometre distance to the finish in Seremban, providing a springboard for attacks on the yellow jersey.

However the final day seems a tougher prospect, with two third category and one second cat climbs dotted along the 153.8 kilometre ride to the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur. The race will conclude with three circuits in Kuala Lumpur before the final gallop to the line at the Sultan Abdul Aziz Building in Dataran Merdeka.

A record total of 25 teams have been forecast for the 2008 tour. Five of these will be ProTour outfits, while 10 others will come from Asia. The identities of the teams and riders will be revealed closer to the race.

13th Tour de Langkawi (2.HC), Malaysia, February 9-17, 2008

Stage 1 - February 9: Alor Star - Kulim, 132.4 km
Stage 2 - February 10: Tapah - Genting Highlands, 125.4km
Stage 3 - February 11: Lanchang - Cukai, 195 km
Stage 4 - February 12: Kuantan - Kuala Rompin, 128 km
Stage 5 - February 13: Kuala Rompin - Bandar Penawar, 185.7 km
Stage 6 - February 14: Bandar Penawar - Johor Baru, 183.2 km
Stage 7 - February 15: Johor Baru - Batu Pahat, 128 km
Stage 8 - February 16: Melaka - Seremban, 150 km
Stage 9 - February 17: Seremban - Kuala Lumpur, 153.8 km

Monday, December 17, 2007

My 2007 Finishes

Well, that's it folks, my 2007 races have all come and gone. Time to look forward to 2008 and the next race - Pacesetters GE 30km in 5 weeks time - my first ever run more than 21km. I'll have to get at least 2 or 3 Sunday morning Sri Hartamas runs in before that.

This is the list of all my 2007 event times (in reverse order). 26 events, many great memories - and times to be beaten in 2008!

Chin Woo Biathlon - 0:56:49

Phuket Triathlon - 4:03:31
Powerman M'sia - 4:40:06

S'pore Ironman 70.3 Tri - 6:08:55

Subang 10km - 0:53:30
Desaru Long-Distance Tri - 6:07:09
Adidas K.O.R (20km) - 1:52:53
OSIM S'pore Tri (O) - 1:43:02
Port Dickson Tri (O) - 2:45:15
Seremban Half M'thon (21k) - 2:07:55
Ipoh Int'l Run (21km) - 2:08:05
Ballbreaker Hash (25km) - 5:24:57
Kenyir Lake Tri (O) - 3:10:43
S'pore Duathlon (10/40/5) - 3:00:29
KRI Century Ride (160km) - 6:09:06
B. Merah Biathlon (1k/6k) - 1:03:47
Power Run (10.8km) - 1:01:31
A'Famosa Tri (O) - 3:02:04
A'Famosa Tri (Sprint) - 1:03:57
PD Half M'thon (21km) - 2:01:09
KLIM (21km) - 2:14:42
SMART Tunnel Run (13.3km) - 1:22:20
KLIM Circuit Run 3 (18.4km) - 1:54:26
FTAAA X-Country (8.2km) - 0:58:16
KLIM Circuit Run 2 (15km) - 1:32:56
Pacesetters GE (20km) - 2:11:42

Sunday, December 16, 2007

2007 Finale - Chin Woo Biathlon

A rare swim photo!

Looking quite happy on the run.

Final push up the steep uphill finish.

(L-R) Panjang, tengah and pendik finishers
(pls excuse any bahasa errors!)

Swim (800m) - 0:15:18 (1:55/100m)
T1 - 0:00:41
Run (6.9km) - 0:40:50 (5:55/km)
TOTAL - 0:56:49

(21/1/2008) - Official Result

Swim - 3rd/18,
Run - 11th/18,
Overall - 16:20-40:20 = 56:40, 8th/18.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Final Phuket Snaps

Out of the saddle and not looking where I'm going, and a rather tired finishing salute!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

All Quiet

Not much to report recently. My end-of week training plan was disrupted by 2 punctures, but I still managed to go out with PCC on Sunday for a ride to Puncak Alam. Just 70km and I was home well before lunch. Jackie wasn't feeling great so I spent much of the day indoors doing some long overdue chores (building shelves, tidying cables, fixing Lucas' scooter). In the evening I went to KLCC pick up some shirts for work, then went home and watched Middlesborough beat Arsenal quite soundly.

My planned Monday and Tuesday a.m. runs were both lost to lie-in's, but I made up for it this morning with a 7.8km run around a short version of the Double Hill route.

On Monday night I found myself in the now unusual position of being in a pub after work, nursing a few pints of Kilkenny with colleague James, while watching England struggle to take any Sri-Lankan wickets.

Last night I planned a dinner out with Jackie to celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary, but she was still crook so that's off until Friday.

My social life will continue to disrupt my training as tonight I'm off to the wonderful Kamimura Japanese restaruant in Menara Weld with big boss Matsui San, so no swimming for me! Yesterday he told me that we (Shimizu Corp) had pre-qualified for the (RM2 billion?) tunnel portion of the Pahang-Selangor Water Transfer project.

In other news...I bought a new pair of shoes last week, to replace my tired and very smelly 755's...New Balance 1061's...

My final event of the year - the Chin Woo biathlon - is this weekend. It's a short 750 or 800m swim and a 7km run. I'm seriously thinking of running there and back to give me a 23km run for the day. I need to catch up with run training.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Phuket Bike Course Profile

Here's the profile of the hilly bit of the Phuket Triathlon bike course. The only hills worthy of note are these ones from km6.5 to km13....

1. km6.6:- 1.1km @ ave 1:12, max 1:8
2. km9.4:- 200m @ 1:13
3. km10.4:- 330m @ ave 1:14, max 1:8
4. km 12.6:- 640m @ ave 1:12, max 1:10


My second wet Thurday evening KLCC run in a row.

The plan - 4 laps of the 1.3km KLCC loop, at or above race pace, rest, then home, total 11km.

The result...5.2km in 7:36-7:00-6:57-6:51 = 28:24 @5:28/km - new PB by 0:30!

then home.

ta ta for now!

Poo-ket Pics

Big thanks to Ivie & Randy T - here's a couple of snaps from my weekend...

At the race briefing with Randy

Swim Start - I am directly below the "d" of "Thailand"
printed on the start gate - putting my goggles on.

On km1 of the run and looking more athletic than usual!

Swim Lesson #19

Bukit Jalil, 5/12/07
Coach Peh + me, Jasmine, Michelle, Jeffrey

Warm-up: 4 x 100m

Main Set:
8 x 50m (25m fist drill - 25m normal)
8 x 100m (with ascending rest, 10s-15s-20s....-40s, must maintain technique & speed)
8 x 100m (same as above). Times varied 2:00 to fastest 1:53 (final 100m)
1 x 100 easy
4 x 50 hard (with paddles & pool buoy). 0:43 fastest.

Cool-down: 1 x 100m

TOTAL - 2,800m

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Phuket Report

The results are out and I'm pretty happy with my experimental race strategy, and the result.

I finished in 4:03:31 (my target was 4:12:00) thanks to a good swim and my super-easy ride leaving enough energy in me to do a good run.


Fantastic pasta party / buffet at the Sheraton Grande the night before. Great food, and a table of Pro's were introduced. The whole "Celebrity" thing does't really turn me on that much but I do get a wee bit excited to be in the same race as the big names. Faris Al-Sultan, Chrissie Wellington, Mirinda Carfrae and Belinda Granger were all there. (btw Faris' bike had the most outrageous looking aero bars - they looked like he'd attached a model X-wing fighter to his stem!)

On the big day, on the way to the swim start, there was an old wrinkly unshaven guy with long tied-back grey hair, wearing a bright pink 2-piece "Growing Old Disgracefully" tri-suit - puffing on one last fag before the start. Have you ever seen anyone smoking on the way to a Tri start!! amazing!!


37:49. Beat my target by 7 minutes! This was by far my best ever swim, and I therefore moved up from my usual fairly quiet spot towards the tail end of the field, to be what felt like right in the middle of a big thrashing pack the whole way! Navigation was tough due to the rising sun. I got my left goggle lens whacked by someones arm and pushed my lens onto my eye as hard as it could be. The run across the beach into the lagoon messed up my ryhthm and drive, but I got back into it and was overtaking people towards the end.


On my trusty old road bike (I didn't trust AirAsia handlers with my Planet X in a soft bag) I stuck to my plan and took a leisurly Sunday-style ride around the 55km course. A few short sharp climbs from 8-12km. A few people walked. I didn't - I consider walking a bike up a hill to be failure. The number of very Pro looking competitors on P3C's, Zipps 'n disc wheels etc... passing me until quite a way into the ride made me think I'd dome a good swim, (or there's lots of poor swimmers with very "bling" bike gear!).

The local support was fantastic - the best I've experienced - lots of young kids excited by the spectacle of hundred's of crazy farangs (only 80 Thais out of 750 individual competitors in this race) riding by. There was some organised fanatical cheering too. I slapped palms at 30kph with numerous groups of kids. I love that - I'm having fun and at the same time giving a few secs of excitement to the local (and to be frank - generally under-privileged) kids.

At one point I came across a Thai policeman (in one of their rather militaristic uniforms) standing at the road side holding a TT bike with deep-section HED wheels. A great photo opportunity, but the time was not right. I caught a glimpse of the actual bike owner returning from behind a tree to get his bike.

Towards the end of the 55km, with the help of a gel and a headwind, and spurred on by being 5min or so down on my target bike time, I pushed on a bit, overtook the guy with the yellow and blue curly wig who'd passed me earlier, and headed into T2.


I started my run just as Liz Blatchford won for the Pro women - hooray! - another Brit success!

I had a good run. Legs were fresh, no sign of cramps, and I was doing km's in a little over 6:00, which amazed me. This was the first run where I've found myself overtaking people, and I managed to average 6:21 per km to finish 12km in 1h 15mins, 9 mins inside my target.

The course was great. 2 x 6km loops, with music at the start and at 3km. About 1km on fairly narrow undulating tracks through wooded areas, a couple of km around a golf course (even on the fairways), and the rest on roads or within the resorts. With accurate km markers every 1km.


My strategy worked, although I reckon I could have gone a bit harder on the bike.

Post race

Free Thai massage, without having to wait too long - wonderful! Nice food to re-fuel with too.


I was only in Phuket for 26 hours! It was a great race. A kind of party/resort atmosphere. Well organised, great location - lovely water and good run course - but shame about the pretty awful road surfaces. Next year I'll be back with the family and for at least a few days.

That's it - nor more Triathlon this year. Next race - A'Famosa 2008?

Monday, December 03, 2007

Phuket Report

I'm not sure of my swim time, and therefore overall time, as my stopwatch stopped during the swim, but I reckon I finished in about 4h05m...

Swim (1.8k) - 39:11 (guesstimate)
T1 - 0:2:11
Bike (55k) - 2:05:23 @ 26.5kph (sunday ride stylee!)
T2 - 0:02:04
Run (12k) - 1:16:11
TOTAL - 4:05:00

1km splits
Lap 1:
Lap 2:

full report to follow!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Phuket Target

A decent swim...1,800m in 0:45:00 (2:30 per 100m)
T1 = 0:03:00
An easy ride...55km in 1:58:00 @ 28kph
T2 = 0:02:00
A decent run...12km in 1:24:00 @ 7min/km (a little slower than my current long-distance pace)

TOTAL = 4:12:00

My plan is to really go for it in the swim to see what my best is, then have a leisurely ride, in the hope that I can save myself for a reasonable run (i.e. no walking, and at a reasonable pace).

Fingers crossed. (FUN is top priority though!)

Have Fun!

To everyone I know who's taking part in Riding For Life, Ironman WA, Singapore Marathon or Phuket Triathlon this weekend - have fun and be safe!!!!!

Did you know?

...that IQ is inversely proportional to the diameter of one's car exhaust pipe?

I have formulated this theory after years of careful observation!

Swim Lesson #18

Bukit Jalil, 28/11/07
Peh + me, Jeffrey, Azwar, Michelle

Warm-up: 6 x 100m on 2:30

Main Set: 2 x 500-400-300m (1st set - 10:20-8:08-6:06, 2nd set - 10:40+,8:30+,6:17).

Cool down: 2 x 100m easy + 2 x 100 mixed crawl/b'stroke.

TOTAL: 3,400m.

The longest and most satisfying session since my recent return to action. 2 weeks of arm and shoulder stretching seems to be behind a great improvement in body position. Now I just need to stretch my pecs a bit more.

I did all of the main set at a comfortable pace, focusing on technique in an effort to maintain quality to the end rather than running out of steam. I did tire, but not dramatically. The first 5-4-300m's were all PB's. I now seem able to comfortably average a shade over 2:00 per 100m.

I plan to go all out in the swim in Phuket on Sunday (1,800m)!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

You Learn A New Thing Every Day

There are a few things in life that have been familiar to me for years, but I have never actually understood what they mean, or are, despite always wondering.

Once example is "Tote", which I have seen or heard mentioned in relation to horse or greyhound betting for many years. Yesterday I finally found out what it means! I also found out what parimutuel betting is.

The other thing I learned yesterday was what a cardioid is. I am quite interested in Mathematics, so was quite intrigued by this shape.

The red line is a cardioid.

Monday, November 26, 2007

100m Intervals

This week is the start of my "Base 2" training phase. Now's the time to add some force, speed and muscular endurance training, as opposed to the pure endurance of Base 1.

So after work I squeezed in a 30-min run. I warmed up for 15mins by running around all the tracks and paths around the condo, many of which I've never seen before, despite living here since April '05!


3 x 100m @ 75% effort, with jog back to start point (16.2-16.7s)
3 x 100m @ 90% effort, walk back to start (13.9-14.2s)
3 x 100m @ 75% effort, jog back. (15.8-17.0s)

Cool-down until 30mins came up.

The 2nd set of 75% reps are supposed to be quicker than the first. Mine were about the same, but the effort level was slightly less than the first, so I reckon the theory is correct.

This 30min workout is best for Sprint/Olympic distance. I'll increase the reps and decrease the % effort in future.

Another Full Day

Out 'n about at 6.50am-ish. Jalan Ampang closed, and lots of generally young Indian gentlemen wandering along the KL-Ampang Highway, presumably to avoid the cops on their way to the British High Comm.

7.30am....Centrepoint rendezvous with 24 other PCC riders for a spin along to Guthrie H'way and then Batu Arang. I was keen to get home swiftly so didn't stop there, and headed back into town with Ron via Kundang and Sungai Buloh. 91km @ 26kph.

For lunch we (Jackie, Lucas and I) headed to an almost deserted KLCC and walked straight into Chilli's for lunch. No queue! No waiting list!!

Can HINDRAF please organise a few more rallies on Sundays? If it vastly reduces the KLCC population for the day then I'm all in favour!

Lucas and I then headed to the KL Velodrome in Cheras to watch the Asia Cup track cycling, but the place was deserted. Oh well, back home.

I then did Jackie a MASSIVE favour by agreeing to go to Carrefour Wangsa Maju, which apart from the depths of Hell itself, is the last place I would want to go to on a Sunday.

And hellish it was. Millions of people packed like sardines into a warehouse lit by a million-and-one fluorescent bulbs, with store assistants that couldn't seem to understand English or Bahasa, and massive queues of shoppers standing by with folded arms as the cashiers in this 1-star supermarket gave a 5-star service by packing everything themselves (slowly), causing massive tailbacks. Their insistence on putting no more than 2 items in each plastic bag didn't speed things up either.

Then the guy in front of me had credit card trouble. cabbage didn't have a bar code. People behind me were complaining about waiting so I paid the sub-total, let them get on with it while I waited. The cabbage came back...RM1.62...I left the cash on the counter and ran away screaming.

Lucky for me I accidentally dropped a 6-pack of Tiger into my shopping, so I could enjoy a beer in the evening.

I'm glad I didn't stay up to watch Spurs draw 1-1 after missing an injury time penalty.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Croatia's BIG Hero

Opera singer Tony Henry

Croatia rose to the occasion in their crucial Euro 2008 defeat of England - after an apparent X-rated gaffe by an English opera singer at Wembley.

Tony Henry belted out a version of the Croat anthem before the 80,000 crowd, but made a blunder at the end.

He should have sung 'Mila kuda si planina' (which roughly means 'You know my dear how we love your mountains').

But he instead sang 'Mila kura si planina' which can be interpreted as 'My dear, my penis is a mountain'.

Now Henry could be one of the few Englishmen at the Euro 2008 finals in Austria and Switzerland as Croatian fans adopt him as a lucky omen. "The Croatians think it's great, and they've invited him to come over and sing at Euro 2008, and asked if he will be their mascot."

They believe his mistake relaxed their chuckling players, who scored an early goal in the 3-2 win that put Croatia top of the group and knocked out England.

Henry is becoming a cult hero in Croatia, but denies he played a part in England's exit.

"I can't take the blame for that. The last thing I would do is brag about my parts like that - especially to make it so public," said Henry.

Eastern Arrows

Fantastic news!

The Red Arrows will be putting on a display in KL and Putrajaya on 29th November (next Thursday)..

I've seen them quite a few times in England and have to say that they are quite a thrilling spectacle!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Sampras v Federer

Jackie and I went to see Swiss Roger and Pistol Pete play an exhibition match at the Malawati Stadium in Shah Alam last night.

The Agong, who overtook us on the way in a nice looking Bentley, was there with the DPM down near the court, whereas we were way up in the RM83 cheap seats! But the view was good enough and I'm glad I didn't buy more expensive tickets.

I've not watched a live tennis match since Wimbledon in the late 80's, so this was quite a novelty. The match was good (Federer won 7-6, 7-6) and Pete was obviously quite relaxed and enjoying himself, indulging in a couple of self-congratulatory boogies when he caught Roger out with drop shots.

But whenever Federer had a bit of time to prepare, he typically sent unplayable shots flying past Pete.

We left a bit early to avoid the mad rush to the Fed. H'way.

Cardio Test Day

I went for my annual heart check-up yesterday and did a treadmill stress test, which is the most intense exercise I will ever do.

Although completing the 15 minutes is not really that important, I was keen to improve on my 11-12 minutes for the last 2 years, where I couldn't go on due to my leg muscles threatening to fail completely.

This time I managed 13:14 and felt that I could have finished the full 15:00 but my HR had already reached 180bpm (out of 184bpm max.) so Doc Dewi pulled the plug. Blood pressure at rest and every 2:00 during the test = ok.

My ECG was "ok" and during the Echo I got a good clear view of my heart valves flapping around nicely on the flashy new digital ultrasound contraption. I'm even going to get a CD of the video - maybe I'll post it here for your viewing pleasure!

I've got the all-clear for continuing training but with the usual 165bpm ceiling. This is 90%HRmax which is fine for me, none of the training I'm interested in requires me to exceed this level.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Run Swim

Bukit Jalil, 21/11/07

Acceleration run. 5 x 1.1km laps around the stadium.

7:06-6:26-6:01-5:45-4:59 in 30:45 @ 5:36/km

After I'd warmed-up I felt good running at above normal pace.

Swim (no lesson)
  • 5 x 100m warm-up (1:56-2:05)
  • 8 x 50m hard (0:47-0:50) - Despite feeling that I was tiring badly, my times only dropped 2-3s and stayed at around 50s.
  • 1 x 100m medium
TOTAL 1,000m (no coach + just did a run = lazy tonight!)

England 2 - 3 Croatia

Lucas has just turned 6 years old. I am sure that if I asked him this question, he would get it right.

1. In the first half of a football match you play a 4-5-1 formation and go 0-2 down. For most of the second half you play 4-4-2 and score 2 goals without reply. What formation should you use for the rest of the match?

a) 4-5-1
b) 4-4-2
c) It doesn't really matter, because we're just going to loop the ball into the penalty box for the last 15 minutes and hope there aren't any opposition players there.

Well, sorry to say that England and their manager got it wrong, and went for a combo of a) and c).

...and to think that I got up at 4am to watch the match.

My suggestion that the game might feature a cock-up by Carson proved to be correct!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


I don't know about you but I'll be up at 4am tomorrow morning to hopefully see England triumphantly thrash Croatia and qualify for Euro 2008!

or......lose 0-1 to an injury time cock-up by rookie goalie Scott Carson perhaps?


Tuesday, November 20, 2007


A musical theme for a change...

When I happen to flick on to MTV, or Channel V, both of which claim to be "music" channels, 99 times out of 100 I am faced with a prolonged network identity video, which I guess is just something "cool" to make everyone who watches those channels think that they are also "cool"...

Anyway....a few weeks ago I flicked onto MTV and they were actually playing a song - Common feat. Lily Allen - Drivin' Me Wild. A rap with a catchy chorus, and unusual in that it's a distinctly American tune but featuring young Londoner Lily Allen on vocals.

Common - he likes caps.

Fast forward to last week. Amazingly, I again flick on to MTV and they're actually playing a song! This time it's Mr Common again, with new single I Want You, with the lovely Alicia Keys and Kerry Washington in the video.

So there you go...that's my new favourite tune.

On the subject of good rap music (it does exist)...I also thoroughly reccommend Jurassic 5...

Monday, November 19, 2007

A Full Day


Despite slight doubts in my mind that I wouldn’t make it, I managed to drag myself from bed at little after 5.30am to be at Bukit Aman for an early run start and my first ever appearance at a regular Sunday morning Pacesetters run since joining them in 2005!

As I drove up Jalan Parlimen at just after 6am I could see a few bunches of runners had set off already.

I was pleased to see many familiar faces, and set off for my first ever “training” run to Sri Hartamas. With company all around, I didn’t feel the need for music so early in the day, so enjoyed the quiet, and the cool air.

I enjoyed a very easy pace, yet still managed to pass a few runners, and made it to Petronas in a satisfactory 1:10+ with a surprisingly low HR. The first 5km on the return leg is mainly downhill so was pretty easy-going. I tired a bit in the last 5km but still managed a respectable 2:16.

Looking rather un-dynamic after about 13km!

That brought my running mileage for 15-18 November to a whopping 49km...without blisters or any knee problems!


Thoroughly pleased with myself for completing my longest ever non-competitive run, I headed home and then back out again with Jackie and Lucas for a spot of brekkie at La Bodega, Bangsar. And so it came to pass that today was the day that Lucas would first discover the joys of Connect 4 (upstairs in La Bodega).


Then off to BSC for a spot of Xmas shopping, which didn't last long - hooray!


J had some business to attend to, so Lucas and I headed for the pool for 90mins or so. Now that he's tall enough to stand safely in any part of the pool, I feel confident enough to go for an occasional 30m swim while he's - training and being Daddy at the same time!

Lucas enjoyed soaking me (and an innocent poolside sunbather) and I got 500m of training in.


"2 large pizzas for RM40 please Mr Domino" - pizza time!

The Dance

BBC Entertainment was showing the episode of The Office with "The Dance" in it, so I had a good laugh while J & L were doing revision for Lucas' exams. I then had to replay the DVD version of it about 4 times for Lucas' benefit, much to his enjoyment. If you have no idea what I'm on about....for your viewing pleasure... Background - they guy in the 70's suit has just done a rather impressive dance routine to a couple of Bee Gee's numbers, and the goaty-bearded guy thinks he can do better...


A rarity now - an hour spent watching some crime/drama show, this time - CSI:NY.

And so to bed.

2 weeks 'till Phuket Triathlon!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Run Run Run

I nearly overdosed on cycling last week, so I'm concentrating on running this week.

14km to work yesterday morning. 15km home tonight, and (in a World first for me) I'm planning to do the Bukit Aman to Hartamas 21km on Sunday morning.

Anyone care to join me?

Lever Porn

I went to get new pedals put on my road bike today, and accidentally ordered these...

For the benefit of those to whom it is not obvious - they are aero bar-end brake levers for my Planet-X. The one's I already have are temporary. These Bontrager levers are the best-looking ones I've seen - I hope they work too!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Bicycle Lover

A bike

SCOTLAND: A man caught trying to have sex with his bicycle has been sentenced to three years on probation.

Robert Stewart, 51, admitted a sexually aggravated breach of the peace by conducting himself in a disorderly manner and simulating sex.

Sheriff Colin Miller also placed Stewart on the Sex Offenders Register for three years.

Mr Stewart was caught in the act with his bicycle by cleaners in his bedroom at the Aberley House Hostel in Ayr.

Gail Davidson, prosecuting, told Ayr Sheriff Court: "They knocked on the door several times and there was no reply.

"They used a master key to unlock the door and they then observed the accused wearing only a white t-shirt, naked from the waist down.

"The accused was holding the bike and moving his hips back and forth as if to simulate sex."

Both cleaners, who were "extremely shocked", told the hostel manager who called police.

Sheriff Colin Miller told Stewart: "In almost four decades in the law I thought I had come across every perversion known to mankind, but this is a new one on me. I have never heard of a 'cycle-sexualist'."

Stewart had denied the offence, claiming it was caused by a misunderstanding after he had too much to drink.

The bachelor had been living in the hostel since October 2006 after moving from his council house in Girvan.

He now lives in Ayr.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Swim Lesson #17

Bukit Jalil, 14/11/07, 6.30-8.10pm

Coach Peh + Azwar, Michelle, Jeffrey, Jasmine, Christopher

Warm-up 6x100m (1:56 - 2:05)

Main Set

3 x 500m (10:34 - 10:24 (PB) - 11:48) [last 500m slowed due to foot arch cramps.]

3 x [ 5 x 50m ] Each set of 5 = slow medium fast fast fast

My "slow" was a little over 1:00 each, "medium" just under 1:00 and "fast" varied 0:52-0:47, the latter being a new PB!

Cool-down 100m

TOTAL 2,950m

Speed depends on the application of power through a good technique. Even when my arms felt very tired, my speed didn't slow much as I concentrated on maintaining my technique rather than just applying maximum power.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Shut Up & Follow The Rules!!!!!!!!!

There's yet another School Uniform v Religion story on the BBC, and I feel compelled to vent my feelings before I sleep.

Basically, a 14-year old Sikh girl in England insists she has the right to wear a bangle to school (as part of her religion) even though the school rules say you can't wear them.

I reckon she should follow the bloody school rules!!!!!!! What sort of society do you think we'd have if everyone was allowed to do whatever the hell they wanted to if they knew they just had to say that it was part of their religion??? You'd suddenly have a million-and-one new religions popping-up everywhere.

"Excuse me sir, I'm a New-Age Geordie and I say that I must wear a Newcastle United shirt to school. Also, my religion forbids me from paying taxes and I must sacrifice a human baby every Friday night - is that OK? If not I'm sure there's a thousand Human Rights Lawyers salivating at the prospect of a lengthy legal process to help me assert my rights"

When are people going to stop thinking that they have the right to do whatever they want to just because they say that it is required by Religion A, B, or C????????? England is not a Sikh country, a Muslim country or a Christian country. There are some rules that everyone has to follow, some rules that over-ride your religious rules.

School rules say wear a green jumper and no jewellry - DO WHAT YOU ARE TOLD GIRL!!!!!!!!

If you want to follow Religion A strictly, go and live in a Religion A country. Repeat for B, C D etc...

If you want to live in multi-cultural multi-religious tolerant England, with equality, human rights need to accept that not all religions can be catered for 100%.

So there! Good night folks!...and may you be blessed by whoever or whatever you pray to!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Samhain & Lucas' 6th

Some recent snaps...

Pablo Lucasso?

For Halloween I rushed home with some black card and a can of black spray paint to turn a distinctly un-Battish Batman mask into something decent - this is the result.

6th B'day Party-by-the-pool - posing with chums
Arjun and Randhir (who for many months Lucas knew as Reindeer)!

My lovely wife and her sister Sasha.

Happy 6-year old! Nice cake Mummy!

Sunday, November 11, 2007


My finishers medal says "Run Bike Run" but it was "Run Bike Walk" for me! Anyway it was good fun and I got to enjoy riding my Planet X for 64km and the totally dry conditions means I hardly even have to wash it!

This was my most sociable race this year. I did a slow but very comfortable first 11km run, towards the middle of which Arif and Ishsal caught and joined me.

With Arif on the first run.

As Arif and I exited the stadium for the 2nd lap, the Pro's were finishing their run! On Lap 2 the imcyclist gang joined us. I then dropped behind them by 1-200m going into T1, giving me a bit of catching-up to do on the bike.

On the bike I was able to enjoy continuously overtaking the faster runners from the first leg, and eventually made it to some of my targets.......Mr Shazly Orbea and........Arif Cervelo. Was looking quite good on the bike... almost exactly 30:00 for each of the first 2 x 16km sections.

Arif (& Laif) and I exchanged places a few times before Edwin caught us early into the second loop. I managed to catch and pass Powergirl Karen, but expected her to return the favour on the final run. Riding the noisiest bike in the World (rear disc wheel), Edwin offered me some encouragement and riding tips, but I rode a bit beyond my preferred pace and by the final u-turn at 48km my legs had gone, my neck and shoulders didn't want to go aero anymore. and up-and-coming riding superstar Adeline, astride her Prince, overtook me. A few minutes later, man-machine and baby-faced race-leader Joerie Vansteelant whizzed passed me. Some 20 minutes later, 2nd place hadn't passed me, so JoVan must have had a healthy lead by that point. I'm glad he only caught me after I passed the ride halfway point as I get depressed if they go more than double my speed! By the I made it to the end of the ride, losing 4-5mins on the final 20km, with Shazly and Arif behind, but not very far I thought.

T2 - my most relaxed transition ever! ...and Arif sneaks in front of me on the way out! The race is on!!!

Into T2

I didn't drink enough on the bike.

Costume change #2.

All set...but wait a minute...who's that sneaking up behind me!?

This is where the walking bit starts........I ran for a few minutes then needed to walk. I enjoyed the walking so much I did it on and off for the next 1:30! Arif and I were swapping places again, and sure enough Karen cruised by as expected. Edwin was close by too. I spotted Raymond_HKK suffering with cramps by the roadside...he didn't look very happy! Into the second lap Shazly caught up and ended up too far away to be caught, but we eventually caught sight of Bernard and Edwin.

The usual 1km-to-go feeling arrived and I managed a final burst of running to finish in 4:40, 10 minutes outside my target. Also 15 minutes too late to avoid owing Simon a beer. But considering my >300km of riding and 14hrs of training that week and that I'm not supposed to be "racing" at the moment, I wasn't bothered.

Another finish.

Happy it's over!

I enjoyed the race a lot, especially chatting with friends on the runs, mini "battles" on the road etc...

Run (10.4k) - 1:04:19 (6:11/km)
T1 - 2:26
Bike (63.1k) - 2:04:07 (30.52kph)
T2 - 2:48
Run (10.1k) - 1:26:26 (8:34/km)
TOTAL - 4:40:06

A MASSIVE thanks again to Tey and Ivie for the photos!

Friday, November 09, 2007

200k Pics

The full Deepavali 200k gang, all set to go.

Resting in the shade of an old shop/house just before Teranum

Resting again, at Gap.

This the ride profile. The 3 main peaks are - G. Sempah > Frasers Hill > Ulu Yam

Before Bond

Another good movie...

Possibly the movie that brought Daniel Craig to the attention of the James Bond people. Another typical British gangster flick, with plenty of bad language, graphic violence, a bit of sex and plenty of references to drugs!! Lovely! ...similar to Madonna's hubbies movies and miles better than typical Holly wood fare.

Swim Lesson #16

Bukit Jalil. 7/11/07
Coach Peh. Me 'n Michelle.

Warm-up: 6 x 100 = 600m

100m times varied 1:59-2:04-2:10. Faster than usual

Main Set:

800-600-400-200-200 = 2,200m

800 - 400 with buoy, 400 w/o
600 - 300 with buoy, 300 w/o
400 & 200's - alternate 100's with/w/o buoy

Towards the end my legs felt weak and useless as if they had shrunk. In fact it was because my body position had improved so my legs were just dangling behind me, more horizontally than before.


8 x 25m hard with paddles = 200m

Good body rotation. Extra speed brought hips to surface = good!

Cool-down = 100m (breaststroke/crawl)

TOTAL = 3,100m.

Remember - stretch well, keep head and shoulders low.

Monster Ride

The "Saddle Sores Ahead" warning sign on my previous post was supposed to be a joke, but it turned out to be highly prophetic.

Due to a rainy start to the day, my shorts were wet for the whole day and after 100km or so I began to feel the effect of the edge of the padded section rubbing on the tops of my thighs (posterior). So today I am moving around rather cautiously (kangkang ?)but it's bearable. Should be ok for a 64km spin on Sunday.

So....left the house at 6.10am and met Adzim, Bacin, Dicky Z, Jaja, Laif, May Senn, Azmar, Sofian and Yusran at HOA.

The rain and storm during the previous night had left the road up to G. Sempah and down towards Bentong in a big mess. Three times we had to dismount and climb over fallen trees.

Onto the slight downhill run into Bentong I enjoyed being towed for a while by Bacin & Adzim. From Bentong to Tranum things warmed up and the road rolled along. Then the shaded 21km up to Gap. This was a long climb and the last 5km seemed to last an age. I flew down into KKB (I can't bring myself to take it easy downhill - the thrill of a risky descent is the reward for a tough climb). I had a couple of hairy moments but managed to stay on 2 wheels.

The rewards continued as we had a tailwind all the way to Ulu Yam, where we stopped for a few minutes before heading off to conquer the next two climbs. Then the heavens opened and the skies darkened as we chugged our way along the valley and through driving rain until the Dam. I'd been dropped by the rest of the gang bar the girls, but eventually caught sight of Sofian towards the top, giving me a nice carrot to follow. Another wonderful 70kph descent on soaked roads followed, before the final short sharp climb at the Dam, where I was joined by Yusran Bennati.

Time was flying so I said farewell before Batu Caves and headed home. Quite an adventure! A once a year ride for me! THANKS to all my companions - 'twas a great day!

Distance - 214km (133 miles) in 8:57:43 @ 23.88kph
Total Ascent - 1986m!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Deepavali Madness!

Fancy a few hours in the saddle on Thursday?

Date: Thursday 8 Nov 2007 (Deepavali)
Where: Hospital Orang Asli (HOA) car-park, Jalan Gombak.
Time: Meet at 6.30am, leave at 7.00am SHARP.
Route: HOA - Bentong - Tranum - Gap - KKB - Ulu Yam - Batu Caves - HOA
Distance: +/-190km
Terrain: Hilly!

Should be a great ride - sounds like there'll be a good turnout!

Wow! I'm looking forward to this. With the extra few km's from home to HOA, I could well end up doing my first ever 200km+ ride!

So Far So Good

This week is working out much better.

I did an "acceleration run" around KLCC's 1.3km loop last night and then ran home for a total of 11km. According to my Plan, I have to do between 3.5 & 4.5 hours of running each week. Most of that will be straightforward endurance runs, with the rest being speed or technique work. Last night was my first run of the latter type, designed to simulate the increasing difficulty of a race, and to practice pacing.

I did a warm-up lap then 3 acceleration laps. Lap times were 8:23-8:11-7:50-7:18 for a total of 31:42, about 3 minutes slower than my 4 lap PB. Not surprising given my super-slow pace on the first 2 laps.

In a few weeks I'll start doing hill work for strength.

Having run home, I couldn't take the boys to school, so asked a friend to do it. This allows me to have a short swim in the a.m. before heading to work. Today I only managed 20mins, the beginning of which was in darkness, with fogged-up goggles! Mmmmmmm....I think I'll have to do condo pool swims in the evenings instead.

My LRT journey to work was a true nightmare. I queued up behind about 7 people and was still only 3rd in line after 6 trains had passed. So I gave up and crossed the platform to head out of town and board at the 1st station. This worked, but took a long time. It took me 1h30m to travel to work by LRT. 15km. I can run it in that time, cycle in 30mins, drive in 40mins.........

The rush hour "Rapid" KL service on the Putra Line is a disgrace. The stations are designed for 4-5 cars per train, but they only have 2. The STAR line trains have 4 cars.

50km+ PCC ride tonight. Might use the Planet X if the roads are dry.

What with a Deepavali long ride planned on Thursday, 15km run on Friday and Powerman on Sunday, I should catch up on my training hours massively this week!

Can't wait 'till Sunday, almost EVERYONE is going to be there.


I can't take it anymore! I've ended the Fergie v Halle poll early.

I am shocked that Fergie (who I suspect is actually a man) won with 30 votes against a measly 14 votes for the exquisite Halle.

Oh some...lose some......

Simon......I owe you a pint......what's the nearest pub to your office?

Monday, November 05, 2007

End of Week Rush

Week 3 of my 07/08 Plan was a bit of a disaster. I had so many things to do I did no training until Friday...I missed the Tuesday night ride as I was building a cabinet for all my triathlon/training gear in the bedroom, then had to rush home to make Lucas a Batman costume for Halloween on Wednesday (missing my swim lesson). Thursday - fitted the cabinet door and relaxed.

But...on Friday I did manage to run home (14.3km). My pace was super slow but I felt very comfortable and only stopped when I had to at junctions. My time was a slow 1h40m. Did some stretching and dumbbell work in the house afterwards. (I've just invested in a pair of dumbells so I can work on upper body strength/conditioning in the house). As for my legs, I'll do that on the bike - hill training coming up soon!

I then managed to get up early enough to cycle to work on Saturday a.m., and had a 4.6km Terry Fox sandwich with 1h30m of cycling bread on Sunday a.m. Seemed like almost everyone was out yesterday morning in KL - plenty of Pacesetters running through Bukit Tunku. Wong Ah Thiam too, and Randy Tan. I then came across Ah Fook finishing Double Hill, the PCC gang at Terry Fox, and Simon Cross finishing off his 2nd (!) 21km Hartamas run.

I won't let this week get away from me, so it's LRT to KLCC after work, for a few laps of speed-work and a 3km run home. Then swim in the a.m., or cycle to work, and 57km-ish bike ride in the evening.

POWERMAN this weekend! Time for Planet-X to come out from hibernation!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

2007 Training Review

Yesterday I had a quick review of my training record for 2007 (up to 2 Sept). I have just started a new 07/08 training plan so it was time to see what I'd done for this year. 2007 (12 months) in bold, 2006 (8 months) in italics...


All Training - 228:00 (137:51)
  • Swimming - 45.1km in 34:06 (5.9km in 2:23)
  • Running - 422km in 53:18 (406.6km in 60:50)
  • Cycling - 2395km in 109:35 (1509km in 60:11)

    Triathlon - 432.3km in 27:46


    Swim - 3.65km
    Bike - 189km (87.3km)
    Run - 21km (15km)

  • Apart from the obvious increases in mileage and time, there's been a decent improvement in my running. This year I've run 15km more than last, in 6 hours less, and in only 8 months rather than 12 for 2006.

    Friday, November 02, 2007

    We Have Lift Off!

    You won't see this in the papers so I'm doing my own "report". Everyone can see a 60-storey building, but one can build a sewer system for 4 years and no-one knows what you've done. It's also a subject that most people aren't too interested in. They want to flush their loo and forget about it!

    On Tuesday 30 November 2007, after 46 months of toiling, Shimizu-Road Builder-Hitachi Plant JV began diverting a significant amount of KL's sewage into new pipelines that carry it to a new Treatment Plant in Pantai Dalam.

    The main benefit of the diversion is that the pollution of the Klang River, from sewage flowing out of existing sewer pipes and manholes, will be greatly reduced. Also, newly-laid trunk sewers along the Federal Highway, Jalan Klang Lama and Jalan Puchong will provide a modern, durable system of sewer pipes to cater for expected future development.

    Yes indeed folks, we've commissioned 2 out of 3 major connections this week. One more to go next week, then some reinstatement and bits n pieces that'll likely drag on until January '08, then I'll be on my knees begging the Project Director to get me off this God-forsaken project and onto something new (but preferably in KL!).

    Etape du Tour 2008

    I won't make it next year, but one year soon I must do Etape du Tour. This is next years route....

    165km including the Tourmalet via La Mongie(17km @ 7.5%) and Hautacam (14km @ 7.2%) - in the stunning French Alps, in summer....

    The big boys will do that route 6 days later.

    Thursday, November 01, 2007

    Once Upon A Time...

    I managed to dig out a few old snaps when I was at Mum's place recently...

    c1985, age 14, ready to cycle about 2km to Samuel Whitbread School on a decent looking summer day, astride my sturdy Raleigh Grifter, in the days before I converted to 700c wheels. With two tennis raquets tucked in my Midland Bank bag...

    Next, c1987, age 16, another nice day (early Winter), with little bruv Max before setting off for a few days cycling in the Cotswolds, on my much-missed* Carlton Carrera bike. With clips and straps, a well-loved silver Isostar water-bottle, soft-soled Reebok trainers and mudguards squeezed onto a racing frame. I loved that bike. Paid for with a year of saved paper round money, it had a beautiful 60cm Reynolds 531c frame with chromed forks, and a Shimano 105 groupset. Downtube shifters and exposed brake-cables were the order of the day back then...

    Finally, c1988, with pal Ben on his slightly-too-big-for-him 61cm Raleigh Road-Ace, ready to leave Stranraer for a 4-day ride across the South of Scotland and down into the Lake District.

    This was an absolutely fantastic ride that I'll never forget. I set off, with black woolly jumper under my Fagor jersey, knitted track mitts, 2 full rear panniers (I was the mule for the two of us), new brake levers, Avocet computer, a slightly improved hair style and a selection of scars on my left leg from a crash a few days before (I went off the road going too fast down a steep winding hill near Stranraer, did an endo over a stone wall and ended up upside-down in a bush with by bike on top of me and my feet still clipped in). The adrenalin rush was great!...

    Before this ride I spent hours in my bedroom listening to ELO and closely analysing a huge Ordnance Survey map of the Lakes, to formulate a route that would cover all the main Passes in the area. I was looking to ride along roads with black arrows on them (indicating grades steeper than 1:10 or 10%).

    Day 1 - Stranraer to Castle Douglas
    Day 2 - Castle Douglas to Carlisle
    Day 3 - Carlisle to N Lakes to Helvellyn YHA
    Day 4 - Helvellyn YHA to S Lakes to Oxenholme

    On Days 3 and 4 we conquered the ridiculously steep Hardknott, Honister and Kirkstone Passes. We might have done Wrynose or Whinlatter too. We did about 120-130km a day and I don't remember struggling up the hills...unlike these days...although I am more than double the age I was then!

    And we played nomination Whist on the train all the way home!

    *Stolen from outside Leeds Uni Civil Engineering Dept. in 1991-ish. I left it unlocked as I was rushing to the start of a lecture and decided to take the risk - I lost!

    Tuesday, October 30, 2007

    Fergie or Halle?

    You can tell from this post that I'm not concentrating on training enough...

    Simon and I recently exchanged vitally important comments regarding Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas and Halle Berry. So I've opened a poll (look right).

    The simple question is - Fergie or Halle?

    Please vote (in the poll on the right!) If Fergie wins, I'll buy Simon a pint.

    The only rule is - one vote per person, and Simon & I can't vote.