Thursday, November 24, 2005

Greetings From New Zealand

Since I have the chance to log-in to the net, I took this oppportunity to say "HI" from NZ.

Mt. Dobson along the way from Rotorua to Wellington on Desert Road.

Oops, wrong mountain. It should be Mt. Ruapehu, an active volcano which last erupted in Sept, 1995.

More information


Saturday, November 12, 2005

Aotearoa [aoˌteaˈroa]

Holiday Mood. Its starting to trickle in. Yes, I am going to take my usual year-end long break starting next week and won't be back until the 2nd of Dec 2005. I will be flying off with my family to the Land Of The Long White Cloud aka Aotearoa. Your guess is right, thats New Zealand aka Land of the LOTR. Running is totally out of the mind for me for the next 2-3 weeks while I am there. Looking forward to visit some friends whom have migrated there and attend to some other personal matters.

After that it will be on a Self-Drive expedition to explore the country (North & South) and maybe engage in some extreme sports like bungee jumping and high-powered speed boat cruising along some rivers.

I have also booked my family to a farmstay where I believe we can experience the life of working and staying in a farm in NZ. Feeding and milking the cattle and sheeps will be one heck on an experience.

Having a bath in the thermal pool will always be relaxing and soothing. Hopefully we can try the volcanic mud bath this time although it may not be the same as Poring Hotspring near KK Parks. I will definitely explore more new places in this trip although my family were there before in year 2000. But this time it is not the same, where my 2 kids are much older and the places I planned to go are new to me. Mount Cook is one of my destination where I can explore the highest peak in the country. Don't worry, I am not going for the summit because it is real cold out there and full of ice. Anyway time to sign off and do my packing for the trip.

Mt Kinabalu, 4 to 7 May 2006

After our meeting with MAKNA today, we have manage to secure their agreement to be the recipient of our charity campaign. The next thing that we are waiting for before the real work starts is to wait for the issuance of the recipient letter from MAKNA. They promised to get the letter out to us by next Friday, 18 Nov 2006.

Once we have the letter, we can then start our campaign to acquire and lookout for sponsor to the CLIMB 4 CHARITY campaign. This is starting to be interesting especially when we go out there to talk to organization that we have targeted and get them onto the sponsorship list. Our target - RM50k, RM100k............ Lets give our best shot and moreover this is for CHARITY.

Will give an update and hopefully more good news to come.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Running in the rain.

Decided to go for a run today at 6pm even though the sky was telling me that it will definitely rain and very heavy too. Any way I have made up my mind for this run just before my long holiday year-end break starting next week. It had started to drizzle when I reached TTDI park and I was telling myself that it has been awhile since I ran in the rain. The consolation here is that the weather will be very cooling. I did my first 2 laps under continuous drizzle and I felt very good, coupled with a cooling weather and real fresh air. As I moved into my 3rd, 4th and 5th lap the rain started to become heavier and heavier. My shoes are getting wet and started to become slippery inside and heavier especially with the water soaking into it. I continued to finish lap 5 and started lap 6. I told myself this will be the last lap before I call it a day and half way thru the lap, the heavy downpour started. I completed lap 6 and my whole body is now soaked and wet. Immediately I took shelter at the Men's toilet area and cool myself down before going home. And next week I will be flying to the
Land Of The Long White Cloud aka Aotearoa for my vacation and will only be back on Dec 2, 2006.

Cheers and Ol Man signing off........

Monday, November 07, 2005

It's a RUN-IN............

If you are running a marathon, there is one piece of very important gear that you find it very handy: RUNNING SHOE.

If you are taking on the 42km marathon, then what you are wearing on your feet is even more crucial.

Firstly, the most basic of all: The running shoe must fit well. Too many runners end up with painful blisters and ugly blackened toenails bcos they wear shoes that are too small for their feet.

Secondly, the shoe should suit your feet and running style. Otherwise you could end up damaging your feet and legs severely if you are going such long distances.

This led us to taking a look at how our feet that lands on the road each time we are training or running a race.

What is Pronation?

is the inward (medial) roll of the foot and in particular the heel and arch which occurs naturally at the heel strike as a cushioning mechanism.

Overpronation is when the feet roll inward too much.

Supination, also known as underpronation, is the opposite to pronation where the feet don't roll inward enough. Wearing the wrong type of shoe will lead to painful shins and joints, or even injury.

Here is a useful site that I read from The Strait Times Singapore, where the Singapore Sports Council took the initiative to do a shoe review in conjunction with the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2005

Saturday, November 05, 2005

MARATHON: What does it mean?

Many of us have ran a marathon or intended to run one in the near future. But do you know what does it mean and where was it originated from. You may or may not know, but for easy reference this is something I got out from a website that explains it.
Encyclopedia marathon race, long-distance foot race deriving its name from Marathon, Greece. According to legend, in 490 B.C., Pheidippides, a runner from Marathon, carried news of victory over the Persians to Athens. Pheidippides (fīdĭp'ĭdēz) , fl. 490 B.C., semilegendary Athenian courier sent to Sparta to request help when the Persians landed at Marathon. He ran 150 miles in two days. At the conclusion of the battle, he ran the 22 mi (35 km) back to Athens, where he reportedly shouted “Rejoice! We conquer!” and then died of exhaustion.

In the first modern Olympics of 1896, a commemorative event retraced his route. The race soon became an Olympic event, its distance standardized in 1908 at 26 mi, 385 yd (42.195 km). The popularity of running as part of a physical fitness boom in the 1970s engendered a proliferation of marathons, some of them televised. Races in Tokyo, New York City, and elsewhere joined the famed Boston Marathon (begun in 1897). Tens of thousands of runners entered these and less celebrated marathons seeking to achieve personal records and to test their endurance. One of the most influential male runners was Bill Rodgers, who won the Boston and New York City marathons four times each between 1975 and 1980. Until the 1970s, women were largely ignored in (or excluded from, as at Boston) marathon racing, but in 1984, American Joan Benoit won the first Olympic race for women, and Grete Waitz won the New York City marathon nine times in 1978–88. Confronting the limits of endurance, some athletes enter ultramarathons, races of 50 miles or more, or of periods like 24 hours. The current marathon record for men is 2:04:42, set by Morocco's Khalid Khannouchi (Chicago, 1999); for women it is 2:20:47, set by Kenya's Tegla Loroupe (Rotterdam, 1998

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Do I want to run a MARATHON again??

Do you have the courage to run the Marathon again??

To run between 3-1/2 to 4 hours non-stop covering 42km (26.2 miles)
is almost unthinkable for me now. Not that I do not have the courage but my body is not tune to this torturing race at this moment. And that's what I have been doing about 18 years ago and my PR for a marathon was the Cathay Pacific Penang Marathon in 1987, clocking 3hr 32mins (no bragging here) finishing at the Penang Esplanade near the Government office.

I am still extremely proud of that achievement till today because I knew deep in my heart I can never repeat such a feat again. Regardless of what I do in training
and the best running shoe that I can wear, age is not on my side to do it one more time. So I always cherish that moment when I hit the finishing line, and I knew that was my PR. And coincidentally that was the last marathon race before I got married two years later and start a family. After that it was history............until now. The Empire Strikes Back.

Whether to consider running another marathon again is everyone's guess but for now, I think I will not do it again. Do I have the courage to do it again?? Don't rule the Ol Man out, okay. At least for now, I am back to my regular running habits after the loooooooong break trying to get back my endurance to stay longer on the road and clock higher mileage. My focus at least for the next 6-12 months is to run Half Marathons. When age is catching up, one tends to be more prone to injury ie like what is happening to my right knee now.
It takes one lots of courage, determination, discipline and most important focus on long period of time to run and complete a marathon. That is not even considering the time taken to prepare for a marathon and I think it is easily at least 4 months. All you have is one chance on the race day itself to go get your PR within the goal you set, and if you do not achieve it you have to wait for the next race which can be 3 to 6 months down the road.

Ol Man signing off for the holiday seasons from down south across the border!!!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

No. 7 on USA TODAY's 10 hardest things to do in sports is running a marathon in two-plus hours. Here's why it's so hard, from a scientific perspective, from an expert athlete's perspective and from an average joe's.

Khalid Khannouchi crosses the
finish line in 2000 Chicago Marathon,
claiming the third of his four victories
in the Windy City race.

There are 26.2 reasons why running a marathon is hard — as in 26.2 miles from start to finish.

"There is no downtime. You are the machine," says physical therapist Jim Wharton of New York-based Wharton Performance, which trains world-class athletes and weekend warriors.

Marathoners run on hard streets. Wharton says the impact of each stride is three to four times a runner's body weight, transferred from ankles to knees to hips.

About 450,000 Americans (60% male) ran marathons in 2002. But there is no rule you have to keep running the whole way. Wharton says the accomplishment of just going the distance, no matter how, can leave people "feeling good about themselves."

When Khalid Khannouchi won the London Marathon last year, he didn't do any walking: He set a world record of 2 hours, 5 minutes and 38 seconds.

Five-hour marathoners can participate in the same event, "but in a sense you're light years away from the event he is running," Wharton says.

On his record run, Khannouchi averaged 4 minutes, 47 seconds a mile, 71.75 seconds per quarter mile. Try running such a lap around a quarter-mile track. Imagine keeping that pace for 105 laps, the marathon distance.

Elite marathoners train at high altitude, where thinner air prompts the body to produce more red blood cells to carry more oxygen to muscles. They also do speed training at lower altitudes, where they can run faster.

Wharton says it takes 5 to 10 years to develop a top marathoner. They run 100 to 150 miles a week, which makes resting periods critical.

On his trips to Kenya, Wharton has seen that nation's elite marathoners. "You don't see them going to the mall. ... They're not standing around. They're in a horizontal position at rest, or they're napping, or they're eating or they're running."

The debate about the difficulty of the marathon, much as the running, swimming and cycling components of the associated triathlon, doesn't center just on the physical aspects. "Motivation, confidence and mental toughness are necessary," says Stephen Russo, director of sports psychology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Health System, co-sponsor of the Pittsburgh Marathon.

In the pack, he says, some might choose to disassociate themselves from the pain by thinking of their taxes or singing a song in their head.

But he says research shows elite runners don't disassociate: "They somehow can manage to stay focused on their running and their stride and their pace. In some ways, your elite-level runner can withstand pain better and can actually function better when they're in pain."

Yes, even the elite feel the pain. But as Russo notes, "They don't have to deal with the pain for as long because they finish faster."

Full report:

Posted 2/20/2003 11.56pm