Thursday, February 15, 2007


Did not do much in the 2 weeks (5/2/07 – 18/2/07) except the followings:-


14th – 18th – Peres Climb – Titi – Reverse Peres Climb – 18th – 14th (104km)

Needed this ride to have a go at the hills enroute Titi. Started my ride from 14th while Don & Cecil started from home. Took things EZ in the 14th - Peres Junction segment - none of us did anything silly & chatted most of the way. Cecil & I dropped an unfit Don Khor right from the start of the Peres Climb. Didn't really push too hard & chatted with Cecil all the way to the top. Felt a little dizzy at summit – perhaps talked a little too much but Cecil looked more composed than I.

Re-grouped b4 descent and rode mostly together from Peres Summit to Titi. Had a good long break at Titi. With all the hard work behind me, I had the luxury to indulge myself with some noodles and half-boiled eggs during the break.

As usual, the return leg provided another opportunity for some serious hill work on the reversed Peres Climb. It was very sunny and hot by the time we got to the base of the climb. Too bad Cecil had some problems digesting his noodles and dropped off at the very start of the climb. Don looked rejuvenated right from the start and charged to the front. I'm glad he recovered or else riding up those hill under the late morning sun alone would be terribly BORING.

Hence it was Don Vs CKM again. I hv lost to him many times climbing these hills but today was not to be. On previous occasions, I attacked too early but he was simply to strong to be shaken. This time around, I stuck to his wheels for as long as possible and let him set the tempo.

How do you break someone on a climb like this? You bloody attack when the hill got steeper. That was what he did - on at least 3 occasions. He jumped off his saddle & attacked. I had a tough time responding. On one occasion, I momentarily lost focus and a gap almost developed. Luckily he did not see it & I managed to pull myself together and got behind his wheels again.

About 2/3rd up the summit, there were several declines followed by some steep inclines. It was shortly b4 we reached that stage that I launched an attack of my own. It wasn't planned - I just felt good & I jumped off my saddle and pushed ahead of Don. Saw in the corner of my eyes that Don did not respond. So I paddled hard for a few more seconds and opened up a gap b4 the 1st decline. I wanted to beat him so much, I shifted to heavy gears & charged down the 1st decline to build up sufficient momentum for the oncoming incline.

At the top of the 1st incline, I looked back and saw nothing - I have dropped the Great Don Khor. I didn't allow myself to slow down until I reached the last corner b4 the summit. He came in not too far behind followed by Cecil shortly.

Don is undoubtedly in a different class (he is a champion in the veteran category) and to be able to get one back on him was truly unforgetable. And I didn't mind that he was not at his best that day.

In case you do not know him, he is one of the Powerbar trio heading for Langkawi.

Picture taken from (From Left - Don Khor, Wong Ah Thiam & Hairul Azwar Hashim)
We re-grouped at the summit and rode down to Peres Junction together. On the way down, we bumped into 2 Ironmen in the making - Azwar and Azim riding up Peres. Don later had a puncture near Sg Gabai and he got his wife (who happened to be nearby) to pick him up. Cecil & I rode back to 14th together and had a short sugar cane break at 18th.

Much later that day, the LTdL passed by the very hills at Peres but I did not linger to watch the race. I had to rush home to attend to more pressing family matters.


Lap Time

Finally, my last long swim. Had planned to do this during taper since it is the easiest to recover from compared to bike or run. Was to do it last Wednesday when Don prescribed a 1x4000 swim (Don is also my swimming coach at Chin Woo). But I missed that session due to family matters. Today, I swam the 1x4150 alone while the rest of the Chin Woo Gang did the usual interval stuff.

Again, I aimed for 1x4000 but lost count of laps in between 500s and ended up with 4150. Am very pleased with overall timing and 500 splits. But pacing was all wrong - gone a little too hard in 1st 1000. Overall swim did not feel like forever but arms were very tired towards the end. I was last to leave to pool. By the time I finished, everyone has already gone home. Must be the positive effects from the taper, my overall time was some 3 minutes faster than a 1x4100 I did on 24/1/07.

With that I was done with my long swim and my overall IM training programme. I managed to do all I set out to do since October 2006 except for the long bike/ run brick of 150km + 20km.

Longest swim todate 1x4150 (14/2/07), longest ride 202km (28/1/07), longest run 42km (4/2/07) and longest bike/run brick 134km + 14km (18/11/06). Total IM mileage (since early October 2006) – Swim 100400 metres, Bike 3106km and Run 616km. All these numbers are meaningless unless I can pull off another finish on Race Day.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Got this comment in my recent post entitled IM LANGKAWI 2007 BIKE COURSE:-

"I previewed stretch A last weekend while up there kayaking. It seemed to have a 2-3km uphill going past the Jalan Gunung Raya road. My reading is that Stretch A will be covered more than once. So it should be a hilly course. Also the u-turn at the far end of Stretch B, maybe moved farther out, where there is a couple hills. S"

Steve - Is that you???

Friday, February 09, 2007


Sunday, 4 February 2007

Lap Time
Lap 2
Lap 3
Lap 4
Lap 5
Lap 6
Lap 7
Lap 8
Lap 9
Lap 10
Lap 11
Lap 12

This was one of those sessions that I must do b4 I taper. It was a must because I thot it would be a good mental training. Each of these 12 BIG laps (3.5km) felt like forever to run. I felt great when I completed 12 laps around this time last year while training for IM2006.
So far this season, I hv done 10 laps at Precinct 1 twice and logged 3:39:14 and 3:42:58 respectively. My 10 lap split of 3:41:09 today was within that range. Overall time of 4:22:21 was identical (down to the seconds) with same 1x12 set I have done here back in January 2006.
Set up my water station by the side of the road and started the run at dawn - when the moon was still very bright. Took some pictures of myself to see how I looked like b4 and after 42km.
Dawn @ Precinct 1
B4 run; smile-lah.
Although I ran solo, I was not alone that morning. I counted at least 4 groups of cyclists – Peter Lau & gang, a group on mountain bikes, a Mat Salleh couple (who did some bike/run) & another group of about 8 roadies AND my friend Freddie Tang riding solo.
My 1st 6 laps felt like forever. Energy level started to dip in Lap 7. Gelled up at end of lap 7 and felt re-charged. Kept tell myself to stop bitching about how many laps I have done thus far and instead concentrated on my pace in the current lap. Felt stronger after Lap 10. Pushed harder in the last 2 laps and finished strong.
With that I am done with my long runs.
After 42km - trying hard to smile.
Nutrition/ hydration for the day - tuna sandwiches for breakfast, 1/2 PowerBar, 1 PowerGel & 2.5 litres of water.

Water station.

More bottles in the plastic bag.
Ahhhhhh....I did not leave anything behind after the run. I cleared up the mess b4 I went home.


Tuesday, 1 February 2007 (FT Day)

Bdr Bkt Puchong 2 (BBP2) – Meranti – Cyberjaya – Persiaran Selatan (highway behind PICC) – Saujana Desa – Jenderam - BB Salak – Sepang – Lukut – PD Town – Admiral Marina (u-turn) – PD Town – Costa Rica Hotel – Lukut – Sepang – BB Salak – Jenderam – Saujana Desa – Persiaran Selatan – Precinct 1 – Cyberjaya – Meranti – BBP2
I have ridden so much lately, a ride to PD & back was no big deal anymore. Original plan was a solo bike/ run brick in Putrajaya. But Don invited me to ride with him. I started from home at BBP2 at 7.00 a.m. while Don & the Chin Woo Gang started from Cheras. I was suppose to meet up with them near Saujana Desa (15km b4 Salak Tinggi) but I missed them and ended up riding to PD all by myself.
It drizzled when I was riding towards Salak. But the weather held on nicely and remained cloudy & cool thru'out the day. Called Don at Salak, Sepang and Lukut but could not get him. Then, I saw Simon Cross riding on the opposite side of the road when I passed Avillion, PD. I was determined not to turn back until I got to Admiral Marina. I finally got thru to Don when I reached at Admiral Marina. They had already been there earlier and were having a break at a coffee shop outside Costa Rica Hotel, PD Town. I rode off quickly and united with them at the coffee shop.
Trek @ Marina
To my surprised, there were only 3 from Chin Woo – Don himself, Sam Pritchard & Ben. We had 2 Simons with us that morning – Simon Lau & Simon Cross. All of us, except Ben, are heading for IM Langkawi.
Had a long 30 minutes break and abstained from having noodles - just ate my 1/2 PowerBar and replenished my water bottles. I enjoyed the ride back very much. I hv been riding alone so much lately, I hv forgotten how nice it was to have the company of friends.
It was also good to know that I am not the odd one doing big miles in my build-up for IM. These guys are training hard too.
We had another short break b4 Salak for some fresh coconut drink. Later, Sam and Don dropped me after a climb outside Salak. Managed to keep them in sight but only until Kg Jenderam. When I got to the Saujana Desa junction, they were about 1/2km ahead of me. I could see them at the top of the hill as I approached that junction from far. I left them from there and headed for Putrajaya and home alone.
Simon Lau - B4 we parted.
Felt good when I got home. It was still cloudy & cool - so I slipped on my trainers and ran 7km in my neighbourhood. Had a good run - legs felt light and had no cramps. With that I am done with my long rides.
Enjoying my favourite Endurox after the run.
Nutrition/ hydration for the day - 1/2 PowerBar, 3 PowerGel, 1800 ml Gatorate, 650 ml 100-PLUS, 2 glasses of coconut drink and Endurox Recovery Drink.
Total Distance 184km bike + 7km run
Hours on the saddle 6:27:30


Tuesday, 30 January 2007.
Very pleased with my splits:-
Lap Time
Split Time
Loop 1
Loop 2
Loop 3
Loop 4
Loop 5
Loop 6
Loop 7
Loop 8
Loop 9
Loop 10
Loop 11
Loop 12
It was good to run again. Started from office with slow jog as warm-up. Felt discomfort on the left calf, still. Perhaps a little stiff but did not cause much problem thru out and after. Ran without my bottle carrier. Left my water bottle by the lamp post. Had a sip after 5 laps. 2 laps later, the bottle vanished - must be the cleaners. Ran last 7 laps without water. Felt very dry by end of run due to warm weather that evening. Strangely, I did not sweat much that evening -my clothes & shorts were almost dry by the time jogged back to the office.

Friday, February 02, 2007


22 - 28 JANUARY 2007
Left calf still in pain and legs kept sinking, courtesy of cramps sustained during Sunday's Long Run. Lap times plunged to new lows - even slower than when I first started swmming seriously. Did 8x100 + 4x100 (with pull buoy) and retired early.
Still limping. Calf still stiff and running was impossible. Could spin (seated) on trainer though. Did 1x20km spin + 25 x (30seconds All Out/ 30 seconds EZ) until I saw STARS.
Program given by Coach Don for the day was simple - just jump in at 8.00 p.m. sharp and swim 1x5000m. Had no doubt in my mind that I could not possibly cover that distance in the 1 1/2 hour window. Hence, my personal target right from the start was only 1x4000. My longest swim todate was only a 1x3000 logged early Jan 2007. Hence, a 1x4000 would be a big jump.
Glad the legs were stronger now and did not sink too much. 1st 1500 split was not too bad but my 500m splits slipped to >11:00 in the rest of the swim. Mis-counted my laps and ended up swimming 1x4100 in 1:29:14.
Left calf was still very stiff. Went for the run anyway and hoped legs wld loosen up later. Ran out from office (Bursa Malaysia building) to KLCC. Did 3 loops at KLCC park and calf got tighter. Walked back to Bursa and wondered when I wld get to really run again.
Good break from the usual long swims or intervals. Did 1x100 + 1x600 paddles with pull buoy (P+PB) + 1x600 front crawl with Fins + 9x50 sculling + 8x50 one-arm pull + 8x50 various strokes + 1x500 (P+PB).
This was one of those sessions I must do again b4 tapering. Glad that my sore left calf has recovered fully. Again, started the TT after the usual 8km warm-up along Meranti.
1st 30km 56:23 (Ave Speed 31.92km/h)
2nd 30km 56:21 (Ave Speed 31.94km/h)
Last 30km 58:13 (Ave Speed 30.92km/h)
Overall Time 2:50:57
Overall Ave Speed 31.59km/h
Very pleased with split at 1st 30km (Cyberjaya and KLIA Toll out & back). Despite the long hill at end of Persiaran Selatan (highway behind PICC) and a traffic jam at Precinct 1 Round About, I managed a similar split in the 2nd 30km (Persiaran Selatan - Precinct 1 - LimKokWing).
In last 30km (LimKokWing-KLIA Toll out & back-Cyberjaya-Meranti), held an average speed of 35-38km/h riding out toward KLIA Toll due to a tail wind but struggled to hold 28km/h after the u-turn due to a head wind (held around 34km/h both ways earlier in 1st 30km). Remained windy along Cyberjaya and Meranti. Overall average speed dipped to 31.59km/h.
Bdr Bkt Puchong 2 (BBP2) - Meranti - LimKokWing - Cyber Heights - Persiaran Selatan (behind PICC) - Saujana Desa - BB Bangi - Kajang - SILK - Semenyih - Broga - Ulu Beranang - Lenggeng - Setul - Seremban (u-turn) - Setul - Lenggeng - Broga - Semenyih - Nirwana - Tekala - Dam - Peres Junction - Peres Summit (u-turn) - Peres Junction - Gabai - 18th Mile - 14th Mile - Bkt Ampang - Tmn Putra Cheras
Ride plan for the day would be different - start from home at BBP2 and end at Tmn Putra in Cheras. The first 50 km was quite an adventure. For the 1st time ever, I ventured out from home at BBP2 and headed for Seremban via Putrajaya. Left the familiar Putrajaya territory after an interchange along the highway behind PICC. Have always thot that the interchange would lead me to Puchong-Kajang Highway. But immediately after the interchange, the road narrows into a single lane old trunk road. Thanks to the prominent road signs (pointing twds Kajang), I managed not to get lost that morning. After some 5-10km, I came to a junction that looked very familiar. Then, it donned on me that I hv been there only a few weeks ago with the Chin Woo gang en-route to Lukut. Followed the road signs to Kajang and found myself riding thru B.B. Bangi (the lake garden, Pharmaniaga, Equitorial Hotel are the few landmarks I cld remember). When I got to Kajang, I turned into the SILK highway and headed towards Semenyih.
Back to familiar territory at Semenyih and slowly found my way to Seremban via Broga & Setul. Thru'out the Lenggeng-Setul climb, there were markings on the tarmac for the upcoming LTdL. There was one particular marking that I remembered very well and it says
"KOM Summit LTdL" - king of the mountains summit Le Tour de Langkawi
Reached Chung Hwa High in Seremban b4 noon and logged only 92km. Had a short break at the same sugar cane stall and started the return leg. Weather was a sharp contrast from the cool & cloudy conditions I enjoyed in the last ride to Seremban on 31/12/06. It was typical CNY weather - sunny and bloody windy. Started to plan where I would make a detour on the return leg to make sure I log 200km that day. My options were Peres Climb or a detour to Jln Tekali (left turn at 14th mile junction just b4 last Bkt Ampang Climb). Due to the hot sun, Seremban - Setul - Lenggeng- Broga - Semenyih felt like forever. Had another pit stop at Broga to replenish my bottles. Semenyih - Nirwana - Dam was very windy and hotter.
Decided to go for the Peres Climb when I got to Peres Junction. I hv logged 156km by then. Hesitated as it was hot and sunny at base of climb but I climbed it anyway. Did not time myself but I think it took my about 35 minutes to reach the summit. Half way up the climb, the clouds came in. Coupled with the shades from the trees, the air turned cool and made the climb somewhat pleasant. Some girls in a car coming down the hill blew me a flying kiss for reasons unknown to me.
The legs felt fresher after the cruise down form Peres summit. Peres J to 18th was a breeze. Had another short sugar cane break at 18th. By the time I got to the base of the Bkt Ampang climb, I hv logged 193km. Climbed that beast in 17:18. Much slower than the 14:46 I logged on 31/12/06 but 17:18 was not too bad after such a long day. Reached Tmn Putra at around 4.45 p.m. and set a new longest ride record of 202km (up 1km from 201km logged in 2004).
Nutrition/ hydration for the day - tuna sandwiches for breakfast, 1800 ml Gatorade, 975 ml 100-PLUS, 2000 ml sugar cane juice, 1 PowerBar, 1 PowerGel, a slice of watermelon & Endurox Rcovery Drink at the end of ride.
Pit stops - 2 pee stops at Cyber Heights (KM15) & summit of Lenggeng - Setul climb (KM75), 2 sugar cane stops at Seremban (KM92) and 18th Mile (KM186) and 1 refill stop at Broga (KM140). Hours on the saddle - 8:23:21. Average speed - 24.1km/h.