Monday, April 30, 2007

Slower Than Me!

Slow-mo marathon runner finishes
Greg Billingham finishes the London Marathon
Greg Billingham finished in just over seven days
A man who ran the London Marathon in slow motion has crossed the finish line, a week after the race started.

Greg Billingham, from Poynton in Cheshire, completed the 26.2 mile (42.16km) course in slow motion and finished at lunchtime on Sunday.

The builder, who was raising money for Children with Leukaemia, "ran" one step every five to six seconds, after setting off with 36,000 other runners.

He said he had practised for weeks at the building site where he works.

Martin Lel, the winner in 2005, out-sprinted his rivals to claim his second victory in the marathon.

The Kenyan won in a time of two hours, seven minutes and 41 seconds.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

SBR Sesh

@ Uniten Pool near Bangi.

I really looked forward to this one and wasn't disappointed, although what started off as a nice cool cloudy day became very hot and sunny for the ride and run. Now I have a really silly tan on my back - two big red circles centred around my shoulders! I did...

Swim - 1400m in approx 42mins+, (of which 1200m in 36:37) - slow, but all front crawl

Bike - 45.2km in 1:39:33 @ 27.2kph

Run - 4km in 25:59 @ 6:30/km

Here's the gang (above) - Azwar, Kimbeley, Jaja, Faie, Eugene, Saiful, Abu, Hanif, Sofian, Jason Pacesetter, Azmar - sorry if i forgot your name.

Weight 76kg
Nutrition - Triple Threat @ 7am, 1 banana after swim. Water & ORS on bike.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Advertising Wonders

I just got an amusing email from a chum of mine and it got me thinking again about the wonderful world of advertising.

(advance apologies to anyone reading this who’s in advertising – unless you’re one of those who come up with the type of advertising cr*p that I hate so much.) BAD LANGUAGE WARNING - don't read this ad if you're easily offended!

There’s a rather irresponsible HSBC credit-card ad I’ve seen recently that shows a deliriously happy looking couple (in big letters) – “Whatever the reason – we buy it!

On the radio there an ad for a college that won’t just get you a qualification – you’ll become one of “…the next generation of critical thinkers to satisfy the nation’s demand for human capital in a knowledge-based society…” - !!!

Then there's the ads for new condo's that show the KLCC Twin Towers a stone's throw from a units balcony even though they're actually 15km away...

..or the magical "natural" slimming pills that will make you lose lots of weight, with no mention of diet or exercise.

Or an ad I drove under yesterday for "Melilea" dietary supplements (pills in a box) that emphasises that they're "Organic" - how can mass produced pills be "organic"?

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Singapore 70.3 Tri - Route Announced

Click on the image to enlarge it.

Swim Lesson #7

@ Bukit Jalil 6pm-8pm+

11 x 100m before start


  • 2 sets of 1 x 50m hard - 1min rest - 3 x 50 easy. my fastest 50m was 54s.
  • several individual 50m (hard) with long rests in between (times were 54-56s).
  • 2 sets of 4 x 50m with 10s rest after each 50. this took me 5:36 / 5:37.

  • I lost count but I did at least 2000m in all.


    do sets of following (as above)

  • 50m hard in 54s , rest 1min , 150m easy.
  • 4 x 50m @ 1:10/50m, 10s rest each 50 = 5:10 total.
  • OSIM Singapore Triathlon 2007

    They're coming thick and fast now...bring 'em on!!!

    Registration is open for the 2007 OSIM S'pore Tri and you've guessed it..I've registered already!

    Wednesday, April 25, 2007


    1. You leave clubs before the end to "beat the rush". (worst still you don't go to the clubs)

    2. You get more excited about having a roast on a Sunday than going clubbing the night before.

    3. You stop dreaming of becoming a professional footballer/basketball player and start dreaming of having
    a son who might instead.

    4. Before throwing the local paper away, you look through the property section.

    5. All of a sudden, middle aged people are not 46, they are only 46.

    6. Before going out anywhere, you ask whether there is anywhere to park.

    7. Rather than throw a knackered pair of trainers out, you keep them because they'll be alright for the DIY or
    in the garden.

    8. You buy T-shirts without anything written on them.

    9. Instead of laughing at the innovations catalogue that falls out of
    the newspaper, you suddenly see both the benefit and money saving
    properties of most of the things that are in it.

    10. You start to worry about your parents' health.

    11. You have more disposable income, but everything you want or need to
    buy costs between 200 and 500 quid.

    12. You don't get funny looks when you buy a Disney video or a Wallace
    and Gromit bubble bath, as the sales assistant assumes they are for your

    13. Pop music all starts to sound the same.

    14. You opt for Pizza Express over Pizza Hut because they do a really
    nice half-bottle of house red.

    15. You always have enough milk in.

    16. To compensate for the fact that you have little desire to go
    clubbing, you instead frequent trendy bars and restaurants in the
    mistaken belief that you have not turned into your parents.

    17. While flicking through the TV channels, you happen upon C4's Time
    Team with Tony Robinson. You get drawn in. Grand Designs also appeals.

    18. The benefits of a pension scheme become clear.

    19. You go out of your way to pick up a colour chart from B&Q.

    20. You wish you had a shed.

    21. You have a shed.

    22. You actually find yourself saying "They don't make 'em like that
    anymore" and "I remember when there were only 4 TV channels" and "Not in
    my day...."

    23. Radio 2 play more songs you know than Radio 1 - and Jeremy Vine has
    some really interesting guests on.

    24. Instead of tutting at old people who take ages to get off the bus, you tut at
    rowdy school children.

    25. When sitting outside a pub you admire their hanging baskets.

    26. You find yourself saying "is it cold in here or is it just me"

    27. You understand the above and forward it to your fellow aging friends.

    Tuesday, April 24, 2007

    Ipoh International Run

    I really enjoyed my first two half-marathons earlier this year (KL and PD) so I'm chuffed that registration has opened for another - the Ipoh Internation Run on 1st July. Click on the image for run details/registration.

    I also hope to do the Seremban, PJ, Putrajaya & Bidor half-marathons this year.

    Sunday, April 22, 2007

    New Cockpit

    I sold my short Jammer GT bars and got some Carbon Stryke aero bars instead. I just tested them and now at least I can put my upper body weight on my elbows rather than halfway up my forarm.

    The first real test for this set-up will be the S'pore Duathlon on 20 May.

    Power Run 2007

    I managed the 10.8km (or possibly 10.9km) in 1:01:31. This was 3 minutes outside my target. However as my targets are always to go faster than ever before - I am not contemplating suicide, especially as I did run 18 minutes (!) faster than last year. On that day Joel finished in about 1 hour and I wondered how long it would take me to improve to become as fast as him.

    Here's some photos - a million thanks as always to Tey, and Jason Lee - photos are better than medals or certs.

    Here I come (just after start)

    The compulsory victory salute!

    I bump into this guy regularly - he cannot talk (not sure of the reason) but he's a cheerful-chappie and it's always nice to see him.

    Patsy Yap - The Queen Mother of Malaysian Multi-sports!

    This is my Port Dickson passenger Bee Hoon...

    This is Shahrom, Malaysian Duathlete-supreme and fellow Wednesday-night Bukit Jalil swimmer - he'll be at the S'pore Duathlon too so at least I'll know somebody there.

    This one of me looking super-dynamic and determined, taken by Jason Lee. Note silly tan due to cycling!

    The end is nigh!...

    My target time passed as I entered Dataran Merdeka so I took it easy the last 500m...

    Hello Tey!...

    With Nezz and der Pacemakers after the run!

    And now for statistics! HR at the top. Course profile at the bottom. From L to R, the lines that end early are 2007. I ran 23% faster than 2006 but with a mere 2.5% increase in HR.

    From now on I'll only do 10k runs if there's no other event on and if I feel that I can miss out a long bike ride. Subang is a good one so I might do that.

    Saturday, April 21, 2007


    Sat. Lunchtime @ Bukit Jalil (solo).

    Warm-up: 200m
    Main Set: 1-2-3-2-1 ('00m)
    Times for set - 2:24 - 5:15 - 8:02 - 5:02 - 2:18
    Cool-down: 100m
    Total: 1.2km

    Recent 400m times:

    21/4/07 - 10:40 (300m time extrapolated)
    14/4/07 - 11:36
    4/4/07 - 12:03

    Friday, April 20, 2007


    Despite only reading one review (a bad one), I went to see the movie "The Number 23" - click on the title to see what it's all about. After I got home I read Lucas some goodnight stories (The Sneetches & Other Stories) including "Too Many Daves".

    And do you know how many Dave's there are???



    But I just went to the kitchen and noticed Dominos Pizza vouchers on the noticeboard - RM20 and RM25 - NOT 23 - so I'm no longer spooked!

    Thursday, April 19, 2007

    Swim Power, Lesson #6


    I went to Bukit Jalil again last night for swimming training. I swam at least 2000m all front crawl! 700m warm-up (not all at once) then 3 sets of...4 x 50m + 2 x 100m. Then 2 sets of 2 x 50m + 1 x 100m.

    Rotating my body/shoulders more and aiming lower with my leading hand makes a big difference. For that session one other thing I was working on was maintaining the power in my push right until the end of the stroke.

    Power Run

    It's the Power Run this Sunday. Officially it is 10km but I think it is actually 10.7km. I don't plan to do 10k events this year (I want to stick to 15km or 21km's) but seing that I have some days coming soon where I can go for long rides before the 100-mile ride on 6 May, I thought I'd do this run to compare my time to last year.

    In 2006 I finished in 1:19:04 but considering my recent sub-hour 10.8km hilly run my target for this weekend is also to break the hour barrier. In fact I'm going to push it a bit and say...0:58:40. Hopefully the crowd wont slow me down at the start.

    Sunday, April 15, 2007

    Broga Loop Ride

    115.5km in 4h52m @ 23.7kph
    Total Ascent - 1220m

    Here's the route profile for this tough ride - my first long ride for a while. This is Sg. Tekala to the top of Genting Peres...

    Next we have two lower peaks after Peres then a long downhill towards Kuala Klawang. The hill at the end is Bukit Tangga - a Cat 2 KOM climb for the Tour De Langkawi. It is very exposed and was super-hot!

    Then we have a great downhill after the Bukit Tangga climb. We stopped at the bottom for Cendol and fresh coconut water before being faced with 2 short sharp climbs then rolling hills on the road to Ulu Beranang and then Broga. The final 14km out of Semenyih seems to be flat but rises gently according to this...


    Brekkie - PowerBar @ 6.45am
    On Bike - 2 large bottles, 1 with ORS, kept topped-up
    En route - roti canai & 100+ drink at km57. Cendol @ km72. PowerGel @ km90.

    I felt good to the top of Peres. The short climbs after Peres were unexpected and legs felt a bit tired. Felt ok all the way to Klawang - was in a train of 4 for about 5km @35kph+. OK after Klawang then tired on tough Tangga climb. Until now I was mid-bunch. Very slow on 1st steep climb at km74. From km90 onwards felt good. I dropped my companions by 1km in the last 14km - possible effect of cendol & PowerGel!

    Saturday, April 14, 2007

    Singapore City Duathlon

    What a way to cheer me up on a Saturday lunchtime (stuck in the office!) - registration for the long-delayed Singapore Duathlon is open! The website is HERE.

    I'll be there!

    Odd Books

    Trolley book wins odd title prize

    Supermarket trolley
    The book about the shopping trolley took six years to complete
    A book titled The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide to Field Identification has been named as the oddest book title of the year.

    The annual prize, awarded by industry magazine Bookseller, drew more than 5,500 internet voters to its website.

    The shopping trolley book, by Julian Montague, picked up 1,866 votes.

    Tattooed Mountain Women and Spoon Boxes of Dagestan came second, with Better Never To Have Been: The Harm of Coming Into Existence in third place.

    "We are delighted to reward a brilliant piece of niche publishing again this year," said Joel Rickett, deputy editor of The Bookseller.

    "For everyone who has ever seen an abandoned supermarket trolley and wondered how it got there, The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America is an indispensable guide."

    The Joy of Chickens
    American Bottom Archaeology
    Versailles: The View From Sweden
    Re-using Old Graves
    Highlights in the History of Concrete
    The Joy of Sex: Pocket Edition
    Greek Rural Postmen and Their Cancellation Numbers

    "The book is a labour of love and apparently took the author six years to compile," he added.

    Other runners-up include How Green Were the Nazis? and D Di Mascio of Coventry - An Ice Cream Company of Repute, With An Interesting and Varied Fleet of Ice Cream Vans.

    The contest began in 1978 - previous winners include High Performance Stiffened Structures, Living with Crazy Buttocks and How To Avoid Huge Ships.

    New Double Hill PB

    Sat. 14/4/07
    10.8km in 0:59:13 @5:29/km

    Lack of motivation on Thursday and heavy rain on Friday postponed my return to the Double Hill after alomst 2 months. As I have done hardly any running in the last few weeks except in events, I was determined to run this week, so I modified my usual Saturday a.m. routine to squeeze a 10.8k run in...0:59:13 - a new PB by 3m58s!

    I suspected that I might be able to dip under the hour for the first time and seemed quite quick in the first 3km. After that I felt ok and reached halfway a few minutes up on previous times. In the second half I felt tired and even walked for about 40s, but the long slight downhill to Bukit Tunku helped me recover and I reached the turn towards the final hill in 50mins - 5 mins faster than usual. At 55mins I knew I'd get a PB so took it easy up the final hill and downhill to the car.

    Friday, April 13, 2007

    Group Swim, Lesson #5

    My first Wednesday evening group swim training session with Peh the other day. Fellow swimmers were Shahrom Abdullah, Ah Wei and Mon.

    I had done 600m of slow warm-up front crawl by the time Peh arrived. After he came my technique automatically improved.

    For the training I did 100m stints, each time taking in his advice which was generally…

    1. Reach forward strongly with leading arm. This aids rotation (although rotation should really be from the “core”, not shoulders) and improves the final push of the other arm.
    2. Aim the leading arm 4-6” underwater. With a horizontal body (ideal position) and extended arm, this is the natural depth. Trying to keep the arm at the surface causes the body to look “up” increasing drag.
    3. Arms should not cross an imaginary line passing though the centreline of the body/direction of travel.
    4. Leading arm should extend above water – not enter water then extend.
    5. Finally – keep the “T” low, keep elbows high on pull, imagine pulling a barrel towards you, finish pushes strongly.
    6. Tonight I felt for the first time that my legs were just “following” and I was kicking less. This is a sign that balance/body position is improving and will save legs for the following bike-run.

    I swam at least 1600m front crawl that night. I was doing 100m in about 2m45s. Saturday target is to do 400m non-stop. My long term goal is to be able to swim 1500m @ 2m20s per 100m = 35mins for 1500m.

    Thursday, April 12, 2007

    Perfect Smile RIP

    The end of an era...but life must go on! Lucas' perfect baby pearly white smile is no longer!!!...

    Monday, April 09, 2007

    A'Famosa Olympic Tri Photos

    These are mostly photos featuring me!! - for more general photos and those of my tri buddies - click HERE!

    F1 GP

    I arrived with 10 minutes to spare after bombing up the Highway and driving along the road shoulder to skip the queue!! Here we are...Mihir..Sathi...Ravi and Lucas.

    As usual - eveyone went crazy for the Ferraris (how boring! YAWN!) - but they all kept quiet when the cars appeared for the 1st time with the 2 McLarens leading. It was interesting for 10 minutes. Then a not v interesting procession (apart from Massa sliding off). A bit interesting at the end when Raikkonen was catching my man Hammo and I didn't know how many laps were left. Here's Hammo about 1/2 way into the race with a Ferrari chasing him...

    A'Famosa Olympic Triathlon 2007 - Race Report

    Well I did it, not without suffering a bit though!

    Having thought about it constantly for the last 6 months part of my brain thought this was my 77th Olympic Tri but actually it was my first.

    Up at 5.40am, 2 x Triple Threats for brekkie, showered etc...and did final bike & kit checks.

    Arif, May Senn, Bernard & I cycled about 3km from our villa to the start where we collected our bags from fellow Olympic 1st-timer Ah Fook and his girlfriend-photographer Helen.

    We were fairly early at the transition so I had time to get ready, chat a bit and soak up the atmosphere. I met Faie and Eugene for the first time. Azwar was there and it was good to see Patsy Yap again - she never fails to cheer me up with her laughter!

    I laid out my gear in my own particular way and went through transitions in my mind - "must remember to sit in T2 for socks & shoes" I thought.

    A swim warm-up and stretching followed body-numbering. I bumped into Aini Bola2Api.

    The VIP starter was early (for a VIP) and we were underway at 8.03am.


    The first 10mins of the swim was quite chaotic - I took one fairly good kick in the face, and dished out a few myself. I had to slow 2-3 times for people crossing my path, and my attempts to avoid kicking people in face very hard disrupted my stroke. After a while we spread out a bit and I got into a better rhythm. I did breaststroke 90% front crawl 10%. To do more crawl I need to sort out a good sighting technique. Occasionally my right knee felt a bit strained so I switched to crawl.

    My time was 34mins+ with about 150m left so I thought "OK, 1 down 2 to go, just about on target".


    I jogged the transition slowly, using the 2 mins or so to relax and focus ahead.


    My legs felt OK from the start unlike Pulai last year when I could barely handle 3rd gear. I began overtaking several riders and my speed seemed ok (my HRM was on my wrist so I couldnt check speed, average etc...). The course was rolling - tough but short climbs with nice downhills to match. I felt good and was pleased to see some pretty fit/pro-looking riders around me - normally a good sign! I drafted one guy for a couple of minutes but he lost me on a climb. I was conscious that I should leave some energy in my legs for the run. I endured technical problem #1 - a powergel fell out of my suit pocket. I left it - I had a spare in transition and energy drink in my bottle. Someone had a worse problem than me - I saw an aero-bar elbow rest lying in the road!

    I saw Don Khor pass in the opposite direction and then Azwar and thinking that it was an out and back course, guessed they were already >10km ahead of me. I got to the u-turn and realised they were only maybe 10minutes ahead which was quite gratifying. I had no idea where my team buddies were until after the u-turn when I saw Bernard and then Arif. I was sure that Bernard would catch me on the bike, and he did after about 25km. On the return leg I was enjoying the ride but eased off my 1st 20km pace to conserve energy. I made a point of enjoying it too - high-5'ing some kids at the roadside.

    One bit I enjoyed was successfully grabbing a bottle of water out of a stationary volunteer's hand at 35kph. In the seconds beforehand I thought of the high-probability of the bottle transfer being a complete disaster. My tip - grab the bottles strongly!

    Towards the end I could see the leaders about halfway into their run...Ah Thiam, Kimbeley Yap, Steph Chok, Cort Prois.


    Nice and easy again. 1-2 mins to relax and focus on my least favourite bit! Sat down - socks on quickly then onto knees for shoes - no cramps! Forgot to record split times as always.


    The first 200m were slow, but everything was feeling ok - no horrible "don't do this to me!" messages from brain to body.

    Then after 200m the wobbly alomost-cramping quads started. This was unexpected - I thought
    if I got cramps it would be my calfs - but today it was my vastus medialis!

    Luckily by running slowly they didn't cramp fully and after 5-10minutes the cramps went - i guessed that's the time it took for my legs to get into running mode (I need to do some Bike-Run "Brick" training in future).

    I really struggled to run and ended up walking-running the whole way. Basically walk uphill, walk run flats and run downhill. About 3k into the run I saw Aini, and I saw Arif & Ah Fook towards the end of their bike.

    Many people overtook me on the run. I stopped at all the water stations. I started doing "Baby Steps" (refer to What About Bob? movie) - giving myself short goals such as run-to-the-3rd-warning-arrow-ahead.

    Eventually I got towards the end of the run and was relieved but also disappointed to be directed to miss the loop back to the hotel, which would mean the run is <10km. After a <37km ride (according to my meter) this meant that perhaps only the swim was the full distance. In the last 2km my quads were tiring and back to nearly cramping. Walking made it worse so I kept jogging. Last 500m - overtaken by one final mat-salleh. I looked behind - nobody for 2-300m so no final place loss - I jogged up the hill to the finish line and gave the usual salute under the arch! Hooray! It is over!!

    I finished in 3:02:04, 33rd out of 71 in the M30-39 category. If the bike/run had been the full 40/10km I would have beaten my 3:26:00 target by a few seconds. If I'd known how long the transitions were I'd have allowed 2 mins each making a 3:28 target - so job done!

    After the tri I waited for the rest of the gang to finish then headed-off to shower, pack and drive to Sepang for the F1...see the next post!

    Next triathlon for me - Tasik Kenyir on 26 May - see you there folks!

    One slightly scary thing is that now (Monday lunchtime) my legs only feel tired and not actually stiff as usual for me a day after a big event. This means that either (a) my legs are used to the punishment and I stretched well yesterday or (b) the "tired" period is lasting longer than usual and I'll be unable to walk tomorrow!! We'll see! A recovery swim in the condo pool will do nicely tonight though.

    Details for this Tri...

    2 x Triple Threat @ 5.50am
    1 x Banana @ 6.30am (to get system-down-below moving!)
    Race start 8am
    Big bottle of PowerBar Endurance drink and normal bottle water with ORS on bike
    PowerGel #1 @ 15km on bike
    200ml water collected @ 20km on bike
    Quick drink of water @ T2
    PowerGel #2 @ 3km of run - seemed to have little or no effect. Legs very fatigued!
    Water >every 2km on run
    Race finish 11.05am.
    Post race - 2 x cups Milo, 1 x bottle water, 2 x water-melon.
    1.5h post race - 1bottle 100 PLus and 1l water. 1/2 pack of Pringles!! Mmmmmmmm!!!
    Lunch - none!
    Evening - Pizza + Coke + water
    Weight (after evening food/drink) 77kg

    A'Famosa Sprint Triathlon 2007 - Race Report

    I drove down to A'Famosa with Arif (one song we listened to was "King Of Pain" by The Police - quite apt!). Anyway to cut a long story.....body numbering time...

    With Lizi Lim & Arif before the start...

    Deep in thought..only seconds to go!!!...

    Swim exit and...LOOK! - there are people behind me!!!!!!

    Looks like the camera-lady got from the swim exit to my bike before I did!!...

    Off I go...

    15km later...I'm back...

    Run time...

    Carbo-loading Dinner with Bernard..Arif...Me...Ah Fook...

    I came in 22nd/40 in the M17-39 category. Here's my times...