p pol The Adventures of Carboman: April 2008

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Action Packed Day

Training for Sundown Marathon
Starting Point :
Bukit Aman to Sri Hartamas (looping route)
Starting Time : 5.00am
Distance : 30km (including 3 Petronas loops)
Coming :  Jamie Pang, Frank Chong, Choi Chik Choy, Geraldine Low, Yip Kit Weng, Lim Beng Hee, Tey Eng Tiong, Cheang Meng Wai

Training for Sun Burn Marathon
Starting Point : Bukit Aman to Sri Hartamas
Starting Time : 6.15am
Distance : 19.32km (Choi GPS) 
Coming : SHL, Lai Fong Sang, Stanley Chong, Tay Poh Chye, Saiful Azri, Chin YH

Secret Revenge Training
Starting Point: Bukit Aman to Double Hill
Starting Time : 7.15am
Distance : 15.54321km
Coming : Chen Pong Pong, Paul Tergat, Khalid Kannouchi, Martin Lel, Ryan Hall (all in his mind!)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


As C2 becomes more and more "independent" he's been roaming around the house. He emulates whatever his brother does and he's no pushover when it comes to getting the thing he wants. We supervise him but even so there's no guarantee of him not hurting himself. One such incident took place last Saturday. I was pooped after the then longest run since KLIM and after the house chores and ironing I was upstairs trying to nap. My wife was downstairs with C1 who was also napping and my Mom out with my brother. 

C2 after waking up, apparently in his jaunt around the house (BTW he doesn't walk, he usually runs) slipped and fell on his face. Struggling to fall asleep, I heard that his cry wasn't the usual "category" if you can call it such. I rushed downstairs and my wife was already cradling him and to our horror, his entire mouth including his upper lip and cheeks were covered in blood. I was shocked and rushed to get a wet hanky to clean it up as I needed to know where he hurt himself. Was praying that it wasn't his tongue and indeed it turned out to be his upper lip instead that was bitten when he fell down. 

Got him some ice water to drink to soothe the pain and he quietened down quickly, to our surprise. His upper lip is already fully healed and bear no marks of the injury - kids really heal fast.

It was one hell of a scare. 


Monday, April 28, 2008

Reading The Signs

After hovering around 44K the past couple of weeks, I put my body through some stress the past week and boy, did it rebelled! I thought the volume of training needs to be increased with time running out. As a result my legs and internal combustion system paid for it and I barely staggered back to the carpark on Saturday and Sunday (47K combined, for a week of 66).
Obviously there has been insufficient time out following the KLIM exertions. Just when I was beginning to get irrevocably disheartened, I chanced upon an article by Owen Anderson's - a well known sports scientist and contributor to RW and Peak Performance - recent article in the UK edition of RW, which I bought at only RM9.90 (Dec '07 issue). In that column he prescribed a method on training and peaking for races that are close to each other, in which the focus should be on quality rather than quantity. This is to allow more time for the body to recover while still maintaining fitness and sharpness.
The quandary that we distance runners constantly find ourselves in are balancing training against rest. Rest too long and you lose your fitness level. So the way to go about it is to make sure that the key workouts are not neglected and that would be 2-3 runs on weekdays comprising of 1 easy, 1 tempo and another a mixture and a long run on weekends. It's up to you to mix up the intensity of those workouts. For example, if you run the 30K long run at a steady pace, you might want to take the 3rd weekday run very easily.
I was sore after the Saturday and Sunday runs and didn't plan to do any today. But I woke up feeling pretty good this morning and I think the nice weather calls for an easy 5K. Tomorrow will be an 8K and Wednesday a rest day. Thursday being Labour Day will be my 2nd 30K, the effort of which will depend on my body.
If you experience low motivation, a feeling of tiredness you can't shake off and a feeling of impending illness, it may be time to cut back on your running. Pushing things further will surely result in burning out, and that if injuries don't get to you first. Recognizing the signs is the first step to cultivating an enjoyable long term relationship with running.
So I'm going to rest well and focus only on the key workouts. I'm sure before long, the zest and energy will all return. If I run well in Sundown, it'll be a surprise and bonus. If not, I can be assured of an unforgettable experience of the unique event plus the reportedly beautiful Singapore nightscape.
Notes from previous week: Continued LT workouts, reintroduced the (tiring) 20/30 weekend, upped the mileage, breaking in a new shoe.
This week's plans: Sleep earlier, run wisely, 2nd Anniversary of RunnersMalaysia this Sat.


Friday, April 25, 2008

asics Kayano 12 Review

Finally, after over 500K of road test, here's my review of the Kayano 12. Click here to read my take on this shoe that's steeped in tradition.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

What Do You Eat On Marathon Morning?

No dairy products for me on race morn (I've no problems with dairy products - love ice-cream - but I don't take chances). So it's black coffee, Clif Bar, banana. I'd carry a bottle of sports drinks and be sipping on it till the 10K mark after which I'll ditch the bottle. Doing so saves me from having to negotiate the first 2 water stops. I don't find carrying the bottle the first 10K a hassle with my plodding speed.

4 GU gels throughout the whole course just about completes the race day fueling/hydration.

Post-race is a tumbler of Endurox R4 - protein-carb combo drink. The taste is no Gatorade but it works! If you've a chiller in the car, use it - it makes the drink tastier.

So what do you eat/drink?

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Fantastic Race At Boston

After the somewhat predictable outcome of Sunday's US Women Olympic Marathon Trials in which Deena Kastor emerged champion, Marathon Monday at Boston was much more exciting. A few of my forum friends ran the race - Scott Cameron, Matt of the Dump Runners Podcast and the famous Steve Runner of the Phedippidations Podcast - and through messages posted from around the world, I found out that the race was being streamed live over www.wcsn.com. Not hoping for much, as the previous year's NYCM and the recent London was not streamed to countries outside the US, I was very surprised that the Boston coverage was more inclusive! The race had me hooked as with the mail exchanges between the forumites.
With Steve's son, John, busy updating the Twitter board on his Dad's progress, the whole experience was surreal. Steve and John were in touch via cell phone and Boston had one of the tracking services for runners. Us around the world cheering the runners on, put us right in the thick of action. While our friends were engaged in their personal battles in the middle of the pack, the elites were hammering at the course record, the men at least. Defending champion Robert Cheruiyot was always involved in the lead pack of 6 then 4 runners. I was very impressed with the 2 Moroccans in the pack. They ran very strongly and it was nice to see Moroccans competing at this level again. The last time they were at the forefront was when Khalid Skah and Hammou Boutayeb were still "touring" the XC and track circuit. Skah, of course, was the winner of the 10,000m at the '92 Summer Olympics and also the silver and bronze winner at the distance at the '95 Gothenborg and '91 Tokyo World Champs respectively. He wasn't a popular character and he had the rather bullish look - but I supposed racing track is like that.
I was wondering when the breakaway for the men would happen - Cheruiyot is afterall a battle-hardened warrior - when it came. He put in a 4:37 mile to drop the rest at the hills. He was always under control and when he made his burst, I need not watch further. As it turned out 2 Moroccan men finished in the top 3.
Then the focus shifted to the women. What a thrilling race! At that point I didn't know of the nationalities of the 2 leads as I had my Mac speakers on soft (the kids were asleep) and I only recognized Yelena Prokupcuka (2nd placed the last 2 years in Boston and winner of '06 NYCM) who was dropped from early on (she would eventually finish 4th). The first 2 women were locked in stride for stride. Only this morning I learnt that the 2 were Alevtina Biktimirova and Dire Tune of Russia and Ethiopia respectively. Biktimirova was holding position just a stride in front while Tune pursued and pressured doggedly. Too bad I couldn't stay up longer as I missed a sprint finish! Tune prevailed with her speed after exchanging leads a few times. She's only 22 and even though her name isn't well known, she recently broke Ingrid Kristiansen's Houston Marathon course record of 23 years. There's plenty to come from this young woman!
Dire Tune - Eth  2:25.25
Alevtina Biktimirova - Rus 2:25.27
Robert Cheruiyot 2:07.46
Abderrahime Bouramdane 2:09.04
Khalid El Boumlili 2:10.35
Race Report and photos at the official website.

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Saturday, April 19, 2008

NZ Ice Cream Durian FruitFlo

Running's been OK lately even if my mileage is low. With the weather and work, my runs have been limited to an average of 6K. But over the last 8 days, I've managed to run 7. Consistency wise, that's great. I'm feeling a little tired as 3 of the runs (not counting last Sunday's race) were done at steady pace. 

For some reason, I was craving for NZ Ice Cream's Durian FruitFlo on top of a large bowl of Ice-Kacang! If you've not tried the Durian FruitFlo, just go and get it. It isn't cheap - RM12 for a large cone - but it's really flavourful! The hankering for refreshments continued while running with the RM group a while later. I was lusting for a large mug of hot Teh Tarik (milk tea)! I shall definitely treat myself to something tomorrow for all the hard work put in. Perhaps lunch at the Paddington's House of Pancakes.

Will sleep in tomorrow morning and run only in the evening.

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

BHP Orange Run 2008

Race Details

Distance: 9.89KM

Timing: 48:56 (PR)

Distance: 4:57 per KM

Splits: 5:40 > 4:49 > 4:53 > 4:51 > 5:01 > 5:02 > 4:57 > 4:53 > 4:49 > 4:32

Full race report here!


Thursday, April 10, 2008

So Far This Week

I think I'm on the mend from the flu/cold-like feeling that has been bothering me since the week after KLIM. The time spent in the office were the worst, having to endure the aircond. The thing with me was there wasn't any runny nose nor sneezing bouts. Just a general feeling of malaise. Running was furthest from my mind but luckily my stubbornness persisted and I've been running since Sunday. I benefited almost immediately from the running. I felt lighter after the first few strides and as I sweat I felt even better. I should be able to hit 50K mileage this week with the Orange Run 9K this Sunday, which is perfectly good with just 2 weeks after KLIM. Will need to keep my run today very very easy. Tomorrow is a rest day and I'll visit the PC Fair to pick up an external hard disk and speakers.
After 2 nights of going to bed at midnight due to the clearing of a few important website tasks, I should be able to sleep early tonight. BTW, do check out and click the cool Nike ad over at the RunnersMalaysia website.


Saturday, April 05, 2008

US Women's Marathon Trials

A day before the April 21st 112th Boston Marathon, the women will get their turn to qualify for the Beijing Olympics. No less compelling than the men's race, the women could potentially be running fast times thanks to the flat course. Note that the course they will be running is not the actual Boston course. I was surfing the RW website and collected some very interesting videos incidentally of my favourite woman marathoner, Deena Kastor, to share with you. Our favourite running podcaster, Steve Runner will also be running Boston this year. Check out his series of Boston related podcasts at his website http://www.steverunner.com. Also check out the stories of the other running moms - wow, what inspiration!

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Friday, April 04, 2008

The Toenail

I've just removed my problematic toenail! The toe which had darn blister under it popped is still in pain. So in living up to my nickname, I borrowed a nail clipper from a colleague, grabbed the toe and trimmed away. The nail was soft enough to cut thru easily. I'm getting quite good at it - this being my 3rd procedure.

Here's how it looked like after the initial 2 cuts

Here's how a toe looks like minus a nail. Now you know why they're called "little pinky".


Holy Timeline, Batman!

It's nearly a week after the race and my legs are more or less ready for some easy runs starting from tomorrow. The thing that's bugging me is the toenail next to the little one on my right foot. I popped the blister under it 2 nights ago and drained the fluids but the darn nail is still painful when pressure is applied. Just when I've got rid of my big toenail problem, I'm saddled with this teeny one. Upon closer inspection, I can see that the small nail is growing abnormally - instead of growing outwards, the thing is growing upwards and outwards! And it looks fused to the toe-bed. I'll need to deal with it this week or else running will definitely be painful.

I've closed the KLIM training tracking sheet and just added a new one for the Sundown Marathon. Though I know it's not far off, after you map it down to your training calendar, you can see how short it is - 8 short weeks! No base building, just getting straight into business! And with some Sundays taken up for races, there isn't much room for missing my long runs. Here are the races I'm slated to run:

April 13 - BHP Orange Run 9K. Hilly and tough. Despite no registration fee and billed as a fun run, expect some heated action. The well stocked goodie bag and location also make this an enticing event for all. This one should provide a workout that's close to Max VO2.

May 18 - NB Pacesetters 15K (or should it be 30K?). Hilly and tough. Traditionally well organized and supported event. I plan to do a 30K that morning but running the same challenging route twice. To do that I need to start earlier. Let me know if you want to tag along! Pain is best shared out!

May 25 - RMAF Half Marathon. Not really flat but since it's the Sunday before Sundown, this needs to be approach carefully. While I don't want to go too fast, I can't afford to slack too. A good combo would be to run the first half very easy and then picking the pace up at marathon pace for the second half.

May 31 - Sundown Marathon. Predominantly flat. Running at midnight will certainly pose a new challenge. The draw, besides running in Singapore, is the new scenic route.


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

KL International Marathon 2008 Race Report

My training for this race started way back in November '07. My training goal was to keep my training as consistent as possible with 5 to 6 days of running a week plus a little more focus on building core strength. That was it - very simple. And at the end of the 4 months, I found out that I'd just put in my best ever training. I said "best", not "perfect". There's the usual fight with illness and work but I'd say that this one had to be the best to-date considering the work-family juggling routine. My tracking had been accurate (no more guessing game of the mileage and pace!) thanks to the Garmin and in the asics Kayano 12 and 2120, I was blessed by being injury free, not even a case of ITB hit me.

To read the rest of the report (plus photos and videos), please hit this link!

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