Friday, July 29, 2005
Monday, July 25, 2005
Busy Few Days
The delivery guy just passed me my notebook just now and I'm busy installing softwares and copying files over to it. This is my first notebook and it'll definitely add to my out-of-office productivity.
Lunch was the simple but delectable Jalan Bandar beef ball noodles. On my way there after cancelling the phone line to my old apartment, I popped by a used bookstore and enquired about running books. Most of the stuff they have there are priceless. I spotted a 12-book colelction written by Churchill on the WWII campaigns. Each costs RM48 (mind you this is 2nd hand)! OK back to running books. I was pleased as punch that they have a good condition Running with Legends by Michael Sandrock! The Kinokuniya sticker was still there showing the original price of RM80++. It was sold to me at RM50! After reading it a few months ago (it was PM19's "bible"), I was tempted to grab the last copy at Kino, so thankfully I opted to wait. 2 fantastic running books acquired within a week! Does it get any better? This Sunday will be the Klang 10K. Maybe it will get even better for me heh?
Friday, July 22, 2005
Lim Peh Beh Tahan Liao!
For the most parts of tomorrow, we'll be at home catching up with Mom, finishing some house chores and tidying up while there's a dinner planned outside in the evening. I'll run a bit on Sunday morning and then we will head downtown to the Bukit Bintang area as I've got some stuff to do. The missus, Carbo Kid and Mom would probably chill out at Borders while waiting for me. In fact they've not been to Sg Wang, Lot 10 for a long time as well.
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
I dreamt that I was on my death bed, with just minutes away from the next world. I distinctly felt the coldness dripping my hands and feet and remembered calling out to my wife and she sat down beside me. No sign of Carbo Kid (probably studying overseas!). Finally, I muttered something like "The only thing that matters is love" (or your company...something like that, I can't remember exactly. Then I woke up.
If you'd like to know what I'm talking about, just visit his site. I don't know how he knows where to get such photos but I know that he sure brightened up many persons' morning.
Monday, July 18, 2005
The Deed Is Done!
Being a sucker for pain and suffering, I've this morning paid SGD29.75 (early bird + returning entrant) to register for this year's Singapore Marathon. 3 days after the opening of the online registration, my race ID has reached 526! And Alex, who confessed to being kiasu, registered on the opening day itself and was rewarded with 008!
Alex Leong - 008
Jamie - 526
Jantzen Tey - yet to register
Jason Lim - yet to register
Joviet Sim - yet to register
Runwitme - don't know registered or not
...and many more!
Half Marathon (yet to register)
...and many more!
Will you be joining us in Singapore? Hit this link and sign up for the race of your lives!
Sunday, July 17, 2005
Sunday Long Run
So while some fanatics are racing in Melaka and PD today, I showed Simon the Hartamas route. He's a little familiar with KL having been here a few times before. After picking him up from Jalan Sultan Ismail, we headed to the Bukit Aman car park where Munning was already there. After a short chat, the 2 of us took off at a very easy pace. The morning was really cool and I was glad to find that the Jalan Duta intersection has been reopened - the flyover is completed but still unopened. So some care is still required to cross the road safely. Most of the way I ran slightly in front and we chatted little. I guess we really wanted to conserve energy.
Reached Hartamas with no problems and after a hydration break, we set back. Either I was running faster or Simon was practicing his race pace, he fell further back but I always waited for him. By the time we reached the Bank Negara junction we parted ways as he ran/walked back to his apartment located behind the Shangri-La Hotel. He said the route is quite challenging but nice for training and that he's looking forward to running there again. And in case you happen to see a 6 foot Caucasian running at the KLCC Park at about 7pm or so, carrying a small backback, chances are that'll be Simon. Remember to say "Hi!".
Friday, July 15, 2005
A New Friend
We made arrangements to meet at the KLCC Park on a wet Friday evening and the rain had slowed to a drizzle when I got to the park. I had only my ClimaFIT cap on and after lacing my shoes and didn't see Simon at the agreed spot, I set off. As it turned out, Simon was waiting in the shade just a couple of yards ahead.
We chatted quite a bit and I learnt that he's currently training for an ultra-race across the desert in Egypt in September - a 240K trek across carrying noting but own supplies without a crew!! If you were running with us at that time you would've seen my jaw dropped. Simon prefers cross country than road running and personally I think he's more of the adventure racer type. It's really a remarkable thing that he's attempting to do this September. To put the distance in perspective, his race is longer than Badwater (135 miles - 216K) and even more extreme as he will be crewless (Badwater racers had crews attending to them) and will need to navigate by compass. I suspect Simon is a trained ex-SAS or British Special Forces operator!
Our laps went by quickly in the cool weather and he decided to call it a day after the 5th while I continued on for another lap. The meeting aside, it had been a most enjoyable run. I hardly felt any fatigue and my legs were fresh to the point that I was looking forward to the 20K (my first in months!) with Simon this Sunday.
8:16 > 7:50 > 7:44 > 7:37 > 7:17 > 6:40
Total time: 45:26
Average lap: 7:34
Thursday, July 14, 2005
Justin and I started at a leisurely pace enjoying the cool and breezy weather. The rain had just stopped and the conditions were just wonderful. On our 2nd lap we saw Kenneth about 200 metres in front and perhaps in our eagerness to catch up with him we brought our times down to 7:09. I was still perky and I told Justin that I'd like to keep the pace up even if I may not be able to hold it for 8 laps. Heck it felt so good to run fast that I couldn't give a damn about how many laps I could do at that pace. Justin had had a punishing day the day before but yet could still hammer it out.
Kenneth stayed with us for a lap and then motioned us to go ahead - he must still be sore from Monday's intervals. The next few laps passed very quickly. In fact I didn't realise that we were already in the 6th lap and I thought we were running too fast with a 6:30 5th lap. So we made a conscious effort to slow things down hence the drop to 6:43. Then with 2 laps to go, Justin pulled away and I just tried to keep up. Ronnie had shouted that I'd better PR. The 7th lap felt very fast and I felt my diaphram tightening up but I just grinded my way through the last one, which surprisingly was even faster.
At the end I felt really good in nailing the 8 lapper, reducing nearly 2 minutes of the previous timing! I need to thank Justin to running alongside me even though he was a little sore from his own training. Running alone at that pace for 8 laps would not have been easy. That night my legs felt great - I could feel the muscles tightening which is always a good feeling that you've done a good workout. I downed the remaining bits of Endurox and accompanied Carbo Kid for his nightly adventure with Disney's Tarzan.
7:40 (5:53 pace) > 7:09 > 7:01 > 6:50 > 6:30 > 6:43 > 6:33 > 6:22 (4:55 pace)
Total time: 54:51
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
2005 Singapore Marathon
Registration opens July 15th! For more info, do a tempo run to http://www.singaporemarathon.com/2005/index.asp! Thank goodness the fee is similar to last year's.
According to the website, 14,905 participants from 91 countries participated in the event with the following breakdown:
. Full Marathon - 4,694 participants
. Half Marathon - 3,549 participants
. Quarter Marathon - 4,675 participants
Balance from the other relay and kid events. This year the organizers are expecting 18,000 participants with a 20,000 capping. The 2005 route will follow closely to the 2004 one with just a few tweaks. It's also interesting on how they provide and canvass for volunteers: http://www.singaporemarathon.com/2005/volunteers/index.asp , http://www.singaporemarathon.com/2005/volunteers/positions.asp
If you're a non-runner who chanced upon this posting, I've just this to say: Forget spending your hard-earned money on a gym membership. Just run! Whether you like exercising in a group or alone, just run! In rain or shine, just run! 20 minutes or 2 hours, just run! Get out there! Your life can be that much enriching in so many ways. Don't know how to start? The group of us would be more than happy to help you get started. We're at KLCC every Wednesday, hanging out after our run near the mosque area or just look for a bunch of happy looking people running. You'll be equally happy too after your run!
Burning Feeling Is Good
Kenneth was already in his first lap but contrary to his posting in the shoutbox that he was going easy, he was apparently hitting it. Turned out that he was doing 1K reps. Nearly all my runs were progression runs and yesterday was no different averaging 5:30 pace right down to a flat 5:00 for the final lap. Julian was still running comfortably with his friend KT when I started the slope repeats near the KLCC Convention Centre.
The first "hike" up took me 44 secs and it felt too easy. I then step on the gas a bit and brought down the time to 42 secs which I held consistently for the next 5 reps. The last rep was accomplished in a near-sprint mode - 30 odd secs. I was not satisfied with the little amount of stress the legs were being subjected to. True, my lungs and upper body were getting a good workout but the legs hardly felt "pushed" as at 150 meters long, the incline is simple not long enough. I could also use with a steeper gradient such as the one near my old apartment which was 400 meters long and 20 to 25 degrees incline. Good hill reps should take about a minute to get to the top each time.
I wasn't satisfied and still am not. Them legs need a tougher workout but I won't be able to run today as I've got an appointment later this evening.
7:35 > 7:26 > 7:04 > 6:29 (5:00 pace)
Distance: 5.2K (without hill reps)
Average lap: 7:09 (5:30 pace)
Monday, July 11, 2005
Dude Where's My Card?
The excitement hadn't caught on yet as it's still a long way to go to December but chances are that I'll be running my 5th marathon in Singapore again. That'll be my 3rd attempt since 2003 at finishing with a good time there. Since Standard Chartered took up the title sponsorship from Exxon-Mobil in 2002, the Singapore Marathon has always been a wonderfully organized event. The event has grown by leaps and bounds over the years in terms of participants. The number of cheer teams dipped slightly in 2003 but I hope the organizers will put up bigger incentives to lure more teams this year.
Running Singapore is naturally challenging, not in terms of terrain (it's rather flat) but in the weather. Located just off the equator, runners can anticipate hot and humid weather nearly all the way. To read more about my previous Singapore Marathon experiences, hit the links below:
My 2003 Singapore Experience | 2004 Experience
Friday, July 08, 2005
Of BMW Drivers and Other Brain Dead Ones
- Zipping in and out of the heavy traffic
- Drives with one hand on the steering
Which makes me wonder at how many newly rich idiots there are out there (as the BMW drivers of old I've seen are definitely well behaved). Perhaps the makers of the ultimate driving machine are attempting to test out their car safety on actual Malaysian road conditions.
My rant is not over. How often are you bugged by drivers who seemingly are oblivious that their headlamps are on high beam? You either get the blur types who are simply unaware or those whose right headlamps are on high while the left sides are on low. My only speculation on how this happens is that when they had their lamp bulbs replaced, they didn't check on the elevation or positioning of the replacement bulb - a simple task that won't take 5 minutes. The brightness of their headlamps are only dampened by their dimwittedness.
How about this. After waiting in a jam 500m away from the traffic light for 8 minutes, the traffic cop signals for your side of traffic to move. The cars at the front of the queue take off! And then you find yourself waiting for the car in front to get moving and when it does, at 20km/h!!! You clench the steering and grit your teeth and wonder how homosapiens made it to the top of the foodchain by being a slow mover. Then the traffic cop pointed at your car to stop but Slo-Mo got through to the other side. You feel like banging your head on the dashboard and as a reward get to wait another 8 minutes for your next turn.
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
PBR No More
5:58!!!! Lim Peh Boh Siang Seen!
Before long Justin pointed out our very "Zatopek" to me who wasn't running that slow. Indeed he was all that Kenneth had described him. "Zatopek" was obviously suffering but he kept his flailing arms and legs going, clapping to psyche himself up. Justin and I agreed that if this fella picks up the sport big time, he's capable of runing some mad times. You see, in terms of bravery and pure guts, this novice has no peers - at least it seemed that way.
We soon got ahead of "Zatopek" and our pace picked up little by little. On my 4th lap, I got my share of runnus interruptus when my wife called to go home. With the auditors around the office, she'd been working pretty late last week, so she wanted to leave early. I suggested to Justin to hit a fast final lap and off we went. I only managed to hang on to him for 1/2 a lap after which he pulled further and further away. I simply didn't have the leg turnover - the touch-go-touch-go-light landing-fast takeoff "thing". But was I shocked when I checked my watch after the final lap! 5:58! It certainly didn't feel like it. I thought I was running 6:15, which I've been clocking a few times already. Another milestone - my fastest KLCC lap.
7:54 > 7:28 > 7:07> 6:56 > 5:58 (4:30 pace)
Average lap: 7:05 (5:25 pace)
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Chapati + Dhal = Breakfast of Champions
My usual reading habit dictates that I dig into a few books at the same time. Lately due to the lack of time and to maintain focus on each book cover that I've opened, I've switched tactics and decided to finish one at a time - a sort of "Finish What You Started Policy". Granted some books just can't be read cover to cover. An example would be Tim Noakes Lore of Running, which sometimes transport me back to my High School Biology days learning about Adenosine Tri-Phosphate. After DKUM, I'll make it a point to finish firstly Jack Daniels' The Running Formula.
Dri-Tech Briefs Review
Up till recently, serious athletes can get these apparels quite easily but have not had the chance to experience it on a more intimate level unlike our brethrens from the US and other running-developed countries. While not a sports brand, Renoma has been associated mostly with office and casual wear. They are quite well known for their range of underwear. I chanced upon their sports briefs recently during a excursion to Isetan KLCC and what caught my eyes was the "Dri-Tech" word inscribed on the box. The briefs look the same as any other, the styling just slightly more dynamic with "sportier lines" - gosh I didn't know words used to describe cars could be used for briefs! Anywa, the feel of the fabric is really smooth almost silk like, to the point that you just know it's going to be comfortable.
I've worn them for 2 days now, both occassions not while out running, so I can't vouch for their efficacy under duress. No doubt they're very comfortable on normal times. Later today, I'll be able to test them to full effect when I go for my usual workout at KLCC. Even if they fail to perform when worn for a run, for just RM29 for a box of 3, it's still a good buy for normal day-to-day wear.
The briefs performed well yesterday. Besides the usual laps, I also put in some hill repeats. I didn't feel any discomfort at any time. Most importantly post-workout, I noticed that the briefs were much drier than the cotton ones. This shows that they dry faster. I'd give this product a thumbs up!
Monday, July 04, 2005
4 Weeks To Klang
We jogged off slowly past the playground where Carbokid was playing with his Mom and before long we left the "safe" confines of the housing area for the roads outside. There weren't many cars and the roads were sufficiently wide enough for the 2 of us. At one point I could help imagining that I was running in Ethiopia - with the dirt paths and, hot and barren land around us. As expected a few passers-by cast us some stares. I wonder when can we have a running culture that's so strong and entrenched as some countries in the west.
It was a push towards the end and we were pretty exhausted from the heat. We completed the approximately 7K run in 39 minutes. Not too bad at all and when PM19 dropped by clutching a VCR and the Fire On The Track VHS, it capped off a Saturday morning perfectly.
Friday, July 01, 2005
Finally A Cool Evening
Lunch just now was kebab at KLCC with Mun Cheong. Then we walked over to the spanking new KL Convention Centre for the Maxis 3G launch. I thought the whole deal was pretty hyped up. I'm a person who's not too keen on using the mobile phone as a multimedia equipment other than to make calls, SMS and a rare MMS. Surfing the web, gaming, performing other downloads using a mobile are simply not viable to me. Screen size aside, the startup and monthly costs are too high. These propositions are best left to notebooks.
On the way to the convention centre I bumped into Gavin Bong. He just came out from the Expo as well. Having been consumed with work, I hope to catch up with him at the races, and that's usually post race coz he's in a different class altogether.