Monday, July 28, 2014

Things I L.O.V.E. right now

Let's talk about ditzy stuff.

This whole training talk is really wearing me down and after 2 days post a-bit-too-long-a-long-ride, I was still exhausted PLUS my quads are still feeling pretty sore (so obviously I ditched the long run yesterday...oh and today as well).

Let's talk about erm....stuff (literally).
These are some stuff that I'm totally digging right this moment!


1. Sweaty bands

Sweaty bands are the BOMB!!!!! 
Previously, I've used stretchy regular headbands (you know...the sort you purchase from accessory shops and the works) when I run to keep stray hair from irritating my eyes/face/me but they tend to slip further back and finally off my head and I have to keep re-adjusting it.
But with Sweaty Bands....never an issue.
Oh....and the colours and patterns were awesome!!!

Anyway my fashionista buddies from Sukan G are bringing them into Malaysia and I get my regular stocks from them. Click HERE for their Facebook page.
Or...directly purchase them off the official website.


2. Sun Off A Beach sunscreen


At the recent Xterra Putrajaya, I found this awesome sunscreen in the race kit. And they had a stall at the race expo and since being affordable, I bought a large bottle to give it a go. After all, I was using them (sunscreens in general) at quite an alarming rate with all those cycling under the hot sun for many hours on end. 
What I initially liked about it (and being truthfully honest) was that the packaging was extremely cute and the name was very catchy (ditzy...I know). Secondly, I like how it doesn't smell like the regular sunscreens. So I've been a Sun Off A Beach convert for the past 3 months and regularly use the Sport sunscreen in SPF50 (they also come in Anti-aging, Sensitive-skin & Kiddy sub-type).
Click HERE for their Facebook page.


3. Ash Be Nimble sportswear


During the race expo for Malaysian Women Marathon (MWM) 2014....the one that I dropped by for shopping purposes and not because I was participating in it (to be fair, I was racing Kenyir Lake Triathlon that same day), I stumbled on this start-up brand called Ash Be Nimble. I thought the name was adorable and the logo totally cute!
This line of ladies' sports wear was a labour of love of Hui (a very fast trail runner!!!) and she models all the stuff you see in the website. Yup...that lovely lass above is our fast-paced and fashionable entrepreneur. 


And since that very day, I've been a HUGE fan and a supporter of this local brewed sports wear. The sports bras are affordable and unbelievably comfortable plus the colours are meant to be fallen in love with! The range is still limited at the moment but Hui adds on new stuff every so often and I foresee big things in the near future for this brand.....so click HERE to check out the website.


4. SOAS tri kit


I came across this brand while flipping through the pages of Triathlete magazine a couple of years back and thought the idea of a tri kit with the female form in mind was a great idea....not just shrink a male tri suit and call it a female suit. And I really like a tri top that looks like a tank with a built in bra and no zip. So I put in my order when I found it on sale online and got Gracie to mail it over. The top is long enough to cover the lower tummy (since I had my six pack safely covered under layers of fat) and the shorts are very comfortable that doesn't cut into my midsection like some other tri pants. Oh...and the pockets!!!! 
Pockets on the tank...and pockets on the shorts. If you like pockets (where else are you gonna stuff all those energy gels!?!?!) this is the kit to get.
However...the drawback is that you can only get it online at the moment. No one in Malaysia sells it at time of blogging. Click HERE for the website. 


5. Pedicures


I get black toe nails on off. Hate it. Looks unsightly. And eventually the toe nail falls off. Sigh.
But whenever I get all my toe nails intact and looking normal, I celebrate by getting a pedicure. Then I got addicted to getting pedicures and made sure I never get a black toe nail ever again!!!!
I highly recommend Jac & Ivy Nail Spa. Click HERE for their website.
Anyway I'd stumble onto this awesome place coz I was stuck at Plaza Damas waiting for the heavy rain to stop and I figured I might as well get my nails done (I was getting sick of pink). And since then I keep going back to this place. Awesome!!!!


6. High 5 Energy Gels & Bars


Remember how I stumbled onto Ash be Nimble at MWM 2014 race expo?? Well...I also stumbled onto a lot of other cool stuff.....like these High5 energy gels and bars.
What I like about this gel is the liquid-ness of it as oppose to the sticky, goo-ey regular gels like Powergel and Gu gel. And its not overtly sweet like the other gels. The taste is a lot more palatable. Although I'm used to the likes of Powergel (creature of habit and a lot of big races keep giving them out along race route), this makes for a good alternative when the icky artificial flavouring of Powergel gets to you and you'd like a different (albeit less icky) artificial flavouring of another gel. 




The sports bar and electrolyte tabs are so awesome they deserve a whole blog post dedicated to it....which I think I'll do just that (so wait for it!)
Click HERE for the local distributor of High5 Energy everything!!!!



Later!!!!!


Sunday, July 27, 2014

So epic even my bum hurts

A couple of weeks back, quite a few of us flew over to Langkawi to recce the race route for Ironman Langkawi.

Why?

Well....I initially bought those air tix for a little R&R (coz y'know....my midsection is getting a tad too pale for my liking and my bikinis were a bit underuse of late) but somehow along the way it became a race route recce cum holiday....and by the actual traveling time itself, became a full blown triathlon training camp. With motivator, SAG vehicle and 'trainer'-cum-tormentor thrown in as well. I ended up sick and almost injured.

Anyway long story short (too exhausted from training to even wanna go sunbathe....and where do I even get the time to fit that in!?!?!?!), I found the cycling route morbidly torturous and came home with new found determination to get myself a compact crank for the bike.

Lini analysed her Strava data (miraculously her iPhone had enough battery life to accommodate Strava....or perhaps I should really stop taking so many selfies enroute), and concluded that distance, elevation and duration wise....the 180km bike ride at Langkawi was intriguingly similar to her Genting Sempah to Fraser's Hill and back ride.

And what better way to test out my newly installed compact crank than hitting those elevations all in one day!

Of course we had to be smart about it and picked the first day of a long public holiday (Raya celebrations) to do this ride. And we had to pick the most popular pitstop on many travellers' list before they hit the highway towards the East Coast, as our starting point.
So traffic was horrid.....parking was almost non-existent.....and lest to say, the cycling from Genting Sempah to Bentong was claustrophobic with the influx of traffic attempting to avoid the Karak Highway. It was always a good thing to know that my dues to my insurance company were up to date.

Road quality rather sucky if you ask me. Somebody isn't doing their job. Ahem.

After a quick brekkie at Bentong, we headed towards Fraser's Hill via Tranum (apparently durian farms aplenty)...undulating all the way until we started the 20km of uphill-ness until The Gap. Of course.....I was the last to get there....but I got there, and that's all that matters.

From The Gap.....another 8km up to the clock tower.
Regardless of normal sized crank or compact....my quads were on fire!!!!
I guess this stretch never gets easier.....unless gene doping becomes possible (I bet it is at some underground super-secret lab) and I could infiltrate my genome with some super-strength-muscle-gene-coding that allows me to effortlessly whizz up that hill.

I was starving when we finally got up there.
But after a quick refill....obligatory group photo at the clock tower....my toilet break.....we headed back down to The Gap.

Here's the thing. I suck going downhill.
Just as much as I suck going uphill....but with a whole lot more fear, anxiety and flashes of my-life-ending-in-several-possible-but-extremely-morbid-and-terrifying-manner.
(oh...is it just me?)
So whenever I go down such windy (and crap quality) roads.....I jammed the brakes to prevent my parents from cashing out my life insurance (I just really like to pay the insurance company for staying well and alive).
I swear.....there ain't no better way to work out your flexor digitorum longus than jamming the brakes as hard as physically possible while the meter still reads a speed of 45km/h.

After 8 horrifying kilometres down....(I was the last as always....apparently jamming one's brake while going downhill ain't very popular with the general cycling masses..or at least the ones that I was with) we had one casualty......someone skidded at the last sharp cornering and ended up with half his body in extensive abrasion wounds.
At least the bike was more or less alright.

Packed the dude off in the support car and we continued down the 20km of downhill from The Gap to Tranum. Did I mention I was hungry?

The weather had been gloomy the entire journey up to Fraser's clock tower and as we descended...it started to drizzle....and then a light rain for 1 minute....then poured like those water-works of a sappy Korean drama.
It was so heavy that I had more flashes of my-life-ending-in-several-possible-but-extremely-morbid-and-terrifying-manner. But since no one stopped I thought I shouldn't either. And continued jamming the brakes very hard...until I could not really feel my hands....or fingers.

With 5 more kilometres to Tranum.....I suddenly saw the entire group waiting at the side of the road.
Hmm.....never a good sign.
Second casualty of the day.
Skidded on oil slick on the road made worse with the flowing rain water.
Cracked helmut.....broken clavicle.
The support car had to turn back to pick up the new patient and send all to nearest hospital.

The rest.....decidedly shaken and disturbed.....continued the journey back at a much slower pace.

I was fully soaked and was starting to chaff in my tri-pants.
Stopped to slather loads of vaseline.
Still painful.
Still 55km to go.

Told myself that the support car hadn't enough space for another person (too much junk in the back seat) and I had no choice but to tough it out.

By some act of miracle I found myself in Bentong with the rest and filled up all our bottles before heading back.
Since we had wasted quite a bit of time packing off our two casualties....we were running out of daylight and still 35km more with most of the way an inclination. So as a group we decided to skip food (I'm sure in some other person's universe, that makes for a good idea) and try to rush back to Genting Sempah before the sunsets.

That 35km was torturous.
If a bunch of sadistic idiots got together to come up with the most torturous thing to do to someone....I am quite sure (at least for today it was!!!) it would be that exact 35km.
Bad chaffing everywhere....tired....hungry....in pain.....bad road conditions.....and going uphill.
Yea....rushing for time was the least of my worries.

The first 20km.....pure torture. Everywhere hurts. Parts of my body that I didn't know exist hurts.
But somehow....the remaining 15km.....seemed less torturous.
Oh I don't know.....maybe God really loves me.....or I had a second wind.....or that bloody can of Redbull finally kicked in.
(best rm3.20 ever spent!)

And before I knew it...I was back at my car.....sheer disbelief.
Garmin says 186.5km.
Wow......
And after taking in the epic-shit that I just did....the pain magically disappeared!!!!
(yeah I wish!!!!! Unfortunately no such luck)

Anyway....I'd like to thank Velocipedeworks for the support.....Alex and Leo Fong for the company.....Leo Loo for breakfast.....and Mr-six-pack for coming back in your car to make sure the slow cyclists (ahem, me) got back safely.
You guys rock!!!!

To uncle.....I'm so sorry about the broken clavicle. And for the possibly broken Ironman Langkawi 2014 dream. I guess sometimes shit happens. Will bring you out for Asahi when you feel better.



Oh...and no regrets with the compact crank.


Later!!!!!



Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Embracing the bonk


I know.

It's been a while.

What happened, you ask.....

Erm....in a nutshell, life happened.

But enough with pseudo-philosophical crap.

Here's a little glimpse into a teeny tiny part of my #roadtoironman training bullshit that happened quite a few weeks back.
This story in hindsight poses the question of how hard can one bonk and how adept are you to handle it.

Unfortunately in my case....very hard....and not too well at all.

This happened one week after Kuantan Century Ride (KCR).
(if you must know....the ride went extremely well compared to the year before. Partly because I was more prepared for the distance....partly because this time around I was better acclimatized for the heat....and partly because I knew what to expect)

The usual suspects suggested a ride to Sg. Tenggi, which upon return trip should hit around 160-ish kilometers.
Somehow, along the way someone said it would be a good (no...GREAT!) idea to ride a back to back century distance. After all that would make for excellent Ironman training.


* Picture courtesy of Alex


That would all sound fine and dandy if we did not take into consideration that the whole training business was back in full swing the Monday after KCR and I was already feeling the ill effect of the lack of rest (this whole rest-business could never be over emphasized!!!) when on Wednesday post-KCR, I find myself on the trainer cycling to nowhere for 2 hours and thought that I was gonna keel over anytime soon.

So on Saturday, with good reasoning thrown out the window, we headed towards Sg. Tenggi.....we brave (yet extremely stupid few) men and women......and then the worst shit happened.

........the body decided it didn't want to do another century ride.

It started with my unable to keep up with the peloton. I thought perhaps I was just tired and hungry (I'm always hungry, come to think of it) and perhaps a fuel stop ahead would solve this.

My forearms decided to cramp.
I'm not sure about you but I've never had both my forearms cramping before. Not on bike. Not on run.(ok...maybe somewhere along the way of an ultra at around 95km where everything in the body just shuts down but that is a totally different ball game, mind you)
Not ever!!!!!
But the pain from the forearms were horrendous. Next thing I knew....my shoulders started to hurt.
Then my left foot.

This was getting ridiculous. I was not even 80km in and everything was hurting. WTF!?!?!?!

I stared at my Garmin watch (I've started using my under-utilized 310XT as my meter these days) and watched as my speed dropped from 32kmph.....28kmph....25kmph.....22kmph....and I no longer see the group in front of me anymore.
Then the brain joined in the mutiny and the slew of negative thoughts came rushing in.
Seriously...WTF!?!??!
In moments such as these.....you either cave in....or you HTFU.

Till this moment, I'm disappointed (extremely!!!!) to say that I caved in that day.

.....I cried.
Yes while riding.
And as I stared at the meter that said 20kmph and I was struggling.....I cried somemore.
.....it wasn't a pretty sight.

Everything inside of me was screaming to stop.
I was alternating between cramping and being in pain.
I couldn't switch off the water works and I was still sobbing intermittently.
My body wanted no more and my mind was wholeheartedly agreeing with the notion of stopping.

I was all ready to hail down a cab to take me back to my car. Unfortunately there was no cab in sight and I had no choice but to continue cycling.

The entire group kept stopping to wait for me. I felt bad that they had to slow down just because I couldn't HTFU.
It was so bloody frustrating and I wasn't able to will my body to continue.
And it was even more frustrating when the negative voices were so loud in my head and the doubts I've harboured all came rushing in.
No matter how hard I tried....I couldn't get myself to think positive.


But I made it.....not by choice (I still couldn't hail down a cab when I really wanted to and before I knew it, I was almost back to the car park).

Back to back century rides....with no rest in between.
Dumbest shit anyone could have done.

However.....since dumb is as dumb gets, there was a silver lining to this whole "drama" of mine.

The realization that I wasn't as tough as I would like myself to be, mentally.
I've always thought that I could weather through a lot of crap just by being positive and upbeat and all those rainbows and sparkles and unicorns and shit.
But it turns out that I couldn't. I wasn't tough enough up there in my grey matter.

Or perhaps...another way of looking at it....I never worked on the mental aspect of this whole Ironman training.
All I cared about was logging hours and mileage.
(I also care about losing weight...but since that has been stagnant for a really long time now and take into consideration that I really LOVE to eat....I just had to give up caring about it)

Which then pose another question....how on earth do you HTFU mentally!?!?!?!?
Coz it scares the living daylights outta me when I consider that THIS whole "breakdown" could happen on race day. I need to learn to cope or have some form of buffer system....but how!?!?!?


* Pic courtesy of Alex...again



Honestly...I have no bloody clue.
But if anyone has any suggestions or ideas......by all means....I'd love to hear from you!


Oh.....the following week I took an easy week of training and I felt a whole lot better (physically and mentally) and back into the swing of things.

So yeah.....



Later!!!!





Sunday, May 11, 2014

Getting back to square one


Training has been a little iffy since the 70.3 incident.

How iffy exactly?
Well it has been a perpetual cycling of sick--> get better --> resume training --> sick (repeat!)

Here's a brief run through my week by week account:


First week post DNF

I took 5 days totally off training....got on a stronger antibiotics and as I was getting a bit too intimate with the Ventolin inhaler, was simultaneously put on Prednisolone as well.
The day I completed those 5 days of medication, I felt awesome enough to head out for a moderately distanced ride.
But unfortunately the very next day I was sick again....(and somewhat stupidly forced myself to go for a 5km run still. Yes I can be "smart" that way)


Second week post DNF

2 days later felt better and tried getting in some training time on the bike trainer. 30 minutes was definitely better than zero.
As I didn't feel any worse than yesterday, sneaked in another hour on the trainer the next day.
Yeah...I figured I was on my way to recovery this time around. Definitely...no doubt about it.

I fell ill the next day.

It was really starting to test my patience.
And for someone who has very little to begin with....that wasn't such good news.

Took a couple of days of just work-eat-sleep-repeat-throw-in-a-MC-day-in-between.

I was worried to return to training.
Going through the cycle again was very frustrating.
Then again, it's not like I have a choice.
So back on the trainer I went.


Third week post DNF

Initially got myself pedaling not more than an hour per session on the trainer and forcing myself to get to bed by 9pm.
3 consecutive days of such.
Didn't fall sick.
Decided to throw in a 5.30am pre-work morning run.
Sure....my nose was blocked for the entire 8km but it felt alright.

I figured it was time to get outdoors for a ride again.
This time around, 93km to Cyberjaya and Sepang through MEX highway.
The next day...a 2000m swim then later that day a short 6km run.
I think I'm getting back on track. I felt like I was on a roll!!!!
But to be sure, I took the following day off to rest.

Then ta-daa....I woke up feverish that Sunday and had to call off the pre-planned long ride. But towards the evening I was feeling better and extremely guilty for not being able to do my long ride....so it was 2 hours on the trainer pedaling to no where fast.


Fourth week post DNF

....and THIS past week.....so far (I'm trying my darnest not to jinx it) things have been going well for me.
I managed to do what I had planned to do (minus the swim as every time I planned a swim sesh, that evening itself there would be a heavy downpour. I figured God must not want me to swim much) and I was religiously getting myself to sleep before 10pm on most days (I got to bed as early as 8pm twice).

And by Sunday (as in RIGHT NOW), I managed a feeble (but considering the shit I've been through, then this IS pretty EPIC!) 9.5 hours of accumulated training this week.

Best of all....no fever, no sorethroat, no blocked airways, no nothing....!


Of course I'm hoping for more EPIC training weeks to come and fingers are perpetually kept crossed to ensure no more sick days.


I'm going to be a little ambitious and try to get my training hours to 13 this coming week.
Despite my mini bold statement I just made above, my real main aim is to stay ill-free and injury-free as long as I can.

But to be on the safe side....I restocked my paracetamols, just in case.



Later!!!!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Ironman Putrajaya 70.3 - 13th April 2014



This is not quite the race report that I've initially intended.

And let me just get it out of the way......I DNF this race.

It took me a few days to really get over it. Caught me a few days earlier, I might have gone a little teary and emo-wreck on you.

A very quick run down on what happened....

The swim (that was delayed coz some VIP was late due to....as expected..."bad traffic") went on without a hitch. Our swim wave was suppose to be at 7:41. In the end it started about 15-20 minutes late. Apparently I clocked in 47:29.....(thanks Chee Keong for letting me in on this info as I wasn't quite in the mood to check). In retrospect, I was and still am a little impress with my timing. My swim wave of age group below 35 (women) weren't that huge thus swim wasn't that chaotic. However I didn't quite like the deep water start.

I got out of water and ran into T1 to grab my bike.
I really wanted to get the cycling done and over with before it gets blazingly hot.
The first 45km I was a little bit tired but I guess I'd ease into the second loop and just get it done and over it. My focus was...just get onto the run!
Somewhere at 70km into the bike.....I suddenly realized that my breathing was rather laboured.


Some back story.....


I wasn't feeling well the weekend that Penang Triathlon was being held. I lost my voice completely, had prolonged fever and very bad dry night coughs. The voice returned 5 days in and the fever eventually subsided after about a week (and if I were to be honest with myself....it was bloody long and I was starting to get very worried). However the night coughs continued 2 weeks after the onset of sore throat. Some nights (and occasionally some afternoons) breathing was an effort. But I wasn't exactly gasping and I wasn't wheezing. But I did take some bloods and had a chest xray done...unfortunately that was done about 5 days after I started being sick and most blood parameters were more or less normal. Some resolving viral pneumonia at best. Started on Ventolin (doctors self medicate...a lot!!! Don't try it at home, folks!) and felt better.
But I figured I'd be alright.

As I'd realized by now....I'm a serial liar to myself.
I wasn't alright.


....and at 70km into the bike ride....I knew I was in trouble. I couldn't breathe.
I stopped by the side of the road where Aileen and Bandit were at snapping photos. I told her I couldn't breathe. She told me to drink some water and catch my breath. Asked if I was ok.
She looked panicked. I felt kinda bad.
Told her I'd be fine and rode off.
Its only 20km more.

At 75km in....the water station in Cyberjaya.....I felt like I was sucking air through a constricted straw.
I pulled over at the medic tent.
"Do you guys have Ventolin or a nebulizer!?!?"
They have nothing but deep heat rubs.
It would have been awesome if all I had at that point were leg cramps.
I got off my bike and got under the tent to catch my breath.
I must have looked like I was hyperventilating coz the girl manning the tent handed me a plastic bag to breathe into.
I got up and contemplated continuing the journey. It was another 15km. I could easily make the bike cut off. I'd still have 3 hours to power walk the 21km...(if there was any one physical attribute that I could rely on in times of desperation...I could always rely on the fact that I could walk....fast!!)

As I got up....I had an uncontrollable urge to vomit.
I ran behind the tree, bent over and projectile vomited out my entire gastric content.
And it was a lot of fluids!!!!
I knew then my body did not absorb even a drop of water that I had taken since the start of my bike ride.
Somewhere within my subconscious (y'know...the bit that I usually try my darnest to ignore), I knew I was in big trouble. My body wasn't absorbing any fluids. Must have been dehydrated quite a bit at that point and not to mention the fact that I lost quite a lot of fluids via my sweat ducts. A volunteer handed me some cold isotonic. I carefully sipped it to not trigger another regurgitative episode.

Its only 15km.
Its not that far.
I've done this route plenty of times.
It is definitely doable.

A volunteer asked if I wanted to continue.
YES!
I can make 15km in 2 hours.

I got back on the bike and started pedaling.
Only 15km. Just a little bit more. Just get back to transition. Just get into those Hokas and start walking.
I can still make it.

At 86km (the last water station in Putrajaya) I felt like I couldn't breathe again.
I pulled over at the medic tent (yet again). The volunteers came and poured cold water all over me and offered me cold drinks.
I told them I just need to vomit (body just wasn't absorbing anything I put into the GI tract).
After vomiting (nothing much came out this time around), I turned back and saw that the ambulance just arrived.
They told me that I couldn't continue the race anymore....that I was suffering from heat stroke.
That I was better off being sent to the medical camp back at transition for observation and IV drip.

4km away from transition.

That I was just told I was suffering heat stroke.

The delusional part of me argued NO....I could still make it.
The doctor in me reasoned that I could be carried off the run route in a stretcher in full view of spectators and their clicking cameras after I collapse midway on the run...which to be frank was kinda embarrassing.
Sometimes you just got to love the doctor in you.
I got into the ambulance...(after they assured me that Dylan would be taken back to transition for me to collect once the race is over)

And as they drove me back to medic camp....I wanted to cry.

I was disappointed. Severely.
It was one thing to DNS a race....but its another to know you're more than halfway in and you won't be completing it.

Anyway....after one pint of IV normal saline and my blood pressure back up to normal....I was discharged from medic camp and went off to search for my friends.

Yes...I lived to race another day.

But on a more interesting note....I realized that we sometimes say the darnest things to our fellow participants when they do not complete a race....and these are some of the stuff people told me (which frankly when the wounds were still fresh...was really annoying to hear)!

1. oh don't worry....there will be other races
--> ....I know there will be other races. But I trained hard for THIS race and for that reason alone I would have liked to finish racing it!

2. ....at least you're safe and alive
--> yes that is true...but really I feel like something just died inside of me when they pull me out of the race. But thank you for reminding me that I'm not dead physically.

3. ...you made the right choice by pulling out!
--> Erm...I didn't really make the choice. The medic made it for me.

4. Why the fuss...it's just another race!
--> It may be just another race for you...but when I've spend many months preparing for it, it no longer was another race. It was THE race.

5. No worries la...you got a free slot and you didn't pay a single cent.
--> Yes...this is as true as the fact that your frontal cortex is now located in your scrotal sac.....you anencephalic anal orific!!!!


In the end....

I went through the Kubler-Ross model of grief (go google it for crying out loud!) and now I've accepted the DNF.

I was initially in denial. How could this happen!?!?! This isn't happening for real!!!!
I was then angry!!! I trained so hard and I've done the mileage and the hours under the sun and now you're telling me that I'm suffering from heat stroke!?!?!?! This is SO not fair!!!!!
I was then bargaining....if only I didn't stop at that last medic tent. If only I had told the volunteers that I'd be fine after vomiting. So many if-only's and what-ifs.
I was then depress. Do I really need to elaborate?
And finally...I've reached acceptance. Yes I DNF. And no...its not the end of the world. And as true as they all say...there will be other races and events.



* Lining up to get Crowie's autographs....we were such groupies!!!!!! Selfie (groupfie) courtesy of Gary Fong (the ultimate HaBs)


* At bike racking the evening before. Thanks YF for the pic :)


* Thanks Wendy for the pre-swim pics. Your tan lines are the ultimate!


 * Thanks Alex (SamAY) for the awesome pics. So when are we cycling Ksel for McDs again!?


* Since Mr Anonymous going semi-pro, I promised to promote his "pro-ness" on the blog. Oh and I was told to mention that he would like more sponsorship. Pic courtesy of the elusive Nik Om :)


* The semi-pro looking awesome on the run! Pic courtesy of QQsNaP


* Uncle Bryan looking so serious on the bike. Pic off Nik Om :)


* Bryan on the run. Pic by QQsNaP


* Ivan's first 70.3....and many more to come, right? Pic from QQsNaP


* When I grow up...I wanna look like Karen!!! Pic from Alex


* Ooooh..when I grow up...I wanna be as fast as Lynn Guan with minimal training!!!! Pic courtesy of Ameeyn


* Super fast Lynn off the swim. Pic by KHTang :)


* Phuitin and new wheels!!! Pic by QQsNaP


* Going strong on the run!!!! Yes...those 5.30am weekday runs were not done in vain!!!!
Pic also by QQsNaP!


* And another one before our wave swim started :) Thanks KHTang for this pic!!!!



There were some other interesting issues that I later learnt about this race and the organization from some friends who were marshaling and trying to enforce the proper rules and regulations in racing IM races. Apparently no amount of international branding or international pricing could take the Malaysian mentality away from a lot of local racers. But I guess this could wait for another blog post for another day.

In closing, as a reminder to myself.....there will be other races and I shall live to see another day.


Later!!!!!!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

#trending #hashtag #selfie #cafes



So its the last weekend before the Ironman 70.3 Putrajaya race.

I guess I'm suppose to be tapering.
I'm trying.
Or at least my immune system is forcing me to.
I'm on the verge of falling sick again.....or perhaps not fully recovered from the previous illness.

But whatever.

This isn't about training.


It's about #trending.


Yesterday over dinner, Gary and Karen brought up a very interesting topic of discussion.
The trend of selfies and trending it on all the social media platforms.
And unless you've been living under a rock for the past year or so.....I'm pretty confident that you've come across Facebook postings of self taken photos and the likes.
Frankly I've been doing this for a bloody long time....especially when you run a very slow marathon and have nothing to entertain you but your own camera (disclaimer: I no longer run races with a camera), you tend to take your own pictures along the 42km of running....among other stuff.

And of recent, the trend of taking your own photo has exploded across the globe on all platforms of sharing, be it Facebook....Instagram (my fav!)....Twitter....etc etc.
Perhaps some people may blame Kim Kardashian.....or other similar celebrities (or pseudo-celebrities of whichever recent popular reality tv fame) with taking their own pictures, proudly showing the world their bodies (either through hard work and dedication or a trip to their plastic surgeon), outfits, make ups, hair-dos and whatever.
Somewhere along the time....someone invented the word SELFIE.

And from that point on, it has been a trending word.
(the development of front-facing smartphone cameras did help push this trend along too!)

Discussion came as to who first coined the term SELFIE.....and who has the right to say that he or she invented the bloody trend.
(and perhaps we ourselves should start a trend and see if it catches on on the social media platforms)

And honestly...who the heck invested the #hashtag?
(coz I can't stop myself from #hashtagging just about everything)

Anyway....of all things #trending these days....cafe hopping has been a "thing" with the urbanites of Klang Valley.
(I also found out that it is a huge thing in Ipoh and Penang during my last trip there)

My coffee-buddy Alp (aka the old creepy uncle) reckons that the cafe business that has mushroomed all around town has been everything but exciting to him.
Too "hipster" for his liking....(I reckon that's his age talking)
Besides....there are way too many these days and after a while, it'll reach a saturation point and people will just lose interest in them and they'll disappear one by one.
A good example would be with the bubble tea trend.

He reckons that we should just keep going to the ones that serve the bloody good, orgasmic-inducing coffee....and put the rest down to just passing trend.
And he reasoned that the food at most of these cafes, after a while seemed to mimic each other and there wasn't much distinction from menus of differing cafes.

I, on the other hand am of the opinion that we should keep trying all these new and "happening" cafes on a regular basis, to cross out each cafe, one by one on the list.
I want to try all the lattes at the so-called "must-go" "hipster" cafes.
I want to try all the egg benedicts on all menus.
But then again this stupid list keeps getting longer with each passing month that I can't seem to get through it even by half way.

So for the sake of #trending and #cafes, here are two relatively new places (one at Uptown and the other at TTDI) that are further saturating the pre-existing cafe market....and I'm throwing in the #selfie here and there. Oh and I'll up the annoying trend (which I'm extremely guilty of as well) of #coffeepics.

*Back-story: I wasn't feeling well when I woke up at 6am today to get ready for my last cycle and brick run training so I slept in, woke up at 8.30am and headed towards Kiara for a short run of hills (I only managed 7km but I'm tapering!!!) and bumped into a group of running girlfriends. We then headed from Kiara for breakfast (first cafe) then for dessert (2nd cafe).




* Headed to Epicuro at Uptown Damansara, same row as Maybank....right behind Joo Ngan Son bike shop. I reckon this place is about several months old. I can't quite remember what it was before it is Epicuro.

* Note: Its non-halal!!!






* Following theme of the blog post.....#selfie. On another note, the deco was pretty minimalistic and I really like the yellow metal chairs.



* #coffeepic #latte #trending. 

* The latte was strong enough but somehow it didn't bring out the sweetness of the heated milk. I've had worse....but definitely I've had better!!






* The menu selection was adequate. The food was decent. But if you're looking for pork-based pasta....I guess here would be one of those places.



* I personally thought the sandwiches were a tad disappointing but then again perhaps I ordered the wrong thing.



* We scurried over to Frisky Goat at TTDI (same row as CIMB bank) for desserts. Someone said this place was happening. They weren't joking...this place had a waiting line to get a table!!!



* Hot chocolate....



* I was told this was rather popular with the patrons. Espresso Creme Brulee. I understand why it is that popular. Very rich....not too sweet....and good consistency for a creme brulee.



* We were also told that the waffles were awesome. Let's just say I would definitely come back for this!



* Another #selfie with the girls. And if you find this annoying, then why the hell are you even reading this blog to begin with!?



* Bryan came later and he ordered Scrambled Eggs with Smoke Salmon. He forbade me to sample his food. Apparently I was spreading germs which would (God-forbid!!!) put his Ironman 70.3 in deep jeopardy! 



* More #coffeepic #latte #trending. Coffee wasn't as weak as I anticipated it to be.



* Last one before heading off #groupselfie



Anyway....on a less annoying note, good luck to all participants of the upcoming Ironman 70.3 Putrajaya. Sometimes I feel tapering is psychologically the most difficult part of racing. But then thats just me.
See you guys next week at Putrajaya!!!!





Later!!!!!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Down but not OUT




OMG can this be the longest duration I've been out due to a miniscule virus which strain I could care less of knowing!?!?!?!?!?!

I returned from Penang (having passed around to quite a few unwilling recipients of this ludicrously long incubating virus) and been on sickie for the remaining 3 days from work.
My appetite took a nosedive and I worried excessively for the lack of training. Not exactly helping in recovery.

Barely audible other than a whisper, I seriously missed talking.
(I don't understand why you people look at me like talking too much is a bad thing....never stop a lot of other people from doing so!)




Voice made a brief come back of sort on Thursday and thought it would be a bloody brilliant idea to take myself (minus voice) out for a morning run.
Of course that didn't end up going as well as I envisioned.
4km in and I was gasping for air, furiously sucking in as much oxygen my ailment-muddled lungs could muster.
In my hypoxic state, I felt light headed and whatever grand idea of completing a 10km run came crashing down dramatically (at least in my head it was pretty dramatic) and I had to walk my sorry arse back home.
Bummer.

Figured since still on sickie and having completed 2 courses of antibiotics (I was coerced into taking them) and out of paracetamols, I drove myself to work (once blood flowing to the brain has been oxygenated once more), demanded to play the sick role as best as I could and was catered to hand and foot.
Ok...so perhaps I was still being dramatic and I really just wanted a top up of medication (doctors love to self medicate...but you didn't hear it from me!), reassurance that I was not gonna die (but to be extra sure, I did make a point to ensure my last payment for my life insurance was up to date), more reassurance that 1.5 weeks off training wasn't going to have me keel over at my next upcoming race, and mostly someone to have breakfast with.

After Thursday's lack lustre run, I decided I was gonna hibernate the whole of Friday.
Of course that didn't quite turn out as planned. I ended up running errands the whole day.
And between popping over to the library and realizing I still needed to get Lynn's belated birthday present for her belated birthday dinner that night, my fever bid me farewell!!!!
Things were definitely looking up for the weekend.

Saturday, my training group wanted to recce the new Ironman Putrajaya 70.3 cycling route.
3.5 weeks prior to the race, somebody decided to change the cycling route.
I was planning to ride 1 loop (yes...it is still 2 loops of 45km) then brick run.
But once I got on the bike....whatever shit-ness I felt from being sick magically disappeared!!
I know...illogical but true.

My quads felt so fresh and I wasn't as out of breath as I thought I would be after each supposed climb.
And weather was AWESOME!!!!
Second loop in and on the last stretch the sun came out which made for a very hot brick run.
But I felt phenomenal.
Yes...I'm sure most of it was all just in my delusional mind. And perhaps all the body really needed was a huge shot of endorphin!





In fact I felt so phenomenal that I repeated the same shit the very next day with the Tadonamo gang.
Except this time around it was very hot and sunny.....and might I add, am now a tad bit burnt.
But still.....phenomenal.

And the best thing of all....my appetite is back, y'all!!!

I'm now sporting a rather raspy Scarlett Johanson-esque voice (or some might say a grumpy granny) until further notice.

No...I'm not loving it....but as long as I still feel phenomenal.......


2 weeks to go and counting.


Later!!!!!