Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I've Changed My MyKad.

Last Saturday me and wifey went to JPN to collect Nadia's MyKid. It is always a joy to recieve such item as it marks the person to be a citizen of Malaysia. Lets face it, being a second class citizen in Malaysia is waaayyy better than being a PR anywhere else in the world where you aren't even second class or third class or any class to begin with.

No doubt that the other countries might have "greener grass" or "golden rain" but it isn't just the same. SOme that has migrated only sing good song for those that is still in their home country because they do not want to be seen as "making the wrong decision". Other says that it's the free education offered for their kids.

Hello! Free education? So is Malaysia what!

Did i just hear about Malaysia's BAD education system?

Come on, they are just as bad...to start with, they address everyone by their name, even their teachers. Try that in Malaysia and you will get a big frown.

How about Indisipline amongst Malaysia's student?

Are you kidding me? OK. No doubt that some of the students at this age and time has totally unacceptable attitude, bordering towards overacting such as seen on some of those MTV shows such as "My Sweet 16" and such.

Like it or hate it, the truth is the kids are only as influenced in their life as who their friends are. Peer pressure.

I don't see any issues with me and my friends growing up. Neither did wifey. But i did remember and share the same worries as my parents when i was growing up. Those session where your parents pretend to get to know your friends parents are nothing but BACKGROUND CHECK.

Basically they were driven by the idiom "bagai kuih dengan acuan" or how the kids reflects the parents.

Malaysia is a beautiful country. Only tainted by those animals and actors/actresses in politics. Be it the BN or PR government, promises are never kept and they are all more concerned about what car they are going to drive.

Or what house they are going to stay.

Or what food they are gonna have for the next meeting.

Or even how to scam parents with those grammatically and tatabahasa wrong workbook.

"Good for your kids to prepare them for the exams", so they say.

Yeap. Garbage in. Garbage Out.

Pardon me for my indifferent tone today, but something irritated me this morning and it's not my kids or anyone at home, or at work.

Nevermind that no one talks to me when i'm deep in thoughts at work (WOW! Is that because i am BLOGGGING????? :P) or how suddenly colleauges would line up to ask me questions. I feel honoured, really.

But today is just different.

No, it's not because of the rumors that someone that was supposedly been sodomized wasn't sodomized to start with, nor am i irritated with that second generation of stupid menteri besars that justify their action based on how low their brain were placed on their lower torsos.

But one thing never failed to make me smile until today.

The JPN in Maju Junction was one of the most corteous group of civil servant i've encountered so far. Not only did they smile, they crack jokes, and the best i've gotten from them so far was when i had to take my pic when i went to change my home address from Ulu Kelang to Petaling Jaya. It goes like this:

Me: Bang, boleh senyum ke? (Bro, can i smile?)
Man: Boleh. Tapi tak boleh posing maut jer. (Can, but please don't overly pose)
Me: :)
Man: OK, ready?
Me: *Giving my best smile.*
Man: Bang, jangan senyum lebar sangat, tak nampak mata. (Bro, pls don't smile too wide, can't see your eyes)

Bugger, at that point, i burst out laughing and wifey thought i was crazy.

Me on the other hand, can't help but to smile everytime i recall that incident. I've changed my MyKad, but i am still very much a Malaysian, at heart and in my soul.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Joan Benoit - Woman Marathon Champ 1984

Before you say Joan who, let me assure you she is no Widow to that late wrestler.

Joan Benoit was a olympic marathon champ. Read about her here : Joan Benoit

She is one of the athelete that Nike featured on one of their bag (for ladies).

And why am i writing about this? Well, because this iconic bag carries the WORLD!

Imagine, Ryan's item and Nadia's item all into this huge bag. And i know how women would react to a bag that could carry everything short of the car and the house they drive and live in.

Wifey happily declare that she got everything the kids every need PLUS a bottle of 1.5liter bottle inside for me and her to quench out thirst.

Yes, the Lims are coming to you in Desaru! Don't fret because we come equiped this time with 2 kids and one Evil Bike!

Nike Zoom Victory+ : Verdict

Being the idiot that i am, i defied all order to stay in bed and went for a run yesterday morning.

I figured out that the blister on the achilles won't heal any faster in the next few days, even if i don't run. And i know i need the mileage badly.

I started the day with a lot of apprehension. Shooting pain went through my balls, then my heart and my head the moment i slip on the shoe.

The area which were sore isn't the hole of the blister, but rahter, the area surrounding the blister. Yes, i admit, it's infected, and it has in no less way, caused at least 3 nodal gland on my body to be engorged as well (crotch and both side of the neck). It has also cause some outbreak on the otherwise normal acne to be more than just that.

SO, at 6am yesterday morning, a few of us were at Bukit Aman and decided to do the 20km distance. My first 3km was filled with pain and i was running funny. Right after 3km, both the blisters starts to bleed again and i thought since it has already tainted the clean shoe, i might as well just carry on, pain or no pain.

Enough of whining. Here are the test drive of the Victory+.

Like i said before, this shoe doesn't dissapoint in the look department. I got a few runners at the Bukit Aman car park looking and some asking if it was a pair of new shoe. OK, the shoe being so white with fluorescent green laces and sole sure to attact attention, one way or the other. I had purposely wore a set of dark top and shorts (that is for another set of review) so that the shoe stand out better (call me a whore if you like).

As you can see above, the light from the phone did make the shoe fluoresent laces "shine" a bit la.

I think i've covered enough of the shoe outlook based on the previous write up, so, from here onwards, will be the more serious things.

The FlyWire feature are supposed to be the main highlight of this shoe. Derived from the Track & Field version of Victory Spike, it was supposed to "wrap" the athelete foot like a rubber glove, confirming to every single twitch of the planar muscle so that the power transfered are 100% to the rubberized track.

In this matter, Victory+ did not dissapoint. Despite the missing traditional panelling/support system on the usual running shoe, the wires held the shoe and feet really well. No instances where i felt the shoe giving way under any condition on the whole 20km run. That would also meant that the incidences of sprain due to the shoe not being able to conform to the surface are greatly minimized.

I know most shoes are pretty stable nowadays compared to maybe 5 years ago. But in this context where this Victory+ are sorely and greatly missing the whole panelling (or some would call it 360 degree lacing), this shoe comes up as a very pleasant suprise.

On the same matter, the tongue, which i complained to be thin and folding at the base, i figured out that one just need to ensure that the bottom portion are placed properly. Maybe the shoe is still new, hence, the folding up of the thin tongue.

Run Happy

My initial feeling of the "jump test" proves to be right. The sole are on the hard side. The sockliner was too basic to provide extra cushioning. I felt my feet hitting harder than it usually does on the run. I know it is hitting harder because on any other Nike shoes, the landing would be "muffled" and sounded more like "squish-squish" rahter than "thud-thud".

Am i making things clear? :P

The cushioning, abeit harder than usual, are bearable. That would also meant that if you plan to run a 10km race with this shoe, it's do-able. For 21km race, think twice. For 42km race, don't think, get another shoe.

But if there is a consolation to it, this shoe are damn pretty to be used as a weekend fashion shoe. Those flouresent laces and sole are surely to "light up" an UV theme club - provided you got some slick dance move, else, i suggest you stick to running, it's simpler.

Acceptable shoe to be used for races less than 10km. The usual stroll in the park, or to work on a dress down Friday. The shoe colour scheme and combination are sure to attract attention. Moreover, from afar, it looked as if the shoe are just made of mesh material...and those wires that are used to hold and give the shoe support, well, that could be used to impressed some non-running friends.

This shoe construction are the way forward. Already, i know that those heavy high cut basketball shoes already benefitted from this Flywire technology. This would meant that you won't be playing your basketball game as if with a ankle weight on your feet...and that elusive turn-around-your-body-under-the-leg slam dunk are almost possible.

Out of 10, i will give this shoe a 6. Slightly above average, but could be better with plushier cushinionig.

Allow me to whine one last time, afterall, i did bleed for this write up.

i pulled up the socks so that the blister will have fresh socks surface to bleed on. Right leg only, left leg i don't dare to take out as it was more painful that the right.

Sunday run : 20km (Bukit Aman - Hartamas - Bukit Aman)
Time take : 2:30, at least. Limping to a certain extend.
Pain Factor : 10/10 - but satisfying because get to clock up mileage.
Idiot Factor : 11/10 - forgot to attach the Nike+ reciever on the iPod Nano and spent a good 3 km trying to link the transmitter. The extra 1 point is for running with unhealed blood blisters.

E-LEVEN! Even Ryan knows that

Friday, July 25, 2008

Nike Zoom Victory+ : Test Ride - ALMOST.

Call me an idiot. Despite still having to recover from blisters i had, i wore the shoes and wanted to go for a run.

3 steps later, the pain is just too much, my blisters now look like a mini volcano, there is a hole in the middle, that looks like sore (bisul) and the area surrounding the hole is inflamed and raised...

Moreover, i do not want to stain this new ride with blood/pus from both the achilles.

This review will be based on first feel of the shoe, especially the quality and the new technology that went into this (can i say baseline?) model.

First impression of the shoe was awesome. Check out the studio pic.

Impressive? Almost out of this world type of construction isn't it? The surface are clean without any of those usual construction lines/panels.

See how the Vomero looked more cluttered compared the Victory?

Zoom Victory originated from the Olympic version of the Zoom Victory Spike.

Cool eh?

So, essentially, you can say it's like how some tyres manufacturer says that "all the technology we put into our F1 tyres are developed for you, our consumers"...or how one oil company says and claim that "the petrol you put into your car, are used in our F1 cars".

In this same essence, Nike is doing that. Minimalistic and giving you more bang for your money.

OK, before i start sounding like i am doing Nike a favour by promoting their product, lets be more critical with this Zoom Victory.

Now, to start with, Zoom Victory+ is Nike+ (as in Nike PLUS) enable. Meaning, there is a slot to put in the accelometer into the left shoe to communicate with either the iPod Nano or the just launched SportsBand. Coincidentally, i also found out that you might not need a Nike shoe to make full use of the SportsKit (basically the accelometer transmitter and the reciever to Nano) as all you need are those key pouch and a hard backing (why hard backing? Well, because the accelometer is useless unless the transmitter unit knocks onto something hard/solid; which explains why the insertion part in the Nike+ shoe are encased in plastic. I now could very much use this with any shoes, even sandals.

The Victory+ looked consistently same with the Studio Pic

This Victory Zoom+ is a light shoe by my standard. The lightest i've ever wore is the Pearl Izumi which comes in at 280grams odd. That is already light. Victory+ is a cool 6 ounces a side (that is roughly about 170grams), which makes it about 340gram per pair. That is still light comparitavely. I personally don't feel any weight differences compared to the Pearl.

I am not sure if i could classify the Victory+ as seamless as well, but from what i see inside the shoe, it appears to be so. The FlyWire Technology that was put into this shoe very much allows the shoe to be build seamless.

What is FlyWire? Well, it is Nike's term to denotes the usage of thin wires to give the shoe structure and also support for the user's feet. The matrix on how the FlyWire are arranged pretty much gives the runner the support he or she needs.

Close Up of the wires

Now, WHY FlyWire? Well, with this technology, the shoe could be built strong and LIGHT. I don't think any of you would had thought that this shoe is that light, for a trainer at that! Most trainers are bordering on the 400grams/pair side of things.

Incorporating FlyWire also allows Nike to test out new material. Sheer enough to allow ventilation and strong enough to provide support. It could only gets better.

You can see in the immediate picture above and below this sentence that there is differences in the material density.

Forefoot area

With the seamless design and highly breathable material, one could almost be promised of a cool ride ahead, and potentially a quick drying shoe (some of us like to drench ourselves silly during those run races...to add to the drama mah)

But all these did not answer if this shoe is indeed God-send.

Oh well, like they say, the proof of the pudding is in the tasting. I did not fully devour the pudding as yet, but i did taste it to a certain extend. I only have a few grouses.

1. Not enough reflective material.
I love the blings on my shoes, and clearly this has been missing with Victory+

Only one tiny looking reflective material. OKla, given that this shoe is uber striking but that is only in daylight. At night time striking color don't reflect. Maybe Nike should consider making those striking parts...glow in the dark???

2. The shoe tongue is too thin.
Sad but true. When i slip the shoe in, the bottom side of the shoe tongue folded inside and i could see the sock/flesh color of my skin (depending if socks were worn).

The shoe might be seamless (or almost), but having a shoe tongue that folds at the bottom near your toes will only cause unwanted pressure point and possible blisters. Ouch.

3. The sole is too hard.
There is only sufficient cushioning, but it is not the main point of this shoe. Even when standing and bouncing up and down (like how Malaysian test car la, open and slam close the door to hear for that solid "thud" sound) i could feel the sole of my feet having to absorb more impact that it was usually used to. Also, the socks liner was relatively simple, what used to be double layer of dual density material was replaced with an almost basic liner... :(

But then again,With regards to the cushioning, this might be biased as I might be so pampered with shoes with adequate cushioning, or more.

I would definately need to take this baby for a run, perhaps even longer than just 10km to justify it's performance. One/first look, it doesn't seems (or want) to dissapoint the user.

Oh ya, as i was trying to check how well the shoe could ventilate, i deployed my usual light test.

And i tell you, Victory+ gives the best hues!



The white light that i shone was from my phone camera and it gave out an amazingly beautiful blue hue, well, unless you can device a way to put lights on your legs AND wear the shoe at the same time, then you can take away grouse number 1 above.

If you are looking to get your next pair of trainer and are considering this Victory+ as one of your purchases, wait up. I will write a separate entry on how this shoe perform on my unblistered feet. Frankly, i was tempted to run with it yesterday midnight, but decided that i do not want to dirty the shoe with blood and pus...that will leave me BLUE (with less than striking Green to show on the shoe anymore!)

Speaking of Blue, these are a few items I have from Nike in my collection that is Blue. Sorry ah, camera a bit spastic yesterday, picture quality did not do justice to the merchandise. Like i said in the earlier posting...Blue is this season color for Nike!

Thank you Nike for giving me a chance to test drive this Victory+!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

My Beautiful Princess

It's such joy to be seeing her when i get home. She will either be sucking on her mother, or sleeping in her cot.

Nadia is settling in pretty well. She feeds about 3 times (about because sometimes, it's 4 times, and at tiems, the whole night, but for record purpose, lets keep it to 3 times) every night; at 12, 3 and 6.

She has put on more than 1 kg since her birth and has started to grow taller. Her hair is still dangerously a lot, which is good. But me and wifey suspect it might drop off in a few weeks or months.

She will be taking her first outstation trip to Desaru come 15th August. I hope to be able to run with her and Ryan to the finish line in record time.

It seems that since i've taken my racing slightly more serious, i've been realising my own limits and been working to break them (ok, pain management is one of them).

I am still hoping to be able to find time and settle into the Ordu (which i've since branded as POSSESSED and EVIL) and trying to clock good cycling timing.

My blister is slowly healing. It went from a blister to septic to healing to septic again and now i hope it stays that way. I've been pinching Ryan's medication for his rashes (antibiotic cream) to hasten the healing process.

I am dying to Bike and Run. (Not swimming, because far la...lazy)

Whatever it is, come Desaru, it would be all in the family day out!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Airwolf versus Firefox - Wolf and Dog fight?

I was having a debate with a couple of friends over elephant, hyenas, cows, pigs and somehow, the whole line of argument moves to one Chinese MiG and one Pakistan MiG flanking and attacking 2 F-15 tomcats.

And to equate some of us to fast moving plane would be an utmost insult to the planes.

But somehow i brought up the word SUNBURST and immediately it reminded me of Airwolf.

I love Airwolf.

Hawk is definately more macho than Maverick.

But anyhow, i found this clip in youtube(where else?) and the person that edited this video definately did a great job! Check out the air battle between Airwolf and Firefox aka MiG-31.

Who won in the end?

Who would had guessed who actually won????

Nike Blues

Blue seems to be the in season colour for Nike.

Infact, some national atheltes will be decked in Blue.

Well, i was in blue today.

Blue has always been my favourite color.

Nadia too, has something blue.

And this morning...a colleague wore the almost the exact same hue to office as myself...

Come 5th August, that will change. It would be striking green or fluorescent yellow.

Wait up for that.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

CCR - Have You Ever Seen The Rain

While running in PD tri last Sunday, i had this song played twice; each on the 5km distance. I'm now starting to wonder if the Nano i have has some artifical intelligence.


Creedence Clearwater Revival - Have You Ever Seen The Rain
Someone told me long ago theres a calm before the storm,
I know; its been comin for some time.
When its over, so they say, itll rain a sunny day,
I know; shinin down like water.

I want to know, have you ever seen the rain?
I want to know, have you ever seen the rain
Comin down on a sunny day?

Yesterday, and days before, sun is cold and rain is hard,
I know; been that way for all my time.
til forever, on it goes through the circle, fast and slow,
I know; it cant stop, I wonder.


This is totally incoherent to this posting.

I just noticed that i do not have a refined calves eventhough i run/cycle so much.

Perhaps, there is truth when people says i'm fat. I better consider a fruits and vegetable diet from today onwards.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Port Dickson International Triathlon 2008 - Report

Pushed off from KL at 4.30am in the morning and reached PD at 6am. Rested a bit with Azmar in his room and set out to the transition with Bandit by 7am.

The crowd reminds me of IronMan. The endless racks of transition stand and a total of 1335 people (inclusing sprint) registered for the race. Splitting it in the middle would still meant a cool 600 odd people per race.

That is a lot of people in one race.

My race number this time was 377, that just goes to show how many people joined since 3 years ago.

I went into the race hoping to do a new PB. It is always do-able in PD and PD is one of the course where the distance is certified to be of correct distance (other olympic distance tri in the country is circa that distance la, but not the correct 1.5k - 40k - 10k distance). Moreover, i kept my finger crossed that the blister won't get any worse than it is. I had both the heels patched and bandaged with those micropore plasters.

The swim this year was more or less more organised. The swimmers are placed in cage prior to the start and was let go in waves. I was testing the new swim goggle. THe Speedo Biofuse...it's as good as diving/snorkel mask minus the nose part. Shazly has been using it for the past 1 year and i thought i should had just get one myself since i always have problem of my goggle fogging up at all the wrong time. Plus the smaller swim goggle are hard to place back should it gets dislodged from the face, either by overly excited swimmer's legs, elbow or knee. Swim start in triathlon is like contact sports. I agree to that.

Speedo BioFUSE Rift Swim Goggles

I was breaststroking all the way. Lost some confident to freestyle and i don't seems to get my bearing right. Either i swim into some buoys, or i swim into someone's leg. I keep both Shazly and Mervyn in sight. It's easy because Shazly is wearing that huge goggles and Mervyn was doing breaststroke as well. Those all too familiar team tri top gave it away and make spotting easier. I had some problem getting used to the goggle initially as water keep seeping in, but that was me failing to adjust it properly before the race start. As i said above, the goggle was a charm to reposition, just tilt the head back, flip the bottom and push it back onto the face. Kautim!

The final 300 meters back to shore, i swam harder than i did, to try to close the gap with Mervyn and as i reach the shore, Arif exited just infront of me...bloody fast swimmer!

I came out of water in 32 minutes. Hardly my own personal best timing (best was 28 minutes 3 years ago).

Noticed the goggle mark on my face?

Running to T1 takes forever. Not to mention it was damn tiring doing those baywatch run on those soft sand. The plaster on my blister came out and the stinging sensation was already bad in the salt water and it seems to get worse as the sand starts to cover the wound.

I took a quick wash at the shower and ran to my bike. Took me sometime to kit up as i had to ensure that the wound is cleaned from sand. Wore socks. Wore helmet. Wore sunnies. Wore shoes. Wore race belt. And i'm off. Then the aero bottle dislodged from the bracket. Darn it! Took sometime to fiddle with the bottle and heard Hin Toong shouting to ask me to forget the bottle (it is as Shazly says, only 40km what).

I stride the bike immediately i passed the line and started cranking up the cadence.

Passing through the roundabout, i was hitting 35km/h and had some relay riders drafting me. I was hitting 42km/h 500m before the turning to Linggi. The bike is Evil. She just want to go, go and go. Entering the trunk road, i continue cranking and found myself going nothing less than 35km/h on the flat and decline. I approach the climb rahter technically and thank goodness i managed to ride over them within the 20-25km/h speed.

Right after the U-turn, a big train (peleton), led by Sam Pithcard and Azmar came through. I downed a pack of gel and happily jumped in. The peleton has almost 20 people in it. Arif, Edwin, Azmar was some of the familiar faces. The rest were literally gunning for glory. The train was moving in a comfortable 35 to 40km/h speed.

I caught up with Shazly and decided to break off from the peleton as the situation gets a bit dangerous. Riders are cutting in from left and right and riding on the opposite side of the road to get ahead. Staying put with shazly, we cycled our own race within the 30-35km/h range.

Azmar was doing great. He was having so much fun on the Stinger 90. I was having fun. I've never felt more in tune on the bike until now. It is like the Ordu was made for me and happily adhering to all my movement and pushing.

I enter T2 at a time i believe was faster than last year. I failed to notice the timing but i recall seeing something like 1:02 (or was it 1:20???).

I ran into T2 and missed my bike rack. I had to take one round around the wrong rack to my own rack.

By then, i don't see Azmar anymore. Shazly and Mervyn is just right there. I know i have to move faster.

I realised i've managed to ignore the pain on the heel. Which is good. THe wound must had gotten numb with the cadence movement on the bike. I slipped on the runnign shoes and i grimaces in pain. Because this blister was caused by this shoe, the location and position of the part that eats into the wound fitted like glove.

Nevermind then, the socks is already soaked with blood anyway.

I geared up and started running. I promised myself to bust my lung and decided not to wait for Shazly which was running with me out of T2. I was desperate for a PB, and right at that moment, i am almost there, if i can manage a 50 minutes run.

Yeah. 50minutes in these wounds.

Again, i managed to block it off after 2km of run. I saw Adzim on the opposite site of the road and i know i am not that far from him, maybe a good 15 minutes away, or 3km away. I pushed further, managing to stay on a 5:00 pace until the pain gets unbearable again. Found a comfy 5:30 pace and ran faster.

This year running route changed. All the previous years, we were running on the trunk road to PD town, U-turning at Avilion. This year, the run route takes us to the turning to Linggi, on the unshedded highway.

It was hot hot hot. But if there is something i've learnt, is to put ice into your tri top, let the ice jinggle around the tummy and lower back to keep the temperature down...and those ice could be used as lifesaver; push the ice out and munch of them. INSTANT gratification on a hot sunny windless late morning!

I very much survived that way and only 2 water station was with ICE, unfortunately.

I ran faster the last 1km and i know i am a bit far off for my own PB. I don't think i could dip below 2:40 (unofficial timing, official was 2:45) i did last year and i just hope the final push will help shave 30 seconds off the last year's official timing.

I pushed myself harder than i've ever did in this year's race. No more fooling around with the camera. Somehow thought that i should stop being so overly irritating in any races. I know people are looking and it is time to just do my best.

Between Expectation and Pain...i am clearly upset there is no PB

My PD 05 timing: 2:46:41
My PD 06 timing: 3:05
My PD 07 timing: 2:45
My PD 08 timing: 2:??

Anyone has my pic on the bike? I would love to see myself on the bike.

PDIT 08 results is out. Mine is here : Stupe

Friday, July 18, 2008

Dream Is Back. Speed Weapon Commissioned.

After almost 5 months, the Dream is finally out of the box. Some metal bolts were rusted and some fungus grew on parts where the isotonic drink spilled back during IM.

Gave her a good wash and oiled her back. Removed the aerobar and will return it to Azwar Pipot (Thank You Bro!) this Sunday during PD tri.

THe bike never looke dmore beautiful. The IronMan sticker on the top tube and the Race number tag is still on the cable tie.

Now, i got a dedicated Road Bike, and it's a Dream.

And now, let me unveil the new addition to the family. The Orbea Ordu.

I transfered all the parts from my Steel Colnago to this bike to keep the cost down. I was a bit hesitant to strip the parts on Dream and put it on the Ordu. Reason being the Dream is Italian (almost 100%) and i hate to do (inbreeding) injustice by stripping her and putting in the Japanese parts.

The Spain made Ordu looked daunting enough, as per my last blog entry.

But it was blessed by Nadia yesterday.

And just now, Ryan helped me with pumping and oiling of this Speed Weapon.

What more could i ask for (and for disrespecting the machine, Ryan recieved the wrath of the machine when it tumbles on him)and with Wifey's blessing, that is way better than bringing the Ordu to a temple or church for prayer or baptism.

I took the Ordu for a spin to office. I never felt more aero than now. It is not as sleek as the 2008 Ordu with even aero tube head. But it's my first TT bike.

I'm pretty excited and do not know what to expect. I have a feeling i will "appear" fast. But i seriously doubt my bike timing will improve any better than what i've done in PD before. (Last year bike was done in 1:06 and my total time was 2:40 - on the steel Colnago!) Furthermore, i trained so much last year in anticipation for IM08.

With the blister still not healing (now it seems and sounded like some broken record), i'm not sure if i could even do the 10km run in 50mins, but i promise i will try. I will definately bust the lungs again!

Oh ya, before i sign off, apparently, someone which done IronMan Langkawi twice (and finish) was saying that me and someone else were cocky and talking loud and big just because we finish our IM once. Infact, when me and Shazly asked if he did IM, he says NO. So, we told him " must join once! It's do-able!". He told us he has no time to train and we did tell him that "it's just an excuse".

Hey, sorry if i sounded arrogant and cocky, but if you were to tell me you finished IM twice, me and Shazly WILL drop to our knees and pray to you!

Whatever it is, i know my ass will be watched this Sunday by that person.

More reason to push myself! See ya all in PD!

Post note : Wifey say if i don't do well in PD, it's a complete waste of money to spend on that bike, and downright shameful!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Of Speed Weapon, Blister and PD Tri

I've taken delivery of the new bike.

Apart from the seat unable to tilt down and the internal routing for the rear brake is defunct, the bike seems/promised to be a good ride. Definately a lot of kilograms lighter than my old steel and a few kilograms lighter than the Dream.

The machine looked daunting. Almost unforgiving. Untameable.

My blister doesn't seems to be healing. Since Kenyir, the blister has since turned into a hole and i believe it is infected. I have some boil-like acne behind my head and my nodal gland is inflamed. I've been wearing slipper to work and my boss is just stopping short of asking me why. I had 3 plaster on each heel during the Century Ride and it did not help.

The blisters looked daunting. Almost unforgiving. Untameable. Too.

PD tri is this weekend. I've decided to only go down on race morning. Will leave early at about 4.30am and reach PD by 6am. That would give me enough time to prep and contemplate if i should aim for my personal best. Maybe i will just aim to finish the race. New goggles. New bike. New injury. I'm already starting to give excuse not to do well. But i have so much fire in me to do better. This is not one of those episode where i ponder about my mental prepareness. But this is all about gear and physical limitation. I'm mentally prepared. I've imagined to cross the line in 2:30. Or less.

But at this point, the race looked daunting. Almost unforgiving. Untameable.

Happy Family

Our First Family pic with everyone inside.

OK, make it two.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Century Ride Ipoh 2008 : 160km On The Dot

First of all, tabik spring to Ipoh Roadrunner for finding an exactly 160km route On.The.Dot for us to ride yesterday. My GPS that was set to track recorded nothing less or more than 160km. Unbelieveable.

See below left hand corner

I finished my ride pretty much the same as the race official timing. My meter says i rode for 6:14, i guess the extra was the food stop and refueling which we did (both official and unofficial).

We reached the starting point late. By the time we kitted up, the horn went off and the late comers were scrambling to the starting check point. Most of us forgot the meters, food, water etc etc.

THe initial wish to cycle in the peloton was squashed when CK and gnang went blasting through and followed the letua peloton.

I styaed on with TZ and Shazly. It was later joined by Azmar and Laif. We managed to catch Kam and Ishsal along the way after the first check point. All of them were bloody fast. Perhaps i was just slow.

The ride was enjoyable. Enough hills to climb and enough flats to roll.

Those sharp spikes are climbs, measured in feet. Yellow lines with dots are the tracks

If you are wondering why the first 40km was easy that was because it was on a gentle descent. And as usual, what goes down, must come up. So, give yourself a pat on the back for climbing back to Klebang on a gradual ascent.

Some of the climbs were great. You could tell from the riders who are the experienced rider and who aren't. All the hills were rideable. There wasn't any need to come down and push. Just play with the gears and approach the climb intelligently. Let momentum help you. Spin. Shift. And before you know it, you are over the hill and enjoying the downhill there after.

One of the bigger climb, some equates it to LISRAM highway at the start of IronMan. But i say it's slightly harder as the descent to gain speed was really short

My tire had a small leak and i had to resort to borrow one tube and pump from a fellow rider (thank you! You know who you are, well, if you ever come into this blog) and that cost me to miss the Shazly's Express. Elaine Boey was fast enough to grab hold of the train and managed to cruise with the rest of the Shaz's train. Well done! She will be doing her IM next year.

I rode myself after KM100. The final 60km wasn't really fun with strong headwind, but i figure out that i would need to keep the cadence and power up. Lack of food and without any sleep the morning before (we mobilized at 2.30am, reached Ipoh at 7am, that is after picking up everyone and settling all the logistic needs).

However, it is also sad to see some riders resorting to dirty tactics, like hanging onto their support cars while going up the hill (dangerous wei, as that would meant the support car needs to be going at a reasonable speed, and not block the road for riders trying to get over the hills) and there was one support car that dilligently pick up the riders, drop them before the check point and pick them up again after the check point. No wonder these chaps hardly break any sweat...or has any dirt accumulated on their face and exposed skin. Shame on you!

Prove that we were honestly enjoying ourselves

Well done to all that raced an honest race. You outdid yourself. This Century Ride route is definately a great training route for IM. Having enough flats and climbs that won't break your heart and keeps you wishing for more. To all the winners, well done, to all the finishers, well done to you too, especially those that could now tell the world they just did their longest distance of riding in a single day!

I super enjoyed the race because it was the last outing i am going with the steel reliable Colnago. I believe she has seen better days and i've decided to retire her. let her rest. 12 years in a bike's age is a very long time. Nevertheless, i believe she has served the previous owner and me wonderfully. I can't deny that. So, those that laughed and sniggered at her, eat your heart out, for you did not have enough guts to ride her and are filled with apprehensive decision if she could last any ride. Perhaps, you should be looking at yourself first. :) Sorry if i sounded arrogant, but i'm just giving a standing ovation to the steel beast. :)

With yesterday's ride, some of us can truly says that IronMan 2009 training has officially started. One IM told me it was his most enjoyable ride in 5 months. One more is currently on a fruits and vegetable diet. As for me, i rewarded myself with the official sponsored food - nothing short of Big Mac McValue Set for lunch!

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Apple and Durian Of My Life

Simply adorable and this pic is priceless. Wifey managed to catch the moment. Ryan (the durian) has been pretty loving to his sister, Nadia (the apple). The initial "rivalry" has since reduced to "lovingly".

A couple fo times Ryan attempted to carry Nadia. When Nadia cries, he runs and inform us, at times, trying to comfort her by talking in his own baby talk.

Durian's vocab is building up now. He is starting to learn to talk (and make sense out of it). Apple's mummy's girl, sticking to wifey like glue.

Simply Lovely.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Team Tune Racing

Click here to see who's who in the Team.

We aren't winner (yet), but we are working towards that. Really.

Team Tune Racing Malaysia

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The Red Team - Team Tune Racing

Thanks to Azhar and Luvis, here are some pics from the race.

Tune Racers 2

T1 Kenyir

Ironman Stupe

And yes, i'm still bleeding from the blister.


Monday, July 07, 2008

Kenyir Tri 2008 - Race Report

“Kenyir – Malaysia Toughest Triathlon” So say the tagline on the banners that line the streets.

This was my first Kenyir race and I’ve heard stories about the bike climbs and the run routes.

I used to get someone shaking their head and telling me that it’s tough.

Someone even say that it is so tough, it makes IronMan looks easy.

Well, then perhaps, that person has not been through IronMan…or has not trained enough. Or that kenyir race he entered was most probably his only race he has taken part since 4 years ago.

Anyhow, the journey from Ulu Kelang to Kenyir took us a good 5 hours of drive. We met at Shazly’s place at about 8.30pm and moved out by 9.30pm. We stopped at Genting Sempah for some Carbo-Loading (when else can we eat without giving lame excuse?) and rolled out by 11pm.

We know the journey would be long and expected to arrive by 6am the next day. But somehow, we reached Kenyir at 4.30am! In complete darkness and we slept at the reception until 7am.

When the sky lighted up, I began to see how steep the roads around me was. Adzim was saying something about “lucky I brought my 26 cogs”…and it hits me…my old steel colnago comes with a 24 cogs…seasoned racer like him (and fast racer too) is contemplating, I was a bit shaken, but I thought to myself that everyone would and have to go through the same course. Even if it is 19 cog, I have to do it.

To be frank, I have no idea and no expectation when I signed up for this race. I did it because I’ve not done it and this time around, I was lucky enough to be sponsored to do the race. That helped (the pocket)!

There were only an odd 204 people taking part, of which a good 144 is age grouper and the rest were relay teams (2 or 3 members each team).

During the carbo loading dinner, the Tune sponsored guys wore red into the hall. We got some stare alright. But we weren’t the stars. The main guy (that’s Tengku Zafrul) stroll in and joined us at the table. The carbo loading dinner was good, but the facing the hungry ever ready to carbo load triathletes, the whole situation became chaotic.

I lost count of how many times the kitchen staff has to replenish the items on the buffet table. Me and Mervin just stood outside and ate whatever that is left on the table. We figured that was the best and fastest way to eat. And finally, when we got the chance to line up and take our food, there were so little left it wasn’t the dinner we thought we are going to have. Anyhow, our main aim is to eat, and ate we did.
The next morning, we woke up at 5.30am. One by one of us sat on the throne and showered. We then did a last check to ensure we got all the items we need for the race.

We cycled to the transition point, which was a good 2km away. Arrange the items on the transition rack. What was sorely missing was me taking pictures. I forgot to bring my charger! So, apologies for NOT having any worthy pics in this posting. But I assure you that pics will be uploaded when I get it!

At 7.30am, the participants were called to the starting point. One by one took their chance to enter the water and warm up.

The water was comfortably cold. It was so clear that I could see two person away from me treading water. I could clearly see who was breastroking and who was freestyling. That would help me not bumping (or me bumping) into others and spoiling their rhythm.

At 8am, Mr. Chan called everyone up for one last briefing. I found myself at the front of the line.

At 8.15am, the horn was blasted and chaos ensued.

Triathlon Swim start is like contact sports. Everything is fair and all physical contact are not meant to injure your rival or friends, but everyone would scramble for the best spot and stay ahead. We did not say that Triathlon is non contact sports, did we?

Kenyir Swim

I got into good rhythm with a 3-1 stroke (3 hand – 1 breathe) and could easily find my bearing until the first buoy when at the turn of the first buoy the sun was shining and blurred my vision. I had to correct my direction a couple of time and pushed for it. By the time I reached the second buoy, I switched to breaststroke and powered through to the third buoy. A quick glance says it took me a good 18 minutes to crawl the first 750m. The remaining loop was done in the very much same fashion as the first. Upon reaching the second buoy, I saw Senn and Zabil. Woohoo! I caught up with Zabil?! Motivated, I powered through the breaststroke (which is my strongest swim style) and exited the water in 38min.

Running into T1, I saw Adzim leaving. I saw Shazly and I saw Mervin leaving. I am about the only bike that is left on the rack. I heard the MC (Maslan) shouted to Zabil and by then I know I am a good 1 minute infront of him. Took sometime for me to get organized at T1. Fumbled through the helmet and sunnies while Azhar (JB) spoke and encouraged me on. For a moment, I had a Macca (as in Chris McCormack) moment. He fumbled through his T1, shouting as he struggled to get his helmet buckled in Kona last year.
Kenyir Bike

I must had spent almost 3 minutes getting ready. And right out of the T1, there was a hill to climb. I huffed and puffed up hill on 42-19 combo, gaining good speed and overtaking a few along the way up. Those days in Peres helped!

The first downhill, I clocked the second fastest downhill ever in my whole entire cycling life. I did a 75.7km/h (my fastest record was 82km/h coming down Genting on my crazy years, many many moons ago).

Then, I told myself that I should technically enjoy the ride as it was my forte – climb. I don’t do well on the flat but I know I excel on the climb as I’m a power cyclist rather than an endurance cyclist. The last climb before the bike U turn was the heaviest as I had only a 42-24 combo to deal with and help ease the pain. Some others have the bigger cog (26 or 27) and some have their triple crank. I shut all those numbers away and concentrate on climbing, overtaking a couple more of people and was never more glad when I saw Shazly about 1km away from me (500meters from U-turn la, do the maths). I know I could try to catch him, but chances are thin as the return journey will be a breeze with mostly downhills (what goes up, must come down mah!).

My average as I did my u turn was a good 25km/h, which was good I thought considering the amount of climbs one need to do.

Immediately after my u turn, I saw DBC, then I saw Mervin, then I Saw Azmar, then I saw TZ (short for Tengku Zafrul la). Cheering them on, I powered my way home. A few tried drafting but can’t keep up (because the stronger riders are all way up front, leaving the average like me trying to keep up with each other) with me for long. I was on a mission yesterday. I promised the sponsor to go all out; to blow my lungs.

I entered Kenyir and anticipated the last hard climb (which I first did the fast 75.7km/h). Truly, what goes down, WILL go up.

I ran out of gear and huffed and puffed again on the final climb up the hill, smiling for Jim (our official photog, which is also an ex-boy) and tried to make it look easy (which wasn’t).

I entered T2 in 1:15 and an average of 29.5km/h.

At T2, I was slightly more organized. I saw Shazly leaving T2 and told him I will catch him upfront.

Changed and decided NOT to wear socks with the new PI’s Streak shoe. The shoe has a seamless construction and I thought I don’t need to wear socks. That was the single biggest mistake that almost cost me my race yesterday.

Kenyir Run

I blazed through my run and Mervin caught up with ease. He then caught up with Shazly about 2km infront. At the midpoint, I clocked a good 25minutes and that was when I decided that the stinging feeling on both my heels was too much to take.

I’ve imagined my worse and the worse did happen. Both my heels was bleeding because of the blisters bursting and rubbing against the shoe. The rear part of the shoe was soaked with my blood and the pain got worse with every steps I take. I could see Shazly and Mervin pulling away. I decided to do what I never do in any race – wet my shoes. I was doing that hoping that the ice water could take the pain away and wash the blood away before it dries (and I end up with an ugly pair of new shoe). The cold water helped and the blister actually felt better – for about 300m and then the pain gets unbearable again.

It was a wet’n’go race therefore for me. At the last water station, I drenched myself and raced downhill, pushed and ignored the pain and cross the line in 1hour.

My tri time, as per my watch states I finished the race in 3:05.

It was a good race. But could have been better if not because of the blisters (at this point, it seems like an excuse, but it wasn’t when I crossed the line yesterday).

Did I raced my lungs out? I did not for the run, but I did raced my heart out. Infact, the 3:05 timing was better than the flat A Formosa I did 1 month ago.

For that, I am proud of myself, for clocking a respectable timing for the toughest Olympic distance Tri in Malaysia.

On the same matter, I must congrats DBC and TZ for doing well in this race as well. It was DBC debut race and he got 8th in his age group and won RM150. That should be enough inspiration for him to continue racing. To add cream to the pie, he beats his own personal trainer in this race.

As for TZ, he did really well and could had finished close to DBC. He will do the full race in PD.

I can’t wait for PD.