p pol The Adventures of Carboman: May 2007

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Nike Vaporfly

This is going to be Chen's weapon of choice for the Penang Bridge Marathon. He will however need to tighten the laces as this fly weight of a shoe is a full size larger. I believe it has no airbags in the heel but Chen is hardcore enough to go with it.

Bought it at a steal - RM129 at the Ultimate Sports shop at the City Square Plaza. Only size available is US 9.5. These babies are built to last only 400Km and it's stated there in the sockliner! Chen will hopefully provide a review of it after putting it through its paces.
Cinya...I also want it!


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Believe You Can And You Will

There are just 2 more weeks left before tapering kicks in. Besides getting to June 11th injury free, my thoughts are constantly on staying healthy and meeting the weekly targets. I'm also monitoring my level of "freshness". With the exception of 1 week (Week of May 7th when I was down with a cold) where my mileage dropped drastically, I'm satisfied with my output thus far. Though I'd have preferred those 50K weeks to be slightly higher and touching 60K. But yes, on the whole it's been quite all right.

Those preparing for their debut marathons would probably wonder what sort of mental state you should find yourself in with just a few weeks to go. You should be feeling confident (though not without a tinge of uncertainty) following your completion of a few long runs. Your confidence will grow as you tackle 2 more before tapering. If you've not done your 30K, be sure to do at least 1 over the next 2 weeks. If you've, doing another one or a 3.5-hour run is also recommended. you will bring your body closer to the "Wall" threshold or even break through it. And the value it brings is priceless because you'd have taught your body the most efficient way to process your fuel resource. I will touch again on the mental state nearer the race. I'd want to be slightly on the edge and raring to go even though for some, that eagerness may cause one to run too fast at the start of the race. But to me, having that feeling means that I'm good to go, fully rested and prepared for the battle. If I don't, please remind me to.

While there are still some weeks to go, you should also start thinking about your travel plans. How do you plan to collect your bib, your travel and hotel arrangements, your hydration/snacking plan (how you plan to ensure you're constantly fueled). Give a thought to your race strategy as well and decide whether you'll be carrying gels, bars (you can buy them closer to race day) while racing. Think about your packing - what you'll be packing to Penang (if you're like me, heading to the balmy island) and so on. I will also publish my packing list nearer the race. Again, if I don't, please remind me to.

You should have had the chance to try out the possible race gear over your long runs. Your vest, shorts, underwear, socks and shoes of choice should have been narrowed down. You must had tried them during your runs as you wouldn't want to try something new on race day. If you're getting a new pair of shoes, make sure they're broken in (now's a good time) in time for the race. I've decided on the vest, shorts, underwear but not on the socks and shoes combo. I'm deciding between the 2120-Kayano socks combo and the Supernova-Thorlo combo. I've worn the 2120 for all of my long runs except last week and the softer Supernova is yet to be fully broken in. So I'll have to see. I've no problems with either combination but the only thing I'd like to ensure is that I will have the cushioned feeling after 32K.

This Week's Plan

T = 10 (done) W = 7/7.8 T = 15 F = 10/10 S = 24
I've back to back meetings which will take up my entire Thursday. Then I've got a medical check up on Friday morning which will incorporate the treadmill stress test.

On another note, my youngest brother was admitted to the Penang GH yesterday. The specialist recommended 3 days of medication to reduce the inflammation before deciding on the next course of action, which most likely involve some traction. I'm hoping that the traction will resolve the issues without surgery.


Sunday, May 27, 2007

Presently, The Timing's Pretty Shitty

1. My youngest brother has slipped discs and will undergo another check tomorrow at the PG GH.
2. I did a KL-PG-KL to send my Mom, C1 and C2 home for the school holidays.
3. Because of point 1, my Mom now has another to take care of.
4. We decided to bring C2 back to KL with us so that Mom won't have too many heads to care for.
5. The workplace's regional audit is coming, and with the ongoing project all leave has been frozen.
6. I've so much on my mind and to do that I've yet to watch the Five Thousand Meters DVD.
7. An article deadline is approaching.
8. My wife will need to take leave from work to look after C1 on Tuesday, after which both will be on the bus back to PG to help relieve my Mom.
9. We sought the help of C1's previous nanny to take care of him tomorrow as wife needs to attend court.
10. C1 misses his brother.
11. My wife and I miss C2
12. My right nipple is still sore following last Saturday's long run. So hands off that nipple!
12. Tomorrow's our 8th Wedding Anniversary and we're both working.

My thoughts are so disjointed that I had to post in point form. We just got back from PG a couple of hours back and I'm going to knock off early tonight. Looking forward to a better week.


Saturday, May 26, 2007

Saturday Roundup

Ben turned up for a scheduled 25k and he was early! So the group set off on time. My plan called for a brisk 20k so Geraldine and I set the early pace hitting Duta in 31mins. Ben overtook us after the mosque and stopped at the halfway point. G and I arrived in a fast 54mins. I took the loop alone and after a water break made the return trip. We got back to the car park with a total time of 1:55.06. I had a new participant to the Beginners group today. What an inspiration she is. Despite her physique, she was so positive in her attitude that in accompanying her around the lake I was affected by her joy for live. The others too were so happy for her. Hope to write more about this person in the near future. That's it for now from Penang!

Ps. I posted this using my mobile phone.


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The 2nd Phedippidations Worldwide Half Marathon

Welcome to the only global running event (I think) where everyone's invited. There's the 21K and 5K categories. Registrations are free, so keep your calendars free! Registration begins June 1st! Meanwhile check out the website at www.worldwidehalf.com. I shall also be releasing more info and try to coordinate a group here in KL.


Sunday, May 20, 2007

Mixed Bag Of Feelings

Today's been rather a roller coaster ride. To put things simply I'm gonna blog in point form.

1. Woke up to the news that Man Utd lost in extra-time (Lousy)
2. Finished a banana and a cereal bar en route to arriving Bukit Aman (Good)
3. Stomach churning. No problems at home and cleared bowels 3 times the whole of yesterday. Could it be the overconsumption of bananas? Desperately cracking my head on where to find open toilets at this insane hour (Lousy)
4. Walked over to the Police HQ cop on duty (who was busy SMSing) to ask him on where is the nearest shit-hole. Was directed to the nearby Tanglin Foodcourt (Good)
5. Hopped onto Geraldine's ride to the Foodcourt and quickly got the act over with (Good). Flush didn't work, water from tap trickling (Lousy).
6. Back to the car park and already wasted 15 minutes. Quickly changed and started off (Good).
7. Felt out of sorts the first 7K (Lousy). Thing came together only after that point (Good)
8. Despite this we reached the station in 56:18 (even faster than the previous 2 long runs. What the heck?!). Took the loop in 5:08 (Good)
9. Beginning to feel real good. On the way to the IRB office, a medium size pebble somehow got into my right shoe. Continued to cast aside the irritating distraction (Lousy)
10. Reached Petronas in 47:01 which I think was fast. Had a great time chatting with Geraldine over a wide variety of topics (Good). Right arm tingling (Lousy) perhaps from carrying the 21kg Carbokid 1 up the stairs last night. Carbokid 2 has also been putting on his fair share of weight too. Shook out the tightness periodically.
11. Took the loop for the second time in 5:12 (Good)
12. Felt we had been running a bit too fast and slowed down a tad on the return to Bukit Aman (Good). Met up with some of the 15K runners who were undertaking their 2nd loop. Saw Haza among others. Quite a few were walking but they were all amazing with their never-give-up attitude (Good). The course is not an easy one.
13. Time was running out for me as I've an appointment at 9:15am with the tenant and contractor back at my leased out apartment regarding the broken bathroom tiles. I won't have enough time to complete the extra 5K (Lousy). Decided to wait for Geraldine a bit to tell her that I won't be running the Carcosa loop. It was to be a play-by-the watch thing.
14. At this point the feet felt a bit sore (Lousy), though the calves and upper legs were fine (Good). Somehow the lower back felt tight with a little dull pain (Lousy). I don't know if this was because of carrying C1 but it had never happened before. I think it ought to be a one-off discomfort but I will monitor it tomorrow.
15. Both feet weren't feeling that good (Lousy). Back still hurt and losing my running form but I needed to stay on my feet past 3 hours (Lousy). The longest I'd been on my feet was 2:40+ done the week before (Good). Decided to cut it short and run/walk up the slope leading back up to the car park (Lousy).
16. Met Krishnan adidas and chatted for awhile - the King Of The Road 21K is on! Forms out end of this month. Tried on the new Supernova with Formotion - fabulous feeling. It's a fight between the Triumph (lighter) and the Supernova (more solid) (Good).
17. Surprised to see Lonerunner Martin (Good). Chatted for awhile and then realised that I was going to be seriously late for the appointment!
18. Noticed that my back and feet were totally fine. What gives?! (Lousy)
19. Drained my water bottle and downed another banana en route. Completed the meeting and headed home. After doing some laundry and showering, replenished with Endurox and a bowl of beef noodles (Good).
20. Played with kids and C2 enjoyed his ride on my tummy. He's so cute nowadays. He's teething now and is pretty playful. I was surprised to find myself totally fresh unlike just a few hours ago. I didn't feel wipe out post long runs as previous weeks (Good). It's all very strange and I put it down to body conditioning. On one hand the body has grown accustomed to the long runs but it's just started to get acquainted with 3 hour runs. As it was I've exceeded the longest time spent by about 13 minutes, though I didn't meet my targeted distance.
21. Snacked throughout the day, re-watched T3 for some mindless action (and Kristina Loken!) and napped for 10 minutes in the afternoon (Good).

So where do I go from here? I've to keep my optimism up. There are just a few more weeks to go and all of them are critical. Achieving my medium goal of a sub-4 is going to be very tough but I have to believe that I can do it, perhaps just a little teensy weensy chance. Else what's the point of continuing all the hard work right? The next 2 Sunday long runs may be lost to travelling which means that I will need to do a 23K for the next 2 Saturdays to complement the 2 shorter Sunday runs. Then the final Sunday will be a 3.5-hour run regardless of distance. Of course, this is also the time to make sure the week's mileage are consistently high.

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Doggie Moves!


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

I'm Having Pasta For Lunch

Humongous serving of leftover pasta actually. But then I will need all my reserves this week. I must remember to do some stretching before I sleep tonight. Tomorrow's plan calls for another 8K but I may do just 6 and then do a bit of strength work. Keeping my schedule loose.

OK, now to wash all those carbs down with tea and honey. Back to work.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Slightly Over 4 Weeks To Tapering

I had a fantastic run this morning. It wasn't that long but I'm very happy to be able to retain the "run effort" for the 8.5K, gradually dropping the pace until running at 10K race pace for the final 1.5K. The gunk which had stuck to my throat wasn't there anymore and the discharge was able to drain itself directly down my throat. I was able to enter into "The Zone" 5 minutes of starting my run, which was amazing. All in all, a confidence boosting workout in preparation of Sunday's cruncher.
Oh yes, I've come up with a workaround solution to counter missing the 2 35Ks next week and the final week before tapering. I think the unplanned avoidance of doing the draining sessions will keep me fresh and strong.


Sunday, May 13, 2007

A Patience-Testing Week

"The marathon's about being in contention over the last 10K. That's when it's about what you have in your core. You have run all the strength, all the superficial fitness out of yourself, and it really comes down to what's left inside you. To be able to draw deep and pull something out of yourself is one of the most tremendous things about the marathon."
Rob de Castella, 1981 world record holder of the Marathon from Australia who was also a 3--time Olympian

It's been a week since I was hit with a cold. I thought I'd recovered only to discover that there are still remnants of it - if you can call a cold that. I found that out while attempting a 20K with the Saturday Gang and I started out well. After reaching the 5K point, the mucus in my nose were becoming quite irritating to the point it's distracting my breathing. At the pace I was going, that was a major thing - I was unable to inhale and exhale comfortably and trying to do all that was tiring me out. I cut short the long run and turned back to the surprise of the others who were trailing behind (I had started ahead of them). As expected my week's mileage was shitty but a good thing was that I could still run at sub-6 minute pace. I rested today and resumed my cold medication and had a good afternoon nap.

There will be further disruptions to my training come May 26th when we're sending my Mom and 2 kids back to Penang to spend the school holidays there. We should be leaving KL at 10am after I return from the usual Saturday ritual and coming back on Sunday after lunch. Then we will be returning once again to Penang to pick them up on the same weekend that I am scheduled to do my longest and final run. Now how the heck am I going to work around those 2 Sundays?!

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Keep Going!

"In the process of completely exhausting myself, I connect with an inner part of me ordinarily veiled by the everyday distractions of life. During that short time spent on a trail in the mountains, my life is reduced to its simplest terms. Most ultrarunners are people who find goodness and joy in difficult times, who see beyond the misery to the beauty of nature, and who truly realize the elemental and important aspects of life. Going for a run always clears my head, but running 100 miles distills my soul."
Keith Knipling
I think the above applies to distance runners too.


This Week's Mileage Will Be Shitty

After taking Monday off, I was hit with a cold. Undoubtably caused by last Sunday's windchill. It's been a long time coming as I've felt the gradual weakening of the body over the weeks of training. I'm putting it down to the training intensity that I've been subjecting myself to with insufficient sleep. Even with good nutrition and nourishment, sleep is still a vital factor in recovery - something which I've always not been getting enough of.

Fortunately the malaise isn't so severe (the sore throat went away after a day) and I'm already on the mend and should be back logging a low mileage this week tomorrow. If anything, I hope that this enforced rest will help me become even stronger.


Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Carbokid 2 Turns 4 Months

Milestones: Able to turn on his own, starting to show signs of teething, responding to play


Monday, May 07, 2007

It's Official! It's Milkshake Mondays From Now On!

It's just a way of treating myself after a week's worth of training. Afterall, Monday is a scheduled rest day and Sam Adams isn't sold here. Yesterday's run was tough but very satisfying. It comes after knowing that a few cut short their training runs because of the bad weather and yet you stuck it out. It comes with the "toight" leg muscles and general tiredness. It comes with logging down the activities in your training log. However I'm getting a little tired of the training - all necessary, mind you - and are looking forward to the Active Tapering Phase in 2 weeks time. Until then there are still 4 long weeks to go. I should be doing my second longest run of 33K (20.6 miles) this Sunday (Mother's Day) before easing off to a 25K and taking it back up to a 35K and back down again to 25K (back to Penang for the weekend) before a final 35K on June 10th and taper off.

Some of my friends were suggesting certain expected finishing times for me but while they're all very encouraging, I don't think I'm able to achieve their lofty targets. The timings that they're suggesting calls for higher mileage, something which I'm unable to commit to presently. With an additional 20K a week, I believe it's possible (with all pieces falling into place and race day conditions ideal) but I'm already nearing the maximum threshold of available training resources (time mostly) and can't do much more than what I'm doing today. As it is, I'm already fusing my speedwork into my runs - there's simply no time on my part to embark on a speed session each week. So guys, thanks for your optimism and encouragement. A PR is already an excellent achievement for me come June 24th. 4 hours would be a bonus. 3:59 is out of this world. 3:45 and below calls for much much more work to be done over a longer period of base training.

Geraldine and I were chatting away all the way and one of the topics we spoke about was about how to get through the difficult stretches in a race. At which point I thought back to my previous marathons. I remembered cussing my way through the tough miles, disassociating (or trying to) myself from the discomfort and pain by enjoying the scenery - which mostly didn't work since I'm too familiar with the local settings. It would've worked better if I was running in an overseas race or where the event is better supported with thousands of supporters. Then there's the gung-ho approach where I tackle the negativity head-on usually by employing some mental mantra like "This is what I've trained for, so suck it up!" and "Keep moving, don't let your family down". I think all three methods work for me. And all come into play in a single race when I use any help I can get from these mental plays to get me through. Anything goes - improvise!

And yes! Manchester United are CHAMPIONS AGAIN! Even though we went out lamely in the 2nd leg of the Champions League semis, I'll still savour this one.


Sunday, May 06, 2007

30K Series: No.2

It was very humid this morning with nearly no breeze, so you can imagine how lethargic Geraldine and I felt when we headed off at 5:15am this morning. I was glad to have Geraldine's company if only for 20K (she'd done 20K) the day before. Things changed rather drastically just after the 16K mark when strong win whipped up pebbles and dust from the construction site just after the mosque we passed. We had to shield our eyes but continued to run into the head wind. Then the rain came down. Coupled with the wind it was rather cold and since our refueling point was not yet opened, we headed back the way we came without a downing water. "Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink".

My running partner was feeling great so she decided to go with me the entire 30K, which was a bonus. Arrived back at the refueling point and promptly rehydrated. The rain which had stopped, restarted again and when last week we had to dodge walkers, this week we had to avoid the 10K runners doing the Bomba Run. Spotted and waved to some familiar faces, which included Alden (fresh from his excellent London Marathon race).

Keeping my eyes peeled for potholes and slippery edges, I didn't notice Tey who was busy snapping away. He was shooting holding an umbrella! As you can see my head form wasn't ideal. I should've been looking straight up but I guess I was too busy looking out for obstacles given the very wet conditions.

10K: 57:22
20K: 1:44
30K: 2:39.51

For more photos, head on to the

All photos courtesy of Tey.