Saturday, June 29, 2013

Back Onto The Saddle

In the weeks leading up to the Standard Chartered KL Marathon (SCKLM), I have been fully focused in my training, as I was hoping to achieve a personal best, or at least to improve on my time last year. So I had to forgo cycling for a bit. Unfortunately, earlier this week, it was officially announced that the SCKLM had to be postponed to 29 September 2013 due to the then bad haze situation in KL. Some of my friends have gone ahead to KL anyway for a short holiday in lieu of the race. But I decided to go cycling instead, and perhaps run a half marathon tomorrow.

You see, I have registered for the Sundown Ultra 100km marathon in mid-September, so I will have to embark on my back-to-back long runs anyway. However, in the hope that I can spare my knees a bit of stress, I've decided to cycle on Saturdays and then run on Sundays. I'm not sure if that will work equally well, but after all I'm just aiming to finish within 15 hours or so. Winning is of course out of the question!

Well, I reached the Likas Golf Driving Range (where we normally assemble) at about 6am this morning and was surprised to see Judy there. Judy had recently bought herself a bike and started joining us on a few Saturdays; and she had been going farther and farther out on each outing. But I didn't think that the postponement of the SCKLM would stop her from going to KL. I was like, surely the race isn't the only reason for her to go to KL?

My other friends, Teo Chen Lung, Hana and Amy were also there, as were some other cyclists. The mission today was to ride for a distance of about 70km to 80km. We started from the Driving Range at about 10 minutes after 6; and Amy, Judy and some others quickly surged ahead, leaving Teo, Hana and I behind. But I've never really been overly concerned about speed during training.

Along the way north, we caught glimpses of Amy and Judy a couple of times several hundred metres ahead. For the most part, we maintained a speed of about 30km/h. But after the Mengkabong bridge, I suggested to Teo and Hana to increase the speed a little to about 32-33km/h. Very soon, we caught up with Amy and Judy again at the Mengkabong roundabout. But instead of going straight beyond that roundabout, they decided to turn back there and then. The three of us decided that we might as well continue north as planned. It probably took us perhaps almost 10 minutes before we reached the T-junction where we turned back. By then, I suppose Amy and Judy would have been far ahead of us on their way back to Likas.

It was basically a mild workout as we had intended it to be. Hana did very well this morning, as she showed no sign of fatigue. I'm confident that she will do well in the Gold Coast Airport Marathon in 2 weeks' time. And of course, Teo, who's training for the Ironman next year, is even  more relaxed than both of us, but surprisingly, he kept his cool. It was generally uneventful throughout our journey back to Likas, until we reached the Kingfisher roundabout when we spotted Judy and Amy up ahead! They were riding fairly slow by then, and I thought that was uncharacteristic of these women. They are essentially animals of speed—whenever they run or cycle, the theme is always fast, fast, fast. Since Judy is a new cyclist, I thought it had something to do with exhaustion due to the extended distance. But somehow that explanation did not seem very convincing to me.

As we drew closer to them, however, I noticed that Judy was in a mess—her tights were basically covered in mud and sand; her top was also smudged. Both her right elbow and right knee were bleeding. It was obvious that the has had some sort of mishap somehow.

We eventually arrived at the Driving Range together, and Judy told us her interesting adventure of the day. She had somehow gone too close to the roadside (quite normal for most new cyclists) and ended up falling down onto a sandy patch. It wasn't anything serious though, but here are some of the shots I've managed to take.

The brownish patches on her tights and top were not fashion, by the way; those were the result of the fall.

And this is a close-up shot. Just look at that awesome well-developed thigh! By the way, that's the thigh of a sub-4hr marathon runner.

I bet Judy will remember not to ride too close to the side of the road because of this wound. But thankfully it's just a small wound. I hope it will heal fast enough before the Port Dickson Triathlon next Sunday.

They decided to have a proper pose to mark the solemnity of the moment. But just to set the record straight, in spite of what Teo seems to be doing in this photo, let me hasten to assure my readers that he did not use his finger to poke a poke-able object. It only seems like it, I swear!

Nevertheless, I found it a bit strange that Teo told me to post these photos as soon as possible (I took these photos with my phone). I wonder why. I merely said yes, I will post them soon; and then Teo practically just dumped his bike onto his truck, and left the parking lot in a jiffy; tyre screeching and all; thus leaving behind his expensive aerowheel in the middle of the road, as if it's a piece of worthless item!

I can only guess that he was planning to sneak into his office in the afternoon, where he can lock himself up, and then feast his eyes on that second photo above; maybe fantasizing for a bit while he's doing that? But this is just my pure speculation, of course!

On a serious note, I have a soft spot for women in general. It pains my heart to see them hurt. But I know Judy is a strong woman, and she will learn from this experience! Wait till she starts putting on the cycling shoes; now that would be even more interesting!

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