p pol The Adventures of Carboman: June 2007

Friday, June 29, 2007

Thanks Deena!

"Great preparation gave me my worst finishing time. I will always respect the marathon for the punishment and pride it continues to offer."
Deena Kastor

Thanks for the wise words, Deena. If a superb athlete like you are still subjected to such setbacks, who am I, a mere mortal, to complain? You're still my hero. Let's rock our next marathons!

Read more about Deena's recent Boston Marathon experience here.

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Where To Go From Here?

Following the failure in Penang last Sunday, my next marathon will only be next March's KL Marathon. Going with a 4-month training program will mean starting my training in November. Between now and then - 4 months - what am I to do? Needing to keep up the motivation, I've registered for the August 12th PJ Half Marathon. I'm not a fan of this race since it's run on less than conducive route where the road works never seem to end. That means we runners will have to contend with traffic and dust throughout the race. But having come very close, to close to a medalling position last year, I thought it's good to just run this for some speedwork. I'm certainly not concerned whether I improve 1 position to a medal (yes I was that close!) or not. The other speedwork would be Der_Pacemakers Anniversary Run and the Worldwide Half Marathon. All that should hopefully provide me with some diversions during these 4 months.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Marathon Debutante: The PBM Race Report by Geraldine Low

It started with our regular weekend LSDs. The men, Choi, Wong sifu, Jamie, Pelle and Ben were training for the PBM and Pelle maintaining his mileage for his wanderlust marathons in Beijing and Stockholm.

These are the very guys that I would salute with two hands. Despite their varying work and family commitments, they are out there at every possible opportunity to complete the LSDs. The other person that I ought to mention is Tey, the IronHand & Legs, the Man with a camera whether he is running or just simply covering an event. A very supportive (no pun intended) and positive person.

To run a marathon has been quite remote as I had only run in half-marathons several times. Moreover, I had only attempted one or two 30k runs. In fact, the remoteness of it all came to nought when the guys were more than positive of my form. That probably pressed the right button. And so in mid-May, I courageously booked myself on the last flight to Penang. This is it. No turning back, no second thoughts unless thunderstorms prevail the very morning on race day.

After getting picked up by Ben, Choi, Wong sifu and William (felt like a pampered princess) at the airport, we returned to the lodge and Ben carbo-loaded with some durians. I did not sleep a wink. It was rather unnerving to be watchful of the time, though alarm was to set off at 2.08am (lucky digits to start off the morning).

I was mentally psyched by the time we gathered at the starting line. For once, I did not look back at the starting line to gaze the number of runners, which I usually do. It has always been a male-dominant event so I saw a number of ladies gathered at the left of the start line. I wondered why.

The gun off was on time and there we went. Jamie was supposed to pace with me. Somehow, they were behind probably hindered with the chit-chattering. I was in the lone dark world of me and myself. Take it easy as I reminded myself. This is not a 10k race. Just as we passed the starting point again, many of the half-marathoners were cheering on the side and I slapped the hand of captain Phoon in a spontaneous moment.

Somewhere after the loop and heading towards to bridge, if my recollection is right, the Eng sisters went ahead. I think they do make a formidable pair – no doubt, brisk and consistent pacers for each other.

I never knew the span of the bridge was that long (even though the figure said it all) until you start running on it – to and fro. To my pleasant surprise, the incline on both sides were gentle and I could overcome that easily. Despite that, I had to remind myself to go easy as there was still a long way to go.

I realized that the best part of running is to run in a new place with absolutely zilch idea of the landmarks to look for (other than the obvious bridge to complete). Even at some stretches of total darkness which I cannot even see my fingers at arm’s length, I was more worried about potholes than a flasher whom I would not have minded, just to bury the thoughts of miles and miles of the mundane flat coastal road which Ben never ceased to mention.

I was mentally revitalized when Eugene, Tey called my name out at the bridge. Somewhere along the bridge, Ben caught up and he offered a spare Powergel after I told him that mine was jettisoned along the loop run. We were running about the same pace with him later ahead to chase a lady runner whom I managed to drop her out of sight at the return uphill bridge span.

At the U-turn loop, I heard Tey again. This part of the long stretch enabled me to see Ben and Jamie, both of whom surprised me as I thought Ben was ahead all this while and Jamie uttered euphemistically that he was way out of target. I felt bad as they were the very people whom I run with quite regularly.

Now I can fully understand that no matter how hard one trains, when you are on the run, small encouragement such as a cheer or two do make or break one’s spirit. At the same time, training runs have no guarantee on the outcome of the actual event. It is anything goes. Only consolation is that training perks up one’s confidence to be at the starting line.

My legs were still strong with no pain or whatsoever. I did thank God for the dry weather but maybe my non-running girl pal ‘over-prayed’ for this weather that it turned humid instead. Hee! Hee! Her prayers are just too ‘powderful’.

Once I re-passed Villa Emas condo, I was happy as it means the end of the coastal road is near. I passed quite a number of runners along the way and I asked a blue-vested runner how long more before the end. “About 4k”, he said. Boy, that 4k is LONG.

After that I hit The Wall – A-ha – not the proverbial Wall but the moving Wall of walkers on the flyover leading to the USM grounds. I was probably at my strongest now but these meandering stream of people are downright frustrating to any runner especially for one who was just about to see the glory of finishing. I extended my arms to move the people out of the way. Almost wanted to shout “Air Panas” which is the magic word for ‘siam’ in Hokkien. This always worked in coffee shops and hawker centres. But of course, the probable “Air Panas” would have been to pee along the way. Oops!

A group of Mat Sallehs was sitting along the road divider after the flyover and they applauded as I approached. That was indeed a very soothing and nice feeling. After acknowledging their applause, I dashed and ‘fought’ my way into the grounds. The bottleneck was almost mockingly laughable. After all the preparation works for VMY and attracting the thousands of runners, organizers had yet to possess the vision of the sea of people coming through that small-waisted gate. It was compounded by the presence of more RELA members. Might as well add in the GOF for good measure. All right, enough philippic.

Coming back to the moment at the glorious finishing line, I was given a tag for 20th position. Wow! The feeling of elation was just top of the world. Few steps later, a lady crowned a pewter medal over me. I think this is the best reception I ever had; It was as if I were a top runner. The officials at the finishing line actually congratulated me. First time ever!

As I ambled across the field, I met SL who took the 10th position and followed by Grace who completed her half-marathon. We both went to collect our goodies bag. We parted ways to be back to our respective comfortable resting places.

You never knew 500m is that far away (where the lodge is) until you have completed 42k. My quads were beginning to feel the beating. I could hardly lift my legs to go on the kerb just to avoid the road traffic. Crossing the junction was like a mother duck waddling. Was I ever so delighted to see the lodge and get back to the room.

I am grateful to Eugene and his son Yixi who helped me load the goodies of my prize into the car. Thereafter, Eugene drove back to KL after a lunch stop in Ipoh.

I guess I am one happy debutante in this event. An encore performance? Try me again in 2008. Right now, just let me bask in the limelight of this run.

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Monday, June 25, 2007

Penang Bridge Marathon 2007 Race Report

This marathon was a classic case where the training went much better than the race. Having started my comeback in February, and moving into more serious stuff in April, I'd at least expected meeting 2 of my 3 goals. The base goal was to finish, the second was to PR under 4:26 and the bonus was to dip below 4 hours. The more my training progressed, the stronger the indications were, pointing to a good performance. I'd never run a marathon before in my home state and I'd wanted to make this a memorable outing....(to read the full report complete with photos, click this link).

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

This Is It!

I'll be travelling with 3 other friends to Penang on Saturday morning and should reach the island at about 11am. My bags are packed and I'll be on leave Friday, taking it easy and getting the car serviced.

I've trained the best I could given the various challenges and I'm happy personally to have reached a few milestones in my training.

The weight of expectation now rests heavily on my shoulders. I'm trying to keep a nonchalant outlook as I know how darn difficult the job will be. I will do my best, stay focused and keep strong and positive thoughts throughout the race. To all racing this weekend, here's wishing you the best!

It's time to cash in on all our months of hard work and claim our rewards. Let's get the job done!


Monday, June 18, 2007

Special Announcement For Friends Of The Late Terence Leong - Penguin 6

To all friends of Terence who will be running the Penang Bridge Marathon this coming Sunday,

Many of us will be wearing a special bib on top of the official race numbers as a tribute to the late Terence Leong, best known as Penguin 6, on the race morning. This special bib will bear the following words:

In Memory Of Terence Leong
Penguin 6

This special bib is to be pinned above the official back bib, which should not be obstructed. The use of permanent marker is a must obviously. The material can be recycled bibs, a piece of white cloth or any material you think can be appropriately used. Personally I'm using a piece of normal paper and then will laminate it with the kitchen shrink wrap on both sides.

Even if you're not running the Bridge on June 24th, you can also pin this message up for your training run knowing that you'll be running with the flock of us in Penang.

Thank you.

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Weather Forecast

Signs are pointing to either a very cool or a wet race this Sunday. In yet another trip to Penang the recent weekend, the weather was mostly wet. The only time the sun made it's presence felt (and even so, it wasn't that hot) was in the early evenings. The rest of the time, the outlook was either very grey and cloudy or raining. With this in mind, you might want to make some preps or adjustments for the race and also your activities the day before when arriving in Penang. With the anticipated crowd and weather, traffic can be a nightmare on the roads leading into the town center. Have dinner earlier (you can still munch carb/protein snacks if you're hungry later) and stay indoors before retiring early on the race eve as the last place you'd want to find yourself at 10pm on a rainy night is on the road stuck in heavy traffic.
Of course this forecast is just that, a forecast.


Sunday, June 17, 2007

Kick In The Butt Run & Garmin Forerunner

Penang in June
Another weekend and another trip back to the island of Penang. The journey was very cool literally, thanks to the rain and showers that accompanied the clan nearly 3/4 of the way. Penang too has seen a great deal of rain lately - it comes down at any time of the day. When it's not raining, it's not too hot - almost ideal for racing. This morning, as I'm typing this, is overcast and very cool. It reminds me of the rainy season during my schooldays here. Somehow it's gives a slightly melancholy feeling. Is British weather the same?

Botanicals & The Forerunner 305
I had my one chance at testing out Chin's 305 and yesterday evening was it. I parked some distance away from the Botanical Gardens entrance as I didn't want to pay for the parking. I'd told my wife that I'd be picking her up in an hour's time at the Gurney Plaza, so this should be a quick run for me. After the satellites were acquired by the 305 (it took about 5 mins to acquire 6 satellites), I set out immediately on a steady pace. I'd programmed the 305 to autolog down my splits by KM instead of Location. I thought that that is one very neat feature. No more twiddling with the buttons! The first K's pace was 5:49 and it fluctuated between 5:29 to 5:43 in the middle. The Botanicals were just a tad crowded with the evening crowd but not too bad as to impede running. A few joggers were in their souvenir Penang Bridge Run T-Shirts, testament that these folks were putting in some final runs. There wasn't anyone running at my pace with the exception of one chap who was huffing quite loudly at certain stretches of the smaller loop. I used to run very regularly at this park and I loved the experience of being there hammering the laps again. The 305 looked a little bulky but to me it didn't restrict movement nor incur too much weight on the wrist. As I started my final lap, I saw 2 younger runners prepping for their runs and these 2 certainly look the faster group among the others. But this is not the time to race...yet. I concluded my lap and headed out of the park and back to my car. At this juncture I hit the afterburners to stretch out the legs a little - at nearly 10K race pace. A quick check on the watch showed that I was near to the 6K mark, so I thought it'd be nice to finish on the dot. Incidentally 6K was just about where I started. Completed the workout in slightly over 32 minutes for an average pace of 5:20.

Later at about 9:30pm I met Chin at a nearby Starbucks to pass him the 305 and I was a little sad to part with it. To me it's a very good training partner even though some route distances are established. My reasoning is like this. Even if you know the distance for your running route, the 205/305 allows you to get continuous feedback on your pace and effort. Not only that, the Virtual Partner is a boon to people who often had to train alone, and therefore is a great motivator. The ability to upload and track your workouts too are great incentives to head outdoors. It allows you to essentially run anywhere knowing for sure that you've got a certain number of miles in without the need to second guess. The trackback feature gets you back to the start if you venture offroad. This feature is so impressive that it flashed out the bend in the road and provides a distance countdown to the start point. At RM750 the 205 is a great training partner, and now I'm torn between this one or the soon to be launched Nike Speed+, the Nike watch that tracks distance and pace without the need of an iPod. While the Speed+ is cheaper at about RM400 (expected price), I'm very unimpressed with the build quality and usability. If I had it, I wouldn't hesitate to wear the 205/305 next Sunday as my race goals call for constant feedback on my pace. It'll be great to have the watch track my pace in case I start too fast and should I lag behind (there are 4 types of alerts that can beep if my pace drops or exceeds a certain customized threshold). It's like having a coach next to you!

Also on the subject of timepiece, a small piece of bad news. My Timex Sleek 50's strap broke yet again after I superglued it. Luckily I had the presence of mind to try it out the last few days to see if it wil cause me any strap problems. Looks like I now have to revert to the heavier Nike. I just hope it holds up. In case you don't know Cheong's Nike has totally spoilt.

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Friday, June 15, 2007

What's Your Mantra?

"The sport’s best sometimes make their accomplishments look easy, and we know they are anything but. What is not always apparent is that when the stakes are highest, tiny errors — something as simple as a momentary lapse of concentration or confidence — can make all the difference."
Gordon Bakoulis, senior writer Running Times magazine.

What do you think about when running race? What goes through your head? "Go after that guy!", "Dang it, here comes the hill" or "Oh not now!". When I start off a race, I usually have "Here we go again" going through my mind. Then comes "Am I going too fast?", then "Maintain, maintain". The middle miles will then be spent on random thoughts, covering a variety of subjects or simply spent observing other runners. The difficult portions are very ugly - all the expletives would run through my mind! But I tried changing that during the '06 KLIM, and to some degree of success. I switched to positive thoughts and kept repeating my mantra to keep at it. I kept thinking and repeating "This was what I've trained for", "Suck it up!" and "Baby steps, baby steps". While this is just a random posting, I hope I've left you with an idea on

Meanwhile check this Running Times article out. Titled "Rising To The Occasion", it gives you some points to think about entering into a race. Especially when the mind is rarely the focus of a marathon training program. If you like, let me know what will be your mantra or battle-cry in the Comments section!


Thursday, June 14, 2007

PBM Packing List: My War Chest

It's 10 more days to the Race! Besides the usual garments, racing gear and toiletries, the following are some stuff which will be going into and on top of my Deuter pack.
1. Sleeping bag, as there will be additional persons bunking in with us
2. BodyGlide stick
3. Cytomax, Powerbars, Powergels and GU for before, during, after fueling
4. Endurox and Recovery mix
5. Safety pins
6. Medikit with paracetamols, antihistamines, plasters, diarrhea medicines, so that any discomfort can be dealt with on the spot
7. Sunglasses
8. Sandals
9. Pace band because I don't want to waste resources figuring out/remembering my target pace
10. Water bottle
11. Spare socks
Race gear
1. Nike Pegasus 2005
2. asics Kayano socks
3. Nike Sphere Dry vest
4. Brooks shorts
5. Timex Sleek 50 watch
I've been replaying the race over and over in my head and each time, the shiver of excitement runs down my spine. The excitement has nothing to do with my race expectations. Far from it because I'm quite oblivious to that part of the race. Also because you can only prepare so much.
You see, every marathon is different. Notwithstanding all the long runs you've hammered out, you're still going to be covering a lot of distance. It's a darn long run and with that kind of distance, the window for baaaad things to happen are wide open. Even if you felt good the first 10K, your stomach can still execute a cement mixer move at the 11th K. Your legs can also decide to quit moving at the 23rd K. Or something as simple as a tight shoulder, or a rogue pebble in your shoe, can make you lose focus.
So what am I excited about? I'm excited at the uncertainty of the race! I'm excited at packing for it! I'm excited about meeting my friends and travelling up where I'm going to be meeting more friends! I'm excited to hear the starting gun! I'm excited because I'm about to earn my reward following months of hard work! I'm excited that in our midst, there are new marathoners-to-be embarking on their journey of self-discovery! I'm excited to be running this race for the late Terence! I'm excited that after so many years, I'll be running my first home state marathon, and at a time when I'm at my fittest!
There are lots to be excited about...


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Nearly The Time For Execution

"Strategy without execution leads to wishful thinking, while execution without strategy results in a directionless expenditure of valuable resources."
John Miller, Country Manager, Nestle Singapore

May I also add that execution without strategy will most likely result in burn-outs and injuries. Wanting to improve within the fastest possible time is an example of this fallacy. However in the event that you've managed to negotiate past the various challenges thrown in your way in the form of illness, work and family commitments, and yet managed to complete the key workouts, well done for you! If you've come this far in your marathon training relatively unscathed, you deserve a good pat in the back. Once you've done that, it's time to go grab that nice large-sized cold milkshake. You have been breaking your body down, recovered and become stronger.

At this tapering stage, you should now treat your body with care. Eat right and rest well. But don't neglect your workouts because tapering should be active, not passive. You should be sharpening and priming all your weapons of war with shorter but faster workouts. Go no further than 20K this weekend. Weekdays can be spent for runs between 8 to 13K alternating between moderate to tempo paced. Stay hydrated and constantly topped up in the glycogen department. Stay away from crowded places as there's a minor flu bug going about. Be sure to wash your hands frequently too. Beefing up on your antioxidants at this stage is always a good idea.

Start developing race plans and pace targets. If you've a time goal, think about the splits you want to hit when reaching the various markers. As mentioned in my previous posting, think about whether you intend to carry fluids and gels during the race, what you intend to eat the week before the race. Once again don't try anything new. Think about your race gear - I've decided at this point to wear the same gear as my KLIM '06 PR. The shoes shall be the Pegasus 2005.

On the mental side, know that you've train the best you can. Let's be realistic, even if you haven't what can you possibly do at this point? So fret not but you will need to lower your race expectations. If you've trained relatively well, then it's time to stay positive. Listen to uplifting music, watch inspiring movies, you know what I mean.

You will be excited whether this is your first or 20th marathon. Enjoy the moment. Check out this site to have a look at the bridge and roads you'll be running on come June 24th. And for more mental matters, please check out this previous post of mine.


Sunday, June 10, 2007

How Carboman Got His Groove Back

What a week it has been. Generally filled with rotten work, unpredictable weather and the sad passing of a fellow runner.

Somehow through all that, I remained sane enough to still plan my training out. One of which is to execute a make-or-break week following last week's dismal performance. I also needed to identify the trends in my program (planned versus actual) taking into account on how I felt during the training sessions. For these, I relied on my Buckeye records and manual log going back to February. To my surprise, it's been 22 weeks since stuttering to the marathon program - no wonder I was getting tired! I also tried not to be too hard on myself when reviewing my training as it's really not easy to put together a program, juggling a growing family with limited resources. And then there's something called Work.

I noticed that I encounter a dip in either form or opportunity to have a good mileage once every 2 to 3 weeks. That can be seen in the chart above. Whether coincidental or not,I will perhaps never know but that's the way it has been. Then I looked at how many weeks left to race day and the answer came down to this final week. Everything's down to this week and therefore I need to make it count. To do that I plotted a punishing set of workouts - tackling distance, time on foot, tempo and back to back workouts. It's easy to plan but actually executing it takes some good fortune especially when things are so tightly dependent on each other. I made sure my wife who had been holding the fort knew that this is final hard week before the taper.

Heat training. Told my boss that I was coming in later and started my run at 7:50am and ended the 16.9K past 9:30am. This was a good workout. Felt in control of my pace.

Wednesday & Thursday
A sort of a bridging workout before Thursday but little did I know what the traffic (caused me to miss the morning run) and weather (I was so upset I shook my fists at the dark clouds!) had in store for me. In fact, I was already in my running attire underneath my workclothes but as I walked to the car, the rain came down complete with thunder and lightning.

You never know that missing a run would be a blessing. Such was the case for me. As a result of no running the day before, my legs were fresh for a 10.4K tempo. Excellent run that was, done while a few of Der_Pacemakers were waiting for the Star reporter to arrive for an interview session.

A very difficult run. Definitely a result of insufficnt recovery from Friday's tempo. I was so glad to get it over with. I've Geraldine to thank for instigating this run as doing a 20 wasn't in my plans. But since it's time to make a final push, I just did it.

The final long run with Geraldine. We saw more than the usual number of runners plying the Hartamas route - Adam, Richard with Cecil among others. Looks like the marathon racing season is back! Many of those were just doing 20K as their final long run for next week's Phuket Marathon. Geraldine h ad a nasty stumble near the Central Bank junction resulting is scrapes to the elbows and knee. Thankfully no twisting of the ankle. My finish was strong and I felt that I could've completed the marathon distance today.

Geraldine and I just before embarking on the final 3K

At 94K, this was the highest mileage ever recorded in any of my training. I'm so glad this week turned out well, at least where running is concerned.

My next posting should be on mental preparation - though I don't have the materials yet. Will pop off to bed now.


Saturday, June 09, 2007

Rest In Peace Terence

I'm shocked and sad to the point that I didn't know how to begin this. I received the news in the middle of a meeting on my cellphone and my eyes welled up. I was seated in front and my laptop screen partially covered my look of grief. As if the heavens also felt the loss, the heavy skies opened up. I immediately thought back on the way too funny conversations we had when he was healthy, his postings on his website and when he was diagnosed with brain tumor, his fears. All the while he faced the affliction with dignity and bravery. The few of us put up a run for his benefit (read the posting here) and managed to raise some money towards sustaining his health. And all of us thought he was already on the comeback trail. I even met up with him for lunch where we traded some DVDs. But who would've thought that the runner/triathlete who pioneered "Commando Racing" would leave us so suddenly.

If there are words to describe Terence - jovial, strong, fearless, inspiration to others, all in the same sentence. All of his photos would see him flashing his trademark broad grin. Terence would not have us grieving and moping for him. I pray that his wife and daughter will be well. As I drove home from work yesterday, I found my motivation for the Penang Marathon. I will run the race for Terence. During the difficult miles, I will draw upon his strength to carry me through and I will finish strong.

As a testament to the joy he brought to fellow runners and athletes, tributes are all-round. Read them at the blogs of Azwar, Justin, Mei Jyn, Wendy, Ronnie, Tey. Rest in peace, my friend. You've run a good race and will be dearly missed.


Sunday, June 03, 2007

I Think It's Been The Worst Ever Week

At 32.8K I think it has to be my worst ever week for running. A mixture of bad fortune saw my youngest brother admitted for slipped discs and so my Mom had to return back to Penang to look after him. So my wife had to take leave from work for 3 days to join her in Penang with C1 and C2. That move was to relieve my Mom of the load.

You'd think that being here alone would leave me with aeons of time to train. Well, it did - for a few days. Then work took over, and audit preps and my fortune had to be really low, coz my boss asked me to run point to troubleshoot a production issue. I don't know what hit me but I wasn't even part of the project!

Then Friday was my medical examination which thankfully I passed with flying colours and I'd wanted to leave early from work the same day for a short run to take me to Saturday's 24K. As things turned out my brother was scheduled for surgery on Saturday and I had to drive back from KL very early Saturday morning. I'd planned to leave right after work on Friday but decided against it since I suck at night driving and I'm more of a morning person. So I woke up at 4:30am on Saturday and made my way back to Penang. On my way out of KL, I passed near the Saturday Group's training route and I was a little upset at not being able to join them.

My brother's surgery went well and some tissue and disc stuff were removed. The clan sans my Mom drove back to KL this morning and my Mom stayed back for another week. As a result we have to modify our week's plans somewhat by sending both C1 and C2 (whose 2 lower teeth had sprouted!!) to C1's previous Nanny during office hours.

I'm into contingencies now - from resources to training plans. But I've got some plans - yeah, I've always got plans. In fact, through all the challenges that I've encountered for this marathon training, I've had backup plans. The problem is staying with it. Backup plans are cut so thin that any minute change to it will scupper it and you might as well don't have any in the first place.
There's just another week left for actual mileage work. After that it's active taper and some sharpening sessions. So I've resorted to some desperate final push towards completing this week. I won't so far as to say that this week will make or break my race confidence but it comes pretty close.
I took a few shots of the Penang Bridge as we drive back this morning. You can see from the first photo, that the banners are all up along the coastal highway. If you've been driving along the country's expressways, you'd also have seen the event being publicized on the electronic boards. I think the organizers have thus far been doing a great job in promoting the event.

The banners are strung on the lamp-posts along the divider. 2.5K to the finish!

The base of the 1K climb to the midspan. If you don't have GPS-enabled watches, you can rely on the distance markers on the bridge dividers

Nearly at the top! Should be between 10-11K here. Notice there are concrete dividers on the left. These are part of the on-going lane expansion project. This is also a rare spot where you can see the other side of the traffic.

Coasting down the other side of the climb, you can see all the engineering barges already working on the piling for the lane expansion project. You can also see how far it is to reach the Butterworth side.

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Friday, June 01, 2007

I'm Treating Myself To A Milkshake!

Had my annual med check at the HSC Medical Centre this morning. Since this is a company sponsored benefit at close to RM1,000, it's silly not to exercise it. So after a heavy pasta dinner last night, complete with plenty of fluids and Endurox I was ready to do the tests with the compulsory fasting.

Blood Drawing
I didn't like this but still it's something not to procrastinate on doing. If there are problems in you, chances are it'll show up in the blood. So it's an important bio-marker. The elderly man stuck the needle in with me looking another direction - no problem. But it was a little painful when he drew the blood into the syringe.

Treadmill Stress Test
Managed to reach Level 5 of Level 7. This test is not as easy as it appears. The physician attached many electrodes to my body and after watching the Five Thousand Meters DVD, I no longer feel shy about my scrawny body (you should check out the ascetic look of the US Olynpics Trials runners in the DVD!). So I stuck out my chest happily for him to stick those things on. Level 1 was just walking on elevation - my HR was at 70bpm at this stage. Things start to heat up at Level 4 when the speed was faster and the incline increased - HR hovered at 120bpm. Level 5 wasn't so easy with a speed of 8km/h at 18 degrees! My HR topped close to 183bpm. That was about my 10K race pace effort, in terms of heart effort. That's when the physician stopped the test as their scope is to see how you're responding when you're operating at near max heart rate.

After all those, I had the complimentary American breakfast and chilled out by watching Ian Wright on Astro. I love watching his programs. Funny fella.

Collected my reports, CD of the ultrasound and X-Ray after discussing the results with the doctor.

General Results
Total Cholesterol 4.0 (<5.2)
LDL 1.9 (<2.5)
HDL 1.5 (>0.9)
Triglycerides 1.4 (<1.5)
Blood Protein, Uric Acid, HIV, Calcium, Phosphate, Electrolytes, Prostate, Kidneys, Bladders, Thyroid, X-Ray, Tumour Markers - all OK

Now to continue watching the diet and keep up with the exercising. Wooo hoooo!