Wednesday, January 27, 2010

They Didn't Consider the Sun

Thank You Cheong for this...made me smile. And gave me something to blog without having to think too hard - pun absolutely NOT intended :)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Caffeine Incentives

The ride yesterday needs to be glazed over. I had to start at the crack of dawn (still nighttime for others) because I had to be back for a meeting at 9am / 9:30am. So the route changed a little but I think it still rounded out at 142k not that I count :) The highlight? A ginormous python road kill on the MEX. Did no one else see that as they rode yesterday?? You could not MISS IT. We actually (if time allowed) thought about taking a picture...but it was 05:30am!!
Thank you very much Faisal for accompanying me at such an ungodly hour on a Saturday...I will never ride alone so early - it is just not safe and so the thought of hopping on the turbo for 4 hours was not enticing. The week has been bizarrely strong not usually the way it works and so my Saturday ride came and hit me up the head. Not my greatest day but training is not for having your greatest days. Racing is for greatest days and although never guaranteed you only need one:)
So Saturday afternoon was declared 'Emma' time. I had a sports massage with Julianna at noon. Thank you calves needed that. I highly recommend her service (she comes to YOU), and the one main reason I have not had a massage since August is precisely that - I have no time to get out and get it. Those 4 words (I have No Time) I say too frequently of late and hopefully soon I can stop using them. After the massage, I cleaned my apartment. It has not been touched since Christmas (yes I am disgusting and again I have no time).
After that a hair cut and hair rebonding (straightening). I have been wearing a cap because my hair looks so crap and has been making me feel even craper!! Again - 'I have no time'. So to fit that all in and get to bed at a reasonable hour the afternoon session was missed. It is the FIRST afternoon session I have EVER missed. But I know it was needed for me to feel better about myself and for my body to bounce back from the wall it had hit.
I ran again this morning at home. And again had running buddy 'long legs Faruk' with me. Maybe it was the massage or the rest or a combination of both but the long run legs are coming back. This was my third long run in three weeks. I am not looking at how far or how quick I am going if I am running long and able to chat you know you can go quicker if you minus the chat and concentrate a little more (that's my theory).
So anyway, a fellow coffee addict, last week it was tempting to stop at Gloria Jeans as we ran past the Curve on the final loop. BUT time didn't allow. So this week I changed the route and made the first loop longer so on the second we could indeed stop and finish at GJ.
It was a sprint finish once the caffeine incentive was in sight...but I am too scared to do much of a sprint with my little steps and Long legs strode past me - Grrrrr. That guy just does not try hard enough!!!
Perfect end to a great run...trouble was walking back up the hill home afterwards...we must have looked extremely odd negotiating stepping over the GIGANTIC (not) curbs as the soreness started to set in. Feel pretty peppy now and looking forward to an afternoon of swimming - NICE:)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Early Bird IM Philippines

I have not thought about a race calender for 2010...yet. I have decided to think on it after next month. But there are a couple of races that are earmarked as 'Must Do's. One of those is the Cobra 70.3 Philippines. For those who missed the inaugural event last year Do NOT miss out this year. If there is one race you want to travel for then this IS THE one to do.
I would like to defend my title :) and go and enjoy the after party and this year hopefully NOT fall off the stage! Can not guarantee that though ;)
Anyway, I had an email from the race director just yesterday asking if I was coming. The early bird registration date is looming and they have not heard from me - How's that for follow up service!!!
So I sent an email right back and said I am on it and will try and tempt some of my Malaysian triathlete buddies to come along too. I was the only one from Malaysia last year:( So what are you waiting for??? For more details log onto

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Snap Attack

Are doing IMMY? Do you want to have ALL your Kodak moments immortalized into a gorgeous bound hard cover album? If you do and believe me YOU DO, then Snap Attack and Shazly is your man. Log onto for more details or email Shazly on

How to stay POSITIVE

Two weeks ago this track gave me a wobbly bottom lip whilst doing my treadmill intervals. It was all going wrong and the lyrics just sent me over the edge. Last week the track didn't result in a wobbly bottom lip (result) but I was in a nasty place. This week it pumped me. I wanted to run and I wanted to run hard. I see this video with all the night owls dancing away and imagine how the picture would look SO much better surrounded by turbos and people sweating their butts off on bikes. Some people come alive at night time. I have known for a long time I am a morning gal. And everytime I hear this music it doesn't matter how smashed I am. I want to TRAIN.

Weekend Meltdown

One day at a time. That is the rule. Don't think about what you have to do the next morning or God forbid the next week and absolutely do not think about race day. Some days this is easier said than done. I have been taking one day at a time. Some days are strong and some days are bad. And some other days are emotional meltdowns.
You never get 2 strong days in a row. And if you get one good session your gonna be lucky to punch out the 2nd or 3rd session in the same manner. I have learnt to accept all of this. It is no measure of my improvement or fitness. But by ploughing through it is a measure of my mental strength. And that, at the end of the day is what is really important.
SO. I had a really enjoyable ride on Saturday with Faisal, Adzim, Andrea and Vong (x3). Of course we didn't ride together. But knowing that they were doing my route gave me comfort and a feeling of safety - which is sadly much needed these days considering the events that did happen on the weekend with a nutter of a motorcyclist who took a dislike to one of our riders!
So if they were in front I had a carrot to chase so to speak. I never chase, I just stick to my plan, my cadence. So when people overtake me going up the steeper inclines. Do I like it? NO. But do I get out the saddle and attack to catch them up? NO. I stick to my plan and do as I am told.
On the way back I was a taxi of sorts and this again was huge motivation for me. Knowing they are there kept me pushing making sure that they were happy with the pace I was keeping. Sometimes riding alone the concentration on the return ebbs slightly and you realise you are not pushing as hard as you should!
My afternoon swim was FUN. A class of kids were waiting to get in the pool. Damn, damn. But as soon as their little tootsies touched the water the heavens opened and ping pong ball sploshes of rain descended. It was a HUGE rain storm. Well all the parents rushed their little ones out and escaped to the safety of a near by car or coffee shop I imagine. Me? I stayed in the pool. Warm as toast. It was hard work with the wind and rain but pretty safe as there was no lightening. And I think even though not a strong swim the fact that I hung in there is testament to my swimming commitment. Not too long ago, the sniff of rain would stop me going in and the start of such a storm would have me outta there. the coach said. Any don't swim.
Swim done I went home to shower and change. The storm was still heavy so waited a while and then a rainbow appeared and the sun shone through. Time for my run. Intervals. Man I felt bad. Arms heavy like tree trunks and my legs felt like they were running in treacle. OK. 10minutes I told myself. After 10minutes the intervals start. OK lets see how. So I start to do the pick ups. Hmmm...not nice. Not nice at all. By the time I am on my 90sec pick ups I felt I was on a slow train to no where - I was going no where. Did someone just put a treadmill on the road?? Decision time...Stop, carry on or just run. Well Stop is not a word I like to equate with running. Carry on...was not doing any good. JUST RUN...and so that's what I did. Despite it being a beautiful evening straight after such a storm the humidity was very high. Steam was literally rising from the tarmac in plumes. As such I think this was a factor that buggered my breathing and made the run so difficult. Job done in the bag. Home, food, bed.
Sunday run. Thank you Faisal for joining me. This was fun. The pace was comfortable...talking comfortable :) I know I need to pick this up come race day and considering how I felt last year doing the long runs compared to now - I BELIEVE it will be there. Basically we finished the 2 loops and then I carried on a bit to fill up the time. And I could have gone the endurance legs ARE there..just need to go faster...not yet though :)
Afternoon I have a choice. Easy run or Swim. I do not like choices. Why can't he say Run. Swim. Anyway I chose to swim. BIG. HUGE. mistake. It was a really hot day so I went to the pool that was empty and that was the one that can get quite cold. But it was a very hot day so I though it should be warm by now. A lot of fluid had been lost in the morning session but I had put most of it back. My legs were now telling me they were knackered and getting out of a chair was increasingly difficult. So I got in the pool. OMG. Did someone just throw a truck load of ice in??? Ok. Swim you will get warm. I did and I didn't (get warm) it was terrible. I got out. I sulked. I went to another pool to see if that was any warmer (think Goldilocks trying the different porridge) that was me but prancing around in swim cap and goggles with all my pool toys trying to find a water temperature to suit. Nope the other pool felt exactly the same. What was wrong?
Now I was really pissed and on the verge of a meltdown. Ok run then. Do something for Christs sake. I cannot explain how uncomfortable the legs were though, the week and weekend was catching up and I was also starting to think about my looming Mental Monday. (I know this is against the rules) but I have a 5hour training day on Mondays and I was thinking HOW?
Rang a friend. (Nope I wasn't on Who wants to be a Millionaire) just needed a friendly voice. Only problem is when I heard it I did indeed meltdown and had to ring off! Right harden up MISS. If you cannot run then walk. And so that is what I did. I walked on my hill repeats. The good legs felt 100% better was just what the doctor ordered.
Monday is now in the bag, the long swims get done and my 3hour turbos are just 3hours at the end of the day. It's no biggie. Tuesday is short and nasty. Wednesday is long, Thursday is longer, Friday is short and the weekend is now a 3 day weekend with a 7hour Saturday, 4 Hour Sunday and 5 hour Monday.
I have not spoken about IMMY much at all. But to be honest. I really hope I get the slot in Langkawi. My second year anniversary in the sport after two years of non stop training I am really really wanting a breather. Perhaps a holiday without George even?? If I don't get it? Then I will keep on training until I do :)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Yeah Right!!!

Shop till you drop! How the average woman burns 48,000 calories a year...
"It's the perfect excuse for women who are accused of making one too many shopping trips. A study has revealed that High Street sprees are good for your health. The average woman burns around 385 calories - the equivalent of a piece of carrot cake or two large glasses of wine - trudging around stores each week."
Read more:
Emma says: OH Purlease...I seriously dislike shopping. And while 48,000 calories seems like a lot, in the big scheme of things (like a current weeks training) I burn approximately an extra 17,500 per WEEK! Now lets take a proper look at these healthy shoppers shall we? Nope, sorry...I cannot for the life of me see anything remotely attractive about the image below.

This image however, I find extremely attractive...Sorry, couldn't help myself...I know he is an ARSE...but its a nice front and back all the same ;)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

It's not Mine!

I was just emailed this picture of a certain persons 'sweetie stash'. This isn't a stash, it is a mini mart for the sweet tooth - aka EMMA! Am I feeling the need to go on a chocolate splurge after being presented with this calorific photo? Not on your Nelly...well not yet, lets wait until the witching hour comes round ;)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Going long with a GU Sarnie

Ask and ye shall receive. Well not always. Actually never when I was a kid. But last Friday when everyone in the store was rambling on about their planned long ride I was in a sulk. I still only had a short one dialed in on the radar. I decided to email the powers and ask when I will be stepping up.
Friday evening - no reply. Oh well short it is. Saturday morning...I checked the email again at 5:45am. instructions: Switch to IM list and away you go!! Oh great. Away where? I was too late to hop on the ride that was going out with Wong and Co. and so settled in for a solo one to Sepang and back via Salak. Circa I guess is around 160k thereabouts. For the long Saturday rides I have 5hours to play with. I came back with 25minutes to spare. So I will try and extend the route a little this Saturday - or not ;)
Back home and I spent the next 3/4hours doing not a lot. (I do not envy those of you with major family commitments - I am good for nothing after training) except: Drinking and eating, drinking and eating. Then as the clock turned 15:30 I went down to the pool for my long swim. With that in the bag I showered and changed to running clothes. Downed more fuel and went out to run. Finished that and that was my Saturday done. Had not spoken to a soul. The only speaking I do of late (when not at TBB) is all virtual - VERY VERY SAD...but not for much longer.
Sunday morning...3k swim and 3hour run. My longest run since IM MY last year. Upping the bike time an hour or so is easy. Upping the run legs from 90mins to 3hours can bite one in the sweet butt!
After the swim it is a shower and refuel. This is where my new favourite nutrition comes in. The GU Sarnie. I LOVE chocolate spread. Don't buy it though as I could merrily sit down with a spoon and eat the lot in one sitting. BUT, I have choc-mint GU gels. This was given a trial run in Oz. Buttered brown bread with a gel inside - gorgeous. This time round I hit the nail smack bang on the head. Gel needs to be nice and cold straight from the fridge - and the taste elevates from gorgeous to heavenly. Anyway the run...Luckily even though it is in the heat of the day 711's are all around my area. So every 30mins or so was a water/gel stop. Told myself steady. Work into it. Well my run never changes. The pace I go out the door is the one I bring it home in (most of the time). Was pretty happy. The second loop was just under a minute slower than the first. Spent the rest of the day smashed and having to pull out of Carmen's dinner invite :( as I just needed bed. The good news? I am alive...and I am still SMILING :)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Running Down Under

Before I post about my first IM weekend of training I would like to recall my running experiences in Melbourne. The weather in the rainy city is extremely unpredictable even in the height of summer. I arrived on Christmas eve and by evening the heavens had opened and I was freezing. Christmas day blue skies but chilly. By Sunday the thermometer had gone up and after my morning swim I downed a GUgel sarnie (all will be revealed later) and went off for my run.My run buddy had conveniently broken his ribs! Any excuse. But in order for me to not get too lost and give me a tour of the city, he hopped on his 'Green Meanie' Bad Boy Urban street bike and off we went. This is a great way to train on the run as I don't have to carry anything. I had my own personal 'Water Boy'!
Running has never been my forte. I have always dreamed of just lacing up the shoes and popping out the door and running a la Forest Gump. Well this Sunday long run was probably as near to that as I am ever going to get.
It was awesome. Running through the city, bustling with shoppers picking up sale bargains. Across bridges, through parks, along the Yarra river, down by the name we ran there. I mean I ran, he rode. It's also an extremely cool way to spend time with someone. Shopping and hanging out in the mall is SOOOO NOT what I want to do!! It was peaceful, tranquil, perfect temperature...just a very good experience. So much so my 90minutes knocked onto 2:04 - oops.
Wednesday training: Swim - one hour and then back to ride. Prepared for the thermometer to rise even more. Today the mercury was going to hit 45! We rode 3hours in the morning on some rather hilly rolling Burbs and ended the outing at the local 'Crit' Criterium circuit where I whizzed round for a half dozen times before heading back. By the time I went out on my brick run the heat was starting to sizzle. I ran through the burbs for 40minutes. Yes it was hot, yes I lost a little water but it was no where as near draining as running here on a hot day.
My final long run was last Sunday. This was a solo effort for 90minutes directly after the swim. From sizzle to drizzle. I had two layers and a fleece top on and my new Skin shorts. Ran the previous day in long skins - really don't like running in long pants. I took myself around the city and along the Yarra on the pontoon. So many families out all cycling...amazing how many people in this city ride a bike - awesome. Also what is great when running along the Yarra is the people firing up the barbies. The smells are intoxicating. And since it was the holiday season...champagne was many peoples tipple of choice. People living life to the full, Melbourne is surely a picturesque city where there seems to be a large majority of people embracing the healthy lifestyle. But reality soon sadly comes down to a bump when you enter the food court of shopping malls and are hard pushed to find someone who is not obese - crazy. So many healthy choices - its not hard to be good and occasionally bad. Personally I think I have it down to a T :)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Albert Park & Beach Road

Beach Road is synonymous with cyclists in Melbourne. Every Saturday and Sunday morning thousands of cyclists take to Beach Road for their morning bike fix. Some social, some racers, almost ALL roadies :( I was asked if I would like to join the throng of riders. Fearing I would get swallowed up and spat out or more likely cause a massive accident I politely declined. Can we perhaps ride later in the day I asked, when it is: A) Warmer, and B) Safer for all of mankind!!!
So that's what we did. I swam and ran in the morning, the run took me round the 'Tan' Aussie spiel for Botanical gardens. (They just have to be different). The swim prior to that was in a nicely heated pool..29 degrees Mmmmm :)
The pec (boob) muscle was still hurting so swimming was not about paddles and speed. I just forced myself as often and when required to get in there and just swim solid for at least an hour. I was surprised actually how quickly that hour started to go by. So much nicer when warm.
Anyway back to my ride...
Left late afternoon from the CBD heading to Beach Road. We bypassed Albert park where they hold the F1. Got to ride on a bit of the track and down the pit lane...that was cool, Vroom Vroom!!!
Then it was through some 'Burbs' (Suburbs People) towards the beach. Still not very strong in the saddle, I have found riding the toughest to get back into as it seems to use the very part of my chest muscle that still hurts. I was way behind my riding buddy. Ok ok, so he is almost an Elite level (injured too) but that doesn't stop me getting annoyed at being behind! Man I felt slow. My speedo had been fixed (damn) and I saw I was managing 25kph. I WAS slow. Crap. It feels pretty windy though I thought to myself. I glanced over to the ocean and the kite surfers where having a whale of a time. Hmmmn. Buddy in question drops back. Man it's windy today, not normally like this, he says. You serious? Yup, this is bad, he says. Hmmn. Ok, then maybe its not me, but just Mother Nature.Put it this way. On the way out the side wind and headwind was such that I was unable to get aero. It was just too dangerous. I am strong, but not THAT strong. On the return however. Ooo la la!!! 45kph average :) Loving it. I even picked up a Aussie male wheel sucker. AND I was still using the granny cassette. The only downside is the bloody traffic lights. Way too many. And you HAVE to stop. My wheel sucker even mentioned at one set of lights 'what do you do about the lights' - (I think he was implying that I was going rather quickly). I just grunted, waited for green and then sped off trying to drop the Sucker!!! Well...I mean come on :)
And there ya have it, another one of my rides. Weather: sunny and COOL, really too cool for Emma, she don't handle it well at all. Wind: we looked it up when we got back. 25kph with 45kph that explains it!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Ocean Road on Christmas day

I have an admission to make. I didn't take any photos other than virtual ones that are firmly in the memory bank. I don't carry a camera when I ride. Correction. I have, but only once. These pictures are from the web...yeah yeah not the same. And you could also question the fact did Emma REALLY ride Ocean ride or did she spend Chrissy day in bed eating chocolate and drinking beer?? I leave that up to you.
You can ride for 300km's in one direction on Ocean road. That's a heck of a long way. The idea was to have a wet suit swim and then ride to Appollo Bay. I didn't realise it takes so long to get there from the city. About 2 plus hours! By the time we arrived it was a little after 3pm. I suited up and went down to the ocean. It was pretty choppy to say the least. I was also still in a LOT of pain from my bruised/torn/pulled pectoral muscle whatever it is! The short of it is, I didn't get to swim. It hurt, it killed, it was not going to happen. The good news: I was in the water and the suit is warm! But the pain from breathing and trying to get through the surf was completely NUTS.
I stomped out the surf and sat on the beach and sulked for a while. With the sulking behind me I changed and Lycra'd up for our ride. It was now knocking on for after 4pm (okay, so I sulked and scowled a little longer than I should have)!!
It was a beautiful sunny day. But it was COLD. And it was WINDY. I was informed on many occasions 'it is not usually this windy OR cold'. Did not really help. I was using borrowed wheels that had a 28/11 cassette on. Now that is like driving a car with no guts but in this instance I was glad of the relief. It was still difficult to ride without pain. Staying in the aero bars with 40+kmp gusts coming at you sideways was a no no with the cliff edge just beckoning. And out the saddle was just to painful on the muscle. So I had to sit up and wait for it...just ENJOY the ride.
It was awesome. Scary, windy, bloody nose and eyes never stopped running because of the cold air. My riding buddy on hearing me sniffing and seeing the tears asked if I was ok. I quizzically looked at him and replied yes? Are you sure he asked? I'm not crying ya nana!!! I am just ******** COLD was my reply :)
And there you have it, that was Ocean Road. We spoke of going back later in the week when I was better. The idea to ride the 300k's and get a train back. It didn't happen. Probably a good thing at this stage of the game. But it is definitely down in my 'to do' time maybe?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Em's Power Cookies

Darn it!...seems somebody else jumped on the bandwagon before I got there. I have been cooking up my own versions of 'nutrition' for a while now. We all have pipe dreams and wouldn't it be SO cool to have your own nutrition brand?
Well it seems I already do. Browsing in a bike store in Melbourne and I stumbled upon these delights. So cool I had to try em (pun intended). The bad someone has already used my name. The good news...They taste FANTASTIC so anyone who thinks there are mine will not be disappointed!! The more bad news...1 bar retailed for about AUS$6.50 - that's RM22 - OUCH!!!
I am willing to still cook up my own versions for a lot less, okay so they don't have the pretty packaging but they do taste YUM ;)

Happy New Year

Holy Moley...has it really been so long since I blogged??!! I have many tales, some printable some not so printable ;) - to tell of my travels. They mostly involve food and some cool riding and this space :)