p pol The Adventures of Carboman: November 2007

Thursday, November 22, 2007

I Leave KL With A Sense Of Trepidation

That's because this week had been hell. Multiple deadlines at work hit me at the same time lousy traffic back home hit every evening. I'm holding up in the well-being department, if just barely. All around, my colleagues are dropping like flies with flu - from the hot afternoons and wet/cold evenings.

It didn't help my state of rest that the company had a Global Community Day last Saturday. Following a morning of hard "labour" at Puchong's Taman Wawasan Park - where we cleaned up, planted trees, repainted structures - the large part of the day was spent at the Sunway Lagoon Water Park with the family as part of the company's family day. I'd rather have our community activity centred around the old folks or kids. Let the town council (who are paid assessments) take care of the public amenities! The old folks and kids will benefit more from our visit. I say this not to shy away from physical work, mind you. I'm saying that time and attention lavished are more precious to these oft-neglected part of our society.

Didn't run at all on Sunday, physically worn out by all the "cangkuling". Monday till today, well, I've said it in the first para above. It's the first blemish in my base phase training. And tomorrow, the clan will be travelling to Penang for the 12Hr Walk! I will be doing the walking, naturally. It'll be my 2nd attempt following last year's 32K total that I recorded. I've got a plan and a very modest target, so I'll be setting out on a leisurely pace.

Hopefully next week will see me back on the roads. I have to.


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Crazy Mind Games

It was again on wet grounds that I did my run just now. Decided to do a couple more Ks on top my my planned 10, just to cover the previous days' deficiency, not that it really matters at this juncture.

I've been playing lots of mind games during my solo runs lately, just to keep myself amused and keep my mind off the tedium. Today I imagined myself running and chatting with my hero, the great Haile Gebrselassie. If I really was running alongside him, the following conversation would probably unfold.

C-Man: Hey Haile, nice to see you here! What're you doing running at the KLCC Park?!

Geb: Oh, you know, just part of my habit of making it a point of running in parks of the countries I visit. Nice weather today.

C-M: Yeah man! I can't tell you what a rush to see you here, and keeping up with you. Are you here on holiday? Or working trip for your sponsors sibo?

G: Both actually. I'm being asked to help to promote running in this country nia. By the way enough of me. What are you running for?

C-M: Training for a marathon. Have you had the chance to try out the local food here? Char Koay Teow, Laksa, Prawn Noodles, Satay - if you let me tag along, I'd gladly show you the famous eating spots!

G: Ummm.. I'd have to check with my sponsors. Food here must be good coz I see that you're salivating. Don't want to be sounding rude, but could you pick the pace up a bit?

C-M: I'll try. How's this pace - we're doing 5:45 pace now according to my 205. Can you share some training tips bo?

G: I don't wear a watch when I run. Even when racing I run according to my feelings - like the time when I won the Nike Half Marathon in NYC. Can you pick up the pace a bit?

C-M: Right. Just so you know, we're dipping around 4:55 pace now. OK with you?

G: My, my. I'm finding it hard to sweat in this cool weather and this pace. Oh yeah, you wanted me to share some tips? Well, the best advice I can give is to enjoy your running. That's the most important thing. I love running. I finish every race I did whether in a good time or bad time, with a smile. Don't mean to stare but are you foaming at your mouth? Can you pick up the pace a bit?

C-M: I..think..we're..at..4:15..now..and..have..covered...10K..and..if..I'm..not..

G: I see. I don't suppose you can go any faster? Cinya amkan running with you.

Then at this point someone shouted "Carboman!" and it turned out to be Ben. We ran a fast 2K before I quit. So you see, I had a good time imagining things. Will share more crazy on the road mind games as I log in the miles!

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

My Wish List

Nova Marathon Challenge. Product page. No matter how many marathons you've completed, I guarantee you will shed a tear or two watching these ordinary folks push their physical and mental boundaries to overcome the marathon. I was moved just watching the serialized parts in the Nova website.

Showdown + What It Takes Combo DVD. Product page. If you go to the website you can download a few trailers and special clips that I guarantee will make you head outdoors!


Sloshing Run

If I had a spade or shovel next to me, I could then possibly...possibly...pry myself out of bed this morning. Not getting up meant only an additional hour of snooze but an hour of much needed rest. So I stayed in bed, underneath the covers yet couldn't get back to sleep. That's my problem - if I wake up early I won't be able to fall back to sleep. By the time I procrastinated, it's too late to change and put in my scheduled miles.

That meant that I've to run after work in pouring rain. The skies opened up at about 4pm and by the time I suited up at 6:20pm, it had slowed to a heavy drizzle. Having my jacket on made a difference - with the cap they kept me comfortably warm. As a result of not running this morning I felt very fresh and took off in tempo pace right from the start. All my laps were sub 6min pace and the splits close to each other. I stopped only as I ran out of time. When I ran my final lap, it was already 7:10pm and I didn't want to keep my wife waiting even if we were going to be stuck in the jam.

Some smart alec decided to close the SMART Tunnel for 2 days which exacerbated the massive jam which we were caught in for 2 hours. A big detour took us to Duta, Kerinchi Link, Old Klang Road before linking with KESAS and LDP. That 2 hours could've been more productive, like another 15K and change?? Heh heh.

Since we're on the subject of wet weather running, consider
some tips offered by Shelly Glover, the co-writer of the popular Competitive Runners Handbook. For the brainiacs out there, check Nick Allen's article "Do you get less wet if you run in the rain?" out.

Post run in the car park

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Monday, November 12, 2007

Eat, Eat, Eat

My mileage right now is barely half of what Nurotevil used to do, yet I'm feeling hungry ever so often. A good thing that I'm not a heavy eater, else I could very well be over-eating. What I do instead is to snack periodically. Oat crunchies, 5 large tablespoons of oatmeal stirred into a mug of Milo (a teaspoon of Milo just for colour and taste, a teaspoon of sugar, no creamer), the occasional peanut butter sandwich. After my run this morning, I felt incredibly hungry and being in between breakfast and lunchtime, I had no choices for "appropriate" food. So I hopped into Pelita for a plate of Maggi goreng and a roti kosong. I washed all that down with a glass of iced coffee. 1.5 hours later I was at it again, stuffing 4 large slices of turkey sandwich with a mug of oats.
I'm also trying to inculcate the habit of drinking. I'm now at 2 cups of coffee a day, both in the mornings. Any coffee or tea after 12pm, will render me insomniac. Right now I'm sipping chilled rosemary herbal tea in a 1-litre Rubbermaid chug bottle.
My bowel movement have been good - twice a day. My legs still feel good but right now, I'm feeling a tad tired. I'm yawning away at work and my mind hardly in the right frame to concentrate. I need to nap but that's impossible. Could it be that my body is adjusting to the stresses of training, and all these are side effects?
I'll go to bed early tonight, right after CSI New York. I usually don't reach home early enough to catch it but I'll make a conscious effort to leave office on the dot this evening. Tonight's episode [synopsis here] deals with a death during the NYC Marathon! So, runners, be sure to catch it!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Week 1 Base Phase

Thus ended the first of many many weeks of my marathon training. I came up 3K short of my week's target mileage but what I went through provided much needed encouragement that I can handle the workouts. Provision: I must maintain pace and workout discipline. Do only as stated in the program and let me not be tempted to run too fast. Leave that for the speed workouts and race day.

This morning's run started at 6:20am and besides 2 roadkills (including a chicken which tried to cross the road), I saw an elderly lady jogging along the road but just before reaching her with intention to wish her a good morning, she turned into a slip road into a village. It's unusual to see runners where I stay, and especially along this remote road and to come across one in the form of a old folk was a pleasant surprise.

I also ran past a group of foreign workers with every fast-twitch muscle in my body at the ready to kick into action should they try anything intimidating.

I need to be at work from 12pm to 6pm today but will munch and snack whenever I can. More calories are needed to sustain my workouts and having enough carbs storage also will go towards preventing illness. Yup, I'm still eating the multis, fish oil and C.

Week Summary

Runs: 6

Avg. Time: 00:56:51

Total Time: 05:41:10

Avg. Speed: 10.0 KMPH

Avg. KM Pace: 5:59

Avg. Dist.: 9.5 KM

Total Dist.: 57.0 KM

Weight: 56kg


Friday, November 09, 2007

Uh oh! Here we go again!

You know it's coming when you find yourself out on the roads in the dark cold rainy morning. "It" being marathon training. After exchanging SMSes my partner-in-crime and I decided that the rain had subsided enough to run. I had downed a cup of oats with Milo (alternative to the more expensive Carman cereal bars) and was fidgeting with the phone on my sofa. All my race gear are packed and as it was chilly, I had the newly purchased Mizuno long-sleeved top, well, on top of my Nike t-shirt. The intensity of the rain was consistent
When I got to the carpark, I saw KP Tan and CB Leow in their cars, both as if thinking that it was a bad idea to have gotten out of bed. Soon after CB came out with an umbrella. Told them it's only water, and there's no reason not to run since we were all there. Prepped up and slowly jogged into the cold morning. I had my ClimaFIT cap on and it helped a lot. Not as much heat was lost through my head in the cold temps that way. The trudge up the double hill was typically challenging but the body warmed up by the time we reached the top. Then it became the case of enjoying the 2nd half of the run better than the first. The Carcosa and Deer Park uphills didn't really bother much, though it was during these stretches that the splits slower as you can see from the timing below. We had to negotiate past anglers prepping for a fishing competition around the lake. The folks had camped overnight to get choicest spots. I bet they were cursing the weather. They were in their raincoats, so they shouldn't really complain - I was soaked through to my microfibre briefs. But then I've got the runner's high.
It got better when we got back to the car park. After a quick change into a dry top, and a mug of hot coffee in hand, I was dreaming of a runner's lifestyle. Only the divebombing mozzies threatened to ruin the fantasy. I've got 15K in on a morning when most were still in bed. What a way to start the day.
Distance: 15K | Timing: 1:29:33 | Average Pace: 5:58
KM Splits: 6:33 > 6:28 > 6:13 > 5:48 > 6:19 > 6:06 > 5:57 > 5:57 > 5:49 > 5:53 > 6:21 > 6:15 > 5:56 > 6:07 > 5:46.
Today is an enforced rest day.



This was written by Scott Cameron, one of my forum friends. It's a good read and puts things in perspective.
World Population: 6,602,224,175 (July 2007 est.) (6 billion)
Runners, walkers and wheelers are very nice people as are the volunteers and organizers for the very most part. 
It is always very interesting meeting such people from all over the world or from around the block when at a race. 
All I have met get along with each other regardless of their disposition.
I just heard on the news that one country, the USA, has spent $ 300,000,000,000 ($ 300 billion) on the war in Iraq. No doubt other countries have spent considerable dollars as well, including Iraq.
Imagine if we took $ 300,000,000,000 we could buy 3,000,000,000 (3 billion) pairs of $ 100 running shoes. 
If we bought $ 50 shoes we would have 6,000,000,000 (6 billion) pairs of shoes.  This would be more than enough pairs of shoes for every person in the world to run, walk and wheel together.
If each runner, walker and wheeler brought their own piece of fruit, bagel and water the 6 billion of us could get together for a great post race party all the while looking forward to the next race.
After the post race party...then what? 
Plan for the next run, walk, wheel event or go back to war?
Remembrance Day > 11th hour, 11th day, 11th month.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remembrance_Day. There are also some running events going on at the same time throughout the world ... and some wars.
Run, walk, wheel - not war.  Imagine if it was that simple.

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Monday, November 05, 2007

More On Ryan Shay's Demise & Saturday's Trials

New York Times: Read

Let's Run Tribute Forum: Read

More stunning photos of the Trials - Link to Skylon's Photo Album

Video? Here it is as well!

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Sunday, November 04, 2007

US Mens Olympics Trials - Joy and Sadness

My no-show in NYC has been more or less forgotten. I'd like to move on but the marathon trials is just too big an even to ignore. I've been following the Chasing Glory videos quite closely and I know that the big guns are all out this year. I agree that it's the best spell in a long time for the US in terms of distance running and the young guns are challenging the vets for just 3 spots when there are easily 7 to 8 who are strong enough for the team.

By the time I returned from FRIM - setting up for this morning's fun run - I quickly powered up my computer and tried to log on to the live streaming of the race. But a glitch prevented not only international viewers but the US fans as well. US fans finally got their video much later. Thankfully RW has a play-by-play over the miles and as I chomped down my tofu, veg and chicken dinner, my fingers were hitting the browser refresh button.

I'm in need of a nap now, so won't rewrite the entire drama. I'd seriously recommend you to read the gripping reports in the links below.

Photo taken before the race. Middle is Ryan Hall, Dathan Ritzenhein (a young Dad) and Brian Sell (also a young Dad who also works to supplement his racing income). That's the order they qualified. On the leftmost is Alan Culpepper and Abdi Abdirahman (who both dropped out of the race).

Photo after the race. See? They're in the same order!

Read the race report
here and here.

Stunning photos
here and here.

Me and Brian Sell. The picture was of him on point in the 2004 Trials. This time in NYC he ran a patient, disciplined and intelligent race.

On another note, veteran marathoner Ryan Shay passed away after collapsing in the early miles of the race. He (that's him in bib # 2 - not a Trials photo) was married just 2 months ago and was only 28.

RIP Ryan.