p pol The Adventures of Carboman: May 2005

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Health Report Card

My company recently got into an arrangement with Quaker to run a "Love Your Heart" campaign. I went along on a whim (last minute actually) as I've never had my cholesterol level measured. Each participant will have the opportunity to have their bio-markers measured. Persons with high cholesterol will be provided sponsored Quaker Oats breakfast for 1 month, including weekends, their diet tracked and end results measured. A dietitian will be on hand to provide advice along the way.

I've just got my results. Thank goodness the dietery care I exercised over the years plus the running I've done have paid off. The results:

Total cholesterol: 4.1 (less than 5.2)
HDL (good cholesterol): 1.1 (more than 1.03)
LDL (bad cholesterol): 2.22 (less than 2.58)
Total Cho/HDL ratio: 3.7 (less than 5.0)
Glucose:4.9 (3.9 - 5.5) - even though I didn't fast the night before

I wish to stress that running is not the solution to health problems. It may help balance your blood sugar and BP but not cure cholesterol problems or worse, cancer. In fact Jim Fixx - widely recognized as the person who started the joggin craze in the 70s - died of heart attack while on the run. This excellent short article touches on the cause of his death.

I strongly advice all runners to get their bio-markers checked annually, if not regularly. Awareness and action save lives.

30th Anniversary of Pre's Passing

I received the Nike Online Newsletter with Pre's photo embedded in it. In conjunction with the 30th Anniversary of Pre's passing, Nike is paying tribute to one of its original sons by featuring many of Pre's famous quotes and some snippets from his short life in its website. If Pre was still alive today, he'd just be 54.

To view an excellent and inspiring video clip on Pre, visit the
Nike Running website. You can also download a wallpaper of a reticent-looking Pre and a thoughtful Bowerman here.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Weekend Run

Against my better judgment, I went for the volunteers' run on Sunday. This was a substitute run specially for volunteers, club EXCO as well as those who missed the actual event. My body was still racked with illness and it's still some ways before I recover fully.

I've been coughing and struggling with lethargy and the doctor told me that it was because of a throat infection. Having completed the antibiotics course, I was sufficiently better to consider running that morning. I really left it to the last minute as I'd inform Ajeep that I won't be making it.

After chatting up Tey, the Penguins, Newton, Cheong, Ben and Ajeep, we were set off. I couldn't help myself from settling into my 10K race pace and found myself among the first 7 runners up the double hill section. After which my lack of fitness told and I started to drop back further and further until reduced to a walk. Having vomited thrice didn't help as the action literally took my breath away. Mostly air, phlegm and mucus - nothing particularly serious.

With no more juice left in me, I just jogged and walked all the way back to the car park once I exited the Salahuddin section. A short while later a few of us walked to the Lake Gardens traffic lights to cheer the Bomba Run runners, in particular Ronnie and Chen. To "encourage" them to run faster we shouted that they still needed to overtake 4 more runners to make Top-50 (medal contention). Ronnie looked as if he was maxed out but Chen astoundingly showed that he had an extra gear and with an amazed/shocked/panicked look on his face, bolted forward to catch the front runner. We had a good laugh!

As for me, no running until this Saturday's Pacemaker Anniversary Run!

Home Internet Connection

During the recent residents' meeting, we were told that Broadband connection will only be available sometime end Aug/early Sep. That's another 3 months.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

More on Bangkok

My race report plus photos are up. Check it out here.

Read also about my Bangkok visit

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Running in Bangkok

Now I can add Bangkok to my list of places where I've run. It was part of a nationwide running event held at the various provinces of Thailand. I came in top 30 with a time of 24:22 (4:52 pace). It was nice to run with Lawrence Leong, who was also in the country for his company trip.

Look out for a more detailed report plus photos soon.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Land of Smiles, Here I Come!

After just coming back from leave, I'll be off again from tomorrow. Whilst tomorrow will be spent resting and supervising the workers at home (and hopefully have some time to sneak off to watch Episode 3!), Friday will see me flying off with my office colleagues to Bangkok for a 4-day vacation.

I've got a 5K planned on Sunday - Wesak Day - in Bangkok, so that'll be my primary running activity during this much needed break. I don't have major plans in Bangkok except to really relax, enjoy the massages, run just a bit (if not at the parks then at the hotel gym) and probably check out a couple of bookshops for some elusive books. The last time I was there, I chanced upon a title which was not sold here in Malaysia. So I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for pretty Thai girls and the books!

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Tiring 2 Weeks

I'm tired and it's not because of running. In fact over the last 2 weeks, the only running I've done was on last Thursday, when I logged 9 odd Ks.

It wasn't even due to the longer drive I've had to make since I moved. Rather it was because of the amount of stress I've had to cope with taking care of the loose ends for the new place. From home security to sorting out the boxes, carrying loads of stuff up the stairs, setting up the freaking indoor TV antenna (and failing at it!), figuring out the timer, writing out the numerous change of address notices, application of new phone line, renting out the apartment car park, posting out a notice of rental for the apartment and sourcing for a nursery/playschool for Carbo Kid.

Couple all those with having to catch up at work with a handful of critical timelines, I'm pretty worn out. I've since decided that I'll need the ugly outdoor TV antenna which I'll get installed this Thursday. Also I've got to start working on the Bangkok itinerary for my colleagues.

On a lighter note, I had a good time watching "Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo" last night where the crazy Rob Schneider plays a "man-whore". With all the heavy issues weighing me down, the 2 hours of unwinding did me real good. I miss my running. Hopefully I'll be able to slot in a couple of runs - I already have a 5K race slotted in Bangkok but that'll be more for experience.

Luckily for me, there isn't many races in the horizon, with both Ipoh and Penang opting out of the marathon. I intend to skip Ipoh, so Penang will be my next major race in August. Before that, I'll have some fun in the adidas PACM 4x3K in July as well as the Subang Jaya 10K in early June. PJ Half Marathon comes in September followed by Seremban Half Marathon. The year will close with the Singapore Marathon in December. I may or may not race the Power Run next month.

That's my update for now. Till the next time, happy running!

Friday, May 13, 2005

7 Lapper

After nearly 2 weeks of not running, I was back at the KLCC track yesterday. I was there early, so I took off at a slow pace at about 5:30pm. Surprisingly the weather was superb. Even a cool breeze was blowing. After 4 laps, averaging 7:30 per lap I stopped and stretched a bit. Kenny had SMS'd that he'll be coming. I rested awhile and chatted with Kenny while waiting for Newton. When Newton arrived, I ran a slow 3 laps with him. Rohaizad joined in from his usual waiting spot while on my final lap, Sam aka Irizan hopped along too.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Moving Day Report

Objective: To relocate household content from Kuchai Lama to Puchong
Distance: Approx 25K

After much stress and deprived rest over the previous week, D-Day finally arrived. I was very fortunate to have William, CM, Justin, Wen Dee and Rohaizad (very kind to offer his services after reading Justin's blog) to help with the logistics. By 1015hrs, everyone was briefed and was huffing and puffing away. The 2 trolleys certainly helped. While Justin handled the delicates ie. hi-fi stuff, I was very surprised of the strength on display by the others, including Wen Dee - strength and attractiveness...hmmmm.... By 1110 everything that can possibly be moved had been stowed away in every square inch of the cars. The fact that the stuff included many boxes, a complete hi-fi system, 4 dining chairs, bags of clothing said a lot on the organizational skills of these folks.

This was the longest convoy of cars that I've had to lead and before we pushed off, Justin, who ran in the morning's time trial, asked what pace should be we going, in allusion to running - we runners just can't stay away from the subject.

We reached the destination within 30 minutes and the unloading was executed so quickly, it was astounding. After some refreshments, a tour around the new place was in order. Justin couldn't resist trying on the new RM58 Gel-Cumulus and went for a short jog along the street. He said that the cushioning was tremendous, which I agree.

As only Wen Dee could avail herself for lunch, the group adjourned with a promise to meet up again for a run around my housing estate followed by a BBQ dinner. I'd be sure to keep that in mind once I get the new home organized! With the hardest part completed, I'm awaiting the the 2nd part where the movers will be coming for the large items next Tuesday.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Immigration Office, Telekom and Ikea

We've been moving stuff over to the new place for the past 1 week. Our small car can only take a few boxes and packages at a time. Since the curtains and some fittings were not yet in place, we didn't want to bring over too many stuff for the obvious security reasons.

Reached the Immigration Office (Wilayah Complex branch) at 7:15am and already a long queue was forming. What time did these people wake up? The touts were busy chatting people up to fleece them. For RM20, they'll slot you in at the front of the queue. I snubbed them but was later victimize when they slotted a bewildered but sweet woman in her early 30s in front of me. Apparently she just returned from overseas and was conned into doing this. She was apologetic enough. She got number 38 in the queue while I was 39. Then the bloody system had to go down and we had to wait until 8:35am, by which time I'd finished with the entire Star newspaper, before they could process the first application. Once the system came up, the numbers whizzed by. Soon enough I'd paid the RM300 and hurried out of the place.

The next place I visited was worse. There was just 4 persons in the queue at the Kedai Telekom at Bukit Mahkamah but it them the lumbering clerks to call me. If you see how these people work, the more impatient customer would have walked up and slapped them. Apparently the phone exchange is not yet up at my housing estate but will be soon. In any case, I completed my registration and will pay up only when the exchange is ready.

Next, I was at Ikea to get another CD rack - had run out of space for my collection. Then grabbed a couple more smaller stuff for the kitchen and headed for the new place to drop them off. On the way, I finalized the curtain delivery for tomorrow. It's gonna be a packed day tomorrow. All in quick succession:

- Final touchups by the wet works contractors
- Installation of airconds
- Followup visit by the anti-termite fellas
- Installation of the curtains

With the hectice schedule, need to keep hydrated and energy level up with enough carbs and protein.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Buy Of The Century

It's a ritual for us to have lunch at the Kinta City Shopping Mall in Ipoh when on our way back from Penang. It's not far off

the highway and has a variety of stuff there, with Jusco as a main tenant. And I always kept an eye on the Universal Traveller (UT) shop. You may know that this company has outlets in many shopping malls but this one in Ipoh sells Asics. So this outlet has my special interest.

I've not worn an Asics running shoe for years (at least 7). One of the reasons is price (usually exceeding RM400 for a technical model), the other is due to brand direction. You see, Asics tend to produce shoes that cater to those needing medial support (which is not my requirement). Therefore I've not had the experience of running in the popular GT-20xx series, nor had I the chance to try out their new technologies such as the SpEVA® midsole, Trusstic System® to shore the midfoot. My discarded pairs of Asics dated back to early year 2000, such as Gel-110 and Gel-Lyte 125.

So it was with curiosity that I spotted the UT shop with posters reading "Asics Clearance!" on it's windows. I walked right in and my jaw dropped. Running shorts were going for RM10. T-Shirts, vests, and other apparels and bags were sold between RM20 to RM50! Then there were the shoes. Not many were left, mostly football boots, spikes and trail ones.

But there were 2 models of running ones. The Gel 1070 and Gel Cumulus V. The 1070 had size US9.5 (which I wear) and the Cumulus V, US9. Before I tell you how much they were sold, let me tell you that the 1070 is a stability model (a relative of 20xx series) and the Cumulus a cushioning model in the mold of the Pegasus, but with better forefoot cushion. I've been waiting to get the Pegasus to replace the NB753 (on death throes now) as my primary marathon racing shoe, but now as fate would have it, this one comes along. Both very down to the last pair and they were showroom set. Therefore, 1 side is slightly dirtier (but not scruffed nor out/midsole worn out) than the other side which stayed in the box.

I tried the Cumulus and though it's a 9, it felt OK. No problems if the socks were the thin Nike ones that I have. Before I handed over my credit card, my wife asked, "Don't you have enough shoes?". I pretended I didn't hear her and paid. Why? Because the price was just RM59!

Here's how it looks like!

Some reviews of the various versions of Cumulus:
Running Times Running Network Runner's World

Last Minute Rush to Penang

After rushing home from the time trial, we were off to the new home for an extensive cleaning job. It was a hot day and after 4 hours of toiling, the place looked more presentable. We were pooped and our hands were blistered. And then we have a phone call from my Dad-in-Law who said that my Mom-in-Law has been hospitalized to remove some liver stones. I'd thought that there were only kidney and bladder stones existed and not liver stones. Anyway, we left Carbokid at the nanny's and shot back to Penang by car. We left KL at 7pm but due to the long weekend, the stretch of highway before Tanjung Malim were freaking jammed up. By the time we reached and had something to stave off the hunger, it was 1am.

3,000m PR

Plan for the morning was to bring along Carbokid and Mrs Carbo to the track to watch me run the time trial. The Pacemaker Gang is riding on the Pacesetter organized time trial for the upcoming adidas 4x3K Road Relay. The PM Gang is loking to form 2 teams to have fun in the relay and though I was game to qualify for one of the PM Gang's team, my primary target was to better my last year's time of 14:01.

That morning however, found my wife and kid still sleeping, so after gulping down just 1 cup of coffee, I slipped out of the apartment. I considered between the NB 753 or the Mizuno Precision 3 for awhile and settled for the Mizuno since I need responsiveness a little bit more for this speed run. After 2 laps of warm-up jog, Ronnie arrived and he was soon joined by Justin. Both were my designated pacers for that morning. We chatted a bit commenting how orange was the colour of the season before getting down to serious business.

THe early morning did no one any good as both of my pacers cacked their heads on what pace to run to hit my 13:45 target. John (read his report here) thankfully got it all worked out.

The plan: Start at 1:53 for the first lap and reduce/hold for the other 5. The final lap will be "anything goes" depending on whether the legs and lungs still have anything left.

I repeatedly tell Ronnie to not start too fast. I didn't have much pressure even though I had 2 very fast, strong and capable pacers plus a photographer in Tey. The track was getting crowded with the MSSM (national youth) athletes warming up. I managed to put in a last minute mimick of Pre's trademark crouch at the start. Justin knew my joke and we both laughed. The first lap was steady but I felt that it was a little slow to me to the point that it was easy. In fact, we were still chatting a bit. But there were still 6 to go. John and Ngae had already zoomed far ahead.

I drafted behind the 2 and zoomed in on Bee Hoon's metronome-like heavy breathing. We passed Jason on the 2nd lap and dropped Bee Hoon on the 4th. A few times, I felt that I could go faster and I ran shoulder to shoulder with Ronnie while Justin stayed on lane 3. With every marker passed Ronnie read out the splits and how much off target we were. We were in fact reducing the gap from 8 seconds (lap 3) down to 4 (lap 6). I was imagining scenes from Without Limits when Pre was running strongly with Gammoudi and Viren. And the track stand looked like Hayward Field for awhile. It certainly felt that way to me as we completed 1 lap after another. On one of this mental play, I felt "high" enough to overtake Ronnie - only for a while, I stress! Justin, with his dead-legs, was still traipsing lightly just ahead.

With 400m to go, Ronnie said to turn on the speed. In fact, that was what I had in mind already. At the 200m mark, I zoomed in on the runner ahead but the gap was just too wide. My momentum around the 150m curve put me too close to Ronnie and he was forced to run onto the grass area (sorry!). With my arms driving wildly, I crossed the finish line thoroughly enjoying the experience. I had no time to check my watch and only when Justin asked me to check my time did I peeked at the watch - 13:18! Woo hoo! Beyond my expectations! Jason too lowered him time in his 2nd attempt.

As happy as I was with the timing, I had a new level of admiration for both my pacers. Not only were they spot-on on the pacing (it's as if you can tell them your desired pace, and they can hit it accurately within 3 seconds) but also humble enough to lend their strengths and experience to assist lesser folks like me. Thanks guys!

Personal Timing to Beat: 14:01 (2004)
53:22 - 53:22
2:44.04 - 1:50.82
4:35.89 - 1:51.85
6:26.55 - 1:50.66
8:12.75 - 1:46.20
10:01.46 - 1:48.71
11:46.76 - 1:45.30
13:18.45 - 1:31.69

New Timing: 13:18.45
Approx pace per K: 4:35