p pol The Adventures of Carboman: March 2009

Monday, March 30, 2009

You Fight This Damn Thing, Ngae!

In my books, there’s no stronger ox of a man than Ngae K.H. What else can you call a man who has completed a number of Ironmans, who considers it “only normal” (in the most humbling manner) to bike 300K and run a 10K race the next day before biking back the way he came? It is unlikely if you’re a weekend warrior or a triathlete not to know Ngae. He's also one who possesses a quick wit and self deprecating humour. One whom I remember launched into a dance routine after the same 10K by the beach. Conqueror of Marathon des Sables while raising thousands for charity. A runner who runs barefoot most of the time and in the rare occasion he was seen in a pair of shoes, the rubbers were the RM40 cheapo “village adidas”. Always ready with words of encouragement to us mortals and armed with a hearty laugh. I happen to also suspect his skeletal structure is made of steel (or Adamantium?). And today I learnt that he’s in post-op ICU following a brain surgery to remove a tumour. It suddenly made me feel very very mortal. If a superhuman like Ngae can be floored by this, I don’t know what to call it, thing, who am I? Ngae is now the 2nd friend in my running circle to have this disease. The running community lost a comrade-in-arms Terence in 2007. I may have just rediscovered my motivation.

Now if any of his attitude is to go by, we know he's going to recover and be very well planning his next ultra race or some daredevil exploits. So let's give him our encouragement and. More updates on Simon's site.

Top photo: Look at Ngae – all ripped! Photo from Simon's blog.

Labels: ,

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Getting-To-Know-You Shots

By that title I meant my relationship with the 40D, which I'm loving more by the day. To all the photography sifus out there, your feedback and comments are most welcomed - thanks! Since I've yet to get my tripod, these were all handheld shots. Click to enlarge the photos.


Monday, March 23, 2009

If Scott Jurek Is Doing It, So Can I!

OK, except I do it for much longer. From his blog, Scott Jurek takes a 4 to 6-week break from running at the end of every season. That’s a complete break – no running. The distances this hardcore fella - a strict vegan - covers in record times over the years are out of this world. It makes sense that the reason for his longevity in his game be attributed to his ability to take time off. During what he calls his “hibernation”, he does a bit of cross training and enjoys life outside running. He found that the Kenyans too follow the downtime principles which he recaps as:

1. Take a hibernation break at the end of every season.
2. During the break, run as few steps as possible.
3. Eat well and don’t be afraid to put on a few pounds.
4. Make time for friends, family, and life outside of running.
5. Hibernate four to eight weeks or until fully recharged!

Now, I’m not a pro athlete like Jurek. I’ve got a crazy fulltime job going and managing a family life. So while my current hibernation is not in weeks but months, I’ll still have my cameo appearances to do at some low and short distance races. Granted, I’m already supremely unfit but I noticed that whenever I return to “active duty” following a long sabbatical, my performances are at a new higher level. Since I don’t want to sound like a broken record of talking again about my being away from the running scene, this post is just to remind one and all that it’s perfectly all right to take a break.

BTW if you don’t know who Scott Jurek is, check out his website or his blog.

Labels: ,

Sunday, March 22, 2009


We took Friday off from work to bring the kids out, it being the school holidays. I'd wanted to head down to Melaka but my wife has this inexplicable need to pay a visit to a certain Mr Lim's legacy to the country. I've always been the heritage person and cutting down the mountain isn't quite the heritage I think I'd leave the future generations, gamblers or not. Anyway, what's a husband to do lest risk a cold shoulder. Give in loh! Managed to give the baby a quick run as you can see from the shots below.

Then just this morning, Sim and I headed to the Putrajaya International Balloon Fiesta. I'd prepared for a sunny morning - we reached there at 7:10am - but the hundreds of Nikon, Canon, Sony and Olympus-toting folks and their cameraphone-clutching brethren - were instead gifted with a grey and utterly flat sky. Cool enough for the many kiddos and their parents to enjoy the outdoors minus the scorching sun, but it was a bane for me at least. With landscape photography, you can minimise the sky but the subject of the day was balloons, so how could be not include the sky? But that wasn't for us to complain. Just make do.

The organizers could've done a better job as the announcements to photographers that the gates were open were not heard and by the time I saw many shutter happy folks inside the pen, it was too late. They'd closed the gate and I was forced to shoot from outside. Sim was resourceful enough to get in. It was nevertheless a good outing for me as I took the chance to pump Sim with lots of questions. Incidentally, the Nescafe balloon was the last to launch which wasn't a good sign since the tagline printed on its nylons was "Become A Morning Person". Obviously the caffeine wasn't strong enough in this one.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Standard Chartered KL Marathon Official Launch

Press Release

Dear Runners

Octagon, a division of CMGRP (M) Sdn. Bhd and Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia Berhad are pleased to commence the official registration and website for the Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2009, the biggest and most rewarding marathon to hit Malaysia.

To commemorate the start of the registration tomorrow, we are having some activities in KL to kick off the registration. We would like to invite you to come over to Pavilion KL to join in on the festivities. Lucky runners who sign up tomorrow at Pavilion KL will stand a chance to win thumb drives, free registration and a grand prize of 2 VIP Access Passes to attend the Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2009 (great gift for your friends and family).

When ? 10.00am to 1.00pm on 13 March 2009 (Friday)
Where ? Espressamente Illy Café
Lot 310, Level 3, Pavilion KL, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang
55100 Kuala Lumpur (facing Bintang Walk)

Or if you’re unable to come over to Pavilion KL, no worries. Just log on to www.kl-marathon.com from tomorrow onwards to register! Also, tomorrow we will be sending you the official press release announcing the start of registration to post on your blog.

If you need more info about what is happening tomorrow, please do not hesitate to contact:
Weber Shandwick Malaysia, at 03-7843 3100, or;

Alina Morais amorais@webershandwick.com (017 323 3078 / 03 7843 3125)
Norhayati Malek nmalek@webershandwick.com (012 713 2770 / 03 7843 3129)
Marc Ng marc5133@yahoo.com (019 3196032)


Alina Morais
Weber Shandwick

Labels: ,

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Dead In The Water

My Thinkpad T61's network card busted this morning. Having no network connection meant no incoming/outgoing mails, Netmeeting capabilities, Internet, etc... As frustrating as it was, I somehow found it liberating - no emails! But you just can't stop work, so I walked around and had some colleagues send out a couple of urgent communications on my behalf. Hopefully the IBM engineers will be over tomorrow morning with the replacement.

I finished listening to Russell Watson's latest album "People Get Ready" and would like to recommend this album to anyone out there who loves vocals. It took me two listenings to realized what an amazing piece of work this album is. One thing I like about RW is that he constantly reinvents himself, trying out standards across genres. And coming off 2 brain surgeries, this man is like a hero. None of the tracks in this album is poor and I especially liked his version of House Of The Rising Sun. At times sounding like a black man, he will astonish you with a turn of voice to mimic a black woman's vocals. His version of New York State of Mind is a very refreshing take on Billy Joel's classic. And to think that he used to cover Elvis' tunes in pubs when he was just starting out. Get this album, is all I'll say.


Monday, March 09, 2009

Just Like That, Another Week's Gone

Time flies! We’re now in March and that means it’s now 3 months since I last ran more than twice a week. As the project grinds towards the development and UAT stage, there are so much more things to do, and they were always due last week. Case in point today, which is a nationwide public holiday. Yet there are close to 30 of us back in the office. Not counting the hundred odd more from the regional countries in the multiple project meetings in Singapore.

Lunch time is now most of the project members’ favorite time since we can step out of the office. There were exceptions like Thursday last week, however, when I had some pressing matters to settle. So I made the piece of chicken chop, large dollop of mash potatoes and salad vanish within 10 minutes. It proved to be a long day that day – I only managed to leave the office at 10:15pm. As I chewed on dinner back home at 11pm, I mistook the piece of vegetable on my plate for a toad. Yeah, I really needed to rest.

I also really need to pace myself, not like a marathoner but like an ultra runner. The stress level will not see a reduction for another 8 months so as part of the stress management strategy, a couple of my colleagues and I have begun hopping out of the office for a walk around the park at about 6pm. 30 minutes away from the office does wonders and I almost immediately lighter. Other than the walks I’m also hitting the stairs. Instead of taking the lift up 15 floors, I get the chance to work out the lungs and legs, when getting back to the office after lunch. Don’t get me wrong, it’s tough and I get to my floor huffing and puffing. Definitely not in shape.

I started today with a 10.6K run with Lionel and Frank, which I surprisingly completed strongly. “Strongly” was an average pace of 6:05 or so. Good enough for me. A nice super-refreshing cold shower followed by a plate of nasi lemak with a piece of fried chicken took care of the hunger pangs. It’s been awhile since my last nasi lemak, by the way. With my non-existent exercise regime of late. I’ve to watch what I eat. Whenever I take such deliciously unhealthy food, I make it a point to follow up the meal with a large bowl of oats. As we nudge the big four-oh, we can’t afford to take chances.

Nasi lemak, yummm.