Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Good Luck Participants of IronMan Langkawi 2009!

There will not be any update until i return from the race next week. For those that are keen to follow the race "live". You can do so at and browse through the website to track the participants' progress on Saturday 28th February 2009.

I will be bringing the family along this time around. And they will be my strength and sustanance on race day.

So, bring your strength. Bring a pic of your sustanace. Be it the chicken you rear, the dog you play with, the cat you sleep with, the car you love so much or even your smelly bolster that puts you to sleep everynight.

End of the day, we all need all the help and all the push we could get when the going gets tough.

PACE yourself. Stay FOCUSED. EAT when you feel good. DRINK to stay hydrated. ENJOY yourself.

The end of the IronMan is not the end of your journey yet, instead it is the start of a different stage in your life where you acheived and had beaten one person you have trained to beat so far.


Good Luck to all of you Participants. See you all in Langkawi.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

IronMan Inspiration

4 solid days to race day.

Jittery? You bet.

A buddy told me this when i saw him this afternoon.

And here is food for your thoughts.

"Pain is temporary. It will go away after a while. But if you give up, the pain will be forever"

Now, go and finish that 3.8km swim, 180km bike and 42km run.

My papa can, your papa can?

4 Days To Go : PACKED!


Speedo TriRift, Spare Speedo goggle, Nike cycling shorts, silicon earplugs


IronMag Helmet, 2XU top, NikePro tights, Zoot TriShorts, 661 gloves, QuickSports Racebelt, Shimano Carbon sole shoes, CO2 catridges, Nanoflator. Not Shown is Oakley Radar


Nike cap, NikePro tight top, Nike pro tights, Nike Running tights, Nike Ergo socks, Nike Elite4 OR Nike Pegasus - not decided

I got all the items ready, packed into respective smaller bags and just finalising on which bigger bag to pack all of these in.

I would just check the whole bag in as there is the pressurised CO2 catridges. Now keep finger cross that the bag won't end up at other AirAsia destination...

Monday, February 23, 2009

Saturday Reverse Biathlon

Sort of did a reverse biathlon. I ran 9.5km and swam 1.5km.

Initial plan was to do nothing more than 5km of run. But the itchy feet got the best out of me when they brought me jalan-jalan to Kiara hill via KLGCC from RSC; and i'm paying for it now.

I suprised myself when i managed to cover the 3km up and down Kiara hill in about 15minutes. Needless to say, i pushed myself.

I covered the 9.5km in about 55 odd minutes. Not too bad for that route which are undulating, right?

It was also an opp to try out the Nike Ultimate Pro top and this time, i opted for a size smaller for the compression factor (but not to the extend i can't breathe la).

I love the tight tops because it prevent nipple chaffing and unsightly blood dripping down between my chest, well apart from it's slimming factor of course. :)

I also tried to run with something more than just my running tights. Well, that is apart from giving more support to my family jewel, that is.

And of course, the Elite running socks, which i'm growing to love very much (it even has thicker padding on the heel to prevent those notorious blisters.

I swawm after that in the 25m pool at RSC and confidently racked up 30 minutes of steady swim. I think as of Saturday, i can say that i am not splashing in the water anymore. I'm swimming, nevermind how slow that could be. (i keep imagining Total Immersion freestyle everything i reach out and pivot and breathe)

Later Sunday morning, i woke up with bad ache on my back and right under my right knee. I think I've pushed too much and too fast on run in i might just live to regret it.

Self-prescribing a NO TRAIN order for myself today. Will try to swim a bit tomorrow.

5 Freaking days to go, and it goes to show even with loads of races under my belt, you can still make mistakes.

Learn from me y'all and go easy this last few days to IronMan!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Crazy Datsun 120Y

Any of you that is into drifting scene in the country would had come across a Datsun 120Y which were modded to drift.

Aptly named Crazy Datsun, she had a transplanted S13 under her hood (and into the driver cabin as well) and engine management were done from the 350Z ecu with piggyback chip.

S13 at 1bar boost

Bad pic of the ECU, but you get my "drift" la

The intercooler menacingly stretched between the two headlights and the all the wastegate does is "laughing" as you tries to play catch up.

last i saw something as big as this, it was on a truck

The 16 inch rim shod with 245/50 tires and with half roll cage installed, this car looked like some young dirty punk on steroid.

My mum even asked how come the car looked worse than my old KP61.

How did the S13 engine fits into the engine bay of the "i learn to drive in this car" car?

Well, a whole loads of engineering were involved and loads of angle bars and bodywork were involved to not only to hold the car together during the drifting races, but also to stiffen the car further.

This car has loads of parts sponsored by a lot of local company and it is a joy to see such unassuming car turned into something as bone shaking and fast.

So, the next time you see an old orange car running next to your more fancy Beemer 5series, do step on the pedal as this monster mutant will make you think twice why you even spent that much to get a so called "performance" car.

180km/h on 4th gear?

That's just breakfast to this car.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Last Ride & Sambal-less Nasi Lemak

Ditch the initial plan to do Home-Putrajaya-Home due to time constraint and had to be happy in exploring Bukit Damansara via Pencala Link.

Managed a decent 30km with average of 25km/h (which i told myself is ok since i pedalled Bukit Damansara).

Pencala Link - See Ya After Langkawi

Bike will be sent to TBB this evening to be packed for Langkawi.

Bought a pack of Nasi lemak as i was really hungry after the short ride and it was missing the sambal.

Where can.

Nasi Lemak without Sambal is like playing cycling without bicycle.

But because i eat to live, i gobble down the whole pack.

10 days to IM.

And i'm starting to have bad feelings about it.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentines BRICK

Woke up at 5.30am and spent some time with my girlfriend Ordu.

Cycled to Putrajaya and bumped into Bernard on Kerinchi Highway heading the same direction.

Was trying to rush for time (back by 7.30am) and pedalled as hard and as fast as i could (to simulate longer distance). Clocked 1:05 the first 35km, which isn't bad with ave of 31km/h.

On the return journey, i passed Doc Raymond and his merry ironmen (and ladies) heading towards Putrajaya.

Everything was on schedule until i exited Kerinchi link when i had a blow out.

I braked to slow down and i swore the rear wheel buckled uncontrollably. I unclip just in case and accessed the damage. RIM-OK. Tubular tire (damn it, less than 200km) had a cut about 1.5mm right in the middle.

I had no space to change the tires and had to push for the next 1km to the nearest petrol station next to Eastin for repair work.

I had with me the Vittoria PitStop tire goo, which i thought would be a good opportunity to try it.

But as i suspected, the cut was too big for the goo to work. So, that's RM40 gone.

Luckily, i brought along my spare tubular and looked like i got anohter chance to practice with the CO2 canister.

Took me less than 5 minutes to get the new tubular on and inflated, infact, it was actually less than 4 minutes. The goo took much longer, and did not work.


So, lesson learnt - No tire sealant. YES CO2 canister!

I spent a good 10 minutes walking that 1km due to the cycling cleat and another good 30 minutes trying to use the goo and hope it works (so i could save RM120 on tubular tire) and i was back at 8.30am.

I then went for a short 5km run and managed it in almost PB timing of 26:00 (PB was 25:30).

I spent the next 200 odd meter fast walking.

This morning, i had a bad dream. It took me 7H 30 to complete 42.2km.

And aptly so, i woke up with a sore pain on my knee and decided to call off the 15km run i planned.

with less than 13 days to is just getting too stressful.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

HomeMade Energy Gel

Last year, i prepared bottles of homemade energy gel with low GI.

It powered me through the whole IM and i supplement it with some food that i could chew on.

This year won't be any different. The cost of branded gel are just too high and usually, one would be consuming a pack every 30-45minutes. That's a whopping 30 packs if you choose to do so (should be enough to make you look like Yusran :P)

Making your own gel are more economical and much more delicious.

This year, i find it difficult to find brown rice syrup as the organic shop i bought this last year went bust.

So, i found this in Jusco, almost as good, but maybe better (due to the sodium content).

A bottle of this makes about 24 fl.oz of gel. That's about 42grams/fl.oz. PowerBar PowerGel is about 1.44ounces which translate to about 41grams/pack.

Cost wise, the Rice Syrup is RM18.90/500gram and add in some flavouring in the form of Hersheys choc syrup, it's at most anohter RM11 (with extra to put on top of your fav icecream). 24 packs of PowerGel will set you back to about RM120 (at Rm5/pack).

You can clearly see how my miser mind works.

What i will do is add in a pack of ORS (Oral Rehydration Salt) into each bottle to beef up on the sodium.

I will also be taking kurma or dessert dates for my races this year.

And the money i saved on the energy food, i am able to send my bike to TBB to be shipped to Langkawi and i don't need to worry about it a single bit (like boxing it up, fixing it back, lugging it to and fro get my driftla)

15 days to IM09, i guess i'm just getting anxious - not so much of excited like last year. Just anxious.

One Potty Trained, One With Teeth

How time flies. Ryan is now 2 plus and Nadia is already 8 months.

Just 2 weeks ago, Ryan Miracolously learned how to tell us when he needs to go.

OK, maybe not MIRACOLOUSLY as we've been trying hard to potty train him. But 2 fridays ago, he sort of take it upon himself and demanded that he wants to wear "the superman" underwear and viola!

He has learnt how to hold his pee but not his shit (pardon the language, with kids, you just have to be graphic).

Fastforward to 3 days ago, he learnt how to sit in the toilet and pang-sai-ed.

Damn proud of him.

It's tiring to hold them in papa!

By the way, he placed the sunnies and cap himself and feel asleep soon after.

The other heart fruit (Buah hati - or should it be buah jantung?) is Nadia.

She has learnt to crawl and she is moving fast. She also has the guts to fight with the brother for stuffs. But of course, she will lose as Ryan would usually just palm her off (much like Rugby, when you run and stick your hands out to the other person's face).

And just about the time Ryan learnt to potty himself, Nadia's first 2 teeth emerged.

She has been sharing the porridge we cook with Ryan and she is a ferocious eater.

Just like her brother, Nadia could hold her own bottle and feed herself. Wifey sort of trained them to do so at 4 months old and both has proven to be successful.

We have a feeling that Nadia will grow up bullying the brother. I do not have an issue with that as i know Ryan loves his sister to bits.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Double Yolks Miracle

Ever chance upon an egg with 2 yolks?

Well, i am five times lucky with this as Barath gave me 5 eggs with 99% chances of being double yolk.

Here is a size comparison to a sized A egg.

A on right, freaky mutated double yolk, left

How did it happen?

Well, according to egg-fiando Barath, this happen with young nubile fertile chics.

The probability of these young nubile fertile chics to lay double yolk in their maiden laying session is really high.

Fear not, the chicken aren't given any antibiotic of banned growth substances or enhancer, it's genetically built into them chics.

And i found out from Barath that there is no such thing as FREE RANGE chicken eggs anymore.

What you find in the market that claim is free range are nothing more than a difference species of chicken (in this case, those that lay "free range" smaller and whiter eggs) being reared to lay eggs very much like the other "brown" eggs you see in the market.

These "free range" chicken are also confined in the same space as the other commercial eggs chicken and given the same feed.

So, don't be fooled.

There is also a lot of other assumption that i was told by Barath. Those eggs spiked with DHA or Omega3&6 are nothing more that just addictive added to the chicken feed. Infact, the golden orange colour of the yolk in some eggs are nothing but expensive colouring!

I'll stick to my normal "brown" eggs for now - but if you see the brown eggs to have shades of white, avoid at all cost, as those are eggs from old chickens with weak immune system. Also, eggs with chicken shit on them are normally "rejected" eggs...

I never knew there is so much to learn with regards to the chicken eggs trade! My hats off to Barath!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Nike Air Zoom Elite 4+ & Ergonomic Socks Road Test

Received a pair of this trainer before Chinese New Year and did not have a chance to break her in until last Saturday during my ambitious OD SBR.

I was made to understand that the previous version of this Elite series has full air bed. But because of the inclusion to insert the Nike+ Ipod accelometer, the airbed are now confined only to the heel portion.

At first glance, this shoe weren't as bling as the others i have been using from Nike (bling-est, some says BENG-est) were the LunarTrainer, with it's floro green-yellow spring like sole (story already covered previously la, so no need to ah-beng-fied this entry ok?)

I was told that this Elite series was a fav amongst a few runners and a few triatheletes and i guess the verdict is really in trying on a pair to make a judgement with.

Elite is made for people with neutral to low arch and will lend good support for such legged runners. I only found out i am between no arch to low arch using one of those heat sensitive board that works better than somethingy that make you run over and be captured on camera. Back to basic, as they says it.

I did two runs with this shoe. The first one a fast 5.5km over undulating roads in Hartamas. First thing i noticed different was the transition from heel strike to take off.

Damn kaw smooth.

Some shoes are missing this portion of "ooomph". Upon heel strike and at take off, there are two separate event. That leaves the arch "stretched" and the muscles in the feet, tired. I'm not sure how to better represent what i am saying, but the Elite 4 allows one to have smooth transition between heel strike and take off.

So smooth you think the sole are curved and you are just rolling upon heel strike.

It did not happen as smoothly for Triax and Pegasus as both the shoes has distinct differences between heel strike and take off.

Infact, comparing to Adidas Supernova 7 (Lets call it S7), i realised that there is no transition in S7! If you have been following my exploit, you will know that the S7 has the most distinct heel strike because of the Formotion heel pad. Again, that story has already been told.

The weight of this shoe is also lighter than Pegasus and Triax (somehow, i love Triax more than anything, maybe because this shoe is so seasoned, it sort of mold to my feet). How much lighter? I reckon a 100gram ligther in total. But i'm no grams granny as it makes no differences to me due to my body weight (a good 80kg now - i was 73 during last year's IM) and my running strides (small steps - high cadence).

The material was also a much improvement compared to Triax 10+ (they have 11+ now) as the "light test" (where i shine light into the shoe to see it's permeability - corny, i know) will not lie.


After receiving enlightenment

You can just imagine the amount of pespiration that mgiht ooze out from your feet with those highly permiable materials.

One more time?

Starship Sweaterprise

The short 10KM i did with the shoe on Saturday made me smile and happy that i could possibly use this for IM09. The acid test, as they say, would be on longer run.

So, on Sunday, I ran 20Km with Jabir. Just like the day before, i pair the shoe up with the new Nike Ergonomic socks (side specific).

That would meant my transition will be slower by a couple more minutes as i fumble through to see which side of the socks goes to which leg... :P

So, what's so special about the socks?

The socks has thicker padding at specific places where the pressure are potentially higher. That would meant places like heel and forefoot would have extra cushioning. The arch is also supported by having a tighter fit to it.

Here is a pic of the bottom side of the right side of the socks.

Noticed the orange portion? Those are the thicker part of the socks. The darker shade of grey is also thicker and meant to pamper the forefoot portion in relation to the smaller toes.

The almost hourglass shape in the middle portion were made from different material to lend support to the arch.

And apaprently, this socks has some "technology" build in which may make you more aerodynamic.

OK, but that's tooooooo much marketing hype.

Socks that makes me run faster? Sorry, that sounded too wrong!

The out of the world claim aside, the socks are sold at the same price as the other common Nike Socks, so that should be a motivation to shift to this one for a change.

Diff material for diff parts of your feet

So, how did the shoe hold up for 20k?

Pretty well, except the toe box a bit narrow and i almost had a blister forming on my right top edge of my right toe - the socks might had just saved me from that actually!

The shoe transition from heel strike to take off as expected and very very consistent as per the 10km run. Infact, it would had been great if not because of the blister threatening to form...

At this point of time, i'm not entirely sure if taking this shoe to IM09 would be a good idea just incase i get the blister at km30...

But since my whole purpose in life on 28th February is to complete before cutoff time, i guess a lil blister might not be too bad - at least i already got myself one excuse why i can't run faster ;-)

Elite 4+ retail at the store for RM359 and the Ergo socks (only black, unfortunately), RM22.

Final Volume Work, Tapering Starts Today

Saturday - Did a O-distance swim (about 35mins), covered 20K bike in 30 minutes (ave 40km/h) and a subsequent slower 20K. Then ran 5.5km fast in 30mins and slow for 4.5km. Covered the whole O distance in sub 3 hours.

Tri Rift - charm!

Ordu that is askign to be shod with 56-44 chain rings

Mediocore run

Sunday - 20k odd run from Hartamas to BNM and back via the GE30K route with Jabir. I swear i was trying to keep up with Jabir. 3 months ago, he was struggling to keep up with me, now, it's my turn.

And i managed to put in some mileage into the new gear - Nike Elite 4 (write up to follow)

Great midfoot transition

Monday - did a 45mins swim in the pool. Still splashing around. Can't wake up to bike to putrajaya. I guess i was just too tired. Not a good sign.

18 days to IronMan.

I just want to complete the race.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Think Like A Race Horse, Train Like A Bee

There is a good quote from Joe Friel's Triathelete Training Bible: "Think like a race horse and train like a bee."

Bees should not be able to fly - their wings are too small for their bodies and in the wrong position. It's a good thing no-one told them that. Never focus on what you think you can't do. In short, they defy logic, physics and aerodynamics.

Then the Race Horse - do you think a race horse looks at the horse next to him and says, "Wow that horse's legs are longer and I bet stronger, there is no way I am going to beat him?" That race horse would just go and feel the excitement around him, and he runs the best he can with everything he can give that day and that is all.

"Think like a race horse and train like a bee."

With 26 days to IM, i believe this phrase will live in everyone's mind.

It is in my mind for sure.

I'm not made to swim, and i'm making miserly progress in the pool by splashing about for 30 minutes yesterday (an improvement from 20 minutes the day before). Better start to train like a bee.

I'm not made to cycle and run too, but i've been doing considerably loads of mileage and recent accomplishments in clocking new PB for 1 miler and doing Broga Classic at a very enjoyable pace and state of mind, i should be thinking like a race horse.

Yes, i'm at "that" state of mind again, where i cast doubt into my own abilities. Where i start to make judgement on myself and my capabilities.

I am really just as good as the next person starting the race on 28th February.

And i am really just as prepared as the next person when the gun goes off that morning.

Might be a bit early, but GOOD LUCK to all of you returning IM and IM hopeful. Getting to the starting line is already an achievement itself.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Swimming : Getting Back The Feel

22minutes of non stop trashing about in water of what appear of me to be swimming.

But in actual fact, i was struggling.

I was trashing about in water.

Must swim everyday now to get the feel back.

On another note, Ryan is sick. He has ulcer in his throat and this hardy boy had fever and was really really "manja". Me and wifey had to do our best to understand his pain.

On the plus side, doctor gave him license to take only COLD stuff.

Gave him one ice cream yesterday, and he was so suprised we let him have a whole stick. Half way through, he gave it to me telling me he prefer water instead.

So, it was COLD ice water.

Then COLD iced milk.

And he wakes up frequently at night, taking our sleep away with him.

And this morning, i woke up with aches on my shoulder and arms from yesterday's trashing about in the water....

Monday, February 02, 2009

Last Kopek Long Distance Ride : Broga Classic

Firstly, Kudos to Arif and Senn for being crazy enough to ride HOA-Frasers-HOA and Broga back to back within 24 hours of each ride. With 300 odd KMs under their belt, langkawi should be more enjoyable.

Secondly, well done to IM Hopeful Barath for completing Broga Classic on his first attempt on a very very respectable timing of 5:45 (his meter showed 6hours, wonder what he did for 15 mins).

Here is the ride report.

We started off from Batu 18 at 6.45am on Saturday. Barath definately feeling jittery as he is totally unsure what he will be facing for the rest of the day.

I set a rather high standard for him to complete Broga in 6 hours. I recalled my first attempt for Broga took me in excess of 6:30 actually.

My PB for Broga classix is 5:15 and last i heard, Julie did a 5:05. Crazy!

The morning went on not too well for the both of us (yes, only me and Barath).

First punture at 5km mark near Sg. Gabai (still dark) and second punture right after the first downhill at Semenyih Dam (damn it, 20km done in 1:30???)

We spent almost an hour to fix the puntures, mostly focusing to ensure that the tires has no more sand/stone that would risk anohter. Only had 3 tubes and one more puncture the ride will be called off.

Barath has been putting in good mileage on the bike (900 odd almost 1000Km in less than 2 months) and the tires are wearing out. There were a slight cut on the front tires, which explained how the road debris got into the slit and caused the punture.

We got onto the Notingham U highway and headed to Broga. It was then the phrase of the day came up.

Barath : Dude, why my sunglasses fogged up?

Stupe: You are not cycling fast enough.

That shut him up for a while.

He sort of reminded me about myself (and others i shall not name) attempting my/our first IM. Egoistical. Over confident. Loud.

Those energy are best saved to complete the training ride and the IM race itself.

The ride yesterday was my 7th time on Broga. Completing a bulk of it in 2007 in preparation for IM08 and yesterday was my second this year.

Somehow, with some experience, i'm a little bit more composed and know what to expect.

The Bukit Tangga after Lenggeng that would make me saliva like a dog running up a hill was tackled with so much ease i even wondered why i struggled through it the last 3 times.

The Jeram Toi highway hill, which was in itself a long climb, was almost a stroll in the park.

Barath, on the other hand, learnt the lesson the hard way.

Bukit Tangga hit him really hard. But i had enough chance to tell him to STAY on his seat while climbing. And i guessed it helped him a bit when going up Jeram Toi.

We reached Kuala Klawang after 5 hours of riding (moving time : 4 hours), which was really average and slow (23km/h).

A quick refuelling at the station, we were off and upon 100km near Petaling, Barath started to feel a cramp coming up in his left inner thigh.

And that did shut him up a bit.

The last climb will not be kind to cramping thighs and calves.

I know for a fact as i never forget how this back of Peras broke my spirit 2 months before IM08.

"bro, the climb infront will be so slow, you will have time to see all the trees and name them", it was my words to him.

"look, it is a flat infront of us...NOT! Every bend here is a climb!", i added.

That really pissed him off and drove him onwards to complete the last huge long climb.

And what a long climb it was for him.

At 1330, Barath emerged victorious at the peak of Peras.

"overrated la this Broga", he acclaimed.

Perhaps he should have the homemade gel i gave him to thank for (we had nothing but the gel made from Rice Malt syrup with Hersheys choc syrup)


The rest of the ride back to Batu 18 is a breeze. We finished the ride at 1415. Total covered was 137km with average of 23.5km/h.

Barath's max speed was 72km/h and i did a 66km/h (getting old, balls also smaller, which explained why i don't get chaffing there as often anymore).

Along the way, Barath took a pic of me, which i thought reminded me of how fat i looked.

Can't see the fatness?

HERE - love handle galore

And HERE - love handle upfront

I know, the pics are disturbing. People will be laughing at all these IronMan and IronMan hopeful that we are making a mockery out of the race and the brand name.

Whatever happened to men with 6 packs?

Or you IronMan or RotiMan?

It's not the physical attribute that makes an IronMan mind you.

It's the heart. It's something inside, not outside.

With less than 26 days to go to IM09, conquering Broga route is definately a morale booster.

Barath - just cycle faster next time to avoid your sunnies from fogging up. ;)

Here are 2 pics taken by Shazly when we were on our way down from Peras.

I must say it hid all our love handles really well!

I am IM and IM Hopeful

For any of you that still has not engaged a photog for your IM, it's still not too late to book one. Just contact Shazly. He will do the rest.

To the rest of you reading this and gonna do the IM, remember to train smart and rest smart for the rest of the weeks.