Thursday, July 31, 2008

Be Inspired...

Anybody who wants to swim the English Channel should watch this...

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Need for Speed

I've never been serious in speed when running for the past year. As long as I can finish, I will be happy with it.

But since joining triathlons with OD distance, the elites just amazed me. How could they do everything so fast?

So lately I've been questioning how I should go faster. It dawned on me, that in order to go faster, you've got to train to be fast. By training specifically for speed, one could push the lactate threshold higher, and also recruit more muscles when going faster.

I won't go into training specifics here, because there's tons of literature on the web on how to train faster.

My personal goals on running would be achiving an average pace of 4.5 minute / km. Last sunday I did the bukit aman-hartamas loop (distance 20.22km), and managed to eke out 4.9 minute pace. While not terribly fast, with my left knee wound still healing, I was famished when reaching the end.

But...I still love ultra running. Maybe...just maybe after sabah climbathon, I'll attempt a 10 loops around hartamas, totalling 200km. I am giving myself 1 and half days to complete it non stop. Anyone can join, just run as much as you can.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Knocked down by bike

Doing the karen cheng pose...injured

While running this morning, I was knocked down by a bike. Partly my fault, because I didn't scanned the rear view before going into a 90 degrees turn. I don't usually do it, because seldom traffic goes straight, which leads into a housing area with security.

The guy on the bike, was the security guard at that place.

It happened so fast, the next second, I was on the road. After the impact, he was almost off balance, but manage to get things under control. Immediately seeing my injuries, I am pretty sure PD is gone. I sat for awhile grimacing in pain.

My right thigh got a direct hit, and my left wrist have hairline fracture, and swollen. My left knee was also bleeding from scrapping the tarmac. I knew I got hit hard, because I was having fainting feeling going on.

I asked the guy for a lift, and amazingly his answer was that he can't, because the bike belong to the company. I've no mood to protest. So he dropped me by his friend who was gracious to send me back home.

At home, i realize my left wrist was swollen. Not good, so I asked a friend to HUKM. I had 2 x rays, and lucikly no major bone fracture at the femur or wrist. Another2nd opinion with a chinese doc, said I have hairline fracture at the left wrist.

At the moment, I am typing using one hand. I will need some good recovery.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

4th Gunung Nuang Run

Had another run with my brother. I've not run up bukit segar last week, but surprisingly, I was able to move faster for the first 5km of the trail. I was just happy I could run (and not walk one bit) until I reach the waterfalls. Although there's a bit downhill, but generally the terrain is going up around 10-30 degrees.

Then, moving up to the peak was a fast affair as well. I beaten my brother to reach it at 2:27 from the carpark. If this was mount sabah climbathon, it means I could qualify the time up (max 2:30), but...and that's a big but, because going up Kinabalu means going up 2229 meters, while for nuang the vertical climb is only 1300 meters, which means I've got to do double height of Nuang to equal kinabalu.

Going down was a fast affair as well. Managed to reach the carpark at 4:31. We've pushing real hard at the last leg, but alas it's still a bit more than 4:30

I still have doubts I could do it. I've never went up that mountain. So climbathon will mean going up for the first time.

The first of the campsites..

Behind me was Yeoh. I've seen him running in local runs. I think he does Nuang as a training ground as well..

Once you reach the first false peak, it's going down again, then up again till you reach the peak.

At the peak

Monday, July 7, 2008

Kenyir Triathlon 2008 race

Kenyir lake, in my opinion, was quite a distance from KL. We took almost 8 hours to reach the resort, but the view of the lake makes everything worth it. With pockets of islands jutting out from the vast expanse of water, it sort of look like those magical painting of canvas oil with faraway blue hills, streams and lush forest.

We got a chalet facing the lake directly, and the view was superb. But probably the only thing hard to find here is a decent meal. It's either hotel food, or 15km drive to kuala berang.

Before the race, I slapped on a bottle of water and a power gel on the bike. That'll be enough for nutrition.

Race day. Atheletes start streaming towards the bike transition area. I was placed beside Ollie, a UK guy whom I had met at Chan's group. He'd done 2 ironmans before. Had some chat with the Tune Money sponsored guys (Shazly, Stupe, and Azmar). I would say their jersey were pretty cool.

Before race started, Mr Chan gave some final briefing. Then we were all hunched up near the edge, and the horn blowed. Bodies meets water, and I started swimming, although it was a bit rough with so many swimmers all around. After the first buoy, I got my bearings right, and was soon comfortably stroking. My greatest disadvantage was probably not able to breath on the right. If I had been able to do that, looking at the traffic would be easier, because we had to swim clockwise.

As I came off from the swim, I think I managed to do a 31 minute, which was right on my target.

Then I slowly ran up to the bike transition, put on the socks (which is a pretty lousy idea eventually, because it would be wet), helmet, and started the bike route. And just after the bike transition, we had to cycle up a 10-20 gradient slope for like 200 meters. No wonder it's billed as the hardest triathlon in malaysia. Then with some turning, the bike route heads up some scenic but hilly path.

My target on the bike was 1.5 hours, so I didn't push hard on the bike. Soon, many bikes were passing me by. If I can recall, Sam Pritchard, Azmar, Azwar, and Emma. In fact I didn't cut anyone on the bike.

Suddenly I heard a swooshing sound coming behind. I thought it was motor bike, but turned up to be a tri bike.

The route back after the u-turn was a bit easier and faster. At one point, I found myself pacing with Carmen.

As I neared the end of the bike route, I reserved all the energy to make the last steep climb back to bike transition. It was nowhere easy after 30+km on the bike.

At the bike transition, I quickly place the bike on the bar, and switched to running shoes. I had bought the fastest Saucony shoes in the market: Saucony type A2. It's very light, and it's certainly a change from the heavy basic Adidas I had been wearing.

Running was my strongest part, and soon I was passing the rest. I passed Sue, and I knew Andy must be in front. Then I passed Raymond Hee, who did a superb timing as well.

And surprisingly I passed Ollie, on the 2nd loop back. I did see Andy as well, ahead.
However, the runnning course is certainly hard as well. Not much flats but coming back running a steep hill is enough to sap anyone's energy at this point.

I managed to clock 2:43:07 on my watch. I had targeted 2:40, so I was pretty happy with the timing. My main aim was just to take it easy, and not push so hard. My bike timing certainly needs more improvement.

Another thing was, although the shoes were super light, I had some chaffing because I was wearing soaked socks. It was not the fault of the shoes, rather mine. Perhaps running sockless is a good idea.

And for a nicer suprise, Ong Siok Bee, Michelle Looi won some prize money...well done guys.


Kenyir is a great place, so we stayed until Monday. Did some kayaking, which was pretty fun.

The view from the kenyir resort...

As usual, the carbo loading dinner comes with live performance...

Grinding up the last steep slope before run...

Finally at the finish line...

More pictures at Michelle Looi's blog.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Putrajaya-Bukit Aman-Gunung Nuang

No, this is not related to any political cum sexual issues on the mainstream media.

Thursday night, Putrajaya 35k ride with Andy's gang was my first night ride there. Learned some new tips while riding in a peloton.
Cycling with others is a team sport. So got to obey rules. Besides that, I got to ogle at 3k a pair of carbon rims. Damn, my bike cost 1.7k only, while those rims are 3k. Does it makes you go faster? you bet.

Saturday, Bukit aman was a brick done under Uncle Chan's group. And really, the stuff they do for training is an eye opener. For the first time in my life, I got to know "the wall". It's a 100 plus meter distance+, around 30 percent gradient climb, and we got to do that for 3 times. Not to mention the other ups and downs around double hill. In total did 40k cycle, 5k run.

Sunday, Gunung Nuang run up and down the peak was the worst kind of torture. With heavy rain soaking everything, and slippery muddy terrain, it was just plain hard and cold. Time was 5:47, which is the slowest time so far.
I did this for Mount Kinabalu climbathon training. And frankly I don't know if I could do it. Just train and hope it goes well.

Putrajaya nite ride...

Free wheeling at bukit aman

After the 'brick'

Wheather was so cold, my hands and feet were numb....