Monday, August 31, 2009


Hmmmn..this photo sheds a little light on the drinking escapades of one Ms. Emma Bishop from last Sunday night. No need to say much else as my tiny wet T-Shirt says it all!!! And you guys say I am too serious!!! You've got to be KIDDING! :)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Monday 25th

I am going to skip over the awards dinner for the moment. You really need to see some pictures. Actually so do I (to help jog the memory). It was like a rock concert. Think indoor fireworks, silver service, sushi, two live bands and that wasn't just for the VIP table that I had managed to get on :) Anyway they do know how to party over there!!
Next morning I was supposed to fly back off to Manila at lunch time. The idea was a luxurious nights stay at the Dusit and hang out and see some sights. Those plans were promptly put on the back burner when rumors started circulating of a potential trip to one of the tiny islands nearby where most of the Survivor reality TV shows are shot.
So on awaking with an extremely fuzzy head and tongue and not knowing HOW on earth I got to bed I was told by my room mate that he was off to the island by chopper (helicopter people). SHIT is all I could say. I wanna go. Was all else I could say. Still drunk I was as high as a kite and prancing around like a ninny.
Come, come, come he says. So far I had done pretty good on getting by and thru the red tape. Alas it wasn't meant to be. The chopper only takes 3 people plus pilot makes 4. Next time, next year I am told. Awwwwwwwwwww (Emma looking unhappy). But I really want to go!
Ok, let me make a call and see if we can get permission to have the chopper come back and make another trip. (A-ha! A shed of light).
So while waiting in reception with Roman and Adrian (Adrian who I found out kindly returned me to my cabin the night before) the chopper came in and off went Charlotte, Christian and Whit for a day of fun in the sun!
So we waited. And we waited. Not that long really but the hangover was setting in and I was getting fidgety. Adrian was going on a half day tour to the mountains. Roman was up for going with him and they tried to talk me into going too. I want to go on the chopper!! (Think Emma stamping her feet, bottom lip sticking out).
It's not going to happen, says Roman. Roman I said...positive thinking and some belief please :)
I enquired politely and ever so sweetly again. Apparently the powers that be were in the sky and couldn't answer the phone to give permission. We had to wait until he landed.
Go and have breakfast and when we hear something we will come and find you. Hmmmn I thought..trying to get rid of me eh?? But I thought ok..gotta eat so we went over to breakfast.
On entering the buffet tent a troupe of the Philippine Fitness First Tri team were walking out. "Hey Emma"!! "Do you remember us??"
Emma to FF: Nope!!
FF to Emma: You rocked last night!! (Ya see I really need some pictures.)
Anyway back to the chopper story.
Over at the back of the tent I spied Mattie (teamTBB) and his girl Joyette (thanks for the lift to the Dusit BTW). I went over to chat with them. Princess the lady that makes things happen was on their table on the phone. She looked up saw me and smiled and said "Emma, your going" Emma to Princess, "WHAT??"
"Your going to the island!!"
OMG. Now picture Emma jumping up and down like a ninny, running round in circles hugging the life out of Princess. You could say I was rather happy :)
I ran back over to Roman and Adrian and said. "We're going"!! And a similar text ensued. Roman couldn't believe it either and Adrian had to fly off that day so sadly couldn't make it.
So now. I had to throw my ticket and book a new one to fly to Manila the next day morning. I also had to arrange for someone to check out my bags from the Regent where I was staying before I started moving into CWC!! Someone kindly took my key went to my hotel, packed my bags and brought them back to my 'new' hotel. Someone else also booked me a new flight from Naga to Manila for Tuesday morning. And since my credit card was refused I had to pay cash. SO someone else had to go to the airport and buy it for me over the counter. While I idled in paradise. Oh I was also trashing a prepaid nights stay in the Dusit - ouch! BUT boys and girls it was WORTH EVERY PENNY!
Along comes the chopper, Kodak moments a plenty and 30minutes later we are circulating the island and can see the others idling around on kayaks waving like mad on the pristine ocean.
Now as if it couldn't get any better...
We land on the beach and while waiting for the blades to slow and cool a man appears from nowhere under the shade of a coconut tree (not sure it was a coconut tree but gimme some poetic license here please :)
So he is standing there carrying a tray of drinks!!!!! I tell you, the only thing missing was a frigging tuxedo and I swear I had just stepped into a James Bond movie!
Off the chopper, we are shown to our bungalow to change. (Well I had only bought sunscreen along - wasn't thinking too clearly earlier on).
Sun screened up, Roman and I then walked a few short steps to the waters edge where the others had gathered sitting in the water drinking...wait for it...ICE COLD San Miguel. Can somebody pinch me please!!!
Anyway a perfect day in paradise ensued, hanging out with some new friends, older friends and just a pretty cool bunch of people, I had a blast and it was the most perfect post race recovery:)
Huge, HUGE thank YOU to Princess and the staff at are most definitely the Philippines equivalent to Jim'l FIX IT :)
Now for some pictures, no more words needed...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Aug 24th aka RACE DAY

Nerves? Me? OMG! Drinking down my coffee most of the brew probably splashed on the floor I was shaking that much. Oh okay, sorry slight exaggeration there but this is probably the most nervous I have felt all year prior to a race. I hung around the cabin savouring the last moments of quiet and preferring to stay away from the huge crowds outside that I knew would send me into an even bigger tailspin. But as the minutes ticked away I knew there was no point prolonging the inevitable.
The great thing about the race venue in CWC is everything is in SHORT walking distance.
Bikes and gear were checked in on Saturday. The bike transition area itself was a spectacle. WOW is all I can say. Yes even that was impressive. Oh and I forgot to mention the race briefing...okay quickly. You know when they take you through a golf course on TV with the virtual reality graphics. Well that was what was used in race briefing - unbelievable!!
Que up for my number marking. Number 167, I was told that I would not be number one with just doesn't work out he said. Number 2 at best or zero (which I read as a DNF). The predicition came true in Singapore - I was number 2...would it happen again??
Numbered up, checked George, checked George, checked George - okay okay so I did it a couple of times alright!! Off to the swim start to get wet.
So many people, so many cameras, so many TV crew and a helicopter - WOW. No wonder I was a bag of nerves.
Swim: I have been making progress in my swimming. I know I have and I need to remember that because today my swim was diabolical. I suffer from anxiety build before the swim start. This in turn leads to panic breathing and basically a messy struggle combining treading water, breath stroke and moments of proper swimming where I eventually find rhytum for all of a few metres. There was no visibility in the water but the markers were perfect you could not, not see them. The water was also very warm. Out of the first big loop of the wake park and into the small lake for the last 500 or so metres. This was even worse I feel.
Time incl transition 43min.
I need to stay positive about this and berating myself on the swim after crossing the line I then found out someone had died in the swim. That soon shut me up. We all take risks in our sport. We prepare ourselves for race day to the best of our ability and capability but we never know what will unfold come race day. Today was not a good swim...but I survived and will improve. I am not a duathlete!
Bike: So I am playing catch up...a lot of work to do today. Transition was smooth. Helpers were on hand to help me out the slow suit and I rushed to the bike. Supporters were everywhere and I could hear my name being shouted everywhere I turned. I could have been in Malaysia so many people knew my was an amazing feeling.
Onto the bike. It is flat, well the part of the course I had rode was. Seems I missed out the long rolling stuff! Nothing I couldn't handle though but in order to go fast I had to endure a bone shaker ride over the uneven parts of road. The organisers had done their best to repair the road but it was patchy. So hit a bit of fast stuff and you fly. Hit the bumpy potholes and it was like riding with brakes on. I pushed harder over those parts not wanting to waste time and lose too much momentum.
On the way out perhaps 30minutes in I was constantly shouting "on your left", "on your left"..soon got used to riding on the other side of the road. Passing riders every few metres the course was tight in places. I was just passing a man and a lady and didn't shout out this time. They were side by side so I saw the other side of the road was clear and decided to go extra wide to give them space. As I made my move over and past the girl pulled out from nowhere and clipped my rear wheel and hit the back of my calf. Ouch! I wobbled but stayed on but I know she went down. It was a nasty moment. What am I supposed to do? Stop? I still think about that but I am racing to win. I was lucky to escape and carried on and tried to settle back down.
At the U-turn I was 1hour10mins.
The way back was exposed, with cross and headwinds and a long rolling climb. There where not many places to get 'free' speed on the course. My max was only about 54kph which confirms that there are no real hills. But it was a struggle and with the constant vibrations going through my shoulders and legs I started to wonder if I was going to get into trouble on the run. I decided SOD IT, I will deal with the run when I get off. I felt good and I felt I could have gone quicker had the road been smoother - everyone would have been the same.
Spectator support on the bike...oh my gosh. Words cannot describe the spectacle that us athletes had the privilege of witnessing. Camsur is a poor town. The Governor has pumped money into the town via sports to help raise the profile and promote healthy lifetyle tourism. This is a guy who really does give back and make a difference and to show their support the streets as we rode through the villages were lined with children chanting "ironman', old men bent over holding walking sticks stood up to wave in the air and shout as you go past. Brass bands, drums...are you getting the picture? This was special. Very special. It bought tears to my eyes and others had tears streaming down their faces. I asked the pros if it was a simular support to racing in the states where triathlon is so established. They said there was no comparisum...the whole event and race surpassed all expectations on every level.
Drink stations on the bike were outstanding. Plentiful, I decided to just take gels (we were given 3 in one of our 3 goodie bags) and on the course at the U-turn bananas and gels were there again. I put my hand out and was given not one BUT 5!
Time: 2:27mins
A triathlon is about 3 sports not just one. But I am proud of my bike split. To be within 90seconds of the top 4 female pros, AND actually have almost the same split as Charlotte Paul (sorry Charlotte if your reading this!!!) is pretty cool for an Age Grouper and makes all the training worth while and puts a big smile on my face.
Run: Now it was getting hot. At a guess 40degrees. I had put plenty of liquid in on the bike and needed the loo. I was not going to stop. I started off keeping a good cadence ticking over. Mattie from teamTBB yelled out ease into it then pick it up. Trouble is and what everyone then noticed is I start out and that's it I hold the cadence and the pace and stay consistent. So I guess I just need to learn to start out faster!!!

I thought my need to pee would go away...I was sweating so much and having to take at least 2 cups of Gatorade at each stop and 2 or 3 over the head to cool down. The need didn't go away which is a good sign but it didn't help my dilemma. Oh bugger it I thought. If I can pee on the run in IM I can bloody do it in a half!! Funny thing is as I was relieving myself (think big sigh and smile on face) people at the side of the road saw me running by. As one of only a handful of white Chicks and the only one wearing the pink suit I got a lot of attention. And so there I am literally streaming along the road and someone shouts out hey sexy lady!! Well I don't mind saying at that precise moment I felt anything BUT sexy!
The run was two loops with a final loop of the small lake running into the finish. It was hot and a day where survival would become the strategy. On the first loop on the big lake I overtook LifeSport Coach Lance Watson who had taught a two day training camp parrell with the event. As I went past he said "great run Emma, thats what I need is a fast cadence". In reply, I turned round and yelled out "well you know who taught me that don't you!!".
As I was coming into the finish I saw the time and thought I had just gone over didn't matter it was a great race and while I had no clue where I placed I knew it was 2 or 3.
Time: 1hr45min
Overall: 4hr59min and change!
Well I did duck under 5hours...just. And while I didn't win overall, I did get first in AG and 2nd overall. So I guess my friend was bloody right again when he looked at my number and said it can't be number 1!
I wanted a hot race and I got one. It was an amazing experience, after a massage afterwards I felt great. To the extent I then ask questions of my performance. But apparently feeling good after a race and being able to run about, bend down etc is just about good fitness and recovery - so I am told:)

Sat 23rd

An early morning ride, this time with Melvin of TBB Subic was scheduled. Again I had to get a taxi as the first shuttle left at 8.30am - way too late. I was staying the night in CWC to save on the stress of traveling the next morning for the race start so I left with an over - over night bag. Read: enough stuff for race day AND the day after!! Ya never know. Luckily plenty of places to bunk and my bike sitter was doing such a good job I thought I was in pretty safe hands.So out for a ride with Melvin I turned at 25minutes and he continued with one of his young charges. We had a quick Kodak moment and Melvin asked me if that was an easy ride. We were going pretty fast at times but the legs were not hurting so I said yup that was pretty easy. But you were doing 35kph he said. I know, I said cool eh...don't tell doc please!! Melvin is the Philippine tri coach and works with Brett when the team is in Subic - he is also a spy!!!
Got back and was going to run until I saw another note from my roommate saying "gone for brekkie" (9am). Well it was only 9.10am. I was hungry (whats new?) So off I went in search of another yummy breakfast. Don't ask me how I did it. But I walked into the air-con tent and had me some eggs and toast with a bunch of the Polo tri -team...very cool.
The rest of the day I tried to stay calm. I swam the big lake course in the speed suit with Jerry later in the day, tried to nap - couldn't. Tried to relax - couldn't really. Tried not to piss off my new roommate - couldn't even do that.
In the end later in the evening I logged onto YouTube and watched some classic Only Fools and Horses. Laughter really is the best medicine.
Lights out...Sunday was going to be a long tough day!

Friday 22nd

Okay I know this is ALL very late. But I shall be brief and backtrack quickly through last week up to race day and the party. Thursday morning I hopped in a taxi over to CWC for my morning ride with Gina Kehr. What a nice lady. We had a good old chin wag for about 90minutes whilst not quite carving up the road but it was a nice pace and she didn't kill me too much.
Back at CWC we then went for breakfast where I started the first of my 'winging' my way through red tape!!! What do you mean you may ask??
Well I was paid up for breakfast at the Regent in town NOT CWC. But the brekkie in CWC was soooo much nicer and I was REALLY hungry and Gina asked me to join so whats a girl to do I ask. Answer: Sign your friends name and cabin on the log book - that's WHAT!
Had a short run and a swim and then it was the carbo evening where I continued to 'wing' my way through red tape onto the VIP table. Yes I am an AG impostor. But a likable one. And my new friends made me very welcome - thank you girls :)
Carbo loading - what can I say? This is where the spectacle began. A cultural dance show that had a cute guy dangling by a rope from the ceiling spinning around the air on stage like peter pan - it was amazing. The food was awesome, the company inspiring - the whole evening a great success - nothing more to say!
Here are some piccies:

Friday, August 21, 2009

Tales of Cobra 70.3 - Thursday 20th

Okay so my hotel room is not much to look at. No windows. But it is cheap and it’s just a place to lay my head. CWS is a shuttle ride away so I went over first thing this morning to sort George out. Melvin and Jerry had left him at registration. So there I am starting to work up a sweat when some of the volunteers come over and start chatting. Did I mention how VERY nice the Philippino people are; hospitality second to none. Anyway Sonny helped my loosely put George together then I took him to the mechanics for a check over.
Once that was done I bumped into a friend and the day followed with a scorching run (not fast, but damn hot), than a swim and generally hanging out. By the time the afternoon rolled by I suddenly had a REAL NEED to ride. And so popped off on my own...on the way making plans to ride the next morning proper with 5-time top 10 IM World Champion finisher Gina Kehr. Damn the road is fast...totally went the wrong way...but what’s new it’s me! And the road is a bit/ a lot dodgy in places but they are still laying down tarmac areas and I really cannot find anything to complain about.
Oh and did I mention I played nursemaid to Terenzo Bozzone. Seems he had a little accident and was fiddling putting on a waterproof plaster on...when my services were requested – okay so it was me or another guy to play nursemaid!!!
A cool day which was rounded off by heading back to Naga city early to soak up some of the mayhem. Roam the street markets; find some food before crashing into bed. Didn’t sleep great. I had left my phone AKA my alarm clock in CWS at a buddy’s cabin who is bike-sitting George to save me hauling him over on the bus every day. SO while I didn’t get a rousing alarm call...the buddy did! Trouble is if you don’t switch it off it keeps repeating and I knew the phone had fallen in amidst the junk in the bike box so he would have to eventually dig it out to switch it off.
I half expected to find it this morning smashed into a million little pieces. It wasn’t. Thank YOU.

Tales of Cobra diary

Tuesday 18th August
Yesterday (Monday) a huge attack of nerves hit – I wanted to puke. Rather early to have such feelings but come Tuesday I had settled down or maybe it was the fact I was running around like a headless chicken dotting ‘i’s and crossing ‘t’s that I never had a chance to think about my competition, strategy or lack of it.
Jens had kindly offered to take me to the airport on the understanding and agreement that he would have the use of my car for the week and would have to pick me up. It was a sneaky tactic and I believe I got the better deal as my flight left at 01:20am on the 19th...but I also feel a kind of win-win for both of us.
Off to the airport after some dinner...the rain had made traffic a nightmare but considering the late hour I whizzed to KLIA. Yes that’s right Cebu Air Pacific flies from KLIA...right?? Well that is what I was told. AND that is what it said on my ticket. ‘KUL’ that’s KLIA in my book. So we get to the airport bang on time. I mention to Jens if he just wants to shoot right off. The gentleman that he is he refused and insisted helping me with the baggage. So up to departures go to see what counter to check-in at and could I find my flight??? Panic was not exactly rising but I was confused.
Off to the info counter. Cebu air...going to Manila?? The desk attendant looks at me blankly as if I am some Looney. Manila I insist. Cebu Air Pacific!! That goes from LCCT, she says, with a complete air of boredom. Nope you are wrong I was told it is KLIA. (Emma pulls out the ticket) See KUL. But it goes from LCCT, she says. OK now the temper is rising along with the panic, time is now NOT on my side. Can I say SHIT? The next 20minutes went by quickly. I apologised in advance to Jens for the language that was going to be rather colourful as we exited the airport loaded the car back up and SPED to LCCT.
This time there was no lepaking, unloaded said THANK YOU and see ya next week.
It didn’t end check in they tried to get me to pay RM300 excess. My normal luggage was slightly overweight but they overlooked this in replacement of George. I then mentioned sport equipment and the kindly extremely helpful Cebu check-in man went out of his way to look into this for me. I ended up paying RM75. And they seemed to forget my normal baggage was over weight (RM60 saved. And he made sure the bike and bag were only checked to Manila even though I was checked to Naga. I had to collect the bags in Manila and pass to my new friend-yet to meet-Jerry. It was late, I was stressed, and he is the most helpful airport employee I have ever come across. Thanks for making my nightmare evening end smoothly.
I slept solid on the flight and arrived in Manila at 04:25.
Wednesday 19th August
Man was I tired. That’s the first time I have arrived at an airport and NOT wanted to alight from the plane. Just wanted to sleep and I was now thinking of the next 9 or so hours hanging around the airport for my connecting flight, YIKES! Jerry was meeting me to collect George. But I didn’t have his number and usually my phone doesn’t work. As if by miracle though everything went like clockwork I received his number and was able to call.
Jerry was already waiting and rather than pass over the bike and stay at the airport I went back to his home for breakfast and a nap while he loaded up the Honda CRV with 6 bikes. I was then dropped back at the airport while he went on to pick up Melvin from TBB Subic. Both are doing the race and are heroes for driving so many peoples’ bikes down.
The twin prop plane to Naga was fun and noisy. Naga airport is simple. An outbuilding can best describe it. But despite the simplicity the organisation from Cobra 70.3 continues to impress me. I had a driver from my hotel waiting for me name on a card and everything. No charge. Yes you heard me right IMMY!! NO CHARGE. All hotels are collecting ALL athletes as they come thats pretty impressive for a first time, small town event. No, correction Damn impressive.
My hotel room has no windows but it is cheap and cool and the TV channels have a lot of variety. I wasn’t really interested in that or anything else though and by the time I unpacked a few things I was punching out the Z’s

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

For Sale

Although I am a Cervelo Chick I do and can appreciate other brands. I am not opposed to featuring other brands ;) Kevin Siah is selling his Quintana Roo Kilo.
Details: Frame medium 52cm. Bought brand new in July 2008.
Asking price: RM4,200.
Regularly serviced Kevin says it's in pristine condition. If interested you can check the frame out in Subang Jaya, Selangor. For further details you can email Kevin on

Monday, August 17, 2009

Gold Rush

Jessica Ennis wins magical heptathlon gold on great night for British athletics in Berlin
By Nick Metcalfe (courtesy of
Jessica Ennis is the toast of British sport after magnificently winning the heptathlon at the World Athletics Championships in Berlin.
The 23-year-old led from start to finish and completed her victory with a glorious run in the 800m. Ennis finished with 6,731 points, beating Germany's Jennifer Oeser by 238 points, with Poland's Kamila Chudzik a further 22 points adrift in third.
Glory night: Britain's Jessica Ennis celebrates her heptathlon victory in Berlin Ennis led by 307 points overnight after superbly winning three of the four disciplines on the opening day - the 100 metre hurdles, high jump and 200m - and also setting a personal best in the shot. Final charge: Ennis crosses the finish line to win the 800m
She saw her lead cut twice on Sunday, firstly in the long jump where she jumped 6.29m, and then later in the javelin, where she threw 43.54m. But Ennis still had plenty of points in hand for the final event round two laps of the track. It was a particular splending performance considering it was only her second heptathlon since a triple stress fracture to her right foot ruled Ennis out of last summer's Beijing Olympics.
She said: 'It's been the longest two days of my life, but the best two days. 'I'm the world champion, I feel like crying. I've dreamt so many times about winning medals and doing that lap of honour, and it's the best feeling in the world 'I was at such a low point last year and to come back like this is amazing.'

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Final Long Weekend

I was unsure of whether I should slow down this weekend, what with the race next Sunday. So I asked the powers that be and was given permission to go as hard as my heart and legs will allow. "The race is one week out, Stop worrying!"
So my ride to Salak yesterday was pretty solid and lactic. I find these days even a normal ride is pretty quick. My problem of late has been staying mentally tough each Saturday. I WILL NOT DRAFT, and I WILL NOT REST during the ride (read: no free wheeling, and aero 90% of the time). It is very hard to focus and concentrate on giving EVERYTHING you have to give week in week out and I am really looking forward to sitting up and spinning during the social ride at the end of the month.
Yesterdays afternoon session of swim and run was awesome. The weather helped and I blasted my session. High on the endorphins I felt really good.
Early to bed I woke up around 11pm hungry again. Ate a bar and back to sleep.
Woke up again wide awake at 4:30am!! Oh well may as well get up..put the coffee on...with an extra large spoon of condensed SUSU :)
Mentally I wanted to run hard, physically not sure if the legs would agree. Well wouldn't you know it I felt great - its the Avia BOLTS I tell you! Awesome out lap...sorry fellow buddies for being antisocial.
Two hours in the bag for the final time (at the moment) and I believe I could have punched out a marathon this morning...yes I was feeling that good!
Massage in a bit...get some of that lactic out then it all starts again tomorrow with a HARD swim.
Here's hoping my good feeling holds out until next Sunday!
Just a quick note: Welcome back JULIE. Her first Sunday 20k run this morning since giving birth to cheeky Charlie earlier this year and she was AWESOME. Looking forward to running with you again very soon. x

Friday, August 14, 2009

Bike Panic

I am rather excited. Looking forward to the 70.3 next Sunday, I can't wait to race and also it will be the end of the first part of the season so I can cool things down a little and chill - so 2 reasons to be excited :) Since Putrajaya came crashing down, (well lets face it, it actually never got off the ground), Cobra has been my target. Racing in Malaysia is cool because it is 'home'. You get to be with all your friends when traveling and it is just one big party but usually without the beer :(
But traveling overseas to race...that's what I train for. To race against other girls I don't get to compete against. So you have a feeling of the unknown which is a bit scary and gets the nerves going. But it is a longish day and anything can happen - right?
So every couple of days or so I log onto the Philippines official site (I am excited - can you tell??). They have been extremely helpful with arranging my accommodation etc. So there I was scrolling down the site yesterday afternoon and there I saw it - "NO BIKES ON CEBU AIRLINES" from Manila to Naga. HELP!!!
Now I was warned a long time ago by doc, that when I with your bike - else I may be running the 90k. Thing is I could not get a flight with Philippines air - fully booked. So I am travelling from KL - Manila - Naga with Cebu Air. No problem from KL to Manila (I hope) but since the flight from Manila to Naga is a twin prop, George cannot come on :(
What to do?? Send him on a flight I wasn't going on?? I can't do that to George - he is too young to travel alone - anything could happen! So I threw out a bunch of SOS emails to every contact in Philippines and elsewhere who I know is going to CamSurs.
People are so nice and helpful. I now have options and I know George will be safe. He will be travelling by road but will be taken care of. I hope we will be able to get together on Thursday and go have a little wee ride on the bike course...can't wait!!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Explicit Cat

My dear brother David sent me this snap to replace my "ketchup foot". He seems to think it is better...I think it is rather explicit. So once again if you are easily offended by obscene animal photos please avert your eyes :)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


At the end of my run this morning I popped in the regular pit-stop for refueling and left bloody footprints all on the floor...those shoes are now in the BIN!!! they were NOT Avia.
These shoes were a freebie and I have never been able to wear them without them causing some discomfort, a blister here, a bloodied foot there. So why wear them you may ask? I run a lot. My shoes get really wet and take time to dry. I rotate them and basically if I used them just for the short stuff I got away with it...most of the time. And as I only have one pair of my favourite Bolts at the moment I am reticent to use them for all speed training...need them fresh for the races.
Today though was the last straw. I got rather into my pyramid session this morning...I knew something was happening to my foot but didn't really look down to see until on the warm down. When I did though I thought...OH SHIT what a mess!!!
Into the 7-11 for a Gatorade pick up and slosh slosh slosh...I left wet bloodied footprints all over their floor - SORRY :(
So there you have it...they were not for me, maybe because I am a heel striker or maybe they were just a bad design, or maybe I needed a pedicure!
Now I am waiting for Avia to kindly let me try out the Bolt II's...they are not in store will know when they are :)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Toasters...they lie

My 4-slot 'designer' toaster has been playing tricks on me. Two slots decided to stop working for no reason what-so-ever. Then the two slots that worked suddenly decided to only 'toast' one side of my bread. So I am just about to throw the thing out and go buy another when the two slots that stopped working suddenly decided to start working again...Arrrrggggggggghhhhh...bloody toasters!

Floating Babies

So It's Monday morning...I am sleepy but in a pretty good mood. Cleared a pile of paperwork from job#1 and all is quiet. Good for me but not business - opps!
ANYWAY. Swimming. My most favourite thing in the world. Well it wasn't, but slowly, gently gently catch a monkey I am learning to enjoy (note I have not used the word LOVE, yet) this discipline.
It all started last week. Okay so it has taken a long time to get to this stage but perseverance right? And if there is anything I am good at it is perseverance.
After Desaru I was prescribed 3 days of solid good swimming and to ENJOY it! "That's the best advice I can give you" he says.
So after the Monday swim I report back...swim done...loved it!! (okay a little lie) but I did enjoy. Question though I said. When I use the pull buoy I feel I am swimming on top of the water, I feel faster and gliding and all the things you are supposed to feel. Thing is you know I don't float well, so while the upper body is strong enough the lower bit still drags. Is it okay to use the pull buoy every time I swim or will this be counterproductive??
Paddles, pull buoy, bands use the lot if it is what helps and makes you feel good. So that's what I have done all last week and will continue to do so. Now before you start jumping on my case about how that may be cheating or you will not learn to float, think about this...
You put a baby in the pool with a floatie and they learn to swim. Then one day you put the baby in the pool and they just start swimming without the aids...the baby isn't thinking about what he/she is supposed to be doing I am sure of that! The body is just remembering what it needs to do to be efficient and stay afloat and swim!
Once I had finished my sets of 500's tethered at the ankles, pull buoyed up and paddled I discarded the 'aid' and swam down. The result? My body remembered exactly what it was doing when using all the aids. I was on top of the water and just glided. It may not be mighty quick yet but the fact you can "feel" the body in the correct position for me is HUGE. So you just need to keep teaching it until it doesn't need to be reminded anymore.
Well, that's my theory anyway and I am sticking with it!!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Merdeka Criterium Race

Criterium race on 16th August...if you can please support this event. Click on picture to download and print out form.


Just popped over to Sofian's blog and he has vowed to try and control his fried/oily eating habits (good on you). I have always been able to 'pass' on those kind of foods. My problem is an extreme sweet tooth. So I finally gave up chocolate a couple of months ago. I no longer have cravings and can actually enjoy it. But I have replaced it with something else...I am having a rather naughty relationship with sweetened condensed susu (see I know the local lingo)!!
It started off as a spoon in the morning with my strong coffee for an extra kick before training...but I have noticed one tin no longer lasts a week and I am now starting to 'dunk' my fingers in it when I have no flapjack bars on hand .
Oh crap...I need a therapist or an electric shock rigged up on the fridge :D

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Bloody Tasty

Haven't blogged much this excuse? I have been working. Hard. Okay this is quite interesting...
I have always been a bit of a babe magnet for mosquito's (I always get the short end of the straw). Anyway when I lived in the UK horseflies (similar to mozzies aka mosquito's) would attack me with avengence and leave my body with huge itchy welts. Things haven't changed much since living in Malaysia. I remember one time in the early days I woke up one morning to count 30 bites on my body! I was definitely asleep when this happened as the bastards even got me on the eyelids!!
Anyway what do we know about Mozzies? You can get dengue fever - 4strains in total. Check that. Had it and ran/walked the Singapore half marathon with the fever (that's another story). I call them bastards...that's wrong cos the males don't bite. It's the females that do all the biting (yes no jokes please). They bite because they need human blood to fertilise their eggs -YUM.
What else do we know? They are attracted to smell which is why children and women are more prone to being bitten. Men it seems are dirty and don't wash so are not an attractive place to they have more hair coverage - unless you are a cyclist!
Anyway for me personally the reason I am such a mozzie magnet is I do the following on a regular basis (again no jokes please - lets keep this clean!!)
Constant movement and heat, the smell produced when panting from exertion and the smell of lactic acid from your sweat glands (yes apparently there is a smell and they can smell from up to 50metres!)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Strip Tease

So I got another yellow 'jersey' from Desaru. And at the awards Mr Chan passed it to me to put on. I already knew what I was going to 'pretend' to do when on stage. On being handed the yellow jersey I pretended to take off my TBB shirt to put it on...I think everyone saw the humor in my actions as this picture shows :)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Race Report Desaru 2009

The 10days leading up to Desaru were not my best. Like most people I was suffering with the haze and coughing up grey matter. I had a sore throat and was feeling pretty low and having trouble staying awake throughout the days. When fatigue sets in, and I mean really sets in I can only liken it to walking around in a fog. The head is heavy and hazy and you continually want to close your eyes.
So in the week leading up to Desaru, Monday played out as normal, then I took my foot off the gas and prayed I would feel strong enough to give a good effort.
Putrajaya not happening was a huge blessing; not going to Baling was the absolutely right thing to do. Desaru while not the main race was to be a gage of how things are improving. It is my distance (well half of my distance) and I wanted to build some confidence.
So, ready? Here we go...
I drove down in the KK mobile with Jens and Li-sar. We rolled up to the hotel around 2:30ish. Checked in, registered and by 4:30 went out for a spin and run. George has been poorly and I soon found out he still wasn’t any better. The gears were not going in when I wanted them to and the only way I could get in my monster gear was to go from 53-15 and WHAM push it down hard to get the top whack, tried to sort it out but to no avail. Now here’s the weird thing, usually this would freak me out...I need everything on the bike to be smooth and working perfectly...for some reason though I just accepted the state of play and decided big stuff all the way anyway so deal with it...not a biggie!
No carbo for me, had noodles and muffin in my room which I shared with Jens. (I think I was sociable, for a change, he may disagree though). Race morning and no brekkie I had a small banana and muffin and jug of coffee. The real carbo load for me was the previous afternoon. Starting getting ready and everything was cool until racking George and the nerves hit.
I was eyeing the other girls and their machines...putting Shahrom on the spot about who they were and how strong. I was REALLY nervous. I know you can’t worry about anyone else...but it’s still nice to know who’s out there...or not. It also didn’t help when someone, I forget who, mentioned “Emma you look really tired”. Oh crap...I must admit my foggy head was not entirely clear but usually once I start training or in this case racing the head comes together and I forget about the fatigue until the job is done.
Swim: I was given a speed suit in March. I have not worn it before. I was instructed that when you are such a bad swimmer as I, wetsuit/speed suit – no brainier, you use it. So I did. Slightly worried about taking the thing off but figured the transition area was so long I would have plenty of time to get a head start on it.
God and Mr Chan looked kindly on the non-swimmers among us on this race day. The sea was a meer shade of its normal spin cycle and the distance was definitely favourable in the short sense. Having said that I came out just behind Sofian who unlike me knows how to swim, was I drafting him? I have no clue...I wouldn’t know how or if I was...and if I did...thank you it was most enjoyable.
Exiting the water I was struggling with the zipper and a guy running behind me yelled out if I needed help. So we stopped and he unzipped me – this is what I love about this sport and would like to think despite my focus and race head I would do the same for someone else in the same position.
Peeled the suit down and by the time I was at my bike it came off pretty easy. Still plenty of girls bikes around (good sign). Rocked up to the mount line and I hear “Good swim Emma”. I turned round to see Sofian next to me! I didn’t even know we had come out the swim together!! Sorry about that :)
Time: 34min I think. Bike: Okay now I start to work hard. Places to catch up. Got into a comfortable groove early on, the gears were still messing about but I didn’t let it bother me...I knew what I had to do and just put my head and gears down. By the end of the first loop I went into first overall place. Chatting to myself all the way I now thought OK, 60k’s left to create some space...maybe 10minutes? Just as these thoughts are going through my head I went over a little bump and BANG, the bottle from my rear cage pops out. Stop or not. In a split second I decided not to stop...just as well as the cage was broken and would not have held. But now I knew I needed to get water. I had an iso on my down tube and my aero bottle with water was empty and with 2 loops to go that was not enough.
So within 3minutes of taking the lead I lost it when I had to literally stop and get the water station to fill up the aero bottle. This was my ‘Chrissie moment’. Because then the race was back on and I gunned it to reclaim first place after about 15mins. After that I never looked back. I stopped again to refill with water but this time the buffer was more comfortable.
I felt strong, I felt like there was more in the legs but I also knew I was on target to meet my time so I made the decision to HOLD IT and not push any more. You have to keep reminding yourself you have to run after the bike and if you want to run strong you must not leave you legs on the bike!
Time: 2:30.Run: This was a new scenario for me. Never have I come off the bike in 1st place. I am used to chasing down places on the run and I rather like that. So this was someone was going to be chasing me down. How mush lead did I have, was she a good runner, was I a fast enough walker to hold her off? So many little time.
Socks on, (decided I would wear them if in 1st off the bike). Shoes, glasses, cliff shots and GO! I know the run doesn’t look pretty but it works for me. Short fast turnover. I felt good everything under control and on the turn back I saw 2nd place about 11mins behind me. At 5k I checked my pace and just decided to hold it. Thoughts kept going through my head that Nicole (pos. #2) would catch me but when I saw her she looked worse off than I (but also all credit to her as she kept yelling out “Awesome job” every time she saw me). If I had to step it up I knew I had some in the tank, the thing that was really on my mind now was HOLY CRAP I can go under 5hours!
With the TV camera bike at my side they followed me in for the last 3k or so. I was relaxed and really enjoyed the moment and could not stop grinning once I came into the finish – it was a fantastic day and an awesome weekend.

Total time: 4:53:17
This was all about testing my progress and what all the training is about – which is just to get quicker. I can’t wait for Cobra 70.3 in 3 weeks. Not sure if I can repeat but my confidence is high and I am feeling good.
Congratulations to everyone who took part for the first timers and repeat ‘offenders’, it may a be rather long journey to make but I believe you will agree with me in saying that you sense of achievement and the camaraderie that surrounds this wonderful sport makes that drive well worth it!!
Thank you to Mr Chan for all his support and a super organised race and to Razlan for his constant shout outs. I may not be a local but he and many others always make me feel right at home!
And final thanks to Nicole Gallegher (2nd place female). Her reaction to me passing her on the bike on that first loop was “I knew I had to settle for 2nd today”. Those words meant a lot and her constant show of support as we were running you would have thought she was in a different category. The biggest competition is yourself you cannot control anyone else over a long distance and that’s why I love the long stuff. And so when Nicole came up to say well done after she crossed the line she also asked me “Are you Emma Sutton?? Where did you come from? Are you a Pro” (honest she did say that!!!) reply was simply, “I crept out the sea.”
Many thanks to Lydia Tan and Bernard Soh and Albert Chung for the awesome pictures...I do have more, maybe I will blog a couple more, maybe not!!