Sunday, June 29, 2008

A Typical Malaysian Sunday

We’re having a Malaysian Sunday.
What I mean is were spending our Sunday the way most Malaysian’s do – slept in, watched a bit of TV, went to mamak stall for breakfast cum lunch, read the newspaper, afternoon nap etc.
Now for most Malaysian’s that nothing to write about, for our family it’s rather special. Our usual Sunday’s are getting up at 6am, loading bikes in the car or preparing run-gear and we’re out of the house before dawn. Only to return at lunch-time; half-starved / sunburned & windblown and smelling like a bunch of sweaty otters (if I’m offending any otters here my sincere apologies). That is those Sunday’s were not out of town and attending a race some where (which still involves getting up at 6am, preparing bikes, run-gear etc –you get the pic). Reason for our abnormal Sunday – Kalam returned from Indonesia late last nite. Our maid is enjoying a weekend off so I can’t leave the little ones behind. However something doesn’t feel right, life is too static; Need to take the whole bunch out for a swim or cycle a few rounds.
Prize money
Last weekend we took part in Miri-triathlon (Kalam, Danial and me). It was a nice time meeting up with friends at the race. Nice to meet Scalo and wife Katherine, Michael Chong for the first time. Triathlon Malaysia is definitively growing, this year more than 300 participants. A few new faces in the womens’s category –mostly other orang putih’s who are living in Sarawak.
It was a very hectic weekend, got on the flight to Miri early Saturday morning – met Neeza, Steph, Wong/Hafiz (brand-new papa), Steve and Karoline at the airport. Kalam with Adam picked Danial and me up at the airport. Went to register and met a lot more familiar faces at the registration site. Quickly to the hotel (this year we were staying in town –not at the race-hotel), pasang the bicycles and get our gear ready.
A few hours later of to the start of the sprint-distance; Race went okay – still don’t like the one hill – ended somewhere at the end to finds hubby and son waiting for me (slow mama!!).
Seafood-dinner with paku-midin goreng belacan (I really miss this dish in West-Malaysia). Coffee after with Scalo and Katherine. Miri is a funny town – life seems to end at 7pm on Saturday-night. We had difficulties finding anyplace that was open after 7pm. What do people do in this town on Saturday-nites I wonder – all go to sleep early (high birthrate I wonder enuf –stop this train of thoughts)…..

Next morning race-day; Danial’s first Olympic distance, he was quite nervous but determined to finish the race.
Flag-off; I couldn’t find my pace in the swim. Having focused solely on free-style the last 3 months I was disappointed finding myself unable to navigate and turning to breast-stroke instead. Swim was definitely more than 1500 meter and I came out of the water with just a few participants behind me (Miri is also a very easy swim course for cheating and I’m sure several participants did).
Those few participants overtook me in the first 3km on the bike and I was left at the end with a police-car following me all the way. I really have a phobia about being last. Negative thoughts ‘why be so passionate about this sport while you have no talent’ kept playin through my mind. I wanted to just quit but: so far I have never quit any race, and I started thinking about Patsy (she wouldn’t give up). So I ambled on, cheered on by friendly waves from the other side of the road, cyclists on their way back.
There is a funny little bird in Miri that doesn’t like cyclists. The bird will come and peck on the cyclist’ helmets trying to chase them away –cute to see same bird was still around and still didn’t like cyclists.
With a police-car on my heels I had to face Miri’s dreaded hill –how to push the bike up the hill like that. And as usual if the mindset is right you can conquer –so I cycled over the hill and after which the police commented through their loud-speaker on how tough I am !!!(yeah right)
During the transition I took of my socks which were wet and irritating me. A very stupid thing to do. A few km later my feet had open blisters. Running is never my forte and the blisters made things worse –once again I walked most of the 10km. One of the marshallers accompagnied me and the last bit I ran together with Kalam and Danial. I arrived at a nearly deserted finish-line (I should be used to that). However looking at my watch I realized I finished in 3.35hrs. A whole 25 min faster than my maiden triathlon one year earlier.
Danial was estatic, having finished his first OD in 3.15hrs.

Lunch and prize-giving was fun. I got third prize for the sprint-distance (apparently two other women in my category didn’t finish). Nice to share the podium with Lea – one of my idols.
And being the last finisher I still earned RM100 for finishing 8th in the OD womens veteran category. For a moment Kalam and Danial wished they were middle-aged women hihi….

Back to hotel, short nap, pack bikes and gear, to airport, etc etc. Arrived home at 2am Back to work and normal life after a few hours and a short sleep…

During the cycling-leg in Miri one thing became evident – I need to get another bike. My Scotty is a size 52 which is actually too big for me. Last Friday on our weekly Putrajaya nite-ride I used Kalam’s bike and the difference was huge. Normally I start to squirm after 20km and my body starts to hurt in various places but with Kalam’s bike I was fresh after 45km. Hills normally dreaded, I now had the power to push. So I have to start looking for a smaller bike- however need to locate a budget first (Who wants to sponsor an overweight middle-aged orang putih??? Anyone???)

Danial is already happily eyeing my bike….

Clouds have rolled in and it looks that my bike/swim plans for this afternoon have to be cancelled. Of course I could go to the gym instead, however I don’t like gyms – makes me feel like a hamster on a treadmill………..

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Trikidz are here to stay

A very succesful second edition of TriKidz Malaysia took place last weekend in UPNM. Have a look at all the superduper cute kids at their own website:
more pictures at:

I have another 250 pictures of the event but my PC is giving problems (virus overload) therfore I'm not able to upload.

Racereport for second JSKL biathlon also still outstanding

Thursday, June 12, 2008

JSKL Biathlon

Watch the hairstyle of the winners in the 1st pic - maybe its d aerodynamics that makes them winners

Steve is a big winner!!!

A few pics from the second biathlon held at JSKL. Apologies for the poor quality of the pics -my henfon is a cheap one!
It was a nice event. Well organised - Iwata was running around like a hare trying to be in 10 places at the same time. Got a few good idea's on how to improve TriKidz....

More winners -nice to see several faces from our TriKidz programme

Darimi loves these events - with friend and rival Ikhlas

For the first time: Five members of our Tri-fam taking part in the same event!!!

Trifam action (and non-action) pictures

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Questionable Zoo

Darimi and myself visited zoo negara on monday. I'm sure i've answered in excess of 2000 questions that day. After the zoo visit he accompagnied me to swim training (mr Peh's class). He swam for the whole two hours, busy diving up his toys.
It is not fair that kids have more energy than the parents, it should be the other way around!!!

Darimi wants to read each and every infoboard, I have to tell him the name in Malay and English for each and every animal
Pictures of the big cats as ordered by Mr Darimi

Having a look at monkey (gibbon) island, different type of monkey at the other side
Enjoying a real nice day, the smile says it all

Big guys

Feeding the flamingo'

Darimi keeps on asking where are the gorilla's. I told him there are no gorilla's in this zoo, only chimps and orang oetans. Next question 'Then why do they put picture of gorilla on all the signboards?" Maybe Zoo Negara would like to explain.....

Big fish
How to feed an elephant

happy elephant


Hmm... 1.30 in the morning, 3 June 2008. Air Force turned 50! Happy birthday to you. I have been reading Tengku Zafrul's blog for the past 1 hour. So much to think about and to act! What can I do about it?

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Slow is my middle name

I'm enjoying a few much needed days off. Actually I tooksoem work home with me but I haven't touched any of it sofar. It's school holiday and yet the house is quiet. Ati went back to kampung for two weeks to spend time with her auntie. Hehe, we send Danial and Dayan out to work (child labour). The two of them are on Perhentian island with friends of us who run chalets there. They are helping out by doing small jobs and enjoying a break as well. Life has come full circle: Perhentian island is the place me and Kalam met many years ago. We were both helping out at D'Lagon as well, now it's our kids working there....
So Darimi is getting mum's full attention. Actually I enjoy taking the kids out separately so I can focus on just one rather than bustling to get the whole bunch organised and moving.
Tomorrow I'm taking Darimi to the zoo, we are both looking forward to it. In fact he's allready telling me where we should go the next school holiday (movies and Perhentian island)!

Training wise things are ambling along. In March I started swim training with Mr. Peh together with Danial (Kalam doesn't want to join). It has helped me alot. Before my free style was horrendous, I could only finish a short distance before I got out of breath and my speed was slower than my breast stroke! Now I can free style without problem (it feels as comfy as breaststroke) and my speed is faster than breast stroke. But not only that, my overall stamina has improved. There are four two-hour sessions a week but I usually attend three of them. The six hour of solid swimming a week has definitely improved my fitness level. Before training during weekdays was limited to short half hour runs/ cycle or swim sessions as I have only that amount of daylight hours left when i reach home from work. Run after dark is scary here, not because of crime but because there are a lot of wild boars and dogs around!!!
Danial's swim has improved too, he;'s quite fast but tends to burn out because he cant control his speed. And in typical teenager fashion some days he loves the training, other days he gripes about it.
Yesterday Alvin tried to teach me bilateral breathing but I'm afraid I dont quite get the hang of it yet. Apparently i have to rotate more to the left, should be easy enuf, being well-rounded rolling over should be a piece of cake but it wasn't. In the end it looked more like a lesson in drowning techniques!!!
Quite a number of people have commented that I have lost weight but strangely enough I haven't. Would be delighted if i did lose weight (I'm still aiming to reach a normal BMI some day). Yet I have to admit that clothes fit more loosely, so probably changed some blubber into muscle.

In the weekends I have been cycling Sunday mornings, 40 - 55km rides around Putrajaya. Permanent members of the group are Sue Ee, X-man and Ike, nice group for me to fit in -not too superfast and fanatic (Broga is not yet for me, need to build up first). Other people who join us are Juli, Sandy and ken, Jason, Aini, Lin (hope she still wants to join us as she was accidently left behind when her bike broke down) , Norizan and sometimes Damian joins us halfway. Last friday was the first time I joined them on their friday-nite ride as well.
I have hardly done any running, (some pain in my hip after A'famosa triathlon) so I just take it easy for awhile.

I've doen some free-lance translation work last month and with the extra money I paid for swimclasses AND flight tickets to Miri for Danial and myself (Kalam will book under UPNM), so I will be taking part in the Sarawak triathlon for the 3rd time!!! Look forward to improve my time (hihi, can hardly do worse).

My watch broke so I had a good excuse to buy a heart rate monitor (nowadays they are so cheap, same price as a watch). I have only used the monitor once sofar (walking up Iron Hill) as in general I dont like being strapped in. So mainly it's just a cool looking watch. However I did monitor my resting heart rate (ialah, tak pandai baca manual, use for the wrong thing). My heart rate is in the lower fifities while reading or watching TV (depends on the show haha). Still an indication my overall fitness level is not too bad.

All in all; nowadays a 40km nite ride is just nice for relaxing, a 3km swim a good workout, sure slow is still my middle name but who cares....

You gotta read this

Today in New Straits Times: