Thursday, June 28, 2007


Last Sunday, Thaddeus Cheong (17) passed away at the national triathlon team selection trial for South East Asia Games after completing the Olympic Distance Triathlon in 2 hours 9 mins. Despite the apparent lack of medical personnel at the event, the family is not blaming anyone. In fact, they continue to have very good things to say about the sport and about TAS (Triathlon Association of Singapore). I think it is a tremendous testimony of God's grace for the family to respond in such a gracious manner.

However, I must admit that I am a little shaken by this incident. In the last couple of months, I have been getting some negative or cautionary feedback about triathlons. More than one person has told me to start saving for a knee replacement surgery, and incidents like this and the deaths in triathlons in Singapore the last 2 years running make those around me nervous about my sport. Are we taking on more risks as triathletes/runners as compared to the inactive? As the sole bread winner, am I being irresponsible to my family? Please tell me it is NOT crazy of me to start triathlons in my middle age. Yes, I am shaken, but He is my strength and shield, and I will continue to train with the freedom that He came 2 thousand years ago to give me.

Train safe and God Speed.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Week 10 - Missed Long Swim & New Running Gear

Yup, ol' nitrox sure has a lot of New Balance gear and now I have even more. Comes from having a TAS (Triathlon Association of Singapore) membership card which gives me 30% off retail price - hence the fuel belt above at $20 (USD$13) and the Lightning Dry (i.e. NB's version of Dri-Fit) cap at $15 (USD$10). I would've prefered a fuel belt with less bottles, but that's the only model they seem to have, and I can always carry less bottles. Best of all, I work near the New Balance warehouse, which explains this pair of discontinued New Balance RC330MR racing shoes for $35 (USD$23)! I was considering getting the RC1001BW but was put off by the $125.30 price (after discount) for a pair of shoes that I will only wear a few times a year (for races). Not sure if racing shoes will give me any advantage, but for $35, I'll give it a go. ;-)

Quick wrap up on Week 10 of 15 which is another 5/6 week:
  • Mon: Excursion to Sentosa with sis-in-law, T1 & T2.
  • Tues: Long Run - 14km. Longest ever! It felt good, no problem finishing.
  • Wed: Strength Training - Leg Lift, Leg Curl, Seated Row, Bent Elbow Lat Pull Down, Push-ups, Bicycle (Abs). Over-confident from the long run, I over-did the leg curl. OUCH!
  • Thurs: Tempo Run - 15 mins warm up, 18 mins tempo (10-10.2 km/hr), 15 mins cooldown. Very painful, paying the price for the leg curls.
  • Fri: Missed the planned swim (more below). :-(
  • Sat: Long Brick - 53km bike / 9km run. Very, slow and painful - not sure if it was the winds or tired legs, had to walk for 1:30 near the end of the run, but immensely glad that I completed it!
  • Sun: Swim Intervals (planned) right after the kids are in bed.
On the home front, Sis-in-law and her sons (T1 & T2) left yesterday and the house feels quiet. Funny how I never felt that way before with 2 boys in the house, but having 4 boys in the house has introduced a new level of activity that we have gotten used to. You would have thought that a middle aged guy would be over these things by now, but I miss them terribly. Especially when I know that I will not see them for the next 6-12 months . :-( I must confess that Fri night I got irritated about missing my swim intervals due to the many schedule changes that comes with visiting relatives, but now I am glad that I gave up the long run last week, and the long swim this week in lieu of time with my sis-in-law and T1 & T2. School starts in Singapore tomorrow, so it's life as usual - no more goofing off, late nights, excursions, and ice cream (except for weekends).

Tomorrow I go to India, so see you in a week, train safe and God Speed!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Week 9 of 15

Sigh... It is already week 10, and I am posting 1 week late again. As mentioned in my last post, my sis-in-law and her two boys (T1 & T2) are in town, so between spending time with them and work, training and blogging has taken a backseat. In case anyone besides Robin is curious about why I call my boys R1 & R2, and their cousins T1 & T2, I must confess to an incredible lack of imagination and watching too much Bananas in Pyjamas when my boys were younger - remember B1 and B2? Just so happens that my boys' names start with R and my nephews' names start with T. ;-)

Okay, back to week 9 - I have to report that I missed my long run (GASP!) and have to score myself 5/6. :-(
  • Mon: Rest - Time with sis-in-law, T1 & T2 in Malaysia
  • Tues: Ditto above.
  • Wed: Run Intervals - 15mins warm up, 5 X (3min @ 11km/hr, 3min @ 8.5km/hr), 15 mins cool down;
    Strength Training - Squats, Seated Row, Bent Elbow Lat Pull Down, Push-ups, Bicycle (Abs).
  • Thurs: Rest - Time with sis-in-law, T1 & T2 in Singapore
  • Fri: Swim Intervals - 550m Warm Up, 8 X (110m sprint, 30s recovery), 550m Cool Down
  • Sat: Long Brick - 53km bike / 8.3 km run (longest run off bike!)
  • Sun: Long Swim - 1.6km (shortening my long swims from 2km to 1.6km to focus a bit more on pace)

I feel kinda bummed about missing the long run last week (which I consider to be a key work-out), but not much I can do about it now except to focus on the training ahead. This week (week 10) is supposed to be a rest week, but next week I have to be in India (which has proven to be a tough place to get any training in), so I will push on and take my rest week in India. I am pretty excited to get the long brick done last Sat - 8.3km is the longest I have run off the bike ever, and it is helping to boost my confidence for completing the coming OSIM (Olympic) Tri. Sneak peak on Week 10: I got my long run (14km) in on Tues, and that is also helping my confidence substantially.

Good news over the weekend is that a friend of mine from church actually took my advice and signed up for the Sprint event at OSIM. ;-) It's so great to see a friend commit to an active lifestyle and I am so happy for him.

Okay, it's back to work for me. It's race season, so God Speed and take care of yourselves!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Long Weekend in Malaysia

There it is, ladies & gentlemen, I am doubly blessed these 2 weeks - R1 & R2 (yellow hats) has got their cousins T1 & T2 (blue hats) visiting from the States. :-) This is them going up the commando net in one of the nature parks in Malaysia and I am looking forward to a few more excursions in Singapore in the coming week!

On the training side, I managed to get both the long brick and swim in last week, so Week 8 of 15 was another 6/6 week! All thanks to my Father-In-Law, who was kind enough to bring me to his club on Sunday. Can anyone tell me why there is a empty pool in tropical (read: hot) Malaysia on a Sunday morning? I was initially worried that the pool was abandoned - the pumps were not working and there was algae on the bottom and sides. Yuck! But sure enough, halfway thru my swim, other swimmers started appearing and I felt a bit better. Instead of swimming 2km, I decided to do a 1.6km time trial and finished in 40mins, which is a confidence booster, given that the swim cut-off for OSIM Tri seems to be 40 mins (1.5km). I would love to be faster, but will be happy to just make the cut-off this time. :-)

Until next time, train safe and God Speed!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Week 8 of 15

A very quick update on Week 8 before I head off to Malaysia for a short vacation...
  • Mon: Run Intervals - 15mins warm up, 4 x (3 mins sprint, 3mins active recovery), 15 mins cool down. This was really painful, coming off 1 week of being sick. Had to slow down in the last set. :-(
  • Tues: Strength Training - Squats, Seated Row, Bent Elbow Lat Pull Down, Push-ups, Bicylcle (Abs).
  • Wed: Long run - 13.1km. I finally have my replacement sports headphones (will post about that next time) so I am able to run with workship music again. What a blessing! Would not have been able to finish the run without it. Was so knackered after the run that I started wondering why I am doing the OSIM Tri...
  • Thurs: Swim Intervals - 550m Warm Up, 7 X (110m sprint, 30s recovery), 550m Cool Down
  • Fri: Long Swim - 2km (planned) - This will be tricky since I am still stuck in office! :-(
  • Sat: Long Brick - 50km Bike / 7km Run (planned) - The plan is to head out early in the morning and get the brick done in 2.5-3 hours before driving to Malaysia for our vacation!
  • Sun: REST

Week 9 will be a bit of a challenge as I am on vacation in Malaysia and may not have access to a proper pool (the only thing the hotel can tell me about the pool is that it is 4 feet deep and has a waterfall). In fact the coming weeks will prove interesting as work is getting pretty intensive and I have quite a few business trips lined up.

Until next time, train safe & God Speed!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Week 7 of 15 - Unscheduled Rest Week

Sigh... 2 pieces of bad news this week.
  1. Yup, week 7 is officially an unscheduled rest week now, thanks to this runny nose / cough thingy that I caught. Thanks for the prayers, I am actually feeling much better now and even managed a short swim (500m warm up, 500m with paddles) yesterday. Was hoping to go for my weekend long brick today but woke up feeling a little nauseous, so I decided to rest one more day. Either I am pregnant or it's all part of the virus working itself out of my system. :-) I know some of you train through minor sickness, but ol' nitrox usually stops all training once I am sick, with the hope of getting to full recovery sooner. With my first Olympic Distance Triathlon only 8 weeks away, I hope to get back to training starting today, and make some changes to my 15 week training plan - week 8-9 will now be training weeks, week 10 a rest week, week 11-13 training weeks, and then week 14-15 taper. Let's hope that works... Prior to falling sick, I was starting to get comfortable with the distance, so I will repeat my Week 6 training volume/intensity in Week 8 (next week), and start putting a bit more focus on speed.

  2. To make matters worse, any chance of boosting my slow bike leg with a set of 'em sexy FlashPoint FP60s for the OSIM Olympic Distance Triathlon(July 29th) is now officially zilch. My dear sis-in-law coming next week from New Jersey is already carrying too much much stuff for R1 and R2 (we are talking about suitcases of toys, books and clothes here), and confirmed that she cannot bring anything else into Singapore. :-( By the way, since I can't get them in time for the race, any advice on aero wheels (choices) would be much appreciated - e.g. What do you use and do you like 'em? Clinchers/tubulars? Are they sturdy enough to be used also for training rides weekly (instead of just on races)?

Only 8 short weeks before my first ever Olympic Distance Triathlon. Probably laughable to you ironmen/women and marathon runners out there, but I must confess that I am starting to feel nervous...

Until next time, train safe and God Speed ya 'all!