Thursday, July 30, 2009

What are Roads in Malaysia used for?

By David Astley, a British guy, now living in KL

A guide for expatriate drivers in Malaysia
Since arriving in Malaysia in 1997, I have tried on many occasions to buy a copy of the Malaysian road rules, but have come to the conclusion that no such publication exists (or if it does, it has been out of print for years). Therefore after carefully observing the driving habits of Malaysian drivers, I believe I have at last worked out the rules of the road in Malaysia . For the benefit of other expatriates living in Malaysia , and the 50% of local drivers who acquired their driving licences without taking a driving test, I am pleased to share my knowledge below:

Q: What is the most important rule of the road in Malaysia?
A: The most important rule is that you must arrive at your destination ahead of the car in front of you. This is the sacrosanct rule of driving in Malaysia. All other rules are subservient to this rule.
Q: What side of the road should you drive on in Malaysia?
A: 99.7% of cars drive on the left hand side, 0.2% on the right hand side, and 0.1% drive in reverse (be on the look out for drivers reversing at high speed in the left hand lane of freeways, having just missed their exit). Therefore on the basis of 'majority rules', it is recommended that you drive on the left. However, be aware that only 90% of motorcyclists travel on the left hand side - the other 10% ride in the opposite direction or on the sidewalk. Fortunately, motorcyclists travelling in reverse are rarely seen.
Q: What are the white lines on the roads?
A: These are known as lane markers and were used by the British in the colonial days to help them drive straight. Today their purpose is mainly decorative, although a double white line is used to indicate a place that is popular to overtake!
Q: When can I use the emergency lane?
A: You can use the emergency lane for any emergency, e.g. you are late for work, you left the toaster plugged in at home, you are bursting to go to the toilet, you have a toothache or you have just dropped your Starbucks coffee in your lap. As it is an emergency, you may drive at twice the speed of the other cars on the road.
Q: Do traffic lights have the same meaning as in other countries?
A: Not quite. Green is the same - that means 'Go', but amber and red are different. Amber means 'Go like hell' and red means 'Stop if there is traffic coming in the other direction or if there is a policeman on the corner'. Otherwise red means the same as green. Note that for buses, red lights do not take effect until five seconds after the light has changed.
Q: What does the sign 'Jalan Sehala' mean?
A: This means 'One Way Street' and indicates a street where the traffic is required to travel in one direction. The arrow on the sign indicates the preferred direction of the traffic flow, but is not compulsory. If the traffic is not flowing in the direction in which you wish to travel, then reversing in that direction is the best option.
Q: What does the sign 'Berhenti' mean?
A: This means 'Stop', and is used to indicate a junction where there is a possibility that you may have to stop if you cannot fool the cars on the road that you are entering into thinking that you are not going to stop.
Q: What does the sign 'Beri Laluan' mean?
A: This means ' Give Way ', and is used to indicate a junction where the cars on the road that you are entering will give way to you provided you avoid all eye contact with them and you can fool them into thinking that you have not seen them.
Q: What does the sign 'Dilarang Masuk' mean?
A: This means 'No Entry'. However, when used on exit ramps in multi-storey car parks, it has an alternative meaning which is: 'Short cut to the next level up'.
Q: What does the sign 'Pandu Cermat' mean?
A: This means 'Drive Smartly', and is placed along highways to remind drivers that they should never leave more than one car length between them and the car in front, irrespective of what speed they are driving. This is to ensure that other cars cannot cut in front of you and thus prevent you from achieving the primary objective of driving in Malaysia , and that is to arrive ahead of the car in front of you. If you can see the rear number plate of the car in front of you, then you are not driving close enough.
Q: What is the speed limit in Malaysia?
A: The concept of a speed limit is unknown in Malaysia.
Q: So what are the round signs on the highways with the numbers 60, 80 and 110?
A: This is the amount of the 'on-the-spot' fine (in ringgits - the local currency) that you have to pay to the police if you are stopped on that stretch of the highway. Note that for expatriates or locals driving Mercedes or BMWs, the on-the-spot fine is double the amount shown on the sign.
Q: Where do you pay the 'on-the-spot' fine?
A: As the name suggests, you pay it 'on-the-spot' to the policeman who has stopped you. You will be asked to place your driving licence on the policeman's notebook that he will hand to you through the window of your car. You will note that there is a spot on the cover of the notebook. Neatly fold the amount of your fine into four, place the fine on the spot, and then cover it with your driving licence so that it cannot be seen. Pass it carefully to the policeman. Then, with a David Copperfield movement of his hands, he will make your money disappear. It is not necessary to applaud.
Q: But isn't this a bribe?
A: Oh pleeease, go and wash your mouth out. What do you want? A traffic ticket? Yes, you can request one of those instead, but it will cost you twice the price, forms to fill out, cheques to write, envelopes to mail, and then three months later when you are advised that your fine was never received, more forms to fill out, a trip to the police station, a trip to the bank, a trip back to the police station, and maybe then you will wish you had paid 'on-the-spot'.
Q: But what if I haven't broken any road rules?
A: It is not common practice in Malaysia to stop motorists for breaking road rules (because nobody is really sure what they are). The most common reasons for being stopped are:
(a) the policeman is hungry and would like you to buy him lunch;
(b) the policeman has run out of petrol and needs some money to get back
to the station;
(c) you look like a generous person who would like to make a donation to the police welfare fund; or
(d) you are driving an expensive car which means you can afford to make a donation to the police welfare fund.
Q: Does my car require a roadworthy certificate before I can drive it in Malaysia?
A: No, roadworthy certificates are not required in Malaysia. However there are certain other statutory requirements that must be fulfilled before your car can be driven in Malaysia. Firstly, you must ensure that your windscreen is at least 50% obscured with English football club decals, golf club membership stickers or condo parking permits. Secondly, you must place a tissue box (preferably in a white lace cover) on the back shelf of your car under the rear window . Thirdly, you must hang as many CDs or plastic ornaments from your rear vision mirror as it will support. Finally, you must place a Garfield doll with suction caps on one of your windows. Your car will then be ready to drive on Malaysian roads.
Q: What does a single yellow line along the edge of a road mean?
A: This means parking is permitted.
Q: What does a double yellow line along the edge of a road mean?
A: This means double parking is permitted.
Q: What does a yellow box with a diagonal grid of yellow lines painted on the road at a junction mean?
A: Contrary to the understanding of many local drivers, this does not mean that diagonal parking is permitted. It indicates a junction that is grid-locked at peak hours.
Q: Can I use my mobile phone whilst driving in Malaysia?
A: No problem at all, but it should be noted that if you wish to use the rear-vision mirror to put on your lipstick (women only please) or trim your eyebrows at the same time as you are using a mobile phone in the other hand, you should ensure that you keep an elbow free to steer the car. Alternatively, you may place a toddler on your lap and have the child steer the car whilst you are carrying out these other essential driving tasks.
Q: Is it necessary to use indicator lights in Malaysia?
A: These blinking orange lights are commonly used by newly arrived expatriate drivers to indicate they are about to change lanes. This provides a useful signal to local drivers to close up any gaps to prevent the expatriate driver from changing lanes. Therefore it is recommended that expatriate drivers adopt the local practice of avoiding all use of indicator lights. However, it is sometimes useful to turn on your left hand indicator if you want to merge right, because this confuses other drivers enabling you to take advantage of an unprotected gap in the traffic.
Q: Why do some local drivers turn on their left hand indicator and then turn right, or turn on their right hand indicator and then turn left?
A: This is one of the unsolved mysteries of driving in Malaysia.

Desaru Take II

Last year I was a Desaru virgin. IMMY in the February played out sooooo much better than my Desaru outing. A lot of things went wrong for me that day, things that in my short race experience I had yet to encounter and Wham it all happened on that one day.
Swim: Goes without saying - a washing machine spin which sends you for two cycles just in case the first loop doesn't shake you up enough.
Bike: Was super fast until cramp started...carried on with a good split but got off the bike with cramp shooting through the whole leg. Unable to bend down I spent 5minutes in transition. - Oh and I lost nutrition out my pocket on the bike!!!
Run: Not even 50metres in and cramp continues to cripple. Had a few words with the leg and thwacked it about and carried on.
To sum up it was a VERY painful race and as if it couldn't get worse it started to rain. With nutrition low, energy low, the cold got to me and I finished literally turning a shade of blue!!
SO...while I am not feeling particularly on top of the world I am keeping everything crossed that things will go a little smoother this Saturday.
Good luck to everyone and please don't forget to say HI.
Apologies in advance for the stern look I MAY be wearing throughout the race :)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Makes me SO MAD

Once again the NHS of good ol' England have helped a person in need! Yeah right. A 25year old BLOB who has NEVER worked a day in HER life was given the GBP8,000.00 operation to reduce her weight from 38stone to 22stone. Already bordering on the stupid the BLOB (whose picture I WILL NOT POST) is now complaining. WHY? Because at her new 'svelte' weight of 22stone she is no longer entitled to the EXTRA 340pounds a month in benefits on top of her existing 600pounds.
And so SHE SAYS and to quote:
"I can't afford to buy WeightWatchers crisps and cereal bars any more so I eat Tesco's chocolate bars and packets of Space Invaders crisps, sometimes four of each a day", says Laura, who spends seven hours a day watching TV. "
YES I am angry...and now I am going to work!

Wanna read the full article click on the link..

Monday, July 27, 2009

Soul Cleansing

Every now and then I am finding myself doing a solo Saturday ride due to training buddies being away, not available or purely because I personally feel the need to ride solo. It used to bother me riding alone. I know it's not particularly safe and whilst I now have more confidence on the road I never take my safety for granted. It doesn't matter male or female..I think anything could happen if you are in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Having said this I still look forward to riding long on my own. It cleanses my soul, gives me time to sort out any 'dirty laundry' in my head and also builds mental and physical confidence. There is no one to pace with, no one to draft from it's just you and the road...very much like a race day but probably a bit harder as you are not fresh and don't have any race day buzz to give you extra oomph.
I am not going to do all my Saturday rides solo (I hope not) but I am no longer scared of them...on the contrary I enjoy them and learn that 4hours in a saddle on a Saturday morning on your own really isn't that bad...I have some amazing conversations with myself, no one answers back and no one interrupts me and I am always right!!! Its great :)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Plan C?

So it is true. I ran with Disco this morning in the rain. Chatting about IMMY I mentioned that I intend to also go to China. To do the IM as a back up plan if I screw up in Langkawi and if I don't screw up then just to do the 70.3.
So Disco informs me they moved the race up. To avoid the heat it is now on March 14th, the week before Singapore 70.3. Well I never should have raced Singapore this year - I was wiped out. So no way can I do China :(
So looks like plan C has to be a trip to Japan in June then...all donations appreciated ;)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Dream Job #2

Scientists looking for women to take part in a study. All they have to do is eat chocolate every day for a year. Holy SHIT...where do I sign up??!!
I am in my dream job but this, this is just a BONUS. So I clicked on the link and guess what it's not as great as it I live in the wrong country :(
And not even the temptation of FREE "we will even pay you to eat the heavenly brown stuff" can entice me back to my homeland.
I do qualify in certain areas, so I actually might have had a chance...I mean I am under the age of 76!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Common Sense Prevails

It took some time...but finally after battling my inner race demon my sensible head prevailed. I am wiped out. I just realised today that I am 17weeks into full training since my trip to the Philippines in April. That's 17weeks on a new plan that allows more rest but is more intense (if that makes any sense).
Last week and this week already I am walking around in a fog of fatigue. I do the training at a fairly good effort but then I am bushed.
It's nothing new, I have felt it all before...struggling to walk upstairs cos the legs are so heavy, trying to stay awake while driving, trying to stay awake while even blogging, trying to stay upright!
So while I REALLY want to race it is stupid. Putrajaya postponement is a blessing and the half irons are what all the training is how bad would I feel if I wasn't able to give Desaru a good effort and then the Philippines?
So there ya go. Emma is bailing out of Baling and the more I write the better I am feeling about it. I knew what was the right thing to's just taken me about two hours to wrestle with the racer in me and tell her to save it for another day!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Race Warm-ups

Brett Sutton aka 'Doc' has some fantastic inspirational anecdotes. Not always easy to understand the mans writing (he is an Aussie afterall) - I have directly cut and pasted him so don't blame me for the spelling! His latest story is one of the best yet. Read it and be INSPIRED!!! Enjoy :)

to read the complete thread go to:

here is a scoop .
one of my athletes never been in the top 20 at a world cup
was lining up in the itu san sabastion spain .
when itu did real races 7km climb and a 4km climb
now the day was an absolute crazy day rain pelting down freezing , and the itu wanted to call it off as the swim had a 4ft swell and it was a biting wind
i can still see it now .
2 of the top seeds both americans were standing there pleading as they cried with les to cancel the race
the european athletes got the shits and voted to race .
top 2 seeds gone .
then it got so cold they had another meeting this time the sponsor said its on .
with or with out itu .
so i called my little ironwoman charge over .
so you get the picture , this girl was one of suttos favourites , hard as nuts .
not very fast but unlike most ironmen then she could swim .
but tracey wasnt the fastest on the bike or the run .
but she has won embrun ironman and was a record holder there before our own bella smashed it .
so weak was not something tracey ellingham had in her vocab , crazy yes , but no weak .
ole coach saddled up to her and said tracey , here is the day , you put yourself in the australian team for the world champs as this was a qualifier ,
she said you got to be joking , i said not if you listen and be crazy enuff to not listen to the others .
i reckon the ole ironman can pinch a top 10 .
so the tactics were wispered she laughed she shook her head and said dont be stupid
so i left it at that .
ok the gun goes off and tracey is duelling at the front of the swim , crashing through the waves like a good brisabane girl does when you surf every weekend
out they come and tracey is in the first 4
the wind howling the rain hammering , and the coach yelling go for it while they all dancing around trying to get their wetsuit off and then get dressed in all long stuff .

tracey looked at them and made a split decision ,go with coaches instruction
she jumped on the bike full wet suit on .
and away she went full bore .
out of tranistion and she was gone , noboody new she was gone because the fastest transition was about 2 min tracey was 2 seconds .
so about 1/2 way the cclimb the spanish announcers are going ballistic , because they thought they were following the leaders but thru the mountain pass , some one had wired in that there was a girl already gone thru , but we dont know if she is in the race because she was wearing a wet suit
thru the col and on the other side kaos reined as the girls were rained on and their was no paper to cut the wind chill , they were bailing out all over the place , not tracey she said she ddint even feel the wind coming down the mountain .
so down the transition she came with a 20 sec lead on the pack of 4 day light next .
she whacked the shoes on and was screamed at to take the wetsuit off so they could see the number or be disqualified
tracey was no fool either
she took it down to her waist and kept running the whole 10km in it .
finnishing an astonishing 4th for her, at a world cup and first australian .
tracey had just preselected herself into the world championship team for muskoka .
now that is not where the story ends .
as you see tracey also knew the value of the dollar .
so when she had to be in muskoka 2 weeks before world championships .
team orders ,
trace said coach , if iget top 30 i will be lucky but i want to go , ill never get another chance .
so i was thinking may be all the short course girls have to be there 2 weeks for their teams
there is a race in geneva the weekend before , and the money is big , ususally we wouldnt go coach but
with all them girls in canada , can i ring and find out we can race collect the cash and fly out that nite
to canada .
tracey was a girl with a plan .
so they didnt just give her entry and expences but said we will give you a hotel room
for you and coach ,
but arent you going to the world champs , they asked , tracey said i love your race better
now then a swiss frank was worth a lot compared to the aussie .
so tracey was willing to say i am sick wont be there the first week ,
the sting was in .
we arrived at the train station got picked up by a chauffer driven car , we didnot know what to think
then we arrived at this palace , absolute palace , i didnot get out of the car , as i knew it was a mistake
but the guy with the long funny suit and hat come to the window and said miss ellingham , let me take your luggage .
in we went and the first thing tracey asked was how much is a room normally , 485 sf a nite
was our answer .
sitting there stunned , we spent 3 nites and tracey went to the race
and snuck off the front to lead all the way till the last 2km when she was overtaken by a girl also on a mission , i started to do the sums for 2nd and was very happy indeed with our decision as the girl come around the crner with a km to go hotly pursued by the shuffling turn over of miss ironman with dollar signs in her eyes , i yelled great job tracey and all these years it still one of the magic moments of my coaching career her answer , "Not yet coach , i got this bitch " and sure enuff she hit her sprint right from there
1km out and the girl kept with her right till the last 200m and 3000 lovely sf which turned into 5,ooo aussie just jumped into her kick .
but there is more ,
that nite we are on the plane to muskoka team officials livid , your not starting yadayada yada .
tracey look very unpreturbed by the whole curfufle
world champs was on saturday , her calmness when the team manager sacked her was unbelieveable
i was ready to go thru the whole executive but tracey
said coach , settle down , dont worry , they will let me start , soon as i start crying about tuesday ,
but you need to book a bus for us here after the race sat , we got to be for the 1/2 ironman the next day sunday .
we are here coach we may as well earn .
so tracey turned the tears on wed by friday they give her her track suit she apologised
did the race and while all was getting drunk at the awards party , not me that yr we had a wipe out
tracey was rolled up like a ball in a bus seat ,checked out and heading to an 1/2ironman ,
where she duely greeted the judge took the cash ,
and showed me ,
she was a true professional .
tracey was racing where tracey knew her abiltiy lies , and
the moral of the story , wet suits are more than useful in some weather conditons
epilogue .tracey stayed with ole doc , and we improved the bike and run and she did compete in 2 more australian teams .

your not forgotten kid .

She Smiles!

I didn't sign up for the Siemans run, seem to forget about all the run races these days...mind on other things I guess!! So I ducked under the radar after a double hill warmup to join in the festivities and carnival atmosphere. Was great fun..been running solo too many Sundays lately and it is BORING. More to the point I have more pictures of me SMILING!! Thanks Tey :)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Is this a joke?

Apparently there are some really...and I mean really odd things you can buy from Here are a few of my standout favourites...trouble is I am still not sure if these are genuine. All seems a bit too odd to me..but then again there are plenty of crazies out there that would bite your right arm off for a genuine 'made in China' UFO detector!!! ENJOY!
UFO Detector

"Over the years many UFO sightings have reported magnetic and electromagnetic disturbances. The UFO Detector is designed to sense these disturbances and will signal their presence by flashing an LED and beeping. The elegantly designed transparent acrylic case is a handsome sculptured conversation piece that’s suitable for display on a desk, shelf or bedroom dresser."
Inflatable Bondage Chair

"This chair is great if you want to hit the road in your RV or camper but don’t want to leave the joys of S&M behind. It folds up into it’s own little pouch bag so you can carry it on day hikes and you can blow it up(or order it blown up) with a bicycle pump or even by mouth. The exterior is not really tough enough for the rough stuff, but the simulated plastic covering makes clean ups a snap. And please remember folks, while this chair is great fun in the family pool(the velcro restraints make great beverage holders) this is NOT intended as a safety flotation device."
Wolf Urine "Use our 100 percent urine lures to create the illusion predators are present in the area you wish. Great for photographers, gardeners, hunters and wildlife enthusiasts. Due to changes in shipping regulations, we cannot ship this item to California."

For the remaining odd stuff go to

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Weak Week

Astro is off - I did pay my bill!! So anyway thought I would post a few whitterings about my week...its been a rollarcoaster!
I don't do week round-ups anymore, IM training is not upon me and it's always the same ol' same ol'. But this week was tough. I took a battering mentally, physically and verbally - none of which were pleasant.
It started after PD. Thinking I would have 2 or 3 days of 'lighter' stuff as per what I did post Melaka. OH NO...nothing could be further from the truth. Straight back into it on Monday morning, the body was sore and asking me to stay in bed every morning. I didn't listen of course...when the body is weak the mind takes over...when the mind is weak hopefully the body will carry you through.
Come Wednesday morning I was running on empty. The early morning ride and brick run were in the bag but I still had THAT swim to do. I left it until after work and just couldn't seem to raise any heart rate levels or feel pain. What was going on?? I then did something I am not proud of (and while this may sound petty to some) for me it is a BIG deal. I got out after one set battiling the question what good am I doing myself?
This is only the second time in 10months that I have cut a swim short. The thing is I felt awful in the morning on the bike and then I dragged myself around the run so why couldn't I just dig deep and do the same with my swim?
I will tell you why. Because I am not very good at it!!! I received a verbal lashing and have a new mantra HTFU. I got back in that pool Thursday morning and killed my session. Skipped the turbo because I am tired and I don't need to keep improving the bike (although I would like to :) ). I NEED TO SWIM. So Friday morning 6x500 alternate with paddles - killed it and got out not able to walk in a straight line - great STUFF!
This mornings ride was no where near as fast as a couple of weeks ago...No way can you set PB's in training everytime you go out - even I accept THAT! It was fun and fast though, longer than usual and the company was great. The only way to improve in my book is always to aim high and train with people better than yourself so thank you and I really appreciate sharing the road with you guys (you know who you are). Getting off the bike for a drink stop and again difficulty standing up...I really was a walking Zombie.
The swim and brick run are in the bag. Awfully hot this afternoon but it is done...and now I am done. After churning out this volume and intensity of training for so long I have learnt to read my body and not be frightened into going and laying down on the coach to eat chocolate and channel surf when it enters such chronic stages of fatigue. You can push through and while it is not always pleasant this is where huge improvements are made both physically and mentally.
For me, every 6-8weeks the body will absolutely hit a wall. This is where it is nearly impossible to raise the heart rate because of fatigue. When this happens I do get given a day off!! But only when I ask :) And I have only had one so far under the new plan.
Yip (ultra marathon man) asked me yesterday what my objective is with all this training. It is simple. There are two reasons. The first is rather selfish. I just want to be the best I can be. I want to find out how far I can go, how hard I can push and until I hit a plateau and there seems to no more room for improvement I will keep on pushing.
The second reason is I simply love this sport. It is my life. It is my passion. I fell hook line and sinker in love with it and am now lucky enough to work in an environment that is my playground. A playground that gives me a warm happy feeling. I want to inspire and motivate and help others enjoy this lifestyle as much as I do. It doesn't matter on what level you play...what matters is that you ENJOY it. Because while I may feel like a zombie today...I am a happy one. I may be called crazE a lot of the time...but believe me when I say I would NOT be doing this if I didn't love putting myself through the trials and tribulations of training. Am I am reaching for the stars? Hell YES! They are far away...but dreams are there to be realised and I WILL reach mine one day soon.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Ostrich

Courtesy of Disco :)
A man walks into a restaurant with a full-grown ostrich behind him. The waitress asks them for their orders.
The man says, 'A hamburger, fries and a coke,' and turns to the ostrich,
'What's yours?'
'I'll have the same,' says the ostrich.
A short time later the waitress returns with the order 'That will be $9.40 please,' and the man reaches into his pocket and pulls out the exact change for payment.
The next day, the man and the ostrich come again and the man says, 'A hamburger, fries and a coke.'
The ostrich says, 'I'll have the same.'
Again the man reaches into his pocket and pays with exact change.
This becomes routine until the two enter again. 'The usual?' asks the waitress.
'No, this is Friday night, so I will have a steak, baked potato and a salad,' says the man.
'Same,' says the ostrich.
Shortly the waitress brings the order and says, 'That will be $32.62.'
Once again the man pulls the exact change out of his pocket and places it on the table.
The waitress cannot hold back her curiosity any longer. 'Excuse me, sir.
How do you manage to always come up with the exact change in your pocket every time?'
'Well,' says the man, 'several years ago I was cleaning the attic and found an old lamp. When I rubbed it, a Genie appeared and offered me two wishes. My first wish was that if I ever had to pay for anything, I would just put my hand in my pocket and the right amount of money would always be there.'
'That's brilliant!' says the waitress. 'Most people would ask for a million dollars or something, but you'll always be as rich as you want for as long as you live!'
'That's right. Whether it's a gallon of milk or a Rolls Royce, the exact money is always there,' says the man..
The waitress asks, 'What's with the ostrich?'
The man sighs, pauses and answers, 'My second wish was for a tall chick with a big ass and long legs who agrees with everything I say.'

No Excuses

"If you want to improve your swim. YOU SWIM"
It is as simple as that. There is no excuse. Feel tired then lighten your strongest discipline. I don't want to skip a bike session...BUT I WILL if the need arises.
The truth of the matter is. My swim HAS improved. Just not in the leaps and bounds that the bike and slowly but surely, the run has. It needs even more attention, even more pain which in turn means even more time getting wet. I will not improve if I am not getting wet. I just have to bloody H.T.F.U and stop crying about it!!!
There...glad thats off my chest now. Less talk, more action and all to work.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Can't Teach Men

Sometimes it's good to live is ONE reason...

Monday, July 13, 2009

Race Report PD triathlon

Thank you Ishal, Ivie and Lynn for the wonderful pictures.

PD triathlon. Hmmmn. Last year PD was a bunch of firsts for me in more ways than one. But the notables were it was my first race on George, my trusty P2C and the first sport event/race I EVER won. Well of course I wanted to repeat this year...but I wanted to go one better and get overall...yes call me greedy if you like...I prefer motivated, focused...not willing to settle and prepared to work harder to just keep trying to improve and be the best I can be at this wonderful sport. So take your pick...but greedy? It’s never about that. So I drove down on Saturday morning with newly landed tri-GUY, Jens from Germany. Staying at the Tan household next to Avillion, races in PD with a house full of good friends is always a sure fire recipe for FUN. Last year I know I approached races and training rather intensely...obsessed and consumed are words that would best describe my attitude. It didn’t make for a very pleasant Emma a lot of the time and come January this year I decided enough was didn’t make me feel very good when I heard people were too scared to say “Hi” or were scared of me!!!
BUT, while I now approach races with a lot more calm, I do however maintain a game face for race day...especially when a race enfolds leaving me with a with a mountain to climb. A training day for me...there is no real let up in the schedule, and I know it is a distance that is not in my favour (read: short drafting bike and short run), but as always I want to do well. SO, after a short swim at home, a test ride with Jens and Wong in PD, a carbo dinner, Uncle Chan’s infamous race briefing we went back to the house.
Checked George over and then I was first in bed. Sharing a room with I thought Bee, I put my iPod on to lull me to sleep. I woke up in the middle of the night and looked over and saw no one in the bed??? That means 2 people were sleeping on the sofa. I found out that Meng came up and it was so dark he was too scared to come in, for fear of waking me up!!! Damn...I thought I wasn’t scary anymore :P

Anyway we found out much later the reason he didn’t venture in...he thought he was sharing a double with me...hence the reason young smiling Meng was scared...we all know how much of a MAN EATER Emma IS!!!
I was really positive when I went to bed. Felt GOOD. Had a cool text message of motivation from a friend and thought YES I can do this....Here is how it played out...
Race DAY
IPod on, coffee brewed (I bought my own cafeteire this time) and will now continue to do so. We rode down to transition with light rain in the air. Damn, hope the roads dry up...the bike is potentially a fast course...but each year seems to witness some nasty crashes.
Numbered up, bike checked in, down on the beach awaiting the wave start. I had a little swim and it was choppy. Felt ok though but got rather cold hanging about for the wave so resorted to jumping up and down and contemplated going for a jog (but didn’t).
Swim: It felt long. It was bloody LONG. I must now apologise for my language upon seeing my watch say 37minutes. SORRY. I know it was tough conditions but at the time I didn’t realise that the other girls had just as tougher time of it unless as Yip so wisely put it..."you were a fish".
Always the slowest or one of the slowest I just thought @#$&!! Yet again I have to play catch up. Now when I think back I believe I was the 6th girl out the water, out of maybe 70-80 girls that is not so bad. (Then again I may be wrong...let’s wait for the official results).

See...I even hid my head in shame!!!

Bike: I usually catch girls quickly. I hammered my bike. I had to, and NOBODY drafted me. Now this could be because I was so slow in the swim OR that I was too strong to draft off - you choose. I started to get worried when near the turnaround I saw girls coming back. Man was I in trouble. They were in a pack and I counted 4 girls...Rachael in the other age group must have been in a pack with the lead guys and I missed her. 3K towards the end of the bike and I finally over took 2 girls – at last!!!
Ride time: 1hr4min:30sec (that 60min bike is getting closer :P)
I Simply LOVE this picture...thanks IVIE...I also love my bike but you know that

Run: My run has been steadily improving over the past few weeks. Straight off the bike and I seem to be finding my run legs straight away. No discomfort other than what you would expect when trying to run people down and not blow up. I posted a negative spilt as I also did on the bike. Overtook one girl before the turnaround and as I approached the turn I saw number one girl coming back. Oh crap. She didn’t look quick but you never know if someone is just taking it easy. I finally overtook her with about 4k to go.
Came home first in age group with a PB 10k tri run time of 44min on the nose; it wasn’t good enough for 1st overall and I was still beating myself up about THAT swim until late in the evening.
Went for a light 4k jog after to clear my head and loosen up...felt really good and ready for more, then mingled around and chatted with friends. I heard EVERYONE one of your well wishes throughout the race. I know I didn’t respond but I do hear you and despite what you may think I do SEE you. And it ALWAYS helps and is appreciated. Thanks. And thank YOU for all the photos that are coming through. Making the effort to snap a picture and then email or tag me and others on facebook is a very kind deed.

After the awards we went for a large lucnh with an even larger crowd. It was great to sit down with some of the other guys I don’t train with and have a chat – super rowdy fun!
Then it was home...dropped Jens off and straight to TBB. YES I hoped on the turbo for 60mins and tried to jolt myself out of my black swim mood. I think the beer later in the evening did a better job though!
Next race...Duathlon on July 26th. Putrajaya off so I am hopping on the bus for some dry racing only...can’t WAIT.
Final words: Thanks to Mr Chan for a super organised race, Randy and Ivie for organising the house and as for those Avia BOLTS...I am still LOVING THEM!!!
Oh gosh...I just realised this is two pages long...oh well...old habits die hard and all that. E.


Thursday, July 9, 2009


I am seething...I made Putrajaya my triple A race, was looking forward to it...but rumours have been circulating and it is now officially postponed. At the 11th hour this does not really effect me, we were also official bike support but this can just be rescheduled.
The people I feel for are those who have made their holiday around this race and are coming from overseas. It doesn't matter if it is 1 person or 1000 coming from really is rather bad form and very bad luck.
The reason being is H1N1...I know this is a viable excuse and IM Japan was a clear example of how the races have been effected. But it does make you think..the timing smack bang in the middle of the summer hol's really is not great.
So now it will be on Oct 4th. I want to race...I really do, but I am not sure if I can make it now due to other commitments.
On the plus side it spreads out my races so hopefully I can give each half iron I do a good effort. Desaru will now be a focus as will the Philippines which I really really really hope is not cancelled/postponed. I just booked my flights!!!!

TDF education

It is a work in progress. I have taken it upon myself to learn about the tour, whose who, what all them jerseys stand for and am even working up to dabbling with a bet on the book! WHY? Because you all think I am a unsociable tri-geek. Yes, it is probably quite true...but when you work in a sexy bike store with 3 fit boys...I have to work pretty hard to make sure I don't look like a smuck when it comes to all things bike related!! Okay, okay...I am a plank, but I DO try and learn stuff so I can take care of George when the boys are not in yelling distance. So I also want to be able to converse in 'road' talk...even if it is just for this month ;0)
Would I change anything about being the only girl in a predominantly male environment? Absolutely every day of it even if they are LONG ones. For many years I have worked alone..I enjoy it...but nothing trumps working in a team where everyone loves what they do and go out of there way to support one another!
As for the long days...I have a serious attack of the guilt's..meetings all day meant no Wednesday swim. And a late night and 3hours sleep meant when I woke this morning swimming was just not going to happen (I have another job to go too as soon as this is posted).
Now I am thinking...quickly before job #2 today? Or leave it alone...the turbo calls for 135mins of my time tonight and then PD is upon us. Lets just hope the tank is at least half full for race day!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

TBB KL - Online survey

If you didn't get the mail its becasue I don't have your email address!! But if you are familiar with The Bike Boutique KL and are a customer, then we would love to have your feedback. Please just click on the links to go to the survy, won't take a jiffy but you help and comments will prove invaluable to helping us make your experience at TBB KL even better!

Thanks, E.

TBB KL Store feedback
TBB KL You & Your Bike

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Thanks :)

I woke at 5:30 and moved slightly too quickly for my resting legs and the left calf went into spasm with a nasty cramp. (payback for yesterday I guess).
Cramp in the calf I think is the worst sort as it leaves you hobbling and can really debilitate your performance to the extent you may have to stop. I find the best thing to do is bite down on a stick (to stop screaming out) and just stretch the bloody thing as much as you can. So with that all done I finally got out of bed and got ready.
Tey just sent me these pictures...he really is a wonderful person...always with a camera at the ready he got these snaps unknowingly to me as I was just finishing with my "run-down" (cool down).
Thank you very much Tey. If it wasn't for kind hearted soles like yourself then images of me in races would be very few...but maybe that would be a good thing...YES? NO? :)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Flipping EcK!

I have had a light week of riding - no mammoth turbos, so as you may imagine I was champing at the bit to ride this morning. The idea was hard and hopefully faster than my time to KLIA downtown 2 weeks ago.
I had some company today in the form of Wong, new guy - Jens and Wong's friend. They dropped me at the toll on the return leg. I was busy stuffing a gel into my mouth and had already shocked myself on my out time so thought just stick to my point chasing I don't want to draft anyway ;)
SO, to sum hurt but I am damn proud of myself. I had a goal in mind of doing this 126k ride in 3hours 30min and thought it is a reasonable target to work towards...maybe in a couple of months.
Last time out I did 3:43. Today I did 3:30 - on the nose!!!
Stoked, elated I still cannot believe I did this. Things are looking good. Now I don't normally do data and stuff but today I am blogging it for all to see :)
You may also like to know that when I got off the bike I was very glad I wasn't running 21k let alone 42!!! still a way to go and I still gotta swim and run in a couple of hours!
Time out: 1:45
Time in: 1:45
90k split: 2:31
126k: 3:30
Avg cadence: 75
Max cadence: 105
Avg speed: 36kph
Avg HR: 152
Calories : LOTS

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Rest DAY

I have a day off today from everything except that little job I do that keeps me in enough ringgit to stay hooked up to the caffeine drip. So I am going to be lazy in blogging too and let you enjoy some Calvin & Hobbes. Absolutely my FAVOURITE cartoon of all time...Calvin's antics never fail to raise a chuckle from me even when I am having a BAD day.
Today is a good day by the way...once I reattached my arms after the swim last night that is!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Tour de TOLL

I have been on George every day since Saturday (twice on Sunday). Easy stuff combined with easy "jogs". The hard stuff is in the pool. This morning rather than do turbo I joined the group for the DUKE highway ride they have been doing pretty regularly now of a Wednesday morning. I was informed it would be EASY. Sorted exactly what I need!
I was unreliably informed. OK, OK so if I need to go easy then I can, I mean no one is pointing a gun at me. BUT when someone says it is a race from toll to toll...well you can can I resist? Especially when told there are no prizes for coming last. There are also no prizes for coming first but that's besides the point...bragging rights I think is adequate enough!!
So after a little warm up, while my legs are still pretty sore and lactic I gave it some welly. Trouble is Gane and KK are excellent wheel suckers!! Damn...gotta hurt some more.
It was GREAT fun this morning...a long time since I have ridden with you all, it does get lonely sometimes and this was a welcome reprieve. Next week back to a 3hour Wednesday morning so no clue when I will be able to join again...but when the program allows I will be there ready to tear it up!