Sunday, December 28, 2008

Audio Ambitions

I'm also rather inclined to splash out some of my bike cash (if it sells) on some audio kit. Since selling my decks in 1996 I've always wanted to get back into domestic DJ'ing. But times have changed now and I have to think about CD's and MP3's, not just vinyl.

In Malaysia DJ'ing kit didn't appear to be readily available but here in Dubai I've found a place that sells decks, CD players, software and vinyl to MP3 converters.

I can then indulge in one of my great passions - E.L.E.C.T.R.O!

Changes

I got a comment on my last post and am surprised that anyone actually still looks at my blog as I hardly ever write anything these days. Thats because I'm extremely busy at work - giving less time for training (my most common blogging subject), and the blogging itself.

Now I'm at the end of 4 days off for Xmas so have a few secs to blog.

Nowadays my training/exercise is limited to a 70km bike ride every Friday. Partly due to the sun setting at 5.45pm, I am not inclined to do anything in the evenings - and a 7am start in the office knocks out the mornings too.

But I really enjoy the weekend rides. It's a 6am start and these days the temperature can be as low as 15 Celsius! At that temperature I can just about survive with arm-warmers and a vest under my jersey. Any colder and I'll need a windproof layer and tights! I tell you though it is a very refreshing experience!

There are usually 100-150 riders and its a controlled ride. 2 by 2 all 90% of the time, with the front 5-10 pairs doing turns at the front. The first 35km averages 32kph. Then there's a sprint where the adrenalin starts to flow and I usually end up tucked behind someone doing almost 50kph for the last few '00 metres.

On the way back we average 34kph, with some sections sustained at 37-40kph depending on the wind. I do some good turns on the front myself. The group usually splits and I enjoy trying to stay in the front pack, which I usually manage to do. However I've heard that the 100 & 120km groups ride faster!

I'm inclined to concentrate on cycling these days so have decided to sell my rapidly depreciating Planet X, which spends most of its life on the wall with the wheels in a bag. If I do a triathlon I still have a road bike.

At the same time I'm re-setting my ambitions away from triathlons. I have an idea to do the Tour of Flanders cyclo-sportif in Belgium in April, and perhaps a few mountains in the Alps in July or August.

We'll see what happens. I'll do the odd blog post too.

Friday, December 26, 2008

PlanetX

Due to a change in circumstances my beloved Planet X tri bike is for sale...


- Planet X Stealth Pro Carbon frame & forks (Size XL - 58cm crank centre to top of seat stay)
- 10-spd Dura-Ace 7800 group incl BB & bar-end levers
- Planet X Pro Carbon 50mm aero wheels with American Classic hubs. Tubular tyres. Perfectly true wheels.
- HED Vantage 8 aerobars.
- Deda Newton 80mm stem.
- Look KEO carbon pedals.
- ISM Adamo Road saddle (strange but wonderful!)
- Shimano Ultegra chain.
- Shimano Dura-Ace 12-25 cassette.
- Cane Creek integrated headset.
- Hydrotail + 2 x carbon bottle cages
- Oval Concepts brake levers
- + Planet X padded wheel bag
- bracket and sensor for Polar HRM.
- crank is 175mm & front mech fitting is braze-on. Chainset is 52-39.

Bought in July 2007. Done less than 900km. Never crashed. Beautiful smooth ride.
Fork steerer tube has not been cut.
This bike helped me take 20mins off my Half-Ironman bike leg time.

Cost more than AED17,000, selling for AED13,000 or nearest offer. Call Adrian 0504817906 if interested. Located in The Lakes, Emirates Hills.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Pacesetter Spotted In Dubai

After 2 weeks of nil zero kosong exercise - a 10km jog around Le Meridien Mina Seyahi. Advertising the Pacesetters to the world...




My target was to beat an hour, but I surprised myself with a 55min+ run.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Cooke Again

Team GB cycling

Kings of the Track
Queens of the Track
Queen of the Road
Fastest Sprinter 2008

all we need now is a Road King

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Settling In

I'm nearing the end of my monthly "normal" 2-day weekend and feel like I have a few minutes to blog.

We're quite well settled in now. Lucas has been at school for a couple of weeks. The final piece of the jigsaw is to get Jackie a driving licence. According to the rules here, a newly licenced 17-year old from the UK can get a UAE licence in minutes, but Jackie (who's been driving for over 20 years) has to go through a minimum of 20 lessons because here licence is not from a "recognised" country. Even more crazy is the fact that the strict yet nonsensicle driving licencing rules here don't seem to do any good. I drive along the same 3km stretch of Al Khail Road every day and I have seen at least 2 accidents every day since Ramadan began - some serious ones. The shocking thing is that the reason for the accidents is blindingly obvious - tailgating.

I've managed to get out for a few rides and runs recently. Starting a few weeks ago I joined the Dubai Roadsters 70km Friday a.m. ride. My first ride included a puncture after 43km and a solo ride home after that.

My second ride was better. My colleague Jim (ex British road-race champ) joined us after a few km and we chatted all the way to the 35km point where there was a sprint. I then bumped into Karen Hales and for a moment was not sure what continent I was in. It turns out that her disapperance from KL was becasue she moved to Dubai! No punctures this time and I made it back in 2:08 at an average of 33kph - my fastest ever road ride of that distance.

Last Friday I did the same ride but was more ambitious than last time. I did a few km stint at the front and went for broke in the last km to see if I could catch the sprint. Jim attacked first and was followed. A few secs later I managed to latch on to the back of a train I surprisingly managed to stay with it @ 50kph+ until we caught Jim with a few '00m to go. But my HR had reached 99% so I stepped of the gas and watched the real sprinters fly by.

The return leg was faster as usual and I had fun time-trialling across gaps to try to stay with the leaders. That ride ended in 2:11 @ 32kph.

The evening before I joined the Dubai Road Runners 5km Iftar (breaking-fast time) run.

This Saturday I've got a 800m/5km Aquathlon and a 10km run and a 168km bike race in my calendar.

That's all folks.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Say Hello to...

my little friends!...

Balance, poise, stylish jimjams...what else can I say?

On zee beach - 8am - lots of starfish around.

On zee beach #2 - in the shadow of THE MIGHTY BURJ!

My new Trek. Shimano Ultegra all round and Bontrager everything except my trusty 10-year old Dura-Ace seat post. Soon I'll put on the 50mm Planet-X carbon rims and see how mean she looks! I need a longer stem - 110mm at least.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Climbbybike

My parting gift to Malaysia is here. I hope some fellow cyclists can add to the listing, and perhaps do one themselves for the Camerons, Genting Peres etc...


My Day

A new life - a new routine...

Wake-up shortly before 5am. It is light already. Woken at 5.10am by alarm. Snooze until 5.20am.

Up, switch centralised a/c off and have a shower.

Say bye and open the front door. Walk into the already warm and humid air and jump into my 3.5l Nissan Pathfinder. Immediately put the a/c on and off we go.

Listen to nothing, or BBC World in Arabic on the radio. Reach Al Khail road in 5mins and hope that the HGV crawl hasn't started yet.

Start work at 6am. On some days I go direct to the site and look around while it's still relatively cool. Otherwise dtraight to the office.

Work is usually madness -

  • sub-con invoices,
  • leave requests, warninbg letters
  • manpower forecasts
  • check procurement status
  • write letter to client
  • check authority permits status
  • are the pipes made yet?
  • is the tunnel alignment ok?
  • we need 30 new carpenters
  • meet the loss adjuster
  • consortium meeting
  • must survey that site
  • shaft design
  • oh no - an new urgent urgent job has come up
  • petty cash
  • steering committee meeting
  • car service
  • how many pumps do we have?
  • hello sir - do you need a long reach excavator?
etc...

but i get paid well, have a nice house, a car and lucas in a good school - i am not grumbling. my job is rewarding - no doubt.

a 2-day weekend starts now. I've put the seat up to the MAX on my slightly-too-small Trek and plan to do a 5.30am 70km ride in the morning.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Trekkie

I have done something I thought I would never do - bought a Trek/Shimano/Bontrager bike. It's 2 years old and in pretty good condition. 58cm with Ultegra all round and Bontrager wheels.

So I've been promoted from '94 8-speed Campy to '06 10-speed Shimano.

I hope to go for a long ride on Friday morning.

...and i've finally browsed local club sites and come up with a list of weekly training sessions, and an event calendar.

I've missed a lot of great races in Malaysia, and have done little or no training in the last 3 months, but the season here is about to kick-off - hooray for that!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Hubble Space Telescope

Awaited almost as eagerly as the first photos from Hubble......

...here's a few pics of our humble new abode in Dubai.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Max

Just been reading about the Max Moseley court case. It would appear that the a***holes at the News Of The World are yet again confusing "mildly interesting" with "in the public interest". The only way they will learn that they are not the same is when the punishment for breaching an individuals privacy is big enough to hurt their profits.

I hope he gets his punitive damages - and gives them to charity.

My blog posts are taking a number of days to appear here - I wonder if they are being "reviewed" by someone first?!?

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Show Off!

I'm very excited! Stage 1 of Le Tour just finished and with all of todays top 6 (except 3rd) in my team, I am in 1st place by a massive 10 points! This is my finest fantasy cycling hour yet!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Comedy Politics

Is it silly season in Zimbabwe and Malaysia?

Mugabe has clearly gone completey mad - I really want to know what he does to the people who appear on TV to be supporting him rather deliriously.

...and I am quite amazed that Anwar has been accused of sodomy again!! This has to be a joke surely! Will he be accused of sodomy in 2018 also? Lets hope that his accusors have the decency to specify an apartment unit that had actually been built when asked to confirm where the dastardly deed took place.

I really do despair!

Mugabe - What a Star!

i'm still in a hotel! but i've moved to a new 3 star place very close to work. and they've got free wireless internet so i'm more inclined to blog even though i dislike the laptop keyboard. here's some on-liners...

i'm super busy at work. the days fly by. most days i have no time to do anything i intended to until things go quiet at 5pm.

i start at 7am, and will be working 6am-4pm in july and august in an effort to fit in better with adjusted working hours on site to suit the 12.30-3pm ban on outside work due to heat.

i am really enjoying my job - i have complete responsibility for everything, with a reasonably small amount of direction/guidance from the project director.

the weather is heating up - its noticeably hotter and more humid these days.

i'm managing one run per week at the moment and i think i've put on a wee bit of weight, but not much.

our house is just abut ready. jackie and lucas arrive in 7 hours or so - so from tomorrow we'll be choosing furnitureand getting it delivered. i'm quite looking forward to buying a tv and joining the lcd tv generation.

there's loads of european influence here compared to malaysia, such as products in the shops, and vehicles. i even saw an eddie stobart truck the other day!

i had a snowboarding lesson last week. i fell over once but apart from that had a successful session, and will definitely have more lessons. i am gobsmacked that they plan to build another ski "dome" that wil make the current one look small!

i had a frustrating visit to a petrol station on friday. i waited for ages (there are very few petrol stations) and then they refused to fill me up as my fuel cap was on the "wrong" side even though the hose would reach. i then decided to reverse in but that was also "prohibited". i was puzzled about that! another strange thing - you can't use credit cards to pay for petrol.

more soon!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Dubai Diary

hi folks!

just a quickie again - i'll have www access in my office from sunday so will hopefully do some more posts.

been at work a week now and will be very busy i think. i am the project manager for 15km of new sewers and irrigation for Jumeirah Golf Estates - loads of outrageously expensive villas around a Greg Norman golf course. another amazing dubai project - google it and see what its all about. Aishwarya Rai just bought a house there.

in 1 hour or so i'll be off for my first run (or exercise of any kind) for nearly three weeks. gym or a nearby park - i dont know yet.

we have been super lucky so far - my company only had one house available for us and it is better than i expected - in The Lakes - a gated community with pools, play areas etc... its a 3 bed house with a garden. will be able to have bbq's when its cooler (next 2-3 months wil be high-40's celcius!!).

also mega-lucky was that we managed to get Lucas into Dubai British School - 2km from the house.

some interesting things about dubai -

driving on the right (1st time ever for me)
free parking in malls, with a system to indicate where spaces are
its dusty - visibility sometimes 2-3km only
cars and petrol is very cheap
loadsa expats
british DJ's on the radio - they even play The Smiths!
i've never seen so many Hummers, Range Rover's, 4WD's
our housing area feels like a factory for caucasian mums with toddlers and 4WD's
sun rises at 5-5.30am, sets at 7.30pm
traffic is very bad
my day off is friday
many stunning arab women - many very glamorous, some very skimpily-dressed!
men dress very well
internet is censored
only 20% locals live here!
i work with indians, belgians, dutch, scottish, iraqi, egyptians, aussies, french....
blogspot page here is in arabic text - difficult to login!

ttfn

more on sunday.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Greetings from Dubai

Hi folks. As I'm living in a hotel that charges AED18 (about RM16) for 20mins internet access, blogging has taken a back seat to more critical www activities. But somehow the www is working for free at the moment so i've time for a post!

Spent a fortune on taxis the first few days getting around - looking at schools etc... but got a car on Wednesday so I've got some cheaper transport here. Driving on the right was a new experience for me - so far so good. Still keep reaching the wrong way for the seat-belt, handbrake and gears though!

The sun is up at 5.30am every day, and its 40 degrees-ish (30 minimum). It's already Malaysia-hot by 8am!

Haven't ventured out for a run yet, but have checked out the cost of bikes!

I'm starting work in earnest tomorrow - wish me luck. More sewers for me for another 18months!

Looks like we'll live in a nice 3 bedroom villa (house = villa here) in a development called The Lakes, quite close to the 7-star Burj Al-Arab hotel and the Palm Jumeirah. Also close to Ski Dubai and the 2 schools for Lucas that we'll be applying to on Sunday.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

FREE Tri Mags

Free to a good home...
  • Inside Triathlon 2007 & 2008 Buyers Guides
Contact me if interested!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Giro Musings

The Eurosport commentators mentioned Genting last night and described it as "a vicious climb, in horrible heat".

Cavendish is clearly the fastst sprinter - but not necessarily the best - yet. If he can handle the mountains and finish - I reckon there's some Grand Tour points jerseys ahead of him.

How ironic that a man named "Fortunato" crashed on a cobbled corner just 600m from the finish line a few days ago, when he was in a group of 3 and had a good chance of winning the stage. How Unfortunato!

Sean Kelly always refers to the cyclists as "roiders" - is he suggesting that they all take drugs?

Watch a stage of the Giro on Eurosport and count how many times Sean Kelly says "certainly" - if I had RM1 for every time...!

RMAF 21km

I am sans car now , and I've taken my trusty old Shogun to bits (permanently) so Planet X came out to play to get me down to TUDM this morning for the 21km. I arrived and locked up the bike. Was puzzled as to where all the runners were. Headed off towards a large inflatable arch about 300m away that I thought was the start. As it turned out, the start was another 600m away and so I missed the gun by 3-4 mins!

Mmmmmm - not a good start! I was seriously considering 20min run followed by a DNF but after a few minutes I caught the imcyclist gang and then Patsy Yap, so my spirits were lifted. After less than 1km I also came across a bunch of girls walking, and each carrying quite sizeable shoulder bags - very strange!?!?

I took the first few km at a snails pace and as I passed all the back-markers thoughts of a DNF fizzled out. This run had distance markers every km so I could regularly check my pace. I was doing 6:00/km but had lost a couple of mins at the start after chatting with imcyclists. I began to feel good and from 45mins to 1:37 felt quite fast and managed to dip under 6:00/km pace.

By the last few km I was on target for a surprise sub 2:06 and eventually finished in a very pleasing 2:03:15. But acording to a few different sources, including me, the distance was only 20.4 ot 20.5km. Anyway, I'm pretty pleased considering that I've done zero exercise in the last 2 weeks except the NB 15km and a ride up to Genting.


20.4km in 1:03:15 @ 6:03/km (or 2:07:03 pace for 21km)

15km in 1:31:10 = 30s outside PB!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

So Long, Farewell, Auf Weidersehen, Goodbye...

...and, of course, Selamat Tinggal...

Due to unprecedented popular demand (!) - I am arranging a bit of a farewell get-together/makan for anyone who is interested on Thursday 29th May at 7.30 or 8pm. The venue depends on how many of you are up for it, but it will be halal food and probably somewhere in PJ or Damansara or the outskirts of KL - within reasonable reach for most people. So far I've got about 10 people. This invite is especially for all of you who's number I haven't got in my phone.

Leave a comment if you can come so I can estimate numbers and choose somewhere appropriate. Suggestions for a restaurant are also welcome - not too expensive please!

Don't think of it as just a leaving do - there'll be lots of runners/triathletes so it'll be a rare gathering of this species that's not directly linked to a race!

Guest of Honour - Mr Tey Eng Tiong!!!!!!

Anyone who knows me is welcome!!!

Disclaimer - any public speaking at this event is limited to 10s per person. (this is my get-out clause!)

Genting Conquered

Ride profile, from McD's up to Genting via Gohtong.

Part 2 of my hilly weekend was a ride from Genting Sempah R&R to Genting Highlands. Arif, Adeline & I rode a couple of km's up the hill (that took 13 mins!) and waited for another 6 riders, including Sofian, who'd started at HOA.

My main concern was that my HR would exceed my self-imposed max of 90%, or that my elderly bottom bracket would fail under the strain of me pushing a 39x23 gear up 1:10 slopes for 2 hours. As it turned out, my HR stayed under 90% and my BB was OK. (lots of abbreviations there!)

Pitstopped at Gohtong and then the final push - about 8-9km. I was looking forward (?) to the infamous 4.4km to go - a wall-like left-hand switchback corner, followed by unrelenting 10-12% gradients to the top.

I got past 4.4 ok but my front tyre was suspiciously flat and I stopped shortly therafter. My tyre had lost a lot of pressure, but after 3 attempts at remounting I was on my way again and managed to get to 2.2km to go before having to change it.

The wall-like corner at 4.4km to go (4.4 = Die.Die in Chinese - how appropriate!)

After 2hours (at less than 10kph!) we made it to the top and had a short rest before Arif & I began the descent. The first 5 minutes was in thick cloud and I was so freezing that my whole arms were trembling. Halfway down my tyre deflated again so we stopped to top it up with CO2. This was 10th (slight exaggeration) suspected internal puncture in the last few months - definitely something wrong with my tyres, rims or rim tape. My rims were almost too hot to touch from braking continuously!

Luckily for me Arif had another CO2 canister so I made it all the way to the top of the "McD's hill". Then my tire began to come off the rim, so my ride promptly turned into a brick session - I ran the last 1km downhill with bike in one hand - shoes in the other. Running over stones on the road is damn painful!

The end result was a very satisfying ride. I finally made it right to the top, 11 years after falling 3km short due to time constraints, and only 2 weeks before I leave the country (I've been targetting that ride for the last 3 years!).

My proof! - the tastefully painted First World Hotel, shrouded in cotton wool clouds.

This ride got me so excited about cycling up mountains that I've entered it on www.climbbybike.com - a must view site for cycling fans. Hopefully the climb will be on the site in 2 weeks once the webmasters have okay'd the details (profile, photos, description and Google Earth links).

NB 15km

I missed my 1:30 target, but still managed a respectable 1:32 time even though the first 2km was really congested.



Thursday, May 15, 2008

Hilly Weekend!

I am particularly looking forward to this Sunday's Pacesetters 15km run as it is one of the best runs of the year. As I missed it last year (I was in Singapore doing the duathlon), and am leaving Malaysia soon, it's a final chance to grab a 15km PB (I have to beat 1:31:43) and say farewell to the beloved Double Hill route.

Talking of hills, one of my unachieved ambitions from the last 2-3 years is to cycle to Genting Highlands. I rode up there once in '97 with Boon Foo & gang, but only made it to the pagoda near the summit. Now I have to go all the way.

Luckily for me there's a ride up there on Monday morning. Unluckily for me I am 11 years older now and have the same bike with a less-than-suitable 42 x 23 smallest gear!

Maxis


  • World-Class advertising
  • Products that aren't really as life-changing as they want you to think
  • Crap customer service

Now tell me this. Maxis is a company that sells communication products, and their billing system is so advanced that you can ask them to SMS your outstanding phone charges every day! But when they start charging my missus RM30 every day for calls she disn't make, and she sacrifices her valuable free time to go the Maxis Centre to enquire about the problem, they say she has to come back once she's received her monthly bill!! - what utter bollocks!

This reminds me of when it took me 4 months and at least 4 trips to different Maxis Centres to be refunded my RM300 deposit for a USB modem that was no use to me as there was no signal at my condo. You know - the USB modem that has a really happy cute kid riding his bike really fast (allegedly like the service) in the adverts.

Seems like their wonderful 21st Century communications systems only work when it is in their favour, not the customers.

Ahhhhhhhhhhh now I feel better!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Surprise!

Check this out! -

My "Brusers" team scored the highest number of points out of over 1,200 teams in the velogames.com Fantasy Giro '08 game for Stage 4. WOW! Shame there's no prizes!

Most of my points came from my riders finishing 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 7th on the stage and having the leaders jersey.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Furtive Venice snapper arrested

A man who allegedly photographed more than 3,000 women's bottoms as they toured Venice has been arrested.

The man was stopped after police became suspicious of a large bag he was carrying as he followed women through St Mark's Square.

He has been charged with infringement of privacy. It is a cheeky crime, which could earn this 38-year-old Italian from six months to four years in jail.

A police video shows a man in jeans and hooded top walking behind women.

He is trying to position his black holdall close to their legs.

Police said he was filming through a small hole in the side of the bag.

The officers had become suspicious when they realised he was only following women with short skirts. When they stopped or bent down to pick something up, he was clearly trying to angle the bag behind them.

When the voyeur was finally caught police recovered several DVDs which held more than 3,000 images of women's bottoms.

He confessed to police he had been filming in and around St Mark's Square for nearly two years.

Police have refused to name him but Mario Marina of Venice police said he is married with two young children and has a professional job in the nearby town of Padua.

He might have some explaining to do when he finally gets home.

A'Famosa Tri Double

Sprint Race

After a strenuous 10km run in the morning, 3hrs+ driving (with some lovely durian on the way) and not getting into our room until 35mins before the start - I wasn't well prepared for the Sprint. But I didn't worry too much as this was pure fun for me - I had no intention of pushing it.

I did the swim in just under 13mins and was pleased with my navigation. My triceps were pretty sore though, and I became worried that they'd be equally sore the next morning. Arif & Michelle (who's swimming has improved a lot) both beat me out of the water. I ambled through transition, closely followed by Lucas, and even chatted with swim coach Peh (about my tired triceps) before hopping on the bike.

On the bike I was tired, slow, and couldn't cope with the aero-position. I seriously contemplated doing one loop for a DNF. But I persevered and did the second loop and then onto the run/walk. I ran for a while with Adeline, and was overtaken by Karen Siah at the end. She is making a habit of doing that. I finished in 1:14 - 12 mins slower than last year, but I was tired a really took it very easy all the way.

Olympic

My first conscious thought on the Sunday was when Jackie woke me up and almost gave me a heart attack by saying "is it really 7.3am?". It was still pitch black outside and I felt like sleeping for another 12 hours. I rushed to my watch - it was 3.38am. THANKS SAYANG!!!

Apart from that I slept well and got up on time. 2 x bananas, half a Powerbar, a coffee and some Isostar later, I was ready and arrived just in time to set up, get numbered, greet everyone and head down to the water. I LOVE the pre-race feeling - excitement, anticipation, the effort ahead, the thrill of the battles in the water, the downhills, high-fiving the roadside kids etc...


Swim

The swim was mediocre. I was kicked in the face once (not badly) but got settled in and my navigation was ok again. As I do in running, as time went on I began to overtake others, and only managed to recognize Shazly (who tailed me last year too), who I think made it out very close behind me. I finished in 34mins+, 2mins behind my target.

Bike

T1 all ok and onto the bike. Feeling much better today until about 500m in when a bum after a bridge launched one of my bottles into space. I turned round to get it and lost 40-50s. Shazly whizzed past me and I hoped to catch him but didn't.


So far I was well organised and had remembered to record my swim exit, bike start and even change my watch to show average speed for the ride. It never made it above 30kph but I did manage to just beat last years time even though the u-turn was 500m further along the road. After the u-turn I managed to spot some of my closest "rivals" - Arif & Michelle. They were close! And too close for comfort! Maybe only 1-3mins behind. With under a km to go I saw Adzim on his run and thought I might catch him - but only if his knee packed-up!!

My lack of cycling training really showed - I should have been able to go faster, especially on my TT bike. Never mind - I saw guys with P3C's and aero helmets still behind me! I managed my HR well and it stayed at around 84-5%, giving me another 5% for the run. But my time was already about 2 hours - my 2:40 target was gone!

Run

Into T2 I remembered to get my feet out of my shoes for a quick run to the rack. I almost ran to where my bike was racked the day before, but managed to gather my senses in time and ended up in the right place.

I began running slowly but eventually picked up a bit and there were no signs of the thigh cramps I had last year. I think I came across Sofian quite early on, and then Shazly on the shot but steep-ish hill after 1km or so. He had a lovely green band down the back of his suit that gave me the impression he'd swam so fast that the algae had to form an aerodynamic pattern!

I was feeling good, running at a reasonable pace I felt I could maintain all the way, and was overtaking a good few competitors. A few passed me, but not many. Last year my run was a total nightmare and took me over an hour. This year I did 56mins - with pitstop - for a 6-800m longer course.

I finished in 2:55+, outside my target but 6mins+ faster than last year with a longer ride and run. I'm happy for Adzim that his knee held up. And well done to the very bubbly Amy, who finished her first triathlon!

More A'Famosa and Bomba run photos here - thanks as always to Ivie, Jaja and Tey.

BOTY 2008 - Silent Trix v Smockemon

I spent an hour as a couch potato after returning from A'Famosa, and happened to catch the semi-final and final of the French "Battle Of The Year 2008" on Eurosport. I've seen plenty of standard breakdancing in my life - but nothing like this - these guys are amazing!

Watch out for the two guys in black, both with black bands on one arm, who appear between 2:00 and 3:00. The second one is absolutely amazing. See how fast he spins, holding up his whole body whilst upside-down with his arm fully extended...



I found the whole performance highly amusing, especially the way in which the teams interact.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Plasma2

WOW!

End Of An Era

Many of you might know by now that these are now my final few weeks in Malaysia. My project is complete, and after much consideration, we're moving to Dubai. I'll be there at the end of May to start work with my new employer - Besix - who are part of the JV that is currently building this little beauty...

The Burj Dubai - the tallest man-made structure in the World.

I could be posted to a sewer project similar to the one I've just finished, or I could be on the recently awarded US$1billion Al-Safou Tram system. I really hope it will be the tram project - it will be much more challenging than manholes and pipelines.

I always knew it was unlikely that I'd stay in Malaysia for many years, but I'm still quite sad to be leaving behind the many, many good friends that I've made in the last 1-2 years through cycling, triathlon etc...

As I said to Simon X as I left A'Famosa yesterday, no doubt I'll be planning visits back to Malaysia to co-incide with races!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Sub 1hr Bomba


I kicked off an ambitious 3-event weekend with what looks like will be my final run around this well-used 10km course, on which I did my first ever 10km run in 2006.

The last time I did this route was in last years Power Run. I missed my target by a few minutes and failed to break the hour - so yesterday I was determined to a 59:xx time or better.

I felt ok to start with and felt better as time went on, especially once we hit the long downhill on Duta towards the final couple of km on Parlimen. I reckoned if I got to the Bukit Aman lights in 51:00 I could break 1hr.

As it was I was 30s down so really went for it down past Padang Merbok as I remember the final few '00m round Merdeka Sq taking longer than you might expect. I passed one guy who'd been running just ahead of me for a while, and he latched on to me, but I managed to beat him (I was secretly quite pleased about that!).

I wasn't sure if I'd make it until the final turn onto the field, but managed to dodge the throngs of 7km runners to finish in 59:20 - hooray!


THANKS to Tey and Ah Fook for the photos!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

A'Famosa Target

Believe it or not, this time yesterday there was a serious possibility that I'd be jetting-off to Dubai for an interview this weekend and missing the long-awaited season-opener in Malacca. Somehow I managed to get away with a phone interview so I will be lining up for both Tri's at the weekend - hooray!

Last year I did the Oly race in 3:02 but the bike and run routes were short (37km / 8km according to me). Assuming the same route - I want to finish in under 2:40.

My plan is to put a lot of effort into the swim and take it easy on the bike to make sure I have a good run. Last year was my first Olympic tri and I remember really struggling on the run even though it was less than 8km.

I am really looking forward to this weekend as I haven't seen all my tri buddies for a long time - and for the first time ever I have Jackie and Lucas with me!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Fantasy Time Again!


The Giro starts this weekend and I'm doing 2 free fantasy games...

http://www.velogames.com

My team is -
 Rider 1: 10,  Paolo BETTINI,  QST,  #16
Rider 2: 12, Franco PELLIZOTTI, LIQ, #120
Rider 3: 16, Alberto CONTADOR, AST, #34
Rider 4: 16, Riccardo RICCÒ, SDV, #135
Rider 5: 8, Robert FÖRSTER, GST, #50
Rider 6: 8, Alexander EFIMKIN, QST, #44
Rider 7: 8, Vincenzo NIBALI, LIQ, #110
Rider 8: 8, Jose SERPA, SDA, #150
Rider 9: 14, Mark CAVENDISH, THR, #30
http://www.nrtoone.com/fantasy/cycling/

My team is -
  1. Kloden
  2. Contador
  3. Di Luca
  4. Leipheimer
  5. Ricco
  6. Pellizotti
  7. Nibali
  8. McEwen
  9. Cavendish
And a couple of cyclingnews teams -

Bargain Basement Team:

ARROYO
BENNATI
BRUSEGHIN
CAVENDISH
DEAN
DI LUCA
GREIPEL
LANDALUZE
LLOYD
NOCENTINI
PETROV
RICHEZE
SELLA
SOLER
WIGGINS

Full Points Team:

BENNATI
BETTINI
CAVENDISH
CONTADOR
DEAN
DI LUCA
KLÖDEN
LEIPHEIMER
MCEWEN
MENCHOV
PELLIZOTTI
PIEPOLI
SAVOLDELLI
SIMONI
SOLER

Have a go and try to beat me!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Overdue Photos

Here's some links to photos that I've just uploaded...

Sepang Track Day - Jan 08. Note the intact orange 350Z, which was trashed about 30 secs after I took the photos.

Dubai Holiday

Nanthini's Wedding

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Surprise!

Thank to Hon You for these photos of me in the last 100m of the recent Klang 21km.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Fascinating

Some fascinating stories in the newspapers these days -

The Malaysian Roman Catholic church goes to court to overturn a ban on them using the word "Allah". As far as I know the word "Allah" is an Arab word meaning God, that pre-dates Islam. It is therefore not exclusive to Islam. I am sure that the word God is used in english writings on Islam - shouldn't that be banned? Or alternatively - why doesn't everyone chill-out and think of more important things to argue about. We are talking about the same God after-all!

The Government declines to renew the permit of a Tamil-language newspaper - seen to be sympathetic towards HINDRAF - but then reverses its decision.

A charity run by the wives of the ex-Selangor MB transfers all its funds to prevent the new "opposition" state government getting their hands on it.

Anwar Ibrahim (as the spouse of the opposition leader) is not invited to the opening of Parliament.

Two Israeli members of Chelsea FC will be allowed into Malaysia to play football. A spokesman for the Home Office (?) said "they don't want to get involved in politics" and "they are a good team - everybody wants to see them play". If you are going to ban citizens from a certain country from entering your country then at least treat all of them equally. So Avram Grant & Ben Haim can enter because its a football match i.e. non-political. Do you think that your average Israeli potential tourist has a political agenda? I think not. Also - not everybody likes Chelsea.

"All animals are equal - but some are more equal than others"

Confession - post style copied from Marina Mahathir.

Monday, April 28, 2008

He Would, Wouldn't He?

The point of this post is to boast that before yesterday's Liege-Bastogne-Liege, my tip for victory was Alejandro Valverde. And indeed he won!

But I thought a few readers might think "he would say that, wouldn't he" - which reminded me of the source of this famous quote - Mandy Rice-Davis. Click on her name for the story (a short Wikipedia entry), which - coincidentally enough - includes a rather amusing Malaysian connection.

Klang 21km

Sorry to say it, but this was the least pleasant half-marathon I've done. Partly due to the nature of the route & traffic, and partly due to my well-being.

The first 5km was ok and I felt like I was going quite fast. I don't usually start picking off the runners ahead quite as early in a race as I did in this one. So I was a bit disappointed not to get to the 5km drink station until 33mins+. I then began to tire and slow down a bit, and didn't feel that great. Also, the route consisted of many long straight flat roads with the odd bridge, at some points allowing me to see the route 1-2km ahead. I don't like routes like that - give me Double Hill any day!

Despite 500ml of Isostar before the race my mouth felt dry. The 10km drink station was welcomed, and came after 1h03m. Until then my HR had been a consistent 82%. Downed a rather disgusting "caffe latte" gel. So it would appear that my pace had improved (or km markers were inaccurate). Despite this I was feeling more fatigued and really struggled over the next 5km. HR dropped to 79%.

However this 3rd 5km took me only 23mins (confirming the inaccuracy of the km markers) and my gel began to take effect. Morale was lifted as this meant I'd done 15km in under 1h28m. So from about 16-17km I went into boost mode and managed to pull away from the nearby runners.

As the finish line came into view I pushed a bit harder and "potong sayur-ed" my final victim, but the route kept on going on & on & on and I eventually discovered that my final sprint, supposed to be about 400m, ended up being about 800m and I was "potong sayur-ed" myself by one guy. The last 6km took me 39mins and I finished in 2:07:18 - a very similar time to a couple of 21km's I did last year.

THANKS to Abu for noticing that I left my medal behind!

THANKS to KPAC for the run, and I'm delighted to see they're happy to have foreigners in the race. Shame about the traffic on the route!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Swim Lesson #32

Bukit Jalil, 26/5/08 5-7pm

3 x 100m warm up
2 x 100 (12 kick only 4 strokes)
4 x 100 normal
8 x 50m (fist drill)
4 x 100 normal
8 x 50m (shooter drill)
6 x 100 normal.

Final 100m = 1:50

TOTAL 2,700m

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Perfect Taxi Ride


Does such a thing exist? This post is inspired by Dubai taxi drivers - who treat the accelerator and brake pedals as switches that are either "on" or "off" - with nothing in between!

Let's consider -

1) Cost. 0-4 points
2) Does the driver use the meter without question? 0-2 points
3) Does the driver agree to take you where you want to go? 0-2 points
4) Is the driver familiar with the local area? 0-2 points
5) Does the driver drive in a safe and comfortable manner? 0-4 points

Max score = 14. Here's my scoring...

LONDON - 0+2+2+2+4 = 10
KL - 4+1+1+1+1 = 8
DUBAI 2+1+2+1+0 = 6
BANGKOK 3+1+1+1+2 = 8
SINGAPORE - 1+1+2+2+3 = 9

Oh dear! My scoring system is no good - London wins but my favourite has to be Singapore!

But no-one got full marks! The search for a perfect taxi is still on!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Screwed

My planned number of hours training has been totally screwed up by my recent illness and holiday, but never mind lah, I am there or thereabouts in terms of my performance goals, and it's hardly a crime to miss my 8hrs a week target!

Whilst in Dubai I only managed a single 35min morning run (according to my HRM it was already 27-8 degrees at 7am!), and after returning I did nothing until last night. Earlier this week I was still overcoming the time change, and my mind was occupied by job matters, so training took a back seat.

But I shook off the cobwebs good and proper last night with a "half-pyramid" 1600-1400-1200-1000-800m interval run. I was going for 600-400-200 too but my tanks were empty!

-

And I was on my bike an hour later, spinning away for an hour while watching Fleche Wallonne. The finale was great! With a few km to go Wegmann pulled away from Grivko just after their breakaway partner fell, but as Wegmann hit the Mur de Huy, Grivko was catching him, only for both of them to be swallowed up by Evans,Rebellin, Cunego etc... with 6-700m to go. In the end it was Kirchen (who was in my 2007 Tour fantasy team) who was strongest. Poor old Wegmann and Grivko lost 0:53 and 1:25 respectively in only the last 500m!

The Mur De Huy is 10% average / 25% max, and Kirchen is still on his big chain ring!

-

Back to the pool tonight (if I don't feel too tired after watching Man U & Barca draw 0-0 last night). Then hope to get another short fast run in on Fri am. Bike ride Saturday am (a novely for me!) then Klang Pacers 21km on Sunday. Next weekend is a long one, so hope to get a decent run and ride in, and then A'Famosa Tri the following Sunday.

-

I've signed up for the RMAF 21km on 25 May, and the Bomba 10km on 10 May. On the latter day, I'll be doing the 10km in the morning then the Sprint Tri in the afternoon. Oly Tri the following a.m. A'Famosa is not a "biggie" in my plan for this year, so I feel I can do a 10km run and a slow sprint tri the day before. I should still be able to beat last years time anyway now that I can do front-crawl, have a much faster bike, and have improved my running.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

DQ II

Due to popular demand - here's my 2c on Pierre's Orange Run disqualification...

From what I've read, our French friend was admitted into the race, ran it and won but was then DQ'd following a complaint from a local runner. I also read somewhere that the application form said locals only. Whatever the case, the issue is that the individual runner and/or the organisation wanted to exclude foreigners.

Well my opinion - which appears to be backed up by the vast majority of local runners judging from the many comments on the pacemakers blog, and others - is that limiting events like this to locals is an outrageously short-sighted and quite possibly xenophobic policy that borders on the downright stupid!

What state would Malaysian athletics be in in the future if fools who exclude foreigners were allowed to take the helm? The person who complained is clearly a primitive backward-looking type who's only concern is him/herself. And the person who agreed to disqualify someone who is obviously not local after he'd been allowed to enter and finish the race should be shot! No doubt the official in question is the type who will act to please whoever is standing in front of them at the time, rather than acting in accordance with principles.

I will never enter a BHP event unless Pierre is reinstated and they apologise to him.

Just think of the 5 "best" marathons in the World - London, New York, Berlin (forget the rest!) - where would they be if it was locals only?!?

Where Should I Start?

Jackie, Lucas and I returned to KL on Saturday morning from a wonderful holiday in Dubai. Once I get hold of the cable I need, I'll be uploading some pics and videos for your viewing pleasure. The "report" will come along too. In the meantime...other news -

...JOB...

I received a month's written notice of the termination of my contract yesterday, ironically on the same day that - with the opening of the commercial portion of the Pahang-Selangor Water Transfer Tunnel Project bids - Shimizu found that the JV of which they are a part has the lowest bid by a significant margin. Having already passed the technical requirements, it is almost certain that they will win the job. However exactly when it is awarded is a big "?" - but it could be as fast a 2 months.

Unfortunately the end of my current project is not seamlessly leading into the tunnel project, so I will have to fill the gap with something. I fully expect to be offered a role with Shimizu in Singapore within a week or 2, but there are no guarantee's, so I'm looking at other options in Singapore, Dubai and possibly Abu Dhabi.

...CYCLING...

I was rather disappointed that Eurosport didn't show Paris-Roubaix a few weeks ago, but to make up for it, they're showing Fleche Wallone tonight, and Liege-Bastogne-Liege on Saturday night.

more to follow - just been distracted by some interesting job news!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Swim Lesson #30, 31 & 33

@ Bukit Jalil

#30: Sat 5 April - Coach Alvin. Drills Session

2 x 100m warm-up.
1600m of drills.


#31: Wed 9 April - Coach Peh

about 2.8km.

#33: Wed 30 April - Peh & Victoria

3 x 100m warm-up
1 x 100m KOS drill
2 x 100m holding lane rope, focus on completing pull.
6 x 50m long strokes. My stroke count was 39 on 1st 50m, then varied 37-8 on rest.
15 x 100m with 10s rest. Finished in 34:39. less rests = 32:19.
6 x 50m (25 hard with paddle & buoy, 25 easy)
TOTAL 2,700m

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

DQ'd

Still in Dubai but have managed to sneak into an internet cafe a couple of times to catch up on emails...and the outrageous news that a French athlete who won (?) the Orange Run in KL last Sunday was disqualified after - AFTER (!) - finishing the race and after a complaint by another runner. This story has stoked up some strong feelings inside me and they will burst out onto this blog once I get back!

Seeya!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Post-KLIM

My post-KLIM recovery was good. My legs were tired on the Monday but otherwise ok, and the same on Tuesday - no stiffness or strains to be felt!

-

Later in the week I managed a quick turbo-sesh, but only managed the one-legged drills. My planned interval set was put to bed by have to... put Lucas to bed! I had long wondered what the point of one-legged drill was, but having done it a few times and made an effort to increase my pedalling speed at the same time, I can perceive some benefit. I now tend to pedal at a higher cadence and in a smoother manner - with a less dramatic difference in power applications as my legs move round each cycle. This is necessary to prevent "bouncing" at high revs.

This is the drill I do after a minimum 10min warm-up...(5x 30s left leg only=30s right only-1min both)

-

I gave swimming a miss on Wednesday. Partly due to laziness, but partly because I had the opportunity to go on Saturday. This is because (a) the swim coaches are now available on 4 days a week (Mon, Wed and Thu 7-9pm and Sat 5-7pm) and (b) following the application of some group pressure on the Project Director during our company dinner a couple of weeks ago, he's decided to do away with full day Saturdays - hoo-bloody-ray for that! Now I do 1/2 day every other week.

-

With no run planned for Sunday, I ran the 15km to work on Thursday morning - and cycled home. Friday was another lazy day but after a quick 4hrs at work in the a.m. I did manage to get my weekly swim in later in the afternoon.

..and yesterday, despite getting up late, I managed to join PCC for the first time in ages for a 100km ride to Ijok-Batang Berjuntai-Batu Arang. Today I can feel my recent lack of cycle mileage in my more tired than usual thighs.

-

Last night I attended my cousin's wedding at the Hindu Temple (don't know the name) in Brickfields - and it can be best described as...noisy, smoky, colourful and highly ceremonial...and I mean the former descriptions literally - I'm not complaining - it was noisy and smoky! Photos on the way.

And it's not over...we've a dinner to attend in the Istana Hotel tonight.

-

Finally, for today, we're flying off to sunny Dubai on Thursday afternoon for 9 days. We hope to go to...the beach, the Wild Wadi water park, Ski Dubai, the desert, some souks...and whatever else takes our fancy. I'm looking forward to a snowball fight with Lucas in a city surrounded by desert. Weird concept huh?


Thursday, April 03, 2008

Mr Blue Sky

One of my fave tunes of all time, Mr Blue Sky by ELO. I think I was 7 years old - watching this on Top Of The Pops - absolutely amazed at how they got the guitars to say "Mr Blue Sky" (go to 2:14 to see what I mean!) -

KLIM Photo

Tey missed me, but KC & gang managed to get a snap of me in full flight (not!) with 200m to go!

Thanks for the photo!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Marathon Man


I shot down another 2008 target yesterday by finishing the KL Marathon in under 5 hours - 4:53:57 to be precise. Here's my split times -

5km, 31:53 - 0:31:53
10km, 35:38 - 1:07:31
15km, 30:52 - 1:38:23
20km, 30:19 - 2:08:58
21km, 07:03 - 2:15:45
25km, 29:36 - 2:45:21
30km, 32:51 - 3:18:12
35km, 40:12 - 3:58:34
40km, 39:18 - 44:37:2
42.195km, 16:15 - 4:53:57 *not including pitstop

I was 124th/200 in my category. Official results for my category are here.

I met Eugene, Abu, Saiful, Ngae at the start and off we went. I went at my current "easy" pace which means about 65mins for 10km. Before Kg. Attap Azwar made an appearance on his "silly" bike. I love the way he has a triathlon-style aero bottle-holder on it! Along Syed Putra Steve Lee and Karoline came along, and Uncle Chan was accused by some DBKL guys of pacing runners as he ambled alongside us on his bike. (Pacing people already 30mins behind the leaders? - come on guys!)

Over the hill towards TUDM, I eventually shook-off a guy who was sprinting-walking (very unusual marathon strategy - doing that after only 6km!). Just after the 10km timing mats it was time for a pitstop - I won't go into details apart from to say that I was well-prepared for it. 3m31s later I rejoined the race and headed back into town.

Well into my stride now, I headed along Jalan loke Yew and then Jln Cheras. Just before 20km I joined Abu again, and reached halfway in about 2h18m. So far so good - I can slow by 25 mins or so in the 2nd half and still make it in 5hrs.

Through town again and I was beginning to overtake a number of runners. A few people beginning to suffer by now. Then the 21km front-runners began to whizz by. Gulped down a gel after about 2h30m and this helped me make it to the 30km mark. At 30km I was beginning to slow markedly - and so was everyone else. Once we we got to Jln Tun Razak I chatted to a Thai runner, who seemed to think I could speak Thai very well! Sorry to say I've forgotten a lot of Thai so it was a short chat.

Past PWTC and a long incline up to the first of the very attractive "...km to go" signs! My legs were beginning to struggle now but I kept going - baby steps. Finally got to the downhill stretch towards Duta, where I began to feel that I was losing my sense of the gradient (i.e. running slightly down still feels like running slightly up!).

Once on to Duta I was very slow now, down to about 8:00/km, but still ok for a sub-5 finish. From 6 to 3 km to go my stomach muscles became very sore which slowed me even more and I started walking a few times, but not for long. After a long time without seeing anyone I knew, I caught sight of Eugene on the other side of the road, and then Karen, Abu, Steve & Karoline in hot pursuit!

For some reason the last 3km didn't go down Jalan Parlimen, so we ended up on part of the Double Hill route past the JKR offices. I could sense the finish now and my timing was ok so I kept jogging along - there was certainly no repeat of my 21km sprint finish last year!

In the last 300m I was overtaken by a rather short - and friendly - middle-aged gentleman who ended up beating me by a few seconds. However I beat him to the girls handing out goodie bags a medals because he collapsed about 1m after the line! Glad to say I think it was a simple case of exhaustion.

So that was it. I'm happy I can say I've done a Marathon, but at the moment it remains to be seen if I do another one in the foreseeable future.

Gel intake - 2h35m, 3h20m and 4h05m.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Untouchable Trackies

Looks like Siver just isn't good enough for the Great Britain track cyclists in the World Champs! ...

Fellow Jock Chris Hoy - Mens Sprint - GOLD!

Reade & Pendleton - Womens Team Sprint GOLD - again!

Clancy, Manning, Thomas, Wiggins - Mens Team Pursuit GOLD - again!

Bradley Wiggins - Mens Individual Pursuit GOLD - again!

Rebecca Romero - Womens Individual Pursuit GOLD!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Swim Lesson #29

Bukit Jalil, 6-8pm
Peh + Simon, Michelle, Emma, Ngae, Sofian

Warm-up

4 x 100m [1:51-2:05]

Drills

1 x 100 w buoy
1 x 100 w/o
1 x 100 w buoy + paddles
1 x 100 w buoy
1 x 100 w/o

1 x 100 (25 fist 25 normal)
1 x 100 (25 shooter 25 normal)

Main Set

3 x (100-200-300m) = 1,800m

4 x 50 catch-up drills

TOTAL (approx.) 3,100m

First time in the pool for 27days and I was a bit rusty and weak, but not as bad as I thought I'd be.

Notes
  1. keep recovering arm entry further forward and don't cross-over
  2. try for strong catch starting with wrist and then keep elbows high!
  3. have a uniform S shape pull - my "S" is too sharp in the middle?
6 WEEKS TO A'FAMOSA

Eye Test

Click the image to enlarge, but don't get too excited - its not big enough for what you are thinking about!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Pacman

The reason for the reduction in blog posts is...Pacman!
-
We've decided on our hols! Delhi is too hot and not 6yo friendly so we've decided to hop over to Dubai on 12th April for 6 days. It's not too hot at the moment and there's plenty of stuff for Lucas such as water parks, beaches, Ski Dubai etc... And J and I can check the place out and see if it would be nice to live there for a while.
-
I can't stop thinking about KLIM this weekend. I'm itching to get my number, chip and vest tomorrow. I'm keeping my engine ticking over with some short super-easy runs. 5km after work on Monday and 4km this morning. I'll probably get another 5km in before Sunday.
-
Back to the pool tonight - my first swim in 3 weeks - so I'm wondering what sort of shape I'll be in. Fingers crossed.

Back to Pacman now...

Saturday, March 22, 2008

San Remo Longshot

My guess for Milan San Remo is a long-shot - Heinrich Haussler from Gerolsteiner.

Weekend Wonderings

Sat p.m. in the office again. Keeping an eye on F1 qualifying, and thinking of the weekend (or rather "day off") ahead...

I've got no company car now, so I'll be cycling home. I've got Spurs v Portsmouth followed by Milan San-Remo lined up for tonight.

21km run in ze morning. Then off to the Nikko Hotel for Easter Brunch with J, L & Daryl.

And for the 1st time in 4 years I'm going to watch the F1 from my sofa - not as hot as being at the track, no driving, no jams - and more camera angles! Last year I remember driving like a madman from A'Famosa triathlon to get to Sepang on time!

Later I'll head off to jaelsports (Jasmine & Elmar) to their open-house, and in the evening I will use an intravenous caffeine drip to keep me up for Super Sunday!

-

I just bought myself a new Orca Race tri-suit, courtesy of Athletes Circle, who happened to be staying in a hotel in KL close to my office for the Easter weekend. I wanted to get the Distance 226 but it was too tight, even though it was also an "XL".

-

It's the KL Marathon next weekend (4.30am start!), so running should take a back seat to cycling and swimming from Monday. I'm pretty excited about it. The bit after 30km will be like a whole new experience to me!

My plan is to get to 35km without stopping (perhaps just while I swig some fluids), and then get through the final 7km by jogging between water stations.



Thursday, March 20, 2008

Speedwork

KLCC

6 x 1000m: 4:50-4:46-4:42-4:41-4:52-4:47

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Thursday Ride

I'm riding on Thursday a.m. if anyone's interested. I'd like to do close to 100k - perhaps KL - Putrajaya and back, or to Janda Baik....

...i'm open to offers....

D.I.V.O.R.C.E.

So, Heather Mills is to receive 24 million quid as a divorce settlement - and she's "very happy", even though that sum is only about a fifth of what she wanted. That puts a very big question mark over the rationale behind her original claim.

Why claim 5 times more than what you'd be "very happy" with? Banking on getting a % of what you ask for regardless of the integrity of the claim?

and, assuming that the reason for their split was not 100% McCartneys "fault", why should the other half be entitled to enough money to be able to maintain a lifestyle that they would only have if married?

Lets say that the cause of a divorce is 50% hubby 50% wife (I know it's difficult to judge in reality) - and hubby is loaded - there is no way the wife should be entitled to enough cash to maintain a lifestyle that would only be possible with the hubby's cash.

...as for the thumbs up - I doubt if the daughter is giving either of her parents the thumbs up!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Recovered

I finally recovered from my throat infection and by Saturday I was greatly looking forward to breaking my 12 days of inactivity with a 21km run to Hartamas.

Felt fine in the first 5km, 3mins faster than usual. 2nd 5km felt slow but still arrived in a reasonable 1h5m including the Petronas loop. Felt better on the next 5km and surprisingly didn't tire much in the final 5km and finished in a pleasing 2h8m, considering my recent lay-off.

Today my legs feel more tired than usual. Anyway I plan to get an easy run in this evening and another 10-15km later in the week, 21km again this Sunday and then take it easy with running the following week leading up to the KLIM 42km.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Advice Section

Saturday 2.21pm, brain switching off work zzzzzzzz.....

Prior Planning (or indeed Proper Preparation) Prevents Poor Performance

A West African proverb made famous by Teddy Roosevelt -

"
Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far"

...and a particular favourite that I just heard recently...

First tie your camel, then pray to God to protect your camel.


Rabobank Chicken MkII

I've been watching Paris-Nice on TV, and one of my new favourites (don't ask me why) is Rasmussen's long-lost twin - Robert Gesink - a 185cm 68kg climber. Watch out for him in the mountains if he's selected for Le Tour...

Friday, March 14, 2008

Girls and Philosophical Musings

Another gem, yanked into life from the deepest depths of my memory (when I was 5!) by YouTube...



It's wonderful that the internet now contains so much that you can find just about anything, but at the same time I can't help feeling that having my minds own patchy recollection of this song in my head for years and years was more satisfying than finally hearing the real thing. Somehow the mystery has now disappeared.

That reminds me of the famous philosopher Kriss Angel who said, when asked about how much he loves his selection of super-expensive cars, that the journey towards being able to afford them was much more satisfying than actually owning them.

Interfering Bloody Foreigner!

I have to say something about the election, so here goes!

My deux centimes worth is that the result is good for Malaysia and its rakyat. It gives the opposition parties, who are always described (in The Star anyway) as useless worthless liars, to really show what they can do. If they do well - great. If they don't, at least then the voters will have had the ability to assess the performance of a different leadership.

The fact that their opponents won a lot more than expected also gives BN a far greater incentive to do improve their own performance. Either way - the rakyat should win.

I also think that the result will further improve what is probably an already relatively high opinion of Malaysia in the eyes of the West. It is now very obvious that the democratic process is free and fair - perhaps not 100% - to a large degree. How many other SE Asian countries would have an election result like that?

On a personal note, I hope that the political upheaval will not delay the Pahang-Selangor water transfer project - but I fear that it will.

AV Feast

My ongoing "retirement" has resulted in having a bit more sofa time, so here's some movie reviews...

American Gangster - 7/10. Tries hard to be an epic in the Godfather mould, but Denzel is not convincing enough as a real BAD guy.

Juno - 1/10. I gave up after 10mins without giving it much of a chance. Not interesting, despite the claims of its "intelligent humour".

No Country For Old Men
- 8/10. Good acting, but some seemingly pointless scenes with Tommy Lee Jones. Violent. Excellent tense scene where the psychopathic assassin forces an elderly petrol station owner to put his life on the toss of a coin. No typical Hollywood ending.

Michael Clayton - Better than average legal drama. Clooney pretty good as usual. Tilda is good as the conglomerate's chief legal counsel.

Alvin & The Chipmunks - 0/10 (if you're over 12), 9/10 (under 12's)

All DVD's RM10 from Digital Mall in PJ! - and they are cinema quality.

On another subject, I recently discovered tuneid.com (to help one identify unknown songs) and posted a message that went something like "1990 House tune with James Brown sample and some trumpets and bleeps" and within 12hours I had a link to the song on YouTube - wow! Here it is...my current favourite track (notice I don't call it a "song") -

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Taking A Break

My throat infection has resulted in 9 days (and counting) of ZERO training. But I went to the Doc the other day and got some antibiotics, which are taking effect now. My extremely annoying dry cough has nearly gone so I'm hoping to get out for a run tomorrow, and do 21km on Sunday.

I reckon the Hartmas route will be busy the next 2 Sundays with runners gearing-up for KLIM, perhaps including those who have overcome their Ironman Hangover.

So I'll be focussing on running for a couple of weeks, and have 5 weeks after that to get tuned-up for A'Famosa. So my plan is to maintain my pre-illness run and swim times, and get back on my bike.

Mind you, in mid-April it looks like Jackie, Lucas and I will be off to Delhi for a week or so, so there'll be a bit of a training break there too.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Sick

I was beginning to feel a bit dodgy on Tuesday evening and felt like I was on the verge of a cold, thus explaining my tiredness and early night the evening before. Still, I managed to get up at 3.45am to see if the Gunners could pull off a result against AC Milan in Italy. And they didn't disappoint - a great game well worth the early rise, with Absolutely Fabregas scoring in the final 10 mins.

I took Wednesday off work, to sort out a variety of personal matters. Unfortunately it wasn't a very nice day as I'd come in for a bit of a cold, but I still managed to go from place to place and deal with quite a few matters. However I was pretty ill (tired, headache, swollen throat) so missed my swim lesson, and took Thursday off too.

Up early on Thursday to take Lucas to school but then back to bed until 1.30pm! By the evening I was feeling better and did my duty as Shimizu's English-speaking PR Officer by turning up for an evening dinner with some fellow-Brits from our client's consultants.

Still not well on Friday, so I took another day off (which must have appeared a bit strange considering I made it out for the meal), and was in bed until 1pm again. Still tired though. The only bonus was I was able to get stuck into some DVD's I bought on Wednesday.

I managed to get Juno, Michael Clayton, American Gangster, Hot Fuzz and No Country For Old Men. So far I've got as far as Hot Fuzz - it's quite amusing.

Saturday - well enough to work but still not 100%. I really hope to be ok tomorrow morning for the 3rd KLIM training run, but it's not looking good at the moment.

Paris-Nice live on Europsort tomorrow!

Beginning to think about an April holiday - possibly Rajasthan in India.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

MotoGP is Here!

Quel Surprise! The MotoGP season is upon us already! This weekend - Qatar GP - at night!

Dani Pedrosa tries to duplicate a ballet move with his bike

Monday, March 03, 2008

Monday Blues

We had a nice weekend but didn't do anything particularly exciting. I had a bit of a lie-in and went for a later than usual run. I hadn't run all week so felt like I must get one in, and I knew that if I left it later in the day - it would not happen. So I did a really easy Double Hill in 1h06m. I saw Ngae in the Bukit Aman car-park and he told me about his off-course Ironman swim where he took 30mins longer than planned!

Later Lucas & I had a nice lunch in Bukhara in KLCC while J had her hair done. Then we took him to the playground and for a swim at home in the evening.

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The posters for Horton Hears A Who are up now and I'm more excited about it than Lucas! This story is one of his favourites and I've read it to him in bed a million times - on 13 March it'll be time to see the full-action technicolour movie version!

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Not a great Monday. I thought I'd cheer myself up with a likely 5km run PB, so I headed off to KLCC after work and was duly rewarded.

6:50-6:54-6:54-6:48 = 27:26 (5.2km). New PB by 56secs.

5k time was 26:24.

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I'm taking Wednesday off work as I have one million personal matters to sort out, which can only be done M-F 9-5.

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Shimizu (and other bidders) will be submitting their bids for the Pahang Selangor Water Transfer Tunnel by midday today. I hope that the upcoming election, and change of KTAK Minister, doesn't delay the bid appraisal and award process too much!