Tuesday, February 23, 2010

T-4 Days to Ironman : Last Official Posting.

I will be leaving for Langkawi tomorrow via Firefly at 1250hours and will reach Langkawi at about 1400hours.

This will be the last official posting via blogger and i wish to thank all of you that read this
blog and knows me personally or via Facebook for the support and the "never say die" attitude.

I will update periodically via Facebook (find me as Tri Stupe) and perhaps using Twitter (I am no big fan of twitter, but get me at opstupe)

On race day, you can follow me on IronmanLive.com and just look for my name - Lim Ee-Van (or Eevan Lim as registered by LIEM - am upset they can't get my name right!)

I leave this post with two Youtube posting, which is a Pic-vie (as in Movie, but using pictures) done by Kharis aka Tuan Senang Besar and IronKam.





I might not be able to update the race report as soon as the race is over as it will be a very busy week at work from 1st March till 5th March.

And don't worry too much about me. I am a survivor and i will finish this race and collect my third Ironman finisher medal no matter what it takes.

See you all in Langkawi, or online, soon!

Love,

Stupe aka Ee-Van.

New Layout and Theme!

Welcome to the new layout and Theme.

The old opstupe.blogspot.com were a bit boring and i was having problem with the html coding due to me forgetting how to troubleshoot/recognise html coding anymore.

I was having problems where my post could not be commented.

And what good is a blog that readers can't comments? It is like a priest preaching during Sunday service and no one can say anything.

I hope you like the new blog theme. I source it from the people below (scroll to the bottom and the link is there).

I love it for the simplicity and how neat and clean it look.

And to keep up with that spirit, i decided to remove host of other useless javascripts and noticely missing were a faithful advertiser that do not think i am worthy to carry anymore text-link ads anymore. So there goes my constant USD8/month!

Comments and critiques are most welcome (but please be constructive) and i look forward to serve you reader better via this blog.

2010 marks my 6th year blogging and here to another 60 more.

Perhaps the next step is to register my own domain and call it imstupe.com?

Ideas please!

Monday, February 22, 2010

T-5 Days to Ironman Langkawi - WAXING!

I have been wanting to remove the hair on my legs to see how it is like racing "naked". After years of racing as a small time amateur, i've decided to gather enough guts to do it.

Shaving is easy and painless, but i hate the stubble like feel after it grow back within the next 24hours. Plus the chances of ingrown hair and i might end up having a pair of legs that looked like a female butch taking testeterone to grow some stubbles.

Being chinese descendant doesn't help it seems as i am not blessed with enough juice to make more hair on my body. 

It doesn't take much coaxing for wifey to agree to do this. Infact, i rode on her package at Amante at Soho KL. That was the same place she brought me for my first ever pedicure.

I left work early (1830hours) to get to this place by 1915hours. I was late due to traffic and the rain. It was like some omen telling me to "forget it, you won't make it on time, they close at 2000hours".

Was apprehensive of course!

The treatment started on the calves. Two ladies worked on me and happily spreaded hot wax on my skin. The warm-hot feeling of the wax sort of make me worry a bit...if the actual stripping of the hair will burn me more than the hot wax on skin.
































The moment of truth as the first piece of cloth rested on the warm wax, pressed and smooth down and....RIPPPPPPP.

Pretty anti-climax - it was painless.

Having your nipple chaffed against wet running vest are more painful than this.

Having a life-spasming cramp on your calves are more life-threatening than this.

Infact, the sound of the wax ripping off the legs were....pleasure.

I went in with legs full of hair (toes included) and came out hairless...up till my upper thigh.

I was told that the legs aren't as painful to wax compared to say...the upper lips or doing a bikini-wax.

The whole ritual took 30 minutes and i am now, as smooth as a baby's butt (on the legs).

No regret. Many asked me why - i just guess it is one thing i can strike off from "things i want to do before i die" list.
:)

Here's a short 40 seconds video. You can hear the ripping of the wax strip...and i did not (macho-ly) bulged.



And no, this is not my attempt to be so called metrosexual.

I think Metrosexuals are sissies.



Friday, February 12, 2010

Gong Xi Fa Cai To All of You!

Lets be more environmental concious and send E-Greeting instead.

Here is one, customised with my Family Pic, taken on Auto Timer.



Technical Compression Wear : 2XU Review

Bought a 2XU Elite men compression wear yesterday from Choi and it cost me RM370. it was pretty ok considering the AUD - RM conversion is hovering at RM3/AUD at the moment.

What is compression wear and what do it do? Here are an excerpt from the website which looked and sounded more like a marketing ploy, rather than putting quantitative measures as a benchmark

- IMPROVED RECOVERY. Therapeutic rated fabric provides greater pressure and recovery benefit by helping the pumping action of the cardiovascular system; removing blood lactate from exercising muscles leading to faster muscle repair.

- IMPROVED CIRCULATION. Faster warm up and enhanced overall circulation. Graduated compression of the limbs actively encourages and increases venous return to the heart and lymph to the lymph nodes.

- REDUCED FATIGUE. During exercise, your muscles are exposed to forces that cause vibration. This major cause of muscle fatigue, known as muscle oscillation, can be reduced by wearing compression garments. This lead to improve muscle endurance, strength and power.

- HEIGHTENED AGILITY. Heightened proprioception increases senses and awareness for enhanced stability and agility. Proprioception can also help with improved technique as you remain aware of your body's positioning, improving the balance control system and muscle coordination.

- REDUCED DAMAGE. 2XU Compression features muscle containment properties which reduce muscle damage during exercise and minimise swelling post-exercise. Additional benefits include significant reduction of exercised-induced conditions such as Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)



The only way to substaintiate the claim is by using it myself.


The tights took me a full 5 minutes and sweat (after shower somemore) to put on. And it felt snug and great. Don't worry, my family jewels were alright, it wasn't "compressed" there, can breathe.

The 50/70 denier construction did give varying effect of compression from the ankle up to the tummy.

It was supposed to be that way to ensure blood circulates back to the heart (legs, being the lowest in the body) and remove toxin (in this case, i guess it is lactic acid) off the muscle to keep it fresh.

The snugginess sort of ensured the muscle were held in place to minimise vibration (think of it you have a man-boobs and it bounces...brushing against the t-shirt materials and your teats starts to chaff and bleed)

I am already using the 2XU calf guard. It worked wonder especially pre-long ride and post long ride.

While i cease to have cramps on the calves unlike what happened in Powerman 08 and 09 (where i was literally seeing the calves muscle contracting even while relaxing), my quads and hamstrings were sore the next day.

I was desperately looking for something to help me with IM. Being not talented and not

I slept with the compression tights and woke up with NO SORENESS.

I know that is no placebo effect or physcological stuff.

More so that yesterday, after work, i saw Heckler by the road with his Monster 4X4 along Pencala Link and helped him pushed up the bloody slope (himself, myself and another friend of his) for it to roll down to start (Ran out of fuel and battery dead!).

This morning, i felt great, no soreness.

21km later in the evening, anyone?

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Two Days Two Runs

Yesterday i ran with Wifey.

I felt bad that i pushed her a bit harder than even i expected myself to do. She don't run continously for more than 3km at a time and yesterday, i made her run 8.5km - non-stop in 58:30.

Why did i do it?

I know she is strong and mentally, it is just the barrier that she needs to overcome. She showed that she could do it and she went to sleep proud. I am happy i managed to show her what she could actually do.

Today, i ran alone. 7.5km in 47:30. I am proud of myself.

My last run ever was actually Desaru Long Distance. it is very pleasant to know that i am on my way back and i hope to make it strong for myself.

A close buddy's word - KEEP MOVING FORWARD brings so much meaning and brings so much inspiration.

Nothing will stop me. Watch me go.

The Stories Of The Chinese Zodiac Signs

Comes Feb 14 2010 will be officially the year of the Tiger. It was Year of the buffalo last year and Rat the year before.

But what are the significant?

I grew up listening to stories told by my granparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Each one more intriguing that the next and some are so unbelievable you know they are just lying.

I have as well google for some stories to be told and here is one taken from wiki, which also encompassed most, if not all, the stories i heard when i was growing up.

Enjoy.

Source : Wikipedia : Chinese Zodiac

The 12 Zodiac animal signs (生肖 shengxiao) are, in order, the ratox (or cow), tigerrabbitdragonsnakehorsesheep (ram or goat), monkeyroosterdog, and pig (or boar). There are many legends to explain the beginning of the zodiac. One of the most popular reads, in summarised form, as follows:
The rat was given the task of inviting the animals to report to the Jade Emperor for a banquet to be selected for the zodiac signs. The cat was a good friend of the rat, but the rat tricked him into believing that the banquet was the next day. The cat slept through the banquet, thinking that it was the next day. When he found out, the cat vowed to be the rat's natural enemy for ages to come.
A variation tells that the cat had asked the rat to wake him up the day of the Race. The rat agreed, but on the said day, he did not wake the cat in his greed to win. When the cat finally woke up and got to the racing ground, he found the race to be over. The cat then swore revenge upon the rat.
Interestingly, the cat does make it into the Vietnamese Zodiac, in place of the rabbit (see below).
Another popular legend has it that a race was used to decide the animals to report to the Jade Emperor.
The cat and the rat were the worst swimmers in the animal kingdom. Although bad swimmers, they were both intelligent. They decided that the best and fastest way to cross the river was to hop on the back of the ox. The ox, being a naïve and good-natured animal, agreed to carry them across. However, overcome with a fierce competitiveness, the rat decided that in order to win, it must do something and promptly pushed the cat into the river. Because of this, the cat has never forgiven the rat, and hates the water as well. After the ox had crossed the river, the rat jumped ahead and reached the shore first, and it claimed first place in the competition.
Following closely behind was the strong ox, and it was named the 2nd animal in the zodiac. After the ox, came the tiger, panting, while explaining to the Jade Emperor just how difficult it was to cross the river with the heavy currents pushing it downstream all the time. But with powerful strength, it made to shore and was named the 3rd animal in the cycle.
Suddenly, from a distance came a thumping sound, and the rabbit arrived. It explained how it crossed the river: by jumping from one stone to another in a nimble fashion. Halfway through, it almost lost the race but the rabbit was lucky enough to grab hold of a floating log that later washed him to shore. For that, it became the 4th animal in the zodiac cycle. Coming in 5th place was the dragon, flying. Of course, the Jade Emperor was deeply curious as to why a strong and flying creature such as the dragon should fail to reach first. The mighty dragon explained that he had to stop and make rain to help all the people and creatures of the earth, and therefore he was held back a little. Then, on his way to the finish line, he saw a little helpless rabbit clinging onto a log so he did a good deed and gave a puff of breath to the poor creature so that it could land on the shore. The Jade Emperor was very pleased with the actions of the dragon, and he was added into the zodiac cycle. As soon as he had done so, a galloping sound was heard, and the horse appeared. Hidden on the horse's hoof is the snake, whose sudden appearance gave the horse a fright, thus making it fall back and giving the snake the 6th spot, while the horse placed 7th.
Not long after that, a little distance away, the sheep, monkey, and rooster came to the shore. These three creatures helped each other to get to where they are. The rooster spotted a raft, and took the other two animals with it. Together, the ram and the monkey cleared the weeds, tugged and pulled and finally got the raft to the shore. Because of their combined efforts, the Emperor was very pleased and promptly named the ram as the 8th creature, the monkey as the 9th, and the rooster the 10th.
The 11th animal is the dog. His explanation for being late—although he was supposed to be the best swimmer amongst the rest—was that he needed a good bath after a long spell, and the fresh water from the river was too big a temptation. For that, he almost didn't make it to finish line. Just as the Jade Emperor was about to call it a day, an oink and squeal was heard from a little pig. The pig got hungry during the race, promptly stopped for a feast and then fell asleep. After the nap, the pig continued the race and was named the 12th and last animal of the zodiac cycle. The cat finished too late (thirteenth) to win any place in the calendar, and vowed to be the enemy of the rat forevermore.
Another popular story was when the Jade Emperor told the animals that he would be using animals to represent the years. So when the rat heard about this, he went straight to his best friend the cat. At once the cat thought" I should have a rest so that would be in my best form to run to the signing post." So the cat asked the rat to wake him up when the day came. So he agreed. When the day came, the rat realized that he probably wouldn't get to the signing post as fast as the others so instead of waking the cat he left him sleeping.
Whilst going running, the rat met up with the ox. He thought to himself" Ox is the fastest, strongest animal!" So the little mouse played a trick on the ox. He asked the ox if he would like to listen to him sing. The rat opened his mouth but he said nothing. "How was that?" he asked the ox and of course he replied " Sorry little rat,I didn't hear you." The rat told the ox to let him jump onto his back so that he could sing it more clearly, and the ox agreed. Soon without knowing, the ox was walking to the signing post, forgetting the rat on his back. When they reached there, the mouse jumped off and claimed first place. The ox following and the rest.
When the cat woke up and found out about this, he was furious. He swore that he would always hate the rat. They were enemies from then on.
In Buddhism, legend has it that Buddha summoned all of the animals of the earth to come before him before his departure from this earth, but only twelve animals actually came to bid him farewell. To reward the animals who came to him, he named a year after each of them. The years were given to them in the order they had arrived.
The legend of the Zodiac Race, of course, is by far the least credible of all explanations of the origin of the Chinese zodiac. Because the "twelve earthly branches" which correspond with the zodiac, was already in existence as early as the Zhou era, long before the advent of Buddhism. A parallel decimal set of symbols called "ten heavenly stems", corresponding with yin-yang dualism and the five elements (wood, fire, earth, metal, water) was in existence in the Shang dynasty as the stems were part of Shang rulers' names. The order of 12 Chinese zodiac animals was based on the number of toes/hooves, alternating between even and odd numbers. Rat was the first because unlike other animals of the Chinese zodiac which all had the same number of toes/hooves on each leg, rat has four toes on the front legs and five on the rear legs, so it was selected to be number one. Ox is second with four hooves on each leg, and tiger is the third three with five toes, hare is the fourth with four toes, dragon is next in line with five fingers on its claw, while snake ranks number six because it lacked any legs and zero is an even number, etc.
Whatever the real story or myth was, the 12 zodiacs continues to be part of the chinese culture life. In Malaysia, it was almost fully embraced and it is not unusual to see (what seems to be) auspicious year such as Dragon to have a baby-boom.


IronMan Langkawi 2010 Photog Services

All, Last call for IM Langkawi photog services...

You all had seen the pics on my blog in the previous posting.

Those were printed in Photobooks by a friend that took it in IM09 Langkawi.

This year, he is offering the same service again.


If you are doing your first IM, i highly reccomend you to have memories immortalised. The first time only happen ONCE and you will live to regret it if you got nothing to remember the sacrifices and effort you put in.

Contact Shazly@Snap-Attack.com to book. First come first served.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Kids Says The Darnest Thing

Ryan woke up at 0530hours this morning and said :

"Papa, i want milk. My had is Drizzeling and it is stuck to my body".

He really meant to say his hands were numb and has pins and needles.

Innocent and definately heartwarming.

More so on a MONDAY morning where the body is trying to adjust to work, again.

Love you Ryan.



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 camera...am 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.

Reasons?

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.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Haloscan No More

I received an email from Haloscan saying that starting from 18th Feb 2010, it will cease to exist and will be replaced by anohter NEED to be PAID application.



It is indeed sad.

All good things has to go.

If blogger decides that i need to pay to maintain this blog, that would be the end of this blog as well.

This is the first entry that would has the new layout set to utilises the build in comment system from Blogger.

Please continue to leave your comments. I have made it compulsory to log-in and having a word verification as i do not want the comment box to be spammed.

After four years of using Haloscan, i collected about 6300++ comments.

I thank all of you that has come and left a trail of e-writing in my humble blog.



For without your encouragement, this blog would not had went on!

For sentimental value, i have saved all the comments that transpired in Haloscan and will re-look back from time to time to see just how much i have progressed.

I thank you, Haloscan, for those wonderful free years.

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