Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Value of Friendship

Going to race for me is just an objective.I race with myself and no one else. It gives some kind of target for me to continue training during weekdays and sometimes weekends.

It has been quite an eventful 3 weekends in a row, much to the chagrin of my wife who wonders what do i do during weekends. First, there was Century Ride, then there was the PD Triathlon and recently the Malakoff University Duathlon Series. Its not my objective to write race reports all the time, but the recent event caused me to ponder awhile and look at the bigger picture.

While running back to the finish line (I didn't know that UM is such a challenging course with short hills for both run and bike), feeling knackered, i was accompanied (what I thot was two friends) by three frens, who has finished the run and was concern by my pace. The first (Phoebe) paced me about 50 m in front while the other two (Ihshal and Adeline) ran along side coaxing me to give that extra bit and motivating me to run and not walk. In fact, i even managed to overtake another runner towards the finish line, when i thot i have nothing else to give, such is the power of motivation.

Looking back, to all the race bunnies which had motivated me, the three above, Maysenn and Joanna, it brings new meaning to the word friendship. Its not about the race, its about the willingness to celebrate the joy of victory together. I wud also like to that Sulyna who came to watch.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Weekend Warrior - The PD International Triathlon

What could be my most satisfaction experience to date this year must have been the PD International Marathon. The feeling of euphoria of receiving the finisher medals and then handing it out to my team mates is pure joy although i was in pain and close to dehydration.

How the event unfold was the following:-

Our swimmer was flagged of at 8:20 am and he came in under 30 minutes to tag Chipang our cyclist. Now, normally for a 40km course, one would average about 1 hour 15 to 1 hour 30 minutes. Coming to the 1 hour 30 minutes mark, I received news that our cyclist had a puncture and could be late, it was about 10:45 at that moment of time.

There were only a handful of us left (6 or so runner) and our swimmer walked up to me asking me where our cyclist was, and when would I start running. His subsequent remark made me more panic, when he uttered "Oh, please, please..I need to have this medal after all the efforts I have put into swimming".

I sat there feeling helpless, since if the cyclist came back too late, it would be almost difficult for me to make the run and come back within cut off, and worse still, if he did not have the replacement tubes and pump, we will not finished and not get our medals. That was the most uncomfortable feeling that I had although I had agreed with Cipang that this triathlon was only for fun. I also was not sure how i could help Cipang out there.

15 minutes later, he came back and i rushed to take over the arm band to carry out my run at 11 am. It was blazing hot and some of the water station did not have any more 100+ or were on the verge of wrapping up. Standing down or giving up is not an option, I had to carry on with the run irrespective of the weather. Word of encouragement from fellow runners on the other side of the road encourage me to carry on and as I managed to overtake a few runners, i got to feel better. As I was about to reach the 5 km mark, i saw my close fren Phoebe walking. I slowed down and walk with her coaxing her to take my water as she had cramped. She assured me that she will recover at the next water station and i pushed on.

At the 7.5km mark, i was greeted by an Angel who had cycled to look for me to keep me company. With her coaxing, i had managed to keep a steady pace and managed to catch up with Patsy and paced Patsy to the finishing line. I had made several walking stops and had it not been for the encouragement by Patsy and this Angel, i would not have made good time back under the hot scorching sun of PD. I reached back at the finishing line and was greeted by the medals and a cold towel.

I had not let my team down.........what a weekend.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Century Ride 2008

KRI (Kelab Roadrunners Ipoh) annually organizes the Century Ride. This is my first time that I am attending it together with some of the PCC members. Upon arrival at Casurina Ipoh to collect our goodie bags, we were enlighten with the "ride/race" briefing ala PCC Interstate. The tulips accompanied within the goodie bags also reminds me of the Interstate.

Upon collecting some of the goodies and stuff, we then went out to recce the start point of the ride which happen to be closer to Chemor town (ie 10km from Ipoh). Back we went for rest and pre ride bike check and some carbo loading at Tesco extra Ipoh.

Early morning of Sunday, we pushed of towards the start point and were there much like PCC normal 160km ride. Except rather then the usual 60 odd riders, we were amassed with 400+ officially riders and "unofficial" riders. PCC was well represented with familiar faces such as Adzim, Andrea, Azhar, Chris Milton, Daniel Lim, Lim Yew Meng, Lisa, PK and family (already one small peloton), Terry and William. Other familiar faces were Abu, Fadzil, Jaja, Ihashal, Azmar, Shazly, Stupe, Laif and Wendy (she is so much prettier in real life).
I would say that atmosphere was like a Competitive Carnival kind of atmosphere and the makeshift car park was packed. We checked in and was flagged of at about 7:10 am. The route and Terrain was (as typically described by PCC) described as rolling hills was actually flat downhill for 40km and then short undulating walls of climbs. For those who did not do the full route, it can be described as a mix of two of Puncak Alam Dragon Back, Temple Section before Ijok, Batu Arang and Sungai Tengi all in one ride. It was quite a fast ride for those who manage to cling on to the Peloton but was a lonely ride for me back to the starting point as I suffered severe cramps.

Unfortunately, I have not been heeding the advice that I usually give most people, drink every 15 minutes on long rides – well, I deserved the cramps that hit me immediately after the second water station. I would like to record my thanks to Azmar though for stopping by and dropping a few salt tablets to help me recover. Those bus stops along the Kuala Kangsar Sungai Siput road look very tempting though, for me to stop and have a nap. The weather was, however quite beautiful though, (wonder how KRI manages to managed that as well) so I pulled myself back to start line after 7 hours.

Overall, i would like to congratulate KRI for the enjoyable ride. The Marshalling was excellent, the water stop was very good and that last water stop with the sponge bath really helped me.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Life goes On

It feels as if it was only last month or last year when i was teaching my daughters on their pronunciations of words, such as buah (boo-ahhhh) or abah (AAAA-bahhh) or even mama (Mum-mah). This fond memories was triggered while i was sending my second daughter to INTI Colleague Nilai for her Australian Matriculation, owh , how they have grown.

My first daughter is already in Australia in her final semester doing Mass Communications (funded by her dad), while the genius of the family (IQ-180), the second daughter has graciously accepted a Government Scholarship (she was formally funded by Taylors) pursuing Actuarial Science.

I suppose the inner feeling within me is somewhat mixed and confused. On one hand, you see both your daughter as being independent and flying the coop so to speak, while you try to come to terms with your age - feeling that you are suddenly very-very old. This feeling gets further muddled when you try to pursue a healthy lifestyle of sports and outdoors.

You sometimes feel that most lifestyle goes through the learning, development, operations and later on renew/review (penchant). My life is supposedly on operations, but i now feel like going into the penchant stage.

If i were to review my life, there are so many gaps, that i wish i could have been more adventurous and done better. Moving on, i now try to seize the day while always trying something new. This lifestyle can sometime take a toll on your family, but i sometime feel that time is of the essence and which i might not have the luxury and enough of.