p pol The Adventures of Carboman: November 2005

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Latest Singapore Updates

I met up my former schoolmate for lunch today and promptly ran through the Singapore road map with him. Glad to say that he had plotted the easiest way to the hotel for me. Another equally important thing I asked was on the weather. Apparently it has been wet down south (hey, don't read between the lines!). Some days saw rain the entire day. Generally it's been pretty cool. That means should be good for us marathoners right? More revealing sights, cooler climate, you get the works...

I heard from a friend that the organizers have ran out of 10K adidas vests and hence collection of the vests can only be done at 5pm on Saturday. Please note that this affects the 10K only. However if you're there early, there's no harm in trying to collect earlier - if the stock is in, then you'll be able to wrap things up earlier.

3 more days!

Monday, November 28, 2005

PM3 International Open & Busy Monday

Many of Der_Pacemakers gathered for PM3's Hari Raya open house. Carbokid certainly had the time of his life playing with Pipot. Check out the photos below.

Pipot & Carbokid

Pipot & Carbokid (again!)

Click to enlarge!
Der_Pacemakers (click on photo to enlarge!)

It was great to see many regulars again
 with Singapore just a few days away. Indeed quite many of the group will be making the trip down.

Monday was spent running around - well, driving around! Had a few things to take care of before the Singapore trip this Saturday. After dropping the wife at the office, I drove to Mid Valley to have my hair cut and to use the Wi-Fi at the Starbucks. Alas, the Starbucks outlet had no Wi-Fi service - damn TNS! Promptly got bored doing nothing, so I called Kenneth to join me for a cuppa and got him to call Lawrence along. At least time passed by quickly especially so when we talked about what else but running and what's gonna happen this weekend. After going our separate ways, I headed to the 15minute haircut mini outlet to have a head job - my hair was resembling a mophead.

After that I rushed to meet an ex-colleague to pick up his camera, a loaner for my trip. Then it was to Pantai Hills to deliver some stuff to my Mom's friend. After that it was to Kuchai Lama to collect my comforter from the laundry, mails from the old apartment, get 2 cans of milk powder for Carbokid and get the car's fan belt adjusted. My wife wanted to leave the office at 5pm sharp, so I had to forgo the videoshoot I had in mind for some Pacemakers. Perhaps another day, guys.

It's been a tiring day and there's 2 things left to do before I reach home. Call the plumber and to collect my broadband modem. Apparently Streamyx is now available in my area!

Till tomorrow, cheerio, stay healthy, start your carbo-loading and stay fresh for Sunday!

5 more days!

5 days to D-Day!

Friday, November 25, 2005

Singapore Weather: Next 10 Days

Regardless of weather, hydration is key going into next week. However, the weather may yet play a big part in the outcome of 22,000 runners' personal battles. The weather's looking good so far. The following is the forecasted next 10 days' Singapore weather as extracted from weather.com. The percentage denotes likelihood of showers.

Invitation from Fitness Concept

Fitness Concept is inviting Pacesetters runners to their HeadOffice in Subang Jaya or at Subang Parade for a short survey/ feedback on their new US made Nordictrack treadmill. Details as the follows:
Time/Date : Anytime/date that is convenient to you. Proposed : Monday (28/11: at 3pm, Venue Subang Parade)
No of people : 5- 10 runners/sportsman, age 28 - 50 years old, combination of man/woman.
Survey      : Outlook, Running Feel, Technology & USP feedbacks.
There'll be a token of appreciation for participants. Interested parties please email Pacesetters President Munning Jamaludin at ceimj@pc.jaring.my ASAP stating your membership number and preferred date/time.
Brought 2 u by PM5

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Singapore Strategy

Hmmm... Those racing in Singapore would undoubtedly be formulating some race strategies. I've not really given it much of a thought besides aiming to maintain my pace and concentration, and staying relaxed for as long as possible - hopefully up to the 35K mark. That's pretty much it!
However on the other fronts, there are much strategizing to do. Like packing, getting ready the maps, running through some checklists, driving into Singapore, planning the itinerary for the clan's 4 days there, keeping the clan occupied and happy. The plan is as follows:
Dec 3rd
6am: Leave home
10:30: Arrive TUAS, custom and vehicle clearance
11:00: Driving into CBD
11:45: Arrive at Hotel, check-in early if room is available
12:30pm: Lunch or light snacking on the way to the Expo
1:30: Bib collection & Marathon Village/Expo
3:30: Free & Easy at Suntec City. If Carbokid wakes up after his noon nap, we'll hit Orchard Road. Wanna grab the GNC smoothie @ Tangs
6:00: Back to Hotel to shower
6:30: Dinner at Pastamania @ Funan with marathon gang. Order Carbokid a pizza
8:30: Leisure & charge digicam
10:00: Layout race gear, pin bib and gels, prepare drinks, set 3 alarms, pack digicam and fresh post-race clothes
10:30pm: Sing-alongs with Carbokid, stretch and lights-out
Dec 4th
3:50am: Wake up, toilet duties, stretch, eat & hydrate
5:00: Lace up! Walk to the Starting Line
6:00: Let out a loud whoop and join in the 42K Adventure
11:00: Hope to have finished, collected post-race goodies and take photos with buddies
12:00pm: Freshen up at Hotel and get ready for Sentosa
12:30pm: Leave Hotel for Harbour Front MRT
1:30 till 7:00: Lunch and tour Sentosa
8:00: Back to Hotel, dinner at Funan foodcourt. If still have energy, to explore around City Hall area
Dec 5th
7:00am: Rise & Shine, Breakfast at Hotel
8:30: Leave for Ang Mo Kio MRT, take cab to Zoo. Decide whether to return for the Night Safari or to skip it and tackle Orchard instead.
1:30pm: Orchard Road Marathon, free and easy rest of the day

Dec 6th
Morning: Breakfast at Hotel, free & easy
2:00pm: Goodbye Singapore! Hope I've done enough not to have to come back to exorcise you again in 2006!

Dec 7th - 11th
Damage Assessment (pocket and physical), review 2005 performance, plan 2006 race goals
Embark on DVD Marathon at home

Woo hoo! 10 days to go!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Singapore Marathon Event Handbook

I'm one person who likes to plan things way in advance - especially when travelling for an outstation race. Last year's edition allowed downloads of the event handbook from its official website. This informative handbook provides plenty of tips on the event from the runners as well as spectators. The thing I find most useful is the tent layout of the Padang, as I don't want to waste time looking for the baggage tents, the toilets and the Carnival area.

Anxious that there's been none posted on the website with 12 days to go, I emailed the Singapore organizers. Below are their reply for your information.

Dear Jamie Pang,

Thank you for your enquiries. All runners will receive an exclusive Race Entry Pack which will consist of the following:

• An Event Handbook (hard-copy only), Event Singlet, Race BIB number, and a host of other sponsor novelties
• A loaned ChampionChip for the latest and most accurate timing

Thank you for your interest in the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon

Have a nice day.

So it looks like I'll have to depend on the physical copy when I collect my race pack. And looks like we'll be getting an adidas vest this time around instead of an event T-Shirt - which is a good thing since we will be collecting our finisher's T-Shirts anyway. Hopefully the race pack will come in a nice bag.

Not Easy Loh...

I came across this excellent posting in seecube's blog about the marathon experience from the elites to the average fellas. No. 7 on USA TODAY's 10 hardest things to do in sports is running a marathon in two-plus hours. Here's why it's so hard, from a scientific perspective, from an expert athlete's perspective and from an average joe's. To read the full article hit this USA Today link. 

One statement made at the end of the article says it all: "
I know people who have run one marathon and vow they'll never run another. But I don't know anyone who has finished a marathon and doesn't cherish the accomplishment."

Long may you run! 12 days to go!

Note: For the Top 10 list, click here.


Monday, November 21, 2005

Sicko Alert!!

Help! I have 3 sickos in my office, all within a radius of 80 meters of me! In desperation, I'm now wearing a face mask like the one so many were wearing during the recent haze problem. The mask wearing culture so common in Japan should be adopted here for hygiene purposes. Just think about it:

- The smokers can keep their bad breath to themselves
- The sick can prevent the spreading of airborne and fluidborne (eg saliva) germs
- The healthy can stay healthy
- The folks waiting to race the marathon can work without anxiety

Why can't the days pass more quickly? 13 days to go!

Weekend De-stress & Distress

OK, I've finally watched THE runners' movie of the moment - Running Boy (Marathon). It wasn't too bad. In fact many could've made a hash out of it. As it turned out, the running story is secondary compared to what I felt was its main theme, autism. The version I bought was the original Korean version with Chinese and English (thankfully accurate) subtitles, so I had no trouble following the movie. The storyline is simple enough to follow anyway. I also thought counting of numbers in the Korean language sounded like Hokkien dialect! As I said, the movie is good, moving at a patient pace. Cho Seung-Woo who played the autistic main character Cho-Won did a good job and is likeable. Some of the marathon sequence brought lumps into my throat especially those that showed the crowd cheering the runners on. I'm not writing about the story as I believe it's been covered adequately by Runwitme and Tey. Cho-Won did realise his dream of completing a marathon within the target time of sub-3. At first, I felt that having the character achieve that stupendous goal time belittles the effort required in training for it - he doesn't seem to have trained a lot except for a couple of mega runs, there's no speedwork involved (at least not shown). But then I realised that this movie isn't as much about running as about the triumph against adversity. A triumph about the human heart and spirit and about daring to dream. Cho-Won probably taught me that, as with our actual races, to simply look at our finishing times (challenging and motivating all the same) is to miss the whole picture.

I also caught up with the 2nd season of 24, by digesting 8 solid episodes in 1 sitting! Talk about marathon movie watching. Pretty gripping stuff so far. As usual Elisha Cuthbert looked simply shaggedelic in tight tops, showing her glorious assets. She also managed to get into one trouble after another. I don't know about you but how many 24 hours (now in Season 4 I heard) that Jack Bauer can possibly bear. All the previous seasons (Season 2 was about a possible nuclear threat in LA, Season 3 was about biological terror) showed him being put through crazy 24-hour deadlines and situations that can make a grown man curl into a fetal position and cry shamelessly.

Just when I thought the day couldn't have been better, the water piping to the rooftop tank sprung a major leak. In came the plumbing team and they found that the pipe transporting the water mains into the tank had burst. To compound things, the roofing on which the tank is seated is not allowing the leaked water to flow down the drainpipe, so there's an inch of water on the roof. I later learnt that many houses had problems with the plumbing as well, so this is down to the developer's contractors. My plumbers had to rig a new piping line from the meter up to the tank bypassing the leak. They also need cleanup the water mess and lay a waterproofing material to prevent further seepage to the ceiling.
Total damage to correct the piping and roof? RM2,600!

A setback to my savings for the New York Marathon! Double TNS!

Shoe Review: Air Pegasus 2005

My last pair of Nikes was years ago. Before I lost faith in the brand, I was a very satisfied user of the Air Max, the flourescent yellow and red Air Pegasus Racer and the glove-like Air Huarache (my all-time favourite). A combination of poor workmanship (horror stories of soles coming apart and midsoles disintegrating) and escalating prices made me stay away from them for many years until now.

While they've always made excellent running apparels, I'm still approaching Nike shoes with some caution. I went with the Pegasus because they've been very reliable since 2000. They're proven workhorses with durability one of their main strengths. The Pegasus has been around for over 20 years, so that says a lot for this venerable shoe.

The 2005 model see a departure from the boring and tadpole-like look but will it stand up to my needs? Read on.

Visual Rundown and Features
The version I purchased, incidentally from Singapore, was the one with the red trimmings. The upper is completely revamped from previous years'. There are reflective panels in front and back and on the tongue, somewhat lesser than the 2004 model. The red synthetic leather trimmings connected to the lace eyelets appear to function to provide a snugger fit when laced up. Mesh construction all round with padded tongue, small swoosh logos near the toe and heel collar areas.

This shoe is definitely built for comfort for the long runs. There's an inner sleeve which connects to the tongue to provide a sock-like fit. A notable addition is a thin layer of EVA foam placed directly underneath the removable insole (sockliner), so I'm not able to determine whether the shoe is built on a combination or slip last.

The midsole is made of Phylon (Nike's proprietory EVA) suggests a softer ride. A bit of PU (polyurethane) material is plugged into the medial area for durability. Some Pegasus faithfuls have railed Nike to this addition as well as the inclusion of a plastic arch support for midfoot integrity. Their grouse is that Nike has sold out on keeping the Pegasus as a basic shoe minus the whizzbangs.

A full length Air sole unit and the carbon rubber waffle with something called Sticky Rubber outsole complete the setup.

My usual shoe size is US9.5 but I found that US10 suits me best for this model. The 10 provides a snug midfoot, airy forefoot and adequate heel fit which doesn't slip. The 9.5 provides too close a fit, not conducive for marathons. To my surprise the laces provided are just too short. I'm not able to decently tie it much less double knot it. In the end I swapped them with my old NB753's knotty laces. A friend told me that the laces for his Air Max Moto is also rather short.

First Run
Firm! I was shocked when I took it for its first outing at the KLCC track. It certainly didn't feel that way in the stores and on tarred roads. Typical of Nikes, some breaking in is necessary. Because of the inner sleeve, the tongue doesn't slip sideways. The heel to toe transition is smooth - the irritating break felt on toe-off (so apparent in models such as the previous Pegasus, present Air Moto and the new Air Huarache) has been completely eliminated, to my delight. Another positive is that the Sticky Rubber inserts provide good grip on the wet and slippery surface, so I was running confidently on wet conditions.

Subsequent Runs
I've since taken the shoes on a few runs ranging from 5 to 13Ks. Over those distances, there was no heat buildup though I must admit that the runs were made in cool conditions. The instep side was especially airy, providing fantastic ventilation. The rides have became smoother and softer and I'm beginning to like this shoe more and more. This weekend's 35K should provide a sterner test before December 4th.

For my review of another shoe, the K4, click here.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Mostly About My School Days

Had a good progressive tempo run yesterday. Despite the cool weather I was sweating profusely at the end of the workout. It's nice to discover that there's still some life (read: speed) in the legs. Will go on a steady run today - to run it slower than yesterday. Justin was at the park yesterday. He looked a bit gaunt on the cheeks if I may say so, something he was quite happy about. Must be the thought of finally ridding of the fat he put on for his recent wedding. We chatted a bit about the upcoming book on Bowerman and on Ron Hill's participation in this Sunday's Ipoh Road Runners 10K.
Even though I'm not a fan of cats, Rohaizad's attempt to help a dying feline touched my heart.
The tall and slender new contract programmer in my office sports a brown top today. Her bra straps (also brown) are exposed. Incidentally she is also a runner having participated in several local 10Ks and also last year's NB Pacesetters 15K. While my unit is totally devoid of lookers, the company provides employment to many "happening" young women. It is totally unfortunate (for the menfolk, mostly) that none of them run at KLCC, if at all.
One of my colleague's daughter received 5 distinctions (out of 5 subjects she sat for) in her UPSR (Year 6) exams. I won't go into a debate of past exams standards versus present but today scoring maximum distinctions are expected of students especially in the primary and lower secondary years. Either the kids are getting smarter or the standards are dipping. Needless to say parental pressure have increased many fold as well. I never excelled in school. Maths and Science subjects were my poorest even though I loved the Sciences (especially Biology, not for its reproduction chapter, which was covered in a measly scope by the way). Brought up on a diet of 95% English books - I collected Alfred Hitchcock's 3 Investigators, Hardy Boys, Tintin and several Classic Novels - I never got round to accepting the fact that I was studying those subjects in Bahasa. Nothing against the national language but some subjects simply don't "shine" in the native language. My curiosity and interest were not piqued. With much caning, I did reasonably well in the lower secondary. My results then dipped over the years, my only noteworthy achievement was a distinction in the Cambridge Level "O" English paper.
The syllabus in upper secondary school expanded somewhat but combining the subjects I was interested in such as Fine Arts and English Literature was not possible due to the rigid curricular structure. In the end I had to settle with English Lit. My attempt at reading Shakespeare (creative fella), Fielding (funny fella) and Chaucer (wierd fella) ended in near disaster. Oh, I enjoyed the old books and tongue twisters and I even got round to buying a couple of Macbeth books (for their character critiques) and BBC VCD. But I didn't possess the necessary analytical and critical mind to write well about them. My school headmaster who taught us the subject (gasp!) was disappointed with a few of us. We were at times more fearful of him rather than paying attention to the books. He wanted us to read our parts like we were acting them out - with emotions! I barely made the grades. Therefore, instead of writing for the New York Times today, I'm writing race reports and musings which you are reading here. To end my posting, I still don't like Maths.
And yes, it's 17 days to the Singapore Marathon.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Tapering Time!

Whatever's been done has been, or should have been done. Whatever's not will no longer matter as it's already too late. With 18 days to D-Day, this is the time to allow the body to recover from the battering it has been subjected to the previous months. This is the recover-and-rebuild phase when the body is supposed to come back stronger.

However this does not mean that the runner is turned into a full time couch potato. Of course there are more opportunities for "feet-up" time when one can catch up on rest and the DVDs but keeping the key workouts going are also critical. Runs will be tempo-based - shorter but with greater intensity. Long runs should be reduced. I subscribe to a 2-week tapering period, so this week will still see a somewhat similar program as last week's. Racers will be ultra anxious of not catching colds and flu. They will be drinking and eating healthily and consistently and some may even experienced a slight increase in weight due to the lower mileage (not a concern). Some extra time too can be spent with the family. They have after all tolerated our time away while training. 

Those who have yet to renew their passports will be doing so with eyes on the Forex board as well to monitor the most favorable exchange rates. Confirmation of hotel accomodation should also be tied up during this time. It's still too early to pack but it's not a bad idea to have a packing checklist already in place. Runners should also check the official website for last minute updates or to download the event handbook. Finally it's timely to review the racing plans and previous race experiences to refresh the memory on what mistakes to avoid and what successes to stick to.
For more tips about tapering, hit this link.

Humor On The Run

I've enjoyed Bob Schwartz's "I Run, Therefore I Am-Nuts." If you still haven't read it, you can purchase a copy at Kinokuniya or Borders. Or save your money and get some of his brand of humor here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


"Every reason to run is a good one. Whether the motivation is seting personal records, losing weight or reducing stress, we support them all. But every year, we come across people who achieve amazing things and who use running as a force of change, not only in their own lives but also in the lives of others. By inspiring a new generation, healing old wounds, or pushing their bodies to new limits, they show us just how powerful the simple act of left, right, left, right can be."

The above is how the "Heroes" special feature starts off in the December Runner's World magazine. A wonderful writeup paying tribute to these heroes, many of them ordinary folks. A simple article providing much needed inspiration in these dark times we're seeing in this world.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Weekend Activities

I didn't know why but I was very hungry on Saturday evening. Not knowing what or where to go for dinner, the clan headed to nearby Puchong Utama. We settled for hawker fare and I wolfed down 2 bowls of medium-portioned noodles - Wan Thun Noodles and Prawn Noodles. I was at least satiated but I still gulped down a banana when we got home. Watched the remaining parts of Jack Neo's latest movie "One More Chance". Even though not always superb in terms of film-making, I've found his movies enjoyable as I can always identify with the local flavour. After setting my alarm for next morning, I knocked off. Carbokid was already in Dreamland.

Woke up at 4:05, reached Bkt Aman at 4:50 and there was already a large crowd miggling around. I guess runners at these organized practice runs are getting more and more anxious or kiasu. You see, parking space is a premium and if you're late, not only will you be left without a spot, you will perhaps miss the allocation of a Powerbar. After a quick chat with Jessica whom I've not seen in awhile, I trotted back to my car to change into my shoes. I also chatted with
Dinesh for awhile. I was tempted to start off on my own first without waiting for the crowd "flagoff" at 5:30am but somehow decided not too - anyway running in a pack would be more fun.

photo courtesy of KC Leong
Just after the 20K mark. No gels, running strongly

And so it was. It ended up to be quite a social run for me - running from the BNM section with PK and
KC, and the 7th K onwards with Justin and Kenny joining us. Glad they joined us. Despite being directed the wrong way near the IRB office, we got to Hartamas in 1:06, which serves to confirm that we were running at 6-min pace (actually 24 secs faster than my planned Singapore Marathon race pace). That, in fact, made my run yesterday a very long tempo run - which really provided me with a renewed confidence that perhaps, just perhaps, Singapore will finally be nailed this year. Completed the regular 30K (including the extra IRB loop) in 3:00-3:02 thereabouts, jogged to the car, gobbled down a juicy banana and tanked up with a can of Excel, said "Hi" to Dinesh and went off for my final 5K around the lake. I managed to log in just another 3K but I wasn't beating myself up about it as I'd run at a faster pace earlier and I was still relatively OK in the heat. After 6 small cups of Recovery drinks, 3 cups of cold Milo (aiyah free mah!) and checking out some Mizuno wares on offer, I left for home.

Drank plenty (Endurox, Excel, water, anything I could lay my hands on) and gobbled up 2 more bananas at home before having an early lunch at 11:30am. Carbowoman cooked and I liked the fish curry. Later while both of the clan members slept I watched a not-so-clear version of Doom on VCD. The movie was nothing great. I enjoyed the first person view segment and Rosamund Pike (liked her since her 007) though. To me, Doom just joined AVP as movies with monster potential but ruined by bad movie making. I'm not sure if I'd be doing another 30K this Sunday but if not, I'd fancy a 25K. Race day is just 20 days away!

The yummy Rosamund Pike in Doom.
My aches went away watching her!

For more reports, click here: Justin's | Dinesh's | KC's nice photos

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Midweek Run & Misadventure

It was drizzling yet again yesterday but besides wanting to do my typical Wednesday "menu", the regular Pacemakers wanted to catch up with ChinPG aka AhPekPG who is visiting for a business trip. It's not often one gets to run with a PM1 Shoutbox regular. It was also nice to see Rohaizad at KLCC again and shortly after Newton joined in as well. It turned out to be a nice comfortable run but since I'd to take the LRT home, I cut short my run to 10 laps. After a change of T-Shirt at the office I went to the station to catch the train ride. Which was when I got into a silly misadventure.
After changing lines at the Jamek station, I jumped into the first Star train to arrive, not knowing that I'd got onto the worng one, which would take me to Ampang! You see the line I was waiting on served 2 routes - one to Sri Petaling (which I was supposed to get on) and another to Ampang. While in the wrong train, I thought to myself why was the announcer mentioning all the wrong stops. I thought there was a problem on the PA system. After realising my folly I'd reached the Chempaka stop and I immediately got off and asked the gate officer for guidance. It must be a commonly committed mistake because as he spoke to me, he didn't blink an eyelid. Luckily I needn't pay extra for the ride back to the Chan Sow Lin stop. All I lost were 35 minutes of my time (I was getting pretty hungry and tired by then) and plenty of "face". By the time I had dinner, it was 9:15pm. Even if I run today, it's going to be not more than 8K.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

asics GT 2100 Is Runner's World Global Editors 2005 "Shoe Of The Year"

In what seems like the Oscars and Grammys, the Runner's World magazine editors around the world (in countries where RW is published) have voted the GT 2100 as the 2005 Shoe Of The Year. This stability model has received positive feedback in the magazine's shoe reviews this year. To know how it won this award and the tests it had to go through, read the article here.
This also means that Rohaizad is now wearing The Shoe Of The Year! Read about his shoe review here.


Runner, Father, Husband (In No Order) And Now, Plumber

One of the WCs broke down yesterday causing cistern water to trickle down directly into the bowl. This is the 3rd case I've encountered with the American Standards WCs. These water saving type of WCs are difficult to open as well and their insides are pretty flimsy. One of the components which acted as a counterweight to the float (which was secured by a rubber band!) has apparently dropped off. Not knowing where to fix it, I ran to and fro from the other toilet to check the configuration. After sweating it out for 20 minutes tuning the water cutoff, I managed to rectify the problem. If you've got the dough, changing the WCs should be one of the to-dos when moving into a new house.

Since I'm on the issue of house fittings, I was at my uncle's place at Bandar Utama last week. He moved from his Sierramas home to this 3-storey link house at the insistence of his sons who complained that the gated community was difficult to access and get out from. I've to say that my uncle is pretty good at home decor and is quite a knowledgeable gardener, fengshui and koi enthusiast himself, all self taught. After observing his decor, I can definitely say that windows and doors, one of the most overlooked components of renovation works, add charm and character to a home. They're not cheap at all. Each door can cost between RM500 to RM1,000 (not sure if price includes the door frames, but logically it should) and I don't favour those with glass panellings, preferring solid timber types. Windows too can cost in the same price region depending on size and design. Personally I like the classic colonial white-washed framed windows. The white-washed look is very flexible and suits a Mediterranean, Balinese or a British colonial themed home.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Tergat Bags New York

It would be interesting to find out what Paul Tergat was thinking as he entered the final 100 meters of the just concluded New York Marathon. With defending champ Hendrick Ramaala breathing down his neck, would this be another 2nd placed finished? It turned out that Tergat held on just enough to stave off the South African by just a whisker - a lunge - a foot - you know how close it is from the timings and the picture (click to enlarge)!
Top Women 2005 (Finish)
1. Jelena Prokopcuka (LAT) 2:24:41
2. Susan Chepkemei (KEN) 2:24:55
3. Derartu Tulu (ETH) 2:25:21

Top Men 2005 (Finish)
1. Paul Tergat (KEN) 2:09:30
2. Hendrick Ramaala (RSA) 2:09:31
3. Meb Keflezighi (USA) 2:09:56

For more drama and a whole lot more information, visit the
official site. Race report, event report (read it!) and the fantastic photos. I don't know about you but reading the report and viewing the photos only serve to flame my desire to run there one day. Just look at the number of spectators at the finish, 2 million over the entire route. One day. One of the spectators remarked that for the runners, it was like having a "two-second relationship with everybody”. One day.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Cold Hard Truth

Finally found out what caused my lethargy these few days. Have been seeing a drop in performance over the last 1 week to be exact. My previous 35K exploits was 5K short and I struggled to complete 10 KLCC laps. Well this morning, the answer hit me hard. I was down with the sniffles and sneezes. The mega doses of C didn't completely stave off the viral onslaught I faced from outsiders and from my family members who were down the last couple of weeks. I think things would've been worst if I hadn't been whacking the C's. I'd miss 3 days of running and most probably tomorrow as well. And I can't really say no to playing the fishing toy or kicking the ball around with Carbokid, so getting the rest in will be difficult. Carbokid has by the way gotten to singing. So he's belting out hits like "Twinkle Twinkle Little Stars", "B-I-N-G-O", "Old McDonald" and "Mr Sun" in his own inimmitable (spelling?) manner.

Avoid IKEA On The Holidays

A major hypermart operator's tagline goes something like "Where Malaysians Shop". Until yesterday, I was inclined to believe this is so. But I've never been to Ikea on a Hari Raya. It seemed that the entire Malaysia was there. The largest contributing states were Penang, Ipoh and Johor. Not to be left out, the kiasu Singaporeans also made their presence felt. It was the first day of the Muslim festivities but it appeared that the Chinese folks were doing their New Year shopping, grabbing innocuous items such as door stops to toilet brushes. Only a handful of Malays were seen, naturally. If you thought that I was there to pass time, it wasn't. I was waiting for my visiting Penang relatives to finish their shopping of bath mirrors, shoe racks, stools and floor lamps.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Miscellanous Mumblings

Cab Rides
Within an hour this morning, I found myself in 2 cabs, heading to a site office and back. In each of the short journeys, I realised the deplorable conditions of the cabs. Not that I was making it a point to note  the conditions but my senses were being assaulted by it. Firstly by the dank smell, then the sight of grime encrusted on the cheap Proton plastic panellings and finally by the warm air-conditioning. Thankfully each way took less than 20 minutes.

On the way back from the site office, I saw the public information board display the temperature: 35C. Visions of hapless masochists baking in the equatorial sun and memories of Singapore came flooding back.

It's extremely quiet. Chewing on some chocolate, I feel lazy at work. I should be out there in the sun and heat, conditioning my body to take the brutality that is to come. I must remember to apply some sunscreen when going out for lunch.

DVD Assault Update
1. Polar Express - Average watch. The animation quality is inconsistent, displaying brilliance in certain sequences but fails badly in some especially on the character movements/expressions. However you can't fault director Robert Zemeckis for trying. He's been known to be pretty adventurous in using the latest technology in his movies. Nice soundtrack by long-time cohort Alan Silvestri. All the flash and the story didn't manage to hold down my attention. Sorry, watch to pass time.
2. Castle of Cagliostro - Very enjoyable despite being a dated animated feature. It has all the Miyazaki charm. Proof that story is more important than eye candy. Which makes Miyazaki's later efforts like Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke all the more impressive considering the perfect blend of animation and storytelling. Recommended.

5pm Thoughts
Goodbye Cumulus - you're a good shoe but my larger feet just can't fit into you. Perhaps one day we'll be reacquainted. Don't worry you have a good new owner. Can't wait to break in the Pegasus.