Monday, July 25, 2011

Port Dickson International Triathlon 2011

I've not done a triathlon race for a year. One complete year. The last i raced was last year PD Tri. It was a harrowing experience when you raced and not think about your own well being. That was for being hard-headed.
Last weekend race was sort of a comeback for myself. having tattooed myself with a Swim-Bike-Run tats on my right calve with "140.6" (denoting Ironman Triathlon distance), it is not just about "living up to the name" anymore but making the sports a part of my life. It has always been a part of my life since i found the joy of Tri-ing. Greater joy beckon when you are given the opportunities to help others in the sports - be it to encourage, offer advices or just by being there to see them complete.
I did exactly that yesterday.
I've raced long enough but not as long as some senior triathletes. I've paid my dues and I've did all i could with the limited time and resources i have balancing work and life. It's never easy and we all know that Work-Life balance is a myth. I've not respected myself or the distance for the race yesterday as i did not have the chance to train - i only picked my bike up from Edwin on Friday (and he asked "you training this Saturday is it for Sunday race?, in a sarcastic voice no less).
Coincidentally, I've sort of decided to stay close to Ezan for yesterday's race. She will be doing her first full Olympic Distance triathlon in PD this year. She did the Sprint last year and decided on the full monty this time around.
Game plan was that we will both swim in our own wave, i wait for her at her bike in T1 and we do the Run together. While i know she don't really need me to accompany her, but i guess i just want to be there "just in case" of that puncture or that extra push that she might need.
My total time taken yesterday was 3:37. not exactly my best but it was the only tri race i did over the past 12 months. I am happy. I raced it well and with great company. I enjoyed and managed to run in RunningSkirt. I believe i am the first triathlete that did so in Malaysia. :)
Swim : 0:34
Bike: 1:29
Run: 1:16
T1 : approx 20mins
T2: approx 2mins
I was pretty surprised with my swim. Having only swam once within the last one week. I was expecting the worse. Calm nerve and staying away from the main bunch (including swimming way outside and not next or near the buoy lines) helped. Calm water helped too. Perhaps the swim was under-distanced as well. Felt like it was a 1.2km instead of a 1.5km. I exited the water and was surprised i came in slightly less, or more than 30mins. Can't recall, perhaps it was 31mins. Took a really really slow walk back to T1.
Some said i lost weight. Some could not recognise me as i was fatter when they knew me. I felt that stress has made me lost some weight, not exercise. not happy with the still "pale" complexion. iron level in question? Photo credit to Tey.
At T1, i managed to snap a lot of friends photos of which I've uploaded in Facebook. You guys and girls know who you all are lah!
Speaking of T1, i saw a girl, in her haste, broke her Oakley M-Frame's frame. Yeap. Anxiety does stupid things to you in T1. We triathletes MUST stay cool in all situation. When you failed to stay calm, you will:
  • miss your transition area/bike and start running up and down like headless chicken thinking someone took your bike;
  • forget to bring along the essential gears such as gels, pumps, sunglasses etc;
  • wear your helmet the wrong way;
  • fall as you try to clip onto your bike;
  • forgot to smile and enjoy the race.
I witnessed all the above. I've always took my time in T1. After all, the time i lose to the next person out of the water after me and beat me at T1 could be minimized if i efficiently power through the bike section. Something I've learnt in that three Ironman distance i did.
The 40km bike was alright. PD bike route is rolling. It gives a fair bit of workout for both climber and sprinter. For the stronger cyclist, PD is actually considered as flat with no climbs. Most "bumps" are taken cared off by momentum as the triathletes sort of "glide over" while maintaining the cadence. For myself, my best timing for PD biking was a cool 1:10. I did a 1:30 yesterday and there was only fun. Took the opportunity to impart some advice to Ezan to pedal on a consistent cadence on the smaller chain ring to conserve the legs for the return 20km and the run later. Many beginners made the mistakes of powering through the first 20km only to fail to keep up in the last 20km which was slightly downhill all the way.
Ezan was strong on the bike. That was not a coincident but hard work that was put in. All she need now is to learn to use the gears to her advantage. Pounding on big chain ring is good if the route is flat and if you have the strength to power them through at least 80 cadence. Else...better be efficient and spin on those rings!
Entering T2, the ever familiar jelly-leg feeling was missing. I've not pushed hard on the bike which will allow me more reserved energy for the run. Got to my 2115 on Row C and put on the skirt. Initially i wanted to just commando it but taking off my tri-shorts in public would cause Uncle Chan to ban me for life. So, with a smaller thighs under the skirt will do this time!
The run route this year was slightly changed to accommodate for better safety. This meant there are about 3 or 4km of "off road" running on softer sand and along the far fringes of the beach. It sort of gives a gist of "Xterra" feel. 
The run was alright with me taking more time running up and down taking photos of friends.
Rudy - SAC Marshall in town for a meeting and decided to check PD Tri out
Kak Jenap in her usual antics
The usual suspects. :)
If any of you ran past this stall in the next photo and wondered what the uncle was selling, it was actually fishing lure or live baits aka worms.
RM5/pack. not entirely sure of the efficiency, but i say if a stall is setup, i believe there is a market for this item.
Running in the skirt has gotten me a fair bit of attention. I believe i am the first MALE Triathlete to do this in Malaysia. Perhaps, it will be fashionable as well one day. I was nicknamed "amoi" by Ezan. Fine by me as there is no shame in running like a girl as most of the girls i know (including wifey) runs faster than me!
photo credit to Tey.
As i approach the finishing line, i told Ezan to go for it. This is her moment. Her first full Oly Tri. She deserves all the accolades and fanfare. Even without me, she would still be finishing the race in the time she wanted i.e. 3:30. Very good for a first timer.
For myself, nothing brought more joy than to run the short 80m to finish with both Ryan and Nadia. The last it ever happened was when Ryan was 2 years old that i crossed the Desaru line with him. How times fly and it was such joy to walk slowly with them to the line.
It will be my dream one day that the kids will want to Tri as well. Can you imagine the commotion, the bicycles, the running gears and the swimming gears that will be scattered around the home in a couple of years time?
It will be priceless.
Congrats to all finishers  - first time or your 10th time. I hope yesterday's race was as good as it was for me! See you all soon at the next Tri race!
Swim-Bike-Run. Repeat!
p.s - this report was written over lunch time and posted after office hour.


  1. Good job, Mr Running Skirt!!!! And welcome to the RunningSkirt family!!! LOL

  2. Sweet ending. I missed my kids, wifey didn't expect I can finish so fast. Therefore still in the room... Bummer lol

  3. @Puisan - :D Airy!

    @heckler - that's why lah..SO fast! Well done bro!

  4. Great read, will u be my buddy when I do this hehe

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