Saturday, June 28, 2008

Vietnam 22nd to 26th June 2008

I took a lil trip to Vietnam (HCM City)... over June... for five days.
It was an eyeopener. Not somewhere i'll visit more than once, in five years. But its history is something that leaves me wanting more. With the French ruling, to the Vietnam War to the US ruling, to the modern day Ho Chih Minh city that we know today. Every country that has had some foothold in Vietnam left something behind.

For the French, it has to be the streetside baguette, done asian style of cos. Filled with green onions, and onions, and foie gras plus that ham, it's so yummy. Of cos, there's also the Notre Dame Cathedral.
For the US, the use of US dollars is so widespread, it's as though Vietnam never has its own currency. We went to restaurants that lay down bills which can be paid by Vietnam Dongs (vietnam's currency) or US Dollars.

Most of the time, we spend a good amount of time visting historical sites, soaking in how much HCM city cherish its history, and preserved its buildings. We went to visit cuchi tunnels. It was a series of tunnels used by the Vietnamese against thee foreign powers. Small & tiny, and carefully planned. Some tunnels i can't even fit into, and i don't consider myself that fat. The Vietnam War museum was interesting, with artefacts and pictures through the period of war.

A place i really liked, during the trip, has to be Jesus Hill. A statue of Jesus Christ is set on a hill at Vung Tau, three hours away from HCM City. It was a sight to behold, as He looks down upon the sea, the land and the people, watching them and safekeeping them. Every step up those 700 steps felt a lil closer to God. Once i reached the peak, i have one thing to say "wow". At that time, i was singing "I Can Only Imagine" By MercyMe. I felt touched by the wonders of God, and what he has given to me.

I guess other than feeling being in the prescence of God, one thing that made the trip so good was being with my family. My cousins Julian & Dylan flew in from US to join us.

Check out my flick for the pictures

Monday, June 09, 2008

Saab City Duathlon 2008 : 8th June 2008

So after Bintan Tri, it was a mad rush trying to get back onto the bike : something i stopped doing for a month or so. I wasn't feeling the best, during the week of City Duathlon either. I did run a lil. And i think the last i got the bike was thursday before the event : i did a 5km run / one loop coastal (less than 20) and 5km run brick. My afterthoughts were I was not going to live through the race. Man, that suck. I had cramps all through friday. Friends were concerned if i could even make it to finish the race.

Race day came. The air grew thinner. At loop 1 of the 10km run, i kept asking "are we there yet"; at the start of loop 2, my chest grew tighter, and there was a sharp pain in my heart. At this point, i felt : i am not going to make it. When i completed those 10km, i approached the field with the mental note to just take things lightly : what is another 40km of cycling? Bahhh! The field was muddy and totally made me dread the fact i was there. That's when confusion sets in, as the cycling route was changed due to the amount of gravel on the road. I find myself shouting to Julian & Kian Yan : I am on lap X, one more right? By the end of the cycling route (odometer wrote 25k, but i did complete 5 rounds, so i'm done), i had a smile on my face, all cos i knew i am almost there. All i have left on my plate then was my 5km run. I kept telling myself "1015am", but took longer than that. Cramps threatened to stop my run. I just kept telling myself "run Eve run", and got into a rhythm. It was extremely comforting to see Clifford on the run, and what made it more fun was making funny faces at the friends i made through the year in triathlon and endurance races.

I might not have been the fastest. I finished mid-pack as usual. There were tons of complaints on the trifam forum regards to the race. I had enough of those. If you don't like, sure complain.... just don't discourage newcomers to the sport. Let them join and have fun. Who knows, they might like it. I know i did.

Total : 2 hr 43 mins 30 secs
Splits : 10km run / 22km bike / 5km run : 1.08.01 / 59.53 / 35.37

Not bad at all, cos i haven't really trained.