Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I Dare You

The 'worst drink in America': 2,000-calorie milkshake has as much saturated fat as 68 rashers of bacon

Go on, I DARE YOU. Personally the calorie content of this nasty evil filthy milkshake is my current calorie intake for the day. I am trying slowly but surely to get back to my fighting/racing weight...just a couple of Kg's to go now.
I used to drink ice blends (with cream) until the cows came home. I then learnt of the calorie content - such a waste. So I only have it now as a treat.
Would you dare drink this monstrosity even though you knew it was over 2000calories?? YIKES. Surely there are substitutes. Then again I would think nothing of scoffing 200gms of chocolate and that's a 1000 :D

Each to their own I guess.

It used to be easy

This morning was my ride / run brick session. It is an early start leaving at 05:20 for a two hour ride. This morning however I didn't have any friends to play with :( And while I will ride alone on a Saturday, on a Saturday traffic is not so mad and I leave home when daylight is near.
I made a vow not to ride the Wednesdays alone. It is too early and while I would probably be okay and nothing would happen, as a girl alone on the road I would rather not take the risk. Luckily there is no excuse to not train as I just hook George up to the trainer.  Lately my trainer sessions are only one hour long under the 'light' plan. Easy peasy. This morning I did 2hours. Two hours used to seem easy when I was doing 3hours but this morning that hurt. Big gear stuff and pools of water on the floor, I have a way to go I think before I am where I was...OR maybe I am improving. I think I am able to use bigger gears for longer and more resistance now. Well some days I can :)
I was going to do a stair run as my brick but after the hammering I gave my quads on the turbo I decided on a run outside. It had just rained and was so inviting. The good news: I am almost running pain free now. Again, a long way to speed has dramatically dropped but at least when I finish running now I can step up the kerbs and walk rather then gingerly move my legs.
So all is GOOD in my world. Still too busy. I have a to do list a WIP (Work In Progress) list on Malcom (the Mac). It started off with 12items. And the goal was to reduce it each day, but then something would come up and get added to the list.
The current total is 17 items. And every time I delete one task I add two more. But it's ok. You can only do so much right? And this Friday is a public holiday and I am NOT going to do any work ALL DAY. In fact I have a day and a half of debauchery planned...ahem, I wish. But I do have a fun weekend planned where I will be having some much needed down time.
Can't wait!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Oops too late!
I just finished my swim. The 30 metre pool has always had a problem with the filtration system at my home. I think they need to drain it and fix it once and for all. And after all that rain yesterday it was a bit green. But what the heck...are you man or mouse??? There were some people with nothing to do except sun themselves and splash around in the other 25 metre pool that does not have a problem with filtration. But I gotta do my swim and get back to work so opted to take a risk.
Plus points about swimming in a green pool - or so I thought. No one else will go in. I will have it to myself! Oh how wrong was I? While I did catch quite a few odd looks from passers by, a family with their little girl came down and decided to go in. But they were nice enough and kept out the way of my paddles. Then another guy comes in and starts swimming in a line and style that actually made me look quite good!
Anyway swim done and out I get and at the corner of my eye I see some technicians with some chemistry looking type jobbies. Hmm?
I go over to them and say good/bad? He starts playing with the water and it turns RED. I say again good / BAD?? BAD he says, no swimming.
I leave them to it go up and shower and then walk back down to TBB and see they have put up the TAPE!
Oh well too late. I am still breathing, my hair hasn't all fallen out yet and coach I am sure would be very proud of me...or NOT?! :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Goodbye Old Friend

I am supposed to guy to Ngae's wake and here I am sitting in TBB. My home away from home. It is probably best and I am going to say goodbye the best way I know how. Through the written word.
It's been the usual busy day but it wasn't until I got to TBB later this afternoon and sat down that what has happened started to sink in. I thought I was handling it all a little too easy, very weird. Especially as it really doesn't take much to set my emotions off into a turmoil. I edited a story today for the website. It is an amazing true story and one I have been waiting to tell since I first met this person last year. It is so bloody ironic how today I am editing this man's 'happy' story on a day where my friend Ngae's story did not have such a happy ending.
What may you ask is the link? The link is both men had a brain tumor. Both men are Ironman. Both men fought against the odds. One has a happy ending, the other has sadly departed this world.
Ngae's actions have made me look deep inside myself. I have had my own ups and downs, we all have. Funnily enough the last time I spoke with our friend was on legal matters pertaining to a personal situation. I am a long long way away from my family, so my friends here are my family. Without my friends my downs would have been deeper and darker and I may not have had the strength to come through. True friends are those that stand by you whatever. I mean whatever as in whatever you do, however crazy, silly, selfish, rude, arrogant you get...they recognize you are in a bad place and stand by you...WHATEVER.
Why have I been so sad this afternoon? Why do tears keep falling?
Because I didn't know Ngae was in such a dark place. I don't know if any of us knew. We would have been there I am sure if we knew. We would have been there whatever. But we didn't know how bad it had got until it was too late.
Goodbye Old Friend. I am booking my tickets to Kona and you are coming with me.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Loss Of A Champion Human Being

Life is certainly very fragile. You most certainly must grasp it, embrace it, relish in it, and enjoy it, LIVE IT. Ngae did this without compromise. Before his life threatening operation last year, I believe Ngae was already living. He never merely existed. He was out there and if you couldn’t see him on a Sunday morning you most probably could hear his rumbling laughter and banter in the cool morning air.
We are all inspired by people. I remember my first triathlon and there was Nage giving me support. As the months progressed he would then tease me about my serious ‘race face’ as the sport took a grip of me. You see Ngae always wore a smile from ear to ear whatever he was doing. And when in his playground of exercising whatever it would be he would wear that big old smile.
After his operation he appeared to bounce back from tragic circumstances. I remember visiting him in Brickfields and he told me about his new positive outlook. He was so grateful at ‘this’ second chance. Well I am not sure I can agree with you my friend about taking a new positive outlook, you were always one of the most positive people around and that is why you touched so many people’s hearts.
When running on a Sunday the beautiful highlight of the morning is seeing your friends, your comrades participating in the same morning ritual of starting the day with honest exercise. On those days post operation when I saw Ngae on the road I would stop. Something I do not do a lot of. But if there was one thing I had for Ngae it was time. We would stop, hug and say good morning before going on our way. He was so full of the joy of being ALIVE.
The last triathlon we did together was Putrajaya 70.3. He was so happy to finally be able to complete a triathlon again. I remember on the run he was wearing that big old smile and laughing. And every time he saw me he would make a beeline to the white chick with the race face. ON that day however I was smiling on the run and when he squirted Gatorade over me – I still smiled!
He was loud, he was cheeky, he was thoughtful and caring. He was my friend. He was your friend. He was NOT your average human being. He was Ngae. RIP; in your too short life you lived a thousand lives.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Hello Legs

Last time I rode Ulu Yam I was nearly savaged by dogs as I could hardly pedal up the first little bugger of a hill. I put it down to a bad day. And it is the first time I cut a ride short. EVER. Trouble is, I was having lots of 'Bad' days. Feeling under powered and not quite myself'. 
So used to having my health and not being ill, when I was actually struck by food poisoning I thought my super human resilience to bugs would shake it off. Oh how wrong was I.
So it has resulted in too many weeks of not feeling myself and ultimately getting quite down especially when at the back of your mind you know you have a rather big race to do later in the year. Supposed to be enjoying my base building, intense training but low hours at the moment; it has been two steps forward and one back. At least you could say I have been moving forward though.
So I attacked Ulu Yam again this morning with Jens. That first hill always gives me the hee-bee-gee-beez, its tough enough on your heart and legs without dogs chasing you!
Great morning for riding. Great company and I felt good and strong. The legs and body are finally back together and that has in turn given me a huge helping of much needed confidence.
Times are not something I make a habit of writing down. When I have a good one, I remember it. When I have a bad one, I remember it, because those are the ones that really build your mental strength.
Today, it was a confidence ego boosting ride. Not flat out and I still posted a new record for TBB to Ulu Yam and back. I am proud of myself today, proud and happy.

Friday, May 14, 2010


Gosh, my blogging is getting rather poor lately. I blame I am now content and media marketing person for the website - so don't like it, you know where to lay  blame! It is a WIP though and I hope you like the changes that are gently being made. The idea is to connect you all to the HEART of triathlon, it's not a website for checking out the latest gadgets and bikes, its a lifestyle site where you can connect to the  pros,  learn tips and tricks and find inspiration and motivation for whatever your goals in life are. Feedback, ALL types constructive is welcome. OK that's the marketing done!!! So now to my post for the week.
The title to this this post is not a reflection of my state of being. ON the contrary I am feeling pretty awake these days since sorting my health out. I forgot how a normal stomach should feel and also forgot the impact a bad one can have on day to day life.
No this statement is a more of a question to myself. And one I have been pondering over for a few weeks now. 
When thinking back pre triathlon days I remember always yawning. It didn't matter if tired or not. I would find myself yawning all day. First thing in the morning after good nights sleep and there I would be, in work or somewhere yawning my head off. It got to the point where people would comment on it as I did it so frequently.
It was actually quite embarrassing especially when in a meeting or doing an interview with someone and there you are trying to stifle a yawn. It was not the fact they where boring me - or was it??
These days I yawn very little and I don't understand. Three years ago my working hours were no where near as intense or hectic as they are today. Nor were my exercise hours. In those days I was playing badminton, training at the gym, squash and maybe did an average of 10hours a week. I had days off. It was not consistent.
SO now I have come to my own conclusion that yawning does not always mean we are tired. I have not looked into this at all, it is just my own simple evaluation - we all know I like to make things in my life as SIMPLE as possible! But these days although busy from work, and tired with constant goggle eyes from training I do not yawn much at all. I get up early every day and go to bed as early as I can, within reason (Read: I will not walk out of a movie or dinner date to make my curfew!)
I think it is because I am happy with life (Read: most of the time!). Simple as that. I may complain but I do know deep down I am doing what I am supposed to be doing and going in the right direction. Years ago my direction was clouded, the compass was way off kilter and I got a little lost. And so YES, I do think that my constant yawning back then could actually have been a sign of boredom. I wasn't tired I WAS bored. Bored with my life.
Well that's my non-Einstein-like theory and I am sticking with it :)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Stairway to Hell

I have found a new form of torture. Struggling to put in a decent run over the past three weeks due to my hip I decided that after Interstate I would re-attack the run with  a vengeance - I need to push through that discomfort and come out the other side. So that was the plan. Shame my body didn't agree with my head though and decided to get sick and both head and body flew home on Saturday and spent the rest of the weekend sleeping.
So, yesterday. Tuesday, is my run day. Still easing back into it, I am on medication and not back up to speed. So when your not feeling so great maintaining fitness is the goal. Up I get, runners on and out the door. Gently start I tell myself, and off I go. And...STOP. OUCH...YIKES what is wrong with my back? Okay lets try again shall we? Gently, gently catch a monkey. And off I go. And...STOP. Ye-ouch! Now I can take a LOT of pain but this was unbearable discomfort across my lower back and any form of jogging was completely disabling. I stopped. Hands on Hips. Think Emma, THINK. What do I do? (And don't you dare say go back to BED!)
Do I swim? Last time I was unable to run because of discomfort like this I turned to the staircase at home. Back then it was a last resort and yesterday it was again my last resort.
It is all well and good plunking in an extra swim but it is not what I need to to. What I need to do on a Tuesday is blow my heart-rate sky high. And swimming no matter how hard I try will not do that.
So back home (2mins later). Fetched a water bottle, iPod and went to the stairwell.
I live on the 20th floor. Right to the very bottom is 22floors. It is hot in the stairwell no real air..bit like training in a sauna so the bottle of water I left at the top was needed in between each set.
Set the watch, ipod on and off I go, down the stairs. The thought process was take it easy at first still not totally steady on my feet from the tummy bug. I forget my splits the last time I did this. And I knew the litmus test would be climbing back up - would I be able to bear the back pain?
At the bottom, touch the wall (anal I know) and back up, power up them stairs. At the top I am gasping for breath. My muscles are popping and legs are wobbly but my back...ZIP, no pain at all - RESULT.
Quick drink and off I go again. Lets start to push a little shall we? And so I carried on for an just under an hour the time it took me to do 8 sets.
This mornings brick ride hurt, still slow and my calves and quads from the stairHell were very ouchy. There was worse to come though as I checked with the powers that be and apparently I was doing a very good thing. Great workout. Which meant today after my 2hour ride, YUP I did a brick StairHELL. Only 30minutes today but this time I ran up the stairs. Well, jogged. OMG boy oh boy I think it is the toughest thing I have put my heart through for a long time - it was AWESOME.
I am hobbling round at the moment because my calves and quads are so sore, but that will go away. I am kind of hooked on the stairHELL training I think, sure it will go away and I hope it is not for too much longer as I may develop a rather weird running style (Yes, I know I already have a weird style, thank you very much)!!
The lesson I learnt? When all else fails and you think you can't...there is always a way to get the benefits without compromising your health and safety. Unless of course you go and fall arse over tit when running down the stairs!

Sunday, May 2, 2010


My Interstate was over before it really started. Ok, it did start. I did start. But for a couple of weeks now I have been feeling rather under powered. I put this down to my workload and solider on. But now it is time to be honest and to admit that my Interstate was more of a triathlon which included a wet night time drive to Kuala Kangsar with Disco and the gang. Not enough sleep and feeling decidedly dodgy Friday morning. Game face on and a ride to the first stop over - I forget where that was now!! And then a flight out of there as soon as I could possibly manage it. This is what happened and as usual another lesson learnt.
Riding a tri bike, there were a few of us, but I was aware and prepared to do the right thing and stay upright. Little did I know how this would screw my back up :( Some of you have back problems from going aero well it seems my back and neck do not like to sit upright. Uncomfortable is a nice way to put the discomfort I had. I rode with the pack, kind of and not really at the front. Was kind of getting fed up with people telling me where I SHOULD be riding but knew that this was about 3days of survival. It actually turned out to be just one day of survival on the bike however.
After a stop for a coffee and food in town with Dave we carried on to the 30k of hills. I do not know where my legs have been the past few weeks. Again, denial? Work I would say it was, anything except something wrong with my body. Me sick? Nahhh! I am indestructible!!!
Cramp came up and bit me on the inside of my right leg. The last time this happened was when I did power man for the first time two and half years ago. It happened then because I was a new cyclist. It happened Friday because I feel I was using cycling muscles I do not have. Sitting upright is totally different to aero. My muscles were not happy. I rode it through, relaxed fought the pain and it went off. Just as I breathe a sigh of relief there it came again. Arghhhh! At the brow of the hill I see abut 100metres away a support car. Okay...just make it to the car and have a drink and carry on. Just make it to the car. Ha ha! I could see the muscles popping and moving around in my leg. Was not going to happen. I unclipped and carefully stopped. Did not get off the bike, just stood, swore a little and told the legs to buck up and quit messing about and then started again. Got to the support car and they had witnessed my little fiasco. I am ok I told them it's just cramp. Had some liquid nectar 100PLUS and on my way. Feeling better, I then started to catch up with some riders who had seen me struggle. They asked how I was and I cockily replied aah the legs are working now! BAM. No they are not. Basically this happened 4-5 times. I granny geared it nearly the whole way holding off the cramp and when I finally got to the descent whacked it in the big chain and away I went to the finish - Thank GOD.
After I stopped, that's when things drastically started to go wrong. I was slightly dehydrated, and had serious stomach issues. I have been suffering for a month now on and off and again put it down to work. But it seems the bacteria had come back with avengence and I could not keep any food in me and just wanted to close my eyes and sleep. I tried to go for a run (stupid I know) and then nearly ended up fainting.
I skipped the photo session and went straight to bed. Saturdays ride was not looking good. My stomach was in such a bad way I felt really embarrassed and sorry for my room mates Chris and Bee!!
Saturday Morning. No way was I riding, after 10hours rest I felt worse. My stomach confirmed this. I was pretty fed up and just wanted out of there as quickly as possible. The idea was drive to Kota Baru and maybe fly out but I did not have my passport and was told my drivers licence IC would not be good enough. I seriously did not know how I could hack another two days - no offence to everyone there, the spirit was superb I just did not feel like being a part of it.
I felt sorry for myself enough as it was. Every one riding or supporting was happy and I just wanted to be alone and sleep. When people saw I was not dressed to ride the obvious questions naturally started and I just didn't know what to do with myself :(
I drove Dave's truck following Joanne and her co pilot (sorry forgot your name). About two hours in, I was dangerously close to falling asleep at the wheel. Driving in the middle of the road I did not want to take out any peloton!! In the end I had to make a call to Jo and ask if she could drive. I was terrified I would have an accident. As soon as she got on the car I was asleep.
I slept and slept and one time I awoke to see  Patrick driving! Thank you guys for taking care of me on Saturday. I changed cars and left Patrick with the truck and went in Jo's car to KB. They bypassed the airport first where luck finally was on my side and I was able to get a ticket with airasia using my drivers licence. It cost me RM194 one way! But I needed to get home and get to the doctors.
I got home at 7pm last night. I had some food which kept my up most of the night and this morning went to the doctors. Apparently it is not serious but I do have a lot of medication to take and must abstain from coffee, chocolate and banana's for a few days - not so bad I guess!!
After sleeping all of today I still feel buggered. My body aches and I do not know whether this is from all the car travel or from the body's loss of nutrients from not being able to retain any food. My legs feel numb and dead. And I am worrying on how this is going to effect me...yes I mean as in my training!
I should not worry however. Interstate for me was about fun. It didn't quite turn out that way but my race is in 6months time. So I have plenty of time to get better and stronger. I could have completed the 3days of riding through sheer stupidly and on the fitness that I do have. But I have learnt some things. And by completing the ride I would have set myself back maybe 6weeks, instead I hope that I have finally nipped this bug in the bud!
I am one of those people I am afraid that does not like to go to the doctors. I should have gone a couple of weeks ago when I had a bad ride to Bentong. I didn't see it, but the others riding with me did. So maybe when you can not accept that something is wrong, you should tell yourself to listen to your friends - sometimes they are right and we train often enough together to know when one of us is not on form!
So, interstate 2011? I hear it will be back to August next year. I think that is during my Birthday :) So long as it does not clash with the Philippines 70.3 I think I would very much like to go back and exorcise my demons!!
Tomorrow? A gentle swim to reawaken the body.