p pol The Adventures of Carboman: September 2007

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Currently Reading

Ordered this via Amazon and it arrived in 1.5 weeks even with normal shipping. The costs add up to USD27.54. I'm hoping that this book is as fantastic as John Bryant's London Marathon. If you read the full titles of both books, you'll see that both races claim to be best in the world. I'm not in the position to comment not having run any race of this scale but suffice to say that having the opportunity to participate in both races are the dream of nearly all marathoners. To all marathoners out there applying to enter either or both races anytime soon, here's me wishing you all the best! I'm sure it'll be one heck of an experience!

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Feels Like Monday Today aka My Leg Is Itching

Take a day's leave from work yesterday and this is what you get. Spent the day at the car service centre and plonked in front of the TV watching back-to-back the Season 6 of 24. When I opened my emailbox, a deluge of production issues, boss's request for a presentation to the team, project follow-ups and last-minute calls for meetings. I only managed to make myself a mug of coffee at 10:30am which I had with a limp croissant. Needless to say, my stress level is way high now.

On a separate note, my leg is feeling the itch. Firstly, I've not run (because of the enforced rest by the doctors) since the Mizuno race and I'm feeling very restless. One of the first questions I posed to the doc was whether I can run to which he replied incredulously and emphatically "No!". He justified his response by telling me that I may slow down the healing of the infected wound by exposing it to sweat and dirt. So there I was fully fit, wound aside, yet not able to even go for a leisurely run when the weather the last week were fabulous. You can imagine how much I'm itching for a run right now.

Secondly I've begun to experience itching around the wound. Which can only mean that it's nearly healed! After a week and a half of visiting the clinic for cleaning and bandage re-dressing I've begun to do it on my own. The wound is very much cleaner now and with the new antibiotics, the swelling has gradually reduced. There's also no pain when I tried running on the spot (in my workclothes just to test the leg out) this morning. The antibiotics course has a few more days to run (pun intended), so I think I should be able to at last run again this Thursday. Even so, I've opted out of this Sunday's PAR Relay as I won't be able to contribute much to my team.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Bumper Year For Distance Racing

With the racing season coming to a close, things are starting to wind down. My Buckeyeoutdoors training log hasn't been seeing plenty of activities. What's left to do but to peek into next year's marathon calendar to sieve out some juicy races to run. The challenge is working all these into a cohesive racing year with some of these races as tuneup or training runs around a couple of key events. I didn't include 10Ks into the mix as they're short enough to be run as speedwork, and thus require lesser planning.

Here are a few of those that I'm casting my bloodshot eyes at.

March - KL International Marathon


June 29th -
Lion City Marathon


Distances on offer: 50K and the Marathon

September - Alor Setar 50km Ultra Marathon

November 2nd - ING New York City Marathon


How about you?

Note: I'm on an imposed week-long layoff due to the leg injury (read the Mizuno report). A section of the wound has healed quickly while the more severe parts are still hurting, even when I put pressure on the leg. With the pounding effect of running, it'll be sure to hurt even more. Luckily the Pacemaker Anniversary Run is only happening on the 23rd. That will give me a week and a half to recover.

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Further Take On The Forster Tri

I reviewed the Forsters earlier but I'd like to add further comments after wearing them for a few 10K races and faster training runs. I've since logged over 50K in them and I've nothing but praises for this shoe. The shoe didn't lose its stable properties at any time and provided excellent cushioning, heel and forefoot, regardless of the manner I land - heel, midfoot or forefoot. The wear and tear are minimal but I'm still limiting it for special races to preserve its lifespan. The recently acquired Brooks Axiom 2 which I will review in a few weeks' time will stand-in for faster paced training runs.

It's too bad that the Forsters are already discontinued - replaced by the Noosa Tri - but my good experience will only encourage me to explore the other performance trainers that asics has such as the DS Trainers.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Mizuno Wave Run 10K 2007

My role for Sunday morning was to turn up early at the car park to snap a shot of the RunnersMalaysia runners participating in the 10K, before proceeding to the event area to market the Brooks Fun Run. The plan is pretty simple - park my car at the Bukit Aman car park, take the group photo and make my way to Padang Merbok laden with the Fun Run forms and bibs. The lull during the race will allow me to "play around" with my camera as well. Sounds like a good plan. Except that I didn't count on a phone call from Tey at 8pm on Saturday night on an available bib.

I thought for 10 minutes before making up my mind. The rationale was that I couldn't do much marketing with most of the runners flagged off and I might as well get a morning run in. But I slightly overlooked the slight complication of the arrangement.

When I got to the car park at 6:20am, the place was already nearly full. I found a spot just next to the stalls and after hooking up with Tey, proceeded to the event point about 400 metresaway to deposit my heavy backpack. That done, I walked quickly back to the car park for the photo shoot, but not before lacerating my lower left shin on a piece of wood jutting out from a sidewalk worksite. The runners from the Beginners Group looked eager and excited, and for many, the 10K would be their first race. As luck would have it, my camera ran out of juice after 3 shots and my spares were in my backpack at the luggage holding. After the shoot, with 25 minutes left to the flag off, I hurried back to the event site to leave my camera with Phyllis.

In the rushing to and from the 2 locations, I completely forgot to eat my cereal bar and drink the can of Red Bull I brought along. My mind was on getting my warm up done in whatever little time I had left. A little bit of waiting and catching up with Lawrence, Kenneth and Chen (while observing the proliferation of GPS device usage around us), we were let off. Sharp at 7:30am with no speeches - just the way we runners like it! Before we were let off, I looked around and saw that I was standing in the first 1/3 of the starting crowd - in the 45-minute corral. But when the gun went off, I found myself in the second half of the crowd! Somehow, the crowd had flanked out to the other side of the road and were in front of me by some distance! While I didn't set any personal goals for this race - okay maybe just to finish in 58 minutes - I still wanted to do my best. There are no other 10K race strategies except to start fast and furious to clear the crowd, then slow down a tad, hold the pace and if still able, put in a kick to the finish. Depending on the level of fitness a few mid-race surges can be employed to drop some competitors.

The problem was, I was stuck way back in the crowd and was reduced to a walk! The pace became a jog only near the overhead train crossing and by that time I'd wasted close to 2 minutes. Things had to change and I ran on the outer part of the road as I rounded the Central Bank bend. After a few frustrating metres of dodging other runners, and chatted a while with Cheong, I finally managed to pick up my pace after the KTM train station. I further pushed the pace uphill and cleared even more of the crowd up to the base of Kenny Hills. I saw Choi and Kelvin (who said something about running back to the starting line to change) up ahead on the hill and I realized how far back I'd started the race. I steeled myself up to overcome this disadvantage and really put in a sub 4:40 pace to kick past many runners here. Eased the pedal off a while coasting down the hill before pushing again into the double hill stretch. Picked up 2 cups of Endurance drinks and downed them as I ran off. Caught up to Yazizon the first climb up and held the lead over him but he passed me when going downhill and I couldn't get closer to him from then on.

Upon exiting the hills I found myself trading leads with a few runners. The final 2K were tough especially the climb up the Istana. But it got easier as the thought of the finish line. Just before reaching the downhill portion at the National Monument, the bunch of us were annihilated by Simon Cross. With his Ironman strength, he blew past us in his DS Trainers like we weren't there. Rounding the junction of the Lake Gardens, it was time to gut it out until the end. It was nice to run down the chute high-fiving it with familiar faces. There weren't many finishers to cause a congestion but with the new system, we were cleared very quickly by the volunteers as the medals and finisher's packs were bundled together, saving time. My timing of 54:33 could be better but considering my non-training mode I'm presently in, I'm quite happy. I should also be more aware of the starting area to get better starting position in future races.

I still had time to savour finishing another good race with friends before starting my "job" of distributing the Brooks Fun Run forms. Positioning myself at next to the Luggage Booth, all the forms were exhausted within 20 minutes.

It was a satisfactory race for me. I've not run since last Sunday's Shah Alam 10K, and it's been a long time since I raced 2 consecutive weekends.

Considering the tough route, I think I did pretty okay though the timing could've been better had I positioned myself more strategically at the start. I've not got back my endurance legs yet since I've not ran anything more than 15K in training. But that will come, hopefully, as I prepare for my final race in Kuantan in October.

Race Summary

Route elevation

NB. The leg injury turned bad the next day and I had to go to the doctor to have the infected wound cleaned up. 2 types of antibiotics were prescribed on top of a tetanus jab. So besides the usual post-race muscular aches, I also now have a numb left arm and a painful shin!

Distance: 10.69
Average Pace: 5:06
Elevation: Hilly
Timing: 54:33 (Position 192nd)

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Brooks Fun Run

Running shoes companies rarely look to the casual jogger when it comes to organizing events. This is bound to change with this year's Brooks Fun Run at the Forest Research Malaysia (FRIM). November 4th 2007 will see families, colleagues and friends lace up their shoes for the Brooks Fun Run, the first in a series of Fun Runs across the country. Taking place in the lush forest setting of FRIM, this is a non-competitive event that will appeal to beginners and casual joggers alike.

A set of programs have been setup for the morning, including light snacks, talk on foot care by a leading podiatrist and lucky draws. For more information and to download the form and info pack, please head on to the RunnersMalaysia website! Now's the chance to get your friends and family members to get off the couch! Please help to spread the word around.

Page 1 of Form Page 2 of Form


Sunday, September 02, 2007

Shah Alam 10K Race Report (Summary)

Having not raced since the Penang Bridge Marathon, I wouldn't have turned up at the starting line if not for a certain someone's gentle prompting. Heh heh... It's not my usual "policy" to race in the absence of training. My weekly mileage has been hovering between 20-30K which will keep me somewhat healthy, will not make me sharp, certainly not for a hard race as a 10K. The only drawing factor was the curiosity to see how my recent string of hill running will serve me. I felt unready but not completely hopeless and I was quietly confident that all the hilly runs will see me through at least in 58 or 59 mins.

I registered online just before the Thursday cutoff time and collected my race bib on Saturday. I'd not run Shah Alam before and I heard about the challenging course. Munched a cereal bar and washed it down with Red Bull while driving there. As soon as I got there I spotted Ronnie, Draco, Steven, Naresh and a host of regular faces.

The first comment that I got from the SAAA official was to pin my bib on my chest - I had mine on the midriff section. That seems to be the standard SAAA response to all the races I'd been in the last 10 years. Somehow they have an obsession with the chest region. I just nodded and went off my way with nary a thought for these archaic rules.

The race route

With 30mins to go, I started my routine warmup along the partially closed road and positioned myself in the midpack section of the crowd. It didn't seem like a huge crowd - probably due to the clash of another nearby race and the long weekend. Regardless, medalling here would be very very tough with only 100 on offer.

The 205 started beeping the moment I started it, since my Alert threshold was 6:10 pace. It took about 200m before it stopped as I began to hit a quicker pace. With the undulating route, my pace was very erratic. Hardly easy to maintain a consistent pace, but it hovered between 5:13 to about 4:53. I spotted Abu from a distance but bided my time until I passed him just after the Concorde Hotel. I had no particular problems scaling the climbs and I passed many over the entire course during the hilly sections. It even seemed easy at some points and with that, my confidence came back gradually.

Ran into Lai during one of the climbs and paced together for a while. As we turned one of the corner, we let out a simultaneous "Shit!" when we saw another hill looming. Kept my pace and went ahead. All went quite well, and the race officials were doing a fine job from traffic to water stations, until the final part of the race where we were misled through non-action on behalf of the traffic marshall. At the final roundabout, we were supposed to take the 3 o'clock direction. I distinctly saw the small sign but since no one ran that way but instead took the 12 c'clock direction, I followed suit. The marshall didn't stop anyone not direct traffic, so everyone and everything went on assumption. If not for Ronnie, I wouldn't have hop over the divider to get back on course. There were general confusion and most made their anger known to the "blur" official. Another marshall got there in time and also lend the errant official a piece of his mind too. Many runners whom I'd overtaken earlier were suddenly in front of me. It wasn't right but in my tiredness, I gunned my engine to haul them back. I was running out of distance and the last 100m were over a steep uphill. Somehow, I scaled it in 4:30 pace.

It was amusing that Chen ended up behind me as he ran an additional 1.5K due to the screw-up. And somehow, there was still a medal for me. My timing of 51:27 over 10:15K ran was good by my standards, in view of lack of training. If ran according to the race route the distance was 9.6K, which was short, and even if I'd ran under 49 mins, I wouldn't have considered it my PR anyway. All said, it was a good run for me and the medal looks good too. The weather was perfect and if not for the bungling official, the morning would've seen far less unsatisfied runners.

Summary of the pace and splits (click to enlarge)

See how undulating the course is!

The nice medal and the rather garish shoe

Distance: 10.15K

Elevation: Undulating

Timing: 51:27

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