Sunday, January 27, 2013

2013: New Year, Same Goals, & The Push Forward

I am not a good blogger. I lack the discipline to just sit and write. Still, I will endeavor to write more often in 2013.

However, I do not want to be repetitive. It feels like that is such an easy pattern to fall into. I read a lot of blogs and online articles and you tend to see trends; people regurgitate the same news, research and experiences over and over and seem to want to add "their spin" on things. It all ends up being the same after a while.

I feel like I have a lot going on and interesting things to share, but finding (or making) time to sit and write is something that I always end up putting on the back burner. I'll try to be better at this in 2013. Not that I expect to have a lot of readers, but I think that writing things down is a good exercise, as it allows you to set goals down and then be reminded of them when you revisit older posts. Not that you forget, but it is easy to get caught up in the hectic hyperactivity that surrounds work, family and friends at times.

Next posts: my goals for 2013 and the constant push forward.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Long Beach 2011 Half Marathon

I (mostly) ran the Long Beach Half Marathon last Sunday, October 9, 2011. The course is very scenic, as it starts downtown and hugs the Pacific Ocean throughout. The run starts by the convention center and Shoreline Village, crosses the Queensway Bridge to the Harbor Plaza and back, and then continues along the bike and pedestrian path that runs from the Long Beach Marina to the Peninsula. You then make your way to Ocean Blvd and finish back on Shoreline Drive. There were an estimated 25,000 runners / walkers and cyclists that participated in either the 5k, 1/2 or full marathon and bike ride.

It was my second time doing it and I must say, it was not the terrible experience that I anticipated. I am not a natural runner so I find it hard to train for these events. I'm obviously training to finish, not to "win" or place in any certain spot. However, I did find the training to be enjoyable, as I spent a lot of time running along the beach with my family. I was a bit more diligent about preparing for this run so I had a goal in mind. I wanted to finish under 2 1/2 hours (I know - slooooow).

My wife and I woke up a bit late, so we rushed to downtown and made it to the starting line a few minutes after the first wave of runners had already begun. Long Beach uses a wave system based on projected times. We should have run with wave 4 or 5, but we were already hot from running from the parking structure to the start line so we jumped in with wave 2.

My run started well enough, as mile 1 came surprisingly fast. We weaved along the course and before I knew it, mile 5 had come. I felt great! I looked at my stopwatch and was right on schedule. No problem... so I thought.

Miles 5 – 9 were uneventful. However, I began to have problems at mile 10. My right calf started to cramp so I had to walk a bit. I looked at my stopwatch and I was actually ahead of schedule, so I took it easy, alternating between a fast walk and slow jogging. I looked at my stop watch at mile 11 and it read 2:08. I was now behind schedule, but I had 22 minutes to finish within my goal. I can run a sub 8-minute mile when I push it, so I still had a glimmer of hope. I picked up the pace and had to stop immediately; now my left calf cramped up. I limped along and tried to stretch out. I walked for a few minutes and tried to go again to no avail. Both calves were gone.

At this point I knew I was not going to make the 2:30 goal I had in mind. I tried to run one more time but could not, so I called it a day and walked the rest of the way. I ended up with a time of 2:51. I was very disappointed and frustrated because I was not sore at all, had no pain anywhere and was not winded a bit. Walking felt fine; running led to an immediate protest from my calves.

I'm now eying the Los Angeles 1/2 Marathon in January, 2012. Again, I will aim to finish under 2:30 and this time, I am confident that I will finish strong. I now know what to do :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Overdue Update: Kettlebells, Olympic Weightlifting, Paleo

It's been over a year since I last wrote an entry here! Wow, time sure flies by fast. The daily grind and kids will do that to you, I guess.

A lot has changed. First, I am much healthier! To this point, I have lost over 65 lbs and am very near my goal weight. My fitness level is much improved and my strength is way up. I haven't ridden my bike much, but I've been mainly working with kettlebells and starting to work some powerlifting and Olympic weightlifting into my program. I'll write more about those later, but to be certain, kettlebells have made the difference in my training.

The 2nd major change is my diet. I've learned to not see my diet as something that you do on and off to reach a goal. A good diet is something you do for the rest of your life!

Diet: The usual food and drink consumed by an organism (person or animal).

I'm eating cleaner food by trying to follow the Paleo Diet principles of eating meats, tons of veggies and avoiding processed foods and grains. I say that I am trying because I am not as strict as I could be. I still consume dairy and give in to the occasional burger or pasta plate. But those meals are now a rarity, where as before they were staples.

I'll try to check in more often, but until then, keep training and learning!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

ISM Adamo Typhoon and Price Drops!

I really like my ISM Adamo Road Saddle. I just started riding again after a bit of a layoff to prepare for the upcoming Tour de Cure here in Los Angeles and I must say, I did not experience the discomfort that I had the first time I used the Adamo. Perhaps I knew what to expect now, but after only a few rides, I feel like I have already adapted to it.

It's been raining lately here in Los Angeles. I have a nice spinning bike that I use but it has a regular saddle with a nose. I was thinking of replacing it with an ISM when I ran into this, the ISM Adamo Typhoon:

Extra padding and gel; I like it already! The MSRP is $139.95, which is lower than the Adamo Road saddle that's on my bike. However, has it for only $77.50. That is a great deal!

I am going to buy this and stick it on my spinning bike. I experience the same discomfort and numbness when I'm on the stationary as when I was on my road bike, so I think this will be a welcomed change.

For $77.50, I don't think you can go wrong. Buy it here:

The Adamo Road, which I own and highly recommend, is also significantly lower in price now, available for $93.00. Get it here:

Keep riding!

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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Tour of California!

I enjoyed watching the Tour of California today. I was especially glad to see Floyd Landis riding again. I know all the hype is around Lance Armstrong and team Astana, but I really think Floyd got a raw deal. Perhaps he doped, maybe he didn't, but he proved that the samples were tainted and protocol was not followed. Why should he or other cyclists have their career destroyed by people who themselves can't be held to high standards? It doesn't make sense.

Here are some of the notable results:

1. Fabian Cancellara - Team Saxo Bank - 00:04:32.91
2. Levi Leipheimer - Astana - 00:04:34.11
3. David Zabriskie - Garmin-Slipstream - 00:04:35.56
6. George Hincapie - Team Columbia-High Road - 00:04:36.25
10. Lance Armstrong - Astana in 00:04:37.17
90. Floyd Landis - Ouch Presented By Maxxis - 00:04:53.26

So enjoy the Tour of California and welcome back Floyd!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Windows 7 or KDE (GNU/Linux)

Great little video showing... I'm not sure what:

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Bicycle your way to fitness

The Los Angeles Times has a 4 part series of articles about getting the new year off to a healthy start. The series is titled "Getting Good" and the first 2 articles deal with running and cycling:

A running program that fits your stride

Bicycle your way to fitness

Although meant for beginners, there are some good tips. Here are some excerpts of what I thought were good ideas:

  • Establish a routine - make time and try to stick to a schedule.
  • Get the right equipment - good fitting shoes, get your bike fitted properly.
  • Eat more meals at home than at restaurants.
  • Incorporate sprints.
  • Cross-train - to relieve your body of the aches and pains of running or cycling only. Mix it up!
  • Be realistic about your goals.

The other 2 articles will deal with swimming and strength-training. Check them out at the L.A. Times Health section.

"Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving” - Albert Einstein