p pol The Adventures of Carboman: July 2008

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Shoe Review: Nike Zoom Victory+

The first reaction when I put on the black and white pair of Zoom Victory was “Whoa!” Then I asked Wong, "Are you sure this weighs 10 ounces?" I'd laced it up after returning to the car park following a 19K Saturday morning run and was eager to try on the hot looking shoes. It certainly felt lighter than 10 oz and several Internet searches later on the online shoe retailers site such as Holabird to RoadRunnerSports had the weight pegged from 9.3 to 10 oz. Personally it felt like 8 oz.

The next feeling that ran through my mind was the low profile ride. It's almost like your soles are in direct contact with the ground. This immediately gives the shoes a go-fast feel. The next impression I had was that the shoe very nearly completely moulds itself to your feet. The strategically positioned strands of Flywire cinch the uppers together and wraps the entire shoe around your foot. Every part of its construction is aimed at giving you what the designers call “The Naked Ride”. They want you to forget the shoe and concentrate on the task at hand – running fast. 

For the rest of the review please hit this link

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Friday, July 11, 2008

Technology for Beijing

Nike have started an ad blitz to showcase their latest line of breakthrough products developed in conjunction with the Beijing Olympics next month. Some of the technology they put into their shoes are stupendous. Don't forget to check out the Video tab and view the Running related ones. Of particular interest are the ones on the Zoom Victory+, Lunar Racer, and Distance Singlet (it's like some crimping technology). The designers also talk about the thought process behind their concepts - you'd be interested to know the reason behind the Zoom Matumbo - a 4-spiked 5,000m flat - name.

Head on to
http://www.runnersmalaysia.com.my and click on the Zoom Victory+ ad in the middle.

Monday, July 07, 2008

So Near... Luckily Common Sense Prevailed (Phew!)

Once again Harvey Norman nearly made me part with a large sum of money. The object of desire? The latest 42" Panasonic Viera Plasma TV. Panasonic have been creating lots of buzz in the market lately with their range of Plasmas.

Traditionally outsold by the much cheaper LCDs, Plasmas have long thought to be expensive, limited in screen sizes (they're usually available in 46" and above), run hot, heavy (due to its glass screen) and have shorter lifespan. If you could afford one, you're rewarded with better images and quicker refresh rates (thus less tiring on the eyes).

Panasonic seemed to have found a solution to many of the inherent problems with their range of Viera Plasmas. They're imported from Singapore, have loads of features (including a SD HC slot) and are relatively cheaper to their older predecessors. I first heard about it from my boss who was very impressed with the 42" TV, the Panasonic promoter and price. It was sold at Jusco for RM5199 just 2 weeks ago, bundled with a 5-year warranty, RM300 Jusco vouchers, and lots of Panasonic freebies. I thought it was a good price for a Plasma.

That was until yesterday when at Sunway Pyramid, I walked into the Harvey Norman roadshow for LCD and Plasma TVs. The Pana was there. The offer was stupendous: 5-year warranty, a free Panasonic camera and lots of freebies. At the price tag of RM5,199 too. If you choose not to have the bundled camera, these chaps will bring the price down to RM4,650(!), and you still get the 5-year warranty and freebies. Now, the price was only one of the drool-inducing factor.

The salesman walked me through the features and I personally took the TV for a stress test by slapping and punching the screen. No problems at all, in fact it was a selling point for them. Being a plasma, it has no problems with analog and digital signals. So if you've Astro, you won't get the typical lousy pictures that you see on certain LCDs. The heat emitted are no more than warm. The stock stand is swivel type. Other nice features are the full HD, 1 million to 1 contrast ratio, PC input (so that you can hook up a Mac mini to it!), 3 HDMIs, and 30-year lifespan. No problems if you're into gaming - the PS2/3, X-Box and Wii connect seamlessly too. It doesn't matter what features the TV has if it fails to deliver the image quality. From my limited viewing time, I can say that it's really impressive. I'd love to try out some mind blowing action scenes for good measure but that will be another time. The salesman made it more enticing by asking me to place a RM100 deposit and should I change my mind after 1 week, I can use the deposit for other purchases with no questions asked.

Known for walking away from mouth watering temptations, you can guess what I did.

If you want more info on the long debate of LCD versus Plasma TVs, just head on to
http://www.panasonic.com.my/viera/, then click on Plasma TV Advantages on the bottom right. Parents of precocious kids will be very happy to view a video on impact testing on their TVs. Oh yes, the culprit which caused my heart to palpitate is the TH-42PV80H. If it's meant to grace my home, conditions will make it so one day. Till then, it remains a top-tier luxury item, for which the money would be of better use for other essentials.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Global Races

There are 2 upcoming global races that you can participate. 

Nike+ Human Race 10K

The first one is The Nike+ Human Race 10K happening on Aug 31st. Malaysians can run the race virtually on that day in this country, since only Singapore is selected in this region to be among the 25 cities around the world hosting this run. Participants will be treated to major concerts after the run lending an air of festivity to the day. I'll be setting up a blog early August to chronicle my training for the event. So chart your 10K course and register! Visit the official site here

Phedippidations Worldwide Half Marathon Challenge

The 2nd event is the 3rd Annual Phedippidations Worldwide Half Marathon Challenge, which includes a Kick The Couch 5K distance. More info and registration on this completely fun, run-where-you-are, and free race can be found on the official website. As the race draws nearer you can even print out your race bib and upon completion of your run, log down your timing and print out your certificate. A podcast has even been setup to keep participants up to date. For this head on to The Extra Mile podcast.

So c'mon. Join me and be part of the worldwide running community and register yourselves for the runs!

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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Gear Review: Nike+ SportBand

Confession: I'm having an affair. But don't tear your hair out! The fling - a second one at that - is with the Nike+ training tool. My first exposure to it was the Nike+ iPod combo [read the review here] where your iPod nano work together with the shoe sensor to provide you feedback while you workout. Key information like distance and pace are read (by customizable male or female voice) to you during your run accompanied by pumping tunes. Together, this virtual coach provide a mean motivational. Runners who run to music but aren't iPod users were left high and dry, nevertheless. To make sure that these non-iPod users are not alienated, Nike Sales Malaysia will be bringing in the Nike+ SportBand very soon. So fitness enthusiasts who don't want to purchase the iPod will soon be able to hop on the Nike+ platform.

Enter the SportBand
Thanks to Nike Sales Malaysia, I laid my hands on the hip looking SportBand in June. The packaging is compact. In the sturdy plastic case are the SportBand, a sensor and a pictorial and sparse user guide. It's very easy to set up, thus doing away with the need for a voluminous manual. Non-geeks will not complain on the usability.

Download and read the
full review here.