basic workout and gear

I simplified my workout goals to run 4 miles every day and hope to ramp up to 5 to 6 miles a day at some point. Rest days will generally be Mondays with some ad hoc rest days depending how I feel.

Gear wise, the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% are amazing shoes. I used to run in Asics either Nimbulus or Cumulus but these Vaporflys feel way better. They have carbon soles and some nice cushioning so my body doesn't feel wrecked after my runs. It's a noticeable and significant difference.

I'm usually pretty skeptical about heavily marketed gear/features. But I do understand how carbon fiber soles can both absorb the force of my running and spring me forward. Carbon fiber in road bikes definitely absorb choppy roads so it makes sense it would do the same in shoes. Carbon fiber is one of the coolest materials.

The other item that's helping me run and recover quicker is this Hypervolt Plus massage gun. I was skeptical about this too but it works. Recovery is a big deal if I want to actually run every day.

Considering it's just shoes and a massage gun and not like a bike, bike parts/maintenance, swimming membership (for pool access), gym membership, seems like I should be able to save some money too.

Ironman St. George 2020

I signed up for Ironman St. George May 2020. This will be my third St. George and ninth overall, I previously did the inaugural one in 2010 and again in 2011. Looks like IM St. George will also be the North American championship race and will rotate every three years as the designated NA championship race with other events.

I do have to say that St George in 2011 wasn't the best experience. I hit the "why am I doing this?" and "is this it?" walls pretty hard. I wasn't getting any faster, I wasn't competing (just participating), and it felt like a big waste of time and money.

So why sign up again? Being healthy and fit aren't exactly wastes of time and money. Being healthy is probably a good thing. These races are actually pretty fun and I'm locked in with this distance. I just can't get up for shorter distances, I prefer endurance vs. speed. And I miss it. Training is like active meditation for me, and the discipline and consistency it requires helps me with other parts of life that require discipline and consistency.

Anyway, wish me luck. IM St. George is no joke.

Ironman Santa Rosa 2020

Ironman Santa Rosa swim

I'm getting the bug again to do another Ironman. I'm thinking Ironman Santa Rosa which looks like the old Vineman course. Looks like it'll be some time in May which causes a little bit of a problem because it means I have to train during the Winter time. What's good about an event in May is I can get the rest of the Summer to do whatever I want. 

Not until 2020 though. I can't get in shape for the 2019 race plus I'm already past the deadline for the cheapie registration, it's like a $100-$200 more now.

Doesn't look like there are other races I'm interested to roll into, maybe Ironman Arizona November 2020. We'll see.

clean diet and core training


Working on the "clean" diet and "core" training routine to get into snowboarding shape for this Winter and hopefully launch me back into Ironman triathlon training.

Clean diet – "clean" foods, clean meals, simple ingredients

Core training – shoulders to thighs training with emphasis on developing ab and back strength

SF Marathon 2011

I'm doing the SF marathon this Sunday.  It's going to be my fourth time doing this race.  The highlight is running across the Golden Gate bridge.  The low light is all the time spent in Golden Gate Park, we see about every inch of Golden Gate park.  The other low light is that this race has gotten to be too expensive.

I prefer the Oakland marathon that I ran earlier this year.  I like the warts and all course through Oakland much better.  There's more people cheering at the Oakland marathon and the runners seem a little more laid back and a little more entertaining.  Whatever.  Just being cranky/Oakland prideful.

Anyway, SF marathon should be pretty fun.  Weather is always great, overcast, not too cold and not too hot and not windy, perfect running conditions.  The hills are tough though.

Ironman St. George details…

Nice infographic from Transition Four

I'm #813, for this second year of Ironman St. George.  While I swore never again to do this race — it's that hard and miserable, I ended up signing up again.

A few reasons:

  • I really liked the finisher's shirt and I want another one
  • The coach we work with is doing the race, among other friends
  • the Utah bike course is gorgeous
  • this course kicked my butt last year and I didn't like that
  • it's drivable although this year I'm breaking up the drive into two, first LA and then Las Vegas
  • needed a race to stay in shape

We'll see how it goes.  Last year I did this race in 15:42:17 (fifteen hours and 42 minutes).  I'm going to see if I can do it in under 14 hours, but I'll be happy to just finish and get my t-shirt.


Oakland Running Festival

I ran the Oakland Marathon last Sunday and I had a few notes:

  • What a great event!  A challenging "warts and all" route through Oakland — from City Hall to Rockridge to Montclair to the Mormon Temple to International Boulevard to Jack London Square to West Oakland to Lake Merritt and back to City Hall.
  • Great crowd throughout the whole course.  Very "homey/welcome" feeling, not like running the San Francisco marathon.
  • There was no rain despite the threat of rain, it was pretty good running conditions.  Hoping next year will be the same.
  • I used the day as a "training day" if that makes any sense.  I was strong through 20 miles, slowed down a little bit for the next two, and then put it into recovery mode.  Starting a marathon on tired legs is definitely an interesting feeling.
  • A marathon is still a marathon.  I was hoping it was going to be easy but I was getting antsy around mile 17.
  • The event was well run, some areas could be improved but not bad for their second time around.
  • The Expo the day before was a little meager.  Could use some more vendors but the ones that were there were pretty good.
  • The medal is nice.
  • The shirt, long sleeve again, could've been better.  Needed a better graphic design and maybe a slightly higher quality shirt.
  • The massage tent could have been managed better.

I'm hoping to get more people signed up for the race.  I'll likely going to do it again next year.  It was definitely a lot of fun and it's great to have a running event like this in Oakland.

2011 race schedule

My race schedule for next year:

I'd like to keep the Summer and Fall open for things other than races but may consider some races depending on who's in.

My base workout locations are: my house in North Oakland near Children's Hospital (bike/run), Temescal Pool, Sports Basement in San Francisco (bike/run), Mike's Bikes Sausalito (bike/run), Tam High School (swim/bike/run), Lunardi's (bike/run).

Will also be doing some trail runs in the East Bay hills (Skyline 50k routes) and in Marin (NorthFace 50k routes).

My fitness goals for 2011 are to maintain my fitness levels from last year, drop some weight, improve my core strength and flexibility, and become a stronger runner.  I'd also like to reconnect with friends/training partners and just have some fun on the road.

part 3: bikes – carbon fiber

Parlee Z5 stock

My dream bike is a Parlee Z5 — an all carbon fiber bike that can be built as a complete bike at around 13lbs.  My current bike is not heavy at a little over 17lbs and bikes for racing have to weigh at a minimum 15lbs (thankfully I don't race).  Shaving 2 to 4lbs off a bike would be really great though.  I could also just eat less and lose some weight.

Anyway, for the build I'd go with the SRAM Red group with ENVE seat post, stem, and bar, Fizik seat, Look pedals, and TRP brakes.  I'd also go with the Dura Ace 7850 50cm wheels because they're carbon wheels with an alloy braking surface, otherwise would go with Lightweight or ENVE clincher wheels.

If all goes well, maybe in 2012?  I could use the time to think of a nice paint job, though will probably end up with something like the first picture above — a solid blue bike.

I'm in the camp of people believing that carbon fiber is the best material for road bikes.  Carbon fiber just sucks up the bumpiness in roads that it makes for really comfortable riding.  I've ridden maybe 10,000+ miles on my road bike and can't complain — stiff, durable, comfortable, just solid riding.

Above Category bike shop in Mill Valley is teasing me with some of their current bike builds of the Parlee.  Here, here, and here.

Daddy-O Ray Bans

I needed a new pair of prescription sunglasses (my prescription changed) for working out and I finally ended up getting the Daddy-O square Ray Bans — very comfortable and great lenses.  It's darker than I'm used to and it's just been a great frame for working out and cycling than what I've had in the past.

I was wearing Oakleys but my prescription got too high and none of their really nice (overpriced) frames would allow my prescription.  The ones I have now lean towards being normal glasses with sun glass lenses versus actual sunglasses.  It's too bad because I really like Oakley.  Thankfully Ray Bans are just as stylish and they're cheaper too.

I did a bunch of research as I usually do and ended up getting the glasses from SportRX Prescription Eyewear.  Rob T. hooked me up and was very patient with me as he made the initial suggestion.  I eventually emailed him my prescription and glasses came in soon after.  It was a very nice experience.

Anyway, it's funny that I'm sporting Ray Bans since it seems like the wayfarers have made a come back.  Maybe us '80s kids are on the attack.