p pol The Adventures of Carboman: March 2006

Friday, March 31, 2006

Final Crunch And A Surprise

Wednesday: After getting an earful from the big boss - my supervisor and his boss included - I stayed back (not something new these days, if you've been following my blog) to quickly put up a deliverable. By the time I left it was 10pm. My wife had taken Carbokid home and he had already fallen asleep, so I made sure she didn't come down to pick me up. The LRT ride to Kelana Jaya took 30 minutes and the cab ride back home was RM25. Of course I was scalped but these cabsters (cabbies + gangsters) operate in a group. They stakeout each LRT stops fleecing late night workers desperate to get home. I got home and my wife cooked me 2 packets of instant noodles while I showered. After eating, I slid into bed and promptly dozed off. Eating badly, resting badly. Another week or so to go. The end is in sight.

Thursday: Carbokid surprised us all when he was able to write the alphabets tracing the dotted lines. We're so proud and happy. Something that we're doing must be right. And so we must keep it up.

Today: It's gonna be another late night. To underline the load of work (coupled with the timeline) the unit is being put under tremendous pressure. Half of the staff are still around and dinner has already been ordered quashing doubts that we can go home. Carbo Woman has left to pick up Carbo Kid and I'll rendezvous with them later.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


Bebe is the ruthless and totally immoral agent whom Frasier believes is the Devil. She's always been able to get the best deals for her clients and has been trying to get Frasier under her management ever since the station was bought over and the employees' contracts came under threat of the new management.
[Bebe enters the men's room on Café Nervosa]
Bebe: Frasier, we have to talk.
Frasier: Are you aware that you are in the men's room?
Bebe: Oh, please, if I paid attention to signs with little pictures on them - I would never get a parking space.

Bebe: I've been to hell and back so often I've got frequent flyer miles!

[the station has hired a tough negotiator, "The Hammer" to renegotiate everyone's contract. Gil's salary has been slashed, but Bebe comes in with Roz, cheering]
Gil Chesterson: How on earth did you get all that?
Bebe: Oh, we go way back, the Hammer and I. I know where the bodies are buried.
Bebe: Usually, that's just a metaphor...

Niles: Oh, dear, don't turn around. It's that dreadful woman who works for you.
Frasier: Who?
Niles: Um... Lady Macbeth without the sincerity.
Frasier: Oh! Oh, Bebe's here! Now listen, Niles, I care for her just as little as you do, but she is a terrific agent, which is why I overlook the fact that she's pushy and obnoxious and the most appalling phony I've ever known.
[turns around]
Frasier: Bebe, darling, how are you?

Monday, March 27, 2006

Frasier Humour # 1

I love Frasier. Once upon a time when free TV was good, I didn't miss many episodes. I even catch re-runs, couldn't get enough dose of the pompous and pretentious brothers. With the release of the DVD boxed sets, I'm now able to relive the funny moments again. I'll post some of the humourous quips from the series.

Daphne: Oh, come on now, Dr Crane. It's not like men have never used sex to get what they want.
Frasier: How can we possibly USE sex to get what
we want? Sex IS what we want.

Life As It Is

Like many of my fellow running counterparts, we've hardly been blogging nowadays. While some of us quiet ones have not been running (I personally am closing in on 1 month of sedentary lifestyle - more on that later), I know of one who have been keeping it up albeit indoors. Well, it's better than not at all, and I'm sure those 45 mins he has been consistently logging will ensure he maintains an even keel in terms of cardio fitness. I personally think that even though it sure is boring and unchallenging, the 'mill provides the opportunity for one that's too caught up a chance to still run. I admit to having cast an eye on some models but I've got to be realistic - they're expensive and adds yet another thing to maintain, certainly a premium item. I've yet to try those couple of hundred bucks' manual ones that are sold in hypermarts. Are they decent enough to last a year?
The project which have been proving hard to kill is at tails-end. My users are frantically working to close the outstanding problem logs and hopefully we'll be able to clear all the high risk ones by this week. I've given a lot to this project (many times leaving the office only at 9pm) and my health has been worse off for it. My cough has returned and the whole household is coughing along. Due to the complete absence of exercise I've been more lethargic, I recover slower and needing more time to rest. Surprisingly my weight has been the same.

On the hobby business side, things are moving along nicely and we're in the process of building an advisory column as well as exploring a few other exciting opportunities. Which brings me to contemplate whether to bring down www.jamiepang.com next year. There are some pretty good stuff in there that's good for sharing and it'll be a shame to take it offline. On the other hand I'm having my hands full managing 3 websites.
For now, I'm fully focused to deliver the project and once that's done, I can't wait to lace up again. The prospect of running the Putrajaya Marathon with Seecube (complete with his adidas shades) and Lifemou (complete with his collection of Saturday night adventures) are my motivation to get back on track. Not to mention that pair of new rubbers (the shoes, the shoes) too!

Sunday, March 19, 2006


-lclick to get to runnersmalaysia.com.my
Announcing the launch of runnersmalaysia.com.my! This is the hobby-business that my partner, Wan Yew Leong and I took up. Basically this initiative is run (pun intended) to bring together the fragmented running communities (from runners to coaches to clubs and associations to any other retailers who have anything to do with running) in the country. Call us the very much scaled down version of the RRCA. One of the reasons we want to do this is is to encourage the younger set of population out there to take up running - for the fun of it. Without fun, this interest can't be sustained throughout a person's lifecycle. Hopefully the other benefits of running will then take over once the participants try out the sport. With this website we hope to generate more awareness to the sport and once the panelists hop on board we hope to see more things going. We look forward to your support and don't forget to bookmark this URL!

Our creed: We inspire, motivate and promote running as a healthy recreational activity.

Saturday & Sunday

I had to skip my duties as co-emcee at the PACM Annual Dinner (for photos hit this link) on Saturday as my cough was still a problem. It acts up when I talk a bit more and before it hits, the stubborn phlegm would cause some hoarseness in my voice - something you wouldn't like to get when you're emceeing right? I hope I didn't cause too much inconvenience to the club.
Rest and free time have been rare commodities lately and I was putting the finishing touches to the hobby-business-web project that's already due. Having stayed up till 1:30am to finish it (finally!), I was awakened by Carbokid at 7:30am on Sunday morning. Then the entire day was spent "entertaining" his whims at Ikea, Ikano and The Curve. Shared the Ikea fish and chips with the wife for brunch and later lunched (3pm) at the Hometown Coffee Shop at The Curve. The nasi lemak was lousy but the nyonya laksa was passable. Shared a glass of iced tea with wife. The pricing, I felt, was horrendous. Carbokid later demanded toast bread and we bought him a set (2 slices of bread) of it to go with a glass of soya bean drink. The bill? RM4.80! I know that we're expected to pay these kind of prices at these kind of places but it's still cut-throat. A 40 cent half boiled egg at home will cost you double that price at such eateries and these are the places that are crawling with customers every weekend. We're being scalped.
Just before we left, I made a rush to the Brooks boutique and was surprised that they stocked plenty of hard-to-get items. Spotted the specialised socks, the well-reviewed Waterboy bottles (2 types, including the waist pouched version), some great looking technical wear and a very cool looking cap. Their shoes too were very up-to-date and I think I might give the Glycerin a try when I have time. I walked out of the shop with the handheld contoured Waterboy but it was the pouched version that I was drooling for. If you didn't know, Brooks is one of the few running-only brand out there, so they're very much in the know about the sport.

The Waterboy handheld - the colour I bought was blue (RM42). With this I no longer need to carry my waist pouch for runs up to 20K.

The Glycerin 4 - I didn't buy this (RM336 before 30% off)
The Waterboy hydration pack that doesn'tbouce nor slosh, minus the Camelbak bulkiness) - RM170

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


3 members (me included) in my project team are either sick or recovering from illness. 2 of them have been working over weekends for the last 1 month and are usually in by 6:30am every weekday. They don't get to leave early too, stepping out only at 11:30pm nearly every day. This is only a sampling of the pressure we're under to deliver this project by this month end. I've not run a single step in my running shoes (only did it in my work shoes, hurrying between floors for meetings). I was down with a throat infection, always the case when I'm really stressed, and though the throat is fine now, the cough is very persistent. I have doubts of emceeing the club's Annual Dinner at the Dynasty Hotel this Saturday.

I saw a second doctor today and he's prescribed stronger medication - in the context of rifles, it's something like the elephant gun (no guesses on what it's used for). I will be gladly knocked down tonight. I need a few nights of good rest. That's been a premium lately. Running? How lucky, those of you who have been able to do that. I envy you, but I'll be back even if it's not competitively. For now. Maybe. Who knows.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Mission More Than Accomplished

I don't know how I did it. Getting so much stick at work, barely running the final 2 weeks. Clocking mileages of less than 50K on most weeks of my 3 month program.. There was so much that points to a bad race but happily it didn't turn out that way - not at all. That all made the 4:26.16 all the more sweeter. Every minute since I crossed the finish line were moments to savour.

I didn't have a particular game plan - just run at a tortoise pace to survive. As it turned out this was a race I didn't walk! How did that happen? Since I was physically undertrained, I had to rely on the grey matter. And now I know what the seasoned marathoners meant when they said "Run the last 10 with your mind". To be sure the temptation to walk kept surfacing and I fought it as much as I fought the distance. This year's mantras were "Pain is temporary" and "Baby steps". That got me through the miles and Mahamehru hills. By reducing the pace, I was able to reduce the effects of bonking after the 35K mark. I shuffled and looked like a dying man, but still I didn't walk. The legs which tightened up like mad and I did have to get the ointment applied twice to the affected areas. The muscle twitches were funny. It struck at one spot then moved to another - like it was stalking me.

Many of my friends also ran good times and it was fantastic. Everyone was improving. I was pleased to see Rohaizad, whom I think wisely skipped the race to recover, taking photos near the finishing. You'll be back! Thanks also to Tey who let me sample the energy and plum drinks just before the 40K mark. Also for arranging an inspiring meeting with Hajime-san on Saturday.

Hmmmmm...maybe the marathon is a mind thing. The picture is beginning to get clearer. Still, how did those sub 4:15 guys and gals do it? They're really amazing! I haven't uploaded all the photos yet so these are mostly from Tey and Rohaizad's cameras. Full report will be sometime next week.

Official Results
Placing: 136
Guntime Chip 10K Halfway 30K
4:27:25 4:26:16 1:00:42 2:10:20 3:07:01

Self Timing
31:23 > 31:23
29:18 > 1:00.42
33:30 > 1:34.12
29:58.27 > 2:04.10
29:59 > 2:34.10
32:49 > 3:07.00
35:05 > 3:42.05
32:18 > 4:14.24
5:17 > 4:19.42
6:33 > 4:26.16

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Things Are Getting Better

I managed to sneak out for a run yesterday and today. Dropped everything I did and just walked away from my desk. The reward? A 2 lapper yesterday and a 4 lapper today. I needed to loosen the legs a bit. After all that carbo loading, I was feeling a little lethargic. I simply couldn't complain with the ultra short sessions. Beggars can't be choosers. Tomorrow will be my final run before Sunday's race.

I had an unplanned lunch with Lifemou today. He bought some colleagues ice-cream and since one of them didn't want to eat his, I was the beneficiary. Like I said, never resist ice-cream! Lifemou seemed confident and I'm sure he will smoke me come race day. His race strategy is one of pure guts. A few of us will be meeting up for lunch on Saturday - we're to play host to a running friend from Thailand and Japan (who's the founder of the EcoMarathon). So it should be a fun and eye-opening gathering.

On another note, I'm pleased that Carbokid has "recovered" from his regression. He's been OK with the trips to the nanny's and back home in the evenings for the last few days. We're still taking him off school so we'll be talking with the school on the refund.