Saturday, November 29, 2008

7 Days To Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2008.

Next Saturday i will be in Singapore for my first half marathon(Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon).I have started to taper down my training as advised by all running experts.

This morning i did some short distance run at my targeted marathon pace.However i did not feel good during the run as i began to doubt if i can ever finish my 21km.I know it is my mind playing up negative thoughts as i am getting a bit nervous as the marathon day approaches.I had completed a few 21km distance during our weekend long runs so i should be able to do it again next Sunday with a better timing.

What is tapering?Tapering is define as a period of “active rest” when our body recovers from all those weeks of hard training. It’s a delicate balance between running and resting that brings us to the starting line fresh and ready to go.

The process is tricky. If we run too much, we’ll be overly tired on the starting line. If we rest too much, we won’t feel sharp on race day, and may not run as effectively as possible.So the experts suggest that we must follow some rules during the tapering periods:

1)No more long runs.

2)Cut back the mileage:During race week, reduce our overall mileage by at least 60 percent.

3)During the last four days before the marathon, don’t do any runs of more than three miles.

4)Maintain the intensity:Run at close to marathon pace, so our body is accustomed to the effort level we will demand during the race.

5)Avoid the hills: helps our legs recover more quickly.

6)Decide what clothes we will wear on race day. Pick comfortable shoes, socks, and running clothes that we’ve already worn on a long training run. DON’T wear anything new on marathon day.

7)Pay close attention to our diet.Eat a bit less than usual, with well-balanced meals, and don’t start any fad diets.

8)Eliminate extra activities. Don’t do any unusual activities that might cause muscle soreness afterwards.If we have extra time on our hands, just get more rest or take a nap instead.

9)Cut our toe nails: Do it five or six days before the race.

10)Be paranoid:stay away from sick people. Wash our hands after touching anybody. assured of staying healthy.*BLINK*:)

11)Visualize success: The mental side of marathon running is extremely important. Beginning today, picture our self running relaxed and strong, and having a great race. Repeat this scenario each day. Be confident in our ability to succeed! i must try this!!

Various studies found improvements in performance of between 2% and 8% when athletes taper their training before competition so i better follow what the experts said.Let's start the countdown...7..6..

Friday, November 28, 2008

My Training/Running Route

We usually start our running from City Park in Seremban2.Our training route involved running around the lake and around the shop lots nearby.The distance around City Park lake is one km and around the shops is 2.5km.

Some dedicated member has marked out different routes from City Park to nearby housing areas.The distance ranges from 1km up to 6km and we run few routes each time to make up the total distance required for the day.

City Park has a good running track,playground for children,basketball court and a nice lake with lots of fish.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Washing Our Running Shoes

How frequent we wash our running shoes?I seldom.Lately my new Mizuno shoes is getting dirty because of frequent training during our current raining season.Usually i will soaked my shoes in a pail of soap water overnight before drying it under the sun the next day.I found out this is not the correct way to treat our running shoes.

Some experts say you should throw your shoes in the washing machine once a month.Others have their own opinions and ways.However i think the following way is acceptable:

1)Have an old toothbrush or a soap bristle brush ready.Dip it in the soap solution that you made. Start scrubbing the inserts of the shoes. Be particular on the inside and outside.

2) When rinsing use clean water. Make sure to remove all the soap.Once you have removed all the soap, wipe it with paper towel or dry cloth.

3) Squeeze as much water out of your shoes as possible.

4) Take out your insoles and let them air dry.

5) Put balled up newspaper in the toes of your shoes.

6) Keep it in for an hour and then replace it.

7) Let them dry overnight, remove paper.

8)After you feel that they are completely dry,put the laces and inserts back to the shoes.

9)If you want to remove the odour from the shoes, sprinkle a little bit of baking soda inside the shoes.

Cleaning your shoes the right way will definitely lengthen the life span of your shoes.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Training & Running During Illness

I was having diarrhea and fever since yesterday so i decided not to run with Yee this morning.I feel guilty having to call Yee early in the morning to cancel our running appointment.Then i decided to do some reading on when we should stop running when we are sick.This is what i found:

1)Sports medicine experts suggest using the ‘neck check’ principle when deciding whether you are well enough to run (or do any vigorous exercise). If you want to run and have symptoms above the neck only, such as a stuffy nose, headache and mild sore throat, then you will probably be fine, it might even make you feel better! Just take it easy (at least to start with), keep warm once you have finished, and if you feel faint or dizzy, or your symptoms get worse at any time, stop, rest and walk home.

2)If any of your symptoms extend below the neck – chest tightness or achy limbs for example, then it’s almost certainly a day for staying home,relaxing and getting better.

3)If you have a fever you should definitely shelve your run. Elevated body temperature is generally a sign that your body is already working hard fighting some infection or other – it really doesn’t need the extra strain of a run, so take the sensible route and rest.

4)If you think that you probably shouldn’t be running (different from just not feeling like it!) take a rest day - you know your body best, listen to it sometimes.

Finally i think i made a wise decision to rest today hoping my body will recovered faster for my first half marathon in Singapore next week.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy Birthday To Jes,Jac and Myself

Life is great when we can celebrate birthday with the love ones.My wife organised a small party for my 2 girls-Jessica and Jacyntha.Their birthday is on 25th and 29th November respectively.

The children were having a good time playing and eating.They are "colour blind" because they do not choose their friends based on race or religions.

This world will be a better and peaceful place if we can be like children where skin colour,background and religions do not play a part in choosing friends or making decisions.

Lastly a very happy birthday to my two lovely girls,Jessica and Jacyntha..I love both of you.!!Not forgetting my son,Jonathan..i love you too..!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday Long Run

Today is our last long run before Singapore Marathon on 7th December 2008.As usual the group met at the Seremban 2 City Park at 5.30 am.

After a brief warm up we were set to go in 2 groups:one group running the 20km route and the another going for a shorter distance of about 10km.The 20km group is the one practising for this coming marathon and they are Yee,Heng,Teh,Hong Pak and myself.The 10km group is mainly made up of spouses and some weekend casual runners.

We ran through Seremban 2 residential area before going to Yee's house in Rasah Kemayan for water.We finished the run in about 2 to 2.5hours as different runners ran at their own pace.

Picture of Teh,Heng and Yee(L to R).They are running the full marathon 42km in Singapore.

After the run we went to have breakfast...bak kut teh.Some went home earlier so only 10 of us went for breakfast.

The 2nd uncle from the left in this picture is Hong Pak.He is 70 years old and he is running 42 km in Singapore!!He is the oldest member in this group while i am the youngest..ha..ha..ha.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

After A Long Run Training

Most of us do our long run during the weekend.What do we do after the long run?Most likely we will go to have breakfast ,chit-chatting before going home.I found one short article on what we are supposed to do.

5 minutes after long run-drink up to 16 ounces(approx.500ml) of sport drink to replenish electrolytes and minerals.

7 minutes after long run-change to dry clothes to help body regulate its temperature.

15 minutes after long run-consume a mix of carbs and protein to jump start muscle recovery.

30 minutes after long run-stretch to improve flexibility,boosts circulation and aids recovery.

45 minutes after long run-cool down by soaking in an ice cold bath to speed recovery and prevent soreness.

60 minutes after long run-nap or take 15 to 30 minutes break with the feet up.

This routine is suppose to help runners to stay injury free but how many are following it?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Is Mizuno Race Results Accurate??

The long waited Mizuno Wave Run results were out yesterday and i noticed my chip timing is about 5 minutes more compared to my self timing.My finishing position also been placed 11 positions behind compared to the position stated in a green card given to me at the end of the race.

So what when wrong?Is it human errors or chip errors? I was curious if it was the chip error so i searched for some information on how the chip systems work.

Antenna mat sends out electromagnetic field

Chip sends its unique code

The send and receive antennas are cast in thin tartan mats. These antenna mats are placed at the finishing line and other timing locations. They are connected to a box at the side of the road, containing electronics and batteries. Each time an athlete wearing a chip crosses the mats, the chip gets energized and sends out its ID-number. This number and corresponding time are then stored in the box and transferred to a timing computer for further processing.

Possible errors in a chip system:

Inaccuracy - The time resolution of transponder systems can be as low as +/- 1 second.
Unreliability - Some transponder systems miss up to 4 racers in every 100.
Inadequacy - Some systems can only handle 1 athlete every second in the detection area.
Unrepeatability - There is no means of reviewing the results after the race

This is what i think:

The possibility of chip system errors are low as it has been used worldwide in many big running events and the constant improvement in chip technology and system software.

Personally i think it was human errors as results generated in the computer can be manipulated by the organiser for reasons only known to them.

Lastly, i am not blaming anyone for the result discrepancy.Mizuno race is only my 3rd race and the final result don't make any difference to me as i was just a casual runner then.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Training for Marathon-How Serious Are You?

This question never cross my mind until i started running with Yee recently.Yee is a very committed runner and he takes his training seriously.

He encourage me to read more on running by lending me magazines and notes which he kept for many years.

Since then i discovered that i am just a casual runner and lacking in many aspects of proper marathon training.I do not have a proper training plan,not following any eating plan,not invested in proper running gears and lack of discipline.

So i hope to better myself through reading more.Reading is knowledge and with knowledge we can achieve maximum from minimal effort in everything we do.

I will post articles which i think will benefit novice runner in this blog later.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Blogging Life Is Not Easy

After started a blog for a month i decided to publish it for the general viewer to read thinking it was a easy job.

To my surprise there are lots of unsettle issues before my blog can reach my target having to make the search engines to recognise my blog etc.

So this lead me to start searching the net for solutions and help.In the process,i discovered there are many more stuffs which i don't know.

Feeling frustrated,tired and not to mention wasted lots of my precious time looking for solution.

However on positive note...i am learning new stuffs and i am taking this as a challenge.

Life is still great after all...!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Death In Marathon

There has been deaths occuring in marathon but it was not widely covered by the media.Lately evidence has begun to show that marathon running is anything but good for the health.

Pushing our body to run 42km can cause at least minor injury to our heart as shown by enzymes found leaking through the heart membrane.Running a marathon puts severe and sometimes dangerous stress on our body causing changes to immune system,kidney function and damage to skeletal muscles.

Our body reacts to injury by mounting an emergency repair response:our adrenal glands and brain produce stress hormones cortisol and vasopressin,damaged muscles produced cytokines which trigger liver to produce c-reactive protein.

These cause an "inflammatory storm"throughout our body which may make the thin fibrous plaque lining our artery to rupture.Also this inflammation storm can lead to an imbalance of coagulation factors making blood more susceptible to clots-the result is HEART ATTACK!!

Some facts:
15,000 to 28,000 number of times each foot hits the pavement over 42km.
72 km minimum number of weekly training recommended to reduce changes of a cardiac event.
6.5x increase in levels of cardiac troponin,a marker of heart cell damage in runners after a marathon.
1 in 50,000 risk of suffering sudden cardiac death during or within 24 hours of completing a marathon.
40s and 50s ages in which marathon fatalities are clustered.

Now the good news-proper training is needed to protect the heart from injury during the race and usually heart damage did not appear to be permanent.

Well....after going through the facts i think this is a risk worth taking.The competition feeling and the sense of accomplishment is a great motivational force to continue running.

Friday, November 14, 2008

World Diabetes Day

Today 14 November is World Diabetes Day....which i think many of us are not aware of.Diabetes is a very common disease and we are sure to know someone who has this disease.However many of these patients do not take it seriously.They do not bothered to change their lifestyles, to control their food or to take their medications properly.Some patients self medicate and ended up with complications.If one is to look into statistics....

-Every 10 seconds a person dies from diabetes-related causes.
-Every 10 seconds two people develop diabetes.
-Over 250 million people live with diabetes worldwide. In 2025, this figure will reach 380 million.
-Over 500,000 children under age 15 worldwide live with type 1 diabetes.
-More than 200 children a day develop type 1 diabetes.
-In developing countries, close to 75,000 children live with diabetes in desperate circumstances.
-Type 1 diabetes is increasing fastest in pre-school children, at a rate of 5% each year.
-Type 2 diabetes has been reported in children as young as eight.
-Type 2 diabetes affects children in both developed and developing countries.

We should start to have a healthy right and exercise!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Lazy...missed training

Woke up at 6.00am today,supposed to go for a 10km run but feeling lazy and lack of motivation to run today.Instead,started to surf the net for 30 minutes before going back to sleep until 7.30am.
Next 2 weeks is important to train for a higher milage before tapering down for the 7 December marathon.Well...have to push myself back to running again.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Difficult Part of Running..

The difficult part of running for me is hill running.

Have you ever wonder...whenever a question is posed about a particular marathon or race, one of the first questions asked is, "Is it hilly"?
I have a phobia for hills even during practice runs as i always feel hill is difficult and tiring.If i have a choice i would like to avoid running through hilly terrain but of course i can't choose especially races like Mizuno Run recently which involved lots of up and downs.After doing some reading and research it seems like hills training is a must in part of the marathon training.

Physiologically, hill running...
1) Increases your aerobic capacity that enables you to use less oxygen at increasingly longer distances.
2) Improves your running economy that enables you to use less oxygen to run at a faster pace.
3) Increases your stamina that enables you to run farther at a given pace.
4) Builds strength in your gluteals (buttock), quadriceps (front of thigh), gastrocnemius (upper calf), and soleus (lower calf) muscles.

Biomechanically, hill running...
1) Improves your stride length (from uphill running) and your stride frequency (from downhill running).
2) Increases your ankle flexion that enables you to "pop" off the ground more quickly, so that you can spend less time on the ground and more time in the air.
3) Teaches you how to run relaxed.

Looks like runner can't avoid better learn to love hills!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Best Tool For Running..

The best tool for running is contact lens....that is my personal opinion.I have beeen wearing spectacles since lower secondary school.I used to play games and sports using spectacles....although finding it troublesome but still manageable.I knew of contact lenses but don't give it a try until i started running early this year.Initially there were some fears of putting and removing the lenses but the comfort of wearing them especially during running convinced me to use contact lens in my daily activities.

The brand i am currently using...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Children of 60s and early 70s

Received an email recently from a friend....

To All those Born in the 50's , 60's & early '70s...
First, we survived with mothers who had no maids. They cooked /cleaned while taking care of us at the same time.
They took aspirin, candies floss,fizzy drinks, shaved ice with syrups and diabetes were rare.
Salt added to Pepsi or Coke was remedy for fever.We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets.
As children, we would ride with our parents on bicycles/ motorcycles for 2 or 3. Richer ones in cars with no seat belts or air bags.Riding in the back of a private taxi was a special treat.
We drank water from the tap and NOT from a bottle.We would spend hours on the fields under bright sunlight flying our kites, without worrying about the UV ray which never seem to affect us.
We go to jungle to catch spiders without worries of Aedes mosquitoes.With mere 5 pebbles (stones) would be a endless game. With a ball (tennis ball best) we boys would ran like crazy for hours.We catch guppy in drains / canals and when it rain we swim there.
We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually worry about being unhygenic. We ate salty, very sweet & oily food, candies,bread and real butter and drank very sweet soft sweet coffee/ tea, ice kacang, but we weren'toverweight because......WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!!
We would leave home in the morning and play all day, till streetlights came on.No one was able to reach us all day. AND WE DONT HAVE HANDPHONE S TO BUG US. And we were O.K. AND WE ARE SAFE.
We would spend hours repairing our old bicycles and wooden scooters out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes.After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem .
We did not have Playstations, X-boxes, Nintendo's, multiple channels oncable TV, DVD movies, no surround sound, no phones, no personal computers,no Internet.WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!
We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and we still continued the stunts.
We never had birthdays parties till we are 21.
We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and just yelled for them!
The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!
Yet this generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever! The past 40 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL!
I personally feel very touched by this email...which clearly described our life then.Life was simple,we enjoy our childhood and we finally succeed in life.However when i look at children now,their life are totally opposite compared to what we have gone through.The children today are more comfortable in life but have less freedom,more restrictions and stress.What the final outcome for children of late 1990s and 2000s are yet to be seen....

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Yang Bodoh....

Abdullah: ‘Anyone can be PM’

PUTRAJAYA: It is possible for anyone from a minority group to be a nation’s leader, even in Malaysia, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi.

This statement from Badawi commenting on Obama victory appeared in The Star today...showed how politicians like to lie,to make empty promises which they themselves know can't be achieved.

They think `rakyat' are so stupid to listen to them.

My advice to them is better keep their mouth shut than to make unnecessary statement.

We can see the quality of our politicians,most of them but NOT all...they don't deserve the Yang Berhormat title but instead Yang Bodoh see they way they talk,behave,their knowledge and character...will make me feel like throwing out.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Obama...US first black president

"Even the dreamer himself, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., might not have imagined that 40 short years after his murder, we would be planning an Inauguration of the first man of African descent to ascend to the presidency. No minority of any ethnicity had ever looked beyond the scarce representation of a few Senators and seen anything that suggested that the doorknob of the Oval Office could be opened by anything other than the hand of a middle-aged white male."
"Twenty-five years ago Martin Luther King had a dream of an America where men and women would be judged not on the colour of their skin but on the content of their character. Today what America has done is turn that dream into a reality."
-above quote from Time Magazine.
My comment...
I believe this will NEVER happen in Malaysia where the current government's policies are based on race...almost everything is decided by race and colour....sad but true.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Mobile Number Portability (MNP)

Decided to change my telco from Celcom to Digi due to cheaper rates.

I didn't expect to encounter so much problems in the process.First Digi informed me i was blacklisted for RM0.32 since 2002 when i was with TMtouch 013.

Contacted Celcom for a release letter to confirm that i have been removed from the blacklist but they can't send it to me by fax or email.Instead they asked me to go to their branch to get the letter....the reason was they wanted to check and verify my identity.After much of arguing and #&^%#!@!~* through the phone,they insisted that i had to get it personally from the branch.

Finally i gave in...took some time off to go to the branch.To my surprise...the staff just hand to me a letter prepared earlier without asking for my Mykad for verification!!Everything was over within 5 minutes.

I wonder why can't they just fax it to me,can't they do something extra or out of the norm for customers?I am still waiting for their reply on why i was allowed to apply for 2 Celcom lines 3 years ago even i was in the blacklisted list.I personally don't think i will get a reply from them judging from their work culture...