Friday, August 31, 2007

From Sam - JB - 6:44pm

"Here in JB. Average just over 30k/h. Some needed rest in support cars but they rejoined later. Off to hotel for a cold beer."

Simon replied, "Wicked. How do you feel? Was it harder than Ironman?"

Sam emphatically replied, "Feel tip top. Much easier than Ironman."

So there you have it. It can be done and with elapsed time about 14.5 hours with ride average just over 30kph - awesome - I've got withdrawal symptoms now - I may just have to go for a run or something.

From Sam - Yong Peng - 2:11 p.m.

"Having lunch in Yong Peng. 110K to go. Very hot and a strong head wind. Still making good time. 3 dropped out..."

Sam did list the guys that had to drop out just to keep me up to date. It doesn't matter though, they are all heroes and in the words of John "The Penguin" Bingham, "The miracle isn't that they finished. The miracle is that they had the courage to start"

I was out buying tricycles for the boys when I got this message and I was so blown away by their progress I just had to call Sam. He was is very good spirits but they were just starting off again so we only spoke for a few seconds. He said that the clouds were forming pretty heavily so I guess they're in for a bit of a storm.

If all goes well they'll be there by about 6:00pm I estimate which is amazing. I'm very excited to receive the next update.

From Sam - Tampin - 7:51 a.m.

"In Tampin near Malacca having breakfast. Done 97km. All going well so far."
I on the other hand was still fast asleep when this SMS arrived Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz!

KL to JB - The Long Ride! - 3:20 a.m.

I had toyed with joining this epic inaugural ride from KL to JB although "Her indoors" put paid to that with an emphatic "No you're NOT". However, it was even clear to me it wasn't going to happen once my recuperation was slower than I'd expected.

Never mind I did the next best thing. This morning at 3:20am I was riding my bike down an almost deserted highway to the meeting point of the riders at the Kajang-Cheras toll.

It was a great atmosphere with two squads of riders, the Chin Woo gang and the Le Tua boys. Both squads had their own matching bike jerseys and they looked great.

As you can see I took my mini camera along and took some photos.

Soon after 4:00am they were off. I planned to ride 40k with them and then head home after the first checkpoint. An 80k ride for me was sensible under the circumstances and anyway, no doubt I'll be persuaded to do this ride another year.

I hope some daft cyclist doesn't suggest the ride is extended and ridden from Thailand to Singapore in future years though - although that's an idea! Mmmmmm!

I must say things looked extremely well organised and great credit goes to Uncle Don for creating and organising this race.

Also to Shen who I believe took care of organising the sponsorship and the logistics. There were so many other people running around and helping out though so I am no doubt underplaying many other contributions but this is a big shout out to you all - great job, well done.

The ride itself was along the old North-South road. A single lane road with almost no street lighting bar the occasional Kampung. The pace they set off at seemed suicidal, or maybe my own fitness was more effected than I'd thought. Either way I was pleased that I was only doing the "Sprint Distance" today.

I did my u-turn at the first water station and then for the first time wondered what I was doing at five something in the morning, riding by myself, in the middle of nowhere, in the pitch black.

As it happened the ride home was thankfully uneventful and very enjoyable. Sam had promised to text me at the various stops along the way to give me an update on how they were proceeding. I did predict though that 50k the other side of Malacca they'd be remembering me telling them that they were going to fast at the start of such a long ride. It was going to be a long day but I'm off to bed now so we'll see later...

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Chantal Wayman - Top 10 at Switzerland 70.3

I was thumbing though 220 magazine last night and checkout what I saw

Good Luck Guys - A Big Weekend

"Malaysian cyclists attempt record breaking feat at the Ride for Pride

A team of professional and semi-professional cyclist will attempt to cycle from Kuala Lumpur to Johor Bahru in 18 hours, a feat never attempted before in recorded history. Christened the Ride for Pride, the riders will push off from KL on 31 August 2007, in celebration of Malaysia’s 50th year of independence"

Tom, Adrian doing the Singapore 70.3

Chris Wayman doing the Vitruvian Half Ironman (Actually I just found out this is next weekend - it's OK Chris don't panic - you can sleep in)

Chantal And Dom doing South Coast Classic Olympic distance triathlon - Dom's first triathlon and Chantal's first race since recently finding triathlon fame in the 70.3 Ironman series.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I'm Baaaaaaaaaaacck! Doc gives the all clear!

I just got back from the doctors and he's given me the all clear. No residual infection or flem and he suspects no scarring (although he can't say for sure). He's given me the all clear to train again and didn't seem too annoyed when I mentioned that I'd sneaked in a few runs and a couple of cycles when he said only to swim 10 minutes a day.

Here's one of the pictures taken when I had the endoscopy. Pretty impressive ay? If you're in any doubt this is from the inside of my lungs and yes the green and black stuff is flem - yum yum (I hope you're not having dinner)

He suggests that I should build up to my previous full fitness over the next 6 weeks; but moderating the intensity and distance to start with. Sounds like what I had planned anyway.

I also asked him about the problems that I'd been having with my right eardrum since the pneumonia - obviously there had been some traumatic and related problems with that. The first doctor (who missed the fact that I'd got pneumonia) suggested that it was a build up of earwax - naturally I dismissed this as nonsense. The doctor at the hospital that treated my pneumonia obviously knew his stuff and sent me straight down to the ear, nose and throat specialist who got to work on it immediately.

With the urgency that these guys got on top of things it was clear that it must have been serious and upon enquiring the E,N & T specialist proudly announced "A bit of earwax! All gone now" - I felt like a bit of a pansy but at least I can hear now. Which reminds me of a joke: -

Two little old men who were a little hard of hearing were sitting on a park bench, one says to the other "It's windy today";

His friend replies "No, I think it's Thursday".

"Me too" says the first man "Let's go and have a cup of tea".

Monday, August 27, 2007

Subang Jaya 10K

I've started running again - very very slowly. I did a 4.4k on Wednesday, a 6.25K on Friday and then the Subang Jaya 10K on Sunday. All over 6 minute K's as I have to be super careful after my recent bout of pneumonia.

Soon after the start Shen saw me and ran over to have a chat. She was running with her husband who I don't think I've met before but he seems like a really nice chap. We ran together for 6 or 7k until she stopped to chat with a friend that seemed to be struggling a bit.

Normally when I run a race slowly as a training run or active recovery of some sort, I sprint the last couple of K in sub 4 minute K's - I just can't help myself. But this recovery is far more serious and the doctor has not strictly given me permission to run yet, so I forced myself to keep the same old gentle pace throughout.

It's funny because even amongst the slower competitors there's still a real competition going on, I found myself thinking "I'm not going to let that guy in the flash Nike gear and the iPod beat me whatever happens" and it's clear that everyone around me was having their own little battles, either with fellow competitors or just against the distance or the hill that we were running up or to squeeze out a personal best. You don't need to be at the front to enjoy a race, or to compete, or to win or lose, you just need to define the goal and go for it.

As it happens I did beat the guy in the flash Nike gear but I also did not push myself so both goals were achieved. I think it helped somewhat that the chap in question had no idea he was being stalked by me and he was far too busy looking cool.

My buddy John turned up at the finish to see his wife Emma get a personal best of 48 minutes (good one Emma). We were all stunned to see him there although he does only live 2 minutes away - mind you he did drive.

I met him later for a round of golf and he said he's never seen me looking like that after a race - I was just about to explain that I was looking so fresh because I'd taken it easy and smelt the flowers along the way when he said "You were looking exhausted - awful in fact" - Thanks John, that made me feel so much better.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Paul Hobbs 45th Birthday Party

Paul really pushed the boat out for his 45th - great food, more booze than you could shake a stick at including copious amounts of Champagne.

Paul's speech was an epic. There was quite a lot of nonsensical rambling but then the party did start at 6pm!!! The essence of the speech is as follows: -

"Life is fantastic. Live it to the full. Would anyone like to see my knob!"

Awesome Paul, very special and you delivered it with such passion.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Chantal Commits to Ironman UK 2008

Recently damning evidence was obtained confirming that Chantal Wayman has in fact committed to the 2008 Ironman UK in Sherbourne. The documentary evidence below was obtained confidentially by a source close to Chantal and is infallible. She is clearly seen committing to the race and we can see no way that she can wiggle her way out of this!

Feel free to add your comments of support for Chantal by clicking "comments" below.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Liar Liar

Below is the police report that was submitted by the van driver that ran me over last September. Needless to say I didn't suddenly swerve into his path but rather due to a combination of stupidity and incompetence he simply drove into me for no apparent reason.

You will of course be pleased to note his last comments on the report "HE WAS NOT INJURED". Well we're all no doubt relieved to hear that.

He failed to mention in his report however, that although we'd become briefly acquainted with each other, as I came through his windscreen, he drove off without so much as a care as to whether I was alive or dead!

"On the 2/09/06 at about 10.55 am, I was driving m/van No. WDT 7460 from Balakong towards Simpang Balak.
When I arrived at the Km 17 of the Cheras-Kajang Highway, suddenly a cyclist in front of me swerved to the right.I braked but due to close proximity, collided into this cyclist.
As a result of this incident my m/van suffered damage as follows: front windscreen smashed, front left bumper dented, front bonnet dented, other damage not known as yet. I was not injured".

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Back Training - but just a little bit

Last Wednesday the doctor told me I could start swimming again but only 10 minutes at a time. I decided not to do anything until after I got back from Penang to be on the safe side.

This morning I did my first 10 minute session (500 metres) and it went OK. No endurance in my arms but my breathing was fine. It's nice to be back, albeit tentatively.

I might even do a very gentle jog with Shilpa this evening.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Rehab - Penang

OK no more feeling sorry for myself! Actually, I don't think I have been too bad but it's easier to see the bright side now that I'm on the road to recovery and 3 days in Penang has done me no end of good (except the over eating of course).

We left early Thursday morning with Shilpa driving - she didn't want the stress of me speeding or getting lost on the way.

Anyway, having got stopped at two road blocks - you guessed it, for speeding and having gotten lost in Penang once we eventually got to the Parkroyal hotel relatively unscathed and on talking terms.

We spent a happy two days there in the pool, on the beach and took the boys horse riding and on a boat ride.

The horse riding was awesome, they went on together to start with and then one at a time by themselves. They both balanced brilliantly and although Sid was a bit apprehensive to start with neither of them were fazed by it. By the end they were both saying "horse riding, yeah, whatever!" - in their expressions at least.

Sid hates the beach because he finds it a bit too icky (or chee chee as we call anything that is dirty or they shouldn't touch).

The boys love the pool (not sure I'm dressed for the part though with my sunnies on!).

Seb can happily swim with just his floatie suit now, no more arm bands (water wings). He hasn't learned to use his arms yet but he makes great progress kicking his feet, he's got his balance all worked out and can go in any direction he wants - almost better than his dad.

The pool was a big success although at one point Sid ran into the lobby and stood there for about 10 minutes. It only struck me once a cleaning lady came along with a mop that he was actually standing there people watching (one of his favourite pastimes) and peeing on the lobby floor. Oops, 3 big puddles and one pissed off cleaning lady later we whisked him out of sight.

The boys seemed very excited about the passing boats. Every time they heard or saw one they'd point and make excited and favourable sounds. Being a bit of an old seaman myself it didn't take much persuasion by Shilpa to rent a boat and go for a cruise.
Sadly that's where the boys interest and enthusiasm stopped. No sooner had we stepped aboard their expressions changed and they couldn't wait to get off. They weren't scared mind you, they just were bored, disinterested and positively unhappy about the apparent waste of time.

Of course there was lots of eating out which gave Shilpa and the gorgeous models a chance to dress up, go out and practise their best Bollywood dance moves.

Now I know that some of you are thinking that this is Seb drinking very unhealthy Coke. Well you'd be wrong - it's actually Coke Light!

I can reliably tell you that this is Sid and Shilpa doing a rendition of "The Wheels on The Buss Go Round and Round". This particular verse relates to the horn going "pap, pap, pap" and for some reason we all get our noses pressed with each "pap". Well there you have it, no doubt you'll sleep better knowing that.

Please note that it may be my Coke Light but I have photographic evidence of the "Coke pusher's" identity as she was caught red handed!

On the way back to the hotel one night Shilpa got very excited about a trishaw ride, purely for "the boys education" she tried to convince us. So off they went, Shilpa, Sid, Seb and Rohana. I was left to walk the 5km back to the hotel carrying the shopping. (500m actually and I wasn't going to be seen dead in one of those trishaw things - not sober at any rate!).

For our last night we had to move to the Lone Pine hotel 500m away as the Parkroyal was fully booked. This is a very old hotel (the first on Batu Ferringhi Beach I think) - it is not as glam as the Parkroyal but has a certain old world charm about it that I liked.

Upon checking out we were a bit short of cash, so Shilpa kept the hotel staff talking and the boys set to work on the hotel safe.

We came home on Sunday afternoon and now I'm looking forward to starting work again after a two week absence that I could have well done without.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

It's Official - I'm still sick

I went to the doctors today to gt the all clear to go back to work and start exercising again. Sadly it didn't quite go as scripted.

I am now on my fourth course of antibiotics, mucus medication and anti-inflamatories etc... My lungs are still infected albeit a considerable reduction in the magnitude.

He gave me the go OK to go back to work on Monday and can swim 10 minutes at a time to at least get some exercise in.

Officially I have Lobus Pneumonia which apparently is far more serious than Bronchial Pneumonia which he thought I had initially. It's all Latin to me but it is very annoying.

Anyway, the plan is to take a couple of days in Penang on the beach with Shilpa and the boys. Got to stay away from too many people though as my immune system isn't working too well. In fact the reason I have to stay away from work in not because I'm likely to infect people (that is highly unlikely) but rather I stand a good chance of contracting something else from them - oo ere!

That's the latest - at least you'll see some nice piccies of the boys soon.

Friday, August 10, 2007

"I told you so" by John Harrison

John Harrison is a very wise chap who knows what he's talking about. He tried to train through a chest infection once and ended up in hospital with Pneumonia. He gave me advice and warned me before PD but did I listen - of course not! Here's his latest input on the subject - post hospitalisation.

"Hi Simon.

If your going to be ill you may as well make it a good one, and you certainly seem to have done that. So sorry to hear that you have now found yourself in hospital, I was shocked when Ian told me.

I was probably less shocked when he told me that despite being in a hospital bed you were planning a 350k cycle race at the end of the month.

Mate. However a determined individual you are, you have to know when to stay down and take advantage of the count. No fighter gets up after a count of 2, even if he feels ready. He waits till 8, then he's definitely ready to go again and has the best chance of success.

As a person that has had pneumonia I can tell you that you dont want to be doing any phys until January 1st 2008.

I know how frustrating that must seem. Earlier this year I was benching 140k and then I tore my deltoid. I could'nt bench my own hand after that. Frustrated? Massivley, but I now accept I'm not going to be benching 140k for a while.

The best way to overcome something is to accept it. Get that date of Jan 1st in your head, dont do anything before it and you'll be back super ironman next year. Do anything before that and you'll be lucky if you can still kick a ball around with your kids.

We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope. Anyway, thats the serious stuff done....

....Take good care of yourself mate and remember, if you start to think about exercise, lie down 'til the thought goes away.

Best wishes to Shilpa, Sid and Seb.


Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Pneumonia & Bronchitis

A few days before the Port Dickson races I was well under the weather and piled straight to the doctors (because I'm dead sensible). I had a chest infection and he prescribed antibiotics. I asked him if I'd be well enough to race at the weekend and the doc said absolutely no problem!

I took all the medication and on the Friday before the race I felt just as bad. John Harrison (See England vs France - 11th March 2007 - he's the guy that gave me all the guns) suggested that if I still felt bad I should cancel the two races this weekend and focus on the following race in Singapore (especially as that was my focus race).

I made some witterings about yes I probably would cancel them and he was absolutely right, but just in case I'll go and see how I feel on the day anyway! Roughly translated, anyone that knows me knows that what I was actually saying was "Yeah, whatever, I'm doing the races alright!"

I think John understood what was going to happen so he mentioned that he'd tried to train through a chest infection once and ended up in hospital with Pneumonia! Wow I thought, a strapping guy like that with Pneumonia, I thought it was only old age pensioners and wimps that caught it! I then promptly dismissed it without another thought.

So to cut a long story short I did the Sprint distance race and came 3rd, below par and I could barely breath on the run. I also started the Olympic distance race the next day and pulled out on the run as I couldn't breath any longer.

Back to the doctors and another course of stronger antibiotics, canceled Singapore but still missed a few days off work over the next three weeks. Finally, I couldn't take it anymore and went to the hospital for a chest X-ray. The doctor in emergency said it's either TB or Pneumonia - Aggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhh!

I burst out into a cold sweat and nearly passed out (not quite but I felt weak at the knees and was suddenly sweating profusely). She said we have to admit you now and get a specialist to look at you and get some super strong antibiotics into you. "OK I said" in my little pathetic squeaky mousy voice that I only reserve for special occasions like this and proposing marriage (true - ask Shilpa).

Anyway, I've been here 24 hours now, my body has already rejected one type of antibiotic but I'm been pumped with no end of others intravenously. I had a CT scan this morning that confirmed the Pneumonia and Bronchitis plus I had the pleasure of an endoscopy where they stick a long rod down your nose and inspect you airways. I have a DVD of what they saw but my Mum suggested I didn't post that here - I've watched it and I can say it's fascinating albeit there's a lot of green flying around.

Looks like I'm going to be here for a few days but once it's sorted I should be right as rain and doing light training soon.

Oh Yeah - Yes John - YOU TOLD ME SO!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Yo! Who's in Da Hood?

Check out me boys in their Nike gear. They're even wearing the latest "Nike Free" training shoes. Daddy's so proud.

Hey Dad, I keep tellin ya - "I'm da man!" - Seb looking very cool (and a bit 'ard).

Hey Dad, check out my moves though. Can I dance or what! - Sid doing his John Travolta thing.

Check this out, Sid who use to be a bit scared of stuff, he's climbing like a monkey - that's my boy!

My Dad - His first 10k at 74 Yrs old

My Dad, Peter Cross, started running at the age of 74 years old - not bad eh?

Here he is completing his first 10k race and even has enough energy to help my sister to the finish too. AWESOME!

Apparently he was bitterly dissapointed that he didn't break his PB (personal best) in training on this course.

Never mind Dad, that's what the race is for next year.

Awesome job Dad, well done dude!