p pol The Adventures of Carboman: October 2006

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Even World Class Marathons Sometimes Get It Wrong

By now you would've known about the finish line incident involving the winner of this year's Chicago Marathon, Robert Cheruiyot. Just before he hit the tape, he slipped, fell and whacked his head hard on the tarmac. After watching the CBS video here: http://cbs2chicago.com/video/?id=27042@wbbm.dayport.com, 2 things struck me. Firstly was how unprofessional the medics were - they were telling him to get up and looked to be wanting to get him out of the way even though he had head trauma. A check on the Internet brought me to this site. I fully agree with one of the comments, which I reproduced below:

"He definitely is getting a lesson, oh yeah. The 'paramedics' are going to be getting wonderfully painful lessons taught to them, also for their completely shoddy and wholey unprofessional way they (for a head trauma issue) PULLED him to his feet, looked more at the video cameras than him and his condition... Which REQUIRES the use of a stretcher for a concussive class injury as hea has had. Keep the peron on their back, cradle their head while guiding the body into place on the stretcher and using 5 other people (which they certainly had!) and then lift him safely, stresslessly away from the flow of runners (whom i'm sure are capapble of going Around things...) too REAL medical assessment... These people are going to cost their employers a lot of money... They were more concerned about the getting him out of sight of the cameras... They seemed Camera Shy for fucksake, who's the idiot who hired camera shy medics for an internation sports event... Riduculous!!!"

The other thing is that the organizers put a semi-transparent advertising plastic sheet just before the timing mat and since it rained (Chicago is usually wet during these period), the strip was wet and contributed to Cheruiyot's fall. If I were Cheruiyot, I'd sue the socks off the bungling organizers.

More coverage of the news here (ESPN) and here (IAAF). You can clearly see the plastic strip culprit in the IAAF site.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Dragged myself out of bed this morn for a run with the fellas. I had some foresight to have made this arrangement else I'd have stayed in bed. Since I'd committed to meet them at Bkt Aman, there's no pulling out, even though I was TNSing all the way at the haze enveloping the highway.
I was surprised to find that there weren't many runners at the car park. Perhaps most of them had ran yesterday. After a brief chitchat, Tey, KNN, Li Sar, Choi took off. We ran at a very easy pace, about 6:15 by my estimates. KNN was urging us to run faster but there were no takers. Everyone was contented to go easy and he ended up in front for most of the way. My body started to warm up after the Bkt Tunku climb and it got easier for me. We were passed by Speedy Gonzales John and Adam aka Bobice just before Plaza Damas and everyone except myself were without water, so they were praying that the Petronas Station was opened. Luckily for them, it was, albeit just for awhile as I gathered from Der_Pia Kaki Lai Fong Sang that they closed when he got there, which scuppered his plans for a 30K. A check on the watch showed 1:00.48 which meant that I ran at a good pace.
The return trip was hell - expected really - as I struggled like mad to reach base. I walked a few stretches and took the "low" road bypassing the BNM hill on the way back. I reached the car park in 58 mins but due to my exertion, I wasn't really pleased with myself, even though that judgment may have been too harsh. I spent some time trying on the Triumph and Trigon that Choi brought along and I was very pleasantly surprised by the feel of those shoes. I felt like walking/jogging on pillows compared to my Pegasus. The Trigon's forefoot especially were very very good. I've made a booking for the Ride version (Choi brought the Guide stability version) as I don't require the medial post. I've to say that the Triumph felt good too - very plush albeit runs 1 size smaller than usual (so make sure you buy a size larger for this model).
When I got home, Carbokid presented me with a present. Here it is, with its wrapper. Looks like a fuel guzzler:
Looking pretty pleased with himself with his gift

Carbokid shot during a recent wedding dinner.
I was totally pooped and knocked out in front of the sofa after downing 3 slices of toast and showering. Lunch was late - Carbokid couldn't stay awake for the journey there and promptly doze off - at Marco's Pizza (along the LDP opposite the Kelana station) and they were showing a repeat of the MUFC-LFC game. The pizza was so-so but the roast chicken with herbs was good. I shall go back again to try its highly rated pasta another time.
I'd like to thank the fellas who SMS'd/posted their B'day wishes, in no order: Ryan Teoh, Rohaizad, AhPek, Ronnie, Cindy, Lai Fong Sang, Sim, Dinesh, SenHeng Electrical Store. Not forgetting the fellas who provided me company this morn, on the run and back at the car park - Choi, John and Wai Mun, KNN, Li Sar, Adam, Lawrence, Tey.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Thanks For The Present!

I've not watched a live EPL match for more than a year. I've long since cancelled my Astro subscription as with the gym membership, they're sort of like paying installments for something which you don't even own in the end. This period coincided with the transition the MUFC was and still in undergoing. Since yesterday's game was played early and it was just 2 days to my 36th, I was curious enough to find out if they have a present for me. With the rain pouring outside I took a short drive to a nearby mamak where every customer had nothing to eat save a glass of drink on their table (which amazingly lasted the entire 2 hours!). Well, better than not having customers right? Hmmm.

Now, I may sound like I just returned from the jungle, but let me tell you how fantastic the team (the real red one of course!) played. I've not seen the new boys kicked a ball before and the first half were absolutely exhilarating! One touch football, neat flicks and dummies - they were putting the fellas in yellow to the sword. Gerrard was not seeing much of the ball - tactical error to play him on the wing methinks. I thought Carrick played with the spirit of pia. Wearing the No.16 isn't an easy thing to do and with his up and downfield running, rushing back to cover the defenders, I'm sure a certain new manager would be proud. The old boys led by example (Giggs had a really good game) and the defence wasn't really tested. If I've to pick the weakest defender last night, it was Neville, and that's speaking a lot about how well the rest were doing! With Ji-Sung, Heinze and Ronaldo still not 100% well, this squad seems to be finally having some depth.

The game domination was so much that when the Ginger-haired fella scored (all Riise could do was to appeal for a non-existent off-side), everyone was applauding, even the Indons which made 80% of the mamak's customers. Even they recognize the better team. Thanks for the good stuff fellas, keep it up!

Boss, make mine a teh halia!

Boss, satu lagi roti telor!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Animal Toons

Lately there's been a deluge of animations centered around animals. Carbokid ain't complaining but I think some of these are quite lame and average. The animations are all jaw-dropping mind you and the humor can really crack you up. The thing is that some of the stories are very weak and contains too much American culture. When one feature throws these elements at you, it's tolerable but when you start to have more, it can get pretty stale.


On the other hand, a simply rendered Miyazaki animation has a better story line. Each time I watch his works, I get the fuzzy feeling all over. Now, his characters are those that you can emphatise with. That's genius.

Help Is On The Way

Gotenborg, Sweden. Burdened with the responsibility of being a good global citizen, Swedish scientists have come up with the prototype of a wearable breathing apparatus specially designed for runners. Although the prototype has yet to be unveiled to the public, sources revealed that the product is modelled after the popular hydration belt called Fuelbelt.
It's chief designer, Dr Nordstrom said that OxyBelt is to fill the need of elite athletes who are hampered by poor air quality. "Not all athletes train in idyllic locations and we see in poorer and developing countries that these athletes are actually facing lots of enviromental challenges. As a runner I know what they are going through," Dr Nordstrom, a 2:35 marathoner said.
The plan is to market OxyBelt in 4 and 6-bottle models and the specially designed elasticated belt that is used to secure the 4.8oz bottles ensures that there is minimal bounce experienced by the wearer. The bottles are then connected to the runner via a long wearing tube which is then connected to a facial mask. Clips ensure that the tube does not tangle with arms movement.
Since aluminium is light and hard wearing, and air is virtually weightless, the entire unit will also be very lightweight.
The bottles carrying breathable oxygen are refillable via O2 Stations. Details, however, are sketchy at the moment on the refuelling stations. "Once we close this issue on the O2 Stations, we will then be able to mass market OxyBelt. We are considering every option there is, including franchising the O2 Stations business. We are alo in design phase the product website." Nordstrom added.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Hoyts

Thanks to Alonso Fook pointing out to me the URL, I finally downloaded the inspiring Hoyt video. Previously I had to contend with viewing it via streaming video. Now I've got inspiration at the click of my mouse. Here's what you can do. First download the video by rightclicking this link and choose Save As and then while the video is downloading (it's 13.4MB), read the story below.

If you don't know already, this video shows Dick Hoyt's love for his son by accomplishing the seemingly impossible tasks of marathoning and triathloning (the Ironman no less!). Here's the accompanying story:

Eighty-five times he's pushed his disabled son, Rick, 26.2 miles in marathons. Eight times he's not only pushed him 26.2 miles in a wheelchair but also towed him 2.4 miles in a dinghy while swimming and pedaled him 112 miles in a seat on the handlebars-all in the same day. Dick's also pulled him cross-country skiing, taken him on his back mountain climbing and once hauled him across the U.S. on a bike.

Makes taking your son bowling look a little lame, right?

And what has Rick done for his father? Not much-except save his life.

This love story began in Winchester, Mass., 43 years ago, when Rick was strangled by the umbilical cord during birth, leaving him brain-damaged and unable to control his limbs.
"He'll be a vegetable the rest of his life;'' Dick says doctors told him and his wife, Judy, when Rick was nine months old. Put him in an institution.''

But the Hoyts weren't buying it. They noticed the way Rick's eyes followed them around the room. When Rick was 11 they took him to the engineering department at Tufts University and asked if there was anything to help the by communicate. "No way,'' Dick says he was told. "There's nothing going on in his brain.''

"Tell him a joke,'' Dick countered. They did. Rick laughed. Turns out a lot was going on in his brain. Rigged up with a computer that allowed him to control the cursor by touching a switch with the side of his head, Rick was finally able to communicate. First words? "Go Bruins!'' And after a high school classmate was paralyzed in an accident and the school organized a charity run for him, Rick pecked out, "Dad, I want to do that.''

Yeah, right. How was Dick, a self-described "porker'' who never ran more than a mile at a time, going to push his son five miles? Still, he tried.

"Then it was me who was handicapped,'' Dick says. "I was sore for two weeks.''
That day changed Rick's life. "Dad,'' he typed, "when we were running, it felt like I wasn't disabled anymore!''

And that sentence changed Dick's life. He became obsessed with giving Rick that feeling as often as he could. He got into such hard-belly shape that he and Rick were ready to try the 1979 Boston Marathon.

"No way,'' Dick was told by a race official. The Hoyts weren't quite a single runner, and they weren't quite a wheelchair competitor. For a few years Dick and Rick just joined the massive field and ran anyway, then they found a way to get into the race officially: In 1983 they ran another marathon so fast they made the qualifying time for Boston the following year. Then somebody said, "Hey, Dick, why not a triathlon?'' How's a guy who never learned to swim and hadn't ridden a bike since he was six going to haul his 110-pound kid through a triathlon? Still, Dick tried.

Now they've done 212 triathlons, including four grueling 15-hour Ironmans in Hawaii.
Hey, Dick, why not see how you'd do on your own? "No way,'' he says. Dick does it purely for "the awesome feeling'' he gets seeing Rick with a cantaloupe smile as they run, swim and ride together.

This year, at ages 65 and 43, Dick and Rick finished their 24th Boston Marathon, in 5,083rd place out of more than 20,000 starters. Their best time's Two hours, 40 minutes in 1992 - only 35 minutes off the world record, which, in case you don't keep track of these things, happens to be held by a guy who was not pushing another man in a wheelchair at the time.

"No question about it,'' Rick types. "My dad is the Father of the Century.''

And Dick got something else out of all this too. Two years ago he had a mild heart attack during a race. Doctors found that one of his arteries was 95% clogged. "If you hadn't been in such great shape,'' one doctor told him, "you probably would've died 15 years ago.''

So, in a way, Dick and Rick saved each other's life. Rick, who has his own apartment (he gets home care) and works in Boston, and Dick, retired from the military and living in Holland, Mass., always find ways to be together. They give speeches around the country and compete in some backbreaking race every weekend, including this Father's Day.

That night, Rick will buy his dad dinner, but the thing he really wants to give him is a gift he can never buy. "The thing I'd most like,'' Rick types, "is that my dad sits in the chair and I push him once.''

Here's the Youtube video.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Belle The Dog

That's what Carbo Kid calls her. She isn't ours but belongs to a friend of my brother's. Since the owner is a flight attendant, my brother baby-sits (and I mean pampers her like a kid) her pretty often and a few times Belle has tagged along to my house. She's extremely well behaved, so much so that it's very hard not to love her. And when she walks, her puffy tail swishes along left and right. She also doesn't bark unlike the psychotic dog opposite our home - incidentally the crazy dog mirrors the character of the equally eccentric owners - and just waddles around the house. Just look at the photos - she looks like an Ewok isn't she, only cuter.

See more of Belle here (larger shots). Do I hear "awwww"s?

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Der_Pacemakers Network Run 2006

To celebrate Der_Pacemakers' diversity, many members and friends came together this hazy morning to run a 6-lapper around Lake Gardens. Everyone had great fun and the S3 had its first opportunity to be put into a real trial, with a mix bag of results, if I may say so. As the runners toiled around the lake, Runwitme and I were busy scoping out the best shooting locations. Some of my compositions worked well while some didn't. The sports mode was good enough to capture the fast shots but they seemed to produce results that showed some "noise". I'll have to learn up the manual mode to get sharp action shots.
After the completion of the run, the large group tucked into bananas and a birthday cake (a pleasant surprise to celebrate the Oct Birthday Kids) while trading running stories and jokes. Then came the prize giving and group photo. I was to receive another surprise - the car had been "carpet bombed" by a band of pigeons perched on the lamp post. I had to subject it to a second wash in 2 days! Below are some of my fave shots. For more, hit this link (207 photos). Comments most welcomed on the shots.

Couldn't resist this shot. Not often you see the trees lit.
Stopped my car by the national mosque.

2 sequential shots. The 2nd one could be better if it was less sky.
Camera was close to the road level.
This one's average only as I couldn't find a better backdrop.
Arty farty compo. Just noticed the jutting flower and snapped it on a whim.
I've always like compos that don't always reveal everything.
Element of Effort. Putting the subject off-center adds a bit of drama to the shot
Agony of Hard Effort. This is a chance result. Could've been better if I
got the whole face to the right of the frame.
The token group photo - not shot by me.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Carbo Kid Loves Dora

Carbo Kid just loves Dora The Explorer. In the process of watching the videos, he's even picked up some Spanish! Thanks to the Internet, the videos are so much more accessible. As I'm typing this he's watching one of the episodes from Season 1. The photos below are taken using my phone just last Sunday at the IOI Mall's Popular Bookshop.
Carbo Kid just loves Dora

A Good Feeling

You know the feeling you have when you've put in some pretty hard training, ate right, rested well and somehow escaped injuries and illness? And after all that you've stuck to a well-planned taper period and your body and mind are all ready to go? I was all that yesterday, except the training part of course! 'Twas a very good run, steady effort and disciplined pacing. This old dog still has it!
No running today as I've got a meeting with the boss so I hope to return to the track tomorrow.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Follow the Ultra Marathon Man's Journey

Karno is attempting to run 50 marathons in 50 States in 50 days - a marathon a day for 50 days. Follow his journey here. I think it's not a problem for him. Fully intending to run no less than 10K this morn, I braved it out of the door and was immediately confronted with the haze too thick to run. Since I was already up, I drove to the Bukit Aman car park and my partner was already there in his car. No one else was there except for the 6am group who have already taken to the roads. A while later another runner arrived and we decided that we better call it off - the air quality didn't improve as I drove down to KL and it certainly smelled a bit. Instead we adjourned for breakfast at the Pudu Chinese Village. Arriving home, I cleaned the whole house, upstairs and downstairs (vacuumed, mopped and scrubbed the bathrooms). My eyes have been itching for the past 3 days. I don't know if it's a coincidence with the haze.

The evening saw a much improved situation. The skies were completely clear - so clear that we saw cloud formations and the contrails of an airliner! What the hell?!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Really Connected

"Nike "Training on the Run" program. Sign up today and have a customized training program sent directly to your mobile phone. You can create an individualized 5K, 10K or half marathon training program...and take it "to go." Each day you'll receive daily training instructions sent via text message directly to your mobile phone."
The above program was initiated in the US by Nike and caters to an extensive range of mobile subscribers in the States. To find out more, hit this link http://nike.wigglewireless.com/.

It's The Weekend!

It would've been the scenario below, except that our neighbouring country decided to send us the haze. We can't see the sun and the air stinks. To the corrupt officials and businessmen, and greedy farmers in that country, may you rot in HELL!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Gobi March & Blog Commenting

Further to my posting below, here's an amusing race report by National Geographic's reporter Boyd Matson. I'm not letting the lightheartedness of the narrative fool me into thinking that this is a walk-in-the-park event.

I didn't realize I screwed up the commenting feature on this blog. I've since rectified it. Thanks to Runwitme for pointing it out.

Celebrating 40

I was reading the September issue of RW over breakfast this morning and there was a report by an ultra athlete on her quest to tackle the Gobi in celebration of her turning 40. With 4 more years to 2010 and hitting the big "four oh", that got me thinking as well. I must do something crazy as well. Below are some of those that came to mind, in no order of difficulty. All are difficult, require dedicated training and will come with some significant capital investment.

Saner Stuff
1. Prepare and PR a marathon. Dedicate each K to a significant event/person
2. Run 4 marathons - KL, PG, Songkhla, SG - a marathon for a decade of existence
3. Run
NYC and tour the running pilgrimage sites
Really Really Crazy Stuff
12-Hr MR25 Ultra
Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset 100K (sold as the world's most beautiful 100K)
Gobi March (hit link for some stunning photos)
For the really really crazy stuff, there needs to be a year's training leadtime and a few years' saving plan. While the actual act of running NYC is simple enough, there's the cost consideration, especially if there's a bundled tour involved. How ah?

Monday, October 02, 2006

Start Of The Week

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.

Explore, dream, discover.

-- Mark Twain