p pol The Adventures of Carboman: May 2006

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Here We Go Again!

Monday, May 29, 2006

Carbo Kid's Weekend

Carbo Woman wanted to go for a walk, and wanted to get some foodstuff from SS2, so we chose Ikano. Pretty much ho-hum affair - the crowd was big due to the school holidays. Returned home at 6pm and promptly got down to vacuuming, ironing and tidying up the place. I'm going to plonk myself on the sofa after this posting - pooped. Both The Woman and The Kid have knocked off as well. 

Thinking person's hands?

Gulag Hard Labour Camp

Factory production line

Tired after all the hard work

Need to replace those used carbs!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

The School Holidays Have Started

We had a small group this morning at Bukit Aman. The 2-week school holidays probably got many on a vacation. The good news was that we had 5 newcomers, of which 2 were complete beginners. Another good thing was that all came properly attired and in proper running shoes. As 3 of the runners were of decent shape, I had to modify my run today to cover a little more distance than the usual Saturdays, which was good. My workout of alternating fast and slow pace as I plied between the leaders and the slower ones gave rise to a workout I now call "Modified Intervals" - a combination of fartlek and intervals. To end the session, I charged up the entire stretch of hill leading back to the car park. It was a good workout and I'll try to run again tomorrow. Back at the car park, Coach Chan was busy readying his charges for another biking and running session. Most of his disciples were there.

Menacing Skies

These pictures are taken at 6:30-ish in the evening just now. Dark clouds have been building up while we were having our dinner. And within 2 minutes after we got into the car, the rain came down. The skies looked so threatening that I couldn't help taking these shots with the K750. Definitely looked like a scene out of the Roland Emmerich's disaster movies.

This shot of the skies looked like the scene when the alien ships first appeared in ID4

Friday, May 26, 2006

All's Hell That Went Well

Yesterday was filled with colourful expletives (all these went on in my mind lah, you think I was crazy to shout them out meh?). I was in fact impressed with my repertoire of choice words. By 6:05pm I was out of the office and had PM18 for company. Even before I was 3 steps into my run, my boss called. Chatted on the phone while I slowed to a walk. By the time we resumed, we had walked a few minutes. Our first 3 laps were of comfortable pace about 8 minutes per lap. Then I decided to pick up the pace for the final one and completed it in 5:51.96, not a spectacular time but I'm nevertheless happy. Now we're looking forward to the PAR Run next Saturday.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Everyday Is An Exercise In F@%#ing Crisis Management!

My damn phone is a hotline! My name is the flavour of the month! My mailbox is bursting its seams! My fingers can't keep up with my thought train! My low-end-no-display phone don't allow me to screen unproductive calls! The fax toner cartridge is out at the most inopportune time!

So there, my rant is over...for now.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Carried By The Spirit of Pia

The next run for me is the PAR Run followed by the PJ Half Marathon. Again, with next-to-no training, I shall call upon the "Spirit of Pia" to see me through both events. Coined by Tey, this never-say-die attitude is typical of Der_Pacemakers and is usually visible near the end of the race as the runner winces his way to the finish. The "lau-sai" look is also etched into his countenance.

Monday, May 22, 2006

New Balance Pacesetters 15K 2006 Race Report

A completely unplanned race, I found myself at the starting line only because my colleague couldn't make the event. As it turned out, it was a really enjoyable outing. The race report is up!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

South Korean Citigroupers in Boston!

I was pleasantly surprised to find out that 3 of our South Korean colleagues recently ran the 110th Boston Marathon. Very difficult to qualify, the runners at Boston (those who qualify on merit at least) comprise of the top 10% performers in the US races. That's how tough it is. To BQ, I've to run something like sub 3:20. Dream on Carboman. Lifemou's could probably hit that kind of timing . To read their report, click here. This trio of marathoners add to another couple in New York who successfully completed the 240K Ultra, Marathon Des Sables some years ago. Citigroup is not so devoid of runners after all. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

From The Shawshank Redemption

It you'd watched this 1994 movie, you'd have remembered this scene where Morgan Freeman's character, Red, was seated in front of a parole hearing for the umpteenth time. Fully expecting to be rejected yet again, he let the parole officer have a piece of his mind. Well, if you read the script, do you think he'd gotten his parole? He did. This is simply a wonderful movie. If you haven't watch it, please do.

Red: Rehabilitated? Well, Now let me see. You know, I don't have any idea what that means.
1967 Parole Hearings Man: Well, it means that you're ready to rejoin society.
Red: I know what *you* think it means, sonny. To me it's just a made up word; a politician's word. So young fellas like yourself can wear a suit and a tie, and have a job. What do you really want to know? Am I sorry for what I did?
1967 Parole Hearings Man: Well, are you?
Red: There's not a day goes by I don't feel regret. Not because I'm in here, or because you think I should. I look back on the way I was then, a young, stupid kid who committed that terrible crime. I want to talk to him. I want to try and talk some sense to him, tell him the way things are. But I can't. That kid's long gone and this old man is all that's left. I got to live with that. Rehabilitated? It's just a bullshit word. So you go on and stamp your form, sonny, and stop wasting my time. Because to tell you the truth, I don't give a shit.

Phase 2 90% Completed

With the exception of a few more race reports and some articles worth publishing,  I've completed the race reports and had them posted to the right side bar of the blog. They're just below the Fave links. Note that for the time the links within the reports may still be functioning but most will not work. That's the compromise I've had to settle for www.jamiepang.com takes another step to being scuttled. If you hit any linkage issue please let me know via the comment box of this posting. Thanks!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Prelude To PAR Run 2

While not exactly the Hayward Field, the Van Damme nor the Crystal Palace, 36 runners will congregate at the KLCC Park to commemorate the 2nd running of Der_Pacemakers Anniversary Run (PAR Run). Instead of running for personal glories, the group will be running for their respective teams. While the theme is fellowship and fun, there will certainly be some spirit of competitiveness courtesy of some who just couldn't banish the spirit of "pia" even for a fun run. I can almost picture the race report now:

9 runners take their respective places at the hallowed stretch of the KLCC Park, the stretch fronting the famed Bench. The 9 bend low as they focus on the task of running probably their fastest 2 laps of their lives, ears cocked for the signal to blast off. A few even struck the Pre pose, much to the amusement of those in the know. The air is so thick with tension that you can slice it through with a knife.

Suddenly at the drop of a flag, the 9 take off, immediately jostling for space on the narrow track. Within 50 metres, the pretenders and the contenders have already been separated. The fast ones huffing loudly their arms swinging hard as they aim to clock a sub sub-6-minute first lap to stay in contention. The 4 merciless cast aside the strollers in the park which the slower runners struggle to keep in sight of them but it is an obvious exercise if futility.

The tricky course presents a big challenge to the uninitiated. Much like a cross-country course without the mud and tree roots, the KLCC course is very undulating and twists and turns its way throughout its 1.3K loop. Along the way, and in place of the tree roots, one has to fight his way through other obstacles such as human traffic oblivious, this morning, to the matters at stake.

The lead pack pass the first lap in an ultra fast time - an average of 5:33. No doubt the second will be very painful. Already the limbs are already stiff from the exertion - rigour mortis in a living state. One wonders if it is even possible. The pack behind can hardly be called a chasing pack with their lap time nearly a minute apart. But they gamely push on, for the sake of their teams. The second lap is developing into a battle. Of the 4 runners, 2 have begun to break away. In such a such race, there is simply no tactics. Just run as hard as you can. Eyeballs out, lung burning, leave everything on the track effort. There can be only 1 way to run this race. All notions of it being a fellowship run had gone out of the window 3 minutes into the start. The other 2 responded to the breakaway as they charge past the KLCC pool on their right, the onlookers shaking their heads in disbelief. But the leading 2 have more in reserves, their track experience being called into play now. Like the gutteral roar of a turbo-charger, they break free of the chasing duo, then employing a deadly kick, finish their 2nd lap totally spent and bent double. It has been a neck to neck finish for the 2 and the other 2 are not that far behind with only 4.5 seconds out. The long dropped back 4 will need nearly 1.5 minutes before finishing their lap, the gulf in standards all too obvious.

Now their team mates will need to go through the same battle.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Testing Out The Night Shots

As you can see the noise is pretty substantial. Note however, that though I was using the Night Mode, my hands were pretty unsteady. I will definitely need to play with the White Balance setting.

Not very good

This one is better

Recurring Dream

I do sometimes dream that I was running and in those dreams, I always experience the sensation that I'm running very quickly yet never seem to gain any ground. Those legs were kicking and spinning like crazy to the point of tripping all over myself to the point that I could feel the overriding anxiety. Very freaky. Last night, it was the same feeling. But the race was a team-based 2-lapper around a track. In place of the PAR Run 2.6K, each of us were to sprint 800m all out. When it came to my turn, the sky had turned dark and the atmosphere became increasingly despairing, as I was the only one left on the track. Then my alarm sounded.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

K750i Images

My Palm (M515) has been with me for the last 4 years. I started out using quite a bit of it - from the standard organizer applications to some MS Office editing via the wireless keyboard. I had some pretty addictive games installed as well. With quite a bit applications installed and data stored, I've not had the need to use the SD card expansion slot. Such was the efficiency of the Palm operating system. Try doing that with Windows Mobile. However as years go by, my needs changed. My use of the Palm has been reduced down to the usual Contact list, Calendar, and a few data files. Even though its form factor is pretty slim, it's still a little wide. After doing some extensive research, I thought a reasonably good mobile phone would be a good substitute.

My budget is less than RM1,000 and I'm done with the PDA built (so no Dopod, O2 mini for me). I'm willing to sacrifice the Office data editing (not needed) and EDGE and 3G (both over-hyped). A good camera and display would be fantastic, so is having an MP3 player, easy to use keypad, Java or Symbian o/s, expansion slot, bluetooth and IR. A radion would also be a bonus. My audition included the good looking Motorola L7 (nice looks and features but bad interface), the Nokia 6820 (built quality below par), my wife's K700 (crappy keypad but otherwise not too bad). Finally I settled for the K750i. Originally retailed at RM1490 when first launched about a year back, it now sells for RM900 which I thought was a good deal. It comes with all the bells and whistles including a very well reviewed screen and a 2-megapixel autofocus/built-in flash camera (best in class then and still one of the best for a camera-phone). I topped off the purchase by adding another 512MB memory stick. The camera functions are pretty impressive. Not only it comes with the above-mentioned flash, it has macro mode, burst, panorama, special effects, timer, digital zoom among others. Since the purchase, I've also loaded a few of songs and selected chapters of an audiobook into it. I've also found the stereo speakers to be very clear. the MP3 player allows you to select some settings from the equalizer but really just enabling the MegaBass is good enough. I've been syncing my data and calendar book from my notebook and so far I'm totally happy with the unit.

This evening the family went to Alamanda for a stroll. While Carbokid happily played at the park, Carbo Woman went power walking in her new NBs. I took the chance to test out the camera. Below are a few sample of the photos I took.


Macro with no white balance

Macro with white balance (image a bit more yellowish)

Panorama (this is an interesting shot). The camera actually splits the image into 3 and marks for me the borders for each shot so that I can align the next shot nicely. As it's too wide to post here, you can click here to view.

Black & White


The fountain at the Alamanda

Playful fella

All in all I'm loving this phone. this certainly serves as an alternative to carrying a real camera while running, while I don't see myself doing that. In any case, going on family day trips need not involve bringing one along anymore. If you want to read the reviews, head on to the following sites: GSM Arena | Mobile Review | CNet




I think it's an omen (good or not, I don't know!) that someone decided to use the famous Pacemaker greeting. Incidentally it's also our team name for the upcoming PAR Run. I hope that The Natural Source business and the team do well!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Lurching All The Way

Work and weather have conspired to wreak havoc to my rehab program. For every 2 days I manage to run, I miss the next 4 days! It's a losing battle and I've got to lower my already lowered expectations. Really TNS.
The Penang Bridge Marathon is looking to be a painful event for me and I'm now casting a very doubtful eye at it. Yet I won't give up doing the full distance. What, after waiting for years, I just let everything go? No way! Crawling or limping, I'm getting my sorry ass over the finish line. If there was a time to test out a 1-month marathon training program, this is it!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Phase 1 Completed

I've decided to sunset www.jamiepang.com as I simply can't cope with managing so many sites. As it is, my hands are full in handling www.pacesetters.com.my, www.runnersmalaysia.com.my and this blog. My wires are all twisted when it comes to writing for each site. As the entire content in my personal site is huge, I've to make decisions on what to migrate over to my blog (yes, Carbo Man's blog will act as my personal site from December onwards). As you can see, I've completed the migration of the links. Next would be to think about how to convert all those precious race reports over to the blog. I'm considering converting them to pdf and having them hosted out of Ripway. Perhaps there's another more reliable free document hosting site out there?

3 In A Row

I ran again on Friday. Another 4-lapper. Weather was great, post-shower.
Bryan, the Aussie guy was there too. He said that the raining season was great - he could enjoy the whole track to himself! I'll keep to 4 and 5 lappers the whole of next week before increasing the workouts to 6 laps. My sense of pacing - an indication of my level of fitness and awareness - is still pretty off.

8:32 > 8:19 > 7:52 > 7:12
Average lap: 7:59 (through experience, this is the best speed for endurance building for me)
Total: 31:57


The first RunnersMalaysia Beginners' Running Program kicked off rather well.  11 participants turned up that morning and they were a mixture of capabilities. A couple had run distances up to 7 or 10K while most had never done that far before. After a short talk by Dr William Chan, my partner Wan took the runners through a stretching session and afterwhich a briefing on the route. After the session, I gave a short talk on foot types and on selecting the proper running shoes. I was very glad to have Justin and Kevin joining us - it was great to catch up with them after such a long time. At the end of it, I felt really great to be able to share my experience to these newbies. Hopefully word will spread and we'll have more joining us in the coming weeks. For more info and photos pls hit this link.

Friday, May 05, 2006

My Rehab Continues

Yesterday was the first time I managed back-to-back runs in a long time. The weather was once again excellent. After a blazing hot afternoon, the skies darkened and it rained, cooling everything down. By the time I stepped out the downpour had stopped. I started very conservatively (I'm unable to do any faster these days!) and gradually lowered the lap times. Midway through the 4th lap I felt that I could still go, so I did one more. After Wed's 4 laps, yesterday's 5 seems to be a bonus. But I think I'll hover around 4-5 laps for another week before pushing it to 6 or 7 the following week. Patience wins the day.

8:37 > 8:23 > 7:55 > 7:34 > 6:32
Average lap: 7:48
Total: 39:03

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Shoe Review: Brooks Glycerin 4

Having bought this shoe during the recent Breakfast Bonding Run in Klang, I've had only 1 chance to run in them - a very fast 3 lapper with a visiting runner from the States. JC has natural speed (a very fast 5:30 lapper at the KLCC track) and being out of action for such a long time, I had so much problem keeping up with her. Indeed she was running a few steps ahead of me and was comfortably chatting while I was huffing and puffing away like the Big Bad Wolf. Anyway, I was too beat to pay too much attention to the shoes except that they felt very very responsive. This is a shoe to be worn for a fast 21K! A marathon? I guess it would suit many but I would know once I manage to put in some more runs. Meanwhile here's my take on the shoe after the second run.

Brooks Glycerin 4 - RM258 after a 30% discount.

It's weight is sub-12 oz which puts it lighter than the Pegasus '05 (a fave of mine). Built on Brooks' Universal Platform (which suits a neutral runner like me), there are large reflective strips on the front, lateral and medial, and rear sides of the shoe ensuring good visibility. Mesh throughout with minimal overlays. The HVAC insole is reportedly laced with silver to conduct heat away from the feet. I can vouch for the shoe's breathability. The laces, though longer than the ones that came with the Pegasus, are still short. Looks like I'll have to swap them with the NB's.
Low-profile, firm to walk in, since it's not yet broken in. The Brooks distributor said that the hard HPR outsole in the heel results in better durability but at a firmer feel. When running, it wasn't so bad. The forefoot cushioning were pretty good - blown rubber combining with the Substance-257 midsole and the Hydroflow system. When worn, the shoes felt very light.
Break-in period:
Read in the RW forum that the break-in period is considerably long, so I'm definitely not there yet. But I hope it will turn a little softer.

KLCC 4-lapper. Weather was very cool, extremely nice to run. The first 2 laps were very easy while the last 2 were pretty tough. In my unfit state, I was gasping for air. Such is my present condition. Nevertheless I was pleased as punch that I completed the course just as the skies opened up. My lap times: 8:27 > 8:10 > 7:28 > 6:46, Avg 7:43 which wasn't so bad after all.. Total time was 30:52 which meant that I averaged 6-min pace over the 5.2K. Incidentally there was a slim and attractive caucasion girl who was running some intervals. I wanted to make some small talk but she was nowhere to be seen after I was through with my workout.

The shoes felt really good. The forefoot cushioning was very good - cushioned yet responsive. The heel too felt good. The whole package felt better than the Mizuno Maverick 4 which I was a bit disappointed with. With some breaking in, I think this shoe will be a performer especially over the half marathon distance. I'm going to continue wearing it for the next few runs and will observe the wear and tear at the heels (HPR Plus material) . This should be interesting as I wear out heels very quickly.


By the way the orange colour is the version brought into the country.

Gearing For The Beginner's Running Program: RunnersMalaysia In The News

RunnersMalaysia, with the support of Powerbar, is launching the Beginner's Running Program this Saturday May 6th 7:30am at the Bukit Aman Car Park. You're most welcome to join us or better yet bring along someone whom you think are interested to take up running. The program is based on the NYRRC's beginner's program and we're focusing on the basics of the sport which are stretching, the run/walk routine of up to 3K. There will also be a short talk by Dr William Chan. For more info, please click on the banner above. Please help spread the word!

We're also featured in The Star Metro today! Click on the image to read the article or hit this link.
Together we can do more for the sport!




Monday, May 01, 2006

Carbo Woman Bought A Pair Of Running Shoes

The NB525. I footed the bill as part of the Mother's Day present. Will she run? I'm not holding my breath but at least she finally relented to getting a pair! A part of the battle won, I'd say. Thanks to the people at the Pacesetters and New Balance, we enjoyed a 40% discount on the purchase - would you believe it, we paid only RM125 for this pair.