It is always good to be perky. Or so I am told. So what are the perks for a pro of being in the Philippines?!

  1.  It is like training in a swedish sauna (unfortunately minus the Swedish boys). We are more roasted than your average chicken and have tan lines to make any zebra envious.
  2.  The naked winter trees in the UK have been replaced by large palmy varieties, complete with coconuts. Unfortunately the local coconut population has declined dramatically due to Erica’s (resident coconut milk addict) over consumption of the said nut.
  3. Local wildlife. We have troops of monkeys (competing with Matt and Stevo for the best facial and body rug) and world record breaking, giant bats the size of aeroplanes. There are also some stunning fluorescent blue birds and dogs which are a feast for fleas and we did see a rather large snake, which was nearly dead, but not dead enough for us to want to get too close.
  4.  We have a top class track and a pool on our doorstep. Means you can roll out of bed and into the session. Very good for getting extra beauty sleep, not so good for any early morning fast twitch muscle action.
  5.  Bargain snips. The cheapest haircut I have seen is 38 pesos. That is less than a dollar. I think the Boss opted for this one. And is regretting it. A sheep shearer might have done a better job.
  6. Beef jerky (jerky and perky in one blog). Very popular in these parts. I am now a convert, and have complete appreciation for the delights of these chewy strips of cardboard (cunningly disguised as dried meat). Although I now suffer from lock jaw. 
  7. For those with a passion for more rubbery meat in a floppy bap there is Jollibees. The Boss keeps trying to get me to eat the Champ Burger. Almost the same price as a haircut. I would rather chew on my own hand, a car tyre or beef jerky. Much more jolly, although slightly less bang for buck.
  8.  Hills. It is either up or down. My calves are now the size of Pamela Anderson’s implants from grinding up the hills in Mr Big. I have so far miraculously avoided taking out any teammates, monkeys or mangy dogs through my complete inability to descend faster than a tortoise.
  9.  There are policemen everywhere. Always good to have some men in uniform. (They also make a very good taxi service when you have two flats in one ride and only one tube).

 So all in all things are perky, training is going well and things are looking good for IM Australia next month! I will be on my old, speed machine ‘Vijetaa’ the P2, ready to give it everything I have, and earn myself a few scooners at what promises to be an awesome after party!

 I am pretty excited because I have signed on the dotted line and now have some sponsors to thank! TYR, Cervelo, Blue Seventy and Oakley – plus Sigma Sport, who have made sure that I can finally ditch my ancient biking shoes, battered non aero helmet and broken (but fixed with industrial glue the day before Hawaii) peddles: all of which should carry and health warning and incinerated or sent to an antique shop.  I also want to say a big CHEERS to Tim and the post-room boys at ABN-Amro for risking life and limb by sending me free packages and to Jerilee (my No1 fan – who is on a mission to convert everyone in India into triathletes). Thanks!