Sunday, June 26, 2005

Triathlon Checklist

Here’s a checklist I prepared for the event. It includes the stuff I would actually wear on that day since I intend to bike to and from the race.


  1. Watch or Heart Rate Monitor – I just used a watch as I wasn’t comfortable wearing the chest strap during the swim, and wanted to keep things simple for the race – the less to fiddle with the better.
  2. Plastic Bags – To store all the wet clothes, towels for the ride home.
  3. Fuel for Bike & Run – Accelerate, Pocarri, Power Bar/Gel, whatever your fancy.
  4. Sun cream – Essential for sun protection, works well to prevent jelly fish stings too.
  5. Change of clothes for after the event.
  6. Tri clothes – For me, Tri shorts. Some prefer Tri full suit – you will need a race belt with a full suit, unless you want to start pinning race numbers in the middle of a transition.
  7. Race kit – race number, registration form, identity, etc…
  8. Wallet/phone (water proofed in case of rain)


  1. Goggles
  2. Big bottle or bucket of water - To rinse off after the (sea) swim leg, and to wash off the sand from your feet. Also helps to have some water to drink during the transitions.
  3. Big Towel – To spread on the ground to step/sit on after you have cleaned your feet. I also like to have one more (smaller) towel to dry off during the transition.


  1. Jersey or Singlet (with race numbers pinned on). If you are wearing a Tri full suit, this is where you put on the race belt with the numbers pinned on.
  2. Socks (if you need them – I do).
  3. Bike shoes (if you need them – I do).
  4. Bike Helmet with race numbers stuck on.
  5. Bike with race numbers stuck on, and bike water bottle(s).
  6. Sunglasses (if you like)


  1. Running shoes.
  2. Running cap (if you like).
  3. Spare socks – in case of rain, it is good to have dry socks before the run.
  4. Dry shirt (if you like – I couldn’t be bothered to change, just wear DriFit)

Saturday, June 25, 2005


Been having some run-ins with animals lately. Perhaps God is teaching me and the family about our responsibilities towards the animals around us.

' Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." ' Genesis 1:26

  1. First, some bird decided to build a nest in one of the trees in a small garden next to our lift lobby, and of course it got cut down when the trees where pruned. Some kind soul (gardener?) tried to prop it back up on the branch, but it was not in a good position (no shelter from wind and rain). From quiet observation (involving a bit of hiding and creeping), discovered that it was the nest of yellow vented bulbul - quite pretty birds as you can see. We re-positioned the nest, strengthened the branch with some ropes, and over the next few weeks, checked back regularly. The nest actually fell a few times after that due to gusts of wind, but praise God that the eggs were not damaged. The eggs finally hatched into 2 pretty little birds (see pic on the left: nest and two gapping mouths of the hatchlings, and pic on the right showing what the adult birds look like), and over about 2 weeks, the parent birds both came back to feed the hatchings. Even then, one of the hatchlings fell out a couple of times, and we had to chase it down (can't fly yet) and prop it back up into the nest. Finally one day I came back and saw the nest empty - I hope it means the two baby birds are fine and well now. There are many yellow vented bulbuls in my area, and each time I see them, I like to imagine that the two we "saved" through God's grace are there amongst them. :)
  2. Then some time later, we were dropping off some stuff at the Salvation Army collection centre, I saw that someone had left a hamster cage. Upon taking a look, I found that there were actually two live hamsters still in the cage, can you believe that? It is hard to imagine what would possess a person to abandone their pet hamsters at the Salvation Army collection centre. If the rodents are becoming a problem, why don't they pay for a vet to put them to sleep in a humane way rather than abandone them at the shelter to die a slow death. I must confess that I too did not do the right thing - I was in a rush and that's just what I did, I rushed off.
  3. Just when I was feeling really bad about leaving the hamsters there, we found an abandoned rabbit where we live.

    Apparently someone tossed it into the rubbish chute and the cleaners found it and did not know what to do with it. We took it home for a couple of days least it die of hunger or be attacked by the neighbourhood cats, and of course the kids fell in love with it - a very beautiful brown rabbit as you can see.

    Had to make a quick decision - keep it or drive it all the way to SPCA. Finally decided on the latter, mainly because the kids are still too young to care for it. It was a good experience for the boys to come with me to SPCA, but kinda hard to explain why anyone would want to throw such a beautiful animal into the chute!

My prayer is that even as the Lord blesses us, that we do not become an ungracious society that takes it as our right to abuse animals in the name of selfishness and convenience. Although it is sad that the pets were abandoned, I am thankful that the Lord brought these animals to me, as it gave me the opportunity to teach my children their God given role to care for the animals around us. Hopefully, the brown rabbit (named "Brownie" by the boys) has found a good home by the time of this post.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Transitions and Bricks???

There seems to be a global culture of inventing strange words to confuse newcomers, and sometimes it seems Triathlons are no exception - it has a bit of its own language and sub-culture as well. :) I learnt pretty quickly that T1, T2 refers to the swim/bike transition and the bike/run transition respectively. I also leant recently that a brick is not just the stuff we build a wall with, it also refers to any training that combines two or more of the swim/bike/run workouts.

I was initially focused on just doing more swims, cycling, runs, but not all together. I was thinking that if I wanted to do all three together, I am already doing the Triathlon, so no point in parting part in the OSIM Triathlon. Well, last week I got worried about my ability to complete the course, so started doing some bricks - specifically swim/bike and bike/run (I will probably try just one full brick swim/bike/run - if any - before the race). Despite reading about it, I was still surprised at how "strange" it felt going from the swim to the bike (T1) and the bike to the run (T2). Going from the swim to the bike, I felt all "wobbly" and unstable. 1st time I did it, I actually fell over while standing over the bike having a quick chat with my traning buddies! Just last Sunday, I did the bike/run brick and this time, going from the bike into the run, my legs felt very stiff - my calfs especially felt that they were at the border of cramping up. I actually had to stop running for a few minutes to stretch out my calf.

So the lesson learnt for me is to take it slow on the bike after the swim and be extra careful of losing my balance. Perhaps to take it easy and just "spin" on low gear for a few minutes until my legs are probably warmed up. On the bike/run transition, perhaps I probably should slow down just before the end of the bike route and start stretching my calfs on the bike to save some time, I should also start the run slow and take time to "warm up" the legs for the run - different muscle groups afterall.