Monday, July 09, 2007

PD Triathlon Clinic - 8 July 2007

Another PD tri clinic with another good turnout. Having said that I couldn't believe how many absent faces there were. This is an extremely well organised clinic that replicates pretty well the race day conditions and is great high intensity training.

Mmmm! I guess everyone knows their own bodies and minds best but I love this sort of training as it's fun, mentally and physically stimulating; it also takes away any surprises for the impending race (new swim course for example). You can work out the pace for the race, you know when the tough bits are coming and how much longer you've got to suffer - you've just got to love it!

The day started with usual 8 a.m. start (my watch said 8:45 - must be Malaysian time again). The swim course was measured properly and was marked out with buoys around the turn from the beach start into the marina. I had a scrappy swim and Kevin was trying to drown me most of the time but in between that I was trying to concentrate on identifying "sighting landmarks" to assist the navigation during the race. That part was successful at least and Mr Chan said afterwards that the entire course will be marked out with rope and buoys.

We hung around for ages waiting for the slower swimmers to come back and then we were off on the bike. The first 5k was super slow as we all had to stay together until the right hand turn onto the quiet country roads (Kimberley - Malaysia's very own triathlon superstar - decided not to hang around though and took off early). As we turned I expected the hammer to go down and the pack to take off. It sort of did but there was a mighty crash behind and two or three riders when down on some slippy debris on the road. The biggest bang was Randy and he now sports some sympathy generating road rash and a lovely gash under his left eye.

There seemed to be a lot of expectation from the leading riders in what I might do - mainly that they were going to draft behind me I think. So I sat back in the pack for a while before attacking fairly early on. I managed to drop them down a big hill (I'm fatter than most so I go fast downhill). I caught Kimberley up going up a hill and as quietly as I could I pulled up behind her and sneaked past.

That was that then I thought until I heard what sounded like a bellowing bull on my back wheel - it was Eugene Chan looking like his lungs were going to explode. Eugene isn't what he used to be on the bike (he claims only to do 40k a week now) - too many girlfriends is the problem I think. We shared the work for a while but then I snuck past him up a hill and hit the turnaround alone.

A long lonely ride back the way we came, I backed off a bit as Shahrom wasn't there to mow me down like last time and I finished feeling fairly fresh.

I put the bike away and then started out on the run. I was in better running shape than the last tri clinic and got to the 5k turnaround in 20 minutes flat. Heading back I saw Kevin at the 2.5k mark and he turned around to run with me to make me suffer some more. I proudly announced I was up for the challenge - but with about a k to go I was shot and Kevin took great pleasure staying 2 strides ahead of me all the way to the end. It didn't even slow him down when I pulled his tri suit down around his ankles.

I was seriously overheated when I finished but did a negative split and managed 39:17 for the 10k which I was pretty happy with after a swim and bike. I didn't win anything in the lucky draw again - oh well eh!

A great day and if you weren't there you really missed out!

A sad bit of news on the way back - a massive traffic jam due to an accident (in perfect weather). Several cars smashed to smithereens on the side of the road and down embankments. At least one body bag was being zipped up as I passed - I've seen this scene far too often in Malaysia and I have to admit my own driving habits have historically been pretty poor. The more I see this sort of thing and especially since the twins arrived I have become a better driver but there's always room for improvement for all of us.

I arrived home in a massive storm having had an awesome morning and reflecting on how good life is but also how much you must treasure it. Life is fragile and you never know which day will be your last. So when you wake up in the morning don't waste a minute of it!

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