Monday, November 30, 2009

10 Down 1 to GO!

The race report is coming later on. Just wanted to say firstly what a great weekend I had. My tenth race this year. I put consistency of my training down to being the key reason I stay healthy. When my confidence takes a dive like it did a few days ago one little weekend like this puts me right back up on cloud nine - loving life.
The weekend was training and work. I have a lot of work to do of late and so did my roommate Bee. So it was the perfect arrangement. Both of us when in the rooom, heads down online, writing, working - me marketing - her doing...actually I don't know what she does but I know it's important banking stuff!!! :D
Anyway...baking a chocolate ginger treacle cake to take to TBB later on (makes a change from the Donuts I traditionally take when I win something). The house smells divine. I shall swim later on and enjoy getting ready this week for my final race for the year - Laguna Phuket!
10 down - ONE to GO!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

I Do Feel Loved

My confidence has been taking rather a huge nose dive of late. I pondered on whether or not to post this brutal honesty. So far I have not shied away from saying what and how I feel so I won't stop now. And every time I write something that is pretty painful for me to put out there and admit - it does actually help and in turn I also think/hope that others can relate and know they are not alone when having a bad day/week/month and start raising questions about what they are doing.
SO. The last time I had a good weeks training and blasted all the sessions was - I can't remember, most probably never. This is a reality I have to accept. When fellow athletes are blasting training, kicking your butt on the run...just accept it. Turn away, close your eyes do not let it deter you and start questioning your abilities. This is so much easier said then done especially when, speaking for myself, you are competitive - even when training. But it is a fact of life. So just quit grumbling, moaning, whining and accept it.
There is a training Olympic distance race on Sunday. It is training. But of course I want to do well. I think I can. BUT. My body has been like a trawler in the pool...I can never seem to keep warm, running, my legs are so sore...I blast a session one day then the next it is as though I am a different person or at least the same person but with someone elses legs that just WILL NOT work.
Then there is my bike. Again. Blast a session to the point I think is this right? I haven't done that before. Then two days later...WTF. Who came took my legs and replaced them with lamp posts?? Come on own up...where are they - I need them!!! Grrrr.
I trawled along the bottom of the pool this morning...cold and sluggish as hell. I then trudged to TBB and hopped on George for an easy spin. Easy?? small chain ring and very easy gear - oh dear that wasn't easy at all.
Later I will run. Intervals. I keep at it because even though my confidence has run away and hidden I know what I have to do. I am sure it will come back, hopefully in time for Phuket. As for this weekend I would be grateful to enjoy myself, be able to give some good effort and not totally screw myself up. I have not done a race swim since Putrajaya and I am scared as hell about it :(
While spinning on the bike trying to pedal myself out of the black hole I looked at my bar tape and saw it seemed cleaner. I then looked down at the bottom bracket and saw gleaming shininess. Just when you think nobody cares and you get lost feeling sorry for yourself I am reminded that I am loved (or at least George is). I left TBB last night with George set up ready to jump on this morning. He was still there when I opened up but I noticed he had been ridden. Through my tired eyes however it took a while to focus and realise that he had received much TLC last night after I went home. THANK YOU boys...I DO feel loved :)
I cheered myself up then with Simon & Garfunkel. Yes I have diverse tastes in music. I like the lyrics/stories of their songs and when Cecelia came on it actually got me spinning a little harder and faster...can you believe that?? Forget techno music to train to, Folk is the way to go - well that and Sinatra!

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Sometimes I could do with a little day to day motivation. Some days it gets a little rough and it would be nice to have someone in my face YELLING. ANYWAY...found this calender from nobodies yelling but the images are pretty motivating...this could well do the trick :) :)
Anyone know where I can get the 2010 calender ??? :D

Why I Don't Do Groups!

Sunday funnies

I have had a VERY lazy Sunday thus far. After a fun morning run I assumed my usual vegetative position on the sofa and have not moved except to see if the refrigerator has magically filled itself with naughty goodies. Each time I am disappointed :( Movie time and ice-cream calls a little later on but until then I started looking at some online funnies...this little ditty particularly made me smile...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Last 4hour hour bike

Today was my final 4hour Saturday bike session. Next weekend I am 'training' in Miri. The following weekend I am racing in Phuket. After that Ironman training is upon me and my Saturday bikes will comprise of 5hours in the saddle and God knows what else in the afternoon...GULP.
A stark contrast to my ride last week, I did the same route and hoped that it would not be should never be easy...I just hoped I would not blow up and be able to maintain my effort. Not my quickest up Perez...a minute short of that. The weather this morning was very cool...I was and have frozen my butt off all week whilst training. I am sitting typing this in Starbucks wearing a long sleeve T. I do not operate too well in the cold...I keep saying it, but it's true...bizarre but true.
ANYWAY...last week my heart rate was shooting through the roof on the bike until the body started complaining and fatigue hit hard.
Today was a quicker time but I am confused. I do not follow HR but occasionally wear a strap to see what is going on. I have been feeling a little more energised this week and this morning gave a good solid effort. But getting my HR up when on the rolling fast stuff it just wasn't happening. AVG HR 133 for a 4hour ride?? Hmmmn. I am currently researching what this means. One of two things I guess. I am getting fitter. I am being lazy. I secretly hope the diagnosis is the this space :)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Oh What the Heck!!!

Had a rather unusual GMail conversation with a friend earlier this week - have no clue how we got onto this subject matter. I was sent a link from a forum I don't pay much attention to other than for light entertainment and have since been umming and arrring all week whether to post this link. What surprised me is that it is a ladies 'problem' / topic, yet it is mainly men adding the comments??!!
Purely for entertainment purposes only you understand? Although some may find it useful!! ENJOY :)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Wheres the Tropical?

I have lived here for 14plus years. I LOVE the tropical climate. It suits my poor blood circulation and crappy set of lungs perfectly. So whats up with the weather lately then I ask you. I don't mind the rain, it is good for the earth, cleanses the soul, saves me washing my Avia after running, saves me washing the sweaty salt off George after riding and helps mimic race swim conditions when in the pool.
I don't recall rainy season being this shitty though. And I have seen a lot of them. I stopped putting air con on a long long time ago...I just get too cold. And last night after my swim, oh my gosh...that swim...well I turned into an ice block.
Think Bukit Jalil pool temperatures and worse. The good thing...I had the pool to myself. The was not comfortable. I tried thinking happy warm cosy thoughts but it wasn't working. I tried not to think about the cramp that tried to attack my calves and feet...that did work. Relaxing is key to keep cramp at bay - in icy water not easy but I managed my full set with out any spasms :)
So out the pool and under and steaming hot shower to thaw out. Then a hot milo. I was still cold. Cold to the bones as we used to say in the UK on a nasty winters day when the wind chill would be deep in the minus numbers. Well there was no wind chill yesterday because this is the tropics. But nights like last night remind me of those cold nights back in the UK where one can never get warm no matter how many layers of clothes you put on.
There is only one day n the year where cold is good. And that is Christmas day. All other days in my book should be toasty tropic days. This body only works well in warm climes...too cold and she needs a jump start !!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Week That Was...a MONSTOR

Disclaimer: This is a REALLY REALLY long have been warned...
I do not blog as often as I used too. It's not that I have nothing to say. We all know waffle is one of my areas of expertise. No, the reason I don't get to blog as much is because my days are pretty jam packed. By the time I get home in the evening I am running on empty. Putting fuel in the tank is first on the agenda and then shortly, very shortly after...bed. The weeks have been flying by, I can still say I have had no illnesses, a cold, a sniffle, a fever...but training does come round and whack me up the head every few weeks when I least expect it. It usually lasts a day or so. I take a day, recharge and battle on. Last week however I followed instructions to the best of my commitments, time and ability and still hit wall after wall after wall and am still ploughing through them today.
It's kind of like the Grand National of tri-training. I am a race horse of sorts and can see the obstacles in front. Some pretty big, some pretty average. I get ready to jump and end up crashing straight into Bleachers Brook again and again.
Powerman was I think the start of the downhill. Two easy bike/run days and normal swims was the post race recipe. Trouble is I had to teach Turbo Night on Tuesday and that ladies and gentleman is where I really started to unravel.
So I could have taken the classes easy. By no means did I give 100% but two hours and not finishing until late at night was pretty tough on this 9pm lights out girl.
Wednesday a long swim, an evening run...pretty pooped, but back into it was the idea. Thursdays turbo didn't start until way after store closing. Finished training at 11pm...ouch. Friday I took a days leave. Took a fellow visiting TBB teammate from Melbourne to Ulu Yam. I know, I know not a normal ride day but it was social.
By the afternoon my days leave was turned into a Melbourne marketing meeting at La Bodega. Finished at 7.30pm.
Saturday, Ulu Langkat and Perez. Great, great ride with a big group Daniel and Wong had put together. I enjoyed being with the group even if I did go off the front...just can't handle sitting in a pack...ya know. I knew I was in trouble, it had been brewing fast all week. By the time I approached Perez I knew it was going to be smelling the flowers assent. I probably could have walked faster up there. Got to the top had a nice group shot and we rode down to Batu 18 coffee shop. That 10k strip from the foot of Perez to Batu 18 is a tempting TT. And as buggered as I was I told myself 15minutes. Just 15minutes of pain and suffering...can I do it?
I did. An average of 40kph thru to batu 18...I think the first time I have managed that. I got off the bike and that was my mistake. Flashbacks of last year of falling over. And I nearly lost it. Could not focus, I was Bambi...wobbly legged without the doe eyes!! No, my eyes were rattling around in my head, and my head...well it somehow was still attached.
It was a lonely ride back. I let the group catch me after I set off first and then saw them go past. Staying awake and upright was my priority and not getting too upset with myself, had a cry, had a shout, told myself to HTFU and onwards.
I got back in one piece, showered refueled and rested. Swimming next. That was ok...or so I thought but then pretty much more of the same falling over after it was done. The brick run...GREAT. Smashed it and then promptly needed help standing up. Are you getting the picture?
Sunday run. Was I looking forward to this? NOPE. I started off with Julie. I needed to go slow. Things not working well. By the time we stopped to cross at Jalan Duta there came that falling woozy sensation again. I told Julie how I felt and said I wasn't sure I could complete it. As we were going past the mosque I saw May Senn and Mac walking the other way. I really wanted to turn and walk with them.
Julie told me to turn back shortly after. But I figured that was a mistake as I had no fluids only GU chomps. I said I would go to Petronas not do the loop and get a cab. Five minutes later I told her F*** IT. I am doing the whole bloody thing even if it takes me my whole two hours to do it. Usually my 2hour run sees me cover 24/25k's not just 21.
I finished. It was a bricks and mortar week. Nothing was pretty about my training. EVERYTHING was mind strengthening and proof that when you are on empty there is still more to be found. I was not under eating...I have fueled up more this weekend than I have for a good few months. A training fatigue wall that was probably long overdue, I am still nursing myself through it now. Wondering what next will happen. How will I complete the turbo session this evening?
I know this much. Unless I am told don't do it. I will do it. And if I start my training...whatever session it is and no matter how crap and bad and ugly it gets I will always FINISH it. Time on these days does not matter. That is why I NEVER log my training times and distances. It simply doesn't matter. Completion is all that matters. If you must walk, then walk. If you must pedal in the granny gear then pedal in the granny gear. And if you must swim slower than you thought humanly possible then do it. Training through this is only way you learn how to handle emotions, fatigue and test your body so that on race day you will start and you will FINISH.
How do I feel now? Still like crap. But its ok. I am just training and I am never supposed to feel my best. My best I save for when it really matters and we all know when that days is!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Race Report: Powerman

Pictures on the way, this one courtesy of SK :)
Last year I had an awesome Powerman. This year of course I wanted to beat my previous time, who doesn’t? But, after getting down on myself for not being ‘strong’ at a couple of recent races, I do understand that you cannot HIT all of them. So those I am not targeting to HIT are called TRAINING. I was so relaxed this year...the words horizontal come to mind. I went into the race with no taper coming off a very smashed early part of the week. The goal? A PB would be great. But have fun and remind oneself at all times it is just a training day with hopefully monetary rewards at the end. So here we go... Saturday morning I got in the pool early for a swim. I then tagged on a brick run before setting off to Lumut. Arrived in good time...but boy I was tired. I have not been sleeping to well and work is pretty manic these days. It’s all fun and I love my job to the extent I never really stop...only to go and train :)
I went out for a little ride with Carmen, Chris, Sam and Simon at 4pm. My fault. I set the time and had just got my head down for a nap only to be woken from my 5minute slumber to gear up and ride. Carmen got it right...YOU LOOK TIRED, she politely said. YUP, I felt it. A little brick run after and I skipped dinner, stayed in the room and tried to relax and recharge my already underpowered batteries.
Race morning I was full of beans (coffee beans). Bouncing around, I felt pretty awake and good. Had a warm up jog round the track with Bee, posed (if that’s what you can call it) for some happy snaps with the guys. So much as I love to race overseas because of the ‘high’ of meeting new people and spreading the love, I do LOVE to race at home. Great to see everyone out, all levels mixing together with one common passion sharing the same playground of endurance racing. It’s a buzz and the best drug in the world. I could be feeling like cat puke and I instantly get a lift out of seeing friends old and new. Did I say it already? Great FUN.
And so the gun goes off. I tried to keep a steady click. Serious discomfort earlier in the week I kept it uncomfortable but controllable. Some guys passed me. I didn’t like that, but then reminded myself this is round 1. It’s going to get MUCH hotter. Be patient. Time, 48min and change for the 11k
Bike: Last year I did a 1:42. Of course I wanted to do better. I am stronger, fitter and quicker. But not today :( The elements came into play. It was very windy and the bike was tough...or was it? I had a great argument with myself whilst battling away. God this is slow...what’s up?? Maybe it’s really windy and if that’s the case then everyone else is suffering too. But then the penny dropped. It was damn windy and harder than last year but I also realised my heart rate was hanging around the 130’s (perceived). I did not feel as though it was a good effort and was breathing very easily but try as I might to do anything about it the legs wouldn’t let me. Damn, buggar. This wasn’t fun. Going down the bridge should be free speed worthy of 50/60kph...I may have touched 50. No worries...remember my new mantra for the day...Training DAY, Training DAY...YAY! Time: I thought 1:45. They clocked 1:49. I over took two pro women but the pro’s seemed to all have a quicker work it out??
Run2: Boy, now it was really hotting up. Not the race, but the heat. DID someone order a furnace? So those guys who overtook me at the know who you are :) All I can say is pacing. It wasn’t real pleasant...nearly lost control with my emotions and had an ‘oh crap asthma moment’ but that was about as exciting as it got. Job done in the bag crossed the line at 3:33 for first amateur female.
After the awards I set off home taking a totally different route. So different I thought I was definitely going the wrong way. But being the stubborn twit that I am I just stayed on the road and told myself I WILL find a sign that says KL. Well, the sign came and I took it and got home in 2hr:45min. A longer route but a hell of a lot quicker as the road was dual carriageway rather than the slow arse trunk roads going back to Bidor. Apparently so I am told I got on at Gopeng 44k farther north, more petrol, but less time. Result!
Once at TBB I had to keep moving...I had been looking forward to an easy spin out once I got back and did just that. Opened up the store set George up and spun for 60minutes, it felt really good and capped off a GREAT day.
I would just like to add a note to all the people that were out there racing longer than most. I was collecting George and sorting my stuff out not long after crossing the line. As I was at transition a girl comes next to me and racks her bike. I am sorry I do not know your name, but out the corner of my eye I watched her slowly remove her bike shoes and slowly put on her runners. I then realised she still had the second run to do. “Hey there” I said. “You going out to run?” I asked. "Yeahhh", she tiredly answered back. “Well good luck and take plenty of fluids, it’s hot out there,” was the only words of encouragement I could come up with. To all you guys who spend longer than most on a course during race have my utmost respect. Never dismiss what it is that you are doing or where you come in a race, the fact that you start and finish is a huge achievement in itself and worthy of applauding.
Highlight of the day? It has to be sharing the podium with Gadget Girl Ong Siok Bee. In the same category as I, she came in 2nd. I think this was her first 2nd placing ever. WELL DONE BEE. Great to share that step with you!
I would also like to make a special mention to my friend Prakash. His first Powerman, he missed the cut-off by 3mins. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Yesterday’s race is by far and away harder than any half ironman. In a half you have 8 ½ hours to finish. Yesterday you only had 5. I know you will be back for will many others. In my book you are a finisher and I would proudly give you my medal!

Friday, November 6, 2009


Tomorrow morning I will set off for Lumut. Not before a little swim and run though...keep the engine ticking over, you know how it is :)
Powerman 2009 will be my 3rd Powerman. Next year I am entering my 3rd year of endurance racing with IM Langkawi being my 3rd IM. I am not thinking about IM training at the moment. I am just thinking or trying to think race to race. There is no off-season, has not been an off-season for over 18months now.
Sometimes I think it would be nice to STOP and have a break. Then I think what would I want to do with all that free time?? I figured I would still want to bike and run and yes, SWIM.
Some people have called me crazy...perhaps, and perhaps that is why I LOVE this song...this is ME...crazE
Enjoy and good luck this weekend. See you at the finish line.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

EFS Nutrition

My turbo session last night was as expected...NASTY. One of those bricks and mortar sessions I go on about. At just 30minutes in I was feeling in need of a bit more fuel than just drinks. We have just received in store some EFS nutrition, drinks, gels and the thing I am interested in, the stuff that we can call food - BARS :)
Always willing to try something new I got off George, staggered over to the goody counter and there they were. Righty O, lets give this Peanut butter choc chip bar a whirl then I thought. Most people know that I can and am and do put anything in my stomach when training/racing. I have had few if any side effects thus far and so perhaps not the best person to turbo test a product but I can at least let you know the taste from my point of view :)
Okay. I don't eat Power Bars...I can eat them but choose other stuff (usually free) :) But I have been partial in the early first IM training days to the Triple Threat bar by power Bar - quite nice but expensive.
The EFS bar is a cross between a power bar (for consistency) and triple threat (for taste and chocolaty peanut buttery goodness) - actually my verdict - it tastes WAY better.
Anyway that's just my two cents. The bars retail at RM8, at TBB KL...where else :)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Education 101: tying a Sarong Sporty Style

Post run yesterday morning I just wanted/needed to get back and refuel (see post below), but then you get chatting to your friends and the time ticks by and just being with these people was making me feel better. Luckily I had apple, gels and a recovery drink on hand to keep me going because little did I know I was in for an education Sarong Sporty Style!!
It was the Terry Fox run yesterday, absolute madness in the car park and surrounding roads choc-a-bloc. One of the groups always do the run in sarongs, well I didn't get to join really had to go back but I did have an education on how to tie a Sarong. Well I say an education...I think I was just a little entertainment sideshow before the main event!!!
It was great FUN and thanks for the cool photos Ms Julz. Not too long ago, most of you who know me, know I would NEVER subject myself to such humiliation. Today though anything goes, life is so much better when you smile and laugh...even when making a Pratt of yourself :)
I won't put in any captions, you can have the fun there...but Ms. Julz did write some funny stuff on the album in her facebook :) And BTW, patience never has been a strong point of I think I did pretty well considering!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Running On Empty

A few days ago I posted on facebook that I would like to at least once get down to 'my' race weight. I have done 8 triathlons this year and never hit that magic number - I have 3 left for 2009. Would it really make such a difference? I think a marginal difference in my run, yes. The biggest difference would be my confidence. If you feel good about yourself, feel lean and healthy, that in itself is a huge boost that helps fuel the confidence for your race.
Triathletes are an obsessive bunch. All athletes have hang ups and body conscious issues. It seems we are never happy with what 'We' see. Others don't see what we see and it can become a fine line between being an unhealthy obsession and just an obsession to get your body into the best possible shape for a race.
I have always poked fun about the fuel belt around my middle...lets call it my 'O'. I say that I need that extra bit of padding to do what I do and do it well. But the bottom line is I would do almost anything to not have that padding there and as such am trying to eradicate or at least reduce the size of the 'O'.
In my short time in this sport I have never experienced the 'bonk'; when your body is flat out depleted and starved of fuel. You start to lose all common sense and when you should be putting the fuel in you don't. Following a strong training day yesterday I refueled and ensured I ate pasta last night. It is a carb a do not eat much of but I do swear by it's fueling properties prior to running long.
So dinner last night was vege pasta, hot milo with susu :) a huge Chinese pear and a little later on a protein bar. Woke up and was not hungry but for some reason I made a piece of toast and butter and chomped it down with the coffee - maybe I had an inkling of what was to come?
Legs were pretty sore this morning, yesterday's push on the run obviously took its toll and my shoulders were killing me. That's another story though, but yes I have a lot of discomfort in my shoulders when I run?? :(
I set off from the petrol station before the rest of the group and turned up to double hill which I had previously dialed in for my route. I knew it was going to get nasty and sometimes it is best to go alone. On the final few 100metres of double hill I saw TSB and jogged down with him I felt okay at this stage, but was that the drop of pace?
Just 12minutes left to run and my-O-my how quickly things can get nasty. I started on my final loop that I have discovered and got half way up a short but steep hill and almost fell over. My stomach was crying out for food. I knew it was too late. I left some gel shots in the car. STUPID STUPID STUPID. But usually I am okay and don't need any other nutrition than iscotonics. But then again that's when I am not being so careful of the food intake!
I had to turn around and jog it home. A combination of a giddy jog, I was berating myself and having a right old chat. Then I started panicking and then the asthma come along...this has not happened for a long time. Usually it will stop me dead, but this morning I was not going to stop and damn it I was not going to walk either. Another good talking to, this time - 'calm down' breathe, relax, BREATHE!!! It worked I got back but was absolutely on empty.
So I guess what I am saying in my usual long-arsed waffle way is in the pursuit of our idea of perfection we can and do subject our body to dangerous levels. What we do day to day is no small thing. You have to remind yourself of that fact. Because some days you are thinking whats the big deal about the training I do? Whats the big deal about feeling wiped out most of the time? It is a long time since my life was anything other than this routine and I have to admit perhaps I treat it a bit too lightly especially following such a strong day. Note to self: Must remember I am not super women - YET :)
FUEL is important. I love to cook and I love to eat. But I to am in pursuit of my idea of perfection and anyone who isn't is most probably lying. But I did learn a lesson here. It is not to NOT cut back on my intake, that wasn't the problem. I should have made sure though that I had nutrition with me to put in BEFORE those hunger ghosts came-a-haunting. I am never without food on the bike, I am well known for always having a stash of fuel. Why I didn't take it this morning...perhaps becasue I had no pockets and would have had to hold the damn shots. LAZY, STUPID.
I made up for it though and am now fueled back up...when you train as much as we do you have to enjoy eating even when it's cut down. So what am I doing this afternoon? Gonna get me some ice cream - it's Sunday!