Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year ....and the Man Of Gods Peace

"It took me a long time and most of the world to learn what I know about love and fate and the choices we make, but the heart of it came to me in an instant, while I was chained to a wall and being tortured. I realized, somehow, through the screaming in my mind, that even in that shackled, bloody helplessness, I was still free: free to hate the men who were torturing me, or to forgive them. It doesn't sound like much, I know. But in the flinch and bite of the chain, when its all you have got, that freedom is a universe of possibility. And the choice you make, between hating and forgiving,can become the story of your life."

The opening lines to my holiday read , Shantaram ( Man of God's peace) by Gregory David Roberts.

I have never been captured by any other book then after reading just the opening paragraph of this book .I have not finished the book but it has been all it suggest and has been said by it in various reviews. I am not one for fiction but I seemed to be drawn to books with not only a story but a moral compass.There are many notable lines in this book and a website full of various readers favorites.

But the first paragraph encapsulates life's experience and how every decision we make has outcomes ...not all wonderful but we can learn to cope and move on or stagnate in the error of our judgment.Its a joy reading a book that opens up a part of life in the case of Shantaram , the underbelly of the city of Mumbai with all its interesting characters and the misery and joys of life.It has the philosophy gently massaged into the story and it makes you think. 

Why do we suffer , where are we going , what is the meaning of life. ...I haven't finished the book but it is a nice distraction on the bus , the train and just to pass the time away. What does this have to do with triathlons and training .Probably not a lot other than for two important lessons from my perspective.

One, learning from experience has no better teacher and being able to reach balance in one,s life is so fundamental to living life to the fullest but paramount to fulfilling ones true potential in anything. Like so many imponderables we face , we have no life's map to guide us ,we must find our way , make mistakes and live with them ,right or wrong . As with training it fits within the bigger me and my life and if out of kilter with my other responsibilities or if my mix of training is all wrong , the results will show .

It is a thought provoking book which kick starts 2011. Happy New Year and may 2011 be the realisation of many dreams.

Some further memorable lines in the book which I have listed below:

I know now that it's the sweet, sweating smell of hope, which is the opposite of hate; and its a sour, stifled smell of greed, which is the opposite of love.

“The truth is that there are no good men, or bad men, he said. It is the deeds that have goodness or badness in them. There are good deeds, and bad deeds. Men are just men – it is what they do, or refuse to do, that links them to good and evil. The truth is that an instant of real love, in the heart of anyone – the noblest man alive or the wicked – has the whole purpose and process and meaning of life within the lotus-folds of its passion. The truth is that we are all, every one of us, every atom, every galaxy, and every particle of matter in the universe, moving toward God.” Shantaram byGregory David Roberts p. 199

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Running in the forest

The last week of the year spent in Singapore has been relaxing yet hectic. Lots of walking and running every alternate day. Aside from running along the busy Singapore Roads I have done a run at the Dairy Farm Nature Reserve up to Bukit Timah Hill and this morning I did a run from Chestnut Drive to the Nature reserve then along a MTB trail connecting to a trail leading to MacRitchie reservoir .I got to 6km and then ran back via Bukit Timah quarry and the base of the hill to make it a 12km run.

There were a few riders and just 2 other runners for the whole 12km run .It was a relatively cool day with high humidity and I was sweating lots bit it was a really nice run with the muddy tracks and water on the jungle undergrowth .There was a lot more streams around than I expected .

Again it was just nice to be alone running in the forest with just the silence of the forest sounds and my breathing and heart pounding along. I had spent last night looking at running websites and Jeannette Wang's blog had a video clip of the barefoot professor which I watched and his explanation on the mechanics of running.

In the silence of running trails there is lots to think about perfect bike case , bikes , races I want to do and following from Enrico's blog, my bucket list.i did one 20 years ago and I will dig it up to see what i can tick off .It would be nice to just check back. and possibly reset some of the goals .Life is very much like a race , there are lots of turns and changes which require adjustment to the overall strategy but it is always important to have a road map and a finish line ....and trying to keep to the road map helps.

the barefoot professor

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas work out

The month of December has always been a downtime for me after Busselton Ironman and the importance of rest was clearly demonstrated this year .

But I have tried to keep up doing some activity and running and swimming have been the main pursuits as I don't have a bike with me.After my first run ,I am not sure I will be confident riding on Singapore roads anyway. I saw a couple of riders gathering at the old fire station at Upper Bukit Timah Road on my run.

I had a few near misses , the worst was crossing a zebra crossing with one lane stopped and the other was stationary but as I was sandwiched between the two lanes, the van driver took off just as I was about to step into his lane.I had slowed to a walk and fortunately I was watching his reaction .Had I just run across assuming they would wait at a zebra crossing I would be history.

The run was slow and easy especially with the adjustment to the humidity.

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I did a second run on Boxing day ,again just an hour but ran in the Dairy Farm nature reserve and then up to the top of Bukit Timah Hill ,Singapore highest peak but its more a hill.It was fairly steep and had to walk up the narrow steps . I ran from the Dairy Farm side rather than the normal walkers entrance on the other side of the hill. The track was very muddy and slippery so I went pretty slow and I had to dodge lots of walkers as well.I was soaking wet by the time I got home.

Nothing like a few hills to get the heart rate up . I enjoyed it and the running in jungle with all the eerie silence amidst the sudden crashing of branches as birds or monkey move high above. You hear your heart pounding and you feel the sweat tingling every pore on your skin. Doesn't cost anything but you know you are alive Pity that feeling can't be bottled.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas And A Happy New Year

To everyone who has stumbled or followed my blog a very Merry Christmas , may 2011 be a safe ,healthy and wonderful year and all you wish it to be.

2010 has been a quieter year by comparison ,with one IM race , a half ironman and a half marathon race with the painathon . It has been an interesting learning experience.I have had 5 bouts of the flu despite the winter in Perth being the driest for several years. I have done less mileage overall but have had a pretty good IM race at Busselton. It is a journey with finding the Yin and the Yan of training and life in general.. Work has been a lot more eractic and hectic with more responsibilities and work .That overshadows  largely my efficiency in all other aspects o lie and my training .I think I have largely got it right accept that the bouts of flu are an indication that I am so susceptible to getting ill when juggling everything .

The second critical factor is weight.I have lost some but have a little way to go.This is the hardest to master as I am constantly eating at the wrong time and missing meals when I should not.With this comes the habit of eating right .How often is it said that you are what you eat. Its amazing i have managed to complete an Ironman on the stuff I have been eating.

Lastly my running .It has been a lack of  focus and emphasis which I have kept meaning to attend to but is just a lot of effort .I just have to make the effort in 2011 to get more efficient.

If I can make inroads in all 3 aspects and keep my swimming on track , I know I will  be able to improve.

If there was a Santa Claus or St Nick ,that would be my wish list .No need or the training and planning. Just come ready to race with all the attributes built in .Not to be .I have to work at all aspects.But yet again I know where I have started from and where I am going ,it makes it not only a journey but an adventure.

For 2011, I have as my next Goal Ironman Lanzarote 2011 hence my byline changes to " The writings of a triathlete wannabe training for Ironman Lanzarote "

wannabe:A "wannabe" (slang for "want to be") is a person with an ambition to be someone or something that she/he is not. The term is mildly pejorative, intended to convey the foolish nature of the desire due to the incompetence of the "wannabe" to accomplish the goal.
( from wikipedia)

Friday, December 17, 2010


After Busselton Ironman I had  a nice break.Lots of sleep and rest.Spent a few days catching up with Enrico as he spent a few days after Busso in Perth. I had no injuries and made the quickest recovery from a race in my six attempts. By Wednesday there was no soreness in the legs and I had escaped any blisters or severe abrasions . I went out for a ride around the river on Saturday but it was a slow ride as I was racing on Sunday in the Inter-Club championships at Mandurah.

I had not done much for the week and I was looking forward to racing .I had the office Christmas function on Saturday night so it was a fairly late evening before the race. Got up and left for Mandurah at 5.30am and  It was an hours drive down the freeway.

Got there with a lot of time to spare. Set up my bike in transition and had a chat with everyone .It was already getting warm . It was a wet suit swim despite the water temperature being just under 22C .The girls started first and the men started 10 minutes later.The inter club race was a 750m swim , 17 km bike and 5 km run.

I had a reasonable swim but sighting wa difficult as my goggles kept fogging up .Did the swim in 13.50m and then had  quick transition and off on the bike although I had a difficult time remembering to press the buttons on my garmin so I could keep an accurate record of my transition times.

The bikes course was 3 laps and it was hard getting up any speed. It was quickly over . I managed to get on and off my bike without any difficulty and slip on my bike shoes without crashing. Dismounted quickly and did leave a shoe in transition . Got on the run course and managed a 24 min 5km run . The aim is to get my run time down.

I was shattered after the race and the rest of Sunday.The legs did feel heavy. I managed to do another PB with a time of 1hr 10min and was 4 minutes faster than my last outing at the inter club 2 years ago. North Coast Tri Club was 2nd overall for the Presidents Cup . (for the 2nd time in 2 years )

The rest of the week was pretty easy .I did no swimming and just rode on Thursday .

The rest of the time was spent catching up with life on the net ,work and more work. And starting preparation for the next race least the logistics of it. I will begin my preparation in the New year and the title of my blog changes with Busselton done and dusted.

With the entries for Busselton 2011 becoming available on 15 December , I was at the computer at 7am and got my entry in without any difficulty .I assumed it would take a few weeks to sold sold out in 4 hours. The sport or the marketing machine that is WTC rolls on.

Eneko Llanos IM Lanzarote

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

More Pictures Of Ironman WA 2010

Finish Chute Busso 2010

At Transition 5.15am

Transition area just before sunrise

Turn around at Busselton Main Street

Jonathon at Stop Just before we got to Busselton

Carbo Night on Friday 3 December 2010

Jonathan at a Busso Cafe on Main Street the day before the race

Coming into the turnaround on Queen Street

!km from the finish
 Video of the finish taken by Dennis T

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Ironman Busselton 2010 has come and gone.Another chapter in life completed . I finished in 11.37 , a PB for me and I had a PB in my swim , bike and run . I can't be happier.

But there is always room for improvement . The weather was kind but for some winds on the cycle course . I arrived in Busselton with the family on Friday morning , the weather forcast was thunderstorms on Sunday and the winds on Friday in Buselton were gusting .It wasn't looking good. The new transition area was on the opposite side and the finish was now on the main street. I got registered and immediately got to the chalet at Mandalay Caravan Park and got my gear sorted out. Spent the rest of the day doing nothing.Went to the carbo night which was quite good .Mike Reilly was the MC for the night and there were no performing acts but just interviews wih interesting characters in the race and the pros. Food wasn't too bad . The company was priceless.

Met up with everyone , including Jeff and Debbie Smith from ironman Japan tritravel group , Shane from tri travel and now general manager of WTC Australia. Met marcus who was in tri Travel Japan in 2008 and Russel Cook at the transition on race day.

As Mike Reilly said at Carbo Night , when you do an ironman you become part of one big family . There is a binding spirit that ties everyone in this sport together.

On Satuday I did a short swim , ride and bike just to loosen the legs .I felt good and just a little nervous.Nothing like my first Ironman race .
I spent Saturday with Jonathan and we checked the finish line. Jonathan even got to run through the finish line before he got chased off by the workmen putting it up. he was most fasinated by the Portaloos and wants one ???? .He helped me check in my bike and the gear. It rained off and on during the day .One thing was sure it was not going to be a hot race day.
I had all my nutrition sorted out and salt and electrolyte.

Race Day .It was a calm and ver still day .I had an early night and anaged to sleep well .Got up at 3 am and got myself ready. Breakfastwas a bidon of gatorade and a slice of toast . I caught the3.45am bus put onby the organisers to the start area. I was early but with transition closing at 5am I wanted to get myself sorted out. The ocean looked perfect for the race and I have yet had a difficult start at Busso atleast weather wise. Got the tyres checked a bit late but paranoia made me pump them again. someones tyre exploded and I say one guy change his tubular . All nerve wrecking at that time of the day.

Got body mark ...F for fabulous as the body marker said ...not fast. Into my wetsuit and I was ready. Itwas a bit of a wait as the pros went off at 5.30am and we went off at 5.45am .

It was a washing machine as in all ironman swim starts .However , I managedto follow and draft behind someone for most of the first half of the swim.It was pretty rough with the number of swimmer around me but I felt very comfortable.I did not once get too exhausted. I had a twinge of a cramp in my left leg but it soon passed. I got round the jetty and then tried to find someone to draft off and found it more difficult and felt I did lose a bit of time just zig zagging the course. My sense of direction was always bad. Something to work on with my swim time.

I made it to the end in 1.20 a PB by 3 minutes . I had my garmin but unfortunately I thought it was on multisport mode but it was on bike so it
was just one big stopwatch for the day .No individual results of each segment.

I got to the transition running pass lots of people walking .It is a race guys. There was a wetsuit stripper which was great. Got my belt , jersey ,socks and shoes on and I was off.Forgot my sunglasses but it was a cloudy day.

Off I went 3 laps of 60km .Made good progress and I was feeling quite comfortable in the first lap . The only real hassle was having to back off slightly when someone overtook me. I was averaging above 34kph at the first lap and that gradually dropped off to 30kph for the last 20km . I was eating lots and my nutrition comprised :

1.5 bananas from the aid statios
5 bidons of water
gatorade concentrate = 180gms carbohydrates
gels = 6 x 30 = 180gms carbohydrates

Dates, 1 protein bar and allens snakes and gingered sugar cubes.
It was a feast. I felt a little sick but I had more than 450gms of carbohydrates and 1800mg of salt.

I managed 3 pees on the bike leg without stopping . I was glad to be off the bike and my garmin was at 7hrs 8 mins.

I was out of transition with a quick change of socks and top and a pee stop at the portaloo in 5.17min. Still a little slow. I had my gels in a bottle which I put on my fuel belt. Shades and cap on and I was off .It was nice to be cheered by everyone through the street every time we did a lap. I felt good for the first 5 km and then I just got tired and my legs began to hurt. I just kept moving as stopping would just make it worse. I held out on the cola till the 20 km mark and that helped.I had300mg of salt every hour and I was hoping I could keep up a 6min/km pace but by 20 km the pace was slowing to 6.30 and I held at that pace for most of the remaning 20 km. I finished with relief and I knew I would be able to complete my race in a new PB . There were lots of people who cheered me on from the club and whom I train with .I am grateful for the support. It was a great day out on the course and I even had a kind word of support from John McClean who was out on the run course. It made a great day even better.

The finish was a blur . I am glad and grateful for all the volunteers as well .especially those who held me. I was just dead tired. I had a massage , some chicken soup and then headed home. I got changed and some dinner and headed back for my bike and gear.

It was a great day and the weather was a lot better than last year . But an ironman is an ironman and it is never easy.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Tapers are funny things , I never am able to feel totally comfortable as I drop the mileage down . I feel slugish but that may be th lack of caffeine kicking in.

I had a massage  today and did little else.I have just been running and biking this week .I was suppoe to swim n Wednesday but could not make the evening session. I have done 2 runs totalling 18km and 2 bike sessions of about 70km . the ride on Tuesday was fun as I just sat behind everyone and felt great. On Monday and wednesday I ran . This morning I did head out to Nedlands and did a short ride round the circuit before heading back to the city.It was an easy ride and I just jumped onto the back of groups . Otherwise I spent the time getting my gear together and making sure I have everything with me when I go to Busselton tomorrow morning.

The car is packed with my bike and all my bags . I am ready and looking forward to getting down to Busselton and racing . The journey starts with the first step and with each step I get closer to my destination , I learn a little more about myself , I learn a little more about the journey and I arrive at the destination. I don't know the number of hours of training on the bike , on the pool and on the footpaths I have racked up but I don't think it matters much .I have had good company and great solitude on those many training sessions and long rides .

Goodluck to all those racing this weekend.