Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Moons Over My Hammy Re-Redux

It's not a serious injury, but my right hamstring is very tender this morning. My Zaneless run last night was not that fast. Fast enough to not be comfortable, but not fast enough to sweat. Oh, you didn't know that I have a sweating problem? Yes, I simply don't sweat that much. This probably explains my complete bonking in any run/race that is held in temperatures over sixty degrees. My hair looks good the whole way though, so it's a trade-off.

Anyways, my right hamstring is sore. We'll see how it goes tonight on my bike. And Mo, just come out and visit and I'll push you by the creek. The only requirement is that you provide conversation based upon sentences made up of at the most two words. For example, "Daddy, duck."; "Daddy, truck"; "Daddy, horsie." And my favorite, "Daddy fast." I might let go of you when we go down the hill though.

Monday, August 28, 2006

New Training Regimen

I've discovered the secret to running long and fast. It involves pushing a jogging stroller with a 35 pound 2 year old twice a week over a very hilly 8 mile loop. I know, that's crazy. You'd think it'd never work. Pushing 50 pounds over hills is just supposed to make you tired, not strong. Well, it turns out it makes you strong too. I suspected as much last week when I was pushing Zane over the hills and when I finished up and looked at my watch, I found that I had completed the run averaging just over 8 minute miles. So I decided to put my strength to the test on Saturday by going long and fast.

Twenty miles. I wasn't excited to go out and do this run. Especially considering I had a timetable and needed to get back in order to get ready to go to the IRL Grand Prix of Sonoma, which was pretty cool by the way. Zane loved Turn 7. I would have bought him one of those little collectible Indy cars, but they were $500 and that's just a little much for a car that doesn't even have an engine.

Well, even though I didn't want to get out there, I still had to go and do it. I have a marathon in five weeks and skipping a long at this point just isn't acceptable. I started out conservative, running an 8:30 first mile and then slowly built up my speed. At the end of mile 10, I was averaging just at 8 minutes per mile. That's when I decided to turn on the afterburners and see what I could do. Surprisingly, the afterburners just kept on going. For the remaining 10 miles I averaged 7:20 miles. For miles 11, 12, and 13, I was running sub-7s. I backed off of that, but it sure felt good. I was only nervous about my last mile, which is a mile long hill. I usually run that last mile at about 9:45, due to the hill and it being the last mile of a 20 mile run. Not that day. I charged up it and finished it in 7:45.

When I completed that last mile, I felt like a lion. I felt fast again and wanted to roar, which I have done on occasion. The adrenaline and endorphins just get to me sometimes. At the end of the day, I ran 20 miles in 2:33 (11 minutes faster than last week), which is probably the third fastest 20 miles I've ever done. The fastest being the Flying Pig Marathon where I did a ridiculous 2:22 and the second fastest being a training run prior to the Pig when I ran a 2:29.

This experience tells me one thing. I haven't lost my speed. A sub-3 hour marathon is still attainable. This Saturday I have another 20 miler. I'm not promising to break 2:30, but if I'm feeling it, I'm going to go for it.

So thank you Zane. What I thought was just going to be nice father-son time running along the creek pointing at ducks, doggies, and horses has now turned into a serious strength training workout. Now if I could only avoid those thorns that keep puncturing the tires on your jogging stroller (three punctures in two weeks).

Monday, August 21, 2006


I ran my first 20 miler since April two days ago. Surprisingly, I was only a little sore, especially considering that I hadn't run long in three weeks due to the Arizona trip. I started out pretty conservatively running the first 10 miles around 8:20 pace. It always takes me about 6 miles to start feeling comfortable. Additionally, the out leg is uphill and on Saturday there was a headwind. The back leg I sped up and was running 7:20s, at least until the mile long hill that was mile 20.

I know, I know. It was just two years ago I ran a full marathon at 7:11 pace. I guess that's what running three days a week and trying to have a family life can do to your speed. I WILL hit a sub-3 hour marathon. Likely target is St. George 2007. But that will be the second most important race of 2007, as I will only be racing against myself. The most important race will be the St. George triathlon. Mav and JP must die.

Here are my target splits:

1500m swim - 25 minutes
40km bike - 22mph
10km run - 39 minutes

Let that last number sink in a little. Let me also say that although I think my first two numbers are realistic/slightly aggressive, my last number is most definitely conservative. How does it taste? The fear that is.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Rebel Yell

No, not Billy Idol, although if he lived in Walnut Creek, I would be pretty excited. Would I ask Billy to sing Rebel Yell or White Wedding?

Hey, little sister, what have you done
Hey, little sister, who's the only one...

I don't like quoting lyrics, as wasting space with unoriginal text seems wasteful. You know, because the internet might fill up. However, in this case, with me dancing around the office playing air guitar, and I play a pretty good air guitar, almost as good as Mo's, I will make an exception and quote Billy.

Wow, that is some terrible English.

Where was I? Oh, yes, the non-Billy Idol rebel yell. So I am pulling into the Walnut Creek BART station yesterday and I glance down (BART is on an elevated track) and I see a flagpole. Flying on this flagpole are two flags, the first one being the U.S. flag. The second one wasn't the California state flag. It was the Confederate battle flag. In Walnut Creek.

Monday, August 14, 2006


How could I not have seen it? When it was later pointed out to me, I wondered how I could have been so blind. Was I in a rush? Was my cart so full that I just needed to escape? Did the buy one, get one free offer overwhelm my ability to read? Was I dreaming of a Diet Dr. Pepper that I later forgot to buy? Or was it simply my lack of attention to detail? Whatever the answer, it was a tragedy. I inadvertently bought light ice cream. Light Mint 'n Chip to be exact. Now light ice cream is usually better than no ice cream and this particular batch was no exception, but non-light, full of delicious fat, ice cream is so much better. There are two main differences. First, it's obviously not as rich. Two, and this is the part that really drives me mad, it's melting point is much lower than normal ice cream. And once it melts, it's incredibly watery. Now it was a good snack. Don't get me wrong. It just wasn't as good as it should have been and it was all due to my inability to notice the word "light", which happened to be printed on the lid 50 times. Fortunately, I had two root beer floats, which contained normal vanilla ice cream, later in the day to help me out of my light ice cream funk.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Suki Desu Ka?

Hai, suki desu. Any job that sets aside an entire Friday afternoon in order for the office to have its fantasy football draft is pretty good in my book.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Whatchagonnado When They Come For You?

That's right. The DPD was out in force Wednesday night and just like Maurice Clarett, this Bad Boy got pulled over after a serious highway chase. Ok, maybe it didn't quite happen that way. Maybe I was riding my bike instead of driving a SUV. Maybe I blew through two red lights (the coast was clear, I promise) instead of weaving erratically. And maybe it was a water bottle in my hands, not four guns, including an assault rifle. Ok, maybe it wasn't like Maurice Clarett at all, but I had to bring him in somehow. Talk about snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. One minute you're scoring the winning touchdown at the Fiesta Bowl, a sure fire NFL running back and the next you're going to prison for 30 years. Ouch.

So yes, I was pulled over by the Danville Police Department, in all of my spandex glory. Apparently, running a red light on a bike is a no no, even if the coast is clear a la NY style. Fortunately, he just gave me a warning as a ticket received while riding a bicycle counts the same as a ticket you receive from driving a car. That wouldn't have looked pretty on my insurance.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


Contrary to popular belief, the puma is not a mythological creature. It did not try to turn Theseus into stone, it did not spring from the head of Zeus, and it most certainly did not strap on wings, fly too close to the sun, watch its wings melt and do a nosedive into the Aegean.

Congratulations Beka, I hope you're having fun.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Pressure Cooker

Can you feel it? The pressure to post is insufferable. All week long people have been emailing me and telling me that I must post. I'm not sure why as this has turned into one of the more dull blogs in the blogosphere. Ever since I moved from NY to the Bay area, my life has literally become more and more dull and it's been reflected in my posts. My latest hit entry is about a foam roller?? This is a problem.

I'm not one of those who didn't know what he had when he had it. I loved NY. Every minute. Even the nut jobs on the subway. I'm glad I'm not there right at this moment, as sitting next to a window unit A/C hoping to cool off to a pleasant 93 degrees sounds pretty terrible and being in the subway gives me nightmares thinking about it. The smell must be truly awful. Who knows what is cooking down there. However, overall, the flair that NY has is missing. Maybe we should move to the city? Maybe we should just accept the fact that we're suburbanites now. But I can't do that. It'd be like denying my inner Comic Book Guy. And that my friends is something I am not prepared to do.


I hope that this post releashes those who have been hounding me. Seriously people, this stuff just isn't that good.