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 " 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


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


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.

  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?

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


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



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....


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

Monday, March 17, 2008


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 (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 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


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.


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!


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.


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.


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!