Wan's Column - 21st
I notice I have been paying more attention to health related
issues lately. I never fail to read or at least browse
through articles in the press about health. I guess this
is quite natural as we get older, we hear more stories
on health related issues happening to people around us.
Last Sunday in page 22 of the Sunday Star, a full page
was devoted to healthier lifestyle. I read through the
article and did not notice anything new that we were not
told before. (Please read attached
article from the Sunday Star dated 16th July 2006).
I believe most Malaysians are not ignorant on health issues,
it is just that majority of the Malaysians just do not
have the discipline to live a healthy lifestyle; too obsessed
with their jobs or business, do not eat in moderation,
do not exercise regularly and do not rest adequately.
FIFA World Cup 2006 And Lack of Sleep
To live a healthier lifestyle, we need a little discipline….
make it a little more discipline! Take sleep as an example.
Having enough and regular sleeping time is very important
to me. Last month, we had the FIFA World Cup 2006 and as a
football mad nation, we believe a significant segment of the
population stayed up to watch some of the matches that were
screened at 12.00 midnight or 3.00am in the morning. We see
a number of walking zombies in the office. Sick leave went
up during this period for obvious reasons; football fever!
The more responsible employees took the opportunity to take
their annual leave to enjoy the football games. This World
Cup, I have a very proud record, I did not stay up for a single
match, not even the finals between France and Italy! I did
not interrupt my lifestyle of sleeping early and getting up
early for my morning runs. I wake up at 5.30am each morning
during working days when I want to run at Taman Tasik Perdana.
I almost manage to keep up my 30km weekly mileage throughout
the football season but I did reduce my Sunday long run mileage
from the usual 11km to just 7km. While my regular weekdays’
runs are minimally impacted, I did follow the football games
adequately in my own way. I watched the group matches that
were telecasted at 9.00pm or 10.00pm and relied on the highlights
nightly from ASTRO. During the weekends, I watch the delay
telecast later in the mornings after my usual morning runs.
It may not be as exciting as watching the games life but given
the need to strike a balance between my regular morning runs
and following the games, this must be the most viable compromise.
Thanks to ASTRO, I could exercise this option. However, something
did give way as I was unable to do my 2 x 15km long runs before
the Seremban Half Marathon, I gave it the miss, a sensible
thing to do than to struggle back in the last 5km! It was
by chance a correct decision as I heard that it was not too
well organized…..not having enough drinks stations.
Rest of the Run Season And Haze
This year, the race organizers are rushing to complete their
calendar before the fasting month from the third week of September
2006. We are going to have some runs almost each Sunday. I
have become highly selective of the events I am going to take
part in and will not go for every event that comes my way.
I was looking forward to going back to Penang this year for
the Penang International Bridge Run but after learning that
it coincide with the Saint Anne Festival at the same weekend,
I decide to give it the miss. I do not fancy traffic jam going
to Penang when there is a major event like the Saint Anne
Festival at Bukit Mertajam. I recall some years ago (1988
I think), the Saint Anne Festival coincided with the Kuan
Yin Festival and it resulted in the collapse of the jetty.
Let’s hope the organizer could be more carefully in selecting
the 2007 date so that I could run at the Bridge again. I shall
support my home run, the Subang Jaya 10km on 20th August 2006,
hope it is on as scheduled. Then I close off with 2 back to
back runs, the Putrajaya Marathon on 10th September 2006 and
the Mizuno Wave Run on 17th September 2006 before the fasting
month. After the Hari Raya, on 19th November 2006, we have
the Ipoh Road Runners 10km (may be upgraded into a half marathon)
Last major event of the year, the Standard Chartered Singapore
Marathon 2006 is opened for registration today! I shall register
over the weekend to enjoy the early birds discount. These
handful of runs should keep me motivated till Christmas.
At the time of writing this, the haze is back, a little earlier
this year and with the dry spell coming, we may have a longer
haze period that I need to smell the air each morning before
putting on my running shoes. Judging from the acreage cleared
for oil palm estates in Indonesia and Malaysia, we are fighting
a losing battle. As an active individual that loves running
in the open, I always dread this part of the year. What else
can I do other than praying for some rain and wind to blow
away the haze?
Wan Yew Leong
21st July 2006