Sunday, February 07, 2010

Saturday 106KM - Batu 18-Klawang-Batu 18

The plan was to do Broga with Barath, but somehow, was a bit cautious about the timing and possibility of not having enough ppl/support crew to come along. Recent incident where friends were harassed by motorcyclists and an attack on Pencala Link sort of make me a bit more careful...what more with Chinese New Year around the corner and Ironman Langkawi just soon after that.

We started rolling out at 0700hours instead of 0630 as there were minimal street lights along Batu 18-Klawang/Tekala T-Junction. Gaining good speed and impressed with how well Barath is handling his bike. This is his second official ride in KL.

We attacked Peras and i was pretty happy i had/managed pretty good speed up the hill. I love Peras. Infact, it is like my benchmark of fitness. But ever since i had that iron problem (which thank God, is pretty in check and pretty much elevated back, i think), my fitness was never the same.

I still have dizzy spell whenever i push a bit harder and i am extra careful when i try overloading the system via exercises. I know the coming immediate race will really be a disipline of pacing myself throughout the day.

That day was the first time Barath goes up Peras. He did really well.

Taken with iPhone 2mp impressed!

The weather was really fine that day. It felt like we were riding in some foreign country with seasonal weather. I reckon the morning temp were on the low 20's and plus the wind chill...i could feel my teats hardening up.

Not nessasary a bad thing you see, as i am in the midst of finalising what to wear in Langkawi for Ironman.

I am definately NOT in shape to wear my trisuit and i guess this time around, i will be modest and wear a cycling jersey instead (then again, i have always been fat and in denial anyway).

Problem is the material sort of give me chaffing on the teats. Bleeding nipples for 180km will not be a pretty sight...or something i look forward to, especially when there is a 42km (a Marathon) to deal with after that. So, am using the jersey as an outershell and wearing a Nike Pro as innerwear. I still have to get my moobs supported, no?

This year too, am not getting any seeding items from Nike and hence, will be using the older worn stuffs. Used, but loved. I believe while some items are made to be fashionable, the sports items manufacturer do have some lines which are really meant as technical wear and Nike offers them much easier to find (and cheaper) compared to other brand (unlike in Singapore).

What i am talking about are those technical wear. You don't get a lot of choices, not in Malaysia anyway. Proper technical wear cost an arm and leg sometimes. But thank goodness of some friends that made the effort to bring in some of these items at about the same price as you could get in Singapore or Australia - cheaper sometimes!

Back to the ride.

The other reason why i chosen to do Klawang was because i wanted to climb. My legs were aching to climb. After the Fraser's 200km ride and 21km up Gap from Tranum, i was again, hooked. Nevermind the uber slow speed i was riding up last week, but i ensured that Saturday ride were treated not as a leisure ride.

Going to Klawang from top of Peras is not a downhill all the way. Infact, there were climbs as well, short, but hard (Scale of 1 to 10, 10 hardest, i would give towards Klawang a 4) - it is like going from Janda Baik to Genting Sempah.

In order to maximize the ride and training, i made it a point to hammer on the flats and downhill to maintain the HR. And boy did i hammered. I considered the effort i put in on Saturday to be on par with my pre-iron condition but somehow i did not come out with a PB.

PB from Batu 18 to Klawang was done with Julie and AJ. We kautim that 52km in sub 2-hours.

With Barath on Saturday was 2:30. I am contended though.

Can still smile - one reason i do not want to wear sleeves is the ugly tan line on the arms!!!

I don't meant to pressure you Barath with my past achievement, but i guess it is always good to reflect on ourselves from time to time to keep moving forward. I promise you the next time we come to this route, there will be a new PB for the both of us.

We refilled at the usual place (i guess by now, the Petronas station at Klawang would had known us by bike!) and i was experimenting with new food again - Ribena or drink concentrate.


1. I will be cycling 180km and it can get bored especially if it is over the same course 3 times. Flavoured drink would be a good pick me upper.
2. I decided to stick with Powergel this year - maybe i wasn't granted any interview for the "elite" team because as much as i supposer Powerbar, i never really used their products.
3. as per item 2 above, i decided not to trouble myself to make the homemade gel from rice molasses and agave syrup.
4. Face it, Ribena and (say) Pink Guava would taste much better under the hot hot sun of Langkawi, no?

I will carry those concentrate in my water belt bottles. One 125ml for every 700ml of Camelbak Podium (Damn it, what took me so long to find this gem of a bottle???)

I decided to K.I.S.S (Keep It Simple, Stupid) for this year's race. Perhaps after finishing Ironman Langkawi in 2008 and 2009, 2010 will be a year of experiment (Insufficient training included - but that is really Stupid).

For any of you first timer for Ironman reading this, be reminded that Hydration and Food is the most important thing if you want to last the distance. Remember what you are eating NOW is not to power you at this moment but 30 minutes later! K.I.S.S and eat every 15 to 30 minutes and hydrate every 10 if you can even if it is a sip of water!

Unless your body are so conditioned and your training allows you to complete a 180.2km bike ride in sub 5:30, i seriously ask you to consider pacing yourself too.

So, Saturday ride was really like a "dry run", abeit shorter and taking the Klawang way would allow me to ride at almost 50% uphill in total. Ironman Langkawi are pretty flat in comparison to Broga, or Klawang. It is like Genting Sempah - Bentong (Hardness level :3?)

So, after 10 minutes of resting, we took off. This time, with a Mat Salleh that managed Batu18 - Klawang via Broga in 2:30....Well obviously i only saw him for the first 5km and never after that. I sometimes wish i am that fast.

As per the principle of hammering on flat, i tried to maintain 35km/h from Petronas to Titi. From Titi to the start of the climb were rolling with a 2km climb towards the end before the Gunung Hantu Besar turnoff.

I stopped twice to wait up for Barath and he was behind me by about 3 minutes. Better be safe than sorry.

The climb up the hill were great. With a hardness level of 6 or 7 (i think Gohtong - Top of Genting to be 9. 8-degree gradient all the way, wei!)

I tried to maintain above 15km/h. Standing up and shifting down to heavier gear to maintain the speed. I managed it pretty alright. The lung did not feel like bursting nor the legs showed any sign of Uncle Cramp visiting. It was just pleasant like the ride up Peras! Unusual!

But of course, that was just me trying to convince myself with 20 more days to Ironman Langkawi.

I will remain optimistic. I believe i will finish it.

These legs will ensure that i finish!

Batu 18 - Klawang - Batu 18 : 106KM
Average Speed : 22km/h
Max : 68km/h
Rolling time : 4hours 45 Mins (wow! The return was 2:15!!!)
Rest time : +/- 30mins (started at 0700 and finished back at car by 1215)

Bike sent for one last service to Edwin (Joo Ngan's Son) before Langkawi. The next 20 odd days will be used for getting the feel of the water (swim la) and run. How am i to do that, lets see how la.

Barath - thanks for the ride bro. See you in Langkawi.


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