Friday, February 29, 2008

29 Feb

After about 11 years of defying the law of averages and, ironically, after safely cycling for 50mins through Friday rush-hour central KL half-blinded by rain, I just fell off my bike - 10m from home!

On the final slow (but obviously not slow enough) left turn into our car-park (the one with the lovely smooth - and wet - concrete floor), my front wheel suddenly went skating to the right, dumping me unceremoniously off the back, onto my bum. I finished the move off by smacking the back of my head - safely encased in my helmet i should say - on the floor.

All I have to show for it is a bruised bum, and another memory to recall in future!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Swim Lesson #28

Bukit Jalil 6-8.30pm
Coach Peh + Michelle, Shazwan


3 x 100m [1:55's]

3 x 100m (fist, KOS, shooter)
1 x 100m c/w paddles & buoy
1 x 100m c/w paddles
1 x 100m normal

Main Set
Drills #1
2 x 100m holding pull buoy, arms extended.
2 x 100m
2 x 200m
2 x 300m [fastest 6:08 - 2s slower than PB]
(1st '00 slow/technique 2nd 'oo hard)
Drills #2 - Sculling c/w paddles & buoy, 12 sculls / 6 strokes alternating
1 x 100m arms extended (front)
1 x 100m mid-pull
1 x 100m arms by side (late-pull)

3 x 100m with paddles, increasing pace [1:53 - 1:50 - 1:47]

1 x 100m hard [1:43 - 2s off PB]

1 x 100m cool-down

TOTAL 3,100m

Sculling drills were good for creating a uniform S-shaped pull, eliminating the sharp lateral sculling in my mid-pull.

Speed seems to be coming back!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Ironman Oscars

A (partly humorous) review of the performances of many friends and acquaintances who did Ironman Langkawi on Saturday. I've missed out celebs and pro's to give the "common man (and woman)" a shout!

Stunning Swims - Steve Lee (1:11:29) and Randy Tan (1:12:51)
Water Lovers - Ngae, Bacin, Yusran Yusoff & Eric Teo (all over 2hrs)

T1 Tornado - May Senn (under 3 mins)
T1 Trickle - Azmar (over 10 mins)
Most Places Gained in T1 - Yee Sze Mun & May Senn
Most Places lost in T1
- Stupe & Abu Soffian

Brilliant Bikers (most passes) - Yusran & Ngae
I Want To Ride My Bicycle - Omar Abdullah and Alex Au-Yong

Swift T2's - Carmen Leong & Wendy Wong (both under 3mins)
Chilled-out T2's - Iwata Takatoshi, Stupe and Steve Lee (over 25mins)

Roaring Runners - Puzi (under 4 hrs) and Carmen Leong (4h34m)
Deep Diggers - Steve Lee, Ishsal, May Senn, Dicky Z, Mohd Sofian.

Most passes during run - Carmen Leong, Eric Teo & Iwata (all more than 10 places)
Comeback Kings - Yusran & Ngae (most place gains following swim)

Nice stroke, shame about the legs - Steve Lee, Shazly Khan, Mohd Sofian

Transition Queen - Lai May Senn (under 6 mins for T1 & T2)

Queen of Langkawi - Carmen Leong

...a HUGE well done to everyone who took part, especially all the first-timers. Well done to Ah Thiam for qualifying for Kona (Carmen too?). Well done to Malaysia-based Elmar Schuberth, who was 3rd overall and would have been 2nd of not for a 5min drafting penalty. Naughty boy!

Cech Mate!

The Editors of every tabloid in the UK would be proud of that title!

Chelsea's Petr Cech is Spurs fans favourite goalie (for a while) as - last night in the dying seconds of 2nd half injury time, he punched the ball onto Woody's head, and it (the ball - not Woody's head), rolled into the net to give Tottenham the League Cup!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

KLIM Circuit Run 2

While the Ironmen were still in bed nursing tired bodies, minds and souls, I was running 8 x 2.8km laps around Lake Gardens. Thankfully it was a longer and more interesting loop this time, and I managed a decent run (2nd longest distance run ever!).

Lap - Distance - Time - Total
1 - 2.8km - 16:21 - 16:21
2 - 5.6km - 16:07 - 32:28
3 - 8.4km - 16:01 - 48:29
4 - 11.2km - 16:02 - 1:04:30
5 - 14.0km - 16:08 - 1:20:38
6 - 16.8km - 16:34 - 1:37:12
7 - 19.6km - 16:28 - 1:53:40
8 - 22.4km - 16:02 - 2:09:43 (5:48/km)

Probably did a 15km PB in there, and missed my 2008 target of 1:55:00 for 20km by only a minute or so. Less than 2:02:00 for 21km too.

So I am definitely in better running shape than last year. Today's run was comfortable to say the least. My weight is back down to last years min of 76kg too, so I've lost 4-5kg in the last 3-4months. My aim is to keep at 75-6kg for the rest of the season.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Interval Run

Trying to go for a good mix of tempo, interval and LSD runs this week. Did the tempo on Monday, and am due for 135mins LSD on Sunday (KLIM Circuit Run 2), so last night was time for intervals again at KLCC -

: 5 x 1,000m @ 4:52

(my target pace is 50:00 per 10km = 5:00 per km. 3s faster per 400m = 8s faster per 1km... 5:00 - 0:08 = 4:52)

Actual: 4:48-4:41-4:48-4:52-4:40.

About 10s slower per interval than 2 weeks ago, but my HR was correspondingly lower and i felt comfortable. Also did 5km this time compared to 4km previously.

So I'm hoping for a 9-10 lap effort on Sunday - 20.7-23km @ 5:52-6:30/km.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Swim Lesson #27

Bukit Jalil 20/2/08
Coach Peh + Michelle, Shahrom, Christopher


2 x 100m [1:55's]
1 x 100m w buoy


1 x 100m (25m shooter drill - 25m normal - repeat)
1 x 100m (25m shooter drill - 75 normal)
1 x 100m normal

also did some body position drills - kicking with arms extended, behind ears, to get used to a good horizontal position, then do 6 strokes and return to drill position. repeat.

with shooter drill, emphasise strong catch with hand, keeping elbows up and accelerating towards the end.

Main Set:

12 x 100m [varied 1:55 - 2:00] ,10-15s rests
8 x 100m all with paddles, alternating w-w/o buoy [fastest 1:45 w paddle only]
1 x 400m
1 x 300m [6:27]

1 x 100m cool down.

TOTAL 3,400m+

Lesson for tonight - must always concentrate on body position. Also, the reason for the S pattern is that your constantly pushing against undisturbed water. If you follow a straight line you end up pushing (less effectively) against water that is already moving backwards.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Can't Think of a Title

Random nice pic, illegally copied from

David Zabriskie's Tour of California Felt TT-bike

Tour De Langkawi

A pat on the back for me please! I kid yee not - Ruslan Ivanov was one of my tips for TdL success and he brought home the beef-bacon - well done to him - and me!


I did a Double-Hill run again last night, and despite not really going for it, I managed to knock about 50s of my personal best to set a new record of 58:17. Starting from my usual spot in Bukit Tunku, my splits were approx 22:30 at Bukit Aman lights, 27:30 at the right turn before Bang Negara KTMB station, and just under 50:00 at the final left turn before the final killer hill.


I wish to offer a huge amount of GOOD LUCK to everyone I know (too many to list) who's taking part in Ironman Langkawi this Saturday - I'll be following your progress all day online, from the comfort of my desk. And on Sunday a.m. when you're all in bed, or up but unable to walk properly, I'll probably be off to the Lake Gardens for the 2nd KLIM circuit training run - although I don't quite fancy the idea of running 2.3km laps for over 2 hours!


Someone who I wish was in Langkawi - so I could ask one of you to punch him - is Mohamed Al-Fayed. Al-Fayed, who was born in Egypt and who has been refused British citizenship due to his dubious character, has the bloody cheek to question the nationality/citizenship of Prince Philip (The Queen's husband) and say that he should be sent back to where he comes from. Well I tell you what Mr bloody Al-Fayed - just because you own a shop they frequent doesn't mean you can insult the British Monarchy - why don't YOU f*** off (sorry Mum) and go back to where YOU came from!! That's the last time I ever go to Fulham FC (which he owns).

How many countries in the World would put up with rich foreigners going on and on and on ad nauseum about Diana's death, conspiracy theories etc... and then insulting senior Royals - OFF WITH HIS HEAD I SAY!!!!!!!!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Mums Place

My training got off to a good start last week, with an 11k run, interval session on the bike and a decent swim in the first 3 evenings.

Thursday was a planned day off as we went out for a big family meal at "Mum's Place" in Damansara Perdana. There was quite a big gang - Jackie and I, Sasha & Daryl, Sasha's siamese twin, Dad, Uncle Tony & partner Wai Kwan, and the guests-of-honour - Dad's 2 sisters from Oz. We had a hearty feast, and a surprise at the end when we discovered that the owner was a old neighbour from when Dad and his siblings lived in the KTMB quarters in Gemas.

That late night put paid to my idea of running the following morning, and I was too lazy to do so in the evening too. I couldn't even manage to drag myself up early on Saturday so ended going 3 days with zero training.

However I think it is a blessing as I'd been a bit tired all week, with a suspiciously runny nose, which makes me think that I've just narrowly-avoided a cold or flu. So a rest was a good idea.

On Saturday night I chose sleep over Man U v Arsenal 1.15am kick-off, with the morning's SBR session in mind. I did manage to get up for that, and managed a1500m swim and a few '00m's on top, followed by a 52km ride to Putrajaya and back. 'Twas too hot and close to lunchtime for a run so I headed home, where I was afforded a lovely afternoon nap as Lucas headed off to his pal's house. So I missed the TdL finale for the first time in 4 years. In the evening I managed an experimental 30mins on the turbo doing one-legged drills.

So a low total of 11km of running, and just 6hrs training for the week... and nothing much else to report...

Correction. I spoke to my Project Director about what the future might hold. He said he wants me to stay on my current project until the financial statement on completion is made at the end of May '08. Then, if we've won the Pahang-Selangor water transfer tunnel job - I'll almost certainly be on that. Otherwise he'll try to place me on other Overseas Civils Department jobs, which could be Singapore, Dubai or Jakarta. If I don't like what they offer, or if we don't win the tunnel job, I'll be looking for something else. If the tunnel job award is delayed, I might just find something temporary to fill in until it is awarded. I've a good chance of getting on that job - whoever wins it - due to my experience working for a Japanese company on a big project in Malaysia. I'll keep you posted on that.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Rantings by Marina

A favourite blog of mine...

She seems to talk a lot of sense...wonder if she's ever though of following her Daddy's footsteps?

Friday, February 15, 2008


Alberto Loddo mistakenly thinks that there ia a time bonus for crossing the line on his head...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Swim Lesson #26

13/2/07 @ Bukit Jalil
Coach Peh + Simon, Jeffrey, Christopher, Michelle.

3 x 100m warm-up [1:56-2:00+ - slow!]
1 x 100m 3/4 catch-up drill
1 x 100m catch-up drill (hands meet in front of head)
1 x 100m shooter drill

5 x 300m [7:00-7:07 - 1 min down on PB, but pace was very comfortable]

6 x 50m hard with paddles
4 x 50m hard w/o paddles [fastest 0:50]

1 x 100 easy cool-down

TOTAL 2,700m

For the last few weeks I have been quite distressed by the sharp decline in my swimming speed. A few solo drill sessions didn't seem to make much difference. After much thought I concluded that the decline co-incided with the time when I stopped doing drills during my weekly lessons, and that something was wrong with my left arm pull. So it was back to drills last night under Coach's watchful eye.

Problems identified -

1. Arm pull (S-pattern) is not pronounced enough. My left arm was in fact pulling towards my body instead of away (the 'S' was almost reversed!) at the start of the pull. Do shooter drills to fix this.
2. Recovering arm entry is too early, and towards an imaginary centreline instead of straight ahead. This is why my hand is entering the water heading downwards, and then moving up in the water as the arm straightens. The arm should enter forward of the head, as far forward as poss without locking the arm straight (i.e. should be slightly bent). Then start a strong pull, pointing fingers down by bending the wrist.

During my main set of 5 x 300m my technique felt much better, although this was not reflected in faster times as I was taking it really easy. My left shoulder will take a while to get back into the correct S pull.

However I did manage a 0:50 unassisted 50m hard towards the end, which was encouraging.

I read recently that swim training should be drill and interval based. I think that a lack of drills has led to a slow but continuous loss of technique that has gone unnoticed. But not anymore.

I really hope I can regain my Nov-Dec 2007 swim speed - and improve further - before A'Famosa towards the end of April. So Azwar and Simon have a good few more months before they need to "watch out" for me!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Double Hill

Return to Le Double Hill yesterday evening. Finished in 1:00:08 - missing my 10-month old PB by 55secs despite what felt like a blistering start. A bit disappointed - but my PB was set in the morning - which I think favourably affect one's threshold & energy levels - and my average HR yesterday was 4bpm less.

So - a pleasing start to another weeks training.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Sunday Run

Instead of yet another out-n-back 20km to Hartamas - does anyone fancy a 6am Sunday Double-Hill run (10.8km) followed by the FTAAA X-Country (8.3km) at 7.30am?



I just realised that the gap left by Lucas' recently departed upper central incisors is much wider than the width of the two teeth - which only fell out a couple of weeks ago. I suppose that either his jaw has grown on the last few weeks, or his baby teeth are moving apart to accommodate the new adult teeth. The quick change is surprising!


I have just discovered BitTorrent and I've managed to find and download a number of extremely obscure techno tracks - for free! Excellent!

Go City!

I sat down to watch the Manchester derby last night and my viewing co-incided with a 90-minute torrent of abuse aimed at the United players from my Dad-in-law! ...and I use the word torrent lightly! My goodness! - I knew he liked United but didn't realise just how upset he'd be to see them losing (which is quite rare).


I didn't tell you about my Frasers Loop Suntan. After 2 days of looking like a right prat with burning red arms - I now have the most wonderful tan on both arms from wrist to bicep. Unfortunately the skin was so well cooked it will soon disappear!

Two things in life I really hate doing - getting my hair cut and putting on sun cream. Sometimes I regret the latter.


I posted a poll the other day inviting guesses as to who will win Le Tour De Langkawi. I had about 6 names, but only 2 of them have any chance now after Stage 1's 20-min breakaway lead - so I ditched the poll. My semi-educated guess now for overall victor is..........Matt Wilson or Ruslan Ivanov.

Solar New Year

I just had a nice 4 day break!


A post-work KLCC run:- 2 lap warm-up followed by 4 x 1,000m and then a good stretching sesh. I aggravated my yet-to-heal right calf strain but it didn't seem bad enough to jeapordise the following days monster 200km+ ride.


The sun had much more of an effect on me than the moon did on Lunar New Years Day. I headed out for my second Fraser's Loop ride at 6.40am and was glad not to be faced by the morning rain that was falling the last time I did this route.

An early drama was avoided as I took hold of a road divider sign at a red light to avoid having to unclip from my pedals. As I reached out I guessed there was a good chance that it would not be firmly fixed. Indeed it wasn't and it duly fell off the post and rolled onto the road - luckily I was prepared for this eventuality and did not fall off!

After watching a lovely sunrise over the hills ahead of me I met a surprisingly big group at HOA and we headed off up to Genting Sempah. I was stuck on my own between Adzim and Wendy up-front and a pack behind, and was eventually swallowed up and spat out the back towards the top. Down towards Bentong I did my usual Samuel Sanchez impression and ended up at the front, where I was joined by Adzim, Arif and ? about 16km from town. We took turns at the front - going faster than I would have liked considering the km's ahead - and refuelled at the Shell.

Then off to Tranum. I was left all alone at the back as soon as the road headed skywards. It was getting mighty hot now! After a quick break at Tranum we headed off up the 20km+ climb to Gap. I was at the back again but after I got going I managed to catch Rashid, Anwar and Disco Boy. Later on I tired again and Rashid, and then Anwar, pulled ahead. As before, the last 5km were a bit of a drag.

On the way down to KKB I took it fairly easy but still ended up doing some unplanned cyclocross on one sharp right-hander. I had to swing left to avoid a large water-filled pothole surrounded by grit, and ended up heading off the road where I had the choice of steering sharply right to stay on - but surely lose my front wheel on the grit - or going off. I chose the latter and ended up cycling 10m along a deep and jagged scar in the surface with a muddy stream running in it. Luckily I avoided punctures, buckled wheels - and stayed upright.

Time for a welcome break at Petronas KKB. It was burnin' hot so I slapped on a load of sun cream and we headed off to Batang Kali. Dicky Z setting a fast wind-assisted pace with me tucked in behind him. The reasonable pace continued to Ulu Yam where we had another quick stop. I got left behind while I slapped on a load more sun cream and when the road started rising and my legs had zero power, I knew the next 10km was going to be long and lonely!

My trip meter was at 175km. It was about 4pm and still a clear and hot hot hot day - unlike the darkness and torrential rain we had last time out. I began to struggle badly. I could barely turn 1st gear. Before the main climb I caught Rashid. He struggled with me for a while before stopping to rest. I could see a cyclist spot on the horizon (Arif) and joined him about halfway up. I was shocked to see Azwar sitting by the road - he was also struggling! - but managed to keep going fast enough to stay upright - and finally made it to the top just behind Arif. I freewheeled the next few km before the final sharp climb next to the dam.

I then spun home on empty legs.

213.3km in 9:07:00 - 10mins slower than last time.


Had a lie-in! Lunch with J & L in Chili's KLCC. Legs feeling ok and I even managed a 20min easy-spin on the turbo trainer before plunging into the pool and doing some drills, and playing with Lucas.


Another lie-in. Didn't go to Sunway Lagoon as planned. Went to GE Mall to buy some goodies for a Sunday BBQ. In the evening J and I had a belated 8th anniversary dinner in the rather posh Gobo Upstairs restaurant in the Traders Hotel. It was pricey but excellent food all round - starter, main course and dessert.


Woken by alarm at 0530 for a 20km run. Then slept until 10! Up - chores - BBQ - couch potato - Manchester Derby - bed!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Situations Vacant

Dear All,

If you are looking for a really easy job - and are not at all bothered about how much you earn - I suggest that you become a taxi driver, spend all day at Setiawangsa LRT station, and never actually agree to take anybody anywhere!

May I suggest that the throng of taxi drivers at this location display a list of destinations that they are willing to drive to, and under what conditions. I suspect that the list of destinations could be written on a post-it note, with the list of conditions spanning several volumes a la Encyclopedia Britannica.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Human Reproduction Banned in UK

From Reuters Global Newswires -

In a widely anticipated move, the UK Government has banned all forms of human reproduction with immediate effect, citing the fact that recent risk assessments carried out by lawmakers had determined that the everyday health and safety risks faced by newborns had become unacceptably high.

This announcement came shortly after the cancellation of a pancake race in North Yorkshire due to health and safety concerns.

Gong Xi Fa Cai!

I just registered for the KL Marathon - 42km. After the recent 30km run I had some doubts if I would bother to do the full 42km, as it didn't really fit in with my main goal this year of training for improved performances in Olympic and 70.3 triathlons. But its something I do want to do so thought I'd better go for it now while I have the chance and the inclination.

This week is Chinese New Year - so Gong Xi Fa Cai to all my Chinese friends! I hope you all have safe journeys to your family reunions - and enjoy the meal! I have my own family reunion dinner on Friday night with a couple of Aunts who have come over from Melbourne for a couple of weeks.

Training-wise I've adjusted my schedule to make this an 11-hour "hard" week, due to the opportunities afforded by 4 days off work. Last night I did some swim drills at home and tonight I've got my weekly lesson. Tomorrow I hope to squeeze a short high-intensity run in, and get my bike in shape for Thursdays BIG hilly 190km+ ride -

HOA - Bentong - Tranum - Frasers - KKB - Ulu Yam - Gohtong - HOA. This is not quite the same as the 200km+ ride I did a few months ago. This time we're heading up to Gohtong towards the end of the ride. The last time I cycled up there was '97 with Boon Foo, on my way up to Genting for the first and only (so far) time. I'm looking forward to the ride and probably won't ride the extra 10-20km HOA-home to make up for the heroic effort I'll need to drag myself up to Gohtong.

I'm not sure about Friday to Sunday, but on Saturday I plan to take Lucas to Sunway Lagoon Water Park. I will also need to get 3-4 hours of running in, so will probably end up doing the Hartamas 20km on Sunday.

Quiet Again

I've been a bit quiet again recently (I tend to blog during lunchtime in the office, so when I have a few days off the posting drys up unless something truly exciting happens).

On Thursday evening I did a 1600-1400-1200-1000-800-600-400-300- 200-100m interval run at KLCC. It's amazing how well this type of run breaks up the monotony of running laps. I would normally be bored stiff doing 5 laps there but this run had me doing 6 without too much trouble.

The following morning I did the Double Hill with Arif, while Bacin & Steve Lee marched off to Hartamas. Later that day I managed 50 mins of swim drills in the condo pool.

Saturday am - Putrajaya 50km ride with Bacin, Dicky Z, Laif, Andrea Android, Azmar and Rashid. I was riding my Planet X so as usual the flat stretch towards the KLIA toll was wonderful - I cruised along comfortably at 36kph+ and caught a certain Mr Ray Hee KK (secret training on his own) just before the toll. In the end my average speed was about 29kph which is pretty good for me.

Later I nipped down the road to GE Mall for lunch with Jackie and Lucas. He's a huge Chicken Rice Shop fan, so he had chicken rice (in case you were wondering what they serve) and I downed some sarnies and a Starbucks.

In the pm I took Lucas to ISKL for a first football lesson. He did quite well and - being a good few inches taller than his pals - made the most of his body size, and football being a "contact" sport. A nice goal with the outside of his foot and in off the post too!

On Sunday I had a lie-in! I eventually sloped off to the Bike Boutique for a while, where I discovered their rooftop 25m pool, and plans for triathlon training sessions. Then off to Lake Gardens where I jogged around the 2.3km loop (carrying right calf muscles strained during Thursday's intervals) behind a cycling Lucas, before a game of footy and a go on the playground.