Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Stronger Than This

"Cause I know how hard it can get
But you gotta lift
You gotta lift
And sometimes that's how it is
But I know you're stronger
Stronger than this"
- Lift, Shannon Noll

I gotta lift... my left hand!! waaahh!! It hurts. From my cervarix vaccination jab today. The nurse warned me, that if I don't keep moving my left arm, it will get worse. I went for a swim this evening, and every stroke of my left hand hurt like hell! *blinks a tear away* So I did what I could to make the pain tolerable. I swam a single-handed freestyle. Keeping my left hand straight didnt hurt any less, but it was better than the shearing pain of lifting it up and into the water again.

I miss my good left arm :(

Nemain. I will bear the pain cos I am stwong and am going to spend 6 days of diving bliss in Sipadan with or without it! So there! I just ordered my wetsuit today for RM366. Since rental is RM35 a day in sipadan, I might as well buy my own. Heck, I'd break even with 2 dives with the amount I spend on my own wetsuit vs renting one!

Btw, did I mention that yours truly made an appereance in CLEO magazine this month?

Not bad for 2010. One newsletter (Kiehl's), two cycling mags (Cycling Asia & Cycling Malaysia) and one beauty mag (Cleo). My 'pretend' rise to stardom! Hehe.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Clif Bar Triathlon Start Commercial

THIS is hilarious! But it really is how I always struggle and 'lose out' in the triathlon swim start cos i'm not VIOLENT enough to push and grab people's arms and legs to get up front..

I don't mind going through this training session though..:D

Friday, August 13, 2010

PADI Refresher

I took my PADI refresher course at Global Scuba Kota Damansara - finally! I had so much fun! Mostly to the fact that it was among us triathletes/runners/cyclists. It was quite funny too, when we realized that none of went for training that Sunday. Siok Bee, Meng, Celine, Yip, Keat Seong, Jenn, Mich, Raymond, Poh Seng...everyone! And of course, our master diver, Richard! Pictures from that weekend should soon be posted on Jenn's blog, so you can view them at http://jenn-on-the-run.blogspot.com/

Of course, the only reason why we would go for a refresher is that we would be going to Sipadan for a diving trip, and most of us hadn't been diving for a long time. I think you need to have at least dived for 6 months before you join any diving trip. Now, it has been 2 years since I last went diving. And the best part is, the last time I went diving, it was to obtain my Open Water Diver's license. It was one of those things I did at the spur of the moment, when I wanted to know how its like to 'breathe' underwater with the fishies.

This time, I will be going to Sipadan to obtain my Advanced Diver's License. I just found my OWD card, and it's still so shiny and new! That's not the best part. The best part is, my dive log book is EMPTY! Speaking of empty, that would be the soon-to-be state of my bank account after Sipadan.

12 more days! :D

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Century Ride 2010

I had a really exciting Century Ride this year! Despite the lack of training for long rides more than 160km like I did last year, I think I did okay. I finished in 5 hours 2 minutes, with 6th place in the Women's Open category.

The route was more challenging this year, with countless rolling hills and climbs.

There were 2 crashes that I remember pre-100km. One was at a traffic light turning where a gal and a guy went down. I had kept to the side and managed to avoid. The other one was a BIG crash! Omg. About 20 riders went down. Again, I had kept to the side and managed to ride off-road and weaved among parked vehicles on the side.

Lydia and I managed to hang on to the main peloton till about 90km where the climbs took its toll on our legs.....

I kid you not about the hills!!!!a

I was alone in no man's land for about 20km after getting dropped by the peloton and not having Lydia with me. I learned later that she had got onto the car because of headache and not feeling well. There was no point for me to turn on turbo power mode alone, with all the resistance that would waste my energy, so I cruised between 25-3okm per hour until I found some riders.

I lost this group after a water stop. I think I had gone on ahead before them. Next thing I knew, Meng passed me and slapped his butt, a signal for me to draft him and his group. Thank heavens! I hopped on his train, and went on. We took turns to work in the front, until I started getting that tingling feeling you get in your quads before cramps start to set in.

And it did. I suffered a really bad cramp in both of my quads at about 140km. Really bad that I had to fall behind our group and stop by the side to nurse them. About 10 minutes later, Lydia and Poh Seng passed me, with 2 more gals (I presume are Singaporean)!. Lydia and Poh Seng then turned back and came to my rescue. I later learned that Poh Seng had also gotten up the car as he was involved in the big crash and his bike was totaled. Lydia fed me 4 power gels in total and a whole bottle of her 100 plus, which kept my cramps at bay.

One after another, they took turns and pulled me past the two gals who had overtaken me in my distressed state by the road. Yes!! THis was the most exciting 15km ride of my life. We then caught up with Meng and the group that I had droppped from, and got them to work for us!

With only 5km more to go, I put in whatever strength and mental power that I had left to make sure the two gals behind me wouldnt catch up. I shut out the pain in my quads and the labored breathing in my chest, and focused only on my cadence. Any mistake in my cadence would results in a step further to cramping really bad.

And finally!! We reached the rolling stretch before the FINISH line. Turned into the road, climb up the last winding stretch, and get onto the drops to the FINISH!!!

We get hosed down by firefighters a few metres after crossing the finish line! There's Poh Seng in the red helmet, my hero workhorse.

This is my face after suffering 30km of cramps on a 160km ride! It is the expression of holding on to dear life and shutting out intense pain for more than 2 hours!

Me and my awesome heroes - Lydia on the left and Meng on the right! This placing goes to them!

For more stories, pictures, and official results from the race, hop on to http://centuryridemalaysia.blogspot.com/

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Port Dickson International Triathlon

This is it! My virgin Olympic Distance for PD Tri 2010!

To be honest, I hadn't been running a lot since Gunung Angsi in May. The only runs I had prior to PD were the short trail run in Eco-X, occasional brick transition runs after cycling with the 5 Bintang gang and TTDI roadies, and one miserable TTDI kiara hill loop the week before the triathlon, where Uncle Patrick and I totally missed each other after planning to run it together.

I did sorta train for the swim, in my new condo pool. Uncle Pat and I had debated over whether it was a 20m or 25m pool. Just to be safe, and follow our 'gut' feel, we decided it was more than 20m but less than 25m.

Back to PD. Cycling was no problem, since I was doing long rides with 5 Bintang riders and PCC every weekend. My concern was the night before the race. I had a dinner symposium with a Prof from Austria who came to give a lecture to my key external experts. No way I could skip this one. That'd be a CLM (Career Limiting Move). It would begin at 5pm and end about 9pm, with the post-symposium get together that may last till about 10-ish.

I had two options. Drive to PD early on race day and race. Or drive to PD late at night, get a good sleep, and race. I went with option 2. Which turned out to be the best of the two. Although I had trouble sleeping after sneaking quietly into Meng,Jenn and Keat Seong's Condo after midnight, (from all that driving and being alert without caffeine) at least I was relaxed before the race. No worries on where to get my race number, setting up bike, etc..

And...here I am again at the race start of the PD Tri. But this time, OD. (I did a sprint in 2008). The energy was really good all around me. Familiar faces and friends. All ready to go! Big crowd. About 600 over participants! It was a wave start, so we Women Open & Veteran ladies went in with the Men Veteran category. I had Debbie and Unc Pat with my start, so that was nice. :D

Off we go! 1.5km swim around the marina. There was supposedly this corner around the marina where everybody took a short cut around. Well, I didnt even realized it! I was just trying to avoid swimming off-course, and followed behind the bubbles in front of me. I would probably have shaved 5 mins off my swim time had I not kept changing between freestyle and breast stroke to check on my course in the sea. I guess its the fear that I would swim off course because I had witnessed a few swimmers doing that before. Now THAT would be a worse waste of time than changing strokes to check on my direction..

Hardworking photographers!

So Im out of the water..in 35 minutes! It would take approx 2 minutes to run along the beach and showers to transition..And off for the 40km ride!

First thing to look for while on the bike - peloton!! While most triathletes would be focusing on getting their rhythm for some good hammering on the big-0 chain, I was looking ahead for any pelotons in sight! haha.

The disadvantage of having to start in waves, is that you miss out on all the great pelotons that will form during the bike length while you are still in the water. But oh well, if I can't find it, I will make one! And so I did. I found some workhorses. 661, if by some random chance I see you again, or you stumble by this blog, THANK YOU.

I'm back in the transition in 1 hr 11 mins according to my speed meter. Now on to the run.

Running out of transition for the last (and most 'mental') section of the race :D

There were so many photographers lined along the road leading out from the transition, that although I was hurting from hammering on the ride, I sucked it all up and smiled for all of them! So what you see here in the pictures is not just any smile, its a suffering smile. Can't afford to stop, walk, and get my photo taken!

I suffered major cramps in my left quad..so painful that I had to stop and massage it. I thought "It's over for me. Now I have to walk. Oh no.." Then an angel passed me some salt pills. I popped two in without any water, and ran to the next water station and gulped down some 100 plus. I felt better almost instantly and started to pace with some runners.

I met Yuri along the way. We were both going about the same pace. I paced him, he paced me, and on the very last climb of the run, I blew up and got dropped behind..We had told each other before that, that if one of us falls behind, just keep going. I had him in sight the whole 500m back to the finishing mat.

I always liked this part of the race. All the YB and Dato's waiting there to present you with the medal, an ice-cold dripping wet Power Bar towel, 100 plus and water!

Yes! The finish line! I actually held back and paused to let him go over first, in order that photographers get a good shot of me. Hehe. Not worth racing to the finish just for time and share the photo finish with another person. :P

Few metres behind Yuri. :D Thanks for the run, pal!

Yay!! My moment of fame :D

10kms in 1 hr 56 sec! Just on the dot according to my watch..Looks like I still have it. With no training for the run, lack of sleep the night before, I think I did pretty good on the run. That's the advantage of being in a young body that can cope with sudden long distance runs. For now. Might as well use and abuse! Hahaha.

Here are the official results from the website:

Official race time finish : 2:54:06

Sub-3! Yay! :D