Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Kenyir Triathlon Race Report 2014 : Jun Shen

Moving into adult life and a more challenging career as a serving Navy Officer, Jun Shen has brought "Fighting Fit" to another level. Challenges of not having regular hours and duty bound to protect the soverignity of the country, his training works around his limitations. This multiple Ironman Triathlon finishers do not let these stand in his way; not when he has set his eyes on this year's Ironman Malaysia to take place in less than 6-months time.

We salute you. Congrats on a good race in Kenyir.
Kenyir Triathlon Race Report 2014

Maintaining fitness as a student cadet when I was pursuing my degree in Defence University was much easier than now. My schedule is cramped with lots of workload, basically I work from 8am to 5pm, and continue with my work after dinner till lights off. Too bad the Navy don’t pay me overtime. Ship has become my home. I eat, sleep, work and live on board. To keep myself on track for my Ironman dreams, I have to sign up for races to keep me reminded. Like it or not, it is the race pressure that pushes me to pump in more mileage in my training despite my hectic routine. So, I signed up for Kenyir Triathlon.
Me.Myself. And Boat House.
I travelled together with my Navy team to Kenyir, it was a long journey from Lumut to Kenyir, I was lucky to have a bus driver to drive me there. We were welcomed with cooling weather and awesome scenery as we checked in our boat house. The boat house was a cheap deal for us, after bargaining with the boat man, I got a room for 3 at RM100. Phone coverage was excellent in the boat, toilets are clean and the best part was we had astro to watch.
Once a Navy, always a Navy.
After we settled down and set up our bikes, I found out that my rear derailleur misaligned. My cheapskate fixie tyre was also in a very horrible condition. Shit happens every day, but in a different shape. =p  No big deal, I’m gonna get it settled. Basic bike servicing knowledge is important for triathletes, if you don’t wanna save others also you have to at least be able to save yourself. At Lake Kenyir, no bike shop nearby to rescue you. I got my rear derailleur tuned by twisting the H and L screws then some minor adjustment on my brake caliper, changed my racing tyre and lubed my chain before parking my bike at the veranda. After race briefing, I dozed off very quickly.
Among the many uses of a cloth hanger
Race morning I had a piece of bread and a Hammer Perpetuem solid. Race start was delayed for quite some time due to heavy rain, race organizer was concern on safety issue. The rain cloud was thick and dark, we’ve been getting rain every single hour since we arrived Kenyir, no thunder storm though. So I went to transition area to release my tyre pressure. I pumped in 110psi, I dropped it to 90psi, hoping to get a better traction in a wet race. Suprisingly, none of the pre race jitters bothers me this time. Partly because I’m not gonna win anyway, I just come here to do my best and test my limits. I started my swim with kicking people before people kick me, got kicked like no less than 10 times on my face till once side of my goggles sucked into my eye socket. Karma is a bitch. =p 3 months of no swimming, my strokes were flimsy and powerless like a pregnant turtle carrying hundred eggs. I was never a good swimmer anyway. Normally I’d score 29 mins for the swim, but this time around I came out of the water 42 mins, dare not even look back if anybody was behind me.

Mentally ready for the bike course, ever ready for a massive sufferfest. Behind me there was no body, I rode hard for 15km pulling an uncle who kept yelling “come on young man!”, he was like a cow boy yelling “yeeha!” and I was his horse. In this situation, either I ride hard to catch group in front or wait for the peloton from behind to catch me. Tucking myself in and riding on my new aero position, I felt really really smooth. My new bike position is actually inspired by Levi Leipheimer, both extensions are tilted 15 degrees upwards with an aero bottle in between to channel the airflow down instead of smacking my chest. I kept hammering the pedal at an average effort, saving some power for the killer climb at the final 4km. Without realising, I had a train of riders behind me. We worked together in a team time trial formation, managed to catch 3 big groups. Drafting in rainy weather is super dangerous. Firstly I don’t trust the rider in front of me because they were swaying left and right, secondly I don’t wanna damage my bike when crashing in a big bunch, thirdly I’m not good in drafting. Riding at the outer lane gives me lesser slipstream, but more safety and more training for Ironman. I felt that Hammer Anti-Fatigue Caps worked really well for me, my quads were never sore as if I could delay the lactic acid building up. Strongly recommended for athletes aiming for PB without increasing training mileage. Hahaha. I took a last sip of Hammer Endurolytes Fizz before dismounting, light tasting electrolytes that fuelled me all the way. No fly dismount like what I’d normally do due to the steep final climb before entering transition. Safety comes first, style comes second.

Skechers Go Speed awaiting me in my transition basket. I just love the responsiveness of GoSpeed. Once the running form is good, I believe stiffness of outer sole is the key to faster running. Cushion dampens the back kicking, slowing down by miliseconds for every stride. The upper mesh of GoSpeed is very breathable, I don’t have to worry running with my feet soaked every time I shower to cool off my over heating engine. I love GoSpeed very very much! I was never overtaken by anybody on the run course. I kept reminding myself to maintain my running form and lean a little for better running economy. Chloe from GetActive gave me some strength and conditioning program for me to do, helping me to strengthen my weak core muscles. Those workouts really helped me to hold my running form in a longer period.  Average pace 4.58 mins/km, not too bad for the hilliest triathlon course in Malaysia. I finished the race of 1.6km swim, 45km bike and 11km run in 3 hours 4 mins, recorded by Garmin 910xt. Irene my 2ndskin team mate is much faster this time, I couldn’t catch her on the run at all. She was way too fast compared to Morib Triathlon when we raced together, earning herself age group champion on the podium=)
Team 2ndSkin represented

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