Sunday, September 9, 2012

Brooks Run Happy Profile: Jamie Pang

Who doesn't know Jamie Pang a.k.a Carboman?

I first heard a friend mention his name years ago, as my friend had just started running. Yearssss ago definitely seems like ages ago!

Jamie is one of the well known icons in our running community and I am extremely pleased that he has agreed to be my first BRH profile.

1. OK, spill the beans! Where do you get ALL that energy from ? Your time and commitment to your family, your work, your running, hobbies ... 
[JP] Sometimes I wonder myself but I think it has more to do with prioritization than anything else. If you know me, my life is extremely boring. Weekdays are Work-Run-Home/Family. Weekends are the same except the work part. I don't have Astro and don't plan to have it. Ever. I rarely watch TV by necessity and it's hard since I'm a movie fan. But weekdays are already so packed. By the time I get home (blasted KL traffic!) it's already 9:15pm. Finishing dinner and washing up will move the clock to 10pm. Then it's spending a bit of time with the kids on their reading/homework before I finish off with catching up on my emails and online stuff. Bedtime is midnight.

Weekends are for long runs (20Ks and above which I start between 5am to 5:30am, so that when I get home, the household would just begin to come to) and are spent mostly with the family and doing part of the weekly grocery shopping. Since we've no maid, I've outsourced the workshirt ironing to a laundry shop. I still do the pants myself as with my kids' uniforms. My wife bears a large burden of ensuring the kids complete their homework. We share the driver duty ferrying the 2 to their tuition and activities. In terms of the running of the household we're eternally grateful for the home general, my Mom, for taking on so many things that it's ridiculous to list them all here.

It's really challenging to put everything together - more of time challenge than energy really. I wish I can say that I sympathize with people who complain about missing their workouts or not being able to wake up early the next morning when the next FB update from them is about going for movies (I go to the theaters only 4 times a year), mamak hangouts and so on. We only have limited hours a day and it's about knowing what you want and removing the rest for another time. I leave my TV time for the weekend. For me, that essential part of my life is running. Work and family are inevitable and since you can never finish work and unless there's a pressing deliverable, I'm out of the office nearly on time for my evening runs.

Another fortunate thing is that the park is just behind my office, so I save some time there from having to drive somewhere. Due to schedule and time pressure, I do my long runs closer to home which means I don't have to drive 30K each way to the Lake Gardens unless on weekends when I've got bored with my regular route. It's all pretty much commando for me, if you know what I mean. I don't particularly watch what I eat, but lately I've started taking more green foods like wheat and barley grass, and chrollela. I try to limit rice and bread and I eat plenty of vegetables. I love coffee, so that part is incorrigible. Supplements are fish oil, calcium-magnesium, and the occasional iron (when fatigue sets in). Race month will have me taking cordyceps tablets.

YT: I am soooooo exhausted just listening to your busy schedule!

An epic picture of Jamie from The River Jungle Marathon 2011.

2. How often do you run in a week?
[JP] I workout 6 days a week. Not everyday is intense of course. I'm finally following a regimented program called FIRST so there are 3 critical workouts a week, with 2-3 days of cross training. Mondays are core work (but I warm up by doing very short easy runs), Tuesdays are intervals, Wednesdays are easy runs/recovery days which I use to run with my colleagues, Thursdays are tempos, Fridays are 40-minutes of spinning at home, Saturdays are real rest and to take care of home affairs and Sundays are the long ones. The 3 crucial workouts are must-dos while due to schedule disruptions, I occasionally switch the cross-training days around. I'm so active now that even when I eventually leave the workforce next time, I won't be using the term retiree. "Retiree" sounds like you're resigned to your declining years! I'd probably be scouring the streets for photography opportunities, and training for or organizing races.

3. If you're not running, you can be found ...
[JP] ...dreaming about running. You can say that I'm the perennial underachiever. I put so much passion into running yet I've yet to yield my goals.

4. Your blog is one of the most informative ones which we can find on the Internet which talks about running gear/products, events, photography, etc. How did you become a blogger?
[JP] I started blogging in 2003 to document the arrival of Carbokid 1. At that time, there's no such term called blogging and it was all HTML. Got my own domain then too. Other than writing about the pregnancy, the kid's arrival, I started documenting my preps for my first marathon and things got along from there. 2 years later I migrated my site to Blogger (both sites were called The Adventures of Carboman) before moving back to a self named domain using Wordpress. You can therefore say that I started blogging as a form of diary. 

5. Name your favourite pre-run and post-run food.
No fave pre-run food. I usually don't eat the morning of a training run unless it's a really long one like a 30K and beyond. The logic is that I'll still have the glycogen and fat stores from last night's dinner. In the case of the 30Ks, I'd chug down a half bottle of pre-soaked chia seed with honey. Post long runs, I'd eat anything but as the day progresses I won't say no to a nice milkshake or ice-cream treat. 

Jamie and his Run Happy shoes. 

6. You own a few pairs of Brooks shoes. Which is your favourite pair and why?
[JP] My experience with Brooks go way back to school days although I don't own one that time. It was a friend's pair - can't remember the model although I remember it was a black and grey one. Awesome shoe of those days and HydroFlow was so innovative then.

My first Brooks was the Glycerin 2 which I liked more for the colours than comfort - too firm. At that time their midsoles were still made of Substance 257 and not MoGo or BioMoGo. (hey since I know so much of Brooks, why am I not part of the blogging team??! ;p ) Between the Glycerin and quite a few years later, my friends discovered the Beast and ST Racer which they loved.

My reacquaintance with the brand was with the Pure Connect, a review pair courtesy of Brooks Malaysia, which I wore for the 2011 PJ Half Marathon. It was a sweet shoe but I was to find that it was a little too constrictive and I wasn't able to wear it beyond 21K.

The next pair was the Cascadia 4 which I wore for TNF 50K. It was quite a natural choice as the market for trail shoes were limited then. It's still very much in excellent condition after 2 years in service, and it goes to show that I don't have the opportunity to run in the trails as much as I'd like to. Then I got the Pure Flow as a shoe for rotation (I wear many shoes from various brands throughout the week's training). It has better protection than the Connect and is a viable backup shoe for my longer runs or recovery days.

YT: Coincidentally, just how many pairs of shoes do you own?? Wait, I don't think I want to know...

7. Any wise words for newbies who want to pick up running?
[JP] Wow this is tough … “We find inspiration in many places and often in many exploits of fellow runners but when striving to become a better or lifelong runner, we should set our own standards. Find your own motivation and stay with it.” 

Don’t think that sounded wise.

How about, “It is like a finger pointing at the moon. Don’t concentrate on the finger or you’ll miss all the heavenly glory. – Bruce Lee”

Thanks for your time, Jamie!

For more about Jamie, follow his blog at


 Don't forget to swap your old shoes for RM150 rebate voucher!

No comments:

Post a Comment